Friday, February 24, 2017

Finish with Vegan Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Been really enjoying having the kind of life where if things get side ways I can just stay at home and work on my projects! Finishing the kitchen counter tops.

 Fitting everything in place. I tried to cut these small tiles with a glass cutter, to break them neatly over a piece of wire. Well, that took way too long, and so I ended up just smashing lots of the extras and picking out ones that fit into the spaces nicely.
 Lid for the stove recess, so if I'm not using the stove top I have a more counter space.
 Making a mess in a small space.
 Cut away a section to allow the faucet to pass through, and building a cedar trim plate to mount the faucet through and cover up the gap between the counter top and the nose cupboards.

 Plumbing access hatch in the floor and the long narrow counter, (perfect place to roll out pasta), with the little arms to hold a basket for storage.
 Everything all fit in place with a first coat of read paint.

 Copper finishing the underside of the stove lid; been saving these pieces of copper for years too. So gratifying to finish a project that I have had in mind for so many years, saving things, sitting and looking at the place and thinking about how it will be...and in so doing proving that I am not a hoarder!!! I collect things to use, and even if it takes me nigh-on-forever, I use them!
 In preparation for the final step, the mortar and grout for the tile work, I made a double layer vegan chocolate cake and home made, vegan "buttercream" frosting..just to get my mixing and spreading technique down pat!

Boom! In Place, dry over night. Next step, mix up grout, not as thick as peanut butter.
 Spread grout over everything and make a big mess. Let is set for about 30 minutes, then sprinkle more of the dry grout over the surface of the mud and rub in a circular motion to work the grout evenly in to all the spaces between the tiles, and to help build up an even layer, cleaning the tiles as you go. Let this dry for about 2 hours, and then wipe all the tiles again with a wet rag, making sure that all the clumps of grout on the tile are removed. There will be a thin film over the tiles, but that wiped off with water in a few hours more after drying has progressed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Vegan / Fossil Fuel Free Kitchen

I am starting to work on building counter tops for the kitchen. Now that I have a new culinary adventure to embark on, veganism, and a new alcohol oven/stove, I need some room to work. First place to start: gathering supplies @ the local coffee roaster, Jittery Joe's to glean some clean pallet wood to recycle.
Never underestimate human power and bike power! I really like to use the pallets that their cans ship between, but they only have a few available at a time. After 2 trips to pick up what they had (bringing my hand saw with me to cut them apart) I had enough wood to build the frames.
Next step: some scraps of 1/4" plywood for the bottom, cut to fit and with a layer of Kiltz paint.

I cut pieces of the pallets to frame the outside edges. Working with hand tools may take a bit longer, but I find myself less apt to make mistakes, less apt to possibly hurt myself, and best of all: no electricity required!  I picked up a few sheets of this octagon and diamond tile years ago at the local Habitat ReStore, and have saved a bit of mortar and grout from a tile job, in red, thinking to use it somewhere. Putting tile in a tiny house on wheels, where weight is an issue, seemed crazy, but considering that there will be so little, and a slab of wood would be just as heavy, I am going to inlay the tiles in the frames made from the pallets.

I have been saving these last few Steve Keene paintings for use in the backs of these cabinets. Glad to be nearing the completion of a long planned project.
Speaking of long anticipated project completion: I collected this steel tubing and welded the frame for this pot hanger 4-5 years ago, and finally, a few weeks ago found a small bike wheel in the scrap metal recycling bin at the local CHaRM. The finishing touch: some shower curtain hooks from the ReStore yesterday! It looks like a crown!
My new adventure into veganism is motivated not only by my concern for the environment and desire to alleviate suffering in the world, but also practicality. A plant based diet is healthier for you, costs less, and I find that I eat fresher foods as a result. Not having a big refrigerator means I don't want to be in a position where I am storing large qualities of food that need to be refrigerated, so I decided to learn how to make my own vegan staples as I go. Making your own vegan butter, tofu and other protein substitutes makes a lot of sense also because a lot of typical vegan products contain a lot of gluten or palm oil, they are heavily packages and expensive. I bought a copy of The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner, and so far everything I have made has been awesome, cheap and easy. I bought an old fashioned hand crank meat grinder to use as a food processor. Pictured is the onion garlic tomato spice slurry for italian not sausage- the main filler of which is bulgar wheat. The texture when finished was amazing. More small steps to a fossil fuel free future!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


On January 20th local book seller Avid Book shop offered free copies of "We Should All Be Feminists". I hoped on my bike and rode down there to get a copy.
Thank you Avid, for your activism. Thank you for this copy of "We Should All Be Feminists". I will keep Rocking my golden bike nuts while I ride bike for Our #1 M🌎THER Everyday!

