Simply Living Simply.

My oh my, how things have changed for John and I over the last 4 months. We began building our dream cabin in March, moved into our camper on the property in June, moved into the cabin in mid-July, and have been simply living simply for the last two months.

Every night, and I mean every night, one of us makes a comment about how blessed we are to have found this property, connected with each of the subcontractors on our build, and have the ability to work to pay for this dream cabin. It was hard work. Very, very hard at times. We don't take a moment of that for granted and are grateful that everything worked out relatively smoothly.

Now, we live simply. We have peace and quiet. We savor moments on this homestead. While we both still work 'in town' daily, it doesn't tarnish this experience at all. If you thought we lived simply before, I can't wait to see your comments about how our lifestyle has transformed in the recent past.

For example, we are producing honey right here on our homestead. This year was a small harvest of about a gallon of raw honey since our hives are just getting established. I am proud of the beekeeper I've become, especially because my confidence in working my bees alone has grown.

From the Porch.

A few weeks ago one of my good girlfriends said, "Kelli, you're really in your element, aren't you?" I took a few minutes to think about her question. The two months have been incredibly wild, and 'in my element' aren't the first words I would use to describe my experience. 

You see, we've said goodbye to our contractors that built our cabin; we're doing all of the finish work ourselves. After we sold our home in December, we moved into an apartment. When our lease expired, we lived in our camper for about two weeks. The cabin wasn't ready. 

Then, I had this crazy idea to quit my day job as a mentor for beginning teachers and embark on a brand new career path. I've worked in public education for 10 years, and at the end of June transitioned to work as Director of Education at a non-profit nature center. The change was pretty incremental, y'all. 

"In my element", you say? It almost seems funny, until I take a beer out to the porch, light a candle, and look around. 

It's quiet. Birds are the only sound. It's just absolutely lovely. Maybe I am in my element on this front porch? The view isn't very great.

We have no yard, and really no intentions of mowing much, but there is a lot of mud due to the septic system and digging the foundation of the cabin. It's definitely still a construction zone, and my fern has tipped off the porch more times than I can count. 

I think I love this porch because I can sit and just be. Our phones don't work much in the cabin due to the metal roof, we don't have wifi yet, and have no intentions of getting cable TV, so solitude is really easy to find.

Simply lighting a beautiful mosquito-repelling candle keeps the 'skeeters away.

We really like the lemongrass candle from Clover's Garden, but there are several other scents too. They're indoor/outdoor candles, and don't smell like chemicals like those commercial ones in the green tin.

The chickens love this porch, too, even though there aren't any bugs nearby to much on thanks to the Clover's Garden candle.

So, yes, I think I am in my element. A new cabin, a new porch with a beautiful ambiance, a new job, a new outlook on wellness. 

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The birds. A train. The air.

I was sitting in the hammock, and an overwhelming sense of contentment washed over me. The pretty white rope hammock with stained wood holding it open at each end was strung between two wimpy trees in the middle of our property.

To say it's been months, maybe more than a year, since I've felt such contentment is no exaggeration. Since August I've been in a whirlpool of work stress, selling our beloved home, building a cabin, my sister's beautiful winter wedding, health concerns with family members, and the passing of our dear niece. Contentment wasn't really a feeling I would experience more than briefly after a good meal or after finding a snuggly nest of bunnies, for example.

Laying in that hammock on a breezy, sunny spring Saturday made me feel content. It was glorious. And fleeting. The daily stressors of work and life always manage to creep in.

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