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I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.

-Psalm 121

This week has been a rough one, but also one of joy.  I was witness to another birth of a baby boy. 🙂  We celebrated Deladis’s fifth birthday (pictures to come), and I received my test results for my bloodwork.  I haven’t had a lot of time, and this next week will be busy as well.  I’m just trying my best to keep up.

The bloodwork says I have low blood sugar, my adrenals are shot, of course there’s my thyroid, and a few other minor things.  The low blood sugar is a shocker.  From what I understand it is connected to the function of the adrenals as well.  So, one is causing the other, or one is the symptom of the other.  I think the adrenals came first.  Anyway, I have to see another doctor Wednesday that is about an hour away.  I’m supposed to eat every two hours, which is going to be very difficult for me to do.  I just don’t get hungry like that.  I’m one that eats breakfast at 8am and doesn’t eat again sometimes until 2 or 3pm.  I do have this shake stuff to drink in between meals to help regulate my blood sugar, so that will help.

The most depressing thing for me is that I have to be off of dairy for 3 weeks.  I didn’t show an allergy, but she expects that I might be having some sensitivity to it because I’m not digesting well.  Have I ever mentioned that I love dairy?  I truly don’t know what I’m going to eat now.  I live off of milk products.  Now, this isn’t good from a traditional foods standpoint, because pastuerized and homogenized milk is so tampered with that it is hard for any human being to digest or utilize properly.  I don’t have access to raw milk products, and that is one piece of eating traditional foods that I have never been able to adopt.  Rather than go without dairy, I just ate conventional dairy.  I have been pointed in the direction of the PETA website called Milk Sucks.  I suppose I need to check it out.  I know conventional dairies are cruel.  I know these three weeks won’t kill me, but…. Did I mention I love dairy????

I have been having these episodes of dizziness and such that is related to my blood sugar, and I’m tired.  I’m lifting my eyes to the mountains, and pushing onward.  Whatever manifests in our body has its beginnings in our inner work.  I believe that thoroughly.  Healing is a time of inner work as much as it is getting well physically.

I posted a comment on Mama-Om and she was gracious enough to share with me some of her experiences with being a parent and not feeling well.  I wanted to share them here.  Sometimes I think us mothers tend to hide our pitfalls, and things that aren’t just so.  There’s nothing to hide.  Mothers are people afterall, and we all have work to do in this life. 

Mama-Om:

Thankful Anyway and Unraveled

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I call it just a day.  A real day.  I spent time away from the computer.  I opened and learned the new pressure canner I bought.  We have so many tomatoes, and I know I need to learn to put things up.  It’s part of it.  Though I have heard the stories of pressure canners blowing people up, I know they must be relatively safe, and it is time I got acquainted.  Tomatoes are supposedly easy to put up.

I hate reading manuals.  I like my reading to have a narrative quality even if non-fiction.  I’d much prefer learning my being taught by a breathing being, but time has not allowed me that, and none of my family that lives closer to us cans.  I withstood the reading, working through the text step by step, trying to be hands on instead of reading and then doing.  I readied 7 quart jars.  I knew I’d fill those and have left overs.  Yet, when I smashed in the tomatoes as instructed by the manual, I found that I could only fill 4 of those.

As soon as the jars were prepared, the girls and I got the best surprise.  At my back door, stood my daddy.  He had come just in time to be present for my blowing up the house.  But, it all went off without a hitch.  The best part is my daddy was smiling and seemed at ease.  He has a job that carries with it a huge responsibility, and sometimes I wish he could leave it behind.  I always remember my happy daddy fondly.  Nobody else can be happy like him.  When he is happy he can hold the world on his back and go with simple movements, unhindered, laughing.  Oh, the laughing.

Dad helped me fix the air conditioner away from the stove.  Our little wall unit blows the flame on my gas stove, so I had turned it off.  It was like a sauna in the cabin.  He couldn’t stay long and we were alone again.  The jars finished processing.  I did my yoga practice.  Ivy napped.  When I got the jars out of the canner, I got this…

Floaters.  I should have poured off the juice I got after packing and put in more tomatoes.  The jars are sealed though, and John’s Mamaw – canner extraordinaire – says they are going to be just fine to eat.  They will be used for soups and sauces this winter.  I’m so pleased that the blight didn’t wipe them out this year like our last year’s crop.  We are making progress even if baby steps.  We’ll eventually walk with few stumbles, then glide.