I was a volunteer for the peace keeper, police liaison &; street medic team on my bike later that night for the local Day of Resistance. Another member of our team is a veteran compact medic, who served in Iraq. She also was a street medic at the G-20 protests in Seattle. Our team included several nurses and paramedics too. We all had a 2 hour long meeting a few days before the march. We were prepared for a home-made explosive device, for example, or for something seriously scary to go down and people panic and start crushing one another. We had lots of tournequetts and good contact with the police through out the march. Some people suggested that it wouldn't be a real protest until the window of Starbucks got smashed. Maybe what they really mean is it won't be a REAL protest until people start giving a damn and not just sucking back milk and sugar $7 Starbucks in a plastic cup, with a plastic straw?  If you think that it was paranoid that we should have been prepared to deal with a home grown terrorist attack check out this coverage of the ACC Police having to dispose of home made pipe bombs found by a son cleaning out his deceased father's home:   

The people of this country kept right on driving through the decades of war for oil...hundreds of thousands of people dead and the planet continuing to roast. Seventy degrees in January? Great! The planet is experiencing a mass extinction, the collapse of the food chain...and most people could care less if it means having to give up their own comforts. Most people won't even refuse a drinking straw and put their lips to a glass. 

Here are a couple of shots I was able to take early on as the crowd as it swelled to 4,500:

The fact of the matter is that until people start changing their own lives and insisting on their neighbors doing the same, the planet will keep roasting and we will keep molesting each other in a thousand different ways as we a die, and watch our children, grandchildren and all life on Earth die in the very near future. That's why I went. To be a peace keeper on my bike and to keep insisting of my neighbors that they if they are gonna Sing It they better also Bring It! For instance, if they don't want Exxon in charge they better stop filling up their gas tanks and driving everywhere to buy anything they want, 24 hours a day wrapped in plastic, made half way around the world by people enslaved, or working for nearly nothing, often at gun point, the guns provided by our industries and our government . We need people to practice pre figurative politics. Actually install solar on your home, business, church, on the schools, AND conserve energy. Take your money out of the corporate banks! Be ready to chain yourself to the machines that are drilling under the rivers right now - as we wave our hands and make noise! Be willing to put your body on the line, not just the mouth. For that matter, try putting your body on a bike and bike to work. Bike to the store. Bike to church. Athens is so small you can bike across it in about 45 minutes! " Who wants change?" "WE DO!" "Who wants TO change?" *crickets*

There are thousands of scientific organizations around the world tracking the dynamic flux of our planet. It is thanks to them that we know that we have less than 2 years before the saturation of C02 in the atmosphere will cause the temperature rise above the already deadly 2 degree C mark the Paris Climate Record recognized as too high. Beyond this level the Earth will not be a stable environment to support life as we know it. We have less than 2 years to stop burning fossil fuels. That mean we must NOW stop driving our cars, start buying local foods, the majority of our diet must be plants, we can not use disposable plastic anything: not bags, not packaging, not drinking straws. We must install solar panels and stop burning coal NOW. We must compost all of our food waste, and if you eat out tell the owner to do so, and the grocery store. Tell the manager, call to corporate office. Start living a life-syle the conserve water and energy, Bathe once a week, install on demand hot water heaters, use a chest freezer with a temperature controller instead of a fridge, ride a bike, walk, take the bus or car pool. Do not fly. Insist that your landlord install solar and sell the power to you as the tenant. Insist that your church organize carpools and install solar on the congregation hall. Call the School District and insist they they invest in solar on the schools. They will surely be running the AC this year. Show up at the next Mayor and Commission meeting (Feb 7th, 6pm @ City Hall ) and insist that they approve the funding for the Greenway expansion and attend the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan input sessions , 1st Monday of every month, 6pm at 120 Dougherty Street. We have 2 years before it is literally GAME OVER, and our world, and all life on it will ROAST.

The clock is ticking. The carbon clock of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) shows just how little time is left for political decision-makers. Visitors of the MCC website can set out to explore which policy objectives under which scientific assumptions would allow for how much time to implement effective action.

The MCC carbon clock demonstrates just how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere if global warming is to be capped at 1.5°C, or 2°C. By selecting a choice of temperature targets and estimates, you can see how much time remains in each scenario.

In the Paris Agreement, all countries worldwide decided to limit global warming to well below 2°C (ideally as much as 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. This is extremely ambitious and essentially means that we are tightening our carbon budget. In concrete terms, it means that reaching the 2°C target with a high probability would allow us to emit at maximum only about 980 gigatons of CO2 between 2016 and 2100 into the atmosphere.¹ However, at present the world is still emitting 40 gigatons of CO2 every year.⁴ This corresponds to 1268 tons per second. In that context, the remaining budget is shrinking rapidly.

Visit the MCC website @

Friday, January 13, 2017

FAQ: Color Mojo

The top 2 questions I get asked about my house are:
Did you build it yourself? 
What color are you gonna paint it?
I am not going to paint the metal siding. I like it mottled.
In preparation for the Chinese New Year on the 28th, I set about to paint my doors red. Red doors have a lot of historical significance: protection, welcome, auspicious fortune, and not having a mortgage.
 I am debt free!
I have had enough ill fortune sent my way to last a life time. I am so grateful to live a life of peace and tranquility, stability and sustainability.  
I need protection. 
 I would like to be more welcoming. 
Back in 2011 I volunteered at a local homeless shelter, and one of the shelter clients started stalking me. I had to get a protective order, which he violated, and ever since then I have been very cautious about welcoming people into my home. I would like that to change.
So, for all these reasons I chose a bold red color, I bought a gallon of blue metal paint for $1 @ the end of the year mis-tint sale, so that choice was made for me, and I refinished my decks a darker shade of blue than in previous years. I tried to take some Better Homes and Gardens style shots from the ladder.

 I built a copper framed shelf to go above the stove in the kitchen, in the window with out curtains.