Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Decluttering ~ the Grand Finale

It's the weirdest thing.

Over the past few years, we've (I've) been on a decluttering mission.
This past weekend, we had hopefully our last ever yard sale.
Well yes, of course it rained.
This time there wasn't as much from the house, 
but primarily the shop and yard.
There still seemed to be a revolving pile in the kitchen near the back door,
then that ever growing pile in the shop.
I know, who would need to declutter the yard?
That be us ­čśü
We had the snow blower, old lawn mower, the old '49 ford, the tent trailer, the chicken tractor, a motorcycle, and canoe 
as well as the stuff from the shop and house.
Honestly, we didn't make much which was disappointing.
We still have several of those big items that we will have to put on Craigslist.
I was rather hopeful that it would all be gone Saturday.
(It will take multiple trips.)

Even though at this moment, our shop looks like a bomb went off, 
I have the knowledge that those boxes are empty,
 and the plastic bins. . . are empty.
The leftover items are being logged (for taxes) as they go into an empty box,
then loaded and taken to donation.
If there are any boxes left, they can go to recycle.
My mom wants a few plastic bins.
If those remaining are empty, they stack easily.
There is someone who wants to come and look 
at the children's books this week.
Many sold and there are still 3 boxes left if that is any indicator of the volume.
The thing is~
The house looks and feels sooo much cleaner and calmer.
I doubt we'll ever be featured in "Home and Garden," but it's our home,
and it should work for us rather than us working for it.
We are now that much closer.
Even in the shop, there's a more open feeling.
There are empty pockets of space.
Once these left overs are gone and I can park in there again,
it will just be refreshing.
Since moving here nearly 17 years ago, there seems to always be one reason or another keeping us from being able to park in there.
I did get it to the point that I parked in there this winter.
I have just been really surprised at how calming it has been to have gone through e v e r y t h i n g.
There will always be things to go through and keep on top of,
but from here, it seems manageable - more like maintenance mode.
It's not something that happens in a half-hour like on TV.
It has take a few years to actually go through everything.
There are emotional correlations with 'things,' and life doesn't stop 
so we can deal with all the clutter.
I still have some papers to sort through but 
will wait until I can have a fire going.
I'm sure I'll figure out more that can go,
but for now, I'm going to enjoy this calm feeling.
That's really the best word-
just. . . . calm.

It's the weirdest thing.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sometimes It's Free

Our wood pile looks pretty much the same as it did a couple weeks ago
with the exception that the odds and ends are now stacked.
(There were a couple more rounds that were given to a friend.)
Every so often, I like to check Craigslist for this or that.
If I do, I try to remember to look under the "free" category.
It's most often old mattresses, broken furniture, or a year and a half old "puppy" none of which I am interested in.
This time something caught my attention.
Free black walnut.
And it was near Mr. LB's work.
Our forests are closed right now meaning we can't go get wood.
I contacted the fella and hubby and made arrangements.
Mr. LB took the trailer and after work, picked up 
probably 2/3-3/4 of a cord of wood.
He wanted a couple pieces for a project, and 
the rest will make excellent firewood.
It's still not enough but adds to the stack, and we didn't have to fall it, buck it up, or roll it to the rig however far away.
There were some pieces that needed to be cut smaller, but then only had to be loaded in the back of the trailer that was right there.
We will still need more and would like to get some for my folks too,
but I might continue to watch the list and see what kind of trees 
people are falling in their yards.
I told Mr. LB, one could go around taking up all these "free" trees
and here in a couple months sell it.
No paying for wood permits or dealing with the hassles of USFS.

We're still burning the candle at both ends of the day
so this is a shorter post just letting you know what we're up to.
More soon~

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

To Everything A Season

There is typically a somewhat predictable flow of seasons.
I don't just mean seasons on a calendar though they play a significant roll in what happens with the other seasons. 
So what on earth do I mean by that?
Well, "typically" we are finished up with wood burning season about April,
and we begin wood gathering season.
This year has been a little off.
We still had a fire burning into May. 
After our extreme winter which came complete with avalanches,
we were ready for spring.
But we weren't able to go get wood.
They made our road what they termed as "passable" but only to the last occupied house about 3 miles up the road.
Beyond that, the avalanches stayed to thaw as Mother Nature determined.
Mother Nature was apparently in no great hurry.
That meant we had to wait to get wood.  We have about 2/3 of what we need.
We are hoping to get another load soon as it is now fire season,
and they could shut down the forests at any given moment.
The other off bit is last year I was canning peas the end of June.
This year they ran about 3 weeks later.
That doesn't sound like a great deal of time, but if you think about the work load and how much you can do in 3 weeks, it might make a little more sense.
We've also had our first picking of green beans 
so I've been canning those as well.

My M-I-L gave me 9 (yep 9!) boxes of apricots.
I luuuuv dried apricots.
This year, I'm storing them in canning jars 
so they don't need to go in the freezer.
I did have to purchase the jar sealers, but they work pretty quickly,
and are a nifty thing to have and use.
I thought I was on my last round of dehydrators when my mom gave me another box so I'm still at it.
At one point I had 4 dehydrators going to get them all done before they spoiled.

Salmon season didn't really happen this year.
They decided not to open the majority of the rivers in our area
which means no stock pile of fish.
We still have several jars from last year so we'll use those sparingly.

Between Mr. LB and myself, we did draw all six tags, which if we can fill most of them come hunting season will save us quite a bit on beef.
(Tags: bear, deer, elk)
I have yet to get an elk so that's not something to bank on.
I've already heard that we are supposed to have another hard winter.
Our seasons seem to be stumbling over each other rather than pacing themselves so slow-pokes like me can keep up.
(I like to plant a few wax beans to throw in - adds a bit of a jewel to the jars.)

I now have peas done, we'll be picking another batch of green beans in a day or two, and once again think I am finishing up apricots.
Hopefully, I can get these things finished up then move onto corn
which is already on - early.
We've been running from one end of the day to the other, and our kitchen is a flurry of big bowls, canners, and various implements.  
The nice part is that our pantry shelves are beginning 
to look a little less anemic and at night, I almost literally fall into bed.
Aside from our seasons tumbling down upon us,
we are well.
And thankful mind you, that we have the provisions, skills, and ability
to do as we are doing.
We don't take that for granted.

                                                      

Friday, July 7, 2017

Built to Last~ Another Odd Antique

Found this in a little pile destined to be buried.
I nabbed it for no particular reason than as a reminder~
When we can't find what we are after,
we can invent it.
I believe it would be used as a turner like tongs.
If you know otherwise, please let me know.
I love learning, and it's one more glimpse into the past.
It still functions just as it is supposed to.
I haven't even cleaned it/them up yet.
I'll give them a good scrubbing then a coat of beeswax 
and see how they look. 

Also, to see other such items,
just type "Built to Last" it the search field.