Finding Joy in the Things We Do

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Farm Boy 

Spring has sprung! Just kidding, it snowed 5 inches last night. But I guess that’s the North’s equivalent to a March shower. Thank goodness it turned into a gorgeous bluebird day and all faith was restored in knowing that spring is just around the corner. Although I realize that many of the people I follow on instagram should go ahead and suck it because they remind me constantly that spring actually exists right now in other, nicer, prettier places (not that I’m bitter. My husband told me I sounded bitter, and I had to remind him that, well, yes, I am bitter). All I want in life is a greenhouse that I can putter in during these low temps, but noooooooo…. I don’t even have a south facing window to spare anymore because I have what I like to refer to as Hurricane Toddler living in my tiny indoor space. I also have chickens living in my spare room… You know, normal people springtime problems. Le sigh.

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The roommates got some fresh air today and the ladies got some gossip material…

My last post was all about the many things we have to do on our goal’s list for this year. After creating this list, I noticed something… it all weighs a little heavy on my mind. I love planning and doing and working hard, but with the addition of our son last February, life has taken a new twist. I find myself wanting to surround myself with the things that bring me joy more often. It also could be due to the fact that I celebrated my 35th year on this planet recently, but life is just too damn short to be worried and stressed all of the time. Can I get an Amen?!

So I sat down and made a list of “things to do” of another kind – one that focused on my emotional being rather than the logistical reality that is our homesteading life. Because it’s all related, and I needed to start looking forward to our tasks instead of feeling heavy and dreadful. Dreadful. I like that word. Fun to say. Sucks to be.

Anywho… here’s the list:

  • Grow
  • Enjoy
  • Explore
  • Be present
  • Be kind
  • Listen
  • Practice patience
  • Find balance
  • Encourage
  • Laugh
  • Breathe deep
  • Celebrate Spring
  • Savour Summer
  • Focus in Fall
  • Welcome Winter
  • And my most favourite – DON’T DO “MORE”… DO “DIFFERENT”

This was huge for me. I’m always pushing myself to do more. I run a homestead and work a real job, so I’m always needing to do more, to be more… unless… Maybe I don’t. Maybe the key is to not “do more”, just “do different”. Take the things that don’t bring me joy in my everyday life and replace them with the things that do. Sounds simple right? Alas, not always so. Because life has a way of being a cock blocker and keeping you from happiness… and by cock blocker, I mean running defence on my frisky rooster Beatrix because he was being a dick today… or something like that.

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Sometimes life gets in the way of how you thought your day was going to go…

It’s the small things in life that make all the difference and the small changes I’ve made have already lightened my load and brought me joy. I don’t need to plug-in to social media for too much time looking at too many things that make absolutely no positive impact on my life whatsoever… I’d rather be cuddling my son or hiking with my dogs (and cat) or training the chickens who live in my house. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I just make sure I am present and practice intention in making those decisions. You know, like doing yoga instead of drinking wine at night. Hahaha…. just kidding. That would be ridiculous. I can definitely do both of those things and have them equally me joy. I haven’t lost my mind completely. Yet.

Using this model I began to reshape our 2017 list of Goals to emphasize and focus on bringing more joy to the farm and spaces we live in. Things started to pop out – like how the acre garden has been too much work and not enough joy. Solution – creating a better and more useful space for me to spend time down there, especially with a toddler. Farm chores can be a hassle, so now we are brainstorming ways to make them more efficient… easier for us to accomplish them while enjoying the work we do. I realize this is no new concept and that there are a hundred ways to go about it, but for me, this has been a revelation and I am joyfully looking forward to the work at hand and ahead. And sharing it all with you.

So even though this morning brought 5 inches of fresh snow, the afternoon brought sunshine and blue skies, so me, my son and all of our critters set out and found lots and lots of joy.

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But everyone loves a cuddle ❤

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Chicken chores

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Between starting work and cold temps I hadn’t spend time with these guys in a few weeks, so today it was oats and encouragement

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My father-in-law caught 16 wild horses this weekend and they are in the corrals adjusting to life on the farm

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This group of geldings from last summer returned to the farm, which brings us up to 32 horses on the property – the spring roundup has begun

How do you find joy in your everyday life or work?

~Katy

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Winter and Wild Horses

IMG_7339Autumn is in full swing and slowly fading to winter. We have lucked out in the weather department as October has been relatively warm and nice, though we’re losing daylight which makes the work/farm/life balance more difficult. It’s hard to get home at 5:30pm and get things accomplished before the sunset at 6:00pm. But thus is life in the North and as always, we’ll adapt… time to find the headlamps!

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving and we had much to be thankful for this year. Plus, it’s only the first of the double Thanksgivings we get around here, so cheers to that! Clay, his dad Timber, brother Taylor and friend Fernando spent all day Sunday working on our horse corrals. Looks like we may get wild horses on the property this winter if all goes to plan.  And then we’ll be completely prepared to brand, cut and buck them in the Springtime… Hopefully right around March 12th since, y’know, we won’t have anything else to do. Except for that whole birthing-and-raising-a-baby thing. Minor details.

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Timber wants one more round of rails on the top – these horses don’t know what fences are and the last thing I want to do is chase them around the farm if they escape!

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Timber and Taylor working hard. Wyatt trying to act big and tough to his friend Cubby… although off the camera, every time she barks at him he falls over backwards. Real tough guy on our hands

As the boys worked hard on the fences, I took the critters on a nice long hike to one of my favorite parts of the property. It was a wonderful day.

The Mighty Peace River

One of my favorite spots and view on the property. The boys seem to like it too

Thanksgiving Monday, Clay and Timber headed across the river to check on the wild bunch.  If you’re new to the blog and are wondering why we have these wild horses or where they came from, check out one of my very first posts here.They found about 20 horses and everybody looked pretty fat and happy heading into the winter. Makes me excited to see them on the property soon.

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I’m in love with this little guy ❤

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This one needs an epic name… Harry Trotter anyone? (thanks Laura;)

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This group of horses is one of my favorites. I love the roans and the greys

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A different group of paints

Next steps will be to finish the fencing and install gates on the corrals. Then we’ll set trip wires on the “horse traps” across the river (which are basically just smaller corral enclosures baited with salt blocks and hay). Next we’ll accomplish the very simple process of loading and transporting them all in horse trailers to our house. Easy peasy. Now I feel queasy. I’m sure it’s just the pregnancy.

There’s always something happening on the farm and I can’t wait to see what new adventures bring our way. A very gracious thank you to my husband who took the photos for the corrals and the wild horses – 3 hours both ways in a truck did not seem compatible with my bladder this time around… maybe next time.

~Katy