It has been two months since we settled in here in the middle of the woods. We can’t believe that we officially get to call this place home.
Today was our first day off together since camp started. We started the day off cleaning the Bungalow ( our cabin ) and then we headed into town for a lunch on a patio overlooking the lake. We stopped and got ice cream at the Thrifty White Drug Store and picked up a frozen pizza to eat for dinner. When we returned we took paddle boards out on the lake. It was as still as glass. I never thought I would be living on a lake and have these luxuries.
Above is the sauna here by the Lodge. I had my first ever sauna experience with some of my new friends here. Afterwards, we took a dip in the lake.
Our daily duties are as follows: Jackson is the Wilderness Director and I am the Creative Director. I teach photography and take photos throughout the day ( along with a whole slew of other duties.) Three meals a day we are in the dining hall singing camp songs. Evenings are spent at all camp activities where games are played and fun is had by all. We are on 400 acres, on a lake, in the middle of the Northwoods.
On Sunday’s we have Chapel. It is a time for everyone to come together and feel centered and think about a topic that is presented. This last weekend’s topic was acceptance. A counselor and a camper both speak on what that word means to them. I had the opportunity to speak during the very first Chapel at the beginning of the summer.
Frida is loving it here. From the boat rides to the acreage to roam.
We are finally getting to start harvesting the veggies and flowers of our labor from the beginning of our time here. The cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, snap peas, and herbs are delicious. I don’t know how we will go back to store bought once the harvest season is over.
This place has become home. I never thought I would find my ‘dream job’ so young. But I have, and I am holding on tight.
Thanks to Meg of nine56 Studio and the Simply, Lived In podcast, I can check being interviewed off of my bucket list! Meg interviewed me about everything from the bus to Jack and I’s mission to live a slower lifestyle ( and how that is going now that we are at camp.)
Follow this link to listen to the episode!
We are coming down to the wire. Only four short weeks until we pack up and move. Since we last posted, we have sanded the entire inside of the bus, after realizing that the kind of paint that we had purchased would stick much better after a good sanding and prevent peeling.
Just this week, we gave the inside of the bus two good coats of paint thanks to some heaters and two days in a row of 40+ degree weather.
Minnesota is now, as I type, in the middle of an April meltdown. 10 inches of snow predicted, which means another pause on the bus. In the meantime, my mom is working on recovering the seats that we saved that will be going back into the bus, and we are busy planning some layout things for the inside.
We are going to be re purposing some of the things we were looking to get rid of during our move, into pieces that will provide storage in the bus!
Impatiently waiting for another “warm enough” day to put that last coat of paint on the inside.
Who will be my first client to shoot in the bus?!
Photos by Emily Sims
This weekend we hosted a little St. Patrick’s Day gathering with some family. We tried out three new recipes! ( risky business, I know )
Our favorite of the three I found on www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com :
Cheddar Horseradish Colcannon
- 2 ½ pounds thin-skinned potatoes, (about 4 medium) peeled and cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for serving if desired
- 6 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 to 5 teaspoons freshly grated or prepared horseradish, to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 3 scallions, sliced greens and whites separated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and finely shredded (about 6 cups)
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain thoroughly and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Add milk and butter and mash with a potato masher or electric beater until smooth. Add cheddar, horseradish, dill, salt and pepper and mash until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are smooth. Cover saucepan with lid to keep warm if necessary.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring until softened and fragrant, but not browned, 30 to 90 seconds. Add kale and cook, stirring until wilted. Add 2 to 3 to 4 tablespoons water if necessary and continue cooking until the kale is bright green and just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the kale to the mashed potatoes and stir to combine. Serve colcannon topped with scallion greens and additional butter if desired.
And here we are again, at another crossroads. We were approaching the end of our lease, I was finishing up my degree, and Jackson was up for anything.
We have met some incredible people in the last year that have shown big faith in the two of us. Thanks to some of these people we are going to soon be living a life we only dreamed of hopefully living some day when we were “retired”.
Come May, we will be returning to the Northwoods to work at an all girls summer camp as the Wilderness Director + the Media Director/Photography teacher // I bet you can’t guess who will play what role. After camp we will become the off season caretakers of the land (and the horses).
In our pursuit of slow – or perhaps a pace of our own, this opportunity came at the most perfect time.
Join us as we prep for this crazy move – a garage sale/ home purge is soon to come before we load up the bus and head north.
For now, my friends, it’s daydreams of barefoot summer days within the pine tree walls + the potential for goats + chickens.
Photos by Katie Kopan
Thanks to a 40 + degree day we were able to move forward!
The floor has been torn out leaving one layer of plywood left. Jack scrubbed and cleaned the plywood, we let it dry, siliconed up the holes from the LARGE bolts that held the seats in, and then I came in and painted the plywood with a good layer of mold preventing paint!
Once we have another mild day ( unfortunately we are in the middle of another snow storm 🙁 ) we will be
1. covering the windows with plastic
2. laying a new layer of plywood over the existing, mold painted plywood
3. painting the ENTIRE inside of the bus, floors, ceiling, and walls white.
Wishful spring thinking we will be painting the outside of the bus soon too! Fingers crossed!
After much deliberation, we have decided to begin on our own pursuit of slowness NOW not later. We kept trying to convince ourselves that waiting for some sort of change, season, career change, or the end of the semester was the right time to start, but then we thought about it more and what the heck are we waiting for? JUST START.
Slow may mean something different for you than for us, but here is our list of goals:
- Make more: this includes cooking, baking, sewing, building, diy cleaning projects, etc.
- Make plans to have no plans: aka STAY HOME
- Less screens, more books: We love how we feel when we read and feel wasteful when we watch tv.
- Get outside: connect with nature, take Frida for a walk. We sleep better after fresh air. Better sleep makes us better people therefor GET OUTSIDE.
- Eliminate decisions: this means have less things, less clothes, and opportunities for making decisions. Life is full of decision making, eliminate the stress of silly time wasting decisions like “what should I wear” by having less options so you have energy to make bigger decisions throughout the day. ( more to come later about my closet changes )
- Cook at home: We make healthier choices at home and it brings us such joy to be at home with our pup and try new recipes.
Currently reading Chasing Slow and loving every minute of it.
Life has been crazy.
Just like everyone’s I’m sure.
Amidst the crazy I went to Mexico City. And there I fell back into my home behind the camera and I found peace.
And today I vow to never lose the key.
Gift ideas from me to you!
- Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit ( email to order )
- Moon Magazine– use the code CHEER for free shipping!
- I Have A New Name
- IKEA drink whip
- EyeBuy Direct Eyezen Protection Glasses
- Red Wing Women’s Heritage Booties
- She Reads Truth Bible
- Younger Now
- IPad Pro
- Rifle Paper Co. Planner
I could go on for days about my favorite things, but these are the top notch things that make my day’s a little brighter!
The bus is coming along swimmingly! The seats are out and so is the floor. What an experience that was. The seats ended up being much more difficult than we envisioned. The bolts that hold them to the floor went ALL THEY WAY THROUGH the floor to the underside of the bus!
It took a lot of muscle power and team work to get them out.
Then on to the floor! We enlisted the help of a couple of our friends and we knocked it out in ONE DAY!
Up next: remove the heater + make some wiring decisions ( we need plug ins!)
check in on Instagram (@jackpineandthyme) for what we do this week!