Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Environmental Diary

January 4 +'s
1. Dried apples which help heat house as it is chilling off again - cloudy day
2. Fed apple peel to rabbits
3. Planted sprouted garlic
4. Put pulled weeds on compost or fed to rabbits
5. Planted sprouted mirlitons in recycled cottage cheese containers
6. Planted sweet potato sprouts in recycled yogurt containers

1. Drove S to and from work because I needed to talk with her instead of just letting her have the car.

Environmental Diary

January 3 +'s
1. Pulled vinca and monkeygrass
2. Bought apples to dry & discount fruit for rabbits
3. Recycled
4. Recycled

1. Drove to grocery for eggs and fruit
2. Drove to Mary's for lunch and to see her gallery-in-progress
3. Cooked quiche for dinner even though it was warm enough the house didn't need it

Environmental Diary

I figure that in view of the pillaging and general environmental rape that is ongoing in the world right now, I needed to do something. Well, begin at home, I thought. If you want to change the world, you have to begin in your own backyard.
+'s for January 2
1. Heat down to 70
2. Sewed button on old shirt instead of buying new
3. Pulled up invasive monkey grass and vinca
4. Planned out car errands so drove in circle
5. Put car in neutral at stops
6. Reused plastic bag I got at Penny's 3 times
7. Cooked up turkey carcass, picked meat off bones and made soup.

-'s for January 2
1. Made coffee
2. Bought new bras
3. Drove car

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Enormous Party

by Dr. Lewis Thomas
from 20th Century Decorating, Architecture and Gardens

The more Nature reveals to us, the more it has the look of an immense gathering with presents all around, and, despite the wild differences in form, a family affair as well. Giving things away is an ingrained habit among the living things of our planet; it is ordained, genetically determined. You could call it trading, I suppose, since everyone gets something in return, but there is such freedom and exuberance in the giving as to seem more like celebration than hard business.

Every kind of creature is dependent for his life on the life of other creatures nearby, and this meshwork of interdependency is spread over the surface of the whole planet. The most lavish of the presents, there for the asking, is the air itself. Oxygen is pumped into the atmosphere by green microoorganisms, some free-floating in the sea, others living as permanent lodgers inside the cells of other organisms; the plants are green because of these creatures. Carbon dioxide on which the plants depend for their use of solar energy, is pumped in by other microorganisms, the ones that use the oxygen; most of these also live as residents, called mitochondria, inside the cells of other animals. Were it not for these two great classes of microbe, dominating in benignity of the whole planet, none of the rest of us would be here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 16, 2004

For the Future

Today when my daughter left for work, (she needs it warm) I turned the heat way down and shut off the rooms upstairs that would not be needed for the day. This makes sense from a global perspective, but it makes me sad that no one else I know bothers to conserve our increasingly scarce resources. And where does all this denial come from?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Yule log comes to us from England before the Christian era, and burning it was originally a pagan rite. At the end of every year (based on the year's shortest day) it was thought that the sun stood still for twelve days. An enormous log was cut, large enough to burn throughout this period and burn away the evil of the past year. Since the pagan Yule and our Christmas so nearly coincide in time, gradually the burning of the Yule log was adopted by Christians...
From The Complete Christmas Book 1961

The way it used to be

...plantation in Virginia--thirteen hundred acres of red soil, and red gullies, and woodlands, varied with countless streams and springs....There were black walnut trees, chinquapin bushes, hazelnuts, hickory nuts. Occasionally, she found an Indian arrowhead in a furrow or under a sassafrass bush...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Lady of the Lake

by Scott
Harp of the North! that mouldering long hast hung
on the witch-elm that shades Saint Fillan's spring,
and down the fitful breeze thy numbers flung,
till envious ivy did around thee cling,
muffling with verdant ringlet every string,--
O Minstrel Harp, sill must thine accents sleep?
Mid rustling leaves and fountains murmuring,
still must thy sweeter sounds their silence keep
nor bid a warrior smile, nor teach a maid to weep?

The stag at eve had drunk his fill
where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
and deep his midnight lair had made
in lone Glenartney's hazel shade...

"Hark! as my lingering footsteps slow retire,
Some spirit of the air has waked thy string!
Tis now a seraph bold, with touch of fire,
Tis now the brush of Fairy's frolic wing.
Receding now, the dying numbers ring
Fainter and fainter down the rugged dell
And now the mountain breezes scarcely bring
a wandering witch-note of the distant spell--
and now, tis silent all!--Enchantress, fare thee well.

Friday, December 10, 2004


From The Physicians of Myddfal, 13th century

The parsley is a good herb of a warm hot nature. It is useful in all foods. It will remove obstructions of the veins and arteries in a body, so that the humours may circulate properly as they should. It will stimulate the spirits greatly, and strengthen the stomach.


From A Medieval Herbal

A 13th century price of South Wales had a physician, assisted by his three sons, at Myddfai, on Carmarthenshire. The family compiled a collection of medical recipes, including a list of one hundred and seventy-five plants and herbal preparations, in a document known as The Physicains of Myddfai.

Herbs were the only drubs available in the Middle Ages. They were often dried--the name 'drug' possibly derives from the Anglo-Saxon dregen, meaning 'to dry'. Single herbs were known as 'simples'. Knowledge of plants and recipes for their use were passed on from generation to generation.

From De Proprietarius Rebum, 1240

Woods be wide places wast and desolate y many trees growe in w'oute fruyte and also few hauying fruyte. In thyse wodes ben ofte wylde beestes and foulis. Therein growyth herbes, grasse, lees and pasture and namely medycynall herbes in wodes foude. In somer wodes ben bewtyed wyth bowes and braunches, w' herbes and grasse.