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Haulin Kuester Acres log

Haulin Kuester Acres a year later

Wow! That year went fast. So let me refresh your memory. We closed on September 14, 2020, and this land officially became ours. We were all here until about October something and Chris returned to Washington to continue work. The boys and I stayed here and we had lots of visitors and achieved more than we imagined. The day after Thanksgiving we all returned to Washington. In April we returned to HKA and after a week of achieving even more, the boys and I returned to WA while Chris stayed here and began his internship with Vulcraft. Finally, on June 18th, we left Washington and returned to Haulin Kuester Acres for good.

A visual recount of all our accomplishments

Here’s a little reminder of all the changes we have made in the first year. Man, no wonder I’m tired.

You can see some of my previous posts about what it looked like in the beginning and projects we have taken on in the past year. 

https://missykuester.com/its-better-than-it-was-yesterday/

https://missykuester.com/haulin-kuester-acres/

https://missykuester.com/quirkiness-is-the-new-trend-in-todays-homes-inside-edition/

Enjoy this gallery of pictures. As we say, It’s better than it was Yesterday.

Lamp post before

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This lamp was not connected to electricity and there was a solar light stuck in the top of it.

Thank you!

A big thank you to all our family and friends for the labor you have provided, your ideas, your visits, your laughter, and your joy. Thank you for those who have prayed us through this process and will continue to encourage us. We’re excited to see what’s next…

What is next?

We have met with a draftsman for a house plan

Plans for a new garage

Refurbishing the front gates so they can be used

Finish the pump house and add a water filtration system

Finish the RV pad so it is useable this next year

Electricity to the Jeep Barn

Tear out more shrubs

Put down gravel

Work on the inside…too many things to mention

Air Force

Dear Air Force: Had it not been

Dear Air Force,

Where to begin? How do I put into words how I feel at the end of a 24-year relationship that brought some of the best experiences but also some of the hardest moments? I can remember feeling excited and exhilarated but I can’t ignore all the times you made me feel scared and alone. Had it not been for the highs and lows, I wouldn’t have learned what I have.

Lamenting and thanksgiving

Honestly, I wrote and rewrote this post a dozen or more times. I just couldn’t find all the words nor the right ones. A couple of versions sounded too angry and I don’t want to bow out now with anger. My friend Ashley is a minister and preached many sermons on lament. See her sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv7UxeFzbcU  The Bible has a whole book of Lamentations, prayers of anguish calling out in faith. Part of walking in faith is lamenting. Job lamented. Even Jesus wept. I realize now that had it not been for the lamenting, thanksgiving would not have followed. With pain, disappointment, sorrow, chaos comes praises of thanksgiving in the morning. Therefore, I find thanksgiving in the ‘had it not been’ statements.

Had it not been

Had it not been for Chris washing out of pilot training, he never would have crossed trained into Airfield Management. That career change opened up many opportunities for us. We never returned to a previous duty assignment or location which was a good thing.

Had it not been for his year-long remote to South Korea, I never would have discovered just how strong I really am. I met some of my dearest friends during this time. Even though it was a really hard time, I found out what I was made of. A sweet reward of this remote was that we were handed an assignment to Germany!

Had it not been for The War on Terrorism and living in a foreign country, I would not have experienced childbirth with three of my closest friends. This was by far the scariest thing I have ever gone through. It is a barometer by which I measure all the hard things in my life thereafter. I thought I was strong from that year-long remote, but this made me stronger.

Had it not been for all the moves, I wouldn’t have friends around the world. The friends we have collected are by the far the greatest treasure we have gained.

Had it not been for all the deployments, I never would have known who Missy Kuester is when she is alone. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time alone and I like my own company.

Had it not been for Oklahoma, Germany, and Delaware, I would not have my three sons.

Had it not been for all the places we lived, I couldn’t share those experiences with others. I can say definitely that I have lived there and known what it’s like. I’ve lived in other cultures and with people not like me. It makes me a better human. See my previous post about the exciting life my kids have lived, https://missykuester.com/reasons-i-dont-want-you-to-feel-pity-for-my-military-kids/.

