As 2014 comes to a close most of us are sitting back and taking stock of the year that just passed. When I look back on the past year, I smile at all of the things I thought I was going to accomplish but I am also amazed at what I did get done on my land. So what did I learn?
1/ The hanging of the sign. I actually bought a fence post for this sign. My friend, Judy, looked at me like I was crazy and said … You know you have a lot of trees. Why did you buy a dead one? Lesson learnt – I have a lot of supplies on my land.
2/ The deck. Working outdoors is nothing like working indoors, not even close. Lesson learnt – I am out of my element and need to slow down, do research and make way more informed decisions because if I don’t this will not work.
3/ The camp location. I put the tent on the most level spot of land that was closest to the driveway. We did not look up and ended up building right under a widow maker tree (a tree that is dangerously close to falling). I also put it at the bottom of my hill and am about to experience my first spring melt so it may or may not be flooded out. The ground is basically years of decaying organic matter so after a few months of heavy equipment being used I now open my door onto a mud pit. Lesson learnt – look at all angles before making a decision.
4/ The wood burning stove. It came with wire netting for the top of the chimney to keep debris out. This is a great idea for short amount of time but in my case the wire netting is pointless. Rain turns a stove into a small dirty tub but add a new metal T top and all is well. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle.
5/ The canvas tent and wood burning stove. Making sure that everything is clear of stove inside the tent is great but making sure everything is clear of the stove pipe is also a good idea. Leason learnt – metal gets really hot and dry leaves burn really nicely.
6/ Mice. I have successfully build the best home a mouse family could ever hope for. I had no idea that there were so many mice out there. Lesson learnt – you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city.
7/ Black flies. Back in July when we went up to survey for the driveway I had my first ever Black Fly experience. I grew up in a province full of mosquitoes but not black flies. Lesson learnt – Black Flies love my blood.
8/ Winter. I actually thought that I could leave the tent up all year without any worries. Then my neighbours and I talked about the weight of snow. Thankfully, this winter has been very kind to us and as of today the tent has yet to collapse. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle and you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city. (Reoccurring theme)
9/ I have really amazing neighbours and awesome friends. Thank you all for your support either up there working or simply telling me that this is beautiful and that following your heart is the best thing anyone can do.
Folk artist. Lifelong cyclist. Plant based. Zero Waste. Environmentalist. Lover.