And for Our Next Trick…

Finding time to write is very difficult when you work yourself to exhaustion every single day. In my last post I resorted to the last thing a writer wants to resort to: a bulleted list. Yet so much happens every single day that it’s hard to conceive of a better way to communicate that we are, in fact, still here and so busy with setting up the homestead that writing is a very rare luxury.

So again I think in terms of the bulleted list in explaining the dearth of my goal-in-life: writing.

  • We sourced, purchased and received yards of rotted wood fiber for our compost cover material.
  • Built and filled a companion cover material bin next to the compost bin out of pallets – and have done two subsequent rounds of “critter defense” modifications to it to keep the interlopers out of our compost – success!!
  • Moved the trailer that we hauled across the country to our new home and unpacked it.
  • We need to sell that trailer as $7000 of our homesteading budget is tied up in it and we no longer need it. This means copious pictures and documentation and a tremendous amount of time dedicated to creating, maintaining and following up on ads for selling.  Also I had to come up with a tarp cover system to keep the weather and critters out, yet it needs to be modular and easily removable so it can be show to prospective buyers. Done.
  • Bought a chainsaw and safety equipment. Continue online education about tree felling, bucking and chainsaw maintenance.
  • Installed a new deer fence around the elderberry bush
  • Mowed the entire yard with the riding mower that I had never used (and I had never even used one before).
  • Found the last remaining furniture needs to unpack the last room in the house.
  • Finally unpacked ALL the clothing and moved it into the closet. After almost one year we are no longer living out of a suitcase! One of the most amazing feelings…
  • Set up our “office” so we can print, scan and shred. Only remaining items in the “move in” process are shelving our books and finding a home for the musical instruments…
  • Still don’t have a working phone – we researched and did tests; we have ordered a cell signal booster that SHOULD at least let Dani’s phone work reliably. All in the effort to avoid being locked in to an expensive two year contract on a house phone that we really won’t use as our satellite internet costs have already blown our telecommunications budget.
  • Researched, planned, and sourced (most) materials to renovate the kitchen and bathroom faucets, sinks and drains. Actual work always seems to involve one or two more trips to the hardware store than you plan.
  • Replaced the bathroom faucet and drain successfully! But still have the kitchen sink and faucet to replace though…
  • Researched and acquired a portable clothes washer – then did an intensive and successful clothes washing marathon.
  • Installed a new outdoor laundry line.
  • Successfully applied for our Maine drivers licenses, they should arrive in the next week!
  • Registered to vote at our local town office and figured out most of the ins and outs of the waste removal/recycling programs (it’s not your usual municipal curb side thing).
  • Continue to battle with Japanese beetles, Asiatic garden beetles, cucumber beetles and grasshoppers – many young plants in the garden are barely hanging on, we’re R&Ding screen solutions and are planning an Hb nematode treatment soon…

And even though we’re a few (big) steps shy of “Phase 1 complete”,  finally the rewards are showing.

We have our first baby tomatoes and summer squash growing! We’ve harvested basil, kale, mulberries and two strawberries already, too!

We are being frequented by adorable wildlife like frogs, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers and wild turkeys. Even a skunk (who I think was the compost raider) and a bat! I don’t resent the compost raider; it’s simply part of finding a new equilibrium. The wildlife was here before we were. We are staking our claim in their territory. It’s quite an experience trying to walk that line with some semblance of equanimity. I could probably write a book about it…

The house’s living conditions are mostly in good order. There is work to be done on the plumbing and mechanical side of things. But we are very comfortable. Finally in a home of our own.

Today I was fatigued to the point where my hands couldn’t grip the PVC pipe I was trying to cut with a pipe cutter. I improvised a solution with wood working clamps. When I finished the task, I packed up the project and declared an afternoon off.

We set up the deck furniture and umbrella, fixed some nice drinks and relaxed by simply doing digital work outside in the bright, breezy summer day. Sometimes we used our bodies as ballast to keep the wind from convincing the umbrella to take the table (and our drinks) for a walk down the road. This was our first time relaxing outdoors in our beloved “deck setup” since we left our Village Lane home in Boise almost one year ago. It’s not that the furniture is amazing – it’s not in the least – but it represents our intent to enjoy time outside in the sun and the air with nothing to do but what we choose to do. Countless cribbage games, talks of dreams and philosophical discourses have happened around that deck setup. It is beyond gratifying to do it again, but on the soil of our new home.

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2 thoughts on “And for Our Next Trick…

  1. Congratulations for such a long bulleted list of accomplishments.

    It’s great to be able to take time to smell the daisies, even as bat guano competes.

    You’ll have a MUCH easier time with your chain saw if you use only a VERY SHARP blade.

    Hugs,
    m

    Like

    • Thank you so much! The guano was minuscule as it was only on bat living part time behind our bedroom window fake vinyl shutter. Stunned the poor guy something awful when I pulled it off and let it drop from several feet in the air while he snoozed in it midday. I suspected mice were using it as a highway and I am wary of hantavirus.

      He was dazed for a couple minutes but soon took flight into the woods. I think I’d like to set up a pole mounted bat house on the edge of the woods. We have so damn many bugs the last thing I want to do is discourage bats and spiders. I’ve even learned to make friends with the wasps (something I’ve NEVER done before). They are actually pretty cool most of the time.

      Yessir, the sharp chain is the goal. I’m researching tools and tutorials. I grew up watching my dad run a chainsaw all the time. Frankly I’m intimidated. But I know they are a fantastic tool, and I got a small one. Lots to learn but the basics all make perfect sense!

      Take care, my friend!

      Like

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