Jungle Janie's Blog

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10/08 - Updates

About Blogging
K, so you wonder, what happened? Janie was on a roll again...

Yeah, well, um... lots of stuff, actually. Sorry. I haven't been online much most of the time so it's been harder to do the blogging because of that. I'm thinking of doing audio or video blogging instead or in addition, alternating or something. Podcasts of sorts and all. My camera takes short videos fairly well and I might be able to find my son's digital audio recorder - both portable. I could do the blogs in-between stuff informally on the go... Hmmm... I think it has potential.

I think I'll be able to do some of the FAQs with audio or video stuff too. That might get them to happen quicker than they've been happening.

I have been pretty obsessed with knitting lately - been knitting pretty much every bit of spare time I have with my hands. I have also gotten into listening to Podcasts about crafts in addition to news and such as well. I just realized today that my son hasn't been using the digital audio recorder we got him to use for taking notes or making compositions in school. It's one that would interface with voice recognition software and type things out for him, which is a challenge due to his dyslexia. He's gotten fairly proficient with typing and spell check though and doesn't need it for his life right now. So.... I'm hoping he knows where it is still (Mr. Gagethead, he is indeedy) and it's not buried in some pile of electronic stuff somewhere not to be found for years. LOL

I've also decided that rather than try to post daily and feel badly about getting so far behind, I'll try to post weekly instead - either typed, audio or video. We'll see how that works. I'm not sure what day I'll post them, probably over the weekend, but I'll figure it out once our schedules settle again.

The Farm
We were doing quite well with the farm for a while there, had worked up to 7 farmers' markets a week (over 6 days - there were 2 on one of the days), and had other wholesale customers as well. We were lovingly pumping out the organic veggies and loving it. :)

We knew that we'd probably have to move the veggies to another place once the papayas get to a certain age as they'd shade out the veggies and would get so large that the roots would overlap so we wouldn't want to disturb them. So we were able to get a lease on some other land that we planned to move onto when the time came. We planned to overlap things and transition from one to the other fairly seamlessly.

Well, there were complications with that plan - mainly getting the land at the new farm prepared for planting. We had a hard time finding someone who had the equipment and know-how to do what we needed here - and then had a hard time finding time they were available. It took several months to get them out there to begin with, but it worked quite well. Well, sort of... He wouldn't do both parts we wanted to do, claiming that we needed to mow, then wait and mow again before doing the rest. That's how most of them do it here. So try as we did, we could not get him to stay and finish the second part that day. He said he'd be back in a week or two though, so we figured we could wait. Well, wait we did... and we're still waiting! It not only has been over a week or two - it's been over a month or two at this point. Ug!

The problem is, we cannot wait any longer. The time to move is now - for many reasons: we were subleasing through someone else and the landlord changed the locks on the gates but would not issue more than one key for our group (even though there were several subleasing the piece). This is after the security guards had been hassling people who came there to help us farm. It got worse after the key change - they said that only my husband could go there (not even me) and that we had to have the key (which they would not give enough copies of for my hubby to have his own) and that we could not use a hide-a-key and all. It'd become totally unworkable. Evenso, my hubby plodded along and worked out something so that he can bring me in and we have access to the shared key.

The security people got all weird over time and the landlord's office claimed that they were having problems out there (there are many acres of leased land over there beyond the gates and many people leasing various parts of it). We weren't able to get in for a few days when they changed the locks because the security people told us we couldn't go in without the key - but they hadn't issued the new key yet. Doi. We ended up having to miss a few markets and weren't able to go in daily to water, weed, plant and tend to the farm either. In addition to that, there had been a few storms and such that made it more challenging to grow things consistently and some farmer's markets that were completely rained out. It had become questionable about whether the people we were subleasing from actually had a lease for the term we were supposed to have as well as other issues with them that had become apparent. We had been having less and less planting space due to the papayas as well, so we realized the time to relocate had come, ready or not. We've reduced down to two days of farmer's markets a week, have stopped planting and stopped weeding at the old farm in order to get this done.

So we have been working on relocating our farm, even though we are still waiting for the equipment to come and prepare it for us to plant... because we have no other choice at this point. My hubby and I have been trying to figure out ways to get some things planted ASAP without waiting for the equipment as we cannot even raise the guy on the phone these days anymore. (He may be off-island for the holidays and such). Heh, the ironic thing about the security and all over at our old farm is that after we reduced the farmer's markets and stopped going there daily, someone stole some of our tools. We'd never had any theft problems before - and they were supposed to be making things more secure by making it so hard for people who belong there to get in. LOL We weren't able to do anything about it the day we discovered the thefts 'cause we were rushed to get the harvest done and to market, but we moved out everything we could over the next couple of days, leaving things to do harvest with since we'd still need it there for now. We got a storage shed and assembled it and all, after my hubby cleared some of the land with his high wheel weed wacker and regular heavy duty weed wacker.

