The Value of Neighbours

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The rural lifestyle is one of great independence; however there is a lot to be said about having good neighbours.

In the City, most people associate their neighbour, as the person who lives next door or across the street.  In the country, our version of a neighbour is someone who lives within a kilometre (or more) radius of you.

Taking the time to introduce yourself to people in the neighbourhood, can have many benefits, such as:

  • having someone to call when you need a helping hand – whether its to give some advice on a project, or someone to clear snow from your driveway
  • networking and learning about local businesses – many rural dwellers are entrepreneurs / farmers and sell useful products
  • often your neighbours end up turning into good friends, and these friendships can last a lifetime
  • being included in local gatherings and functions

These are just some of the benefits of having rural neighbours.  Most often the quality of your neighbours, outweighs the quantity.

In the city, people have many neighbours that they generally do not know, whereas, in the country, we have less neighbours, but they are, more often than not, good people who are good to have around.

For the most part, these are generalities, and there are exceptions to every situation, but from our experience, we have neighbours who have become more like extended family.

Re-post: Canadian reads to get you through the rest of the Winter

I came across this reading list on, under the books section.

Its a comprehesive list of Canadian authors, and some excellent reads to get you through the rest of Winter.

150 Canadian Reads

The great Canadian reading list: 150 books to read for Canada 150

*side note – my favourites are Susanna Moodie – Roughing it in the Bush, Farley Mowat – Never Cry Wolf, Margaret Atwood – The Handmaids Tale, & Roche Carrier – The Hockey Sweater

Image result for susanna moodie roughing it in the bushImage result for never cry wolf farley mowatImage result for the handmaid's tale margaret atwoodImage result for the hockey sweater roch carrier


Country Weddings

Country weddings are a popular choice for engaged couples who enjoy a rural lifestyle.

The rise in popularity of country-themed weddings has lead to an increasing number of people offering their rural properties for special events venues.

Our property is no exception.  The very first wedding we hosted at the Tanner Lodge was our own.

Our wedding took place outside the Lodge in August of 2016, on what must have been the hottest day of the summer.  We utilized the Lodge and the Barn on our property, which provided much needed shade from the sun.  Our guests enjoyed live music, a home-styled meal, and very relaxed order of service.

The Lodge and Barn are ideal for country-themed events, not limited to weddings, such as birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, Jack N’ Jill parties, anniversaries, etc.

If you or someone you know is looking for a country venue for their wedding, feel free to contact us.  We are located in Stirling, Ontario, Canada.

Contact us via our contact page, or visit any of our social media pages for more information.




To Farm, or not to Farm?


There is an automatic association most people have with rural living, which is we are all farmers.

Well, that just isn’t the case.  The truth is most rural residents are not farmers, but they do live in the vicinity of one.

Family farms used to be a staple of rural living fifty years ago, but due to technological advances in the agricultural industry and the decline of younger family members taking over the family business, family farms have gone to the wayside. Many farmers are forced to sell their farms in order to retire, or invest in new technology to keep the farm productive.  It has become known in the ag world as “Go big or go home”.

With the influx of new comers to the back roads, many have the notion that when they move to the country,  they will live off the land and provide for themselves.  This is a great idea, but putting it into practice is much more complex and laborious.

Now that said, if you are considering starting a farm, please note there are many risks, variables and variations of farming, and it takes meticulous planning and organisation in order to be successful.   Even when you think you have covered all your bases, unexpected situations can arise which can compromise all the hard work you have put into it.

Now this is not to turn you off of farming; its just the facts of farming.  All that risk is not without great reward. For when you are successful, the sense of pride justifies all of the hard work involved.

My best advice to someone considering any type of farming, is to make a plan and do some research.

Talk to local farmers, or people who are doing what you would like to be doing.  The internet has made the world of agriculture so connected and many farms have social media pages to connect the customer to the farm.  Ask lots of questions, and make notes.
Be realistic, and honest in the amount of work you are willing to put in.  Especially with livestock, you have to be there every day.  If you can’t make that commitment, then consider something else.

Make sure your plan is thorough, and ensure you have a Plan B, if things do not work the way you planned.  Have someone who has experience in agriculture look over your plan and ask for advice.  The best farmer is an informed farmer.

Keep your goals and expectations realistic, and get ready to do some work.  Farming is a rewarding business, but like any business, you must be prepared, mentally, physically, and financially.

Happy Farming and best of luck for a prosperous year ahead!



5 Tips for Staying Warm when its 30 below zero


The recent blasts of freezing temeperatures have caught a lot of people off guard.  When the temperature drops below minus thirty, a lot of things don’t work like they should.

We’ve compiled a list of tips to help your days go a little smoother when the mercury drops, and to help you avoid cabin fever.

  1. Plug in –  this goes for just about everything.  You are probably going to have to plug your vehicles block heater in, to make it easier to start. If it still won’t start, you will probably have to charge / boost it with a battery charger or booster cables.
    In older homes, you will need to inspect your home for drafts (cold air coming in), and fill in the gaps with expansion foam.  If its still drafty, you may need to insulate your water pipes with foam pipe wrap insulation.  If a water line does freeze, you will need a heated cord wrapped around the frozen line to thaw it out.
  2. Check in – when its this cold, some people just don’t go out.  Its a good idea to call and check in on people, to make sure they are ok.  Often people become secluded and isolated in the winter, and a simple phone call to check in can make a the difference in that persons life.
  3. Bundle up – If you haven’t yet, now is the time to invest in some good winter gear.  Exposed skin can freeze in minutes and frostbite can set in quickly.  Warm boots, snow pants, winter coat, warm gloves, neck warmer, scarf, toques, are going to save you in the winter.  Just remember when driving, it is best to remove these items in order for your seatbelt to fit properly and safely.
  4. Plan ahead –  if you do have to leave your home, make sure your trip is planned so that you don’t forget anything. Make a list of the stops you need to make, eg. grocery store, hardware store, gas station, liquor store, etc.  Get all your supplies in one trip so that once you are home, you can stay there and focus on staying warm.
  5. Get comfortable –  once you have everything thawed out, insulated, and bundled up, you can get comfy and relax.   Finish that book you’ve been meaning to read, or catch up on your favourite tv show.  Find some new recipes to try or make some your favourite comfort foods.  Spend some time reflecting, planning, and setting goals for the year ahead.

