Sunday, January 22, 2012


and the honeybees are still purring!

Low Teck and other stuff...

Low Teck Mondays are going well.  We had an additional extra low teck on Thursday night due to a real power outage.  It was nice to be prepared for that...though when you open the fridge on a real low teck, the fridge light doesn't come on.  And when you turn the faucet on the sink or flush the toilet on a real low teck there's no water.

Have had to make some concessions on Low Teck to get work done that can't be done off the computer, but we did not succumb to the internet or anything that was not work related--and really, I think I only did about an hours worth of work that had to be done on a computer.  And probably, I will have to make some concessions for the next two Mondays because of school.  I have to submit my work by Tuesdays, but being a Jinx Worryer, I know if I wait until the last day, the power will go out, or the computer will shut down, or something will happen!

The dryer has not been used at all this month.  It's been OK, but there have been a few days that I've gotten behind on the laundry and don't know how I am going to catch up without using the dryer!!  But we've made it!  It's all good.  I just hope that the electric bill shows some of this effort.

I had a tough time getting home from school on Thursday.  The professor let us out early and I was so excited to come home and wind down before crawling into bed.  Well, it was snowing, so it was slow.  I got almost to my turn off in Athol and the giant factory fire had forced the bridge to be closed.  So, in the snow and ice, I had to turn around and take the long backroads home.  I debated this one road that is super steep and windey (my sister always says the damn road should be closed all winter long).  Anyway, I thought I'd be OK getting up it.  The roads weren't too bad.  And I was, but I got stopped more than half way up by an accident.  With the fire and snow, we had no idea how soon help would get there.  Long story short, had to call Paul to respond.  Then had to BACK down that damn road to go the even longer way home.

BUT.  I felt lucky to live in a small town.  Really, everyone stopped to help out where they could.  Locals took positions at intersections to warn people not to go up or down that road and direct people on how to get home with all the detours between fire and accidents.  It was heartening.  I remember once, a very pregnant friend got a flat on a very busy road (not in our town, of course) was a good half an hour before anyone stopped to help her out.  Yup.  We are lucky here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

not a box of kittens...

not a box of sperm.  
but a Bert.  

ummm....not sure what happened to the Banty part of this deal...
but it is nice to have crowing in the yard again...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Low Teck Monday #2 on the Cold Moon

Low Teck Monday again!  I worked during the day and Paul had an appointment with the doctor, so that limited our Low Teck time.  We also had to run to WalMart (seems very bad to be doing on Low Teck day), and I texted a friend to make sure she had made it home from an appointment okay.  Paul asked me what I was doing and I told him I was checking in with L.  He reminded me that my cel phone isn't very Low Teck.  Alas, oh well.  What's pretty funny about that, is that I rarely use my phone--go figure that I picked it up on Low Teck day.

Otherwise, all went well.  Only a few lights we accidentally turned on: we're getting better.  Only one dangerous incident of finger burning light an oil lamp.  And we didn't freeze to death getting out of our showers with no bathroom heat!

Paul read the paper.  I worked on one of my novels.  Paul kicked my butt at Othello.  I don't think I like Othello anymore.

And we had AWESOME pork chops!  The first we've had of our happy WindyFields pig (thank you WindyFields!!).  Sometimes, I find happy, farm fresh pork to taste a lot like...pork.  Too porky.  So, I was worried that I wouldn't like it.  But it was awesome!  Tender.  Appropriately flavorful.  And delicious!!  Can't wait to have more!  Yes, purchasing a half a pig was a great idea!!

Oh, and day ten of the month, and we still haven't used our dryer this year!

Friday, January 6, 2012


there is not much more beautiful than the sound of purring honeybees in the middle of winter!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Low Teck Monday #1

Low teck started out a bit slow.  I always turn the computer on first thing in the morning and it messed up my whole routine to not do that.  It just seemed wrong.  But once I got over that, all was good.  I got quite a bit of studying in.  I tentatively planned the garden and wrote up my seed order for Fedco.  I didn't even need to use some fancy schmancy garden plotting app or the internet to do it.  I'm excited...lots of new herbs this year!

