This has been the busiest summer of our lives.
It has also been one of the most stressful.
Some days it seems like we have bitten off more than we can chew and I have to stop to remind myself that everything that is keeping us busy has been a choice. That all our choices are things that we want in our lives, things we are manifesting, things we enjoy.
Our house renovation has gone terribly wrong. I can’t go into great detail because I don’t want to have anything in writing but basically the renovation has been stopped by our local government body and we are in a fight for the right to live in our home. This has caused us a tremendous amount of stress and heartache and it seems like at every turn we are dishing out more money for applications and fees and we have now had to hire professional help. We are still hopeful for a positive outcome but we feel like we have been thrown through the ringer. Our plans are now up in the air and completely dependant on the decisions of a board. Not fun.
Our chickens are continuing to cluck along. We have a small but thriving business in egg selling which brings me a surprising amount of satisfaction. We still only make enough money to cover our costs but in the meantime we are getting eggs from our backyard without cost to ourselves. It also feels good to be a contributor to the local food scene instead of just a consumer and my passion for local food is growing and growing.
Our garden is in full swing and our food preservation is now in high gear. We are making jams, canning vegetables, drying fruit, and freezing our bounty. I’m doing something in the garden every day and, although I easily feel overwhelmed by it all, I do love the feeling of satisfaction I get from getting dinner from the backyard instead of the grocery store.
For me this summer has been about learning. I’m unschooling myself in yoga, taking two to three classes a week, starting a home practice, and reading books. I thought about taking a teacher training course but decided to learn on my own for one year and then reassess as the courses seem to run about $3000 here. I’m learning about permaculture and making some big plans for our land. I’m learning about how to make my own soap. So far I haven’t found the time to actually make any but I am hoping I will be able to slow down enough to try it this fall.
Mike had been working everyday on our house renovations until that came to a screeching halt. He is now working outside the house but is being more selective on the jobs he is choosing which has been a good thing.
The kids are free ranging on our property, playing with their friends, building continuously with lego, and generally just enjoying the stationary life. Somedays I feel like I don’t have enough time to devote to them with all of our projects and I am thankful they are at an age where they can play independently.
We are looking into the feasibility of getting meat chickens to raise this fall. I have a friend who raises them and I was invited to see what was involved in the slaughter. The idea of having a freezer full of chickens that we raised ourselves is very appealing to me and we would be able to sell many of them to cover the costs.
To top it all of Mike and I have started an online business. We have been working on it since we got home from Asia and we just launched about two weeks ago. We have invested a huge amount of time in it and a good chunk of money. It is an idea that I had about five years ago but at the time I lacked the skills and confidence in myself to follow through. Meeting all the amazing families throughout Asia who make a living online gave me the push I needed. The website is a hyper local one, highlighting our home town, all the things to do, the events, local food, farmers and businesses. We hope that eventually we will be able to make a small income from the new website by selling advertising to local businesses.
We thought we knew where we were going this winter but with our house situation we are in limbo. If all goes well we will find out in September if we will be allowed to carry on with our renovation at which point we will be able to either firm up our plans for travel or to stay until the renovation is completed.
That’s what is happening in our lives. The busiest summer ever. How is your summer going?