Monday, November 5, 2012

Late Bloomer

I planted Morning Glories this spring.  Now before the groans and rolled eyes start, I'm perfectly aware Morning Glories have strong weed tendencies.  But I think I've mentioned before that I am quite fond of weeds.  I believe a plant with such tenacious determination as to be called a weed is something to be admired and worked with.

I actually planted two kinds of the flower, a magenta variety and one with very large blue flowers.  All summer I admired my pretty pink blooms, but nary a blue one was seen.  This summer was brutally hot, so I was gratefull for any flower I could get.  Still, I thought it would have been nice to have some of the blue flowers.

When it finally cooled off in late August, I started to notice that the Morning Glories on one side of the porch were taking over the entire area.  Green tendrils clung to the nasturtiums and twined around the basil.  They even reached out to close the gap across the doorway.  I thought perhaps one of the white-bloomed wildlings so common here had managed to join us.  By October, it had cooled off enough at night to wilt some of the leaves, so I decided to cut them down and tidy up the ragged mass of tattered leaves and vines.  For some reason, I just didn't get around to it that weekend.  I'm so glad I didn't

Imagine my surprise upon walking out to a bevy of delicate blue blooms trembling in the breeze!  Since then, my late bloomer has treated me to a beautiful new show each day.  From the scarred leaves of my aging plants, new life and beauty has appeared. 

May my life be a reflection of this......

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Worms in My Kitchen

Worms are't terribly fond of the camera,
so this is the best I could do
I have lots of worms in my kitchen.  It started out with just a handful and now there are thousands!!  I realize that statement sounds a bit like an episode of one of those reality televison shows from the Discovery channel such as Hoarders or Infested, but I actually want them there.

My little kitchen worm farm started out as a small plastic coffee can given to me by James, one of my co-workers.  I then proceeded to drill holes in a small plastic tote I had purchased for their new home.  After the holes were installed in the bottom, sides, and top, the aerated tote was nestled into another to catch any liquid that might drip if things got a little too damp along the way.  Some torn leaves, a sprinkling of dirt for "grit" (worms have gizzards like chickens to grind their food), and a few table scraps were added.  I gently poured the small, squirming mass into the middle and tucked them in with a nice layer of damp shredded newspaper.

This is all the space my quietest pets take up.
I find I'm quite fond of my worms.  They silently do their thing, never demanding walks or treats.  In the process of it all, they give me the most wonderful plant food in the world.  It took a while before the population could deal with much in the way of food scraps, but now they really reduce the amount of garbage that heads to the landfill.  So now all those potato peelings, pepper cores, and wilted lettuce leaves go back into the garden to feed us again.

The cycle of life is a truly beautiful thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting Rid of Gadgets

Good Toast!  But watch carefully...
One of the consequences of living in a tiny home is that you have to make choices.  There is only so much space and each thing that comes into our home must have a place and a purpose.  I like my home to be neat and uncluttered, so it is important for this choosing to happen even before items are brought in.

The current kitchen in WeeHavyn is perhaps the least well-planned room in the house.  It is truly a bachelor's kitchen, with just enough counterspace to put a few cannisters and none to work it.  There are only four small cupboards and the undersink space for storage, yet I love to cook!  We have plans to improve this much used room, but for now I had to make some hard choices.

I have chosen to forgo most of the usual modern appliances to keep a little counter space free for cooking.  I have one blender, a coffee maker, and an air popper.  That's it.  No toaster, food processor, or electric mixer.  Instead I've chosen to do things "the old fashioned way" with a heavy cast iron pan, a sharp knife, and a wooden spoon.  These items not only perform the tasks of the appliances I have forgone, but take up less space and multi-task as well. 

Wait!  Isn't multi-tasking the Holy Grail of the modern world?  Perhaps I'm just ahead of my time......

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Officially Fall!

The eager walnuts have begun to don their brilliant Autumn yellow.  The air is crisp and spicy.  Raging thunderstorms appear and disappear in less than an hour.  Everything is damp, and the grass grows as if it were spring.

This cooler weather always makes me think a fall garden.  I have never done this.  The weather in Wyoming is so severe in winter it really takes a greenhouse, or at least a very good cold frame to make it worth-while.  That isn't the case here at all.  Still, there is another issue that always seems to keep me from enjoying fresh salad greens all winter.  It is the fact that one's fall garden needs to be planted during the full heat of the summer.  I would much rather spend those stifling days gently swinging in a hammock with a good book.  I barely manage to care for my struggling summer plants.  The idea of planting my winter garden crosses my mind, but it just never gets done.

