The Plan

is to produce/put away enough produce in the spring/summer/fall that we don’t have to buy any in the winter.

I have potatoes that were sprouting in the bin, planted out in the yard growing. I intend to grow the red seed potatoes I bought yesterday for winter. I also got storage onion starts. Celery was planted, it’s not doing well, but I planted it. I bought 2 celeric bulbs last week, haven’t been able to find the seed or starts. Figure I’ll plant those, either use the stalks, get seed, have it for next year OR the bulbs will grow enough that I can harvest 1 and grow the other.

I have summer squash, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, & beans coming up, home grown broccoli seed sprouting, asparagus making wonderful ferns, etc. The garden is trying hard to produce food. The problem is that my garden sits atop the septic field, all sand. All the nutriends I feed the garden just seep away. I’ve added compost, leaf litter, worms, potting soil, you name it. And, as long as I keep it up, the plants do okay, but stop for one week? And they go back to producing enough to keep us in salads throughout the summer.

Raised beds help, but they don’t entirely change the situation. A giant sponge sits under my yard. The other side of the house is the north side, and is heavily wooded, so that won’t work.

Arg. I’ll manage. But I’ll never have a spectacular garden here, because I have a spectacular leach field, all nearly 1/2 acre of it!

 

California Crazies

As a person with a mental illness diagnosis (PTSD) I’d like to comment on the recent insanity in my home state. I was not a popular youngster, but I had friends. I think the difference is that these days we lead others to expect instant gratification.

I knew it might be college before I had a boyfriend. I cried myself to sleep many a night in jr high and high school thinking I’d never have a date. Didn’t happen like that at all, but I didn’t know that, any more than anyone does.

Also, there was a whole social climate that even if you had access to guns (and some of my friends did) that you’d never use them against those in your community. We’ve distanced ourselves from each other, stopped teaching civics, stopped telling kids that being a candy striper or equivalent is laudable, etc. We didn’t just believe in our ecology, political party, etc. we were part of a country. We were Americans.

I think the difference between my generation of misfits and the current crop of the socially maladroit were two things: 1) We expected things to get better socially and be okay financially. We would be able to find jobs, etc. 2) We were taught from a very early age that we, all of us, were part of something bigger than we were,  we were all connected that way.

Not all people with a mental illness diagnosis are going to shoot up a room, but all of us, with a diagnosis or no, need to believe in our future and that we are all connected,  a part of something bigger than we are.

I just don’t see that happening dammit! So I expect we’ll keep having tragedies like this, where someone feels disconnected from those around them, is hurting and lashes out in the only way they think they can take control and can matter, even tragically.

I did a really stupid thing

I told someone I’d bring a rug for them to see Monday. The only rug I have partly done isn’t mine; it’s for a friend, and I’m not going to drag it around the state to show others.

All the rugs I have here which I made are either 1)my original prototype, with all the errors and it’s dirty  — it’s been in continual use for the past 8 months. Or, 2) the laundry room rug, which isn’t completely finished, and oh yeah, I spilled a small bit of bleach on it. The laundry room rug is also much bigger than the others, about 5′ wide so it’s heavy and awkward to carry.

Sigh.

I do have about 50 t shirt “crop tops” to make into either coasters or stair tread rugs. I could probably do that, or some of that?

Dunno what I’ll do — we’ll see!

Home Report: Unfolding Style

Decorating wise, it seems we’re semi-Steampunk. Except we’re not. I’m not in love with the “gears on everything” Victorian aesthetic. I’m not into “eclectic” or “modern” or “machine age” or “new age” or “shabby chic” or “mod” or “deco” either. It’s some of all of those and none of them in abundance.

I am in love with industrial stuff: lamps, crates, old typewriters, old  lighting, typesetters’ drawers, cash till pockets, old retail displays, etc. We don’t have room for everything of course.

This is a log home, which means the really slick mid-Century modern stuff we used in our last two homes looked out of place here, so most of it is gone.

The “style” that’s emerging is something I’m learning about as I go. I didn’t know that was in there! Galvanized, wood crates, old black typewriters, wrought iron, enamel and other metalware. S’okay. We’ll see how it all comes out!

Decided a while ago that I need to take all the “crop tops” from making rugs and make them into mini rugs for the stair case. That means repainting the stairs, which is fine. I like my fix for the stained stair fronts, but if you don’t know what was there, it just looks kind of messy, and I don’t want that, so it will change!

Pics when I get more of it done, I promise!

J

 

Old, but New

We bought a bookcase last weekend. Someone had taken an old industrial retail shelf unit (like I love and already had one of) and spray painted it silver, alas. However, it’s twice the size of the one I already owned. So, yesterday I moved/culled things around in the living room.

