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

 

Camping on the Farm

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Last fall we purchased a small cabin to put on our property.  It was made by the Amish as a “shed”.  We finished the ceilings, floors and insulated it to make it into a cabin our family can use year round!

Living on the farm, it is difficult for us to be away very often.  There are animals to tend to, gardens to be worked, grounds to be maintained, canning of foods etc.  This little cabin is our way of having a vacation feeling while on our own land.

Here is a glimpse into our little Cabin in the Woods now that it is in full swing and being used every day!!

Let’s start with a look inside:

I wanted a total rustic feeling experience.  I love how the exposed wood looks!  The ceiling has been insulated and installed.  We have 2 comfortable chairs on the one side and a kitchenette area on the other.  This cabinet was made by the Man using our old pasture fencing and leftover slate from our woodburner area in the house.  The fabric was from a friend of my mothers who made them for us.  The table pulls into a 5 foot table when fully opened and the loveseat converts into our bed.  The loft has featherbeds on top of foam cushion for extra comfort for the kids and their friends to sleep on.  There is no electricity but a few battery operated fixtures work perfectly.  We have electricity across at the ice shanty, but I don’t want to add it to the cabin!

 

A fire area is set up so we can cook our meals.  We kick it up to get some nice coals to cook over.

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A bug free dining area is also set up to eat under.  While I love the outdoors, I am not a person who likes to eat outdoors with bugs around so this is a perfect solution!

A badminton set and cornhole game has been added for some great family fun.

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A golf cart was added for “faster” access to the main house when needed and for bringing back supplies.  This is the parking area.

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My early morning view with coffee.  I love the horse pasture right behind us.  I can hear the horses softly nuzzle at night.

And while we are on our staycation vacation, we are close enough for our animals to interact with us as normal, I can enjoy my fast paced walks along the river, we can grill at the house if wanted and we can attend local events with the kids and their close friends!

We can drive one street over to where our boat is docked, jump on and enjoy a full day including lunch on the river and head in with a sunset tube ride.

We will do the nightly feeding of the animals and head back under the moonlight to the cabin for some smores or popcorn.

And at the end of a full day we retire into the cabin, play a few card games before getting a great nights rest.

We are beyond blessed and thankful every day for our camping area!!

 

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

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!!

Island hopping

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Those who have followed my blog know we live on an Island.  There are a few little Islands in the Niagara River around our Island.  The only way to them is by boat.

This week we had the opportunity to spend some time boating, swimming, snorkeling and just hanging out at a couple of these Islands.

On Friday we spent the day at Strawberry Island.  Read history here:  Strawberry Island

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The kids are snorkeling along the shore

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The boy had a hockey friend with him and they all had a great day.

Today we anchored along Navy Island.  Read history here:  Navy Island

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The area we anchored had a little beach and was perfect for relaxing, cooling off, eating lunch and of course snorkeling.  My niece tagged along with us.

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And after about 4 hours on the water it was time for one last tube ride.

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And a nap for some on the way back into the marina

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Summer Vacation

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The past two weeks have been a blur.  The kids finished the school year with a spring concert and the graduation of the 8th grade class leaving the school for High School.  I am going to be one of those parents next year and I’m already getting Kleenex out!!  The kids kicked off the first day of summer vacation visiting with some of their cousins who live locally as well as some who were here visiting from Hawaii!

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I was even able to sneak in a ride with my cousin who lives in Hawaii.  It was great!!

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The daughter/step daughter is planning a HUGE move to Colorado next weekend.  It’s going to be very hard for all of us as we will miss her.  But this is the next step into another phase of her life and we are happy for her!  She was here to visit and made a batch of homemade ice cream with the teen.

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The Teen has been working on her riding skills and enjoying her horse time with Bailey.

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My niece even stopped by for a cousin ride.  I love how the “boys” love each other while the girls spend their bonding time.

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A visit from the horse shoer (Farrier) for a trim to the horses hooves.

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The boy had the opportunity to spend some time with his cousins from Hawaii again before they left.  He of course had to introduce them to all his chickens.

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Our first batches of strawberry jam have been made and are stored in the cellar.

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And a new homey touch with a small curtain has been added to the chicken coop.

It’s been a strange weather pattern so far this spring and kick off of summer.  It’s cold, wet, and overly buggy and the weeks forecast does not look like it will be improving much.  At least we are keeping busy 🙂

Niagara Falls

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We live 15 minutes away from Niagara Falls.  Here are some pictures of what it looks like right now with the pictures from last spring.  The first set of pictures is the Falls.

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The second set is a picture of the rapids leading up to the Falls.

It’s an amazing sight to see so I wanted to share it.  You can find more pictures on our local news stations page

here:  Niagara Falls Frozen