Sunday, June 26, 2016

After effects

So you have probably all seen our show on Discovery. We have dealt with a lot of emotions this week regarding the show and the after math. We have had old friends that were really concerned that we were starving and that thought that we were on the verge of breaking up.  They thought that I had transformed into some crazy woman and poor Mike couldn’t do anything to make me happy.  We even got a letter from a well meaning , although a little crazy, homeless woman that wanted to come live with us and teach us all she knew about gardening. 

We have been told that we are pathetic, live in a rat trap, and are failures or will fail. People feel sorry for Mike cause I am not happy with anything and we fight all the time. None of this is the truth. We are happy and do not fight. We are living the life we want to live and building our home, not just a house, together. We are not failures in anything and will not fail.

The show was able to portray me that way because they are the ones that made me mad. They flat out lied about a lot of things and wanted me to lie. Well I don’t lie and when you make me mad, I don’t hide it either. They also thought they were going to make me do some things that I wasn’t going to do. Like bring my goats here when we didn’t even have feed bowls for them or feed or even a water bucket. I fought for my animals because no animal deserves to be treated that way.  They also would not put anything in place to make it easier to accomplish our future goals. Kept telling me that I make too many plans and dream too big. Tried to convince me to not make any plans just make it through today. That is a recipe for failure if I ever saw one.

Mike doesn’t like confrontation and wouldn’t give them any, he just sent them to me. That is the way we work.  Kind of better that way because it would have been a whole different kind of show had his temper flared up.

It didn’t really bother me too much. Kind of just dealt with things and moved on. Then Friday night happened. We don’t have cable or satellite so I didn’t get to watch the show.  I saw some comments before I went to bed and then when I got up in the morning. I was shocked and appalled at what this has turned into. I guess it didn’t push my buttons when it was me but when it was someone else, well…

I had exercised extreme restraint in the past week, for the most part, but this pushed some buttons for me. The couple on Friday nights show were shown like they abused their animals. People were saying things like the ASPCA should have been called. Their friends and people who knew them were defending them  and posting links to their farm website and facebook pages that showed what their life was really like.  The fact that they were misrepresented even worse then we were really made me mad. I felt so bad for them.

So I went back to social media and started responding to people that believe everything they see on TV.  Had some good conversations and cleared some things up. Most people were seeing through the editing but things didn’t make sense to them.

So you may ask, why did we do this show. Well at first it was presented that they wanted to show people what it was like to live off grid. How hard it was and what it was really like. They talked about putting in a well, a house, barn stuff we needed. When you look at all we had to do, just bringing in an excavator for a couple of days is a huge help. So that is why we did it, not that we “needed” the help but because it would have given us a leg up.

There are things that we are not supposed to talk about and reveal to the public but people deserve to know that some things are not as they seem.  Later I will do a post that has all the down and dirty details on what not to do. If discovery wants to do a show about living off grid and actually inform some people then they should actually listen to people who live it and show the why behind some of the stuff not the drama. I feel really sorry for folks that watch this and think that some of these things work.

But we don’t work all the time. We have fun too. Last weekend we went fishing with some friends. So this is how my hubby spent father’s day. Fishing in the Missouri river. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Our home, the set of a show.

Back in November, Mike saw an ad on line that was looking for people that had gone off grid. I sent an email just as a whim although I didn’t think anything would come of it. They were looking for people who could use help in getting an off-grid homestead established. They wanted to do a show where they would provide you with things you needed. We got a reply, then did a couple of phone calls, sent in some videos, did a few skype calls and still didn’t think it would lead anywhere.

Well it did and in February they came for 2 weeks to shoot the episode, and last night we watched it at a friend’s house.  It was a very interesting experience. Having 15 people milling around for 2 weeks when it is usually just the 2 of us… Interesting is the word.  Being fitted with a microphone every day when you have personal space issues is not fun. J (But the crew was awesome) Needing to turn off said microphone when you need to have a phone conversation with work. Knowing that every personal conversation you have is being heard by someone. Leaving my home to go to work with all those people there. Not a very comfortable time for us, but fun.

Then last night we watched it and the whole time friends were texting me saying that is not the real me. Well that is me, just edited.  Except for one thing….. I am not a dreamer, I am a planner. The difference between dreams a plans is goals and deadlines. The fact of the matter is that we have plans and we accomplish the plans that we make. We are always adjusting the plans. That is what you do but you make a plan, otherwise how do you know where you are going.

Our son and his family live here now and the plans have changed. Not drastically but they have changed. We have been working our plan. That is what you do.  

So if you’re wondering if it is worth it. Yeah, we planned on carrying water till May and it saved us 3 months of hauling water and the expense of the tank. We got stuff growing earlier then we could have.

If you are thinking about doing a show like this my advice is to not do it unless you have a sense of humor. In this age of social media, people think they know things and believe everything. So if you can’t read someone posting their opinion without taking it personally, don’t do it. Reading the comments on line just make me laugh. People that know us, know us, and that doesn’t change.  They know we had livestock for over 10 years,  we grew all of our own vegetables, we hunt, we fish for food and we know how to do stuff. They know that we have always worked.  I currently work all week in town and yes I drive an hour each way.  We then work all weekend on our land. We have done a lot of work in the 9 months we have been here and we have a lot to do and the summer isn’t forever.

That being said…I am off to work on bear proofing our livestock feed. We have a bear that is making a pest of himself. He is getting in the feed almost every night. He doesn’t eat it all just dumps it over, takes a snack and moves on. He has also stopped up to our house a couple of times and tried to get into our freezer on the porch that we use as a refrigerator, he visits a neighbor about a mile away as well, but has been more destructive there. I am starting to wonder if he thinks white chest freezers are his personal lunch bucket. Nothing we have tried has worked so far so again we adjust the plan and keep going.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chicken coop and a visitor

Over the memorial day weekend we built a new chicken coop. We got peeps in March and then acquired 6 laying hens in April. We didn’t have a place for them so we set up some dog coops that were around the place for their temporary home. This is what they were living in.

  Not a very good set up but it worked for the short term. So we started to build a coop that will better suit their needs and ours as it was very difficult to feed, water or gather eggs.
We started with very uneven ground and started leveling it before we began building.

We put some railroad ties down and leveled them then placed a portion of fence on top of it. Once it was all level we started building.

We put the frame up and sided the walls with old fence boards. This will work for the summer but we are planning on the chickens being in the barn for the winter.
Everyone helped us get the coop up.

We added a door and a window that were on the property. We also made a little chicken door.

Once the coop was up a friend at work called and asked if I wanted all the chicken wire that they took down in their yard to put up chain link. There was 150 feet of fence and a bunch of wood posts. Mike and I ran into town to pick them up. We put up the fence, added a gate and finished the coop.

The chickens loved it.

They were in their house for 4 days when Mike let the dogs out one morning without looking out and there was a bear in the feed freezer. It had knocked down the old peep pen wire and flipped the feeder. The dogs saw the bear and the chase was on! Dogs eventually came back but this was the mess. Mike went down right away and flipped the freezer back up but his was the scene.

Because we don’t have a barn completed the feed is kept in a freezer outside the goat pen. Our goats free range most of the time and they were in a habit of going in the pen at night but they could come and go as they please. They were not in their pen and now we don’t put them in for their own safety. They have a better chance of escape if they are loose and not trapped in a pen. They stay close to the house so we are not too worried about them.  
The next night the bear came back and knocked over the compost bin. What a mess!! Well now we are stringing a few strands of electric fence with a solar charger around it.
Now the freezer is locked and we make sure there is no other feed around to tempt our visitor. It is a black bear so at least it isn’t a grizzly!!