Summer Vacation

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Designing Fort Snrub

A few weeks back a neighbor was throwing out an old privacy fence and their trampoline.  Now mind you, they considered this garbage.  As soon as the kids were aware of what was happening, they considered it finding gold and exactly what they needed for a new fort in the woods.

 

They carefully loaded all of the panels onto a trailer and drove them back to their “work” area.

They cleared the perfect area for their fort by driving 4-wheelers and doing donuts in a small area to break down the brush.  Then it was time to drag the trampoline with the 4-wheelers into place.  This is the roof of the fort which is underneath.  The top will be used to place a pop up tent when they want to sleep out there.

They collected old materials from our farm and our neighbors and laid them out so they knew what they had to work with.  They could hardly contain themselves on the eve of our trash night and rode the golf cart down our street to collect more treasures.  They found a few balls, an old hose reel that has been rigged to raise and lower a flag, chairs, old tires and most recently they picked a huge deck umbrella.

It was time to begin construction.  They nailed some boards around the frame.  This is holding the tarp in place which covers the trampoline.  Even the little ones were helping clear brush and design the area.

Some bamboo flooring and old throw rugs have been collected and added as a floor until they can garbage pick another tarp.  The tires are perfect as extra seating!

The name was chosen for the fort using the name of the family who donated the fencing and trampoline spelled backwards.  I thought that was a great choice and very imaginative.

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This picture was Sunday night as they were driving the two and a half miles down our street looking for more treasures for their fort before garbage day. They wear their bathing suits as it’s been so hot here and they can work on the fort, drive up and jump in the pool and head right back out.

These kids have had very little television or computer time as they are up and out the door to work on the fort, swim, and play in the woods!  It’s hard to force them to work on mandatory book reports for the upcoming school year as they are so busy planning, building and having fun.

This is what summer vacation is all about in our world!! 🙂

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Vacation!!!

Saturday we are leaving for a week to Wainfleet, Ontario.  It’s a beautiful place which I shared last year in this post: Summer Recap

This year my niece is working so it’s been a bit of a struggle trying to get things organized for the animals and farm work.  But hopefully it all works out well with the juggling of people and if not, we are only 35 minutes away and I can zip home if need be.

I have a special book I have been waiting, very impatiently I might add, to read while away. I shared about the book here: An Honest House .  I have to admit I have “sneak peaked” into the book a few times and have had to force myself to put it down!!  The reviews have been wonderful and are adding to my anticipation!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I look forward to sharing some pictures from our vacation and my own personal review of the book!!  Tina

 

Romano Buns

If you are looking for a quick sandwich type dinner, this is it!  These are perfect baked in the oven and even better cooked on the grill or right on the side of a bonfire.  These are a must for our camping trips and as a dinner when we are cooking on the bonfire.

They are like a melted ham and cheese with a buttery rich mustard flavor.

I don’t really measure anything but it’s simple ingredients:

Sliced deli ham (use a good one)
Swiss Cheese
Mustard (any kind you like)
Butter softened
Chopped Onion
Poppy Seeds
Sandwich or Hamburger rolls

Mix mustard, softened butter, and onion in a bowl
Place 2 slices of ham and a slice and 1/2 of swiss cheese on the roll
Place a tablespoon of the mustard mixture on the inside of the roll
Close the roll and spread a little extra mustard mixture on top and sprinkle with poppy seeds
Wrap loosely in tent style in aluminum foil

If baking bake at 350 for 10 minutes to let the cheese melt and the roll get crusty.
If cooking in the fire set on hot coals for about 8 minutes

The roll gets crusty, the cheese and buttery mixture melt into the roll and you have a delicious quick lunch or dinner!

Little Cabin in the woods

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Our new cabin in our woods

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I have always wanted a cabin in the woods since I was a little girl.

My uncle and his wife had a small cabin that we would visit with our family a few times a year.  It was nestled way up on a hill and in the winter we would spend the day there with our entire extended family and sled down the hill, drink hot cocoa and have chili or soup for dinner.  In the summer we would play in the open fields and fish for catfish in their small stocked pond.  It was always such a cozy place to visit with the woodstove heating the house surrounded by family and full of fun!

We built a camping area behind our horse pastures a few years ago.  You can see how we enjoyed it in my past posts here:  Camp out visitors  and Staycation Vacation

This year the man decided it was time to make a more permanent addition to the camping area so we can literally stay back there all summer, fall and even winter with the addition of propane heat!  At our local county fair we designed a small “shell” of the cabin we dreamed of and had the Amish build and deliver it.

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Slowly we are finishing the inside to our vision. We started by building and painting a ladder for the kids to use to get into the loft which will be their sleeping area with feather beds to lay on and nice warm down comforters to snuggle in.  We designed it so it is large enough to fit 4 adults so they can have friends sleep over comfortably.  I found foam pad pieces in a hardwood design and we lined the floor of the loft with it.  There is also a full size window so they can see the horses and enjoy a summer breeze.  The railing comes from a garbage pick I found and we sanded and rounded it and cut it to size.  It’s perfect!

