The new homestead

The new homestead

This is the perfect time to start back on this blog.  For the last few years, almost all my blogging has been writing related and as such, has been on my other blog “Learning to Write“.  And the majority of my blogging will likely still happen there.  However, with our recent move from the Houston, Texas area to rural Oklahoma, there are a lot of changes going on in my life.  And since those changes aren’t necessarily related to writing, I thought this would be a more proper place to document them.

So first, a quick summary:

My dad’s health isn’t great.  He has cancer.  Without dwelling on that, (because quite honestly that’s a bit of a personal story), I’ll simply say that a large part of the reason we moved was so we could help my parents out.  That presented some particular stipulations to what we needed to do.  Since Dad’s medical needs are taken care of through the Cherokee Nation Healthcare System, we had to make sure that wherever we moved was somewhere within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.

We also needed to be close enough to a major city that we could find work. That pretty much limited our search area to somewhere in the Tulsa area. Initially, we were extremely picky about what we wanted in a home. We wanted a minimum of four bedrooms (to accommodate my wife & I, my parents, one guest room for visiting family, and an office for my writing), at least an acre of land, no HOA, and I really wanted a decent workshop in back because I may have access to a wood lathe that a relative is willing to get rid of. And of course the house had to pass muster with my better half, which meant a decent kitchen, floors, etc).

After some searching, we finally realized that like most things in life, we were going to have to compromise. My wife found a nice place that fit most of our needs. It was in the right area, close to Cherokee Nation medical facilities, is a nice four bedroom home on just a smidge over an acre with an aerobic irrigation system fed by the septic system, and the previous owners already had a good-sized raised bed garden in back. It has a kitchen my wife can live with, a nice master & master bath that we moved my parents into, with the master bath spacious enough that we can modify it if we need to if my parents’ health later necessitates it.

It took a little haggling, but they say that a good negotiation is when nobody feels like they got what they wanted, but everyone can live with the results, right?

Well, there is an HOA, but it appears to be minimally invasive (so far) and only costs $50/year. We went a little over our budget on the house, and we’ll be doing minor repairs and upgrades for quite a while, but we like it. It has quickly become our home. It also allowed us to drop our monthly overhead to about half of what it was in the old house. There is no workshop (sigh) but we hope to get one in the next year or so. There are also no decent trees on the property, but I’m working on that.

All in all, we definitely have a bit of work to do.  But in a way that is a great opportunity. I plan on getting a little backyard orchard going that (assuming I design it properly) will begin some small returns from the bushes and shrubs in the first year, and fruit from the trees within a few years after. And if we do manage to get that lathe, then I have some projects in mind that will help keep my dad and I occupied, if he’s up to it… projects that could conceivably bring in some additional cash. I also hope to put in a storm shelter, which will be able to double as food storage.

Much of what I want to do is geared toward helping us to become more self-sufficient, and eventually cutting more of our financial overhead. And that brings me full circle on this post.  I want to document some of these changes.  If you’re interested, maybe you’ll be able to give me advice.  Or if you prefer, we can share a laugh at my mistakes.  Or it’s possible that I might even manage to learn something useful, and I’ll be able to share it with you.

So if you want, follow me here.  Let’s see how it all turns out.