We need to set up the irrigation and all over at the new place too - but need the land prepped first... We're trying to figure out how to get it done anyway. It'll work out in some manner or another though.

It's nice to not have that long commute daily anymore and I'm looking forward to the short commute in the near future. So it'll be much better once it's done. We'll just end up having a gap in our production it seems, which we'll deal with in some manner or another as well.

Oh yeah, we've also been looking for acreage and at acreage within the price range of the person who's gonna' get land that we'll then be able to use long-term. We've been looking at auctions, listings and word of mouth stuff too. We haven't found anything that will work in that price range yet, but we feel we're getting close! :)

Given that we couldn't farm and haven't been able to do things as much in relation to that lately we've been taking the opportunity to get things done around the house that were overdue and needed. It feels so nice to get some of this done - finally. We've been able to get rid of some of the clutter inside much better than ever before and we've started to do some repairs here and there (like the wooden fence that we put up about 10 years ago that needs new supports 'cause we didn't want to use treated lumber at the time and it's rotten now). We've also decided to take out the garden fencing in our yard, figuring that we'll do the trellis gardening at the farm instead. That will give us more room to get to the fruit trees and harvest them when they're producing. We're going to move the plants in the garden area to the new farm. Most of them are Permaculture-ish type of plants that grow on their own here once established, so we can plant them there even before the land is prepped. We decided to not have a compost pile at the house since the new farm is in town and we can bring things there instead, so we're clearing out the compost piles from the yard. Nice.

It feels terrific to make some tangible progress in this area. There's much more we want to accomplish (including new flooring at some point - hopefully soon), so we may not finish it before we get things going at the farm but we're getting loads of it done now. Speaking of the flooring... it's currently what was a white plush carpet (came with the house, unfortunately) that has majorly suffered from little boys trekking in and out of the yard from the pool to my son's room and all, not to mention us coming from the garden in the yard or the farm. We all tried to take off our shoes at the door, but sometimes when in a hurry that fell by the wayside... And then there were the occasional spills and such, and rain coming in from the window when we didn't realize it, stuff leaking under boxes stored there, etc. It's amazing that it doesn't smell. Thank GOODness! :) It's not white anymore, needless to say, heh. And it's needed replacing due to all the stains and such for a while. Now that we've cleared out a lot of the boxes and such that were stored in there it's more of a possibility. Yay! :)

We want to have something that will be more well suited to our lifestyle than a white carpet. LOL I suppose almost anything would be more well suited to our lifestyle than a white carpet. :) We'd been eyeing bamboo flooring that's surprisingly inexpensive for some time now, but as it got closer I started thinking that tile was better. We'd been eyeing tiles too, but were leaning towards the bamboo previously. I went on the Internet to find out pros and cons of things and discovered that we might want to do a cement stain instead, and then seal it. The foundation is a cement slab and the garage has it bare with just a seal, which works quite well. It looks like the cement stains are quite versatile and can be quite beautiful as well. So that's what I'm leaning towards right now. My hubby's not so sure. Actually he's not so sure about thinking about changing the flooring right now either. We have so much else to deal with right now, it's understandable. Whatever we choose we'd have to take the current carpet out, so I figure that we'll see if cement staining is even an option at that point. (The cement slab has to be in good condition to do it apparently).

So ANYway... lots of stuff going on at the house-front as well, suffice it to say. I'll move on to other stuff now...

I'm still doing all raw, like usual, however not as well as usual for the time being at least. We're budgeting our funds and have not had as many veggies for ourselves to eat or to trade for other things, so things have been a bit scarce at times. This has resulted in me eating a bit too much fat (probably more like 20%-25% ish) and some of my rarely occasionally things more frequently. It's temporary though, so I'm feeling okay about it. Of course I'm noticing the corresponding changes in my vitality but at least I know what's causing it and how to change it to what I want.

