26 May 2020

The Story of a Starter

Years ago (1996) I read a sour dough book by Nancy Silverton. It inspired me to create my own starter and make bread. I have had the same starter since. Sometimes it is dormant in the fridge, sometimes it is dehydrated for longer quiet times, and sometimes it is baking like crazy.

Lately, it has been baking like crazy. Every day. Sometimes bread, sometimes pizza crust, sometimes rolls, sometimes chocolate chip bread, and lately pancakes.

My advice to those who have been asking lately is keep a small starter, feed it daily and by ratio and weight ( 1 part starter : 1 part water : 1 part unbleached flour, I just keep 40 oz of starter.) It doesn’t take a lot of starter to get a nice rise.

My approach to sour dough is laid back. I feed it on schedule, but don’t really follow too many other rules.

<><><><

Learning — Welsh, still and always

IN the Garden:

  • bed 1 — rabbits over compost + Chamomile, horehound, borage, purple cone flower
  • bed 2 —
  • bed 3 —
  • bed 4 —
  • bed 5 — compost (finished)
  • bed 6 –lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, brussels sprouts, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, basil, arugula, bok choy
  • bed 7 — compost (older)
  • bed 8 — arugula, bok choy, carrot, beet, brussels sprouts, basil, tomato, carrot,
  • bed 9 — tomato and basil
  • bed 10 — compost (start in July)
  • bed 11 –Jacob’s Cattle Beans, okra, and beets for seed saving, and strawberries
  • bed 12– Bennings Green Tint squash, okra and beets for seed saving
  • bed 13 — Purple Coneflower
  • bed 14 — summer squash
  • bed 15 — compost (new)
  • Blackberries — starting to bloom
  • Asparagus — is finished for the year
  • Grapes — leafing out pretty nicely
  • Strawberries — moved 10 into the garden
  • Pollinator Garden — filling in nicely without any additional seeds this year

Reading Fiction –The Cruelest Month (finished)

Reading Non-fiction— Bringing It to The Table, Welcoming the Unwelcome (Book Group), The Circadian Code (re-read)

Listening — Braiding Sweetgrass (second time through)

Moving — Daily Walks, Daily yoga, M*W*F = strength training and HIIT

Planning — Rabbit house north side wall, roof, and paint colors (Tardis Blue walls with a gray roof)

Low Waste: Bathroom

I have considered myself a “green chick” since 1993 and have been refining my life and our farm to fit more inline with my beliefs. This stay-at-home order has really allowed me the extra time to focus on what remains to be done.

The bathroom is in pretty good shape. Here are some pictures that sum up what I use and includes everything except my shampoo bar and soap bar, which are the same bar, but it was wet and in the shower and it just didn’t seem that important to have a picture of it.

  • Safety razor
  • Neutrogena Face SPF (because I am a farm girl and sometimes the big floppy hat isn’t enough. This lasts about a year.)
  • Thayer’s witch hazel in glass spray bottle (4 months supply, comes in a plastic bottle that lasts a year)
  • Boots organic face serum (6 months supply)
  • sandalwood comb
  • salt stone (deodorant, lasts about 3 years)
  • bamboo toothbrush
  • geo-organics toothpaste (I am switching to the tooth soap when this runs out. This lasts about 3- months, the tooth soap should last about a year.)
  • geo-organics silk floss (in glass dispenser, I buy just the refills, they last for so long I can’t remember the last time I had to fill up.)
  • geo-organics mouthwash tablets (6 months supply)
  • tweezers, clippers, and wood/bristles body brush
  • portable bidet
  • potty cloth
  • Turkish Towel (x2, years and years old, super soft at this point, no signs of wearing out.)
  • Humby Peppermint shampoo bar (Used daily for hair, face, and body, lasts 3-4 months) — NOT SHOWN
  • Make-Up cup NOT SHOWN: mascara, lip pencil, lip stick (clear), lip pencil sharpener

What I would like to do better: not much to be truthful. I am comfortable with this amount of usage. I am at peace with my face, body, and hair. Well, I’d like a haircut, but will patiently await the re-opening of the salons/barber shops.

I would like to order some organic flannel potty cloths sometime. Mine are old cotton washcloths and they are fraying quite badly.

