Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yeay Craigslist!

Just a short entry today.   As we all know I'm downsizing a bit.   I needed to sell my awesome but huge tricycle.  Yes, tricycle.

I posted it on craigslist a few days ago and just now met a woman and she bought it.  Our negotiations went like this: 
Her:  What's your lowest price?
Me:   What's your highest offer?
Her:  (she says something 50$ more than I figured my lowest price would be)
Me: All right.  

We were like shrewed skilled traders...or like two older women who had done lots of research and knew what was reasonable.   Hope she enjoys it!  I did.

There it is in all it's glory.   She'd called around clearly and talked to the guy who had done some maintenance on it. 

Here's hoping the price I got covers most of the brake job I'm getting on the Subaru tomorrow. 

I'm thinking I may sell the electric lawn mower on craigslist too. That's where I got it last year.  I'll add the heavy duty electrical cord and see what I can get for it. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Very Wee Garden

Here is another friend's garden.  She lives in an apartment that is the main floor of an older house.  The only restriction on use of the yard is "no eyesore"...hmmm.  Thus she's proceeding with care.  Since there is another apartment in the house and they get to use the house too, best to be polite.  The yard is also quite small.

She's gone with a container garden.

Here's an overview photo:

 The black thingy in the background will eventually be a water feature and sunk in the ground.  She's been here barely a month.  Things are proceeding quickly.

Making good use of the back steps.  I think that's a lemon tree on the top step.  It will be inside in winter.

 A tomato!

 And more tomato plants!  Pretty impressive.  I like the tiny flowers on the left.  They look big given the small size of the garden.

The whole thing is on the east side of the house.  This is fine given the intensity of the sun around here in the summer.  The fence on the north side of the lawn, about 5 feet from the garden, and the protection of the house to the west, will probably extend the season a bit after a frost will have hit bigger gardens that are more exposed.  And of course with containers one had the option of bringing the plants into the house on frosty nights.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Medicine Wheel Garden

This isn't my garden.  It is at the house of some friends.  It's lovely.

It's built around the compass and each quadrant is based on a color.  I may have the colors wrong and will edit after the gardener corrects me.

White, yellow, red, purple/blue.   A lovely tree is in the center and a ring of rocks defines the edge.  I have to admit that being Princess Practical, when I first saw the design as it's going in I thought "you can't put a garden under a tree!"  That thought was immediately followed by "says who?"    The 2nd thought was the correct one.  You can put a garden wherever you want.

 Here it is with the rocks and a few baby plants.

And here it is this morning.  You can see the added mulch of wood shavings which looks great.  It has a substrate of cardboard and paper.  I'm stealing the idea for the area around my camper I think. 

A bit of the "yellow" quadrant featuring a calendula plant.  I've never gotten calendula to grow at all so I'm impressed.

A bit of the white quadrant

Red quadrant (poorly centered)

 More lovely plants.  I like the mix.  Mostly herbs and whatnot with decorative grasses.

 Bit of art near the center.

It's really lovely.  I find it fascinating that a mullein, with yellow flowers, planted itself in the yellow quadrant.  

The garden follows most of the principles I just read about in Sepp Holzer's book on permaculture.  Trees, rocks, mulch, microclimates.  This tiny garden has it all going on.   


Monday, July 7, 2014

Simplicity Through NOT Facebooking

So Facebook has been messing with your head of late...what with the psych experiments.  But of course, if you're on the f-book, it's been messing with your head the whole time in my view.  I have friends (real life ones, not f-book friends) who like and use and enjoy f-book.  Good for them and as you know I believe in each person doing as she/he pleases.  

For me, not f-booking is simple and frugal and brings me lots of peace.   But, you f-bookers may wonder, how do you "stay connected" to people?  How do you know what everyone you've ever met, and some you haven't, are feeling like at every moment of every day?  What if you want to post something interesting but you aren't on f-book?   Well, I don't care.  Moods pass quickly so why do I need to follow each up and down of the entirety of my acquaintancy?  I don't.  The close friends, I follow them because we talk and email, and GET THIS...write letters and MAIL them at the POST OFFICE!  OMG!  Did you know that the post office still exists?

Anyway.  It is my contention that f-book can mess with your head, actually I mean MY head, at all times.  Even when there is no overt psych experiment.  I tried it for like a day and hated it.  I know people who check it frequently to see if anyone has "liked" something they've posted.  Um...what?  I know what I like and it makes me happy to not care if anyone else likes it.  Of course, I'm an introvert.  If you care to know if other people like it too, then by all means, f-book it.

I'm clearly not entirely against social media...what with the blogging, but at my core I really really really don't care if anyone reads this ever.  I care even less if anyone "likes" or "dislikes" it.  I rarely check my "stats" to see if anyone is reading.  I'm surprised when I get a comment.  I understand that others aren't like me in that.  Peachy keen.

What  I don't understand is the surprise that f-book would do something like run a psych experiment on the users.  The "privacy" policy....which last time I read it seemed to be an agreement to give up all pretty unreadable so I have no doubt that somewhere in there it states that f-book may use itself against you.  Maybe blogger will at some point too.  I couldn't be bothered to rummage through the policies in that much depth.  I doubt I'd be surprised if a similar situation occurred.  Chagrined, but not surprised.

