Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Scoping out properties

Mark had a business trip to Winder, GA last week. His company has a plant in Winder and it is 1 of 2 possible locations for our move, the other being Spartanburg, SC. Winder is about 25 miles east of Atlanta. Mark went a day early so he could drive around the area and see if there was anywhere we could move to that would meet our requirements. Winder is sort of a dumpy area, having chemical plants in it, so we wanted to look a bit of a distance from Winder. West of Winder was out because of Atlanta, and east of Winder is pretty much out because of Athens, which is a college town. We are afraid Atlanta and Athens are both going to keep spreading until they meet in the middle, which would be pretty much at Winder. So Mark looked south of Winder and north of Winder.

The south looked basically like the picture below. Flat, dry and not very many trees. There is lots of land down there however.

The area north of Winder was nicer. This picture is starting closer to Winder. You can see it is greener, hilly and has more trees. This area is still pretty populated though.
As you head further north, things get more rural, with small towns and lots of land. It also gets greener, hillier and more treed the further north you go.

Mark thinks there would be no problem finding what we are looking for north of Winder. We should be out of the Atlanta sprawl area. It will be pretty rural though.

We have no idea when or where we may be moving but are hoping it will be this summer.

Monday, March 26, 2007

More crocus pictures

Sorry to bore you with more crocus pictures but they are the only things blooming here and I LOVE taking pictures of flowers. We went to VA this weekend and there were tons of flowers blooming there. It is really amazing that only 2 hours south of here, spring is a good 2-3 weeks ahead.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pictures from yesterday

Logan and I went on a photo safari around the house yesterday.

A close up of a crocus:

Our lettuce starting to come up:

A roosting pouch in our tree. Logan took this picture. I love the angle.

A bird in the trees. This was taken around 2 pm, it was very overcast yesterday. Logan also took this picture. He is becoming a really good photographer!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Signs of Spring

Living in Delaware is interesting because the seasons almost exactly fall when they are "supposed" to. Today I started seeing the first real signs of spring, 3 robins were in the yard, the first of the year! And my crocuses started blooming TODAY. They weren't blooming yesterday. It is funny since today is the first official day of spring. Every season happens this way in Delaware.

I finished Logan's shirt. The collar on the pattern was weird and ended up being really big and baggy which I didn't like. Some experimentation and I was able to fix it. So, I'm posting pictures of my last 4 projects. I have 2 tote bags in the works for presents that I hope will be done tonight and then I think I'm taking a break from sewing for a week or so. I need to get those seeds going!

Logan's shorts

Logan's tote bag for his karate uniform

My tote bag for carrying whatever, mostly library books

Logan's shirt with the collar problem. All fixed now!

I'm still amazed I've actually learned to sew and can make things that look decent. We are going to a fancy brunch Sunday with family and Logan needs to wear nice pants. I found fabric for making khaki pants and was actually thinking of making him a pair for this weekend, but we found a pair in his drawers that still fits. I can't believe I was thinking of making him a pair of nice pants!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ishmael (warning, dismal post ahead)

I just finished reading Ishmael last night. I'm probable the only one here that hasn't read it yet, but if you haven't I highly recommend it. It is a book that gives you a lot to think about. It has made me totally re-think this culture we live in and the impact it has on the earth as well as our own mental and physical health. Lying awake last night thinking about all this, I got pretty down. I don't see a way out and I don't really see how it can get better. I can't just opt out of this culture (at least not if I want to remain in a family with my husband and son). And I don't see that any changes I make are really going to make a difference to the world as a whole. I can reduce my impact and I've been working on doing that, but really I'm just doing that to make myself feel better.

I picture our culture as a stampede heading toward a cliff and most of the herd doesn't even see the cliff. And I vary between letting myself be swept along with the herd because it is easier and going to the back of the herd and stopping. However, the herd is still dragging me along. Does it really matter if I'm fighting it or not, I'm being dragged by the majority toward the cliff. I guess if enough of us stop, those near the back may stop and that may make more stop. But if the rest are dragging us all, can we get enough to stop before we are dragged over the edge? Is it possible that only those near the front will go over the edge and those of us in the back will be left balanced on the edge but not going over?

