May passed us by in such a whirlwind of activity that I didn’t think much of consequence actually happened in those 31 days. But a quick scan of the contents of my camera proved otherwise. Low and behold! Exciting things happened! Lots of them!
Some have already made it to this blog; most have not. So let this post serve as a catch up for you on all the not-to-be-missed happenings at our mountain home.
Impromptu Trip to Georgia
Ian’s parents are making some big changes. The kinds of changes that involve uprooting their lives and moving states away from their home near Pittsburgh to live in sunny, coastal Georgia. They took a week-long house hunting trip earlier this month and invited us along. I momentarily put away my sorrow about the imminent reality that all my family will soon be living ten hours away from me and took full advantage of a few days at the beach.
We had a glorious trip, and I’ve decided Christmases spent on a southern beach might not be such a bad deal after all.
The Arupe Scholars Service Group
The Arupe students are part of a special scholarship program at Wheeling Jesuit University that emphasizes service. In their second year of service they focus on serving in state and come to Big Laurel to help in any way they can. Rainy, cold weather was no deterrent for them- we put everyone to work inside! Buildings were cleaned and organized, floors were painted, and Tupperware was organized.
But never fear, lest you worry there was too much work involved, know that plenty of time was made for country dances, Mexican food and card games.
We are in a time of feast and famine in regards to rain and sunlight at present. When it rains it pours for days; when the sun shines it scorches my seedlings and cracks the soil. Yet somehow our plants are still thriving. We ate quite a bit of food from the garden in April and added a few new vegetable types this month.
Back in March, Ian planted a few potatoes in tires to see if we could grow them in leaf litter. Since then we’ve learned that toxins from the tires can leach into the spuds so we probably won’t be eating these. Still, it’s a fun experiment to see if they will grow!
We’ve been eating boc choi all month. It’s a little unfortunate that it all seemed to peak at the same time, as we’ve been having trouble keeping on top of it all! Asian stir fries all night, every night.
Anyone have some ideas for other ways to prepare this green??
Dog Drama (and the ‘Brownie Incident’)
Two dogs are certainly better than one, but they can also be quite a bit more trouble than one. Well, that’s a little unfair. In most cases our two puppies entertain each other all day, playing and wrestling around the yard. They demand much less attention from us, but what they DO demand is more hygiene maintenance.
These two are filthy. Not only do they spend all day running around in the woods, they also consistently jump into our dank pond and every mud puddle they can find. If I I’m writing on the couch and smell a swamp smell, I know one of them is near by.
Baths are worthless when they immediately jump back in puddles, so we are doing our best to towel dry them before they come inside. But their messiness is a minuscule price to pay for how much enjoyment we get out of them and how much I look forward to walking in the woods with them every day.
The Brownie Incident
It’s becoming abundantly clear that Aldo is a puppy full of unreleased energy from his time at the pound. Walks seems to wind him up, not wear him out, and I fear for the lives of the deer he decides to chase. Our house seems to bore him and he’s taken it upon himself to redecorate, usually by moving our smelliest personal items (shoes, socks, underwear) onto his dog bed or even out on the lawn through the cat door. Recently he’s been doing the same to food, taking out our recyclables and in one instance my mango. But all that pales in comparison to ‘the Brownie Incident.’
We had been gifted almost a full pan of chocolate brownies and were excitedly anticipating eating them later that night. Well THAT didn’t happen. We made the mistake of leaving them unchaperoned on the kitchen table for about three minutes, which turned out to be all the time Aldo needed to gobble them down. Seriously impressive- he and Ian should go at it in an eating competition sometime.
In any case, I was sick with worry. Even a little chocolate can be deadly for dogs and these were stuffed with it. Aldo looked pretty sick himself, laying on his side, belly distended, and ignoring our calls to him. But there was nothing we could do; it was late in the evening and any vet available would be hours away.
So he slept it off..in a way. At 4am Aldo’s belly ache turned into a sugar rush and he went CRAZY: barking, running around the house, and bringing toys to his bed (even the tinfoil from the brownies!) It’s days later and he’s still abnormally hyper. I guess it’s good practice for having a toddler someday.
I’ve been moaning and complaining about our very slow, very limited internet options out here (this post and most others are written at 6am, the time we have ‘unlimited data’.) I believe that the monopoly that Frontier has on internet services around here is contributing to the poor level of service we are receiving. You can check out my rant here.
Giving Stitches to a Silkie
Our favorite chicken suffered a horrific side injury earlier this month, but thankfully Ian used his first aid knowledge and ability to stay calm under pressure to stitch her up with a sewing kit we found in a desk drawer.
The good news? She survived the traumatic experience like a champ and has been thriving.
I started a new endeavor this month- attempting to start a freelance writing business while living on the mountain! I’ve made slow but steady progress these past few weeks, landing five legitimate jobs and netting $177 in two weeks. This comes to just under $7 per hour of writing time, but that figure DOESN’T count the time I’ve spent searching, applying, and bidding on jobs- which has been significant. I think this time will be reduced as I make connections that turn into repeat business and hone my writing skills to be faster and more efficient.
My biggest takeaway? There IS writing work out there and people are willing to pay me for it. Making these connections and showing clients my value is going to be entirely up to me.
Passive Income From This Blog
I’ve recently joined the Amazon Associates program, meaning that amazon purchases that go through a special link on this blog give me a small percentage of commission. Check it out here!
PLEASE NOTE: I goofed up earlier and had an Amazon link that didn’t work. If you have already visited my ‘support this blog’ page and saved the link, please go back and re-save the link again. This one should be properly working now.
Start of Summer Camps
June and July are summer camp season here, meaning I’d going to be pretty busy these next few weeks. My posting frequency may go down, but never fear I’ll still be waking up early to write when I can.
And that’s the month of May at the Knob house. How did your month compare?