My range (cooking) finally has met its end of days. I have been limited to using only one good burner; the other one that works has in the last week or so been erratic in its heating- either very high or low. The oven has for years been difficult to gauge temperature. Most baked goods burn on top and still are not cooked all that well in the middle. But.... we've lived with it because Tom and I have this thing about not wanting to make such a big "footprint" like throwing items in the garbage pit. Also, we don't have the money.
I remember when I was in college, someone, I don't remember who, shared this image with me. In most primitive cultures, they had to "live with" their garbage. Meaning, whenever they threw out their garbage, the non-usables, that stuff stayed within site, on their land, in their village. Every day they passed this growing mass. Can you imagine if you had only your side yard to throw your garbage? Moreover, if you moved, you had to bring your garbage with you. How would you change your lifestyle regarding reusing things as many times as possible, or making due with what you have; fixing something instead of buying a "new, improved" alternative?
It was the erratic burner that made us finally break down and commit to buy a new range because we were worried about an electrical problem. We have to be more careful about these kind of things due to the parrot; he is susceptible to smoke. And we just made it in time for Lowes' 18 months no interest/ 10 percent off deal. The company that installs will take away the old range for "parts." Yes, we signed her up as a donor stove.
It should be delivered and installed by mid-March.
I like to use the oven in the fall and winter. I have a rice cooker that sits on top of the range. I use the rice cooker every day. I use it not only for rice, but for all of my grains, even for cous cous.
I also use a dehydrator. I use the dehydrator mostly in the Spring and Summer. It is in these seasons that we eat a primarily raw diet.
We always feel better, physically and mentally in these seasons. I don't know if it has anything to do with eating habits. I do know that it is more work on me to prepare raw foods for a week of eating.
But, we still have a few more weeks of Winter, and I plan on heating up my beautiful new range and cooking with joy.
The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.
- Teri Gullemets
I said before, that the days have been cloudy. It has been rainy, also. I suppose this is a similar sky to a northern sky before snow. It is a winter sky. Besides having to use my ever active imagination, there are other things that bring color to my world in Winter.
We have the Painted Buntings and the Indigo Buntings come visit in the Winter. The are prolific. We get more and more every year. They are so delightful.
Here are two prints from Charles Harper, of whom's work I love! Tom gave me a book of his prints for my birthday one year.
I bought some red geraniums to pot up. I read in my Cottage Witchery: Natural Magick for Hearth and Home by Ellen Dugan that red geraniums bring protection to the home and are often planted by the front door. I am all about protection. Ellen also notes that local Midwestern folklore believes that the way to spot "good Witches" in neighborhoods is to look for the red geraniums or red begonias.
I can't resist adding this picture of red geraniums on a double window sill. How pretty they look inside. I don't have the light inside to grow plants.
The other thing she mentions as an old enchanting tradition is to paint the front door blue. Yes, I have a blue front door. Riviera blue, is what the paint sample was named. But I didn't paint it because of this book: I actually painted it blue because of another reason, one I couldn't remember, but, I liked the color. There you see Alobar. This area that we put a screen around really cut down on the mosquitoes that use to follow us in through the front door!
I made laundry soup again this week. I have been buying the hard laundry bar to grate and then add with the washing soda, but, have found a website that gives recipe and instructions to make the simple bar soap. I can make many bar soaps and then grate these to add the washing soda and hot water mix to make laundry detergent. The reason I make laundry detergent is because it saves money, plastic bottles and I do like the clean "no smell smell" it has. I also make a "green bleach" for my laundry using hydrogin peroxide, water and a little lemon oil that I keep mixed in a bottle. I add it to loads that have clothes that need extra attention because they are more stained or "smell." This mix is the same as many green bleaches you buy in the store.
Here is the link to the site in case you are interested in making your own soaps. It isn't hard and doesn't take time at all, just maybe an hour in all to last for many months. Plus, you know what goes into the soaps. So this is the link to the basic bar soap recipe website. It has a nice video tutorial to watch as well.
And, to use the laundry detergent, and to add some color to the world, I hang out clothes. It is a good thing to do when it is windy. Not, terribly windy, but just breezy windy. Today, it is like that. Eighty degrees; yes, the sun is shining now and the windy is now breezy.
So color for joy, color for protection, color to get through the cloudy days! Another aspect of the gypsy soul.