Flotsam and Jetsam (should be a cartoon name, yes?)

I’m supposed to be prepping for a party, but eh, other than some small food contributions which are already cooking, not much to do. Also supposed to utilize this time to continue to toss/eliminate/re-store things, but my other deck storage box is still in Brown delivery limbo. As such, I am fiddle-farting around on the interwebs and flipping through my library for ideas while listening to music.  So this will be a post of random stuff, and I will have fulfilled my desire to write every day for ten days until the end of the year.  Whether I will continue at such a pace in 2014 is up in the air.  Really, my life is not that interesting on a day-to-day basis outside of my head space, lol!  It is VERY interesting in there, and quite busy.  Sometimes though, I just sit outside in the dark, pre-dawn, or sometimes late at night, and just let my thoughts go, usually to the accompaniment of some form of music.

MUSIC

So first, some artist recommendations for you – if you like them, buy some of their music.

Genre – Folk: The Civil Wars, PassEnGer (single guy, not the hard rock band, lol), Sarah McQuaid, James Walsh, John Butler

Genre – Alternative(?): Butterfly Boucher, Florence and the Machine, MitiS and MaHi, Blackmill, Telepopmusik, Gin Wigmore, Kimbra

Genre – Instrumental: 2Cellos, Adam Hurst, Lindsey Sterling

Genre – Piano or Piano/Strings combo: David Nueve, Brian Crain, Isaac Shephard, Philip Welsey, Greg Maroney

My musical enjoyment and taste is extensive and eclectic.  I could fill up several posts with such, but it would probably bore you 🙂

DREAMS

I talk often about following my dreams, having dreams, working toward dreams, but rarely have I ever put down the dreams in concrete form for my readers to see all in one place.  If you’ve read my blog from the beginning, you probably have a misty overview and are able to cobble the bits and pieces together into some kind of tangible thing.  I’ll flesh them out for you (and me) now – and these hold true whether I remain alone or if there comes a time for partnership again in my life, although the dreams may be a bit larger if two people are involved.

I want to live closer to the land and in touch with the seasons.  Grow much of my own food.  Grow my own feed for my animals. So a small(er) house, on rural land without a mortgage, where there will be extensive food gardens and perhaps if time permits, flower gardens.  Chickens, positively there will be chickens.  Fresh free-range eggs are something that I really miss. As for other animals, I am unsure.  A miniature dairy cow sounds wonderful, but I don’t consume that much dairy other than cheese, cream and butter.  Therefore I am not certain that the cost/benefit analysis would play out for me to own one, especially considering that I have zero experience in cow care.  I’ve made my own butter, kefir, and some soft cheeses.  I’d have to create a place to make the harder cheeses, plus learn the skills.  Since most likely I will have to continue to work in some fashion, possibly off property, it may be nice to dabble in but may not provide the payout that would be a good trade for the time and expense in the long run.  More suitable would be a beef cow or goats for meat.   I like goats milk, but again, I don’t drink much milk.  Seems a lot of time and expense (just in fencing alone) to provide something I don’t use much.  I don’t feel that I will have the luxury of time or money to indulge in some of the more common homestead features that a two-person situation might allow.  A greenhouse or sun room, for starting and growing plants in the off season.  I want a root cellar.  Solar back up and possibly solar full-time household support.  Due to a small affordable house plan, I will need to do without a lot of things considered common items.  Most likely there will be no dryer, maybe not even an electric washer.  I’ve lived a total of two years without either, when only my own laundry was of concern – and many years without a dryer.  It is doable.  It sucks in winter, because your fingers get really, really cold putting wet laundry on the line if using an outdoor clothesline.   When I used wood for heat, I simply put a drying rack over the largest vent and voila! heated drying indoors.

I have done some of this already, partly when my husband was alive, and the rest on my own after his death.  But I need mentors, people with more successful experience under their belt.  I am reaching out and trying to create that mentoring network one person at a time. I am privileged to be part of a large social community filled with people who have amazing amounts of real-life experience, much of it achieved through trial and error.  A lot of them are willing to share that information freely to help others.  Some are a tad arrogant or condescending and I try to keep away from them.  It is not that their arrogance is unearned; much of it has backing to it.  Some of them though seem to forget that a lot of people are not raised in this lifestyle, and they lack empathy and compassion. Thankfully, they are in the minority.

I don’t think the current place available to me will be big enough to ever call a ‘farm’, although my last place was smaller and that didn’t stop me, lol!  This time I am a tiny bit less ignorant, but not by much.  I’ve picked out the name,  Dancing Star based on a quote from Nietzche:

Inspiration for Dancing Star

Inspiration for Dancing Star

Are we as humans, ever fully at peace?  Or are we not always moving?  Sometimes we have rest, yes.  Movement and rest are both required for strong bodies and minds.   But we are always, each of us, racing against the sunset of our lives, are we not?

Philip Wesley – Racing Against the Sunset

Come race with me…

~SE

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