Friday, December 19, 2008

Neighbourhood watchdog

I have already admitted that when it comes to energy conservation, I am a hypocrite: I keep my home at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but I love outdoor Christmas lights and encourage everyone to put them up.

But tonight I am up later than normal (almost 1 am) and I just looked up and down my street. Two houses still have their lights lit, which is ridiculous. I mean really, who expects twinkly lights after 10 pm or so? Who's around to SEE them?

I suspect these households forgot to turn them off, and so now will be wasting energy all night. I wonder if they would appreciate me banging on their doors right now to let them know.

(oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention this the other day: Husbandly One was in the kitchen, going through the day's mail, when I heard him drop an F-bomb. Curious, I went to investigate after he moved on to other things. The F-bomb was detonated by our gas bill. I took a quick peek inside and realized that, based on the total due, clearly the dumbass hadn't paid our bill the month prior and now we owed two month's worth. I was SOOOOO mad at him.... until I unfolded it completely. No no, he HAD paid our gas bill the previous month, the current balance due (think: "mortgage payment" type number) was for four weeks of me sitting in the cold and dark.

So much for me setting my thermostat to 55 degress Fahrenheit (on average). I hope everybody who lives here is ready to make friends with 45...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter survival

We had our second big snowfall of the season the other day. And on that same day, I mindlessly opened the pantry to feed the animals. Last can of dogfood. Slumping bag of cat food that contained about nine crunchies and a halfcup of crunchy dust. Doh!

Didn't I write about this last year? Didn't I suggest that we all keep a stash of three or four days worth of essentials, in case we couldn't lave the house?

It was me? Yeah, that's what I thought.

The problem with keeping a storm stash in my house is I have to hide it, otherwise the men use it and don't tell me. No more dogfood in the pantry? No problem, Irma has a dozen cans in the furnace room, just go grab one. Hell, bring up four or five so we don't have to keep going down there. And hey look, she's got double A batteries, I totally need some for the Wii remote. And why did she put canned soup on the grocery list this week, she's got six cans right here! Ooo, grab those matches, too, my lighter's almost dead.


So do yourself a favour: imagine what would happen if the power went out for three days and you couldn't leave the house. What could you cook in your fireplace? What would you do for light? How would you take care of your pets? And after you have prepared your box of storm supplies? HIDE IT.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update on Phelan

Thanks to the generosity of her readers, enough money was raised to save her farm in less than 36 hours. The PayPal button has now been removed from her site.

Amazing what happens when a bunch of strangers become a community, hmm?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Getting on the Phelan band wagon

As you know by now, my interest and determination to grow my own food has been revving up these last few months. In 2009, I really AM putting in my my first garden of any real size. I am going to live my dream.

One of the people who has given me the greatest inspiration in this area is Phelan. I have never met this remarkable woman, but I have read every word of her blog, all four years worth of archives. A few years ago, she and her husband took the plunge in to modern day homesteading: growing huge gardens; raising livestock for meat, dairy, eggs, and companionship; learning "new" skills, which are actually quite old, in an attmept to live their lives more simply and richly, while treading gently on this planet.

I love this stranger, and I recommend her blog with all my heart.

On Christmas Eve, Phelan and her family will be forced off their small farm. (No, that is not melodrama, the date really IS December 24th.) She and her husband have worked hard these years to pay all their bills and be self sufficient. Earlier this year, however, her husband was laid off from his job and took a new position at a lower rate of pay. And now they are in crisis.

After many comments ftom faithful readers of her blogs (and it sounds like a few heated discussions with her friends, ha ha) she has reluctantly put a PayPal button up on her site. I have donated, and, quite frankly, I am asking you to consider doing the same.

I know there are many appeals for everyone's money at this time of year. I also know that it must be pretty easy to attempt an "Oh poor me, give me money" scam on the internet. Fair enough. But you just have to trust me; if you read even a month's worth of her posts, you would see that there is no way this situation could be anything but real.

I routinely give money to organizations, in order that they may then distribute the funds. A gift to Phelan's farm fund would just cut out the middle man.

I STILL have not learned to hyperlink (mabe in 2009, after I put in the garden) but her blog is at

Please read her posts from Dec 8 and 9.

That's it for tonight, just me with an appeal for your support. Just consider it, okay?