We Moved – Hello Saluda!

We survived the great move of ’15. For those of you who don’t know, we moved from near Brevard, NC to Saluda to be closer to my office. I’ve cut my commute by half, which is awesome. However, the big bonus with the move is that we’re now on 7 acres (and the landlord has no problem with livestock). The previous tenants didn’t care for the house and it’s in need of some repairs and updates, but we’re going to be doing a lot to the place in the next year. The house may have some downfalls, but the land definitely makes up for them. Here are some photos, but please don’t judge us by the boxes and mess. Hopefully everything will be completely unpacked and arranged soon.

The land even has a small apple orchard on it that’s apparently still producing. My (hopefully) epic garden will go in next to it. I know, I know. I’m getting started very late this year, but the WV bar and move kinda messed with my gardening schedule. By the way, if anyone local has a garden tiller, I would LOVE to borrow it to break ground on the garden.

Here’s our main living area.

Here it is from the other side.

The kitchen (I was in the midst of unpacking that most important of rooms when I took this).

Front room, which will house my office and a few instruments.

The bathroom is a little dated (and Carolina Blue), but I think some white paint on the walls will do a lot of good. I just wish I could drop a nice tub in there for baths!

The previous tenants made some, um, interesting design choices. This one will likely be the craft room.

The Dora room will be a pain to paint, but I think it will eventually be a guest/exercise room.

 

Our bedroom has the least interesting paint job, which is probably a good thing. We’ll just need to fix the closet and throw some white paint on the walls.

The view from the bedroom is great!

There’s also an entire floor downstairs, but it’s mostly unfinished at the moment. I’ll probably post some of those later (especially since Beth might be kidding in the basement if we don’t get a small barn up soon).

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Adieu 20s, Hello 30s

It’s funny how things change. I’ll be 30 tomorrow, and I can’t help thinking about myself at 20 and how different my priorities were.

When I was 20, I was doing my undergrad in New York City. I went to NYC specifically because it was a huge, metropolitan city far away from Western North Carolina and little old Hendersonville. I thought that if I ever left NYC it would be for another large, metropolitan city that didn’t require a car (I hated driving). I knew that I would never, under any circumstances, move back to North Carolina.

My career would be something incredibly cool and interesting. Practicing law crossed my mind at a few points, but was quickly replaced by becoming an editor at a major publishing house, working in some unknown position in the fashion industry, etc.

My preferred magazines were Glamour, Cosmo, and People. My highest priorities were being thin, being popular, and getting drunk (not necessarily in that order). Looking back, I can tell you that I failed on one of those and I don’t know if what happened with the other two could be classified as success. College was in there somewhere too, but it wasn’t exactly at the top of my list.

My vision of my ideal guy was a cool, intelligent, urbane, bad boy who eschewed anything mainstream. He certainly would have some cool yet intellectual job that paid well. And he definitely wasn’t blond.

Fast-forward to today. I live in Brevard, NC, with aspirations to move to such hip and urban locations as… anywhere where we can get some land. Yes, acreage where we can have a nice little goat farm is now my priority over location. In fact, staying close to family is something of a priority too, though, for the right job, we would certainly consider relocating…to somewhere we could still get acreage and have a little goat farm.

I’m a licensed attorney in North Carolina. Is practicing law cool and interesting? Depends on who you ask. Is my career my identity? No. I enjoy law, but I have a lot of interests outside of it as well.

I currently subscribe to Dairy Goat Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, and Southern Living (thanks, Mom!). My highest priorities are buying a house with some land, succeeding in my chosen career, and managing my little herd of dairy goats. Starting a family in the next few years is in there too, but making the commitment to make and care for a new person is huge and requires some amount of financial stability.

I’m married to an intelligent guy…who’s dorky (just like me); blond; doesn’t care whether or not something is mainstream, just whether he likes it; and is the nicest, most caring man I have ever met. He’s going to school for auto body repair, because that’s what he likes doing. At 20, I probably wouldn’t have responded to his message on that online dating site, but at 26, I did. And it was the best message I ever sent.

Was I wrong at 20? Am I right now? No to both. Life is a journey. We change and mature along the way. Our priorities may change, our goals may change, and our circumstances may change. Change is good. The test is how we react to it. I love where I am now in so many ways. Would I like to change some things? Of course. I would love to hand myself a great job with benefits, some land with a nice house, and financial security. Since I can’t do that, I’ll just have to continue loving the other parts of my life. I have an amazing husband, some very cool animals, and a future full of possibilities.

Carver Law and More Goats!

We’ve had a lot going on recently, so I thought it was time for a bit of an update. First of all, as some of you may know, I am officially licensed to practice law in North Carolina. I’m taking cases involving family law, wills, and minor criminal matters. If you need an attorney, check out my (still partially under construction) new website CarverLawNC.com. I will be happy to meet you at your home or place of business. I can also do initial consultations over the phone.

