Thursday, May 19, 2011

Busy baking and prepping for the coffee shop!

Well not too much time here, the week has been a big rush! Quotes out on websites! Busy having the "L" team (Len & Larry) work around the place. School and dance events happening. NOW baking for the farm market Friday and our "Soft Opening" of the coffee shop on Saturday! So much to do!

I wanted to share this link to the latest article printed - part two - of our move and transition which was published in the May/June issue of Synergy Magazine. Take five minutes to enjoy! While you are there peruse the other great articles that Synergy authors share.

Have a great day! It has stopped raining in Fosterville, the sun peeks through from time to time and I am baking up a storm for the Farmer's Market! Join our Facebook group to keep up to date with what is happening at the Farm and Coffee Shop and when we reach 60 members we draw for a FREE Golden Unicorn T Shirt and loaf of bread! (If you live far away I can just mail you the T shirt!) Invite your friends! Just click on the link and you can join!

OK have to work the yeast is rising and I better rise to the occasion as well! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away - don't come back until a hot summer's day!

It is Sunday afftenoon and I have just got home from volunteering at the community centre to host a fireman's lunch. The volunteer fire department had training all day on their new truck and the recreation council prepared lunch for them. Sadly the rec council president ended up unexpectely in the hosptial last night (she almost didn't go because she was worried about the luncheon) however, we picked up the slack. Anita took charge and the rest of us helped out. It helped that Anita had it all ready for us and we just had to put together sandwiches, set tables, put on coffee, crock pots of soup, etc. Gib, we hope you get  better really soon and Anita, wow, great job!

I had planned to go to church this morning with Len, Larry and Jessica, but was needed at the centre so decided to forgo church. We don't normally attend, although we have been a few times and Jess goes more often. Larry wanted to go today so Len and Jess took him and then they were off to cross the border and fuel up. We have to go across for fuel due to the current prices, although diesel has dropped about ten cents a litre here, it is still almost $1.30 litre vs. $4.00 a gallon in the USA.

I am now home, relaxing, listening to the rain drizzle continuously outside as it falls. It is actually about 7 hours later now than when I started this blog post and the rain is still pouring; it is past a drizzle and is downright cascading from the sky. At almost 9:30pm, with dinner and dishes done, Jessica in bed and Rachel getting ready for school tomorrow, I am sitting in the dim room, goldenrod with mint tea by my side and feeling somewhat lethargic. Perhaps it is the constant rain for the past few days. Maybe it is the fact that there is so much to do. I am not sure, but I do know I feel like doing nothing.

I am in one of those moments where even Facebook is dull. Clearly no one has much going on they feel the need to post. Well, maybe some people do, but I chucked about a dozen hangers on off my Facebook this weekend since we really have little in common, never communicate or they are so freaking self indulgent that they ONLY care about what they are doing and how much it cost. I mean, REALLY could you imagine someone who is so egocentric that they only talk about themselves???? 

Oh, oops, wait a minute, is that ME? Maybe I should have deleted myself from Facebook. Well, I guess I don't have to delete me, you can do it for me! That's right, just head on over to edit friends, find Sarah Sherman and hit REMOVE. It is THAT simple! While you are at it be sure to remove yourself from my mailing list OK? GREAT! Now, that I have gotten rid of those who do not wish to peruse my individualistic views, let's get on to the rest of you!

This weekend has been amazing. Wet. Dismal. Exciting. Fun. Discouraging. Encouraging. Exhausting. Stimulating. Reassuring. AND finally.... INTERESTING! Why? Let's see...

Thursday morning I received a call from Len's brother Larry. He was in Newfoundland and had booked a flight to Moncton, New Brunswick to be picked up at 9am on Friday. We were thrilled to have Larry come especially since we knew he wanted to help out and he was a hard worker. Thursday was spent getting my baking ready for market. Fixing a good Maritime meal in advance for when we got home on Friday (deep brown molasses baked beans and porridge bread). Getting up at 5am to bag the baking, get out the door around 5:30am, drive to Glenn's, drop off the baking so he could take it to market and borrow Glenn's car to go to Moncton.

I felt like I had barely slept since I woke up at about 3am and smelled ham cooking... weird! I thought at first that it was some crazy sensory dream. Then I figured Len had gas and was wafting off the aroma of honey ham. In my sleepy haze I kept turning away from him so that I would not inhale pork but no matter what I did he still stank. Poor guy! Here he had a long bath before bed and still smelled BAD! Finally I just got up at 5 after feeling rather robbed of my rest. I walked into the kitchen to look at the crock pot to finish up my beans and realized LEN DIDN'T smell bad! (At least not this time!) It was the smell of the beans soaking over night in the pot! I laughed at myself while feeling relieved that my husband had not acquired some strange odorous disease.

We had a good yet quick trip to Moncton. The weather was a bit drizzly but the sun came out later in the day. It was a nice experience to pick someone up from the airport and not be hassled by the security guys as I sat out front, ahead of the taxi's waiting near arrivals. It was a wonderful feeling to see Larry and Len walk out to the car... When you live far from family and those you love, you don't realize how much you miss them until you see them again. THANK YOU Larry for coming! Thank you Lylia for sharing him!