This fall I will work on finishing the garden bed and planting crocus and narcissus in the lawn.  I eagerly look forward to the riot of spring color these bulbs will bring and perhaps with the raised bed and drip system done, I will muster the energy to start a fall garden next year. 

.....Perhaps

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Celebrating Failure

It is grey and damp this morning.  The roses bow under the weight of the dew and pearly droplets fall from the trees.  The squirrels are busy gathering up walnuts and the patter of water reveals their progress along their tree branch highway.  I feel the spirit of Fall today even though I know Summer could return tomorrow.

Autumn has always been my favorite season.  Its crisp air wakes me from Summer's languor and I begin to think of new things.  As Mother Nature is slowing down and getting ready for the long dormancy of winter, I get a burst of energy.  I suppose this comes from the ancient drive that pushed us to prepare for winter's cold and hunger.  I use my renewed vigor to my advantage and my best plans and ideas seem to bubble up among the bright colors and cool days.

I try new things constantly.  I love the challenge of taking an idea and making it happen.  Sometimes the end result is very different from what I imagined and sometimes my ideas don't work at all.  But I am always richer for the trying, even if just in knowledge.

My biggest problem is that I like to share my ideas with others before they are finished.  I have found that rather than being helpful and encouraging, many people dwell on every possible thing that can go wrong with my plan.  I'm sure they think they are being helpful, but it often leaves me feeling unsure of myself and emotionally bruised.  It certainly takes much of the joy out of the project.  The more a person cares for me, the more enthusiastic they seem about finding reasons that my plans won't work.

Why is this?  Where does this fear of failure come from?  Is it because we are battered with so much fear laden information every day?  Take a look at the headlines or listen to the news.  There's always a story about damgage to the environment, some terrible new health issue, or a vast social problem that one person hasn't a hope of making even the slightest difference in.  Perhaps this makes us afraid to even try.  We have become so focused on the end result that we've forgotten that the value is really in the journey.

I shall celebrate my failures!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Much Do We Eat in Two Weeks?

Shopping is a habit.  Even when we lived twenty miles out of town, we went to the store nearly every day for something.  Of course, we would always come back with more than we'd planned to get in the first place.  Millions of dollars are spent determining how to place things for an impulse buy, and I am just as susceptible to that psychology as anyone.

What's left of the sugar.
Just to see the difference, we decided that we would only get groceries once every two weeks.  No trips to the store in between.  After all, if you're not in the store, you aren't tempted to shop.  The problem is, we really have no idea how much we eat in two weeks!  So I guessed and here's how our first two weeks went..

I didn't buy enough cheese and had to run to the store for more in the middle of the time period.  Of course I bought some sausages and sauerkraut too, which just proves my point.  We have nearly used up the 10 pounds of sugar I bought, which is rather horrifying.  That means we use at least 260 lbs of sugar a year.  Everything else has pretty much held out, but we could use some more meat.

I'm so looking forward to the time when WeeHavyn can help provide some of the things I am buying now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

All Moved In

Nearly six months after WeeHavyn became our home, we are finally all moved in. I do not consider us completely moved in until everything we have is here.  Now, everything is out of storage and in its proper place.  Yesterday was spent putting Brad's 800 pound toolbox in the crawlspace, which is shaping up to be a nice little workshop for him.

I have spent many hours over the past few weeks planning Weehavyn's future.  To build this tiny place into a self-sustaining unit that might even give us enough income to support us is like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.  Each piece must be carefully fitted into the others.  There is so much I want to do, but money is severly limited.  So I must prioritize..... what piece is so vital that it must come before the others?

At this point it is the deck extension that is the key to all I need to do.  The deck will shelter the rabbits, provide a back wall for the chicken pen, and serve as a place for the worm beds and milking area.  It will also hold the earthen oven and umbrella clothes dryer while providing a nice place for us to sit outside and admire Weehavyn's growing beauty.  Not too bad for two 4x4 posts and some 2x6's. 

Now, to come up with $400.......

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Liberation

As I walked to work this morning I reflected on how many precious resources are spent on automobiles.  An alien anthropologist might think they were in charge.  After all, we cover roads and huge parking areas with cement and asphalt that continually needs repaired to keep determined Nature from healing the wounded land.  Most homes have a "house" just for them.  Many homes have one for each driver and maybe a spare.  We spend so much time and energy buying, insuring, repairing, and washing them.  Many  people have a permanent car payment, buying a new one as soon as the old one is paid for. 

