Double Duty

In an attempt to get a whiff of the Christmas Spirit, I picked up some clementines at the grocery store tonight…AKA “little Christmas oranges” in my house!  Not sure if they’ll do the trick, but they sure are delicious!!

Now, this is obviously not an original idea, and it certainly isn’t me who came up with it…but I love it nonetheless.  A couple of years ago, I made a batch – my husband and daughter aren’t crazy about it, but I love it…so they can stuff it!! 🙂  If you do a Pinterest search with “DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaner”, you’ll basically get about a million posts about the exact same thing.

I didn’t want to throw our peels in the garbage, and since I don’t have my compost bin yet, I had to be creative.  I thought, why not another jar of all-purpose cleaner…a free one at that!?  So using vinegar I already had, and an empty jar of pasta sauce I kept, in went the clementine peels, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil for an added little boost!  And in two weeks, I’ll have a delicious smelling Earth-friendly FREE bottle of cleaner!  …just don’t use it on glass – the essential oil and natural oils from the fruit tend to leave streaks.   …happy cleaning!

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Where Are You Christmas? …a re-post

I wrote this post a few years ago…Christmas 2012, on my old blog.  But in light of my complete and utter lack of spirit of the season this year – more so than other years it seems – I thought it appropriate to re-post instead of re-writing the same words in a different order.

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A memory of so long ago; a warm smile, soft rainbow illumination and the smell of cookies warm from the oven.  Mounds of silver tinsel that you find in the weirdest places, twisting every light on the string to find the culprit bulb that’s keeping half the string in darkness.  Bits of red and green ribbon curled up on the floor, with empty rolls of yellow tinted tape… over-sized glass ornaments with faded images of the virgin mother and her babe.  Dusty figurines forming the nativity scene underneath the lowest color-coded branches, and anticipation of a 5-year old living in a magical world full of wonder and imagination; of elves and Santa and reindeer that can fly.

Big family gatherings, and a big midnight feast as is common in the French Canadian community…. a “réveillon”, with turkey and mashed potatoes with all the fixings, and all those yummy home-made deserts that grandma only makes at Christmas time.  Uncles and Aunts that tend to forget your name for 364 days, suddenly remember you exist and shower you with gifts you’ll never use, but you don’t care, you’re just excited – as only children get –  by the infinite pile of presents and attention; however brief and fake; bestowed upon you.  And then you fall asleep curled up by the Christmas tree, surrounded by a mountain of torn wrapping paper of red and green and white, with bows stuck to your hair and your new doll tucked under your arm…  Memories of joy and the childish reality of Christmas.

And then we grow up….and realize what a mess we’ve made of Christmas.  When did it become about how much you can spend?  About what new bit of unaffordable technology you can stuff in an overpriced stocking bought at Hallmark?  About the piles of scratch tickets stuffed inside generic cards with your barely legible name scrawled at the bottom with a messy ‘x-o’?

How I long for that old feeling… the scent of pine needles and turkey, and the laughter of children as they gather around and watch A Charley Brown Christmas while their parents sip eggnog and Bailey’s and reminisce about the old days.

How I long to look outside on Christmas morning and see a foot of snow covering the world and big fluffy flakes still floating down… a fire burning in the fireplace and the cat dozing under the tree.  Drinking hot cocoa with my family, sitting in our pajamas and fuzzy slippers…  Where has that Christmas gone?  WHY has it gone?

Am I the only one who has trouble finding that feeling again?  Am I the only one who every year says, “maybe this year I’ll find it”, only to be sadly disappointed yet again?

Where are you Christmas?   ….ahh… the memories….

I find myself already yearning for Christmas morning on a land that’s still only in my imagination – where my daughter (and eventually her family) come spend the holidays with us, and the house is filled with warmth and children’s laughter…  I long for the memories we’ll get to make, and hope that with those days will resurface the elusive joyful feelings of Yule.

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It’s a crispy kind of morning, I woke up to the sun brightly shining through intermittent clouds, making the grass and everything else it touched shimmer and shine – this morning, my little world is covered in a thick, glittery layer of frost.  

