Welcome to a long awaited News from Around the Bend where we are talking about Restarting and New Beginnings this week!  It is timely, I think., because a lot is lining up in our Small Scale Lives with this theme.

This week I was standing on the top of a bluff and overlooking the Mississippi River.  I could see Wabasha, Minnesota, to the north, Alma, Wisconsin, below me, and the Alma Power Plant and backwaters to the south of me.  At one point, I marveled at what the people thought as they saw strange boats floating up the river as the first European explorers came to this area.  It might have been quite the sight!

In the same way, it is quite a sight to see News from Around the Bend and Small Scale Life Newsletter this week.  Admittedly, it has been forever and a day since I wrote a News from Around the Bend and a Small Scale Life Newsletter, and I apologize for that.  I will do my best to post these more regularly!  This is about Restarting and New Beginnings in 2021, and that includes News from Around the Bend.

Speaking of New Begininngs, we have a lot going on this year with the Eagles Ridge Barndominium project. I will try to put at least one of these out a month.  My goal is to keep you in the loop about what is happening on our project, what we are doing on Small Scale Life and what other folks are doing in the Small Scale Life Community.

2020…a Year of ChangeTom and Julie, Eagle's Ridge, Home, Small Scale Life, Resilience, new beginnings,

For those of you that lost track of us, 2020 was a Year of Change. A lot happened, and we made things happen to change our trajectory forever.  For those of you who have been following us, we did take six months off from blogging, vlogging and podcasting as we got our house in North Minneapolis on the market; move ourselves and others to new places; and worked on healing our new land in Western Wisconsin.

For more detail about all of that activity, Julie and I talked about 2020 in two different Small Scale Life Podcast Episodes:

Listen to those two podcast episodes for more information about “what we did last summer!”  Julie and I were just talking about creating some new podcast episodes to fill in the gaps and talk about beginning this project!  Should be a great discussion!

Boldly Stepping with many New Beginnings in 2021

In case you missed them, we posted some videos on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel showing the land and the work we were doing on the property.  Those videos are found in the following playlists:

These are just the start of a parade of videos.  We have a lot of DIY (Do It Yourself) coming, and we will work really hard at documenting a lot of the work.  Yes, it slows us down a little, but I think the products will be better in the end because we will have a record of the struggle, work, joy and satisfaction of our New Beginnings at Eagles Ridge. 

This Week on Small Scale Life

homestead hunting, farm, barn, Mississippi River

Homestead Hunting and Liberty All Day Long with Letti Loo

The land rush is ON in Western Wisconsin and around the country!  As the cities are hives of chaos, violence and destruction, people are leaving the urban areas for the peace, community and beauty of rural areas. I learned in economics courses that price of something happens when the supply meets demand.

Unfortunately, the demand is high while the supply is limited.  Prices are increasing and buyers are snapping up property sight unseen and for ridiculous prices.

Letti Loo and her family are looking to settle down in Western Wisconsin near our Eagles Ridge Barndominium.  That is easier said than done!  Join us as we talk about beginning her journey towards homesteading, her Homestead Hunt, her virtual assistant business and her Liberty All Day Blog, Vlog and Podcast.

It is a fun chat, and of course you get a little Tommy Cakes at the end and a singing Tommy at the start. Check it out by clicking this text or listening where ever podcasts are streaming!


Getting Grounded with Tom – Video Series

Over on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel, my Getting Grounded Series (aka “Standing in Snow Series”) continues!  I am posting videos almost daily talking about topics or just enjoying a few minutes in nature on my journeys and wanderings. These videos are relatively short (less than 5 minutes), and it is fun to make them.

This all started with a video on New Years Eve about New Beginnings, and I stood in a lot of snow banks in different places (i.e., my deck; a wayside rest in La Crosse, WI).  Believe it or not, it does help break up the day and allows me to focus.

As we steam forward with the Eagles Ridge Barndominium Project, we are going to have limited access to the internet. We probably will be using the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel a lot!

Head over there and watch me on my travels. If nothing else, you will see a big guy standing in snow or some beautiful places.


