Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Independance Day - 30 August 2011

Hurricane Irene went past us on Saturday. We didn't even lose power. Why would it? We were prepared =) Which is just as well, since Katia might visit next week.

Many of my neighbors seem to think that electricity, either from the grid or from their generator, is a requirement. Our plan of attack is to live without electric, and so we use oil lamps instead of flashlights, solar-heated camp showers, and a camp stove for cooking. Also, we have the setup items for a sawdust toilet, which saves some water. You could also use the water from washing dishes or laundry to flush.


I'm modifying my version of this checklist again - I do so little gardening that I'm changing it to one item rather than 3. So far, the nice shady patio seems to do best growing leaves & sweet potatoes.

1. Gardening: Cleaned up the balcony, removed dead plants, starting thinking about what to plant over the winter.

2. Waste not (preparations): Bought more lamp oil, more Coleman fuel, and another oil lamp. The new lamp leaks so I will be exchanging it, but otherwise we're quite happy with it. We are staying prepared for hurricanes for the rest of the season.

3. Want not (manage your stores): Water: We have 9 days of water, and I may get more. The store-bought water is kept until about 6 months before its expiration and then we drink it and buy fresh. So far, this is all fresh. I'd like to make up some camping-type foods, as well, that I can have ready if we do lose power for a few days.

4. Build community: Nothing. I hibernated, as a rest from (comparatively) large amounts of seeing the very large extended family.

5. Eat the food: Yes. I can't remember what I've cooked most times, but we are eating out of the pantry!

6. Crafting: I re-started a cross-stitch project - a dragon stocking. Can we hope it's done this year?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Independance Day Challenge 13 August 2011

I haven't been posting as regularly for a small host of reasons. I've made two trips to New England this summer, the car died and hasn't yet been replaced, and I feel like I've gone full-tilt for two months now. Today is a rest day, so I'm puttering about doing various things in between bouts of computer games. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

1. Plant something: Nothing. Lack of access to garden: 10 miles = 1 hour by bus.

2. Harvest something: A bit of tomatoes and bell peppers. The tomatoes are nearly done, same with the cucumbers. We won't grow cantaloupe again unless it's in the backyard - we've grown it, just to remove all the overripe ones! We just couldn't harvest them in a timely manner. The pink-eye peas are doing very well with the neglect they're getting, though.

3. Preserved something: I can't remember when we made things, but we made sweet relish, and I'm aiming for more pickles and to dry sweet bells and tomato paste today.

4. Waste not (preparations): Getting in better shape by riding my bike. Also, up north I found a food mill with 3 sieve-pieces for $18 and an older enamel tea kettle, that I brought home.

5. Want not (manage your stores): Does catching up on cleaning count?

6. Build community: nothing.

7. Eat the food: Enjoying venison given to us by a friend.

8. Crafting: Almost done spinning singles with the SeaGlass fiber I bought in New Hampshire last year, and getting closer to done with spinning singles with the Icelandic as well. I am attempting to work on my lace gloves but the are a challenge! Also, I'm crocheting seat pads for our kitchen chairs. It's a brainless project, which is nice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Independance Day Challenge 1 August 2011

Our garden doesn't look like much right now, with half of it ripped out and the rest looking tired! We need to see about getting some fall plants started soon.

1. Plant something: pink-eye peas. Prepped a few more areas for the next round, as well.

2. Harvest something: cantaloupe, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, last of the green beans, chard, first of the carrots.

3. Preserved something: Canned up some tomatoes - 4 pints diced, 2 pints of 'tomato drippings' to use in winter broths.

4. Waste not (preparations): Not sure if this falls here, but for a while our main mode of transportation will be bicycles & the bus. Interesting to get groceries this way =)

5. Want not (manage your stores): Better organization (an ongoing challenge!)

6. Build community: I talked to someone about canning food while at the grocery store - she seems more willing to try it now, said it doesn't sound as hard as she thought. Yay!

7. Eat the food: Homemade lo mein with fresh veggies from the garden (peppers, chard, green beans, carrots). Snacking on cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and cabbage stored in the fridge since harvest (still good as new)

8. Crafting: Working on the Twin-Leaf gloves; had to restart them in a yarn better suited to the pattern.