This is the world. This is my life. These are my words.

I seem to keep finding myself here, again. 

In Hand-made life, photos, randomness from my mind, Uncategorized on January 5, 2016 at 20:54

I always start the year off thinking that it will be different from the last. Not diffierent as in the events that pass are bound to be, but different in that  my mind will grow differently. It will develop differently depending on the events that I witness, and by the events that are relayed to me in the stories and experiences of those i meet. And i hope that in turn I can play a part in the growth of someone elses mind, so that they to may be different this year, by being more of themselves.  

I have not posted in quite some time. When last i wrote there was a lot of things happening. To many things to talk about and then too many things to step away from to tell. And then there was nothing. Nothing new to say. And so like many times before i said nothing.  But here i find myself again with words to share. 

In august of 2013 we bought a house.  

 The house is located in south Seattle. We have an enormous spot for the food garden, the chikens have a large enclosed yard, and there is still enough space for  relaxing in nice weather. I have been busy the last 2 years fixing up the house and getting the yard into a gardenable space. It has been a lot of work but work that i have enjoyed. Neither the yard nor the house are “finished” but i think they are off to a good start. Currently the garden is a mess, but in a few weeks i will start preparing for the spring garden, and then the summer one. 

After we bought the house we started the processs of becomming foster parents witht he hope of adopting 1 or 2 infants or todlers from foster care. Everyone told us going through an agency would be best since our end goal was adoption. We jumped through all the hops and were issued a foster licence. Unfortunatly we have not had much luck or any good experiences with our agency and almost 2 years later (2 years of being licenced) we have had no foster children in our home. With the start of the new year we have decided to break up with our agency, which causes a bunch of complications, but things can not continue as they are. (more on this at a later date).

Mostly things are the same as they were. Ben is still obsessing over music ( Armand still finds joy in destroying all the things.  And I am trying to find the time to continue living that handmade, homemade life I long for.
Hello 2016.

Today i killed a chicken.

In chickens, Hand-made life on February 10, 2013 at 15:42

For the most part we don’t eat meat. I am less picky than Ben. I will eat something containing chicken broth or bits of chicken if someone i know has made it for me, mostly soup. I prefer not to, but if it is what the meal is i will probably eat it. We do not buy or prepare meat for ourselves. That being said we keep chickens for eggs.
In Seattle we can own 8 chickens. And while 8 chickens lay more eggs than 3 people should eat, i do a lot of baking so more eggs are always nice, and sometimes i need to bribe the neighbors. I realized that at some point, when the chickens stopped laying, i would need to figure out what to do with them. It would be great if there was some retirement home for elderly chickens, but there isn’t really. And i feel it is my responsibility. While i know that i would have issues eating my own chickens (it took me a few weeks before i could eat their eggs), i am not opposed to someone eating them.
Most of the people i would give the chicken to for eating would not really be up to preparing the chicken, so i felt that it was something i had to learn. That coupled with the fact that sometimes chickens get sick or injured and the best thing is to help end their pain. We decided before we got chickens that they would not be going for doctors visits, so we would need to figure out how to handle the situation ourselves. So i took a class.

I got back about 30 mins ago. My hands have been washed 5 times with soap and hot water, but they still smell slightly of freshly killed chicken. I did not bring my own chicken to cull, but someone in the class was kind enough to let me cull one of their chickens. It was a lot easier than i thought it would be. Of course that might have something to do with it being someone else’s chicken. I held the chicken for a while to calm it down. Then i lowered it into a cone and pulled its head through the hole in the other side. The chicken was really calm, and still. Slit, and drain. Once the blood stopped dripping you take the bird and dip it in scolding soapy water for about 10 dips to loosen up the feathers. After that the feather came off very easily. Strangely enough i found it more difficult to gut the dead bird than i found to cut its throat, but i did it. It was a good learning experience. I do not wish to do it often but i now know that i can do it if it needs to be done.

The sadness of garden greens in winter.

In Gardening, Hand-made life on February 6, 2013 at 13:14

As autmn began I started to plan putting the garden to bed. Autumn came and went, winter set in and still the garden was not fully tucked in to bed. The mustard greens that I had let go to seed with the intention of using said seeds to make mustard powder slowly fell to the ground and started to sprout. The broccoli rabe that had not really matured during the summer had continued to attempt to grow. The kale grew on, the garlic I planted too late last season began to sprout and the buckwheat I planned for the chickens emerged from the ground. We are having a very mild winter.
A few weeks ago I started to look through the seed catalogs and decided that with what we had still growing and seeds we saved from last year, we wound attempt to just plant what we have and see how it went. Then the garden massacre happened.
Due to miscommunication (I am being nice), some workers our landlord hired to cut down a tree “weeded” the yard. Because no one was around to tell them what was a weed and what was food and I suppose assuming that nothing grows in the winter, the lovely (I am being nice) workers proceeded to rip up every green thing emerging from the ground and remove the first inch of top soil cleaning up. The mustard greens were gone, the kale gone, the buckwheat gone. Half of the garlic remained but because they had removed so much soil most of them now stood naked above ground, their roots exposed. I later found out that they had ripped up all 4 kinds of mint we had growing, and as if to add insult to injury after they had made bare our raised beds they trampled through them to remove the cut down bits of tree from the yard. (Footprints don’t lie).
I have been feeling sorry for myself garden wise since then. I know it’s still early and there is plenty of time to plant most things again. I just really want to yell at someone for this but that won’t happen. So I shall start planning my spring garden as if nothing happened and look forward to eating those first greens.