First, you start with real good garden soil, a set of plant starts, and eventually you will have a gorgeousness that looks like this.

 

When the first pea pods appear, they will be tender enough to put in the skillet without steaming first.  If you like peas in the pod, you’ll leave them on longer, but to make this dish, you’ll need to string them, and/or steam them for tenderness.

Make some bacon.  A whole pack is nice because you can eat while you cook.  I prefer to buy bacon free of nitrates or nitrites and sugar when I can find it.  Sautee some onions in bacon grease until they start to brown.

Then, add the washed pods and peas.

Cook them over medium to high heat until they are fully greased and tender.  The amount of grease you use depends on your tastes.  I use the whole pan from making the pack of bacon.  When tender, crumble in some bacon and serve.

 

You’ll notice that this dish is similar to the Appalachian green beans and kilt lettuce and onions.  Pork was a mainstay of the Appalachian diet, and used to flavor many dishes from cornbread, beans, to greens.  Because chickens provided eggs and cows provided milk, they were not butchered as regularly as hogs.  When not eating pork, or chicken for Sunday dinner, Appalachian peoples ate the meat of hunted animals including, rabbit, deer, squirrel, wild turkey, opossum (some folks didn’t care for it), and groundhog (has a reputation for being greasy).  In our family we eat rabbit, deer, and wild turkey, as well as fish caught from our lakes and streams.  I prepare a traditional foods diet for my family most days.  I have found that if we eat foods that we are genetically predisposed to tolerate, then we have better outcomes physically.  My family has lived in the mountains for generations.  My ancestors were Irish and Cherokee primarily.  My husband’s were Melungeon.  By keeping the traditional Cherokee and Appalachian food ways we were familiar with, and researching those that had been lost to industrialization we have found healthy eating.  Being involved in where your food comes from both animal and plant forms, is extremely rewarding.

Yesterday, we went on a trip spearheaded by illustrious Nathan Hall to tour the Abingdon, Virginia Farmer’s Market and the organic farm of Anthony Flaccavento.  He is the director of Appalachian Sustainable Development, an organization that supports local economy, especially in the form of sustainable agriculture and local eating.  Flaccavento along with others in the area brought about a change in the local economy of a region of Appalachia that is an inspiration to folks living in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky.  Opposed to common thought, not all of Appalachia is filled with coal nor is dealing with the results of surface mining (strip mining or mountaintop removal – all other words for it).  The questions for us in the coalfields being whether a coal economy is serving us now, or whether it will provide an economy for us in the future.  However, many Appalachian towns are looking to rebuild or redevelop their local economies in order to provide opportunities for their citizens and to keep their towns alive and thriving.  Some see the answer as being the urbanization of Appalachia, or the move to a more universal American pop culture for all.  Others see Appalachia surviving on a more modern version of going back to its roots, and that is where the Haywood’s fall.

Hello, this is me, and I will be your tour guide for this adventure showing some of the possibilities for a future for the residents of eastern Kentucky.

Not feeling well. Sorry I'm not the picture of health on such a healthy outing.

This is Nathan Hall, the brains and organizer of the adventure without which folks like me would not be able to focus enough to pull this sort of thing off. 🙂

He’s fixing to be a world traveller soon, to learn more about sustainable economies throughout the world.  He’ll be leaving the holler on July 22nd and will be blogging about his adventures at There and Back.  My greatest wish for the year without him is that John and I can continue to move forward with all the biggness that has come about at The Confluence this year.

Our first stop in Abingdon was the Farmer’s Market.  It was lovely to see such a bustling place in a small town.  There were about 60-80 vendors.  It warmed my heart to see that many of them were family operations with the children fully involved and content to be there.

All of these were area farmer’s, merchants, food businesses, and crafts people.  One farmer recently said he makes $30,000 a year off of a little more than an acre of veggies.  That would be a nice living for our family.  The ownership of your own livlihood is a great thing.

There was a wide variety of things represented there both organic and conventional.

Aren't these huge!

 

Purty, purty

 

Meeting the needs of yourself and others through special skills.

The market is completely ran by the growers/vendors, but is supported by the city.  The market is its own entity with its own board.