Had it not been for assignments to Germany and Belgium and South Korea, we wouldn’t have traveled and seen places some people only dream of. I have sailed the fjords of Norway, stayed in a home given to General Patton near Normandy, and experienced the 70th-anniversary activities. I have stood on battlegrounds, been to Paris, gone in a boat in the canals of Amsterdam, Venice, and Switzerland. I have eaten whale, reindeer, and a lot of weird stuff in Korea. The experiences are too numerous to list here but I treasure them all.

Had it not been living away from our families, I wouldn’t have been able to show them the world and our beautiful country.

Had it not been for the 7 deployments, I would have never experienced the homecomings

Had it not been for all the goodbyes, I never would have had the hellos.

Had it not been for all the heartache and loss, I never would have known how truly blessed I am.

Had it not been for the Lamenting I wouldn’t have Praises of Thanksgiving.

Who holds the future

When I started this blog, my friend Angie asked me what I wanted to write about. She asked if I wanted to write a military blog. My answer was a resounding, “No!” As I explained to her, I want to be something other than a military wife. It has defined me for the past 24 years. It is time to be someone else. I don’t yet know who that will be but I’m looking forward to meeting her. I don’t know exactly what the future holds but I know who holds the future.

It’s been an honor.

It’s been hard.

I believe those two statements best describe our years as a military family and go hand in hand with one another. I’m glad we did it but I’m glad it’s over. I’m tired.

So, to you, Dear Air Force, thank you, for making me who I am. While you didn’t always live up to your end of the bargain, I know I gave you everything I had. 

Thank you Air Force, had it not been for you my life would be profoundly different but in the end I wouldn’t change a thing.

Now, off we go into the Wild Blue Wonder…….

 

 

 

ambulance

Back to your regularly scheduled programming

I want to apologize for being away and I hope to get back to your regularly scheduled programming on a more consistent basis.

First off, I was hospitalized on February 25th.  The diagnosis was hepatitis (liver injury) caused by an adverse, allergic reaction to Augmentin I took for a sinus infection. I had stopped the Augmentin 10 days prior so it took the experts a while to figure out the culprit. But here I am feeling much, much better. I’m working on getting my stamina back but all my liver panel tests have returned to normal and I should have no long-lasting effects.

Read this medical journal entry. It describes much of what I experienced. I did not have hives of any kind. And as stated, it can be fatal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548517/

I did lose my sense of time at one point. While I was heavily medicated, I was transported from the ER to a larger hospital with a GI department and where they could run further tests.  Trust me, I had rather have stayed in the ER.  Weeks later, I found these pictures on my phone and do not remember taking them. I also asked a good friend if she could spare part of her liver if I needed it. She was so sweet to say yes.

So, enjoy these pictures.

emergency

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This is a view of my Emergency Department room

In the midst of all of this, I was pretty much bedridden and sleep-deprived. I also was preparing our house for packers and movers to come and take away all my earthly possessions for our move to Utah. I’ll share more of what we got done the week we were in Utah in another post. As always you can find my stories at http://missykuester.com.

.There is so much more I want to share with you! Stay tuned.

Utah house in winter

Quirkiness is the new trend in today’s homes: Inside Edition

Watch any home show on HGTV and you will see decorators using today’s hottest trends to remodel, update or create new homes. The only problem is that there isn’t one on the quirkiness of a home and how to embrace it or turn it into the hottest new trend. Where is that show? What Joanna Gaines did for shiplap, I could do for quirkiness. That’s the show I need. I may just have to embrace the quirkiness of our old house. Truthfully, we may have to gut the entire thing and start over. What quirks, you ask? Let’s look at some of the quirkiness things we discovered. But promise me you’ll abide by our farm rule. You are not allowed to ask why things are the way they are. We just don’t have the answers.

Quirkiness or Character

Oxford Languages defines quirk as “characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.” That would definitely describe our house. However, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines quirky as “unusual in especially an interesting or appealing way.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quirky  Our house is interesting but not necessarily appealing. 

Stairs to Quirkiness

Let’s start at the stairs because it’s fascinating to me. At some point, the owner diverted the stairs. According to the last owner, the house was two living units at one time with the stairs running up along the exterior wall of the house. Later, they turned the stairs to come out to its existing spot but left the old stairs. It is currently a closet in what used to be a foyer but then became a bedroom and is now a room in question. Are you following? This spring we are going to open the wall up and see if we like the original route of the stairs.

