Sunday, February 1, 2015

#630: Winter Wonderland

Sometimes island life can be less than idyllic,
especially in the winter.
When there are no boats, or planes, or electricity.
It's a bother.

More so for the birds, whose food is covered with snow.
So, we put out some more.
All morning we watched them come and go.

In full color.

And full plumage, puffed against the cold.

We were out in full color too,
feeding the chickens and pouring boiling water
on their frozen water supply.

No bike rides today.

Or car rides either.
My Geo is a marshmallow.

Walking path to the back house,
previously a driveway.

An inukshuk, appropriately dressed,

Guards the road to nowhere.

Smooth snow, 1-3 feet deep.

Leads to a home for thousands.
No road necessary.
If you lean your ear right up against the hive
you can hear the hum of wings.

Then watch a cold sunset through snowy pines.
Our electricity came back on at 6:47 pm.

Thank you, National Grid.
Photo by Heather Unruh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#629: Blizzard 2015

There's always so much hype.
And we never get the storm.
Oh sure, it gets windy and rainy,
but no proper blizzard like the mainland.
Until today.

It began last night, half slush as per usual.
Chickens were all safe in their snug house.

During the night we got about 4 inches, with lightning, woo hoo!

Our scallop shanty downtown. Photo by Greg Hinson.

Lost electricity at 6 am. Phooey.
We have a gas stove so we weren't worried about cooking.
Chicken stir-fry for lunch, cooked by my daughter. Yum.
We did miss the internet. And phone. And heat.
But our house is pretty tight so the raging winds didn't bother us.
We went out only once to feed the birds.

Otherwise it was homegrown popcorn and charades.
I tried correcting papers but that wrecked the 'holiday' mood.

So we just read books. 

Lots of books.

Florence Nightingale moment. Checking on the cats.

Power came back on at 6:27.
No school tomorrow as the high school is the storm shelter, 
over 100 people stopped in.
There's my chance to get those papers graded. 
Unless we go sledding...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#628: Kombucha and classrooms

All summer long a delightful young fellow took care of
the Kombucha on our counter. 
After he went to Aspen, CO for the winter,
the Kombucha 'mother', neglected by me,
continued to produce baby scobys.
Lots of baby scobies.
Finally, after 3 months, with the jar
completely filled, I got to work.

 Big Pot
4 more quart jars with rings
coffee filters to cover tops
black tea bags

The recipe:
One gallon water
1/2 cup kombucha from old jar
one cup sugar
tea bags
Boil. Cool to room temp.

Pour into jars and add the scoby--
'Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast'

But how much tea?
Here's where I tell you why there's been no post, 
nor kombucha making,
nor very much sleep for the last 3 months.
I got a job teaching middle-school math, grades five through eight.
All my energy has gone toward my students.

Which leads us to: The Kombucha Project. 
The fifth graders had to figure out 'how much tea?'
One bag per cup, how many bags per gallon? 
We used the GallonBot to figure it out:

16 cups in a gallon. got it.
Therefore, 16 tea bags.
Each of the quarts got 4 cups,
the original kombucha 'mother' got a refill
and voila!

Lots of presents.
I can always find someone who wants a kombucha starter.
It's a little like having sourdough in the fridge. 

Always some to share.
The scoby floating at the bottom will rise to the top
in a few days and start making more scobies;-)

I was soooo glad to have some kombucha on hand
as I caught the flu over New Year's and needed to get
my system back in balance before classes started up again.

The sun rises on a new adventure every day.
Who can say what the Lord will do?
He only promises to be with me wherever I go.
Even into a middle-school math class.
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