March 02, 2015

The hunt is on!

This weekend was PACKED for me! I really want to share the details of my adventures this weekend with you because everything I did this weekend is a huge step towards my dream of self sufficiency.

My weekend started right off the hop immediately after work on Friday. I went to Kokom's Bannock Shack with the boyfriend for Fish Fry Friday (it did not disappoint! seriously, highly recommended. You should try it if you're ever in the area) then we parted ways, he headed home and I headed to school!

This weekend in the basement of my old high school I took the Canadian Firearms Safety Course where I learned all the required information and skills to safely handle a non-restricted firearm (rifle and shotgun) so I could apply for my Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). I passed with flying colours!

What does all that mean?

In a few months (after the government has processed my papers) I am legal to own and carry my own firearm and I don't need anyone else to go hunting! (previously I had my Hunter's Safety which meant I could go hunting and carry a firearm but I had to be with someone else who had a PAL).

This girl is going hunting this fall! My freezer will be full of meat that I harvested!

I found something pretty funny regarding getting my PAL this weekend. I told a friend of mine in Southern Ontario (shout out to Kyle!) about the course and he thought it was a really cool thing to do (actually I believe his exact words were "-you are the coolest chick I know!") which I won't argue with... but yet if I tell anyone around here about the course it's just another thing. In fact it doesn't surprise me when people ask "You mean you don't have it yet?" I guess up north here it's just a way of life.

Friday night and all day Saturday were booked (the course ended at about 4pm and I finally got to do my practical test at about 5, finished by 5:15 then I spent the night knitting and watching movies with the boyfriend) which left Sunday. Of course the fun didn't end on Saturday! Sunday afternoon I went hunting again. This time it was for a house.

Earlier this week my boss (the farm one, not the day job one) sent me a link to a nice little house on 48 acres of land just down the road from us. I arranged an appointment and at 2pm Sunday I went to check it out!

The house is a great size for me, the property is an interesting shape but I like it, there are some very useful looking outbuildings and plenty of room for my homesteading dreams. The highlight for me is the new woodstove outside and the beautiful neighbourhood... and by that I mean lack of neighbours in view (I love people, don't get me wrong, but I love solitude at home!).

Now onto the downsides of the place... It's empty this winter (which you might have to live around here to understand means condensation on all the window, leaks and potential for a host of problems with plumbing, heating and electrical when they all get switched back on), the roof is over 10 years old (but was covered in snow so I can't really see its condition), there are a number of much older windows which will need to be replaced, there is some mold on the ceiling by the door (which could be an indication of a roof leak) and the entire southwest side of the house is sunk lower than the rest of the house (which is the "original" house built in 1956, an addition was put on in 1993).

Now I realize that last point might sound like a deal breaker for most but the guy who sent me the link (my "farm" boss) is an architect and has agreed to come check the place out with me in the spring when the snow is melted and I can get a much better look at the property, the out buildings and the house's foundation. See what we can't do to jack the place back up! (again, if you're not familiar with these things, that's something that is actually done to homes!). And lastly.... it was rented out recently. You know how tenants can be, and it certainly looks like it's had some unreliable ones.

So that's the big news! I'm excited to finally be looking for a place to start my farm. I've already been pre-approved for a decent sized mortgaged (based on my current income and complete lack of equity... thanks for that college loans. Why can't they give me some equity based on that?) and have a small sum saved up for a down payment (which is growing weekly) plus my RRSPs to take out if it came down to it.

Things are FINALLY rolling!

(I would share the listing but I'm scared to jinx it! I really do like the place! But if you want to see the place, ask in the comments maybe I'll post the link there!)

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