Composting class

Mr B has a friend that is pretty knowledgeable about composting. This guy has invented a large-scale tumbling composter, and he’s found a freegan spool to make an even larger version of it for me.

I can’t reach all the way to the top. That’s how big this thing is!

Side note: this guy says we’re almost composting on an industrial scale, what with all that backdoor fruit my boss sends home with me. Whoa.

I got to pick his brain about composting. He says my compost heap stinks because it’s gone anaerobic.  It’s gone anaerobic because I haven’t been putting enough brown in it. Brown is stuff like sawdust, wood chips, rotten sticks. He and Mr B had some cellulose left over from one of their product testing experiments, and Mr B and I tossed it into my compost heap. I’ve been instructed to keep my ratio of brown to green roughly equal.

This morning, I went out and added some newspaper and egg cartons, toilet paper and paper towel cores, and plain brown paper from deer feed bags to the old compost heap and started a new one with our household compost bucket contents and more of the paper products.

Sunday, when I go to work, I guess I’ll be doing my boss a favor by cleaning up all of the wood chips all and bits of bark around his firewood stacks so I can at least start trying to match the amount of backdoor fruits & vegetables I bring home. 

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Monumental peach jam?

My boss dropped over a bushel of peaches on me yesterday. The texture was off on them, so he asked me if I’d want to try to make anything out of them.

I had to send out a call for help, because there was no way they’d survive the day in my truck in the Texas heat, so I radio’d Mr B.  His sister lives near my work, so she agreed to put them in her very well air-conditioned house until I headed home.

Sunshine just shook his head as he helped me get them in the house.

I don’t blame him.

This morning,  I’ve been getting my shit together to do something with all of these peaches.

I’ve got plans for some peach syrup, some vanilla peach jam, and possibly some canned peaches.

Mr B was gracious enough to come help me get the peaches peeled and sliced.

We got through about half of them before we started running out of containers and counter space. I need a real kitchen desperately! 

I’m now in the early stages of making syrup. After that, jam. Then canned peaches, if I have the energy. I do have a full day of work tomorrow,  after all is said and done today. 

I’m keeping usable food out of the landfill, and I’m using all parts of the peaches. The skins and pits are being used to make the peach syrup.  The small bits and mushy bits are going into the jam. The firm bits will be canned. If I have the energy, that is. This is a lot of fucking peaches. When I’m done for the day, everything unused (or left over) will go into our compost heap.

It’s going to be a long day. Wish me luck!

Progress on our little house

Some years ago, Sunshine was presented with the opportunity to go into a defunct tile distribution warehouse and get what he wanted. He took me with him to help choose, and to help carry boxes of tile.

Amongst all the tile, we found quite a bit of this cobalt blue iridescent murano glass mosaic tile. It went in the bathroom of the magic bus. There’s still quite a bit left, so it is going to become my kitchen back splash.

We also found this crate with three large pieces of textured blue glass. Sunshine gave one of them away (without my permission). The remaining two pieces were both the same size and shape, so they are going in the bathroom wall to further filter and diffuse the morning sunlight coming through the windows on the eastern wall of the house in the bathroom.

That’s our carpenter’s butt you see in the background.  The opening centered under the blue glass will be a sliding barn door, and the walls on either side of the door will be covered in reclaimed wood (Sunshine’s choice–I wanted sheet rock so I could paint the walls midnight blue or twilight purple or something).

Even though reclaimed wood on the walls walls wasn’t my choice, I think it’s going to be very pretty when it’s finished.

Notes from the road: day 4

I’ve spent a couple of days in Georgia,  hanging out with family. I’m out of clean clothes that mom approves of, so it’s time to head home. 

I’m not heading home empty handed, either. My sister & her husband have been combining households, and a lot of stuff is finding new homes. I’ve got myself a comforter set, some patio chairs, lots of pillows and towels, flatware, and the dishes we used at my childhood home.

I’ve also got a full heart, because I finally have a decent relationship with the family I put through hell for all the years of my active addiction. That’s a precious gift.

I’ve had a great visit, but it’s time to go home. I miss my husband and my furbaby Mollie. Home is where the heart is, and mine lives in two states.

Windows

This is what the windows of my house will look like.

They’re going at the top of the eastern wall of the house. They’re wrapped in cedar, just like the frames around our doors.

I still can’t believe we got these massive, double paned, tinted windows for free!

It’s starting to come together, slowly but surely.

Final note: it’s getting very close to time to start making sure the plans agree with my wants and needs for electrical outlets and lighting and such. I’ve been window shopping for our lights and appliances and storage solutions. It’s almost like making my Christmas wish list 🙂

Pieces Parts

We’re using a lot of freegan (and otherwise sustainable) pieces parts in our little house. The giant foam blocks (that will provide amazing insulation) we are using came from a marina that was being refurbished nearby. The exterior doors came from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. A lot of the wood cladding we will be using inside is freegan cedar and reclaimed pallet wood.

We had planned to use some plate glass doors as windows on the eastern side of our house. We were going to turn them from a portrait orientation to a landscape, and place them near the ceiling on that side of the house. However, the frames weren’t in good condition, causing the seal to give up and condensation to form between the two layers of glass.

side note: We want to let lots of natural light in, yet keep the heat out. We aren’t too worried about things like passive solar heating since this is Texas and it stays hellishly hot throughout most of the year; therefore, there won’t be a southern exposure to keep us warm in the winter. We don’t get much winter, so it would wind up causing us to get too much sun-baking during the summer.

A friend of Sunshine’s over in Shreveport had come into possession of some large, tinted plate-glass windows (probably from some skyscraper project somewhere), and told us we could have some of them for our house. Since I had several reasons to be in Shreveport anyway on Tuesday, I picked up three of them while I was there.

Sadly, one of them didn’t survive my driving intact, so Sunshine will have to go get some more of them. I think he has some reason to go to Shreveport anyway, so it isn’t necessarily a special trip. It still sucks that I broke one, but at least he took it far better than I might have if I were him. His unbelievable patience with people is one of the reasons I love him so.

final note: I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about the new (to me) truck you can get a sneak peak at in the pictures.

The ugly window

Sunshine added a window to the house plans. It might take us some time to get a geothermal system set up, and he needed to make sure we had a window to hold an air conditioner because nobody wants to sweat inside their home in this brutal Texas heat.

Side note: also, I breathe so much more easily when I am in cool air.

The (fugly ass) window he used is one that was salvaged off of some random construction project he worked on somewhere (yay freeganism!), so I’m not pitching too much of a fit over it. The frame that our carpenter built for it is beautiful, and the double paned glass is still sealed so it will function well. I just hate hate hate the white frame and the white faux pane thingies. I prefer plate glass, with an uninterrupted view of what’s on the other side.

Pancho was hearing me whine about how fugly it is and had a brilliant suggestion: shutters. I can put shutters over it so I don’t have to look at the fugly white panes thingies. This is one of many reasons we like Pancho. He has also been to cooking school, which is amazing beyond words since he’s helping me learn new stuff. I digress.

Without further ado, I give you the fugly window.

It’s in our bedroom, of all the damned places to put a fugly window. Gotta get to work on finding some shutters.