Inspiration and Relaxation in the New Place

We have been at the new place for a little more than two months. A lot of things have been completed and in the list of things that we need to do just keeps growing. Work is never done.

We have started building screens for all the windows that have been without so we can open the windows. I thought living in a brick house would help keep it insulated and cool, but it turns out that brick seems to absorbs heat. So in the interest of not killing each other due to heat we bought a window a/c unit. I try not to use it if possible because of the use of electricity, but it has been necessary more days than not so far.

We have also started building our raised garden beds. Once we built them I had 5 tons of top soil with 10% compost amendment delivered. It was so much cheaper and less time consuming then the bagged stuff found at the local home improvement stores at $40.12 a ton. Plus we got to support a local business, which I always like. We didn’t have quite enough to completely fill all the beds we built, but enough to get some late start stuff in the dirt before the season is over. Until we design and start building a greenhouse we will create hoop houses over the raised beds to get things started for next year.

This is the first bed built by my boyfriend.

This is the first bed built by my boyfriend.

My boyfriend built panel sides in the shade of the garage so we could just bring them into the yard and  screw them together.

My boyfriend built panel sides in the shade of the garage so we could just bring them into the yard and screw them together.

We lined the bottom and sides with cardboard to keep down the grass/weeds. We just laid these beds on top and didn't till any of the underneath. You can also see the tarp that we are waiting to put dirt on.

We lined the bottom and sides with cardboard to keep down the grass/weeds. We just laid these beds on top and didn’t till any of the underneath. There is a  tarp in the background to put dirt on.

The 5 tons of dirt arrived. You can see the comparison with the house in the background and the beds waiting.

The 5 tons of dirt arrived. You can see the comparison with the house in the background and the beds waiting.

We had more dirt then beds so we built a few more.

We had more dirt then beds so we built a few more.

So we have used as much dirt as possible to fill the beds. It wasn't quite enough, but that is ok.

So we have used as much dirt as possible to fill the beds. It wasn’t quite enough, but that is ok.

In the last picture you can see that we have transplanted a few tomatoes that we had in the ground. They were doing ok, but not getting any bigger. There are also tomatoes in the white buckets. They got beaten up by the last hail storm we had about a week or two ago, so we will see if they come back. To give you an idea on size, the corner bed on the right is 8′ long on the long size. The two detached rectangular boxes are 8’x4′. I think this is a decent start in a new place. On the other side of the rectangular 8’x4′ on the right I am going to start my asparagus bed. From my understanding they take a lot of space and several years to get going, but once established can last 30 years or more. I have the space and nothing but time.

We have also started doing simple sustainable things in the kitchen, like making pickles from cucumbers bought at the local farmers market. Unfortunately in the small town we are in that means about 4 vendors. We have also started making our own bread from scratch. But it is so good that we eat almost a loaf a day. It is so good! To be clear, when I say we have made pickles and bread, I mean my mom has. I have dubbed her the official pickle and bread maker.

Mom's Pickles

Mom’s Pickles

The new house in the new town is so relaxing. It has also inspired the ability to unplug. We don’t watch as much television out here. We like to sit on the porch. We have been taking the dogs for a walk around the park that is a block away. We eat dinner at the kitchen table. It has helped us get more creative. Mom has been sewing. My boyfriend, Jason, got a 3D printer for his birthday and is using it to fix tools, print little fun stuff for me, and to build a walking robot, We’ll see how that goes. For me I have been inspired to write, color, I am going to start a fairy garden with supplies I am gathering, and I am going to start learning how to do wood carvings. I got a couple knives and am going to practice with Ivory soap that I can then use in my laundry detergent.

We have also repotted several things. The avocado tree got a bigger pot. I am not sure how well it will do since it is growing taller but not much bigger around so there is no support structure. The top is flopping over. The dwarf banana also got a new home. It seems happy. The orange tree stayed where it is because it seems just fine where it is, it is even getting a little fruit on it. I am not sure if I should leave it there or what to do with it. I will have to do some more research. I have promised my family I wouldn’t buy anymore houseplants and instead I am concentrating on the ones we have.

Projects we having coming up before winter are to build a shed for the riding lawn mower and yard implements and to put a fence around the property. As you can tell from the pictures, that is a lot of fence. And because we are in the city and it is our front yard it can only be 3 feet high. So we will be doing a fence that is wood framed with wire. I will post pictures when we are done. In the meantime we have already hired a property surveyor that came out and staked the property lines. It was expensive, but better than having angry neighbors or land feuds.

Until next time!

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I’m Still Here! Update……

I am so sorry for not being around. It has been crazy. I started a new job, got the flu, started my volunteering and then Comic Con. But I am still here.

I really wanted to participate in Writing 101, but am not sure if I should at this point. I am two weeks behind and I don’t work well under pressure. So I think for now I will just write what comes to me that follows along with really what I want this blog to be about. I am going to try to stay at it once a week. 

Next weekend I am sewing. I need new tops for work and just can’t bring myself to buy a shirt I have no strong feelings for at $25. Plus they just never seem to fit right. I will post pictures to let you all know how it is going.

The garden is amazing! It has been raining here almost every afternoon, which is unusual for Colorado in June. My garden loves the rain water and so does my water bill. The spinach went to seed, so we pulled it up. I am seeing peas now. The peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are also growing well. This is the first year for the strawberries, so I think I will leave them alone and wait until next year to harvest fruit.

At Comic Con I dressed in my Steampunk outfit. I love that thing. It makes me feel sexy. I went with a friend and she and I got asked at least 20 times to have our picture taken. It really made my day. Here is a picture of me, yes I am sticking out my tongue. 🙂

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I think one of my first wood working projects is going to be to make a cane/walking stick for this outfit. I love it.

Besides sewing I am going to attempt to try something different with my hair. I already make my own laundry detergent. I am learning to reuse candle wax. I want to do something healthy and natural for my hair. So I am beginning to investigate alternatives to shampoo. There is no reason to put chemicals on my head. Does anyone have any recommendations? Advice? Personal experiences? I would love to hear from you!

New Hobbies

Last weekend I tried my hand at stained glass making. The process isn’t anything like I thought it would be. I had a lot of firsts. First time cutting glass, first time using a grinder to soften the edges of glass, first time using foil tape, first time using a soldering iron. It was all pretty exciting. The friend who showed me how to use these things lent me all the tools and gave me all the glass she had to keep working on it. Unfortunately it has been really cold so I can’t use the garage. But the boyfriend has grand plans to build a work bench with some space for me and my new crazy hobbies.

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As you can see my first attempt was a butterfly. I haven’t figured out the antenna yet.

My other new hobby will be woodworking. I purchased some cheap wood working tools at Harbor Freight and after I get my boyfriend to sharpen them I will start to practice that. I want to make walking sticks with either carving them or wood burning. So I bought a soldering iron/wood burning iron also at Harbor Freight. Total cost for both the carving tools and iron…$15. I imagine they will work as well as a $15 tool would. Wish me luck!