Set Backs and Sorrows

Our long journey through the Great Recession and its ‘recovery’ has taught me not to expect too much, nor to take things for granted. Even when things seem to be headed in the right direction it is not unusual for there to be a setback or two. Today was one of those setback days.

After seemingly coming to an agreement with the person selling the mobile home – we were going to make sure it could be moved and then proceed once we had that information (on Monday) – we ran into a sudden reversal. On Monday I spoke with the mover and he said he thought it could be moved without problems but I also got a text message from the seller saying “Well were missing a hitch and for sure missing axel.” I responded that the mover hadn’t mentioned that and even if we were I thought I could find the missing pieces on Craigslist (and did locate axles for $125 each). She didn’t respond (hmmm) and today I texted her that Mr Sparks (the mover) was checking the route and our lot and I’d let her know what he said. She responded, “Wish u askd first. im not saling it to much hassle.”

Hassle? We were paying what she asked, setting up transport and even buying extra parts if necessary. Where was the hassle? I texted back a couple times but she responded it was no longer for sale. Why? Who knows? Maybe she found another buyer for the house and land, maybe she couldn’t come up with the tax receipt we needed for the moving permit, maybe she got a better offer. Regardless we are once again forced two steps back on the game board of life!

We are very disappointed. We were so looking forward to moving into our own home – it’s summer and the perfect time to make the move. I’m in school and working and the kids are home and bored – no TV (just dvds checked out from the library), computer or internet. I had planned all sorts of fun activities like ripping up carpet and scraping off wallpaper to keep them amused!  All joking aside this is a set back – and a jerk you around set back at that!  Find it, want it, lose it, find it again, think we had it, lose it again.  Oy!  We won’t find another one that fits so many of our criteria – price, size/layout, and repairs we can manage!  Most of what we are seeing are in the $15,000 to $20,000 range (at least) and I don’t think it is at all realistic to think we can raise that much money just for the house itself (and septic, well, furnishings and repairs will add quite a bit).  I am not feeling optimistic.

We are also saddened. Our dairy goat, Tinker, tested positive for not one but two diseases. One of these – Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis (CAE), is a viral infection in goats which can cause encephalitis in kids and chronic joint disease in adults. The other – Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) is a chronic contagious disease affecting mainly sheep and goats. It is incurable and can’t be treated in goats (there is a vaccine for sheep). I don’t know whether her previous owner knew she was infected or not (I had asked if her herd had been tested and she replied her vet said there was no reason to test). I guess this is part of the goat learning curve – a painful part as once Doty (who may or may not have CAE and can’t be tested until she is older but hopefully doesn’t have CL) is weaned we will have to have Tinker put down. We haven’t yet gotten the hardened farmer attitude towards livestock (at least I haven’t – my son was explaining to our relative that it was a case of sacrificing one for the good of the rest of the herd) and had expected to keep Tinker as our family milk goat for all of her life. But CL is contagious and it would be hard to avoid the rest of the goats being exposed – it presents as a recurring abcess that grows and then pops – whereby the infectious material can spread to other goats in contact at feeders, through cuts or if they eat food contaminated with it.

IMG_0013We took her to the local, old school vet today to have the abscess lanced and disinfected. She will be kept apart from the other goats, with supervised visits from Doty for nursing, until the open wound heals and all the bedding from her pen will be removed and not allowed in the compost, then her pen disinfected and new earth spread. It may be a few months before she gets another abscess – by that time Doty will be ready to leave her mom.  I’m not sure I’ll be ready though.

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10 Responses to Set Backs and Sorrows

  1. Katharine says:

    I am so sorry about the loss of both your potential home and your goat. Two strikes that I am sure have been big blows. I wish I could offer more help but I thought I would instead let you know about a movement called “tiny homes”. These tumbleweed homes are built to maximize storage and living space and can be done brand new to your specifications (they have several layouts available). I thought that might be a better idea than a used mobile home that could potentially need a lot of work;

    Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • boxcarkids says:

      Katherine – I’ve looked at tiny houses (and written about them in earlier blog posts) and find them very cute and clever. But after 4 years of doing tiny, living crammed together with no privacy, space for our belongings, dealing with things like making dinettes and couches into beds at night and back into living furniture in the day, cooking on 2 burners, etc. we are really DONE with tiny! We want room – make that rooms! With doors we can close and space we can each call our own. I think tiny houses are great for one person or a honeymooning couple but for a family of five they are really detrimental to relationships and harmony!

  2. Jeannette says:

    oh darn, thats all I got, I know the set backs. The old cliche something better doesn’t seem to fit right now but it will

  3. Lynn says:

    This company says two people (not contractors) can build one of their pre cut houses or barns in a week or two…Still over your price point but worth looking at. Maybe they have a model home they are no longer making, or some such possible deep discount item? Or someone bought a kit and then returned it unopened?

    • boxcarkids says:

      Yep – over our price range by quite a bit and with everything else I have on my plate I really don’t think my teenager and I could manage building a house as well!!

  4. Darla says:

    So sorry to hear about the goat! I hate to ask this as I know she was a milk goat / pet, but can you at least salvage the meat when you have her put down? That would help to fill the freezer {providing you eat goat that is}.

    As for the mobile home issue – here are some tips. Don’t know if this still works, but this is what my family did 10+ years ago when hunting for a mobile home. Check out mobile home repo lots, and ask if they have any “salvage” or “untitled” mobile homes. They will need WORK {normally either flooring, pipes, or electrical}, but at least when my family bought one about 12 years ago it was very very cheap – maybe $1500? Not sure if they are still that cheap though. Another option is to find a school surplus auction selling “portables” – those portable classrooms. Nearly identical to a mobile home at a fraction of the cost. Around here they go for between $500 and $2500 each, and you have to pay moving costs. Normally they are built a little stronger than your standard mobile home, but they are set up like a classroom instead of a house. Many do have bathrooms though, but they would require a bit of refurb to put in a shower, kitchen, etc. Very doable though – here {South Texas} they turn them into man camps for the oil field.

    • boxcarkids says:

      I did find a portable classroom for $7900 – electricity but no plumbing and it’s just one big room. I sent a note to the seller but they never got back to me. Not sure how much additional $$ it would take to put in walls, wiring, plumbing, etc.

  5. bogart says:

    Oh, I’m sorry; like other commenters, I personally feel sadder about the goat, but I realize both are serious and real losses for you and your family. My heart goes out to all of you.

  6. Rita says:

    Set backs and sorrows is so true. About the time I get as discouraged as I think I can get I find someone who has much more of a reason to be discouraged. I cannot tell you how sorry I am. Of course the house loss is huge but somehow the future loss of your goat and the bills that will incur are worse for me. Another home will come along I am sure. But the emotional pain of losing a beloved pet is just so hard. Hugs for you all. I will be praying.

  7. Barbara Ingalsbe says:

    Really sad to hear about Tinker. Hard when you love a pet. Praying the other animals do not come down with her condition. As for the trailer, something better has to be coming in the future. Praying we raise all the funds you need.
    Here’s the link to Your Tupperware fundraiser with me. Remember Boxcarkids get 40% of total sales.
    Chantal has given me the honor of helping her raise funds for her home project. She needs to raise at least $15k to make her family’s dream come true.

    Here’s how you can help.
    1) go to:
    2) Find A Party (click)
    3) top of page: Find a Fundraiser (click)
    4) lists of states: Find IN (click) Boxcarskids OUT of the box (click)
    5) Chantal Cagle Foundation at the top of page.

    We can DO this and make it BIG! Happy Shopping!
    Praying hard this gets you the funding you need.

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