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Next came insulation inside and a rustic wonderful ceiling to keep it warm and cozy in the winter and cool in the summer.  I was thankful for the man’s brother coming to finish it off as it was hard work and I was tired of holding boards up with my hand and head while the man nailed them in! Thanks Uncle Tom!!!!

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Outside a new fire pit has been constructed so we can cook our meals and enjoy family and friend time around a bonfire.  The horses love being close by.  The man and teen planted a few beautiful pine trees we can watch grow over the years.  Wrinkles is already enjoying her new spot on the porch to relax while we work.

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The views of the ice pond, warming shanty, woods and sunsets are stunning from the porch!  Even though we are cleaning up and burning the leaves, the weather is so mild I am not sure when we will be able to ice skate on the pond.

Next up we will be building a small kitchen area and purchasing some multi-functional furniture for sitting and sleeping.

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This is our new little piece of Heaven right here on Earth 🙂

 

 

Mother Earth-Fall in Buffalo, NY

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The view of our ice pond

New York in the fall should be considered one of the “wonders of the world”.  It is spectacular.  The air is crisp and smells of leaves and frosty air, the streams, rivers and lakes are filling up offering clear and cold water, the wildlife is roaming around more freely in search of tasty treats under the fallen leaves, and the skies overhead are more blue and full of white puffy clouds than ever.

We enjoy this time of year for trail riding, hiking, 4 wheeling, and relaxing.  Here are some wonderful pictures from just one weekend on our property.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did living them!

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Our ice pond is stunning.  It’s called the “ice pond” as it is a pond we built shallow enough so it will freeze quickly and be used for ice skating all winter long.

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The leaves are such a beautiful backdrop.  I can’t get enough of their colors!

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Riding the horses with the sounds of the leaves under their feet and a happy dog chasing blowing leaves.

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Pumpkin sales, carving and trick or treating (Bruizer and Two Bit of the book the Outsiders) end one of the most beautiful months.

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And a sneak peek at the beautiful cabin we finally have for our campground by the ice pond.  More on that in my next post……..

Summer Recap

Living on a farm with animals, property, gardens, a pool, and grounds to maintain makes for a rare opportunity to take a vacation.  This year the opportunity arose for us to get away from our farm for a week stay in Long Beach, Canada in the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer, countless boat trips on the Niagara River and Lake Erie, days and days spent at our local County Fair, and a few “date” nights for me and the man of the house.

This was made possible by my niece being back in the area as she is more than capable of handling all of our animal and farm work.  Couple her with my 72 year old mother who can care for the pool, gardens, and dog and we were able to have some much NEEDED family time away from the house.

I won’t bore you with hundreds of pictures and tons of details….ok…maybe a few.  We kicked off our summer right after the Fourth of July weekend by heading to Long Beach in Wainfleet, Canada.

 

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Our beach spot 

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This is a beach area and that is it.  There is literally nothing but a beautiful beach, one restaurant, a local marine shop that serves only the catch of the day fresh out of the lake, and a cute little putt-putt course.

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We treasure this area in Canada as the man and I both had spent time there when we were kids with our own parents/family. We first rented here in 2006 when our children were very young.  The cottage we rented is directly on the beach in a very private family owned area.  The family has owned the property and cottages for generations.  The picture below is of the main house built in the 1800’s.  You can see the house hasn’t been lived in or taken care of for years, but the granddaughter of the original owners (who is in her 80’s) has decided she is going to refurbish it.  I so want to be a part of that project!!!!  I did ask her if she would save the door (yes the partially boarded up white one on the second floor) for me.  She said she would.  I LOVE that historic piece!

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This is our cute cottage we stayed in while there in July.  There is no WiFi, there is no TV, there is no telephone.  But it is full of special family memories we created that will last a life time!

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We enjoyed our stay so much we rented the cottage next door to it (which was the one we stayed in in 2006) for the end of August.  This trip was extra special as we were able to celebrate the boys 11th birthday with some friends and family and we let the kids each have a friend stay with us for a few days and rented jet skis.  Even my niece and mother came for a few visits as this little paradise is only a 35 minute drive from our house.

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Here are a few pictures of our Island hopping on our boat and our local county fair.

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A big thank you to my niece, Brittany, and to my mother for the wonderful gift of “getting away” they provided for us this summer!!

Long Beach

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We spent this past week at Long Beach in Canada.  You can see by this picture taken our first early evening there EXACTLY why we love this place.

I am playing catch up but will post more about our stay with fun pictures, the wonderful book I finished reading (which could not have been more appropriate for this vacation) and the historical house that captivates me!