I can tell you this.... downsizing is tough! So many hard and difficult decisions about memory heavy belongings!
When I move, I normally have a "staging area" which is a room that I use to put things that I know need to go somewhere, but don't really have a place to go - yet. In our little cottage, there really was no room for a staging area, except for our bedroom, so for the last week or two, it has been piled with boxes having no particular destination, and a small path to walk through. Each night, I went to bed surrounded by boxes with unknown destinations. For me, this was very hard, because I love things organized, and in their place.
Finally though... yesterday the last box in my bedroom was put in its final destination, and I feel like I can breathe again! This has been a difficult road filled with organizing challenges, and other miscellaneous challenges along the way which didn't really help.
Probably the main challenge - and one we still face - is the fact that don't have hot water. My husband had to leave to go back to work on the day that the propane tank was filled and the heat/cooling company was scheduled to come out the next day and light the hot water heater, and ensure its safety and working ability. However, when they came out, because the hot water heater was previously natural gas, and is older than eight years, the part to interchange the hot water heater from gas to propane is no longer available. So, we basically have a hot water heater that won't work with propane. The other option is to switch the hot water heater over to electric, but this is something my husband will need to do. And he won't be back until Labor Day weekend.
So... we are camping! We are heating hot water for dishes and bathing, and while this is a challenge of sorts, it is not terrible. It is manageable. Yet, it is just one more thing I have to do, on top of getting the house in order.
So, there you have it... the reason I've been lost and hiding from blog posts is just that I've been covered in boxes... and dust!
You see, on top of everything else we have going on here, our area is on high alert because of wild fires. The air has been incredibly smoky, and thankfully that is the worst we've had to endure. So many others close by us have lost their homes and all that they have. There is a huge wildfire burning north of us, about 12 miles away, but we are in no danger of it approaching where we are at. However, everyone here is on edge and on high alert about the fires, and it is a great cause for concern. We have tremendous amounts of dust because of the gravel road we live on, and the fact that our new construction has stirred up a lot of ground that once was forest floor... and now, is just... dust. The dogs love it. They run back and forth and clouds follow them. I spray the ground down daily, but still... dust is everywhere!
We watched the moon come up a week or so ago, and it was rather eerie. It was completely red because of the smoke and particles in the air.
Our yard looks like a huge mess of tunnels. Lines had to be dug to put in the propane and telephone lines, and my husband also dug a water line from the well to the garden.
Uh oh! The ground gave way as the tractor was shoveling the dirt back into the holes and the tractor was stuck!
No amount of effort to use the bucket to help back the tractor out would work. Time for my husband's heavy duty 4x4 pickup to be put to work.
I drove the pickup and pulled the tractor out... lots of fun, and a few laughs there! My husband was extremely careful to not get close to the edges again, as I was his eyes on the ground as he pushed dirt.
The new home for our chickens arrived! I found this well made chicken coop locally, and it was time to introduce our hens to their new home!
We had cleaned out the chicken shed (it still had residuals from the previous owners), and dusted it down with diatomaeous earth. The hens are loving their new home, especially since it is right next door to the garden!
We have regular visitors throughout the day - a whole group of momma turkeys and their babies come by to visit mornings and evenings. I've been leaving fresh water out for them, and the turkeys crowd around the water and just drink and drink. I keep fresh water for them each day, as it is so dry here. See that dust? Yeah, that's right outside my window! It fills your shoes and your feet are almost black at the end of the day, especially if you are wearing sneakers or open toed shoes. Even wearing boots, the dirt has a way of attaching itself to you!
Our horizons around here are very limited right now due to the very smoky air. This picture was actually taken on one of the better days we've had. Some days it is downright eerie with the amount of smoke that is in the air.
Yesterday, there was enough done on the house that I could leave for a while, and so I took Annie on our first walk since we moved in. Oh what a beautiful walk it was!
We walked approximately 2.5 miles and it was a welcome relief for me to get out and walk again after all the moving excitement!
When I got back, I heard this woodpecker in one of our trees. He wasn't worried about me at all, and let me get very close. Once I got a little too close, he just moved to the other side of the tree, lol!
My small garden is doing well, and produce is really starting to come in! Last year, our first frost hit before any of my tomatoes even ripened! So I am so thrilled that this year I am already experiencing a significant amount of ripe tomatoes!
Oh what a happy sight to see them ripening beautifully on the vine!
Some pictures of recent harvests...
Well, this is it for the update on downsizing our lives! It has been a challenging journey to be sure, but already I am reaping the benefits of enjoying a simpler lifestyle, and praising the Lord for helping us get to this place! Thank you for following along with us in this