Rambling Updates and Rain

Today is June 1, the day I have been waiting for.  I had big plans for today, but now I am stuck inside instead.  Why is today so special? It marks the day we can begin planting our gardens without worry about frost.

My grand-children  have been having great loads of fun preparing the bed for strawberries and today was supposed to be the day we planted them.  Instead, we are having rain.  Then entire weekend is supposed to be filled with rain or thunderstorms.

Here is a picture of my grand-daughter who decided she had to climb into my raised bed to help better mix the compost into the soil.

Hard work pays off

Yesterday was a turning point for our field.  We finally pulled enough of the weeds to find the beautiful clearing we knew was there under the sumac trees for our seating area.  I found two beds where the deer were sleeping and cleared taht area sadly.  Much to my surprise my hostas the deer ate last summer were growing well under the weeds.  After clearing the weeds, and clearing the beds made by the deer they haven’t touched the hosta.

My neighbor finished her ceder bench she and her boyfriend built, it’s beautiful and my rocking chair is ready to go as well.

Not a great picture, but the area we cleared is about 20 feet wide, and the sumacs are tall enough that my 6’4″ son can easily and comfortably walk underneath.

I’ll get a better picture when we bring out the bench and chair and it’s not raining.

Garbage reinvented

When the kids first saw the rocking chair I had just dragged  in saving  it from the dumpster I had to keep them off of it because it fell apart if you touched it, seriously,  and I didn’t want them getting hurt.

The kids were so excited to see it completed they had me bring it back inside for them to sit on while we finished the area to place it.

Even the youngest grand-child gravitated straight for it on her visit this past Memorial Day. She experimented with different seating options.

First was a pillow on the seat, which followed by a blanket and pillows surrounding her for the ultimate comfort.

Bartering is alive and well

Last week a good friend called to say he needed a baby-sitter for his 3 year old son.  As I was having my grandson (same age) over for a few hours I gladly agreed.  It worked out nicely. I had time alone with each of them and a few hours they got to enjoy the company of another boy, as both are usually with girls.

Last night my friend, the daddy, who does landscaping and hardscaping came over to actually mow the areas of the field we wanted left open.   He is the first one I call when I want to do something outside that I can no longer physically do myself.  When it came time to talk about money (he will never give me a price, but I try to give him what I can afford knowing he could use it), he informed me I had watched his son and it was an even trade.   Works for both of us.

Lessons of living car-free; reflecting on jumping head-first

Being June first is also when I pay all my bills.  Wow! two whole bills (the third is automatically taken out of my account). Since I don’t use the post office I drop off my rent and payment for my internet connection.  I had also planned to wander through the family-owned garden center for plantings to add around the sumacs.  None of this will  happen today, or probably even this weekend with the rain because I haven’t figured out a good way to get around without my car in the rain.

I am still living car-free.  On April 8th I put $10 worth of gas in my car just to have gas in it.  I haven’t used that yet.  I’m frustrated because I am paying more to insure my car than I am for gas.  I will have to fill the tank this coming weekend as I have an upcoming  trip to visit my son and his family an hour and a half away.

I tried to figure out how to  insure the car only when I planned to use it, but here in my state the instant you don’t have coverage on your car you must mail back your plates to the state.  So while I have not used even $10 or 2.5 gallons of gas in two months I have paid $54 in insurance.

We don’t have any kind of car sharing in this area, it’s just too small a town.  In addition, since I have chosen to not use or have credit cards I can not rent a car.  Anyone have any ideas on how I can reduce the insurance I pay???

What to do when you must avoid getting wet

So the problems with getting around without a car….no it’s not that I will melt, I’m definitely not that sweet, with a disability, I am unable to walk very far and not at all if the surface is uneven.  My upper body is not strong enough to use a human-powered (manual)  wheelchair on anything but level surfaces, which leaves me using a power chair, aka electric, to get around.

Here’s the big problem.  You can’t allow the controls to get wet!  Great planning on the manufacturers part.  I carry a used bag, yep a Walmart bag I got used from a friend, to have  in case it would rain when I was already out, but I’m told dampness could cause it problems as well, so that idea won’t work for an extended trip in inclement weather.

Of course I wasn’t personally prepared to live car-free either, I do this all the time, I get an idea that sounds good and jump head-first into it?

Since I have been limited by where I could go for a few  years now I have no rain coat, or umbrella. I never worried about them before as I really don’t mind getting wet but running from the car to a door is much different from wandering around town in a downpour.

I avoided buying either a raincoat or umbrella due not liking the materials they are made from.  So unless I want to drive the car to the near-by city, my only option is to go to Walmart to buy rain gear I know I will hate. Well that or resort to the old camping trick of cutting a hold in a garbage bag to use as a poncho.  I really thought this through didn’t I?

Alternative plans

Instead of working outside, I am stuck inside.  I’ve decided to clean out the one closet I have and pack more things up to donate.  Guess then I will scrub the bathroom, why I hate cleaning a bathroom I don’t know, but I leave it to the last every time.

I’ve already packed up the few children’s books I picked up at yard sales when the grand-kids were old enough for books and will donate them.  Being that they are here quite frequently the books are neglected as they have been read too many times.  I have begun to pick up an assortment of children’s books each time I go to the library, this keeps a fresh supply in the house and the kids are again enjoying being read to, when we aren’t outside.

Since I am inside this weekend, thanks to Heidi at lightly crunchy, I have found a project to help remind myself of just how far I have come in changing my lifestyle.  It’s called slow living month-by-month and was the brainstorm of Christine at Slow Living Essentials.  More on that tomorrow.

On a good note, a neighbor just purchased a circular saw, when they built the ceder bench.  I have just the job for him.  I have a desk that came with the apartment that I want to cut down and convert to a nightstand.  I don’t really want to do it inside, so that too will have to wait for nicer weather, but at least I know who will be cutting that monstrosity down for me!

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