<><><><><><>

Learning — Welsh, still and always

IN the Garden:

  • bed 1 — rabbits over compost + chamomile, horehound, and borage
  • bed 2 —
  • bed 3 —
  • bed 4 —
  • bed 5 — compost (finished)
  • bed 6 –lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, brussels sprouts, strawberries, tomatoes, basil, arugula, and bok choy
  • bed 7 — compost (older), tomatoes right in the compost
  • bed 8 — arugula, bok choy, carrot, beet, brussels sprouts, basil, and tomatoes
  • bed 9 —
  • bed 10 —
  • bed 11 –Jacob’s Cattle Beans, okra, and beets for seed saving, and strawberries
  • bed 12– Bennings Green Tint squash, okra and beets for seed saving
  • bed 13 — Purple Coneflower
  • bed 14 —
  • bed 15 — compost (new)

Reading Fiction –The Cruelest Month

Reading Non-fiction— Bringing It to The Table, Welcoming the Unwelcome (Book Group), The Circadian Code (repeat)

Listening — Braiding Sweetgrass (second time through)

Moving — Daily Walks, Daily stretching, and Strength & HIIT on M,W,F.

Planning —

  • How many more beds we need to add to the garden
  • How to enclose the compost under the rabbits to keep Jasper out while still being easy to move aside for raking out manure. This needs to happen more often than it does, but our system is not ideal.
  • Chicken runs that attach to their small house.
  • Anther set of clothes lines right next to the current lines. Sheets and blankets definitely need higher lines.
  • How many more trees will fit in the eastern section of the front yard.

Planting outside of garden: Maple tree from MA for Mothers’ Day

17 May 2020

 

Learning — Welsh, still and always + feeding chickens and rabbits without commercial feed (Food Web)

IN the Garden:

  • bed 1 — rabbits over compost + herb bed started
  • bed 2 —
  • bed 3 —
  • bed 4 —
  • bed 5 — compost (finished)
  • bed 6 –lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, brussels sprouts, strawberries
  • bed 7 — compost (older)
  • bed 8 — arugula, bok choy, carrot, beet, brussels sprouts
  • bed 9 —
  • bed 10 —
  • bed 11 –Jacob’s Cattle Beans, okra, and beets for seed saving, and strawberries
  • bed 12– Bennings Green Tint squash, okra and beets for seed saving
  • bed 13 — Purple Coneflower
  • bed 14 —
  • bed 15 — compost (new)

Reading Fiction –The Cruelest Month

Reading Non-fiction— Bringing It to The Table, Welcoming the Unwelcome (Book Group)

Listening — Braiding Sweetgrass (second time through)

Moving — Daily Walks, yoga, strength training

Planning — Rabbit house roof,

Planting outside of garden: Maple tree from MA for Mothers’ Day

snapshots of life, 30 April

 

Learning — Welsh, still and always

IN the Garden:

  • bed 1 — rabbits over compost
  • bed 2 —
  • bed 3 —
  • bed 4 —
  • bed 5 — compost (new)
  • bed 6 –lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, brussels sprouts
  • bed 7 — compost (older)
  • bed 8 — arugula, bok choy, carrot, beet, brussels sprouts
  • bed 9 —
  • bed 10 —
  • bed 11 –Jacob’s Cattle Beans, okra, and beets for seed saving
  • bed 12–
  • bed 13 —
  • bed 14 —
  • bed 15 — cardboard down to kill grass

Reading Fiction –The Cruelest Month

Reading Non-fiction— Movement Matters, Welcoming the Unwelcome (Book Group)

Listening — The Chronicles of Narnia

Moving — Tracy Anderson Cardio Dance for Beginners, and Method Express. Plus lots of walks in the woods.

Planning — Rabbit house roof, compost bed walls, and herb garden ideas

what a difference

Well, March and April certainly didn’t go according to plan. I suppose in some respects, you can never really plan to live through a pandemic. I mean, you could, but that would make you either an virologist or a prepper. I am neither.

What I am is a planner, a thinker, a gardener, and a creative problem solver. That last part means that I come up with unique answers that others call creative. That means, they would never have gone about it the same way I did.

We have a decent food pantry, seeds for this year’s garden, my sourdough starter has come out cold storage and has been cranking out a daily loaf of bread, and I have a notebook full of notes and ideas for getting through this.

With my auto-immune disease, I am considered high risk for unpleasant complications from this virus. I have been on lock-down for 7 weeks on the advice of my coordinating physician. They can’t give me an honest answer when that might be over either. So in the meantime Kelly and Hannah (with help from Abby on occasion) have been doing the shopping and errand running. Thankfully, I already have a lot of that stuff automated through a couple different companies.

With a healthcare worker living in the same house we have some challenges as far as isolating a potential carrier. Hannah has been using her room like it is an apartment and today we met in the front yard. Sitting 8 feet apart, in a swing and in a rocker, having a good long (and much overdue) conversation. This is hardest part for me — not seeing close up those I love.

In other news: I learned how to hand sew a fabric surgical mask.

In other news: I learned you can’t just cut the legs off of jeans to make shorts. Well, at least not straight leg jeans.

