Blooming

I had some stuff to add to the compost heap yesterday. While I was out there with the garden, I wandered through to see if anything needed to be harvested and preserved.

I harvested the next to last cauliflower plant and some more broccoli. I also harvested a few turnips for Sunshine.

There are flowers blooming in my garden! My squash plants have giant, beautiful, yellow flowers on them! And some little itty bitty squashes!

I also noticed that some of the squash sprouts I brought home to plant out of curiosity are looking like they might make it. The boss’s goat had nibbled on them, and the boss told me to make them go away. I figured it was worth trying to save them.

The tomato plants that the goat nibbled seem to be doing well also. And the sprouts the neighbor gave us are making it. Only one or two of the tomato sprouts we transplanted from my seeds are doing anything.

I’m irrationally excited by all this gardening stuff. It’s a grand adventure to me. I also find a lot of comfort in the repetition of it all. Dig, plant, repeat. Pluck, chop, boil, cool, freeze, repeat. My mom laughed at me, and told me she was glad I was enjoying it. I had to be honest, I don’t think I’m enjoying it, I just think I find that much comfort in the repetition and the knowledge I am ensuring some food security.

Whatever it is, I can’t wait to get out there and plant some beans. Mr B is preparing some ground for several rows of beans for me.

mr b making place for beans

I’m investigating what kind to plant and when to plant them. Lots of us eat beans, and Sunshine and Biff will help me harvest them if I am willing to shell and freeze or can them.

final note: I’ve also started harvesting turnips for Sunshine. I’ve quit trying to do anything about the turnip greens, as the last batch of them I harvested wound up wilting because nobody did anything with them. They ended up in the compost heap. So now, I just put them straight into the compost instead of wasting a lot of effort trying to harvest them. I’m still partly on strike; I’m only doing what I have an urge to do. And I have no urges to waste my time on shit like all that lettuce that went bad in the rows without being harvested, or turnip greens that nobody is going to cook, or cabbage that nobody is going to cook. I only get so many spoons per day, and I’m using on the things that matter to me.

 

Great Pyramids

No, I’m not referring to the ones in Egypt with sphinx heads and such.

I’m referring to the great pyramids we build here in murica.

These Great Pyramids are monuments to our consumerism. They are monuments commemorating our waste.

I wonder what archaeologists in the future will think when they excavate our Great Pyramids. Will they think that these are the things we valued enough to bury them in grand tombs like the Chinese did with clay soldiers and the Egyptians did with their gold trinkets? Or will they think that these are our modern day pirate treasures that someone buried so that nobody else would find it?

I pass this Great Pyramid every time I head to or from work. I pass this Great Pyramid every time I have to head down into Dallas. This Great Pyramid represents everything I was trying to escape when we made the decision to opt out and start living more simply.

This Great Pyramid is a symbol of the emptiness and decay that lies at the core of modern Western consumerist capitalist societies.

This Great Pyramid sickens my spirit, and makes me ever more grateful for the relative simplicity of my life today. It may not be easy, but it is simple.

Vegetable Garden

The garden is slowly producing food for us. We’ve brought in and preserved broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, and collard greens. We also harvested the potatoes and stored them in the underground storm shelter. Today, I harvested some cabbage that was ready. Mr B says he’ll cook it up and we’ll get it frozen or canned.

As I wandered the property looking at wild blackberry vines and my garden, I’m seeing a lot of promise for a lot of food soon. The blackberries are blooming, and there are little green and pink fruits too; I’m keeping an eye on them because that’s free fruit I can freeze.

I have blooms and small squash happening.

My Lima beans and snap peas are blooming. I can’t remember which is which, but that’s ok for now. I’ll know which is which when they get ready to harvest.

I have cowpeas growing out there! I thought all the cowpeas didn’t survive the transplant process.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s also kind of exciting. Now I’m off to take a nap.

Harvesting and Planting

As things run their course out in the garden, I am removing them and planting new things in their places. Almost all of the cauliflower has been harvested, and an entire breed of lettuce went bad in the rows. I planted peppers in the spot vacated by the cauliflower, and lima beans in the spot vacated by the lettuces.

Yesterday morning, Mr B got out there and dug up all of our potatoes, as they were planted close to the pond that is about to be filled in and he didn’t want them destroyed by the bulldozers. When Sunshine got home from work, he and I went out there to gather them from the ground where Mr B left them to let the dirt dry so it knocked off easily.

Mrs B snapped a couple of pics to entertain you with.

