I was introduced to the idea this week. I had heard of being “born again” but I never gave it much thought, it was just a label to me.
Re-birthing as it was explained to me is what happens after a major life event. It is what you make of yourself, your life and your surrounding once you make it thought the other side of the event. The event can be just about anything that rocks your world; from a job lost to income lost to lost love to having nothing grow in your garden. It is something that is important to you and not the world on a whole. It is that moment when most of the emotion has slowed down, when you take a look at your life and decide the next step in your path. You may choose to keep going on the same path or you may decide to jump off and go another way. Like being born, re-birthing can be painful but it is also wonderful if you let it.
Not sure where I am going here. I found the whole idea of “being given permission” to take a new path peaceful. Realizing that it is up to me and only me to decide where to go now. I still remember my mom telling me when my marriage ended that it was going to be one of the most fun times in my life. My answer was something to the effect are you nuts? She tried to explain to me that I could do anything that I wanted, only I was holding myself back now. If I wanted to use my out door patio furniture in my dining room, then there was no one to say that I couldn’t. If I wanted to eat cookies all day (not a good idea) but I could do that too. I am not sure she realized what she was talking about had the label of “re-birthing”. It wasn’t until I started to type this that I remembered her telling me it was ok for me to do what ever I wanted to do.
I have no clue what I really want to do going forward. Some days it is one thing, other days it is something else. I allow myself to get overwhelmed by the physical things that in part of my brain I think I should do or have based on that faceless “they”.
I am sure it will take a lot more time to figure out what is next but hopefully for the moment I will remember that it is ok to just take it moment by moment, task by task, one step at a time.
I often get asked why the heck would I want to spend so much time researching, designing and planning a home rather then just buying one & renovating it. There is no short answer.
I get what I want without having to do a lot of “extra” work that is required to renovate
I am cheap – the cost to build a home based on my research is still much cheaper then to buy one and renovate it
no home that I have seen on the market has everything that I want to make it my “forever” home
I won’t have hidden faults
When I purchased my first home, I gutted it to the roof line and rebuilt it. New everything. It was a mess, took way too long and very stressful. The second home (which is the one that I am now in) has twice the square footage but only about half of it is effective usable space.
The second home has just a few of the following issues:
The windows are too low to the floor on the 2nd floor. Most of the windows are only about 2 feet off the floor. This means basically nothing can go in front of them leaving 3 feet in every room unusable. I can replace the windows, increasing the height from the floor but this will more then double the cost of just replacing them. The house is double bricked which means hiring a brick laying company to come the same day the windows are replace. Not going to happen.
Air ducts and cold air returns are in strangle places in the house. There are no cold air returns on the 2nd floor. In the master bedroom with the windows and the air duct, there is only one way the bed can go and it still blocks part of the air duct. Again as with the windows, this can be “fixed”. All I have to do it gut the 1st and 2nd floors and run new duct work. Not going to happen.
Closets are only in the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. They are not deep enough to have a hanger sit straight. The only way to “fix” this would be to re-do all of the walls on the 2nd floor. There is no place that a closet can be put by the front or back doors. It makes hanging winter coats a challenge. What fixes can be done, are not going to happen.
The kitchen is too small. There are 2 low windows, a cold air return, air duct, duct work running through part of the kitchen and 3 doors in the room. The counter space is so limited that when I do the dishes there is no room to make a pot of coffee. The plumbing for the only bathroom (2nd floor) is attached to the outside wall behind the kitchen cupboards. There are only 4 of them.
The bathroom is so small that even a skinny person like me finds it a challenge. I could remove one of the 2nd floor bedrooms to expand the bathroom, this too would give me the ability to widen the spare bedroom closet. All of the plumbing, air ducts would also have to be move.
It wasn’t until I started to live in the house that I began to realize just what my needs are compared to the lay out of the house. I do really like a lot of things about this house but I find it a challenge to do most things.
