Follow along on our 40-acre farm and sled dog kennel - life in a tiny cabin and outhouse-living, in rural northern lower Michigan. We're not fancy...just folksy...and giving God all the GLORY.

Peek Behind the Scenes

P.O. Box 903
Mancelona, MI 49659

SNAIL MAIL WELCOME ~ we love to hear from you!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday Mornings ~ 1/3 Living

Only 4 more Mondays.




Once I'm "retired", Mondays will blend into the other days of the week.

No line of demarcation.

Every day, except Sunday, will be nameless.

But full of work, like last year's snow-filled days. 

Work.



And wonder...



And celebration.



And raw living.

1/3 living.



Stay tuned...it's going to be quite the ride.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowy Sunday Simplicity

On Sundays, we like to take things slow.

Sabbath slow.



Although we started out with some wind and snow on Saturday...



Sunday ended up nice.

 

And sun filled.



Our two goats, Rachael and Levi, are now bedded down in their new winter location.

Attached to the barn for inside warmth.



And some of the chickens are still making up their minds.



Deciding on a winter roost.



Or to simply enjoy the mild weather.



The rabbits have many options and love the snow.

And the room to roam and run.





 Everyone is welcome.



And no one goes the cold winter alone.



We hope your Sunday was simple and snowy.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday ~ Russ-Stick Style


No crowds.


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No shopping, no stores.


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No malls, no travel.
No early sales. No gimmicks, no gizmos.
No money...

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No biting...

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No aggressive behavior...
No pushing...or shoving.


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No stampede...

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For us, just a serene day at home.

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We leave consumerism to the experts.

Until tomorrow ~ God willing.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I'm thinking of my relatives today.





My grandparents (great x 12).

No wonder I have that adventurous spirit...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Possum Living

Now a NASA aerospace engineer,
check out Dolly Freed at age 18 (back in the 70's),
 when she lived with her father on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia.

To see the Documentary...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1/3 Living (Intro)

The time has come. 

All the cliche's are coming to life...put your money where your mouth is...Follow your Bliss...you can't take it with you

It's time to get real.  It's time to live raw.  Closer to nature than we have ever been before.  Eating what we produce, raise or hunt.  Experiencing horse travel in summer and dog travel in winter.  Living frugal, minimal and mindful.

Ever since I submitted my early retirement, it feels like I'm swimming up stream.  Most folks would love to have my State government job.  Good benefits and more.  So why would I give up a good-paying stable job, to live on 1/3  of our current income?  Simple.  Freedom.

We've been living "simply" for quite some time now.  Nearly a decade.  Our main cabin is 15 x 20.  We don't sport a kitchen table.  We have managed without a fridge, or a stove.  No T.V. coverage.  No indoor bathroom. 

However, we do have a wood stove, from which all our heat emanates.  No back up. 

We have a few solar lights and fence chargers for our livestock. 

Between the two of us we have managed with one vehicle for years.  One cell phone, that we rarely use. 

So now, we are moving even further away from consumerism.  From the conveniences of modern day life.  Am I scared?  In a word, no.  I'm excited.  For quite some time I've felt that a simpler life also means less money.  And vice versa.  Take a closer look at those man-made greenbacks...In God We Trust.  And truthfully, it's not our money to begin with.  It is His.

This will truly be a challenge.  To live mindfully.  To cherish and honor each simple task, each day.  To put our lives in God's hands.

Follow along.  It's going to be quite the journey.  1/3 living...


For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 
Matthew 16:26


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fight or Flight

Those seem to be my only options at times
 when I'm too "in the world".



But lucky for me, I have a husband who keeps me grounded.

And tells me to do neither.

But instead, trust in Him.



Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27






Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blessed are the Meek, for they shall Inherit the Earth

Take a moment, and watch this video...this little gal will steal your heart.
This is all by memory folks.

It's the story of Jonah.
(Click on link below.)

Thank you Lindsey Douglas, for sharing your sweet daughter with the world.
I have a feeling we'll be seeing much more from her in the future.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Sunset on Walloon Lake

Earlier this evening, while traveling home from the north,
I stopped to admire the sunset on one of my favorite lakes. 
Walloon Lake.
Many of my childhood memories were born there and reside there today. 

Riding to the beach as a carefree teenager with my friend in her Mustang ~ white (with red leather seats) convertible, endless days at the towel-lined beach when my sons were small, lazy afternoons on a friend's float boat (manned with a picnic dinner) watching my son learn to dive from above, fresh fish ~ from boat to table, skating on the jumbled ice while my Dad ice fished nearby, hearing the call of the loons in summer from the open bedroom window of a shoreline cottage, canoeing in the still waters where the only sound is the droplets falling from the paddle while rested, cooling off our dog in the late evening summer heat, and so much more.


My memories line the shore and linger in her depths.

I love northern Michigan...where my life has played out in splendor. 




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carrie's Visit

Like clockwork, our friend Carrie flew home from her duties at Husky Homestead in Alaska
to visit her hometown in Bellaire, Michigan.

We look forward to the yearly visits.

They are a sign of change...of Autumn morphing into Winter.


This year, we had two more guests joining us on our walk.

Levi, our new buck Boer goat.

And our new sled dog turned house dog, Broccoli.



Fall was in the air ~ and the canines and caprines were energized.

Ready, set...GO~!




Carrie fell in love with the big fella...Brocolli.




And why not...



He's a wonderful dog, who gets along with everyone at Russ-Stick Acres.



And knows he's a good lookin' boy, even with tiny floppy ears.



And a nose for kindness.

Until next year Carrie...
we hope your infectious laughter will linger on the Autumn breeze.




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Chopping Block

Each fall, winter and spring, we feed meat to our sled dogs.

Beef/pork/chicken/venison/moose and more.

Each day, along with their kibble.
Two wonderful businesses have provided us with this gift over the years. 
Tim and Karen and Linda and Calvin.

We appreciate it...and so do the 20+ dogs.

 

Russ chops it by hand.

It's a slower way, but it's our way.



Natural.  Rugged.  Raw.



Old school.



Even the birds enjoy it.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Old Eskimo Proverb

Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.

This sentiment was one of my Dad's favorites. 
He lived this way...and I struggle to follow in his footsteps. 

However, I'm fortunate that my husband/best friend, Russ,
and all the animals on our farm live this way too. 

Perhaps once I "retire", I'll be able to be fully in the moment.


Find your Bliss folks...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

School is in Session ~ Amish Style

It's that time of year again.



But first...


It's time for recess, filled with simple games, on this beautiful Autumn day.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Peek-A-Boo

Our Halloween excitement...
Peek-A-Boo with Buck.






That's about the scariest we get...



Have a wonderful week everyone~!

See you tomorrow...

God willing ~