The Art of the Pot Luck

When invited to my first pot luck after moving from the city, I asked, “What should I bring?” “Whatever,” was the answer. “No,” I said, “I mean appetizer, main course, salad, dessert?” I really didn’t understand. And there’s another pot luck in the Gore’s Landing Hall tonight — everybody’s invited — really! Just show up with your contribution, dig in and enjoy!

A Social Experiment

Joshua Bell playing in the subway

A man with a violin playing Bach on a cold January morning. Thousands of people hurrying past, most on their way to work. Children hang back, trying to see and hear. In total, six people stopped and listened to the musician for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32. When he finished playing, silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
What does it mean?

Rug Hooking: Creativity Meets Simple Frugality

We learn a lot from the early Canadian settlers who were very creative in adapting to life in North America. Log cabin building, while seen as cozy and picturesque now, was a necessity then. And it wasn’t very cozy in the beginning — often no windows and a hole in the roof for the stovepipe — tad chilly and dark that first winter! Women who later had sheep for wool were very lucky. Spinning, knitting, weaving and sewing all started with those sheep. And when the woollen clothing was too worn to patch any more, it could be turned into winter quilts and later, mats to warm the floor.

Barter/Borrow Experience?

We don’t all need to own every tool for a small job, we aren’t all experts or experienced at everything, and a barter/borrow group would be another great way to bring community together. It should be simple, money-saving and time-saving. I tried a few years ago. With great excitement, I got as far as listing all the tools/equipment/talents I could offer. I showed my list and explained the idea to one neighbour, who said “Great idea, but I doubt if anybody would sign on.”

What is an eco-artisan?

I was asked today to write a 200-word definition of eco-artisan. This is what I came up with. Do you agree or can you add something? If you delve a couple of hundred years into human history to see how people lived, you’ll find that almost everybody was an eco-artisan. It was natural to grow and make the things that you used every day.

Feeding the Wood Stove

When I bought this 155-year-old house in 1998 there was a wood stove in the back corner of the keeping room (old time all-purpose room). I was thrilled just imagining the cozy warmth during our long, cold winters. The biggest concern of somebody like me who lives very frugally, is feeding the stove. My house is on a village lot (only 1/4 acre), so no woodlot. Over the years, I’ve purchased many cords of cut and split wood from different people. The best source of firewood, and it’s free, is to find it throughout the year — fallen trees or branches, prunings, etc.