Wow. So I guess this dream might really come true! We got an offer on our house and negotiated a price and everything. It was less than we were hoping to get, but their offer is not contigent on them selling a house, so that’s worth something. We still have to get through inspections, but things are really looking up!

Our agent kept saying that things will happen when they’re meant to. I always thought that was a bunch of rubbish. Things just happen, I said. I think I may have to recant. I don’t know how to view this as anything other than a huge blessing. I lead a truly charmed life.

I did have a feeling, though, that this offer would come in now. You see, I’m in San Francisco right now. My sister and I are here visiting a good friend. I thought to myself that if an offer was going to come in, it’d be while I was vacation, because then it would be a huge pain in the ass. Isn’t it nice when Murphy’s Law works to your advantage?




The Bad News: We are out of the running on the house in Montana City that I told you all about. Someone else put in an offer on the house with no contingencies and it was accepted. Bummer, but we sort of expected that house to not work

The Good News: Tomorrow, we’re going to put in an offer on another house that is, in many ways, even better.

This house isn’t quite as cute or as big as the other one (but it’s still very cute), but the history of it is really cool. The sellers are a couple in their 80’s who built the passive solar house in 1990. They had a huge organic garden, fruit trees, a big greenhouse (two of them, in fact). I’m not sure if they had animals or not. Now they’re too old to get up and down the stairs easily, much less continue on with all that, so they’re selling.

We would have an established garden plot, an easy-to-reassemble greenhouse, a neighbor is currently paying a small amount to irrigate and hay the remaining acreage, so it’s definitely fertile land (for Helena). There is a big ol’ maze of a barn with some heated rooms. Basically, when it comes to our agricultural ambitions, we’d only be limited by our own aptitude and inclination, rather than by the amount or quality of our land. It’s also very cool that we would be continuing with their original vision for the place.

It’s in a beautiful spot, near Lake Helena and looking out over the Valley. The area is mostly agricultural, so it’s still pretty wide open (I expect that will change in the years to come). The things we don’t like about the house are all easy fixes for the most part. The kitchen is not much bigger than my current one (read: too damn small), but there is a perfect spot to put in another counter. The formal entrance is awkward, but easy to remove entirely.

It’s still at the top of our price range, so wish us luck in the negotiations! And once we get an offer accepted, wish us luck in selling our house!


I’m beginning to question whether I have the discipline for this whole blogging thing. Regular posts?! Sheesh! Oh, well, if I’m just talking to myself here, that’s fine with me.

Real estate sucks. There, I’ve said it. We found The House. We loved it. Great location, nice land, super-cute house with an attached greenhouse, guest house, 2 productive wells. Everything we were hoping for and more. It was the kind of place I can see myself in for many years to come. It was just so “us”.

It had been on the market since December, but we hadn’t gone to look at because it was just a tad out of the range of what we wanted to pay (less than 10k! We can still easily afford it, we were just being stubborn and cheap!). What a mistake… When our agent called to find out about covenants so that we could be sure we wanted to put in an offer, she found out that an hour before we saw the house, an offer had been accepted. It sat there for 3 whole months, and was gone right when we decided we wanted it. I guess we’re not entirely out of the race. The offer is contingent on a house selling. So if we sell our house first and get an offer accepted, it’s ours unless the other folks will go so far as to get a bridge loan or something! It’s a remote chance, but I’m really praying for it. I just haven’t seen anything else out there that even compares.


In more promising news, I started some seeds yesterday! Brussels Sprouts, onions, kale, rosemary, sage, oregano and the most lovely broccoli I’ve ever seen. I might have started them a touch early, but I’m just too excited. I couldn’t wait!

This is my first year starting seeds indoors, so I’m excited to see how it turns out. I bought a flourescent tube light and set them up in our heated workshop area. I was surprised it was so cheap. I’ll be sure to take photos as they sprout!


Last night, I was watching the Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. He was interviewing Sarah Chayes, a former NPR journalist who now works in Afghanistan, trying to help rebuild the country. She founded a company that makes natural soaps from local crops. She is a fascinating and brave woman. She was incredibly candid about the current state of Afghanistan, the obstacles to success there, corruption, opium production and its implications. I would recommend watching the video from the interview.

Ms. Chayes said one thing at the end of the interview that struck a chord with me. I think what she said is universal and a beautiful, practical outlook on life. Bill Moyers asked her, in reference to her soap company and the good she hopes to do through it, if there was a fine line between hope and folly and if she finds herself close to that line. She said , “I don’t think that hope is relevant. I think determination is all that counts. You just have to try. It doesn’t matter if you hope you’re going succeed or not. You have to keep trying.”

If there is anything you really believe in, anything in the world you really want to change, isn’t that the condensation of the issues? Hoping it will get better or hoping your efforts will make a difference amounts to nothing. You just have to try to make things right.

Well, I have been silent for quite some time now, but I just have to knock that last entry off the top of the page. Alas, my body is still inhabited by only one human (me). How boring. I have lots of healthy intestinal bacteria to keep me company, sure, but I was hoping for one of my own species.

