The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 419)

in #homesteadinglast month

Hello Everyone!

A brief introduction: Hi I am Jacob.

TL;DR: There is no tl;dr because you should have more patience and attention span than a gnat on a high wind.

[End Introduction]

The Fantastica Chronicles Day 419!

A Morning Routine, Slow Drying Polyurethane, Organizing Stuff And A Strawberry Jelly Disaster

The day started out like many others of late which is to say that I woke up a little after sunrise, put on a warm sweater, let the dogs outside, brewed my morning espresso and spent the first few hours of my day writing, editing and posting. All of which I have no complaints about or anything because aside from not waking up long before dawn... it is assuredly my ideal way to spend the mornings even though sometimes I get a little burned out on writing first thing in the morning and have to switch things up and write at night instead. Mostly I think that this routine of mine is pretty good especially since writing first thing in the day tends to clear my mind a good bit and makes me 'get focused' before launching into whatever I am going to spend the day doing but occasionally I wonder if my time spent 'focusing' is just my way of harassing myself into feeling motivated to do stuff that I really do not want to do like putting on my work clothes, slipping on my boots and shoveling up all the dog shit from the dog yard as my first outdoor activity of the day!

Honestly the longer that I do this routine of writing each day the easier that it has gotten but there is a hell of a lot more involved than just pounding out some keys on a keyboard and stringing words together to form paragraphs because I have to actually do (or think of) stuff each day to write about or it just all falls apart and I all too quickly find myself sort of 'circling the drain' of my own thoughts and over-analyzing things (especially what I am sharing) to the point where it sort of paralyzes any motivation that I have to share anything of 'substance' (which is wholly subjective) in the first place. What I am trying to say here is that in order to 'keep the ball rolling' I have to successfully marriage my thinking with action and maintain a balance between the two in such a way that I do not spend too much damn time either over-thinking nor over-working and to do that successfully is an art in and of itself.

All that existential stuff aside, I got my routine chores done rather early in the day and was hoping to be able to apply another coat of polyurethane to that solar panel but the humidity had not allowed the coat that I applied the day before to dry completely even though I had applied it several hours before dark the day before which should have given it plenty of time to dry. The majority of the polyurethane did actually dry up and the places that did not were where I had either applied the first coat too thickly on the glass or it had pooled along the edges where I had done my best to seal where the glass meets the aluminum frame. I kept checking on it throughout the day but it stayed rather overcast and by the end of the day it had not quite dried enough for another coat and it kept looking like it was going to rain. Aside from the slow drying aspect the process is looking pretty good and there are only a few tiny areas where I missed getting any polyurethane altogether. I think that had I not been working in the shade that I could have spotted those places but in the grand scheme of things it is not a big deal because they will get covered when I apply another coat of polyurethane.

Anyway, with the solar panel repair project on hold I changed gears and sorted through more stuff from the greenhouse and spent some time once again consolidating stuff into less containers, taking inventory and basically organizing it before storing it on the new shelves in the arched room. The greenhouse is still a cluster fuck of too much damn stuff but I am gradually making some headway and hopefully if I keep plugging away at it I can get it cleared out in time to make the space functional before the colder weather arrives. I am unsure if I can actually squeeze everything from it into the arched room and have been considering just devoting the corner of the greenhouse that has a metal roof to be used for storage which is what I was originally thinking to do before I decided to store a bunch of stuff throughout the rest of the space when I emptied out the camper.

On a different note, I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my groceries (that I ordered from that online retailer) because I have been running low on supplies and there were a few treats in the shipment that I was excited to consume which are pretty few and far between for me. The packages all came together late in the day and when I went to pick them up at the homestead proper I opened the boxes to check them (and to get one of my treats) before lugging them back into the woods to the shelter site. The second box that I opened was a fucking disaster because one of the jars of strawberry jelly was completely crushed and there was jelly all over everything in the box, a second jelly jar's lid had come off and some of its jelly contributed to the mess and one of the lids from a jar of oranges was off and the plastic seal beneath it was compromised and the juice of course had been leaking out. Basically the box was quite the fucking mess and the wasted jelly really got under my skin as well as the notion that I would have to clean everything off before bringing it all into the shelter. From the looks of things the online retailer had failed to secure everything in the box appropriately with enough packaging material and the box had gotten mishandled along the way even though it was marked fragile. I am not going to complain too much about it all but gods damn it I just wanted to scream: This is why we cannot have nice fucking things!

I wound up washing all the box's contents with bleach water, dried it all off and stored it all away before taking the box and setting it on fire in the fire-pit so that it did not attract vermin but the jelly of course did not burn very well especially since I only added some leaves to the fire and not a bunch of other stuff that would have made the fire hot enough to turn the jelly to ash. Since it was sort of late in the day I did not want to fool around with gathering up a bunch of firewood and have to tend it for a few hours so once the box and leaves were done burning I moved the lump of jelly into the center of the fire-pit and raked a bunch of ashes and coals over it so that hopefully the vermin would not find it before I can finish burning everything off. My big takeaway from the experience was to just abstain from ordering anything in a glass container in the future and if it is something that I want badly enough I will have to run the gauntlet of covidiots and visit an actual store to get it!

Well, I have rambled on enough for one morning and should probably just wrap this up and get on with my day. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.


The crushed jar of strawberry jelly!

Thanks for reading!

More about me: I have been doing property caretaking (land stewardship) for many years (decades) and live a rather simple life with my dogs doing what most folks would consider to be an 'alternative minimalist lifestyle' but what I often just think of as a low-impact lifestyle where I get to homestead and spend the majority of my time alone with my dogs in the woods doing projects in the warmer months and taking some downtime during the colder months.

A little over three years ago I began sharing the adventures (misadventures) of my life via writing, videos, pictures and the occasional podcasts and although my intention was to simply share my life with some friends it undoubtedly grew into much more than that over the years and now I find myself doing what equates to a full-time job just 'sharing my life' which is not even all that glamorous or anything but hey folks seem to enjoy it so I just keep doing it!

The way that the Fantastica Chronicles came about is that I was living at another place when I started chronicling and sharing my days but eventually I wound up moving to a new place. The new place is a homestead named 'Fantastica' so I started with 'Day 1' upon my arrival here and just kept documenting my days much like I had done for the previous nine hundred and fifty-seven days at the last place that I lived.

I have mostly done that 'documenting' at Fantastica exclusively with words (and pictures) opting not to do the videos because as I learned at the last place, sharing videos over an intermittent and slow internet connection is horribly time consuming and what I often think of as an 'ulcer inducing' experience. All that said, I opted for simplicity with the documentation and have no real regrets for doing so.

The way that I look at it is that I give it all my best each day and while some stuff I write is better than others I think that for the most part I do a pretty good job at doing what I am doing which is simply 'sharing my life' as candidly as I possibly can and whatever folks get (or do not get) from it there is always the satisfaction of me doing what I set out to do... which is to simply share my life.


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That's a downer about the jam, but look on the bright side, it looks like fetid meat in the thumbnail, I thought that was going to be a bit more horrific of a tale!

I also find that a balance of writing/ doing stuff is a great way to live, but I lean much more towards writing!

That'll change shortly hopefully.

It is a good change to make! I often say that writing is my worst vice. So I just treat it accordingly because otherwise it would eat up way too much of my time.

@tipu curate


Hi jacobpeacock,

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