Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Dream of Radishes

It's a fine thing to dream and make plans, but it takes serious dedication see those plans through! I'm a procrastinator and a hoarder; so you can imagine how much I hate purging and getting ready to move. My desk is the most obvious spot to start. It alone has prompted friends to intervene. They mutter about crews of junk haulers as I steadfastly refuse to let anyone near it.
It's my mess I'll clean it.
I know it needs sorting, but the desk has been there a long time. This won't be easy.
One day at a time, one pile at a time, that's my plan. I know it'll take time, but we're planning on being here at least more 3-ish years. We want to clean out the front closet that only holds bags and outgrown winter wear, buy wire shelving and make that our pantry.
Then we'll have room to store preserves, and pickles, and gleaming jars of homegrown herbs. Not to mention that we'll be reducing the amount of stored "stuff" we don't use anymore. I'm hoping to have enough room underneath that we can put put our seasonal footwear and thereby help clean up the front hall.

There's a drawer in the dark wood dresser that needs gluing and nailing since it's nearly unusable now. I need to hit the hardware store this week for industrial strength glue.

The whole apartment needs a good coat of paint, but if we're only staying 3 years, why bother? It's not like I can paint it the colour I want anyway. Better to invest in the community garden that will feed us instead.
I dream of a garden ripe with peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, beans and peas, carrots and sage, basil and chives. I wouldn't mind trying my hand at collards too, just to see if I can. Radishes, onions and maybe early gherkin pickles too.
I can almost taste them now.

First though, to find the desk.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Explanations, Plans and Survival, Oh My!

My last blog update was a little vague I suppose. I was trying to avoid the "the sky is falling!" screaming message. I guess I avoided it too well, because a few of you were in the dark.
So, this time, I shall explain, and my apologies for not being clearer, sooner.

It is no longer an extremist viewpoint that our society is changing, evolving and failing in many ways. Society no longer helps those who need a hand up. Not our fellow man, not our government(on any level). It is as though, for the most part, we are turning our backs on each other.
There are still some that try their damndest, don't misunderstand me, but by and large, we are not the society we once were.
Hurricane Katrina, the day the Twin Towers were toppled, the overwhelming number of homeless and working poor, I could list signposts until my fingers fall off. My point is that our world is changing. Hurricane Katrina made it abundantly clear that we cannot rely on others for our survival. We alone must wake up and take stock of our own situations. Now, I know that the liklihood of my neighborhood being devastated by a major hurricane are slim, but we did have a big power failure not long ago. We could still cook, and well, but our neighbors could not say the same. What about those who only had electric can openers? We were eating quite well. Breakfast on the BBQ, pizza, fruit...we were comfortable.
But all this brought us to the question of what if it were a longer power outage? What if it were some other crises that crippled our city? Both the American and Canadian governments have emergency preparedness pages on the web, so I didn't think we were too extreme.
We decided that if our little apartment could not sustain us for an extended period of time, and that's not realistically going to happen, we would have to look at going somewhere we could survive.
Mom's house.

It's a choice that makes sense for a lot of reasons, but the only way to get there if we had to would be to walk.
We have no vehicle and we AREN'T leaving our dogs behind!
So yeah, we'd have to walk it. Hence what I called The Great Migration, after The Land Before Time kids movie.

So, shortly after that last post, my friend Debra and I were talking on the phone about where I'd like to be if I had no obstacles.
Mom's house. Okay, anywhere closer to her and Dad and my brother would be nice!
"So why not move back?" she asked me
Money, logistics and the kids were the answers that came to mind.
The kids turned out to be the easiest solutions. Sort of. Jimmy was much more cool with it than I thought he would. Shandon was in shock and I'm not sure, but I think he's hoping we'll change our minds. Braydon is the tough cookie. This is the only home he's ever known. He does not do change well. Even less well than me.
He is the one I worry about.

But, in the meantime...

We start making plans, we take small steps now, we save what we can now (which likely won't be much for awhile) and we inch our way toward our goal. Which is to move in 3-4 years. After I get my print journalism degree. Another usable skill set besides retail. After Shandon is done high school. After we have had some time to ease Braydon into the idea of a move.
In the meantime, we keep an eye on the job market and home rental situation in Sault Ste. Marie.
We build a stockpile of canned goods and hand-powered can openers, candles and other supplies; just in case the shit hits the fan. In the meantime, we learn the skills that will keep us warm, fed and somewhat more comfortable if we have to make the Great Migration. In the meantime, Mom has said that we can plant fruit trees and such on her land. Things that we can all benefit from, things that will take some time to get established.

Survival "huh" moment of the week:
Did you know you can use jute twine as tinder? Simply unspin it, and gently separate the threads. To keep them really waterproof, melt some candle stubs down to a liquid wax, soak the jute twine lengths, remove and let dry on newspaper. Good for camping trips when you want to have a fast, strong fire until the wood catches.