Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today 12/13/17

14 degrees this morning at 8:00. A big jump from yesterday’s 11. All is well here at the Rollin’ Rock. Peace has been bestowed upon the land once again as Mother Nature has blanketed my wonderland with clean crisp snow. The riflemen have all left the area taking their gains, or not, but also taking their noise and traffic. I’m not sorry to see them go. Many will not be back for another year. Some, once or twice throughout the summer. Other than that, this land is left to my enjoyment.

As politics and scandal fill the airwaves I’m thankful I can just tune it all out. My opinions don’t matter to the masses anyway, so I’ll let the media hash this one out. I will however, do my civic duty and support political candidates that support the blue collar workers, small scale farmers and retirees. So, if there is not one of those out there, they will not get my support or vote. Enough on that!

Chickens are doing great, laying a couple of eggs a day. Got one little girl who would rather not lay in the hen house, but in an ornamental grass just outside the fenced in area. She is a wanderer. I have to keep a close tab on her throughout the day to make sure mayhem does not ensue.

The bunnies just got a new manger to keep them out of the winter elements. We were worried about wind and freezing temps. Building in the bitter cold is not a fun job, but my husband was a warrior and slayed the project. We kept the bunnies close to the cabin so they could remain as social as possible throughout the winter months. In the spring they will move near the chicken yard where they can at least see the activity out there.

So for today, just trying to keep everyone from freezing, including us.

10/27/2017 Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today

I’M FARMIN’ NOW

This spring I purchased chicks with hopes to start an organic flock. I’ve read a couple of books and most of my neighbors have chickens so information is abundant. I felt confident I could fumble through the learning curve, and I have done pretty good so far. I lost one chick right away, saved two chicks from death, one of them from the grips of our woodland cat, that’s a story for another day, and then figured out that the majority of our soon to be egg bearing hens were roosters. That part was a bummer! I’ve got to remedy that very soon, but that takes me to today.

I woke up stiff and sore. It’s cold and rainy here in northern Michigan and I tried really hard to put on my positive attitude. I stretched, got dressed, then got my chicken feed concoction ready along with the bunny greens. I let the cat and dog out and can hear the roosters crowing in the chicken coop waiting for their breakfast. The roosters are impatient and demanding (go figure) and ready to get the day started.

I walk past the bunnies on the way to the garden and chicken yard so they always get fed first, then out to the chicken yard. I stepped inside the gate and opened the coop door as usual. They are so loud, each one trying to be the first one out the door.

After throwing out the scratch and doing my morning visual inspection of each of them, I always peek in the coop making sure the chicks have enough water and grain and of course I peruse the laying boxes for eggs. I knew it wouldn’t be until around the first of November before I could expect my four confirmed hens to begin laying (only four, wow, still hard to wrap my head around that one!) anyway, today as I peruse my boxes I spy one..brown…egg. AH!!!!! I’m on the fast track now baby! Got positive energy flowing!! Nothing like working six months for one small brown egg to make it all worth while. WOW! What a great day!!

Nothing Compares

10/08/17

When I think about beauty, aesthetic beauty, only one thing comes to mind. Not fine art or a nicely decorated home. It’s the beauty that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us and wraps around us like a comforting blanket to soothe our souls when we are emotionally struggling or are lost in life trying to find the right path to follow.

If it’s answers you’re looking for, who better to help you with searching your soul than  the Mother of the universe. For without the Mother there would be no beauty. Humans try desperately to recreate the handy work that has taken Mother Nature thousands of years to perfect.

Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today

9/30/17

It was a cold night. The first of many to come. My animals have not experienced a winter outside. I worry about their survival, but they are animals and for centuries have adapted to weather and environment. I can be soft, enabling at times. Giving in to my need to hold everything close.

The chickens will be laying soon. Unfortunately, I have as many roosters as hens. I’m a rookie, how would I have known!! Will next time. I’ve watched enough sexing chicks videos to at least have a good idea anyway. My rooster, Violet, is on the fast track. The only one crowing and the only one trying to mount the hens. He is a character and keeps everyone in line!

It has been a good late season harvest here in the forest garden. I didn’t get a chance to put in a full garden this year, but what I did, proved to be fruitful. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Our bee hive was doing so well before the bear attack. We’re going to supplement the bees through the winter so hopefully they can survive into the spring. You see, the bears got all the winter honey supply.

I haven’t inspected the hive since the attack. It was a traumatic experience both for them and me trying to put things back together. My husband and I both got stung multiple times and we lost thousands of bees.

It’s a beautiful sunny, cool fall day today. Not much color in the trees yet but it won’t be long. I don’t miss the mosquitos and ticks. They can stay where ever they ran off to! I’m going to continue working on the tower for the wind generator today. It’s going up in a couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

For Now

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It’s been a most unconventional Spring at the Rollin’ Rock. We missed mud season (what a shame!) but we were able to witness the budding of new leaves on the trees and the migration of the Orioles and most of our feathered friends. Haven’t gotten all of the garden planted, but did get started.  We are well underway of building a storage shed. Time to incorporate everything to one location.

As of this writing, we are anxiously awaiting for the arrival of our first nuc of Honey Bees. What happens after they arrive will depend on how well I paid attention in the classroom and how much information I’ve absorbed and retained through research. I have so much to learn. Hands on experience will be the testing ground. I’m ready for this new opportunity.

