...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Confrontation in the Garden

Something nasty went down in our yard last night.  I went out to hang the first load of laundry at about 6:30 AM and came back in saying to Ben, "there's a half a squirrel laying out there."  I usually like gross stuff, I think I've mentioned my morbid curiosity, but this was much more gruesome than the occasional dead bird I've buried.  It looked like this rodent had been force-fed dirt (the stomach seemed full of it), decapitated, then cut in half from head to toe.  All I could see was one arm, one foot, the tail, and this ugly dirt-filled body.  Okay, so I was morbidly curious, but really I didn't get close...for too long.  There was also a 4-inch hole among the seeded rows in the raised bed and lots of squirrel hair around it.  Though I've been watching a lot of Law and Order lately, I was not able to put any forensics or investigative skills to use to figure out what the heck happened.  My only guess is a fox or raccoon.  Uuuugh!  On his way out the door to work Ben scooped up this mess with a shovel and disposed of it.  Vera and I watched in horror from the upstairs window.  On to more pleasant things...

So just because I like dirt doesn't mean I can't also be interested in fashion.  As long as I can remember I've been interested in fashion, not from a trendy, consumptive point of view, but from an artistic standpoint.  I used to dream of being a designer--one of my favorite toys was "Fashion Plates" and my sister and I used to hand draw our own catalogs as if we were destined to work for J. Peterman. Now I have fun clipping designs from catalogs or magazines that accidently end up in my mailbox (like Anthropologie) and saving them in a binder of sewing ideas.  A lot times I get ideas from things I think I see.  And I love finding thrifted pieces and putting together outfits just like what I see in the fashion mags.  So does anyone remember Units, the clothing retailer in the 1980s that sold solid colored individual pieces that could all be mixed and matched?  I'm thinking of bringing back that idea.  Seems like it would be economical these days to have a handful of classic pieces that could all be interchanged.  So the piece that I would reinvent is the simple tube that could be worn as a skirt, tube top, dress, cowl neck, hood, etc.  I found a few pieces of continuous ribbing in my last fabric thrifting trip and have been experimenting with how to wear them.  Humor me here with my funny pictures (this may have been the highlight of my day at home as a mom.)  I'm "modeling" a cowl scarf, a hip hugger (for wearing with leggings under a too short top--good for those of us moms with a little belly bump left), a headband, and a scarf/hood for the days you want to go incognito or look like Kate Hepburn.  Have fun!

This week has been busy with food and environment related events.  Tuesday night I attended a Raw Food and Digestion class at Future Green, Wednesday night I attended the monthly Friends of Real food potluck and program at the Urban Ecology Center where we heard Venice Williams speak about the new plans for Alice's Garden, tonight I'm going to see No Impact Man at our church, and tomorrow night I'm going back to the Urban Ecology Center to hear Bill McKibben speak about his new book, Eaarth.  It has felt great to get out this week and see a lot of like-minded friends and colleagues.  In a way, it feels like I'm finally crawling out of the isolation I've been in since giving birth last year.  This summer will be good for a lot more of that.


  1. this is so cute annie! i need to come to more of these talks and events with you.

  2. Those "scarves" are so creative. I love your blog. That squirrel trauma was something else. Tiny

  3. There was an article in "Country Woman" this month about Growing Power. I'll have to share it with you. Mrs. P loves your blog so much. She's going to have some of her students make those booties. LOVE TINY