Spring came early this year, with the foreshadowing of what promised to be a rich, hearty, full summer. We had plans, my man and I. Big plans for developing and further establishing a mini farm on this wild land of ours.
It’s been a while since I gave you all an update and today, I’m feeling it. No promises about order, layout or connected dots. Ok? Just the honest truth about the beautiful, messy life we’re living!
Our Plans for Spring Activities
As spring approached, my man and I spent quite a bit of time conversing, trying to decide which projects we were going to tackle this year. Fencing? A root cellar? Expanded lawn? Poultry? Gardens? What were our objectives?
After several weeks of debating and crunching numbers, we decided to focus on a berry patch, gardens and also on bringing poultry back onto our land.
It was time to whip this place shape and start creating a tiny farmstead!
Creating a Berry Patch Out Back
April came in like a lamb and we started prepping the land for a small berry patch behind the Mountain Cottage. In-the-ground hugelkultar beds were created (click this link to see us create berry beds) and shortly after, we planted rhubarb, blueberries, haskap berries, raspberries and blackberries.
The work was hard but it felt good! That was the first garden we put in.
A Front Garden for Food Production
I can live without animals. I can even live in town. But I can‘t enjoy living without a good size garden and lots of good, home grown food!
So we worked our tails off and finally, the beginning of June, the front lawn (who am I kidding…it was a weed patch!) was converted to an above-the-ground garden. If you wanna check out the technique we used to create gardens in poor, rocky soil, you can read this blog post here.
I’m delighted with this garden space. There are a few more beds I want to develop either this fall or next year, but the bulk of it is done. Hallelujah!
Our Poultry Order Flop
Early this spring, we placed an order for our birds. Because the States offers poultry at a better price and offers sexed birds, we ordered from the Murray McMurray’s hatchery.
But when covid hit and border closure was a sure thing, we had to cancel our order. Canadian hatcheries were overrun with orders and focused primarily on chickens (we wanted ducks and turkeys). So unlike we had planned, we still don’t have farmyard creatures here on the Mountain Farmstead.
And knowing what we know now, it may have been for the best.
And Then We Hit Money Issues
Buying land, building your own home and creating a hobby farm from scratch is loads of work. You work like a dog to save money for your land. Then you work like a dog to build your home. And then you plan to tackle land development projects over the next 6+ years and create the farm you want.
But then life gets in the way.
You know I struggle with health issues, that we don’t get any help from the government or the Canadian healthcare system. Not for Lyme disease!
Nor do we have dental coverage. I won’t go into all the details, but some of my teeth have been randomly dying on me. Implants are the logical conclusion and we’re still waiting for a “real” assessment from a specialist. Costs may very well be in the 5 figure range.
It caught us by surprise. And the reality of pouring all our savings into dental surgeries…well. It’s sobering. And I’m here to confess that this spring/summer, I lost my way.
I Lost My Way
A little bit of uncomfortably honest talk?
Sometimes health issues drive me crazy with feelings of frustration, helplessness and worry. It eats away at me when I have to face the reality that my man would be better off financially if I wasn’t part of his world.
Sorry if that statement made you squirm. Welcome to my world, one of the unpleasant realities I often have to face and wrestle with.
I lost my way in the worry, in wanting to help.
You see, this spring something special happened. Thanks to you, my blog readership increased. Numbers of views per month just kept going up, until I wasn’t far off from being able to join a “big” ad network company.
And if I could get in, I would be able to bring in around $500 per month! The perfect solution to our problems, no?
I began working hard. I thought, breathed and planned for the expansion of my blog. Worry was driving me, along with the desire to help with our finances, to see my man’s work load lighten.
I’m here to confess that I lost my way.
Here’s What I Did
In my attempts to reach those page views, I began neglecting the thing that were nearest and dearest to my heart. I let my home go. Didn’t get out to see many people. Meals were slapped together. Laundry piled high. I failed to keep up on baking for my man’s lunches.
Inwardly and outwardly, life became more and more unkempt as I became obsessed with reaching those page views. But suddenly, I was brought to a screeching halt and received the good, solid reality check I needed!
Due to covid and the high volume of people spending time online, lots of bloggers were hitting the threshold numbers they needed. The ad network company was flooded with requests to join. And so? They doubled the number of views you needed to join their program.
Doubled them, I tell you! And I felt deflated. As my plans slowly trickled down the drain, I was brought to face a new reality.
His Reminder to Me
It took me a few weeks to get there, but I finally had to surrender, to stop trying to fix and change our reality. Instead, I turned to God and asked Him to help me. To help us. And I begged Him to provide for our needs.
And then, this picture appeared in my mind’s eye.
I was a little child being held in the arms of God, with my tired head resting on His shoulder. And He was asking me if I had food? A home? A loving husband to provide for me? Even a second car to drive around so I could go see and connect with people?
“Yes, Father. I do.”
In that moment, I suddenly realized…I have everything I need.
I had been wrestling with the unknowns in my future. A lack of control. And in that moment, I realized I didn’t need more control or more money. I needed to know He was near, that He hadn’t forgotten us.
The icy fear that had encapsulated my soul suddenly broke and fell away. Ah, there it was. A soft, beating heart I hadn’t felt or seen for months.
I don’t know how to explain this, particularly to those of you who don’t have a personal faith in a good and mighty God. But in that moment, I realized all I need to have real, deep peace is the knowledge that He cares about and is looking out for us in a real, personal way….
Giving Him My Trust
I gave Him my trust that night. Even with the unknown still looming before me, I can see, breathe and feel once again. This is where I was meant to be. Not having all the answers but instead, taking comfort in the fact that God is with us.
And you wanna know something else? As I snuggled up to my man in bed last night, he told me that he also needs a change in perspective. To let go of his worries.
I didn’t realize it’d been eating away at both of us. So now, it’s time for us to return to place of rest and trust in God. Oh, I expect we’ll still have rough days. But I want to remember. To trust.
Wrapping It All Up
That’s what has been happening in our world.
And I know that some of you might be feeling a bit uncomfortable at this point. Usually, we talk about canning, gardening, homemaking and the like.
I know things got real and personal! More so than usual. But this is what has been happening in my life. And in light of everything going on in our world today, I thought some of you might benefit from hearing the real, raw, unedited version.
And would you do me a favor? I’d love to know if you enjoy this type of blog post, or if you prefer less personal stuff like recipes and tutorials? You can leave your thoughts below or get hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I’d love to hear how it’s going in your world and if I can help you on your journey, as a homemaker and a friend!
All the best,