I’m not a fan of the cold, but I am a fan of beauty – and Mother Nature has her own special way of giving us the most mesmerizing, yet simple, natural beauties.  I’ll choose my own back yard over the most prestigious art museum any day, there is simply no comparison.

As I stepped out to capture this quickly passing moment on camera, the crisp air which normally would make me turn on my heels, instead made me smile.  The quiet stillness –  only broken by bird song, now scarce – a magnet for my soul.  I am dazzled as I look all around me – and my camera suddenly seems inadequate.  It cannot possibly capture and honestly represent the true magnificence that fills every part of me with this overwhelming sense of peacefulness.  I try nonetheless, but the images are dull in comparison.  Still, it makes me smile – and as the sun, still coming up in the East, starts to melt the frosted world, I can’t help but sigh deeply in complete awe and appreciation of the gift I just received.

 

Time Well Wasted

I don’t nap.  I love sleeping – but to me, the act of sleeping during the day when you could be getting things accomplished, or otherwise enjoying life, is a pure unadulterated waste of time.  I’ve always been in the frame of mind that I only get two days off work per week, so to sleep half of one of them away is just a tragic loss of “living time”.  I say “half of”, because the times that I DO have naps, which usually happens about twice a year, and normally when I’m sick or have a migraine – it’s not a 20 minute power nap.  No, when I do nap, it’s a 4-5 hour affair.

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Well, today, I do believe I’ve turned a corner.  After sleeping over 8 hours, we got up this morning and did a bunch of necessary running around…all this time I felt extremely sleepy, as if I hadn’t really slept all night.  I’m really not sure what caused this, but the fact I had to bitterly accept was, that I did in fact, need a nap.

We got home just before 1:00 PM, I locked myself in my bedroom and snuggled into my grandmother’s old quit…and proceeded to sleep until 4:15!  My normal reaction to this would be pure guilt…but not today!  Today, I woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and 100% free of guilt.  This was a shock on its own, and I had to investigate this missing emotion.  My investigation lasted all of about 30 seconds before I came to the happy conclusion to just roll with it.

Napping is not a royal waste of time.  Sometimes, being tired is your body’s way of telling you ‘I NEED TO REST!!” …you should probably listen to it.  Other times, you may just be feeling a wee bit lazy, and that’s okay too!  This is a time to re-charge your mental AND your physical batteries.  It may be just what you need to find inspiration for your next project, or the energy to complete the one you’ve already started…whatever it is, it’ll still be waiting for you when you wake up.

So do yourself a favor.  Don your favorite jammies, cuddle down in your favorite blanket, your comfiest pillow…lock the door and draw the curtains, and spend some time well wasted… have a nap!

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Finish What You Start

I have a pesky tendency to start things, and never finish them.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I have the attention span of a flea…and I’m being generous.

I get all of these ideas in my head, and I just want to do all of them, right now.  So I start one…and of course it takes longer than I anticipated, so I put it aside and start something else, and so on.  It’s a vicious, never ending cycle.

Two years ago, I decided I wanted to give everyone homemade personalized presents for Christmas.  I still have the empty mason jars and plain white mugs and paint Sharpies tucked away somewhere.  Last year, same deal…I was making candles! Yay, everyone loves candles!  …when they work.  Crisco candles…they work on Pinterest…not so much in my kitchen.  I made a handful…they were super pretty – until you lit them.  And then the flame kind of just fizzled like a little blue dot.  The remnants of my unused supplies (minus the Crisco) are sitting up in my ‘junk room’, gathering dust in a box.

All of my ideas start of as really good intentions… but you can’t give intentions wrapped in a pretty red bow.  So I’ve gotta shape up!

A few weeks ago…okay, probably over a month if I’m honest; I found this pretty yarn at the dollar store – I’d never seen it before; it’s super soft, like chenille, and it’s a string of pompoms!  I thought, what a fun scarf this would make…and bought three balls of it.  I’m not a knitter.  The only thing I can knit is a very basic plain Jane stitch…and they’re rudimentary at best (I know knitters out there are going to correct me on the technical terms, sorry!!)… so a scarf…the simplest thing right?  Only I can’t finish it.  No I mean it…I literally can’t finish it…I can keep knitting and knitting and knitting until I run out of yarn…it’s just going to stay on the needle because I don’t know HOW to finish it.

