Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yeah, that blew it.

Obviously I've given up on NaBloPoMo. Too much going on, too tired to do more than get home, throw some sort of dinner together (or chuck it all and eat popcorn for dinner again), and read until I can't keep my eyes open, which isn't very long.

Saturday I took Shanti to the Humane Society. I hate it but the situation was becoming untenable. Not the peeing -- that got handled once I locked the other children out of the bedroom once and for all. No, the problem was that a small bedroom just isn't enough space for a cat like Shanti who's used to having most of the Great Outdoors to herself.

I tried letting her out on her own but after the maintenance guy told me she almost got hit by a car in the parking lot, and another lady told me about a cat she'd lost to the foxes, I couldn't bear to. I did walk her a lot and she loved it, but when she got back inside...well, you know how you go to the zoo, and you go to see the big cats, and they're beautiful but you can tell they haven't got enough space because of the way they pace? Pace pace pace pace. One side of the cage. Pace pace pace pace back to the other. And back. And back again. They've worn a rut into the ground and their eyes don't focus any more and it's just an obsessive thing for them because they don't have the room. Well, she was starting to do that, too.

I brushed her real well and took her for a long walk, then drove her over so Tim and Ray could say goodbye. They brushed her some more and petted her a lot and then I took her over to the Humane Society. I was crying so hard I had to hand over my driver's license because I couldn't tell them my address. They gave me tissues and told me that they'd try to take her for walks, and that since she'll walk on a leash they expect to find a home for her very soon. They're a no-kill -- I visited the same quiet, unassuming, older cat something like five times there over nearly a year. They don't give up on cats easily.

It's odd here, now. Chocolate loves it -- he's got his momma back to himself. Samson and Taltos are clearly less stressed as well. I've gotten to pet Taltos more in the last few days than in the last several months combined. Not having to keep them out of the bedroom is lovely and having my little cat with me every night, all night, is heavenly. I've done the thing that was best for everyone involved, even myself. But oh, I miss my pretty, pretty girl.

Once the lady at the humane society heard my tale of woe (and had got an eyeful of Shanti trotting inside, perfectly calm, on her leash) she said I'd done the right thing. That helps some though I wonder if she'd say that to anyone bringing in a cat. I don't know. But I didn't see another way to deal with things.

I also gave in that night and turned the heat on for a bit. I'd left the windows open when I went to work, since it was lovely warm -- up in the 70s. I figured I wouldn't be in the mood for company and would head straight home in plenty of time to close them. Well, Tim (bless him!) called me with fifteen minutes to go at work to basically blackmail me over to his place with food he knew I'd love -- because he knew I shouldn't be alone after giving away Shanti. He was right and I cried all over both of them again and it helped a lot but it was below freezing outside (and not far off inside) when I got home and I just wussed out. Ten minutes of the heat running had the place bearable, though, and I turned it back off and it hasn't been on since.

Today I turned the water heater down to 'vacation'. I'd turn it off but I am a bit concerned about the pipes. If I want a shower longer than 'not much' I can turn it back up a half hour or so before I want to bathe, and then turn it back down afterwards. No need to have the water kept that hot all the time.

I'm starting to collect those small plastic bags you put your produce in, too, so I can reuse them. Even remembered to bring my cloth bag into the grocery store last time -- go me!

Bought beef bones for stock, and, instead of skinless boneless chicken breast, chicken thighs. The meat's just as good (to my surprise), though I learned a lot about chicken anatomy in the process of cutting it off the bone, and the bone and skin and stuff went into the crockpot for chicken stock. It's so, so much better than anything you can get at the store, it's ridiculous, and all that simmering keeps the place nice and warm, too.

The beef stock got turned into lentil soup (thanks Jadwiga!) and the chicken stock is in the freezer, in a perfectly reusable plastic popcorn container, until I figure out what to do with it. I'm contemplating a solar cooker of some kind, eventually, since there's sure no shortage of sun here.

My mint plant has been failing and I wasn't sure what to do. Tim recommended feeding it and I had ugly thoughts of Miracle-Gro or something awful like that until I remembered a thing I'd read recently. Wonderful fertilizer for plants and sustainable otherwise as well -- dilute your own pee in ten parts water and use it to water your plants. Gross? Yeah, I was a little squicked by it. But it's high in nitrogen and concentrated urea is something you can buy at any garden store. Why buy it when you can make it? And it makes so much more sense than peeing into your drinking water, which is effectively what most of do when we use the toilet.

