Making it back to heaven on earth

I started this blog a few months ago and life got in the way so I never got a chance to actually write or do anything with it. I wasn’t sure where to start or where to go with it. Today, I could feel the words begin to flow so here I am.

This summer, I renovated the smaller of two old houses on the family farm while taking two back to back, 6 week long classes (12 total weeks). The family farm is an hour and a half from where we currently live and where I take classes. I have four small children. Each week I was on the road approximately 18 hours, working on the farm and the house 45-50 hours, sitting in class for 6+ hours, and keeping up with laundry, dishes, four children, and everything else a mom has to keep up with.

At the end of July, we took the plunge moved our family to the farm. The farm is nestled in a beautiful little valley, right the middle of the Appalachian mountains. There is a town on one side of one mountain and a town on the other side of the opposing mountain. The valley between seems untouched; this is home. We don’t have much cell phone reception there and the internet connection is weak most of the time. The drive is a winding route on a road that leads through the most peaceful “middle of no where” valley with a state road on both ends. It is absolutely beautiful all year round. It is it’s own little peace of heaven; a country girls dream.

We have a few streams trickling down out of mountain, cutting their way peacefully through the farm; each feeding into a creek that gently flows across the land. There is much to feed the soul there. Wildlife is abundant there. For three days, we had coyotes less than 100 yards above us yipping and howling in hair raising chorus, while we were clearing out some trees for a new fence line that is going in. Each evening we watched whitetail deer meandering down through our hay fields, munching on the green growth. Mornings were full the smell of fresh coffee and frying eggs; the sound of crickets playing their calming tunes before dawn. The sun rose with the sound of birds cheerfully singing their songs, along with squirrels chattering in the trees around the house, as well as the smell of dew on the grass. As the day went on cicadas and cows would be sure to remind us of their presence and the smell of diesel fuel, cattle, manure, and hay filled the air. The aromatic smells of the garden produce tempted us with lots of fresh snacks throughout the day. We sweated while we worked on various projects and played with the sets of sweet, soft farm kittens. I would cook a big hearty meal for dinner. Mornings started at 4 a.m. and we crawled into bed at around 10 p.m.

It was heaven for me. I could have stayed and given up college and every single creature comfort the modern world has to offer for the rest of my life just to live on the farm and homestead; living completely off the land. I felt spiritually alive and connected to mother nature and God. My soul was absolutely ablaze.

The one thing that made it all not worth staying? My husband’s 3 hour, round trip, daily commute to work. During the day and during the morning and evening drive, he was miserable. When he had the weekend off, our souls were connected at the very core and his soul was ablaze as well. He couldn’t handle the drive and he missed us. See, he had to leave at 4:30 in the morning and didn’t return until 7:00 in the evening. The timing was all wrong, but being there felt perfect. We sat down and had a long talk. We talked with his parents throughout the week. A lot of praying was done. School was beginning and we had limited time so we needed to decide whether to stay or move back.

A plan was formulated: move back to the town he works in (the house was thankfully still ours), power through the credits we each need to finish in each of our degrees over the next year or so, and then when the time is right (or the right job close to the farm pops up), we move back. Every weekend he has off, every holiday vacation, and during hunting season, we will travel to the farm and stay in the house I renovated. In most ways, it’s the best of both worlds.

This is no easy feat but after our experience living there, and feeling the fire return to both our souls for the homesteading/farming/country life, weekends must be spent on the peaceful mountain farm; renewal of feeling our spirit and soul is that one thing we crave all week long. One day, we will move back for good and what a wonderful, joyful day that will be.

Until then, I get to keep up with and style two homes.

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One Country Girl’s Journey

My name is Danielle. I am a mom of 4 kids born over a 5 year span. We have 2 boys and 2 girls. Currently one toddler, two preschoolers, and one school aged. I’m married to my high school sweetheart of 12 years. We live quite a {blessed} life. We are currently living in the rural part of a town where my husband works. Summers and each weekend, we travel the hour and a half drive to our family farm to…farm. There we are raising beef cattle and make hay in the summer. I grow produce to can, freeze, and sell. I am a “modern” mom in many ways but I am also very “old fashioned” in most ways. I hunt a variety of wild game and process our own meat. We do a lot of home made everything; eating as “clean” and home cooked as we can though with traveling, drive through food happens here and there.

Hubby is working on his Master’s degree. I’m slowly working on my Bachelor’s degree in wildlife sciences.

We often get asked how we balance it all. My usual reply is “We just do.”  This blog is for me to share my endeavors as a young mom; determined to take on the world; raising kids who are not assholes but are respectful and compassionate; dreaming of working with wildlife and conservation of natural resources; sharing tips on how we “do it all”. Our life is not easy by any means. It’s messy and chaotic. It takes a lot of work, sweat, love, and determination. It also takes a lot of balance, understanding, and a few tears but in the end I’m confident it’ll all work out one way or another.

You’ll find recipes, produce growing and preserving tips (Disclaimer: these are OLD FASHIONED tips my family have used since way back when so they don’t always align with the FDA “rules” of today), some sewing and crocheting, and overall homemaking tips. MOST of this blog is just sharing my adventures though since I love to write and feel that this is a good outlet to share our lifestyle.