Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bulky Boot Socks

So my little Bro challenged me to see if I could knit my second pair of socks in less than two years. Frankly, I never wanted to ever see another sock pattern, but...he challenged me. He even sent me the size he estimated his foot will measure in two years. He really knows how to get me going.

With my stash of yarn, I have patterns and knitting needles, stitch holders, measuring tape, crochet hooks, whatever it takes. I had no excuse but to take the bait. Three tries on the first pattern I picked brought me to the point of forfeit...until the Bulky Boot Sock.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Growing Green

Romaine sprouts (in the tiny seed plugs) and alphalfa sprouts (in the jar) reach toward the hydroponic system's grow lights resting on my dresser. They are four days old. With the grow lights turning on at 5:30am and shining directly into my eyes, I had to put up some light barriers. Those oven liners keep the light and the heat in. Now I can sleep until 6:30.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Old Wool Socks

Several years ago I bought a pair of handknit, washable Merino wool socks at the local Farmers' Market. Plain denim blue color. Plain stockinette stitch. Cost eighteen dollars, more than I've ever paid for socks before, but I wanted to be supportive.

"Blues" fast became my favorite socks and slippers. I wore them, washed them, and wore them again over and over...until it heel wore right through!

Yesterday with some yarn, a needle, scissors, and a light bulb, I darned the hole. Or, did I darn the socks. Well, darn it, I'm not sure. But the hole is gone and they are back on my feet.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Seed Catalogs

Here's a list of seed catalogs that Sharon Astyk posted on her blog. Weblinks are included. Have fun shopping for seeds and many great how-to books.

Thanks Sharon for pulling them altogether.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recovery, Inflation, Food Prices

The Automatic Earth sums up - Recovery, Inflation, and Food Prices in Zombie Money Kills Real People
..."There will be a Keynesian factor which clings to the theory that says it is indeed possible to borrow your way up, but that's a mere mirage, since it would require a surge in real productivity, i.e., outside of the service industry...manufacturing today counts for 10% of US jobs."

..."I'm all for a society, a government, that takes care of the weakest in its midst. I'm all against a government that props up the strongest in its midst, in this case the bankers with bonuses larger in one year than the weaker among us can make in a lifetime, the same bankers who lost more money in bad wagers than the entire country can cough up, and still be economically viable. We're fast becoming zombie societies."

..."What we know for sure is that the zombie money we elected to have flow through our financial systems is going to kill a lot of people this year. Want to plead innocence? How long do you think that excuse will be accepted?

Cue Tunisia.

Where our zombie money kills real people. Today."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Food Supplies Down, Prices Up

"Prices for grains and other farm products began rising last fall after poor harvests in Canada, Russia and Ukraine tightened global supplies. More recently, hot, dry weather in South America has cut production in Argentina, a major soybean exporter. This month's flooding in Australia wiped out much of that country's wheat crop."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Waters and Flooding

Brisbane in shock as fresh rains are feared...Reuters

Brazil flood death toll rises to 443, more feared... Reuters

Tough Times For Lobster And Salmon In Local Waters printed in The Calais Advertiser, Jan. 13, 2011:
"Maine and nearby New Brunswick are well known for two wonderful foods which are shipped all over the world, lobster and salmon.
However these two delectables are currently running into serious problems such as parasites, pesticides, and salmon running away from aquaculture cages.
Good examples of the troubles have aquaculture operators using pesticides to combat a damaging outbreak of sea lice at the fish farms in Passamaquoddy Bay and nearby Cobscook Bay."

"According to the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), 138,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon, estimated to be about 25 cm in length, escaped from an aquaculture pen operation near White Head Island, located east of Grand Manan at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy in December (2010), during a fierce storm."

"There is a current plan to kill sea lice on caged salmon with a powerful new pesticide that will subsequently be flushed into several bays in Southwest New Brunswick and Maine and this is causing concern."

"Applications of the sea lice solution called deltamethrin in selected test salmon cages began in July. Sea lice are tiny, parasitic crabs that attach themselves to salmon and other fish and eat their skin, flesh and other tissues. They can kill their host.
Officials in Canada are looking into the use of pesticides in and near Passamasquoddy Bay as part of their investigations into the deaths of lobsters in the area in 2009 and 2010. Like sea lice, lobsters are highly vulneralbe to pesticides that salmon farm operators have been using and then disposing of in coastal waters."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And Its' Back...

taken from Science blogs by Sharon Astyk, January 12, 2011

"The Food Crisis, of course. In fact it never really left - since 2007 we've had more hungry people on the planet than ever before in human history, and while we've seen brief declines in the numbers of the hungry worldwide, those declines were of such short duration that they were essentially meaningless - earlier this year when the UN trumpeted that the number of the hungry had dropped back below 1 billion, it admitted that this excluded the Pakistan flood victims, the impacts of the crisis in the Russian wheat crop and a host of other late-year issues."

"Why is it back? Well a combination of factors..."