Sustainable SW Blogs

first melt

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/03/25 - 6:09pm
Melted down 12 salad forks today.  Yield was 465 grams of sterling silver nuggets...enough to make 32 half ounce coins.  I chop up the flatware and melt it like this to burn off any residual grime.  The nuggets soak in a warm acid "pickle" for a couple of hours to clean off the firescale.  Dry sodium hydrogen sulfate is mixed with water releasing a mild sulfuric acid.  Firescale is cupric oxide - stains left by the copper that is in sterling silver as it reacts with oxygen at high temperature.  79,85,51,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/03/24 - 4:51pm
Got everything assembled for the minting process.  New TS8000 just arrived.  This torch head burns 200 degrees hotter than my old one which should speed up the process a bit.  78,87,48,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

shorter drive

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/03/23 - 6:11pm
So I was supposed to make the long trip to Odessa last week for a checkup.  They called me the day before to move my appointment earlier in the day and informed me my surgeon would not be there.  I rescheduled for April 9th when my surgeon would be available.  I'm not doing a 7 hour round trip just for an xray and 5 minutes with a doctor unfamiliar with my case.  Called my PCP in Fort Davis and he ordered an xray today for me in Alpine for a followup exam scheduled with him on Thursday.  72,83,45,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the danger of inaction

The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/03/22 - 5:08pm
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

near miss

The Field Lab - Sat, 2015/03/21 - 4:18pm
On and off storms for the past 18 hours.  Near miss just west of me from a nasty thunderstorm this afternoon.  Plenty of road drying sunshine coming up.  62,65,56, .5",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

foot in the air

The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/03/20 - 4:36pm
57,68,55, .01",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Raven and Khaki Scout Hit Wilderness for Romance and Adventure

Holy Scrap - Thu, 2015/03/19 - 9:41pm
What do you do once you have quit your job, reduced your cost of living, built a homestead, reclaimed your skills and common sense, recovered from consumerism, and rediscovered nature?

This question led Mikey and I to Suzy and Sam, characters from Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom. We realized the other day that our relationship had a similar start. When Suzy met Sam she was dressed as a Raven and rehearsing for a play she was to be in. Sam was dressed as a scout. I was in the costume of a broken heart when I met Mikey who was at the time dressed as a life sized band-aid. Soon after meeting we shook off everything that bound us and set off on an adventure. Like Suzy and Sam we felt misunderstood though not by parents (that would come later) but by our culture whose priorities - the acquisition of money and stuff - made little sense to us. We were drawn to nature and wanting of meaning. Most important to adventure - theirs and ours - is the discovery that makes adventures possible, it is a formula, love + nature + adventure = happiness. Sam and Suzy knew this too and so we choose them to be our patron saints this summer.

In Cult of Less fashion, next month Mikey and I will cram few objects inside a Honda Element and hit the road - running shoes, an air mattress, a toothbrush, a plant identification book, laptops, earbuds, soap, a portable stove, and a few other things. We're headed to mountain towns like Bend, Auburn, and Bozeman where we hope to shimmy up to nature as we imagine Suzy and Sam might have done once they were past the awkwardness of their teenage year and old enough to drive.

From the road we hope to claim the freedom that the internet has been promising humanity. We'll run two web based businesses - an ebay store (stuff from yard sales collected while traveling) and our Holy Scrap store of home brew electronics and home made botanicals, while developing 2 e-courses to release upon our return in the fall. Free to define what a post millennial office looks like we're choosing the biggest tree canopy on a summer day by the loveliest river, the patio of the best coffee shops, public libraries, mountain tops, and the shores of alpine lakes. Our summer mantra? What would Suzy and Sam do?

I'm delighted to trade out a closet full of clothes for thrift shops wherever I happen to be, and powder room for public pools, rivers, lakes and recreation centers. The kitchen? A simple gas stove or open fire. Our parents won't be coming after us like Sam and Suzy's (sign of relief). Technology is on our side with phones that beam wify signals and an iPad loaded up with books. However pretty, we won't be toting vintage luggage loaded up with books but we will have a load of batteries as we'll be charging much of our technology off solar. Our cat Scardy, once consulted, decided to stay home with the house renter but Sesame will be with us. Both of us righties, no lefty scissors will make this trip. Weightless Paypal replaces Sam and Suzy's rather heavy tennis can full of nickels. One never knows what will come of an adventure, we may meet a troop of Khaki scouts and conduct our own redwood forest wedding ceremony. For sure we we'll be found dancing on the beach in our underwear. My ears are already pierced, thank goodness.

