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Various Aspects of Transition

February 21, 2011 – My wintertime project was to learn to knit socks, which I have – at long last – done. I am a purely visual thinker, and visualizing how to turn a heel or knit a gusset just wasn’t happening. After knitting and tearing out innumerable times, meeting with another knitter, and repeated visits to Youtube, I managed to stumble upon Her step-by-step pictures, accompanied by understandable instructions, have gotten me the rest of the way there. I now have one entire pair of handknit socks to my credit!

This is by way of preparing for Transition, you understand. Socks are something we all take for granted until we no longer have them. Warm feet make a huge difference to me during the winter, and I already knew how to knit, so knitting socks was the obvious next step. Knitting will always require yarn, so preparing for a sockless future requires stashing yarn, as well as accumulating a complete arsenal of double-pointed needles. Like all knitters, I have drawers full of odds and ends, along with larger quantities acquired when I did more THINKING ABOUT a project than actually undertaking it. My stand-out horde is a bright coral baby yarn, intended for the creation of overalls for my great niece. I could never get the bib to look the way I wanted it to, on top of which I bought more yarn than I would have needed for three pairs of overalls. Something tells me I may one day knit myself coral-colored underwear!

The CSA membership is languishing a bit right now; understandable, considering this is a very “in-between” time for farmers. I did buy half a pound of locally roasted coffee last week that I haven’t tried yet. Loved the sprouts I bought – the price was on the high side, so that will be something I try to grow this spring and summer (broccoli sprouts and bean sprouts). Sharon Astyk wrote so convincingly of the virtues of kim chi in her book Independence Days that I’m planning on growing cabbage for the first time this year. I’m also going to try sun-drying tomatoes in the car this year. Actually, I want to do this in my husband’s 27-year-old GTI; he doesn’t know this yet, of course. Depending upon how big a fit he throws, the maters could wind up in my 11-year-old BMW.

As if all that weren’t enough, it’s time to take a run at cooking in a solar oven, as well. If I’m remembering correctly, you get things underway either in your conventional oven or on top of the stove, and then transfer whatever you’re cooking to the solar oven, thereby saving electricity. Something tells me this will take practice, insofar as the culinary outcome is concerned.

Finished up The Post Carbon Reader yesterday. Treats the coming changes very realistically, thoughtfully, and respectfully. I did find myself harboring a skeptical thought or two while reading Chris Martenson’s chapter, “Personal Preparations.” While applauding Chris’s prescience in re-arranging his life to better suit the difficult times ahead, I found myself raising an eyebrow when he claimed that his solar cells will enable him to run his 25 cubic foot freezer. Much as I hope that will prove to be the case, I believe I’m correct in saying that freezers are energy hogs. Canning and pickling might be a better way to go. As for meat? Might be the time to get serious about giving it up.


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