And then when I got really bored with that, instead of puttering around on the internet and killing time (or worse, buying stuff on Amazon), I went outside and did some yard work.  I took down some old fencing.  I brought in fire wood.  I started to move an empty hive to where I want it for the spring, but when I looked down, two little field mice were looking up at me, wondering why I was destroying the home they had made in the cinder block foundation.  So, I put everything back and gave them some bird seed.  And I wonder why there are mice in my house!

After that, Troy and I went for a walk in the woods.  We saw what I am SURE is Mountain Lion poo, but MIGHT be Coyote poo.  I took out our tracking and poop book and looked it up.

Paul came home and we did our chores and puttered outside and it got dark very quickly.  Candles and oil lamps were lit.  We read.  We played the drum and the duck call and the harmonica and the energy chime (the fiddle's in Maine)...we're thinking about becoming an act at Starry Starry Night next year, but since we never show up that could be a problem.  Even Troy sang along for a while.

When we put the kids to bed, we stared at the stars for a while and even took out the star guide book, but that got very complicated, so we read instead.  Ate our wood stove cooked dinner, our wood stove Chai, and played Othello.  I don't think I like Othello anymore...Paul kicked my butt every time.  I think we need a  new game.

It was nice to spend time together and finding other things to do than kill time with the internet, the TV, the radio, the everything.  I think it's a good thing to take a time out once in a while and spend time together.  It should be a bit of a challenge!  But I will enjoy my heat in the bathroom this morning, thought I can't complain because it was actually pretty warm yesterday--we didn't suffer without that heat.  I will enjoy lights in the evening; it's hard to read by candle and oil light.  And unlike losing power, we still had water and hot water at that.  The rest I can easily give up for a day...or two...or three?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

It's begun.  The new year and my giant list of goals and resolutions for 2012.  I figure the more goals I have, the more likely I am to do one or two.

We brought in the new year with Black Eyed Peas, bringing it to Aunt Frances's house to share with family, for luck and health and prosperity in the new year.  I made a HillBilly Hummus with the Black eyed peas:

2 cups (or one 15 oz can) black eyed peas (reserving 1/2 cup of liquid)
2 T peanut butter
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 t dried sage
2 t cider vinegar
pinch of cayenne
salt a pepper

blend in food processor or blender, using reserved liquid until you get the consistency that makes you happy.  serve with tortilla chips.

Tomorrow is the first Monday of January and we are planning to observe Low Teck Mondays again.  Yikes, there are FIVE Mondays this year.

I am off tomorrow for the holiday, so that helps when planning wood stove cooked dinners.  Paul is probably going to give in to lights in the AM before work...that just takes too much planning to do what needs to be done to get ready for work.  Otherwise, no lights, no TV (oh, wait, we don't have TV: no NetFlix), no internet, no computer, no dishwasher, no washer, no dryer, no nothing extra...

Tomorrow night, we'll have our wood cooked meal with candlelight (or oil lamp light) and see if we can perfect our Othello gaming skills

Also, for the month of January, I am giving up the dryer and hanging up everything to dry.  Eek.

People think we're crazy for doing this, but sometimes, I think we're crazy with all the technology that has totally infiltrated our lives.  Portable internet, constant phones, cameras, music, movies, games, FaceBook, granted, I enjoy most of these things.  I am not perfect and I don't think these are terrible things, but I am saddened that we spend more times looking at the technology in our hands than the people in our lives.  I feel like it's not such a bad thing to take a break from these things to remind ourselves that it can be done, it's good to be done, and it makes us look at which of these things we really find necessary and useful to us and which of these things have just become addictions.

It's not such a bad thing to take a step back once in a while.  And then we can go back to them...or not...more aware of what we rule and what rules us.  Besides, it's fun to take up a challenge once in a while.  It's fun to see where we can cut back and save too!

Happy New Year EveryOne.  Many blessing and joy to you.