Friday, January 15, 2010

Open the windows every once in a while,

why don't ya?
'airing out' was the term employed as I was growing up..
Yeah, got to thinking about this while doing woodstove chores and it's been an ongoing internal dialogue for a couple of weeks now.

There are many official places to read about firewood, fireplace and woodstove safety..All I might add is to follow the rules and use your common sense and, most importantly, pay attention. Paying attention, for me, is the sign of a truly evolved human. Sadly, I come up short too frequently in that category...Nevertheless: ONE MUST TRY!
Besides the obvious necessary cleanings of chimneys and hardware and such I feel of additional importance is the cleaning of the air your lungs require.

Now most people hereabout are concerned, rightly so, about the heat escaping as many of us live in houses aged enough to have a gap or two. (And don't even go near the conversation of HOW people in the not too distant future will stay warm..I shudder metaphorically and will perhaps literally someday).
But a bit of escaping heat is not all bad. To live hermetically sealed in with mega-insulation can create some hairy built up gases and such. Stale, unclean air. So open a damned window every once in a while!
Full Disclosure: This was typed while the temp was actually a hair above freezing for the first time in ages and the air completely still. However, the more arctic the windy blast through the house, the sooner you shut the window! Simple.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Some grow up in households that thump bibles or drink to distraction and those 'traumas' indeed imprint on mushy kid brains coloring them ever afterward. In my case the imprint branded in this old gal's child mind was one of Yankee frugality, waste not want not, be prepared, respect living things and to cultivate a healthy dose of skepticism will rarely fail one.

So with varying degrees of success I've been doing that since dinosaurs roamed. Hence whenever I hear the term I gotta snort a bit and shake my head at a culture-at-large, (that I happen to share this ever shrinking planet with), seemingly to have been brought up to do just the opposite.

Placed in my 'When I Rule The World' folder yesterday was a note, "Every child should be encouraged to explore a hobby that requires neither electricity or ammunition to enjoy"....I can only wonder at the level of creativity that might engender..ah well.

ON TO REALITY: Since my future dreams include never having to buy salad greens again I lessen the pain of currently doing so by knowing that the clear plastic shells it comes in can make the dandiest little mini greenhouses. I poke little holes in the top and bottom for transpiration and in these I start alot of my seeds. The especially good part is that the lid snaps shut and it's rodent proof. Nothing irks more than to discover the destruction of just one nocturnal visit from the citizens of Rodentia after babying a bunch of seedlings for a couple weeks.
Additionally I like those boxes clementines come in as a good container for seedlings bumped up and they're deep enough not to dry out in two seconds. And finally, I'm a sucker for any kind of tin. They're great for storing seed or well, anything.

Monday, January 4, 2010

before enlightenment: shovel snow, make paths

after enlightenment:
shovel snow
make paths

anyhoo, I think I like the workout from clearing a pathway...go for a few minutes, take deep breaths, keep going. We,(meaning the collective, the 'culture' out there), grew up thinking it was such a terrible chore. Guys my age routinely keeling over from heart attacks due to the stress of snow shoveling .
So I asked myself this morning, "Do I like doing this?"
Answer: Not too complicated, not too nuanced..."Well, I really don't mind it all that much..hey wait a minute, I'm sort of digging this...literally and otherwise."
Let's not go overboard and call it fun but I feel good, my lungs feel good. We've no critters in outbuildings, (yet), so I guess I don't NEED to lives depend on these paths as they do for so many others. Maybe, at the end of it, I just like the 'notion' of paths. hmmmmm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

oh dear, seed catalogues

just a few of what's come of late...and it's tough for me being both frugal as well as a junkie.

Trying to sift through them, checking last year's notes, trying to remember who seems to deal in the freshest seed, open pollinated, heirloom, F1 hybrids, timely delivery, actually getting what you've ordered and that stuff I'll just get from work...and oh yes, factor in the leaping growth of home gardening, (yes, a good thing but a thing too that seemed to catch the companies unaware).

Oh, and the lure of the actual seed racks and oh, there are such places not far from here that stock the seed of 20+ companies right before my greedy eyes.

And then the new little companies, just starting up, online mostly...want to encourage them, throw them some biz.

And then those that disappointed and/or continued to disappoint.
So you sniff around, look and listen hoping to pick up good tips or to be pointed in the right direction at least.

And then there are those seeds you yourself have collected..You know they are unadulterated and fresh. But so limited and you want to try new things even if it might seem 'contra indicated' in your particular zone.

And finally, most importantly, you give yourself 'the talking to'. What do you REALLY want/need? What are you willing to store/process? And yes, you may like EVERYTHING but what will the folks you break bread with actually eat?

Ok, I'm just typing out loud here. I am still deciding what 2010's gardens will be. I know I took losing 80+ tomato plants and a couple of rows of potatoes to blight last year pretty hard, especially seeing as those are things people like to eat. Additionally I had alot more predation on my nearly non existent winter squash crop. Oh, that one stung. Indeed it did. I put alot of hope in that squash basket. But I'm not whining, just commenting.

So, so far I've decided on more root crops and a helluva lot more greens. And, to broaden my palate, my prepping, my experimentation. It really is all good.