Eagles Ridge Barndominum – Update and Platform

Eagles Ridge Barndominium, Homestead HuntingAs we prepare to build our house in 2021, we will be sharing more articles and videos about the project. Julie and I are working with contractors to build a new house from scratch, but we will also be doing a lot of the work ourselves. We are going to be hiring out what must be hired out due to codes, equipment and expertise, but we will be working on the framing, trim, some sheetrock and finishes in the house.

It is going to be one hell of a project as we build our Eagles Ridge Homestead while not blowing the budget!  Stay tuned for this one; it is going to be one of our most interesting adventures!

So how do you stay tuned?

We have more new beginnings, of course!  Julie has been posting pictures and comments on the Eagles Ridge Barndominium Instagram Account and Eagles Ridge Barndominium Facebook Page.  You can see progress updates on our fire pit, our DIY restoration projects and of course the Eagles Ridge Barndominium!

As we are rolling into spring, things are getting real!  We have all of our contractors lined up (the builder and the trades) and we have a number of permits in place.  We just got back our revised plans, and we are almost ready to submit the Building Permit.

As soon as we get that Building Permit and Spring Road Restrictions are taken down, it is Go Time!

Things are about to get real!

Picks of the Week – Other Content Creators

Greg Burns, Natures Image Farms, Captain Lumbersquatch, Building Community, new beginnings

One part of News from Around the Bend is highlighting some folks in the Small Scale Life Community and that I find on my scrolling during the week.  Here are some Picks of the Week from other content creators (that you should be watching on a regular basis).

 A Peg in Many Holes: Itty Bitty Thoughts 

Amy Dingmann

A Farmish Kind of Life

If there is one video that you should watch this week, this is it. Amy Dingmann knocks it out of the park with this video, and if you have been struggling with figuring out where you belong in a noisy world, this is for you.

It is no secret that I have struggled over the past 2 years defining what Small Scale Life is and what we are focusing on (topic-wise).  We have meandered to and fro, and while not all who are wandering are lost, you can lose yourself and your audience in the process. This video and some decisions lately have crystallized things for me, and I know where we are going.  That is important, and I will be talking about it more in future episodes.

Check this one out. Amy is awesome and a good friend, and you should subscribe to her YouTube Channel and listen to her podcast!


Bob Binnie Interview

Greg Burns

Natures Image Farm

Captain Lumbersquatch Greg Burns and the Red Dog Rancher Daniel Bokros visited legendary beekeeper Bob Binnie.  They chatted about Bob’s start into beekeeping, the importance of finding the right mentor and the importance of having an abundance mindset and gratitude.

There is a lot more going on here than just beekeeping, and if you have sat down and chatted with Captain Lumbersquatch, you know what I am talking about. Greg has a way of digging deep and talking about some really important topics that get your noggin joggin.

Hence he was in my house recently for two days and we didn’t record anything!  The conversation was too important and too good!

This was a really fascinating interview, and I learned a lot about business and life listening to this one.  Great discussion, Dan, Greg and Bob!


When is the last time you slowed down?


Wisdom of Odin

Jacob is a Norse Pagan, and whether you understand modern paganism or not, you can appreciate this week’s video.  Jacob is beautiful place in Kentucky and talking about meditation and getting outside without your electronic devices and connecting with Nature.

This is an important topic that directly correlates with Julie and my discussions about Minimalism and connecting with Nature at Eagles Ridge and during my Getting Grounded with Tom videos.  Often times, we are so plugged in that we miss the beauty and moments around us.  Put down the phones, interact, and engage with the world outside of our screens.

Of you have trouble sitting still and meditating, Jacob has some good advice for you.  Take a few minutes and watch this video. Start connecting with Nature today!

Do You have a Side Hustle or Business?

Cash, escape velocity, financial freedom

Some of you have great projects, side hustles or businesses. Perhaps I could learn from you, and it would be FREE advertising for your business, side hustle or idea.

Share your story by being on the Small Scale Life Podcast!

We want to hear about your idea and new beginnings: what struggles did you face, how did you overcome them and where are you taking this?

Send a message to me using the Contact Us page on smallscalelife.com. This is your chance to teach us as we continue to learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday!