Strange title for a homesteading blog you say?? Maybe but let me update you first…,
I am sorry for not blogging sooner but it has been quite the mad rush around …. With preparing the animals for winter and manically trying to finish the cabin (will the hardware store EVER send the right windows that we ordered 3 months ago???). So this will be looooonnggg post lol.
It is reaching around -8’c during the nights here and a balmy 0’c during the day. No matter how relgiously you stoke our little stove this tent is mighty cold. We have approximately a weeks worth of work before the cabin is ready for move in. As hardy as my boys are we have moved the little ones to Grannies for the week and the older two (who fought this decision tooth and nail) at night. It is just too cold. With the littles ones away it allows me to be a larger help to Mountain Man in installing insulation etc.
(frosty goats in the morning sun)
In the middle of September, while we were eating lunch, we heard a large commotion where the goats were grazing. We had dogs with them but could not actually see them due to the ruggedness of our land. Mountain Man rushed in the direction of the noise on the atv, gun in hand, but couldnt find the goats….what happened???
That night to our dismay, when our goats always return to the safety of their warm barns….no goats! We went out late into the night searching..not a goat anywhere!
Now we don’t live in a settled area. On both sides of our property lay thousands of acres of crown land (which is undeveloped land owned by the government). Most of this land has very little road development of even the roughest of logging roads. Most if it (as we soon found out) was even too densely forested for atv access…how to find them??? How do 150 goats (20 had returned by then and the others had been sold) simply disapear????
That night I lay in bed wide awake..running outside at every sound…praying wildly for their return…physically sick with fear due to high predator count in our area. Our guardian dogs had returned home at this point obliviously knowing they were too far from home accompanying two older tired does.
We could find no trace of them… Friends drove back roads.. Signs were mounted around the nearby town of 500…even Facebook became a helpful tool. Every ranch around was alerted. Where were they???
Now it is humbling to feel like the bumbling farmer “from the east” as we are referred to ha ha. Strangely we were born and raised here but after living out east for ten years we are referred to as “from out east”.
As we had $35,000 walking around in the woods along with a piece of our hearts somewhere, it was time to call in extra help. We enlisted the assistance of cowboys (and a cowgirl) on horse back with dogs to comb the mountain sides. Mountain Man mounted his trusty steed Stormy lord an accompanied the cowboys.
At the end of day three a joyous and tearful “thank you to God” rang loudly from our ranch … which must have been heard for miles around. Our angels on horseback (as the cowboys were quickly renamed)… Brought the goats back from where they had been found …six kilometres away up a mountain side. They had been spooked by a cougar (mountain lion) and fled…fast. With Gods grace they came home….. And are now grounded !!!
The trusses were up and it was time to roof!!! Grandad came back up from the coast and precariously tin roofed (along with Mountain Man and our two older sons Alaska and Cowboy) our 12/12 steep roof with tin!!
I use the term, precarious, as the end section saw my 69 yr old father hanging off a ladder down the side of the roof, suspended by a rope being held by Mountain man. If this wasn’t crazy enough…. At that exact moment a massive storm hit! Honestly it did!! The storm threw rain and hail and the wind..well it threw my father…who was attached to the ladder across part of the roof with the tin siding!!! My 71 yr old mother and I quickly grabbed long two by fours and attempted to hold the tin down to the house using our full weight to keep it and my father from flying away!! When it was all said and done….instead of a hug I gave my stubborn father a swift punch to the shoulder for risking his life like that!! Ha ha but seriously what a sight it was!!!
(Mountain Man and my Father on a sunnier day)
Our cistern for rainwater collection and potable water went underground last week (I will blog about this later as it completely excites me ..).
This past week saw an addition of a dream of Mountain mans come true …when we were able to purchase a used 4×4 tractor for our farm!!! Mountain man and Alaska drove for two days through a snowstorm to the neighbouring province for this red beauty. Mountain Man can often be heard now singing the country tune “she thinks my tractors sexy!”. Ummm I’m not sure that I do..but hey why break a mans heart ?? Lol
Sooooo this brings me to the Egyptians an Israelites. To any of you that are unfamiliar with this Biblical story…the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt for 400 yrs. God delivered them to freedom …to the promised land… but first God made His power known to pharaoh (the Egyptian king with the ten plagues). Amazingly, the Israelites, who had called out to God for all those years, while in slavery for rescuing,…where no happier when they were free. Along the way to the promised land they constantly complained. It was too far. It was too hard. There was no food. When God made manna miraculously fall from Heaven each day.. well that wasn’t good enough. When God sent them meat..well then there was too much etc.
My oldest son brought this story to my attention. Do we tend to be like the Israelites in this story. We pray and pray for a chance at our dream (be it homesteading, a different job, to be married, to be blessed with children)…, only to complain each step of the way?????
We prayed earnestly to homestead…here….in the rugged mountains….is it hard??? Its the hardest work I have ever done! Some days it feels completely undo able. But I pray that my heart will be glad and joyful giving thanks for each part of this journey.
What about you? Do you find yourself being a grumbling Israelite like in this story? If so take a few minutes today and write down your blessings! Give thanks for them. There is a saying that says, “what if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”…. What would you wake up with?? So with Thanksgiving weekend just behind us….have you actually been thankful?
The Prayerful Pioneer