All of the bending and crawling and stooping aggravated my hip, so today I am doing a lot of nothing. Except binge watching. I’m doing a lot of binge watching Netflix today. Because I don’t want a repeat of the excruciating pain I went through after the great septic system debacle.

final note: I went to the back of the property this morning to look at the blackberries that grow wild out there. They’re blooming, and most of them have little berries starting to form. I’ve done my research, and learned several methods of preserving them. I will probably freeze the vast majority of them, but I have found a recipe for blackberry syrup that I’m eager to try. And Tia has found me some recipes for blackberry breads and desserts, which is one of a million reasons that I love her.

Laundry day

It’s laundry day here in the buttfuck middle of nowhere. I didn’t do any laundry last week. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Sunshine was out of town, so there wasn’t as much getting dirtied up around here. Well, nothing much except kitchen towels and rags. I pulled most of my kitchen towels and rags from their designated spot to hang until laundry day (so they don’t mold and mildew in the hamper and ruin actual clothes). The upside is that now I know what happened to all my kitchen rags and towels.

Sunshine got home Friday night, and brought a week’s worth of dirty​ clothes home. I managed to get all of that thrown in the wash​ yesterday morning before work, and he got them dried and put away for me. He can be so awesome sometimes.

This morning, I decided that it was time to do laundry and clean my house because OMGWTF it’s really bad.

When I went to pull the dirty laundry out of the hamper, I found clothes that had been dirty for so long I forgot I owned them.

side note: y’all probably think I’m joking. I’m totally not. I found shirts and pants I forgot I owned. I’m so fucking pathetic.

I threw all the laundry into the middle of the living room floor and started sorting it. Here is how my sorting process went down this morning.

Does it have a zipper? If yes, it goes in this pile. Apparently, things with zippers is a laundry sorting category now. Because I don’t want the zippers on those pants I forgot I owned to be snagging and ruining those tops I forgot I owned.

The next question I asked myself was “is it black or almost black?” That took care of almost half of the rest of the dirty clothes. Apparently, Sunshine and I favor a similar color palette in our clothes. Black, and almost black. For me, almost black can include many shades of grey and blue; for Sunshine, it includes shades of black, faded black, and denim.

The last question I asked myself was “will the bleach cleaners in these rags fuck up it up and make me cry?” If bleach spots on something wouldn’t make me cry, it went into the last pile. There are many shades of white, grey, and off-white; and none of it will be irreparably harmed by any sort of cleaning chemicals. I saved this load for last so I could clean the bathroom and put the rags in that load.

Sunshine had a full load in yesterday, and I have at least three loads today. Why in hell did I let it get like this? I’m kind of thinking I didn’t. The fucking laundry hamper was only 1/3 full when Sunshine got home late Friday, so I’m blaming it on him.

Now, I should probably go clean the bathroom. Because eeewwwwwwwwww.

Weather

It seems like the wind is always blowing here. It generally comes from the south. Lately, it has been heavy with the scent of honeysuckle and occasionally cinnamon.

side note: I thought I was going crazy or imagining it or something, but Sunshine finally smelled it too. We never did figure out why we were smelling cinnamon, but whatever.

It’s storm season. Which makes me anxious. It also makes Miss Mollie anxious. Recently, on a stormy evening, I realized that she was hiding under Sunshine. Yes, UNDER Sunshine.

storms make mollie anxious

I went outside and took pictures of the clouds. They were fascinating to look at, so many layers and layers of clouds.

I think it’s beautiful.

final note: I’m just gonna drop this here. Enough said.

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Simple living is a lot of work

There’s a lot of work that goes into living simply (or intentionally, or mindfully, or whatever you want to call it). It seems like there’s always something needing the attention of a human being. The cats need to be fed, the chickens need to be locked up in their chicken house at night, the grass needs to be cut, the garden needs to be harvested, the wild game needs to be butchered……

This week has seen a lot of perfectly edible but not pretty looking food go out the back door at work. My boss is like “nobody is going to buy the ugly squash” and tells me to do what I want with it, just make it go away. Which has led to a lot of squash getting blanched and frozen.

Just as an example:

The back door zucchini. It was lumpy and a bit wrinkled, but still firm and edible. But people don’t buy the ugly food. See how much is piled over the top of that giant stainless steel bowl? And that is about 3/4 of it. There was more.

side note: see how fucking tiny my kitchen is? That shit is ridiculous.

So we now have a bunch of frozen zucchini. It was quite the endeavor, cutting and washing and blanching and packaging all that zucchini. It was worth it, though. It’s food security. It’s one less thing we have to spend money on through the winter when Sunshine and I work a lot less. It’s one more thing that we’re doing for ourselves. It’s one less way we are participating in the consumer driven capitalist economy we live in. And I like it that way.

Final note: I ran out of freezer containers. I made a trip to the Dollar Tree when I made my grocery run. I did some damage to their shelves and filled up an entire shopping cart with reusable food storage containers. Yes, it was grossly consumerist. But at least I can reuse them again and again, which makes it feel like a far more intentional purchase