Spring Update!

Lots going on, so of course little posting, but here is a quick update on all, with not enough photographic evidence!

Osh at the farm

In early March, for my son’s spring break, we volunteered on a local (Palmer) organic/CSA farm. It was great, I enjoyed the changing repetitive tasks (hands and body active, mind left to go where I want it to or to zen focus). My son loved feeding the goats and fowl and gathering chicken and duck eggs and pruning raspberries. We want to be farmers.

At the end of March I put away the bus change, tuned up the bike, and we started riding daily again amidst the rapidly melting snow. Now I am on my summer (no studded tires) bike, and life is easy. Still trail-a-biking the kid. Last Sunday we went to the amazing local bike co-op (Off the Chain – 2 blocks from the ecoplex in the old MatMaid building – go if you haven’t!!) and stripped a junk bike I had bought for my boy, cleaned and replaced many parts, and got it almost back together. It just needs a shifter cable. My first time working with cables and chains, so an amazing learning experience! Osh is good at wrenching on bikes too.

We got a foster cat, Stuart, who needed a temporary home while his family moved to a place that doesn’t allow cats. Not sure how temporary – at least 6 months, maybe forever. He is sweet. Haven’t seen the mice that had started to invade lately. Organic pest control.

My windowsills are covered with starts – tomatoes to leeks to asparagus to cabbage and all in between. The ground is pretty bare outside, but still freezing most nights. No budding leaves on trees yet. Time to seed parsnips anyway! And carrots and peas maybe. Up to low 50’s F during the day. Some really beautiful days!

Bees arrived Saturday. Last year was such trauma, that I didn’t have the emotional energy to hive them until Monday evening. It went much better than last year (experience, better preparation, and warmer weather), so I think they might make it this year. A longer post will come with pictures and updates.

One set of tenants is leaving for their summer Denali Park jobs. My dad, who has been planning his move back to Alaska for months, has recently decided he will rent from me! Osh and I are very, very excited. I think it will be a great situation – make it easy for us to visit and help each other, but totally separate apartments so we can have plenty of life space. Other tenants are planning gardens and probably anxiously awaiting my spring cleaning of the common areas and yard!

I will post a chart soon, but gas usage continues to be about 40% less than before I bought the ecoplex, about 5 to 10% less than last winter (where I had the foundation insulated with 4″ of blueboard, but not the upper house). I think it might have been more, except we are a pretty full building this year, so extra cooking and hot water use would ratchet the gas use up.

I’ve also been painfully slowly fixing up the inside of my apartment this last winter – patching where the north windows came out, tearing apart the bathroom in anticipation of tiling and a new bath faucet. Still a lot of that to finish, but it is heading the right direction! Got lots more great tile and some marmoleum from the ReStore. I probably will order cork flooring to replace the super awful carpet (worn, stained beyond cleaning, wrinkled, darkdark green – horrible for daylighting) in the living room.

That’s the bulk of it! Yay Spring!!


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