Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

Change the World Wednesday – 15th Oct

What is it?

A big moth is as far as I can classify this at the moment

A big brown moth is as far as I can classify this at the moment

I took this this morning. As I stepped out of the front door I disturbed it and it flew into the outside laundry shelter. It was quite big, 10cm (4″) across.

The Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine from some months back

Maybe it is my Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine

Well, I was right.

First page of google images showed the same fellow. Indeed it is a big brown moth, atested to on a Mexican home flora and fauna blog. Another blog says it is a large brown moth…

They’re so helpful.

So they’re found in Mexico, and now I see in Ecuador too.

Finally, I find on page 9, an authority. It’s a Black Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata); and it’s not my MGLEM, the caterpillars of this baby are reddish brown. It is sometimes calld a Bat Moth.

So there you have it my nature observation of the morning.

You remember my celery butt that failed.

Well, I left the bucket filled with my compost, and several things have sprouted from the seeds that invariably end up there.

Tomatoes, papaya and an orange.

This is how I grow most of my plants from self sown seeds.

All from a bucket full of muck

All from a bucket full of muck

I am ready to plant more tomatoes, as the current ones are close to failing. The papaya and orange I will give away to a deserving home because I already have two oranges and three papaya growing.

My rosemary…

The new rosemary is thriving

The new rosemary is thriving

Finally, to hark back to needs vs wants of last week. I mentioned that I want a TV stand as the current one is made of bits and pieces. Well, I want one, but I don’t need one.

Here is my current affair.

Made of bits and pieces

Made of bits and pieces

Here’s a run down. Two old wardrobe drawers on edge supporting the side of an old wardrobe (closet). Fruit boxes either side of the TV, another under the stand and three on the right with wine. The cabinette on top is part of a set of kitchen cupboards. All of this came from the street. Total cost R$0. It’s not elegant, it’s functional. I doubt I would get a commercial stand to hold so much. So, in the meantime it is a want, not a need.

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Now, I need more coffee to tackle this week’s CTWW.

Got coffee…. here we go.

Monitors.

This week, reduce the brightness of your monitor to the lowest level you can comfortably stand. Even lowering it one or two “notches” will help. Then, set the energy saving preferences to turn off the display (yes, turn it off rather than use a screen saver) when dormant for a short time (2-15 minutes). Do the same thing on mobile devices to extend their battery life.

beingmonitoredSmall is right; screen savers do nothing to save/reduce power. The idea of a screen saver is merely to prevent a single image burning itself into the screen. Now, I’m not sure this applies to LCD screens, but was certainly the case for the old cathode tube monitors.

I recently had problems with my LCD screen and had to get the power pack replaced. Meanwhile, I was two months with an old cathode monitor. With my 24/7 usage, it added R$20 to my power bill.

Thankfully, I am back on my LCD screen.

Now I am at the keyboard most of the day, so having the power off setting is rather useless for me. If I leave the house for shopping or work, I simply flip the switch and physically turn the screen off, the same at night.

My brightness setting is also already on low, not for economy, but I find it more relaxing on the eyes.

That’s my offering for this week.

Change the World Wednesday – 8th Oct

First of all welcome back Small, so nice to see your avatar popping up all over my blog. Pleased to read about your mom, hope all goes well.

Here’s an update on the kassod tree in the praça, it’s now in full flower.

KJassod tree in full flower

Kassod tree in full flower

Earlier this week I was in town, and I passed by the small stall where I bought my sage plant. They had it, tomilho (thyme), they also had alecrim (rosemary), but it’s been a tight month this month, I only got the thyme. The plants are R$3 each (about $1.20). Now the thyme is in the same can as the sage.

Parsley, sage & thyme

Parsley, sage & thyme

You can see one lot of parsley in the background, these I was lucky enough to find seeds for and planted about a year ago. I use the parsley almost daily in the kitchen.

I hate wasting food. Yesterday’s lunch I used three staleish hamburger buns, pressed down the middle to make a hollow, toasted them off in the oven, then made the hollow deeper. I filled the buns with chopped green tomatoes, and and egg mixture, topped them off with grated cheese and a sprinkle of sesame seeds; popped them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

In the past here I have complained about not being able to buy bulk goods here. I have some good news. I have found a shop that sells cooking ingredients in bulk. The downside is they use plastic bags. As I am a new customer, I haven’t broached the subject of resusing my own bags; but I will.

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Moving right along…

CTWW – Need vs Want

This week, before spending any money, consider whether a purchase is a “need”, a very important “want” which supports a need, or simply a “want” (you might want to start a list). Consider each item carefully based on it’s contribution to your survival. Next, take a look at the want list and avoid spending money on those items. The idea with this challenge is to evaluate our spending habits (raising our awareness on wants versus needs) and reduce spending on unnecessary stuff.

I want all sorts of things, but I rarely get them.

Most of you will know that this year I have struggled a bit, and most of the time I have been strapped for cash, so the need vs want issue has become the norm for me. Actually it always has been, it’s just more poignant at the moment. I live frugally, I always have done, and I generally take the view that I don’t buy things that I don’t need. But then I am a little more Bohemian than most; I am not ashamed to make do when I have to. I don’t need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’; that’s bullshit.

I want a wardrobe (closet), I don’t have one. Not having one won’t kill me. I want a computer desk, I am using upturned drawers to support the side of an old wardrobe. Not having one won’t kill me. I want a TV stand, My current arrangement is parts of this and that with four fruit boxes. Not having one won’t kill me.

Oh, yes, I have wants, but they are not needs.

Small mentioned TV advertising, here we have new cars, big screen TVs and the latest smartphones being thrust down our throats all the time. On me the advertisers are wasting their money. I don’t want a car, I wouldn’t have a big screen or HDTV if you gave it to me, and the idea of a smartphone sends chills up my spine. I have never rushed out and bought something advertised on TV. For me the only advertising on TV that I heed is when & which supermarket has my coffee or milk on special. I watched a supermarket ad last night, the only thing they advertised that I needed was milk, and the brand was crap; there was nothing else that I would contemplate buying – I neither need nor want it nor use it.

The only thing that I want rather than need and buy is my booze. I collect booze, wine, liqueurs, spirits and some beer. Not on a big scale, my collection is modest. I only buy when I have a bit of extra money.

For me that is the little frilly bits in my life.

I am considering a purchase this week. I badly need new bed sheets. Two of the ones I have have started to fray badly, and one will give up the ghost the next time I use it, the other is not far behind. The other day when I was in town I looked at two shops to get an idea of prices, I have another two to check. Then I will make my decision. I don’t just rush out and buy the first thing I see.

The old bed sheets, one will become table napkins for BBQ use and kitchen cloths and one will become curtains for my bedroom.

That’s my offering, at 2:20am it’s time to go beck to bed.

Herbs Grow Up!

vertical-garden_thumb

Stumbled on to this vertical herb garden. What a great idea. Saves space too.

Check out more on Design Squish blog.

Simple Green Idea

Mint, thyme, chives, parsley…

Herbs in Cans

Such a simple idea, neat and tidy. Recycling with a purpose.

Image credit: ??? I’ve lost it, so if it’s yours please advise and I will add with a link.

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