Cheers to spring and summer adventures.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/03/19 - 4:32pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

day called on account of rain

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/03/18 - 6:02pm
66,75,55, .55",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

6 rabbits

The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/03/17 - 5:54pm
63,70,52, .05",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

design slave

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/03/16 - 5:22pm
Part of my rehab has involved spending lots of extra time in bed.  I tend to pass the time watching various TV shows through Amazon Prime.  Science fiction is my genre of choice.  Lately I have been watching the series called Grimm.  One of the characters injured himself off-set while filming was going on and a couple of episodes had to be modified to work around it.  (The actor tore his Achilles tendon while watching the superbowl - go figure).  He appears in one episode using some new fangled crutches I have never seen before.  Since I hope to be out of my chair soon but will be doing my next phase of crutch aided weight bearing for a couple of months, I just ordered some from (of course) Amazon.  60,67,48,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

First Home Grown class of 2015!

Home Grown New Mexico - Sun, 2015/03/15 - 9:54pm

This is the first of many classes being offered by Home Grown New Mexico this year. It is coming up on Sunday, March 29 and should be a great class. Come out and learn how to plant outside in early spring!!

Sunday, March 29-CLASS
Starting Cool Season Crops Outside-DEMO
Come learn how to plant cool season crops outside in spring
Time: 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Instructor: Jannine Cabossel
Location: Milagro Community Garden • 2481 Legacy Court (Off Rodeo Road east of Sam’s Club-Turn north onto Legacy Court-Garden is behind the church, ‘Church of the Servant’ on corner) • Santa Fe

Jannine Cabossel, a Master Gardener and ‘The Tomato Lady’ at the Santa Fe Farmers Market will teach a class on the basics of starting cool season crops outside in spring: Last year’s class we concentrated on seed starting indoors. This year we will be doing a demo in a garden outside. Come learn how to transplant seedlings, what amendments to add to the soil, when to transplant, how to get the very finicky spinach to germinate, how to add mycorrhizal for bigger root systems, and basic cold weather protection for plants during spring’s transitional period from cold to cool to summer. Plus learn varieties that do well in our cold climate in spring. Spring is a great time to grow many varieties that we struggle with once the heat is here!

Jannine has extensive experience in growing vegetables on her 4000 square foot garden using all organic methods. Follow her blog at

This class free! Become a 2015 Member for $35 – includes all classes, potlucks and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/03/15 - 4:55pm
Matthew 7:13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[a] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it..2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.Romans 6:11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sat, 2015/03/14 - 4:59pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the process...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/03/13 - 5:38pm
Bob sent me some photos of the wood carving process which I can certainly appreciate since I am all about documenting projects.  He said the paint was acrylic then 3 coats of matte polyurethane on the front and sides and one coat to seal the back.  59,70,44,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Seed exchange-success!

Home Grown New Mexico - Fri, 2015/03/13 - 7:13am

The Seed exchange this year was a big success. At any given time we had over 20 people there bringing and taking seeds. Probably had about 150 people there overall. Many seeds were gone by the end. Many thanks to the Master Gardeners, Seedbroadcast and Poki Pottin from Gaia Gardens for coming and sharing. Always a fun event and a great kick off for this season’s gardening. This event and the great weather we’ve been having makes me want to get out in the garden!

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Field Lab Spring

The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/03/12 - 4:31pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

plank steers

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/03/11 - 4:55pm

Got a great gift today from my new friend Bob Stephenson...Ben'n'Bud immortalized on a basswood plank.  61,71,57,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/03/10 - 4:20pm
Starting unearthing some of my minting supplies.  And I thought it was difficult finding stuff when I had 2 good legs...  60,72,53,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

new bunny

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/03/09 - 4:03pm
Fresh off the assembly line:The all new Limited Edition 2015 Field Lab Rabbit.54,67,52, .39",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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