A Place For The Future Past

Our First Thanksgiving Day
November 28, 2006, 2:45 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth

I took the day before off to prepare, fitting a trip to IKEA in for pantry shelves (but forgot to get feed bins). Thursday morning was cold and rainy — pelting rain but not too cold. I took Chance out onto Willapa trail just because, rain or no. We rode for a couple of miles (to Hope creek) and back, it was good to get out on horseback. Thanksgiving day itself felt odd, with both Emilie and I still strewn across three counties, but we celebrated with determination anyway as traditionally as possible. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, all the favorites were there. I collected Michael (Janette and Matthew were out of town with a funeral for Matt’s grandmother) and we had a traditional sit down around the table family dinner.

Next day more building materials, general stuff and plants from the Algona house. Enough wood to do the billy goat house (breeding season is upon us, can’t cheat the calender five months is five months, regardless of how ready we are). A lovely boy has been located and a Saturday trip after work is scheduled — soon all seven of these does will be bred. Fence posts are going in on the goat pen, soon they will come out of the barn into their own house.

The chickens are out of the barn, in their own pen. A second trip to IKEA –new feed storage bins in the den! (Angelic music can be heard) Lovely neat white bins all in a row, replacing untidy, tearing, spilling paper 50# sacks.

Monday comes, a snow day is called, roads are too treacherous to travel yet. We accomplish much around the place, including poring over a newly drawn layout of the whole place. The greenhouse is planned, corner stakes placed. The first plant bed is planned, below the greenhouse. The sacks of manure I collected so many months ago will come soon and go there, starting the Victory Garden. We place some of the plants we’ve collected so far, near their new spots.

I hope the roads are clear enough tomorrow to get in to the shop, and of course collect more stuff from the old house. The flow of general stuff has slowed, more building materials and plants coming now. Many, many plants…..


We have a name…
November 20, 2006, 3:18 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Dryad’s Rest.

Thank you, Judith for your wonderful contribution. Em and I were quite unable, despite much wracking of brains.

Now, the bad news. Today I saddled up Chance and rode north through Tanglewood to the upper line to witness utter devastation. Last week we could hear sawing and crashing from the Weyerhauser property just north of us and watched the line of dark trees disppear from our view, the ridge speedily appearing naked beyond us. Today I was able to come out of our little forest to view the fallen giants just beyond our fenceline. Today being Sunday it was quiet but tomorrow they will be back to fell the remaining few. They will probably be done by Thanksgiving.

We rode along west. The new bareness extended along about two thirds of the upper line, the small blue strips of plastic evidently marking where to stop. We rode on to the NW corner and turned south. About three quarters down we had to turn back — the windstorm had taken a victim, a full grown fir of the neighbors to the west came down between posts and taken a section of wire to the ground. Something to repair down the road.

We turned back and rode past the devastated forest, turning in occasionally to investigate a deer trail (and possible future trail for us, bring the loppers!), going past the Tanglewood trailhead on east, we came to the stream. The tiny stream — so tiny it has no official name — that runs from north to south, cutting through my property and briefly, my neighbor’s property.

Now, for the comedy. The west bank of the very very small stream was a little steep, and the waters rushing and swollen from recent rains (add additional runoff from the newly raped property to the north) and where it wasn’t water it was mud. So I figure I would help by getting off my horse and leading him through it. Big mistake. I got off, started across, got two steps in and got mired down by the over-my-boottops mud, had a BIG horse have to put on his brakes and NOT climb ontop of me, while I was struggling he pushed past me, I lost my balance and sat in the mud but kept my boots on — they were almost sucked right off my feet by the deep mud — Chance kept going, I kept tight hold of the lead rope, told him to WALK ON and pull me on out of there — which he did — on up the east bank and onto the dry land above. Whew. I managed to get my very muddy butt back into the saddle and we continued east to the NE corner and turned south. We had much less trouble with the recross of the stream on the south end — it was broken into smaller creeks. Continued back and stripped the horse and then the rider.

The plundered forest is horrible. The Carls would be shocked — they had those tall trees as their neighbors all of those thirty years they were here. Now, we must surely expect to see runoff increase and must get used to the new view, without our old new friends.

Ah, the country life…
November 19, 2006, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Getting set up is turning out to take longer than first thought. But it’s satisfying work nonetheless, trying to do things right the first time, planning where best to set up things like greenhouses, compost bins, chicken coops, storage, storage, storage. A burn pile for empty boxes and junk mail and many years of personal records too important to stick into the trash too much to shred. Starting a bin for earthworm food with coffee grounds and eggshells and such, unpacking the steady stream of boxes still coming in from the Algona place, as well as premoved stuff that rested temporarily in the back corners of the costume shop (oh to clear some space in there!) Hopefully soon I will be able to excavate my mattresses and give up sleeping on the couch.

Goat pens are slow to get done, hampered by wet weather and schedules. The windstorm last week caused a 14 hour outage at the worst possible time, while I was finishing an enormous wedding order (must research propane generators), and daily we lose a couple of minutes of sunshine to the approaching winter — but all are snug and dry and well fed.

Immediate concerns are planning and preparing for the incoming yurt kit (scheduled to arrive the day before Thanksgiving) and finding where to get chips to spread in the list of places that the mud will be out of control. There’s also a local quarry that is going to get checked out for gravel, rock and other stuff. And I have barely touched the plants still in the ground in Algona — probably the project for December.

We’ve already had a few guests over, hoping that there will be more. Upcoming spinning retreats and outdoor games and other such fun stuff are discussed daily, planning, planning…..

Home at Last
November 7, 2006, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

Officially, we closed on Halloween Day. Appropriate. Actually the Carls allowed us to begin moving in immediately upon signing, which was a lucky break, as it enabled me to get my mom safely moved and set up before two days (and nights) of below freezing weather.

After several adventures (and misadventures) of UHaul rentals, schedule conflicts, and Halloween to boot, we are moved in. Mostly. Mom is now comfy in her suite, the goats are in the barn, and two days ago Chance came home. Red and Emilie have yet to finish their move, and I have another month to gradually strip my old place bare. Lots of plants to still dig up and transplant, storage issues to be worked out. But we are snug.

There is nothing so satisfying than walking out my door and greeting my horse. After sixteen — no, seventeen years of boarding elsewhere, he is at last home with me. And bored no more! Instead of a small, muddy pen attached to a stall, he has a large room with over forty acres of woods and meadows to roam and explore. I was concerned that he would be lonely, but as for now, there is too much new to discover. Best of all, we are bonding again. How lovely to whistle and call for him (with a treat in hand) andf have him willingly come back for a check in and a pet. He’s an athletic guy, but it will be a challenge to keep him active enough to burn off all that he eats out there, but for now he’s been having more daily exercise than ever before, which should keep his arthritis under control.

There is still so much to do, but for now, peace.