Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Completed Project

Well, I finally was able to use the cotton yarn I found at the 99 cents store for a project. I had attempted to use it for about two different projects but it just looked too busy. It was, however, perfectly suited for a star afghan. I'm very pleased with it.

I was digging around in the bin that holds other completed projects (at one time I made a whole bunch of things hoping to perhaps vend/sell on Etsy to make extra cash). One project that I found was this hat. It fits Z1 perfectly and, wouldn't you know it, I had knit another hat in the same yarn (Lion Brand WoolEase) and following the same pattern except smaller. It will be so nice to see the two Z's wearing matching hats this winter.

I'm not quite sure what the next project will be. I've got lots of odds and ends yarn but nothing that enough to actually make a whole project and yarn money is not exactly in my budget right now. Plus I don't really feel like knitting/crochet. I'm more into reading right now. Maybe in the next couple of days, I'll go through my yarn bin and surf Ravelry and maybe I'll get inspired. I know a good friend of mine graduates soon and I have an idea of something lovely that I might make her. We'll see.

In other news, I had my wisdom tooth pulled. It was a fairly straightforward extraction. I'm taking Advil (800 mg) which is keeping the pain at bay. Hopefully I'll be 100% in another day or two.

I'm starting to kind of look forward to returning to the workforce when Z2 turns 5 and goes off to kindergarten. There's some serious positives to getting my career in order. I wonder what the economy will look like when I'm ready to go back. I wonder if it will even be an option.

I canceled our Costco membership years ago when I was very strict about organic everything. I think I'll pay them a visit tomorrow to remind myself of the things that we could possibly buy there and I will probably become a member again. I'm hoping to get maybe some big bags of rice, flour (whole wheat and unbleached white), baking powder, sugar, canned tuna/salmon, and other staples that would be good to stock up on. We'll just have to see what they have.

Will it all collapse?

Maybe. But I tend to think that what will happen is that it's time for some other super power to rise (maybe China). Every dog has its day. The U.S. will probably become like Great Britain (it was said in the 19th century that "the sun [did not set] on the British empire"). So I don't think the U.S. will become a third world country. But it will not be on top of the world anymore. There will be a shake-up. Life will probably change drastically. There might be some chaos and some scarcity for while. And that might not be such a bad thing. Nothing lasts forever. And nothing ever stays the same.

What I do tend to think about more is what we will all do when the oil runs out (I believe in peak oil)? That is a global problem and I'm yet to hear any plausible solutions. I read somewhere that we need to stop relying on fuel period, i.e. that we shouldn't be looking for alternative energy sources because beyond the sun and our own strength/will, there is no other fully renewable, 100% sustainable energy source. Even bio-fuel is just not sustainable because corn actually depletes the soil of nitrogen. (In fact, traditionally, corn was never planted alone so imagine how destructive it is to our eco-system all the mono-crops of corn that is grown and subsidized by the U.S. government.)

Can you imagine life without fuel? No oil to drive your car. No oil to power agri-business (so you'd have to plant and harvest your own food using your own energy and ingenuity)? No gas to light your stove or your spliff for that matter? No electricity to power your washing machine and dryer? Your stand mixer??? Your power tools? Talk about going back in time. It's daunting to me. Yet intriguing at the same time. I think I might actually enjoy some aspects of simple, back to the land living. I think I might enjoy what we come up with to power things in the future (hand cranks, water power). I know that the Earth would really appreciate it.

I wonder what the next step for humanity is. What an interesting time to be alive!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A couple of things

Both the boys are asleep. At the same time. So I figured I'd take the opportunity to post a few things.

1. I cut my locks off. Right now, I think I look like a guy. DH hates short hair on women. And I can't seem to grow mine. If I had it, I'd go get some kinky twists or something. But I don't. And DH hates fake hair anyway. More later on how I feel about the whole thing.

2. I figured out how I'm going to cut my grocery spending. I've set a price limit of $480 per month. That means $120 a week. I will buy all fruits/veggies on one set day and all other groceries on one set day. I will limit my fruit/veggie purchasing to the 'hood (walking distance, i.e. no gas). All spending on organic food is on hiatus. I'll be on the lookout for the odd locally grown fruit/veggie. Whole Foods once a month for eggs (2-3 dozen) and other specialty items not found elsewhere. This trip will be combined with Zion's structured playgroup in the same town (no special trip to Whole Foods). I am giving myself $30 wiggle room. The last few month's overspending on groceries, the Vitamix and medical expenses totaled well over $1000. Not good at all. The next few months are going to be lean so that we can recover.

3. In reading a blog I began following called Muslim Bushido (excellent blog, by the way), I came across The Survival Podcast, an excellent resource for those of us serious about preparing for economic collapse.

4. I am considering getting a gun license and purchasing a gun (again). In the event of economic collapse, I would like to be able to protect myself. I've already been robbed once in my house and once out of my car and there was no economic hardship. I can only imagine what my so called fellow townspeople would do if there was an economic emergency. With two small babies, I'm scared about it. Also, I don' t know how to use one. I have to look into how much lessons would cost.

5. I'm looking and learning (in the very preliminary stages) about stockpiling: whole grains, dried beans. Equipment: canning supplies, hand powered grain mill, etc. I'm trying to be balanced and leveled.

6. We turned over the ground for our vegetable garden. I am going to find some containers around here for growing tomatoes (which grow easily in containers) and use the plot for other crops.

7. I have no shirts/blouses for the fall. They are all either too big (I was pregnant last fall) or too small (I wasn't this size the previous fall) or just really jacked up (I wear clothes till they literally fall apart). Here's to hoping that a trip to a shopping area in another 'hood will perhaps yield a score of 3-4 shirts that fell off the truck (i.e. name brand shirts being sold for bargain basement prices). 3-4 shirts with my 4-5 skirts = a decent fall wardrobe, I suppose. If I worked outside the home, that would be different.

Well, that's all that's what's on my mind.
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