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.

 

 

 

 

Home Again

November 1, 2016h

We’re finally home once again. November 1st. and 64 degrees, unbelievable! This must be the Indian summer we always hear our grandparents speak of. Well, this is Michigan, and guess what….we were here a week ago and it snowed!!

The sun is just starting to set over the trees on the western edge of the property so it is intensely focused on the eastern border. The color is beautiful. Most of the tall trees are already bare, but the shorter aspen and beech tend to hold their leaves well into winter long after their color has faded.

I hurried around greeting and feeding the cat, got the mother-in-law settled in, the truck unloaded and off Dish and I went into the woods for a walk. We are taking advantage of our last hours of evening sunlight. In a few short days, Michigan makes a time change and we will soon be in the dark by 6:00pm.

There is no wildlife spotted in the brush or in the woods, however, Dish can hear and smell far more than I so he has the whole story. There will be movement soon as the sun sets further into the trees. We do spot a few signs of bobcat, many deer tracks in the walking paths, and an owl calling from deep inside the woods. All good signs we are doing our part to promote harmony here.

Lots of ground to cover before dark, where’s Dish? image

Come on Dish!

It’s great to be here, what a beautiful place in time.

Daily Prompt: Waiting

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Dish, The Lone Cowboy

Waiting is measured in relevance to time. The more time you have nothing to do, the more time you have to sit around and wait.

My dog has nothing to do. He is watching my every move just waiting to see if I’m going to get up. If I do, you can bet he will be first out of the chair, yes, you read that right, he is waiting in my chair, and out to the door. He anticipates a walk. He always anticipates a walk. He lives for the three major dog groups. Food, walks, travel, and sleep. All the rest of the time he waits. He has grown patient and willing…….to wait. He is the best!

 

 

 

A Walk In The Woods 2/15

While the world was preparing for other things, I was preparing for a walk in the woods with my dog, “Dish”. Dish is about to turn 1 year old. He is  both very smart and very rambunctious. He is large bodied with very long legs and a very long jaw line which makes him look like a land shark when his mouth is open. He loves to chew on my husband. He thinks he is a toy. So a walk in the woods always expels tons of Dish’s energy and I get to enjoy the peaceful bliss that Mother Nature has bestowed upon this earth for me (and you) to enjoy.

As I strapped on my snowshoes Dish keeps me in his eye sight. He wants me to know that there can be no distractions between here and the woods, and that we are going, right now. He is very anxious.

There is about an inch of fluffy new snow. It’s great for our walk. I started off into the wooded10 today, which is actually backwards for us. Dish is a little confused, but changes his course and we’re off. After climbing the first hill and halfway up the second, I stop for a rest and Dish runs ahead a bit. He turns and looks back to make sure I’m coming and then prances off for exploration. As I stand there resting, I close my eyes, taking in the fresh air and listening to the silence. I think about aging. Funny I would be thinking that, but I take care of my mother-in law, so I think about aging alot and I’ve come to terms with the fact that you are the only one that can prepare yourself for what is yet to come. If you are young and don’t think about it much, let me remind you that there will come a time when you will start to lose your strength, flexibility, coordination and your balance if you don’t continue to use it and develop it.  I was pretty active as a martial artist in my 20’s into my 30’s, then I had 3 more kids. In my 40’s, the cartiledge in my knees started breaking down and by 52 I could hardly walk. I lost some of the most productive years of my life due to the fact that I was too young for knee replacement, then lost my insurance coverage and was unable to have the surgery. It wasn’t until in my mid fifties, remarried and re-insured that I was able to finally have both knees replaced. Recovery is still an ongoing process, even 5 years later. So, here I am moving into my 60’s now, with a renewed sense of who I am and where I am going. I know what needs to be done, and it feels good to be working towards that goal.

I can hear Dish breathing heavy right in front of me. I open my eyes and he is sitting there wondering why is it taking me so long to get going again. I give him a treat and explain that I got lost in thought. I’m sure he understood! So, I take off again, and he follows behind me pushing me up the hill stepping on the back of my snowshoes as we go. That is so annoying! I try to explain to him that every time he steps on my snowshoes he throws me off balance. He really doesn’t care. All the better to work on that coordination and balance thing I’ve lost for not being better prepared for aging, right?

 

Our Last Goodbye

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It has has taken me 6 months to write this, or anything, except a few words on Facebook. This has left such a deep sorrow in my heart, I really have been at a loss for words to write. I would like to move on now and share the story.

Always in life there is give and take. I think the older you get the more you come to realize this reality in every day life.

If you have read any of my previous blogs you have read about my dogs Dish and Newt, our Cowboys. The rabble-rousers of the north woods. The best of buddy’s, the fiercest of competitors. The best friends to mankind.

We got Newt in the spring of 2015 as a puppy, hoping to retrain Dish. Dish missed out on learning the skills of becoming a real dog due to spending the first few months of his life in the clinical setting of a veternarian hospital fighting for his life. When we adopted him at 4 months he had just been released and was looking for a forever home and we had just lost our last senior adoption to old age. So, we hoped Newt could show Dish the ropes. Running, chasing, digging, tugging, fetching, listening and responding to basic commands, the whole nine yards, all the good stuff. Newt was one of the smartest puppy’s I have ever had. He was a great teacher!

As Newt grew, so did his curiosity. He pushed the boundaries of our compound further and further. With spring came the arrival of strange new animals and Newt would take the opportunity to chase every chance he got. He was perpetual motion at its finest. One evening as I stepped out onto the deck of the small trailer we have in the compound I could just barely see the road through the now budding trees. I heard and then saw a fast moving pickup truck coming down the road. I also took note of the dogs on the ridge above the road. Newt gave a bark and both dogs took off running. The next thing I heard was a yelp…I knew. That truck hit one or both of the dogs. My husband and I both ran to the road to find Dish running crazy circles and Newtie in the road. He was lying on the opposing side of the road where the truck had crossed over and ran him down.

My husband ran to call the vet and get things secure and I tried to comfort Newt and get Dish under control. It looked bad, and it was a 30 minute drive to the vet.

After careful evaluation the skull fracture he received was going to be the deciding factor. Already he was having some issues with his rear legs and the really difficult decision was made to let him go. We said our last goodbyes to our littlest cowboy.