My first rule of preparedness is organization. Well. I broke my own rule. My house is a mess. I certainly have some excuses. We added four people, two of them children with all the assorted “kid stuff”. Then there’s the heat. It’s just sucks the ambition right out of me. It’s been too hot to do any real work. The garden work can’t be put off and I have a pretty full teaching schedule. The result is a house that’s cluttered and dusty. But today is a perfect house cleaning day. It’s wet and cool and I need to get busy.

I’m starting with my living room. The magazine situation has gotten out of control. I get Mother Earth News and Bruce gets American Bee Journal and Woodworking. I have a friend who passes on Grit and Organic Gardening. There are always a few articles I think I’ll revisit but in truth, I seldom do. Today I’m going to load them all up and bring them to magazine share at the Sustainability Library. I’ll also get out the mending and just do it. I may just put on a good movie and tackle the ironing too. I don’t iron a lot but it always feels as though I just got a new wardrobe when I do. Just getting rid of those baskets of clothes and the magazines will feel good. I may weed out some books too. My son is buying a new house and I can give him some of my overflow of gardening books.

In between raindrops, I hope to get some more carrots pulled. Thank you all for the recipes. I got the inspiration I needed. The garden is doing surprisingly well, in spite of the drought. It’s the mulch that makes the difference. What water I put on is absorbed into the soil rather evaporated to the dry air.

I have a very full week ahead of me. On Wednesday, I’ll be teaching my final class at Berkshire Botanical Gardens and I’m preparing for a candle-making class at Cold Antler Farm on Sunday. I’m going to a climate change presentation on Wednesday evening. I also need to get my curriculum set for the Greenfield Community College classes that begin next week.

I’m so excited to see the progress on my summer kitchen. Bruce and I picked out the wall covering and the countertops on Friday and he’ll pick them up today. I’ve been using it, even unfinished and it’s made all the difference to me. The mess and the heat out of the kitchen and keeps my supplies corralled. By next week the water will be hooked up. I’m as excited about the drainage as I am about the ability to have running water. The waste water will be routed right out to the garden. I usually let the water I use cool down and then carry it outside. I won’t miss that job.

I have been thinking a lot about water lately. We use a LOT of water around here. I have never done much with catchment but that needs to change. This dryness may be the new normal. There’s no way I could ever store enough water to meet even the basic needs of my family for more than a few days. A water filter is on my wish list as are rain barrels. My birthday is this week. Hint, hint Bruce.

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