Why am I learning to be more self-sufficient? Why do I want to get a homestead going? According to Ishmael, it is still the wrong way to be going, it is still agriculture and playing god. And I'm not sure it is enough to prevent the rest from going over the edge. I guess I'm hoping that if most go over the edge, maybe some of us won't be dragged along and we will be able to survive. If I'm able to live on less and do more for myself maybe my family can survive if we aren't dragged over the edge?

I don't have any answers. Somedays I just want to totally opt out and move to the jungle somewhere and live with the "primitive" people. I'd love to hear other thoughts on this.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things to do in March

I know March is over half over, but I have a lot to get done this month and need help keeping track of it all.

Make newspaper pots (DONE)
Start seeds (DONE)
Plant potatoes
Mulch wildlife garden
Paint picture for Dad's bday present (DONE)
Make 2 tote bags as bday presents (DONE)
Finish collar on Logan's shirt (DONE)
Pot plugs for native plant sale (DONE)
Bring car in for recall
Organize co-op activities (DONE)
Get house ready for in-law visit (DONE)
Make solar cooker
Make mason bee house
Cut Logan's hair (DONE)
Get myself a haircut (I don't cut my own hair)

I also have a few sewing projects I can work on if I get bored LOL. And I teach 2 nights a week, so I have to write lectures and a test this month. I think March might be busy.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Yucky weather

BLEH, it is cold again and has been sleeting all day. The ground is actually covered with sleet. It took us over an hour to make a drive that usually takes 15 minutes. It is supposed to be cold and yucky all next week too. I'm going to start my seeds this weekend but in the house. I hope by the time they are ready to go outside, the weather will be cooperating!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Checking in

It's been awhile since I posted, sorry. The weather has been beautiful the last week or so and I've been outside non-stop. Usually I get really depressed during the winter but I thought I had done a good job of not getting depressed this year. However, when it got warm a week ago, I felt like I was waking up from a stupor. I have energy again. I started my onions and lettuce this weekend and have been spending untold hours at the park with Logan. It is getting cold again and I REALLY don't want it to. I'm beyond ready for spring!

I've also been doing a lot of sewing. Since my last post I've made 2 tote bags, a pair of shorts and most of a T shirt. I'm having collar issues with the T shirt and am having to get creative with the solution. I'll post pictures of everything once I finish the shirt. I have lots of scrap fabric from all this sewing that I'm going to use to make a nature quilt for Logan. I started the quilt 4 or 5 months ago and it was going to be a leaf quilt. However, all the sewing I've done has been with nature themed fabrics, so I think I will expand it to a nature quilt. It will go quicker this way and have more variety in it. I've been wanting to try a chicken square I saw but I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it when it was done. Now it can go in the nature quilt. I think it may be a summer quilt so I don't have to mess with batting.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

More sewing

I learned to make shirts Thursday night and was able to complete a whole shirt for Logan in 1 night! He picked out the fabric and loves the shirt!!!

Yes, he is wearing it with the pants I made him and no they don't match at all! However, he did receive a compliment when we were out yesterday on his cool outfit.

Now on to making shorts and T shirts for the warm weather which is just around the corner darn it! And I'm making Logan a tote bag to carry his karate uniform in. He got his yellow stripe Thursday so he will be ready to test for his yellow belt soon. It will be his first test and we are both a little nervous about it!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Learning to sew

I've been taking a sewing class the last 2 weeks and have learned to make pants. It is really fun to pick out fabrics and know you are making something with your own hands. The first pair I made was for me. The second pair was for Logan, he picked out the fabric. He has picked out 5 fabrics now for shirts, shorts and pants. I'm going to learn to make shirts tonight so that will be useful. All Logan wears is pajama pants and T shirts so after tonight I can make all his clothes. He is very excited by the prospect and so am I!