The Days are Just Packed

I just saw that title on a Calvin and Hobbes book. Of course, Calvin’s packed days (sitting in a tree all day waiting for Susie to happen along so that he can pelt her with water balloons) are not quite the same as our packed days!

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A boreal owl seen on our road yesterday. It was SO cute.

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Katie getting towed by Noah on the tricycle!

So what are the days packed with?  Nothing out of the ordinary, really.  Piano, violin, and poetry practice has been ramping up toward festival time.  Ben played his piano entry yesterday.  I was unable to attend, but got to enjoy the video that Graeme took.  The rest of the entries run from Thursday evening to Saturday morning.  Graeme took the four boys for the last down hill ski of the season today.  They all came home tired and happy.

Danica and I spent the day putting away over $2000 worth of food.  Yesterday was The Big Order day from the local food buying club.  It was my group’s turn to help with the big divide – something like over $30,000 worth of food.  It was the first time I was involved in the big divide (at each order our smaller groups divide among ourselves).  I left home at 6am and wasn’t back until almost 6pm.  It was an amazing operation.  They certainly have it down to a science.  This particular club is the second oldest buying club in Ontario, and it is the largest.  Anyway, Danica and I had to figure out where to stash all that food!  Quite an impressive amount went under the pool table.  And a good reorganization of the pantry took care of most of the rest of it. (This is the job Katie helped with! 🙂 It’s always so satisfying to get that order, and each time I’m better at remembering the things I wanted to order, estimating how much of it we’ll use, anticipating the increases based on family growth, etc.  I just like having all that food on hand.  You never know!

Although the snow just keeps coming we are dreaming spring.  For a while a lot of my time was being taken up on tracking down the goats that I want.  Unfortunately for me, the breed I’ve settled on is harder to come by than I expected.  The good side of that (at least as I anticipate it) the goat kids will be very marketable and rare in this area.  There have been others looking for them on Kijiji!  For a few days I was literally dreaming about goats all night long!   That’s sort of subsided a bit as I’m in waiting mode – waiting to hear what kids are born to the breeders I’ve been corresponding with; deciding if/where I will drive to to pick them up; planning fencing and shelter.  That is the next big job.  Another thing to research: how to set up secure goat fencing on a steep, rocky hillside!  I think I’ve got my plan – at least the rough version.  Meanwhile, I have the opportunity (should I decide upon it) to rent (for next to nothing) a producing goat and her kid (for company) for the summer.  Hmmm…. decisions, decisions.  I need to think on that one a little longer.

Other projects in the line-up include:
(any bets as to whether or not all of these projects get done?) 🙂

    • small timber frame storage shed
    • digging out hole in hillside for root cellar
    • pouring concrete root cellar
    • lots, lots, lots of raised garden beds using a variety of sources – driftwood logs, hypertufa containers, found objects, stone, palettes
    • cold frames
    • compost bins
    • learning how to build and building dry stacked retaining wall on entire hillside including in front of said root cellar (which will have a round “hobbit” door); thinking of talking to some experienced dry-stackers and seeing if we could turn this into a workshop on our property – want to sign up?
    • still don’t have the window and chicken door in coop; poor birds; must accomplish this soon!
    • construct outdoor chicken enclosure near current coop
    • meat birds
    • more laying hens
    • guinea fowl (should be ready mid-May); the tick removal brigade
    • top bar hives; expanding the bee operation
    • giant tree/shrub order (should be arriving early May); it seemed like a long way off when we ordered and now it’s almost here – a little hard to believe with the very wintery conditions we are still having!  This will include apple, cherry, plum, raspberry, saskatoon…. to name a few.  We are SO excited!
    • digging up and planting sugar maples; planting acorns (Zach wants to plant for edibility and found out a neighbour has a contact for someone who has selected for this.)
    • set up a spot for a broody hen and hopefully hatch out some chicks
    • soak, buck, membrane, and tan my deer hides; I’ve been watching the weather for weeks waiting for the first warm stretch to do this in
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The hides are in that bag! I get a little nervous on the warmish days and it’s baking in the sun. But I stuck my nose in there the other day and it smells “fine”.

  • feed my bees!! I’m getting very anxious for a warm day.  I held my ear up to the hive a few days ago and heard a couple of buzzes.  It could have been the last bee dying.
  • five more weeks (once a week) of wrestling; a friend is the coach at the university and was willing to run a session for some of us in the homeschool group to give wrestling a try.  So far the kids are loving it.
  • collecting clay from local sources to play around with – maybe some pinch pots, slab work, and fire it in a pit-fire or something similar; some great ideas in Make it Wild!
  • can’t forget foraging!  Should soon be keeping an eye out for fiddleheads – my first foraging goal of spring.

Oh, and here’s the real challenge!  As Proverbs 3:9 -10 presses upon our hearts we’ve been challenged to become much better stewards of the resources we have, to be creative, inventive, and….. patient. Well, that is, at least, one of the challenges.  I feel like there are so many these days!  Good, growth stimulating challenges!  And as I look around me day-by-day at these children and my husband – these wonderful people I get to live with and grow with and eat with and play with and laugh with and cry with and pray with – I am filled to overflowing.

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2 Responses to The Days are Just Packed

  1. Lisa says:

    Wow! So many exciting plans — I love how your mind works. 🙂

  2. Paisley says:

    hearing your train of thought about all the plans makes me miss you!! it’s so refreshing to hear so many fun and innovative ideas … gets my mind thinking too!! Hugs to all of you!

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