Don’t be a Stranger.

There’s a double meaning in the blog title, Don’t be a Stranger.  First, and probably most obvious to you, the reader, is that we’ve been a stranger to you! If you subscribe to the blog, you haven’t heard from us lately (well, in over 3 months to be exact). But the same isn’t true about our social media, so follow us there if you haven’t already – Facebook, Instagram. Yes, just over 3 months have gone by since my fingers hit the keyboard to bring homestead blog updates to you. Why? Well, the homestead. There have been so many new updates including:

  • Winterizing….and more winterizing.
  • We have new animal residents – pigs!
  • Chicken egg laying drama.
  • Amazing total solar eclipse road trip vacation.
  • We have a new human resident.
  • Socializing.
  • Gardening.
  • The Harvest. 
  • Putting food by.
  • Homeschooling.
  • Continuing education to become a Certified First Responder.
  • ….and on, and on, and on.

I have plenty to blog about! Maybe a bit more time will be available now that the weather is changing and there is less to manage outside.

So, onto the second meaning in the blog title, Don’t be a Stranger.  In June, 2017, we moved from our home of 12 years to our new “neighborhood”, 250 miles away. Although we’ve owned our homestead property for 8 years, the only time we spent here was pretty much at work and we met very few people. Referring to our new homestead location as a “neighborhood” is perhaps a bit of a stretch of what most people imagine a neighborhood to be. Our closest full-time neighbor is 1 mile down the road. And we are at a dead end off of a dead end road, so we do not exactly have any thru traffic going by. It’s what many people would describe as isolating, but we see as quiet, peaceful, and perfect.

Since June, we’ve met many full-time and seasonal neighbors. Not only have we met these neighbors, but developed work shares (more on this in future post), bartered goods and services, been given help, knowledge and goods expecting nothing in return, and most feel good….grew new friendships – the, “it’s Friday, c’mon over for dinner and a movie” kind of friendships.

Maybe this sounds like your community, but it doesn’t precisely describe where we came from. Our last community was very friendly, but the interconnectedness (is that a real word?) never seemed to exist. My theory? Here on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when your closest neighbor is 1 mile away and there are only a handful of neighbors beyond them, we truly will be better off knowing each other because there may be times we need each other. The closest grocery store, gas station, car repair, or health clinic is 25 minutes away…on a clear weather day. We feel like we’re part of a “we’ve got your back” sort of community.

While we love our homestead being at the dead end of a dead end road, we also still need human interaction (yes, as an introvert I am admitting that even I need human interaction). And while many of us out here are here for the peace, quiet, and tranquility, we still need each other’s company as well.  How lucky we have been to fall into the company of  wonderful people who provide great conversation and natural companionship.

When we purchased our land, and then later made the transition to full-time living on our homestead, we didn’t really put much thought into what “community” would look like here. Fortunately for us, it was just what we needed.

Wishing you Love, Peace, and Nature


A Howling Good Time at CopperDog 150

CopperDog 150 has been annual tradition for our family. We always have a great time and this year was full of new memories.  Because our yurt is shut down for winter (no running water, no heat, and questionable access), we stayed in Calumet at a great little Airbnb apartment that was perfectly situated directly above the CopperDog start and finish line. What’s great about that was we watched portions of the race from inside since the temperatures were very cold on Friday night during the start. The apartment made it a lot more enjoyable, especially for  Woodland, who is 2 years old.

Flora watching the race comfortably from inside! (Photo Credit: Corinna Greenwood)


On Saturday we spent a portion of our day visiting White Sky Woods. The yurt was nestled sweetly in the snow. We hiked around looking for animal tracks in the snow.  Officially, there are many deer and squirrel track, but we didn’t see any wolf, coyote or other critter trackers.  Tim also left some tracks…our place is so full of love.

yurt heart.jpg
Winter yurt love.

Sunday, the finish of the CooperDog 150 was taking place. The kids were eager to see the dogs again, and especially Flora who signed up to volunteer with Tim as an “Official Bag Checker”.  A friend of ours invited us to help out, and we are so glad she did. This volunteer role allowed Flora to get a behind-the-scenes look at the finish line.  What the mushers do with their dogs, how the dogs get fed, what a vet-check looks like, etc. It was a busy few hours. Flora and Tim did a great job and Flora has already said she wants to do it again next year!

Official Bag Check!

While they did the bag check, Woodland and I had a great time cheering on the race finishers, including this racer, an 11-year old girl. So cool!

Young CopperDog musher and “bagged” dog.  Photo Credit: Corinna Greenwood

We love what this event is for the community and awareness it brings to this lesser know sport.  We’re looking forward to being able to get more involved in CopperDog 150 2018 since we’ll be moved and not have to be concerned with long travel or finding a place to stay. What great new memories it is sure to bring!