Next, we took a lunch at Harvest’s Table, a restaurant running on the influence of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  In the foyer, local artists, writers, musicians, and crafts people are supported through the selling of their wares.  The food is all local and seasonal.  I had the corn and tomato salad with a garnish of fruit and goat cheese.  It was so yummy!  I didn’t expect it to be when I saw it, but it was.  Another interesting thing was all of the soups were chilled for summer – cantaloupe, cucumber, and gazpacho. 

After eating, we went out to Anthony’s farm.

hoop house tunnel

 

grass fed livestock

 

garlic drying in the barn

The farm was not tremendously large, but it was much bigger than what we are attempting at this time.  Flaccavento has employees and interns on the farm.  He is certified organic, and uses methods that I have never seen before to achieve store quality results.  I’m used to traditional, personal gardening techniques, and it was all a little overwhelming and intimidating.  We are definitely not ready for large scale production, but we can work up to producing for more than just our family, learning as we go and following the market.

Flaccavento and other farmers sell to area grocery stores, restaurants, and at the Farmer’s Market.  They have developed a distribution center called Appalachian Harvest that works with grocery stores and some restaurants.

It was most definitely an motivating trip.  John says we’ll be old before we see any kind of business result from our work.  He insists we must build slowly, and on that point I agree.  But, I think with focused work, we can begin to broaden our views sooner rather than later.  I have dreams, and a lot of the time they leave me pining for the grass is greener rigormoroar.  I see us working side by side on something that brings us even more together.  Making our living through our own two hands, enjoying the land, and using our talents in a more relaxed way.  Creating something to pass on to our girls.  I try to live in the present.  I try.

Pictures coming as soon as John comes home with his banjo case where the USB cord for the camera is located.  Why?  We don’t know. 🙂

It has been quite awhile since I have written anything about our efforts with the homestead.  The Confluence (the name of our homestead, homeschool, and educational organization) has grown since last year.  Instead of the one garden plot that we had next to the cabin last year, we kept it and added two more down by the barn.  The two new plots get full sun, so our corn, tomatoes, peppers, berry bushes, watermelons, peas, broccoli, cabbage, onions, swiss chard, and spinach is there.  Here at the cabin plot, I have put in the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, cilantro, basil, and dill.  We still have some more tomatoes, lettuce, lavender, pumpkins, several bean varities, and sunflowers to plant.  I haven’t decided exactly where they will go.  They will be in the ground either this evening or tomorrow.  However, I will not be planting while the sun pours down across my back.  My shoulders and forehead are sunburned and I have the hot chills.  Our planting takes quite awhile, because we do it all by hand, scooting across the ground, pinching and dropping seeds.  Someday, we’ll have more equipment.

We hope to have enough produce to sell a bit this year.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that John will get a chance to work on the barn so we can get a chicken flock that will be protected from predators, and eventually a few goats.  I’d like to be able to sell eggs as well.  John has mentioned wanting to spend more of his time on the homesteading, and for it to work as we have dreamed, that will have to be the case.  Our friend Nathan has been helping us along, but he will be leaving on a year long, around the world trip in August.  Another friend Brett Ratliff has been helping as well.  He is a musician and travels quite a bit as John does, so his time exists a bit of everywhere.  Both of them are bachelors with nothing tying them down – free spirits those boys, and huge helps as they can be.  So, then there is me – mountain mama of two under five. 🙂  I can get a lot done, but not enough.  If John is able to be here a bit more, then it will be a huge help for the homesteading dream.

The Confluence in it’s current existence is our home and Nathan and Brett call the cabin at the mouth of the holler home.  The four of us are working on this project together as our time allows.  We are planning to bring it into a place where we offer workshops on sustainable agriculture and traditional music.  John’s art studio is here, and he plans to open that to the public.  We may host some small group events as we are approached to do so for traditional music, arts, sustainable living, natural family living, and childbirth preparation.  Eventually, when Nathan comes back from traveling the world, we may apply for non-profit status.

So, this year, we are slowly moving forward, and we are happy with that.  John is so good for me in that regard.  I’m like a wild filly out of the gate.  I want to do everything in short order.  But, we are moving just as fast as we are supposed to.  Any faster would be overwhelming.  We have heard rumors of Farmer’s Markets organizing, so my goal is to participate in those as we can.  I am prepared to do a lot of preserving food too.