Things are finally moving ahead for us on the homesteading front. I have had very little to say about the supposed topic of this blog because it’s the dead of winter and I’ve already used up all the tomato sauce I canned this summer, and ain’t a damn thing growing… But, our house is officially on the market. Today, at this very moment, it is infested with realtors on tour. Hopefully, they are all thinking “this would be the perfect house for so-and-so” and the bidding war for our home will soon commence and will go to $20k over asking price. That’s a reasonable expectation, right?

Well, perhaps not, but luckily, our local real estate market is largely unaffected by what’s going on in real estate nationwide. Prices are still going up, just at a slower rate than previously.

The exciting part of all this, of course, is that we get to start looking for our future home. There are a good number of properties on the market that would fit the bill. At the moment our must-haves are 4+ acres, 3 bed, 2 bath, a big kitchen, reliable water supply and no covenants that restrict livestock greatly. The things we are really hoping to get are outbuildings/barn, fencing and cross-fencing, and guest quarters since the in-laws would really like to come visit for long stretches in the summers. We are figuring that since much of the land here is in the woods, we may have to import soil for gardening. We are also hoping to build a greenhouse so the growing season is adequate.

If you homestead or raise animals and have any input on what we should be looking for, please comment and let me know!


The stuff that’s been on my mind lately is intensely personal stuff that I really haven’t shared with anyone. But hell, I have to write something on this blog when it’s winter and there’s nothing going on related to homesteading, ‘cept asking for books for Christmas and dreaming about houses and land that we can’t even look at for a couple of months! So why not lay my soul bare for all the internet to see (though precious few will look)…

I posted a while ago about my deep, hormonal drive for babies, babies, babies. Well, EZ and I did a lot of talking and he said he would be ready around the New Year. In November, I went off my birth control to have a hormone-free month before we started trying. All of a sudden, about that time, the Baby Monster left me. It was just gone. All I was left with was my usual hyper-logical yet quite imaginative, over-thinking self. And really, I’m no fun.

I started worrying. ‘Will I be a good mother? I have a short fuse sometimes… maybe I’ll be an abusive monster. Oh shit, I will be, won’t I? What sort of hours will I have to do at work? Will I have to hand my baby off to a stranger 50 hours a week to make ends meet? I really have to do some math, here! EZ and I have such a nice life. Will a kid just totally ruin it? Will we never see the out-of-doors again? Oh crap. We won’t, will we? We’ll just end up sad and doughy and hating eachother.’ Aaaand so on and so forth.

Through all that negativity, I had none of the biological drive pushing me. I looked at babies and thought, “Sure, cute, but whatev-uh.” Deep down, I knew I would be a good mother, not at all abusive and we’d be ok and find a compromise with my work schedule that might suck, but it would work. I knew that we’d find a way to integrate a baby into our love for the outdoors. When I was honest with myself, I just had to admit that I was scared. Really, deeply scared.

EZ still thought I was dying for a baby, yet suddenly, it was the last thing I wanted. I tried to turn the tables on him. I would ask him, “Are you sure you want a baby so soon?” I was genuinely surprised that he was actually ready when he said he would be (is that not incredible?!), but I also was hoping he’d say no, let’s wait. I was looking for an excuse without having to admit the 180 degree change in my emotions. EZ is a steady man, though, I’m not sure how he does it, but he said he’d be ready and he was.

Finally, I had to say it out loud. I had to admit to EZ that I was scared and wasn’t sure all of a sudden… that everything that had driven me before had just evaporated. I tearfully told him about how that urge deep in my soul was suddenly completely absent and all I was left with was doubts and fears. He just hugged me and said “I’ll be ready when you are. There’s no rush, but I’m excited to get pregnant whenever you’re ready.” [Amazing, isn’t he?] I felt so relieved. We agreed to use the fertility awareness/basal body temperature to avoid getting pregnant until I was ready.

Oddly enough, once I knew where EZ stood and that he was allowing me such latitude and not pressuring me either way, I relaxed. The worries that had plagued me let go. The hormonal, urgent Baby Monster didn’t return, either. It was just regular, old me thinking, hey, no big rush, let’s just wait till we’re ready.

And then, about a week later, I was. No more doubting myself or fearing that a baby would ruin my life, just genuine excitement about what it would bring to our life. I was not scared. I was not hormonally desperate. I was just ready. Of course, the normal logistical and rational concerns remain, but we are in a good position to handle things and as they say, there is never a perfect time. And so very, very soon, it’ll be time to try, with the hopes of expanding our family to three (or five, depending on whether you count dogs).

Ahhh, Montana

My husband related this story to me over dinner tonight. He’s headed out to Eastern Montana for a week of bird hunting, just him and our German Shorthaired Pointer, Stanley. He called to set up a reservation for a room in the big city of Circle, MT.

EZ:  Hi, I was calling to see if you have a room available Sunday night.

Motel Guy: Let me go up front and check… Sunday, you say?

EZ: Yep. It’ll just be me and my dog.

MG: Oh, so you’ll be needing two beds, then?