Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today 12/24/2019

A New Journey For An Old Horse

Meet Chief, or Chief Red Cloud. He is the newest member of our expanding family of animals.

Chief was no longer cherished by his owners who sold him to end their burdensome care of him. I don’t mind hard work and I know what it means to commit. And besides, horses are like potato chips, one or two are never enough.

I thought he was beautiful from the get go. But, because I love them all, I knew he was going to be awesome. Once I got on and rode him, he was mine. He rides smooth like a vintage automobile. I understand that he is aged and will never be anything other than a nice trail horse, but he will be a great horse for the grandkids and guests to ride when they come to visit.

Chief will come home in a few weeks to wander the woods and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Rollin’ Rock along with Sister and Tucker. We’re hoping a third horse will help to smooth the friendship between our other two who have a love/hate relationship.

I’m excited for this addition and if you’re in the area, stop by and check out what’s going on at the Rollin’ Rock. We’d love to have you.

Remember your Journey will always have twists and turns, but your soul will be content if you find your dream and follow it through.

Happy trails.

Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today 12/2/2019

Journey Into Whiteness

This is “Little Sister”.

It has come on in full Michigan style. Not a little at a time, but 6 inches at once. The snow and rain howled so strong the other night that we had several pine trees break off. After you work so hard to nurture those trees, it is pure heartache to see them broken and battered by the forces of Mother Nature.

Our horses were so freaked out by the winds blowing through their run-in, they spent the night out in the elements. The plastic blew off the window on the the rabbit hutch, so wind and snow blasted them all night. Although the rain froze the chicken palace door shut, the girls did okay and were kind enough to give me 3 eggs. They are awesome!

Just like every year, we are not ready for the snow. We were in the process of running water lines and that means it will probably have to wait until a big thaw…whenever that may be. Life off grid here at the Rollin’ Rock in our little cabin during the winter months can be very challenging from a frozen well to roads that are impassable with ice. Now that we have large animals, getting fresh water to them daily can be tough. Last year we carried it in buckets. This year we have a little tractor and trailer to carry 15 gallons at a time. We are feeling fortunate to get somewhat of a break there.

The dogs and cat have morphed into winter mode. The cat has put on her winter coat and spends nights in the cabin. The dogs sleep long hours on the bed waiting for an opportunity to spend a short time out while the large animals get fed, then back in again to warm up, eat and sleep on the bed.

Laundry is now going into town to one of the local laundry mats. Hate to spend that money, but trying to run 2 generators and working with freezing cold water just is too much.

Tiny home life is not for everyone. You really have to be tolerant of your partner, and they of you. But the rewards are well worth the struggles. We owe no one but the taxman. Everything is dependent on our own ability to conserve and savor what’s important.

Live the life you love and take your journey easy. Until next time…….

Journal Entry/ Thoughts For Today Jan 1, 2019

A New Year 🎉🎊🎉

As a challenging year closes out, and a new one begins, I am not going to make any resolutions. I’m like many others who can only keep a resolution as long as it’s on my mind every day. However, I have so much other stuff already taking up space in my head that just one more thing may push me over the edge. I walk a fine line every day to balance my already stressful life. No need to add to it. What I am going to do is to try and do just one thing better.

There are so many things that I can think of that would benefit from me doing just a little bit better. My list to choose from is as follows but not limited to:




Money management

Eating smarter

And the list could go on…….

Now my job is to decide which one (or maybe all of them), I’m going to work on and how I’m going to proceed. We’ll see what happens!

Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today


Another Rollin’ Rock Rag Rug

This is the newest rug. What intensity it was to create. I know….just looks like a bunch of strips of material woven together, and it is. But these strips were all scrap. I had to cut each one to less than a 1/2 inch and double them up to get the calico design. This took me weeks to complete. At first it was just a little of this and a little of that. Then I would run out of interesting color and had to cut from different pieces. It was painstaking to complete. I now have a few ready for the spring market. Can hardly wait. However, after a long summer, there’s the, I can’t wait for this to be over, so I can take a break! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!! It’s a love/hate thing.

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.

Journal Entry / Thoughts For Today


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.

Beauty And The Beast

We’ve been planning on an addition to our small, but comfy cabin for quite some time now. We did actually get started last year, then life got in the way and progress stalled. Every time I walk out the door of the cabin I can imagine where the wash room is going to go and the extra room we will use for storage and an extra bedroom. I can do this because the floor joists are there, or most of them, and I continue planning in my head just how the layout will go, and the furniture and shelving that will be necessary to hold all our home canned goods from the garden, and the extra bedding for guests. It makes me feel like we’re still “in progress”.

Once again, as my husband and I were wandering through the auction house one afternoon, we came across this beautiful sink on a wrought iron pedestal. The colors of the interior of the sink were exquisite, very elaborate. Bright blue, greens and yellows. I was enamoured, a little out of character for me, the women whose best and favorite pair of shoes are work boots.  Right away I started imagining where I could use such a beautiful piece of……art! Our apartment downstate is very small. I thought maybe we could use it there in our tiny bathroom. It could free up some space since there was no cabinet to bulk it up, or secretively I thought, maybe the cabin.  So, we watched this lovely number on auction day and some times luck just comes your way. Not the cheapest thing we’ve ever won on auction, but way below retail for sure. I was so excited to get it to the apartment and fit it in the bath only to be just as disappointed in the fact that it was too big for our tiny space. So, maybe the cabin, maybe the new washroom in the cabin! My head was spinning looking for ideas. Maybe when we expand there will be room. No, probably not. It was just too pretty to sit next to that composting humanure toilet that will be in there. I just couldn’t do that to that exquisite piece of art. So, I now have to be realistic about it. I can’t make it work and I can’t take it with me. Disappointment is so hard to swallow.

The beauty is the desire to have material objects that make us feel good. The beast is the fact that you can’t have it all. Minimalism takes restraint. Some times, it’s just hard to say enough.




In Like a Lamb..Out Like a Lion

For me, March is one of the most mysterious months. Unpredictable at best, especially if you live in Michigan.

We were really disappointed that the snow melted from the woods early this year ending our snowshoeing and bringing in the sea of mud that Spring always brings. Walks in the woods are awesome, but the snow always presents some extra challenges and experiences. However, because the thaw came early in the month, we were able to do some work in the garden reorganizing the raised beds and dreaming of planting and harvesting. The mud has started to dry up and now we just have to wait for longer, warmer days to really get things rolling.

As of this writing, Winter has returned to the north woods. Les and Dish are at the cabin feeding the hungry birds and checking on things. He called to report 6 inches of snow and freezing rain. Here in SW Michigan, there is rain and cool temps. The difference of the US10 dividing line.