Gasoline, Greenhouses, and Other Consuming Topics of Madness

It’s been a very strange few…days?  Weeks?  Months?  All of those would actually be correct, albeit in different ways.  I have had very little time or inclination for art lately, because of all the odd, busy, and amazing things that have been happening around me.  Every time I think I’ve got a handle on things, some semblance of “what to expect”, life throws me a half-dozen fabulous curve balls…which I am of course accepting with gratitude and love.  (You hear that, Universe??–!)

I’ve been very absorbed with our backyard greenhouse…which is now finished except for a door, and already over 1/4 filled with various plants and seeds.  Here’s a slightly similar greenhouse model, so you can get the full imagined effect.  My husband actually googled for a while, and then made up his own plan, in his head.  He plans to blog about that, and many other topics, in time.

Actually, the greenhouse project is spilling over into the rest of the yard, since we have also been clearing brush, planting flowers and vines, and generally trying to make the yard a bit more habitable for people (and less so for the hundreds of wasps and hornets that were, until recently, holding it hostage!).  The hippie in me was so excited to find a patchouli plant at a really amazing local nursery the other day.  I was having visions of making my own organic oil infusions and perfume solids before we even hit the checkout!  I also have big plans for a moon garden area, complete with a vine-covered bower, birdbath, and meditation bench.  In all actuality, our main goal is really just food production, but, well….you might say I have a tendency to get carried away…

Another thing we’ve been consumed with is the quest for a larger vehicle, and all the difficult trade-offs and concessions to be made in such a decision.  When we bought our MINIvan, we thought it was plenty big, but  fast forward three years:  With six seats, and six in the family, there’s room for little else.  Now, if we were going to stay a family of six, we would most likely press on with our MINIvan, and maybe buy a roof rack for it.  The gas prices are making me wish I didn’t have to own a vehicle at all lately, but in Texas, it’s an unfortunate necessity.  I thought we could hold out for a new hybrid minivan, but alas–they’re still not sure if the American version will have five or seven seats.  America, you lose major coolpoints for being statistically fatter than the Japanese.  Why won’t they make an affordable hybrid for the demographic that needs them most (aka growing families)??  Because it’s apparently not lucrative enough.  *Sigh*

Now, my dream ride is a 1970’s V-Dub bus, which seats 8, and could theoretically be converted to run on biodiesel fuel.  But hamburger-grease-smell-emanating-from-the-vegetarian-chick’s-car issues aside, I just don’t think that’d be practical for our needs right now.  I mean, I have kids–I need a dependable vehicle, not something that might break down and be out of service, long-term, due to unavailable parts; mechanical who-knows-what; or worse.

This left us considering the potential of one of those 15-seater utility van things–you know, the ones that last forever and are always painted white?  This could be an art project of epic proportion!  Paisley curtains and some green-and-yellow abstract art on the sides, and it might pass for something simply weird instead of plain and *uuuuugly*.  =)  But then the spectre of $5+ gallon gasoline is looming in the back of my mind, making me fear that we’d only be able to afford a grocery trip once every month to offset the cost of gas for a behemoth like that!  I’d be even more concerned with my garden’s productivity, then…!

We’ve even toyed with the idea of “homebrewing” our own ethanol, but again….potentially risky, and potentially vehicle-ruining if you mess up.  Then again….40 cents a gallon sounds fabulous.  I could go visit the mountains in New Mexico again…ahh yes…  Incidentally, it didn’t escape my notice that the article I linked was from 2006.  I just wanted to point that out for salience.

If that’s not enough goings-on for you, I’m also pregnant.  Due 11/11/11.  How’s that for a sign??  =)

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