My Story

Born in Detroit, MI, raised in West Virginia, now living in Florida trying to keep my family safe from the economy, corporate America, and hurricanes.

I moved from the Detroit suburb of Melvindale to a small town in West Virginia while in the 3rd grade over Christmas break. Nothing in my life has made such a deep impression on me as this.  Exposed to the friendly, caring people that move at a slower pace, I learned to care about others as well as care for myself, no matter the situation. I also learned that sometimes caring for myself meant asking for help, as much as it pained me.

Not only did my family look after me, so did the Wass family, the Cottrills, and then, as now, the Goffs. Their kindness and generosity still plays a role in my relationships, both personal and in my business.

After high school, I ended up joining the U.S. Air Force as a computer operator, working first at HQ SAC at Offutt AFB then at RAF Chicksands in the United Kingdom.

After getting out of the Air Force, I worked as a laborer, service write at a Ford dealership, photo lab rat, studio photographer, locksmith, PC repairman, IT security admin, mortgage broker, carpenter,  and now diver in the pool industry and IT consultant.

Relocating to Florida was due to a taste for fresh orange juice from my mother’s back yard, and my love of fishing. Work was also more available, so I ended up staying far longer than I ever expected.

I now work on turning my 3/2 house on a 1/4 acre lot into a homestead, while always dreaming of ways to get back to West Virginia for good.


  1. “Want” and “will” are two different things. I’ve resigned myself to having to deal with living in Florida. Other than a road trip here and there, I’m staying…the fishing is pretty good at least :)

  2. We’re from Arkansas and wish I could get out of FL and get back there to but were pretty much stuck here too. :( Everyone thinks living here is like being on vacation 24/7. Not so much! It’s over priced and the people (most) are harsh.

    1. I’m from a small town, we knew everyone. Here there is almost no sense of community, it frustrates me. It’s taken me years to develop relationships with my neighbors, everyone seems to be afraid to talk to “strangers”. I figure we live across the street from each other, we may as well get to know one another, right?

      1. You got it. My neighbors are the same way. Florida is full of people from up North and that is the way it is there. Everyone keeps to themselves and everyone “for themselves”.

        Hey, found your page on FB. Keep up the blog. I had one and keep telling my self I need to get back into blogging. Maybe soon. God bless.

    2. Had to laugh when I read about those of you who want out of Florida. Please don’t take this wrong, cause one of my favorite places on earth is in Florida (not telling where, it is crowded enough). Floridia is just not a southern state, it is filled with people from the northeast or as we call ’em in the South, “Yankees”. Good people, but they don’t get us Southerners. Our sense of place, humor, and family is so different. I know this because I almost married a man from New York……but I couldn’t over look the different culture. So you better start saving to get back to W. Virginia or Ark.

      1. I never liked having to drive north to get into the South…

        And the interior of Florida is plenty southern, and full of good folks…..its the coastal areas that are loaded with Yankees.

        And those aren’t the reasons I want to move back to WV. I grew up doing things that are unavailable to do here. So I’ve come to grips with this, and have been learning about things to do here that are unavailable to do back in WV.

        It all works out.

        1. I love the way you remember your early years filled with people who care about each other. I miss a small town in TN for that very reason. Although, northwest FL is much like that still. We are surrounded by good country people who are always willing to jump in and help out with the garden, building a shed, pulling your truck out of a ditch, running you to town or whatever other need arises. If I have to be stuck in FL, this is the best part of it to be stuck in. :-)

          1. I think part of the difference here, at least compared to where I grew up, is the variety of economic backgrounds in my area. Within two miles of where I live, there are 30 year old single wide trailers (not that there is anything wrong with living on one of them) and multi-million dollar homes with a 5-figure square footage. And they all have to share stores, schools, roads, etc. The cross section of what is available to each segment’s lifestyle is too much to cross the social divisions.

            Where I grew up, we were mostly just all poor, so the only thing we had was the willingness to share everything, good times and bad.

            I am happy to say that I’d not trade any of my current neighbors – I am emotionally invested in their lives now, and would help them in any way I can.

            Must be the Hillbilly upbringing I had, eh?

            Thanks for the kind words!

          2. I couldn’t agree more, Jacqueline! I grew up in rural northern Alabama, but moved to the big city for college and “finding myself”. I didn’t know a single neighbor. I eventually married and we bought a farm in TN…loved it. Neighbors helping neighbors! Back in ’99, we moved to northwest FL where my husband is from – I was terrified, then pleasantly surprised. I’ve found more of a sense of community here than anywhere I’ve ever lived! Of course, we are out in the middle of nowhere, so everyone knows everyone – that helps!

        2. Someone posted a comment to this old post that we talked about. We moved to TN 3 weeks ago!!! I’m in HEAVEN ON EARTH. The people are fantastic! The day we got here, my neighbor brought us pulled pork, buns, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chocolate chip cookies, a carrot cake, AND a gallon of tea. It’s so nice to be back in the South! Wish ya’ll were here. :)

  3. quail feeder suggestion:
    On thin 4 or 5 in pvc pipe, drill small holes (quarter size) 2 in. apart on pvc (cut) the length of your cage, on opposite side cut out section length of pipe to attatch a hinge (or more if long) and handle. making sure to leave enough bottom section to hold feed. Attatch pvc to outside of pen, lift handle and add feed. birds put their heads inside to eat and holes are spaced out far enough that they cannot sling your $$$ onto the ground and food stays clean and dry. Also makes it harder for raccoons to get a treat. Those are crafty but cute little devils.

    1. A similar design to what I ended up using. Mine consists of a 2 inch piece of PVC with a strip cut out of it lengthwise, and caps on the end, resulting in a “deep” trough, hanging on the outside of the cage. Feed is supplied by two 2-liter bottles inverted, held in place by a ring of 4 inch PVC with a slice in it, a giant “C”-type clamp threaded through the wire of the cage. The birds stick their heads out hte cage, into the trough, and are very limited on what they can waste.

      Thanks for your idea…might have to upgrade my setup…

  4. How does Legacy food compare taste wise to Mountain House? I haven’t been able to find a review comparing the two. Thanks. Harry

    1. I have no idea. I only buy the dehydrated ice cream for my kids once in a blue moon. We tend to put up our own long term foods, either dehydrating or canning them.

  5. I am so glad to have found your site . You and all the other commenters sound like home . I am a Floridian , born in Miami 80 years ago when Miami was a nice town . Grew up in Hallandale on a dirt road that has been a 6 lane highway for many years . Everyone knew everyone and we kids had better be good or our parents would know quickly . Wonderful place and time to grow up . TV had not been invented yet so we used our imaginations . That is a wonderful thing that has disappeared .

    We took our trash to an area designated for that by the ‘city’ and while there we kids discovered Everglades tomatoes . We would gather bunches and bunches of them and ate them like candy . Never thought I would ever see them again . I will request an address to send an envelope to you . Thank you for sharing those tasty little gems with everyone .

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