Posted byChase & Chance's Mom
Posted onDecember 11, 2015
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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!
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.
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!
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!!!!
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.
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.
This is our new little piece of Heaven right here on Earth 🙂
The winter is giving way to spring. Slowly the snow melts and adds to the little streams which run to the creek.
The creek is already bursting at the seams and taking over the lowlands of the woods. Mud on the trails begins to peer through.
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.
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?
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.
I always have candles lit in my house. In the evening with the candles lit all around the house, I feel cozy and the house feels warm and comforting.
Two years ago I bought my first set of battery operated candles that have a timer on them. They go on at dusk and shut off after 6 hours. I bought them from a Christmas section in the store for the Holidays. I have never taken them down.
I love the soft yellow glow they have all year round. I replace the batteries about every month or sometimes a little longer. It’s well worth it to not have to worry about turning them on or off and they look so nice when you drive by the house at night. It looks like a true country home.
It’s the little things sometimes that mean the most.
Being on an Island surrounded by the Niagara River which is fed from Lake Erie and flows over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, offers us many wonderful things to do.
On the second last day of the year we headed along Lake Erie to Hamburg, NY and had a fun Hibatchi style dinner.
On New Years Eve we had an early dinner on Lake Ontario. The streets lining Lewiston, NY were wonderfully decorated and the lights twinkled as you made your way down to Lake Ontario where we had a nice dinner overlooking a dock with a fishing boat ready to head out the next morning.
And a few nights later we were headed to Canalside in downtown Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie for a fun night of visiting the new ice rink which opened a few weeks ago.
It was a balmy 30 degrees but there are plenty of heat lamps along the rink and a warm room with benches. There are little shops along the way, a few different food trucks and these really, REALLY cool ice bikes you can rent.
Can you tell what I will be renting soon??? I can’t wait to try these. But tonight was not the night as we were headed to watch the sad Sabres play. The kids had fun heckling the opposing team 🙂
And after another bad loss for the Sabres we headed back to the rink to watch the novice curlers trying to learn the game which is another feature of the new rink.
I love the fact we have so many things to experience right in our back and front yard just over the bridges.
This is our home. I took this picture last evening. I love our house in the snow!!
Some people long for the big, modern, majestic homes, but I am not one of them. I can drive through a modern neighborhood and not notice a single thing about a house. I feel nothing. Put me on a country road with 100+ year old homes and I can tell you the character I feel from each house. These houses have a history, they are a part of a different time; a time I wish to have known.
We have kept the cedar shake shingles on our home as true to the country red it was when it was first painted. I could never picture any other color on this house. The red is a statement to me boasting of the farming homestead it was created for so long ago. (You can see pictures of updates to our home here: Little Red House)
We planted a burm of blue spruce trees in front of our property. When they are snow covered they make the house even more beautiful! It’s like a Christmas card scene to me.
Here are some of the other pictures I took Thursday before the snow came and again last night while we were getting a nice dusting of snow.
We place 6 fake Christmas trees throughout the property and enjoy looking out at night at the sparkling lights in the open. Thursday was the day to set them up as the ground was not frozen and the temperatures were moderate. The night picture is 4 of the trees in the back.
And last night the snow came and the trees were beautifully lit.
We had a nice amount of snow falling throughout the day and night yesterday. After barn chores were done, I decided to pay a visit to the cute little snow bunnies all cozy in their house for the night.
This is our home.
Looking around a few of the door frames and window frames in our home it may appear someone has a “couple” collection starting. Let’s be honest…it’s me!!
I can’t help but love these types of people. Wood, resin, glass, it does not matter. Each one of these “spoke” to me in some way and I enjoy visiting them every day. You can see each couple as you walk through the main rooms in our home starting from the backroom entry through to the front room office area.
The latest couple above was a thrifty find I had at a local antique mall. I paid $2.00 for the set!!!!!!
They have a resting place on the storage chest for our winter clothing items in our back room and you can see them straight through from the living room or looking out at the backyard.
