My daughter, wife, son and daughter-in-law are all participating in making out the details for a “living will“… I guess they are worried about what to do with my books and check-protector collection and fat-man clothes and other stuff.
They need to know if I’ll allow an autopsey, or whether I want to be cremated or buried or stuffed and distributed on a timely basis to decorate the homes of family members. They need to know if I want to stay alive in a vegetative state. Nothing I’ve really thought about before.
They are doing all this by following instructions in a book (“In the Checklist of Life“) by Elly and my old friend and former employee Lynn McPhelimy who developed this stuff thirty years ago.
This has been helpful to many people in our family… Elly gave many of them copies of Lynn’s book as holiday gifts one year. You can get it, too… just go to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/In-Checklist-Life-Working-Leave/dp/0965784355b where it costs under $20.00.
If you are planning last days of any family member, or yourself, you may want to consider one of the many five-star reviews that have appeared on Amazon:
This is an excellent book. Everyone needs to have one of these. I have filled out every page that applies. I told my whole family where it is located should my untimely death occur. I have had to plan and attend many funerals and when there is no plan it can make things difficult and stressful. It you take the time to fill out these pages, even some of them, it will help your family in a time of sorrow and confusion. This book is best for the division of property and sentimental items. It is also a good idea to have a living will and trust. Anyone who’s ever had to go through probate or a difficult family situation can relate. For those who haven’t, just know that death can often do strange things to people and even the most loving of families can be divided over who gets what. Get this book as a great start to planning an inevitable part of life.
…or this one:
“In the Checklist of Life” was a book that I found to be indispensable. In retrospect, after losing someone close to you, you realize how important this book really is. I have always joked with my family about writing my own obituary, and here is my very own chapter in which to do just that. The chapter about your pets is one that should not be missed for all pet lovers. This book is smart, it’s funny, it makes you think, it makes you cry. Be kind to your family and fill in the pages of this wonderful book. They will forever be thankful.
As I think about what might go wrong with the surgery I’m having next Friday, this will keep most of my family feeling much more secure. Thanks, Lynn.
Although I think this was a holiday created by the greeting card companies in association with florists everywhere, it’s good to remember how much our mothers mean to us. Our personalities were formed under her auspices as we grew up. She was our first supporter and encouraged us as we headed into the future. She was the true person we could turn to if we were in trouble. Is there anyone more important than a mother.
So here’s a bit on the history of Mothers Day:
Have a nice one.
- Happy Mothers Day To All Mothers! (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- Mothers Day (redmagnoliabeauty.com)
- happy mother’s day (joinmydailylife.wordpress.com)
- Motherhood on Mother’s Day (jennyonthespot.com)
- Happy Mother’s Day! (marieabegail.wordpress.com)
- Happy Mother’s Day 😉 (therecoveringlegalist.com)
My wife, who directs the Shepherdstown Community Garden, is getting together with those interested on Sunday morning (April 15) at 8:45 AM to do manure spreading on the garden. On Saturday the 21st there will be a seed exchange in the morning (@10 – 12 Noon) and then a group meeting of gardeners from 12 to 1:30 PM. At 3:00 PM, Sustainable Shepherdstown will be hosting a film, “Good Food“, at the Opera House.
If you are interested in getting one of the remaining plots at the Community Garden, here’s the info:
2. We will e-mail a copy of the current plot map upon request. The contract can also be sent in a separate email. E-mail Ellen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can mail a check to Ellen Smith at 2873 Engle Molers Road, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
We are really hoping to get all the plots sold or under straw/cardboard etc., so we do not have to mow and do not have to have weeds. Then we can work on making the paths unattractive to weeds. If you know someone who would like to join us, now is the time!
Community garden was one of the most successful programs last year, thanks to the cooperation with Morgan’s Grove Market and Peter Corum. It is protected from deer and other creatures by an eight foot high fence built by members and has access to running water.
If you are interested in joining this phenomenal group of gardeners, get with it before all the plots are gone.
We started work on the pizza oven for the Carnival this morning (actually, I did very little work, but documented the endeavor with pictures). Looks like we just missed the thunderstorms that are rolling in for the afternoon. Joy Bridy ran the workshop (I believe she said this was her third outdoor oven.)
Looks like a couple of more weeks to go…
Elly and I are volunteering for Peter Corum today over at the Market. He has to leave early, so we’re going to help out n the afternoon getting all those veggies sold and just keeping things moving.
Instead of it’s usual 9 – 12 hours, we’re joining the Farm Day celebrations locally and saying open all day. I had hoped the overnight thunderstorms would have gotten all the rain out of the sky, but the Weather Bureau is calling for a 30% chance of rain today, with the biggest chance this afternoon. The clouds are pretty thick as well… not sure we’ll see any sun.