Did that ever strike you as odd? It never did me until I got thinking about it. We clean water -- treatment plants, desalinization even, get it to the point where it's (hypothetically) safe to drink through much effort and expense, and then proceed to pee and poop in some of it. Buh?

Still working on ways to change that. I don't need that much fertilizer and I'm pretty sure a composting toilet is against my lease somehow.

In other news, if it's politics you're interested in, I highly recommend my Tim's blog, Bread and Circuses (okay, he hasn't actually changed the name to that yet, but he ought to). Warning: May cause apoplexy and plans to move to Canadia.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Day Nine

I get home from work every night exhausted. Grandmère Mimi does a lovely job of describing a recent trip to Walmart here; try eight hours of it. I can't sit down, except for lunch and breaks. My legs ache at the end of the day, and after the noise and all the people, so does my head.

I'd planned to write a treatise on God and nature and why conservation and not buying cheap plastic things are in a way a Christian issue, but my brain is made of cream cheese and I can't think of anything more coherent than 'pollution makes baby Jesus cry' which is admittedly pretty awful.

Praying a lot when I have the attention span. Usually along the lines of 'God please let this end'. Winning the lottery would be nice or perhaps a sugar daddy. Or even a real job, I'm not picky. Replacement knees and headache meds that work? C'mon, something's got to give.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day eight

8) Your local thrift stores. Know them. Love them.

9) Also, dumpster diving. C'mon! No shame, people!

10) Cats can help you stay warm at night, thus requiring less indoor heating. Course they hog the bed...

11) Remember what I said about the dryer? Handwash some of your dishes, too, and put off running the dishwasher another day.

12) Fuzzy slippers.

13) Don't start your car until your seatbelt is hooked, the window is rolled down (or up), and you've got yourself settled. That half-minute does make a difference.

14) Unplug your TV. Actually, sell it and put the money into savings or a nice warm blanket. You won't miss it.

My secret shame: for all of my preaching about the evils of agribusiness and such, and my urging of folks away from consumerism, I work at Consumer Hell: Walmart. I hate it with a great burning passion. I'm against pretty much everything the place stands for. However, because of them I can afford a place to live. I'd say I'm not sure how I feel about this except that I'm quite sure: it sucks. But? It's a job.

It's also leaving me pretty much exhausted at the end of the day, so posting is harder than it ought to be. Keeps me thinking, though, which is a goodness.

Tomorrow, if I can manage it: Where has God gone in my blog, and how does He fit in with all of this talk about the environment and Peak Oil? The answers, in tomorrow's episode of Insert Clever Show Name Here.

Slightly punchy. Signing off.

Day Seven: Five Quick Things

1) When you're going to the grocery store, bring a few bags along with you. The cotton tote bags you get free at all kinds of events are perfect for this. But if you don't remember them, don't buy the ones the store sell unless they're cotton -- most of the ones I see are nylon, which not only takes petroleum to produce, it's made from the stuff, too.

2) I go through a lot of tissues: the dry air just gets in my nose. When I looked at a bag of trash I was carrying out and realized it was half tissues by weight, I realized I needed to do something about this. The solution is an old one: handkerchiefs. They're not hemmed yet and they're long and narrow instead of square, but they work just fine.

3) I'm not making a similar recommendation regarding toilet paper. It would make sense, it would be more sustainable, but I'm far too much of a wuss.

4) That said? Pee in the shower. It'll save a little.

5) If you can't talk yourself into not using your dryer at all, think about hanging up a few things from each load and running it a little less. Remember the smell of sheets dried on the line when you were a kid? Wasn't it great?

6) See if you have a local dairy that'll deliver milk once a week. We get fresh, organic, minimally-treated milk delivered every Tuesday (well, it goes to Tim and Ray's and I pick it up, but I'm over there all the time anyway). It tastes a zillion times better (and Tim the milk snob who milked cows for a living agrees). It comes in glass bottles so there's far less waste. Since it only comes once a week you learn something about rationing limited supplies until the next time. And, at least at our local dairy. it's no more expensive than milk from the store. This last part boggles me, but I don't think about it in case it stops working.

