Snap Peas Didn’t expect raspberries yet! O’ salad spinner— how I love and hate you. -Matt
Matt: the silent DIYer
Matt is now working full time, and yet accomplishes amazing things outside every day after work and on the weekends. He’s grown and harvested many delicious salads, strawberries, and more from his P-patch garden and our ever-expanding home garden. In the back yard, two new raised beds have appeared this week, while the front yard loses grass to planting beds on a weekly basis. I...
DIY energy independence?
Thomas Friedman’s NYTimes op-ed piece, This Time Is Different, gives us some food for thought on who’s to blame for the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He quotes a friend’s letter to the editor suggesting that it’s up to each of us to make changes in our lives to reduce our use of fossil fuels - a sort of DIY energy independence philosophy. Friedman goes on...
Compromise with the squirrels
We like the squirrels in our yard. They have nice fluffy tails, chase each other comically, and are generally not pests. The only thing we don’t like about them is the way they pig out on the food we put out for birds. My mom got us a great new bird feeder. The perch is spring loaded (tension adjustable) so that lightweight birds can land on it and feed, but heavier animals like...
squirrel on squirrel feeder
Matt planted two little apple trees in our yard this spring. One is columnar and I can’t remember what kind of apples it grows. The other is a Pink Lady, my favorite! The Pink Lady (on the right) has grown a lot but doesn’t have any apples growing yet. It had flowers, so we’re not sure whether it needs some help with pollination. We have plenty of flowers and bees, and...
Support garnered for the fireplace idea
I can hardly believe it. When I first came up with the idea to forgo a furnace in favor of a natural gas fireplace to heat our house, I thought no one would let me do it. Truthfully, if I hadn’t found this one specific fireplace insert that is much more efficient than all the others, I would have dropped the whole idea by now and we’d be choosing which furnace to have installed in...
Heating a home with a fireplace
Our house is very small. Small enough that it could be adequately heated by an efficient natural gas fireplace instead of a furnace. This is an idea I had a while ago, and at first Matt thought it was another one of my awesome-but-not-practical ideas, but lately he’s warmed to the concept. I have done a lot of research on this, and I believe that for our situation, it is possible with...
Mark Frauenfelder on the Colbert Report
I just watched Mark Frauenfelder’s appearance on the Colbert Report and thought it was well worth passing along. I may be a bit biased, since in my opinion all Colbert Report videos are worth watching, but this was all about DIY. Mark is editor-in-chief of MAKE Magazine, co-editor of the blog Boing Boing and author of the books Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World and...
Aphids on pepper starts: 'El Kabotski' pest...
Matt has a bunch of veggie starts in our kitchen: peppers, a squash, and an eggplant. Last week we noticed tons of aphids on the pepper starts, sucking the life from their poor leaves. Aphids are tiny green bugs and they prefer the underside of leaves but can be all over the plant. Here’s a closeup: I suggested that Matt spray them with an insecticidal soap. He suggested that I take...
The workout of the decade (for me)
Yesterday I did the hardest workout I’ve done in a decade. I’m not exaggerating. Thanks to my friends for inspiration and motivation. My oft-mentioned pal Sarah recently joined the CrossFit movement and is quickly progressing from good shape to insanely fit. Our friend Eva, who has gotten pretty serious with her running (half marathons, 24-hour relay race, etc.), was visiting for...