This required moving what was in that space (an old paperback case we’d had for the shop, the wood box, the containers of kindling and fire starting materials).

I hauled it all outside, including the fire wood and cleaned it. Culled out 1 bookcase, 1 enamel stew pot & lid, 2 wooden crates. All are going to the antique store today. The crates are the thing I regret the most, but I have no place to use them and they’re in the way, so out they go. They aren’t as interesting as the last batch of crates I bought as bookshelves (from a bookseller to a science department at Harvard) or the last lidded wooden box (marked for the American consulate, somewhere) as they have no labels or other markiings. They will almost certainly sell. Storage furniture/items are good — but money ain’t bad either!

Along this line, we’ve managed to come up with 2+ boxes of stuff to haul out of here to the sale this week too.

The fourth rug is almost finished, so that will be out of my queue too.

The memoir creaks along.

Got the first piece of our CSA share last week: almost 2 lbs of spinach. Tonight’s dinner will be the cold spinach soup I make. Here:

Lettuce Soup v 2

The last blog post for the CSA is one where the wife of the couple talks about how they plan to give their shareholders enough, or more than enough food, and people say it’s too much. We’ll see! If it’s truly too much, my neighbors or the compost heap will benefit. If not, then it will get used.

I didn’t go to an auction yesterday. The only thing I really wanted they had was wire shelving — which I want for the old laundry room/new pantry. Until we move things around, I have no place to put such a thing. My new rule is that I’m not buying stuff or keeping it, including shelving, storage, etc. unless I have a place to put it to use it RIGHT NOW. So the crates go out, the wire shelves were bought by someone else, and that’s it.

I may regret it later, but meanwhile, we have to get rid of the abundance o’ stuff that’s already here, so we can use the house as a home, not a storage depot!

Because of the culling/cleaning yesterday, I opened the surface cleaning files for the first time in months. I rearranged the table I was working on so that it makes more sense. If/when I get it to where it isn’t full of holes & typos, I’ll probably post it.

Do you use a list of seasonal cleaning jobs? What do you use? Where did you get it?

J

 

Garden Work

Did the first major part of the vegetable garden seeding and set up today. Got the bean and pea trellises up. Seeded the spring cabbages, peas, scallions, potatoes, and brussel sprouts.

The asparagus crowns I put in last year are putting up nice, thick healthy looking stalks. Very tempting, but I know not to eat them for three years, so I won’t and I made a point of telling DH where the asparagus that’s to use is as well!

There are four rhubarb plants out there. Right now they’re about the size of large African violets, certainly not big enough to cut any, but the plants are growing apace.

Transplanted the Concord ground cover. I’d gotten this from a customer/friend of mine who was 90 and had owned the house the family sold in Concord, MA for about 50 years. He gave me a start of it and I’d stuffed it in the bed that houses the asparagus because up til last year there wasn’t enough there to worry about. Also transplanted the pachysandria. That came from a friend in Westchester County, NY. It also got moved from the aspragus bed. The bed will now be asparagus and lettuce or other short term, shallow rooted greens, so the bulk of the bed is just for the asparagus. I’d been planning the bed for a long time, but until last year didn’t have enough crowns to fill the bed. Not now!

Been working a lot on various things for the two jobs, also working on the memoir, the new anthology (as we get stories) and the fourth rug. Decided that I’ll make rugs for the stairs or coasters from the scraps I’ve got. Otherwise the scraps are going to take over my office! There’s only so many rags a family can use!

Happy (really happy!) spring –

J

I keep doing this

I went to a seminar the other day about figuring out what your dreams are and at least in the preliminary get together, the techniques mentioned are things I already do?

I just went to one of my favorite organization sites and she had a post about how with as busy as we all are we need to do a “it HAS to be done” cleaning list, and that’s it.

New from both were these:

“Only let yourself quit for one day.” I’d agree to that if it wasn’t for the PTSD. I quit when things lean on it and get going again after that. But if I didn’t have PTSD, then that would sure work!

“Get everyone in the family a list to do.” Hmm. Never thought about trying to get my roommate to do some designated cleaning chore or the other every day. He does some without prompting, I figured that was enough. Hmm.

I have the same problem with advice about being frugal: I’ve been working on frugality so long that I rarely find anything new.

Getting old isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! Wise? I’m supposed to be wise ‘eh? I don’t want to be wise, I want to get through the chores I need to, get the work done I need to and cherish my life, time, home, and the people I love. But I also want to keep LEARNING so what’s up with that?

Meh.

J