Kaylee's Strawberry

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mice, Mice, Mice!

Just found a hole that looked tiny, but fit almost two whole steel wool bricks in it.  I'm seeing more activity in the utility room, as I cut off access to the kitchen.  I figure I need to drive downward and outward (outside entrance is on the basement level) before I seal off the outside.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I don't expect many people to read this blog...it is mostly for me.  But if you are in the Chicago area, I created a link to Amphora, in Chicago.  This is a friend of mine who shares an elementary school with our family.  Tamara's services are somewhere between therapy and home organization/home decoration services.  She's very compassionate and understanding, as well as having excellent taste, and great ideas!  Check out her website.

Another weekend anti-vermin project:

I don't normally believe in living from emergency to emergency, but I guess I've kinda gotten in that mode lately.

A few weeks ago I was thanking the City Inspectors for forcing the lawn clearing issue.  This past weekend, a moth infestation forced kitchen cleaning, but it turned into the reorganization I've been procrastinating on.

This gave me courage, however, so this weekend I wanted to get serious about mouse control.  Our house is rehabbed, but 100+ years old.  It's unrealistic to believe we will ever be mouse free.  However, I imagined taking care of the kitchen was enough, and couldn't understand where they were coming from, since evidence of kitchen activity had diminished, but other areas of the living room were more active.

I went looking.  I found.  The front closet had pretty big (for mice) openings where the door hardware attached to the frame of the closet entry (not a carpenter, I'm sure there are terms for this.)  Anyway, besides cleaning with peppermint scented castille soap, I stuffed the holes with steel wool and covered with plaster.

My goal this fall is to go through my entire house, working from the inside out, and find these points of entry. I want to drive them out as much as possible, rather then trapping them inside.  If I can finish this project by mid-November I will feel like I've made significant gains in mouse-proofing the house.  I will end with plugging outside holes.

Also: the fence contractor was out yesterday, will provide an estimate by email, in theory, today.  I think I can proceed better if I feel secure from all unwanted entities.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On the Goal, Edible Landscaping:

One reason I've been dragging my feet regarding getting a fence in, is that the back yard is so overgrown I was dreading tackling it.

Enter, City Inspector, who notified us if we didn't get it cleaned up by Monday, we would be cited, possibly fined.  Thank you, sir, for kicking us in the butt.

Thanks family, for weeding, whacking, and hacking away at it.  This morning I took the electric weed whacker and got the rest of it mowed down.  Will need raking, but having it mowed was all that they expected of us.

Next steps:  contact fence contractors, and rake--preparing the beds for solar sterilization.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What did I do today?

Tweaked fleece, picked up guinea pigs, monitored holding of guinea pigs, went to pet store to pick up guinea pig supplies, held guinea pigs....

(They are new today, three girls, Mom and 2 daughters).

I did organize a little bit more for lunches.

Organization is my first step...well, after visioning.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The idea here is that I will set goals for my home and projects, and create deadlines and subgoals to structure myself and get things done.

What I did yesterday:

I created fleece bedding for guinea pigs we will welcome to our home probably on Monday. I haven't sewn in a long time, and it is such a self soothing activity, that I know I need this to be part of my daily, or at least weekly, activities.

So my vision surrounding sewing is:

  • Ideally, create a colorful, organized sewing space that is a pleasure to sit down to and enhances my sewing experience.
  • Minimally: it is a functional workspace, I can find everything, and it may be sub-optimal in visual appeal, but I can get the job done.
I cut down all of my peonies that were infected with mildew:

My vision surrounding urban agriculture:

  • Ideally, create a self-sustaining, edible landscape, that is both beautiful and productive for our family.
  • Mid-range, have a balance of perennials and annuals that provide food for our family.
  • Minimally, have a safe and secure landscape that is pleasant enough to the eye that it maintains our property value.
I have other visions for this home.  This is where I'm starting, where I am.

Who the heck is Kaylee?

Kaylee Frye is a character from the Sci-Fi Western "Firefly", played by Jewel Straite.  The show is set in a future where humans have expanded beyond Earth and terra-formed multiple planets.  Resources are scarce.

Serenity, a Firefly class spaceship, carries the crew travels from planet to planet on various smuggling and underground operations.  The engineer who jury rigs the ship, Kaylee maintains childlike wonder and compassion as she travels with the outlaw crew.  In the pilot, there is a scene where she opens a box with a strawberry in it, eyes yearning in anticipation, carefully, ever so slowly, lifts the strawberry to her lips, and takes a slow bite.  As her teeth sink into the fruit, her lips close around it, her eyes role back in ecstasy.

I want to cultivate that kind of appreciation in my life.


I've reached an important point in my life, a transition, not a mountain top place, but high enough up that I can see my life better, how the pieces fit, where I want to go.  After a 6 year period of job disruption and relocation (5 times in a 6 year period), we have been stable for 7+ years.  But it has taken me this long to be ready to actually make this a home.

Important points this year:  finding a spiritual home (I've said that before, so only time will tell if this is true); identifying my design themes for home improvement; giving myself permission to experiment and fail as I implement permaculture principles and grow my own food; understanding, for the first time, that organization is central to getting those things done AND will be part of the design, not plastic containers that I hide everywhere.

Who cares about another blog?

Me.  Pretty much.  It's a place to journal.  And if anyone actually contributes or identifies with what I'm talking about, great.  I'll have made a connection.