Friday, May 22, 2015

Brick Dust: Spring Brings Changes

Our beautiful sage bush.

Spring brings change, and around here, there's a lot of change happening!  First off, you've likely noticed that I've changed the name of this blog.  There are a lot of reasons for this change, but I don't quite have the words.  The new name came to me just this evening, as we were coming in from dinner.  Sage has been a special plant to me for a very long time, and the fact that this old girl has been with us for so long and has stayed so healthy has been an inspiration to me.  She feeds us, and she also helps me to stay connected to Spirit. Plus, she's just so darn gorgeous!

While we don't live on an alley, we are in the suburbs, surrounded by concrete and asphalt and apathy.  Our yard is tiny (though we do get a lot out of it!) and traffic sounds are a constant.  I also just like the way "Sage Alley" sounds as a writer.

The content of the blog is not going to change.  The new name actually feels closer to the intended spirit of the blog, too, and it's casual.  We're casual people around here.

Just another afternoon at home.

The garden is in for the year, but it is decidedly scaled back.  (I'll get to why in a moment.)  What you see here is our collards.  My boyfriend is letting the collards and kale go to seed, so we can collect seeds.  We'll still probably eat some of the plant, after we've harvested seed pods (if the leaves are hearty enough for us to do so,) but the main goal is to collect seeds.

We also are collecting seeds from our carrots.  There aren't many planted, and my understanding is that they are strictly seed plants, so I'm not expecting to harvest any roots.  We did find a few "surprise carrots" early in the season, and they were juiced.  (Yummy!)

Also in are kohlrabi and beets. No tomatoes or peppers this year.  

It's been unseasonably cold here in Maryland.  We had a few very hot, humid days, but now, we are back down in the 40s and 50s! (Brrr!)  Considering the weather patterns, we really didn't see the sense in planting certain things.  Only the most hearty plants.

Another reason we are not planting much is that We are moving this summer! We are taking Sage Alley to the country!   While we will still be within about an hour's drive of Washington, DC and Baltimore, we will be living in quite a different world.  Most of our neighbors where we are moving are farmers!  We are going to have more land, which means we will have a larger garden!  We're both excited about this.  I'm particularly excited, because it means there will be room for two of us in the garden, so I will be able to get my hands into the dirt!  I have a couple of additional things I want to grow, too, that I never could have grown here.

We are moving, because of my mother.  At this time, we are managing renovations to her house in WV. This is beyond our DIY skills, and our timetable is too tight for us to be able to futz around and learn as we go.

As for the Little Stone House here in Maryland, I will be keeping it and renting it out.  While I am hoping to get renters in who share our philosophy about simple, green living, right living, and treading lightly upon the Earth, unfortunately, you can't really hand pick who rents your house.  You can carefully screen applicants, but you get what you get.  I'm hoping that knowing the yard here was used to grow food will encourage green types, but mainly, I want the house to be a happy home for someone else.  It certainly has made us happy, so why not share that?

Eventually, we will sell the house, but this year, the market is not conducive, so we'll wait and check in next year.

There is going to be nothing simple about this move, but we are working hard to keep it as green and frugal as we can.  We've already located some materials at the house that can be reused in the renovations to keep costs down and to keep things out of the waste stream, but with a job like this, we can only do our best.

More on this as it develops.

Musashi.  He likes to be held like a baby,

This is Musashi.  An ex and I found him and his brother, Sam, who also lives with us, when they were teeny, tiny kittens.  Mu has always been the more nervous and the more frail of the two.  Recently, part of my morning routine has been "cuddles". I sit down on the top step to put on my shoes, and he comes up and asks to get on my lap. Then, he curls up in my arms like a baby and drools.  This is how I treat my cats.  I give them love and affection, and they know to seek it out.  Some people think that animals can't feel or don't have emotions, but my experience has been that that is nowhere near accurate.

Mu and Sam are about 12 years old, which is very old in human terms.  To me, they will always be my babies, though!

Until next time, enjoy your Spring, and remember to appreciate the little things in life.

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