it's been a much bigger adjustment to the farm than we had anticipated. don't get me wrong. there has been plenty of fun & fruit & fulfilment already too. but still lots of changes & adjustments & transitions.

the long list of unexpecteds didn't help with our long, stressful delay in closing. then the lack of action in selling our old house (our old house is still holding our furniture for ransom for staging purposes to give us the best shot at selling). and then just the steep adaptation to farm life after moving from downtown ottawa. although, i had grown up on a small hobby farm... my kids, husband & dogs had not... which became apparent by the thousands of prickle plants & slivers we have taken out of the kids feet, or the porcupine quills we had to take out of Jacks gums & the horses muzzle or the few nights i had to sleep with an epipen in my right hand because my husband's allergies/asthma had manifested so badly. we are definitely over the hump i think. still climbing a steep learning curve but over the biggest humps. but before i forget, i wanted to chronicle some of the bigger transitions or changes so if any of you ever decide you want to move out of the city into the middle of nowhere, you'll know what you're getting yourself into. ;)

a favourite pastime of the kids as i
build the turkey coop in the barn
eva riding "mabel" 
1. the water. the wilkins are big water drinkers. and moving from city water to well water has welllll been a little soured by our poor working water softner. it has affected how much we drink, how well our clothes wash in the washing machine or dish washer & how soap lathers in the shower. but the coles notes are: never buy softner salt from walmart (always go with the more expensive pet friendly stuff), when washing cloth diapers in hard water use 'rockin green for hard water' or you will never get the smell out of them, don't pack your old top loader washing machine too full (leave lots of room for the clothes to move around) & use cascade (which is crap for city water but works miracles on a well) in the dishwasher & invest in some sort of water filter for drinking.

2. the elation level. we had well prepared our family by reading tons of articles about how moving to a new home can affect small children. and we knew what to do if they missed our old house or were sad & wanted their old school back but we're ill prepared for the sheer & total consuming excitement that has turned our children into wildlings. they never calm down. they have difficulty closing their eyes & settling at the end of day (i have even considered taping their eyes shut since blackout blinds & total silence rule had no effect). the other day we pulled up in front of our old house to get something & they all started full out wailing because they didn't want to go back to living in "that house!". it's like they wake up (at 4am) thinking we're about to take the farm away from them & so they have to carpe deim their way through the day. i have tried everything i can think of. even tv has lost it's charm. i've tried quiet time, lavender oil on their ears, the whisper game & i guess i'll just wait it out. hopefully the arrival of september & school will help.
liv riding gilly our goat

3. bugs, dirt, gross things & the carefree. we have no neighbours who can see us so the kids are pretty much naked most of the day which leads to a lot of dirt & a lot of bug bites. but it seems i can wash them a lot easier than i can wash their clothes currently (thanks a lot hard water). we work in dirt all day long. i realized our familiarity with it had grown considerably by the look on a friends face while watching me clean out the poopy duck house with my bare hands. the kids prance around the pig pen in their bare feet (not that i endorse this, we have had countless talks about footwear). there are snakes & toads & turles & worms & massive flying gross things everywhere. the first month, eva would scream every time she saw a bug. now even she too has a bug catcher & enjoys adding to her bug collection. i end everyday with filthy, stinky feet. our mudroom has taken on a whole new meaning. but i daily have to remind myself that dirty kids are ones that have had a ton of fun & dirty feet mean being productive. and dirt has tons of vitamins & minerals & probiotics that all contribute to a healthy immune system so bring on the dirt... just not into my kitchen!

dav riding "bullet" the stallion
4. hard work & balance. everyday is full of hard, sweaty man's work. but i'm the farmer in the family & i really like to just get 'er done so none of this wait until steve gets home from work to help (i learned this from my mama... healthy independence is a gift). but the flip side to this is that i have to force myself to take break or by 5pm i can't move & i haven't eaten anything which lead to ice-cream binges & the like. it is so easy to just get consumed by the work. i LOVE it & most interruptions are unwelcome & i have a hard time metabolizing them... like when you're throwing bale upon bale of hay from a sweaty hayloft & you finally find your rhythm & motivation when you are interrupted by multiple little children, who are meant to be sleeping, scampering out with pants around their ankles every few minutes to get their bums wiped. but i have to set realistic expectations & not have an adverse reaction to asking for help. i realize as the summer is quickly coming to a close that they won't always be home all day everyday & then i will miss them & regret having spent their time at home ignoring them while i shovel pig poop. the best solution is to do the hard work at a much slower, much less productive pace while including them in everything i do. they have a grand ol time & learn valuable skills & i have been pretty surprised at how helpful they actually are not to mention how entertaining they can be. :) they're great company & pretty cute little commentators on the ongoings around the farm.

kai riding "rusty" the speeding bull
5. neighbours. we so miss the neighbours that surrounded us at our last house. they were all elderly or retired & spent the day watching me with the kids through their windows or chit chatting with the kids while i discretely tried to complete a task. i really miss them. and i had been concerned about being isolated out here but such has not been the case. we constantly have somebody stopping by to drop off an invite or help with a chore or just fill the long afternoons with a little company & i have surprisingly enjoyed it. but one thing i am still learning is how to meet their extreme generosity. they are always letting us borrow things or lending stuff or sharing their home-raised organic dinners & i just don't know how it works (i think because we have mostly been on the opposite end of that equation in the past). we don't have anything to offer yet other than three stubborn, egg-less ducks. but i'm sure these will be long term relationships & i will find a way to mirror their kindness in the future.

there have been many other transitions to country life but those are the only five i can remember at the moment. we do just love it out here & can't wait to be in a place to share it more openly with others. as long as you don't mind the frogs in the basement or the lack of furniture & cleanliness around here, consider this your invitation to come visit!

hope to see you soon!

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