Published in Living the Country Life

Today I received a hard copy of the early Spring issue, Volume 14. No 1, of Living the County Life magazine.


Living the County Life Cover

This is the issue that published my photograph of our pool shack in the snow. The theme was “Homemade Sheds and Coops” and the magazine printed seven structures and one of them is ours. And, I received payment for it-yea!

The text I wrote reads, “Adding Elements: The back of our pool shack is a canvas I use to add color and visual interest to our garden. The round painted piece is a part of a back of a chair and the three brown items are rusty tool parts. The screen door was a roadside rescue I brought home, painted and hung of the cedar frame of the shack. I find this visually pleasing – a kind of junky funky corner. I am always happy when I walk by and see this display. Even in the snow of winter, this spot brightens my spirit!” 

Pool shack an long row of grasses

 The back of our pool shack with the funky junk I like so well.

This magazine is free and you can subscribe just by visiting its website You can select a printed and mailed copy or enjoy and submit even more pictures on-line.

It’s always a real thrill to see ones work published and it’s even better to get paid!

Small House Homestead, freelancer Donna

It’s Hard to Homestead When You are Old

Homesteading takes dedication, commitment and a deep desire for a life that is meaningful. Homesteading  is more about personal satisfaction than status or fun and games. It’s about taking nothing and making something out of it.

People sometimes ask me for advice on getting started as a homesteader. I tell them this, do what I say… not what I did – homestead when you are young. I know this first hand. Homesteading is hard work, day after day!

Donna & Gene at Chop House

Celebrating with a rare dinner out for our anniversary.

My husband and I started this adventure just 14 years ago when he was 50 and I was 45. Today we are 63 and 69. It takes a lot of hard, daily, physical work to homestead and long tiring workdays. Even when one is healthy and in good shape, it’s darn hard to be a homesteader at this age.

Walkway lined w grasses

This is my meadow habitat I created for the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.

So why are we living this way? It’s a way to live more frugally and a way to contribute meaningfully towards conserving the limited resources of our Earth. It’s a way to live that allows us to work with our hands and to spend long hours out-of-doors.

And, it’s one way to leave the world a better place than when we found it. In spite of its many challenges, hard choices and sore muscles, I can’t imagine living any other way.


Our crabapple tree surrounded by the sidewalk I designed. The bench tops have a mosaic design that I made. This is where we sit, together, almost everyday for a quick break and a cold drink.

Why? We homestead because…

  • We care about the Earth and want to preserve and protect our land.
  • I want to leave this property, our community in better shape then when we came here.
  • We want to have control over the food we eat.
  • We want to take charge of our health.
  • We want to show our granddaughter where food really comes from.
  • We choose to build living soil and habitat for all the creatures of the Earth.
  • We want to live a simpler lifestyle in a rural place with a slower pace of life.
  • We are independent thinkers who love the Earth and its soil and want to take care of it.
  • We chose to do the daily work of “living with a purpose.”
  • Standing at hydragneas and looing to deck
  • The back of our house and the row of native oak hydrangeas I planted under our dining room window.

It’s a physically and emotionally satisfying lifestyle choice. That pretty much sums it up for us.

Donna at the Small House Homestead