Friday, March 26, 2010

Healing - Amazing God!

Today begins the last step before we can put our house on the market - the financing. Our MONEY-LADY called before 9am this morning to get a few last details before she sends it off to the lenders to see who bites. I hope they think we TASTE-GOOD!

I am all over the place today. I should go grocery shopping but I'm waiting for THE phone call. I should clean up but I am tired of cleaning! I decided instead to go out and take care of the chickens early this morning, take the dog for a walk, have a CUP-OF-TEA and then GET-GOING whether I feel like it or not.

Before I do I am nearly busting with NEWS-OF-ANOTHER-SORT. We have been praying for years about moving but we have been praying with equal or perhaps more passionate fervency for God to heal my DH of Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a genetic degenerative muscle wasting disease. He was officially diagnosed about 6 years ago and it helped to make some sense of the things that had happened over his lifetime. He has always been unable to lift his right arm above his head but in the past few years he has also had an increasingly difficult time walking up and down stairs, stepping off curbs and walking on uneven ground. Running has not been possible for many years. You never realize how inaccessible the world is until you are faced with a disability. I could start a PERSONAL-CRUSADE for hand railings and elevators!

BUT GOD. Everything changes when God gets involved! BIG NEWS FLASH - We went to a healing service last weekend and DH received a partial healing!!!  He went for a jog around the church (last time was over 6 years ago!) he is climbing stairs without hauling himself up with his arms, he can get up from a crouched position by himself without holding on to anything!!!  There is still more healing needed but we are both OVER-THE-MOON with JOY!

It immediately reminded me of the Bible passage in Mark 8:22-25

22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"  24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."  25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

We want to see more than trees - we want to see PEOPLE! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have some very wonderful and talented friends and they are going to allow me to use their photos for my blog. I'll recognise WHOSE-IS-WHOSE by adding their name below the photo - ENJOY!

This one is by Allison - a very lovely and talented young friend - Thanks Allie!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home Inspection Day

STEP-BY-STEP we're moving forward!

The home Inspection went GREAT!. Nothing unexpected or expensive to fix and yet very helpful - as I thought - worth every penny if only for peace of mind.

We spent another lovely afternoon HAVING-TEA with the sellers and chatting about all kinds of things. They've told us some stories about our neighbours - apparently there is one who reminds everyone of Jed Clampett and another who has built his home illegally and totally off-grid down a closed concession right-of-way next to us. There are neighbours with large families and some older couples who have proven to be the kind of neighbours you want on your side when things go wrong - after a winter storm when a tree fell across the driveway for instance when they arrived within minutes with their chainsaws.

Roger Hein photographer

They told us about the penny sales at the small local church built around the same time as the house about 150 years ago. The church only holds services every few months since it was merged with another church. Holding the services allows it to keep it's tax exempt status and the penny sale proceeds help to keep the building in repair. The community gets together for Christmas parties in the church as well. There seems to be a really great community spirit.

We've had so much prayer support from our many friends and family members who have patiently waited alongside us all these years. It's a wonderful feeling to know they are all out there cheering us on during this process. Everyday is more exciting than the next as we see what GOD-HAS-DONE in advance for us. My mom asked if I had come down from the ceiling the other day - well - maybe :)!

Just as we were leaving the farm last week the owner shared something so sweet with me. They have been long time subscribers to the wonderful Canadian country Harrowsmith magazine and the renewal notice came in the mail. She realized they would not be needing it anymore since they are moving into town but she decided to re-subscribe anyway WITH OUR NAME ON THE SUBSCRIPTION!!!!! She then teased me and told me we had better be here when the magazine arrived!!

The journey continues...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stalled Paperwork

It's been a busy week of many phone calls.

Tomorrow is the home inspection. We contacted a company that was referred to us by our lawyer - he seems like to nice, knowledgeable guy. By the end of his several-hour-visit we will have a CD of pictures and a written report and he will have a check for $450.00. I am sure it will be worth every penny. We are not anticipating anything out of the ordinary and we've already decided we're totally-in-love and THIS-IS-THE-PLACE-WHERE-WE-BELONG.

Our offer is stalled at the lawyers - not sure what the hold-up is - paperwork paperwork!

The insurance company is probably going to request some work be done on the house before they will insure it. We haven't heard back yet as to what exactly will have to be done but something about galvanized pipes was mentioned...hmm.

So - we're moving forward step-by-step and everything so far has gone very smoothly - THIS-IS-GOOD!

In three months I should be sitting in my garden sipping tea, watching the chickens peck around the yard while enjoying the amazing view. Three months is 90 days - heaven awaits!!!

Our long awaited God adventure continues!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Family Visits the Farm

It's been a busy and exciting weekend - we're almost there with paperwork for purchasing our home and then comes the fun on the other side - selling ours. I can't say I am looking forward to it very much but I am keeping the faith that it will sell quickly. Pray for us: 7 adults (yes, that's one more than the last count), 1 bathroom, teeny tiny house and multiple showings...ack!

