A friend of ours stopped by on Saturday to show off their new car. It was notable for what it didn’t have. No air conditioning, no cup holders, no security system and no windshield wipers. The other thing it didn’t have was a dealer logo because this car was home-made. It was pretty cool; a sleek little two-seater that only needed a flux capacitor to look like it was headed “back to the future”. Now I don’t plan to build a car but it makes me happy to know that engineering minds are busy in garages and basements trying to solve some of our problems without grants or research teams or government loans. They are using everyday tools and everyday ingenuity, things that are not subject to peak anything or political whims.

This got me to thinking about some of the other home-made things I have run across lately. Season extenders for instance. Hot boxes, cold frames and small green houses can all be purchased but I love the ones put together from scraps. With so many people switching to high-efficiency windows, there are hundreds of old storm windows and doors available. The glass is heavy and tempered so the worry about breakage is reduced and using them to grow food is way better than clogging up the landfill or your cellar with.

Every now and then I peruse the Instructables website. I can get lost looking at the plans for duct tape hammocks and tiny cook stoves. Some of the stuff is silly and impractical but there are some gems in there. If nothing else, I get inspired. My mind doesn’t really work in that creative way but I do think that creativity is a muscle and we have to exercise it to make it stronger. I want to challenge myself to get better at this. The next time I’m tempted to throw some money at a problem I will put charge up my creative juices and see what I can come up with.

This is it for today. We are heading off to Connecticut to help Aunt Marge clean out here house. She has two gas stoves with potential to be the centerpiece of my summer kitchen. I suspect that the stoves won’t be the only things that come home with us. I hope to pick up some family history along with old kitchen gadgets and tools. I’ll try to get some pictures posted on Friday.

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