Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feeling The Crunch...

Or, holy crap! In less than two weeks we're making the move to the farm and my due date was eight weeks yesterday!

I think every pregnant woman gets that sudden jolt at some point in their pregnancy where they realize 'ohmygodimgoingtohaveababyandihaveamillionthings to do..............'  and I had mine yesterday.  I was doing some light packing while Mr. Pretties (not so pretty today, kind of mad at him actually ;) )  was at work and thinking about how in two weeks we would be making the move. To a farm.  To live out our dream.  And then I was like 'What?! We're moving to a farm?!  To live our our dreams?! When did this happen?? Where was I??' followed by the next series of revelations that A) My next midwife appt is going to be an at home appt on the 2nd of February and my house is going to pile a of boxes 'Hi There, thanks for driving all the way out here, please, pull up a box...' Nice.  and B) Oldest Little Pretties 7th (!!!) birthday will be requiring a party mid February, when hopefully our house is no longer a box storage facility, which got me to C) My due date was eight weeks yesterday!!!  Which will be down to six weeks by the move, and three weeks by the party!!!  Then I had to hyperventilate into the nearest paper bag (fortunately I'm a crafter, I think I pack paper bags in every moving box because I continuously find packages of them around the house that I'm going to use for some craft or another).

Eight *gasp* More *Gasp* Weeks *Bigger Gasp*. 

 Clearly, this is not my first pregnancy, or delivery, why am I reacting like such a weiner head?  I have no idea! Other than I think I've put so much focus on the moving aspect (and purchasing glass hardware for the kitchen cabinets, and stalking Pinterest for new ideas, and Etsy for buying heirloom seeds) that I was under the impression that while ofcourse we were having a baby, that was light years away.  And by light years, I obviously mean eight weeks, which doesn't some so luminescent or annual...  I have cribs to sort out, clothes to buy, all those little odds and ends to replace, supplies for our homebirth to pick up, major organization, mental prep, tiny clothes to wash, cloth diapers to buy, a pump to find, a place to purchase newborn caps, and Argh!!!

Beyond that freak out I've also started worrying that we'll finally get to the farm, the one that we've talked about moving to for the last few years, that I have monsterous plans for, and we'll fail.  How you can fail at living on a rural property, I'm not too sure.  But I think it involves having access to a fair amount of land which can be used for all these great things I've been planning (food gardens, chickens, bees, canning, homemaking, meat raising, homesteading, etc...) and becoming so overwhelmed by the potential that everything has and complete control we've been given that we do... nothing.  Our property has no preplanned or preestablished vegetable patch, so we need to figure out where/how/when that happens, get our chickens set up in the barn, which requires critter proofing, clean up all the unkept parts of the property, clean up the 'Secret Garden' that I don't even want to think about right now because it has a scary amount of crap in it currently and where to put outdoor items like furniture, where in this vast yard we'll be spending the most time (I didn't realize how much I relied on a square backyard that was fenced in... take a way the square and the fence and apparently I'm lost).  I addition to these semi-superficial concerns, the more immediate issues of finding someone who will deliver wood to the house for the woodstove, having the oil tanks filled, starting our hydro bill (and subsequently cancelling this one), renting the truck, registering the girls for school (and getting their vaccines up to date), and so on and so forth are creeping up  This doesn't even touch on all the packing I still have to do. Or the trips to donate. Or the trips to the dump we have to.  And with all of this to do, what do I want to do more than anything?
Take a nap. 
I am such a huge help to myself it's amazing

Me: 'Hey Self, we kind of have a lot of stuff to do, want to pack some boxes today?'
Me Again: 'Uhh... while I see the value in your idea to pack boxes,  I feel that it would be more beneficial to my person if I took a nap for a couple hours and then reevaluated the box packing situation at that point...'
Me: 'That's great! Thanks SO much for all of you help here...'
Me Again: 'Hey, I'm fat, leave me alone.'

I am my own worst enemy.  BUT I'm thinking that I will get stuff done today. I'm fuelled by aggravation and I'm feeling fairly aggravated with Mr. Pretties today (Hey, I'm just keeping it real here) so that just might be the kick in the get moving department I need to make a big dent in the packing.  You would have thought the stack of apple boxes that are taller than me in every square foot of my bedroom to the point where I can't move, would be motivation enough, but apparently not.

Here's wishing me luck!! Maybe if I finish enough boxes I'll reward myself with a nap :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Farm Dog Is Coming...

Or, is this not the most awesomely adorable puppy picture you've ever seen?!  *Squeel* 

 If all goes according to plan (Crossing all fingers!), we will be picking up our St. Bernard/Great Pyrenees cross puppy from a really fabulous farm not far from ours.  I am SO beyond excited.  A big dog will be completely new territory for us, and we obviously need to add puppy training to our 13 chickens, 4 kids (and a soon to be newborn) and a completely new move.  Clearly.  It's going to be chaotic, and insane, and so, SO much fun! Can. Not. Wait.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Did Someone Change The Season Already?

Or why is my lawn green(ish)?

I just thought I'd share a few quick photos taken at the farm over the last couple weeks, just to show how dramatic the weather's been up here, it's insane!

These photos were taken New Years Eve...


Drive side of the house

Looking into our neighbours cornfield

The barn - such as it is

Now these photos were taken January 7th - a mere week apart

Front of house

The previously snow clad driveway

Our treed area

Same neighbours cornfield

Front lawn

   It was a balmy 9 degrees when we went up on Satuday, had their been no wind it would have been really and truly warm!  Such a lovely day, days like that are truly a treat this time of year, especially for those of us itching to skip right into spring and get some food in the ground, chickens on the lawn, and a cow in the barn.  Sometimes the only thing pulling us through is those periodic days when the sun beats down on us with open abundance.  I have winter issues, can you tell?