Our drive to Woodstock was full of conversation and stories. We have not been to Newfoundland yet and we listened intently to Larry's tales of his trip. We were animated as we told him about our new lives, shared experiences as we crossed the countryside and delighted to be together again. Much later, after several stops and upon our arrival home, we were finally able to show off the homestead. Len and I are very proud (in a humble sort of way) about what we have. In the eyes of some it is not much. In the eyes of others it is beyond what we could ever need. To us, it is home, Fosterville at the base of Green Mountain. Of course, typical guys, they disappeared without a word for a 3 hour walk through the forest to find the end of the property line. No, they didn't tell me. Yes, I figured that was what they had done. No, not sure if they were OK, but, I did promise Rachel if they were not home by morning, I would call for help! Oh yeah, I know how to take care of MY GUYS!

I know Len is touched to have his younger brother here. Larry, you are always welcome in our home. We hope that next time your lovely wife, Auntie Lylia can join you ... Thank you for coming... You have already helped us and stimulated our ideas again on what needs and what can be done here. Yes we have had moments of great discouragement. Times where we just didn't know how to get from here to there, from A to Z. You have helped us get back on track, make the insurmountable become surmountable and lit a fire under us again. Last, but not least, thank you for getting Jessica to eat her whole dinner including her vegetables! She admires you alot, Uncle Larry!

I am really excited to have Len and Larry the "L" team working here for the next week or so. I need to rework my budget to get more supplies and we have to HOPE the rain stops so they can get some things done outside. I have noticed that some people put a DONATE button on their blogs from PayPal, but I figure I am probably full enough of myself that I better not do that. I should be paying you to read my blog, not you pay me! 
Don't worry this is not a LIVE button!
Simply send me a cheque that's fine! :)
I made a pot of tea about an hour ago for myself and the "L" team but I think they have become absorbed outside in Len's shop. So I have poured my last half cup and will relax for a few moments before I go to bed. Now, I need to sleep, get up on time, NOT nap in the morning and work hard to accomplish enough tomorrow to move forward. Here is to a good night, good friends and great families!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lazy or Overwhelmed?

Me - Sarah Canning - Fall 2010

Sometimes it just feels like life is moving too quickly. At other times life is moving soooo slooowly! These days it is a bit of both. The weather is lighter and spring has sprung. The light rains are good for the land and we are moving right along. I feel like there is so much to do and nothing to do it with! Oh well, I suppose it will all happen in due time.

I planted some of my seedlings for my garden about a month ago and some are coming up. It is time to transplant those to bigger pots and get them to do well before they hit the ground. Other seeds don't seem to be doing anything. We purchased all organic and heritage seeds and they don't have as good a return as genetically modified seed but we knew that and I am sure each year will improve. We also planted some of Len's mom's seeds from about 20 years ago but they don't seem to be doing much... maybe seed can go bad?

We have decided to fence in a garden about 125' x 25' and put grow boxes in it. This way it will be a bit easier on my back and I can put topsoil in so that I have less weeding to do. I am going to try some of the "square foot gardening" methods I have read about to decrease the work and improve the yield. Len is going to purchase the fence posts and wire tomorrow and start putting those in with a neighbours help before the ground hardens up too much. Then we will schedule the barn raising. There is so much to do! 

Of course we still have bedrooms to do and the little "coffee shop" to put in. I really would like to see bedrooms up by summer. It is so hard all being on the same floor, there is little privacy and tension does tend to build up. It looks like we just sit on the computer or our beds, but there isn't many other places too sit at this point, so that is what we are left with. The coffee shop will be fun, but work, for me. It means getting up early, not going back for naps, baking and being perky! Damn! Oh well, I can do it - it is for the summer only!

Of course in the midst of the garden, keeping house, caring for kids, running a coffee shop, baking for Farmer's Market and working 2 days a week, I also have a web design business to put time into. Busy? Yes! I guess this is why time feels like it is flying by. I am excited to have the animals come - of course I have to earn some more money to buy them! I love watching chickens just wander about their day, pecking away. I know the bats will be back soon, but the upside there is they keep the mosquitoes down, so I guess that is good? I also hear they leave great leftovers for gardens!

I do tend to feel overwhelmed and anxious and a little out on my own. I miss having friends to have coffee with and visit with, but not in the way I would have thought. For the most part I am enjoying being out here and alone. I do worry that I can easily shut myself away and putter through the day, never leaving my yard, let alone my house some days.... No, I am not becoming an agoraphobic but who knows, it could happen!

So now it is Wednesday and I am home until 6pm when we are off to the last month of dance classes for the year. I need to clean the house, do laundry, bake and finish up a paying computer job. I then need to shower, make dinner and get the kids to dance to arrive home and rush to bed by 10pm. Thursday is my big baking day to prepare for the Friday market. I do enjoy going there and seeing the people who have started to become regulars for my product. It should pick up soon with tourists and more people coming out in the nicer weather so I will expand my product line. I have decided to really stick to the breads since there are other sweets and cookies for sale at the market - I shall develop my niche!

The goal of summer in our bedrooms does not look good but I have to magically make some money appear and who knows? It could happen! Look at this weeks federal elections? Crazy things do occur! I need to finish paying for our dog, buy some goats and come up with chicken feed to pay for the birds.  Of course the kids are growing and need clothes.... More to do, less time to do it and the clock is ticking....Can you hear it? Or is that my stressing heart beating furiously? Have a great day - it is time for me to get my butt moving! (or head back for a SHORT nap!)

Don't forget to pick up a copy of Synergy Magazine in May/June if you are on Vancouver Island for the second installment of my article. I will post the link here when it is posted on line since it doesn't seem to work to add the document to the blog. If I figure it out I shall let you know! Now, go have a productive or lazy day, you decide!