I'm Shirley Irreelles, 26, first-time homesteader extraordinaire! This is the story of my big move to the country, and all the crazy adventures that have followed.


Blog Update: 


One thing I’m really interested in is reclamation. I know it sounds super trendy and hipster these days to have re-used, recycled, and repurposed stuff. But I think it’s actually a pretty old fashioned idea.

Growing up in the Great Depression, my grandparents couldn’t afford to just buy a new thing whenever something broke or fell apart. They had to problem solve, and make things work.

With that in mind, I’ve been saving up old pairs of jeans. They sure don’t make them like they used to. I remember my Mom having a few of the same pairs of jeans since she was in college. That’s so not the case for me. However, most of the actual denim on mine is fine. That’s where they’re really falling apart…at the seams! ahaha

So, I’ve been saving up all my old denim, getting ready for my first big project. To get some practice, I resewed one favorite pair–just by turning them inside out and following the seams. For the other pairs that have blown out crotches and such, I’ve decided to make a denim tote bag for shopping and walking into town. I think I have most of it figured out so far:
-a double-layer strap, gonna use the legs for that
-For the tapered bag part, I’m thinking of using the seats of old jeans. Maybe matching pockets? Then I could have other stuff on the outside, like pen pockets or a key slot. My other theory is to use a lot of legs, pleated together, to give it some texture. But I think that might look to busy.

Breaking news:

So I'm done fixing up the jeans. But my old sewing machine conked out. So, I’m in the market for a new one. Any advice? I’ve been looking at a few on this website. You can click here to see the same ones I’ve been looking at. Let me know what you think! Thanks, guys!


About me:

Hi readers! I’m Shirley Irrelles, your host for this sojourn you’ve joined me on! Welcome to my new blog! I started it to chronicle my attempts to escape the clutches of modern suburbia, and reclaim my rural roots!

I’ve just moved from Columbus, OH to the tiny town of Dayville, OH, which is located just North of East Bumfuck. It’s a small farming community near where my grandparents lived. I’ve decided to drop everything, move out here, and see what I’ve been missing.

Now, I should start by saying that I have no clue what I’m doing with this whole homesteading things. But ever since Grampy died, I’ve been going through old photos and news clippings, looking at all the old farmland, the crops, the food and the gatherings. It really makes me feel a yearning inside. How long will it last once I’ve started digging in the dirt every day? we’ll see.

I got out of college and found myself working at a bank in Columbus. Like many college grads, I guess, I didn’t really get the chance to make a smooth jump into my dream job (running a non-profit). So, I’ve been a teller, a supervisior, and eventually a manager, and I made fairly good money in the process. But it’s so unfulfilling. So, like a million other mopey idealists, I’ve come to remake myself out in rural America.

My plan is to learn how to do all the things my Grampy didn’t have the chance to teach me. I made a list of my goals:

-I want to grow my own food
-I want to be completely responsible for my own finances
-I want to cut out waste, and learn how to live under, not over, my means
-I want to be able to fix anything I own
-I want to be able to cook a decent meal without Youtube tutorials
-I want to feel like I’m here for a reason
-I want to do things that are tangible
-I want to leave something behind that’s not plastic bottles floating in the sea

Here goes nothing!

Contact Me

I want this blog to me more of a community than my personal space. I want to hear from other homesteaders, to share advice and opinions. If you want to get in touch with me, just use this form!