 So as it stands the count down is on for the move - with any luck we'll be out of here and into there by the 28th, but I'm crossing my fingers it'll be sooner.  My 8.5 month pregnant self doesn't want to push it any close to 'the time' than they have to, and while three weeks doesn't sound like much, I could very well be a complete and total whale by then with little to no ability to make myself mobile, let along any furiture or boxes.  We've done it before with mere weeks to spare, and I don't still have nightmares about it.  You know how they say 'someday you'll look back and laugh!', so far it's been 5 years and I still don't find it funny.  We're also hoping beyond hope (and this will infact jinx it) that this whether keeps up (or simply returns, I am totally okay with fabulous returning weather) for the move, I am so scared I'm going to wake up on the 28th to 3' of snow and ice and an hour long plus drive to the farm navigating back farm roads in a scary moving truck.  We have never moved in the winter and there are so many more variables in the winter than the summer!  But we will be SO thrilled to get there.  Although I have this niggling, irrational fear that after years of wanting this I'm going to get there, get settled, and hate it.  Realistically I don't think it'll be that big of an adjustment though, we aren't huge city people, so we should be okay. 

   So here's to appreciating fab weather, and looking onward and upward to scary/exciting moves!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Difference of Opinion

Or what to do when your parents want to each chicken from the grocery store.

I hadn't realized it until recently, but a large part of what I visualize when thinking about 'the farm' (would farmette be appropriate?) is packing up wicker hampers, piling them high with fresh bread, picturesque bundles of veggies, sun warmed berries, eggs, and a wonderfully large, free range, organic chicken to pop in the oven for dinner. A home grown feast, and I want to deliver one to each of those who are dear to me.  While it will be fabulous to eat out of our own yard and not have to travel to the local fruit market 3+ times a week to keep the littles in carrots and apples, I really want to share the bounty with others (this is where I over estimate both my ability to grow food as well as process meat, then give away everything that did grow and end up buying ours from the farmer's market).  But what do you do when those you want to share it with not want it (other than not share, obviously)? 

Knowing where our food comes from, how it was raised (far more than humanely - and the fact that that label is a 'luxury' is really sad to me), and what it ate, is becoming increasing (and obsessively) more important to us.  We (when I say 'we' this usually pertains to just me, but I like to pretend Mr. Pretties is half as mental as I am) assume that everyone else feels the same way.  Well brace yourselves folks, they don't.  And while this particular opinion isn't wrong, I find it particularly baffling when it's presented by my own parents.  The people who (presumably) my genetic make up originated.  We must be the same, right?  If not your parents, than who?  So when we were discussing the impending meat chickens that will arrive in the spring, and again late summer, and how wonderful it would be to eat our own happy brand of chicken, my dad pipes up about how he wont need any, he'll keep buying his at the grocery store. .................   Alright then...  They also will not eat our chicken eggs.  Whether it's because we keep a rooster and they are sure they're going to crack open an egg to find a chick, or because they're under the (false) impression that they are less sterile than those of the grocery variety, I'm not sure.  Probably all of the above.  I've come to discover that my parents are of the school of thought that while they know bads things happen at factory farms, and that the risk for contamination of commercial foods is higher, they don't want to know/think about it and would rather enjoy their piece of ignorance is bliss pie.  Mind you, they will eat all of these things while dining at my house.  Likely because they don't think about the fact that the cookies, quiche, and cakes they enjoy here contain our own eggs.  And obviously they haven't come down with any cases of salmonella lately, or complained of half formed chickens in their piece of cake, but 10 to 1 if I pointed this out they would also be more conscious of what they're eating here and stop enjoying it, which I don't want. 

But it's a funny realization all the same, when you come to the startling conclusion that not everyone is going to be a happy, or even willing, recipient of your home grown goods.  It's even more startling when these are the people you were most excited to impart your gifts to.  I feel like I have such a different mind set than those I know that it's becoming hard for me to relate appropriately to others.  In my mind I'm thinking 'this will be great, this will be like giving them a FREE CSA membership to our little farm, with some bread, pies, preserves, fruits, veggies, meat and eggs, this'll be a total win, they must realize how spendy a CSA membership can be, what a great gift!' and in reality I'm receiving polite silence. 

So this has been a good trip back to reality, much like any gift you give to someone, they simply may not enjoy it, appreciate it, or want it because it just isn't there thing.  I know we have some people who will be beyond thrilled to receive such baskets, and I'll really enjoy supplying them, but I'll still be a little disappointed that my parents wont be one of them, I thought I'd found a wholesome way to show them how much I appreciate all they've done for us over the years, and now I'm back to the drawing board.  I'm hoping, in time, and when they see how happily, and sanitarily things are run in our neck of the woods they'll come around.

Now I need to find a way to obtain fully grown fruit bushes.  I knew that fruit is usually only born after two or three seasons, but I hadn't thought about how that related to me and my need to have fruit THIS year.  Seeing as we rent, I'm always leary of investing in things that produce years down the road as I always feel I'm making an investment for someone else to enjoy.  Usually I'm right.  This time I hope that isn't the case as we would like to stay at this house for a very long time, unless we buy, but I would really like to be able to enjoy some of our own fruit this year, so we need to explore our options, we can't be the only ones lacking in patience ;)

So that's where we're at in the last couple of weeks before the 'big move' (please god don't let it be a blizzard), not everyone cares if their dinner was happy, and I want fruit damn it!!