Sustainable SW Blogs

Garlic Bulbils

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 1:12pm

I'm still sitting on a large stock of garlic bulbis from the garlic that went to seed while I was on my book tour. I figured that by now they'd be dry and ready for grinding into a garlic powder but no. I'm going to have to put these out in a solar oven for a while or stick em in a dehydrator. Their ability to maintain moisture has me thinking they're real keepers, they've outlasted my full sized garlic bulbs.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Stucco Repair The Thing About Color

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 1:08pm

Now that our papercrete wall is stucco'd it's time to repair stucco cracks. Having no experience with stucco I researched the process online and choose a method that uses a silicone that can be painted over followed by a thin layer of stucco. My only complaint is that in spite of my having used the exact stucco that the wall was done with (an extra bag left over from that job), the colors do not match.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Lunar Eclipse and The Hot Spring Advantage

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2014/04/15 - 11:22am
You may recall that in Wendy's book she lists staying up all night to watch astral events as one of the reasons to not have a job. We did just that... an allnighter in our Hot Spring with friends to enjoy a stunning total lunar eclipse. It was worth staying up until 4am. We had originally planned to go hiking for the eclipse but a drop in temps and running injuries kept us local. The hot tub is hard to beat for watching astronomical events on a chilly night.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

cloud suck...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 5:44pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

CLASS-Basics of Backyard Chickens-April 19

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 4:57pm

Saturday, April 19 Basics of Backyard Chickens: Free ClassLearn the basics about starting your own flock Time: 10 am-12 pm Instructors: Mike Warren/Molly Prewitt Location: Mike & Molly’s House, 747 Old Las Vegas Highway, Santa Fe (The house is on the right side directly across from Rancheros Campground. Call Mike or Molly at their house if you get lost-505-466-8998)

RSVP to 505-983-9706 or email:

Chickens are inquisitive, entertaining and food-producing.  Owning a small flock of chickens is becoming as popular as having a cat or dog.  They are easy if you have an understanding of what they need for shelter, food and health.

Come learn how you can start your own flock today.  Find out what is the best breed for you, how to provide a healthy diet and what type of chicken coop is right for your backyard.

Learn how to build a proper brooder and how to deal with predator issues.  Walk through Mike and Molly’s chicken yard and find out what they have learned about what works and what does not from raising chickens for over 10-15 years.  Suggested $10 donation. Become a 2014 Member for $35 with $250 value-includes all classes, potlucks and tour.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Vintage Bonkers

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 8:22am
I go to a lot of yard sales. My home is composed of what I find there. Sometimes I make a couple of bucks selling my finds on ebay and this gesture prevents me from the risk of being a hoarder. I don't collect. Objects move through me. I consider myself a rescuer of things heading for landfill.

Last week I found myself mesmerized by a pair of gold painted birds from the 50s. Was I having some kind of flash back? Were these at my grandma's in the Bronx and my subconscious mind, having remembered them, went into some kind of pleasure overdrive? I had to have them in spite of the layers of dust, chipped paint and high price considering what they are. I pad six bucks for the pair and took them home figuring I'd put them on ebay or something.

I find myself unable to part with them and yet they go against everything I know about myself. They're ornate without any function, a category I don't gather and keep. They're ridiculously grandam too. Since they've been with me they've inspired me to start a painting, yes featuring at least one of them. Then I thought of a series based on them. I moved them from a to be listed on ebay pile to my desk. I wonder if a dust based vintage minded parasite has moved in to my brain making me unable to part with them. Ahhhhh!
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Swap-O-Rama-Rama San Mateo, CA (Bay Area) Open Call for Volunteers

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 8:13am
Friends, it is time again for the biggest annual used clothing and DIY orgy, an event I call Swap-O-Rama-Rama, in northern California. This is the biggest Swap-O-Rama-Rama of them all and features a 6,000 sq foot tent at the Maker Faire.

If your in the area and wish to offer a workshop, teaching something you love, help people sew, or just sort clothes and help in a general way, contact Erin. If you just wanna come and have fun, save the date.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Greasy Cleanup

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 12:30am

Greasy Cleanup, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

We are just about to resume running our VW on biodiesel this year. I've been waiting for the last cold front to pass so that we don't need to worry about hard starting. Tomorrow night will be in the mid-30's and then we should be clear. This spring has been cooler than most and I'm thankful to not have the sun blasting down on us just yet.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Montrail - FluidFlex

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2014/04/14 - 12:28am

Montrail - FluidFlex, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

I am breaking in my next pair of running shoes. My Brooks Cascadia 7's are just about out of tread. They were a great shoe, but a little stiff in areas. These Montrail Fluidflex have the idea weight and cushion I'm looking for. I'm not thrilled about them being dark in color which can lead to hot feet in the summer. The Fluidflex have a super light mesh that breaths well and makes me think that heat might not be a issue. The only downside I've noticed with the Montrails are that they grab high on my ankle. I'm hoping that part softens up with use.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

heroes and cowards

The Field Lab - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 8:12pm
the time to choose sides grows closer every daycomplacency is defeatbeware the message from the enemy 
Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Holy Scrap Artisanal Tour - Thumbs Up!

