Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Balance. Work vs. rest

Balance is ever elusive, isn't it?  It's the one thing that I don't feel like I'll ever truly have a handle on.  Maybe if "life" stayed the same day after day, I'd have it figured out, but like you (I'm sure), life is never stagnant.  Each day brings new challenges and new learning which means that adjustments are made on an equally daily basis with regard to balance.  It's an ongoing quest.

Our mornings are frosty (above), but the afternoons are sunny and warm which allow me the total luxury (in October!) of sitting on the newly built front verandah for an afternoon cup of tea.  There's a brilliant little microclimate up in this corner thanks to the glass panes at the front, the dark cedar decking and the house reflecting heat back behind the chairs.   It's a good deal warmer here than any other place outdoors and the cat knows it (he often naps here in the afternoon).   I still sometimes feel guilty for taking my afternoon break here, but I'm getting over it :)   When I look after myself, I am more productive and am truly a nicer person to be around.  It's hard to put ourselves first sometimes when there's a million and one things we could be doing right that VERY minute.

Those way nice adirondack chairs are the ones we picked up through freecycle many months ago.  They were in sad shape (looking very forlorn, actually) and needed a total sanding down, priming and 2 coats of paint.   That took a while!  While I dreamt of a snazzy colour, I had oodles of white paint leftover so it made sense not to waste it.  White they are and I'm glad of it, now.  They are soothing and restful which is just what I need when I'm savouring a hot cup of tea mid-afternoon.  I wonder how long I can get away with such indulgences before both the snow and the thermometer begin to fall?

In the kitchen, I've been trying to use up every scrap of food that we've grown and because my family isn't as wild about squash as I am, I have to "doctor it up" a bit before they'll gobble it down.
This combination went over reasonably well on top of white scallop (patty pan?) squash - bread crumbs, tomatoes, onions, herbs, parmesan and good olive oil with a generous dusting of sea salt and black pepper.

In other not so tasty news, we completed "The Wormery"!  You do remember that when I say "we", I mean "He" right?   I am married to the MOST amazing man on the face of the planet.  He can make anything out of anything.  Seriously!  This (not very old) freezer packed it in and we just couldn't bear to trot it off to the scrapyard when it was the PERFECT size for a worm farm.  Kelly and Mitchell hauled it out of the basement and placed it up on blocks in the garage (to facilitate drainage).  There's a false bottom about halfway up made of mesh and landscape fabric.  On top of that, bedding and the worms.   The screws drilled into the top edge of the freezer prevent the lid from closing all the way which allows for ventilation.  Excuse the horrible looking walls - it's an old garage and many moons ago, there was a leak of some sort from above which left unsightly water marks.  The worms don't mind, though :)

At the bottom left corner, you can see the hole that Kelly drilled.  Eventually, the worm wee will drain out and this will be really useful for a liquid fertilizer when diluted.    I've been saving toilet rolls for months because when pulled apart and moistened, they made good bedding material for a worm farm.  I keep this bag on the nearby shelf so I can add more as needed.

Because you KNOW you want to see inside, here's what it looks like, complete with some food scraps.

Yummy, right?  If you were a red wriggler worm, you'd say yes :)

I've since covered the whole mass with fallen leaves which insulate well, but breathe.  I was fortunate to receive the worms as a gift from a friend who has an overabundance, so the total cost was a big fat $0 for this project.  NICE.  We're extremely happy to have The Wormery operational now before winter sets in as it's going to be much more convenient to put our compostables into this worm farm rather than out in the frozen, snow covered compost pile.  Additionally, we plan to harvest some of the worms to supplement the hens' diet through the winter when they have no access to insects of any kind.  Worms and insects are a vital part of their diet and contribute greatly to their gut health.  A win, win all around as long as the worms are happy and healthy enough to reproduce at the rate that I've been told that they will!  

What have YOU done for rest today or has your balance gone way off kilter?  If so - stop now and take 5 just for you.  XO


  1. Your worm farm is brilliant! I need one of those!! And your new front porch is just beautiful, too. I know exactly what you mean about balance - I definitely don't have it down, and honestly it's even worse now that I'm a mom, lol. I've always been a "workaholic" and many times I feel frustrated when I think I'm not being productive enough. I'm learning, though. Knitting helps :)

    Thanks for always sharing your wisdom,

  2. Oohh I so needed to hear the "rest is important" advise today, thanks! One would think I'm resting while reading blogs and typing this reply, but alas, this is done while cooking dinner, ever the multitasks aren't we. Tomorrow I promise, I will set aside at least 1 hour for me, I need it.

  3. Some days I have too much to do and other days, like today, not enough.

  4. I loved reading this post Sherri, this is the kind of stuff that inspires me to walk away from this screen and is a good reminder me what I do is good and valuable. sustaining cycles. Great work on the freezer makeover, worms are like payment for good soil maintenance at my house. x

    1. Hey, Tammy! Love your attitude about your worms... they are humble workers, aren't they?

  5. Amazing work on The Wormery, I love how you have created something useful out of leftover materials and repurposed something that would otherwise go to landfill. Rest is always an issue for me - I feel very guilty doing it. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I still struggle with rest guilt... MUST get over that! LOL