jabbering in early january

Hello Readers of Blog.   I have so intended to reply about the Logo Board Game and got stuck there, so I’m going to move on and then maybe, maybe, someday, move back.  There is quite a bit I want to say about the idea of “brands” and children.

The 4th of January, 2010, and the kids have returned to school.  I have so many urgent things to do that I am paralyzed.  Mostly waiting for a phone call from the Loss Adjusters assigned by our insurance company  to see if there is damage to the structure of the house from the heating oil spill that happened just before Christmas.

This was pretty awful but could have been worse.  Examples: we could have left for my mother-in-law’s for Christmas, and not smelled the fumes that infiltrated the walls and rooms of our house and allowed us to take action (stop further leaking, new tank delivered, oil pumped into new tank, special fire-brigade cloths to collect any residual drips…)  The oil also, thankfully, somehow did not go down a nearby drain (I know this because I have a keen nose and have been sniffing around there regularly) because the lay of the land directed it towards the house.  We in our house-renovation have the intention to stop using heating oil, eventually replacing that system with one based on wood and wood pellets, and somehow we were not focusing on the tank itself, or we would have inspected for corrosion.   It was the delivery of new oil just before the holidays (it’s been SO cold) that created the strong pressure that sprung the leak (actually just a drip but drips do accumulate).

But there had been a fortuitous coincidence: I’d been sent an article about Mycellium Running and the work of Paul Stamets of mycoremeditation, basically, using mushrooms to clean up toxic sites as in oil spills in the sea.  Oyster mushrooms, for example, can use the hydrogen and carbon of petrochemicals in the same way they can use them in cellulose, or whatever substrate medium they grow in.  And somehow I made the connection in my mind, and thanks to ebay I’ve already ordered 350 grams of mushroom spawn as I will attempt to mycoremediate my own little patch.  A friend has just suggested I might need to wait until it gets a bit warmer, to 15C she thought, but I could still put down sawdust to absorb whatever residual oil is there.

I’ve been thinking a lot about resources and the vision of permaculture  and the ideal of no waste, or maybe it’s the idea that if you are doing everything right there just isn’t something called waste, or all things in that category are just minimal.  It’s quite amazing now that we have chickens to see how much food scrap we generate, but it all (mostly) goes to them, including egg shell. If I am going to grow mushrooms, there is going to be a call for coffee grounds, and love my compost pile as I do I don’t feel we are putting as much in as we used to.  I make a calculation with paper– scrap paper for the children, compost it, recycle it, start the fire with it….  And though i spend a lot of time sorting, it seems, it doesn’t feel like we throw out or even town-recycle very much these days (glossy stuff…). At the end of the week, or technically, in the middle, Wednesday mornings, be put out one black rubbish bag, and it’s rarely full, just has in it kid-crap, blister-pack whatnots and dried up magic markers, detritus from super-market packaging and … can’t even think what, I’m going to have to investigate!

One last thing: around here if you want a bag at a supermarket or convenience store, you now have to pay.  I think this is crap.  I think one effect of the campaign against plastic bags (I don’t LIKE plastics bags, mind you) is to give greenwash opportunity to the shops (look, we care!) when if you ever look at what they sell or the packaging they throw out from the factory is so much huger in volume to small, crushable, thin plastic bags that you can only laugh.

Meanwhile, my bag of “junk modeling” materials for the children is so voluptuously overflowing there is trash all over “my room,”– gotta start doing more art with them again. But when?


5 Responses to “jabbering in early january”

  1. George Marshall Says:

    What a horrible Christmas – and you didn’t even mention the toaster catching fire, or your racking cough, or Ned getting sick, or the exhaust pipe falling off the car or any of the other ho ho ho festive seasonal frolics. Wonder if the mushrooms could sort that lot out too

  2. nicola baird Says:

    Annie, happy new year! Of course I’m one of the positive people who say stupid cliches like disasters make better copy etc…. But this is a great entry (regardless of the horrors it’s had on your life and 2009 xmas experience) and it sounds like mushrooms could be set to save the day (once the snow is scraped away). Welcome back to the blogosphere. Nicola x

  3. Michele Says:

    Yikes! I am so sorry that you’re having such a tough time. I hope things improve for you very soon.

  4. nicola baird Says:

    Hi Annie, me again. I’ve just been wondering how you are getting on feeding eggshell to your hens? If I did that mine (but I only have 2) would start eating their eggs – in fact it’s always a struggle to stop them. My lastest rouse is to leave a golf ball in their nest box in the hope that this will surprise them when they next go to peck an egg. I’m also v keen to get their eggs as they only started laying again (after the long moult) on 8 Jan 2010. Still it’s a nice sign of spring(ish)! Nicola

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