Whose that crazy Chicken Lady?


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Someone I think you should know- Wayne & Karri Waller

My Guest post series is to put a spot light on people I have felt truly inspired by, whether they have overcome physical challenges or have launched a successful business.  Most of whom I bring you is people I met somehow on social media or along the journey of life.  They have generously answered questions I have put together and took the time to answer so I may share!

Today I bring you Karri and Wayne Waller. Originally from Colorado, Karri and Wayne were high school Sweethearts and have been married for close to 37 years, 1 Son and 2 Daughters and 3 Grandsons! They still have quite a bit of family in Colorado.

Faith is important to this beautiful family. Karri states, they base their marriage and life around Heavenly Father who has sustained them from the very beginning. They are/were a homeschooling family and home churched for about 25 years. The Lord works in mysterious ways! Never intending to move to Nebraska or run an Inn Wayne and Karri have built a charming Inn that they have been running for 17 years now.

 An Uncle and Aunt that had real estate interest in Sidney, NE and knew of the interest the couple had in wanting to run a home-based business that could support the family, have space to farm and garden. Though this Uncle and Aunt had different lifestyle views then Wayne and Karri but they had enough respect for them to understand the choices they made and shared with them the property that they viewed and feel in love with.

During this time the offer they put in was refused and unable to put in a higher bid they went on with their lives the best they could. About a year later they were approached by the sellers and they made an offer to them for less than they originally offered! They jumped at the chance and started this new adventure! Karri states, though they had no experience in the Hospitality field, no start-up money and a mortgage in Nebraska and Colorado the couple jumped in with both feet and were flying. This change also meant they could now also enjoy their love of gardening and homesteading.

I asked her how she juggles her many passions and she says it’s an ever present challenge. She has many feathers in her cap, one is Doula work but it is very difficult to be off the property for extended times when working with birthing families. Her kids have families of their own so Wayne and Karri are needed full-time at the Inn. They incorporate farming/gardening work as she puts it, “right out our front door.”

Since Inn keeping is a 24/7 job and if they want hobby time they incorporate
hobbies into their job. Since a large population is hungry they wish to share their blessings of a harvest.  Karri has a love of Herbalism that has flowed into all other facets of her life. They are able to plant herbs throughout the property that are used for homemade herbal cleaners, Guests are treated to yummy meals that she prepares.  You can find lovely herbs and other plants around the Gazebo and flower boxes that grace guest rooms. She says that blending that truly is the hand of our Father and they never dreamed it would all flow together as it has. 

They are GREEN! So if you are looking for to stay somewhere that is conscious the land you will find they are Certified Greener Byways Program with the State of Nebraska as well as a Certified Silver Level Green Leader from Trip Advisor.
You will also find some critters here such as; Ducks, Chickens, Bees and family pets!

I am blown away by how joyful and passionate this family is and how the Lord works thru people.  Of course a struggle with running this business for them has been a lack of privacy since it is just her and Wayne running the business 24/7 but they have worked out the issues with this.

Lessons learned from this experience are that “Nothing stays the same and that is a good thing!  We are always growing and being stretched.  We had no idea what we were getting into when we embarked on this adventure and yet due to keeping our vision centered, we are creeping toward a wonderful goal.”

When asked about their thoughts on the greatest success, Karri says, “Our greatest success is that we are able to make a living serving others in a very real and needful way while living the life we always dreamed of and doing it together as a team.”

A favorite motto is, “No compromise, no regrets!” 

She does wish they could have begun this chapter when they were younger. They love and enjoy this way of life. When asked what is exciting about their lives right now she says, “We are moving forward with many foundation projects and that we have a glimmer of an easier time in the future.  Otherwise, just to see what is around the next corner and how it will blossom.”

You will find this couple is grateful for everything is due to the gracious hand of the Lord! The love they share for not only one another but for others selflessly. Whether they are feeding the elderly or shut-ins of the community, you can also find this God loving family educating others about Homesteading, where our food comes from and how it can be used medicinally. They have an ever expanding garden and new greenhouse! They do have 75 or so medicinal plants on the property. SWOON!

