Archive for July, 2010

Sweet cheese

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I have got to tell you about this little discovery I made yesterday: honeyed mozzarella. I was making regular mozzarella for the grilled pizza we were going to have later in the week, and on impulse I separated a trial bit and kneaded honey into it. And oh. my. god. was it ever good. Deliriously […]


Friday, July 30th, 2010

Yesterday I noticed that several big chunks of the clay I’d dug out of the pond were bone dry, so I chucked ’em in the wheelbarrow and began the long, laborious process of making bricks. Emphasis on labor. First I built a brick mold out of some 2x4s I had lying around. I know most […]

Garden companions

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I love how the chickens all follow me around the yard whenever I go out to the garden. Do they see me as their rooster, or are they trained to expect treats? They frighten poor Sofía because they’ll peck you if you squat down, thinking you’re feeding them – and they peck hard – but […]

Like Settlers of Catan, without the sheep

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I went mining for clay the other night after a rainstorm. Yes, the pond was full of water. Yes, I got soggy and muddy. But hey, I’m a potter, how can I not be excited about that much clay just lying right there for the taking? The line of clay seems to run deeper than […]


Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Look who I found nestled in a flower box this morning: This poor little guy is the same, I’m pretty sure, as the toad intermittently terrorized by Sofía that I see every so often close to the back door. I’m even moderately sure that it might be him I’ve rescued a couple times from the […]


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

I felt like a real pioneer woman today, because this is what I did while Sofía napped: Armed with a long-handled sledgehammer, three wedges, and – just at the very end, just a tiny bit – a little garden saw, I split a 30-foot log. All by myself. It took me two hours, but I […]

US General Services Agency Deploys Goat Herd to Save Energy, Money

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Got this via my father-in-law … way to go, government! The extreme overgrowth and underbrush on the hillside behind the Richard H. Chambers U.S. Courthouse in Pasadena, California, prompted GSA’s Pacific Rim Region property management to take quick action to avoid summer fires. Ultimately, the choice was easy: Use a herd of goats. The decision […]

Top bar beekeeping

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Someone asked me what exactly I meant by “top bar” beekeeping, so here are some images. Normally beekeepers slip a commercially-made sheet of plastic or wax, imprinted with a honeycomb pattern, into each wooden frame. It is tied in with wire. The bees build up the comb wax following those guides. The whole frame is […]

Just for the record

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Josh said we could get a goat in the spring! I guess he (and me, too) is tired of owning so much land and not being able to see it because of the mighty, impenetrable, spiny and poison-ivy-ridden jungle that covers it. While we could make a practice of bushwhacking it every summer, the big […]


Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I got up on the roof today and took several pictures with the wide-angle lens. And then I spent altogether too long futzing around with them in the Gimp, trying to compose them into a passable panorama just for YOU. Click on it to see a 3X larger version. This view from the roof fits […]