These cute Amish corner sitters are displayed above the sink in the kitchen with all the antique throat lozenges tins. Sorry for the bad picture but you can see the girl on one side and the boy is on the other.
Next up another cute Amish couple you pass under to enter the living room. They are next to the awesome sign a friend picked up for me. It’s amazing how some friends just know what you would like in your home. I love the detail on this couples clothing. While the Amish sets have no faces, they don’t need them as they are cute enough.
Once entering the living room, the older couple greets you with their farm chore baskets in hand on our mantle. My mother had this set for years in this house when I was growing up. She took them to Florida when she moved there in 1992. She has since moved back by us and I was given this set. It has come full circle.
And the last couple before entering the office area is yet a different set of Amish people. This couple reminds me of teenage Amish kids. I love the colors of their clothing and again, no faces. Here is a history of what I found on why the Amish figures have no faces: Amish Faces
I have many more door frames and window sills waiting for their couple to join our family 🙂
It’s been a few weeks (actually almost 2 months) since we have had a Sunday at home. Cheer games were on Sundays and the past few weeks there have been hockey tournaments out of town. Today was a great day to be home and get some things done with only a hockey practice to attend.
The morning started with animal and barn chores. The rabbit cage was prepped and set up for winter, the last few garden decorations were stored away for the winter, the vegetable garden items were removed from the gardens and stored also.
Then it was time to make some Split Pea Soup for dinner.
The tween and her friend decided to help make an apple pie
and the woodburner was fired up with the first fire of the fall to season it for the coming months.
It felt so great to be home!!!!
You can find my Split Pea Soup Recipe here: Split Pea Soup
And our Apple Pie Recipe here: Apple Pie
The woodpile is now stored and ready for winter. Growing up with a wood stove, to me there is no better warmth. I love the heat of the stove, the glow in a dim lit room of the flames dancing all around, and the smell. I can relax just thinking about it!
Sadly, the cost of wood has now reached the point that the money spent is about the same as using gas to heat your house. With the cost of gas prices (think chainsaws, 4 wheelers to tow the cut wood, tractors to haul down the trees and a truck to deliver) the days of saving money heating with wood are disappearing.
We live on 30 acres of land full of trees and dead wood. Our schedules with work and life do not allow for all the homesteading dreams I have in my head and lumbering our own wood just does not fit into the schedule for a full winters heat. We do enough for our bonfires and fires outdoors in the burn barrel at our ice skating rink and that takes a good amount of time. So we have to purchase our wood. I am not sure this will be an option much longer for us with the high price of split wood in our area now.
We burn 13-16 cord of wood from October through March. Some months our gas bills are less than $50 because we do not use the furnace as much as possible. I am hoping next year prices will remain the same but I’m not banking on it.
My kids have never known a winter without a woodburner heating the house. They run to it in the morning and warm their clothes by it before putting them on for school. They stack wood on the porch so we can “kick it up” when they want it warmer. They spend the time in the house in the winter in shorts and t-shirts and God forbid they have to put on a pair of socks!!
I am already picturing the stove all stocked up, the smell outside of the wood, and the glowing games of Yahtzee on a snowy night!
I think most country homes have some type of tree fort in their backyard. The man of the house decided about 3 years ago we needed one also. So he set off to build it.
Phase 1 took not too long and was planned around a beautiful oak tree
Phase 2 was a little tougher. Attaching the slide was almost as hard as adding the roof. The boys sure didn’t mind waiting
Phase 3 adding windows and a railing went smoothly. Even the goats joined in to check out the materials and a baby making sure it was low enough for him to see out of. The railing is made from larger sticks we collected from our woods
A dutch door was made and some furniture accents were added. There is enough seating for 6 kids and the bench blocks the opening to the slide so all the little children who visit are safe
The views out the window allow the kids to see all of the action
Next season it will be stained to match the barn and woodshed. For right now it is the perfect escape for the children and a great hang out area for their friends!!
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