Big Whoopie

My Man finished finals yesterday. Whoopie! He’s taking the week off, before he starts summer work. In a rare moment of realism we decided that rather than taking a trip, we both wanted to just stay home and kick it. The plan is for him to sleep till 11 every day (he has been epically sleep deprived lately), then he’ll take over the parenting till dinner time. Double whoopie!

All this last week I mulled over in my mind what fun project I’d want to do in this blessed week. The house is of course a wreck, and I’ve still got a few boxes left to unpack. But I’m not about to let my week get eaten up by that! I have several little chores that need doing, and I want to put some good time into the garden, which has been neglected for weeks.

Here’s my hopeful list for the week:

  • Plant cover crops at the community garden. I have lots of summer crops going, but about half the beds are empty right now, I just pulled up the last of the spring crops. It’s getting pretty hot for planting most veggie crops. True summer here is a time to rest the garden. The bugs get crazy and really, how much okra can you eat?
  • Refill and plant my 3 homemade Self Irrigated Planters. I made these our first fall here, took photos and always intended to post about them. Maybe posting goes onto the list too…
  • Get screens for two of our windows so we can let in cool morning air without bugs. Our old house had window AC units, which means you can’t open your windows for any passive cooling, a sad irony. We are so excited that this house has opening windows!
  • Rig up a solar dehydrator so I can make fruit leather! This is in the very hopeful category, but might really happen. You just never do know about me.
  • Fix the broken bike trailer.
  • Fix the leaky toilet.

That’s all well and good, and a solar dehydrator is pretty exciting, but I like to have a big project. Big enough that it will suck up all my time, take so much longer than I thought, and prevent me from getting to the house cleaning… Ahem.

I had a pretty heavy duty affair with the idea of getting chickens. There’s a space between the house and the fence that’s about 8 feet wide by 30 feet long, completely overgrown and just begs to be turned into a chicken run. You could raise some happy hens in that much space! But of course, we only have one more year in this house, then it will be back to Alaska where I already have a nice coop, ready to go. I kept trying to convince myself that all I needed to do was fence the two ends, and throw together a couple of pallets for a coop. ‘It’ll be quick!’ my wicked side whispers, ‘an afternoon. Then you’ll have chickens! And eggs! You know you want to…’ In my other ear my good girl self reigns me in, reminding me just how many times I’ve thought projects would be so quick and easy, and been so very, very wrong. (Including, but not limited to, the aforementioned coop at our house in Alaska) Do I really want to spend my whole week building a chicken coop?

Plus, with all that initial cost for only a year of eggs, the numbers don’t work out very well. I can’t figure it down to much less than $4/dozen, which is the price of good eggs at the farmer’s market.

Of course it doesn’t make sense. Not a lick of sense.


As my friend put in this morning, “Last time I talked to you, you were definitely not getting chickens. Now you’re definitely probably maybe not getting chickens.”

Which about sums it up.

The other time eater idea is making a zine. A zine is like a little, personal homemade book. Usually just photocopied and hand-bound. I used to make a zine in my last life, called Subsist/Resist. You can view the last issue on flickr. But be warned, since the zine was handwritten (yes, you read that right. Somebody has to remember how to write with a pen, for after the revolution) what you will find there are scanned images of it’s pages. It really doesn’t make any sense unless you view as a slideshow. Click slideshow in the upper right hand corner. It’s a little surreal, but how backwards fun is reading real human script on a computer?

Blogs are great, I love the immediacy of them. I love that I write a post, and it’s done! An accomplishment I can point to. Mamas need that sort of thing. It’s efficient, a “quickie.”

But a girl can’t live on quickies alone. Zines are substantial, fun and satisfyingly tangible.

Of course what I’m doing here is talking myself out of the chicken idea and into the zine idea. Surely y’all can help me out on this one, since you have not much to gain from the former.

This will mean my writing energy will go into the zine for the next week (and doubtlessly I won’t be done in a week either…) This space might be purty sparce. But at the end of it y’all can order a real live, signed by Calamity, paper and staple zine. You can hold them in your hot little hands, and read them without plugs or batteries. Keep them forever and ever, until you get cancer and I’m famous and you sell them for $394,003 each to cover medical expenses.

Wow, consider that. What a great investment, right?

Reserve your copy now, while prices are still in the single digits!

12 thoughts on “Big Whoopie

  1. Your past zines have been great – I vote – “zines”, especially if you already have a source of fresh eggs. Remember it will be a good 6 months before you get your first egg – even if you start today.

  2. Don’t do the chicken coop, or the ‘zine’… just do the solar dehydrator! Fruit leathers, dried tomatoes, dried ‘soup mix’… fun, and you can take it back to Alaska… (maybe) they have sun up there, right??!!

  3. I vote for the zine. Mama’s need creative time for their own. Something tangible. Something that makes your heart sing. As noted above, half your year would be spent waiting for the chickens to lay eggs. Then you’d have to either sell them or pack them up for the ride back to Alaska. Now doesn’t that sound fun?!!

    1. oh, forgot to mention. i found young laying hens for sale, $15 each. that’s the only reason i was even romancing the idea. plus a friend here who’d love to take them over when i leave.

  4. Yes, zine! Yes, chickens! Yes, solar dehydrator! How could one possibly choose?

    Do you know about the zine library here, Iron Rail? I think they recently moved, but it was a pretty cool place.

    I volunteer myself for help with gardening chores and self-watering containers, especially if I end up with a SWC in the end. : )

  5. Geez. I wouldn’t know how to decide if it was my own choice, let alone somebody else’s. But – how fabulous that you have time to be making a choice! I’d probably end up doing which ever one I started first!

  6. no zine, no coop, no solar dehydrator. Go buy eggs, buy fruit leather, write in your journal and sleeeeeeep woman. You never get naps for yourself, so do that. And at the end of the week, you’ll feel like Sleeping Beauty.

    Trust me, I’m not a doctor!

  7. Ooh do the solar dryer! Or do it sometime soon and tell us all about it! I’m hoping… intending to build one this year and am being really rubbish at getting my head around how I’m going to do it. Be good to swap notes!

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