Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't take that away from me...

I consider myself to be an "Urban Homesteader" - if only in a small way - at this point in time anyway.
I grow some of my own veggies, (or attempt to, when the snails aren't busy thwarting me) I have fruit trees, I can and preserve - as well as occasionally freeze my homegrown fruits and veggies.
I collect rainwater for re-use in the garden, and the rinse water from the washing machine goes directly on the garden.
I compost, mulch, recycle, repair and reuse or give stuff away... whenever I can.
I do what I can to be self-sufficient, and although I'm certainly not where I want to be yet, I'm walking the walk and talking the talk.

But the right to call myself an Urban Homesteader may soon be taken away from me - and taken away from any of you - who consider yourselves to be *Urban Homesteaders*.

See, it seems there's now a war a-brewing, and it all has to do with the Dervaes family aka Dervaes Institute - feeling that they, and they alone, should have the sole legal right to use the term "Urban Homestead" or "Urban Homesteading".
Because they "trademarked" the terms in 2010.

"Last year, the Institute managed to register the term as a trademark (in connection with “educational services” such as blogging) and it is now sending take down requests and warning letters targeting individuals and organizations that have been using the term for years."

Now, as far as I know - and according to numerous sources smarter than me - "urban homestead" or "urban homesteading" is simply a term in common usage... and it's used by folks all over the world, who are only just trying to reduce their impact on the environment and live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
By growing their own food... whether it be fruits and veggies, or chickens or assorted livestock for personal use, or collecting rainwater, re-using grey water, canning, dehydrating, freezing, making cheese or butter, or wine and beer ... plus a whole lot of other things.

It's what people have been doing for a long, long time... and in all that time, the terms "Urban Homestead" or "Urban Homesteading" have both been in common usage.

As a matter of fact, a lot of urban homesteading books have been in published in the last ten+ years or so (before the term was copyrighted)... and I'm lucky enough to own a couple of them.
(Neither one these though.. but they're definitely on my wish list)

Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan and K Ruby Blume
("Rachel Kaplan has been gardening in and around urban environments for over 15 years and belongs to a family of farmers and lovers of the land... and K. Ruby Blume is an educator, gardener, beekeeper, artist and activist, with 20+ years experience gardening in an urban setting.")

Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (published 2008)
To check out their blog - "Root Simple", go here

Now these very people are being unfairly confronted with legal action... all because the Dervaes family/ Dervaes Institute - believe that they - and they alone - should have sole right to the terms.
They even went to the extreme of contacting face book ... and managed to get several pages belonging to Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen as well as others (folks who use the terms) disabled.
Good one, face book.

But... this whole kerfuffle has ticked off a lot of people who consider themselves to be "urban homesteaders", as well as getting in the faces of Face Booker's and Bloggers...
So the upshot is that there's now a serious backlash against the Dervaeses' and their stand-over tactics ...
And that's as it should be, in my humble, urban homesteading opinion.

Take Back Urban Home-steading(s)
(face book page)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Simple pleasures are best...

I was thinking the other day about food... and how in the last few years, we've gotten so spoiled with all the fancy cooking shows and blogs and all that competitive, "I can cook fancier than you" stuff.
You know... instead of plain ol' meatloaf and mashed potatoes, we now feel obligated to fix something that requires 37 rare and hard-to-find ingredients, and then we have to use all kinds of fancy and expensive gizmos to make and mix it with.
Not that I've ever felt obligated ... but I'm just sayin'.

So, the other day when I was feeling peckish around lunch time, I decided to make a good old fashioned Tuna Salad Sandwich.

And once it was made, and I ate a big spoonful straight out of the bowl.... Mmmm!
I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
So it's true.
Sometimes simple is best!

I figured that with 2 men in the house, I should triple the recipe... and that way I would make sure that I had something left over for an afternoon snack for the next few days.
I'll give you the measurements I used, but this can easily be altered to suit your own tastes - or your appetite.

Tuna Salad Sandwich
3 cans of white Albacore tuna in spring water (drained)
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
1 large dill pickle, with one half finely minced, and the other half roughly chopped
1 small onion, minced finely
Mayonnaise to moisten.
optional / a small sprinkling of dill or other fresh herbs / or a small splash of chili oil
I like it best on plain ol' wheat bread toast with lettuce, (reminds me of my far distant youth) but rustic whole grain breads or even toasted English muffins are real good too!
It's almost snack time for the kids and I, and I can hear that tuna calling my name... so I'll catch you later!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can you add to this?

This "forwarded" email was sent along to me... and since I'm a bit frazzled and burnt out energy-wise, and my brain is only firing on a couple of cylinders right now, (well that is if 'one cylinder can legitimately be called 'a couple of cylinders') I thought I would share with y'all, in place of a regular post...
Because my brain just ain't a-workin' today!!

Now let's sit back and see what 'nuggets' you can add in the comments section!

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How in the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my own neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions sometimes make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night that more kisses begin with Miller Lite, than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is "also" important.


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