I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Friday, November 25, 2022

Lifestyles, contentment and thankfulness....

Leigh's post over at 5acresandadream.com has got me thinking, about  lifestyles, thankfulness and contentment.

Over 5 years ago, we retired from our jobs, packed up and moved here, to the hill. After a couple of years of fruitless searching, we found this property on-line, came to see it, and knew.

We downsized our living space from a 2 and ½ story house

with basement, dining room, living room, kitchen, back porch, verandah, (I loved that verandah!!)

and 3 bedrooms,
to a square log cabin with no basement, unheated back porch, a bigger verandah, and the Battery House.
August 2017

It involved absolutely getting rid of 40 years of stuff we wouldn't need. We were never on the consumer bandwagon, but one does acquire stuff, especially as members of one's family pass on, and there are important family things one cannot bear to dispose of. I don't know how many truck loads of stuff we hauled to the auction barn. We filled two storage units, one small and one regular sized one, with the stuff we were keeping. Knowing that we were going off grid also contributed to the clear out...how many electrical appliances does one own, griddles, mixers, blankets, etc.? I knew how small the kitchen was, and what little cupboard space there was. When all was said and done, I don't really miss any of it, really, (although on recently making Christmas fruit cake, I wish I'd kept those cake tins with the removable bottoms!!)...but, bread pans work. A cake is still a cake, no matter it's shape, and the fruit cake pans, bundt pans, angel cake pans etc. all went. (can you see that I like to bake?)

It was very strange to lock the back door on the way out (oops, almost missed the kitchen clock on the wall), the last time, and be homeless for a week until the sale closed. We lived in a tent with a screened dining tent alongside it, on a friend's acreage for that week, no bills, no commitments...it was very freeing...just let the lawyers do their thing.

Our house is small, there is a place for everything we need, and mostly, everything is in it's place. The bonus is all the space we have outside, to watch the changing seasons, and the surprises that Mother Nature dishes out. To have free sight lines (within our treed boundaries) to the sky, to the morning and evening sun, the moon rise and set, to see the clear swathe of Milky Way across the night sky, to watch the sun throughout the seasons on its inexorable journey along the horizon, to the south in winter, and (yeah!) after December, head north again.

My garden THEN

Only part of my gardens NOW

I am content. We have our good health, food I can grow, heat from the wood we harvested, electricity from our panels and battery bank, and a source of good water. What else does one need? I am so thankful that we live in a country where this is possible.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Random stuff....

A Happy Thanksgiving to all our American neighbours. 

We have a nice skiff of snow now, that I hope won't melt, but temperatures are drifting up into the plus side of freezing today.

First snow

 Last night we ate the final fresh broccoli shoots and pak choy in a stir fry, livened up colourfully, by the chopped red peppers I froze earlier. I love to look at something I've made and identify all the stuff in it that grew in my gardens.

The overwintering pepper has put out 3 peppers, but seems to be slowing down on the blooming front now, since daylight hours are shorter.

Just before the snow came, we had visitors in the yard.

We watched a flock of turkeys meander all over, constantly vocalizing with each other. Apparently this wasn't the first time they'd been here, as a trail camera close to the house caught them strutting by on another occasion. 

When starting a knitting pattern, it is wise to read through all the instructions first. In the case of the Papillon shawl, that is a bad idea, as it looks very, very confusing. Even the designer says to just start and work through the instructions one at a time. With some trepidation, I finally did just that, and she is right! There is a lot of counting involved, but it is much easier than I expected, and the pattern makes total sense. 

There is still a long way to go, and think I'll have to invest in a longer circular needle cord.
Back at our Thanksgiving time in October, on a foray around the back roads enjoying the coloured leaves, we came upon an eagle and a crow arguing over some road kill. 

The bird swooped up in front of the car and perched in this tree, waiting for us to leave.



Saturday, November 5, 2022

Winter...where art thou??

November 5, 2022

 Harvesting lettuce in November???

Plants putting out buds and blooms???

perennial poppy


brown-eyed susan

We have had a long string of warm sunny days, with nights well above freezing. I find it very unsettling, as this weather, at this time of year, is such a deviation from what I have been used to all my life. 

The pond is low, awaiting winter's top up.

The pepper plant I dug up, potted, pruned and brought into the house at the end of September,

has been putting out blooms that I've pollinated, and now there are tiny peppers forming.
 There are furry, white butt bugs flying around...
aphids in their winged phase

Chainsaw milled hemlock timbers for next summer's project....the root cellar.

another pile is behind this one

 and chainsaw milled pine lumber for other projects.

Indoors, I started to quilt the Christmas wall hanging... but it is so warm and sunny outside... not much is getting done on it.


Come on snow!!