Thursday, July 13, 2017

Night Scare

My journal continues…
Tuesday, May 30th

A nightly visitor shows up at my cabin.  The question is...who?  Or what?

I wonder…  Coyote tracks and deer abound, but who is breathing near my head on the outside wall of the cabin?  In the still of the night, that can be quite disconcerting. 

That was just the beginning of my "scary nights".  I had a different scare the night before.  I brought fresh-from-the-mill wood scraps to burn to take the chill off the night air.  Well…my stove “took off”.  Upon opening the top lid, an ember floated down beneath a crack in floor boards.  Also a crack appeared in the chimney leading to the heavy shiny insulated chimney.  I held my breath as the fire took its time to settle down.  The little cabin heated up like never before!  The next morning I realized I dodged a bullet with a smoldering log and a perfect storm for carbon monoxide.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to my new stove getting into place soon. 
Wednesday, May 31th

Figured out my nightly visitor.  I awoke at 2:30 a.m. last night to something hovering on my porch – making lots of noise by my door.  Nails scratched on wood, schuffling leaves ensued, twigs breaking, etc.  Once again, I held my breath as I aimed my dim flashlight toward the door.  Yep...a porky was revealed.  He lumbered off, looking over his shoulder at the inconvenience of being “found out”.  He returned some time later to say “hello” on the other side of my bunk wall.  My thoughts, of course, go to when I begin bringing sled dogs out to visit.  Porkies and sled dogs don’t mix.  NOTE:  He's probably the one I came across last deer hunting season.  I was heading home after a night of hunting, and I saw a porky ambling down the lane ahead of me.  I got as close as I could and chatted with him for a while.  Well, he bristled and I chatted.  I had my .30-.30 and my side arm, but it wasn't an option.  He wasn't hurting anyone.  Yet...Lord willing. 

Until next time, should the Lord tarry…  {I’ll eventually get much to tell!}
In His Love -