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 6:20pm

For years Mikey and I have struggled trying to figure out a way to host people at our home. We have is constant requests to visit. If we answered each with a yes, we'd spend the whole of our lives giving one-on-one tours to people we'll likely never see again. Instead we default to saying no to everyone and so we miss out on meeting some really great folks and sharing what we're doing with people who care to know about it.

This weekend our friends Michael and Dimid included us in a new Artisanal Tour of Sierra County that they developed. It featured four properties including our own as well as lunches, and mixers in the evening to connect those who joined the tour. Each day this weekend a group of about ten people, led by one of them acting as a guide, came to our home for a 1.5 hours.

Sometimes giving tours can be depleting. But due to the well planned efforts of our tour directors these visits were invigorating. Mikey and I were able to share what we have and then sit with our visitors for questions and engage in exciting discussions about lifestyle. We actually had a chance to get to know people. On Saturday, when I found a note in mailbox left by a woman who had read my book, was in town, and hoped to connect, I had a place to guide her to. She joined the tour! How wonderful.

It can be hard to see and understand a town like Truth or Consequences. One really needs a guide. The business hours are weird, much of the socializing is behind doors and fences. There's stuff to do but one must know how to find it. The lucky folks who took this tour now have a very wonderful, warm, view of Sierra County, one they could never have had otherwise. Sparks were ignited. For me, I delighted in shifting my posture from retracting - a response to being overwhelmed and feeling cornered - to opening due to having a sane way to interact with people. Yay for Artisanal Tours!

If you are interested in joining one of these tours in the future, send an email to Dimid and get on his list.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Gotta Save These Leeks

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2014/04/13 - 4:20pm
Leeks have the reputation of being fancy. This has to do with their long grow time. One must wait, and wait! The reward is large. My mom used to say, "when it rains it pours." This seems an apt expression as my garden's many rows of leeks put up scapes and prepare to flower. "I'm not ready" was today's mantra. Then I began chopping, vacuuming and freezing them. Oh and cooking them too. A risotto used up about four plus some home made cheese. Tomorrow I make my first potato leek soup.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

first feathers

The Field Lab - Sat, 2014/04/12 - 10:28pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Lifelessness of A Life Managing System

Holy Scrap - Sat, 2014/04/12 - 4:07pm
Due to the Obama healthcare reform I am more a part of "the system" than I have been in years. I have health insurance that covers more than catastrophic events. This seemed the right time to find out why I have persistent annoyances like reflux. I went to the doctor to see what I could find out.

On my first call I was asked if I'd like to see a nurse instead of a doctor. By doing so my appointment will be weeks sooner. "Sure," I said and off I went days later. Upon arriving I noticed the system first thing. Three cubicles met me once inside the door. Mexican woman each around 30 waited inside them. I slid into cube 1 and answered a series of questions which one of them fingered into a computer before sending me into a waiting room where I was to pick a ticket with a number on it, much like one does in deli's in New York. My number called I progressed to three more cubicles manned by three more Mexican women around 30. I answered additional questions that were fingered into a computer and then once in a room with the nurse I explained my symptoms all the while noticing that she typed every word into a computer that was the only object in the room besides the furniture. She never looked up.

When she did finally look at me, no more than once or twice, she appeared frightened. I wondered why as I told her that my diet of fermented foods, garden picked veggie juices and unprocessed foods had me surprised that I suffered from reflux, an acid imbalance in the stomach. She had no idea what I was talking about. Then she became animated and engaged in our conversation as she explained that though at one time taking one type of prescription drug meant you could not take another this had changed and today I could take the most popular two drugs if I spaced them apart. I told her that I don't wish to take any drugs. With a startled, wide eyed, expression she looked at me then started typing again. I asked what she thought of the popular theory that reflux was the result of too little stomach acid. She looked at again seeming frightened and said nothing. She typed. I studied a poster on the wall that described disease of the stomach.

Moments later she handed me a piece of paper, a referral to get a test done the next day. "Oh good I thought, data." That night I read forms she gave me, "Ohhh I said to my mom (I was staying at her home for the night), I am going to be put to sleep for this procedure," and I began to worry. The next morning I arrived at the address on the form and was surprised by what followed. I was taken into a hospital like room, hooked up to an IV and a bunch of monitors and asked if I had a medical directive while being given a form to sign giving a doctor I'd never met permission to preform surgery on me if he should puncture my stomach while I was under anesthesia. I agreed to the endoscopy thinking that this was what I wanted insurance for, data. I'd choose my treatment once I had the facts.

From a hospital bed, wired up with tubes, an IV, some stuff stuck to my chest I met with several more typing Mexican women and off I went wheeled into a room that contained a doctor that said hello but never turned to me as he was busy adjusting a machine. A woman named Olive stuffed some oxygen dispensing tubing up my nose and turned to yet anther machine which she checked a couple of times. Then in the middle of my asking Olive a question everything went black. When I awoke I a doctor was showing me a picture of the inside of my stomach. Next memory I was in the car with my mom who was driving me to her house where I sat and wondered for a while how it could be that I had spent two days visiting doctors and the people who I spoke with were mainly Mexican women who typed my data into the system, a doctor that spoke at me only while I was on a sedative too high to understand him, and a nurse that I seem to have frightened by speaking about nutrition and diet. The human energy that had been spent around me in the two days was mainly applied to machines and computers and not to people. The system supports itself before those who move through it. It tracks and bills. It follows the movement of living creatures through a dead system. It gathers data and matches it to possible outcomes based on probabilities that are expressed in the form of prescriptions, tests, and procedures.

The next day seemingly magically my phone rang and a nurse I'd never heard of asked how I was doing. When I told her I felt weird and my temperature was 94 she said "well let us know if you get a high fever." Then I went on line and read that a temp of 94 is life threatening. A low temp was not listed as an alert for the procedure that I had. We hung up.

Today I wondered what I got from this experience. I got data. I know that I don't have a bunch of awful things like cancer and h-pylori. I don't know anything more about why I have the discomfort that sent me to the doctor in the first place. I have not learned anything. I don't feel cared for. In fact people hardly acknowledged me. Most were staring at machines while I was with them. I got a prescription that if I should I rely on it will reduce my body's ability to break down proteins in the future.

I can see that the system works well at maintaining itself. It's existence (if you can call it that) is important. Mine on the other hand seems secondary. I am a thing of categories for which the system offers a preprogrammed answers. When I went back to the nurse I said, "since I still don't know why I have this, can I be tested for food allergies?" She typed. She handed me a piece of paper, instructions to go to a lab and be tested for lactose intolerance. "What about nutrition?" I asked. You'll have to go to a nutritionist for that. Not once did she mention diet, or share any knowledge with me about what I came in for. I still don't know what reflux actually is. Telling me did not link up to an action: a referral, a test, a prescription. It did not serve the system. While I'm no smarter for having gone to the doc or for spending two days engaged in grueling and even life threatening tests, I have seen the inside of my stomach which was kinda cool. I think that putting a purring cat on my belly for the duration of a nap would have produced better results. I'd feel better at least in the emotional sense as a living creature it always feels good when I connect to life.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

it's all about the wind...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2014/04/11 - 7:09pm
Trying to get my kiting practice in but after 5 days of too much wind while Kurt was here to train me, now there is barely enough wind to get anything done.  Good news is I haven't gotten dragged by a gust, and better yet I'm starting to have moments of zen with the wing - did one perfect reverse when the breeze was just right.  I have to get the the point where I just do what I need to without thinking about it.  80,100,48,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pepino Season

The Field Lab - Thu, 2014/04/10 - 6:17pm

Nice toasty day today...time to put the Pepino Swamp Cooler back into service.  Still works like a charm.  Thermometer readings before and after I turned it on - top number is outside ambient temperature...bottom number is temperature of air coming into the house through Pepino.  FYI - it's called Pepino because that is Spanish for in "cool as a cucumber".  84,98,51,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Next Potluck- April 16th-Guest Speaker-Reese Baker

Home Grown New Mexico - Thu, 2014/04/10 - 12:04am

WEDNESDAY, April 16 from 6-8
Reese Baker, owner and founder of The RainCatcher Inc., has been involved with construction, organic farming, sustainability and permaculture in Santa Fe for over 15 years. He will discuss drylands permaculture techniques to create long term sustainable landscapes. Reese believes Permaculture design can help us create sustainable landscapes that build soil, grow food for us and wildlife, conserve water, moderate flood and drought conditions, moderate temperature fluctuations, create natural habitats, regulate pests and increase biodiversity. You won’t want to miss this one!

Location: Whole Food’s Community Room (St. Francis location)

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Next Potluck- April 16th-Guest Speaker-Reese Baker

Home Grown New Mexico - Thu, 2014/04/10 - 12:04am

WEDNESDAY, April 16 from 6-8
Reese Baker, owner and founder of The RainCatcher Inc., has been involved with construction, organic farming, sustainability and permaculture in Santa Fe for over 15 years. He will discuss drylands permaculture techniques to create long term sustainable landscapes. Reese believes Permaculture design can help us create sustainable landscapes that build soil, grow food for us and wildlife, conserve water, moderate flood and drought conditions, moderate temperature fluctuations, create natural habitats, regulate pests and increase biodiversity. You won’t want to miss this one!

Location: Whole Food’s Community Room (St. Francis location)

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/04/09 - 6:24pm

So far everyone is happy and getting along.  Will give the last two eggs one more day to hatch before I give up on them.  Been handling each of the chicks so they will bond with me.  If I end up with 4 roosters, I will name them all Carl and my future visitors will stand no chance against them.  84,91,39,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

two more...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/04/08 - 7:18pm
Two more hatched today.Moved yesterday's hatchlings to brooder camp.  77,85,37,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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