Tuesday, September 9, 2008

August 4th 2008

Busy busy busy!
The garden's in full swing here, other than the $#^&! slow ripening tomatos, so we've been on our toes keeping up with it. Lisa's already canned up close to 30 quarts of beans, 20 something pints of pickles, plus beets and turnips. Today or tomorrow, we'll have to pick beans again, so that'll probably get us another 30 jars. Whenever the tomatos come on, I'm sure ALL of them will at once, so we gotta gear up for that too. We're down to 9 empty pint jars in the basement, plus the 10 or 12 I got from a yard sale, so this week I'll be scrounging thrift shops for more. We should be ok on quarts.........for now.
The chickens are close to laying now, maybe another 2 weeks or so. The rabbits need about another month and they're ready for the first breeding. I'm actually pretty excited about all of this. It may sound silly; but I like getting up early and going out to feed them all. It's a good feeling to be that much closer to self sufficiency. Lisa already said that she'll empty and save the first egg lol she's as excited as I am about it all.
We had a small party on Saturday for Lamas (sp?), with about 10 people coming over for a shrimp boil. Lisa cooked on the outdoor stove I built, in a 4 gallon stock pot. Shrimp, sausage, potatos, squash, sweet corn....all together, YUM! Those people whiped that out in no time lol I think when I dumped it, there was 2 pieces of corn, 1 chunk of squash, and 1 piddly piece of sausage left out of the whole thing. We had that, with a veggie tray from the garden, fresh chicken kabobs (via maureen), 4 loaves of homeade bread, key lime pie, and blackberry cobbler with ice cream. Not one person had less that 2 plates worth lol gotta love Lisa's cooking. We started at 2 in the afternoon, and the last of 'em left just after midnight.
Yesterday morning, I got up, fed the animals, and cleaned up from the party. I started moving things into the canopy/shed thingy for winter storage, making sure I had room for both tractors. Yep....more junk than I thought as always. Arrgh that $#@! packrat gene I got from my dad!
Friday night, I had dragged over another HUGE branch off one of the apple trees next door for firewood, it was more like half of a tree. After cleanup yesterday, I started cutting it up, all by hand. Branches were lopped off with a hatchet, logs tossed in the trailer, and I started cutting to length by crosscut saw and axe. My axe needs replaced badly, it's old, and I had sharpened it many years ago as a teen on a bench grinder. Obviously I ruined the temper, and it won't keep an edge now. I think I'll add that to my christmas list for this year lol. I'd say my birthday since it's less than 4 weeks away, but it's too expensive to ask for now. I'll make due with what I have for now. I like the feeling of cutting wood by hand, its relaxing and a good agression remover at the same time....sure beats the awful noise and vibration of a chainsaw! I like feeling the burn in my arms, the sweat on my forehead, and the satisfacion of looking at a pile of split firewood when I'm finished.
All in all, I'm becoming more comfortable with our choices. Cutting wood by hand, using the oil lamps, raising and growing our own food. Its so much more rewarding than the bland old life of watching tv and getting food at the grocery store. It's much more than being frugal, it's even more than trying to be self sufficient; it's a total lifestyle change. Watching Lisa cook on the outdoor stove Saturday made me smile. I made the stove, I laid every stone, I mixed the cement by hand, we picked the vegetables, I cut and split the firewood by hand, I lit the fire.......it's an amazing feeling to watch all of that work go into something as simple as making a meal wthout any dependance on electricity at all. ( ok so not counting the Iron Maiden blasting in the background as I swung the splitting maul lol)

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