I’m excited about the opportunities this brings to my life.  I am scattered all over the place right now, and if you asked me what I wanted personally, the list would be ridiculous.  My goals are in some sort of transition period.  I started simple when I began this blog, and then at some point realized that something wasn’t working or wasn’t enough.  I’m still trying to set on what that something is, and at this point it is taking the form of many projects.  I will figure it out.  It’ll be a dang good thing when I do.  🙂

Betsy has completed her final story and it is published on the Appalachian Cultural Project website.  I invite you to take a look at hers and the other final stories of the people of our region.

Also, I have another entry in the Birth in Eastern Kentucky series I’m doing on my birth blog.  I discuss the current state of things not only in our part of the world, but all throughout the country as it is in the basic ways the same at this point.

Hope ya’ll enjoy ’em. 🙂

A gal has her first moon time and is initiated either gently or suddenly into womanhood.  A woman experiences pregnancy and birth or feeling love for someone more than any love she has ever felt for herself or another – a different love – and she is initiated into motherhood.  Today, I was initiated.  I took another step out of the speeding rat race of the world back into the days when woman, wife, and mother were words for many other jobs as well.

Yesterday was a blessed and sunny day.  We spent the day outside, enjoying our chickens who have finally started laying and setting.  The house chickens have found a safe nest – their third try.  The barn hens began using the nest boxes and sticking close to the barn.

House chickens - Roy and Little Girlfriend - on the bird table

The other day we found six of Little Girlfriend’s eggs in Lars’s doghouse.  She wasn’t setting, so we ate them.  She moved the nest under the old coop.

The girls played in the sandbox.  I planned for a breastfeeding workshop I am giving soon, sitting next to them in a straight backed chair with my lap desk and the sun giving the perfect light.

This morning it was gloomy.  The rain clouds came overnight.  John was preparing to leave for the weekend, and we had just finished our pancake breakfast.  Our neighbor, Brett, walked up on the porch in time to finish the last of the pancakes.  He wasn’t coming to eat though.  He was coming with photos of a hawk, down in the barn, killing our setting hen.  Brett wasn’t able to stop it.

We work really hard at getting things just so.  It seems to go better, then the natural world reminds us where we are in the scheme of things.  It didn’t take me long before I had a plastic grocery bag in hand and shoes on my feet to walk down to the barn.  I got there and realized the hawk hadn’t broken her skin, only her neck.  I picked her up by the feet, put her in the bag, and brought her up to the cabin to be prepared for eating.

I used a Buck knife my daddy gave me to remove her head.  She was our sweetest and prettiest hen.  The knife wasn’t the type I needed, but the best I have.  I tossed her bitty head, with cute tufts of beige feathers that stuck out from her cheeks, into the trees.  I made a quick phone call to my dad for some reminders and instructions, and John and I took her to the creek to gut and pluck her.

I remembered my great grandmother, Golda Johnson, and her deep fear of chicken feathers.  I remembered the story of my Uncle Vince ringing a chicken’s neck, and its body flying off and into my great great grandmother’s well, ruining the water.  I remembered my grandmother’s (Ida Hansel) disgust at a chicken and her druthers of not fixing it to eat.

John stood by to observe, and I stuck the Buck knife into her soft belly slicing downward.  The knife hit a shell.  When I opened her, I pulled out a perfectly formed egg.  The one she’d lay today.  I set it to the side.  With two fingers I began to remove her innards from the cavity of her still warm body.  I understood for the first time how much of her little body was devoted to making eggs.  To being a provider of life and food.  I held her tiny, healthy heart in my hands a moment to look at its perfection.

Plucking was harder.  It took me a minute to get the hang of it.  I finished her in the house, after a scald in the pot.  Plucked, drained, gutted, and washed, I placed her in a freezer bag to be fixed when John comes home.

I knew at some point we’d eat some of the animals we raise.  Deladis took it well.  She knows where her food comes from, and she likes meat.  Ivy cried a little, but I think she sensed my downtrodden mood.  I wasn’t ready to do it today.  Not without numerous diddles running across the field following their mama.  Not without a fridge full of eggs.  I couldn’t let her go to waste.  She wouldn’t leave her nest.  She couldn’t run.  In her death, she’s giving us a most healthy meal, and a perfect egg.  Both will be prepared with love.  We will consume her and know her.  We will know personally our food.

I think of the Appalachian women whose job it was to kill and prepare chickens.  Appalachians mostly ate hogs, but on a Sunday, fried chicken was a nice dinner, especially if you were expecting company.  I wondered at their chore of feeding the chickens, holding them under their arms, gathering their eggs, wringing their necks, plucking feathers, and preparing them into a special dinner with all the love they had to give.  It was the least I could do for our hen.

