We’ve built a deck that wraps around the front of the house. It has a roof. (Does that make it a verandah?)
The kitchen still isn’t complete. (Still washing dishes in the bathroom sink.)
Still no pets or houseplants.
Didn’t grow a garden this summer.
Still happy and healthy.
Every year gets easier and easier. So much easier and easier. That first couple of winters were insane. I think I am getting soft, I don’t know if I could go through that again!
This year our firewood is dry and stored in a shed-like structure! And it’s hardwood!
Our new basement is completely finished and looks lovely. It’s the nicest part of the house now! (And the newest.) We hang out down there often.
We bought a new couch. From a store! It wasn’t even second hand! That was the biggest splurge…ever. (We usually buy used stuff but we couldn’t find a good used one that suited our fancy.)
Still lots of renos to do, but exterior of house is 99% finished now. Main floor of house (interior) still needs substantial work, including knocking down an interior wall.
Our Blaze King woodstove is awesome. Still loving it. Woodstove is located on main floor of house. It does not heat the new basement well at all (woodstove should be located in basement for ideal heat circulation). Installed some baseboard heaters (electric) as back-up heat in basement. But of course the Blaze King heats the rest of our house perfectly adequately. It would do the whole house if it was located in basement. But basement didn’t exist when we installed it! We discussed moving it to basement but decided against that.
We realized that we probably (definitely) didn’t need 60 acres. Probably less than 5 would be perfect for us and our wants/needs. Or maybe even 3!
I am barely taking pictures at all. Of anything. I think that was a phase. I’ve moved into a lovely mode of simplification. Trying to enjoy the moment more. Less pictures, more living in the now.
I think taking photos and chronicling everything for me was a way of feeling in control. But I feel like I am growing up and able to let that go now.
After almost four years of being here now (wow!) we’ve learned a few lessons about how to live an ideal life.
Since we still wanted to have some luxuries, like internet, electricity, going out for dinner, healthy (expensive) groceries, etc etc we realized that we indeed will need money! Which led us to starting a few online businesses, a service-based stream and some other passive income streams. I have learned so much (and continue to learn every single day) about business. Learning about and talking about business is my new passion (not what we came here to get passionate about, but that’s what happened when we had the freedom to explore what we really wanted to do!).
At first we were home 24/7 together, working from home. But I learned that I can’t be home 24/7, because it drives me a bit batty. I need a reason to see other human beings, I need social interaction! I wasn’t happy just staying home all the time, especially since we are quite isolated from Ch’Town (biggest city around these parts for going out socially to events and such). (We were seriously staying home for weeks at a time without doing anything or going anywhere other than the grocery store and that is just way too isolated for me. Cameron is happy to do that though!)
I knew I needed to change things a bit. But working for someone else 5 days a week sucks the life out of me, it’s way too much and my lifestyle balance is totally off when I do that.
For me, I’ve now found a balance that is ideal: working 2.5 days per week at a “normal job” outside the house gives me some structure and some socialization, as well as a good feeling of giving back to the community and also gives us some nice benefits, like medical coverage for our household which is very handy.
When I’m not working outside the house 2.5 days per week, we are still running our online businesses. We don’t keep regular office hours in our home office, and sometimes it seems like we’re working all the time at home on our computers on our own businesses and for our clients. But then it’s not exactly “work,” because it’s totally in our control and we only do stuff that we want to do so is that “work?”
Cameron splits his time between working from home on our businesses and renovating etc. He likes the flexibility of being able to control his own schedule and being able to switch from using his brain (computer stuff) vs doing stuff around the house/property (physical stuff). He feels that this balance works best for him. Above all though, the main thing that’s important to him is to be able to control his own schedule and do what he likes when he wants. He works extremely hard–probably 6 days a week at least 10-12 hour days but he is super happy because he is in control and doing what he wants. This is very very important to him. Plus, he likes that his hard work is paying off for us rather than for a boss. :)
We moved here to find ourselves and to design our ideal lifestyle. And slowly but surely through trial and error we are learning. It has been a wild ride and we keep learning and growing. Life is good, sometimes hard, but definitely good!