Cars insulate us from the world.  As we fly along the road in our isolated little box, we are basically unaware of the people around us in their own boxes.  The temperature outside is insignificant.  The concept of distance is blurred. 

One of the best things about WeeHavyn is that it is within easy walking distance from nearly everything.  Unfortunately, the only essential not two to three blocks from the cottage is a grocery store.  The nearest grocery store is perhaps 1/3 mile away.  While this is certainly not an unreasonable walk, there is a problem.  Our cities are not designed for walkers.  They are designed for cars.  In order for me to walk to the grocery store, I must walk along busy streets with no sidewalks or crosswalks.  In our worship of the auto, we have made walking downright dangerous.

Still, there is an enormous freedom in being able to walk to necessities.  When we lived in the woods, we were horribly dependent on our vehicles.  Having one break down would have been very difficult.  Losing both would have been a catastrophe.  Here, we could go without both with little difficulty.  In fact, we've decided to sell the car and only keep the truck. 

Best of all, we seldom know the price of gas.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Preserverence

We had a wild, but brief, thunderstorm before dawn today.  By the time I was up and ready for work it had rushed away, leaving the world cool and clean in the new sunlight.  After such a long hot summer, I can't help but revel in the fresh, crisp air that hints strongly of Autumn's coming.

Early this spring I ordered a couple of artichoke plants along with several varieties of mint.  While I adore tomatoes and peppers, I feel that perennial food plants are much more efficient as far as labor goes.  You do have to get them going and maintain them regularly, but once they are established, they are always there.  I am aiming for about seventy-five percent perennial food plants on WeeHavyn.  The mint and artichokes were the start of this endeavor.

I've never grown artichokes before and it is the opinion of the locals that they wouldn't grow here well.  But I needed a certain number of plants to fill my order anyway so I figured I'd give it a try.  They had a rough trip and came to me wilted and damaged.  After spending a couple of days in intensive care in the house, I planted them in two large plastic tubs.  All my reading told me they like cool summers and mild winters.  The poor things had to endure the hottest, driest summer in 60 years.  Needless to say they pretty much just sat there, loosing leaves just as fast as they added them.  I began to think they were never going to grow.  Still, I watered them daily and left them to their own devices.

To my surprise, they have grown mightily the last few weeks, at least tripling in size.  I'm not sure I will get any artichokes this year, but the beauty of perennials is that there is always next year.  Who knows though, I may feast on artichoke this fall yet.

Next year.... asparagus!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Swept Away

Since I had Monday off for "Happiness Day" (how cool is that!) I decided that I would put together my household broom.  It's one of those little projects that have been sitting on the back burner for a long time, in fact I brought the supplies with me from Wyoming!

A sense of peace and calm washed over me as I soaked and trimmed the broomcorn, scrubbed the willow handle smooth and clean, and assembled the supplies I needed.  It only took an hour (not counting the soaking time) to finish the project and there was such a rush of satisfaction to see it done.  Now I just need to find the perfect spot in the cottage for it to live!

Completing this little job made me realize how much energy these unfinshed tasks draw from me.  I'm sure I spend far more time THINKING I should get them done that it would actually take to do them.  Something so simple as taking out the leftover paneling from the laundry area and cutting it up so it will fit in the trash can would probably only take twenty minutes.  Yet I leave them there to think about at least twice a day.

Well, until today.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Seven Day Fast: Day 2

I was not terribly hungry when I woke up this morning, so basically the hunger yesterday was akin to a toddler having a temper tantrum because she doesn't get what she wants.  I did have a bit of a headache.  It was very mild and I'm sure it's from not having sugar and tea.  Still, it isn't bad enough to bother taking anything for, which I'd like to avoid if I can.  I got on the scales and was down to 148.  I'm sure this is all water, but it was nice to see the number go below 150. 

Even though I don't feel horribly hungry, I still had the urge to eat this morning.  There is so much to eating that has nothing to do with hunger.  So many habit and rituals built around food.  Perhaps this week will help me evaluate some of them.

By noon it became obvious that my usual "leap in with both feet" approach to things was not going to work with fasting.  My head was pounding and waves of nausea flowed over me.  I carefully broke my fast with some chicken soup and reassessed by fasting plans.  While I know my body has the ability to go without food, it has lost this primitive knowledge though years of modern life and regular meals.  I will have to condition both my body and mind to fasting if I am to succeed at this.

