Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I killed the camera!

Well not really, but I have to deal with the fact that the card in it is completely full. Somehow I have to find time when my little girl is awake to download all the images/video on to my husband's computer so they can be deleted off the camera. So I am still showing, just can't do posts with pictures. . . yet. . . 

I'm also off on a permaculture/gardening kick. I have to have the planting plan submitted for my community garden plot this Friday, so a lot of my possible computer/sewing time is being spent on that. I'll have more to share with you soon!

In the meantime, if you are interested in permaculture at all and university lectures don't scare you off, nc state distance education has a set of twenty-nine 90 minute lectures the include topics such as soil ecology, vermicomposting, green architecture, etc. This of course excited me to no end. If you feel the same way check it out here: http://mediasite.online.ncsu.edu/online/Catalog/pages/catalog.aspx?catalogId=f5a893e7-4b7c-4b79-80fd-52dcd1ced715

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Exciting news!

The sun isn't up, the snow is falling and I'm sitting here smiling. Why? Because I'm sitting here in my cozy alpaca socks and planning my garden plot!  :o)

I got the news yesterday, I was able to get a garden plot in one of my local community gardens. It made me smile. 

So now I'm off to You Grow Girl's post about the lazy gardener's seed starting chart (in excel--so it does all the math calculations for you) and to http://www.seeds.ca/ to find out when my local Seedy Saturday or Sunday (seed exchange focused on heritage varieties) is.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I LOVE treehouses!

There something you probably don't know about me. I LOVE treehouses! And I dream of one day having a low maintainance, environmentally friendly cottage.  

 This is a part of me that hasn't been reflected on my blog so far. Really all I've wrote about is sewing, food, and baby stuff. There is a lot more to me than that! I feel it is high time that I share more of this part of me. After all, I can't be the only person out there that has this dream can I?  

I've loved treehouses since I was little when Philip, Ashleigh and I built a really cool one all by ourselves. My room was the biggest and the floor was a discarded door. How could any 9 year old not think it was the coolest thing in the world?

Well, I'll be thirty this year, and I'm not afraid to admit that I want another treehouse. The one we built as kids is long gone and it is high time there were another in my life.  

The one I want to build is going to be a more adult version with things like a level floor and actual walls around the outside. I'm planning on doing a spiral staircase around the tree trunk and have a pulley system for carrying things up (like groceries and luggage). It will be in the neighbourhood of 550 square feet. We may put two small lofts in it for sleeping spaces. It will house a small kitchenette, a banquette, and some comfortable seating, and maybe a small wood-stove. On the outside I want to have a small screened in porch (4 1/2' x 10') with a few chairs hanging from the roof of the porch like swings.  

I have the tree picked out. Well, almost. . .
I'm having trouble deciding.  

Do I pick the lovely oak tree that is very conveniently located at the end of the driveway that is in a more sheltered area (it doesn't get a breeze in the summer and comes with a very populous mosquito population)? Or, do I go with the tree that you have to cross the river by boat to get to? The second tree is a lovely maple tree beside a very calming creek and has a lovely light breeze in the summer. 

I have to wait a couple of years before the necessary amount of money will be saved, so it isn't a decision I have to make today. But I really feel I need to settle on one or the other to get an action plan in place.  

Decisions, decisions! 

Regardless of how much I want to treehouse, I have to start with something a lot less glamourous. The dreaded outdoor bathroom.  

As I write this there is a broken chemical toilette sitting in a falling down structure the same size as an outhouse. Our current solution is to bush pee and for other business drive to the nearest town (10 minutes out). Clearly not an ideal solution, or a viable longterm one. Especially with a little one that we will need to start potty training at the end of summer! 

Eventually we want to be comfortably able to use the property on weekends during all four seasons. It's on a river, so it would be really cool to go skating there in the winter (as long as the ice is thick enough) and then make s'mores! That means having a winterized bathroom is ideal for us. 

The property is off the grid.  So just plugging in a small space heater isn't an option. I'm actually looking at using passive solar to heat it 90% of the time. It has to be built from scratch, so if we can adjust a few small things when constructing it and not have much in terms ongoing heating and cooling costs, why not? Especially when it only means increasing the cost of construction in the neighbourhood of 10%. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than ongoing fuel costs, especially with the way the cost of fuel just keeps increasing.

I just need to really focus and pick the right composting toilette. So don't be surprised if you hear more about them.

Friday, February 3, 2012


If you live in Ontario, you may be interested to know that we have a free service that allows us to connect with a dietian really, really easily. I'm not sure if other provinces have this or not.

Yesterday I phoned the toll-free number and was pleasantly surprised when I was talking to an actual human in less than two minutes! And a helpful human at that. She had loads of great information and I feel like I have more of an idea of what we're going to try as a milk alternative for my daughter. Although, it's possible she has grown out of her milk protein allergy at this point, so guess who gets to try a very small portion of milk this weekend if I can find the ear plugs (having a screaming child on your shoulder trying to sooth them makes the ear plugs necessary).