So, that's the rant.  Remember that everything at all times is "user beware."

My life is simpler by not getting caught up in a social media situation geared to extroverts and lots of information.  I prefer the blog where I put things out there and then move on with my life.  As I move into a camper in the next couple of weeks even this could go by the wayside.  Maybe I'll post paper bills around town with flour paste decrying my latest opinion.  Who knows.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The New Addition to the Homestead!!!!!

It's pretty awesome!

3 people showed up yesterday to help at the homestead.  I was expecting 1.  3 is more than one.

Thank you to Maia, Erika and Cass and the puppies!

This made me feel completely secure.  If I lost my job today (knock on wood that doesn't happen...I would still like a well...but I'm just saying) I have a really lovely place to live.  It doesn't rain much here in the summer so this should be peachy for months! Thank you thank you thank you!

I'd asked if someday Cass could come help me with turning pallets into an outhouse to shelter the composting toilet (see composting toilet post).   Cass had replied via other folks that he'd think about it.  I thought that was fair enough because it's alot to ask.

Apparently Sunday morning he thought "yep."   They showed up with supplies, food, water and tools and 2 vehicles.  I had already been at the land before I got the message and thought I was doing something entirely different so I had no water, snacks, supplies or tools...not even the toilet!
No problem.  They dug right in.   Cass suggested that rather than construct a pallet building to shield my naughty bits from the highway drivers who may gawk (is that a tennis ball in a flesh tone tube sock?  (swerve)), he looked at the giant spruce tree next to the trailer and asked if I'd be OK with putting it back in there.  I said "Sure."

So, he got loppers, a sawsall and organized the help.  Erika was on weedwhacking and the weeds (hay really and other plants) are fully whacked.  I have a little wee yard around the camper, a path around the tree to the otherside where the bathroom is, an area for firewood and a place to stack supplies (like the mismeasured wood I had cut the other day...different story...totally my fault).  Meanwhile Maia and I are assigned to move the branches and whatnot that Cass is taking out from under the lower bits of the tree.  So we do.

Not long after there is a really nice clear spot.  It's quite a bit larger than I envisioned.  As I said, I had not brought the toilet (and was having a special ladytime issue that required access to a sink and a flush toilet) so Maia and I ran up to Plummer to retrieve one turlet and use another one.  We get back to find that Erika and Cass had cleared out the side of the tree next to the trailer, leaving branches hanging nearly to the ground.  The tree is in a sort of bank about 3 feet high. The toilet is on the west/high side and the trailer is on the low, east side.  A giant root makes a natural bench in what is now the living room.  Cass was willing to open up the space even more but I  do like to have the drapes drawn so I asked to have the cutting stop and declared done for the day.  You can cut branches off later, but you can't really put them back on.


Here are a few photos.  I'm sure you'll all be jealous of my bathroom, with storage area (which is important when you need buckets of dry matter like sawdust or peat to keep the thing going).
The sun was a bit harsh, but that's the toilet under the tree and the grass is actually quite green.  A few pallets behind it for a feeling of privacy beyond the natural tree branch view blockage.

The living room!  Hard to tell, but that sideways root is really comfy.  The chairs are because company is coming next weekend so I wanted to have the place all tidy.  I'd just picked up the reed rug at a thrift store for 8$.  The chairs (there are 3 in view and another out of view) were a total of about 10$.  I already owned one chair.  Pardon the badly framed photo which includes the sheet covering what I hope will be an outdoor kitchen base...but my construction skills leave EVERYTHING to be desired so I covered up my shame.

I think that bookclub when they come on Saturday will be pretty impressed.  It's shady and cool under there with a nice breeze.  Sure the breeze is off the toilet but I'll use that judiciously before they get there.  Maybe throw in a tictac for good measure ( does not stink, it's just getting set up).  You can see a bit of the toilet privacy pallets on the side by the red chair.

And the piece de resistance.....(drum roll please)...the view from the throne:

I expect to have important insights during my morning constitutional.

Cass Erika and Maia are AWESOME!  I wish I had useful skills to exchange with them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Won't This Break the Space/Time Continuum?

So I was at a thrift store and saw this:

Micro Master

It was a different brand but you get the idea.   It's a microwave pressure cooker.   If the microwave isn't fast enough...add pressure!  Cripes.

I was wondering if that really was the draw....speed of cooking.   Yep.

They've taken the 2 fastest cookers and combined them!   Uh...what?  Why?

Of course, cooking food faster does not make for tastier food in general.  The exception may be deep frying.  You want that to happen fast.  You don't want a donut or french fry that's been slowly simmered in oil.   Otherwise, food is better when cooked slowly.   Roasted.  Braised.  Stewed.

Someday I'll tell you about the ex-beau who thought that pressure cooking a steak was a good idea.  Nothing like a tepid grey lump of meat.  Barf.

(by the way...this is apparently my 400th post!   Wow)