|Pines in Karelia|
“Finishing my shelves.” I showed him my brush.
“But I don’t smell anything,” his mother said as they went by.
“Hah!” I thought, exactly the point.
A stint of house/cat/garden minding had brought in a little extra cash, and I decided to use the proceeds to finally set up my home office. No longer for me a life of migrating in search of a place to work within my own house!
Mostly this involved commandeering what had been my son’s room but now functioned as a sort of storage and staging area for my daughter. Heartlessly, I removed her belongings and arranged an old desk, chair and my laptop. What should I purchase? Bookshelves, of course. I decided on some rules: inexpensive, sustainable, and easy to assemble/disassemble. The last because, after having lived in this house nearly half my life, rooted as an oak tree, I may need to decamp on short notice. You never know.
The whole process took more hours, over several days, than I care to admit, but they were pleasant ones, out there on the front porch. The weather was good and I got to visit with the neighbors. All in all, the materials were reasonably sustainable, though not locally sourced. You can't have everything, I suppose. There were no bad smells, I cleaned up with soap and water, and the teabags and cotton rag used to apply the wax went in the compost pile. I’m sitting here now, looking at those shelves filled with my beloved books. They seem just right.
II. In which I make my first-ever jam from mostly my own berries
An hour and a half full of mashing fruit, boiling water, steam, tipped jars, a slight burn, some language ("everything ok in there?" the living room contingent asked), and hopefully not-permanent stains on the counters resulted in five well-sealed 8-oz. jars full of deep, deep purple jam. I felt as though I had accomplished something worthwhile. Was it a one-time experiment?
The next day, as she snacked on whole-wheat banana bread spread with that jam, my daughter said, "Oh Mom, this is good." Guess I'll be making more. Maybe apple butter, when my CSA grower Dan brings in the Cortlands I've ordered.
Note: This post has been crossposted at Energy Bulletin.
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