Why We’re Pulling the Trigger

We’ve been working towards the goal of moving to our new homestead for over five years now.  But though we were laying soft plans for that long, we really got serious a couple of years ago.  There were lots of reasons, but the straw that broke the camel’s back is an interesting (and infuriating) story. I got home one night from my father’s property and found a piece of paper stuck in my door.  I at first thought it was some kind of advertisement.  But it wasn’t.  It was a letter from our local code enforcement officer.  No, it wasn’t a thank you note.  Or an invitation to a birthday party.  Or a solicitation to the code enforcement officers’ ball. 

Making a Family Heirloom (and Memories to Boot)

My family likes old things.  Antiques is too grand a word for it.  The word “antique” calls to mind things to be put on a shelf and looked at.  Not to be touched.  Certainly not to be used.  But our prized finds are things that are old and beautiful, but also useful. A few months ago we found an old Eskimo wooden toboggan at a church yard sale.  The price was $5.00.  But I waited too long to buy it.  I was being too clever for my own good; trying to look less interested than I was to try to get the price down.  When I went back to the table to pick it up, it had already been sold. 

Mother Nature Doesn’t Care That It’s Cold

Nature doesn’t care that you’re cold.  Nature doesn’t care that you can’t feel your toes.  When it’s time for a tree to fall, it falls.  When it’s time for three to fall, that happens too.  And unless you want to try to work around them for the rest of the Winter, clearing them up can’t wait until Spring. Today we work in twenty degree temps to split the biggest rounds from the biggest tree.  On the upside, we completely filled up not only all of our firewood bins, but stacked three pallets about four feet high.  Gettin’ it done, even when we don’t want to do it.  And walking the path.

(Almost) Ready to Roll!

We began the process of obtaining our property and the home building process in March.  Our expectation was that we would be moved into our new homestead by August, September, maybe October at the latest.  It’s now January, and we haven’t yet broken ground.  What caused the delays?  Was it financing?  No, we had that in hand.  Delays with the builder?  Nope, they were pretty much good to go from day one.  No, the issue was the huge number of hoops we had to jump through.  We split a piece of existing, undeveloped property.  This, for some inexplicable reason requires the approval of multiple government agencies.  One of these, which shall remain nameless (let’s just call them the Department of

In the Jaws of a Dilemma

Okay, hypothetical question here. Of course this has NOTHING whatsoever to do with me or any real-life scenario. 🙂 Let’s say you’re hunting on the last day of archery season. You already have two deer in the freezer, but of course there’s no such thing as having too much venison. Now, let’s say you have to leave the house at 4:00 for a family obligation. You’re planning to stop hunting at 2:00 to accommodate that. At 1:30 a group of mature does walk out at 30 yards. Do you shoot, knowing that tracking, gutting, and transporting the deer to the processor could make you late to the family event? Or do you let them walk? I made my call. Um, I mean,

Amanda’s Country Kitchen – Country Style Deviled Eggs

I’m so happy my daughter has taken an interest in what I’m trying to do with our channel, and wants to help. Here’s our first attempt at capturing her passion for cooking. Not certain if we’re going to leave this all on the SSP channel, or start her own. But for now, we’ll put it here. Thanks, and enjoy!

2016 Spring Gobbler Season

Well, our 2016 Spring Gobbler Season is in the books. It didn’t go as planned, but we had a great time, including a fantastic morning hunt with my daughter Amanda. We may not have taken the kind of trophy we did in 2014, we it was a success in more ways than one.

God Please Bless These Children

So I was working in my shop yesterday evening when the girls came and asked me if I had any “small bottles”.  My dad-senses immediately kicked in, and I asked them what they were up to.  Apparently they had harvested some blue bells and, soaking them in water, had concocted a perfume.  They now wanted to bottle the product to give to their mother (and to sell the rest).  While the whole project was wonderfully cute, what really got me was the name they came up with for the labels; “The Sisters Perfume”.  With me working from home, and their mother home schooling the girls, our family is incredibly close.  And these girls have a bond that will last for

Trip to the Bee Farm

Thanks to the Children of the American Revolution our family had the opportunity to take a tour of Burgh Bees, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Burgh Bees is a community group with a mission of promoting bee culture, and educating future bee keepers.  After donning veils and making sure we all had long sleeve shirts, we proceeded into the bee yard.  The staff showed us the differences between langstroth and top bar hives, explained the roles of the different bees in the hive, and gave us all a high-level primer on bee keeping.  We even got to suck some honey through our veils that had dripped on the bars of the top bar hive (the girls’ favorite part). Probably the biggest benefit we got from this