If only we could do it with Lego!

Oh my it's been a long time since I've put up a new post! I knew that the summer months would be busy and have they ever!

First of all, I've been working 4 or 5 days a week since the beginning of July. It started as a volunteer position for the month of July and then turned into a paying gig. Then I also took on a one day a week gardening job. Yeah, the irony of that is not lost on me. I can't seem to find enough time to get my own gardens weeded and now I'm getting someone else's done. But it's a little more cash in my pocket at least.

Secondly, the summer building projects.
 Using scraps, reclaimed material, and some pallets we scored, we built a little wood shelter close to the door. The boys have been taking time here and there to split some of the wood and stack it in our little wood shelter. We did remove the oil tank (which was our secondary heat source) and got some cord wood in anticipation of the winter season. So we have the wood, and the wood shelter to keep the split stuff dry and handy to the door. But we have yet to get something to burn the wood with! In the next few weeks we'll be shopping for our wood stove and getting that put it in. Plus a few things will have to get done prior to installing it.
Trying to choose a wood stove  is quite the adventure. So many to choose from these days.
We have been pouring over articles and reviews to figure out what make/model to get. We have a tight budget, but considering what's involved in getting it put in, we need to make sure that it's one we'll be happy with in the years to come. Not only will we have to get a chimney liner put in, but we'll also have to finally get flooring down in our living room before we install the wood stove. I will be so happy to finally having something nicer to walk on than ugly plywood sub floor covered in paint drips and cat puke stains!

Having completed the wood shelter we felt like we had our carpenter mojo going on so we started the next project. The cattio! Yes, a rustic looking enclosure built up against the house for the feline contingent. Taz and Poncho have been pretty miffed at the loss of their outdoor time since moving here. But without an enclosure it just isn't safe here, what with the eagle flying over the property a couple of times a day, and the coyotes and fox hanging out in the woods. Last week we actually heard the coyotes howling in the afternoon...a little early in the day! We usually only hear them later in the evening. And leash time just isn't the same as unfettered movement. So when this little project is complete they will have access to come and go as they please through the laundry room window into a playground that will be the envy of any house cat.

Cheap cedar posts, a post hole digger and some chicken wire....no plans, very little measuring and just flying by the seat of our pants! By the time we are done we'll feel experienced enough to tackle building that chicken coop!

Between the chores, the building, and the paying jobs there has been some harvesting of blueberries, and now a bumper crop of blackberries. We've nibbled on home grown green and yellow beans, peas, radishes, kohlrabi, and more recently started picking carrots, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. Before long we'll be on to grapes and apples. Mmmmmm...nothing like the freshness of just-picked fruit and vegetables. A mouthful of these reminds me that my aching back is worth all the effort. And it inspires me to keep expanding on our efforts until we are finally feeding ourselves instead of relying on the grocery store.

Poncho must have gotten tired just watching me buzz around with all this activity. We should all be so lucky to be able to just flake out and have a nap. I'll bet he's dreaming about that cattio! Stay tuned for pictures of the finished project in my next post.


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