Friday, September 30, 2011

Please Excuse Our Absence

Homesteading recently has involved plenty of activity, but none of it very entertaining.

The heat has broken.  We desperately still need rain, but in essence the garden produced very little.  Frequent watering could not overcome the overwhelming heat.

We took our house in town off the market.  New windows were installed this week (let's not even talk about contractors and all the fun involved with them, 'kay?).  We had to move out during the replacement, and 34 windows later, we can already tell a difference.

Twice we've been laid low by feverish children.

In an effort to contribute to continued preparation to move (which includes paying off the mortgage and land debt), I am preparing for a craft fair.  Please pray that my efforts will be successful (at least I would like to pay back to the family budget what I've spent in yarn and other supplies).

The Assistant loves school, and being with other kids all day is great for her!

I have returned to teaching Catechesis of the Good Shepherd 5 times a week, although the above-mentioned sick kids have caused a few cancellations.  I began training for Level II, which necessitates travel to another city.  I'm not sure I will be able to complete it... 14 trips may be took expensive for our already-strapped budget.

We begin to prepare our food stores and activities for the long cold of winter.  It is good that we have over a month before the fire place will be needed again.

What is God's will for us now?  We don't yet know.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Monday, September 12, 2011

This is the dash board of my neighbor's Chevy truck. He has been maintaining it himself for twenty years.

He is the same neighbor that has saved our arses a few times and is pictured below. On a slightly related note, the best book (excepting of course the Gospels) concerning the Christian life of poverty is this book:

In my more rational moments I realize the need to be poorer, which is to say I can know that I need to rely more on Christ.

One more slightly tangental thought; Technology is not a neutral force in our culture. Though I cannot deny it has some merit. That being said, watch this video. (It has bleeped out salty language)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anyone else torn? Between the soft city life and the adventure of the country lies a great amount of risk and work. I feel at peace when there but not thinking about being somewhere else.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Man's Dignity Through Work

Labor day weekend, for a time if expected laziness, turned out to be full of labor and effort, much to my surprise and pleasure. (I like to have a task list and complete it.)

Saturday, James' truck Grey Dog blew a head gasket, which resulted in James and a neighbor from up the street pushing a dead truck half a mile home. God bless neighbors who help fools like us. After the truck's demise, James and I cleaned out the truck, preparing it for possible repair/disposal. The wagonload of possessions necessitated a plan to clean the garage in the near rather than distant future.

Monday, James cleaned the garage while I weeded, cleared finished garden beds, and tidied the wood pile behind the garage. We are in the midst of removing our compost heaps in favor of less mousy compost barrels. James also completed the awesome task of hanging the ladders on the wall of the garage, protecting them from rot and leaf debris.

After an exciting and unplanned run to the airport, and a delightful, planned excursion to the park with my family, we decided a visit to Purgatory Ranch would round out the long weekend nicely. I had previously proposed that James chop wood while the kids and I pick up sticks, but that AND cleaning out the garage had been deemed too taxing for a day off. Our intention was to enjoy a picnic supper, after which James would fire his Judge.

Upon our arrival to the land we discovered, much to our delight, that the culvert/access onto our land had been completed! The barbed wire fence was still in place, so we could not inaugurate its use, but we were able to admire it. After supper and a stroll to the (still dry and junked) Six Penny Pond, we spied our neighbor to the south, who shall henceforth be called Boomer, waiting for us.

He generously offered the use of his wire clippers, post remover, and post planter (okay, I don't know the actual names for these. I'll ask him next time I see him.). He showed James how to unbend the wire clips holding our saggy baggy barbed wire onto the post. Then he gave James the post remover and James pulled two posts so we could move them to the property line and the other side of the road access. I am amazed at the ingenuity of the inventor of the post planter. The construction, while requiring knowledge for cutting and welding metal pipe, is still uncomplicated but certainly facilitates the replacement of posts.

James also removed a large rock from the middle of the drive (that would have been a "so long oilpan" type of accident). We also marked the location of a tree stump that needs to be removed. We discussed the need for some smoothing of the joint between the new drive and our land. Boomer offered the use of his tractor, but that will have to wait until he has a new tire on it. He patched the tube himself after driving through a field of honey locusts, but didn't have the oomph to put the tire back in place. He told us he had overdone, and James told him next time to call us.

We need to chop/split wood soon. I pray the cool weather holds!

I have lost, somehow in the writing, the sense of work interspersed with friendly conversation and teasing. We have a good neighbor. It's too bad we weren't able to sell our house this summer. Our next venture closer to the land will begin in May. For now, we will have to content ourselves with frequent visits.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise. It's Purgatory Ranch.