Tired Body, Busy mind

Well it is fall. Though here, it feels like a breath of winter.

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I thought that at this point that my to-do list of summer projects to have finished would be done. They are not all done. Which makes me feel like a failure. Though to be fair, money-wise, the odds weren’t exactly in my favor.

The to-do list:

1. Insulate the floor of the cabin.
2. Build an outhouse!
3. Hang the outdoor solar light on the cabin facing the outhouse.
4. Four more loads of wood!
5. Pick up a new wood stove (that burns longer than four hours)
6. Pipe in the wood cook stove I had given to me!
7. Build a new chicken coop.
8. New brakes, ice road worthy tires and rims.

Some of these are half done. Let me explain.

2. The hole is dug, the culvert is in the hole, and back-filled. The material is ready to go. I am waiting for a (very busy) friend to come up to the cabin on a free weekend to build it. As it stands now, it looks like a very odd and uncomfortable place to take a shit.

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3. This isn’t half done. This is just not done.

5. The new-wood stove, is new/used. And it is being picked up and installed on Saturday. Soo.. There’s that.

6. This is also, not done. I don’t have the area around the stove fire proofed, nor is the area underneath the stove fireproofed. It may be a while yet before this is achieved.

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7. Ahh a new chicken coop. I have some of the material put aside to build this, though this most likely will not be happening this year. I am sad. The ladies are sad.

8. I did get new rear brakes, still in need of the front ones however. And no new tires or rims yet.

So now that I sound like a big ol lazy sack of shit, let me further explain.

Building a life away from town and away from power and water, is very hard. I didn’t sit on my ass all summer eating chips. Bear in mind I am still recovering from the spring. Bear in mind that I only have my income involved in this project and it isn’t shared (as originally intended). Bear in mind that I have no idea how to do almost anything construction wise. That is just not one of my gifts. Crafting, gardening and cooking, are.

I feel bad asking for help from people when I can’t afford to pay them.

I feel bad asking for people’s time for help also, and for the most part, people don’t want to leave town.

Writing this down for the world to see I feel a pang of anxiety. Now the world will know what an unaccomplished person I am. I didn’t rise up against the odds and build a beautiful life for myself.

Here is what I did do:

I spent a lot of time crafting. I crocheted and sewed many things to sell at a local night market in town as well as a music festival. Neither of these went well and I can’t forgive myself for wasting so much time on this. I thought it would give me a boost in the money department in the end, it did not. I failed here too.

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I did little things around the cabin. I read a couple of books. I swam in a nearby lake a couple of times. I made some new friends.

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I tried.

When I see people in town who follow this blog and am asked “So how’s the cabin coming along?” , I feel myself start to unravel. When I scramble to find an explanation for why the cabin isn’t coming along, I hear a small voice in me say, “you failed.” The cabin is coming along, it is just coming along verrryyyyyy sloooowwwwllyyyy. Because not everything has a magical ending with the heroine coming out on top of it all.

The weather is changing. I’ve been keeping a fire lit at night at the cabin. For some reason I forgot what wood smoke in the cabin smells like. I’ve forgotten how good clean cold air feels. I’d also forgotten about apples, fresh off the tree crisp apples. This year even if only the floor is insulated, I have a new/used stove, and loads of firewood (most of it split did I mention!). That is HUGE for me. What a blessing it will be to be WARM. (Shh don’t tell the chickens…)

I am finding myself feeling tired. My body is exhausted. My mind however is very busy. Non-stop with the creative ideas, and I have notebooks full of them. All day at work I think of the things I want to do later. Bake this, crochet that, can this, sew that. When I get off work all of those beautiful thoughts disappear and I want to lie down and do nothing. The cabin though, is very forgiving at the moment. The cabin sees I am tired and she warms up quickly and wraps around me and lets me lie down. I apologize and try to explain. The cabin doesn’t mind. The cabin sighs and lets me sigh too. I drink my tea and sit by the stove and let my mind go wild.

