I take after the most wonderful person in the whole world when it comes to my love for animals - my Mom, MaryBelle. There, yes there is a story all in-itself, but I will save her for another day, one where I can sit back and enjoy my memories and a few tears.
For now, lets just start with little ol' me. I was born in 1966, graduated high school in 1985 and fell in love with and married my soul-mate in 1992. Our first child was born in 1997 after struggling with infertility for 5 years. Again, stories for a later time. Our second, and last, child didn't come along until 10 years later in 2007. I would have had more, if I could. But I am so thankful for even becoming a Mom, I know when to count my blessings and I do.
My husband and I lived with my parents on the farm for the first 3 years of our married life. In 1996 we bought a small house in town from friends where we lived for the next 8 years, half of the time which was spent on my parents farm. In 2004 the down-sizing of my husbands company forced us to make a tough decision, stay and starve, or move to the valley for work (the valley, or "down below" is what we north-landers call the Treasure Valley area where Boise, Nampa and Caldwell are located).
I fought, struggled and whined, but we finally moved to Nampa. We rented a house right next to our good friends in a little sub-division and I must admit, the first year was pretty nice. Coming from a small town, population "800 and a few" to the "big city" with all its conveniences and 24 hour availability was enjoyable. Plus we lived right next door to our very good friends and their children who were just like nieces to me.
After a year of renting, we decided to buy a house and found one we thought would fit the bill a couple miles away in another subdivision. It was ok at first, until we wanted to put a rock garden in the front yard and found out we had to have permission from the management company to do that - and for any number of other things we were thinking about. As time went buy, my satisfaction level with where and how we were living started to dwindle.
I didn't want to have to have to ask permission to have a garden or build a fence. I didn't want to be limited by rules on how many dogs I could have. I wanted to have chickens but this was before any regulations has been changed to have back-yard chickens, so at that time it was out of the question. We had a small garden, but it wasn't big enough, we wanted bigger!
Bigger, freer, and, for myself anyway, simpler.
However, a mortgage and job availiblity pretty much had us stuck in place. I would have to wait.
Like alot of other people, by 2008 we were feeling the sting of the economic downfall as my husband got laid off from of his job, we ended up in foreclosure on our house and had to move into a rental in another subdivision: unfortunately rental houses in the country do not come affordably.
By this time, I was distinctly unhappy with where we were living. I was dreaming about chickens... I found this rather disconcerting, but it really proved to me how very much I wanted... needed! to get back to the farm life, back to the country, back to slower, simpler and healthier.
I wanted my children to know how to be self-sufficient, how to raise and grow, how to survive if ever needed (no, I am not one of those radical "preppers", but I do believe in the knowledge of survival and self-sufficiency).
I also wanted them to slow down, breath, and SEE. I wanted them to be able to swim in the river, climb the back hill, splash through mud-puddles and get dirty!
I wanted to move away from processed, store-bought, additive and chemical foods. We have aways tried to eat healthier, whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies (my kids are not picky eaters because of this I believe), frozen over canned, fresh over processed with more home-cooked meals than fast foods (even though I honestly admit we indulged too much of the later in my opinion). But organic (if you even want to believe that label) is expensive, so unless you can grow it and raise it yourself, eating organic is usually more than the average family of four with a one-person income can afford.
Another healthy benefit of getting back to the farm is very personal to me. I have always been over-weight, and I am not talking 20 or 50 pounds! But when we lived in the country, I was healthier. I was outside more than in, going more than stationary and I enjoyed it! It wasn't exercise, it was just life... and it was fun! From gathering eggs to milking the cow, swimming in the river or going for walks up the road, it was enjoyable and I was happy.
When we moved to town, and especially when we moved to the city, I basically became a hermit. Oh, I loved socializing with family and friends, but I didn't enjoy the healthier things that city life has to offer - like swimming at the pool or playing in the park. I am somewhat of an introvert, I don't really enjoy being around large crowds of people (unless it's a family reunion or a friends and family bbq!), I don't like being surrounded by strangers, and you sure as heck aren't getting me into a bathing suit in front of people I don't know and trust!
Plus, those were not the types of things I wanted to do. I wanted to gather eggs. I wanted to feed the cows. I wanted to swim in the river and walk up the road.
We had another change of address when my husband was offered an outstanding job in Montana. I was ready and hoping that it would lead me to my dream, a place in the country where we could have a few critters and grow our own food. Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that, but it did do one thing. It gave us the opportunity (as I see it) to move back to my parents old farm, at least for a while... just long enough to find a place of our own out in the country.
Now it is 2012, and finally, we are back to the farm.