In more personal news, our second wedding anniversary is coming up on Monday, so we’re taking a long weekend to head out of town. It’s a long overdue bit of time away, but I think we’re going to try to make our anniversary tradition taking a trip. Last year, we went to Helen, GA, and we had a fabulous time. This year, we’re heading to Charleston, which neither of us has been to in ages. We have an awesome couple taking care of our goats while we’re gone, so we’ll know their in good hands (though we might get a phone call on Saturday, “You need to take the little, loud one away…NOW.”) We actually took a goat care and cheese making workshop with them in the spring, which was great. If anyone is considering goats, homesteading, etc. then you should check out some of the workshops they offer – www.eightowlsfarmstead.com.

Goat Looking Through Window

Speaking of goats, the addition of Martha’s mother, Beth, has been great (though they have been exiled from the steps since this photo was taken). She’s somewhat neurotic, but super sweet, and I love having goat milk around! My experiments in cheese making are getting better each time. Tonight, we’re going to make some goat milk ice cream. If you’ve never had fresh goat’s milk, don’t judge it based on what you’ve had from a store. Fresh goat milk is sweet, delicious, and creamy. It lacks the strong “goat-y” taste that the stuff in the store develops. However, I may have to stop milking Beth soon, as there’s a possibility she might be pregnant. We’re going to draw blood and send it in for a test, but we might have some more little ones in a few months. If that’s the case, we will likely have to sell the babies, since we have a pretty limited amount of space for goats here and John has promised me that I can put down a deposit on a registered Alpine doeling for my birthday.

And yes, my 30th birthday is right around the corner. Do I feel 30? Not really. I mean, why should 30 feel any different than any other year? I’m certainly not upset about it, though. I may not be where I thought I would be at this point 5, 10, let alone 15 years ago, but that’s not a bad thing. I have different goals and different priorities than I did in the past, but I’m at a good point in my life in a lot of respects. I may not have the financial or career security I want, but I have an amazing husband, a supportive family, and some really cool pets. Winning the lottery would be nice, but I already have everything I need for happiness here.

Gone Goat Crazy!


Martha
Rose

So, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve officially gone goat crazy. They’re so adorable and loving! John is on board with them too. He built this goat shelter for them, which is awesome!

Goat House

We also went to a goat care and cheese-making workshop with these people last weekend – http://www.eightowlsfarmstead.com/. It was very informative and fun, plus we got to take home some goat cheese! Also, fresh goat’s milk is WAY better than the store-bought stuff.

I leave you with a minute and a half of our goatie girls being cute (please excuse the excessive nibbling in the middle).

Rose Martha

Meet Our (Goat) Kids!

For those of you who don’t know, we had something very exciting happen to us recently. We had kids! Well, we picked out two goat kids. They’re both does (girls), and we finally decided on names!

They’re Mini-Nubians, which means they’re a cross between Nubian (large dairy goats) and Nigerian Dwarf goats. Mini-Nubians usually get to be between 22 and 25 inches high at the withers (shoulders), which is about the height of your average German Shepherd. Our girls are both second generation Mini-Nubians, so they don’t have all of the desired features (their ears aren’t as droopy for one), but they’re adorable.

Rose

 

This is our girl, Rose, named for Rose Tyler (a companion in Doctor Who).  Rose very much wants to be a lap goat and loves sitting in my lap.

Martha

 

Martha is less of a lap goat, though she still loves attention. She’s the more adventurous of the two and is named after another Doctor Who companion, Martha Jones. John picked Martha as one of our winners right away when we went to the dairy, because she was the first to stick her head through the fence and say hi.

The girls are both about 5 weeks old now, and still being bottle fed. It’s a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of fun! One day, we hope to milk them, but that at least a year and a half away. In the meantime, we’re enjoying our babies and looking forward to more goaty adventures.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

 

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope yours is off to a good start. I apologize for my very lengthy absence from blogging, but life keeps getting in the way.

2014 is starting out to be a year of new beginnings for us. I will be starting the new year with a new job! It’s an office job in Arden that starts on the 20th. While it’s only 29 hours a week and I’ll have to keep a few nights at the restaurant, it should make my schedule less crazy and hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things here. I’m also hoping that I’ll have more energy to put into creating new items for my Etsy shop, Haus of Ariella.

John starts school tomorrow. He’s going to Blue Ridge to get an associate degree in auto body repair, which is right up his alley. He’s a bit nervous about starting school after not being in a classroom for so long, but I know he’s going to do amazingly. Plus, most of his classes seem to have brief classroom component followed by hands-on work in the shop, which he’ll love.

