Spring is for growth and change. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of celebrating that this year. But I’m also prone to biting off more than I can chew, so we’ll have to see how this all plays out.
I’m sorting, purging, and cleaning of course. I spent three weeks with a stupid back injury from some ridiculously mundane activity and haven’t been able to do a normal spring clean and it has been DRIVING ME CRAZY. I’m going against my nature and trying NOT to make up for lost time but rather pace myself and be content with small victories. Ugh. Small victories suck. I want ACTION!
So, I completed cleaned and sorted my file cabinet. Who still has tax returns from 1996? This girl did. I also had manuals for appliances purchased 15 years ago-even if I still have the appliance, I confess that there have only been 2 times in the last TWENTY YEARS that I actually have needed to look at a manual. And yet I saved them all. Not anymore!
One really neat thing that I found was a bunch of my writing. For several years before I began this blog, I had another one with quite a bit more traffic. It was….more colorful than this one. I generally try to keep this pretty tame, but the other was full of personal information and a bit of scandalous behavior. I wrote a lot between 2001-2006, and it was neat to see some of that work. I also found a bunch of my old zines. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, they are a low cost publication, often in black and white, sometimes created by an individual and other times with a group. They can be a single publication but are often published as a series.
Anyway, I found some of my old zines and it was interesting to look through them. I’ve decided to publish them as e-books here.
I’m also sorting through other areas of my home. I have a lot of cool stuff. Not as much cool stuff as my mother, but since many of my cool things are hand-me-downs from her house, I still have some neat things. If you like antique oddities. She most recently gave me a box of old books-one on Eugenics from 1904 which, at quick glance, has little to do with racism and more to do with how to feed your baby so that it doesn’t have “fits”, like…bonafide daily convulsions which were apparently commonplace 112 years ago.
She also gave me a complete set of first edition Foxfire books, including the one with my husband’s grandparents in it.
I love old things.
Yesterday I scored a couple of neat old things. A vintage suitcase (the one on top) to go with my collection. I use them in my studio to store all of my supplies (2nd photo), and I need a few more for my Pike Place Market display.
But my big score yesterday was a 1936 Figidaire. We’re going to repaint it and have to replace the handle (right now we’re opening it with a screwdriver) but it seems to be going strong and keeping things cold at 80 years old.
I’ve been in this appliance quandary and am glad to have it settled. As you may know, our household has access to about 10 amps of electricity (most U.S. homes have 200). We seem to do just fine with this, but it does require consideration for new purchases. It’s not as if we couldn’t have more…we could upgrade the lines and put in bigger power, but this self-imposed limit is a good thing for us. It’s a good thing for everyone. And since we heat with wood, cook with gas or wood, use an outdoor bath tub, and do our washing at the laundromat…the refrigerator is probably our biggest electricity draw. In case you were wondering, our electric bill is about $15 per month. We have a small (about 3.7 cubic feet) refrigerator which we purchased new about 5 years ago and is already a piece of junk. It’s the 3rd one we’ve owned in the past 12 years. Supposedly, refrigerators made prior to the late 1940s rival today’s energy efficient ones and from what I’ve read…the slightly larger one (4.7 cubic feet) we’ve just purchased will use the same amount that we’re using. And it’ll match our 1920s green and cream cookstove perfectly.
FYI, no home we visited in Europe had even an apartment sized fridge. They were all in the 3-4 cubic foot range. Even for families. Even houses in rural areas.
Okay, back to more new stuff. I PASSED MY ENTRANCE EXAMS AND WAS ACCEPTED INTO COLLEGE! That’s really the biggest news. I’m going back to finish my teaching degree. Because of my schedule and location, I wanted an online program with a lot of flexibility but a good reputation and accreditation. I think this one will work. It is competency based, which may allow me to move more quickly through some courses since I have years of teaching experience.
The reason for going back to school? Earning a degree is important to me, but looking ahead I’ve realized that I can’t keep up this level of yarn production. I may choose to partner with another spinner (if my daughters are reading this, I’m looking at YOU!) or even start over with yet another fiber business. But, I’m thinking that it would be good for me to have a backup plan and that could be substitute teaching. While I don’t see myself working full time in a public school, the local districts need help and working a couple of days a week might pair nicely with a fiber business. Or social security.
The other idea is that it might allow me to travel. I’m not too keen on teaching English in Asia, but I might be interested in teaching 3rd grade in Scotland for a year.
And who knows? What I’d really like to do is to design curriculum. I mean, I already do this…but am hoping that having a degree might allow me to better market myself and perhaps I could find work if I’m a certified teacher.
So yeah. Big news.
At this moment, I’ve got way too much on my plate and I’m trying to sort out which thing will have to go. School, yarn business online with occasional events, yarn business as a Pike Place Vendor, part time health and nutrition program coordinator at Washington State University, teaching summer quarter for kids academic enrichment program (ala Hogwarts) at a local community college, Finney Farm education outreach, farming, homeschooling my soon to be 15 year old. I can’t complain about having too many options, but I’m going to have to spend some time in the next few months sorting out my game plan, since I’m set to being school in the fall.
And finally, as a reward for getting through this long winded post, I’ll post some food porn and a recipe for MAPLE BLOSSOM FRITTERS. Which are amazing.
To make them, collect new blossoms and shake them off a bit in case they contain any little critters. Mine didn’t, but I guess it’s possible. Make the fritter batter (simple vegan and gluten free recipe below) and dredge the blossoms in it. Dredging is a culinary term mostly used for dry coatings, but the process is the same…you don’t need to really immerse but rather drag the blossom through the batter. I used a fork laid across the blossom as I was pulling it out to remove extra batter. Fry in oil. I had intended to do some as savory treats with a homemade chutney or sauce but wound up coating all of the ones in this batch in powdered sugar. Which was amazing.
4-6 cups blossoms
2 cups flour (I used half gluten free flour mix and half rice flour)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp corn starch
2 cups cold water
And finally…coupon code for free shipping at www.yarnarchy.etsy.com