Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

Posts Tagged ‘dreaming

Dreams and plans

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When I think about what I want from the future, many of the things that I want aren’t yet fully fleshed out.  I don’t exactly where I want to live, how big I want the space to be, even what I want to be doing with myself over the course of a day.  I think this is a good thing, in many ways.  It’s flexible, and means that I’m not so wedded to one particular idea of the future that I can’t see another amazing opportunity that comes up because I’m so fixated on a particular idea of what I’m looking for.

Other things, however, are very specific, and it’s these things that keep my dreams from being too amorphous, while also giving me something to envision and work towards.  I know that I want chickens and probably sheep.  I know that I want chickens with a series of old-fashioned women’s names, and sheep named after some of my favourite authors.  I know that I want a cozy home (a fireplace or woodstove would be ideal) with a kitchen big enough to cook and bake plenty of food in.  I want a garden out back, with heirloom varieties of vegetables, and ideally an orchard as well.

I want to get up in the morning, care for the animals, and then drink my tea in front of the window.  I want to spend my days writing, or teaching (since I plan to keep up my academic life in some kind of balance as well), and then spend evenings cooking and baking (and eating!), reading, playing music, visiting with friends, enjoying life, or even catching up on some of the million things that always seem to come up and that need taking care of.  I want to get tired, cold, wet, and hungry, and then come in to the calm and rest of home, knowing that all is as it should be.

This is all, I imagine, a ways down the road, but I haven’t lost sight of where I want to be, or why.  I keep these dreams and plans in the back of my mind all the time, and work towards them as much as I can right now.  And someday I’ll wake to the sound of the rooster, and start my day with the animals.  Maybe that day will require new dreams and plans – more land, more animals, more gardening – but that bridge will be crossed when I come to it.  Right now, these dreams and plans are more than enough to keep me going.


Written by Jenn

January 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

The sound of silence

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There are teenagers screaming outside my window like banshees who find their own keening to be hysterically funny.  Daily, I can hear my neighbors, in a strange, loose quasi-ironic way, yelling at their dogs to be quiet.  I also now know all of “Forever Young” by heart, but not really so much by choice.  Many times a day one of the three buses that run outside my apartment stops, waits, and announced its route number – a boon for those with limited eyesight, but a bit less lovely for those who live close to one of the stops.

Given all this, when I say I dream of a rural life, one of the things that I really want is silence.  Not total silence – I know it’s impossible to escape noise (not that I would want to), and that sometimes even the noise of rural areas can be pronounced and even deafening.  I also do my fair share of music-playing and music-making. But apart from that I regularly crave more quiet in my life.

What I want is silence from man-made noise, a state of being that researchers claim is increasingly hard to come by.  Honestly, I miss cruising in the car, lights and windows down, through the foothills of the Laurentians.  I miss late night walks at church retreat, with stars overhead and quiet so thick we all spoke in whispers.  I miss camping in the back reaches of provincial parks, wandering the trails with only the sound of rushing water, wind in the trees, and bird calls.

Clearly, the sound of silence is still out there somewhere, and is accessible.  I just want it – no, need it, I think – more than just these brief forays into worlds largely apart from manmade noise allow for.  I have never slept as well as those nights in a cottage, those naps in the hammock, or those early mornings in a tent where silence is a constant companion, but I hope someday to sleep that well again.

Written by Jenn

June 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Posted in Personal stuff

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This here is a dangerous site for me right now: Canada Farm and Ranch.

Buying a place right now would probably be not the cleverest idea right now.  I have a year of dissertation work left and then no idea where I’ll be or where I’ll go.  So, no land for me right now, just a saving’s account with that goal in mind.

But a girl can dream, right?

Written by Jenn

June 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Personal stuff

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Upcoming projects

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Since I seem to be surprisingly productive recently, I’m hoping to get a few more projects off the ground soon.   Admittedly, I also need to work on the dissertation more, since it has been lagging a bit in the post-wedding exhaustion, but I’d like to get a few additional projects off the ground.

Container garden – my patio is in a rather questionable state.  I recently got rid of a pile of stuff from it – chairs and plant stands and general crap dropped by the neighbours, oh my! – but it still needs a whole lot of work.  Ideally, I’d like to pick up some extra seedlings to go along with my lone basil plant (which has sadly been besieged by bugs).  I have the pots for them, and although they could use some additional soil and a way to get them a bit more sun, I think this is a reasonable project, especially since I’ll be staying put for the rest of the summer.

Worm composter – I think (and hope perhaps somewhat too desperately) that I may have found a local supplier of composter-appropriate worms. Assuming that I’m not wrong, I’d like to start making my own compost.  Traditional composters aren’t typically allowed outside my building, but I could probably start a worm composter outside and then move it inside without anyone really noticing.  And, given that I need to beef up the soil for my much hoped-for container garden, a worm composter would come in rather handy on that end too.

Kombucha – I’ve only found one local supplier of the SCOBY needed to make kombucha, and their products are a bit on the expensive side.  Happily, I’ve found online instructions for making my own, and as soon as I can find a bottle of raw, organic kombucha, then I’m going to give that a try at home to see how it turns out.

That’s probably enough for now, since the death of my productivity usually comes when I have too much on the go at once.  But it’s nice to have something akin to a plan ready to go and specific things to work on over the next little while.

Written by Jenn

June 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

This place

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What is this place?

This place is…well…it’s a few things, some of which I’m still trying to wrap my head around.  See, I have this dream.  In the midst of researching and writing a dissertation, working for a university, and trying to keep up with the rigors of daily life, I find myself waylaid – on an increasingly frequent and regular basis – by farming fantasies.  I have dreams of cabbage and chickens, snow peas and sheep, and evening firefly-lit guitar and fiddle sessions on a porch with homemade ginger beer.  And no, I don’t even play the fiddle (yet) – why do you ask?

Right now, the dream seems somewhat far away, even feel somewhat unreachable at times.  There is much to do for school and work, at least for the next year.  There are costs to be considered, and practicalities.  There are also the needs and wants of The Boy, fiancée and soon-to-be husband extrordinaire.  Coupled with my current living space – a small inexpensive apartment with insufficient winter heating and insulation in a somewhat questionable neighbourhood (see: inexpensive) – things are sometimes discouraging.

I am, however, not one to stay discouraged for long.  And, of course, by “not one to stay discouraged for long” I actually mean, “I am one seriously stubborn individual and, come hell or high water I will make this work somehow, so ha!”

The making it work bit is really where this blog is headed.  While this apartment isn’t an urban homestead yet, I want to get moving in that direction.  There are some things that I imagine simply won’t be possible – chickens or bigger livestock, for instance.  But with some creativity and a bit of ingenuity, I plan to keep on making small changes and taking small steps towards an increasingly sustainable life within my little space in the city.  So, this virtual space is my little wanna-be homestead on the web – a place to write,  analyse, and keep track of what’s going on in the place that I’m currently occupying, as well as thinking about the place I want for the future.

Written by Jenn

May 25, 2010 at 6:45 am