Archive for June, 2012

I’m a good wife- no doubt about it. “Housewife” on the other hand well, let’s just say I’m a better house-building-wife than domestic goddess. There just always seem to be about a million things I’d rather do than ‘tend house’. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to get up this morning to find the basement flooded from the massive storm that blew through in the last twenty four hours.

Ever the optimist (or irresponsible as I can get away with, take your pick) I decided that I’d deal with it later in the day, since it was still raining and pouring into the house, and in the meantime would work indoors on the site. I had, after all, already loaded up my favourite podcasts and was ready for a day of politics and lime plastering. So I headed to the site, happy to put my worries to the side for ten or twelve hours.

Ya. No such luck. The site was flooded worse than the basement, which I might have guessed since our road is washed out. I got into the house to find buckets floating, bags of lime submerged, power tools underwater… So the priority quickly became to try to find all of the tools and get them out of the water, then get the few bags of lime that were stacked high enough to have avoided the flood to the shop, dump the wet bags of lime into buckets to prep before it was too late, check out the road to see what sections were above water… Went far enough that the water was to my knees and a mama duck and her ducklings swam across the road before deciding to turn back. There’s no way we’re going anywhere anytime soon.

After that bit of excitement, went downstairs and salvaged what I could. Fortunately I keep a lot of stuff in plastic buckets and totes. Couple of mattresses that I had to haul upstairs but that’s about the extent of it. Apart from the carpet that will have to be torn out, which’ll have to wait until the water is drained… Which’ll be… any day now?

Right, back to my point about housework. So I’m stuck indoors and out of excuses reasons I can’t possibly fit in housework (I don’t mind putting in a 14 hour day if it keeps me from dishes) and bah- there’s a ton of crap to be done! How the heck did it get so bad? Like laundry- I hardly ever look in the laundry room. I wear the same work clothes all week and I do a wash at the end of the week- easy peasy. I’ve done five loads so far today, and I’m not done yet. It would seem Mr. I-need-five-hundred-pairs-of-socks hasn’t checked the laundry room recently either. Holy cow!

And then just the general ‘stuff’, what the heck??? I can’t believe people do this regularly. I’d tear my hair out. I am so not cut out for this. Silver lining- I’ve been blaring music to keep me going, which is a nice change because I’m too cheap to replace my MP3 player that won’t play my M4As so I don’t normally listen to music during the day. Blues, naturally, because it’s that kind of day. And it’s bringing me back to childhood memories of when I wanted to be an old black man, so I’m getting my groove on even while managing to sulk (ever so talented I is).

Well, now that I’ve written a blog at long last I should probably head out to take pictures of the site, to accompany the blog, and then maybe check the road again, and then maybe I should double check the site to make sure I didn’t miss any tools under water, and then- well, something’s certain to come up. I’m sure I can’t possibly fit in another load of laundry, or possibly get to vacuuming today with everything there is to be done.

our road

ducks crossing the road

swimming in the field

coming in for a landing

normally dry land

(Ah, and a totally gratuitous video link for anyone also stuck inside, maybe less than loving your day- I’m totally girl crushing on this chick, what a voice. Enjoy!)

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Long Overdue Update

Well, it’s been a long time between blogs. Not for lack of news but lack of a computer. And then indecision regarding what kind of computer to buy (I wanted something cheap and reasonable on power), then was enjoying ‘life unplugged’ too much to care, and finally (when Shane went ahead and made a decision for me) sheer aversion to new technology. Anyhow, I do indeed have the ability to communicate online again but may take a while to get back into it. I’m a luddite at heart and it can take me a long time to get used to (let alone appreciate) anything new.
So- lots of news since my last blog and I’ll try to sum it up reasonably quickly. I believe the last time I wrote I was complaining (quel surprise) about the shelterbelt program having been cut from the budget. Shane and I completed our application for 2013 (there’s still one year left to get your trees) and have gone ahead and requested a mix of 1,200 trees and shrubs. As the building will be done this fall we’ll have plenty of time to devote to planting next spring. I’m already excited about it- the trees we planted last year are all doing well and looking extremely strong and healthy.
I did get the gardens planted and fenced off from our pesky cats and pup. Unfortunately a very late frost got a bunch of my peppers and tomatoes. I haven’t decided whether I’ll replace them this late in the game or not but suppose I should make a decision soon given the extremely short building season. We also planted several trees (plum, yellow apple and crabapple) and a couple of shrubs (burning bush and cherry) that we picked up from the local nursery.
Did I mention we changed our minds on the building plan (again)? We decided that rather than extending the building lengthwise, we’d build one more two story room attached to the back of the kitchen. This’ll keep things tighter preventing heat loss and making the best use of space. We’ll house the batteries and holding tank on the main floor with a bedroom upstairs. We’re almost above the door now so it’s going up quick. We’d be at it again today if it weren’t for the rain… The only other room planned is a small alcove coming off the living room where we plan on storing wood. We’re thinking cob (rather than earthbags) for the alcove to make the best use of the small and irregular shaped space available.
I’ve been plastering like a m*therf*cker for weeks now. Lime has not been an easy task out here with typical winds of 40 kilometers or more and dry, dry air. After many (many) experimental mixes, finally settled on a 2:1 mix of sifted sand and lime. It still dries pretty quickly but there’s minimal cracking. I’m quite pleased with how rock like it feels when it’s fully cured. Should hold up to the weather better than the rough plaster we threw up to protect the bags from UV damage. I’d estimate another 200 hours of plastering and I’ll be close to done. Or I’ll be done and the plaster will be close to it… Either way.
Let’s see… also started digging a pond in a low spot on the property. It’s working out well so far, there’s no flooding in the surrounding areas the way there used to be after a big storm. A little more digging and shaping and we’ll call ‘er done. And Shane built some rock pedestals for the rain barrels out front. They’ll mesh nicely with the rock wall we’ll build for the wraparound garden and have enough height that it’s easy to channel water to the gardens with a hose.
Oooh, and with the 12-14 hour work days (I sh*t you not- looong days) I’ve been learning Mandarin. That’s been fun! Granted I’ve a long way to go but my tone is pretty amazing if I do say so myself (finally!) and I can carry on a basic conversation as long as it doesn’t get too heavy. For those of you looking to spice up a long day I highly recommend it. 🙂
Anywhoo- I think that’s about it from news. Officially hating this new tablet so I’m going with that anyway. Will (possibly? maybe? sorta?) try to keep in touch. Hope everyone’s summer is off to a fabulous start!



patchy plaster

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