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Where I Lay My Head

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.”  Luke 9:58

Checking in again, my friend.  My previous journal notes were from April.  I’m months behind, so I’ll try and catch up.  Before I do, I had a thought.  This cabin living can be done on any level.  If you dedicate a “prayer closet” in your home, you can make it comfortable.  Even with this cabin living, I’m keeping my supplies at a minimum.  I procured a “bear barrel” from the local resale.  {Nothing can get in this old-timey canner.}  But I’m being careful not to have too many distractions around me…food or otherwise, so I don’t lose focus on the reason I’m there – to study the Word of God.  However, nature always has a way of capturing my attention, if not on the 10 acres I’m on, then on the other 30 acres that the property entails.  Here’s a small sampling…
I’m filled with gratitude for 4 new bunnies at the main Wee House.  Grey/black/Blonde/Merle.  Later named Frosty, - , Pumpkin, and Snickers.  {Their “mama” is a big white Californian, and their “papa” is a big orange/copper rabbit (born here) who is called “copper bunny”.  They are both loose on the property, but live at the Wee House.}  The little black one was too daring/dancing/darling – and unfortunately met her end before she could be named.  That hurts the heart…to see them get to such an age, only to have the laws of nature come down upon them.  I believe it was a fox. 
The little black bunny wasn’t our only loss.  Our special rooster was taken out also, along with my favorite pure-white hen who faithfully gave us a blueish-green egg. 
This morning, as I stood and watched the white Mama rabbit fill its mouth with twigs, grasses, and leaves, I had to smile.  She was going to kindle soon – giving us another batch of newborn bunnies – in the woodpile next to the Wee House.  As I watched her, something caught the corner of my eye along the berm of our property to the east.  It was a huge healthy-looking fox…trotting with a purpose, coming closer, weaving in and out of brush.  He was headed for the area of the dog yard.  Hence…later that day, our remaining 3 hens were moved to a safer enclosure.  We also have 1 broody hen sitting on 5 eggs.  We hope one of those 5 eggs hatches out to become our new resident rooster.  This will keep a 4-generation line of roosters, starting with a beautiful and kind, Java rooster, who was eventually snatched just feet from the coop in broad daylight, by a coyote.  It causes a heavy -  living so close to nature.  There are times when I desire to cage them…to keep them safe.  But at what cost…?  Short life of freedom, or long life of bondage?  It’s a tough call.
End of the day. 5:00 p.m. at the cabin.  The Hermit Thrush and Pileated Woodpecker vie for air space.  One melodic.  One a banshee scream.  But both beautiful to my ears.  The crow also.  I love the crows…and they know it.
The woods are alive with greenery, bugs and beauty (no skeeters yet…)  I nearly stepped on an adult snake 2 days prior while cutting through the woods enroute to the cabin.
It has been cold, but sunny.  Today is warming up.  I’ve been sick, but now feeling a tad better, and hacking/coughing less.  Hauled the last of 12 cord of firewood to my new cabin home.  And my new icebox (you put a block of ice inside to keep food cold) was wrangled in the door.  Cabin now feels like home.
Up very early.  Auction day in my community of friends (Old Order Amish) for a family who is moving to a new “daughter settlement”.  I will be leaving soon for the hour trip.  Upon looking out the back window of my 8x8 cabin, I do a “double take” as a big doe steps out and crosses across the back.  Wow…I didn’t even have to leave the cabin to view her!  Later, I saw tracks circling the cabin.  Lots of deer activity at this time. 
Earlier this morning, I curled my cold fingers around a cup of steaming coffee as I stepped from the woods into the sunlit field to warm myself in the morning sun.  I scanned about, looking for the deer that makes its presence daily.  Sure enough…I hear a foot stomp the ground in disgust.  {I must be interrupting HIS morning routine!}  He topped it off with several LOUD snorts to show his final word on the subject.  Hmmm…I had already received a scolding from the red squirrels in trees circling the cabin, as I exited.  Now I hear the caw of the crow announcing movement in the woods.  To balance this out, my ears are delighted with the sound of the Hermit thrushes singing their heavenly/harmonic melody, and more.  One calls, another answers.  And so it goes, up and down the scale of notes. 
Earlier, I found a young snake in the outhouse.  Hmmm…where is HIS mama, and slithering siblings?  I shudder at the thought, as I scooped him in a bucket and take him farther out into the woods to a new home.  As I leave for a busy day of friendship/food and good conversation with my Amish friends, I marvel at the “stimulai” I’ve already experienced this morning.  My new Berean Bush Living is anything but boring.  And the night hours provide even more curious investigations as I figure out my “visitor”. 
I’ll check in soon, with continued journal posts, should the Lord tarry,


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Berean Bush Living...Begins

Wendell W. Price said this:

“There are many activities I must cut out simply because I desire to excel in my pursuit after God and holiness.” 

This describes my living deeper into simplicity and solitude.  Berean Bush Living.  

{At the Bear's Den...}

In the Book of Acts 17:11, it is stated that the Berean’s looked deeper into God’s Word (scripture).  I want that…

For me, it boils down to small cabin living.  Essential living only.  Lots of quiet time – no outside stimuli such as TV, radio, computers, or Smart phones.  {I still have a radio, but that is “wearing thin” also, and will soon be the last to go.} 

Nope, just my Bible and books.   And what is needed to continue my card (snail mail) ministry that has become so important to me.  {And hopefully others…}

This past April, I spent my first night in my 10-acre wood.  Despite going to sleep hearing the crackle of a wood fire, I awoke to seeing my breath.  April still holds onto winter on the 45th Parallel.  So does May…June...

The mornings are beautiful.  I’m awakened by increasing light, accompanied by melodic bird songs.  I start the small woodstove to perk coffee and make breakfast (oatmeal, dotted with granola given to me by a friend who makes it and sells it). 

While waiting for the camp coffee pot to perk, I turn my devotion toward God’s Word.