The mornings are getting cold. The road in is getting busier, and there is snow on the tops of the hills. How did the summer go by so quickly. What could I have done differently? (other than of course, the obvious, skipping out on the crafting things for markets & festivals).

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It feels like maybe summer was tired too. Summer gave in and wanted to lie down. Fall was eager to take stage and winter stands beside fall.

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I find myself in the evenings listening to music. It gives my head something to slow down to. I’ve also been writing a lot in the evenings. I have some ideas for a book, but once I sit down and start writing, my thoughts pour out before I have a chance to organize or put my story into any kind of order. In all honesty my thoughts turn to heartache and loss. Or the quick blips of my days that were kind of like a mental bed for my brain to lie on. Someone humming softly to themselves, glances from strangers, silly jokes and even sillier songs. Reading other peoples thoughts on heartache and loss. Brokenness.

Here is someone who’s work I’ve been following:

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I will admit this, with fall came a stirring of my intuition.

I have the overwhelming feeling that something is about to happen.

Good or bad I am not sure. Something.

For this, I suppose I must prepare.

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12 thoughts on “Tired Body, Busy mind

  1. Good morning, I read your post last night, and I feel your pain. I live in Wisconsin and our summer has come and gone in a blink of an eye. My to do list has not many check marks next to the list. But i am hopeful. Winter brings a new kind of list. I am behind on four quilts. I will let you know in spring how that worked. I admire your determination. I find you an inspiration. I am in my very late 50’s, but grew up going to our cabin in the northwoods. No running water and just a woodstove. One room. If i were 30 years younger…… Well keep your chin up you are doing great!

    >

  2. Hi Cassandra, I just recently discovered your blog and you’ve done what I’ve wanted to do these past 3 years. All I’ve done so far is build the base to my cabin and my to-do list for the year was not even close to being complete. Your cabin is coming along a lot better than mine and I’m having a hell of a time even trying to find a location on my parent’s property in Northern AB that’s realistic and something close to what I want. I keep wanting the swamp quarter…. :/ As for you wanting to write, good for you! I write fiction (not very good in my opinion but it’s there) and it’s alright for your writing to be all over the place and in no particular order at first. That’s all apart of writing! It’s still amazing what you have accomplished this year, even though it doesn’t appear like much. To us reading your blog, you’re an inspiration and you have accomplished plenty! You survived your first winter in your cabin alone and in pretty steep conditions to boot, you own your own place, you built your own home and your chickens and cabin love you. BTW, I love that quilt in the first photo! Your Etsy shop is empty *wink*

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I would love to hear more about your cabin plans, are you on Facebook? Do you have a blog? I added the quilt to the shop and the listing should be active in a few hours :).

  3. πŸ™‚ I don’t have a blog — I’ve nothing to blog about yet! I am on FB, actually I had sent you a message on there before because seriously had a blonde moment and could not find your comment section here. I’d love to discuss cabin building and living off grid with someone who is actually doing it.

    • I don’t think I received a message.. Maybe to a different Cass? I have a shop page on there now, from a cabin up north. πŸ™‚

    • Haha! Hello! I have loads of new awesome news to share.. But no internet or laptop.. And short on time. I hope to sit down soon in wifi one day and update! πŸ™‚

      • Oh, you do not know how you are in luck! I have a laptop just waiting to be donated to an industrious, self-sufficient, old soul, great expresser/writer of true feeling and life like yourself. Please contact me at f_brock@sbcglobal.net to arrange details of shipment. No joke Cass!

      • What!! No way!! That is way to generous. I have an old one that just needs to be fixed.. I think the cost of fixing it would be cheaper than shipping one? You and your wife are waaay too nice!!

      • Its absolutely no problem. This does not need fixing and we want you to have it rught away. I just got a new one through my company.

      • Wow ! Ok im just finishing putting my chimney pipe back together and then I’ll send you an email πŸ™‚

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