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Friday, September 28, 2012

Beeswax Candles, Sled Dogs, Projects, What Else?

Mom selling the candles at our Mother Earth News Fair booth.

Ever try to be creative when life feels like its about to swallow you up whole? Working on it! Don't get me wrong, LOTS of good things are going on to move us closer to our Irish Creek Homestead. But I've got to say, it sure is a complicated process, getting to this "more simple life" I hear about and have my sights set on.

Some updates and it's about time! We just returned from selling our Scent from Nature; 100% Pure Beeswax Candles at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. It was AMAZING! The setting was so beautiful and the workshops, presentations and other booths were just beyond words. My mother flew up from Arkansas to help sell the candles which also gave me a chance to actually participate in the fair on a non business level. Just loved it. I was inspired by the presentations I attended. Joel Salatin is so extremely passionate, listening to him speak brought chills and tears all at the same time. Temple Grandin, is a wonderful speaker who has advanced in her life and passion for animals because of her autism. I purchased a couple of her books and can't put the first one down. Met a "neighbor" from Wisconsin giving a presentation on land management. Ann Larkin Hansen reiterated some of the things I've heard my dad speak of over the years. He retired with 30 some years of USDA Forestry Service experience under his belt. We're ready to manage our land!

Points Unknown Sled Dogs! Phoenix finally sired his first litter. Sasha (Zimbi - a Zulu/Jesse daughter and Q - a Tuloon/Bazil son) gave birth to 5 healthy puppies on September 1st. Friends Jim and Judy had agreed to raise this litter for us and we couldn't be happier with how things are going. I do believe they're enjoying all of the puppy fun, as well.

We have decided to move forward, into phase 2 of our building project. We load all 23 dogs up tomorrow morning and head up to our Irish Creek Homestead to meet with various contractors. By the middle of November we hope to have heat and insulation, functioning well and septic systems, a communications system and our solar energy system all up and running! Yay! We need to spend a few days doing some prep work before our contractors can begin so I'm ready to work!

Dog Kennels! We had been trying to figure out how in the world we would be able to time the move with the installation of the new dog kennels, knowing that once the ground froze, we would be out of luck and our poor dogs wouldn't have the big kennel runs we want for them this winter. We had been pricing the materials and it was going to cost us nearly $12,000 just for the materials. Yikes!  Well, things happen for a reason and when they're supposed to. I got an email from a friend a couple of days ago who, sadly, lost her last Malamute over the summer. They are moving on and have NINE 10'x40' kennels plus other various size kennels that include all hardware and they want it gone for $1500. !!! Kennels will go up in October and the dogs will have some cushy, new-to-them, living quarters. 

Beeswax candle sales have picked up since candle season has officially begun and I am finding that the exposure we had at the Mother Earth News Fair was extremely valuable. All kinds of new things are on the horizon for us! First things first, however, and let's just get through the short list before we move on to new projects.

The MN Honey Producers Assoc Booth at the MN State Fair was another success! We raised more money this year than last for the organization. Small pallets of surplus honey still reside in my garage waiting for their owners to retrieve them and a folder full of accounting items awaits.

So! There you have it. Now off to clean the house yet again in hopes that its new owners will miraculously appear while we are away this week. I've never cleaned this much in my entire life. Ask anyone who knows me. No, we still have not sold the house. The market is picking up, but we're finding that it will take just the right buyer for our place, one that can appreciate the land and home like we do. We need a buyer who sees the value in a small parcel geared toward a homesteading lifestyle; a buyer that is ever inspired, as we are, by the breathtaking view out every front window. Intrigued? Click here to view the photo album.