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Writing my final chapter

 
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Hello everyone! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Tara.
I'm pretty new to this particular community but I've been "planning my escape" from Florida for a few years now.  I am hoping that someone will read my post and be able to offer some in lightning information suggestions or advice.

To start this story off let me tell you 1st that I had plans, great plans. But those plans were crushed along with my head in a crazy accident this summer & as a result, I've been left physically/cognitively impaired. I am pretty resilient though and despite the physical setbacks, I'm still hopeful that I will be able to achieve my dream of living as self sufficiently as possible on my beautiful wilderness property. Most of my impairment is cognitive i.e. response times to stimuli, being unable to articulate myself, forgetfulness, etc. But im also dealing with vestibular issues which cause severe vertigo. Ive been working on these issues and hopeful they will get better so I can drive cross country.
My questions are mostly about how to get myself centered on moving. Doing this as a single mother (I have aten year old) & trying to figure out just where to start has been overwhelming. Especially now with my physical limitations.
I'm confident that once I get established I will be able to maintain easily enough. But it's that 1st step that has been so hard for me to take. I'm not sure if I should wait till I get out there to survey properties myself? Do I plan ahead and buy the property from the Florida so I have a place to go to? Lol. I've also thought about buying an RV & just packing it all up & driving out there,  wherever we land we land. Lol I have spent so much of my life living by other people's expectations & rules. After my accident, it just solidified my desire to do what makes me happy. I've watched friends pass away from cancer, seen unbreakable couples divorce, & stood by helplessly as friends loved ones, kids, died. We only get this chance to live once. I don't want to watch other people live my dream from my couch anymore.
I would be open to moving into a community of like minded people that are already established that could help me with my transition. I just don't know where those communities are.  I'm looking at Southwestern Montana area but I'm not stuck on it. Oregon has some gorgeous properties too & the environment is perfect for what I want to do. I'm really hoping someone can help connect me to resources I can use to get ourselves ready for "the escape" lol
Thanks for reading!
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pollinator
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Well, first, I'd like to welcome you to the forums. Plenty of us have difficulties, and understand where you are coming from. In fact, we have a forum section dedicated to dealing with those difficulties. I live with Schizoaffective Disorder among other things on a small acreage in Southern Ohio. I'd like you to consider my area as I'd love to have you as a neighbor.

I recommend you visit other permies in their states this winter to see what those places are like in the winter to know if you can handle it. I remember well the first time my SoCal uncle came to visit. It was in March. There was snow on the ground, and he didn't pack any long pants. So he was freezing his ass off.

Before you consider Montana where -45 is a regular winter temp, maybe come and have lunch with me in January when it's -18. I recommend we meet at the Shawnee State Forest Lodge, then maybe if you guys and us get along, we invite you back to our place for coffee and a farm tour. You can cheaply rent a cabin in the State Forest to stay in. The forest is stunning in the winter. And the quiet might help with your cognitive problems. It does for me. I often sit by the lake there and enjoy the view and the quiet. I recommend warm clothes in layers and winter muckboots with chain crampons. Falling on the ice would not be fun. Ask me how I know.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Hi Ryan! Thanks for responding! That sounds like a good idea to visit first. Hopefully, this site will introduce me to more people who I can network with to make that happen.
I do actually have some experience in northern temps. I forgot to mention that. Lol. I grew up in the military & lived in some northern states like Washington, Alaska and Maryland (just to name a few) & I went to school at Penn State main . It's been a few years, & quite different than the mild Florida winters I've experienced for the past 18 years.  Lol. I've actually missed it.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Tara Allsopp wrote:Hi Ryan! Thanks for responding! That sounds like a good idea to visit first. Hopefully, this site will introduce me to more people who I can network with to make that happen.
I do actually have some experience in northern temps. I forgot to mention that. Lol. I grew up in the military & lived in some northern states like Washington, Alaska and Maryland (just to name a few) & I went to school at Penn State main . It's been a few years, & quite different than the mild Florida winters I've experienced for the past 18 years.  Lol. I've actually missed it.



I'm glad you have experienced winter. I ran into a couple from texas once that bought a place in alaska, were there until it snowed, then left abruptly and never returned. They were trying to sell me their land. I considered it but decided against it. I'm glad I picked Ohio. The weather here is nice all year. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. You can also grow a pretty good garden here. My best ever garden was about 4 years ago at my last house. I had a good cover of maple leaves and lawn clippings and planted it square foot style using Fukuoka type seed balls that were inoculated with mycogrow. It was so abundant that even with my preservation efforts, I found myself giving away half of it.
 
steward & bricolagier
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Hi Tara!!  Good to meet you!
I was splattered across a highway 35 years ago, I know how this goes. Some stuff will heal slowly over the next few years, some never will, but you can learn how to deal with the stuff that never will. Getting land and getting someplace you can work at your own pace is wise.

I agree with Ryan, Check winter before you pick a place, regrets are expensive to fix. I'd add check summer too, I'd not want to be in Florida for the summer.... We each have what we can tolerate, and I know people who thrive on snow, I am not one  :) I don't know anything about communities, as I am a solitary type, can't help you there.

I moved this to the "personal challenges" forum, where more people who may be helpful will see it, and to "introductions" also. There are lot of awesome people who hang out here, and lots to learn! I'm currently swamped, but will be adding stuff to the "Personal Challenges" section soon about how I cope (we just made that section! I'm still behind on the stuff I need to do for it!!) because I have learned a LOT the hard way, and had good skills for learning how to cope physically when I went into it all. So I'll be tossing out a lot of stuff when I catch my breath.

Welcome to Permies! :D

I curtsy nicely at you :D
 
Tara Allsopp
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Hi Pearl! Thank you for the help. I was not sure where to post because there's so much info on here that I was overwhelmed. Lol Florida was great while it lasted but as I get older, the humidity becomes less tolerable. Ideally, Northern AZ is the climate that's be best for me but I miss the mountains & being surrounded by lush forests. Im a outdoorsy type chick & love the forest spo that's where Montana came in. It has been a pretty depressing recovery up to this point but discovering new outlets to explore is giving me some renewed hope. Thank you again!
 
gardener
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Tara, m'dear, you look far too young, to be writing your *final* chapter! I'd also highly recommend doing a bit of personal exploring, prior to committing to a specific place. Other things to look for, besides beautiful land and climate, include cost of living, local laws concerning both home and outbuilding construction, farming, livestock laws (including both local municipalities & state), local health & social support options, and political climate, just to name a few. When we were looking, I started with a list of deal-breakers and deal-makers that were important to us. Then, I went online, and looked up corresponding information about states we were interested in. How did we know which states we might be interested in? Well, by first eliminating the ones we knew we weren't interested in - like anywhere north of where we were, anywhere that didn't have all 4 seasons (But with a much shorter, hopefully milder winter!), and any state that was firmly the opposite political color of the one we preferred, as well as any state in which the cost of living and taxes were as high or higher than where we were already living. That eliminated all but about 5 states, for us, and all of that was done online. We landed smack in the middle of Missouri.
 
pioneer
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Best of luck Tara.  You've found a good place for sensible advice.  We are both over 60.  I have back and neck issues.  My wife has had both hips replaced, colon cancer, and now uterine cancer.  We love the rugged hills of the Ozarks, but decided that with our age and physical issues it made more sense to look for wooded land that had gentle hills instead of steep hills.  Took a while, but we found it.

Its good that you are reaching out and seeking to learn.  Use the time between now and when you get a place to learn as much as you can.  In the process of learning about the life you want and the skills you will need, you will learn a lot about yourself.  If you haven't done it already, make a list of what you want in a place and what you want to do with your place.  As you learn, don't be afraid to amend that list.  This will give you a starting point to decide if a place is right for you.  From things you said in your original post, it sounds like you are on a journey of self discovery and fulfillment on your own terms.  It won't always be easy, but it will be rewarding.  

Along the way you will come across a lot of people who say you are crazy or you can't do it.  If those people aren't doing what you are seeking to do, then take what they say with a grain of salt.  Look to those who are doing what you want for advice.  Instead of focusing on the reasons not to do something, focus on the reasons to do it.  And if you do decide to buy an RV and travel around looking for a place, you wouldn't be the first to do it.  In fact, we are going to move out to our place and stay in a travel trailer this spring while we build our house.
 
master pollinator
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Tara Allsopp wrote: I'm looking at Southwestern Montana area but I'm not stuck on it.



