The Latest Harvest

Andy harvested the last of our first batch of radishes Saturday:

The largest one was about 2 3/4 inches in diameter. As you can see from the slice, it wasn’t as crisp as usual, but it was still mild and good to eat. The taste of the smaller ones had more bite — not too strong, but I like the bigger ones better.

Andy has already planted another batch.

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Newly Adopted Pets

As we mentioned yesterday, social distancing restrictions have encouraged a lot of people to adopt rescued pets. Here are some pictures of previous adoptions from

Lucky pups and kitties, and lucky homes they went to.

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Sweet Pup!

The above picture is from a Boston Globe article on the importance of wearing face masks when we go out in public. The couple is coming home from the pharmacy and the pup is carrying the bag. It’s not only a reminder about wearing masks, it also explains why animal shelters are doing a booming business in pet adoptions. That’s one small upside of the virus.

Another upside in Japan is that with people wearing masks in public and taking other precautions for the coronavirus, the number of people with the flu is the lowest, according to data going back to 2004. Individual precautions do make a difference.

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The Value of Saving Some Junk

What is a minimalist lifestyle?

It means living with things you really need. It means removing anything that distracts us from living with intentionality and freedom.
Becoming Minimalist

In that sense Andy and I are minimalists, we’ve never bought into consumerism or buying things to make an impression. But we do have a fair share of tools/junk/whatever. It’s not for pride of ownership, it’s because they might come in handy someday.

Andy has a shed to keep his stuff on the land, and down here I have more storage space than junk so our living areas are fairly uncluttered. I go through my junk from time to time to see if some things can be tossed or recycled before I shuffle off. I occasionally find things that are expendable, but there will still be a lot left. So I’m starting to look into services that could handle the mess for Kaitlin when the time comes. (Living in a small remote town makes it harder, but I haven’t given up.)

Anyway, the powers that be are starting to think people should wear masks, even homemade ones, when they go out for necessary errands. Hmm. I gave away my sewing machine a long time ago, and when I suggested to Andy we should rig something up for ourselves he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. So I got out this old N95 mask, which he is willing to try. I think I bought it about 30 years ago and used it once. It still seems to work, so it’s better than nothing. I’ll have to see if I can hand wash it after he uses it.

I also got out a Solumbra face mask I bought about fifteen years ago, when I was photo sensitive. I ended up using something else at the time, so I never wore it outside. (It’s shown in black, mine is in stone.)

I’ll have to add a layer of cloth inside to cover the breathing area, and I have an old cotton pillowcase I can cut up and use. Apparently that’s a good choice:

Making DIY Masks with Household Materials

Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials.

These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them more comfortable enough to wear for several hours.

Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through.
What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?

Anyway Andy and I are set for our shopping trip tonight, and I’ll no doubt continue to play with other ideas. The elastic on his N95 is in amazingly good shape after all these years, but it has to stretch a lot to get it over his head, and it’s not made for long term use.

At least we’re getting started. Take care and be creative!

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The Cats Wouldn’t Understand

The caption for this picture was Can’t Explain To My Cats The Gravity Of What They’ve Done.

It reminds me of Sammy a few years ago. As I recall, Kaitlin and Torben had to keep the bathroom doors closed because he loved to unroll the toilet paper.

Sammy, 2017

He had the sweetest smile.

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Look Out!

When you find that people are not telling you the truth – look out!
–Agatha Christie

I came across that quote the other day and it reminded me of Lincoln’s,

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

And of gambler Bret Maverick’s take on that quote,

My pappy says those are pretty good odds.

I laughed when I heard that joke, but it’s not so funny nowadays.

On a more cheerful note, mountain goats are taking advantage of the lock down of a Welsh town to browse on the vegetation. Apparently they have lifted the spirits of some of the shut-in inhabitants.

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Testing the Watering Timers

Andy has the watering timers set up now, and he’s testing the system for leaks. He still has to install the drip lines before he can automatically water the plants.

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Does anyone else have fond memories of Jello?

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The High Outside Was About 36°F

And it was in the 80s in the greenhouse. The tomatoes are starting to sprout, and the squash have noticeably grown.

March 26, 2020

March 28, 2020

The columns, in order from the left, are

  • melon
  • cucumber
  • watermelon
  • squash
  • tomato
  • zucchini
  • cabbage
  • cabbage
  • tomato
  • tomato

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Time to Stop Growing

Andy is about 5’8″ tall, and the tallest tassel is over his head now. He’s told the corn it’s about time for it to stop growing — let’s see if it listens to him.

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