Saturday, January 9, 2010

cars, goats, and phone calls

So I feel like I should share some good news after all this rough stuff. Starting with a little freedom. Today I made the final payment on the Subaru! As of today I own both of my vehicles. No longer is my chariot co-owned by Chase Bank. It is mine, and another step towards owning my own place. (Banks love a girl without car payments.)

Another bit of goodness: I got to visit Finn today over at Abi's. Soon as I parked the car in the driveway I ran to the fence and yelled for him. He came running and nickering! I was so happy to know the little guy had not forgotten his girl. I kissed him on the forehead and scratched his ears. My good goat.

It is so So good to visit him like this and be able to stay in his life. I feel blessed with how well he's doing with the alpaca's and the Connors. I stayed and had a cup of coffee with Greg and the kids. It is so great to talk to other people who dance between technology and homesteading. Greg's a novelist and computer guy, but has 60 chickens and a pair of alpacas. (Talk about my scene...) Abi's a blogger and an amazing knitter. I'm so happy they came into my life.

The last bit of good news: I talked to the family out west that owns the cabin. Turns out they're in Oregon, not California. It was like talking to old friends. They seem like wonderful people. I was on the phone for a long time, listening to the history of the place. Man, it was great to witness the stories. Hear the anecdotes about snakes and toads and the beautiful people who have owned it in the past. I heard about tulips and fishing, childhood friends and famers. It was almost surreal how perfect it all sounded. It seems like having me there may be a good thing for us both.

I have no idea if this place will work out for me, but after the conversations I have had with the people who love it—I want to make it mine so it stays a beautiful place. They call the cabin Foothold, as in the "Foothold to Heaven". It has raised summertime children, told stories, entertained girl scouts and made these people 3,000 miles away nearly cry on the phone. I might have fallen in love with it too. Which is scary because I don't even know if the place is something I can afford, or if the repairs would be prohibiting. But I do know what my heart tells me, and it is singing for this place. The last thing the daughter of the owner said to me before getting off the phone was, "I'm glad you called." So was I.

Paying off my car, scratching the kid I love behind the ears, hearing the owners of the cabin teach me the history of this town... This is all good news. To celebrate I'll be raising a bottle of hard cider and sewing a new messenger bag as a present for myself. I ordered some brown corduroy and this fabric of songbirds and deer with giant antlers as a lining. Working with my hands will be a good distraction from the stress and end in a fine result.


Blogger KimT said...

I hope this cabin works out for you. It sounds wonderful so far!

January 9, 2010 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger T said...

I'll raise a glass with you, to new beginnings!

January 9, 2010 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger IanH said...

Way to go! Paying off the car is a great way to influence bankers. They'll want to loan you more. Hopefully the place will become yours. Don't worry too much about the repairs. You sound like a handy gal, and it's amazing what can be done with a little sweat, one job at a time. Keep on looking though, as the clock is still ticking. Hopefully you got to talk to the bankers when you paid off the loan.

Chin up! We're pulling for you!

January 9, 2010 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh, my fingers are crossed for you Jenna. It'll work out.

January 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I love seeing Finn's smiling face, it's obvious that he adores you!
Way to go on paying off the car! All the more $ to put toward the down payment on your own place. Be it this one or someplace even better. Uncertainty sucks. But you've come this far, I have no doubt that this will come full circle soon, and you'll be the proud owner of your very own farm before you know it.

January 9, 2010 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger C said...

Congrats on paying off the car!! The home you're thinking of sounds like a magical place. It will work out the way it's supposed to.

January 9, 2010 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Finding joy said...

Wonderful news!

January 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Katou said...

Wow, what a nice day you had.

It is encouraging to see how things are developping.

I am very happy to live in a old house were other people went up and down the stairs, a house with a history. And I think that you will be too.

Did someone live in the house all year long once or whas it only a summer house? Let's hope it is insulated because that is a big job. And for the rest of the repairs, just like IanH. said, one job at a time, will get you there.

Good luck Jenna

A special house for a special girl...


January 9, 2010 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Kate Mary Betty said...

Yahoo to positive vibes.

January 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

This all sounds awesome Jenna! Did Greg tell you I just sewed a bag last night? I totally winged it and I had no idea what I was doing but it came out great. I'm feeling pretty smug about it ;) Have fun sewing and dreaming about that darling cabin! You can feel that history even in the picture.

January 9, 2010 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I do believe Finn is quite smitten with you...

January 9, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

That picture of Finn brought tears to my eyes....he's obviously thrilled to see you, and it looks like a wonderful place he has the run of.

If I had a cabin like that, I'd want someone like you to take it over if I was selling or leasingi t. You value and honor things like history, traditions and stories, and would remain true to the purpose of the place. Hope it can happen, for everybody's sake!

January 9, 2010 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger KristenAnn said...

I've only just found your blog, but I read about the rug being pulled out from under you, and it resonated with me, because my family is building our farm on rented property too. But the cabin sounds so great, and the people that own it sound wonderful. Good luck to you.

January 9, 2010 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's about time you had a day full of good news, you deserve it! I have my fingers crossed that it works out. Remember, the owners might be willing to hold the mortgage if you ask...always an option, especially if they would want you in the cabin as much as you'd like to be in it... --> :-) I have a smile for good luck!

January 9, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

That is wonderful news. I hope the owners are ready to let it go to you and it works out.

You got the Dewberry fabric, didn't you? I love that stuff. Perfect for you.

