books

A Year of Picnics


 

The Essential Book of Homesteading


 

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Love That Bag Dryer (+ Giveaway!!!)

Bag Dryer IRL 3Bag DryerBag Dryer 2
If you know me personally, then you can attest firsthand to my abhorrence of waste. I am a trash vigilante. From recycling toilet paper inserts, to sorting and recycling the plastic attachment and paper tag on new garments, to upcycling ribbon from gifts, I go to great lengths to keep things out of the waste stream.

Which is why Elana Kann’s “Love This Bag Dryer” is so amazing. Long time readers may recall my initial post about this item (formerly known as Branching Out Woodworks). I’ve been using the dryer for over 3 years now, and can attest to its durability, its unobtrusiveness, and its efficacy. In short, it holds up well, it doesn’t get in the way, and it really works. I am constantly drying bags out on it. I painted my bag dryer dark brown, to match the trim color on my moulding, but it doesn’t need it to work.

Made locally by Elana, a woodworker and artist, the dryers have a spruce base and birch dowels. There are two models to choose from, either countertop (shown in the second photo) or wall-mounted (shown in my house and in the third photo). They come in kits, easily assembled in about 5 minutes. Best of all, Elana has offered to give away a model of their choice (countertop or wall-mounted) to one small measure reader!

To enter, simply leave a comment below. You can write “Pick me!” or perhaps detail something specific that you’re doing to reduce waste and curb pollution. I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for additional ways to put the kibosh on waste. I’ll run the giveaway for one week, concluding next Monday, February 2nd, midnight EST. Open to those in North America only (sorry international buddies! That shouldn’t stop you from ordering, though!).

Even if you’re not the winner, now would be a wonderful time to purchase one of those bag dryers for yourself or a loved one, as local non-profit RiverLink and LoveThisBagDryer! are teaming up to keep plastic bags out of the French Broad River in Western North Carolina (which has the distinction of being the third oldest river in the world-it’s true!). To raise funds for its river cleanup, 14% of all sales of LoveThisBagDryer! through Valentine’s Day, February 14th,  will be donated to Riverlink for its annual springtime Clean Streams Day. The goal is to raise at least $400 for this purpose. Let’s help them reach that goal!

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you so, so very much to all that entered! Congratulations to our winner, Tess Church, randomly selected. Please keep in mind that there’s just over a week left to support the LoveThisBagDryer and River Link joint initiative. For every bag dryer sold, 14% of the profits will go towards the annual French Broad River Clean Streams Day this spring. So, hop on over and purchase one now, if you’re so inclined!

 

Pure Green Podcast

Pure Green Podcast
Friends, it’s already 2015! And the holidays have passed! And I feel like I’m finally coming up for air, just in time for an arctic blast to take my breath away. What about you? How are you feeling? Have things been wild and wacky and wonderful for you, too? I look forward to the stretch of days from Halloween to New Year’s Day all year. I’m overcome with emotion and activity when they’re upon me, reveling in their frenzy. And then, as though right on cue, I’m completely ready for them to subside and move on out and make way for something more still, more internal, more intimate as January appears on the calendar.

I have big plans for 2015. More books, more videos, more freelancing, more homesteading adventures, more kids (Maybe! Nothing cooking in that department just yet!). All kinds of new adventures. I’ve begun lately to think of life as more of an ever evolving, never finished endeavor than anything that can fully be managed or contained. The latter mindset just leaves me feeling like I can’t get all of the things I want to get done completed, which then spirals into guilt and frustration and self-doubt.

The thing I’m discovering is that it’s just fine for projects to always be “in process.” It’s as it should be, really. Life expands and contracts. It ebbs and flows. It’s always kinetic. You can’t get a handle on it, because it’s wild and fluid. But if you step into the current, and accept that you’re along for the ride, it’s much easier than trying to swim upstream. So, here’s to more coasting along and enjoying what comes and less worrying if my pantry is organized (it never, ever lets me get a handle on it, really), or if my upstairs craft/guest room/office is just so. Que sera. Whatever will be, will be!

In other news, I had so much fun chatting with Celine MacKay of Pure Green Magazine recently. We talked about homesteading and writing and community and so much more. You can check out the podcast here and learn more about Pure Green here. Thank you for having me, Celine!

Alright, if I’m going to make all of these big dreams for 2015 happen, I’d better get on it. After finishing up the picnic book, I took a bit of time to teach and entertain and host and decorate and enjoy the holidays. Now that they’re over, it’s back to work.

Sincerest wishes for a happy, healthy, love-filled 2015, from our home to yours.