Friday, August 29, 2008

cedar land

walking the fields and forest, i think about the concept of ownership. this is my land, these are my trees, these cedars, some of them hundreds of years old, most of them at least much much older than i - i bought them. as factual as this statement may be, i have trouble comprehending it. regardless of any deed, this land is a host to me and my relatively brief stay here. i want to treat it well and live in harmony with it's peace, beauty, and wisdom, convinced that if the land is happy, we'll be happy too.

in this vein, i've been weighing the thought of getting some logs cut. my pops is adamantly against any sort of cutting, stating "the value of the land is in the bush itself" and uncut forest is more valuable. but i think that his fear is immersed in images of a clear-cut wasteland. there are arborists that do selective cutting and this could in fact make a forest healthier, allowing trees to get bigger with the additional space. it is also possible to experiment this theory on a small piece of land as we have probably 55 acres of it (the seller had said 45 acres of bush and 20 acres of field but the field is definitely not that large - perhaps 10). there is also an access road along the north side, so we could potentially send loggers to the far edges where we wouldn't see any of the results. the money we could get from the larger logs would help ease a small part of our debt too.

but is this right?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a new mindset

a very slow gear is starting to move inside: to think like a farmer!

d and i hit the lindsay farmer's market last saturday where i had the pleasure of meeting two of my internet blog buddies in sort of a strange cosmic fashion. tiny farm mike (who i've been reading for a couple of years!) and cameron ryan were discussing farm tours in the area, perhaps including a visit here, just as i was loading up on tiny farm produce before saying hi. animated garlic and tractor talk on top of lynn handing over big bags of green beans, lettuce, and basil sort of sparked a more 'real' realisation that i can, should, and will be a farmer too one day... one day... soon! from dreaming about such stuff while police sirens zipped by my bathurst street window to gazing over a field of singing crickets... it makes me feel like one of the luckiest girls alive.

it's late summer and house-fixin' has been our priority (gotta get ready for winter - is it really almost september?!), but the garlic possibilities are calling, best seeded in the fall. all of sudden, things on my list include: walk/photograph the fields, check the pile of boards for raised-bed construction use, read up on garlic planting tips, order seed (how much? what kind? what for?), get a pile of chicken manure from the neighbours (the rooster crows are a dead giveaway - must introduce myself!), till, draw up plans, figure out irrigation, and so on. farmer stuff! how strange and great.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

home & hearth

guests have come and gone leaving our home feeling enriched and happy. with memories, with campfire smoke and flute/guitar jams, with mom's peach jam, with stories and laughter, with loads of pressed coffee, with reno recommendations, with cobs of fresh farm corn, with bro's vehicle expertise, and with walks through the field and forest. above all, sharing. just having this place and having people we are so happy to have in our lives come stay and enjoy/appreciate with us. all are welcome.

it's quiet now, back to me and the cat during the day. am still in my pj's working in front of the compooter...

gave the new fireplace a go last night - it's sort of a joy. interesting and a little scary that we will be relying completely on this thing for our winter well-being. load of wood (7 cord!) comes in october. next year we'll order in the spring but hopefully it will still be enough time to get it all sorted. we went with ordering cut/split to save time and energy for everything else on the list. the old owners had a garden over the septic which is generally a no no so we'll probably mow it over and build a structure for some of the wood. will probably convert the porch to a wood spot as well... i imagine it could take a few seasons to get the wood schedule/placement in order.

such a beautiful day! but back to work!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

sweet bottoms

i'm at sweet bottoms cafe on market st in fenelon... so chill and nice. working here (coffee, banana bread, free wifi, good tunes!) while the fireplace dudes (jeff martin chimney maintenance) install the new insert and liner at home. he brought his beautiful dog to run around.

might do this more often. sometimes it's nice to get away from home where there are always things to do... can be distracting, even just mentally. tho taking tomorrow off to finish painting before company comes. wheeee!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


constant cricket song, happy pet sighs, bird twitters and tweets, bug bumps against the windows, rooster crows.

elvis doesn't come by anymore as the neighbours have started to chain him during the day. makes sense tho - as you can see in this photo there's a missing patch of hair on his leg. apparently dogs will lick and chew like this to relieve stress. last time i saw him it'd grown back. less confused about where his home is but we miss him!

Monday, August 18, 2008

no wars, no cars

strange - a beautiful sunny summer's day an hour ago and now rain, gray skies, thunder and lightning! it comes and goes so quickly but makes my position here, desk in front of a large window overlooking the field, an interesting sight. each day i see clouds of every size and skies of every colour. listening to ellen allien, really interesting minimal techno by a german woman. seems to match the crazy beautiful weather.

off to toronto in about 5hrs. wish i could stay. aside from just being in the lovely chilled out country-side, would love to prime/paint the office. we chose a really intense/dramatic golden yellow which will be like sunshine at the end of the hallway.

the house-warming bash we were aiming to have on saturday has been scaled down to a small gathering of friends... maybe 4 or 5. lots of last-minute drop outs but it's summertime and i think people are simply too busy and worn out to make the trip out here. fair enough - i'm sure all will come stay eventually.

and now... sun again!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

merrily we roll along

giving the first morning hour over to plants. i call it "plant time". wake up, wash, dress, eat, then re-pot, prune, water, weed, etc. an hour goes by so fast but it's enough to make me feel more okay about another day in front of my computer screen, working.

having random moments of elation. good sign. just so happy to have this beautiful space and quiet and house and cat and boyfriend... life is good.

a woman from the peterborough green up is coming by at 1pm to give me a free low-down on my well and septic. and tomorrow we'll get an energy audit and hope to qualify for some grant money from the government for the new fireplace insert and windows and whatever else we do! on and on...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

disc drive

looking out the window at my desk, the sky is all shades of blue, a spectrum from white, deep blue, to purple. clouds all over the place and spots of rain too. thunder bubbles up randomly and the crickets are out. it's a beautiful, wet day.

d's working on the basement this week. such a mess. seems to be very excited about hanging his tools. gave the windows guy a deposit this morning so it's an official go. in six to eight weeks, there will be light - all new ones plus the bedroom one a bit bigger! will surely spruce up the place and make things feel more well-kept/functional. props to the line o credit.

driving to whitby go-station in a of couple hours for a of couple days in toronto. make an appearance at the office, hang out w/ some buddies, play a couple rock shows, celebrate d's birthday. it's going to be fun. we'll also hit china-town for special groceries (going to try and sprout/pot up some lemon grass), a couch cover, rotis, bla bla bla. yet despite all the excitement and wonder of the city, am reluctant to leave, even just for a few days, the beauty and peace of our new home and life here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


a self-portrait wherein i've seemingly mastered the farm-lady stance, aging me beyond my years. pretending, perhaps, that am already a seasoned field woman, looking across her gardens with a well-earned sigh of happiness, shoulders rounded by thousands of hours bent over plants and frying pans, a worn wardrobe accented by tattered hat and work-socks full of burrs, weathered fingers and sweat on the brow. alas, am just a girl stepping away from her computer briefly to survey the upcoming yard-work that will slowly, someday, make me the gentlewoman i aspire to be...

of special note: thistles and bindweed. the internet tells me the best way to rid your yard of bindweed is... to move. ha! this should be fun - it's eagerly taken over all of the overgrown gardens and apparently the seed is viable for 20 years! tilling is a reported death-sentence and if you want to stay organic (yes), the best way to beat it is militant, constant weeding so... *rubs garden-gloves together* IT'S ON.

also, behold, a fire-pit!