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Save our Home Stead and Farm

$855 of $37,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
Created February 1, 2019

After a moderate traumatic brain injury in 2006, our lives changed forever.  Unable to continue in my career as author / small business owner, I took to homesteading.  Gradually we got the hang of it, started to specialize in hot and super hot peppers.  Right when I thought things were coming together, my feet started falling apart.

Thus far, I have lost both big toes and the second toe on the left foot in three separate operations.  Four additional operations removed much of the bone behind those toes and down into the foot.  I have been septic more times than I remember and in full blown septic shock 3 times.  All in the past three or so years.  All along, i kept pushing forward, expanding our homestead, and providing the best product and service that I could.  That might be coming to an end in 2019.

2018 was a horrific season.  It seemed the more I worked, the more time I spent in the hospital.  We fell behind on our home equity loan and taxes.  At one point, I was back in the field working the day after returning from an amputation.  At another point, a bone broke threw the amputation site requiring more surgery.  The medical expenses have been horrible.  The pain has been intolerable, but all along i have kept working the farm.  Today, I was cleaning my foot and a section of bone literally fell out of the wound.  Sounds like a story doesn't it?  It has become very clear that we will not be looking forward to a good harvest this year.  It has become very clear I cant do this on my own.

Citizen's Union Bank doesn't much care that I have literally worked my feet off trying to stay ahead of the mortgage.  In fact, they refused to talk to me about refinancing the lien on our homestead.  Without so much as a breach letter, they had the local deputies serve me with foreclosure paperwork early one morning.  I was still on IV antibiotics, bed ridden, and under the supervision of home care nursing when I was served.  The result of the most previous surgery.  They demanded $30,000.00 to stop the foreclosure.  Now they have added over $7,000.00 in legal fees.

Do I believe I can raise $37,000.00 via this GoFundMe effort?  Not really.  We are common folk and like attracts like.  Most of our friends and family are common folk to.  But I have to try.  If Citizen's Union Bank does auction off our homestead, any money raised will be used for medical expenses and to help us restart elsewhere.

 

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Weekend Two at the Kentucky Renaissance Festival was not great due to heavy rain. But one really good thing did come out of it. A good laugh. Someone i have known for much time as a fair friend saw me in my wheel chair, shoes and socks off because they restrict circulation. She could see that even the left foot which is healed is only about 2/3 there.
She asked what happened. I said it is a chronic thing, been going on for years. Didn't you ever wonder why I limp during fair? She replied: I just thought you drank so you could put up with patrons. Oh wow I laughed.
Maybe the rain was overly depressing, but sitting there unable to do a thing other than gimp to the privy, I have started to doubt my current plans are going to work well. Now trying to figure out a way to support my family without either farming or crafting. Not giving up on either, but really having doubts about ever being back on my feet in any significant way.
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Saturday June 12 at the Kentucky Renaissance Festival
Can't donate? Maybe you can support us by considering the knives and other crafts I create for the Kentucky Renaissance Festival. New knives will be out every weekend but the next big weekend will be Saturday June 12th.
I hate doing this charity page. I do not like begging. I want to work for a living. In fact, although wildly challenged since 2006, I made it till 2019 before I ran into this foreclosure and bankruptcy problem. I have worked my fields, I have worked in my shop, I have created and sold more knives than i can count. This year, for obvious reasons, I am not producing as much as I once did. However, even begging for help here on GoFundMe, I am still producing.
Opening weekend at the Kentucky Highlander Renaissance Festival about wiped me out of all the new style of knives. Knives like the one in the photo which integrate wood and resin into the pommel and hilt. For obvious reasons, we are low on money. That means we were low on supplies. So Monday, with funds from the first weekend we ordered new supplies. Unfortunately, they wont be here in time to have much new stuff done for weekend two. We still have antler and wood hilted knives from first weekend. The small ones start as low as $35.00. But if you have alreayd seen those, then check us out on the third weekend.
I have the blades and wood parts done. Just waiting on the resin. Now for the fun part. Aimee picked out the coolest opalescent dye colors and i am getting tiny little tea roses ready. These are going to look great.
Think about it this way. As sick as i have been, who knows these things could be worth a fortune sooner than you think.
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Weekend 1 Update - We just got home from weekend 1 of 7 weekends at the Kentucky Highlander Renaissance Festival. Sales were fair. Without electricity up front, I had to go to the back every three hours or so to recharge my wound vacuum. Great excuse for a nap as i am still not able to go the day without some shut eye.
At one point, Ashley (friend of family) decided I needed to take a tour of the fair. I had wanted to see the new glass worker, but she insisted on seeing almost all of the fair. So she pushed me around all the best spots. Let me tell you, the crushed gravel the Kentucky Renaissance Festival uses is a lot more wheel chair friendly than most festivals. Now the up hills caused my Ashley Engine to breathe heavy and the down hills caused me to fear for my life, but it was good to bet out and about.
Anne (photo left) visited us on Sunday. In the photo, I am sitting in my wheel chair and she is sitting on the seat of her walker. She broke here spine earlier this year and is awaiting surgery. While I would never wish such a thing on anyone, it was comforting to realize someone understands the connection between our health and our income.

Thank you Anne. I no longer feel nearly as alone in this. Thank you Ashley for getting me out and about. Thank you everyone for making me feel so very welcome.
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Have i given up? I have been fighting this for about three years. Each year farming and even expanding our grow. If you haven't seen what we do here on our farm, please visit: http://PeppersByMail.com. This year, I am not making the effort other than to grow that which I have promised to members of a pepper CSA.
Most friends think this is a good thing. For years i have been saying i have to do this or i wont be able to pay the mortgage. So i pushed on. One amputation, i was back in the field the day after coming home from the surgery.
A few others have become worried. I admit I too worry that once you put up a piece of equipment for a year or so, it gets rusty. Sometimes it doesnt start up again. Truth be told, i do not know if we will be able to start up again. I do not even know if we will have the land to do so. But obviously, it wasnt a hard choice this season.
Yes, it makes it very unlikely we will get out of this financial mess. But looking at the picture, you can see it is not much of a choice. The full photo would not display properly on GoFundMe.
Looking at it, you are seeing the bottom of my right foot, about half gone, no bone behind where the flesh is removed. I can make it maybe 10 feet at a time, mainly just to the bathroom. So please understand, I have not given up. I hope to be back. But time will tell what my come back will be.
For now, it is crafting while sitting on my butt and hoping folk like what i make. Want to decide for your self? Visit us at the Kentucky Renaissance Festival and see what i have been making while under couch arrest. http://kyrenfair.com
Please, if you cant donate a few bucks to help us out, please do remember us with your prayers and well wishes. $37,000.00 to save our farm is a lot to ask, so every bit helps. If we fall short, it will help with medical bills and even things like food now that I am essentially out work.
If someone would just give us a damn mortgage, I know we could stay on top of it next season when hopefully I can walk again. No clue why the current bank wont.
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$855 of $37,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 5 months
Created February 1, 2019
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