7) If you can't do it all, if you forget bits, if you're overwhelmed by all the things you want to change, don't sweat it. Do one thing at a time. Don't kick yourself if you forget. I had two tote bags in the car today and still brought home my groceries in two plastic bags. I'll use them to scoop the litterboxes into. Do what you can.

Missed by seventeen minutes!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Day six: Break time!

Today I'm taking a break from posting about Peak Oil and such, because it's stressing me out a bit. Herewith an interview, in which I am merely the scribe for my dear Chocolate. The questions are from RevDrKate's Maggie.

Hi Chocolate, I am honored to be interviewing my first Cat. I live with several and have great respect for your kind. I think you have the art of napping really down! I saw your picture and you look so much like my friend Spike that I live with (well except that he's like SIX of you!) You are a really pretty Cat. I liked reading your story, too! So, here are my questions for you:

1. I know that Cats are often pretty spiritual beings. How do you express that side of yourself?

There's a sort of sun worship among cats, as you might have noticed, being lucky enough to live among them (so my Momma tells me). The Sun, of course, for us represents God. Other beings use other ways of worshipping Him (or, as we cats prefer to say, Her) and of course many of these ways are good ones, but drowsing in Her warm comforting rays, contemplating the mysteries of the universe, these are for cats the height of worship.

I also find that taking care of my Momma is a spiritual thing in a way. My brothers Taltos and Sampson think I'm insane for this, of course, but they don't like Momma much anyway so I think they just don't get it. But snuggling up to Momma and purring for her when she needs it is a very good thing.

2. What is your favorite part of the day?

It depends on where I live. In the last place I lived it was in the morning, before Momma got out of bed, when I could crawl under the covers and snuggle up next to her. She was very sad there and needed me.

Before that we lived in a big place with lots of windows. The middle of the afternoon was a good time, because the sun came in on the nice comfy part of the couch and Momma sometimes came and took a nap with me. That place had some bad feelings about it, though.

Where I am now the sun comes in the big glass door halfway through the day and makes a lovely sunny spot. Momma doesn't sit there with me (I think she's too big to fit on the cushion, but I wouldn't say that to her) but it's nice and warm.

3. It sounds like you have moved around a bit. What would be your best advice on settling into a new space?

I don't like moving much; it's scary, everything smells different and all the stuff is in new places. But when I move I stay close to my Momma a lot, and explore a little at a time, and sniff everything to make sure it's okay. Momma's good about making sure I have a good napping-spot or two that's one of my favorite beds so at least that smells the same and that helps. Also sleeping under the covers with her because it doesn't matter where I am as long as I'm safe with Momma.

This is the first place that Momma has let me go Outside. I don't go far and sometimes she puts me on a leash. She's always right there with me even if there's no leash. It's big and bright and everything is very weird, but I like it too. As long as I can go back inside when I want to!

4. Since you are letting me interview you, I assume you must be pretty open-minded. How do you feel about relating with critters of other kinds?

I didn't know any dogs before I moved out here. I've met two, now. Sarah is huge and furry and I think she wants to chase me, so I run away and then hiss at her. Inga is big, too, but not as big, and her fur is dark like mine. She's not nearly as scary. I still hiss at her, but if she lays down I'm not so nervous. Once she laid down on the couch and Momma put a blanket over her, and I didn't know she was there and laid down on top of her! When she stood up I was awful startled so I had to hiss at her then, too. But Inga's nice.

Momma had pet rats for a while. I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be food or not but I guess not. I liked watching them but they weren't very friendly -- when I put my paw in the cage one of them bit me! I guess since I was wondering if he was food I can't blame him too much.

I don't like cats other than my brothers, and the brother Momma left behind in Pennsylvania. I miss him! He was my best friend. But other cats try to take away my Momma and she's _my_ momma.

5. How have you found is the best way to get your human to pay attention to you when she thinks she has Better Things to Do?

Pacing back and forth in front of her book is a good method. If she gets mad at me I hunch down a little and purr really loud, and then she puts the book down and hugs me. If she's walking around doing things, I'll climb up on something and squeak at her, and maybe jump up on her shoulder as she walks by. Yesterday I jumped up on her shoulder and she went right outside! I stayed there until she got to the car and then I jumped off. I don't like the car. But she came right back and let me inside, so it was okay.