When asked plans they had for 2017, she states, “ Specifically, we still have a couple of building projects we hope to complete in 2017 but we have a large building that needs painting and we will have to find time to squeeze that into the other work here. We don't want to look messy and unkempt so it is a challenge to take on something like that which is very visible but able to be complete in a week or even month.  Otherwise, we want to see our gardens pumping out food and those in need sharing with us.”

She offers some great advice for others thinking of starting a Hospitality business. “Start sooner rather than later, expect everything to costs twice as much as you thought and to take you at least twice as long to accomplish.  Don't be shy to jump in and don't get caught in a net of over-paying because that will hold you back from your other goals. There are many little inns like ours still left around the country and many have some decent land with them.  Most are sadly neglected and will need so much more than you think at first look."

"Be sure to do your research, especially local markets to make sure you can be sustainable, there is much stiff competition and you will not have the capital to market yourself as they can. Which brings me to one of our best secrets for inn-keeping or gardening/farming - don't do what everyone else is doing, the same way.  Be real and be unique if you want to succeed. If you like to get out on the town in the evenings or weekends, this will disappoint you very much because you need to be committed to your guests and be there for them as you hope they will be for you.”

For more information on a stay or their wellness business they can be reached at 308-254-4009  

*The photos are copyrighted and the property of Sleep for less Motel and Amazing Grace Wellness, any duplication or sharing are not allowed unless expressed consent given by Karri Waller. Please contact Karri for permission* 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Never a dull moment around here!

 GREAT news! Dad is recovering well from his open heart surgery! Mom will head back to the hospital tomorrow of course. He'll be there for a bit recovering of course. What a relief!

I woke up with a start from a much needed nap this afternoon. There was a sudden noise that I couldn't place. Come to find out the local electric company was taking care of the pole(s) Mr. Awesome asked if we could have! 

I caught them in action digging and planting a pole to be used for a light and perhaps part laundry line. We also got several other poles that are ear marked from something marvelous only from the super imagination from that Man o' mine! 

He working on an outhouse that will also use possibly the compost toilet from the bus for now. I did have ideas of grandeur today but was super tired and kind of just spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch watching Netflix, and I was daydreaming of Spring. Well, I did manage to take a few pictures of the guys with the pole, my seedlings from a few weeks ago that shot up once I replanted them and Mini Mans attempt to save the world from the pesky flies that invaded the house from the warm weather. 

I also chatted with my Daughter (my China Doll) and she is doing wonderful! Short stack is crawling too and up to mischief. I can't wait to see them again soon. They are battling a cold right now so we will wait until they don't have cooties. If you followed my other blog you may recall her battle with Depression (Postpartum) but she is on antidepressants and is feeling "happy" This is wonderful news to my ears. I am super proud of how far she has come. Their ordeal with CPS should be over very soon, which will help with any remaining stress they are feeling. God is so GOOD!

Tomorrow I plan to start more seeds at least that is the game plan today. I'm anxious this week besides my Dads surgery this upcoming Saturday is a BIG DAY for me/us. I'll post about it here and on my other blog (this will be a hint about what it's about!) 

I also will start to work on my ebook, crank out some more Guest post questions as well as ask a few other AMAZING folks if they would like to share their stories of inspiration. I think I'll actually sit down and work on my Vision board too! I'm praying for more energy to get these fun things done. 

I had planned to start listing things again on eBay but I still haven't done it. I'm torn. I like the idea of setting up in the yard or at the Flea market but know a broader audience is needed. I looked at my stock yesterday and fell in love with the many items I have. Sometimes I buy because an item speaks to me so I enjoy it for a bit and then resell or gift it to someone. I had gotten burned a few years back by a buyer that claimed the item was broken and another that said they never received it. Oh and there is the sale that I lost money on because they were from a expensive area to ship in California. 

