Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaking News

It's been a while, friends.  And I've moved, into Austin, and am adjusting to urban homesteading.  Different soil, different scale, different conveniences, and different inconveniences.

Back soon to write about some new experiments in making stuff!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Sewn Garden, Dried Tomatoes, Soap Paste. Now with Tutus!

So I know there are all these people out there who have six children and are pregnant with twins and still find time to make cheese and card wool.  I know it because they also seem to find time to blog about it and post adorable pictures of their kids in hand-smocked blouses.  Me, with two kids?  All I can seem to do is keep the kids from maiming each other (mostly) and the house from burning down.

In between administering first aid and putting out fires, I've managed to fit a few projects that I feel inordinately proud about:

-- Winter sowing lettuces, herbs and garlic has got to be the most rewarding gardening for the least effort in Central Texas.  Because we get erratic freezes and our garden well does not have any of the infrastructure to for a freeze, I have to drain the well (it's a tiny little tank, but still) and the hoses after just about each use.  So instead I've just not watered the garden.  Not even once.  Which in these parts is usually just a guarantee that lots of insects will feast on toasty, dry, unsprouted seeds.  But we've had enough rain that everything germinated and took off.  Plus, two of my friends brought three different varieties of garlic out and we drank wine while we planted it. (Or maybe that last part was just me.)

-- I've been experimenting with some awesome soap paste, made out of my homemade bar soap, essential oils, and glycerin.  I use it to wash dishes and it makes suds, cuts grease, and rinses cleaner than regular homemade soap.  I continue the experiment and shall post about it when I feel it's good enough to share.

-- Making lots of quick sauces from last summer's dehydrated tomatoes.  Seriously, why did I ever bother to can tomatoes?  You can do just about anything with dried.

-- Planted a hillside with Winter Rye for my kids to roll down.  Just for the fun of the technicolor green in the middle of dull green and brown winter landscape.  That stuff does not even look real.

That's what comes to mind right now.  I'll leave you with this parting image.  It's two o'clock Central Standard Time and we are inside because it's raining.  My son and daughter are wearing tutus and diapers.  I am wearing flannel pajamas.

They were wearing pajamas as well until my three year old daughter stripped hers off to put on a bright green and blue tutu.  Then my two year old son tackled her and said, "Want! Want!"

I said, "Hey, don't fight.  There are tutus for everybody."

And I went and found him a pink and purple tutu.

Then my daughter said, "No, pink is for girls!"

So they switched tutus and now my son is wearing a blue tutu and my daughter is wearing a pink one.  Seriously, where do they pick up this sexist stuff?