Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No turkeys were harmed....

The salmon is thawing in the fridge and the house is clean--well sort of until I tracked in mud after my trip to the compost bin--and holiday decorations are ready to be unboxed. Yes, it is time for a nice cup of tea before jumping into the decorating fray.

Just finished 8 ounces of pretty sweater yarn.
DH and I are opting for wild caught salmon this year, partly in a nod to my anti-inflammatory diet which is very light on meat, and also because buying a huge bird is a bit much for two people. We'd have to get the whole thing if we wanted local/humanely raised. After seeing photos from a commercial turkey pen, I'm really glad we didn't buy a turkey breast. One of the big advantages of anti-inflammatory diet is how little meat we eat. Legumes and vegetable are given the star spot in our meals. Spices make them yummy.

Progress on the spinach
Weight is coming off at about the speed spinach is growing in the cold frame out in back of my house.  They've doubled in side but there is still a long way to go. I enjoy nurturing these little guys as they slowly grow into yummy vegetables. The cold frame needs to be propped open during the day and shut at night, and of course I water them. I'm interested in seeing how my experiment progresses.
pair of socks #16. time to knit something else!
The anti-inflammatory diet does wonders when I'm not slipping up and eating sugar. Those times when I am on it for several weeks and doing it perfectly, I feel amazing--pain and stiffness is gone.  So really I need to focus and be stronger through these sugar infested holidays.
Finished placemats with handspun bamboo warp.
And be thankful I've found a "cure" and stick to the prescription that improves my health. One of the things I've learned over the years is there is a lot of suffering we can avoid for ourselves and others just by changing a few things within ourselves and our surroundings. May we all look for those changes when we count our blessings so we can add a few new blessings to the coming year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Craftstead update

Growing winter spinach
Part of my "craftstead" philosophy includes trying to grow at least some of my own food on my small suburban plot. Here I am experimenting with growing spinach in a cold frame in my backyard. The frame is right behind my house and will have the advantage of whatever heat the house gives off.

I was encouraged to read about the Northwest Brightmoor Renaissance   a group trying to rehabilitate a blighted former working class community in Detroit--by cleaning up the trash that's been dumped there, fixing up the modest homes and yes, growing some of their own food.  And it is definitely not another gentrification project, but a real grassroots effort to carve out an affordable American Dream in an urban wilderness.
Sprounting mung beans on the kitchen counter: fresh homegrown produce.
I love how Brightmoor residents are using the Internet to catch and shame those who have used their neighborhood as a dumping ground. Visiting their website, you can see some really cute little houses on nice sized lots. What a great place to have a nice big garden! I read in the Washington Post that one couple chose the neighborhood to begin their organic farming enterprise, rather than a rural area. They are also using vacant lots for community gardens.  Yes, dedicated people can change the world.

I will have warm feet this year!
My craftstead is in a posh suburb where cute smaller houses are being torn down to create mansions. So my 1500 square foot 70's split is "small" compared to a McMansion of five thousand plus square feet. Funny to hear myself calling my house "small." It isn't by global standards. My house is giant and luxurious. It has plenty of room to raise a family, throw a dinner party, host guests, and house a few looms and spinning wheels.

But I understand what drives people to wanting giant homes and buying new stuff. It's a disease that plagues our society--consumerism--an endless Pack-Man like need to run the maze and eat the cherries of new acquisitions. It's like we have lost our souls and try to fill the void with stuff. Yes, I've struggled with the endless wanting and have fought to keep it at bay. One thing that has helped me is having a "small" house. I can only fit so much into it.