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Ah, Life | When Did I Start Loving Living Outside?!

Ah, Life | When Did I Start Loving Living Outside?!

I’m on the hunt for a swinging chair for our wrap-around porch. I bought a leather matt on a whim when we first moved to the ranch and it gets daily use. Now, I would also like a sitting option. Laying around is nice — on overcast days, it’s prefect, really — but to sit and swing would be divine.

It probably stems from my love of hammocks. We use them all the time in Puerto Rico. What’s a house in the Caribbean without a hammock?! So…..I want a swing chair. One more way to be comfortable outside which is where I am always finding myself these days.

In the city, I could spend an entire weekend inside. Air conditioning, Netflix, pizza delivery and lots of playing and yelling with the kids was a fairly typical occurrence. My days are nothing like that now. I wake up, get my coffee, put on my rain-boots and head outdoors if for nothing else than to take a few deep breaths and walk around the house a couple of times. It’s like my body craves that now. On a side note, there is nothing more freeing than walking out of your front door in your husbands boxers, a cami, and no bra. Just another perk of living on a few acres. I mean, unless your cool with your neighbor seeing you braless when he/she comes outside to let the dog out! I’ve done that a few times in the past and, for me, it’s wasn’t the most comfortable encounter! ha. Anyways…

First off, the air quality is just…..better. I have asthma; Makenzie-Alice has asthma. We are breathing better. Secondly, the scenery has this soothing effect to my nervous system. I can actually feel myself ease out of my naturally tense state. If I’m not inside the house for a specific reason, I’m back outdoors for no specific reason. WHAT?! Who is this new Ashly and where did the old Ashly go?! Just kidding..I’m not really looking for her.

Our daily adventures around the ranch are always fun and we have spent exactly zero dollars on entertainment thus far. There are so many projects that we want to tackle now that we are here: fencing for a more reliable infrastructure for our horses that continue to find ways to get out of our field, pig pins, a garden so that we can attempt to homestead. With everything that needs to get done, we plan on having the kids be as involved as possible. These are good life-skill opportunities which I plan to take full advantage of in our homeschooling journey…in our life journey, actually, because this is our life now.

Now, I have to be honest, Texas summer is a beast and I don’t enjoy the kind of heat that makes you feel like the hairs on the back of your neck are literally on fire. That kind of heat happens here and I’m not exactly looking forward to these upcoming summer months. Let’s see how it goes. Maybe we will invest in a slip-n-slide or something. Any suggestions on how you are staying cool while living outdoors in long/hot-summer areas? Let’s hear it! I’m totally open to the advice.

For now, we are soaking up these cool mornings and warm afternoons– the kids are harvesting eggs and playing with their dogs. Red and I are catching horses, loving on them and bringing their coats back to life in hopes that they will start to like being in our back yard instead of out running the acres. Fingers crossed!

Moving to Marshall — We Are Still Living Out of (Some) Boxes

Moving to Marshall — We Are Still Living Out of (Some) Boxes

Have I mentioned that I hate moving? I think (actually, I know) that I have. Our days are starting resemble some sense of normalcy and I’m so happy for it.

Still….boxes are still stacked in a couple of places in the house and it’s driving me insane. This has been the tricky part of downsizing for us. We moved into a much smaller house in exchange for acreage–great for our outdoor lifestyle. Not so great for all the stuff we had and still have. And, man, did we have way too much stuff.

We were paying month to month in our last home rental which gave us, probably too much, space to take our time moving. Our goal was to be completely moved in by the end of March and here we are– early May. Yikes.

For me, cluttered spaced clutters my mind. I don’t know how people *side eye to my husband* can throw clothes over a door or leave DVDs out. So for things to not even have a place yet is driving me a little crazy. And, if I’m totally honest, it’s mostly things I’ve accumulated since I started preparing to homeschool. Storing school supplies, what with the paper and notebooks and crayons and materials, is much more complicated to store than expected. I cant just toss it all into a lidded basket like I can with the toys and if I leave them out, the kids will run through all of the material in a crazy-short amount of time. I guess I’ll need to start looking into some small-space organizing solutions. Any ideas on where to start? Regardless, I’m taking it all in stride and enjoying so much of this new life.

This morning, the kids have hopped onto our buggy with dad and are off on another adventure. (The last time they left, they came home with an alligator snapping turtle that had wondered off after a heavy rain. Of course, we let him back out near a pond that is just beyond our back yard.) I’m currently enjoying the quiet house and my morning coffee, answering some emails and writing this blog post. I would have never thought that my life would have ended up here. Life is full of interesting surprises and you’ll enjoy them all much more if you go with the flow.

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