For Now


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.





“Pretty in Pink”

Moving from an urban life to a woodland life and thinking about sustainability can be overwhelming at times. There are so many different tools you need to get the job done not only right, but in a timely manner. Take starting a garden where there was previously a 100 year old forest. Not an easy cjob. Stumps and roots rule and a pick axe and shovel are meager tools for this type of job. For the first couple of years here at the Rollin’ Rock, those are the tools we used and struggled with. Did they get the job done? Of course they did, but it took hours upon hours to dig out a 10×10 square for our first potato patch. While my husband was still gainfully employed we tried to arm ourselves with as much of the right equipment as necessary. We shopped (and still do) on-line auctions and flea markets for the best deals possible. This past summer, post employment, we took our savings and purchased an amazing tool we call “Pinkie”. She is a 1951 Ferguson tractor, and yes, she is pink.

Pinkie came to us through Craigslist. She was previously a grape farmer in the Leelanau Peninsula along the Lake Michigan shoreline where there are many luscious vineyards growing only the finest grapes available for your eating and drinking pleasure, (mostly drinking). Pinkie farmed for a few years and then was retired due to the sale of her farm, a circumstance she could not control.

Why pink you ask? She was painted pink to avoid theft. You see, tractors in the farming communities are hot commodities. One of Pinkies predecessors was stolen right in front of their business. Gone without a trace, probably sitting lonely now being under utilized due to his circumstances. So, when repainting the newest member of their team, the color pink was chosen.  I would dare say it would be hard to steal and hide a pink tractor. Recently, we ran into someone we barely know in a small party store some 10 miles away and they asked if we had gotten a tractor that was pink? Amazing, we had only had her a week or so. She does stand out boldly through the greens of the forest.

So, Pinkie has already built a reputation of sorts in our rural community and she has helped us accomplish some amazing stuff. She brought a back blade with her and we managed to pick up a brush hog and a couple of implements from an on-line auction and with just these few tools we have been able to level a spot for a multi-purpose shed, plow the snow in our long driveway twice now, and the brush hog was used to mow down some old logging trails to make snow shoeing easier this winter.

We know little about tractors so we have a learning curve here. My husband has purchased some information books and manuals, also at auction, and we are bonding with Pinkie and so far she seems to be enjoying her retirement years here with us at the Rollin’ Rock. Tools are everything here in the woods and she’s one of our finest.