These lessons learned but that caused me to shy away from selling there. I had an Etsy shop but someone said my items were not handmade and vintage so my shop was shut down by Etsy. I had marked vintage jewelry and literally handmade floral items (I still have pictures of many of the items on my FB) I figured that must have been a competitor? I inquired and complained but that went nowhere. GRRFACE! So what's a Girl to do?

Have you checked out our YouTube channel yet? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Crazy chickens taking a bath in our window!

WHAT?! You heard me! I've noticed the basement window has been filled with dirt granted it appears to need some serious TLC and perhaps regrading along the house. There are some water issues in the basement. Every once in awhile there is seepage after a rain or when the snow melt.

I was hanging out clothes when I saw this chick in action! I did take a video of her and a few other silly hens caught in the act that you can find on our YouTube channel.

It was an amazingly beautiful day that we have been blessed with over the past week or so. We have been taking advantage as much as we can. I put my mulch project on hold for a few days as Mr. Awesome decided to burn along the fence line of our garden before I start wheeling in more. Also the no-till process maybe better with the chickens doing they're thing. Some of the spots where I mulched in has already been fiddled with by the Girls. The plan is to get them in the Chick-saw or in their own run. They will have room to free range but we are going to limit it to certain spots that need to be picked free of bugs or weeds.

We are offering eggs for sale! We have a about 3 dozen available and I will be posting on my FB if you are in the area and would like to buy them. $2.00 a dozen! You heard me right! We want to make them affordable for anyone that would like free range eggs.

We had an unexpected visit from Brian who is Terry's oldest and dearest friend from grade school. I was too tired to sit and visit as much as I would have liked and then this happened...

There was an incident I will mention later so I was down in the basement to get the water rolling for the duck pool when I nearly stepped on this little one! We found a Salamander last year before the winter set in but I had Mini Man set it free. This wee one is a bit smaller then the other he had. Mr. Awesome is talking about putting into a tank. But it's missing a top so he will create a new one. Right now this wee one will stay in the shoe box.

There are holes for breathing. Mini Man already has found some spiders and worms for feeding and I threw in a fly that almost given up the ghost when I found it.

It was an interesting day! I had energy over the past few days to sweep and vacuum. This is a major feat for me! Most days I come home, visit with the family for a 1/2 hour or so shower and sleep for an hour or more.

It felt good to do some housework. Dusting sounds in order depending on how I feel. Though we have this glorious weather, my head has been achy and my joints have been on fire. I did have a bit of perspective yesterday during my Lyme meeting that meets on the 3rd Tuesday on the month at a local library, some of the Women had shared a bit of what symptoms they were facing and mine pale in comparison. I thanked them for sharing as I felt normal compared to what they deal with! Crazy right!?

I learned I can't be an Organ donor but our fearless leader Bonnie advised that John Hopkins or perhaps another group maybe interested in my parts for researching of Lyme. OH! I have no plans on joining the Lord, of course when He calls me home it will be a blessing!

I don't mean to sound macabre there is a high rate of serious health issues with chronically ill patients. There is also a high rate of depression and suicide as dis-ease progresses in many cases symptoms can have many cross over to a breaking point. No, I am not considering this alternative!

I am just trying to share awareness about this difficult and tragic matter. I'll be creating some FB Live vlogs to discuss Lyme and Domestic Violence both subjects are near to my heart. I have mentioned before I share my story to let others learn about and know they are not alone. They are also not crazy! My story is no different then the countless others that are still unknown.

These Ladies at the Lyme group opened up to share how much havoc and damage this dis-ease has caused. The challenges, broken relationships as well as the cost! Many times health insurance does not cover the expense of testing, medications, special equipment and supplements needed.

Now back to our critters! This girl right here...
Rolled in POOP! Mr. Awesome noticed her fur was kind of funky and her collar had what appeared to be mud on it but it wasn't mud. I promise I didn't laugh, when he wrinkled up his nose after realizing what was on his hands. Though I did give him an apologetic EW! He suggested turning the hose on her. I wanted to fill the duck pool anyway and you read the above about finding the Salamander!

