Posted on 11 Comments

Appreciating the Sights and Sounds of Functional Rustic

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Appreciating the Sights and Sounds of Functional Rustic.Functional Rustic

Every morning I wake up, grab some coffee and head out to the barn to let the ducks out and watch the sunrise. It is a truly magical way to start each day. I still can’t believe that I am fortunate enough to be able to experience this beauty every single day.

In the rush of day to day life it is easy to forget to appreciate what is around me. The beauty of nature, the ingenuity of humans and how both intertwine to form the world we live in. There is so much to appreciate.

Winter Sunrise Over the Functional Rustic Barn.

When I lived in the suburbs I dreamed of living in the country. I wanted a quiet place in the middle of the woods away from the hustle, bustle and noise that accompanies life.

Circumstances presented themselves that I was provided the opportunity to start my Happily Ever After life in my thirties. Only as they were reaching retirement were my parents able to follow their dream to live in the country.

The fact that I get to start my life off in my dream environment instead of working my whole life to earn it is humbling. I feel obligated to earn the privilege of living here. I have everything I could ever ask for laying before me – the possibilities are endless.

FR Barn from the Woods
The view of the Functional Rustic Barn from the woods beyond the wetlands.

I pledge to maintain and improve the extensive ecosystem that calls my property home. I will approach each homestead project with enthusiasm because its a privilege I have that others do not. I will do my part to make better the lives of all the creatures I encounter in the magical world that is Functional Rustic.

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A deer visiting Functional Rustic on a cold, snowy day in Dryden, MI.

Most of all, I will share my good fortune with others.

Since I moved out to Dryden, MI in 2017 I am making a concerted effort to live intentionally as the person I want to be. Part of that process is waking up early and spending the morning with my Muscovy Ducks and Bronze Turkey.

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Gladys – The Bronze Turkey of Functional Rustic.
Amelia Air Duck, Muscovy Hen, looking down at the Muscovy Drakes of Functional Rustic.

A bright perk of being up early is being able to actually watch the sunrise. Living in suburbia, even if I wanted to wake up with the sunrise the view was ‘eh’. Functional Rustic is anything but ‘eh’.

Being in nature is therapeutic. The therapeutic aspect is a key reason I wanted to implement an outside daily routine. I guess going to and working in the barn are outdoorsy but the barn isn’t nature.

I know that I’m a creature of habit. My old habit was laying on the couch to ensure it didn’t run away. My old habit was making sure that cable companies did not go out of business from lack of viewership.

If being in nature is going to be my new goal I need some re-enforcement to maintain the new habit. That is when I started filming the sunrise. I am watching it anyway.

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Stunning sunrise views from the back of the Functional Rustic Barn.

More importantly, on days when I am in a rush to get in and out of the barn for whatever reason, it is really easy to not take a minute to absorb the beauty around me.

To force me to take a moment to smell the flowers, so to speak, I take minute long videos and upload them on social media every day. I made enjoying nature a part of my daily routine and built in accountability by promising to continue sharing the experience with others each day.

Even when I am in a rush, spending 60 seconds every morning to document the wonderous sights around me is now a habit instead of a goal. Recording the video enables me to put an actual time on it. I am guaranteed at least one minute of peace a day.

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One of the Functional Rustic Ponds in the font yard.

Now that I have a  new blog platform on which to share my story I will share those videos here as well. I already upload all my videos to YouTube each week but, daily sunrises deserve to be enjoyed daily not weekly.

I am still working on how best to present the videos and what time of day is most effective to publish them. I have a lot of ideas coming together at the same time (very, very exciting!) and as they are implemented I am learning how best to adjust my time management.

Below you can watch the videos from the past two weeks. Please let me know what you think and if you have any special requests for the kinds of videos you want to see.

Until next time, Enjoy!!

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just beautiful sights and sounds? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.


3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Silver

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.




“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Meow Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.