Since the 24 hour fast gave me only minor discomfort, I have decided to fast from 6pm to 6pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  This will allow me to eat supper with Brad every night, an important custom for him.  I am also at work these days and being busy and away from easy snacks helps.  I am still planning on longer fasts.  I will try for a 48 hour fast to end on the Autumn Equinox.

I suppose this is a bit like training for a marathon.  One would start by running a mile, not ten.  I will have to learn patience.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Seven Day Fast: Day 1

Since I had to work today, I chose to begin my fast after breakfast.  I figured this would give me half a day before I was really feeling the effects.  I had two scrambled eggs with some salsa for breakfast and headed off for work.

I drank just under a quart of water before lunch and was quite hungry as I walked up the hill to go home for lunch.  I also felt sort of light and fuzzy, I'm sure as a result of my body running out of easily accessible sugar but not used to switching to ketosis.  As was a recurring theme in all of the fasting accounts I read, I felt at a bit of a loss with what to do with my time instead of eating.

One odd thing I'm noticing is a sort of fear.  I watched some videos at lunch and whenever I saw food I kept feeling like I would NEVER be able to enoy that again.  I'm not sure exaclty where this fear is coming from as I know perfectly well I will be able to eat what I want at the end of this week so this fear is obviously emotional rather than rational.

I was quite hungry all afternoon and the walk home from work was filled with aroma of food from the restraunts on the square.  It smelled lovely and I was very hungry.  I almost gave up on the fast, but hung in there.  When I got home Brad told me he'd made me dinner.  There was a huge pitcher of icewater in the fridge.  He made himself some scrambled eggs with salsa that smelled like heaven and I sipped ice water.

I went to bed early.  I was cold and kind of shivery, but the hunger subsided.  I did feel the start of a headache coming on, but I'd expected this as everytime I quit sugar cold turkey I get one.  Hopefully it won't be too bad.

One Day Down!.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Starting on the Inside

It is a lovely morning here.  We had a much needed rainstorm yesterday and the air is warm and moist, hinting at the heat of the day to come.  The mint plants push their unassuming blooms toward the sky.  A spider's gossamer spiral web shimmered in the early morning sunlight.  Grass and weeds wake from their brown dormancy and push geen shoots toward the sky.  Even the great oak tree seems more supple and alive.

As I begin to take care of Weehavyn, I realize I have neglected my own body in the past few years and this neglect is starting to show.  Poor eating habits and stress have added 30 pounds to my frame and my joints feel the extra burden.  I injured my hip over a year ago and it still hasn't healed properly.  My energy level is low and I just don't feel "myself".  A less stubborn person would accept this as the inevitable results of aging.  I refuse to do so.  Silver hairs aside, I will feel my best.

I read about the studies on Calorie Restricion five or six years ago.  While the concept of it makes a great deal of sense to me, I believe the daily practice of it is beyond me.  Then I stumbled upon the concept of intermittant fasting.  While there is some dissention among physicians (who make their money only when you are ill), it has long been known that for a healthy person, fasting "reboots" the system by forcing the body to use resources with optimal efficiency.  After much research I've decided to try a 7 day fast followed by 2 day a week 24 hour fasts.  To take advantage of longer term fasting benefits, I am planning on a 7 day fast to end on each of the Solstices and Equinoxes.

Today is my first day of my 7 day fast which I am planning to document daily in this blog.  I ate two eggs with salsa for breakfast since I have to work today.  I have a 3 day weekend starting tomorrow and am hoping this will allow me to get through the worst days before I have to come back  to work.  I stepped on the scales and am at 150.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finally a Name

This morning as I lay in my bed listening to the hot summer rain patter lightly on the roof and drip on the back deck, I decided it was time to get serious about naming our cozy home.  I had played with several names when we first got here, but I realize now we weren't well enough acquainted for me to know the cottage's true name.  After all, a name is a very powerful thing that shapes us as we shape it.  It is a very ancient belief that knowing someones true name gives the knower power.  Giving someone or something a name even more so.   Naming makes you a part of that which you named.

Perhaps this seems like a lot of trouble, putting some much power into a name.  Still, I wanted a name that would reflect the magical thing our cottage will become.  Even now, I see it covered with a wild tangle of climbing roses, the porches primly painted white beneath them.  A green carpet of rupturewort covers the ground with blooms of crocus, hyacinth, and foxglove peeking out in their seasons.  Flat stones mark meandering paths among graceful curved beds where flowers and food keep company like old friends.  It is a place for fairies and pixies to hide, gnomes to guard, and satyrs to caper to the piping of the crickets.

So there in the gentle place between sleep and waking, a name nudged at my awareness.  It flitted in and slipped away with a sly giggle when I tried to grasp it.  Finally I just lay there, open and waiting, knowing it was there for me.  And so it came....  WeeHavyn.  I smiled at the mischief that seemed to drip from it, the joy and gaiety it conjured. 

Our home has a name.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Garden Bones

We have some gardening challenges here at the cottage.  The entire place is on a fairly steep, rocky slope, there is lots of shade, and the only place with enough sunlight is around a Black Walnut tree.  In case you didn't know, Black Walnuts are not friendly neighbors.  They release a chemical called Juglone that kills many plants, tomatoes and peppers not being the least of them.  So what to do?

We could cut the tree down, but it would be years before the toxin dissappates from the soil as the roots break down.  Besides, it's a lovely tree that shades the house in the afternoon.  So I've decided on ferrocement enclosed beds.  This will allow me to control the soil, will drain well during our heavy rains, and keep out the Black Walnut roots.  Ferrocement is basically stucco over a wire mesh frame.  It is incredibly strong and can be made to any shape desired.  Since I had such a flexible material, I figured I might as well make something extraordinary.  My garden will spiral out from the Black Walnut tree, becoming even stronger with its curves.

I managed to get the main wire structure in before the heat of summer.  Now it requires a double layer of chicken wire and the cement coating.  I can do the chicken wire anytime, but the cement must wait until the coolness of fall to cure properly.  Meanwile I am left with merely the skeleton of a garden.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Long and Twisted Road

So it begins. 

There are so many new beginnings in the course of one's life.  Some beginnings are abrupt, the result of an ending and often very obvious in a physical sense.  Our move to the Missouri woods was such a beginning.  In the course of two months, we changed our entire lives, slamming one door and bursting though another.  Everything we knew was ruptured.  Yet we clung to the habits and beliefs that had brought us there, the only familiar thing we had left.

Yet that violent beginning was to become a catalyst to another beginning, one so subtle it would take nearly two years for me to discover it was happening.  As I look back, I realize I can never return to myself as I was then.  I am not the same person.  I have come to realize that many of the beliefs I held dear for much of my adult life no longer work.  The fabric of my reality has stretched and it no longer fits my old way of life.  I must expand myself to accommodate what I have learned.

I will no longer live in Fear.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The First Rose

It is barely May, yet the tender greens of Spring have given way to the rich colors of Summer.  The mighty oak that shelters the cottage from the burning rays of the sun sways contentedly back and forth in the gentle breeze. Great bumblebees amble among the fading honeysuckle blooms, humming their contentment.  The birds bustle here and there.  Hatching time is over and half-grown chicks shrill their demand for food to their busy parents.

I seem to be caught up in the frenzy around me.  I have so many projects to do and I feel as if they all must be done right away.  My tomato plants are large and sturdy, begging to be put into beds that haven't been constructed yet.  The stone steps to the front door wait to be set in place and the laundry area is an unfinished corner in the bedroom.  And still I am gathering information, weaving different lifestyle elements into the tapestry of self-sufficiency I see so clearly in my mind's eye.

I have been so busy I almost didn't notice that one of the first loving tasks I perfomed at our cottage was bearing fruit.  Well, in any case, flowers.  The roses have burst forth in trembling, adolescent glory.  Sweet blossoms, wreathed in pink and cream, nod on one side of the porch while the other side is host to a wilder combination of orange and hot pink.  I'm a bit perplexed about this as the flowers are supposed to be of the same variety.  Yet the very fact that I nearly missed this important event tells me I need to slow down. Everything does not need to be done at once.  The steps are not important, the whole garden bed does not need to be planted this year, and the laundry area will be done in it's own time. 

It would truly be a shame to miss this journey in pursuit of the destination.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time Slips Away



It is only the end of April, yet this Spring has rushed into Summer with wanton abandon.  The honeysuckle behind the house drapes lushly over its tall cousins and perfumes the air with intense sweetness.  The air is warm and moist and I feel as though I am far behind in my gardening. 

