Category Archives: Misc

For Dog Lovers

If you are a dog lover you’ll probably want to read this story.



It’s supposed to hit -17 for a low tonight! 

Man alive.  -40 with the wind.

Feel a little sorry for the chickens.

Where am I?

I have to tell you, I’m having a hard time finding the time to write.  Mostly because I’ve been wanting to stay in my reading chair next to the corn stove, but I’ve been writing stories for Hen and Harvest and Groovy Green, as well as trying to read through a plethora of books to do book reviews.  Follow the links from my links area to go over there and see what I’ve been writing, or watching if it’s a video.

Here’s a video of a friend of mine talking about the flooded areas in Cedar Rapids. You all might be tired of flood talk, but I think this backs up how devastating this flood was to this population here in Cedar Rapids.  It was definitely something that affected the lower income portion of our fair city.

By the way, here’s a link to a video of some flooded neighborhoods.  This video is a little old, but some areas of the city still look this way.  If the area was especially hard hit the neighborhoods can look awful because the residents aren’t allowed to rebuilt, or can’t if their house was destroyed, so the neighborhoods go on being deserted for the time being.

Below is a picture of pumpkin carving.  I feel like such a loser that I have a house full of local foods, but we had to buy our pumpkin at the store because we couldn’t find the time for a pumpkin patch trip.  I know, how pathetic.

Here’s the whole troop getting ready to go out hunting for corn syrup and other manufactured treats.

Ours are the Spiderman and the knight on the left here.  I’m anti-buying a Halloween costume, but Grandma takes them to Goodwill (2nd hand store) and gets them one.  From the left we have a Batman, another Knight and Stormtrooper.  Captain something or other.  I can’t remember who.

I should probably spend some time talking about what’s going on in the financial world, but I don’t have the energy for that right now.  I’m esconced in it all day every day and thinking about it more drains me sometimes.

I’m going to run but hopefully I’ll get back here sooner than I did last time.

Big Box Mart

Why do I Always Have Such a Strange Mash of Things to Talk About?

So I need to talk about a bunch of different things.

I updated my harvest/storing tab with my last delivery for the food kitchens.  Somewhere in my busy September I wasn’t able to update all the food I dropped off.  That’s unfortunate because that month is one of the most prolific, but overall it appears that we were able to get a fair amount of food distributed to the needy.  That’s great.  We’re going to further develop the process and how many people are involved this winter when we get everyone together to discuss how it worked.

My personal harvest totals are way off, as are my storage totals.  This typically happens in tomato and apple month.  I plan to take an inventory of the pantry and I’ll post that up when I get a chance.  I feel good about what we have put up, although I know it wouldn’t be enough if it was all we had to eat, but we also wouldn’t really starve that bad if we did have to live off it.  I will always have to buy dairy products and flour into the near future, but otherwise I’m not too bad.

I’ve got a lot of things to say about the Household Economy (Part 1 and 2), but I can’t get them all into a coherent thought.  Hopefully I will be able to.  That being said, the writer of the two linked postings does a darn good job.

My son has decided he wants to be a Scout.  While on one hand I love the skill set he would learn, I have some concerns about the organization and some of the “love of God and country” they support.  We’ll just see how this develops.  Right now he is in love with it.  We’ll see how long it goes.  Not to mention, it’s based in the neighborhood so it is a chance to work some local/community action initiatives.  They’ve never met anyone like me in Scouts before, I can tell you that!

This video is very intriguing.  It’s pretty far out there, but even if 10% of what she is saying is true this is eye opening.  This is a 30 minute video but worth listening to.

Lately there has been so much going on that I’ve been having a hard time dedicated some time to this endeavor.  I think this is the typical end of summer burn out I get where I just want to sit around and read books to recooperate from the busy summer.  Lately I’ve read Reinventing Collapse-Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-Depletion and Abundance-Eating Fossil Fuels along with a few others that I’ve enjoyed.  I think soon I’ll get my writing mojo back.  But, with Groovy Green and Hen and Harvest my writing time is split up pretty good.  Anyway, I’m just rambling.

Today I’m Sick

Sick of all the chores that is.

I’m sick of the vegetable garden and all the stupid fencing I need to keep out the chipmunks and rabbits.  Why can’t I just have my gardens be accessible like everyone else?

I’m sick of the chickens today even.  I’m tired of screwing around with their chicken run.  I’m tired of wondering if they have enough food.

I’m sick of summer right now.  I want the weather to cool down and for fall to come.

I’m sick of tomatoes.  I barely have any counter space anyway, but even less with bowls of tomatoes on the counter.

Course I did see my first chicken dust bath, which was really cool.  And I got to see how they can till up the garden with their legs, which was also pretty cool.

But I’m grouchy and sick of it all, for today.

Sometimes Life Just…

Gets in the way.  Sorry for the long abcenses.  I’ll try to give you a quick run down here so you can get up to speed.

Went to an Iowa Hawkeyes football game today.  College towns are so much fun.  They have so much energy.  Especially on a football day.  The Hawks played the Maine Black Bears.  They stomped them.  (Sorry Wendy)  Good warm up I’d say.  Thank goodness the temps have been below normal.  It was only damn hot, not really damn hot.

We took a quick weekend trip last weekend to a water park and a town called Nauvoo, which was the first Mormon settlement back in 1845.  They have a lot of real life demonstrations on how to make bread, blacksmithing, etc. It’s interesting and a good refresher.

I finally found a really good cabbage recipe.  (here)  We enjoyed it last night and everyone really liked how it tasted.  It was also simple to prepare which makes it an even better recipe in my book.

Make sure you check out my Harvest/Storage tab.  We’ve been busy delivering a ton of fresh, local organic produce to the local food kitchens.  I’m enjoying that endeavor very much.

The chickens keep flying the coop so I’m going to be busy in the next few days making a new one.  I’m going to use 6 ft hardware cloth with steel posts and then drap something over the top.  I’m not sure what yet.  Next spring I’m going to plant some grape vines at the base of the fencing and train the vines over the top to act as a natural shade cover, provide food for us and them (Japanese Beetles) and also act as the roof so they will quit flying out of it.  As I do that I’m going to surround the garden with 6 ft tall fencing and create a door so they can start going out in the garden to clean up the garden as fall approaches.  I’ll document more of it in the near future.

I know I’ve been doing a ton of other stuff because I’m darn tired, but this is all I can think of right now.  We’ve been clubbing it a little lately with some friends and doing flood relief.  We went to the Iowa State Fair, which was a little disappointing.  It was interesting but not something I would want to do all the time. Cooking local meals and as always preserving a lot of food.  Mostly making tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.  But also have done up some pickles.  In fact, we need to order a little more beef but our freezer is too full to fit in an 1/8 right now, so I’m not sure what we’re going to do in that regard.

Don’t forget to keep checking out Hen and Harvest for tons of great gardening info.