Saturday, November 13, 2010

Welcome to the 30 Acre Wood!

Hello and welcome to my blog!  Yes, I am finally knuckling down and doing this, after months of debating whether I really wanted to or not, pondering the advantages of a blog over MySpace or FaceBook or a website.  Part of my hesitation is the fact that we, up here on the Hill, are prisoners of dialup internet service, which does teach you patience on a good day, and expands your expletive vocabulary on a bad day.  For instance, a full fifteen minutes have passed from the moment I turned my computer on to get to the window for me to type this post.  And, I am still having trouble getting photos posted here, but bear with me, because I am nothing if not tenacious. 
My goal for this blog is purely self serving – to exercise my writing muscles on a more regular basis, as I do like writing about myself, and this kills two birds with one stone.  Plus, I find my life with Hubby here in Schroon Lake endlessly entertaining – and I guess I want you to think so, too.  All the writers’ online chat encourages an enterprising writer, as I consider myself (notice I didn’t say enterprising young writer) to blog or something similar, and I have seen some terrific blogs recently (i.e. The Hermit Crab here on blogspot, I love cranky people who can write well).  Hence, I am joining the ranks, and maybe nobody will ever see this, but screw it, I’m doing it anyway.
For the uniniated, some quick background:  Hubby Larry Phillips and I reside on 30 mostly wooded acres on Charley Hill Road in Schroon Lake, in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.  I consider ourselves “quasi-homesteaders” in that we strive to be as self sufficient as possible but still sadly pay National Grid every month and do spring for season passes for skiing.  We have two elderly horses – 29 year old Cass, my grumpy and long suffering Quarter Horse that I’ve shared my life with for 24 years and Katie, a 26ish year old mini mare whose purpose is not to be your friend, thank you – our two cats who are our children now that we are empty nesters, and a flock of 11 barred rocks who are choosing increasingly cold November to go into their first molt.
We heat entirely with wood that Hubby drags out of our woods with our 1952 Ford 8N.  We have several small gardens going in the summer, which are a never ending learning process.  I, for one, am not personally adept with things vegetative, but I am determined to keep things growing, dammit, and I do enjoy weeding (it’s a Zen thing, right up there with cleaning stalls, stacking wood, and pulling weeds out of the pasture).  While Hubby enjoys the gardens, I consider myself more of a rancher.  I have always enjoyed animal husbandry and personally feel that’s where my strengths lie.
Of our thirty acres we cleared approximately three for pasture starting about five years ago.  This is work not for the fainthearted nor weak of back.  It is also something we will never EVER do again.  But we have three lovely, rolling hills of wanna-be pasture, the property’s former stone walls once again exposed to the sun, rocks of all sizes rearing their ugly heads, and a rave of weeds threatening to take over the world as we coax and encourage our grass seed to take a stand. 
We had a 30 x 24 barn frame built by Bill Christian and his wonderful crew that we spent the summer of 2005 finishing (well, almost finishing, but that’s for another day).  We got our hens last year and I built a little coop for them.  Our house is an old turn of the century farmhouse, small and cozy, an ongoing project in itself.  We are hardly master carpenters but we do get the important things done, and there are plenty of things that we just choose to live with (like the Havitrail features within its walls).
So, that’s the basic groundwork for what I’ll be writing about.  I hope you’ll check in periodically and that you’ll find these entries interesting, and I hope you post a comment if you’re so inclined.  I am so very, very lucky to live where I do, with the man in my life, and the work here on the homestead that keeps me grounded.  Thanks for reading!


  1. What a great read! You sure know how to bottom-line it and in an entertaining way! I do have to object to the rocks rearing their UGLY heads - as the former wife of a stone mason, don't you know every rock is beautiful? This is a great way to get to know you because we're too damn busy to get together in person much. There's an old Levon helm song with the line "he worked so hard that he died standing up." That would be us.

  2. love it! love it! love it! reminds me of those wonderful conversations on Monday remember...when work started at about 10 a.m. I'll be back for another episode.

  3. Cool Beti a blog! It's alittle like the newsletters you use to right here that I enjoyed every month..
    Have to ask...did you ever get your washer hooked up?? Theresa

  4. I mean write...still not great with grammer!