Sunday, March 28, 2010

Signs of spring.

Took a break from packing yesterday to go to the park with the Spawn and the Better Half. We saw this little tangle of three garter snakes sunning themselves on the edge of the path. It was particularly cool because we'd just the day before been to the library where we checked out a book on garter snakes.

And what the heck, here's a fun shot of the Spawn herself. She's a little too fast for my pocket camera or there'd have been more of her in the photo.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A short tour of the new homestead!

I should be packing or watching Diana so Chris can pack. Instead, I just uploaded such photos as we have of the new place. But...I'm too lazy to upload them twice, so below is the link to the Flickr set. There will be more photos, I feel sure. These were just for reference when we first looked at it. Interior pictures will have to wait until the interior is fixed up.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chest beating and navel gazing

As the title says...and if you're not in the mood for reading self-examination, please move along.

I've been feeling both excited and terrified by the upcoming move. Yes, there's the stuff aspect, but that's not the terrifying thing. Ten years ago, the Better Half and I got married. We were living the big city life. We traveled a good amount. We had, if not all the comforts, at least a sufficiency of them. Now we're moving into a double-wide trailer to raise pigs.

This is something we've discussed and agreed upon, so I can't and won't claim I haven't been told. But it's still frightening. Having grown up in a culture that places so much value on success in the rat race and the accumulation of bigger and better stuff, it's hard to totally turn my back on that. I've never been on more than the periphery of it all, but there's an attitude that permeates everything.

Most of the people we know are happy for us and are themselves only at the periphery. This helps. Some of them may wish to buy animal flesh from us. Family has largely not suggested we have our heads examined. This helps too. But still. There's this nagging feeling we're depriving the Spawn of all the opportunities she ought to have. Rural life, even semi-rural and within acceptable reach of a decent sized metropolis is NOT the same as urban life. Friends her age will necessarily be further away. Exciting classes at the museum or the zoo will not be something we do very often. We aren't likely going to be taking her on any trips 'round the world. Having livestock will make it difficult to even visit our widely scattered family, who can no better afford to visit us than we them.

Yet I think given how things seem to be heading, what we are doing is the right thing. And the food will be better. But it's still hard.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

*wild cheering*

We're moving! Now we have to pack and dismantle fencing and stuff. Not so fun. But...we're moving! Huzzah!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Will the dream come true?

So, we may be moving soon. We've been looking for a different place to rent (eventually reality should strike even the Portland area real estate market, right?) and may, perhaps, possibly have found something. We need to get our credit report to the potential landlords and then they'll make their decision.

It's an interesting place. The bad first. It's small. It's actually not a "real" house, it's a double-wide trailer. If you've ever seen any house I've lived in, there are lots of books about. Those will have to be stored if we move into this place. There's a fast-running stream just by the house. That'll need fencing ASAP to keep wandering livestock and children out. There are apparently all sorts of critters about. Bears, say, or bobcats. Coyotes. This will make raising poultry a bit trickier. There are a couple of structures on the property that are...not in good shape. We're talking don't go in there they're death traps sort of not good shape. Those will apparently be torn down at some point, but no telling when.

On the good's eight acres. A lot of it is wooded, but there's enough clear space for a decent garden. A decent garden by my standards is one which will provide for a major portion of our large vegetable consumption. The owners of the property don't seem to mind chickens, turkeys, whatever else we want to try raising. They do want a share of the blueberries, but I think we can have all the grapes and mulberries. The apple trees are old and may not produce terribly wonderful apples. We can have them though. That stream, it's a salmon run and there are supposed to be trout in there too. As well as the death trap structures, there is one BIG, weather-tight structure/shed sort of thing in which we could store all the stuff that won't fit in the house. There are three other small sheds that would be good for things that don't mind a little damp from the bottom. It's MUCH quieter than our current place, which is on a major street.

We shall see. Maybe we'll be packing madly for the next few weeks. Maybe we'll be digging in here and making the best of this place. Further updates as events warrant.