Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Urban Homesteader-ish

I've had possession of this house in Oakland for almost two months now. We aren't quite moved out of Stone City and we don't feel entirely moved in here either. Our living room finally has a couch, a futon that we cannot return to its couch shape now that we've made it into a bed for our recurring guest to sleep on. We kind of like it as a bed, though. It's a comfy place to hang out and read a book. As for chairs, however, we are using fold up camp chairs and milk crates around our large coffee table. We do everything at this table: eat meals, schoolwork, art projects, computer time. We've got no bookshelves but I already started unpacking our large collection of books. I've made makeshift shelves from banker boxes and milk crates. The rest are just stacked in tall stacks along with DVDs and board games along the wall. I am not terribly worried about the seating arrangements, but I would like to get some real bookshelves. I feel the urban part of Urban Homesteader every day. I drive the girl to school and I face morning commute traffic. I can stop by the store for ONE carton of soymilk or a coffee shop to get a cup of already made coffee, if I so feel the need. My neighborhood is highly populated by people walking, biking, driving, pushing strollers or shopping carts, weaving in and out of traffic like lunatics, fighting loudly, playing ball, waiting for the bus, smoking a cigarette and watching the world go by, crossing the street with little regard for traffic, walking one dog or maybe 10 of them, or otherwise going about their daily lives doing the things they do. Packs of excited children walk to and from school, football players jog up and down the street, store owners stand outside their doors at a lull point in business to check out the area, my neighbor's dog is in my front yard again and I have to jump up from my sewing machine to chase it away. Life happens all around me and slowly the familiar usual activities become apparent and I know when something that happens is unusual. My neighbors speak various languages and I hear them laugh, fight, party, sing and make tea. Many of my closer neighbors make a lot of noise with home improvement projects, which is always fun to see. I don't really feel the homesteader part so much yet. I mean, my chickens are here, but the poor things are still living in the dog crate with a small temporary fence around it. We have all the materials here to build their new coop, but we haven't had the time to do it yet. Some potted vegetable plants survived the move, yet I haven't really started the garden. In fact, the temporary chicken yard is where I think I'm going to put the vegetable garden ultimately. I have bags of soil and the "bed" here, it just needs to be set up. The yard itself is kind of a project and I have been trying to tame the climbing roses and ivy that are trying to take over the world out there. It's quite a job, but I think this yard has some amazing potential. I am really looking forward to watching it all come together. I haven't been blogging in a while but I think this is a good start for getting back into it. I am kind of cutting it off here because the more I think about the yard, the more I want to get out there and work in it. ;)