One year ago today we were on the last leg of our journey east, arriving in Minneapolis after a week of driving. It has been quite a year.
We went maple syruping, dug a garden, and went to Northern Yearly Meeting. We preserved food, picked berries at a u-pick, got involved with a CSA, and I perfected baking bread (kind of). Our friend Ashley visited and brought lots of cherries with her, Jeremy picked nettles, we built a compost bin, and we learned to make yogurt. I learned how to make English muffins, went to Iowa Yearly Meeting, and we spent a ton of time canning food and making jams and jellies - with produce coming from our garden, our CSA, the local farmer's market, and friends and strangers' fruit trees. We got burgaled which was pretty sad.
I started sewing, Jeremy lost his job, and it started getting colder and then snowing! We finally finished building our root cellar and Jeremy started experimenting with growing mushrooms. Then we made cheese. I kept sewing a lot and we went ice skating with family around Christmas. Then we started work on our chicken coop and got chickens. And I keep sewing like crazy. (And baking.)
It has been a very interesting year taking us in places we never imagined. It has been very satisfying growing our own food and preserving it and building the root cellar and chicken coop. Because I was so prepared for incredibly freezing temperatures, the winter hasn't seemed all that cold and awful to me (even though it has been one of the colder ones on record!) I guess I was expecting the worst.
But I have enjoyed the snow and it's sunny quite often. I've also enjoyed the incredible thunder and lightning! I think the most amazing thing has been the block we live on and the neighborhood in general. I love being just a few blocks from a movie store, hair dresser, coffee shop, quilt store, and a giant park with a lake. We're also not too far from the Greenway which is a huge system of bike trails in the city. Within a few months I knew many of the neighbors on the block. We all know a bit about each other and what's going on and people are very friendly. (Sorry Seattle, but it was just never that friendly in most neighborhoods I was in.)
I think this unexpected and rather enjoyable (for the most part) year will be followed by an even more unexpected (but hopefully enjoyable) year. I'm sewing of course, we're finishing the coop and will soon have chickens outside laying eggs and all, we're planning on having lots of garden space, Jeremy is still working on growing mushrooms - and in the midst of all this we will probably be moving! Not too far we hope - not more than a block or two if we can help it. But many events have come together and it seems like a good time and opportunity. So more info on that later and of course on all the other crazy activities we're up to!