Thursday, August 20, 2009

What I will be doing this weekend (Friday evening until Sunday mid-afternoon, that is):

HEALING THE EARTH, NOURISHING OURSELVES: Growing, Eating & Preparing Food Locally

Come join Andrew Faust, one of the premier Permaculture teachers in North America, from The Center For Bioregional Living in New York City and Ellenville, NY.
This course will cover how to design abundant and productive local food systems using Permaculture and offer a series of fun, hands-on, food-oriented activities.
Topics include: Local and seasonal foods and their preparation; Extending and over-wintering your backyard or container garden; Growing indoors and fermented foods; Eating right for your region, season and vitality.
Demonstration and hands-on activities will include:
-Lacto-fermention -- kim chee, sauerkraut, etc.
-Water-bath canning of seasonal local tomatoes *
-Root cellaring
-Solar drying
-Culturing raw dairy*
-Inoculating and baking sour dough bread!*
-Designs and techniques of mushroom cultivation: return home with an inoculated log!

Come and learn how to live well and in harmony with the earth while boosting immunity and increasing longevity!

*Bring a wide mouth pint jar if you would like to take home some sourdough starter. Please also bring a few 1 qt. glass mason jars if you would like bring home some fermented foods.

(It's happening here.) I am not sure I am brave enough for homemade yogurt, but I am totally up for canning tomatoes and making pickles and sourdough. If I liked mushrooms, I'd be psyched about growing them, too. Does anyone want my inoculated log?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am alive, I have just been doing things on Facebook (under my real name) and Twitter (under chowflap) and not here. I was sick, and now I'm still a little sick. My house has been being sanded/prepped for painting for weeks now. I finally chose a color, though, so that's progress! (it's a nice golden yellow.)

I have also become addicted to a game on my deactivated iPhone: Bookworm. I used to play this online, but playing on the iPhone is just so, so much nicer. Not only do you just have to touch the letters to spell a word, but since it's on the iPhone, I can play it in bed. In the dark. While CJ smartly falls asleep (at a decent hour) beside me. And suddenly it's 1 a.m. and I have work in the morning. Whoops.

The iPhone version of Bookworm has a few major flaws, however: Occasionally there will be a word that it does not think is a word. Sure, I grumble that it doesn't recognize "shit" or "cunt," but I don't mean those words. I'm talking about "seriously, that is a word, no freakin' question" words like "rut" or "went" or "was." I've actually developed a completely-unfounded theory that the game's dictionary was built by Brits, because "lorry" is in there (except that I'm pretty sure that the English say those words too...). I have screwed myself into losing by expecting to make a word with a burning tile, just to have the word to not show up in the dictionary, leaving me totally hosed. Can't they do an update adding these EXTREMELY COMMON words?

Anyway, besides that problem, it's a good game. Very addictive. Don't download it, though. Save yourselves.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

My goodness, it has been a while! I can account for the past two weeks: first I went to my Quakery retreat thing in the Adirondacks, where my nephew infected me with one of his various viruses, and then (this past week) I was sick with a cold. I was just barely not-sick enough to have to come to work, though I probably would have taken a day or two off if we weren't on deadline. And then yesterday was the big-deal event my neighborhood association puts on. The association of which I am president. However, I had been away, and then sick (see above), and didn't end up contributing nearly as much pre-event work as I thought I would. Yet it still came out okay! Not super-well attended, but whatever, right? Right. Sure.

The event was a few hours of speakers and then a couple of bands, and I emceed the whole dealie. Mainly I said "here's who's coming up to talk" and then "thanks to the person who just talked; the bathrooms are there and there, and there's an art show over there, next speaker is in 10 minutes." Besides getting the title of the author's book wrong, I did a respectable job and did not stress too much about it. I am mainly happy that got to announce, "Ladies and gentlemen... THE FAWNS!"

To our collective knowledge, this is the first time ever that actual rock bands have played here; usually this event features a gospel singer or a barbershop quartet, which excites our elderly residents but doesn't do that much to bring in the under-65 crowd. At another neighborhood event today (one that drew more of the 'established' residents than yesterday's), a few of the older people said that they liked the bands, though they were quite loud. "I guess this rock and roll music is here to stay," they did not say while sighing heavily. (I'm actually surprised at how "edgy" they seemed to think the music choices were -- these people are just a bit older than my parents, who spent their teen years with the Beatles and the Stones and everything.)

Anyway, we are all glad it is over and are already thinking of ways to make it better next time.

Meanwhile, my house is getting painted, at great expense to me. It has been getting scraped and sanded for the past 2 weeks, and they seem to be almost done. The house looks terrible, with trampled plants, muddy holes (where they pulled up the fence that hides the propane tanks), and big ladders lying everywhere -- plus they are re-doing my porch screens, so we are screen-less right now (which means we are porch-less, too, since the mosquitoes are unbearable). I should be picking the color of my house any day now, really... I have the main color choices down to "pear green" and "sherwood forest" and the trim will either be some kind of blue or some kind of yellow ("nacho cheese" is the name of a color in the mix). Pics will be posted once all is shiny and new.