Friday, June 6, 2008
On Bounty and Tightening our Belts
This poorly-focused photo is of our first raspberries...the ONLY raspberries, since the canes aren't really liking the buckets as well as some of the other plants. But they are hanging in there!
"Bucketville" continues to grow and produce. Since we did not plant any plants for harvesting this summer (refer to past post for all that reasoning process), we have a lot of healthy and bountiful green things that will be edible... later. This has really encouraged both of us that we can grow things. We already are beginning to understand that some plants will do naturally well in this climate right from the very start, while others will need a bit of care (and more shade) until they're big enough to fend for themselves. Jack seems to have a way with germinating seeds we'd never have known for sure we could grow, and many we'd never thought of trying to grow...until we ate them or discovered the potential for an unusual fruit or use such as forage/fodder, or medicinal.
On this grateful Friday before shabbat sundown, I'm so thankful some of our "green babies" are really doing well. It's an encouragement that we can have a successful garden of our own on a larger scale the next time around.
Another thing to report is that the price of gasoline has taken a hard toll on our household. I am now between job assignments, so that's a budgetary hit. It now takes $50 for me to fill my car tank, and $60 for Jack's truck. That means I don't drive anywhere unnecessary, and his of course is for his commute. Today we had to make the decision to forgo purchasing any more local real milk...the grocery budget has shrunk and the commute for the milk, though local, is still an hour each direction. That's as local as we have around here. It's just not wise for us to continue that, and as we don't have a cow nearby, we'll be cutting back dramatically on the dairy now.
We're in the growing pain stage, but it's all good; we consider this time a valuable schoolmaster. We are experimenting and having some successes, and one thing I appreciate is finding some baseline for deciding what we will and won't be incorporating into the larger homestead plan for the longterm...we're finding out some of our preferences and getting familiar with other things we haven't started yet. We feel this is a huge benefit that might save us from making the mistake of investing precious resources in things we initially found appealing (tools, types of plants and trees, skills we want to undertake, animals we want to care for, types of house plans, what sort of gardens to put in and how they'll be cultivated and maintained, types of energy and sustainability aids, etc).
Last year, we were far enough away from our ultimate goal of acquiring land that we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel being anything but a pinprick. Though I've not reported on it in a long time...of neccessity because of many pending negotiations that are premature, and many that have fallen through...we are now positioned much farther in that process than we expected to be at this stage. That is both a catalyst and a torture at time...ha!...like dangling a carrot in front of the donkey, closer and closer but not quite there yet.
But we can see the carrot! As we tighten our belts a notch, this is good practice in just another area we'll need ingenuity not as the exception, but as the norm. That's good practice for frugality overall, and even moreso on our homestead beyond the 'burbs (the one we hope to have in time) since at that point the plan will morph into phasing out our "outside jobs" and focus more on raising what we need right at home. Let's see what comes...the journey is incredible!
I'm very grateful for my husband, without whom I'd not be on this journey. He is all of my happiest moments...he is my most cherished friend and love. And I'm grateful, every day, to God...who made this world of beauty and possibility and has guided us and sustained us through some rough times and good. Without Him, I'd not have a truly unusual and original life...and it's the best sort to have :)
I'm also grateful for the bloggers who open parts of their lives online so that we can share and learn from them. I love you guys more than you know, and appreciate you so much!
Tonight, we share in the happiness of Kathie and her sweetheart at Two Frog Home as they have the joy of owning their first home!!! What a dream earned...and now realized! It was an especially great conclusion to a real nail-biting drama of ups and downs as the closing date grew near and there was so much back-and-forth...and a beginning of more beginnings. We're SO happy for you two, Kathie!!!
To all my fellow-bloggers and readers, may your dreams continue to be sustained with hope, prayers, and wonderful friends in this incredible online community...and may your night tonight and day tomorrow be restful and restoring.
The blog's now closed till sundown tomorrow. Shabbat Shalom!