Sunday, February 20, 2011

Barn Hop!

I love Homestead Revival.

When I saw the post about the Homestead Barn Hop I had to join in! I've been posting various pictures this last week from around the farm. Since we moved in just a few weeks ago, I am not doing much (!) except cleaning and trying to make it all a home for us.

I'd love to be writing about building our chicken coop, fixing fences, getting ready for goats and lambs, firing up the incubator in the basement we found, assembling and using the cream separator that was next to the incubator, etc. I can't. Because we're just not there yet.

I've been focusing as much as I can on here about the positives. I've posted some really neat pictures and have shared some of the beauty I've found. I've not posted about some of the really frustrating things.

Why? Because I'd rather vent to Sweetheart. Not really. Although I have been and he is tired of it. And not to just pretend it's all peachy, cause it isn't. But because I am trying really hard to stay positive simply because this is just this season. And this is the reality.

Reality: The three day drive just to get here was not fun. Having been sent the wrong keys was not fun. Waiting outside with the three kids while Sweetheart shoveled off the cellar doors and crawled in that way, thereby being able to let us in through the dining room window because the doors were padlocked shut wasn't much of a welcome.

Having the first person in town you meet be the only plumber in town who was nice enough to stop by on a Friday night because the pipes in the pump house burst when someone (not us) flipped the breaker and being without water for several hours didn't really start things off right.

Having to clean for a few hours just to be able to clear off a spot to sleep the first night- expected but yuck. Discovering that the movers didn't actually pack all the cushions with the couches or chairs and that they are mostly still in Colorado hasn't been that great either. Realizing that every rubber gasket from the washing machine to the sinks has shriveled up and died and that all the plumbing fixtures leak-has caused some unexpected work. Having to replaced the range the first because the mice had chewed up something important made things interesting as well.

Spending untold hours cleaning and cleaning and cleaning just to be able to function has been rather exhausting. We've moved out truckloads of stuff to be sold and to the dump with a lot more in the basement and outbuildings still to come. The endless killing of bugs and mice is well, gross.

Did I mention the normal work of just caring for the wee ones? They've expected to eat and be taken care of as well. :) And they don't like bugs. Major understatement for those of you that have met my kiddos.

Everything single thing I can think of is harder to do as I have to learn the way to do it here.

Any of you still reading? Because it gets better. It does.

All of this has felt totally overwhelming at times. More times than I'd like to admit. But it's not all there is.

We've gone a few towns over to see snow sculptures. I've shared a cup of tea and cake with a neighbor. We've been gifted baked goods and handmade soap. We had dinner at a neighbor's the other night and had another neighbor stay for a few meals as well as he's been helping us out.

Sweetheart has been working like a dog, but loves it and has really enjoyed everyone we've met. Shoot, that alone makes it all worth it.

The boys get to go sledding in the backyard. We have a barn. There are six mature apple trees, There will be roses. We have an original homestead house out back. We've found some really cool antiques around the place. I now have seven pie pans and I know how to use them! I can see the stars. Everyone has welcomed us. The mice situation appears to be taken care of and I kill fewer bugs each day.

The blessings do outweigh the hardships. I sometimes forget that in the moment when I feel so tied down and buried under the burdens. It is then that I remember and catch a glimpse of why my motto for the year is Fly Free.

See, here's the deal. These things are hard in the moment. They are. Shoot, the last year has been hard. If I took one of those stress tests where they give numbers for stressful events, I should likely be dead. But I'm not.

But hard doesn't mean bad, or wrong. Sometimes it's just hard. It wasn't wrong to move here. It's just hard right now. I don't think we made a mistake, or have done anything wrong. In fact, most of what we've had to take care of has had nothing to do with us. We're just fixing other peoples' mistakes and messes.

And eventually, it'll all be fixed and clean. And we'll have a couch to sit on. And we'll get to paint. And that will help a lot.

(Side Note: I chose "Edwardian Lace" for a color. Trying to convince myself it wasn't just for the name. It'll be beautiful against all the dark woods.)

And so we will get to move on with our plans and dreams. We are holding on tight to those things even as we work through the challenges. There are moments I think I'd like to go back to my old life, but reality brings me back: I had outgrown that life already. Here I have room to spread my wings and really fly.

As we sat at the big table yesterday enjoying our grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, served with pickles I put up and tomato soup made from the tomatoes I grew and canned, I could smile and think about being ready to learn how to make the cheddar cheese myself. Soon. Because that's what part of all this is about: learning and growing and living the life we've dreamed.