I also want to make sure that I have main floor utilities, bedrooms and bathroom for my older age. As well as designing it for the “just in case” idea of ending up in a wheel chair or using a walker.
Hence the reason for all the research, planning and designing to build a place. I want to have a smaller floor space but more storage will a better use of space.
There is a fine line between prepping and hoarding. Since my mom’s passing, I have taken a long look at what I own. I have to admit for the first few months of getting disability I went over board in my spending. Buying food, clothes, supplies, etc that I had no been able to purchase in the previous 14 months. The last spending spree that I had was boxing day buying yarn. I bought enough to last more then a year.
Since then, I have taken a good hard look at my “stuff”. I have been making a point since then at looking at everything I have. Asking myself – “when I am gone will someone else want it, use it, need it” plus the food side of things “what is the expiry date”.
I have been slowly changing my eating habits to use up those food items that are close to expiry. I am no longer allowing myself to purchase any food items until I have gone through my food stores. It has made some very interesting meals and not the healthiest. One of the things that I discovered was that popcorn tastes like crap after it has been stored for over a year. It was stored in vacuum sealed jars with O2 absorbers so it was a surprise to me.
It has been very hard for me to pass up really good food sales when I know the price of things are just going to keep going up. Each time I see a sale, I have to remind myself over & over that I “don’t have to have it, I can do without”. I don’t know about others but I find when I purchase fresh / new food, I have a really bad habit of eating it first. I believe the only way for me to work through the dates is to not purchase anything.
I am hoping that the battle that goes on in my head will get easier.
With the start of the New Year, comes the chance to re-new my direction in life. I don’t know why people (myself included) seem to wait for the start of a new calendar year. I think perhaps it goes back to the beginning of time. I started my new direction 2 months ago. Hopefully it will last longer then the changes people make for New Years.
One of the “new” things that I started was getting more involved in my community. Joining groups that help others, education groups and social groups. Sounds like a lot but there is only one of the social groups that meets once a week. The rest is on line or the meetings are far between.
I have also “found” a wonderful speaker that has really touched how I deal with life- Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (known to most as Ajahn Brahm). He speaks about loving yourself & your fellow man. I am not a Buddhist but I find his videos on youtube don’t really seem religious to me. I understand what he says as he explains things in a down to earth manner.
Frogging means to rip out stitches. If you say rip out several times very quickly is sounds like a frog song – ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.
As part of getting projects done before starting new ones, I went looking for all of the knitting and crochet projects that I have started. Then as I found each one, I reviewed the piece with the following in mind:
do I still liked what I was doing
if I like it, do I still have or can I find the yarn in the house to finish it
if I don’t have the yarn and I like it, it goes in the “to review again” pile
if I like it, can find the yarn then it goes into the to finish pile
if I don’t like what I was doing, was it the colour or the pattern or the size
if it was the colour, can I add to what I have already done – if no, it gets frogged
if I don’t like the size, can I add to what I have already done – if no, it gets frogged
if I don’t like the pattern – it gets frogged
Based on the above, I have frogged 2 afghans and 1 scarf this week. I have 2 other afghans that are in the to frog pile and 1 afghan to finish.
I didn’t have the colours to finish afghan “A”. I know the one colour is no longer available. The balls of yarn went in one of my yarn baskets to be used sooner rather then later.
Afghan “B”, I have no clue what I was thinking with it. My best guess was that it was going to be a “lap-gan”, a small blanket to be used in an office to keep my legs warm under my desk. I used most of the yarn for it already & used it for a scarf.
Afghan “C” I am still working on frogging it. It was done except for the edging. I think the total size was 12 feet by 8 feet. It was for a king sized bed with “extra” to hang down the sides. I have spent about an hour frogging it so far. I don’t like the pattern and it was less the perfect in my crocheting. The yarn will go into a clear plastic bag to go in my yarn large project blanket box.
