Monday, February 3, 2020

Life in the Highlands

I'm a little slow.  I think I may have mentioned that before.  I've noticed over the years that change affects me in a huge way.  After major life disruptions, it takes longer and longer to get my feet back under myself.

We're closing in on 3 years.  Three years since we sold "Little Shouse on the Prairie".  Three years since we've lived off-the-grid.  Three years since we began building a butcher shop.  Three years since we've had a stable, consistent income.  And now, just now, I'm beginning to feel like myself, not just someone treading water.  I'm beginning to be able to focus on things other than just surviving.  I am once again expanding my horizons and opening my home to new friends.  After nearly three years I'm finally able look beyond myself and again minister to those outside my immediate family.  After nearly three years, life begins anew.

The adjustments of our new life have been unexpectedly difficult.  Our relationships have changed and grown, as have our expectations.  Our challenges have been different, but no less "challenging".  We have been surprised by what we don't miss!

Master Calvin (He isn't actually smoking a pipe!)

Princess Dragon Snack getting a little reading in!
The weather in the Highlands has been a breath of fresh air.  Our Shouse was situated in the middle of a windswept prairie, where the harsh winters were only rivaled by the blistering summers.  Wind was our constant companion, creating untenable weather conditions and embracing us in a real-life "man against nature" reality. And summer, with its blistering heat (and constant wind, of course), did little to offer a soothing balm of relief.  Our new home in the Highlands is a constant source of joy.  The winters, although filled with snow and cold weather, offer almost no wind and crisp, clear days with skies so blue that the contrast against the Sub-apline Firs are positively breathtaking.  Summers are warm but not hot and the cool of the evening revives even the weariest of souls.  I traipse down tree -lined avenues, cross bubbling streams and wiggle my toes in sweet meadow grass.  Every walk ministers to my soul and every perfect winter day brings with it the joy of life.

Getting ready for our Thanksgiving feast (Miss Serenity and Sir Knight)

Our living anticipation for a crowd

The newly remodeled scale shack/guest house!!

The new kitchen (with an extended counter and built-in refrigerator)
The oil lamp is a gift from a friend!!!

Serenity Cottage has a queen sized bed!

And a cozy wood stove!!
Our business has brought us the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  We didn't fully understand what would be required to launch a butcher shop (something with which we had no experience).  The money and energy and effort threatened to overwhelm us.  We made many mistakes and learned many lessons.  We struggled and we triumphed.  And now, after nearly three years, we are gaining confidence and customers.  It is beautiful indeed.

Sir Knight with his helpers, Miss Serenity and Maid Elizabeth

An amazing prime rib, produced by Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade

Sir Knight and Princess Dragon Snack
What an amazing life we lead.  God has walked us through this life, brought us through the wind and the fire and placed our feet on this good and fair land.  Life is hard and sweet, full of struggles and sunlight.  And God, in His infinite wisdom, has placed us in the middle of it.  This is life in the Highlands.


  1. Oh my goodness. It has been so long since your last post. I'm so glad that you and your family are doing well. God Bless.

  2. It’s so good t hear from you and to know that all is well. I think of you often, praying all is well and life in your “Highlands” has been a good change for all of you. Thank you.

  3. Awesome update! We miss you guys. I log on every day just to see.... WOW! Honey come look! Enola.....

    Montana Guy

  4. It is wonderful to see a post from you. I am glad to hear that you and your family are doing well!

  5. what has Maid been up to?

  6. So happy to see you post and that all is well with you and yours. My the Lord continue to bless you all.
    Sign me-
    Trapped in New England

  7. I was so very pleased to see your post this morning. Welcome back. It's hard to believe it's been three years. Praying even more blessings come your way.
    SJ in Vancouver BC

  8. Great to hear from you.
    Our family is going through similar lows right now with our business. This has brought us to much prayer and introspection. Is is something the Lord is trying to correct in us? Or something He's trying to use as a growth opportunity? Either way, we're committed to being malleable to His will, not ours.

  9. So happy to see your email in my feed yesterday. I had just been wo during & worrying if all was well with you.

  10. So glad to hear from you! And thank you for your thoughts. I am eighteen months into my own major change and am experiencing some of the same emotions. It's good to hear that time does bring one's feet back under one.

    Please post as you can/want to - and His blessings to all of you!

  11. I was in your neck of the woods! I interviewed for a job in the area and met Patrice in person for the first time. You gals have always been internet heroine of mine. To meet her in person was such a treasure. And Don too!

    Looking forward to moving up there from Twin Falls. Maybe we'll see you around.

    Ron - The Orange Jeep Dad