Whew! Here it is almost Halloween and the blogs are scarce. It's been one long crazy summer.
May found us getting the garden up and going until the last week when we moved grown kids and the grand baby back home at short notice. For all those folks who have said "There are only three of you, why buy such a big house?" This is why! We bought this house as a part of our long term "life preps". Life preps are those preps that you would generally find yourself planning for anyway. Buying a house is a big one in and of itself but have you made plans for aging parents, grown children struggling in a bad economy, grandkids, extended stay visitors, etc...? I am not certain our house would bear the load of both aged parents and grown kids with kids but it will adequately handle each on their own for a while.
June was also occupied with the garden and moving children. Sadly the garden went in really late and only part way. It was really, really hot in June and everything in it got cooked so I don't feel quite so bad. Our grown kiddos moved back out mid-June. Are you counting? That's two full moves in 3 weeks. We also worked on the house a bit. We removed the linoleum circa 1933 and 1968 from the 16'x8' laundry room. Underneath we found a beautiful never walked on 1933 wood floor. Our youngest child started horseback riding lessons in June in trade for our mucking stalls, yard work, and whatever other tasks we can do in trade. This was also the month The Mr. was gone for a week on a fencing job and the month of the scouting trip. Oh and Father's day, a Birthday and our ‘Town Festival’ was at the end of the month too! We won an awesome art print in the raffle. It was a very busy but very good month!
July ~ saw yet another full move on the fourth, but glad to help out a friend. That is 3 moves in five weeks! It must have been the summer of moving as this friend moved again in August. We were bummed that there were no fireworks due to the fire danger but there was the town festival the last week of June so it wasn't too bad. We spent most of July trying to get caught up from June. I'm afraid we never really did. We got a small pool, put up our tent and had a vacation in the yard. The gardening finally continued after numerous issues with feral cats and moving dirt and replanting. The horseback riding continued and we struggled with getting the house put back together from all the moving. The shed got a makeover and is now part bunny part seeding/potting area. The Mr. fixed our AC/HEAT PUMP and a week later we had an energy audit done. The house, being a 1918 fixer, failed miserably! Oh and I fell on the basement stairs, twisted my ankle, thought hey, no big deal, I'll just ice it. Umm...well, no, that was an emergency room trip the next morning.
August ~ah, the month the rains came, the basement flooded and as such got a good rearranging. A BIG thank you to the MR. for that! I spent the month with my foot in a walking BOOT because while it was not broken I was told "It’s bad enough to treat it like it’s broken". Did you know that nerves only grow back at the rate of one millimeter a month? It's really hard to garden like that! Ssshhhh, don’t tell the DR. I was walking! Well sort of. Actually I was a good girl and spent most of the month on the sofa with my foot elevated and iced while I crocheted. Sleeping unfortunately was not so easy and my poor MR. was suddenly overwhelmed with the amount of stuff needing done. The m'inion was also less than happy because my unusable foot equaled no horseback riding lessons. To our enormous surprise though the month flew by and it was time to do the back to school shopping before we knew it. Other happenings in August included picnics with friends and having our fridge replaced. There was a huge delivery window on the new one, four plus hours, and it had to be empty on delivery in order for them to remove it. Getting rid of the old one was part of the deal with getting the new one so no recycling or repurposing could be done either. Anyway this started us on a hunt for enough ice chests to hold everything in our fridge for untold hours. Did I already say "It's good to have friends!"? This is yet another time I was happy to be with/near people instead of out in the country on a lonely dirt road. I'm not knocking self sufficiency or the country life. It’s a fact that I wish we had a bit more land and were on the out skirts of town just so we could have hoofed animals, which we confirmed we cannot have this summer but it's good to have a group of people around just in case. The MR. was gifted with a chicken coop that was a trailer in a former life and will be a gypsy wagon in its next life if all goes well. August started us on the process of weatherizing our house as well. The first step was cutting access holes and replacing the wiring in the attic.
September ~ Yay! School started. In the brand new super secure school they built on the hill. So secure my in fact our kiddo got locked out retrieving something from the playground. Cannot say we're thrilled with the higher taxes, the schools design or its prominent placement on the hill. We get tornados but that seems to have escaped the designers notice. On the other hand the heating and cooling systems are geothermal and we can definitely support that. Labor Day came and we got not one but two years of Fourth of July fireworks because hooray the fire bans were finally lifted. We also had to undo all that arranging we struggled to get done in July. Everything in the house that was on an exterior wall had to be moved a minimum of three feet from the walls and not block access pathways so they could blow in insulation. It wasn't until we did this that I realized every single room has an exterior wall. Our dryer also went out...thank goodness for the clothesline! So, not so much sitting with my boot in September. Thankfully I was switched from the walking boot to a brace about half way through the month. By the third week of September we had had several crews and large trucks in and out of our place doing the insulating as indicated by the energy audit. We were certainly ready for the follow up audit. Hmm. Still not as good as they wanted. Sigh. We moved yet more stuff and insulated some more. Finally they were satisfied with the results and finally I was released to be back on my foot with normal but limited activity...A.K.A. don’t overdo it! Ack! 8 weeks out of the garden plus a bunch of rain and I could barely find it. Half our stuff had already gone to seed. And last but not least, we have been asked to write a short monthly article for a homesteading newsletter and we’re going to give it a try. Sometimes scheduling is easier when you have a ‘boss’, LOL!
Enter October ~ the weather has turned colder. We had to pull the remainder of the garden due to freezing. Thankfully it really wasn't that much. The circuit breaker for the clothes dryer has been replaced and we have a working dryer just in time for snow. The m'inion has finally resumed riding lessons. Scouts are back in session. I have a bunch of Christmas projects in the works. My ankle still hurts but is getting better. The Mr. is losing weight, volunteering at the church and happy. Our friendships are a bit stronger than they were and by the end of the year we will have another grand baby plus two more new little ones to cuddle up when we see them. Of course our house is still in a shambles from the weatherization and painting has now been heaped on top of the to-do list as there are now drywall patches in every room of the house. It will be nice not to have to ask someone else for permission or approval of the colors. I am sure I have left some things out but I am grateful to have had such a busy and productive summer.
I do realize that I probably could have blogged while sitting on the couch with my foot up but the pain medication didn't really make for a fully functional brain. I can promise you a full blog on the weatherization experience soon though so be sure to look for it.
As always you can join the Facebook group, like the Facebook community page, and visit the website. All of these are conveniently called “Kaya Self Sufficiency”. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you are getting better at providing as much as you can for yourself and for your family, group, or community.