New stairs going up

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Can you find the water heater?

With everything, I am sure that at the time it was the best option. Now, it just perplexes me. Somehow I didn’t get a great picture of our living room. Our hot-water heater sits in a closet in our living room. Everyone notices it because it’s that quirky. The goal is to relocate it because we want to tear down the adjacent wall. But in order to move the heater, we have to move it to the other side of the wall in what will be the laundry room. To do step C, we have to do steps A and B.

It won’t always be like this, right?

This entire room is full of quirkiness. We will remove the carpet to see what is underneath. The whole back wall needs to be redone. The “bay” window is three different size windows. Behind the curtain is the world’s ugliest sliding glass door. As we understand it, the original kitchen was here which would explain some things. 

back living room
You can see the edge of the hot water heater closet to the left of the couch

While we are in this room, look up. Let’s see if we can get one light for this small room instead of four. It will require moving the fake beams and the ceiling that seems to be lower than the rest of the room. Quirky!

Living room ceiling
These beams are probably decorative. But what is more troublesome is the many light fixtures. This will be rectified once we figure this room out.

Goodbye awkward Sauna

While a sauna sounds like a good idea, we found the one attached to the back of our house to be dangerous. It was close to setting the whole place on fire. The wiring was questionable. And as you can see the only creatures using it were the birds. It was ugly as well and was not appeasing. It had to go.

Goodbye awkward, quirky sauna! It looks so much better.

sauna1

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A better solution for storage in eaves

I appreciate that someone removed the knee walls of the attic to make the bedrooms larger. My quandary is what to do with that space. Thank God for Pinterest and all the amazing ideas I have pinned. https://www.pinterest.com/  

Here is our current situation upstairs in two of the bedrooms.  I have included ideas of what to do with the space.  Also, can you spot the hidden hatch in the floor? That secret storage may very well be the reason the ceiling is so low downstairs. We shall see!

This website has a lot of great ideas as well for building dressers into the space. I really like these ideas for added storage.. https://diyprojects.ideas2live4.com/knee-wall-storage-dresser/

Closets where all the answers to why are stored

We obviously need to rethink this situation. Here is a fine collection of our closets:

upstairs closet. The second smaller door is what was the original attic access

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Windows

We need all new windows but that will be one of the last projects along with exterior work. But this one window is always the subject of dinner conversations. It’s two storm windows used to make one window. You promised not to ask why!

Window
A double-pane window? I don’t think so. ©missykuester.com

Adventures in quirkiness

There is a long list of things that aren’t quite right but this blog only has so much room. I will include and explain the wall we took down in another post.

This can all be fixed. When we change things it gives us a sense of accomplishment. One day this blog will show us how far we’ve come. Thanks for following along and not asking why.

In the meantime, revisit some of my past blogs on Haulin Kuester Acres. https://missykuester.com/renovation-update-outbuildings/ Next time we will talk about the quirks of the outside. 

The top three names for this unnamed farm

It’s come down to the top three choices as voted on by the viewers. Thank you all for your interest.

The top three are:

Flying K Ranch

haulinkuester Acres

ChrisMis Farm

We hope to decide this week when we are all together for Thanksgiving. Until then enjoy these pictures.

 

Farm at sunrise

What’s in a farm name

Recently, I went to my Facebook audience to crowdsource names for our new farm in Utah. I was blown away by the suggestions. Quite frankly, you are all very creative. I wanted to document the name decision so here is the process, chronicled for years to come. It’s not easy to pick the perfect farm name.

Round One

This is the initial list we got from Facebook:

