Monday, March 21, 2011

Living Richly, Not Excessively

One of my goals in recent years has been to not live in excess, but to live a rich life.  
What does this mean?  I imagine it would mean different things to different people, but for me, right now, it means living life with an awareness of the present moment. Taking the time to notice and enjoy the seemingly small everyday things. Paying attention to the natural world and enjoying its rhythms.  Spending time outdoors, enjoying the sunlight, rain, storms, flowers, snow, animals, the night sky, and all those things that are free that most of us ignore at a great cost to our spirits.
With this awareness of the moment, comes the need for an understanding that a whole life is made up of moments. Experiences, loves, learning opportunities, bad days and good... We are all being sculpted by these experiences and what we do with them is building character!  
Living richly also, for me, means ridding myself of anything unnecessary, not beautiful, or which could be put to better use by somebody else.  This can mean material possessions, but easily extends into the rest of life (my entertainment, my character traits, my attitudes).  Ask, How does this enhance my life or the lives around me?  A cluttered life full of "stuff" can cause you to miss the beauty around you.
To live richly, you don't have to be rich!  As a stay at home mom and our family CFO, this is extremely important.  I don't bring in any money.  My job is to spend Brandon's hard earned money wisely.  Insuring we have enough for today's needs (are they truly needs?) and buying experiences (quality ingredients for a delicious meal, flowers to plant in the yard, entertaining family and friends) rather than things (clothes, shoes, purses, appliances) has become important.  I work to fill my days (our family's days) with good company, real food, great music.
As a mama in the midst of raising little ones, often I don't have the luxury of alone time.  Living richly, though requires a little bit of it.  It is important for me to enjoy my own company. I am the only person I know for a fact that will be with me from now until I die.  Learning, being, accomplishing, and experiencing rather than getting, buying, and taking will go far to help me be a person I want to spend time with.  Would you be your own friend?  Sometimes I think I wouldn't like me very much.
Are you moving toward living richly?  What does this mean to you?

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's coming, it's coming!!

Back of the house.  Chicken coop will be located on the right where the dead tree is in the photo.
Same area as the previous photo, but from the perspective of the back porch.  We have cleared a lot of shrubbery (and have more to clear).  The shrubs, trees and brush used to extend as far as the water spigot in the right of the photo.  The dead tree is sitting in the location of our future chicken house!
Here is my new BEAUTIFUL 3-bin compost!
Each front slat is removable making it extremely easy to load, unload and turn.
With the Vernal Equinox just 2 weeks away, I am letting myself really get into the Spring planning!  The garden plans have been coming along quite nicely for some time, the chicks have been ordered (and are scheduled to ship on April 11th) but I have been sitting on this Spring-cleaning, life-organization bug for a week or so now and I am ready!

I have gone through my Rollogas Family Home Operator's Procedures Manual and revamped!  I have updated my Morning, Naptime and Before Bed Routines, as well as my Daily Tasks.  If you are interested, you can also look at the "old" version of them (made while living at Davis Ave and pre-Theo) by checking out my posts from June 2009, entitled Adventures in Homemaking Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.  I have also been working on some new pages for my Procedures Manual.  The new pages will be Monthly, Semi-annual, and Annual tasks, so stay tuned!

What are you itching to do this Spring?

As per my usual, I will leave you with some garden photos.  :)


Pea shoots.

A row of spinach seedlings.

Row of Tom Thumb lettuce.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring is coming!

You may have heard that the groundhog predicted early spring.  I don't normally put a lot of faith in what old Phil says, but it has seemed to be so.  We had quite a few warm days in February.  After a particularly cold winter (I didn't check the weather records, this is just my opinion) and being stuck inside so much, the warm sun is a welcome friend!  We are back to spending entire days outside and my spirit is slowly recovering from its cabin fever.

We have been spending quite a bit of time in the garden.  For those of you who don't know, I have sold a share of my garden produce this season to my friend Laura.  I have been calling it my "1 person CSA".  This fact has completely changed the way I am planning for the  season.  Since the shares begin on May 15th, that requires that I have produce to share by then!  It has both complicated and simplified the process.  It has complicated it, in that I had to be extremely careful in the varieties I chose to grow and in getting things started at exactly the proper time.  It has simplified things in that the entire garden is planned down to the day.  I know what tasks need to be done in the garden on any particular day.

Here are a few photos of things that are happening in the garden.

We have things growing windows in the kitchen and in the living room. 

Brandon is working on a new 3 bin composting system for me.

Theo is also helping! ;)

The composter will have 3 sections.  One for finished compost, one for cooking compost and one for adding new stuff.  As the "cooking" section becomes cured and I use all of the finished material, the bins will rotate.  The plans hare here if you are interested in building one for your own garden.

The peas are in and a few are up.  

Lettuce, onions and garlic are doing well.

Some carrots actually overwintered.  I am going to see what they do.  They look good and healthy.

This entire bed is planted in 6 varieties of lettuce.  

This will be an herb bed, but I have it planted in spinach right now.

I'll leave you with that, for now.  There will be more to come!