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So what's going on now. I just got back from a monk challenge and the bottom dropped out of that. I did however learn that if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while. This summer, I had/have been looking for jobs in data analysis, and relearning some programming, and thinking about getting back into biology. I applied and interviewed for a job recently as a data analyst for a nonprofit that does clinical trial research... but didn't get it. That got me down a little bit, and I started thinking about things. 1) The main reason I want(ed) to switch back to this type of work is the money. Really. That's it. Granted I like the work of programming and analysis, and there's some value in the biological research (if it went that way) but I'd do (almost) anything else in a heartbeat. 2) Why do I want more money? Simply to pay down/off my debts and buy a home. And to make ends meet where I live. 3) If I do buy a home, no matter where it is I'd be doing the homestead thing, urban or rural. Then earlier this week I found out about USDA rural home loans. This might start sounding like an ad. They are no money down, they give them to people with bad to mediocre credit, and they are insured by the government (this, I believe, negates the need to purchase mortgage insurance. The only catch is you can't use them for city properties... though many single family homes (even within city limits) qualify... in case you're interested. Those of you who have been following the Brogo saga for a while might remember a few years ago I had this idea of starting a farm/homestead kind of thing. I was raised out in the country. I like being outdoors. I like gardening. I like building things with my hands. I'd like to get a piece of land (5-10 acres) and just live off of it as much as possible (gardening, hunting/fishing, farming etc), take care of it, and do it all off the grid with as few external inputs and leave as small a footprint as possible. Basically, having some land will give me resources to take control of my environment and rebuild my life. Right now, the way I live is the exact opposite. I'm in the city, surrounded by man made noise, and I'm completely dependent on my ability to make money to buy stuff or services. And I'm flushing my money down the toilet with each months rent. I'm lazing around staring at screens. Blah, yadda, etc. These USDA loans might make it possible to change all this. Here's how: A little ways south of here (Indy) are some really pretty farm and country lands. I've been looking and I can find 5-10 acre properties that are cheap... mostly wooded lots etc. I can get a mortgage for one and since I'm willing to rough it for a while and build, I can live on it either in a tiny house, or possibly a yurt (google it)... for a start at least. I'd either expand or just save up and plan out building a more permanent structure. The mortgage would probably be less than the rent I'm paying now. With no utilities comes no bills. If I can grow my own food I save on groceries (one of my biggest monthly expenses). So the move should cut down on my living costs. Anyway. I need to get to sleep. My challenge will be focused figuring this out, and researching and preparing myself for a home brosteading lifestyle. Goals: Work Exercise Cooking Camping Finance/Research