Kuester Acres

haulinkuester Acres

The Best is Yet to Come

Next Chapter Farm

Prayer Walk/ Road

Stars and Stripes

Rocking M Farm

Condiment Farm

M and M Farm

New Journey

Kamp Kuester

Kuester Corral

A Wing and a Prayer

Kozy Kuester Kabin

Princess Missy Farm

M Squared Ranch

Scrabble Ranch

Muddy Paws Ranch

Kuester Kingdom

After AF Farm

Kuester Retreat

Beautiful Acres

Chez nous

Greener Pastures

Places des Grand Hommes

Magnum Way

Black Dog Fields

Magnum Acres

Where the Pavement Ends Farm

Where the Road Ends Farm

The Haven

Kuester Krossing

Wabatucky West

Mis Mag + 3 Farm

The Destination

Kind Kuester Korner

Omega Alpha Acres

Kilo 5 Ranch

Wallis-Frome-Kuester Farm

End of the Line Farm

The Open Commissary

Hallelujah Hollow

Delilah Downs

Magnum Manor

Missy’s Family Farm

New Beginnings

Kuester Homestead

Haulin Farms

End of the Road Farm

Delilah’s Boys’ Farm

Delilah’s Farm

Road’s End Farm

Flying K

Lazy K

Crazy K

Magnum Farm

Answered Prayers

Rest Your Kuester Farm

Where my Kuester Farm

Wonderland

Topshelf Farm

Kuester Downs

Kuester Hole

Green Acres

Pretty Acres

Peaceful Valley

My 3 Sons

Joyful Acres

Kickin’ Kuester Farm

Hidden Treasures

Kick in the Kuester

Kuester Ranch

Fly Over Farm

Golden Acres Retirement Home

M+M Family Farm

Permission to Land Farm

The Forever Homestead

The Sanctuary

New Chievres

It Ain’t Wabash

Delilah’s Playground

Delilah’s Ranch

Red Devil Pastures

Destination Acres

Wild Blue Yonder

Final Flight Plan

Flight Plan

Kuester Korner

Mountain Ridge

Done haulin Farm

Kuester Lane

New Life Farms

Circle K Farms

Aim High Farm

Nua Farms

That Last Stop Farm

Sit on your Kuester Farm

ChrisMis Farm

Lazy M Ranch

Kuester Horizon Estate

DD-214 Acres

Retired Homestead

Rustic Kuester Ranch

Missy’s Meadows

Place for Kuesters

Delilah’s Family Farm

The Lord’s Bounty Farm

Test and Peaceful Farm

Thanksgiving Farm

The Forever Home and Farm

Kuester’s Resting

Dirty Kuester Ranch

Heaven Homestead

Water Well Acres

Lost in time Farm

Three Magnums Farm

Hoosierville

Almost Wabash

Kuester Kurve Farm

Secondhand Farm

LaVraie Montagne

The World’s End

Where the Pavement Ends Farm

Red Devil Acres

Round Two:

This is what is left after the first cut of names:

Kuester Acres

Wild Blue Yonder

haulinkuester Acres

haulin farm

End of the Road Farm

New Beginnings Farm

Kuester Homestead

Next Chapter Farm

Circle K Farm

Aim High Farm

The Last Stop Farm

Where the Road Ends Farm

Where the Pavement Ends Farm

Kuester Korner

Round Three:

We lost some good ones…

Kamp Kuester

Kuester Corral

Flying K

ChrisMis Farm

Kuester Ranch

Fly Over Farm

Permission to Land Farm (bar name)

M squared Ranch (Math!)

Muddy Paws Ranch

Greener Pastures

Kuester Retreat

Kuester Krossing

Omega Alpha Acres

Done haulin Acres

Wild Blue Yonder Acres

haulin Farm

End of the Road Farm

Circle K Farm

Aim High Farm

Where the Road Ends Farm

Final Approach Farm

haulinkuester Acres

Flying K Farm

ChrisMis Farm

Fly Over Farm

Permission to Land Farm (Bar name?)

Final Flight Plan Farm

Stay tuned as we dwindle down more names on our way to finding the perfect name for our farm. And thank you for helping!

Before renovation

Restoration Update #1: From the Inside

We still haven’t named our farm/ranch so for now it’s just Our Place.  What is the difference between a farm and ranch? https://www.land.com/buying/difference-between-farm-and-ranch/  According to this article our 7.5 acres with no current animals or crops is a farm. Don’t tell Delilah, the dog as she considers herself a ranch dog. So, we’ll keep stewing on that name for our farm.

Our house was originally built in 1908 in Logan, Utah but at some point, it was moved to its current location. If I had to guess, it is a kit home. http://www.searsarchives.com/homes/1908-1914.htm

So here is our first Renovation Update: From the Inside.