11 thoughts on “Appreciating the Sights and Sounds of Functional Rustic

  1. I have to return and watch more of these videos – such a beautiful area you live in and I am envious. I would love to live in a rural setting. I also live in Michigan and have heard of Dryden, but had no idea where it was. So, I Googled and know now it is in Lapeer County. I live in Wayne County, in Lincoln Park. I have never seen Muscovy Ducks – thank you for showing them and how they communicate instead of quacking … wiggling their butts. 🙂

  2. […] able to experience the daily dose of nature the same as my social media audience does. That was why I intended to upload videos daily and share the stories behind […]

  3. I never would have guessed one of my first blog readers would be local. Love it! Small world after all. If you want any Muscovy, I am looking to re-home some of them. I have been to Lincoln Park on more than one occasion. Worked in the Penobscot building in Detroit and got both of my degrees from Wayne State. We were basically neighbors. Ha. I’m hoping to write regular pieces about the feather babies. Gladys, the Bronze Turkey, plays a big role in todays barn story.

    Please let me know if you have any specific questions….I have lots to share but have no idea what people enjoy seeing or want to learn.

  4. I’m quite behind on Reader right now, and it is the first time, but my boss has been busy with two sets of hearings going on … one is in the third day (they had a recess Friday/Monday) and he has another one in Florida Thursday and Friday. Between being swamped with him and our weather – I shut down my computer with bad storms, plus my two long jaunts last weekend (which meant two long blog posts) I am hopelessly behind. I work from home and I was in the middle of doing something when our internet at work went out – it may have something to do with the power outages yesterday. Our office is near Belle Isle and they had that severe storm go through and then power outages in the area. I thought they fixed the power outages so that the voting would not be problematic (they used generators earlier). I worked in the Comerica Building and the Buhl Building. My boss and I left the law firm and went out on our own in early 2003 and we went to Stroh River Place (halfway between Belle Isle and downtown). I too went to Wayne State and graduated in 1978. As for the ducks I follow a blogger from Traverse City. She has chickens and had ducks up to last week. She put an ad on Craigslist and a guy responded next day. She had three brown ducks (maybe mallards molting now??) and a Pekin duck. In January TJ (the blogger) slipped and fell on the ice and damaged her wrist/arm and had to have pins put in … she is almost fully recovered as to strength in her arm but she decided all the water buckets she had to carry to where they live and the fact that they had enough chicken eggs prompted her to get rid of them. Here is her link if you want to ask re: the buyer.

    I think I forwarded Kim’s site, but I think people who don’t live in a rural setting enjoy reading about people who do – I also follow a woman named Ruth and she lives in Michigan also. She writes of life in a rural area, they just built a barn and used it to harvest their garlic. I have learned some things and enjoy her posts. You may too. They also have a small pond on their farm. Here is a recent post:

    I promise to catch up … if you get behind a few days, it takes too long to catch up.

  5. Thank you for all the referrals for good blogs to follow. I will definitely take a look at them. I’m enjoying your post about visiting Lake Huron. I may have rural Michigan, but you prove there really is so much to around SE MI – when the power is on! ha.

  6. I will be going back there again – there are several nature-type walks and events scheduled for late Summer/Fall and I think I’ll be going to them … perhaps the rain will be done by then. A whole week of rain this week, off and on, more on then off. Rural you can stop and just BREATHE. Please tell me your name – I looked on your site but could not find it. You have the advantage since I use my name. 🙂

  7. The two blogs are similar in some ways, but Ruth and her husband are more like farmers and she makes soap and they are pretty self-sufficient out there with crops, chickens, etc. I don’t think TJ and her husband have lived there that long but she often writes how happy they are living in a rural area where they can enjoy the beauty around them.

  8. Hi, I’m Sarah and I am Functional Rustic. Sarah Palmer specifically. Thanks for letting me know I hadn’t added it yet. For as personalized as I want Functional Rustic to be, including my name is helpful. Ha.

  9. Ruth sounds like a lady I need to befriend. So kind of you to network on our behalf.

  10. Hello Sarah Palmer. Well, I searched and perhaps I missed your name, but then I thought that maybe you preferred it that way. Many people have asked why I use the caricature of myself for a gravitar image and not a picture. It is no mystery. I have no recent picture. It is just me, no family and I don’t have a smartphone for selfies. I tried to take a picture of myself once and it looked distorted … besides I use pics from childhood and earlier years in my posts from time to time and I kind of like to lend an air of mystery. The caricature looks like me – I have long hair and glasses. Just keep ’em guessin’ is what I say!

  11. Yes you will enjoy Ruth’s posts Sarah. I often learn things from her, like the post I mentioned about harvesting and drying the garlic. She is a worker bee, her and her husband tending their land. Plus she is from Michigan so an added bonus.

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