What about Wheaton Labs? It's in Montana!  There are several different opportunities to visit for shorter or longer periods to see if you like it.  https://permies.com/f/102/labs
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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You know, community doesn't have to be all on one piece of land. A couple of years ago I put forth the idea of Distributed Community. In my model, like-minded people with similar goals move into a general area and meetup every weekend for group activities. It can be a garden club, or a religious thing or whatever those goals and ideas are. In a permies sense, we can create new communities in a locality without all moving to the same farm, and share ideas and help out with big projects like barn raisings.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Hi Carla,  Bob, & Tyler!
Yes Carla, I was blessed with great genetics, I've been married & divorced twice,  have 2 kids, one in college. I'm young at heart though & am still deciding on what I want to be when I grow up. Lol But actually my final chapter refers to the last place I'll move to. I don't know where it'll be yet but I know it's gonna be an adventure & I can't wait to get started!
 
Tara Allsopp
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Bob, regarding political climate, that was one of my main concerns actually. Lol. I didn't want to mention it because the political climate is so hostile these days & I didn't want to rub anyone the wrong way, esp on my first post!  Lol I support everyone's right to vote for who they choose without fear of persecution but not everyone feels that way.  Another reason why I have a desire to move out into the middle of nowhere. That way I don't have to worry about anyone being offended by me lol

Tyler,   I didn't even know about Wheaton labs and till I came to this website so I haven't even had a chance to check it out to be honest. From the brief description you provided I'm assuming it's somewhere I can go to visit short or long term? What do you do there?

Ryan,  my initial dream was to buy 40 or 50 acres and sell off 3 other parcels with a central area in the middle for greenhouses, root cellar, etc that we all work & maintain together. Problem is that I couldn't find 3 other people/ families who were interested and actually serious about moving. But... that's partly why im here. 😉
 
pollinator
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Hello Tara. One very important thing to remember is that your move may work for you, but not for your 10 year old. I assume that they will be removed from everyone they have known both at school and friends and family. So it's important to explore and make sure that they are on board. Because if they are not, in just a few short years, they will go their own way and the more remote your location, the less regular their visits.

Kids like country life , but if they are accustomed to having things like Wi-Fi and contacting their friends on Facebook and other places, they simply will not tolerate extreme isolation. With most kids, you would be dealing with a huge amount of complaints and eventual mutiny. I think it's important to try to land somewhere where there are children the same age as yours. Because if there are only kids much younger or much older, they are effectively alone, except for their time with you. Most kids will find a way to punish you for disrupting their social life.
.....
I have known a few people who recovered greatly from head injuries. Long after the bone and muscle had gotten as healed as it was ever going to, they continued to see improvements in their mental functioning. So that's a good thing . When I saw your title, I was afraid it was someone in an unwinnable battle with a terminal disease. Good to know that you are on the mend with improvements still ongoing.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Hi Dale,
Yes, nothing terminal thank God. The phrase is more a reference to this being my final move. I grew up in the Navy & each move was a different chapter, so to speak.
My son is actually on board and looking forward to the prospective adventure/move. I've been looking at areas that are not too remote that he wouldn't have access to attend social functions with other kids. Example, I've looked at Emigrant, MT but land prices are a little out of my range. I think he would do well in a small town environment. I'm still trying to find the perfect place for us though. So if anyone has any suggestions for areas near small towns, they are welcomed! Lol
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Tara Allsopp wrote:Hi Dale,
Yes, nothing terminal thank God. The phrase is more a reference to this being my final move. I grew up in the Navy & each move was a different chapter, so to speak.
My son is actually on board and looking forward to the prospective adventure/move. I've been looking at areas that are not too remote that he wouldn't have access to attend social functions with other kids. Example, I've looked at Emigrant, MT but land prices are a little out of my range. I think he would do well in a small town environment. I'm still trying to find the perfect place for us though. So if anyone has any suggestions for areas near small towns, they are welcomed! Lol



Friendship Ohio is amazing as small towns go. It is about 10 miles east of my house at the junction of US Highway 52 and Ohio 152. It has one amazing restaurant, one gas station, one big school, is close to Portsmouth for shopping, is  mostly rural land, has 3 churches, 1 fire department which is free to ride if you need to go to the hospital, is close to the State Forest and Boyscout camp, and you'd be close enough to me that I could help you out since you're new to permaculture. I have the numbers for the pest guy, the heavy equipment guy, the local pig farmer, the egg farmers, the county sheriff etc... I highly recommend you come visit to check it out. I live in Stout which is slightly more remote. Stout is mostly just farms and forest. There is no town to speak of. For your son and you to have a social life, I recommend Friendship.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Lol. Thanks Ryan. I'm just not sold on Ohio to be honest. As far as environment goes, the northwest area is where I've had my heart set on. The forests & foliage are different up there. I will check out what you said though since you are so adamant about it lol. Ive got nothing but time on my hands right now lol
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Tara Allsopp wrote:Lol. Thanks Ryan. I'm just not sold on Ohio to be honest. As far as environment goes, the northwest area is where I've had my heart set on. The forests & foliage are different up there. I will check out what you said though since you are so adamant about it lol. Ive got nothing but time on my hands right now lol



Yay! ^_^ Oh, the area is cheap too. I got a big house, 2 outbuildings, and 2 acres for $100k. Big acreages are available with no house For about the same.
 
