Tuesday, July 16, 2013

~Going Once, Going Twice...~

Hello friends!  Last time I posted, I shared with you our decision to downsize our home and farming operation.  Part of that process involves purging, packing and selling alot of "stuff" that we will no longer be needing or have room for.  It is amazing how much "stuff" we have accumulated in the seven years that we have lived here!

With everything that we were letting go, we decided it was best to have an auction and, hopefully, we would reap fair dollar value for everything.  After about six months of preparing, the big day finally came on the first of June.  We were concerned about the attendance as it had rained all week (over five inches!!) leading up to sale day.  We live out in the country....on a dirt road!  But knowing that God was in control, come rain or shine the sale would be all that He wanted it to be so fretting was definitely a waste of time and energy.  Sale day came with clear skies and cool breezes. :)

 All of the goods were laid out for everyone to see.  Tools and equipment of all sorts...

 Dishware, pictures, lamps, books, pots and pans, you name it!  Oh, I forgot to take a picture of all the furniture that was in the house before the sale started. :/  Darn.

 Our son brought down all of his carpentry and remodeling tools as he was closing his construction business.....

 Mr. Bill and the kids were no longer riding the horses so, other than a few sentimental pieces, there was no need to keep all the horse tack...

 Big equipment such as the stock trailer, spray tanks, flatbed trailer, grain feeder....

 And, finally, Mr. Bill's beloved cattle.  See that big brown bull in that sea of black?  His name is "Quirt".  All of our bulls were named after John Wayne characters.  This one came from an old, old black and white movie.  LOL

 Advertise and they will come.  We were shocked at the people who came and were willing to walk a long ways, on a muddy road, to see what kind of goods they might take home with them.

 The cars were parked down the road and around the corner, which is one-quarter mile away from our driveway.  Look.  You can see the deep ruts that someone created when trying to park along the driveway.

 Looking the other way, there are more cars for as far as you can see.  We figured at least another quarter of mile.  Plus  people were parked along both sides of our long driveway as well as out in the area in the pasture for designated parking.

 The sale began with all the goodies out in the yard but I was so busy in the house I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the chaos success going on out there.  Here the crowd is watching and bidding on several pieces displayed on the porch.

 Some of the wicker furniture that I bought at auction (same company doing ours) several years ago.  What goes around, comes around, huh?

 John, owner of the auction company, trying to get top dollar for my beloved antiques.

 I think these guys were mainly onlookers or they were waiting for the guys to make it around to this area of the house.

 Shannon's tools sold well over all.  He didn't have to take anything back to Omaha!

 Justin, son of the auction owner and one of Shannon's best friends (oh, the joy of living in a small community!).  His bird's eye view from the trash dumpster.

 Tools and equipment always sell REALLY well in a farming community.  There were definitely alot of interested folks.

And, finally, the cows sell.  We were thankful that one guy bought most of our cattle.  It takes a while for cattle to settle into a new environment and having most of the 'family' going together makes the transition smoother.  It really does.

So, there you have it!  It was a long, hectic and tiring day.  I had a bucket load, or two, of dirt to sweep up from all the people who went in and out of the house. They tried really hard to wipe their shoes clean before coming in but, with all that mud, it was almost impossible. Thankfully, we have wood floors and it wasn't too hard to clean up.

A few household things didn't sell but everything else did and, overall, we were realy pleased with the final results.  It took several days for everything to be picked up and taken to their new homes.  It was somewhat emotional for us but we know it was for good.  The place is already up for sale but we are still putting on some necessary finishing touche to make it more sale worthy.  Since there is no time or job constraint, we're not worried about whether or not the place sells right away, although it would be nice to go ahead and move on to the next chapeter of our lives.  But it will all happen in God's great timing, won't it?

