Friday, March 14, 2008

March Madness

Well I haven't blogged too much as I'm working on Permaculture design for the cottage and adjacent grounds, which is a marvelous opportunity.  More on this in the next post or the one after.

The linseed oil smell from the floor is nearly gone.  I had a pancake breakfast last weekend, Iditarhoda was there, and the Skipper and Kimpossible (KP for short) came over from The Island (they are nearly off the grid out there.)  They said they could smell it still when they walked in but I really don't notice it anymore.  So it took like a month and a half to dissipate.

The population of those teensy pepper-grain flies is definitely on the increase as the meltdown has begun.  I see a lot of them around the windows, which makes me think they live in the straw bales.  Maybe they're just attracted to the light.  I also see them stuck to light bulbs.  They are hard to notice unless they're on something white like that.  Also there are some small ants crawling about my desk here.  I don't think this house has enough spiders.  My old house had many extremely prosperous ones.  

That noise from the rubber roof membrane flipping up in the wind is much more annoying now that the snow has melted off the roof.  It used to be kind of a heavy thump, but now it is more of a sharp slap.  It occurs completely at random and is somewhat keeping me up at night.

The new Phoenix composting toilet system came; Pigpen and Redbeard have been working on putting it together this week.  Just in time too: my snow ramp to the top of the outside bin is melting - there is now a two foot gap at the top and hardly any place to stand to dump the Party Pooper.

I've never before been both self-employed and living and working in the same place.  This is presenting quite a time management challenge.  It's a good thing I don't have cable TV anymore.  I'm in the habit of using a bound notebook and I've started noting down the times when I switch from one thing to another, but I haven't tried to hold a rigorous schedule.  The Blind Man was out here installing the new blinds, and he asks "how do you stay motivated to work instead of going up there and playing that guitar?"  And I'm like it helps that I have to climb a ladder to it.  But the kitchen's right there all the time:  "Mmmm is it lunch time yet?  Oh heck yeah I guess so."  There's also a sort of cabin fever effect.  When you commute, home can be like a sanctuary you go back to.  When you're halfway in the cocoon all the time it makes you want to get out.  

Note to self:  complain about the overenthusiastic snow removal on campus.  The way it is being done with the Cat is very disturbing to the ground.  This is a bad habit to get into.  If we ever get any plants to grow in this cropped-out sand and gravel we must let their tender roots overwinter in peace.

I struggled some days recently trying to figure out how to keep the books for my little sole proprietorship here, and in particular how to use Quickbooks to do it (I had downloaded the free version, as Missus Universe suggested.)  I was baffled at first and considered dumping it and making my own spreadsheets, but I'm understanding it better now.  I found Keeping the Books by Linda Pinson to be very helpful.  Also QB itself was teaching me, not so much from the help file but by how it worked, like what would show up on the reports.  Also I would be like, maybe I want to do this.  And the little dialog box would come up and say ah, no, you don't want to do that.  I also finally looked at the tax form, as Kimpossible suggested, and that also shed some light on why QB was set up the way it was.  I can hardly wait to show Worthington my first quarter P&L statement!

So I've been learning more how to cook.  I used to subsist almost entirely on Swanson and Wealthy Choice TV dinners which I would buy on half-price blowout special.  My sustainability heros KP and the The Skipper have influenced me on the home cooking.  They are super picky organic vegetarians.  I've had some success with following recipes as if they were chem lab experiments, now I'm trying to get creative.  So for you loyal readers who made it through the accounting paragraph, I have a special treat - a nacho recipe I call Not'Cho Daddy's Nachos.  But first I've got to tell you this little story.  The Skipper was telling me how much our pal Wiiz and his friends are into March Madness - they take a week off work and go in the living room with twelve-packs.  In the spirit of the season then, here it is:

Not'Cho Daddy's Nachos

Restaurant Style Blue Corn Chips
Smoked sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
Shredded Cojack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Black bean and corn salsa, medium hot

Apply to platter roughly in the above order, nuke on medium high until cheese melts.  
Serve with an unsustainably indulgent aluminum can of DDP.

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