So much for a lazy holiday weekend!

I may have dirt permanently embedded in the creases of my hands and under my nails.  I consider that a good thing.  🙂

LLM and I did more work than play this weekend – although, some could consider the work-play!  I think we did.  As work nears c0mpletion on the cabin addition, he had to back fill around the foundation with some stone, move a huge pile of dirt down to the draw and excavate some of the land around the new part to help water drain away.  This involved using a skid-steer.  Men and their toys…  Saturday, while he moved the dirt pile, I sat in the sun listening to music, playing with flowers and doing “real” work for my job.  It was actually quite blissful since it was about 80 degrees outside, and sunny.

After he got about half the dirt moved, the shop called to tell him his 4-wheeler was done being worked on, so we got in the truck and hauled arse back to Ronan to pick that up.  Ronan’s about an hour and a half away, and we made it to the shop with five minutes to spare prior to closing.  So got another toy loaded up, stopped off at the Town Pump to get gas, chocolate, Cheetos and beer (what a combo, eh?), and decided to take the back roads most of the way home.  We had gone down this road a couple months back and wound up on the side of the road in the sage brush watching mule deer and drinking beer for about four hours.  So we decided it would be fun to head back down there again.  Plus it got us away from the holiday traffic on the main highways.  Tourist season is in full swing here in western Montana.

Sunday morning, instead of our usual lounging in bed until all hours of the morning, we got up early.  I made breakfast while he moved the rest of the dirt, then we went up the Vermillion River drainage and got all the way up to the snow line and hung out in the sub alpine firs for a while.  Even though it was 80 degrees down in the valley, we needed jackets up high.  So technically, I guess we did get a little playing in this weekend.

In garden news:  Yesterday while LLM was back on the skid-steer I was out in the garden plucking weeds in the strawberry patch and surveying the trees in the orchard.  Got the strawberry patch totally cleaned up, hoed some of the dirt around and got ready to water just as a huge gully washer moved in out of Beaver Creek.  So I didn’t have to drag the hose all over the place – mother nature watered for us. But all 50 plants are making a go of it.  Many are blooming, and none have died.  So we got a 100% viability on that patch.  WOOT!

One of the trees – a new apple tree in the orchard – is not looking so good.  It’s got some kind of funk going on in the leaves.  It’s blooming and looks like it wants to produce fruit this year, but the leaves are just got healthy looking.  They look like they have eczema (for lack of a better comparison).  LLM is considering yanking it out and burning it so whatever the funk is doesn’t move to the other apple trees.

The grape vines aren’t doing anything yet, but the currants are going nuts.  Of all the transplants, only one has died and two aren’t doing much of anything.  But the other dozen are looking healthy, and a few are just loaded to the hilt with baby berries.  Hmmmm – currant jam this year?

We probably should have gotten the squash starts in the ground this weekend, but we just simply ran out of time.  They’re in the peat pots and are exploding as we speak.  Lettuce is coming up in droves, the lambsquarter has taken over, the radishes are looking spectacular, the potatoes are starting to sprout through the soil and there’s enough garlic to feed an army.  Oh yeah – and the onions are coming in like crazy too.  The only true loss in the garden were the six basil plants.  They didn’t survive a hard frost that hit about a week ago.

We talked more about chickens, rabbits, a dairy cow and the fact that neither of us is convinced this country will come out of this depression in any manner that’s familiar as the USA.  We also chatted about my own situation – which is that I’m throwing money away to a landlord that can’t even keep my heat working consistently.  But who knows what the solution is to that…  I do have to move in August – but I don’t know what I want to do yet.  With the financial situation in this country, that fear of debt that I have seems to be a warning not to take on a mortgage.  So in the end, I will need to find a much cheaper place to live so I can sock away as much savings and preps as possible.  I’m lucky enough to have zero debt, so my only expenses are what I currently spend to survive.  That’s a good thing that many people can’t claim these days.  So I feel secure in that.  But just lost on the land/house/living situation.  What do I do?  Squat in a camper on the cheap.  Find a place to buy.  Find a rental outside of town where I can do what I want in terms of small livestock and gardening, yet not have to worry about a mortgage.  I dunno.  But August will be here before I know it, so I do need to figure something out.

In the meantime, we may try to bag up some of the long term food storage in his shop next weekend, just to make sure it’s good to go for the “long term”.  More than anything, he’s gotta get the milk out of it’s current containers and into some mylar bags with oxygen absorbers so the milk fat doesn’t go rancid on him.  Dry milk is too expensive to let it go to waste.

But that’s another weekend in the sanctuary.  Blissful, quiet and wonderful as always…

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