Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another old bathroom

Three pictures of a restored (not original) 1918 bathroom.  Pictures are taken from Jane Powell's Bungalow Bathrooms.  Click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.

An old bathroom

(Click on the picture to see it full size).

There has been a discussion on the Old House Web forums lately about a bathroom in a 1911 house with wooden wainscoting and floor.  I wanted to post this picture for reference.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Historic Properties for Sale

Why, oh why, did I find this website?  It is so tempting! sells only historically significant real estate.

Here's the only "project" home in Canada; a 1870s Cape Cod shingled home on Indian Island.  The island turns out to be on the south-west corner of New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy.

Only $60K!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Non-dairy sources of calcium

One of my enthusiasms is nutrition.  I may not always do anything about it, but I love to read and try to improve the way my family and I eat.

Swiss Chard added to a pan of bacon, onion, and perogies
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy along with lactose intolerance.  A combination of stress and eating too much dairy (I love cheese and had a lot of skim milk and yogurt in my diet) made me hypersensitive, and I ended up with both typical lactose intolerance symptoms (which we won't go into here!) as well as itchiness, stuffiness and sore throat in the mornings, and ringing and pain in my ears.  Cutting out dairy solved all those problems, but at my age calcium is still a vital dietary need.

I am also a big fan of the USDA nutrient database.  I like looking up foods to find out what's in them, but less often I find a reason to look at their nutrient lists.  I looked at their PDF listing dietary sources of calcium and picked out these non-dairy and non-fortified sources:

Cornmeal, self-rising, degermed, enriched, yellow; 138g; 1 cup; 483
Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, self-rising, enriched; 125g; 1 cup; 423
Collards, frozen, chopped, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt; 170g; 1 cup; 357
Rhubarb, frozen, cooked, with sugar; 240g; 1 cup; 348
Leavening agents, baking powder, double-acting, straight phosphate; 4.6g; 1 tsp; 339
Fish, sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone; 85g; 3 oz; 325
Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt; 190g; 1 cup; 291
Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt; 180g; 1 cup; 261
Turnip greens, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt; 164; 1 cup; 249
Biscuits, plain or buttermilk, prepared from recipe; 101g; 4" biscuit; 237
Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt; 165g; 1 cup; 211

This is, frankly, a little discouraging.  The cornmeal and flour only make the list because they are self-raising; i.e., have baking powder in them (and because a cup is a lot to eat in a day).  I'm not sure whether I should count baking powder as a non-fortified source or not.  I like collards, spinach, and other greens just fine, but I don't eat them every day, and I'd have to eat three to four cups - and that's the cooked measure! - to get my day's allowance.  Rhubarb and edamame (the green soybeans) are hard to obtain and expensive, and I don't even know where I would find immature cowpeas.

Goat cheese is still not entirely problem-free for me, but it's better.  Taking a quick look at the package in my fridge, though, it only supplies 2% of my daily calcium.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I discovered that I could read the magazine "Natural Health" online through the Toronto Public Library.  (Love you, TPL!)  However, I don't think I'm going to get through more than one issue - it's not what I'm looking for.  First of all, I notice in the editor's intro that they're going to help with my fall wardrobe.  Oh goody!  Wait... how does that relate to my health?  Do their readers tend not to dress warmly enough and get hypothermia in the winter?  Hm.

On to the articles.  Maybe that will be better.  Oh... nope.  Here's a maddening quote: 
Millions of pounds of edible yet cosmetically unsellable produce would be left to rot on farms across the nation if it weren't for the thousands of volunteers who collect food for people in need. Groups like Glean for the City in Virginia, the D.C. Central Kitchen and the national Society of St. Andrew Gleaning Network organize "gleaners," who gather food left behind after harvest, a practice that dates back to the Bible's Old Testament. To find out more, donate or volunteer, visit
Here's an idea... let's stop worrying about the 'cosmetics' of the food!  Ship it all to the grocery stores and let consumers find out what green beans or apples really look like, not just the top however-many percent of it.  We'd need less farmland to produce food, have enough for everyone, and reduce the amount of oil-intensive fertilizers that are needed.

