Week 10 notes

Some utterly random notes:

Things have been about the same as they have been. I had a friend over for dinner last night, which consisted of tomatillo-black bean dumplings with tomato-onion chutney and salad. He agrees with me that black pepper on lettuce is one of the best things ever. And salsa makes a surprisingly good dumpling filling; I’m glad we have so many of them now. These I think would be ideal deep-fried.

My friend pointed something out about Chinese cooking that I hadn’t quite realized — in traditional Chinese cooking, it is practically unheard of to eat raw vegetables. I think that’s true of Indian cuisine as well. In China, at least, it was because using fresh manure as fertilizer introduces all sorts of fascinating pathogens, many of which will be killed off by cooking.

I totally failed at my resolution to turn out the nightlight. But I’ve been alone in the apartment this week, and it was a weird and introspective week, so this was not a good time to start something like that. I’ll try again this week. Once I get into the habit of it, it’ll be easier when I’m alone and thus more likely to be spooked by the dark. Unfortunately, the whole “saving the planet” argument doesn’t work on my reptile brain. It just conspires with the rest of my mind and makes me feel scared *and* guilty, instead of inspired.

In addition to the whole 1/2 CSA share I had to myself this week, I ate lots and lots of PB&Js (or, technically, sunflower butter & jelly or honey). I should find a local source of some peanut butter analog, and maybe pick up some local jelly. On the other hand, I’ve only just started eating these regularly since I’ve been able to come home for lunch, so we still have lots and lots of jelly and jam. People keep giving it to us. I should also poke my dad about getting some more of the citrus hot sauce, possibly in trade for some of our local hot peppers. (I have the best dad ever! He makes hot sauce!).

I did fairly well on water. I tried the bowl-and-bucket sponge bath method for washing my hair and it worked! My hair is now all clean, and it didn’t take very much water at all. I have thick, moderately long hair, so it is an utter pain to wash via bucket. But it turns out that one advantage to using baking soda and vinegar is that if a little residue isn’t washed off, it’s fine. My hair doesn’t feel all soapy and icky. And the cold water felt fine in this weather. In the winter, if I still wanted a sponge bath but needed hot water, I suppose I could just heat some up in the hot pot or on the stove. That would be much more efficient than making the boiler heat it up. Though I suppose that’s less of an issue in the winter when the boiler will be heating water to heat the house anyway. But it would feel delightfully Little House in the Big Woods-ish until I realized how cold I was and turned the shower on like a sensible person. Using the bucket uses less water, but not actually by all that much if I’m washing my hair. We have a *very* efficient showerhead, and I’m not that adept at getting the water to go back in the bucket for reusing on the garden.

I’ve been having house envy lately. I want a small energy-efficient house with a big yard that I can have a mini-farm on. With chickens. And maybe goats. It would have an arbor with grapes and kiwis on it, and a fruit orchard with peaches and cherries and apples, and one of those super-hardy almond trees or a walnut. And most of it would be fairly normal vegetables, but there would be a little permaculture section with perennial vegetables and herbs and fruit and things like that. And HUGE GIANT SUNFLOWERS. Because they make me happy. And I would grow my own flax at least once. It would have a composting toilet and some of those new carbon nanotube solar panels for energy (unless there’s something better by then, or unless from where we’re living wind or hydro would be possible) and be very very insulated. And it would have a basement with a section for a real root cellar instead of a basement with a boiler living in it.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Susan said,

    Have you thought about an LED nightlight?? We got one for around $7, and now I feel much less guilty about having it on!

  2. 2

    limesarah said,

    Susan — my “nightlight” is actually a desk lamp. I need the room to be light enough to clearly see all the furniture and such. Typical nightlights give just enough light to cast all sorts of creepy shadows, so then it’s worse than actual darkness. :-(


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