Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Looking forward, looking back

What a gorgeous week of perfect fall weather. I am just enjoying every minute of it! and I am enjoying it even more this year than last year. :)
  Last year at this time we were still in the throes of moving in to our cabin and adjusting to "pioneer life".
Ed and I jokingly told each other in those first days, " Now we know what freedom is, it tastes a lot like dirt." :)   In spite of many of the physical difficulties we were facing, it was seriously such a relief, once the move was over and we were out of a rental and on our own land. It took a few weeks for it to sink in that we could put down roots and do whatever we wanted 'cause it was ours.
 I  do have to confess to a bit of apprehension going into this venture about how the kids were going to adjust and how was I going to keep them clean and healthy and safe and warm. But they have thrived. Truly. As anxious as I was to be out in the country, and knowing that they would be better for it, I was still amazed to find that in the space of a few weeks they were gaining muscle and weight and their appetites were huge and they were looking less pale and more rosy. Not that my kids have been sickly…quite the opposite. But like all moms, I would worry. The LORD has provided since day one, above and beyond what we expected.

 - our cabin was a lot more primitive
 - I was cooking on a 2-burner propane camp stove,
 - we were pumping our water by hand from our well and carrying it to a barrel to treat with bleach      before running it through our Berkey water filter
 - we were dealing with lots of dirt and mud
 - I was either washing clothes by hand or hauling them into town to the laundromat
 - we were hauling every last thing we brought from town 100 yards over a log "bridge"(which is a fancy name for it) and through mud and water to get it to the cabin
 - we were figuring out how to adjust our expectations to a slower lifestyle
 - we were doing dip baths out of an old toy tub in front of a heater on the porch
 - did I mention, dealing with lots of dirt?
 - and yet with all of that enjoying our first taste of freedom. :)

And now? Well, now we are a lot more settled and stable. Still rustic in many ways, but so much stronger for our experiences and confident of the Lord's care and direction even when we might not know exactly what the next thing is. My faith has grown and my confidence has grown.  It feels strange saying this, but I feel as though the Lord has allowed me to experience so many new things and see just what I am capable of, with His help, in areas I have never been tested in before.  I learned how to use power tools in helping frame and build our cabin. We have felled trees and cleared brush and timber. We've learned to improvise and be innovative.  And lest I sound like I'm bragging, I in no way think I or we could have done any of this in our own strength. It's all the Lord's doing.  And I'm also not saying it was easy. Or that there weren't days when I struggled and wished for the easy way out. 'Cause there have been those days too. But living outside so much more has not only improved my mental outlook but also my physical strength. There are constant reminders of our God's awesome power and creation in nature. It's harder to be depressed when a fall sunset or a starlit sky are just beyond our fingertips.
 So here we are. We just celebrated one year on our homestead and we are looking forward to what the next year has to offer.
  I'll try to include a few pictures over the next little while to show you where we are today and also give a peek at where we are headed. In the meantime, we are trying to just live each day as the Lord gives it to us. Uneventfully and simply and hopefully making the best use of our time and resources.

PS. The song "Home" by Phillip Phillips became a favorite when we first heard it right after moving. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Time

I think 2 years is a pretty good blog furlough, don't you?
 It's been so long I couldn't even remember my login and password and it spent way too much of my very limited "air time" trying to work out those little kinks.  I have been hoping to get back to blogging for about a year now, but it really became imperative when I realized this past week just how rusty my social/communication skills are becoming. I mean really. I spend 90% of my time talking with my kids:
  it's mostly one-sided and not usually intellectually challenging( if you don't count how many times I answer the same question the exact same way before I lose it. :\ ) We don't have internet right now (although hopefully soon) and so that eliminates any online communication or outside input.  Add to that, we live on a little homestead in the woods with chickens, a cat, and a dog and the conversational options really get narrow. I talk Ed's ears off when he is home, and I feel as though our friends at church  are thinking they never get a word in when we talk. Of course this is always in retrospect, because somehow I can't seem to remember quite how to negotiate conversations in the moment. And I have plenty of time after the fact to analyze what I said, and what they said, and how I sounded to myself and then what must they be thinking…..
 so, yeah.
It's definitely time. Time to start blogging. Time to re-enter the world where social graces come naturally and I don't come across …however it is that I come across.

 I'm not going to try to fit 2 years worth of living into one little blog post but the biggest life changes are the fact that we sold half our stuff, built a cabin in the woods and became homesteaders….and have been there about a year now. I'm just beginning to feel my feet under me again in one sense. Or least able to keep my feet and my balance in the new rhythm of life, and begin to be able to think of other things and notice that there is a world out there again.
  If there are any of you left to read this after 2 years, Thank you for hanging in there!!!! maybe it will be entertaining and maybe you will think I'm nuts! but whatever the case, I need to do this for me. So that I can practice "talking".  And for you, so that we can have a conversation where I don't stick my foot in my mouth. ;)
  See ya around, and have a blessed week!