On the island last week, while running errands, we happened to drive from the hardware store to the grocery store.  Since the hardware store is a little ways out of town, we drove past fields, and in the thin strips of trees and bushes between fields I counted five trees heavy with ripe, red apples.  It was a gorgeous site, although I felt bad knowing that most of those apples are just going to fall to the ground and provide fertilizer for the tree, not food for people.

Then we got to the grocery store.  What did I find?  New Zealand apples for sale.  I was speechless.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pie in the Sky

The Home Hardware store in Providence Bay, Ontario is up for sale, for $219,000.  It's a big old rambling building with tons of character, most of which you can't see from the real estate listing.  They're moving to a huge new facility on the other side of Mindemoya.

There's actually two storefronts here, with the one on the right being a false front on a regular gable-shaped building.  At the far left of the picture you can just make out the first storage shed.

There's 10,000 square feet of floor space in this building, with 60% of it on the main floor, and 6,500 square feet of storage shed space (according to the listing).  There's a art/craft collective already on the main street of Providence Bay, and I think it would be a lot of fun to re-develop this property into a combination gift shop / art gallery with artist's studios to rent out.

Here's my concept of how I would lay out the space.  On the north gabled side, I would frame out eight 15' by 19' studios, each like a little house on the main street of the hallway.  They'll have their own lockable doors, of course, and a window into the hallway that can open for ventilation and companionship, or be shuttered closed from the inside.  I'll put two skylights over each one on the north-facing side of the roof - natural north-facing light is best for artists, right?  At this latitude the sun will never shine directly in the skylights, so no problems with glare.

The hallway is wide enough to move large materials in and out, and maybe even put a bench opposite each door with some storage or display shelves for personalizing, perhaps by pinning up inspiration.

If the storage sheds are used as storage lockers, there should be enough space for each artist's studio to have an additional good chunk of space.

Ooh... and another good idea - a place for salvage and a kind of thrift shop in the storage sheds, with all the great stuff I retrieve from the dump and from local builders and carpenters!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FBR: "Time Management from the Inside Out", Morgenstern, Chapter 4

This chapter is on "Developing Your Big-Picture Goals", and it's funny how several things I've read lately have had this step.  It's obviously something important I've been procrastinating on, and Morgenstern helps me identify why that is - not believing I can reach the goals I actually want to have, and feeling insecure about my goals, for example.  Not letting myself want what I want is a big problem that I have to fix!

Working through the exercises I was able to write down life categories, big-picture goals, and specific activities I could do to reach those goals.  There's still a bit of a tenuous connection - I tend to go to what activities I think I "should" do, rather than what I want to do, which I'm realizing is why I procrastinate.  But, it's a list I can work on for a month, then I'll re-evaluate and see what I've learned.  I'm ready for Part Three - "Strategize"!

Monday, October 3, 2011

September Reading

I've been recording books read for just over a year now, and thought I'd assemble a single-shot picture of the books I read in September 2010, so I can compare them to September 2011.  There were only ten books last year, which seems about right since I was just starting a year of teaching at a new school.

In September of this year there were a few more, although I realize that some of these were read in August and recorded in September.  It's not realistic to catch up at the end of every month, although I may try to do better; but for now it will when they were recorded.
I'm surprised there weren't more, actually, because I thought I read a lot more this fall, especially more non-fiction such as books on building and furniture.  I haven't been reading them all year round, so it must be a September thing!  Definitely more fiction this year, which is good - I had gotten out of balance.

FBR: "Time Management from the Inside Out", Morgenstern, Chapter 3

I found this chapter to be weak.  It relies too much on following the same format as Morgenstern's "Organizing From the Inside Out", starting with two worksheets on "What's Working" and "What's Not Working".  Although I found them useful in the organizing book, I did not find them useful here.  The other worksheets on Preferences and Energy Cycles were even less illuminating, since they seemed to say simply "figure out what works for you" without any idea how to determine it.

In summary, although this chapter was titled "Understanding Your Personal Relationship to Time", I didn't find it helped me to do that.