Sunday, April 22, 2012

To-Do Updated

The to-do list has done me in.

However, remember that pile of wood in the backyard? Well, it’s moved to the fire-pit, ready for the grandboys and smores' campfires. 

I burned all scrap wood from the chicken coop and organized all remaining wood. As you can see below, the driveway area is cleared. Weed-eating is completed, and wildflowers planted.

That’s all folks.

Tomorrow, maybe I will till.

So, in six days, a list of 12 items is down to 9, which means it took me an entire week to complete three activities. At this rate, I ‘may’ be ready by next season.

  • Switch summer/winter clothes (this isn’t really urgent since I didn’t put all the summer clothes away anyway)
  • Organize crafts
  • Till for morning glories
  • Build garden boxes
  • Till for garden boxes
  • Clean gas grill
  • Lay walk
  • Plant marigolds
  • Spread Diatemaceous Earth

Reminder still: Planters under front porch

Oh, and I’ve added one that I’d forgotten:
  • Fence in chicken run
So, 9 is back up to ten. I'm sure if I really concentrated, I could make it even longer, but isn't Sunday supposed to be a day of rest?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The "To Do" List

I'd certainly love to have a "honey-do" list. One would imagine things getting done a lot quicker, however in my past experiences, that isn't necessarily the case. Consequently, I just have the standard "to do" list. 

The past few weeks have been physically and emotionally draining, what with the finances for a new truck engine and then building the chicken coop. When I screwed my finger yesterday, I decided to give it all a rest, mostly my body and mind. Nourish my soul a bit by just sitting on this porch on top of the mountain and appreciating. Start fresh next week, which just happens to be tomorrow. 

So here it is, in no particular order:

  • switch summer/winter clothes
  • organize crafts
  • organize wood
  • weed-eat
  • till to plant morning glory plants
  • rake for wildflower bed
  • build garden boxes
  • till for garden boxes
  • clean gas grill
  • lay walk
  • plant marigolds in cement blocks
  • spread Diatenaceous Earth
*Reminder to put empty planters under front porch - no storage shed
*Reminder to use to large tupperware totes as garden boxes

I'm sure there will be more as I sit here, but that's enough to start, don't you think? Check back often to see how it's going. 

You notice how there is nothing on this to-do list about writing. Sad, isn't it?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Listen When The Universe Speaks

It’s been nine days since the last entry when I’d put all the wall supports on the coop. Nine days of hammering, stapling, screwing, measuring, sawing, and hammering some more. This morning, eight chickens and Foghorn went into their new digs. Finally.

I have to secure the chicken wire where it overlaps, and some other cosmetics – folding over sharp wire edges, cutting off screws and nails that protrude, and then, of course, build the yard. I put the little feeder in the coop because I’d not finished the feed trough. Luckily, with all the nature to scratch around in, they have little interest in the feed. Which is a good thing. 

I’d decided to do nothing more strenuous today than make a pot of coffee, or open the deck chair. But, as so often happens, we (or I) fail to acknowledge our limits. I knew I was tired. I knew I was sore. Still, I wanted to complete my chores, particularly the feeder. After all, it only needed two sides attached. I should’ve heeded the first sign when the screw gun battery died, but no, have to be in control of everything. Charged up the battery and back at it.

I thought I learned long ago that whenever you force the issue, nothing goes right. Obviously not. All the screws went in crooked and had to be backed out. Wood splintered. But still, on I went when I should’ve stopped. Well, I’ve stopped now that I screwed my finger. Sliced a nice chunk right off the side.

Again, I had to be hit over the head to listen to the universe. Heed those signs when she speaks. She knows far better than us.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Chicken Coop Building Update

It may not look any different to some viewers, and when I detail what I've done, it may not sound like a lot. However, done here on the One Woman Homestead, it was a bit. Two more days, tops, by myself, and Foghorn, Dottie I and Dottie II, and the other girls will finally have their home.

Today, I measured, cut, and installed all supports for the sides, as well as installed one complete side. Four hours with 15 minute breaks on the hour, because, well, I'm 55 and just settling into my new found, labor intensive, health conscious life. I'd say, that's pretty damn good. 

