Weekly update

Some brief lessons from this week:

1. Knitting makes a wonderful activity to do on trains duirng one’s commute. However, it works a whole lot better if you bring both needles.

2. Since I’ve used my bank card almost solely for online purchases, and very few even of those, I have forgotten my PIN. This is a problem. I need to get it reset so that I can obtain cash and buy things at grocery stores and such.

3. I don’t like brussels sprouts. I thought, “I am a grownup now! Surely they aren’t actually icky anymore!” No, they still taste like very very strong brassica. Boo.

Electricity: Holding steady, I think. We ran the dishwasher because things had gotten a bit out of control. The next month’s bill will probably be slightly lower because we were gone for five days.

Transportation: Holding steady. I think that when I calculate the total gas amount after Christmas, I’m going to use the 100mpg figure given in the initial rules for public transit. The gallons per person/mile varies greatly depending on how many people are on the bus/train, and I feel that the positive impact of “voting” for public transit is very important. Even if the public transit in question is actually fairly emissions-heavy, there are so many options for improving it once there is critical mass for supporting such retrofits. I’ll just post an approximate total miles and then the resulting gas equivalent.

Water: Holding steady.

Food: Despite the harvest being almost over, food has actually been improving! I’ve been making lots of cornbread from local cornmeal, and there have been many potato-based soups and braised dishes. All veggies have been from the CSA, either fresh or preserved from the summer. The sauerkraut makes a great snack if I’m looking for something to perk me up. We’ve been eating bulk dry beans and lentils, and often bulk pasta for lunches. Often the only nonlocal wet thing in a meal is some fresh ginger. Soon (hopefully in time for the party we’re hosting next Saturday) local sustainably-harvested pink shrimp from Maine will be in season. The one place I’m still not doing well is breakfasts…I keep being lazy and just getting some bulk granola with rice milk. I need to get into the habit of making oatmeal. Somehow even a nice big bowl just doesn’t fill me up very well — I’m hungry again by 10am. Maybe I should start adding some nuts?

Heating: The heat still hasn’t been on regularly, but it looks like this weekend is going to see the first real winter weather. I know that the relatively mild winter isn’t actually a good sign, but at least it makes it easier not to warm the planet any more than it already is! Since we rent, we can’t get a real energy audit, but the energy people are sending us some useful literature on how to weatherstrip the windows and such. Some of the quilts we get at the thrift store will be turned into window quilts.

Consumer Goods: I bought some yarn, knitting needles, and new mittens while home for Thanksgiving, and there will be an expedition to Chinatown and the thrift store tomorrow to obtain a wok draining rack and some more quilts. The wok draining rack will be very useful for what Ben has namd the Very Un-Kosher Deep-Fried Channukah Party next Saturday — that way we can drain all the fried food without using up tons of paper towels. Oil never really gets out of cloth, and then that’s a serious fire hazard.

Trash: Holding steady. We finally have a worm bin! I came home on Friday to find that Ben had made a beautiful worm bin! It has nice holes in it and is kept off the ground for drainage by four pill bottles glued to the bottom. Now all we need are the worms. Alas, the bait shop still wasn’t open yesterday afternoon despite saying that it would reopen on the 30th. Maybe tomorrow. I’ve also been taking the leaves from the piles on the curb and piling them in our front yard, where they will decompose into wonderful soil by the spring. I am realizing that I should have marked off in some way where the garlic is planted. It’s along the edge, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

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