We took all the kids to the house today (all nine of us showed up)since the sellers were having another open house - we prayed for rain so no one else would come :) It rained but a few people came through anyway! It's our third visit there and I am starting to feel like it's home.

I asked about the rhubarb - there are two great big patches - one in the sun that is ready earlier in the spring and one in the shade for a little later. The gardens were more uncovered today as we've had some nicer weather to melt the snow. The largest plot is out front of the house and split into 4 sections by a gravel path - I see an English Country garden - I can hardly wait to start digging in the dirt.

The kids were outside exploring the barn and the yard and realised that there is a small paddock at the front of the barn - perfect for a few goats. The fence is very secure and there's a gate - I wonder if some acrobatic goat will still be able to get out somehow. I've heard lots of stories!

Our amazing adventure of God proportions continues...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pins and Needles

I am on PINS-AND-NEEDLES today and I seem to be unable to get anything done. We are waiting for a response to the offer which we presented yesterday. The phone could ring at any moment and I am nearly dying with ANTICIPATION.

There are many things that need to be looked into in the next few days. How to get rural internet that is AS-CLOSE-AS-POSSIBLE to high speed - we really do need it for our business - really. Phone numbers, phone lines, insurance, mortgage details, house inspections - swirling swirling in my brain and here I sit immobilized.

I did get the downstairs pantry sorted out and I went for a walk…good thing not all days are this unproductive!

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Eldery Neighbour Lady

I wonder WHEN it will feel real. I can't wait to wake up on a bright spring morning curled up under the blankets and open my eyes to find myself in my new home. Of course in my dream there aren't boxes and BOXES of stuff to be unpacked - maybe just a cup of tea beside my bed :)

How many more days Lord??? I have asked that question almost every day for eleven years. How many days?

The reality of my day today is washing windows and vacuuming up dog hair from every crevice of the carpet and communicating with lawyers and real estate agents. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to go through this process besides just getting it over with ONE-DAY-AT-A-TIME.

I chatted with an older neighbor lady this afternoon and broke the news that we will soon be leaving the community we have lived in for the last 20 years. She said she would be sad to see us go. She has been very lonely in the past few years since her husband died. In the back of my mind I was worried about leaving her without someone close at hand to call if she needed help. GOD IS SO GOOD he knew exactly what she needed. She was listening to a multicultural program on the radio in the language of her native country a few weeks ago and they made mention of the name of her first boyfriend from over 60 years ago. She was able to track him down to a nearby city and they have been in contact ever since. I teased her today and sang - Maria has a boyfriend - she laughed and laughed!!! I don't think she is lonely anymore! Great timing!!! Isn't that AMAZING!

Now to decide what to do with 25 cans of leftover paint and all the food in my downstairs pantry. I just don't want anyone to think I am preparing for the end of the world. Maybe I'll stick with my standard answer: Do you know how much teenagers EAT?

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reasons for wanting to move to the country

I have many reasons for wanting to MOVE-TO-THE-COUNTRY. One of them is to have a more simple daily lifestyle. Our lives have become a whirlwind of drive-thru's, instant cash, instant entertainment and instant communication.

I get tired of it some days. For example: one of my daughters has a cell phone. She lives at home, goes to church with us, works close to home - with in walking distance - almost never goes anywhere since she does not yet have a drivers license and yet she has a phone. It buzzes OFTEN during the day and sometimes the night to announce a new text message has arrived. If it was me I'm sure I would feel like prey being hunted down by persistant hunters! The constant reminders that SOMEONE-WANTS-MY-ATTENTION would probably lead me to flush it down the toilet! I don't need a cell phone to feel needed - but maybe that's because I have a houseful of people who don't need a cell phone to reach me!

I would guess there are days we all want to get off the treadmill of life to find a little corner of the world where we can experience some peace and quiet. In the past this was our twice yearly camping trips or a weekend away with just DH and myself or on a smaller scale my office in a spare corner of my son's bedroom…am I dreaming too big to think that life at our new home will allow us some more of those peaceful moments mingled amidst the events of the every day??

I can imagine:
PICKING apples from our own trees
Having LUNCH outside
WALKING down a country road for no purpose but to enjoy the weather as opposed to walking to the post office or grocery store
Spending TIME in the garden - my city gardens are all mulched so not much maintenance required
Lying in bed and hearing the quiet sounds of NOTHING instead of the noise of cars racing around the corner while I hold my breath at 3am wondering if they will crash into the house in the bend of the road like the others over the past years
OR figuring out the creaks and strange noises of a 150 year old home.