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Now, in this new homesteading journey of mine, I’m trying to come up with ways that I can make some extra money without the 9 to 5 (and without marketing; which I already do, quite poorly even though I adore the products), so that I can concentrate on the important things…like milking goats…so I thought, why not try my hand with selling handmade things..like scarves. Sigh.  Maybe I’ll just wear this one, if I can ever get it finished…and make something else to sell…  Any ideas???

Disclaimer: This is one of those “filler” posts… I wanted to write tonight, and didn’t have a clue what to write about.  I apologize if it seems uninspired hehehe

Waste Not…

I’m a woman on a mission.  My head is held high, my cape flapping in the wind, fists on my hips…. okay, not really.  I’m no superhero, but I am on a mission!!  Every two weeks is garbage day, and every two weeks I’m completely and utterly ashamed of myself.

I go on and on about saving the planet – and yet 2 or 3 large non-biodegradable plastic garbage bags filled with goodness knows what (I mean, how much waste should a family of three really be generating???), make it to the end of our driveway, and ultimately, to the landfill.  I feel like the world’s biggest hypocrite every second Thursday.  We do recycle, and our two large bins are also full to capacity and beyond, every single week.  Now, that can be a good thing, and a not so good thing.

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So yes.  My mission.  To see how much I can decrease both our landfill waste AND our recycling waste…because lets face it, not everything that makes it to the blue bin ends up as a new cereal box or water bottle.  Maybe that’s just my own conspiracy theory; of which I have many; but I stand by it.

So I started looking at ways to reuse and re-purpose a lot of what gets tossed.  There are SO many ways, if we’re just willing to stop being lazy, because it’s just easier to tap the toe pedal on the trash can.

Number 1: COMPOST!!!  There are so many things we can actually put into the compost bin that I would have never even thought of!  That alone should cut our waste by at LEAST 50%!  (I’m not even joking…it’s pretty bad!!)

So Mission Number One: Be A Compost Queen!

This means I have to start by GETTING a compost bin…or 10… I figure I’ll start by looking on local sites to see if anyone is getting rid of old wooden pallets for free.  There are many websites that will show me how to build a simple – or complex – compost bin out of old pallets.  So that’s step 1.  Step 2 – Stop tossing it in the trash…put on my shoes…and dump it in the compost bin!  Step 3…wait…  and Step 4, FREE FOOD FOR MY GARDENS, WOOHOO!!!

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Number 2: REUSE / RE-PURPOSE!!!  Do you ever look at the simplest thing in your house and think “what could I do with this?”..no?  Well, I do all the time…I just never actually did the “doing” part.  Until now my friends!

Paper products coming out the wazoo?  I certainly do!!  Junk mail, newspaper, old magazines, cereal boxes, etc… well, I found this guy online (get your mind out of the gutter!!)…and he’s an absolute GENIUS.  Now, I’m sure he didn’t invent the concept, because after turning to my trusty friend Mr. Google after watching his video, I found out many others have the same idea.  So really, I’m not sure who thought of it first, but high five to you!  You’re thinking, spit it out already! (Don’t deny it, I know you are!!) …Homemade Fire Logs!  I won’t go into detailed instructions here because I’ll just end up rambling again…but click on this LINK to watch his video!  If you don’t think it’s awesome…well…

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Toilet paper / paper towel rolls, plastic muffin trays/takeout containers, egg shells, yogurt cups…what do they (and a shit load of other disposable items) all have in common?  They’re free seedling starters for your flowers and veggies!  Why buy your seedlings in those black plastic trays and end up with even more waste on your hands, when you can use what you’ve already got to do the job?  And the perks?  The egg shells will make your calcium loving tomatoes love you, and when you’re done with them, you can grind them up in an old coffee mill and scatter them around the base of your plants to add calcium and deter snails and slugs (coffee grounds will also help with the pests and feed your plants)!   The paper rolls can then be tossed either into your compost bin for next year, or cleaned of the dirt and added to your next fire log!  And if you’re gentle with your yogurt cups and muffin trays, they can serve you for years to come!

