Friday, January 29, 2010

Used books

I don't know if this is a misconception, but we seem to have a plethora of used bookstores in this town.  Some cater to college students, buying and selling primarily text books, but the rest have a wide variety of just about anything you might be interested in.  My SO and I spent a lazy afternoon perusing the offerings (do we know how to have fun or what?)  Here are my purchases:

I have the Tassajara Bread Book, the pages of which stick together (a sure sign of a successful cookbook), so I was willing to give the Tassajara Recipe Book a chance.  Haven't tried any of the recipes yet, though.

The Tassajara Recipe Book

I'm always looking for cheap and easy garden improvements.  That Newspapers, Pennies, Cardboard and Eggs for Growing a Better Garden is published by Rodale (think Organic Gardening) is a plus, too.

Newspapers, Pennies, Cardboard, and Eggs: For Growing a Better Garden

My son expressed an interest in woodworking.  I thought he could explore his interest by building bird houses, so I bought The Bird House Book for him.

The Bird House Book: How To Build Fanciful Birdhouses and Feeders, from the Purely Practical to the Absolutely Outrageous

The Solar Food Dryer Book is the final book I picked up.  It describes how to build your own solar food dryer and how to use it to dry just about anything, almost year round.  Stella Andrassy designed the device and experimented with it in New Jersey, which is about the same latitude as Indiana, so I'm anxious to give her dryer a try.  Once I find someone to help me build it.  Like maybe that son of mine who is interested in woodworking.

In other news, I tried assembling the cupboard that goes over the toilet in the laundry room, but the floor slants up a bit near the wall, threatening to topple said cupboard.  The legs need to be shimmed and the top fastened to the wall before it will be safe.

We had our January thaw last week, which melted all the snow and revealed this maze:

Something had been tunneling beneath the snow.  I'm guessing shrews or mice.  Which would dig this burrow?

On the indoor front, I finally put up the grow lights for the basil plants.

The poor little seedlings have not been doing well.  For one thing, I let the self-waterer dry out, which kind of defeats its purpose.  For another, the plants were sitting next to the patio door.  I was thinking they would get more light, but it is also very cold there.  Now they are off the floor and under the lights and the water problem has been remedied.  Maybe I will start the cilantro next.

(An aside:  if you live in a house long enough, especially one with a garage and/or basement, over the years you will accumulate enough stuff that when faced with a problem, like needing a grow light, you will find you have a light fixture, S hooks, pliers, a timer, and a grounded surge protector, all of which will be employed in the creation of a perfect environment for plants.  No duct tape required.  This time.)

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