In other news: I have cleaned every square inch of my bathroom and bedroom multiple times.

<><><><><><><><><><

Learning — Welsh, still and always

IN the Garden:  lettuce, kale, chard, radishes, brussels sprouts

Reading –Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and just started The Cruelest Month

Reading — The Hebrew Bible: Feminist Perspectives, More Me: A Journey

Listening — The Chronicles of Narnia

Moving — Tracy Anderson Cardio Dance for Beginners, and Method Express. Plus lots of walks in the woods.

Planning — the next garden bed, a new path through the woods that would go around the “young woods,”

 

 

Feb 2020

February is such quick month. I don’t simply mean in terms of days. The whole thing just flies by as the days grow longer, I spend less time consumed with keeping warm, and I spend more time outside.

So in review:

  • yoga: 28
  • meditation: 29
  • strength training: 12
  • walking: 14
  • rest days: 4
  • Tacluso + Ysgubo: 22
  • Outdoor work: 2
  • Daily office + Bible: 29
  • Welsh: 29
  • Study: 16

Read: *Practicing Depth Year with re-reading old fiction books that I already own on my Kindle rather than buying new.*

  • Learning to Walk in the Dark (NF)
  • Undercover in High Heels
  • The Road Back to You (NF)
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (NF)
  • Walking in Wonder (NF)
  • Alibi in High Heels
  • Tribe
  • Mayhem in High Heels
  • Started but didn’t finish
    • Introduction to the Old Testament (NF)
    • The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives (NF)

Weather:

  • Sunrise on 1 Feb — 7:48
  • Sunset on 1 Feb — 6:04
  • Sunrise on 29 Feb — 7:15
  • Sunset on 29 Feb — 6:35
  • Temperature on 1 Feb — 36-44 degrees
  • Trend for the month was normal for February
  • Temperature on 29 Feb –26-41

Low Waste :: Low Impact

  • Gasoline for Kim: 2.3 gallons
  • Electricity for household: ?
  • Water for Kim: ?
  • Garbage for Kim:  12 oz
  • Food for Kim:
    • $32 (first week)
    • $12 (second week)
    • $32 (third week)
    • $ 8(fourth week)
    • $15 (food, not from home)
  • Money spent for Kim:
    • ($12) haircut at Bruce’s Barber Shop *100% local, so I don’t count it.*
    • $24 sports bras at Target
    • $20 study books
  • Money spent on Jasper:
    • $19 nutritional powder (Just Food for Dogs)
    • $23 Omega 3/Fish oil (same as above, will last several months)
    • $21 for chicken (spinach, carrot, apple, and rice all from family grocery trips)

 

Saint Matthias

Men Saint Icons Saint Matthias Icon Monastery Icons

His story: After the ascension of Jesus, the disciples gathered to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. The lot fell to Matthias. See Acts 1:15-26

Tradition says he preached in Judea, Colchis (modern Georgia), and Cappadocia (Turkey) and north to the Caspian Sea. It is claimed that the remains of Matthias were taken to Italy and that part of these relics are interred in the Abbey of St. Mathias in Trier Germany.

On a personal note from Kim: I have seen his icon written on the wall of a cave city in Turkey, and we visited this Abbey when we lived in Germany. Trier was Michael’s favorite city. He loved the plaza, Porta Nigra, the “monkey man,” and the pastry shop just to left of the plaza. He still remembers!

Collect for the Day: Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

BookNotes: Walking in Wonder

John O’Donohue — I am sorry there won’t be anymore words from him. I found him late and have really loved his poetic vision. I love to read one of his books while reading a more challenging academic book. I feel he balances out my “tendencies” quite nicely.

Tribe — Um, not my favorite. It was recommended, but just didn’t quite click for me. I think it was the assumption that violence is at our very core of being. I think we are called to a higher and better position.

In other news, happy belated Valentine’s Day or as the Welsh say, “dydd Santes Dwynwen hapus” Saint Dwynwen is the patron saint of lovers and animals. Her saint day January 25, but I didn’t know that until learning how to say it in Welsh this morning.

A few things about her:

  1.  Dwynwen means “she who leads a blessed life.” She was a Welsh princess who lived in what is now the Brecon Beacons National Park is thought to have died in about AD465
  2. Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service and became a nun after she was unable to marry her Prince.
  3. She set up a convent on Llanddwyn Island – just off the west coast of Anglesey – the remains of which can still be seen today, along with Dwynwen’s well. You can visit Santes Dwynwen’s church on the tiny tidal island of Llanddwyn.
  4. Santes Dwynwen is also considered the patroness of farmers’ beasts.
  5. A Welsh love spoon is traditionally given as a Santes Dwynwen’s day gift.