Don’t judge a house by its crappy vinyl siding

In the Cache Valley, it’s hard to find a house with land. This was a unique piece of property but it ain’t pretty. We have grand plans down the road. When we move in permanently in July 2021, we will hire an architect or engineer to tell us if the house is worth remodeling or if we should start over. For now it’s liveable.

People asked for pictures of the inside. Here are some. Excuse my photo gallery, it’s not perfect either.

 

Thanks for following along. I hope you’re in for the long haul.

 

 

 

 

snake, fear and doubt, parenting advice

Parenting advice from a Copperhead encounter

According to Nationalgeographic.com snakes are carnivorous reptiles that have a life span of 18 years, can grow to be 3 feet in length and weigh more than 100 grams. While their scientific name is Agkistrodon Controtix, Copperheads receive their name because of their hour-glass shaped, bronze head. Mostly found in the south and eastern parts of the US, they account for more bites than any other venomous snakes. They feed on rodents and small birds or animals. These snakes are a pit viper according to NatGeo and use heat to sense their prey. A copperhead is resourceful and adaptable. They can live in the woods as well as subdivisions, thus increasing their probability of coming in contact with humans. While not the most venomous snake they are still a hazard.  Read more at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/c/copperhead-snakes/

I hate Copperheads but one gave me great parenting advice for combating fear and doubt.

Advice from an encounter with a Copperhead

It was the summer of 2017 and my son was weeks away from his high school graduation. While his younger brothers were still in school, T was sleeping until late and helping me prepare the house for guests and a graduation party. On this particular day, he and his best friend, Abby were making cookies in our kitchen while I was on the riding lawnmower cutting the grass. I was in my own world with my headphones on. At one pass I see him standing on our neighbors’ porch with what looks like a gun. Horror and curiosity struck me at the same time. We had a wonderful relationship with our neighbors. Early on they made it known that we were welcome in their home even if they weren’t home. We had the code to enter their house via the garage. Also, unknown to me, Mr. Don had shown T where he kept a pellet gun in the front hall closet.

Cooperhead snake alive
The Copperhead in question.
©missykuester.com

So, there he is standing on Don’s front porch in a t-shirt, shorts, no shoes, and a gun. Upon closer inspection and inquiring, he informed me he had shot a Copperhead that was going across the walk just as he was going to the front door to ask Miss Angela for vanilla for his cookies. Discovering they weren’t home, he decided he couldn’t just let the snake hang around. He was worried because he knew Miss Angela hated snakes, they had a cat and the neighbors had a little boy. So, he remembered the pellet gun and shot the snake. To ensure it was dead, he buried it. He still wasn’t satisfied that it was dead so he dug it up, cut it’s head off with a shovel, put it in a bucket. (He wanted to show Mr. Don what he had done and he was proud of his accomplishments.) He then took the snake way out in the woods and buried it 2 feet underground.

How that Copperhead was like fear and doubt

Where is the parenting advice in an encounter with a Copperhead? It’s more than just ‘Do not mess with a snake.’

Years after that encounter, T was living across the country at college. He called during a particularly challenging time. He wanted advice and encouragement. I came back to that Copperhead. He faced that dangerous snake with conviction and without hesitation. I encouraged him to meet this new challenge like he had that snake—head-on. He was brave then and he could be brave now. And I would use that anecdote again and again through his various challenges.

It holds true for many of us. Maybe what we face isn’t necessarily dangerous like that snake but it can be disturbing, uncomfortable, or a nuisance. If T had let that snake slither on, who knows where it could have gone. He would have always wondered and he would have always been paranoid that it was lurking around. Instead, he killed it and buried it. He often needs reminding to chop the head off of whatever he fears or when he begins to doubt himself.

Writer and Illustrator Kate Seredy said it best, “Kill the snake of doubt in our soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart, and mountains will move out of your way.” What theoretical snakes are causing you or your kid to fear or doubt? Maybe a snake isn’t the illustration you would use but just recalling something your son or daughter has overcome in the past may help them through what they are going through now. We all have to tailor our advice to the person. In this case, it just so happened that a Copperhead gave me the best parenting advice.

Dead snake
The dead snake, with its head chopped off.
©missykuester.com

 

Keeping with the theme of snakes; listen to one of my boys’ favorite song, Snake Farm. It’s just a fun song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgy7PLAgF-Y