The Second Night

I arrived at the cabin after dark, thankful for the lighting made by flashlight.  The cabin is sans (minus) electric or plumbing.  I quickly started a fire to take the chill off and then settled down to read before retiring to my bunk.  It had been a long day, moving more items into the cabin.  Over the years I have made my life very simple with regard to material items.  My books will be my greatest bulk, and even those are scaled down to just a very select few.  I’m very appreciative for the rustic hand-made bookshelf that newly adorns one wall. 

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt , and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21

The cabin living resembles my “normal” living situation for the last 16 years, although this time without electric.  Outhouse isn’t as “fancy”, but it is adequate. 

Wood is put up for winter already – that is a good feeling.  (Thank you “AC Ellen”.)  Twelve cords should bring the winter into spring.  I hope. 

A new stove also sits, waiting to be swapped out.  (Again, thank you “E”.)  Heat is good.  And wood is something I’m careful not to covet.  Oh, how I love a stacked pile of wood. 

As I write this in the early a.m., the sun is streaming in.  I hear the resident pileated woodpecker knocking out the bugs in a nearby tree.  Earlier this morn, before the sun rose over the trees, I heard the gobble of a wild turkey.  This is the first year in the last three that I haven’t bought a hunting tag for the Spring season…  He has no threat from me.  (Did he ever?)

Once I’m settled and get used to the rhythm of the woods, I’ll bring a dog in for the night.  Come winter I’ll definitely bring one of the sled dogs.  They will enjoy the outing.  And the warmth of the woodstove. 

Third Morning:

Arrived at dusk last night.  Much better.  No fire in the woodstove needed.  Settled in to read, no clock to limit me.

Woke to the “Tom’s” calling the hens, circling the ten acre wood.  Lots of deer tracks (sign).  My stand (which is actually a “sit”…) is just steps away through the woods. 

My smaller space feels good.  Very good.  I like tiny cabin living.  Just the essentials – know just where everything is.  My mind goes to “Temple Grandin” and her “hug” machine.  Yes…I am MORE than content to live in an 8 x 10 cabin.  It feels like it’s giving me a HUG.  

I’ll sign in soon.  Lots of wildlife to report!  I had a nightly visitor…with 4 legs.  Can you guess? 

Plus, I had a visitor in the outhouse with NO legs.  Can you guess?  YIKES!!

Until next time, should the Lord tarry…

Friday, May 12, 2017

Berean Bush Living

It's official.  I'm all moved in for the summer.  Ten acres of solitude.  Lots of quiet study awaits!

I've been writing...and will fill you in soon. 

Until then, enjoy spring! 


Monday, February 27, 2017

Turning the Calendar Page

Winter is marching out...

And with spring around the corner, new ideas emerge. 

I'll be laying these out soon.  Stay tuned. 

I've missed you all...

Until then, if the Lord tarries...


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Autumn Blessings

Its early morning.  The rising sun in the East is hours away. 

However this morning I am wide awake and overflowing with praise.
My round “yurt-type” house is done. The Wee-bit-bigger-House!

Well, almost.  But as far as I’m concerned, it is finished.  Varnish and paint are nearly completed.  No running water yet, but I haven’t had that in years.  {That’s a whole story in itself, but one you have to experience to fully understand.}  The claw foot tub, refurbished by Russ, was carried and brought in my by a handful of our hearty friends this week.  It fits perfectly.  I can’t wait to fill it! 
Upon hearing that, you may wonder if we have decided to become “city-fied” and have an indoor bathroom “facilities”.  No…we sport a new matching-round-outhouse {awaiting its matching green metal roof}.  Simple living - just the way I like it.  But the tub?  A nice upgrade indeed!

