List-making

13Jul12
Sleeping on the porch

Never underestimate the power of a mosquito net to get a good night’s sleep.

Once again I’m blogging from outside, as the house is a furnace. On the one hand I was extremely disappointed as the forecast for potential thundershowers changed to a clear night, but it meant we could sleep outside without worry so I’m hopeful that we can at least get a restful night’s sleep. Friday night is the night when D. falls asleep somewhere around 8 or 9pm, due to a long week of working and crossing items off the to-do list. Hardly a day goes by without me walking into one of the rooms in the house and noticing some of D.’s handiwork, such as a new shelf, or repotted plants or a complete room makeover.

Our house has undergone a lot of changes/upgrades over the last year and a bit. Last year we:

  • Painted the entire house
  • Dug up our front lawn and our neighbour’s side yard for gardens.
  • Removed the decrepit shed at the side of the yard and rebuilt the retaining wall.
  • Built a gate and path down to the train tracks behind the house.
  • Took out a closet in the now office.
  • Took out two giant trees – one from the front and one from the backyard.

This year we:

  • Added several centimetres of compost to the front garden, plus mulched and woodchipped the paths.
  • Rebuilt the deck – it’s now big enough for several people/dogs to sleep on it!
  • Created an efficient water collection system with six rainbarrels (now if only it would rain again!)
  • Insulated the entire basement.
  • Rebuilt the front steps.

Now, when I said “we” completed those projects I meant mostly Dan with some help from the house and other friends and family members. So let’s look at some of the other things we (as in mostly me) accomplished over the last year and a bit (note that I’d never done anything on this list before last year – I’d never even been strawberry picking before)!

  • Made grape jelly, pear jam, apple butter and strawberry jam.
  • Pickled many jars of asparagus.
  • Made pesto from basil, garlic scapes and garlic mustard.
  • Made soap + passed that skill onto my mother who has taken over the role of prime soapmaker for many of my friends.
  • Made toothpowder/toothpaste.
  • Prepared apple sauce and froze hand-picked strawberries and other donated fruits and vegetables.
  • Made cream cheese.
  • Regularly made sourdough bread for about a month.
  • Created a cleaning schedule and guidelines to keep a house of five running smoothly.
  • Began learning about herb drying, starting with chamomile.

The reason why I started making this list today is that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do, and wanted to reflect on how far we’ve come. While I’m frustrated that almost everything is being eaten by a variety of critters on our back plot and I just don’t know what to do, I must remind myself that this is only my second year of having my own garden and being around for the whole season, so it’s okay to not have all the answers. And there’s a reason we signed up for a CSA to complement our garden offerings.

I think D. and I both feel a bit of a crunch since we now have exactly three months until the baby comes, which means three months to finish the solar dehydrator; build storage space in the kneewalls of our bedroom; build a bike port; build a rabbit hutch and get rabbits; install solar panels; repair the sidewalk along the back of the house; preserve as much as possible for winter; and probably more! Of course, not all those things have to have happen before October, but some of them certainly do. Let’s just hope my nesting instincts kick in and overpower the third trimester fatigue, eh folks?

Well, now I’m off to do a language lesson – another goal on my list is to be trilingual by the time our wee one is two, so, uh, wish me luck!

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