Here's what it looked like before today - for comparison. Can you see the difference?? Please!

What else did I do all day? I bit of work, and a bit of writing: Early Morning Moments - AROS

By the end of 2012, I will be in good shape in more ways than one.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

One Woman Farm Time Management

Down here on _____________ isn't really a farm but it's my small start-up homestead, and believe me, it needs time management far more than a corporate conference room. Especially when there's a creative process to think about also. 

Early mornings, back in the day, were for feeding animals, gathering eggs, tending the fields, repair chores, and doing any cooking/baking necessary for the day. Most often, those chores were designated women's and men's. Today, there's no such designation, especially if there's only one -woman. 

Early mornings are also prime creating time. Perfect to sit on the deck with a cup of hot java, listening to birdsong, watching the sun blink its way into the new day, smelling the fresh dew - all makes for crystalline poetry, imaginative fiction, and essays of plans and dreams. 

By the time nature's creativity has been devoured, breakfast, which has really become brunch, is over and cleaned, and the animals tended to, the heat of Grandfather Sun is high. Cooking, baking, and chores become misery. If reversed, as was yesterday, the exertion leaves little for the creative process. 

So it my dilemma. 

The breeze has cooled yet the Thunder gods are roaring. Maybe, it's time to pull out the old day timer and plot this homesteading process. There must be a way for a one woman farm. 

Another Day Has Begun

Another day has begun here on ______ . What’s your name suggestion for the homestead? Keep in mind that next year it will be in a different location within the North Georgia Mountains. I’d love to call it dk’s Green Acres, but that’s too easy.

Last year in March, I wrote 2011 Rambling Decisions. Unbeknownst at the time, the third scenario of moving to the mountains would be the decision. Here I am and the days roll on, getting busier and hotter, with more disasters and greater blessings daily.

Mae, the big 350, V8 (named after Mae West: “You only liveonce, but if you do it right, once is enough”) I bought for my journey from Chicago to here, sits on the gravel drive with a blown rod thanks to a mechanic with a shiny traveling shop but little knowledge. He replaced my leaking radiator with one fit for a Tonka truck. Thankfully, I found the excellent mechanic I’d met in June 2011 on that Pictureless on a Brakeless Day. He will tow Mae thirty miles, replace the engine with a used GM Goodwrench that has 33K miles, replace the radiator with one designed for a V8, and replace all the fluids for $1150, which makes his labor charge about $250. Huge blessing.

Out of ten hens and one rooster (Foghorn), I’ve only lost one. She’s in the freezer awaiting garden planting time where she will return to the earth and fertilize my veggies. Thanks to new friends, the chicken coop is just about done. It’s taken three weeks, but you can’t complain about free labor and even financial donations to the cause. The remainder belongs to me – sides, chicken wire, door, and fenced yard. I can do that. Probably though, not all on one day since the weather resembles mid-August instead of the first week of April. I cut the ½ acre lawn yesterday afternoon and reclined with a beer the rest of the day.

Sunday, the outside water faucet sprung a leak. I removed the knob to turn it off by the bolt. Unfortunately, the piping was all so very old, it broke off completely, spouting 3-4 gallons per minute of water into the temporary chicken yard, and the driveway. My neighbors and I tried to turn of the main line to the house, but not only was it sunk 3’ into the yard, it was surround by mud and slush. We managed to clear away enough to get to the line, but the valve broke off in our hands. There was nothing to do but shut off the well water to the whole top of the mountain. Finally, since my V8 was going nowhere, the owner came with a cap for the faucet. Yesterday, my front yard was a construction zone as the water main was replaced with new pipes, handle, and sleeve. It’s still 3’ underground, but attainable.

The moth caterpillars have hatched in the millions, figuratively. The Georgia gnats have never gone away, and while this picture may send shivers down some spines, it shows my constant battle, which at the moment, I seem to be winning. That could change. Cutting the grass loosed another million flying insects. Additional chore added to the list: making it snow in the mountains again – soon.

So given all that, the beauty, the strangeness, and the fact that this ‘spot’ is temporary, what say you to the name? Yes, it’s another day here on _______ .