Friday, September 29, 2006

Harder Than I Thought

So, it turned out making the raised beds was harder than I thought. Not because of the double digging, or of constructing the beds themselves. I anticipated those correctly. What I didn't anticipate however, was how hard it would be to lug in the necessary humus to fill the beds. The smallest bags I could find weigh 40 pounds -that's almost half my body wait! And it takes about 10 bags per bed. That's over 1200 pounds of humus!

But it's been worth it. Today I found the first seedlings of my cover crop poking through the humus. And they're early -it will be a week tomorrow since I planted them, and its supposed to take 7-10 days. My major tasks for this weekend are to finish clean up the backyard and the house. Next week I'm going to plant an apple tree and hopefully a peach tree. Both will be self-pollinating varieties because I don't have the room to plant several trees of each kind. Next year I hope to plant some blackberry and raspberry bushes. Eventually I would like to have a few chickens for the eggs. In a couple of weeks I am going to attend a class on herbs at the local botanical garden, and this winter when things slow down, I hope to learn to sew.

You know, the phrase 'harder than I expected' could apply to this whole journey to sustainability, because it has been harder than I expected it would be. But then, could things always are. I WILL get there. I have no choice -this is not just for me, but for the Earth and all her people, those who are here now, those who were here before, and those who will come long after I am naught but dust.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Each Seed a Beginning/On the Journey Never Ending

"Each seed a beginningOn the Journey never wndingGive it water, soil, and lightWhen conditions are just rightIt knows just what to doTo start life anew"


I discovered them yesterday evening. Not too many yet -about a dozen or so -but my seeds are sprouting! Now as long as they get established before the first frost, I'll have flowers all winter and into spring.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Short Update

It’s been a while so I thought I would post an update. This month has been incredibly busy. Four days after I got back from vacation in August I started classes. So I’ve been working full time and taking classes. Luckily, I got the cast off my foot several weeks ago. I’m still building up strength in the tendon, but I can get around now, at least. Despite all the obstacles, I am continuing my journey towards a simpler, more sustainable, more fulfilling life. My progress has been slow but I am determined to make it. Every step counts.

The first step in my journey was decluttering. A few months ago I posted on here that I was finished with that. Well, it turns out I wasn’t. I haven’t brought anything in, but I have found more clutter. The biggest find was my filing cabinet –I haven’t ever gone through it! I found bills in there that I paid when I was sixteen. So I’ve been cleaning that out. It’s a slow process, as I have to go through each folder one at a time, decide what to keep, what to shred, and what to toss, and then follow through. After that I found more clutter, sometimes in the oddest places. Under some of my linens in the linen closet. Behind the tv stand. So I simply decided to take my house apart end to end looking for clutter, and get rid of whatever I can. I am even in the process of winnowing my books down!

Other things of note:
· I have taken control of my finances, and should have my credit card debt paid off by the end of the year.
· I have decided where to put my veggie beds and have double dug two of them. The third is on the to-do list for this weekend.
· I have added compost to the flower beds and planted the fall flowers
· My breakfast foods are now entirely home-made rather than store bought (with the exception of the occasional bagel). I decide what I want to have for the week, and make it on the weekends so that I have it ready during the week. Right now I switch between pancakes, various kinds of muffins, and oatmeal. Occasionally I have eggs and toast.
· I have not eaten out since my vacation, and have no intention of doing so anytime soon.

· Work and school limit my time to work on these projects to only a few hours per week.
· I am having considerable difficulty putting together the raised beds for the veggie patch.
· My vacuum cleaner went out last weekend. It’s completely burned out, and buying a new motor would cost much more than its worth. In a mostly carpeted house shared by me, several cats, and lab/heeler mix, going without a vacuum for any length of time is not acceptable. The question is, how do I replace it? I haven’t been able to find any used vacuum cleaners for sale, and I have to have one that’s able to suck up pet hair without burning itself out and/or clogging continuously. I may have to break down and buy one new.

Current Projects:
· Finish decluttering
· Get the final veggie bed dug, build the raised beds, add in the humus/topsoil and plant the cover crop (hopefully this weekend)
· Learn how to bake bread
· Get the house and grounds winterized