Yet there has been progress.  The wee roses I nestled into the earth when we moved here are now wearing buds, ready to burst forth in fragrant glory.  Golden Sweet peas and nasturtiums reach for the sun in the front porch baskets and I just planted more nasturtiums in the side baskets.  Nasturtiums are a lovely container plant that adds bright flowers and peppery round leaves to salads.

Much of this time has been spent planning.  We are blessed to have lovely old trees around our home.  We have a great deal of shade in our little yard and must work around this for our garden.  To add to the complexity of the problem, a black walnut stands right in the middle of the only place a garden can go.  While it is a lovely tree and sees to it that our home is shaded nearly all day, it is not a good neighbor for most plants.  I have mulled over my options from cutting it down and killing the stump with a series of treatments with Roundup, to just leaving it and learing to work with its prickly personality.  But in the end there was really only one path that aligns with my philosophy.  So the black walnut tree will stay where it is.  It's strong trunk will be the center of my spiral garden bed, perhaps adorned with a grape vine, and I will garden in ways that allow the tree and my other plants to live in peace.

I have learned that what is right is seldom what is easy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Planting Roses

We have moved into our new home and have set about making it truly ours. Of course the first thing I did was plant two climbing roses next to the porch. After much thought, I chose a variety called PiƱata. Its flaming yellow and orange blooms are sure to inspire passion and creativity in our new home.

I had to use a fencing bar to dig up the rocky soil. The rich dark smell of fresh turned earth stirs something primal in me. Even though I am planting a rose, which we cannot eat or wear, I feel a strange sort of satisfaction while nestling it in the earth. I feel a connection to this place that I did not before, as if I have given it a part of me. As I give more of myself to my home, it gives more back. We become part of each other.

There is much to do here. The lot is rocky and bare, only a few intrepid wild plants grow here. Yet in my head, I see masses of blooms swaying above the green of grass. Lush plants overflow the raised garden beds and mints grow with wild abandon beneath the great Oak that spreads it limbs protectively over the house.

We will bring more life here.



Growing Pains

Did you have a favorite piece of clothing when you were a child, something that just made you happy when you put it on?  I did.  It was a pretty little shirt, all blue with ruffles on the sleeves and hem.  I loved wearing that shirt.  Then one day I put it on and it just didn’t fit quite right anymore.    It was hard to describe, maybe it was just a little snug in the arms, or it didn’t hang as gracefully as it once did.  I had outgrown it.  Of course, being human, I resisted this change.  I clung to the shirt for a while, ignoring my vague sense of discomfort.  But eventually I was forced to let it go.
Thistleglade has become like that shirt.  It’s still as beautiful as ever, filled with the power of Mother Nature.  It has not changed.  I have.  I can no long reconcile my belief that we desperately need the wild places of the world to stay wild with taking part of that wildness and making it mine.  I tried to ignore what was happening for a while, but my old worldview has become too uncomfortable to bear.  I must let it go and seek a new one.  Letting go is always so frightening.  I fear that only emptiness waits for me.  But life has taught me that whenever something leaves my life, something much more rich and complex enters. 

The goats and Sugar are gone, the trailer stands empty, and silence lives once more in Thistleglade.  We have found a new home in town.  It is a tiny, charming cottage sheltered by an immense oak tree.  It waits, like a blank canvas, to be painted with our hopes, dreams, living, and loving. 

Here’s to the magic of Growing Pains!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Introducing Our New Cottage!

Have you ever seen a house and had it whisper "Welcome Home."? That's exaclty what happened when we drove by this little cottage sitting on a hill. The moment I saw it, visions of the front porch covered with a wild tangle of climbing roses and a quaint picket fence intertwined in thorny stems and lush blossoms swam through my head. Imagine my joy to discover this home was going to be our very own!!

Those of you who have followed me through Hedgewyck and Thistleglade may wonder how I could give up the wild green forest for the bustling center of town. It all comes down to awareness. We set out to live a more sustainable, self sufficient life. On the surface, living back in the woods, off grid and growing one's own food seems to fit the bill. But we realized with growing uneasiness that we were using far more energy that we saved to maintain the lifestyle. Then, as I contemplated the best way to heal our abused Thistleglade, I realized the best way to help her heal was to not be there. We were definitely not self-sufficient either. Our dependence on fossil fuel and driving was at direct odds with what we wanted to accomplish. Enter the concept of Urban Self Sufficiency. We have an 80'x150' lot. West Plains has very liberal livestock laws.

Let's see if we can create Eden in the city.