Saturday, April 9, 2011

In lieu of regular posting

I am having a hard time keeping up this blog these days. Called my brother on his birthday yesterday and he commented on how not up to date the blog was. I explained that I frequently thought about posting to it, mentally wrote the blog post in my head, but failed to actually post it because the photos for it were still on the camera. I didn't really want to post without some pictures, but I needed to download them and edit them for posting which would take hours, and that was the end of that. The photos are still on the camera, the mentally written blog posts gone wherever it is that such things go. Not anywhere retrievable.

So here's a synopsis of stuff I have not posted about. Some of the links are to photos or blog posts with photos in lieu of actually posting them here.

I did a three-day tutorial in weaving with Pia. She bought the yarn for me in Halifax (blue, green, purple and yellow cotton) and over three days we warped my loom with 6 yards of it. I started a sampler and will eventually weave placemats and a runner. The original plan was for tea towels, but the colours just seemed better suited to placemats. We had a good time and it was very satisfying to get the loom set up. Coincidentally it was during the rare conjunction of three sunny days in a row.

Yes there are photos on the camera.

I've been working on both the Acadia Community Farm (and my own little plot there) and my own garden in the back yard. On the Farm we've been digging and composting beds and planting and mulching seedlings. Because the spring here was so soggy we did not get to start until very late in May and the soil is a very heavy wet clay. While my own plot is only 10' x 10' and very quickly dug and planted, the community field is very large---I'm sure it is well over an acre---and there is no rototiller so it is all being done by hand. Very slow, backwrenching work. Most of the Farmers are young students who are up to the task, but for some of us older types this is not pleasant work at all. I put in onions, garlic, squash and beans. I was going to plant potatoes, but decided against it.

In the backyard garden I put in four garden frames and a long narrow bed against the playset. I am thinking of turning the swingset portion of the playset into a greenhouse, and thought I would plant pole beans against the south-facing A-frame of the swingset. The pole beans are not doing well. I got two garden frames set up with horse manure, topsoil and ash from the woodstove and planted a bunch of things (peas, beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, herbs, a variety of fresh greens). I filled two more garden frames with manure intending to leave them to rot until next year, but changed my mind and decided to plant them this year. Which meant taking out some of the manure and replacing it with topsoil and wood ash. I'm about halfway through planting those frames now.

In the meantime the people who own the field behind my house mowed the field and left the mowings in windrows. I thought they were going to turn it into hay. But after a couple of days they pushed all the dried windrows into the bushes surrounding the field. So I went out with my wheelbarrow and collected a bunch of it from the bushes nearest my backyard. I've piled all that in the swingset area. Not sure yet what I will do with that, you can't really use hay for mulch because of all the grass seed in it, but at the very least it will mean I don't have to mow the grass under the swingset anymore.

My good friend Johanna came to visit for 12 days from out west. She had not been this far east since she was a teenager (she hitchhiked from Montreal to PEI at age 16 because someone told her she could get work on a farm there, that turned out to be a bit of a stretch). We spent the time visiting some of my favourite places and friends. Photos on the camera.

The weather was little better than when Sam was here in May, mostly wet and cold. Johanna packed for the trip better than Sam did so she did not have to borrow clothing as Sam did, however a lot of shorts and tanktops never got used.

The weatherman here has become totally unreliable. They change the forecast drastically on almost an hourly basis. In the morning it says it will clear and be sunny by noon, that never happens until maybe suppertime. If you're lucky. They say rainy and cold today but sunny the rest of the week, and then the next day the forecast is the same: rainy and cold today but sunny the rest of the week, WE PROMISE! We've had more actual rain and more forecasted sunniness than I can tell you.

A local friend was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer, a bunch of people got together to provide meals for her and her family over the past few weeks. I managed one meal and one visit but then I had company and couldn't seem to spare the time. Her cancer progressed rapidly and she died last week at home surrounded by family. I felt badly that I did not get in to see her in the last couple of weeks, especially after I promised that I would. There will be a Celebration of Life for her later this week, she planned it before her death and requested that everyone wear bright colours and be in a celebratory mood.

The last few weeks at the film co-op they were asking for someone to volunteer to put movie trailers of upcoming films into Powerpoint to show before the feature film. I thought someone else would volunteer but no one did so finally I did, thinking how hard can it be? Well, not so easy as it turns out, but interesting. I get to spend time in the projection room fiddling with the equipment. Who knows, maybe one day I can even help select the films that are shown. In the meantime I have to get up to speed on Powerpoint; I was never that proficient with it and now, several software versions later, I am quite out of touch. But hey, how hard can it be? Don't answer that.

Skype-called Kim and got to see Eva trucking around like nobody's business. Ten months old and already standing on her own, albeit for only a few seconds at a time. She pushes a wheeled toy affair around the living room and "furniture-walks" everywhere. She and Brewster the Shih-tsu have become good buddies. Brewster has to be reminded occasionally that just because Eva is mobile does not mean he can now jump up on her, but it won't be long.

Sam liked Nova Scotia a lot (so did Johanna). So much so that he got himself a temporary job in Halifax and is coming back at the end of July. He plans to bring his two giant malamutes with him. Isaac and Gretel are also planning to visit at the end of July, and they are bringing Dobby, the giant boxer. Three giant dogs, two of whom do not play well with others. So I am scrambling to fence my yard.

Around here, fenced yards are uncommon, one could in theory walk the entire street through backyards on either side of the road. I am trying to strike some kind of balance between sturdy, not too unattractive, and cheap. Ha ha.

It is Sam's plan to leave one of his dogs with me when he returns west, as he has moved into town (Windsong) and two giant dogs are just too much to handle in his new digs. We discussed various options and solutions with their various pros and cons and this is what we have settled on. Not perfect but maybe the lesser of a bunch of evils. For some.

Isaac was telling me that he and Gretel were thinking that their life has become so stressed that they needed a break from Dobby and were hoping I would take him for a few months, however Sam got to me first and I just can't see my way to taking on two giant dogs, one of whom does not play well with others. You never know though, if Hapi and Dobby hit it off in July, I might consider it. But hard to imagine that. With Hiro around Hapi will have eyes only for him and she doesn't know they are about to be permanently separated. It's a dog's life.

Sam will be moving into my basement for three months while he works in Halifax. He will commute, hopefully by some sort of van pool. The job is minimum wage, but working on something he cares about. All told I think he will lose money on the project but there will be intangible benefits. He has thought this all through and it is after all his life.

I do fear for my garden though. Three giant dogs...


naomi dagen bloom said...

Enjoyed your reflections on sourdough starter at my blog...thanks so much. I love Peter Reinhart's inspirational TED talk on bread.

Like you my postings are irregular. Clearly the garden alone provides enough activity to keep your creative juices going. And then there's the weaving! Sent the link on your teacher to my spouse who is a latelife weaver.

Wisewebwoman said...

Lots of noise in your life, Annie, as there is in mine with the play consuming most of it. it is hard to post at times, though I love the sheer therapy of wrapping up the deets of my life.
Oh those dogs sound like a major handful. Be careful.