sustainable living

If you're like me, you probably spent a lot of time in the past several weeks surfing the internet for news of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. I have friends and relatives in Houston (all were flooded out with varying severity, but all are okay) and friends in the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and in Florida (all okay so far).  

Yesterday afternoon as I drove the four-and-a-half hours home from Santa Fe and the Hillerman Writing Conference, I said to myself, "It's Sunday. You need to write a blog post."

I own a power plant: my roof sprouts an array of photovoltaic panels that convert solar energy into electricity for my house and garage/studio. What I don't use (which turns out to be a bit under half of what I produce each month), feeds into the electric grid.

Deck railings dripping before dawn.... Deck railings dripping before dawn....

I woke this morning in the darkness before dawn and, as I always do, I first checked the view of the constellations—Orion, my favorite, was barely visible, glittering through a veil of high cloud. Next I checked the outside temperature: 49 degrees F, very warm for dawn at this time of year.

The aspens were turning gold on the slopes of Buffalo Peaks in South Park on Saturday, something I saw only because I tore myself away from work to take Red for a drive. Aspens turning gold on the slopes of Buffalo Peaks in South Park--definitely worth the time and gas for a drive in Red.
Dad and Mom in Tucson, Arizona. Photo from Audubon Magazine Dad and Mom in Tucson, Arizona. Photo from Audubon Magazine
A rainbow stretches over Salida and the Arkansas Hills at sunset after a late-summer shower. A rainbow stretches over Salida and the Arkansas Hills at sunset after a late-summer shower.
Dawn from my front deck after a "male" rain (an intense but brief thundershower). Dawn from my front deck after a "male" rain (an intense but brief thundershower). Photo: Susan J. Tweit
Tomato plants spilling out of their cozy insulated wall-o-waters. Tomato plants spilling out of their cozy insulated wall-o-waters.
New moon framed by utility wires.
My house site before construction. (The boulders are Richard's spare sculpture materials.) The house site before construction. (The boulders--which I saved for landscaping--are Richard's spare sculpture materials.)
Stock tank garden-to-be Stock tank garden-to-be, waiting...

I'm not planting outdoors yet. For one thing, my steel front and side deck, where my kitchen garden will live in two galvanized stock tanks, isn't finished.

After last week's post, The Dangerous Power of Thin, I wanted to share two simple recipes. I may have a tangled relationship with eating, but that does not extend to food and cooking.

I love to cook. I revel in playing with the flavors, colors, and textures of fresh ingredients, in preparing food that's healthy and delicious, and visually appealing.

Maple strip flooring reclaimed from an old gymnasium. reclaimed maple flooring
Adirondack chair on the guest cottage porch. (The rock is a weight.) Adirondack chair on the guest cottage porch. (The rock is a weight.)

Eight days ago when I wrote the last post, the sale contract on Terraphilia had fallen apart.

Treehouse (foreground) and Creek House with board-and-batten siding appearing. Treehouse, the garage plus with studio above (foreground), and Creek House, both with Craftsman details appearing.

In a month and a day, I'll hand the keys to Terraphilia to the buyers.

Eastern black swallowtail emerges from its chrysalis on a fennel pant from my garden Eastern black swallowtail emerges from its chrysalis on a fennel plant.
The first page of the sale flyer for my house/cottage/historic studio. The first page of the sale flyer for my house/cottage/historic studio. (Click the "sale flyer" link in the blog text to the left to download the actual flyer.)
Pouring the slab, the floor of my tiny-house-to-be this morning. Pouring the slab, the floor of my tiny-house-to-be. (The blue walls in front are the foundation.)
Fall planting of Monet's Garden mix plus mache (corn salad), overwintered under row covers and now ready to eat. Fall planting of Monet's Garden mix plus mache (corn salad), overwintered under row covers and now ready to eat.