Tara Allsopp
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It looks really pretty Ryan
 
Tara Allsopp
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Tara Allsopp wrote:Lol. Thanks Ryan. I'm just not sold on Ohio to be honest. As far as environment goes, the northwest area is where I've had my heart set on. The forests & foliage are different up there. I will check out what you said though since you are so adamant about it lol. Ive got nothing but time on my hands right now lol



Yay! ^_^ Oh, the area is cheap too. I got a big house, 2 outbuildings, and 2 acres for $100k. Big acreages are available with no house For about the same.



I was looking at 40 acres for about $25k in northern AZ. That by itself was enough to consider AZ. LOL. But ultimately I'm a woodsy chick. I need some more green.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Tara Allsopp wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Tara Allsopp wrote:Lol. Thanks Ryan. I'm just not sold on Ohio to be honest. As far as environment goes, the northwest area is where I've had my heart set on. The forests & foliage are different up there. I will check out what you said though since you are so adamant about it lol. Ive got nothing but time on my hands right now lol



Yay! ^_^ Oh, the area is cheap too. I got a big house, 2 outbuildings, and 2 acres for $100k. Big acreages are available with no house For about the same.



I was looking at 40 acres for about $25k in northern AZ. That by itself was enough to consider AZ. LOL. But ultimately I'm a woodsy chick. I need some more green.



Ohio is nothing but green. Everything is green when it's not winter. It may not be as cheap as the desert, but it's easy to grow stuff here and it's not in the desert. $5000 an acre is normal for 90% of Ohio. Where I am, we have loess and clay soils here in the Appalachian Foothills region. In the western and central portions, the soils are dark red clay. The whole state is blessed by summer rains and Ohio is the feed bucket of America with most maincrop farms producing grain and legumes to feed livestock. But the vegetable productivity is literally insane. From my best garden I mentioned above was a scant 600 sq ft and fed my household, my parents, and I canned, and I had to give stuff away. Next year's garden is 10,000 sq ft and I expect plenty to sell.
 
Tara Allsopp
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Wow! That's alot of food! I have a lot to learn about growing still. I honestly haven't put much thought into what I'd grow exactly. I figured the basics, tomatoes, onions, maaaaybe some corn...
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote: When I saw your title, I was afraid it was someone in an unwinnable battle with a terminal disease. Good to know that you are on the mend with improvements still ongoing.



There's my aspie literalness -- I saw the title and thought it was an author nearly finished writing a book! I opened the thread mainly to find out what the book was about.

Your original post did not say whether you have experience with self sufficiency. As in any endeavor, there is a learning curve. So if you haven't tried, for example, growing your own food, you would be wise to ensure you have some more familiar source of income while you learn. Also, will your injuries require continued physical therapy? That shouldn't stop you from doing this, but it does constrain how far from services you can be.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Tara Allsopp wrote:Wow! That's alot of food! I have a lot to learn about growing still. I honestly haven't put much thought into what I'd grow exactly. I figured the basics, tomatoes, onions, maaaaybe some corn...



Okay. There are 2 catalogues you might want to order, and I recommend you also buy the Old Farmer's Almanac for 2020. The OFA will give you planting and harvest dates no matter where you end up as well as astronomy and weather data. The catalogues give you an idea of what is available to grow. I get a bunch of catalogues every year, but I mostly order from these two: Baker Creek Heirlooms and Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Then I recommend getting the books Square Foot Gardening and Carrots Love Tomatoes. Despite there being many good gardening books out there, these are the only two I consider essential. I don't use the Square foot soil mix or the raised beds, but I do use the plant spacing guide.

Then, You need to watch some videos...

Growing potatoes the easy way
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlratwBT5OI

Food Forest Explanation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCJfSYZqZ0Y&t=339s
 
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Tara Allsopp wrote:Hello everyone! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Tara.

Hi Tara, I am Cliff and welcome, also follow your dreams! I believe in you.

 
I will open the floodgates of his own worst nightmare! All in a tiny ad:
holiday shopping for 2019
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