Our local Farmers Market has begun and for the 2 Saturday’s that we have now completed, we did pretty good in our sales. My hand crafted rugs are selling as expected, as an item wanted and not necessarily needed. So I have sold one each market day so far, and pretty good for the standard I’ve set for myself. Oh, and as always, the Glazed Pecans are always a hit. In a few weeks, produce will come in to play and business will pick up. Even if it doesn’t, the friendships that we have developed with our neighbors is priceless.

We had visitors over the Memorial Day holiday. The girls and families came for the weekend. My one daughter and her beau, rode their motorcycles up for Blessing of the Bikes held in a small town about 30 miles from here. It was wet, cold and windy, but we enjoyed our time spent together and all the noise, laughter and discombobulations those grandkids bring with them. Soon, we will welcome another into the family, predictions are favoring a girl. We’ll see!

This interim life we’ve created, the in between life of finalization of urban living to full time off-grid cabin life, is taking a huge toll on our lives. Money is tight, so it puts a burden on what can be accomplished and what can wait. Can we commute or can it wait? I want to live life like the homesteaders you see on TV or in magazines. They seem to have it all. Everything they need and the means to achieve anything they desire. Maybe our planning skills are below average or maybe our unscheduled push into retirement put some sticks in the spokes. Anyway, we’ve made the commitment, the wheels are in motion (slow motion), but shear will and desire still drives us forward. We’ll never have everything we need to do every job, but we are blessed to have what we’ve gotten.

Leting go is much more difficult at the end of an era than when you are in the midst knowing you can change up and recover quite easily. Leaving behind a family home shared by parents and siblings and years of collected keepsakes is a heart heavy job. Once it’s gone, there is no turning back. All you are left with are the memories you once shared. Leaving behind long standing responsibilities is even more difficult. Moving to the woods is the end, for me personally, of hands on parenting. I will now leave my children in charge of their own destinations. The end of an era. They are now busy buying their first homes and finding true love in the midst of chaos, raising their own kids and becoming the new generation of adults. I am so proud that they have taken the reins on their own lives and are forging the paths for their futures. I have loved and let go. My mission accomplished. My memories in tact.

It is now time to realize that my dreams can also be achieved in just a few small steps. Some of the biggest small steps I’ve every had to take. Starting over is never an easy thing to do and at retirement,  I’m hoping this dream is worth the risks.

Our companion and lonesome cowboy, Dish, is ready for complete transistion. He is tired of the endless packing and unpacking, and the continuous struggle to maintain sanity in this crazy life of not knowing where we’re going to be on what day and how we will manage to be totally prepared in whatever place we happen to be in the moment. The kitty is ready to remain in the woods. She hated her stay in the city, but was always good about being detained indoors for short periods of time. She disappears each time we pack up and get ready to commute for fear we’ll capture her and kennel her for the 2 hour car ride she dreaded so much. The chickens, like I said, can no longer easily be moved and our compost helper, Jack Rabbit, would prefer to be fed and left alone to do his job.

 

For now, that’s the comings and goings at the Rollin’ Rock. Work, work, and more work and the awesome feeling we’re nearing a shared goal. Oh, don’t let me forget to say how absolutely awesome it is to hear nothing but the birds and the wind blowing through the trees for hours at a time. It brings peace to my soul.

For Now……Let This Journey Carry On.

 

 

 

 

Long Time No See

 

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We are lost in the shuffle of life. Stuck in a time and place that seems to have no end. Rifling through the memories of another. Trying to figure out what should go where and who should get what. A tiring unending job to settle the dust of someone else’s life.

We have been absent from home for months now. One thing after the other seems to be breaking down or just falling apart. It’s the life season of many decisions. Do we sell, rent, buy, replace or struggle along? Notice I didn’t say choices. The options are limited and when you’re in limbo, do you put a bandaide on it or bulldoze ahead and make decisions you may regret later?

Trying to wrap things up and plan our move forward is  overwhelming at times. I think we’re over the fact that you can’t complete this task in 30 days since we’ve gone beyond our expectation. The end is in sight, but there are many steps to get there. This mile of the journey is brutal. There is nothing left here to quench our tired souls.

The freedom of no time tables or caregiving responsibilities leaves a bit of guilt and loss of consistency leaving room for time to just get lost in your own thoughts and dreams and time ticks by and productivity slips away.

We will return home soon regardless, for we have the responsibilities of our future waiting for us to get started. I have garden plans and building projects waiting for my creative energy to once again begin to flow into action. The kitty needs to return home to roam the woods freely and excercise her unbridled need to hunt and play in the underbrush. She has had enough of apartment living. Even the smell of canned food turns her off, when just a short time ago she couldn’t get enough of it. The dog sits in anticipation each time he believes this is the day we’re going back. Anxiously pacing back and forth on the deck just hoping to be loaded into his kennel in the back of the blazer. It’s sad to see his disappointment when he figures out all we’re doing is taking out the trash.

We are all ready to begin our new chapter. We have struggled through the pain and guilt, and the fear of moving on. Now, it’s closing the book on the previous chapter that is so difficult to complete.

Chapter Closed

imageLife is but a journey, and where that journey takes you can only loosely be planned, but never counted on.  It is a mystery novel waiting to unfold. Each chapter bringing about changes in your life both expected and unforeseen.

Today, the matriarch of my husbands family will be laid to rest. It will end my ten year journey of care-giving with her, for others, it has been a lifelong experience. This is something planned as you would expect for an aging parent, but also never counted on. For who ever believes that the one person in your life with all the answers will no longer be there to turn to. Suddenly it’s over, you’re left on your own.

This chapter now closed, and the next one begins.