Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mistakes That I Didn't Make

Ok, I make mistakes. BUT there are many that I didn't make. Yeah, sometimes I figure out things in advance. 

...I didn't get a cow. I often though about it and looked seriously into buying a mini once, but luckily I wasn't stupid enough to actually do it. I think I avoided a lot of injuries by not buying a cow. 

...I didn't buy a tractor. Ever since I was a kid I wanted a tractor. Crazy, no? Wow, did you know that those things are super expensive? They were always way beyond what I could afford, and by the way, until I moved here I never had a use for one. Happily I had the opportunity to drive tractors from time to time, giving me a bit of a tractor fix. Now that I have a farm and could put a tractor to work, I've decided not to buy one. Cost is one thing. But I have no experience on how to fix the thing and keep it running. And while it would be fun to have one, I really don't have enough work to keep one busy. 

...I didn't rely upon the homestead to support us from day one. Good thing I wasn't overly impressive with myself and my abilities. Turns out that they were woefully inadequate. It's taken me quite a while to learn enough to be a bit self reliant. 

...We didn't hook up to grid electric. We had initially planned on it. We're real glad that we didn't. 

...We didn't build too large a house. All my life I've lived in 3 (or more) bedroom houses. In fact everyone I knew looked down their noses at anyone living in less. Small houses were labelled "poor people's homes", so nobody bought one. But now I've come to a time in my life that small is preferred. It helps that I live some place where small homes abound, one bedroom homes are common, and most of one's time is spent outdoors. No need for a big house. Our current home isn't tiny. It's just smaller than I've ever had before. If we do go ahead and build a retirement house, it will be even smaller yet. 

...We  didn't start out with debts and a mortgage. Looking around I see that one of the main reasons for failures when moving here is that those people were saddled with debt. Dozens of people I know lost their homes to the banks. We are being careful to avoid temption. No loans. Never again. 

...Built the house out of treated wood and used cedar for the interior. Great decision! We've acquired enough experience now to understand that we made the right choice. 

...Bought a full sized 4x4 pick-up truck with a towing package. I could have bought something a lot cheaper. But that truck has been a real workhorse. It handles everything that we needed. No regrets on spending the money on it. When it comes time to replace it, I plan to downsize. I've done everything that I needed a big truck for. 

 ...Put in extra water catchment tanks. The extra tanks have come in handy. During drought years I'm reminded that it was a good decision to build more tanks. 

...Adhered to budgets. I'm not a real organized person, so for me to stick to a budget is quite a feat. I created two types of budgets, one fiscal, one for time. The fiscal budget is working out well, training us to spend less, getting ourselves pre-conditioned to live on less income. It's actually turned me into a bit of a penny pinching miser. Hubby? No. But since he's still earning money, he can do as he wishes. Once he retires he's going to have to learn about budgeting. 
     Now for the other kind of budget-- time. I budget my time for the various tasks I need to do. Livestock. Garden. House. Caring for mom. Etc. Rather than spending my entire day working in the garden or building the house, I split up the day to various jobs. If I didn't have these two budget systems, I wouldn't be able to keep myself on track. 

...Moved to Ka'u. It has turned out to be a real good choice for us. 


  1. Amen, sister! And as the Aussies say Good On Ya!

    May I ask? What is your husband's employment?
    Also why did you choose Ka'u over Puna? (I hope I didn't ask this before. I'm suffering from Half-heimer's!)

  2. Fineartgourds emailed...........When I was three years old I fell in love with an absolutely enormous yellow road grader and took it home with me. Unfortunately, it already belonged to a little boy down the street and I had to take it back, knock on the door and tell the lady I stole it. Horrible memory. I really wanted that thing! But I've gone on to admire road graders all my life. When I was around age 50 I investigated what a 1952 model on the used toy market would run.... at that time, in the SF Bay area, it was quoted at $350....yikes! Not that neurotic! Eventually I marched down to Toy'R'Us and bought a modern one for around $25; ( that was 25 years ago, maybe it has increased in value, too?) Anyway, it laid all the ghosts of that long ago raid. Like you, I'm grateful I never took it to it's rational end and trained to drive heavy equipment! It now lives out in the studio and I give it a pat occassionally.....