I heard from my bestie as she offered prayers for my Dad whom is going for open heart surgery tomorrow. I was hoping to pay them a visit but I haven't been up for a long ride. SAD FACE! I did get to talk to him for a bit until a great shriek and cries came from the living room.

Peanut and Mini Man were being silly when Mini Man met Peanuts elbow/arm in the nose. No blood, no broken bones but plenty of howling. I thought his nose was broken. Peanut was beside herself I assured her all is well. The episode of melancholy was broken by Mr. Buttons walking in and proceeding to lick his private parts... Anything related to butts or private parts are hilarious to a 5-7 year old child. Of course 17 year old girls think it's just too funny too. Especially when I start interjecting voices into the mix!

Today like every other day was a blessed day. Tomorrow I'll share my plant starts from earlier this month. I plan to start some more as well. Did I say come on Spring?

Hope your day is wonderful!

Whatever your journey is I #believeinyou

Check out our YouTube channel Melinda Kunst or follow our family dysfunction, homestead adventures, Lyme Awareness through Instagram and FB as the same name!

Or perhaps you know someone suffering in silence from Domestic Violence please view my blog at www.hopewhentherewasnone.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Goals

WHEW! Been a long time since I've jotted down our Homesteading Goals! Now that we have our "Forever Home" we can do many ideas we have just dreamed about and we are pretty excited. The 1st year here was more of a tidy and hurry kind of time. Mr. Awesome was a flurry of tools and ideas to get the house secured and livable so we could move in last year in April.

We spent many months just bouncing ideas off each other of what we want to see developed over the next year. So we came up with these for this year! Every idea is still in flux and I'm mingling some personal goals for myself as well.

2017 Goals-

1) Mark out the garden and use our entire homestead as a "Food forest". Now this will be a continual developing idea that won't just be for this year but for the years to come. Mr. Awesome thought it would be neat to have a Herb/Kitchen garden as you come up towards the house.

2) Green house that can be dual purpose if we want to have animals in at various seasons.

3) My dream small business Gypsy House that is portable to take to Fleamarkets. Not sure if we will also do a Tiny house as a Vintage market out on our property.

4) Fence in larger garden area- Doing this now!

5) Mulch around where we have existing plantings/trees- Working on this now

6) Chicksaw- portable chicken (feathered birds)

7) Tire Duck pond

8) Small pond in back of property with possible water generating feature? That is still up in the air. We don't have running water so not sure if that part will get completed.

9) Plant more fruit trees/garden yumminess!

10) Order 1 pkg of Bees- DONE! They will be coming in April! Also, order Mason bees

11) Chicken/Animal Run

12) Sheep- Well we are thinking those maybe in the future instead. Cost wise right now it's not doable

13) Order chicks or buy from Animal auction

14) Can more! Last year I didn't do so well. I'm pretty tired when I get home from work and I work 6 days a week. This means on my 1 day off I don't feel like doing ANYTHING!

15) Save more seeds. I saved quite a bit from last year from our garden and a dear Woman on a Homesteading group sent me some to get us started last Spring.

16) Now something more personal- Read 100 books! Or at least as many as I can. I read my Bible every year, I try to do so at least twice a year. I did read about 48+ books last year, not counting books I read to Mini Man.

17) Learn to make Soap

18) Make more of my own Tinctures

19) Take Herbalist course

20) Finally publish my book

21) Write/Publish a few Ebooks

22) Work on getting Affiliate and Ebay things listed

23) Attend Lyme meetings- I am not thrilled about driving in the dark and the meetings last into the evening hours.

24) Continue to work on growing some sort of business that I love and enjoy

25) Get Roof repair done or at least maybe a bandaid

26) Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!

27) Find someone to finally clean and inspect our Furnace

28) Seal around windows

29) Gravel driveway

30) Telephone poles in yard for various projects

31) Finish painting indoors

32) Sleeve and inspect chimneys

33) Make Concrete bird baths

34) Finish lap blanket

35) Fix my Amber necklace. The clasp broke a wee bit ago and I miss wearing it!

