My friend Dean Gooddale has made me a believer in the importance of soil testing to organic gardening, and particularly to greenhouse gardening. You can't have healthy plants without healthy soil, and you can't necessarily tell what your soil needs without testing it.
Jessie and I are both sick with a cold right now. The last time this happened was over six months ago, just at the time we moved to Emporia. In the intervening six months I didn't get sick even once, even though Jessie brought home a variety of ailments from the University, especially in January... but back to last August. It was a cold of truly marvelous speed and severity and contagiousness, and it hit us at a pivotal time in our lives, and the story has not yet been properly told. So here it is, based on the notes I took at the time.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Planning an economical/simple/green wedding is easier said that done. Some parts of that have been easier than others. We are by no means experts at this but we are giving it our best!
Here is what we have accomplished so far:
Last Thursday we got a home energy audit from a service called IAQ Solutions, part of Blue Dot Kansas. It would have been good to get the audit last fall, but the waiting list was quite long. The fees were also quite reasonable: the cost of the audit itself is paid by a grant, so we just have to pay for the auditor's transportation from Topeka, which will be about $125, but we haven't got the bill yet. In any case, the recommendations he made should pay for themselves in a year or two.
What my sister calls the "marital industrial complex" has been rightly criticized for its environmental impact. When you're planning a wedding, there are simply too many things to think about without worrying about ecology as well. I'm sure my college friends would be shocked to find that Jessie and I will be using disposable dishes, for example.
People keep asking for this recipe, so I'm going to post it here...
I used to really love "monster cookies" -- that is, oatmeal-M&M-peanut butter cookies -- but then peanuts stopped agreeing with me, and I learned that most chocolate is made by child slaves, and I was living around a bunch of health-food enthusiasts, so I needed a wholesome substitute. I started from this basic oatmeal cookie recipe, which I found online somewhere:
My landlady in Fairfield had an old rusty reel mower in the garage, and I tried using it once before giving up -- it just wouldn't cut worth a darn, so I assumed it was dull, and I asked around to see if anyone would sharpen it, but no one would. But then just before I left Fairfield, a friend told me that he used a reel mower, and he was the first person I'd ever met who did, so I asked him how he sharpened it. He said, "You don't need to sharpen it. You just adjust it right, and it sharpens itself." Well, that got me intrigued, so I tinkered with the thing until I fig
Jessie and I saw some solar-powered, LED Christmas lights for sale at Target and just knew we had to try them this year. They're made by a company called New-Ray, and here's a commercial I just found, to give you an idea what I'm talking about:
Jessie and I just returned from spending 10 days at her parents' house in Manley, NE. We had a great time, but we're both glad to be home! Here are some reflections on our home life, inspired by the time away:
Earlier this year Ben and I listened to the book The last lecture by Randy Pausch. In this book the professor, who was dying of cancer, talks a lot about the importance of fulfilling childhood dreams, no matter how big or small. I can certainly say that having Ben in my life and planning the rest of our lives together has fulfilled and is fulfilling many dreams for me but recently I fulfilled a childhood dream without him. In November, my friend Dareth and I went to the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) concert in Kansas City, Missouri.