We are under contract now to purchase our new home in Central Maine. There is much to look forward to - having wooded land, making plans for guest cabins, making gardens, and building outbuildings. Speaking of outbuildings, there is only currently an attached garage which will become the workshop right away. But we are wondering what will work best to shelter all of the animals on the day we arrive. What can we do for their immediate needs and then what kind of small barns can we build inexpensively and simply? Any thoughts? We will have 3 goats, 14 chickens (two of which are special needs and need their own separate area and a rooster and his girlfriend that need their own space) and one duck. We are planning to close our shop for about two weeks when we move so we can concentrate on building.
Something on my wish list for many years, we were able to go to this past weekend.
We went on Saturday and it wouldn't surprise me if there were record crowds that day. With a brilliant blue sky and the temperature about 68 degrees, one couldn't have asked for more.
So many people, but most with happy faces, smiling, enjoying one another and their children.
There is a whole separate area designed for children - hulling and thrashing beans, hammering nails (children hammering with full size hammers within feet of one another - imagine that!). There was cardboard hill sliding by the band tent. So many children laughing, forming instant "friendships", and getting along. Dust flying up everywhere because it has been dry for so long.
One of the highlights for our entire family was the sheep herding with the collies. We also enjoyed some demonstrations about making sunflower oil and of course, I was drawn to all of the wool.
My purchases included the yarn pictured from Hope Spinnery that was naturally dyed with indigo. I am using it to knit the the Ria Vest Pattern. I also loved the artwork by Toki Oshima and found out that she teaches classes to homeschoolers nearby.
This fair is huge and we certainly didn't see everything. By mid afternoon, we knew that our younger children had reached their limits for the day so we headed out to the trail through the woods that leads back to the hay field that had become a parking lot.
Since our little homestead here in northern Vermont went under contract this past July, we have been praying and searching for where our next home would be.
On September 18th, our home became officially not our own - as we formally closed on it and the new owners took ownership. We are more than blessed that the new owners are wonderfully kind and are fine with us staying here until the spring when they will move here or until we find our new home. Knowing that we don't want to look for homes in the winter nor move during mudseason, we have been very busy looking.
We have been looking around where we live now - putting offers on a few different places - weighing pros and cons - praying - offers not being accepted - minds changing....
Do we stay here with our church or do we move on to a new area - with new adventures and people?
We spent this past weekend in the midcoast area of Maine but inland a bit, close enough to attend the Common Ground fair (something that has been on my wish list for years!). We stayed at a Christian summer camp and retreat center, staying in a little cottage right on the lake - so beautiful the setting.
We had two properties on our list to see. Maine has been in our minds for some time because of the little bit of a higher population, more culture, and the lower property taxes. The first home we saw, made us not want to see the other. We saw it on Friday afternoon after our long drive over.
Saturday was spent at the fair and we did a little more exploring of the area after. There is even an Amish community in Unity. We felt at home among the people, among the rolling hills and farms, and learned that there is a strong homeschool community there - where there is none where we are now.
We told ourselves to enjoy Sunday, arrive home, see how we felt at home, sleep on it, pray some more, and then make a decision this morning. Unfortunately, God can't make decisions for us, He has left that up to our feeble human minds. We know that wherever we live, we are to bring glory to Him, put our family second, and then serve the community.
So we put an offer on the house this morning. The amazing part of it is that the asking price is so much less than anything else we have looked at. It has seven acres, is an older cape but in good condition with an attached garage for the workshop. Our payments will be much less than what we had here in northern Vermont and if all goes well, we will have our own wooded acreage to supply our business and maple trees to tap for a year supply of our family's syrup, plenty of grazing room and garden space (although I will be starting from scratch again).
I will keep you posted as our life takes a new direction - a new place but really just a continuation of what we began 6 years ago when we took the leap to support our family with the works of our hands.
An abundance of apples from our trees - two apple pies, two batches of apple crisp, and apple muffins so far.
A sweet little baby goldfinch with one bad eye that Sarah nurtured and took care of for three days before Emmy brought her outside and our dog ended her life quickly.
Emmy's 4th birthday yesterday! Abby made the cake. Emmy is all about princesses right now and she still loves singing, dancing, and delighting us all with her bright big eyes full of wonder and delight. Four is such a wonderful age.