Tapped in!

Sugar bush time is upon us! I have tapped our pipeline (which is a first for us). Up until now we have always used buckets. Mind you up until now we have lived in town. Last year we tapped with just a few buckets because that is what we had on hand.

This year we will use those same few buckets and the small pipeline we have set up. The reason we went with a pipeline for sap collection is simply less work and less loss of sap. Buckets can only hold so much and then they overflow (this isn’t a major issue if you have time to collect throughout the day). Where a pipeline pipes the sap to a larger tank so as long as you size it accordingly to the amount of taps, in theory you won’t lose a drop of sap.

Now we didn’t tap lots just a large handful as this year we have been busy doing all sorts of things and there is no point in putting out so much effort to not collect the benefits of it. So by limiting our taps we can add to it next year and the year after and continue to do so until we reach the number of taps that we decide we are able to do and willing to do.

This will be an interesting year as we have a better boiling system (Thanks Dad). I will highlight the evaporator system we have when we start boiling in a separate post.

Happy sugaring everyone!

Busy balancing the busyness

Life here on the homestead has been busy. Most people can relate to bring busy.

I have been busy at work due to the amounts of snow we have been “blessed” with this year. I have been busy with bedrooms (the house came with one finished bedroom and a few that were in various states of being started or being completed). So I have added framing, drywall, mud and paint. It has been busy and that’s okay. It is an important task that needs to be done for all of our families sanity. We love each other dearly but we all need our space. We all need a spot to retreat and to regroup. So we have been making it a priority to acomplish these rooms so we can help create a better balance for our family life.

Part of this has been a hard struggle for me.  I can be focused on getting the task done and not want to be bothered by the kids and therefore lose out on teachable moments. One reason for moving to the homestead is so we can speak into our children’s lives and to equip them with tools and skills to succeed in life. This means that even if I might be able to get this done sooner on my own it might not be the right thing to do. So…I have had to remind myself to include them so they can learn. What better time to teach some simple skills by involving them in finishing their bedrooms.  

In number ones bedroom the screws in some parts of the closet aren’t burried quite deep enough that you will notice them for years to come (he put them in on his own) some he got perfect, some I fixed and some I didn’t as a reminder to both of us down the road that we all learn somewhere, and it might not be perfect but you can improve over time. 

Number two helped measure what cuts we needed to make for sheets of drywall to be hung…not sure how many extra cuts I made or how much extra time I spent going over how to measure.  But in the end it was worth it. Number two has learned some skills and learned that we need to stick through it and that we aren’t all perfect off the top but that we need to be taught and practice our skills to get better at them. 

All the kids have come up with their own ideas of how they would like to paint their rooms here is number two’s finished paint.*

We haven’t started on Number three’s bedroom yet. However Number three has more interest in helping with construction even though younger it is his personality. And he has always been this way.  I remember roofing a friends house a few years ago. The house was just behind the school so number one and two would walk over after school and play outside until Amanda came to get them while I continued my days work. Number three was in Daycare, Amanda would pick him up and come see the progress of the roof and take the other children home. One of these times she came up on the roof to talk to me and see where things were at. So while I was talking to her I heard a small voice asking what could he hammer! Looking over I saw number three standing on the roof holding a hammer, he had climbed the ladder by himself because he wants to be involved in the job in the work at hand. We calmly talked with him and got him safely down on the ground again.  The other children said later that they didn’t realize they were allowed up on the roof. It didn’t even occur to them to try it out. Number three is our risk taker who is ready to plunge into whatever you would allow him to (if your ready for it or not).

I am so glad to see our children learn new skills and confidence in their ability to learn new things. They have all been adjusting well to these changes in our life here on the homestead. I have been learning to balance getting it done and getting it done a little slower but empowering our children through the process. I think it is worth the wait. 

Amanda is so much better at having them involved in the things she does (I think it is a mom thing) than I am.  Thank you Amanda for doing that and reminding me of the importance of taking the time to do that.

And so we continue to be busy balancing the busyness with priority of enrichment of our children’s lives compared to the speed we could accomplish the task at hand.

*I will post pictures of the other bedroom paint schemes when they are finished.

Shane