Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where Have I Been?

I doubt if I’ll ever get a regular posting schedule going because my life just isn’t set-up that way. I started working at age fourteen, put myself through two years of college, and then worked in various jobs for over a decade before being able to support myself and my family through music and entertainment. I found the times I was happiest with my job was when my schedule was less structured. When I did break off from the day job routine I was working Monday through Friday for a corporation. It was a less-than-ideal environment for me. I was fortunate to work for a manager who understood me enough to work with my schedule as long as I put in a full eight hours and got the job done, but it was still soul-draining.

So now I am very happy to be able to make a living working only a few nights a week. We have had to make some concessions and live a simpler life, but that’s what this blog is about. One of the consequences, however, is that any kind of regular schedule tends to be short-lived.

That said, I haven’t been a complete slacker. I’ve been studying and practicing reloading. The weather cleared up and the sun actually came out last Saturday so my son and I spent the afternoon hiking around Banner Forest. A few days ago I took my son to the range to let him do some shooting and to try out my own hand-loaded rounds. It went very well and my son had a great time despite the cold weather. I cooked a roast and sliced it up and the wife and I have been having French dip sandwiches the past couple days. When it’s been rainy we’ve been occupying some downtime with Wii Fit Plus and the BBC series Planet Earth – an excellent series in case you have not seen it. I’ve also been online reading some forums and food safety websites, signing petitions and sending emails. As I type this I am brewing up a batch of beer and doing a bit of laundry.

One project around the house has been to try and get a handle on our humidity issues. Living in NW Washington State, across the sound from Seattle, we virtually live in a rainforest and everything seems to get damp this time of year (“this time of year”, meaning September through May). My wife and I both have allergies, though she has it much worse than I. I can usually get by with the woodstove and a fan to circulate the heat to the back rooms, but the humidity still stays relatively high inside the house and that creates an environment where allergens to which my wife is sensitive thrive. Basically, my wife is allergic to the Pacific Northwest. It doesn’t help matters that we hang dry almost all of our laundry and when it's wet outside, it has to be hung inside.

During our last visit to Portland my wife scored a really nice 75-pint-per-day dehumidifier that her cousin is not currently using. I was naïve to think we could run it for a day or so in each room and have our problem under control. We have been running it almost nonstop for two and a half weeks and emptying five to nine gallons from it daily. I was hoping that between that and our UV air cleaner the allergens could be kept at bay. My son and I are both fine, but my wife is still miserable. Fortunately there are over-the-counter meds she can take that relieve her symptoms, but neither that nor running a big dehumidifier twenty-four/seven is sustainable or cost effective. I am still weighing the clothes dryer against the dehumidifier and the dehumidifier is winning me over. Obviously I'm going to have to keep working on this one.

It’s almost mid-February, which means it’s time to get started on building the second raised garden bed and getting the gardens ready for spring. It will have to wait until after Valentine’s Day, but then I have no excuses for putting it off any longer. It won’t be long now before seeds go in the ground…

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