But the Market goes on Rain or Shine… so if you are in the neighborhood, come on by and you’ll get groceries, crafts, snacks, live music (starts at 10) and more… and you can take a look at the Sustainable Shepherdstown Community Garden (where the corn is now has high as an elephant’s knee). Elly is still signing people up for the few remaining plots… very inexpensive (provides for water and deer security).
… with a passing rainfall not happening until after the 12 noon close. All-in-all it was a beautiful day at the market. Plenty of fresh vegetables and plantables… 2 new baking folks set up in two different pavilions (what do you call those fabric things? Tents? Rooftops?)… and the Speakeasy Boys, local favorites, playing the blues and country-tinged music for the crowd.
Elly recruited two more people for the Community Garden… people who made up their minds to take a plot or two after seeing the garden from the Market platform and visiting with her while she was planting.
This was a pleasant way to start Memorial Day Weekend Saturday. Play at Full Circle tonite.
Fighting the Battle of the Fruit Flies…
It’s that time of year… getting warmer outside but still not so hot that we have to close up the house and turn the Air Conditioning on. That’s something we avoid until the last minute.
The problem, however, is that, in this weather, the fruit flies start to swarm around the vegetable and fruit scraps waiting to go out into the garden and make our cooking area very unpleasant.
We start with a small Ball jar. Into that we put about 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, a little water and a few drops of dish soap. Some people add a piece of banana to the mix – something fruit flies love – but I haven’t found it necessary.
On top of the jar we stretch tightly a piece of plastic wrap, or a small sandwich bag, and seal it around the neck with a rubber band. Then we take a toothpick and poke about 7 or 8 holes in the top.
Put the Jar (or 2 or 3 of them) in the infestation area and pretty soon the problem will be gone… and you can count the number of bugs either floating on top (new captures) or lying dead on the bottom. I’m up to around 60 with one jar which I set up about 3 hours ago.
A jar with the vinegar/soap mix lasts a couple of weeks and then can be refreshed with a new mix. Keep the traps going until the problem disappears or the start of heavy air conditioning season (you may have to overlap the two.)
- THURSDAY: My morning (dailynibbles.com)
We drove down to Frederick to meet Bud and his fiancee, Rachel, who came up from DC, for Mother’s Day lunch at the Cafe Nola.
I hadn’t eaten here before, but Elly has been here several times as her AIGA meeting takes place around the corner twice a month. The Nola has plenty of vegetarian and light selections (I had a great French toast) and their coffee was particularly good.
After brunch we walked over to Frederick’s Community Bridge Mural, the great trompe l’oile painted bridge that looks amazingly like three dimensional stones, statues, gates and crests. Bud and Rachel were surprised when they got up close and found everything was relly flat and just painted on.
Given the first good, thunderstorm free Saturday in a long time, everyone was outdoors taking care of our long delayed projects. I started the day by cutting the grass in our front yard (which is very small… I use a rotary trimmer, don’t need a lawnmower) and took down the really overgrown grass.
Then Elly and I went over to work on the Community Garden fence installation. We were there before ten and original only had a couple of small neighbor boys (one who, incidentally, has reserved a garden plot for himself) to get the fifth post in.
By the end of the day, after Peter Corum and some of the other volunteers who came at 10 AM helped with the rest of the posts until all four corners…12 posts… were now in the ground.
The other project today, which our group participated in as well, was the building of a barn-like structure on the Morgan’s Grove Market Platform ( which used to be the foundation of a burned down restaurant.)
But once everyone was there they made significant progress in getting the bracings up for the roof (it took four people on each side at the top of the rigging and a couple of people checking for accuracy below.
This is where it was when Elly and I left:
Market opens May 7th.
Not expecting to do much but watch the volunteers working on building the fence for the community garden, I ended up driving Peter Corum’s truck with the gravel over to the site because he was late getting back from Pennsylvania.
As we got started we discovered there were many things we needed that just weren’t there… like water to blend with the Quikcrete to hold the corner posts in place… so Elly and Joel (a great volunteer) and I went over to our house and put about twenty gallons of water in one of the new rain barrels I bought the other day , and we trucked it over to the garden.
- #8 What I learned about…Gardens (haleighgoestono.wordpress.com)
- Community Gardens Update (franklinmatters.blogspot.com)
- Back to the garden (boston.com)
- Team Leaders Needed (franklinmatters.blogspot.com)
Did you know that lunch theft is a big problem? Apparently, people at work are finding their sandwiches being stolen from the coffee room refrigerator. Well here’s the solution everyone is waiting for: Lunch Bugs.