Afghan “D” I don’t like really anything about it. When I get to frogging it, the yarn will go into one of my baskets. I will have to re-think the colours and pattern.
Afghan “E” was one I started over a year ago as a Christmas present and forgot all about. It will be the next thing I finish. (hopefully lol)
This year I have decided that rather then track what I “need” or “should” do, I will keep track of what I have done in the way of projects. I am hoping that this way I will get a more positive outlook. Some how the “to do lists” really make me feel bad when I get off track. I seem to forget some days just how I have come as I am too busy looking at how far I think need to go.
I started another blog to log/track all the services that I can find in the City of Hamilton, Ontario. Both to help myself and to help others.
I have been trying to help with the homeless, refugees, and those in need in the last year. One of the biggest things that I have found is that there is no one place to find all the information to help people out. It is scattered and you really have to look hard to find it. I have been lucky that one find seems to lead to another.
Yesterday I finally started on my “winter” cleaning. Normally I would start in September before the root crops are ready to process just after the tomatoes are done. My winter cleaning is what some call my crazy cleaning. I pull everything out of every cupboard, check the how much I have left, the expiry dates, change out & wash the containers and scrub every surface. It normally takes about a week a room. Unless the item is a caste iron frying pan, everything will look the same as it did new by the time I am done. I do the same kind of cleaning in the spring.
For example: spices – I have about a dozen extra small spice jars. I dump from the “old” jar to the new jar & add new labels. I wash all the old jars and store. I check to see what spices are ready from my garden that are dried, grind if necessary and start a list of any spices that I am low on. I make a point of getting rid of spices that I have in jars if I have grown it over the summer from my garden. In the case of spices such as lemon balm or thyme I use mason jars as small spice jars are not big enough.
There are 3 main reasons that I do this type of cleaning:
so I don’t run out of anything; not bags, cat food, baking ingredients, nothing…if there is a major storm and I can’t get to the store for several weeks (most times I only go shopping every month or 2 any way)
it gives me a set time to check expiry dates kind of like the “rule” change your smoke alarm batteries when the time changes
I don’t want to be in a home that has “dirt” being moved around by the furnace
Spending so long looking after mom plus the long hours I was working outside the house, I think this will be the first time in a long time that from top to bottom the house will be clean all at the same time. To give you an idea as to the size of my place, it takes 4 hours a week just to vacuum “properly”.
I think I was a bit nuts when I wrote my wish list. Then again I had no idea that the time just how much work it and how long it would take to deal with my mom’s stuff. Not on the list is refinishing all the odd bits of furniture from my mom’s basement & finding new homes for them. So far I have refinished 11 pieces of furniture and have 3 more pieces on the go. Mom painted furniture (down near the bottom of the page) and had a lot of pieces collected but never finished. From my point of view the furniture smells – that nasty old furniture smell – but it is all in good shape. I am refinishing the pieces to get rid of the smell and hopefully look better. I am not an artist like mom.
Finish House Inside
new front door – done
new back door – done
finish refinishing all wood trim
move closet in space room
finish gutting 2nd floor
finish renovating bathroom
gut kitchen to move plumbing
refinish all hardwood floor
rebuild kitchen after plumbing moved
new kitchen floor
Finish House Outside
install light over side door
finish building front garden – done
triple mix for all gardens – done
re-do back deck
clean out shed
declutter the remaining bits
sell mom’s house – done
finish “craft” projects that I have started
build/make the “craft” projects that I have in my head
read more on building/designing a homestead
build solar oven
build solar dehydrator
buy composting toilet
start putting together a solar set up
find instructions for bike generation power & build
go to both Harvest Gatherings
go to the Ottawa meet
volunteer at several farms for animal practice
crochet/knit for charity – done
teach old school skills – taught a bit
get to the bottom of my health problems & get rid of them
create a proper wardrobe – work in progress
I guess I better get my bum in gear if I hope to get the rest of these done.