Later on, we stopped at McDonald’s after a prolonged doctor’s visit.  From the drive-thru I saw a mama dog with heavy teats wagging her tail at every stranger that passed by, hoping for a bite.  She hadn’t gotten anything, and she was begging so politely.  Hungry to the core as only you can be when nursing a baby, and yet she begged with more humanity than some people I’ve encountered on the city streets. We got our food, eased the truck next to her, called her over, and the three of us females donated half of our meat portions to her and her pups, wherever she had them waiting.  She ate without chewing, her front paws on my seat.

I’ve been initiated.  It’s hard to wash the smell of blood from your hands.

The last week (well, since Tuesday) I’ve felt like Death warmed over.  Now, I ain’t been too far from home, so I don’t know if that is strictly an Appalachian expression, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were.  Us mountain folk love to discuss our ailments.  I don’t know when that came about, but as long as I have been alive, it has been true.

It usually goes a little something like this….  You see Linda’s, Mamaw Flora at the grocery store.  You go to church with Linda, so you feel you should say a hello.

“Hello  there, Flora.  How you today?”

“Aw, not too bad.  I got the arthritis so bad in my hip I can’t hardly get up and down.  Linda can’t help me none… much.  She had the stomach virus this week, and Fred (Linda’s husband) has been down in his back.  He’s too old to be working underground, but he can’t retire.  Not right now.  But, we ain’t doing too bad.  Can’t complain.”

So, I’ve felt like Death warmed over, folks.  I’ve had the whole sinus thing going on, and I’ve just felt plumb wiped out.  John’s been off his feet because of swelling and blisters from all the hard work he’s had to do these last weeks.  Winter was rough on us this year.  But, we can’t complain.

This week we’ve had visitors from Princeton University who said the trip to the cabins here to talk to John and George were the highlight of their trip.  I haven’t felt like keeping up with the girls, but they kept up with me. 🙂

Ivy found the dress up clothes that Deladis never bothered with, and was a Princess for two days.

Deladis had to get in on the picture taking fun without really playing dress up.

Today, we were all feeling a little better.  The girls went to stay with John’s mom last night, and husband and I got some much needed sleep.  The sunshine this morning lured us out to the barn and the garden plot we’ll be sharing with our friend and now neighbor, Nathan Hall, for some work.  Nathan has huge ideas of the real learned variety.  He has somewhat of a degree in agriculture.  We’ll have a nice organic garden this year. 🙂

This morning we spread nice wet and aged poopy throughout the area where we will plant over the next few weeks.  The aged poopy came from the barn, and the nice fresh stuff, Nathan brought back from some where off.

The barn door.

This area will be disced and more manure spread as we go along.

Soon, we will be adding more animals to the mix.  We’re looking for meat goats and some larger chickens for egg laying.  We did get six eggs from our house hen yesterday!  Crazy!  They are tiny little things too.  She isn’t setting though, so they’ll be breakfast.

It’s a beautiful day, and John’s Mamaw is celebrating her 82nd by cooking her family a nice old time dinner.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and being a little better than not bad. 😉

There’s nothing like six or more inches of snow to give you a hankering for a treat from your childhood.  Here in the mountains a big snow provides an easy way to make an iced cream treat that is as good as it is cold.

Snow Cream

Snow cream is simply made given you trust the snow to be clean enough to consume.  The way I make it, all of the ingredients are estimated.  The important know how is the concept I suppose, then you can make it to your liking.

Start with melting a sweetener of your choice into some heavy cream or whole milk. (You can also use low fat milk, but I don’t think it would taste near as good or be very nutritious for you.  Treats should not be empty calories in my opinion, so go for the gusto!)  The sweetener we use is honey and/or maple syrup. (We use only unrefined/moderately refined sweeteners that hold plenty of nutrients such as iron or enzymes.)  Since our sweetener is already liquid it doesn’t require a lot of heat to completely mix with the milk.  Allow the milk mix to cool, and add a little vanilla… or a lot if you are like me and love strong flavors.  Next, gather your snow in a large stainless steel bowl or pot.  You will want to compact it a bit and gather a large amount.  Scoop from the top layer of snow only, being careful to not dig down too close to the ground.  At least 4 inches should be on the ground for making snow cream.  I was always told not to eat the first snow of the year as well.  Once back inside, slowly mix the milk soup into the snow stirring thoroughly, but with a gentle touch.  Keep mixing until it is to your desired consistency, then eat and enjoy!  The Haywoods certainly enjoyed their snow cream this year.

