Sarah Houlihan

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since Sep 06, 2013
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homeschooling hugelkultur trees
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My family and I moved onto an untouched forest lot in central Maine 3 years ago. We have been learning how to build, while living on, our new off grid homestead. Life is amazing.
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Recent posts by Sarah Houlihan

My boyfriend is a stay at home dad.  I tell everyone who brings it up how much harder his job is than mine.  I'm a nurse.
He explains to the kids when they don't clean their rooms that they only hurt themselves.  They are the ones living in a tiny house with a messy room and no place to play.  He offers the garbage bag if they have too many toys to pick up.  (They are 7+8)

Their only other consistent job is firewood.  If they want to be warm, eat, have water etc, better get the wood in the house.  Of course my boy just needs to be told he'll get big muscles bringing in wood and he gets it done.

It may not be much, but my parents never told me why anything needed to be done.  Just do it.  Giving them a reason means we aren't just being mean.  Not justifying myself as a parent, just the obvious. We need firewood for heat.  Go get some.

Of course I'm sure things get different when they hit the teens....
3 years ago
My little girl was about 3 and ground beef was for dinner.  She called it sausage so I explained that this was cow, not piggy.  
"Mom, this cow does not moo anymore cuz we are eating it."

However, her prize quote was, " Mom, I really like that dress. Can I have it when you die?"
3 years ago
On Halloween, we do costumes and a maize maze, but no trick or treating.  We stay home and make our own treats with honey and maple syrup.  They get to pick what kind of candy.  We find great recipes in an old White House Cookbook we found at a junk shop. 😁
Some scary movies are starting to appear now that they are older....
3 years ago
My boyfriend found your book for me last year.  I loved reading about your experiences while we were doing our own move.  Thank you for the inspiration!
3 years ago
I have had anxiety as long as I can remember.  Mania, depression, fainting spells, stomach ulcers, blah blah blah, all from anxiety.  I moved off grid 6 years ago with my family, and it was the hardest and best thing I ever did.

I say hardest because transitioning from clueless town folk to somewhat skilled homesteaders is insanely difficult anyway.  It was incredibly taxing on my body with the anxiety making my head spin and my body ache.

It was the best thing because it has opened my eyes to the roots of my issues.  When you are responsible for getting your own water and heat, without electricity, you begin to rethink what is important and you can start to let things go.  

I am still just beginning to heal, but at least I finally feel like I'm going in the right direction.  I have figured out how to feed myself without a refrigerator and still eat the good foods I need to heal my guts from the anxiety damage.  I also now am able to work on my issues that caused the problems to begin with.  I have so much time to think in the quiet outdoors while doing chores.  And I have all the space and resources I need to do anything creative I can dream up.

Chronic illness makes things more difficult no matter how you live.  I do not, by any stretch, speak for everything, but this lifestyle has helped me tons.  It was worth the stress of the change to get to where we are now.  6 years and we are starting to feel like we're getting the hang of it.  But, my boyfriend reminds me daily that time doesn't matter and we're always moving forward.

I hope I'm not rambling too bad, but this life can be amazing and it's worth the struggle.  It is difficult to put into words.
3 years ago
So how should we go about this?
Shall I PM you an address?
3 years ago
My family is off grid, homeschool, and, of course, permaculture.  It is hard for kids to make friends when no one else even understands how you live.
I noticed the pen pal thread and I think this may be awesome way for my kids to befriend some other permaculture kids.  
My kids are 7&8, but the 8 year old girl I am especially looking for a pen pal for.  Is this something anyone might be interested in?
3 years ago
And here is where we stop for the season.  It snowed last night.  Just going to add a couple posts for the snow load.
3 years ago
The only reason the ricks are at the surface is because my boyfriend dug them up with the excavator.  There are a couple at the surface.
Thanks, Travis.
Work got put on hold for a bit, but we're moving forward!