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Archive for April, 2015

Finally!  Things are beginning to grow around here.  Very exciting.  And we are starting to get some work done.  Here are some pictures of the first life of spring.

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These fiddleheads are poking up everywhere

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Some of the flower bulbs along the road

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Chives

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Daffodils

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More of these beautiful plants, not sure if they are the edible ones yet though

 

 

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We have decided that in order to get the house built quickly on our very sloped land that we need to buy a machine.  We want to use it to level land, drag felled trees, dig some trenches, and move snow this winter.  Any info or advice?

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Dear Journal,

It has been a rough year for us.  We jumped in to an adventure unprepared and suffered the consequences of our actions and more.  Money got really tight and we ended up living in an apartment, not on our property, and it has been crummy on many levels.  This did not do wonders for my anxiety.  I have done all I could do to see the best in this situation and take advantage of the extra time on the grid.  We have gathered so much information off the internet that we don’t know what to do with it all.  I have been able to learn many new ways to help control my anxiety.  I had an easy first winter being that I live quite close to my job.  I don’t want to go in to the annoyances because I like to think we are mostly past them.  Six weeks to go until we are back out on the land.

Six weeks until we need to have everything ready to live off grid out in the woods.  Six weeks to set our plan into action.  Six weeks until we get to spend the majority of our time out in nature.  Six weeks until I’m walking distance from my beautiful stream.  Six weeks until we dive back in to our adventure: take two.  I couldn’t be more excited than I am right now.  I am trying my best to stay focused on all the tasks we need to accomplish so that we can fully succeed this time, but it is so hard to do.  I have so many hopes and dreams for this new life and I want to accomplish so many of them right now.

It is so hard to decide what is really the most important goals to accomplish this year.  I want to do everything, as usual.  Reality is starting to sink in, as I knew it would.  Having a house built has always been highest on the goal list for numerous reasons, but I keep thinking that I can start a brand new garden this year as well.  I got the beds started, but I can’t possibly get all the garden work done and still have a house completed before winter.  Reality has caused me to put aside my high hopes for a gorgeous garden and be alright with it too.  I will plant what I can when I can plant it and that will be it.  If that means I throw in the tomato plants I have started and then maybe a couple of seeds here and there, then that’s what I will do.  And that is alright.  You can’t have the perfect homestead the first year.  Or ever most likely.  There will always be more to do than we can do.  I do my best to accept that all the time.  And I am trying to accept that it is a possibility that we won’t be able to finish the house this year and that we might have to rent again over the winter.

All I really want is to get this house completed.  I don’t want to rent ever again for the rest of my life.  I didn’t like renting before, and now that we have lived here for a winter, it has increased my dislike for renting beyond belief.  But I have to be reasonable.  I have to take a step back and realize that we have to take our time and do this right.  The place we are going to be living with our children has to be built safe and strong and warm.  It can’t be something thrown together in a rush.  I know all these things and I think I can even get to the point where I am good with this whole situation and the possible outcomes.  I even think that I can curb my enthusiasm enough so that I don’t drive everyone crazy.  I think that will be the hardest part for me.

I think it will be very difficult for me to keep my high energy in check.  Much of the building process will be me playing with the kids and standing back while the man gets the building part done.  Keep the kids entertained and fed while I have to wait and see how the house comes along.  I am very excited to have all of this times with my kids, especially since I am the one who works while the man is with the kids.  It will be a great opportunity for me to do numerous outdoor projects with the kids and watch them turn into muddy messes everyday.  And then getting to clean them up.  Once the heavy lifting is done and the building site is safe for kids, we will all get to help with the build.

It will be a great experience for the kids that they will get to help build their own house.  Since time is tight, they may not be able to help a whole lot, but they will get to help.  Using natural plaster on the house will make it perfectly safe for the kids to get in to it and get messy.  Years from now they can look at pictures of themselves helping build and be proud that they did their part.  They are likely too young to remember the actual experience, but they will know what they were able to do.  They will always know that it is possible to build your own house.  That makes it worth everything.

This whole experience will be a very interesting one for us.  I’m not really sure what to expect, but eventually, it will be what we want it to be.  All of the hard work, physical and emotional, will be worth it.  Will will live in a place sculpted by our own hands and this will be all around us.  Our children will see firsthand what a family can accomplish with hard work.  They have no idea of any of the hardships that we have gone through, and even if they did know, they would forget and see all the beauty around them.  Or they will hate us for being the weird family in town that lives in a funny house without a toilet that flushes.  Oh well.  As always, we can only work for the best and hope things don’t go to far from that.

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DSC_0070A clearing beginning to emerge.  All done by hand with an axe.  The chain saw comes out next trip.

DSC_0039“Mommy, I don’t like your frog.”  The little girl did like it.  Even touched it a couple times.

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If I give the kids water to play in, it entertains them quite well.  Then I thought it was a good idea to dig up some dirt and we made some mud.  Then the little guy threw a handful at Daddy and this is the end result.  The little girl ran and hid in the corner saying, “That’s enough!”

I actually got quite a bit of spring cleaning done while all this was going on.  Cleaned out the play area.  Picked up any garbage that had blown around over the winter.  Hung the bird houses and set up the bird bath.  Not a bad day’s work.

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Not a whole lot to share today.  We picked out a spot to build the house.  The three left-most arrows point to the markers for the corners of the tiny house.  The fourth green arrow is either the fourth corner or one of the corners for the canvas cabin.  The idea is to set the canvas cabin up behind where the house will be, not too far away, so that we can use it for extra space once the house is up.  We can use it through the winter when it is really cold and windy outside for the kids to run around and burn off some energy.  As you can sort of see in the picture, we have some clearing and landscaping to do before we can start building.  The clearing will start tomorrow.  Hopefully it goes smoothly.

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It hit about 66 degrees today out on the homestead, which does help the snow melt.  However, there was still quite a bit out there covering the areas that we need to work on.  We were able to do a couple things though.  Most importantly, we got outside and got to hang out on the land for a few hours.

One of the things we need to do is know where the water flows through.  Since the snow melts where the water is running, this was actually a perfect time to go out with the GPS and map out a couple of the tiny streams we have flowing over the land.

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I got the kid’s bird feeders hung, they love to watch them flying around.  Eventually the feeders will be replaced with berry bushes that the birds like and a butterfly garden.  But these will work for now.  I also walked out to see how the hugel beds were doing.  Most of them have flattened out quite a bit.  Hopefully they are nicely decomposing underneath.

DSC_0006 DSC_0010We are due for a few days of rain and the temperatures are supposed to stay warm.  Hopefully enough of the snow will melt so that I can finish off the beds the next time I have a couple days off.  I mostly just need to cover them over with topsoil.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and this will be an easy job, not loaded with rocks and roots.  But I doubt it.

The snow has not melted on the site of the future tiny house.

DSC_0014The uncut fire wood is beginning to emerge from under the melting snow.  The goal was to cut this all up before the snow fell, but that was only a plan.

DSC_0016Finally, as hundreds of lost toys also begin to emerge from underneath the snow, we play in the muddy water.

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