Sunday, June 9, 2013

Minimalist Living and Life

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because even homeschooling educator mommies can make mistakes!!"

It has been a whirlwind of events since May 30. Though in actuality, it has just been life.

My younger son was supposed to be going off to camp in the mountains. A colleague from LDA had secured him a place in an adventuring camp. He has been before and loved it. It was a great experience for him before, but it is a bit beyond our finances to be able to afford him the opportunity to go. He was supposed to spend the weekend whitewater rafting, rappelling, and doing a ropes course. I had planned to spend the weekend in the mountains recuperating from what seems like a series of weekdays with no weekends. I was supposed to go on a foraging hike that I had scheduled some time back and wanted to go to the wild foods market. After he broke his wrist, he could no longer go to the camp, so I thought the mountain weekend was out. Alas, despite the broken arm, we left for the mountains anyway. I was able to get a lot of work done and some rest. We went to the wild foods market together. The foraging hike was cancelled, due to my getting sick almost as soon as we arrived in the mountains.

While we were away, my bestest neighbor moved to a new house a few miles away. So, that is a total bummer.

We were gone for 4 days. We drove home quickly to get to a scout meeting. Then we came home for one night to leave again the following morning for four more days.  While home, I had a few moments to check my between rain and rain and more rain.

The cucumbers I hand pollinated are coming along. The first one I did is small, but growing. It appears one of the rosemary plants I transplanted has taken and is doing well.
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We left for FL on Monday morning and arrived by Monday afternoon. I went to serve as an advocate for an IEP for someone we love. :)  I remember fighting those fights so many years ago for my younger child. These IEP meetings for this child feel personal to me. It was a pretty good meeting, much better than I anticipated it would be. I am hopeful that the meetings will continue in the future like this.

When we were pulling into FL, we stopped at the rest stop to take a short break. While we were there a small bird swooped down and bit/nipped my son. I have never seen this happen before. It did not break the skin, but it did nip him pretty well.
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We were able to visit some friends and see family while there. Tropical Storm Andrea was getting more into formation of an actual rotation while we were down. The weather was touch and go most of the time. We did find a window of no rain and good weather while there on Tuesday afternoon and we hit the beach. My son could not swim due to his cast, but he did move along the beach with the metal detector and played in the waves up to his knees. The undertow was quite strong, so I was unable to swim. But just a little bit of beach can solve a world of issues.
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We saw some cranes. These birds always strike me as exotic and beautiful.
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We drove home after four days. We had been gone 8 days in total. We were trying to stay ahead of Andrea...but we did not do this quite so well. The rain was torrential to say the least. It was an awful drive. When I got home and was finally able to check the gardens the next day, it seemed like the plants had exploded - literally.
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Photo is loading  This is a squash plant. It had attached itself to the neighboring tree limb while I was gone.

Photo is loading  Photo is loading   These vegetables were a test to see what would happen if we placed sprouts into hay stuffed into containers. I read about the straw bale gardening method and I was trying this out for just a trial...When I left 8 days ago, these were just sprouts. Now, they have exploded - through the fencing placed there to keep the chickens out and all over the place. I have just decided to let them go and see what they will produce.

Photo is loading  This little guy was on my front walk after the rain. (Chicken food!!)

Photo is loading  The luffas are doing well. I have three of these planted. Two are doing well. One is struggling.

Photo is loading  The chickens are always ready to say, "Hello!!"

On the second day we were home, I weeded the front area where I have the elephant ears and the grapes. I noticed a strange huge bulge under the mulch. I did not remember seeing this bulge here before. About two years ago, my husband spread plastic under the mulch to keep the weeds back. (Now they just sprout in the mulch.) I have cut holes in the plastic through the years where I want to plant stuff. I dug the mulch back to reveal that the elephant ears have sprouted below the plastic. I do not know how this occurred with no sunlight, but it did. I cut holes to let them grow through and then dug back more mulch around the base of the rest of the elephant ears. This revealed one more such area, though of smaller growth.
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I have gathered all the potatoes from the potato beds. We have many of these now. I harvested a whole BiLo cloth bag full of potatoes with my cousin on Sunday while we were home. Now we have those and ours. My older son and his girlfriend did come by to get some and take some of them with them. But, we still have more than a few. The potatoes were all collected along with a few onions and cucumbers on Sunday. I was able to add new compost to the bed and turn the soil. I then planted the rhizome sprouts of some ginger root I had set back. It also sprouted while we were gone so it was time to get it in the ground.
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Photo is loading I was able to get the spring onions in water. We will use the tops for about three week and then cut them down to just the bottom base. I will replant the bottoms of the onions to regrow them. These collected today are regrown from used bottoms. It can be a never ending cycle of use and growth if done efficiently.

A picture I have fell off the wall while we were out of town. I have to repair the frame. It busted on the corner. The old glue goop had to be removed and it had to be sanded to be reglued.
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In the past two weeks, I have found out my older son and his girlfriend are expecting a baby. The baby is due January 15. We will not know the sex for awhile now. The baby and mommy-to-be are doing well. This is good.

Conversations with my older child revealed something about both of us we had not discussed before. I think we can safely say we are minimalists. I do not like to have many things. It is wasteful to have items just for the sake of having them or for their beauty or the name brand. My older son is much the same way. I live and have raised my children to not seek after things in life just because others have them. Now that he is going to be a father, he is getting unsolicited advice from every corner. Everyone has an opinion, whether he wants to hear it or not. The thing he knows, because it is how he was that babies do not need expensive clothes or brand new furniture. He also knows babies will not remember later in childhood and in life if you lived in an apartment or a huge house when they are born. What a child will remember is how you love it and how you spend time with it. Quality counts with a child, not the items bought for the child or the amount the items bought costs. He knows this. I told him he was perhaps like me - a minimalist. I hope his child is as well. This is something I am proud to say. 

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