January 9, 2010 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Wow Jenna, this post just made me.... Happy inside! I love when real people can connect on a level like that and just.. Know each other. I sure hope it works out, because I can tell in your heart, it is already home. :)

glad to hear Finn hasn't forgotten you- I imagine that would be hard to do! :)

Enjoy your weekend!

January 10, 2010 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Finn looks like a little boy who's mommy just retuened from a long weekend away. What a great photo! Such great news is hard to dismiss. I sure hope this works out for you.

January 10, 2010 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Great picture of Finn! Great news about paying off the car! Even better news with the relationship that has been started with the owners of the cabin. Things do happen for a reason. Maybe this cabin is your reason. Will continue to pray that things work out for you.

Grace and Peace,


January 10, 2010 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

Finn looks chuffed to see you, and it's great news about the potential house and paying off of your car loan! Glad to hear that your day went so well. I can't wait to hear more about the house....

January 10, 2010 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Joleen said...

So happy that you had such good things to report today. Freedom from a car payment is a step toward the freedom of owning your own home. Yes, Finn is super happy to see his mommy!! What a cutie!

January 10, 2010 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger annamaria potamiti said...

Well done you! Paying off the car is just brilliant timimg for dealing with the banks! I wish you all the best,best, best with it all!The cabin sounds like its been waiting to become a true home-

January 10, 2010 at 2:43 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

This makes me want to sing: This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Hopeful thoughts in the dead of winter.

January 10, 2010 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Jenna, the property might have to go through probate. You might need to rent somewhere for a few months, even if it all works out, so clear title can be passed. The bank won't give you a mortgage until that's done.

Maybe the estate can rent to you until they can sell it -- if you really want this place. Maybe they would be happy to have someone there, even if you don't buy it.

Good luck!

January 10, 2010 at 5:19 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Yay for good news. How fab is owning both your vehicles? This will definitely make mr banker smile a bit more. Sounds like things may be good with the cabin. A wonderful day indeed.

Plus, Finn is sooo adorable!

January 10, 2010 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger j.c. said...

Really wonderful news that you connected with the owners and that they are like-minded folk. Did you say when you might be able to see it? I know it's hard...but try not to get too excited until you've seen the inside and you know it will work. :)

The picture of Finn is just adorable. He looks so happy to see you!

January 10, 2010 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Tina B said...

I'm sending happy and hopeful thoughts your way. It sounds like the owners love the property and the history as much as you would. Good luck, Jenna!!

January 10, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

I'm glad to see things aligning for you Jenna. Finn looks so happy to see you!

January 10, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoohoo! A day of smiles when you needed it! Look at that grin on Finn's face. Don't try to tell me animals don't smile!

Where in Oregon? Rainy side? High desert side? Where, do tell!!

January 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Patsy from Illinois said...

Finn has one of those goofy, goat grins on his face. Ya' gotta love it!

Tell us a little bit about the cabin. One bedroom or more? Square footage?

God bless Jenna.

January 10, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the update on your situation and on Finn as well. Is he still making like a sandwich filling between two furry alpacas?

January 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congrats on paying off the car. Now you can put that money away for your new home. It will all work out for you.


January 10, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...


See if she will let you rent with option to buy. This will enable you to get your finances in order to purchase. Maybe they would even put the rent money towards the overall purchase price. Sounds like this place could be a win/win. I bought my 5 acre farm 8 years ago. The owner had put so much work into it thinking they were going to retire there and then the husband was transferred. They had had two offers on the 1920 shotgun but refused both. We came along and they told us-do whatever you need to do, we will wait until you are ready. They wanted us to have it because we loved it as they had. Luckily we were ready and preapproved. You can do this! We are all pulling for you!

January 11, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, The cabin looks so cozy!!! I am glad you found out about it. I hope when you get an opportunity to see it, it is all that you want. Keep in mind, that it may be for sesaonal use and may need to be insulated. Also, what type of heating if any, besides for the fireplace? Is there a basement of any sort or just a foundation and what condition is it in? Gutters? What shape is the roof in? I ask all these questions, because the first place I bought was a hunting cabin on nearly 5 acres. It was insulated and had electric heat as well as a free standing fireplace. It also had a partial basement and a well, with good drinking water, but slow recovery during dry summers though. Eventually a fuel efficient woodstove with blowers replaced the fireplace, double paned windows added and a second story was put on because kids were part of the plan. Additionally, because we were surronded by heavy woods, we thinned out the spindly or unhealthy trees which became our free firewood and allowed for more cleared area. Also, by all means, seriously consider hiring a home inspector to look over the property if you do consider buying. It costs somewhere near $1000 but IS WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY. If there are any major structural problems they will let you know. The findings may also lead to price negotiations with the seller.If you obtain a mortgage, the bank will inspect it, but not to the depth that a professional inspector will. It is a beauty!!! Best wishes!!! Chris

January 11, 2010 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I think that "Foothold" says so much- it is such an appropriate name for what it would mean to you, don't you think?

January 12, 2010 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna--Finn is so darling. Look at him smile at you! He just loves you so much, it's so plain to see. That is such an endearing picture. You two bonded from the very beginning when you were bottle-feeding him. He will never love anyone like he loves you. And, Jenna, I pray that you'll get the cabin--it looks great. I'm looking at an old house now that has some problems because the people left it very neglected. I don't care, I love it and I'll do what needs to be done. I agree with all the advice, but if it's just a matter of some repairs that aren't too major, you'll be fine. Even some bigger repairs may be manageable with the help of knowledgeable friends. Right now, just prayin' you get what you want. Mimi

January 12, 2010 at 3:30 PM  
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