36) Make more Sage sticks to sell

37) Dry more herbs and flowers

38) Go to Aquarium, Turkey Run, Museum

39) Visit some folks on my Guest Post list

40) Figure out how to edit my videos

41) Host a webinar

42) Find wild Honey bees

43) Meditate more

44) Have a once a month Date Night

45) Work on sewing projects/Craft projects to sell

46) Spray mildew off house

47) Organize our closet

48) Molding around bedrooms

49) Take out tub in bathroom and replace

50) Move kitchen sink and replace faucet

51) Front entry way remodel

52) Remodel Mini Man's bedroom

53) Seal off hole in attic/shorten handrail

54) Patch hole in ceilings in bedrooms

55) Tear out drywall in Peanut's bedroom/insulate

56) Hang light in Peanut's room

57) Figure out electric issue upstairs and put in ceiling fans

58) Aquaponic system for kitchen herbs

I will add more to the list and again it's these are ideas not set in stone. I'm excited! We saw our 1st Robins in the yard. Come on Spring!

So what are your plans?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Guest post: Someone I think you should know... My Family

Before I go any further in my Guest post series I have to share these amazing people, who at some time in my life stood by me, lifted me when I was down and loves me unconditionally.
These people are my tribe…

My Mom had rough spots throughout her life, especially when she was 17 years old. She became an unwed pregnant Mother. She gave birth to a Girl who decided it she was going to come out with both feet running. Yes, that was me!

She had struggled as a single parent, while juggling some schooling and work. She supported me with the help of her Mother, Father and siblings. She would meet a man when I was about 2 years old that swept her off her feet.

This started a cycle of heartache for my Mother and later abuse. She was finally able to free herself as well as my Sister and I. All the while I don’t believe I ever heard her complain. There were many times I saw her cry silently but she would still shoot us a smile that would make the brightest sun’s rays seem dim. She remains the most important person I admire for her strength and courage.

My now Stepfather came into the picture. We were so used to chaos that a normal life seemed weird. Not any yelling, no one beating her or me. Just normal, this of course was weird for me, especially being uprooted from my friends and moved to a new area, I grew defiant. My Stepfather handled me the best way he knew how. He talked to me. Many moons later he became not just a Stepfather but Dad.

After some rough years, bad choices on my part and later my own abuse story unfolding my family watched from a far, helpless and discouraged. My family down the road would become an amazing team helping with my now ex-husband. Call me Master: My story of escaping my abuser

They showed me love that was greater than I ever could imagine besides the Lord’s love for me. 

Now my younger Sisters Amanda and Ashley are powerhouses all their own! They are feisty and courageous from their personal inspiring stories of things they have been through. I have gotten permission to share more about that in future posts!

This tribe grew more in strength as my extended family, including Amanda's Husband, Kevin whom filled in as a male figure when my kids needed that support. Many others in my family graciously (My Cousin, Debbie) offered help however needed during a very turbulent time of leaving. 

Not too soon after Terry (a.k.a. Mr. Awesome) came into the picture filling me with confidence, love and for the first time in a long time safety!
He filled a spot in my life that I was sure was devoid ever letting myself love again not only this I felt broken after years of conditioning. And,  I certainly hadn’t thought to find someone so soon after leaving my abuser. Terry has been my backbone when I couldn’t find mine. He stuck around even after I warned him of my baggage (Later I coined my Springer Saga).

My Girls, Jessica and Alex are wondrous to me. After all they went through I am not surprised at what a bumpy road they are having. They have battles of their own from depression, suicide to PTSD, Postpartum (My oldest Daughter, Jessica) and more. Yet there is a fire that keeps them going.

I do know a lot is impart to the strong tribe they have around them that hasn’t given up on us.

You may be thinking, "Big deal you have family to support you, so?!"

After talking with many people I have discovered my supportive family is not common anymore. Some are on the outs with members of their family for various reasons and they don’t have this magic I have been blessed with. 

Without this tribe I don't know where I would be right now, thank you! I love you!