One can only hope but location alone will not change much - this I know to be true by watching the lifestyles of some of our friends. A peaceful home life is a choice and for each family the "peace" will look different. If it were up to me I would not hook up the satellite dish and I would throw out the TV - HOWEVER I have been completely over ruled by my DH :) It was one battle the kids did not need to fight! In truth I enjoy a few good movies and a select list of TV shows but in my "ideal-life-of-my-dreams" I think I could do without it. Of course I will never get the chance to find out if it's really true!

I have a picture in my mind of how I want life to be - DON'T WE ALL! So far my life has looked nothing like how I pictured it to be. It's been much MUCH harder and MUCH MUCH better. My life would have been boring if I were in charge. Thankfully, my heavenly Father knows me best and he planned this wonderful adventurous life for me and included a family for me that I couldn't have imagined in a million years.

All this…and a dream to one day live our lives together in a little house on a couple of country acres away from the big city.

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

Gardening Plans

Spring officially begins in just over two weeks from today. The weather is glorious and this leads me to thoughts of gardening.

Here in our city home we have a pleasant but shady backyard - perfect for hot summer days relaxing in the shade of the huge Manitoba maple trees but NOT-SO-GREAT-FOR-VEGETABLES. I have in the past struggled against the elements but optimist-or-not it never did really well. I remember picking a bowl full of beans once or twice but the carrots often rotted in the ground and the tomatoes were decimated by a freak hail storm or eaten by bugs on many occasions.
My high hopes for feeding all of us from our backyard garden were dashed many times - good thing we were not dependant upon it. I probably should have just kept trying but other things took my attention for a few years - namely my very young children.

We have lots of perennial flowers, bushes and a GREAT-MOUND-OF-RHUBARB that I will be sad to leave behind. For the most part many of my plants are just that - nice plants - nothing that's ties them to me with memories except lovely trips to the garden centre and all are easily replaceable.

I do however have two plants from granny's garden from my childhood which I insist on having. Granny always had a PATCH-OF-ASPARAGUS but I don't think I ever dared to eat it till I was an adult. I just thought the wispy tops were beautiful, regal and perfect for making the fairy dresses of my imagination. Since they were ready long before anything else in the garden I suppose they were queen-of-the-spring in my child's eye. Rhubarb is the other - a standard in many kitchen gardens - coming back bigger and bigger each year until finally it was divided and given to newly-married-novice-gardeners like myself. I love the history that my rhubarb plant possesses - from person to person and finally to me. The stop before me was my mom and dad's garden!

I hope to find both of these plants in my new garden and wonder what other surprises there will be there for me. Perhaps - just in case - I will ask first and if the GARDEN-IS-LACKING I will take a piece of my rhubarb to plant there while leaving the biggest part for the next gardener. It seems rather fitting…maybe she will be a newly-married-novice-gardener like I was…

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Backyard Chickens in the City

Sometimes the waiting just GOT-TO-ME. I felt as if I was spending so much time waiting. So - we decided to get CHICKENS for our backyard. Thankfully, we live in a city where backyard chickens are legal but just because they are legal doesn't mean your neighbours will approve. We certainly got some strange looks when we announced our plans - we weren't really asking for permission but we thought giving some of them the heads up was a wise thing to do.

Thankfully, our neighbors were delighted! On one side we have a young family who moved from the country to the city so mom could be closer to school - they thought it was a great idea - they have since become our main chicken-sitters if we need to go out of town overnight. Our neighbors on the other side are an older gentleman and his wife and he had chickens as a child - he was also fascinated with the girls. He says he especially likes the quiet sounds they make. We've given away some eggs when we had an over abundance - a great way to keep goodwill happening!

If ever you think to start this little project for yourself let me tell you - start up costs for us were CRAZY! That's mostly because we're CRAZY!! We built them the nicest coop on the planet! We started with our kids old playhouse and remodeled. We had help from a dear friend Mr. Lew. He came back numerous times to make modifications to our original plan. One of the doors opened up backwards and it was very awkward so that had to be changed, we added a roof to the outdoor area so they wouldn't get rained on or snowed on, we moved their nesting boxes, added roosting bars…I think our eggs cost us about a dollar a piece at this point and since we're moving we can start all over again when we get there!

I still find it completely amazing to go out in the morning and find a little pile of fresh eggs. I feel like a proud momma - wow - they did that "all-by-theirselves"! We decided on Red Sexlinks because that's the kind you could get from the hatchery ready-to-lay. It was the best thing for us but we didn't get to see them grow up from little chicks - maybe next time. They lay the most beautiful brown eggs of all different sizes. I thought chickens laid small eggs at the beginning of their egg laying life span and the eggs got bigger as they aged - NOT. They lay teeny tiny ones and monster sized ones the next day. For those of you who do not know - YOU DO NOT NEED A ROOSTER TO HAVE EGGS. Yes, that was a surprise to me as well. I had quite a conversation with a neighbor as they tried to convince me otherwise.