Until next time ~
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Monday, July 1, 2013

~Changes In The Wind~

We all have dreams, big and small, that we label as "needing to win the lottery" in order to come true, don't we?  Most of our married life, Mr. Bill and I have shared such a dream but, since we don't play the lottery, we knew that it would take divine intervention in order for it to come to fruition.  Our dream was to have a big place out in the country to enjoy the solitude and beauty (and burdens) of country living, fulfilling my desire to have a custom-built home and where Mr. Bill could raise the cattle that he wanted to enjoy in his retirement.  It came quite by accident really.  A friend of ours, who lived in another state, was interested in investing in country real estate in our area and so I started doing his homework for him.  Lo and behold, only ten miles north of the little town we called home, there was a parcel of 160 acres up for sale!  The asking price was too good to pass up but our friend's wife put her foot down on his idea and so we jumped at the possibility.

It was, indeed, Divine Intervention that allowed us to purchase this beautiful parcel of property.  All the financial pieces fell into place and the home we were living in sold in only two weeks!!

This is the house on the property.  It was rather run down and the floor's foundation was termite ridden.  Since we were planning to build a new home, we knew we could live in it temporarily.  That "temporary" turned into 18 months!!  LOL

 A few months later, we were able to get financing to start Mr. Bill's cattle herd.  These mamas were the start of our growing operation, which was to raise mama/calf pairs.  Meaning....keep the mamas for breeding and sell the calves after they had been weaned.

There's just something so peaceful about watching cattle grazing and resting on the hillsides but seeing the baby calves romping and playing was always a joy.  By the way, the red arrow in the upper photo shows the NW corner of our property, which is 1/4 mile from our driveway.  Our 160 acres covers one-half mile north to south and one-half mile east to west...just to help you get your bearings ;)

We have four ponds but this one is closest to our house, probably 50 to 60 yards away, and gives us a beautiful picture come sunshine or even the occasional ground fog.

Our new home was built about 30 yards south of our temporary home that I showed you earlier.  It's in a spot that used to be a cattle pen.  We witness the most beautiful skies from our front porch!

This is our "hay" barn but we don't keep hay in it.  This is where we stall and feed our horses, as well as storing the tractor and some equipment.

 Our hay meadow provides much needed hay for the cattle until the grass starts growing again.  That's our house and outbuildings you see in the distance.

 Even during a rare heavy snow, the scenery is beautiful.  Luckily, Mr. Bill has a cab tractor to keep him out of the harsh elements when putting out hay for the animals.  I especially enjoy it when I don't have to get out in it.  LOL

The view from the other side of the pond, which is a favorite spot for some fishing or stone throwing with the grandkids.

 This is my most favorite view of the beautiful home that God has allowed us to build.  Now you're probably wondering...what does this have to do with changes in the wind??  Well, when we bought this place, our motto was that "God willing, this is where we would live for the rest of our lives".  That was 9 years ago.  I have shared with you some quick glimpses of what it has been like living the dreams that God has so abundantly blessed us with over those years.

But little did we know that health issues would develop that became a problem for both of us, which made living our dream more of an uphill battle.  Our joy was waning but it wasn't until a happenstance conversation that we realized that we were both feeling the same thing.  After much prayer and many conversations, last fall we made the decision to downsize.  Sell the property, cattle and equipment and to make our lives and lifestyle somewhat less of a burden.  Was it an easy decision?  No.  It was heartbreaking.  Was it the right decision?  Yes.  Coming to the realization that this is not where God intended us to live for the rest of our lives but rather a place where we could look back and be thankful for God giving us the opportunity, albeit shorter than what we had anticipated.

Over the last 6 to 8 months, we've been slowly sorting, purging and packing our belongings.   That's why you haven't seen me around since the first of the year!!  We have our property up for sale and, several weeks ago, we had a big auction.  I'll share those details with you next time.  If you've never participated in an auction, just think garage sale.....1,000 times over!! ;)

Now that the worst of it is over, I have time to breathe and slow down a bit.  Best of all, I'm able to start blogging and participating again! ;)

We are in the beginning stages of a new chapter in our lives and I look forward to sharing those with you.  In fact, we've already made the decision about what to do from here...but more about that later.

Until next time~

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