I love the idea of vertical gardening! Grow as much food as you can in as little space as possible. This is an important concept for people and the environment as populations become more urbanized and we have to put the brakes on shipping food from long distances to reduce the amount of global warming, asthma, and cancer causing pollutants we put into the only atmosphere we’ve got.
Recently I read this article at Grist and while I liked some parts, I disagreed with much. It argued that urban farms and homesteading were unlikely to do much in the quest to feed an ever growing, ever urbanizing, ever globalizing population, but it might provide some kind of educational benefit or something. Their arguments make sense, if you go into it assuming that everything else they talk about is the right way for things to be. Personally, all I could take away from it is that they were focusing on the wrong problems. This is why intersectionality in environmentalism is so important.
Recently, I learned how to make soap.
Pure soap is relatively cheap and easy to buy, but I like to make it instead. I’m not sure if making it is any cheaper and it’s certainly not easier, but it’s fun and it makes me feel badass like Tyler Durden, so I do it anyway.
I don’t know why, but I love Fat Tuesday. We never got into it growing up or anything, but I think it’s kind of fun. I’ve been wanting to make some family traditions out of it, but it’s been slow going. Last year I made some egg free cup cakes with babies in several of them as our family version of king cake. I just used a cake mix I bought at the health food store (that was the only place I could find a soy free one) and I made a gumbo that didn’t turn out very good. This year, instead of experimenting with making a type of cuisine I don’t make often and most of my family is not keen to try anyhow, I’m going to go ahead and make something I know they love. Alfredo.
I never used to get much into Valentines Day until I fell in love with Jeremy. I used to go off on tangents about how it was a made up, corporate holiday that existed for the sole purpose of selling useless shit and enforcing stereotypical gender roles, particularly enforcing the myth that women need to be with a romantic partner in order to be whole. And I still believe all that stuff.
But now I’m in loooooooovvveee!
Well, the Broncos are in the Super Bowl, and honestly, I don’t really care that much, I’m not into football really. I’m just hoping that if they win the fans don’t riot too hard (as Denver sports fans are known to do) because we’ve built up our city so nicely over the past ten years or so and I’d hate to see it trashed by a bunch of drunken sports fans who are so proud to be from the place they are for some reason destroying.
I’m pretty proud of this one.
Elijah wanted to do an experiment. He wanted to put food coloring in water. I asked him what he would be testing with this, what was the objective, and he said we should put salt in it too. I was pretty annoyed. He just wanted to mix random stuff together! That was no way to teach him the scientific method. But when I thought about it, really, did it matter that much? Did there need to be an objective every time? Maybe the point should just be to encourage his creativity, which, after all, is a crucial skill for scientific thought later on down the road.
But I still felt that at least we needed something to compare, so I agreed to do two cups, both with salt, both with food coloring, but one with hot water and one with cold. I figured it would be a lesson in diffusion, which one would mix all the colors better. We put the salt in the cups, then the water, then the food coloring, and guess what happened?
Elijah has been super into what he calls science experiments lately. This makes me feel awfully proud, since that was always kind of my thing as a kid, but it has at times been a mess when I find his stashed concoctions and potions made of toothpaste, body wash, Halloween candy he can’t eat because of his food allergies, and God knows what else. I want to encourage it in a more directed manner, but I often find myself at a loss when he says he wants to make a potion or do an experiment. “Sure, you can help me make laundry soap!” Is not usually the kind of activity he’s hoping for.
In addition to figuring out if Elijah has any more allergies than the ones we already know about, we are trying to use this time to establish healthier eating habits as a whole. Not healthier as in the types of foods we are consuming, but more as in the way we are eating.
Our family is comprised of Halloween fanatics. Jeremy in particular is an artist when it comes to Halloween displays and every year grows our display. This year’s display is particularly impressive not only because he’s been working on it since April (yes, April) but because most of what we’ve used to expand our display has all been reclaimed and repurposed. Most of the material was left over garbage from Jeremy’s work that he saved from the land fill.
Here are some pre Halloween night pics: