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!! 🙂

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!

Winter winds down

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The winter is giving way to spring.  Slowly the snow melts and adds to the little streams which run to the creek.

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The creek is already bursting at the seams and taking over the lowlands of the woods.  Mud on the trails begins to peer through.

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Beautiful old farming equipment is exposed once more still holding onto the secret of how they ended up so far back in the woods and abandoned so many years ago.  These pieces are about 1/2 mile away in an area that is not cleared and is wooded.  I’ve often thought about pulling them out to display at the house but they are a piece of history, our property history, so I leave them to remain in their final resting place and enjoy my walks past them in all seasons.

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Is this the luck of the Irish on display for me today or rather just a gold mylar balloon that somehow passed through the taller trees and ended it’s flight on our trail?

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And on the way back to the house the ice pond is a gentle reminder that Old Man Winter has lost his battle with the newborn spring and is going down slowly.

It’s a family affair

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Loading wood before the storm

Recently I read a fellow bloggers post explaining how to balance working full time and homesteading.  This is a question I hear often also.  How do you do it with work, school, sports, animals, gardening, property to upkeep, etc.?

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Teamwork stacking

Homesteading is a choice in this day and age and the definition has changed over the years.  It used to be referred to as Pioneering (finding land, building your home, hunting, gardening, sewing, total self sufficiency).  Unless you live in the remotest areas of the world, that is no longer possible.  Even the remote areas are starting to lose their ability to stay “remote” and you are not able to hunt the food you need to survive because of laws.

So what does it mean today to be pioneering or homesteading?  Basically it’s a lifestyle choice trying to be as self sufficient as is allowed in this world, living simply, passing on the traditions of our ancestors to try and keep the history of our world relevant in today’s world.  This is where I created my tag line “Pioneer Living the New World Way”.

Pioneer living the new world way is actually a time balancing act.  It also includes sacrifice.  Sacrifice in the way of missing out on a friend gathering as the gardens need to be planted, weeded, land worked up, watered, trees moved off trails, fruit plants pruned and so on.  When you work full time these chores may take you into the late hours during the week but you do it because it’s the choice you made when you decided to homestead.  But the rewards of growing your own vegetables to carry you well into the winter months, canning your goods to provide your family food that is clean and simple with no chemicals, making food from scratch because it’s healthier and fresh, make every sacrifice worth it.

Because it’s no longer a necessity to live this way, you have to include the new world into your life.  Our ancestors did not have this fine line to walk to live their life.  Every homesteading family does this in their own way.  There are no books in history to help you figure out an equation of old world versus new world.  So each day you try to factor in what you can accomplish on your own contributing to your self sufficiency while enjoying all the conveniences available today.

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Skies before the storm

Another huge factor in homesteading is if you have a spouse, they have to want to live that life also.  When I met the man of the house he was a hard working professional living in the city, driving a state of the art car, traveling, and enjoying the finer things in life.  I also was/am a hard working professional living in a 100+ year old farmhouse.  Together we made the choice to homestead, keeping my childhood house I was fixing up to sell for my parents, and building barns, gardens, trails, and fruit orchards.

Living the homesteading life in the new world way allows us to enjoy boating, traveling, sporting events, County Fairs, fabulous restaurants and many other luxuries while keeping up with farm work using modern machines (tractors, chain saws).

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Storm rolling in and dad moving truck to shovel driveway

Today, watching my family work together load wood before a storm hit, I was smiling at them thinking how blessed and thankful I am to be living the life we are living and hoping they will choose this lifestyle when they have families.

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All cozy in the house after chores when the storm rolled in