 All the  best & Stay warm!


New Year’s Resolutions? more like New Year’s “real solutions”

The beginning of the new year is often a time of reflection and looking ahead.

Its when you hear about people making their New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight, quitting smoking, eating better, blah, blah, blah…. new year, new me stuff.

It gets pretty old, pretty fast.

Personally, I have found the best way to start the New Year and make “resolutions” is to make a list of goals that you want to accomplish throughout the year.  Think of them as “Real Solutions”, as opposed to “resolutions”.

The key to this process is to keep it simple.  Make a list of 5 to 10 items/things that you want to accomplish by the end of the year.  Some of these may require a few additional steps, and you may need to make a side list. That’s okay, and that is why I recommend keeping the list to 5 -10 items.

This list will help keep you motivated to continue to take the steps required to meet your goals.

The physical act of writing the items down, immediately makes you feel accountable.  Once you accomplish one of your goals, you cross it off your list, and that feeling is even better.

It sounds simple, but the effects it can have on what you achieve in a year can be profound.

Best wishes for the new year.pexels-photo-58457.jpeg

5 Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season

Christmas at the Lodge

Here are 5 tips to help you enjoy the holiday season with minimal stress:

  1. Don’t rush – this applies to everything from taking the time to visit and enjoy the events you attend/host, to savouring every bite of delicious holiday food, right down to slowing down while driving ! The holidays come and go so fast, so chersish every little moment.
  2. Budget – the holidays tend to get expensive, so know what you want to spend and stick to it. Watch the flyers for sales in reatil and grocery stores; you’d be surprised at what you can save by catching items on sale.  When in doubt, get creative and make a gift; home made baked goods are my go-to, but any handmade item is always special.
  3. Do what makes you happy – make sure you spend your time doing what you want to do. If you dread going to a function, politely decline and say ,”no, thank you, I am unable to attend”.  We have a tradition of just staying home on Christmas day, honestly it has taking 85% of the stress out of our holiday routine.
  4. Send Cards – take the time to send out holiday cards.  It has become a more dated gesture, but it is meaningful nonetheless.  Its a great way to express best wishes and to let people know that you are thinking about them
  5. Reflect  – the holidays is a great time to spend reflecting on the past year and the one to come.  Spend some time making goals and priorities; its a great way to start a new year.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

10 Ways to Enjoy Winter

So old man winter is well on his way, and you’ve been wondering what you are going to do for the next 5 months? We’ve compiled a list of both indoor and outdoor activities to get you through the winter in country.

  1.  Gear UP! – First of all, if you are going to do anything outdoors during the winter, you must be prepared for the elements, with the right gear. Make sure you have warm, waterproof boots, snowpants, coat and mitts.  You can have a lot of fun in the snow, if you are warm.
  2. Dig in – Once you have your gear, invest in a good snow shovel, or snowblower if you’re not into manual labour.  You will need these to dig out the end of your driveway once the snowplow goes by.
  3. Get Outside – Find an activity that you enjoy, and DO IT!    For example, if you enjoy hiking and walking, try snowshoeing.  Lace up your skates and play a game of pick-up / shinny (pond hockey) with your friends.  Bring your camera and take some pictures. Winter offers great photography opportunities.
  4. Swing, Split, Repeat – Chances are you or someone you know in the country burns firewood for their heating source.  Winter is the best time to split firewood, because the wood tends to split easier when it is frozen.   Also it is a great workout!
  5. Burn, Burn, Burn – so if you are burning firewood, as a heat source, always remember the old adage “Keep the home fires burning”.  It is easier to keep the wood stove / furnace burning, as opposed to letting it go out and having to start the fire again.  Warm is better than cold, always.
  6. Slip & Slide – Toboganning is great because all you need is a sled and a hill. (oh and its great exercise).  Tobogganing has many variations and there are several sleds for the job.  Personally, the best ones are krazy karpets, saucers, tubes, GT SnoRacers.  You can also improvise; garbage bags have been known to be viable, makeshift sleds, as well as, the inner tubes from any vehicle / tractor tire.
  7. Rev it up – If you have some money to spend, you can join the thousands of Canadians who enjoy snowmobiling.  Again, there are several models for various budgets and lifestyles.  You can get high-speed machines for big bucks, or you can find an older model for a cheaper price that will still get you out there.  My personal favourites are the relics; machines from 1970’s to mid-80’s.  These machines are great for puttering around and pulling tired tobogganers back up the  hill.
  8. Try something new – Winter is a great opportunity to try something new.  Whether it is an outdoor or indoor activity, the long months of winter allows plenty of time to expand your horizons.  It could be learning how to play an instrument, how to knit, learn to skate, etc.  Find something you like, and jump in.
  9. PARTY On! – During the long weeks after the Holiday season, people often feel isolated, so a social function is a great way to bring people together.  Host or help organize a get together amongst your friends / family or neighbours.  It’s a great way to beat the winter blahs.
  10. Snuggle Up – If any of these suggestions just aren’t for you, don’t feel guilty about just kicking back with a cup of hot chocolate, a warm blanket and a good book or television show, and just relax.  After all, you’ve got five months of winter to endure.  There’s plenty of time to complete this list 🙂winterlodge