Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Deciding Against an Autumn Garden

After much deliberation, I decided against an autumn garden this year.  We are homeschooling the eldest child, and busy with other tasks here at the Cottage.  I used to have Saturday mornings for my gardening.  Earlier this year, we had to change our schedule during the week.  Now, I have to accomplish errands on Saturday mornings, instead of getting them done during the week.  The boys are older, besides.  We've had birthday parties and fun events for them on Saturdays.  I find the window for gardening has closed in a way I hadn't expected.

Also, I've discovered that I enjoy writing far more than as a hobby or organizational tool.  I have been writing professionally.  Between homeschooling, caring for the children, the home and writing part time.  I no longer have the energy for two gardens per year.  The autumn is a busier time than the spring as far as lesson plans.  I am in no way giving up my Cottage Vineyard or the blog, but I am scaling back on the veggies and flowers.

The garden is still producing, despite my neglect.  The beets are flourishing as ever.  The garlic chives continue to expand.  My spinach survived the summer heat.  All the other plants have either died or been harvested.  The grapes thrive.  I will be pruning them severely this winter, in hopes of having an even heartier season next year.

My roses have also been pruned, by order of the city.  They were overgrown.  Due to the children's needs over the winter, I was unable to prune them as needed back in the winter.  They grew over the limits allowed by city ordinance.  I hope all of them come back from the pruning even healthier, especially our Old Lady.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Tiny Life

Here at the Cottage, we are not in for the Tiny Life.  But, we are one step above it.  At 1100 square feet, we are half the average of a new home in the United States.  Across the world, we are well above average.  Five people in a three bedroom, one bath home is plenty.  With a garden - no, with a vineyard and swing set and play yard and a small garden, we have one happy family.

Tiny life is for another set.  We are not about those extremes, as appealing as they may be from one perspective.  Cottage is quaint.  Cottage is old-fashioned.  Cottage is historic preservation.  We are not here for a radical statement against social norms (in most things.)  Our cottage life is not about testing the limits of comfort or solace.  We are a normal family as far as our home is concerned.  Here at the Cottage, we conform to many aspects of normal life, even though we make tweak at the edges.

Cottage is warm, comforting and authentic.  Cottage is not making a radical political or social statement.  Cottage is good.  Cottage is hospitality.  Our little home is a loving place to be.