That's been going really well at times and not so good at other times while I was away. I finally was able to make it to one of the classes at the gym where I work. It was really fun! :) I was going to the gym and rowing every other day and doing some free weights again too for a while there. Then it became obvious that I wasn't able to keep doing the work schedule I'd been doing - and get enough sleep. I was getting too tired and was taking the time to sleep instead of working out 'cause I just wasn't getting enough sleep otherwise. Between getting up at 3 in the morning for the job at the gym and doing harvests and farmer's markets for the rest of the day, sometimes into the night, I was only getting about 3-5 hours of sleep most days. I was having trouble staying awake when driving to the farmer's market that was the farthest from the farm (about an hour and a half) so my hubby had to do that one. Just so I could sleep. He needed to be farming though. It didn't make sense to hire temporary help at the farm to cover my hours either 'cause we pay people more than I was getting paid at the gym. LOL So I told them I couldn't work that day anymore. They said that the other person who was working mornings was going to be switching jobs there and they wanted me to just switch that day for another instead of working one less day. I figured out what day was the least worst day and exchanged it for that one. The thing is, it conflicted with the class I took there. Bummer. I thought that I might be able to take the yoga class that conflicted with my previous shift though, but now I'm realizing that it's probably not gonna' happen. Now that we're moving our farm, we won't be down that way as much so I'll probably not make it.

I'm thinking that I may have to quit that job completely, or at least drop the day I switched for. That day's not gonna' work out very well once we're back to our usual schedule since that night's the night we stay very late harvesting (with headlamps) for the early morning market the "next" day. I will probably not go there much 'cause it's an hour away, and it doesn't make sense to drive that far for the amount of pay I get and a membership I'll probably not be using much if at all... But I'm not gonna' drop things just yet. I will wait and see what happens. I may be able to work out after my shifts and after markets we have in that area if I'm getting enough sleep otherwise. Since we wouldn't have to commute for two hours a day just to get to the farm it's possible that I would get enough sleep anyway... We'll see...

In the meantime I'm doing other exercise here and there. We cleared out enough room in the living room to be able to use some of the exercise things I had in there and have enough floor room to do things in. Yay! My hubby pulled out the two rebounders we have when it was raining and we rebounded together. It was so fun! I just love rebounding! It's so joyful! :) It's also kinda' funny to try to coordinate our bouncing together too. :)

Well, I sort of covered that in other areas here - it's been variable, but I was falling quite behind for a while too. I discovered that I needed to temper my knitting obsession too 'cause I was staying up too late doing that as well as the other challenges. So I'm still challenged in that area and working on it... Yeah, tonight it's the blogging, heh. Oh well...

I haven't been taking my temperature as regularly lately 'cause of the irregular sleep, but the BabyComp still works anyway. So cool. I'm soooo glad I got it. I can just take may temperature around ovulation and menstration and that does it.

Other Stuff
My relationship with my hubby's going fabulously well, as is my relationship with my son. I am so grateful for my life with them, every moment.

When we cleared out the living room that also made room for my spinning wheel again. Yay! I haven't gotten back to it yet, mainly 'cause I've been distracted with my knitting obsession, but I'm planning on starting back on it next week.

I was playing the banjo ukulele every day - in my spare time, on the way to/from the farm and all, but then the battery in the tuner I used to keep it tuned ran out... And I took too long to get it replaced. It's been a while now and I've gotten out of practice. I have the batteries now, but haven't started back yet. I'll be starting off close to the beginning. That's okay. It's for fun anyway. The knitting has sort of taken it's place to/from the farm so I'll have to alternate them once I get going again.

The vog has come by once or twice since I last posted I believe. The last one was a few days ago and was getting to me. It lasted a bit longer than the vog though and I realized that it was a bit different afterwards - it turned out that I had another one of those little eyelashes growing astray - and into my eye. It was a bit hard to figure it out 'cause my eyes are often sensitive to wind after the vog exposure even after it's gone and it often feels like something's in it or irritating it. Was nice to have an instant solution to that irritation though - just pluck the eyelash and it's over. Definitely nice.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I only have one guinea pig now. The other one died. She was quite old, for a guinea pig that is, so it wasn't completely unexpected. It looked like she was peaceful and she'd been eating and drinking and acting fine so I think she was happy too. Same thing happened with my dog too - she died peacefully and was old as well. We miss them both daily, and we're grateful to have been able to share our lives with them for as long as we did. :) So now we're sharing our house and lives with only one guinea pig and a cat... along with all the unofficial companions like geckos and other lizards, birds and everything outside and all...

Let's see, what else... hmm... don't know right now. Guess it'll come out eventually as I blog more.

K, gonna' go now. Need to relax and go to sleep... getting up early tomorrow again and stayed up too late last night finishing a shirt I was knitting... (insert embarrassed smiley here).

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