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 extra 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 email@example.com!
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,
Lady Locust says
I realize this is an older post, but I hope by today this is just a dark memory that has been resolved and He has blessed you with the experience. We each have our struggles and when we let Him do the driving, we get to a better place.
Melinda Stortenbecker says
I just listened to your podcast with Melissa Norris on making fruit vinegars today. What a delight to hear from your heart when I looked up your blog. Being real and transparent is scary, but I believe it will minister to others no matter what path they are on. Many people just crave to meet or interact with someone who is real – in all the good, the bad and the ugly. Your blog seems to be meeting that need. Keep up the good work. I will be checking in frequently. Blessings.
Thank you for that affirmation! Being open to the online world does leave a body feeling vulnerable. But I agree it’s something we need more of! Glad to have you on board!
As a struggling mom and farmer I need to hear that someone else’s life spirals and I also need a timely reminder to go to the Lord. And that he CARES THANK YOU for sharing this, hon. It is the kind of thing that endears me to your blog. Along with those gardens, which remind me of mine. My hugelkultur beds are in their absolute glory this summer. We have had so much rain that if I had had my garden in ground it would have drowned. Instead every bit of sunshine makes it grow like crazy. All I ask is a ton of pictures of your garden lol.
So glad my writing has encouraged you! I’ll keep the garden pics coming! 😉
Thank you so much for sharing and, and just being real. So many times what we see online is a mask of sorts, and then others wish for the same mask. A mask of perfection-where everything looks as if our life is always going smoothly. We all struggle and can learn from others. I love your videos, but also I admire your willingness to share your life journey-and the spirit in which you share it. I’m grateful I found “a traditional life!” Grace & Peace Autumn:)
Thank you for taking time to respond! I’ll take your thoughts into account!
Write what is on your heart
– what brings you joy; what helps you navigate; what fills your mind, whether personal or practical or in your plans… Whatever it is, write! And if it’s something you want to share, I’d love to listen in.
Thanks for the feedback. And I think that’s good advice. 🙂
I agree with Diane. Remembering god is with you helps so much. Worrying only causes problems, health wise and doesn’t really help the situation.
Take care and stay safe.
I agree with both of you! 🧡
Thank you for sharing Autumn ♥️ I always love reading your blog!
I love tutorials, garden tips and hearing your personal life as well!
Wonderful! That’s good to know!🧡
David Keim says
Hi Autumn. It’s interesting how God comforts each of us in ways that are meaningful to each of us. For me there was a time in the first year of cancer I was feeling so abandoned and too ill to go with my friends who were planning a day out in the mountains to look for wildlife. Our loving Father spoke amazing words of loving comfort to me from Psalm 22 that morning and then after that He brought 2 grizzly bears onto our backyard. They wandered up to within 45 feet from where I was snapping pictures of them. As they wandered off I felt as though I had tasted something of heaven that morning.
Meanwhile in the evening my friends came back from a frustrating day in the mountains having not seen anything and spending far too much time getting lost on dusty forest service roads.
I love that story! Thanks for sharing.
Tasha Thielmann says
Thanks for sharing Autumn. I like a mixture of both personal and just basic information stuff. The info and Teaching on how to do things is great, and I like your practical tips on gardening, preserving food, and canning, etc. But it’s good to hear a more personal side of your life once in a while as well.
Thank you for your feedback! Give those lil girls of yours a kiss for me!
Thank you, we all need to be reminded of our blessings and that God provides for our needs.
Amen to that! He always has!
Elaine Wiebe says
Loved this Autumn!!! So relevant for me, since birthing children my hips and back have been rendered useless (or so it feels) so this was extremely relatable! In the past I have often struggled with feelings of my man being “better off” with a more functional human being around. BUT taking it to God, in His love and truth is the perspective we all need <3
I personally, like the mix of recipes and home like stuff, and personal 🙂
Thank you for sharing, Elaine! It’s always good to know we arent alone, isn’t it? And thanks for the feedback!
Jennifer Lawrence says
Thanks Autumn, that was beautiful! I had a very similar experience not long ago. I really struggle with low energy levels and feeling like a chronic failure… The other day, when I was feeling really overwhelmed and down about myself, God showed me a picture of how He sees and cares for me and it really helped to give me peace. God is so kind in His care for us, isn’t He?
All the best to you!
I love those moments! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I love this post! I’m a reader so I prefer written posts to videos. Thanks for sharing such a personal journey.
I prefer reading to video most of the time too! Thanks for taking time to respond!