BookNotes: Learning to Walk in the Dark

It’s still February. The days are slowly getting longer. It doesn’t really feel that way yet. I still turn on all the fairy lights and turn off the lamps. I still wake in the dark, do yoga in the dark, and tidy my private space in the dark.

But February also means afternoon walks in the woods or on the road, games in the evening because we can see the floor, and dinner before the sun goes down.

February this year brought a new habit. One chapter an evening of a nonfiction book, not scholarly, no note taking, just read a chapter and contemplate for a few minutes. I chose Learning to Walk in the Dark as my first book.

The Kinship Project

On 2 February 2020, I presented the following forum at my church. It is part of an ongoing parish spiritual formation series.


The Kinship Project: Protecting, Enriching, and Serving our Immediate Environment

We are at a crossroads. The science is clear. We must reduce our carbon emissions (and carbon equivalent emissions). We have a decade, at best, to make significant changes or we will face a future that looks radically different than our past, our future, or the hope filled world of Star Trek. It is a world where untold millions will suffer from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), fires, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, crop failure, drought, floods, famine, disease . . . but, it doesn’t have to be like that. We, as individuals, can do a lot. We can speak truth to our churches, our neighborhood communities, our cities, our mayor, our Governor, our Members of Congress, our President, etc. We can practice truth by reducing our own CO ee emissions.

These facts are causing stress and anxiety among our younger generations. They see and know that they are the ones who will live and die with these changes. As I watch the young climate activists, I notice they all have the same exasperation. We tell you the facts, and you do nothing. We tell you that we are less likely to die of old age than you are, and you do nothing. We tell you that the world is in crisis, and you recite “fairy tales of eternal economic growth” and do nothing.

We have failed our younger generation. We have failed them and we wonder why they don’t show up at our church doors.

<Note: As of January 2019, according to the IPCC, we had a carbon budget of 360 gigatons before we reached the tipping point. That is total gigatons, not per annum, left to emit.>

With all this swirling in my head, as I stopped to think about this forum, as I double-checked my research, one thing became crystal clear to me. No amount of knowledge, no amount of scientific fact, no list I give you can really make a difference.

The only thing I have to offer is a “why” :: a value statement. Values aren’t understood simply by our intellect. They are understandings derived from inner experience.

As our Presiding Bishop often reminds us, This is the Way of Love. Where does this idea of love being the center come from? . . . <Read Matt 22: 36-40>

  • Love God
  • Love neighbor

And so I’d like to share the Creation Story of our Kin the Hebrews . . . <Read Gen 2, creation of man>

  • man formed of soil :: stresses our kinship and dependence, we are made of earth not just upon earth
  • till :: ‘avad
    • to cultivate
    • a right to make a living from the soil, we must work the soil to eat from the soil
  • keep :: shamar
    • to preserve, to defend
    • a duty to care for the soil, we need the soil and it needs us.

I would like to suggest that these biblical ideals (Love God, Love Neighbor, Protect the Garden) serve as our reason for practicing Creation Care.

The IPCC suggests that each person living with a carbon budget of 2-3 tonnes per year is the target we should be aiming for. <Of course, businesses must also follow the guidelines, but as they say, “vote with your dollar” and the companies will listen.>

  • Worldwide average = 4 tonnes
  • American average = 21 tonnes
  • That is roughly an 85% decrease in individual emissions.

The factors that have the largest impact on your carbon footprint are:

  • the number of children you choose to have
  • food choices = agricultural methods, meat consumption, plastic wrap, shipping distance, biodiversity
  • Housing = electricity (coal, natural gas), heating and cooling, refrigerator, hot water, washing machine, lighting, landscape maintenance,
  • Personal transport = car, fuel, planes (vs buses and trains)
  • Consumer goods = use of plastic, fast fashion, banking, electronics, healthcare, entertainment, education, lawn

Let’s have a family meeting and see what we can think of . . . remembering that we are focusing on our immediate environment.

When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if the world was ending tomorrow, he replied, “Plant a Tree.”


An Audit

Gasoline: The average American uses 500 gallons per person per year for personal transport

<1.3 gallons per day>

Garbage: The average American throws out 1643 pounds per year

<4.5 pounds per day>

Water: The average American uses 36,500 gallons per year

<100 gallons per person per day>

Consumer Goods: The average American spends $12,000 per year

<$33 per day>

Food: The average American household spends $7000 per year

<$19 per day>

<$4050 at home, $3150 away from home, $483 alcohol>

Electricity: The average American household uses 12,000 kwh per year

<30 kwh per day>

Natural Gas and Propane: The average American household uses 1100 therms per year

❤ therms per day>