Three Ways to Prepare in Just Five Minutes Each

1) Filling your gas tank? Set the pump on auto so you can check your tire pressure and look for nails/screws that could cause a slow leak; also check treads for safe depth and any sign of uneven wear. Fill low tires (or remove air, if seasonally appropriate) before leaving the gas station.

2) Cold and flu season is coming. Wipe down phones, door handles, your steering wheel, and anything else you touch where germs might linger. Getting in this habit before bugs hit your area means you’ll be ready to go when cootie sharing really starts!

3) Snow is already flying in parts of North America. Check tire chains for rust or breakage and call for an appointment to repair/replace as necessary. Verify that each vehicle has an ice scraper, a set of winter accessories for each passenger (warm hat, gloves/mittens, and scarf), a warm blanket or Mylar emergency blanket(s), and other winter car kit goods. Consider picking up some kitty litter or sand for traction or weight for your cargo area – you want to have it before you need it!

National Preparedness Month 2017

Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? While this is a vital topic year round, each September sees resources being shared for families, congregations, schools, government organizations, and businesses to become better prepared. With fall on its way, this is the time of year to start readying ourselves for potential events that arrive as winter sweeps into the Northern Hemisphere. This year these matters are particularly on our minds, thanks to the devastating effects of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

If you would like to become better prepared, you can click on thru to the Ready.gov website (via the image to the right). There you’ll find a wealth of information from the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – whether you are looking to get started because of what you’re seeing in the news this month; or because of a change in your life, such as becoming a caregiver to a child or elderly family member; or if you just think it’s time to review things at your business or place of worship and see where you can improve.

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Summer 2017 Reading List

As I mentioned earlier this week, my summer reading list for 2017 focused on dyes and colorants. I have several titles on my fiber shelf that deal with the mechanics of dyeing fiber and fabric, particularly with natural items such as roots, flowers, and the like. A few years ago I had the opportunity to take a class on natural dyeing at Arbutus Folk School (located in the Pacific Northwest). The class included a trip to the local farmers market, where we purchased or found items we could dye our silk scarves with, and some foraging for items along the trail to and from the market. I chose to dye my scarves with the bark of the Pacific madrone tree (Arbutus menziesii) for three reasons: 1, it was readily accessible around the base of multiple madrones along the path since the trees naturally shed their bark; 2, because it is one of my favorite trees; and 3, because it is the tree the folk school was named after and a perfect memento of the day.

This year my studies are less on the “how to” facets of dyes and dyeing and more on the history of the science of dye stuffs and the cultural uses of them. If you’d like to learn more about these aspects of dyeing, here’s the list I’ve worked from. You may, of course, have already spotted the titles on my reading list page – I just thought it would be nice to make it a little more convenient for you to create a list for your next library trip or Kindle splurge. Enjoy!

The Modern Natural Dyer – Vejar
Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World – McKinley
Colors: the Story of Dyes and Pigments – Delamare
Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World – Garfield
A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire – Greenfield
Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History – Chaline
The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered – Sterman
A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World – Padilla

September 2017 Goals

One of my favorite bloggers, Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker, shares her goals at the beginning of each month, broken down into categories such as garden, sewing, and the like. I usually have a mental list going, but since one of my goals for the upcoming months is to get back to blogging more, I’m going to go ahead and get them in writing here on ye olde blog.

Pantry & Preparedness: Continue reading