Michelle said...

I love are on your way my friend. Cheese's on my list, too...

Bonnie said...

Oh one of those "make me tear up posts!" (I never know why they make me tear up though)
And I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud at everyone crawling through the dining room window, and will likely snicker the rest of the day.
How exciting your finds sound, and I'm dreaming right along with you.
Oh and the neighbors! That is a big blessing in and of itself! I wonder if my husbands company has a plant in Idaho.....
Anyway, just sat down to nurse my littlest and got all carried away jabber-jawing here, so I will go- sheets to wash and beds to make up!
Wish I could lend a cleaning hand, cleaning someone else's house is *always* more fun than your own =)

GrammaGrits said...

Great post, and thanks for your honesty! I just finished a book you must read (in all your free time - ha!). It's not a Christian book but one that you would love. Name if The Dirty Life written about a city girl who marries a farmer, one who uses draft horses instead of tractors and farms organically - a real eye-opener for the city girl!

Blessings to you and your family!

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

What's the old saying... nothing good comes easy? Something like that. Keep the focus that you mentioned... your chance to live your dream - and all will start to fall into a new rhythm in time (remember, moving ANYWHERE is always difficult).

lwm said...

Welcome to the country :-)
And no matter how long you've been here, there will always be days like that.
But God is good and His blessing bountiful in all circumstances.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My most gut wrenching traumatic times came while going through a move. Just the memories make me shudder!

I'm convinced the enemy of our souls try to hinder the moves when God wants us to relocate.

One of my favorite decorating books (taken out of the library numerous times) is Bunny William's Affair With a House.

I saw her interviewed recently on a show where they took cameras around her house and gardens and they were so beautiful. But she talked about how people thought they were crazy when they bought the house because they had so much work to do on it.

She said it was hard work but all of it worth the beauty they had now.

Vicki in UT said...

Moving is so difficult, even when it is the right thing to do. Especially when you have little ones. And more especially when you have to fix so much to make it work. Best wishes to you, I hope you will soon find the good times outweigh the hard.

marcia at Child in Harmony said...

Keep focusing on your dream. . . and breathe. Look at what you *have* accomplished and resign yourself that it is a *journey*...and there's no rush or pressure. enJOY the moments...hard as they may be at times.

Make some time for yourself, if only for 20 minutes at a time, doing something you *want* to do, something you enjoy. You will feel refreshed to tackle the world. Been there.

hugs and happy day to you!

Maura said...

Hi, I dropped by from Joanne's blog and just have to comment. Six years ago we made the move from the suburbs to our 5 acre "homestead". Those first months were so tough I wondered WHAT we had DONE,trading our easy life in town for this! The move started rough, with an unexpected spring blizzard... The family got split up, me and the two younger kids made it to the new house (wrecking the car in the process, but that's another story)but dh, our older child and most of the food got snowed in 30 miles away. The littles and I camped out in the new house, while the storm raged around us, and lived on chips and sprite leftover from the movers and instant oatmealwe found. The house was filthy (dh also had all the cleaning supplies) and it was a loooong two days waiting for dh to arrive. Shortly after moving into our properly (we thought) inspected log home we found wind whistling through cracks between the logs, the boiler almost blew up, parts kept falling off the chimneys and the whole house seemed to be leaning off to one side. After consulting a log home repair and restoration guy we learned the house was in BAD shape, literally in danger of falling down. The first estimate to fix it was $100,000. Which, needless to say, we didn't have. (haha... as if!)

Ten months later the house was fixed and more beautiful than I could have imagined it being. It's turned out to be the perfect house for us, and fixing it ended up being one miracle after another... (each of my new chimneys is a gift from God, but that's another story too).

It's been hard, but our six years out here have been incredibly enriching and faith building. Our younger kids (the only ones still home) are "country" kids and can tell by the track what animal wandered through the yard last night, and what month the deer fawns are born (and when the bucks go into rut, so you'd better keep away from them!) Our marriage and family are stronger, we are healthier, we grow and "put up" as much of our own food as possible, have planted a little orchard, a pumpkin patch, a large garden, and lots of flowers. We've had chickens, goats, donkeys and horses (currently just have the big animals) and have loved taking care of them.

I guess what I'm saying in this waaay too long comment is "wait for the miracle" it's there... Our move started SO roughly, I thought we had made a huge mistake... and I missed "home". But I know now that this was the best thing we ever could have done, and going through the rough (panicky) times has only makes our lives here all the sweeter.

Enjoy! :)


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