So there are my questions for you, and now here are those rules my mom says I have to put down too. And I always do what my mom says. Tee-hee. At least when she is looking! I hope you have fun with these and then have some catnip and a nice nap in the sun!

Thank you Maggie! I guess you're pretty okay for a dog. If we ever meet, don't chase me, okay?

Here are the rules:

1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave a comment saying, 'interview me.'
2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post with your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I will interview people of any species.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Day five: Links!

Since I have today off from work, you'd think Id be putting together a nice, long, well-researched post. I'm not -- the day's too nice and I need to get out and do things. So instead, a couple of links to places that have inspired me.

I've mentioned Greenpa before -- his Little Blog in the Big Woods is a lovely example of 'you can do this too' at a very down-to-earth, practical level. Here's what he has to say about how he lives:

Basic Green Practices in the Little House
1) Off the grid. 30 years. Solar electricity .
2) Limited power- house electricity has 4 golf cart batteries.
3) Composting toilet. Outside. (eew, you do that indoors!?)
4) No road to house. You gotta walk.
5) No running water in house. Water pumped by wind.
6) Showers solar heated; outdoors.
7) Heat with wood. One stove in house.
8) Cook with wood 8 months, propane in summer
9) Most of our fuelwood now is from trees we planted
10) No refrigerator. 30 years. You don't need one either.
11) Big garden.
12) Eat locally when possible, not obsessive about it.
13) No pesticide use ever, gardens or crops; not even organic (ok, except a little in the outhouse and the greenhouse...)
14) Earth sheltered solar greenhouse (aren't they all solar??)
15) Shut up about it. Nobody likes preaching.
16. These are our choices- yours are yours.

Okay, he can be a little on the blunt side. Not in the scary way, though, and wow, does he know what he's doing.

Sharon over at Casaubon's Book isn't near as far along the path as Greenpa, but she's further along than anyone else I know. Her practical suggestions are interspersed with calls for justice in a way that makes me frankly uncomfortable at times -- but only because I know she's right and there is more that I can and should do. At the same time, she isn't perfect, admits it, and goes on with doing what she can.

Helwen is the lady who got me into this whole way of living in the first place. She's also someone I've known in Real Life for a lot of years. She's fairly new to the whole concept (a few years in, I think) and watching her progress has been fascinating.

And a couple of single posts that bear mention...

Rae's talking about sugar (and sugar-like substances) in our food. Good stuff.

Plain Fool has a scrap bag.

Oakmouse posts plans for a fireless cooker.

100 Things You Can Do for Peak Oil, Parts One and Two.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day four: Um. What?

I think my apartment complex is getting kickbacks from the gas company, and possibly the water company as well.

See, we got this lovely little notice on the doors. Among other things it includes several guidelines for making sure your pipes don't freeze in cold weather. Some of them make quite a bit of sense, especially for those like me who may be keeping their heat at much lower levels than previously, and I do plan to be careful -- burst pipes are no fun.

Two of their guidelines, however, I find entirely ridiculous. The first is that, any time the temperature falls before 32 degrees Fahrenheit, one is supposed to turn all faucets on to a low trickle and leave them there until the temperature is above freezing. Y'know, I don't think if it's barely below freezing outside that my pipes are likely to burst -- it's got to be a lot colder than that, for a lot longer, and that's even if I don't have my heat on at all. Besides which, given how Colorado winters get, if I followed this to the letter my water would be running all day, every day, for weeks at a time. And this in a state with regular water shortages.

The other (speaking of the heat) is that they recommend that you keep the heat on when it gets too cold. This? I'm fine with. But they recommend that you keep your heat at a minimum of 70 to 80 degrees. What!?

Even in a free-standing house, keeping the heat on at 55 is usually enough to keep your pipes unfrozen, unless they're especially exposed or your insulation is horrendous or the weather is just insane. In an apartment complex? Two of my six walls are insulated by other apartments and another is insulated by the ground. I could probably leave my heat off most of the year and not have problems with bursting pipes. Leaving the heat turned as low as it can go and still be on will entirely precluse pipe issues. Even for people who aren't used to the cold and don't put on a sweater, 70 is on the warm side to have the heat turned to, and 80 is just ridiculous. What, do you feel this need to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt all year? Move to Florida.

