Win a copy of The School Garden Curriculum this week in the Kids forum!

V Kay

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since Mar 24, 2013
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Recent posts by V Kay

Anne Miller wrote:Last winter I overwintered purslane indoors.  It was in my shower for a month while I was on vacation.  Of course it did not bloom.  It is said to be edible but I have not tried it...

Anne, if you've not yet braved trying the purslane, please do! We use it in Verdolagas, and *love* it. It'll self-sow if you let it escape outdoors, too. And those Omega-3 EFAs are soooo good for you!
1 week ago
I've found when working with organizing clients that it is often easier to get rid of items if they feel a sense of connection to the recipient. So, hand-me down linens that are still attractive, if you don't want to swap them out for those you're currently using, could go to a friend or acquaintance in a local sewing circle or quilt guild. Make friends with an antique shop or consignment store owner?

Clothing that's outgrown or too stained or ratty to likely be worn again can be bagged up, tagged "rag clothing", and dropped off at the nearest Salvation Army, which re-sells them in bulk to rag makers.

Kids toys - go through them with the kids and help them pick out things to give away/donate to share with other children. (eta: Or sell them at a garage sale, with the promise to the kids that the funds will be used for a family fun experience - maybe special picnic foods for a day at a nearby state or national park or forest? Seeing an appropriate movie on the big screen at an independent movie house? An outing to the nearest Science Museum? etc.)

Can you pass along usable items to a friend who's having a yard sale, in exchange for maybe half the proceeds from your items? Some people are happy to have more for sale items on display, it attracts more shoppers.

There are localized "Buy Nothing" groups, I'm told you can find the one nearest you on Facebook. (I'm not on FB, so can't attest personally).

Start small, take it one tiny goal at a time. When choosing where to start, consider:
what areas are causing you the most stress? These are usually everyday areas - kitchen, bathroom, play spaces. Start in one of these, so you can enjoy the benefits quickly and regularly.
Or, what areas are you least attached to emotionally? Items that've been stored away in the back of the closet can be easier to get rid of, we often feel less of a need for them.
Or, start in a hobby area, and each time you make progress in other areas, reward yourself with even small increments of time spent on the hobby/in that area.

Thing is, once you start getting rid of things the dopamine kicks in, and it becomes wonderfully freeing. I've seen long-time "holders" (not pathological hoarders) experience elation once that logjam of hanging onto breaks. I've never had a client later tell me "I got rid of X, and now I miss it."  As with other challenging changes, look for and revel in the benefits.

For those who can manage it, it's probably wisest to pass along any materials that can be recycled now, before the global recycling glut backs all the way up to the local/individual level.
Our local college is not having an electronics recycling drop off day this year, for the first time in several years. I'm stuck with paying $15 to get rid of a non-repairable monitor.

1 week ago
I'd love to hear what those who are tied to QuickBooks on the Windows platform are doing for workarounds. My livelihood currently depends on running this software, I don't expect that to change for the next several years.
(I run Windows 10 in a virtual machine, and use the "vintage" Mac side for browsing.)
3 months ago
Soak jars in hot water with a few drops of dish soap and some washing soda. The labels will slide right off after about 30 minutes soak. I use 1/4C washing soda in a rubbermaid tub sink liner kinda thingie.

You can make an acidic citrus cleaner by soaking orange and other citrus peels in white vinegar. I haven't tried it for removing labels, but it works well for cleaning other generic gunk.
9 months ago
My experience has been that one of the best ways to keep cool is make sure I'm not carrying around extra body weight. When I'm overweight, I'm miserable in the heat, but when I'm at a healthy weight, my surface area-to-mass ratio improves, and I can dissipate heat better. Since I eat a high-fruit & vedge diet when I'm maintaining a healthy weight, the extra water and phytonutrients also help reduce inflammation, which in turn helps with staying cool.

I realize that excess weight isn't necessarily an issue for everyone on this thread.
11 months ago

Travis Johnson wrote:...This summer at the Maine Farm Days show, the NRCS had a big pit dug to show the kids what soil health was all about, and the attendant was almost bored to death from no one approaching his demonstration area. It was away from the main tents for safety reasons, but it just showed me few people were interested.

I wonder if he could have drawn more people in by standing (or kneeling) *in* the pit, and - I dunno, exclaiming "Look what I found!"? Or some equivalent...

Maybe dressing in a costume that was one side dead-soil plants, one side living-soil plants? There's a lotta competition for attention out there, sometimes you have to get creative.
1 year ago
We're considering getting one of these, so we can cook outside on our tiny village homestead as much as possible this summer, but it's a fair chunk o' change. We'd love to hear back from those of you who've (finally!) received yours. How are they performing? Was the PCM mystery ever solved?

1 year ago