Some company needs to make a child’s outdoor play set that is space-efficient. There are plenty of play structures that are like towers, with jungle gyms and slides and swings and stuff…which is fine, if you have a huge backyard. But what would be cool would be a small-footprint play set, like something that you could install up against a fence or a wall, or that takes up just a small corner of the yard. Lots of city folks have smaller yards—some lots smaller than ours…so their kids don’t get a play set because they don’t have 800 ft2 to spare?
Specifically, I’m picturing a metal climbing set in some fanciful shape (whale, dragon, elephant, etc.) with rings, ladders, maybe a crow’s nest or something, but that’s only a few feet wide, so you could install along an edge of the yard so that it’s not taking up the entire yard. Or possibly a tower-type play structure, but again, one that’s got a small footprint—10’ x 10’ or even less. I realize you’d have to secure it into the ground really well, but with a post-hole digger and concrete that shouldn’t be a problem… You could make it more compact by having some parts (tabletops, ladders, slides, etc.) fold up/out when they’re not being used, too.
Sounds like a job for IKEA…they’re good with small spaces.
Probably the coolest thing from the garden this year (so far) was the small row of peas that I planted, because the lad loved the raw peas, straight out of the shells. It was the highlight of his going out to the back yard. Unfortunately, the pea plants have all finished for the year.
Anyway, next year. I don’t need the five-foot-tall trellis that we had this year—instead, I think I’ll just hammer in some stakes and tie horizontal strings between them, at 8”, 16”, 24”, and 36”—the plants never got above three feet tall. But next year, I’ll plant peas all along both sides of the garage, giving us like 35 feet of peas rather than 6 feet. This year 95% of our peas went straight into the lad; I ate maybe a dozen peas total, and we never got enough to have a side dish or anything.
Maybe I can use the trellis for pumpkins or something; that worked out really well last year.
“According to (a) report, although only six percent of the global population lives in America, we are responsible for more than a third of its obesity. What does that mean? Who knows, because we’re only 27th in math.”—STEPHEN COLBERT, The Colbert Report (via inothernews)
I check Facebook really rarely—like, once a month or so, to see if I’ve gotten any invitations or what have you. I just looked at my Facebook page, and just about every photo of me is me-in-a-costume. Me as Santa at Santacon, me as a bishop and in Burner-clothes at Apogaea, me at Burning Man… If I ever have to apply for a job, I might be in trouble…
Need to come up with a good list of meals that can be made with minimal heating/cooking, so as to not heat up the house more than necessary. Viz:
Green/bread/chicken/tuna salads. Egg salads, but boil a ton of hard-boiled eggs at once so you only have to cook that one time (also use for deviled eggs). We made leb lebi (Tunisian bread & tuna salad with olives, tomatoes, etc.) last week and it was fantastic. Salad nicoise.
Buy pre-cooked foods (rotisserie chicken, potato salad) or takeout
Sandwiches. Get some good bread and materials and make fancy sandwiches, so it’s not like we’re having PBJs for dinner.
Cook on the grill
Find recipes that can be done entirely in the microwave
As a last-ditch effort, I suppose we could cook on the propane camp stove outside
Some suggestions from a quick Google:
Pre-made frozen stuff, like potstickers
TV dinners (in microwave)
Baked potatoes (in microwave)
Cold pasta salads
Gazpacho would be an obvious one, but I’m not really a fan of this soup. Maybe another cold soup? Borscht? Cold cucumber soup?
Poach chicken breasts or fish fillets or shrimp in the microwave
Steam veggies above the water you’re boiling eggs in.
Quiche/frittata can be made ahead and refrigerated, and they’re good cold (or you can microwave)
Interesting idea: put a pot of water on the burner when you’re done with cooking (electric stoves, obviously). When the burner’s cooled down, dump the water. The water acts as a heat sink and absorbs the waste heat from the burner, so it doesn’t go into the house’s air.
Temps this weekend were above 100 each day—104 on Saturday, I think. Gonna be low 100s early this week, going to mid-/high-90s the rest of the week through early next week (at least).
When it’s this hot, it just feels like you’re under siege. Don’t want to go outside to weed the garden, mow the lawn, build the chicken coop, plant more veggies, or just anything. It’s like everything’s on pause until the temperature lowers to acceptable limits again…