Five Things Friday: assorted favorites, oddities, time-sensitive announcements, discoveries, random thoughts, life tidbits and whatever else pops into my head. Cue the intro. Boom!
What I’m Reading – Weekly Reads
Random assortment of articles from around the interwoobles that I read this week. If it’s in this list it made me nod vigorously, tut aggressively, or emoji with verve.
Reinventing the Greenhouse (Low Tech Magazine) Must read for anyone building a greenhouse for an off-grid, homesteady-type scenario.
Where Have All The Insects Gone? (Science Magazine) Well, they aren’t on our windshields anymore. Even I’ve noticed that. I try not to get too soapboxey over here, but we’re at the point where if you have access to any land, and if you give a shit at all about things ecological, you should plant something for the beneficial insects.
Are Wet Wipes Wrecking the World’s Sewers? (The Atlantic) Quick answer – yeah, they kinda are. Indoor plumbing is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Let’s not mess it up just because a bunch of dude-bros are exploiting the tender butthole market in a new and exciting way.
New Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Will Help Restore The Decimated, Iconic Tree (The Conversation) Genetic modification is a powerful tool, and how you use powerful tools matter. (::cough::guns::cough::nuclear::cough::) So, while I’m not a fan of covering some of God’s best soil with miles of monocrop Roundup-ready soy and corn, the ability to bring the American chestnut back from the dead seems like it could be a powerful good. What do you think?
What I’m Watching – Primitive Technology
Here’s a YouTube channel you should put on auto-play and watch with your kids. Like, seriously, I’ve spent 2 hours in bed snuggling with my son and watching these videos. He loves them, I love them, and it’s not too hard to pass them off as educational.
If you don’t know about Primitive Technology, it’s among the best and most peaceful channels on YouTube. Start at the beginning with the Wattle and Daub Hut, and progress with Primitive Technology guy until, eventually, he leaves the stone age and makes iron. (Not kidding – this guy is amazing.)
What I’m Loving – New Favorite Budgeting App
Back in the day, Homebrew Husband and I stuck to our monthly budget using a very low-tech tool we called The Fun Card. Well, times have changed and the smartphone is never far from our fingers, so HH and I started investigating budgeting apps.
Spoiler alert: the winner is an app with a nice integrated website called Goodbudget.
We downloaded free versions of about a dozen different budgeting and personal finance apps. Most were, frankly, far too complicated. Not in a “I can’t use technology” sense – more like – I don’t want to swipe through 900 animated spending charts before I can digitally confess, “I just spent $87.46 at Tractor Supply”
I’m a big fan of the “envelope” style of budgeting. It’s simple, it’s intuitive, it works. It’s fundamentally the same budgeting concept I learned in 4th grade from Mrs. Marzoni when she brought in all her penny jars to show the class how to save for future vacations.
So when I saw the happy envelope logo of Goodbudget, I had a good feeling we might have found our budgeting app. We put the free version through the paces for about 3 weeks before committing. We liked the ability to very simply link both our phones to one family account. A dead-simple user interface and all the features we wanted – without a bunch of pointless bells and whistles we didn’t – sealed the deal. If you’re looking for a simple budgeting app, try Goodbudget.
(PS: This review is so obsequious and gushing I feel obliged to tell you I have absolutely no affiliation with the Goodbudget App people and get nothing at all if you check them out.)
Quote I’m Pondering – Wendell Berry
Wendell – well, you guys know Wendell. He’s the American farmer-philosopher extraordinaire, a man who seems to have a poetic heart, a stoic commitment to his agrarian values, and a way with words that has inspired generations. He coined the phrase “solving for pattern” – which captures pretty much everything, because if you aren’t solving for pattern you’re just badly managing repetition.
So, I’m trying to figure out what my real work is. Or, more accurately, I’m trying to figure out how many of my real works can be integrated at any one time. Wendell, as usual, says it better than I ever could.
I liked this quote so much I made little notecards from it. Here’s a version with the cool chalkboard background – it works best with printers that can print edge-to-edge. Here’s a grayscale version that’s better with most home printers.
They. Are. Huge. The ducklings are three weeks old now and they are pretty much the size of a house. They are so cute – yellow fuzz is giving way to white feathers, their giant feet are plodding all over everything, and we’ve even heard a distinct quack!
Duck-wrangler Bella got a duck to pose! (It wasn’t happy about this.) Check out those gorgeous feet! Ancona ducks don’t yet have an official breed standard but everyone agrees that stripey feet, under eye markings, speckled beaks, and random, splotchy body markings are the best. I’m really happy with how all our ducklings are developing.
The babies got their first full bath the other day. I expected them to lose their mind with joy. They were actually a little freaked out to be confined in the sink and kept trying to jump out.
Duckling-cam is still running, so if you need a poultry break, stop by and watch our tween ducks motorboating their water and chasing after spinach.
Ok, friends, that’s it for this week’s Five Things Friday. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!