Or, you can do like I did as a kid wanting snow cream.  Take your favorite pancake syrup and a spoon outside, squeeze some into the snow, and chow down.  🙂

I want to begin by apologizing for not quite keeping up here with the comments and posting these last few months.  I want everyone to know I read every comment and respond in my mind (Hopefully, I will be able to do better about posting those thoughts as we get back into a healthy post holiday rhythm).  I very much value the interaction on this blog and the others I read.  It’s nice to have online community.

So, we just got back from Cincinnati visiting some family there.  We went to the zoo’s Festival of Lights and saw an amazing light display, some neat animals (an eastern screech owl up close and personal, shown by a delightful caregiver, and some spectacular insects), and an outdoor show by the Madcap Puppet Theater in about 10 degree weather. 🙂  It was their Christmas present for the girls, and I am so grateful for it.  Both Deladis and Ivy were in high hog heaven. 🙂

But… the highlight of the trip for my personal self was a trip to Trader Joe’s to stock up on some hard to find grocery items.  I had read various women sing the praises of Trader Joe’s on internet forums, and I had never experienced for myself.  I have fallen in love, and I want to know how you can get a store like that to come to a rural place like this.  The first surprise was the size.  It was a tiny, quaint store.  I didn’t know what to expect, and while I didn’t see shelves and coolers filled with a crazy variety of food like you would at a Whole Foods store, I saw just enough.  It was almost perfect – almost.  The prices were the kicker for me.  I found Trader Joe’s bacon that was nitrate/nitrite/MSG free for $3.99.  I bought 4 packs.  Here you pay $4.99.  Frozen blueberries for $2.99 (12 oz.).  Gluten Free Mac-Cheese for $0.99 a box!  I found whole milk yogurt with a higher fat content than Yo’ Baby, and when you have a picky toddler who loves yogurt that is a blessing.  Ivy needs all the fat she can get.  It was wonderful.  I bought four large canvas bags full to the top of good food for $137.00  I can’t believe how excited I get over food.  I want a Trader Joe’s in the mountains.  I pay twice the price for some of the things I bought today on a regular basis.  I think that once local people saw the food was affordable, they’d be happy to shop there.

Yee-haw!!!

2010 is a good year.  Heck, every year is a good year.  We are blessed with life!  I have been inspired in these last weeks, and I know without a doubt that I am being led, and I am taken care of.  It’s nice to be assured of that.  It’s freedom.  It makes you want to do something about it.  Over on a blog I found a few months ago a challenge is being held – Hip Mountain Mama (One Small Change) .  She is encouraging people to make small changes in our living to create sustainability and positively influence our impact on the environment.  John and I try to work on this every day.  It is of a great deal of importance to us as energy issues impact our everyday life with the coal industry being a crucial part of the economy of the mountains and living with the impact that has on our surroundings.  We know that this isn’t a stable energy source, and it won’t be possible to fuel our local economy off of it forever, and John and I both believe we mountain folk need to start making those changes now and learn what we can do to sustain ourselves here.  However, we know that coal provides about 80% of the nation’s electricity, so it is up to all of us to begin that change.

I probably won’t be able to keep up with the blog deadlines she has set, but I’m going to participate in my own way.

Here is what I want to change:

1.  There is no recycling center in our county.  The closest is about 30 miles away.  Because of this we have stopped recycling.  (And John watched a Penn and Teller BS episode and feels it might not be so bad. I don’t know.  I’d have to revisit that episode myself.)  So, in lieu of that, I’d like to reduce our waste.  We have it down to about 1 garbage bag a week.  The next change I think I will make it making some napkins to use in place of paper towels for eating and some mess clean up.  I have some old sheets that would work perfect for that.

2.  I’m going to make it a point not to buy bottled water when I am out and about.  I plan to purchase a stainless steel water bottle and fill that to carry around.  We use water we collect from the watering hole for consumption and cooking at home.  Carrying that with us won’t be hard.  Plus, after hearing about the movie Tapped, I am motivated.  It is hard to think about when the local water supply can hardly be trusted because of recent petroleum spills and other such industrial pollutants.  Praise God for our watering hole.

I challenge everyone to make one small change.  Something you can feel good about.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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