One day a little boy from down-the-street came over to visit and see the chickens. He stood with his hands on his hips and said: NO WAY YOU CAN FOOL ME. THOSE ARE ROOSTERS. I KNOW WHAT ROOSTERS LOOK LIKE AND THOSE ARE ROOSTERS. He could not be convinced! I told him he could call them whatever he wanted - they laid eggs!

Both of these examples have led me to agree with many others who say: WE HAVE LOST TOUCH WITH THE SOOURCE OF OUR FOOD. Food comes from a grocery store and that's where the thinking ends. No wonder the farmers in my rural area have signs that say: Farmers feed Cities.

I am looking forward to having the space to have even more chickens. It's just one step but it has opened up a whole new world to my family and besides the EGGS ARE DELICIOUS!

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

We found IT!

Well, I had no idea how quickly this was going to happen! We went to an open house last weekend and we found IT. The country property that we had been waiting for and dreaming about for so many years. I feel stunned after waiting and dreaming for so long.

It's a century home on 10 acres with a barn and some other out buildings surrounded by environmentally protected lands on two sides, a farmers field on one side and some nice neighbours on the other side. I've always wanted a house were we didn't need curtains on the windows and if I choose to do that I could - WITH NOBODY PEEKING IN!

There's a lot to think about with an older country property. Septic systems, wells, water flow rates, oil tanks, whether or not the basement fills with water in the spring, how close a proposed new highway will be…

I'm choosing to think about where the furniture will go, having a fire pit in the back, being able to hang my clean laundry on a clothesline-outside-in-the-fresh-spring-air, where to plant the apple trees and blueberry bushes, canning the fruits and vegetables from the gardens next fall and how many barn cats we will have roaming the "farm" that the girls will want to adopt and bring inside. NO - NO - NO!!

Now to complete all the paperwork, get all the inspections and watch God put the finishing details on the whole event.

Did I mention that Wal-Mart was 13 minutes away??

My long-awaited adventure of God-proportions continues...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Family Introductions

We were out last weekend driving around in the nearby countryside AGAIN - looking for our new home. We've been searching for a country property for several years however apparently the timing wasn't quite right because here we are still LIVING-IN-THE-CITY.

Thankfully both my husband and I have come together, are on the same page and we both know that the time is drawing near for this move to take place. Our desire to live in the country is a little more heavily weighted towards my side since my hubby is a city boy at heart (but somewhere deep inside is a country boy just waiting to come out!) but he loves me so he is willing to move to make me happy. There is one condition to his willingness however! Wal-Mart can't be more than 15-20 minutes away!

That stipulation combined with our need for space for 6 humans, 6 chickens, a dog and several other important considerations - like a main floor bedroom (and hopefully more than 1 bathroom!) and a few acres - have made the search rather arduous.

In truth we have been searching for longer than just several years - it's been 11 almost exactly. I have always dreamed of living in the country but there came a day way-back-when when I knew that it was more than a dream but something that would surely happen. I think if I knew THEN how long a wait I had coming I may have not even bothered with HOPING. What a long process this has been! Full of ups and downs and emotional twists and turns.

The wait has had it's blessings. Several forever children have come to live with us during this time and I doubt we would even have know them if we were not still living in the city.

Our immediate family consists of my dear self-employed husband, myself , a married daughter and her husband who have moved away from home (but not too far), one daughter living in England for a year while volunteering at a church ministry, 3 daughters all working hard to save money to go to school in a year from now and our son the soon-to-be volunteer farmer, grass cutter, head maintenance man and fellow adventurer.

We have been a homeschooling family for many years - our son is now in his final years and I therefore am in my final years as teacher in an official capacity - learning & teaching however will continue for all of us. Life is too exciting to quit learning.

At present we live in a small city on a rather large lot with a teeny tiny home. I have said many times living in this house with 6 people (and for awhile 7 adults!) is like living in a submarine - everything has it's place and it better be in it! We have not resorted to hot-bunking (yet) however we have undoubtedly RUN-OUT-OF-ROOM.

Our "family" expanded last summer to include 6 new girls - Mildred, Myrtle, Clementine, Bertha, Gertie and Edwina. They have their own little coop in the backyard and they faithfully supply us with lovely fresh brown eggs each day. I am a kid when it comes to this mini-agricultural-hobby-farm-adventure-in-the-backyard - it never ceases to amaze me how it all works. Chickens are wonderfully entertaining - better than watching TV for their crazy antics and widely differing personalities. Gertie is my favorite but that's only because she is the bravest of the bunch and will actually come near me to be company-for-company-sake not just because I am bringing them kitchen scraps.

Welcome to my blog about the everyday happenings of soon to be countrified family from the little city. A long awaited adventure of God proportions!