Other new endeavors include trying to be a bit healthier this year. As some of you may know, John and I tried to do that last spring. I was on Weight Watchers and John, while not on the plan, was eating the same meals I was for the most part. We lost a good bit of weight in a healthy way and were more active. Unfortunately, when I started studying for the bar, stress got the best of me and I threw WW out the window. I also stopped exercising as much. After I took the bar, I hoped to get back into a good routine, but working long hours at the restaurant threw my off and I never really got back to where I wanted to be in terms of weight or general health. I recently signed back up for Weight Watchers, and I’m trying to find a used elliptical to put downstairs (I’d just walk in our beautiful neighborhood in Pisgah Forest, but I know I won’t be able to motivate myself in this cold, cold weather). John is hoping to find time to work out between classes or after classes on his shorter days. Hopefully, with our new schedules, we’ll be able to commit to a healthier lifestyle that we can maintain.

I’m also trying to learn a bit of Spanish this year. I was hoping I’d be able to take courses somewhere, but the continuing ed courses seem a bit too slow for me and other courses won’t work with my schedule. I was thinking about getting Rosetta Stone, but it’s prohibitively expensive. Someone on my Etsy team told me about a website called Duolingo that helps you learn languages. It’s free and fun, and while it won’t get me to where I want to be, it’s a good foundation in vocabulary and basic grammar. It’s a good start, and I’d recommend it as a fun way to start on a new language or brush up on vocabulary from one you used to know.

All in all, I think we’re starting off in the right direction this year. Have you started anything new this year? Do you have any resolutions?

Happy New Year!

Our New Home

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but we’ve been quite busy. I’ve been working a lot and we recently moved into a new place! We’re renting a really cool house in Brevard from my mother’s former coworker and her husband. They had to move fairly suddenly when she was offered a job in Michigan, so a good bit of their stuff is still here and we had/have a lot of cleaning to do. We’re also going to do a bit of repainting to make it our own. We’ll be here for the next two years at least, so we want to really make it home.

We thought we would have it ready for company sooner than we actually will, so our plans for a cook-out have been delayed. In the meantime, here’s a photographic tour.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the first things we’re going to repaint. We want white cabinets and a mint green wall. We think it will look quite nice with the granite counter tops.

Dining Room

The dining room is really cool with built-in bookshelves over the sliding door. We’ve painted the bookshelves white since I took this photo, though the place is still mostly in disarray. Our new dining room set looks pretty awesome in there (thanks, Suzanne!).

IMG_9046

The dining room goes into the living room, which is a rather large space. We want to paint the living room/dining room a light blue. We also want to get a small love seat to go where my desk currently is (the desk will go into the office once we repaint the floor).

Porch

Off of the dining room, there are french doors that lead to an enormous screened in porch. There’s also full sized outdoor table that isn’t shown in the photo, so we’re going to have space for some great cookouts.

Office

There are three bedrooms in the house. Above is the former craft room that we’re going to turn into an office/craft room. the fabric and such are the owner’s, so we’re boxing them up for her and putting them with the other things they’re going to come back for. The floors are painted baseboards, so after we get it all out, we’re going to repaint those.

IMG_9059

The second room is the cat/guest room (sorry guests, but we’ll move the boxes to the office before you come). The cleaned the carpeting that was in the room prior to leaving, but they had 7 dogs and 4 cats who had done a bit of damage prior to that. Of course, if an animal smells that another animal has peed somewhere before, it becomes an automatic invitation to go there again. So John ripped up the carpet (we were given permission to do so, if you were wondering) and used a ton of Nature’s Miracle on the boards. We’re also going to paint that floor.

Our RoomNext is our bedroom (please ignore the half-folded laundry on the bed). We’re going to try to find a cheap bed frame that preferably doesn’t require a box spring. Other than organizing and doing a bit of decorating, our room doesn’t really need anything.

Bathroom Mirror

Our bathroom is in pretty good shape too. I need to get a new shower curtain and a bathmat. John made a small vanity for next to the sink for us to replace the shelves in the photo, which is nice. I love the medicine cabinet mirror in there!

Guest BathYou can’t see much of the guest bathroom in this photo, but it’s perfect the way it is. It also has a wonderfully deep tub for me, which I love!

Garage

The garage is kind of packed, but a lot of it belongs to the owners’ daughters, and they’ll come pick up their stuff soon.

Workshop Workshop Workshop Workshop

Last, but not least, is the workshop. It’s enormous! John has been working so hard to get it organized and to get the shelves with their stuff on them to the sides so that we can have a more open space. He also killed the mold that was infesting one of the walls and re-Drylocked it so that I can go down there and breathe. He also made the sliding door down there functional again, which is really nice. I’ll show photos of the finished project at some point, but it’s looking very promising. He’s also going to attempt to revamp the piano they left for us (the action is pretty much gone – he’ll have to replace most if not all of the bridle straps).

We have a lot of work to do, but we’ve already made a good bit of progress. Hopefully we’ll be able to have company soon, especially since John’s family will be here at the end of the month!