Lots of water bottles end up in your blue bin?  Suck it up and turn on a tap, it ain’t gonna kill ya! (use the ones you already have as another seedling planter, or donate to day cares or schools to use as crafts…and for goodness’ sake, don’t buy any more!)

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A lot more waste can be eliminated if we start making a lot of the foods we consume instead of buying it prepackaged.  This is true of most breads and baked goods.  It is also true of frozen and canned vegetables – either opt for fresh and bring your own cloth produce bag, or grow your own and preserve it for year-round consumption.  Buy your grains, pastas and other dried goods at bulk stores, using your own reusable containers instead of the provided clear plastic bags and twist ties.  (Most stores will pre-weigh your containers before you fill them, so you’re not over paying for the extra weight!)

Now, I know this isn’t going to all happen overnight.  As gung-ho as I am about the whole thing…I’ve also got a 16 year old daughter, and a very set-in-his-ways husband to convince.  But as with everything else, a step forward is a step in the right direction.  Lets see how well I can do in December!!  The idea is for me to start practicing what I preach!

Do you have any other ideas to help reduce the seemingly insurmountable mountains of waste produced every day on our planet?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below!!! 🙂

 

Crazy Chicken Lady

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I’ve gone a little bit chicken crazy these past couple of days.  In my efforts of creating the perfect Homestead information library (which I’m calling my Homestead Bible, at the risk of some raised eyebrows and wagging fingers), I thought I would pick one subject at a time, in an attempt to eliminate my current self-diagnosed Scatterbrainitus.  So chickens.

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I love chickens!!  And some even seem to love me back…even when I’ve got sweaty hat-head and no makeup on after hours of mucking out horse stalls, so I probably didn’t smell very pretty either…a very old and molting Henrietta didn’t seem to care! 🙂

I’m starting with chickens, for the simple fact that I plan on having them next summer…they’re one of the few things I don’t have to wait for; I’ve already received approval from our landlord to have a small coop here in our yard… he seemed a bit reluctant at first, but relented without much prompting –  I guess it helps that this place used to be an industrial poultry farm… no longer active, but the empty barns still stand there in ghostly testimony.  And although the coop and flock I want once we have our own land will far surpass what I plan on having at our current home, nonetheless, I want to know what I’m doing.

I’m currently at about 100 pages ready to print.  Now, if you haven’t read my last post, you may be wondering why I’m choosing to actually print all of this information when it’s all at the click of a mouse.  I’m printing it, because I know that in the next few years (hopefully sooner rather than later), when we buy land and start our forever homestead, there will most likely be times when we won’t have regular internet access.  I want to prepare for that, while I have the resources available to do so.

I’ve researched everything from the hardiest hens for cold weather conditions; and when I say cold, I mean CANADIAN cold, with lots and lots of the white stuff…

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This was taken last winter, at the end of our driveway looking towards the house/barns. I had to walk with great difficulty along the edges because some of the drifts down the center were up past my knees.  …Needless to say, we were snowed-in for hours until our neighbors traded us a free plowing for snowmobile access to our fields.  Oh the power of bartering!

 

…to what to and not to feed them, to behavioral problems, to diseases, and predator-proofing my coop…

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I’ve even gone as far as to save my “dream coop” blue prints, which will have to wait of course, until we move.  I’m reading blogs and asking questions (Thank you 2boys1homestead!!).  I want to know everything I could possibly need to or want to know about chickens!  I know there’s probably more information out there than I could ever dream to retain…but I get points for trying!

The one thing I keep circling however, is the fact that I want to eventually be completely (as as near as possible to!) self-sufficient.  That means not only keeping laying hens…but also meat chickens.  And no, I have no problem eating chicken; it’s finger-lickin’ good!  But what I do have a problem with, is the physical act of killing one.  Not naming them won’t make a difference with me…I’m a suck, and a sap, and if it has eyes and heartbeat (except spiders…KILL ‘EM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!) then I unwittingly get attached to them.  I’m just not sure if I could talk myself into actually doing it…  any advice from animal lovers out there who may have been in my shoes once?  How did you surpass this obstacle…or have you??