Lunch Bugs are sandwich bags with bugs printed on them to help deter lunch theft. They’re basically a variation of the already-existing mold-bags and will run you $7 for a 24-pack. That makes them almost $0.30 apiece. You may find this expensive… but, then again, it’s less expensive than going hungry at lunch time. And NOBODY will ever touch your sandwich!
You can buy them at Archie McPhee of course. I’ve got to get some of these.
Elly and I attended a great afternoon affair at Laurie and Bob’s five acre farm on Engel-Moler Road. And what was the purpose of this get together that drew a couple of dozen conservationists, Sustainable Shepherdstowners, and your average local mushroom enthusiast? Why, to innoculate oak logs with mushroom spores so that they can be put in the dark to grow and develop edible shitake mushrooms for the Fall.
The process is fairly simple, but requires a lot of muscle effort and concentration. The logs that have been cut and stacked which will be used for the innoculation are put, one at a time, across a couple of sawhorses. Then holes are drilled all around each log at approximately four inch intervals.
Once the holes are drilled, small pegs with the preset mushroom fungus in them are pounded into each hole with a hammer or a rubber mallet.
After the pegs are malleted into the logs, each one is covered with a coat of melted wax which is brushed onto the top of the peg. At the lower left corner of the close-up photo you can see the splotch of wax on top of the peg. In the upper right of the picture is an exposed peg that hasn’t been waxed.
We followed up the afternoon activities with snacks and conversations and a mini-concert of bagpipes and drums. Lots of fun and learned a lot about growing mushrooms.
- MYcelium… (damedefleur.wordpress.com)
- Shitake mushroom workshop (sustainablegrub.wordpress.com)
- Growing Oyster Mushrooms, and a Recipe for Vegetarian Terrine (Video) (treehugger.com)
Today was the Sunday that the Garden Committee (see Elly and I Host a Community Garden Meeting) met on the field Peter Corum provided in order to mark out the dimensions and divide plots. The land, of course, was turned and fertilized a week or so ago, and the next step is getting a fence to protect the gardens from deer (7 1/2 feet high because these guys can jump.)
We had a lot of kids with us today and I think they got a kick out of helping out… bringing flags to the adults who were marking measurements, for instance.
The weather was excellent for the project and everyone was out working for a couple of hours.
Now let’s hope we solve the fence problem soon so we can get started on planting.
“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
– Tom Paine
- What Do You Think: Breast Feeding Doll (VIDEO) (trudatblog.com)
- NOT ON THESE TEATS YOU’RE NOT!: Breast Milk Baby, The Breastfeeding Doll (geekologie.com)
- “Little Girls Need to Learn to Breastfeed” According to Berjuan Toys (prweb.com)
Elly and her Sustainable Shepherdstown group, along with local impressario Peter Corum, are organizing a Community Garden in cooperation with Peter’s Morgan Grove Market project just down the road from out house. Today, we hosted an informational meeting for interested parties… we had 12 in attendance (there were several who were interested and called to say they couldn’t make the meeting, but they want in.) Everyone seemed pretty excited.
Yesterday, Peter arranged to have the 100 square feet set aside for the set of 10′ x 10′ garden plots roto-tilled and fertilized. This was done with volunteers and by calling in some favors.
The weather held out well to get everything done.
Here’s the group who worked the land:
Anyone interested in getting involved in Sustainable Shepherdstown’s Community Garden (at a cost of $20.00 for a 10 x 10 for the whole season) should go to http://sustainableshepherdstown.org or send an email to email@example.com.
Me? I’m assigned to watering our plot.
- Survey Shows Majority of NYC Community Gardens Grow Food, Compost (inhabitat.com)
- Extension of Community Garden License Agreements Announced at Yesterday’s Council Hearing (parksnyc.wordpress.com)
- “I think this a great idea” (franklinmatters.blogspot.com)
- Going green: Planning Commission approves regulations on community gardens (sfgate.com)
Elly is at a movie with her friend Joan and I’m home with the dogs baking a recipe I found on line: Death By Apple Pie. It doesn’t look like an ordinary apple pie (it has a non-rolled out crust that doesn’t meet at the edges and a lot of apple shows through the holes.
Pretty soon (about 15 minutes) it will be done and I’ve just finished cleaning up all the dishes from the last couple of days. I’m hoping to get everything straightened out before 2 episodes of Doc Martin are on Public Television and I can sit back and watch.
My dogs are lying around sleeping now…but they’ll want their “evening shorty,” which is their nighttime walk, when my wife gets home. Right now they don’t want to be bothered with toys or anything else (although Nestle will jump up when I take the pie out of the oven… just the presence of food triggers his 11-year-old snoot into thinking he’s about to get more to eat.