I'm trying to keep things to a pretty friendly tone this month (okay, I do that anyway, but) because I know that a lot of the ideas I'm proposing are pretty radical. I don't want anyone to feel bad because they think I'm trying to berate them into doing things, or because they're not doing as much as they feel they could or should. I'm not doing near as much as I could, should, or want to, and it's a process, it takes time. I do get grumpy at myself sometimes but mostly I know I'm doing what I can.

But this? Just insane.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Day three: Food, part 1

I'm doing this backwards, truly -- I should be talking about growing food before I talk about cooking with what you grow and preserving it. But the latter is what we did today, so that's what I'm going to talk about.

Ever read the ingredients on the back of a box of processed food? Don't, unless you want to learn how to cook. The number of things in your food that aren't at all food is truly frightening and I have to wonder how many of the first world's burgeoning medical problems are due to eating not-food.

I'll skim over the huge amounts of petroleum required, in one way or another, to grow food in the modern industrial manner and save that post for when I talk about growing food -- but trust me on this, between tractors, fertilizer, and all the gas needed to get food here from Guam or something (when, really, there are plenty of people in Guam or wherever who'd happily eat it too), it's a lot. Growing your own food, or buying it from someone who grows it locally using proper organic techniques, is just a better idea.

But this means learning to cook it. I didn't learn to cook from my mother when I was growing up as girls have done for millennia -- Dad wanted a boy he could teach to build things and didn't get one, so I was elected. I didn't learn to cook from my ex until very late in our relationship, either. I've learned a lot from Tim (and Julia Child!) but don't go thinking that I've been cooking for my entire life or any such. It doesn't take long and, frankly, it's not that hard. If I can do it, really, anyone can.

And cooking from ingredients instead of from a box or a can is so much more satisfying -- yes, it's a bit more work and more planning, but the food just tastes better. Think you don't have time? Bet you'll make time once you taste the difference. Think you don't have the money? The money you'll save on multivitamins and health care will cover whatever extra money you might spend on food made out of food and not chemicals.

Because I tell you what, I feel better. Not just from an emotional standpoint, the satisfaction of doing something I think is right and proper (though that's not a small thing), but straight-up physically. My allergies have lessened or plain disappeared. I haven't gotten a cold in nearly a year (previously every two months or so). The last cold I got didn't turn into bronchitis as they inevitably used to. My joints feel better. I have more energy. It's an astounding difference.

Today we cooked -- a Flemish vegetable tarte, two loaves of bread (and o, the scent of fresh-baked bread in your kitchen!), a quiche, pork and veggies for dinner, and four quarts of applesauce and three of salsa for canning tomorrow.

Which brings me to the other part of this post -- preserving food. Yeah, you can buy the stuff in cans and jars at the store and it's a lot less work, and you can buy it any time of year so why stock up? Apart from blizzards and such, preserving your own food in season just makes a lot of sense. You know exactly what's going in it -- I started on the thought of canning when I read the back of a can of stewed tomatoes and discovered that one of the ingredients was high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup? In tomatoes?

As I recall I said several awfully rude things, and threatened to throw one of the jars (Tim got hold of it so the windows and dog are safe). I was (and still am) furious. That's it, I said, I'm canning my own tomatoes so I know exactly what goes in em.

We found a local place that sold us twenty-five pounds of canning tomatoes for fifteen dollars, and added about five pounds of our own tomatoes, and spent the afternoon cutting them up, bringing them up to temperature, pouring them into quart jars, and processing the lot. Yup, a long afternoon's work and we all hurt some at the end of it. But now we have enough tomatoes to last at least the winter if not until next tomato season, and there's nothing in them but tomatoes and a bit of lemon juice to keep the acidity high enough.

That got us going. Three kinds of pickles, zucchini relish, salsa, goose stock, applesauce, and our cabinets are full of good, wholesome, fairly inexpensive food. We could be snowed in for a good long time and wouldn't be hungry. It's a lovely secure feeling.

As gas becomes more scarce the price of food, which depends so heavily on it, will only go up. Learning to cook and preserve what's available, what's local and in season and thus less expensive, will make things a lot easier as time goes on.

Also? Worth it if only for the flavour.