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Embrace the Unknown

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As I sit here, fingers hovering over the keyboard, wondering how to put my thoughts into words in such a way that makes me sound somewhat educated – I look out the window to see big fluffy flakes pouring from the sky and covering the ground.  It’s November 22nd, and going by recent years’ experiences, we’ve been lucky that Mother Nature has chosen to wait this long this season.  I know this snow won’t last; we’re expecting some more above seasonal temperatures in the coming week…and yet as much as I dislike winter, it makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy.  I’m an odd creature, I know.

I sit here with my cup of coffee, which is going back in the microwave for the 4th time, and my Thermal Wave (with no remote…Sherman – our Rottweiler –  ate it!!!) space heater; which I swear by this in the cold months; aimed right at me…I despise being cold! …I think, what a pretty picture the falling snow makes…like a post card, or a Christmas greeting card.  And then I crash down to reality pretty darn quick and remember I still haven’t put winter tires on my car, and the garage still hasn’t been cleared out so I can park in there.  Sigh.

And then I think of what’s going to happen in the next few years – mainly because I can’t think of much else these days-  when we are finally on our land – which we still haven’t agreed on…although I think I will prevail with my idea of PEI…I am woman, hear me roar! – …and it’s December or January, and we have multiple feet of snow outside and have to trek through it to feed the chickens and milk the goats (Oh yes, I’ve got big plans!!! hehe).  And what stops me in my tracks isn’t what I expected at all!  What I expected was to be deterred by my own loathing of winter – it’s pretty strong – ….but instead, I’m finding myself actually looking FORWARD to my first winter on our forever land!  Isn’t that crazy??  How can I go from one extreme to the other in such a small space in time?  …well, I won’t question it too much for fear that it will go away…instead, I’ll choose to embrace this new-found excitement!

I’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, yet it’s been a dream of mine for a very long time.  Since I was a child actually…reading and watching Anne of Green Gables grow up through dusty pages and VHS cassettes…wishing I could be her, red pig tails and all.  And in more recent years, the dream has grown up a little bit, but the romance hasn’t disappeared.  I long for the red beaches, the green pastures, the cliffs, the ocean breezes, the colorful towns and villages, the fishing boats… how can I long so strongly for something I’ve never had?  I don’t know…maybe, in another life, I was the wife of a fisherman.  Who knows where these feelings and ideas really come from…all I know is I want it so badly, I can almost taste the salt air!

I know that living off grid and building a homestead from the ground up won’t be easy.  It will take a lot of adjustments – will create a lot of challenges – will most likely put us on an emotional roller-coaster, and will test our wills at every possible turn.  And yet, knowing all of this, I still can’t wait to get started!  Ever since I was a young girl, I remember saying that I wanted to “live like Mémère (grandma) did when she was little”…I don’t have any grand illusions that life was easier back then…but I am so infatuated with the idea of going back to living the way we were meant to, that all of the challenges and hardships I know for a fact will put themselves right in the middle of my path, don’t for one single second make me think twice about it.  It might sound crazy (and it probably is!), but I almost welcome them!  I know that with every obstacle and every challenge will also come a new lesson and a new experience, and those are priceless!

Right now, my head is all over the place – the internet has an overwhelming amount of information about every possible aspect of homesteading.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of blogs out there from people who have done it, or who are currently doing it…and just as many websites with how-to’s…and NOT to’s… for everything from gardening, keeping livestock, building, energy, wells, and I could go on for hours…  so at the moment, I feel like a complete scatter brain.  I start with one idea and by the end of the night, I’ve moved on to a dozen more.

So what I’ve started doing, is building my own little (or not so little by the time I’m done) Homestead “Bible”, so to speak, of everything and everything I can think of that we will need to know or learn along the way. The reason I’m doing this, is because I fully know that there will come a time along the journey where we probably won’t have internet access on a regular basis.  And although my husband is a contractor by trade, and pretty much becomes an instant expert at everything and anything he tries his hand at (It’s quite infuriating to be honest…the guy can pick up something he’s never done, and excel at it immediately…don’t ask me how, it’s just one of life’s great mysteries!)…there will come a time when we need to look something up, and won’t have technology backing us up, or a library close by.  So I’m killing a few trees in the process (I’ll re-plant, I promise!!!), in the effort to bring all of that information with us.  To my way of thinking, it’s a step in being prepared…and one can never be too prepared!  I know my collection will be quite extensive, but I would rather have to build an extra shelf in my (currently imaginary) library, than to come across a problem and not know where to find the answer.

It also helps to be able to follow and read the adventures of others who are doing, or have already succeeded at, what I plan to do…and I must be pretty obsessed because  my husband who can never remember a name, now knows exactly who I’m talking about when I say “Alyssa and Jesse“…now a household name in my home.  So thank you guys for putting your entire life up for scrutiny, at the fingertips of the world.  You inspire and impress me on a daily basis and I’m so glad I came across your story on Mother Earth News.  You’ve got a loyal fan and follower in me, and you’ve officially been added to my Bucket List of people I want to meet!

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Why Wait?

Today

I keep reading blog posts about how we don’t have to have a bunch of land, or even live in the country, to be homesteaders.  And although I do know that to be true, in my mind, I kept kind of shuffling it aside while preparing to “become” a homesteader.  I don’t know if I just had some sort of aha moment…an epiphany…or SOMEthing… but something just clicked inside my brain and made me think ‘why wait?’… Indeed, why do I have to wait until I can afford to buy land?  Why do I have to wait until my daughter has finished school and moved out?  Why?  Short (and only) answer: I don’t!

Sure, there’s a bunch of things I want to do as a homesteader that will have to wait until I own my own forever land…such as a walipini…something I just accidentally discovered on Pinterest…. such as owning goats, cows, sheep, etc…  such as solar/wind/water energy…  all these things will come once I own the land under my feet.  But for now, I can still be a homesteader in every way that I CAN be!

From where I am today, I can have a garden large enough not only to feed my family fresh produce year round, but also to have enough extras to sell at Farmer’s Markets or roadside stands and bring in a little extra cash.  From where I am today, I have the space to have a chicken coop large enough to not only provide my family with fresh eggs daily, but also have enough to sell a few dozen here and there to neighbors, friends and family members!  From where I am today, I’m able to can as much food as I want to keep over the winter, due to the fact that we live in a house where pretty much the entire basement is a cold cellar (or a dark and creepy dirt floor spider house into which I will only go if I kick the breaker when my hubby isn’t here to go flip the switch for me…SHUDDER!!!!… but that’s okay, he can bring the food up and down for me. hehe)

I don’t have to wait to darn socks and sew buttons and patches…I don’t have to wait to bake my own bread and reduce our household waste…I don’t have to wait to live a frugal lifestyle… so what AM I waiting for???  There’s no time like the present, is there?

So yes…for now, we won’t be off-grid, and we won’t be 100% self-sufficient.  But every journey starts with a single step, and then another, and another.  So with every new step, we will become more practiced, more seasoned, more knowledgeable….and one step closer to achieving our goals.

The internet is full to bursting with information and resources, completely free at my fingertips.  And as much as I want to go back to a simpler way of living…I’m very glad for this technology that puts all of the world’s encyclopedias right on my dining room table…minus the dust, and the paper cuts!

Why wait?…  I won’t!

 

A Place To Call Home

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As I read my favorite homesteading blog, I see a lot of emphasis put on finding the right place to make put your roots down.  So I’ve been doing some research…both literal, and internal.  Now mind you, this is all still kept on the down-low at home for the most part.  Even though my husband was the one who uttered the shocking words “We should do this!”…I know my hubby, and I know he can have a sea-saw mind.  So I’m keeping my excitement quiet, while still making it known that it’s on the horizon (I mean, my “Homestead Fund” jar IS sitting on the kitchen counter in plain view, and slowly accumulating loose change!)… I’m not having it so much ‘in your face’, for the simple fact that I’m afraid if I do, he’s going to get cold feet, even this early in the game.  So I’m quietly happy for now!

