Yesterday was another rainy day here in San Diego. After two years of drought, all this rain is a pleasant change. The vegetables are thriving and I only need to hand water the seedlings. I expect our water usage has gone down this year since we haven’t needed to use the drip watering system for at least 6 weeks.
Today has been a beautiful sunny one, so we headed inland to watch the first stage of the US Cup Mountain Bike Race series. Brendan used to race mountain bikes in Australia, but these days he’s just happy to watch and cheer on the one Aussie in the race. Afterwards, we drove up into the mountains to see if there was still some snow remaining. Snow is not common here, so I was keen to experience it before it melted. I needn’t have worried because there is still an inch or two coating the ground. Just enough to give everything a lovely white coating and give the local kids an opportunity make snow-men in Southern California, but not too much that we couldn’t hike through it.
Ok…onto this weeks roundup of Independence Days activities based on my post on self-sufficiency, independence and lifestyle planning.
- After yet another massive earthquake this weekend (this time in Chile), I’ve done some more work on my short term preparedness planning. I’ll post more on that later this week.
- I’ve finished week 7 of my exercise program and I’m feeling strong. I think I hit the wall during week 6 because I injured myself. I was worried that I wouldn’t get back into it again, but this week has been fine. One more week until the routine changes again.
- Yesterday we were talking to our friends in Alaska about visiting them in the summer. Alaska is a beautiful place, and this trip will be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time in the outdoors. I had better get a move on to get fit enough to go backpacking while we are up there (not to mention kayaking and maybe even mountain-biking). Can’t wait!
Getting Off the Economic Grid
- Brendan’s all set up now for operating his home-based bicycle repair business. He’s just finished overhauling two bikes for his first customers and has been handing out business cards all over town. Hopefully he’ll get some more clientele soon, but even if he doesn’t it’s been a good learning experience for him. It’s good to know we now have a barter-able skill at our disposal.
Grow some food
- Plenty of greens this week. The snow peas are coming thick and fast and are oh-so-delicious. I’ve planted four more seedlings so we’ll hopefully have a constant supply for the next few months.
- We can’t keep up with the Collards. I’m almost to the point of offloading some of them onto the neighbours. It’s the same problem I had with squash in the summer, but at least I could freeze them. Anyone know how to preserve collards, or do we just keep eating them until we are completely fed up?
- Our oranges are ripe and delicious. I’m tempted to try some more orange preserves. The marmalade I tried last year was a bit tangy for us, but we are nearly out of relish. I wonder if there is such a thing as orange relish? I made some from our apples last year and we loved it. Why not oranges? Hmmm…I might go search the internet.
Reducing Energy Dependence
- This weekend I’m trying something new in the laundry: Strip washing. It sounds saucy, but it’s not. It’s simply a technique used to rid clothes of any unwanted odors. After washing only in cold water, some of our gym clothes were a little on the nose, so today I’ve been washing in hot water with no detergent – repeatedly – until no suds are visible. Apparently it removes oil and detergent residue from clothes and does a great job of freshening them up. I’m about to hang the clothes out so the verdict will be in next week I guess. If we can revive these clothes then we won’t have to buy new ones.
Photo by: Temari 09