Along the way, those who know me have asked…”why is it taking so long?”  Well, it’s easy to understand, if you realize every piece of wood or furnishing is created here on site by Russ.  There’s no running to a big box store and loading up your truck with pre-cut wood for the construction.  No special deliveries.  Instead, it is cranking on the chainsaw and cutting the tree that would be a “fit” for sewn logs.  Once the tree is felled, it is brought up to the mill for cutting.  {I’m sure Russ would use different terms.}   

Then it is stickered and dried.  This is about the time I would say…why is it taking so long?  Waiting for wood to “dry” is the hardest for me.  {Yes…I have also asked along the way.} 
But now that my home is “nearly” finished, I can rejoice.  
We had our first snowfall last evening, with snow on the ground this morning.  I awoke to a toasty 70 degrees.  {So different from the old cabin.}  It looks to be a good winter in the Wee House.  {Actually…Wee-bit-bigger-House.}   This is a view of our doors facing West.  Hearty big doors, made by Russ.
As for our old cabin, those same “hearty friends” carried in a woodstove into the old cabin.  It was good to {finally} feel warmth emit from the stove when I am in that cabin.  This particular stove has a glass door, which adds a nice visual to the cabin, since there is little else to watch.  
Earlier this week, while doctoring in a nearby “big” town, we stopped and picked up a new "tabletop" oven and some throw rugs.  We had scouted out the oven on a previous trip, and were delighted to find it on sale for $30 less!  The finishing touches are being put into place. 

Upon coming home that day, we raced the impending snow and put up wood into the cubbies that are built into the home.  {Doors closing in the cubby, possibly made from our old dog trailer, are pending.}  It always feels so good to stack firewood – truly one of my favorite cold-weather chores. 

I’m still enthralled with the circular pattern of the home.  Mountain Man, Eustace Conway, goes into great detail about a circular building being “natural”, and I believe it.  

Our woodstove sports an Ecofan (purchased from Tractor Supply), and it really does the job by running on heat.  Just place it on your woodstove and off it goes!  This morning it is whirring silently, sending the warmth throughout the round house.  

So, as I sit on my “indoor swing chair” {pictured below}, handcrafted by Russ, I am content. 

We made it {barely} by the first snow.  Other excitement awaits as winter crouches in closer.  I will be parking my new-to-me Dodge 4x4 truck (maroon in color) in our “circle” about 300’ away.  I’ll try and haul in supplies (canned food, staples) before the big snow banks get formed.  
I’ve also been doing fall training with the sled dogs, using the Honda 4-wheeler.  With my petite fiery-never-stops-pulling “Skunk” in single lead, the boys only have to exercise braun and pulling power and a willingness to follow her lead.  {Actually, I wish they had less braun.}  It is my hope that I will use the sled to get around this winter.  We’ll see if the “normalcy” of this takes hold before winter crushes the idea.  But I do have more hope than ever before.  Skunk has matured and shows a level head, eager to take my commands.  Gee {right turn} and Haw {left} now mean something to her and she is eager to please.  With that world opened up, the limits are endless.  I may just head out the driveway and explore.

My world on our “40” has been very busy as of late, I haven’t traveled much out of Mancy.  {See previous post – Mancy in the Middle.}   
Yesterday I missed a wonderful day with my friends.  Applesauce Day  Picture a wood stove-warmed Amish kitchen overflowing with community and family enjoying hot coffee and waiting for kettles of apples to cook down.  The end result is hundreds of jars filled with delicious applesauce, from their own trees.  I was invited to partake, but unable to attend.  Not to worry, as they are holding apples for me.  But it won’t be the same as sharing the day with my Plain friends.   They warm my heart in so many ways, and I've had many a dinner and good conversation in that particular Amish kitchen.  My life and theirs are entwined forever.

Sun is now rising.  I better tend to the wood stove and see what the day holds. 

For now, I’ll go run dogs. 

Until next time friend – Lord willing,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October Surprise

 Yes...give Him the glory for all the beauty around us.

Even when the rains come.

Not just when there is abundance.

Or beauty.

This is my I head into the woods.  So you see why it is easy to become a recluse.

However, I've missed you my friend.  I have so much to tell.  And I will...soon.

Know that Jesus is on the Throne.
Keep that knowledge close to your heart as you see all that is going on around you.  I's hard.  But keep in the Word and focus.  On Him.

Until then, Lord willing,