A place to live….so many options, and yet so few.  So we’re Canadian, and proudly so.  And we love our country, and our free health care (hehe).  So as much as I would just LOVE to be able to live in warm weather year round, it’s just not in the cards for me, and I have to just come to terms with that.  Warm weather out, Canadian weather in.  Check!

Now in my mind, I have about five separate options I am (or was) juggling with.  And still, nothing is set in stone until we sign on a dotted line, so these ‘options’ may change a million and a half times between now and then.  Still…this is what I’ve got so far…

Option 1: Stay Where We Are (relatively speaking).  I really do love the little community we’re part of, and it has tons of potential for land, while staying comfortably inside the box.

Pros…

  • I know the area well, so it’s safe (knowledge wise)
  • I love the area
  • I have friends here
  • Our business is based here, and so are our partners in business
  • It’s close to all of my husband’s family
  • My family is only about 5 hours drive away
  • I’m sure there are more, but these are what come to mind at the moment.

Cons…

  • Takes the adventure out of it
  • It’s very VERY close to the large metropolitan city of Toronto
  • Planes fly over all hours of the day and night
  • We can hear the highway pretty much all of the time
  • No brand new fresh start
  • Removes the sense of having to rough it since we know so many people and would have many people and resources to rely on…(Okay, some of you are thinking, ‘why is this in the Cons list?’…because I want to have the pride of knowing WE did it)

Option 2: Going back to my neck of the woods (Northern Ontario)

…pretty much all of the same Pros and Cons… with the additional Con of harsher winters… Hmmmmm….

Option 3: Going WAY up North (still in Ontario)

Pros…

  • All of the Cons of the previous options are pretty much eradicated
  • We’ve got seclusion
  • We’ve got self-reliance
  • We’ve got natural resources
  • We’ve got price of accomplishment

Cons…

  • We’ve got harsher AND longer winters
  • We’re not close to ANYONE we know
  • We’re SO secluded that it’s downright lonely, and possibly even dangerous…   Okay…lets cross out Option 3 right now, shall we??

NEW Option 3: Vancouver Island!

Pros…

  • Brand new start
  • New adventure
  • Self-reliance
  • Mild coastal winters (YAY!!!) with little to no snow (OMG!!!)
  • Get to live near the ocean
  • I’ve got ONE family member near by

Cons…

  • About 45 hours drive and a ferry ride away from our families and friends
    • …yeah…that’s about it…

And Option 5: Prince Edward Island (and the crowd roars!!!)

For this one, I’m going to switch it up and start with the

Cons…

  • Winters can be long (November to April… but this is not a yearly occurrence)
  • There can be a LOT of snow in the winter (at least in recent years)
  • It’s about 16 hours and a ferry ride away from our families
  • Tsunami = certain death
    • …okay, that’s about all I’ve got for cons here…

Pros…

  • PEI has been named one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the WORLD!
  • It has a population of less than 150 thousand on the entire island!
  • You can drive from one end to the other in about three hours, and from one side to the other in about 15 minutes
  • The pace of life is exactly what I want…laid back, relaxed, and stress free
  • Land is DIRT CHEAP compared to everywhere else I’ve looked!
  • People are friendly and the whole place has a wonderful sense of community (or so I read!)
  • I’m about 2-3 hours drive from two separate GREAT friends
  • 16 hours is a lot better than 45 hours away from family!
  • It’s the greenest of all Canadian provinces (extra points!!!), and the air and water are clean and fresh (well…the water’s actually salty, but you know what I mean!)
  • I get to live by the ocean
  • I’ve ALWAYS wanted to live on PEI (ever since I was little and read/watched Anne of Green Gables…whom I believe to this day IS a Kindred Spirit!)
  • Potatoes!! YUM!!!!!
  • Lobster!!! YUMMMMM!!!!!!
  • …I could kind of go on and on and on here…but I think MY choice is pretty obvious….now to convince Jamie!!

So yes…I think this will take a couple of road trips, and some sweet talking on my part… but I’m PRETTY sure I can talk my sweetheart into choosing the same option!   …so fingers (and toes!!!) crossed…that PEI, here we come!!!  …Okay, you’ve got some time still…we’re not coming yet… but PEI, I think you’ll become a place to call home!

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