Last night, James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and World Made By Hand, spoke at our church. A member of our sustainability group set up the lecture. It was a perfect night for me. First, we had a pot luck dinner, featuring local foods. I love to cook and eat, not necessarily in that order, and pot lucks are my favorite meals. People tend to bring their specialties and this time was no exceptions. I am definitely making baked squash and apple casserole tonight. My friend Sheri made a squash soup that was fabulous and Barbara made and apple cake that was amazing. At the end of the evening, I planned to snag a chuck to take home but somebody beat me to it. There were not a lot of leftovers.

Kunstler’s talk was sobering. He is an excellent speaker,  funny, clear, interesting and well prepared. He has a power point presentation but does not rely heavily on it. I did not so much learn from it (I have read his work and could guess what the message would be) but he was able to put things in context. One thing was abundantly clear. You are going to have to source your food close to where you live and you will need to do it soon. he was talking in terms of 36 months, not the 36 years I think many are hoping for. He had some statistics on oil field declines that were particularly disturbing. The Mexican depletion is well under way and this does not bode well for the US. They are our third largest supplier of oil. After the lecture, James joined a few of us at my home for tea and conversation. I was a really special night.

Now on to a few other items of interest. First-my mushroom logs. When it got so cold here, Bruce and I brought the logs into the root cellar.  They fruited like crazy. I am gong to harvest and dry a couple of batches today. I would suggest you get a Fungi Perfecti catalog if you have any interest in growing mushrooms. The kits are expensive but the spawn is cheap and inoculating logs is easy. A dozen logs could provide enough mushrooms for a small family to make it worth the effort. They dry really well if you can manage not to eat them all right away. Once rehydrated, they cook up like fresh. I am putting in another  large order soon.

Swine Flu update. There was a Halloween dance planned for our high school this weekend but it was cancelled because of the high  absenteeism. As there is not enough vaccine and will not be enough in the forseeable future, I am assuming it will come too late to be useful for most of us as the epidemic is in full swing. I have medicine, soup and juice in storage as well as some herbal remedies like elderberry syrup, garlic and coltsfoot. I have also got non-latex gloves and lots of tissues and hand sanitizer. The main thing I have is food. Staying home is the best defense. There will be no malls or markets for me. a big flu outbreak will keep a lot of people home which will hurt retail during the big shopping season. I do not think this is a bad thing.

One more important thing. Tommorrowis the 350 climate change action kick off day. In spite ot the forcasted dreadful weather, we are going ahead with our plans for a party. It will be a barn party now and the weed  walk and bon fire will not happen but the rest will go on. Check out 350.org for more information. This climate chage stuff is critical for our cildren and grandchildren. We have not done well by our planet and it’s time to make ammends.

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