Riding the wave of accomplishment…

We had about 24 hours at the homestead this week and it was great!  Dad drove in for the night and instead of cramming in as much work as possible in that time, we actually built a fire and relaxed around it.  The first thing we did upon arrival was check to see if the cabin was dry inside. It was. At that moment, the list I had composed in my head for what I wanted to accomplish that day flew right out of the holes that are going to have a window in them one day (soon).   We are fully aware that building walls and installing the windows and door are a priority, but we also feel like we can take our time a bit on the next steps and we have such a tight schedule sometimes, so it was wonderful to take a day to cook and just hang out. Those moments are precisely the reason we are doing this for so I am happy with myself for taking it in.

Dad, hiking back to the cabin.

Ok, so I did a little work.  I swept some of the nails and dust up in the cabin since the last time we were there it was more of a wet mud than dry dirt.  We laid out an indoor/outdoor mat and laid out the guest mattress for its inaugural sleep.

Perriee and I made a fire in the tipi, then we made some grilled cheese and tomato soup on the stove.  That took a while, so while lunch cooked, we made the outdoor fire. Once lunch was done, I started dinner, because you know, cast iron cooking can be slow.  I mixed meatloaf and cooked potatoes and sipped on beer while Perriee kept the fire going.

Dad and I fixed some Tyvek wrap on the front wall since it was flapping a little too much in the breeze.  That stuff is so loud! We were worried it would keep him up, but it took no time to tack it down with the stapler.  After dinner, we relaxed again. It eventually started to rain, so we took our chairs into the cabin and sat for a bit to listen to the rain.  It was a perfect moment. Perriee and I eventually went to the tipi and had a great night’s rest with a peaceful mind and body. We did not break our backs that day.  

We had breakfast in the morning and dad hit the road.  I shook out some zinnia seeds around the tipi and we packed up and left to spend Mother’s Day with Ms.Gwen.  My only critique about the weekend was that it went too fast. We will be back in a week or so to work on those walls.  In the meantime, it will have to do.

Homework: Give yourself a break.  

I am guilty of sticking to deadlines and working my hardest to get a job done.  Perriee and I have consistently worked on something almost every time we go to the farm, whether it be clearing out some honeysuckle or taking the next step in our homestead build.  I tend to have guilt if we go there without a plan. Perriee is so supportive in my restlessness. We have got a lot accomplished in the two years since we have been working on things but we have admittedly spent little time relaxing there.  

My feelings to move forward so hard and fast with the cabin are partly related to my drive to move into our “early retirement” stage of life.  We want to spend time together now, not in twenty years. When we move into this phase, it will not be to do nothing, but to do something meaningful and fulfilling all day, every day, together.  The things we are able to do accomplish in the time we have together now is amazing. I can’t wait to see what we will do when we have even more time together.

Give yourself a break.  We can all be our toughest boss and you can push yourself into endless overtime, whether it be from your full time job or your hobbies, or your long term goals.  Make sure you are fitting in the time to spend with those who mean the most. I can’t remember the last time dad and I had that much quiet time together. It was something I will remember forever.  I feel like a broken record saying this, but it is worth repeating: you only get one life. Spend it wisely. We did last weekend, hanging out with dad.

Smoke Flap Mouse Nest


Cabin Corner:

Plan as of today:  After lots of discussion between the two of us and with Elaine and Matt, the thought of pouring so much concrete into our area really began to sour our thoughts.  A big part of this is to try to be cognizant of the earth and have the smallest footprint possible. We have the tipi on a bed of gravel and made a woodshed out of fallen tree branches.  

Instead of the 24 inch piers, we are going to dig post holes with a manual digger at least 2 feet deep.  We will drive the rebar into the ground and pour concrete in from there.This will save money, materials, and impact on the earth.  I will refrain from commenting on how much time we will save. That could be the biggest price that we will pay. How heavy can the load of this house be?  We have a 14 x 14 area marked off in our basement with masking tape. This is a master bedroom that we are building not a two story house. It is going to be ok.   

Cast Iron Cooking Corner:

Friday: Fish chowder with green beans and potatoes cooked on top of the tipi wood stove.  It was delicious.

Saturday: O’s oatmeal with an array of toppings (including some impromptu cooked apples per the request of the young inspiration for the oatmeal) because that is what makes oatmeal fun.  I made fireside chili for dinner.

Gadget Corner:

We received our BioLite Camp Stove 2 this week.  This stove is awesome in theory.  It is a little rocket stove with a battery that charges as the fire burns.  We tried to get it going on Saturday morning, but definitely need some more practice with it.  I believe the claim is that you can boil water in about 4 minutes. We didn’t get quite that result, but it is a promising device.  In the afternoon, we brought it outside and tried it again. Being only 20 degrees out, the battery did not want to hold a charge, or maybe we did not get the fire inside of it going well enough.  We shall try again next weekend.


Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and change your mind a few times.  This is one practice that I am really good at. The best part of changing your mind is having the luxury of getting excited all over again with the new and improved plans and ideas.  It’s fun. Now go listen to some David Bowie.