Don't start diggin', I ain't dead yet!

I'm overwhelmed by all the responses I've received since I sent that note out yesterday! I'm tapping this out on my Treo at 5am, since Noodles (our 2yr old dog) woke me up to get taken outside and now I'm fully awake. this way at least I can still stay in bed without waking Kelly.

This blog exists to share what Kelly and I are thinking and what we're going through. I want to write without censoring myself.

so here goes.

I'm really happy that most everyone sent good wishes. I didn't send it out to recruit a fan base or clientele...i just wanted to tell everyone where we're going so nobody says "what the hell happened to JoAnna & Kelly?" 6 months from now. I am a little disappointed that there were a few people who said things like "the market is terrible out there" and "boy, you're in for a big culture shock" and "farming is really hard work" and "TENNESSEE? you must be insane!"

Frankly, that sucks. I know that the people who say that kind of stuff are probably trying to warn us from imminent failure, or perhaps they're just more comfortable imagining worst-case scenarios. But if you have baggage, carry it yourself, i'm not interested.

truly... we're NOT trying to establish an empire to defeat DeKalb corn, Farmer John's pork, Foster Farms chicken, Knudsen's dairy and Melissa's produce, and then combine it with a Bed & Breakfast encompassing the grandeur and luxury of the Waldorf Astoria. It would be kinda neat to get a little write up in the local papers, but it's not important to me that we be on the covers of time, good housekeeping & entrepreneur magazines. I have always had a "No Oprah" clause in my business plans.

We ARE looking for an adventure. We DO want to grow our own food.

...And yes, dammit, we do want to live in a world where values are different, where you know your neighbors, and where deadlines are set by nature... like when to go milk the goat, when a crop needs to be harvested, and how quickly you must put up all your canning before your produce spoils.


Today I learned: When you go to the hardware store in the afternoon, you get a LOT of attention from the otherwise zombie-esque staff.

The Big Announcement

The announcement letter went out today. Kelly and I sent them pretty much simultaneously. I tried to make this as short as possible...

Hi, this is JoAnna, and I have some exciting news I’d like to share with you: My husband, Kelly, and I are moving to Tennessee at the end of September.

We’ve wanted to get out of L.A. for a while now, and finally the timing is right for us to take a chance and make a move. We're planning on relocating to somewhere just south of Nashville, where we intend to buy some land, build a home, establish a farm, and start a bed & breakfast. Actually, we’re shooting for a “bed & bistro” setting, but that part of the plan is at least 12-18 months away. Once we drive from Los Angeles to Nashville, we'll find a temporary residence, until we find the spot we like.

We're calling the farm Mockingbird Acres. Think of it as "Green Acres" in the 21st century ...can’t you just see me feeding the chickens wearing a cocktail gown & pearls? The website, http://mockingbirdacres.com/ is still in development, but it’s a pretty good outline of what we’re planning.

If you'd like to see what we're up to, we’ve set up a blog: http://mockingbirdacres.blogspot.com We'll post photos & write stories about planting, harvesting, raising animals and of course, how Render and Noodles adapt!

We’ll both be keeping our L.A. contact info, as listed below. If you’d like to update your info with us, just reply with your preferred contact info.

If you have any ideas for the farm/cottages/restaurant, or if there’s anyone in Tennessee that you think we should meet, we’d love to hear from you.
We’d love to hear from you ANYWAY but I just wanted to open the door for suggestions. We'd also love to have you come visit us, as soon as the cottages are built!

Hope to see y'all soon!

JoAnna

(Contact Info Omitted for Blog Post)

The new reality starts today.

The wheels are set in motion, and today it's official: Today's the day Kelly gave his notice at work!

I've been doing things in tiny little steps, and I've had to keep my mouth shut for the most part, but the cat is out of the bag, so they say, and stuff's happening!

The note i'm sending to everyone in my address book is written, now i'm just waiting for the right moment to send it. It's killing me!

Today I learned: Black widow spiders are tenacious little beasties, I must have killed 20 of them emptying out the planters on the back porch.

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