Friday, November 2, 2007

NaBloPoMo, Day 2

Thought about NaNoWriMo, decided I'd be insane to try it. So instead, I'm doing NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. Post every day for the month of November. I think I can do that.

A lot of people are choosing a theme for their postings -- gratitude seems popular. I thought about that, but decided to go elsewhere for mine, to a concern that's dear to me recently, though I really haven't mentioned it here yet.

I'm talking about Peak Oil. I'm talking about global warming. I'm talking about the credit crisis, and the state of mind that led to it. I'm talking about the fact that the American way of life, powered by cheap and abundant energy and by the labor of a lot of other people in other parts of the world, which, it's rapidly becoming clear, isn't sustainable at all.

And by 'sustainable' I don't mean something to maybe think about doing something about eventually, when you've got the time and a bit of money to spare. I don't mean a remote ideal, a technicolour image of lions and lambs. I mean that the way we in the First World live is simply not going to work for very much longer.

Peak Oil is shorthand for the concept that we are, eventually, going to run out of petroleum products to power our electrical grid, to run our cars, to make our plastic ziplock bags and our prescription medications (did you know that? Many of them not only use oil to power the processing, they're made from oil as well). Most petroleum geologists agree that more than half of the oil in the ground is already gone, that we've used more than half of what's available. In other words, it's all downhill from here.

Think ethanol will save us? I did, too. Until I realized two things: If we put every acre of corn production in the US into enthanol, all of it, all of those huge rolling fields in the Midwest and the smaller ones elsewhere -- and do note that they produce, one way or another, most of what you eat -- they would produce enough ethanol to run seven persent of the nation's cars. Seven. That's all. And what are we eating again? (from this article originally published in the Buffalo News.)

The other thing I realized? There are people starving because farmers can get more money selling their corn to make ethanol than they can selling it for food. People are starving, right now, so that we can drive our cars. Here are a few links talking about that one:

Of course, you can make ethanol from things other than corn. But that has its problems as well -- if we're growing millions of acres of switchgrass, to pick a commonly-cited example, where are we going to grow the corn? And here's an article citing a lot more problems with switchgrass: You might be interested in reading some of the other stuff Greenpa has to say in his blog, too.

There's a lot more to the problem than that, and I have to get to work, so I can't go on about it at quite the length I could wish to (or the length I'd need to present my case sufficiently, either). But I will say that I don't intend to dedicate the month of November to doomsaying only. What I wish to do, every day of this month, is share what I'm doing about it. One tidbit a day.

So here's today's tidbit: I haven't turned on the heat in my apartment yet. And it's gotten pretty cold, but it's not bothering me, because I know how to deal with it.

Some of it's the simple stuff like 'wear a sweater' and 'eat something warm'. I'm also opening the curtains and blinds every morning when the sun's coming in, to catch that heat, and closing things up once the sun goes down (or I get home from work). I have nice thick quilts to hang over every window in the place, and a pillow to lean against the bottom of the balcony door where it leaks cold air, and a chunk of carpeting to block off the drafts from the front door. When I get home from work I make dinner, which helps heat both the apartment and myself. I do wear a sweater, and long underwear, too, if it's chilly enough -- but I've only had to do that once so far, because the other thing I've noticed is that I'm getting used to it.

Decent indoor heating is a very new thing in the history of humanity. For gazillions of years we put on a bit more clothing and maybe lit a fire. We don't need it. It's awfully nice, I agree. But we don't need it.

I'll have to turn the heat on eventually, if only to keep the pipes from freezing. But instead of 65 degrees like last winter (or 70, as often as not, with the ex) I'm going to turn it on as low as it'll go in this apartment, which is, I believe, somewhere around 55 degrees. And I bet I'll be perfectly comfortable. I'll be saving money, and more importantly to me, using less gas, eking things out a little longer.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Samhain, All Saint's, call it what you will...

Started a fire in my fireplace. First time this season. Got it going real well. (Took a while.)

Found the SCA favours I'd made for my ex years ago...which he gave back to me the last time I saw him, right before I moved out here.

I could tell they weren't going to be enough on their own, so I cut off about five inches of my hair, as well. Grab ponytail, snip, right across the back.

And tossed in the lot.


Maybe I'm not quite as entirely Christian as I thought I was.

Still mostly, though.