Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here and There

The days since we got home from Port Townsend have been pretty ordinary, filled with running some errands around town one day, staying home and spending all morning in the garden the next. Every day is different, yet tied together by our everyday activities: watering the garden, washing the dishes, cleaning out the henhouse and giving the hens fresh straw and shavings, taking them treats of watermelon and corn on the cob. Matt took these great photos of the ladies a few days ago, when I harvested the last broccoli florets and pulled up the plants. I put them in the yard for the chickens, who adore broccoli leaves. They all came racing across the yard immediately and thought they had died and gone to heaven!
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

One very exciting thing happened, unexpectedly, yesterday morning. We were awoken by a phone call from the animal enforcement officer from the Multnomah County Health Department, saying he was at our front door and were we home so he could inspect our chicken and rabbit setup before issuing us an animal permit. Needless to say, we scrambled out of bed just as fast as we could, ran out to meet him, and brought him into the side yard, with our nerves jangling from the complete lack of notice (although, in retrospect, completely reasonable: they want to see how we are keeping our animals every day, not just when we are expecting an inspection!). We didn't need to worry though, because he was immediately impressed by our chicken coop and said it was clear that we knew what we were doing. When Matt showed him where the rabbits would be, in the carport, he immediately said that was fine, and it looked like a great setup. We asked about the potential for expanding to more animals than we had listed on the permit application (4 of each), and he said he would grant us a permit for up to 7 chickens (the maximum our coop could hold) and a dozen rabbits, but not to worry if we went slightly over on the number of rabbits, due to fluctuations in litter size. We should receive the permit in the next couple of days, and were told that we would never see an enforcement officer again unless somebody complained to the county. Wow!

Matt and I spent a good deal of time on the yard and garden two days ago, finishing our chicken-proofing (creating cages around the bottoms of the fruit trees to keep the chickens from scratching at the trees and the mulch they so love to spread around) and working on our fruit some more- pruning out a few more limbs from the apple trees and cutting back the gooseberry bush and the raspberries.

 The (extremely prickly) gooseberry has been cut way back and is now wired to the fence, well out of the way of the path!

After consulting with my parents (who have grown raspberries for as long as I can remember), I cut out all the canes that are not currently bearing. We have twice-bearing raspberries, they bear once in July and again in September. The canes that are bearing right now are the ones that will have berries on them next July, but the rest are spent, so out they go. Much less of a jungle now!

I'm almost prepared to say we're finally completely moved in, after we picked up our bed frame yesterday from the friends who kept it while we were in New Zealand. It's a gorgeous old brass frame from Matt's grandmother's house. Matt's father gave it to us a couple months before we went to NZ, and it was too big for our storage unit, so we lent it to friends. Now, with this beautiful old-fashioned frame and our new mattress set, we are sleeping like royalty!

Our bedroom is very small, and is now almost entirely filled by bed! To make room for the frame, we removed the wooden accordion-fold doors from our closet and pushed the dresser right up against the end of the closet. This photo shows exactly how much space remains for me to slip through to my side of the bed: 
 Cozy! But what are bedrooms for if not beds?

Without doors on the closet, we put up a tension rod and this curtain that was bestowed on us by Matt's mom. It doesn't quite cover the whole thing, but it will do until we get a second one!

Less than two weeks now until I start school. I've been spending a lot of time signing forms and setting up my accounts in order for my loans to be disbursed next week, investigating where I can get my textbooks on the cheap, and buying a few school supplies. Yesterday while Matt and I were out running errands, we stopped at the PSU campus for about 45 minutes, and walked around to find the buildings where my classes are. I've been through the campus a million times (it's right in the heart of downtown Portland), but didn't know one building from another. Now at least I'm a little bit oriented and won't get lost on my first day! It's funny that at age 27 I feel like I did on my first day of public school at age 8. Well, maybe a little more confident :) And truly excited- I can't wait to be a student again, even though I hardly know what to expect in so many ways.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

You can always make a custom closet curtain.