I’ve Moved!

3 Nov

This picture is from 12 years ago.

 

 

You can now find me at:

www.thebarncat.com

October Saving, November Goal

2 Nov

So, we haven’t really created a savings plan.  We should, and we should categorize everything, and carefully pick through what we need and don’t need.  But we haven’t.  Our plan for the first month of our new ‘budget’ has basically been: save anything you can.  No buying lunches at work, no picking up unnecessary but adorable dresses on our trips to Target (sighhh), and making dinners at home.  At the end of our first month, I think we have both been successful.  I don’t know exactly how much money TS was able to save, but he said his credit card bill was lower than it had been since he moved to the city last spring.  Mine was lower, too, but I had to mentally add the charges on my Target debit card instead of pretending I didn’t spend the money, which took a bit of the bite out of my savings.  I was able to transfer a chunk of change into my online savings account yesterday, which in addition to my  savings account at the credit union, is growing again after the large withdrawal to buy my car in August.  Less money in my bank account? Bummer.  No car payments?  Worth it. Continue reading

You Are What You Love

1 Nov

I don’t wear this every day.

You know what’s gross? Snakes. There are some things you can hang with and some things you can’t, and snakes give me the heebie jeebies. Last night, I had the delightful opportunity to have a snake wrapped around my shoulders and allowed to snake about while I shifted uncomfortably and waited for the nice man to remove it from my person. Now, when we approached, it was clear that while I had no desire to be bedecked with serpents, my boyfriend wanted nothing more than the feeling of cool snakes on his bare neck. Who ended up with the snake-lace? Me. Of course, me. Continue reading

On Finding Direction

26 Oct

I’m a practical girl.  Most people would probably tell you this.  Since I was 15, I’ve almost always been employed in some capacity, occasionally holding down more than one part-time job at once.  None of them have been my dream jobs and none felt like I was working toward something amazing.  But some of them were fun, some of them let me hang out with my best friends all day, some of them let me create or hone a skill, and most of them taught me how to deal with adversity of nearly any kind you can imagine, from incompetent bosses to insufferable customers. Continue reading

Bookmarks

24 Oct

I read this blog post late last week and bookmarked it.  I could have written it myself, honestly, though I’d rather not endure the staple incident.  I’d be fooling myself (but not anyone else) if I didn’t admit that I’m not always sure I’m made of the right mixture of steel and tarpaulin.  This weekend, while plowing up the pasture, I wasn’t able to use the tractor because I’m too short.  I literally could not press down far enough on the clutch.  Do they make booster seats for JD 4020s? 

“… I’ve been joking for months with everybody that this move is taking more courage that we have; and apparently there is truth in that jest. We are leaving our life behind. Our family, our friends. We’ll be six hours from everything we’ve known, from everybody that knows us. That feels weird to think about. I have lived in Georgia my whole, entire 49 years. And now I’m moving to a different state. I’m extremely excited and thrilled, but yeah, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am scared too…”

City Farmgirl >> Tuff Enuff?

A Balancing Act

22 Oct

Next to business planning and actual physical work, saving money is one of the most important aspects of our still-forming plan.  Because we don’t know what our living situation will be in the next 6 to 12 months, not to mention what we will be spending on everything farm-related, we are saving every penny we can until the spring.   Don’t get me wrong here, folks.  We both work at nonprofits and aren’t exactly high rollers.  We don’t eat every meal at fancy restaurants and going on shopping sprees at Macy’s, but I have been known to do some unnecessary clothes shopping on our trips to Target and my (rather pricey) Smashbox and Benefit cosmetics are dear to me.  TS isn’t leaking money either, but he was previously buying lunch every day and he often pays for both of us in social settings.  And we both love sushi and hitting estate sales on Saturday morning.  Keep reading…

An introduction…

19 Oct

I’ve racked my brain trying to think of a good ‘opening post’ for this blog.  I’m not talking to anyone but myself, but it just seems so… rude to just go right into things.  So here it is: I’m a 28 year old female living in Chicago, who until a few months ago thought I’d be resigned to a working life of fluorescent lighting, long office corridors, and filing, filing, filing my life away.  This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.  I majored in Sociology in college, which prepared me for nothing except nodding knowingly when [insert group here] did the kookiest thing.  I spent one year in the working world as a legal assistant before heading back to grad school for Public Health.

My grad school career was not exactly what I thought it would be.  I remember, before leaving Chicago and in the depths of my highest misery surrounding my current situation, my sister and I were driving to Target and she said “You can’t go home again, Jack.” “Whatever, dude,” I thought, “I’m totally going home and it’s going to be awesome.  You don’t know me.”  So I went home.  I lived with my mom for several months before returning to the school I received my undergrad degree from to start my graduate program.  It was on my first day of orientation that I discovered that my program was actually brand new and not yet accredited.  It would be by the end of the year, but for now, we were just sort of… figuring things out.  OK, so this was my fault, I guess.  I never thought to ask whether a relatively common program was already well-established at my very large, public, state university.  My.  Bad.  I found that while I really wanted to like my program, the classes were poorly organized and the content often overlapped.  My professors didn’t seem passionate about what they were teaching us, and in return, I felt equally apathetic.  Also, truth be told, I forgot how much I hated being in school.  I was told that grad school would feel different, but this sure seemed like a lot of large classes full of bored young adults.  This wasn’t for me.  My sister was right.

I left grad school and moved back up to Chicago, where I worked as a barista until my student loans kicked in and I could neither afford to work for $8 per hour nor bear the constant sass I received from our morning customers.  I’ve worked a lot of restaurant jobs, and never have I been such a constant target of pitying looks from people in ill-fitting suits.  I got a job as a receptionist at a “nonprofit” that was best known for running huge luncheons with famous CEOs of large companies.  My boss was a tyrant.  I was there for a year and left for a new job doing something very similar for a nonprofit that brought in generally less well-known speakers, was completely overloaded with egos and seethed with barely-disguised resentment.  That said, I worked there for three years and met my wonderful boyfriend within those walls before moving to my current place of employment.

My boyfriend’s family owns a large farm on the outskirts of Chicagoland.  We spent a lot of time out at the farm this summer, picking veggies and playing with the barn cat, wishing we could stay out there forever but eventually having to return to the city.  Slowly, we came to realize that we could do it.  We could do whatever we wanted, and by god, if we wanted to farm, we would farm.  We had the land, which is most important when you want to grow things, and we gained the support of his family as soon as we expressed our farm aspirations.  As of October 1, 2012, we are officially on our way to becoming farmers.  We are converting some of his family’s land into a 2 acre organic farm, and someday I hope to have chickens.  There are lots of questions right now: Where will we live? How will we get to work? Will our plants grow? Will we absolutely hate it?  I guess we’ll find out.