I’ve avoided the political blogs all day (although I did post my Cartoon(s) of the Week which I had been building up since last Sunday.) Perhaps I’ll get back to politics tomorrow, but it was nice taking a break today.
OK…just took Death By Apple Pie out of the oven and it has to sit and cool off… it looks a lot like the picture that was on the recipe (except that I used whole wheat flour on the crust because it’s what I had in the house…we use very little white, all-purpose flour) and it smells great.
The repair guy from GE is coming this morning some time (they said between 8 and Noon and we’re well into that now) to look at our noisy freezer that’s dripping water into the refrigerator section below. I tried defrosting (which on a frost free machine is hard to do) and that didn’t solve the problem. I have a feeling that there is a fan part that needs to be replaced. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, it is raining out, so I’ll have to get wet walking the dogs. They don’t mind, of course, but I do. It’s cold as well (my back deck thermometer hasn’t hit 60° yet), so this is going to be an uncomfortable walk. Still, of course, without a car until tomorrow when we go down to Linda’s to pick it up. So I’m trapped in the house again today.
I have been battling with fruit flies for the last week or so… they pop up everywhere… drains, fruitbowl, cutting board area… and, since we don’t use any poison sprays, getting rid of them was a real problem. Until I did my research, of course, and discovered how to make “fruit fly traps” which have worked so well that you hardly see any of the little bastards around.
How does one make a fruit fly trap? Simple. Start with a good, widemouthed jar (we always have plenty of old Ball jars around which we use for canning) and put in about an inch or two of warm water with a squirt of dishwashing soap. Then add a shot of apple cider and a shot of red wine. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of Saran Wrap and use a rubber band to keep it tightly sealed at the neck of the jar. Now comes the tricky part… you have to punch a few very small holes through the plastic wrap… small enough for the fruit flies to get in but not so large that they can go right out again. I use a nut pick to punch the holes, but a fork could do it, too.
Then all you have to do is put the jar wherever the greatest number of the pests have been spotted. I made four jars and put them in various places in my kitchen. Now all you do is wait. In about an hour or so you will notice a distinct reduction in the bugs. The next day when you check the jars you will find they are full of little drowned fruit flies. Amazing!
I change the liquid and reseal the jars every few days and my fruit-flies are now nowhere to be found (on the first refill day there were much fewer of them caught in the traps, so we are succeeding quite well.)
I think I’ll post this bit about my fruit fly traps over at Panhandle Vegan… I know my friends over there could probably benefit from the strategy.
- Keep it fresh! (ask.metafilter.com)
- Eco-Friendly Friday Tips 100 – Refrigerator Temperature (focusorganic.com)
Looks like I may be doing more walking. If the car comes in with a closer to $1500.00 or lower, we may be able to add it to a credit card (not something I really wan to do), but if it comes in closer to $2000.00 or more then we probably don’t have enough credit line on that card to do it. In that case, the car might as well be sold for parts.
Brown’s is still a ways away from coming up with a final quote, and I have to start getting ready for the theater tonite… I have to go earlier than I would have in order to catch a ride with Laura Bakin. John will likely bring me home tonite (he’ll have to pick me up for the radio show tomorrow as well.)
So in the middle of all of this the kitchen phone rings and it’s some Cancer fund raising money, and this sweet sounding Bimbo asks for ME with a tone in her voice like she KNOWS me (except she calls me “William” and you know right there that this is someone playing with an address book.) I unpleasantly hang up on her, and turn to do the dishes. Then I can take a shower and get changed for Full Circle Theater. If I can keep busy I’ll stop thinking about everything else.
UPDATE 5:13 PM
Still haven’t heard from Brown’s. I’m waiting for Laura to pick me up. The dogs had their afternoon walk and I watered the garden, so I’ve done my immediate housework. I’m not thrilled about working the light booth tonite. Just to cheer myself up, I put the blog into a new template… hope you like it.
Sky is getting gray and it feels like a storm is coming.
(co-posted with Panhandle Vegan)
It is now the beginning of September and I am 10 months into being a Vegan… and I have lost 50 Pounds 0ff my 385 pound start (which means I’ve lost as much as Marie Osmond did on Nutri-System, but I am still not pretty!)
If I continue this way I should have at least 60 pounds off by the end of my first year (my ultimate goal, as folks who read my stuff know, is 150 pounds… at least another year away and probably two.)
Now it’s time to increase the exercise (I can actually move around more than I could when I started. Amazing!)
…and I just finished making the sugar-free, vegan, organic carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting. It took me about an hour altogether, giving me a chance to unload, load and start the dishwasher as I waited for parts to cook or stand.
The original recipe is over at my Panhandle-Vegan blog where I am about to list the modifications I made.
I haven’t tasted it yet… I’m waiting for Elly to get home from School.
I have great confidence, however.