Striving to Homestead

by Daniel
(Spring Grove, IL. )

me and my favorite dog

me and my favorite dog

We went up to Vernon County Wis. and looked at several houses in the area. We had a great time but did so much driving in a matter of 3 days. It is a 4.5 hour drive up there and spent almost 8 hours driving around the area both Sunday and Monday, then had to drive 4.5 hours back home on Monday evening....boy was I exhausted.


The house I liked was in bad shape on the inside, old paint and torn wallpaper, broken furnace, unfinished tile floor and it had a flooded basement that resulted in the beginning of black mold. That is a deal breaker for me, I have allergies to mold.

But we did see a really neat house with acreage that was cheaper without any outbuildings. But it is only a 1 bedroom with a sleeping nook which would work for us for a few years, but would need an addition in the near future. We could make another bedroom in the full basement and add a bathroom. So we dream and plan to put things in order so we can start our dream.

My first step in making the big move with the family is to find at least one income source....a job! So far it looks like we need to commute to LaCrosse which we hope would be only 35-45 minutes. That is about the same time it takes us now in Lake County, IL. to travel anywhere with all the traffic congestion. So I have 2-3 job boards looking and along with checking Craig's list very often. I have found a few interests but I don't have enough experience to be the top candidate.

I am finding it very difficult to relocate and change careers in this economy. I understand that I need to start at the entry level of any company. It's just getting an opportunity. I read that currently we have about 6 applicants for every job opening. In my opinion, it will only get worse as more full students cross over into worker status. This economy/country has shred so many manufacturing jobs that we only have service jobs to provide income to each other. I hope that will change with a change in new energy.

So in the meantime we make adjustments on how we live our life here in Illinois. We try to lessen out footprint on the earth, try to increase our garden output and learn as many country skills that is possible to use here on 2/3 acre. I have this desire to raise some chickens, but our county ordinances do not allow chickens or goats on less than 5 acres. So I keep coming up with ways to hide them in the backyard and have been investigating different coop designs. But I have a fear of being discovered and then would need to dispatch the chickens before they are ready. It is hard to live with this dream and have it just out of reach.

Comments for Striving to Homestead

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Mar 09, 2010
Keep Striving!
by: Anonymous

Good luck with your exciting adventures. The county ordinance seems silly, considering people have chickens in urban areas! It may be that the county needs to be informed and the ordinance changed!

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