Monday 30 April 2012

The Junk in the Yard

After receiving a reader comment about honest blog writing,
I thought that I would expose some of my dirty secrets.
Actually, there's not much to hide.

Of course, there is the messy house. 
But, everyone with kids knows that it's difficult to keep your home museum-clean with little ones following and undoing your every clean deed.

There are certain parenting moments that we don't share.
Those times when we feel ashamed about our behavior. 
When everyone is tired or hungry or both, it's not always easy to say and do the right things. 
We love our children and raise them as well as we can.
It's just that sometimes it's not so pretty.

On the subject of food and chemicals, we stick to the plan with ease. 
The only bugaboo is the butter.
We go through a fair bit and the organic prices are pretty heavy. 
The compromise is to buy organic for the kids and use the normal kind for ourselves. 
That too is a challenge, but we at very least make sure the product is local when we choose non-organic.

What you don't see in the pretty pictures
 is the junk in the yard.

A favourite spot of mine for hiding stuff.

Much of it is useful as raw materials, but some of it just needs to go to the dump. 
We have no garbage pick-up out here, and so we must take our waste to a transfer station.
Because we don't produce much perishable waste, the dump runs have become few and far between.
Unfortunately, we now have a net hoard of garbage because we can never take it all in one run.
The recycling alone is at least a truckload each time. 
That in itself has spurred us to pay closer attention to packaging.
I'm sure it's been a long time since the kitchen garbage has gone to the dump. 
It is waiting patiently in the garbage box. 
I fully expect it to come to life when the temperatures start to rise.

There's a broken dishwasher there. The electronic board is done.
I am sure I'll need that stainless steel tub.
And the hardware.
And the pump.

We have a compost bin, which is an unusual accessory in bear country. 
But most of the compostables go to the pigs and chickens.

Notice the absence of compost.
What didn't go to pigs and chickens,
went to the raccoons and bears.

There was a time when we were using so-called compostable plastic bags. 
Watch the claims on this stuff folks. 
I can assure you that in a cool running compost bin, they do not degrade. 
In fact, I believe that if you read the fine print, you will find that the ideal conditions are for municipal sized composting facilities. 
And so, as the raccoons broke into the compost bin, 
they ripped up the bags and left them for me to clean up; 
which is a job on my list.

Look carefully at the right hand side.
There is the crushed boat.

Here's a fun one. 
We used to have a small fiberglass boat. It had belonged to my Grandfather. 
It was nothing special, but now it's no good at all.
I didn't realize it was there until the giant Aspen was halfway to the ground. 
End of boat.
But it's still there.

Projects past and future,
but not present.
Much of the junk in our yard I intend to keep.
There are windows, and doors, and hardware, and metal, and.....well, 
things that may be useful in the future. 
I certainly have no intention of going to the store every time I want to build something. 
If I don't have it , then fine, I'll buy it. 
But it's all the better if I can build what I need out of what I already have. 
If I take all the junk away, I lose my stash of raw materials.

Obviously, the fence was put up to keep the sleds in.

The snowmobiles?
We used to snowmobile in the Winters. 
We stopped riding for a variety of reasons. 
Powersports certainly don't go well with our lifestyle now. 
The only reason we keep them is for the ability to be mobile in heavy snow conditions. If you find out why Monsieur Bombardier invented snowmobiles to begin with, you will understand why.

Failed Logging Rigs

I have made progress with clearing up the yard trash. 
The next move is to sort it out once more, 
and then organize it into an easy to dig through pile. 
Then, somehow, I will hide it,
so that no one sees it.

So, if you think there are no toys strewn across the land,
and the homestead is always tidy and clean, 
know that we are fighting the battle, 
but it's far from over.

(Just a little addition.
You would think that we would be more aggressive about keeping the yard cleared of trash.  
The beauty of this lush forest environment is when the plants take over for the summer...
...everything else just disappears.)


  1. Yes that is exactly how our yard looks on the farm ... as soon as you clean up, purge or move it to the back 40, that is when you need it to fix or create!
    Janet Ellenberger

    1. That's good advice.
      I'll keep my stuff accessible.
      I just need to hide it.
      Honestly, even if no one ever visited here,
      I would still want the junk out of sight for my own eyes.
      We would still like a tour of your farm.
      We'll wear work boots if you show us your junk!

  2. Don't we all have those moments! And trash piles, I have them too! I re-use, create, do whatever with them.I have an old oriental carpet outback on top of an area I cleared and wanted to make sure that it would remain so.
    We are lucky enough to be in an area, that anything we drag to the front will be gone in a few days.
    My house...I'd love for it to be pristine, but it never is, and never will be. I have better things to do. I try to keep it at a level where no one will be uncomfortable being in it. That's all. LOL!
    Great post!

    1. I think that there is a healthy level of dirt and clutter.
      You would like people to be comfortable in your home?
      I have been in homes that are so clean that I feel uncomfortable in them.
      There is a lot of bark and sawdust in our driveway which I find adds charm.
      As much as I would like things pristine, "in their place" will do just fine.
      And,the carpet idea is great! I'll keep that in mind for controlling our Aspen suckers.

  3. again, thank you. i think the post is beautiful on so many levels. i love raw honesty. not rudeness. not meanness. but the exposure to the tender part, the part others can wound. i used to be more open, more honest. not physically, like about how my dishes are never done except for about 10 seconds, and then various people find or create more cups, plates silverware...... but rather, i would show/share my "dirty," unkept, unmaintained pieces of my person i was working on "cleaning up." it did not work out so well and i kind of shut the door for a while.

    what i have enjoyed and found satisfying about reading your words is that you expose your underbelly a bit, let me know, that you know, you are human (aka not perfect, on a journey,) that life is not already written with clear and concise directions, that we all struggle at some level. when i know, you know that you are human, maybe you will make room for my "humanness." (i hope that i am writing and conveying this with some level of clarity :) so, that is why i read. show me your successes and your garbage pile .... it makes it REAL to me.

    also, your "stash" made me smile. it is just like yarn or fabric .... but larger !

    1. Thanks for inspiring this post Rebecca!
      There is much conflict in being human.
      Honesty is recognizing those frailties and contradictions.
      Although we have lofty ideas of who we would like to be,
      the fact is that we are human and will likely never fit into our own idea of ourselves.
      There is the junk in the yard and the ghosts in the closets, but there are raw emotions that are part of being a whole human being.
      I have been known to be rude and mean at times.
      I have been angry and spiteful.
      I have been cruel and thoughtless.
      The fact is that being a whole human encompasses all of the emotions; both good and bad.
      And though I often make no apologies, I do ask forgiveness for allowing my passions to control my actions.
      Raw honesty helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin,
      but it hasn't always been palatable to those around me.
      That is unlikely to change.

  4. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward to your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
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