Back Forty, coffee pot posts, papermaking

Saturday morning coffee pot post

There is a light rain outside that I’m happy about, because it will keep me inside where I need to knock out the taxes. We need money to bolster the Irish economy in May!

This was my last really heavy duty work week for a while. Now it will be a more normal load, as several of my deadlines and major duties passed at the end of March. That’s the way it is in my job – really busy sometimes, and really slow sometimes. I don’t mind that. The long peaceful summer when I can take time off without getting behind and work on projects that aren’t driven by time is very nice. Another month of serious work days remains before that, but at least I’ll feel like I can go out for a lunch break more often. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job? I love my co-workers. I really love nearly every little part of it, except sometimes the inevitable bureaucracy of working for a large organization where people in other offices decide things for you without knowing what you do or how things work best, or how they work at all, gets on my nerves a bit. But I get over it.

So, Susanne and I hauled back a big load of iris leaves and a couple of big buckets of horsetail from Goat Lady Dairy last Sunday. She is going to lend me her Critter to make paper pulp here at my house! This is a very expensive piece of equipment that makes exquisite pulp for papermaking. Susanne has a big Hollander beater at her house for making large quantities of paper pulp, so she only needs the small Critter for travel. I am psyched about this since I will be able to make some real cotton and linen rag paper from fabric scraps and yarns leftover from weaving and stitching. I love to recycle all that I can. I don’t know why it gives me such joy but I love nothing better that to make something useful out of something that would have been thrown “away.”

I put quotes there because of course “away” is that fantasy place where trash disappears because it is out of our sight and we don’t think about it any more.

Yes, see. I am still interested in sustainability and simple living and environmentalism. I know it doesn’t seem that way any more but I got tired of writing about it. I still care about local food and Slow Food, but for some reason the LAST thing in the world that I want to do these days is cook. When I do cook, it is usually uninspired and done with a bit of resentment because I would really rather do anything else. I go through periods of this and this one has lasted a long time. Sometimes I wonder if it is that I don’t really like my kitchen. I can’t tell you why I don’t like my kitchen because I can’t put my finger on it myself. I thought I would grow to like it but I still miss my little crowded kitchen from the house next door.

And the gardening thing, well, the pain in my hands and the critters stealing all the fruits and tomatoes and squash and peppers pretty much took the joy out of that, but I do plan to plant butterbeans and field peas again since those do well. I’m going to try some indigo as well, although I was supposed to start the plants inside a couple of weeks ago and that hasn’t happened. I don’t have a good place to start seeds anymore because I no longer have a “cat-free” room since Theo came to live with us. If I shut that room off now there would be no end to the yowling and crying and scratching at the door.

The Back Forty is starting to look beautiful again without much help from me, though. I bought a new canvas roof and mosquito netting curtains for the gazebo in the back, which I need to replace soon before the skeeters hatch out. That is usually in May, but we have had such an extremely warm winter here it wouldn’t surprise me to see them even now. I made green-colored recycled paper back there after work on Monday and it made me very happy and content. It could be that I will need to switch over to papermaking from stitching since my tendinitis seems to be calling the shots despite the surgery.

I realize that I have a short window of opportunity to do solar printing while it is warm and the mosquitoes are not around, so I may get some cloth ready to do that tomorrow when the forecast is mostly sunny.

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