Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall into Winter

Winter / Storm prep tips.

While it's a little early to be thinking about snow here in the Pacific Northwest, it is not too early to prepare for it! 
Women on their own must look out for themselves and be prepared for anything - because anything can happen.  I have been through many major storms here and been trapped for weeks, both at home and away from home.

I now have a preparation ritual.  In the Fall (sometimes sooner) I start thinking about what I need to do, from gathering supplies to making preparations.
Supplies always include extra canned and dry goods, anything I can cook or prepare on a camp stove should the power be out.
Preparations include winterizing the house.  Wrapping outside pipes, putting up heavier curtains inside.
I even pack an overnight bag that I keep in my car should I get stuck away from home. 

I always make sure I have a flashlight and extra batteries, several small propane tanks, lanterns and oil, matches and ground coffee!  Until they design a battery operated coffee grinder, this is a staple for me!  Of course a small drip coffee one-cupper and cone shaped filters must be included.
[ update:  I found a hand grinder!  No batteries or electricity required!)

Other useful things would be a couple of bags of ice in the freezer, so when the power goes out it keeps the food cold.  One year it was so cold outside that I just put the food out there.
Extra containers of water may be necessary if your water comes from an electric pump,  and did I mention candles?  Lots of them.

Obviously I have a back up heating system that doesn't require electricity.  I have a wonderful wood stove.  It is actually my primary heat source. I get my fire wood in the summer, stacked, cured and covered by Sept.

Keep the gas tank full in the car and the snow shovel by the front door.  Have a corded phone to plug in to the jack should the power go out.  Cordless phones are useless without power.
Up until about a year ago I didn't even have a cell phone, but now that I do, I keep that charged up.  While I don't get service here at my house, at least I can use it in the car if need be.

So these are some of the things we can do to be prepared for a long winter living alone.
If you're on a budget like me, or just like to conserve your resources, we have to think outside of the box a little more, get creative and work with the resources you have.

I'm really quite content with my independent life, and grateful to have a sharp mind and willing spirit.  It just makes life so much more interesting.

If you have any tips you'd like to share on winter preparedness, please leave a comment!  I look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Scarf Ideas

OK, I promised to post some photo ideas for how to wear the new 100% cotton up-cycled scarves made from thrifted t-shirts.
For those you who haven't been following the posts, or are new to the blog, these scarves have been hand dyed and made from recycled white cotton t-shirts.  It's basically a no sew project that anyone can do.  Just cut off the bottom half of a t-shirt!

OK, starting off the fashion show with our glass head model (who is nameless right now), showing above is the bronze colored scarf dyed solid, which comes out marbled, wrapped twice around our models neck.  This is the most practical way to wear it.  They stretch well and are quite warm by the way!

This scarf is tie dyed by using a twist method.  I have wrapped it once around the neck and then over the head.  A little spooky looking on our model here, but you get the idea!

Now this is both of them together, intertwined.  On a real person they would hang down in front.  But this is an example of how to combine the two colors together.

I thought this version was really cute for a bad hair day.  Twisted, and wrapped twice around the head.

So those are the first few ideas I had on how to wear these.  They will be available for sale at the Wandering Wardrobe in Port Townsend after Tuesday Oct. 18th.  They sell for only $10 each!  The colors available now are the above bronze, amethyst (which is closer to hot pink), deep purple, dark green, new black, olive drab and teal blue.  There are about four of each color, two are solids and two are tie dyed. ( Please see the previous posts for photos of these colors.)

It's been really fun making them.  They tend to be unique unto themselves as they are all different sizes, lengths and weights.  Even the dye takes differently to some of them.
I hope you have enjoyed the process as much I have!

Visitors from the Forest

Mom raccoon and her two youngsters stopped by today.  They were so cute playing in the trees near the house.  Of course just earlier they were cleaning up the bird seed on the ground.

 Night before last the two kids were playing just outside my bedroom window on a branch.  I could hear them chattering to each other.  Probably daring the other to climb out on it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Encounters Along the Hood Canal

While I was at a clients house this week I was delighted to spot this lovely ship heading out of the canal.  This is the Thomas G Thompson.  What a treat it was to get a couple of nice photos of it.

It reminded me of the year I was a stringer for the local paper, writing about the events and scenery of the Hood Canal.  This ship came through then, and I wrote a small piece about it.  So I dug it up (all writers keep all their stuff) to attach here.

It further gave me the idea to give new life to those articles here on New Pioneer!  So in the coming weeks and months I will sort through them and share with you.

So for this weeks post, here is the article I did on this pretty little ship. 

Oceanography Students on the Canal

Monday morning, October 25th, the R/V Thomas G. Thompson could be seen cruising through the Hood Canal on calm waters. The University of Washington’s School of Oceanography students were collecting sediment samples as part of an undergraduate program being conducted by Professor Rick Keil.

Oceanographer and Manager of Oceanography Technical Services, James R. Postel, said the students were also collecting water column samples and learning how to analyze for dissolved oxygen. “Hood Canal is of great interest to the students because of the well publicized low oxygen levels often encountered there.” He added.

Owned by the US Navy, and part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System fleet, the 274-foot vessel was built for the sole purpose of implementing scientific research and is operated by the School of Oceanography, University of Washington.
Funding for the ship time is provided to the School of Oceanography for student teaching support by the state.
Mr. Postel says the vessel will be leaving Hood Canal Tuesday morning and returning to the UW.  Another group of students will be taking part in a similar cruise near Edmonds at the end of the week.

Copyright Jeni Gray 2004(original draft)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have decided to merge the two blogs!  New Pioneer Style is moving in.
I have imported the posts - so don't freak out, it's still Diary of the New Pioneer, but along with New Pioneer Style news.

I realized how similar the two blogs are and it just made sense.  I'm all about sustainability, recycling, re-using, re-purposing, and up-cycling.  Why not just make things simpler and merge.

I will be merging more of the content from NPS here in the side columns and (hopefully) streamlining and simplifying the content.

Thank you for your continued support!  Now you will enjoy even more content under one blog.

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Scarf Colors

Some of you were asking for more photos for detail on these up-cycled scarves.

Shown in these two photos are size and color variations - so far.  I am getting ready to make a few more so that there will be about four in each color (both solid and patterned).

They measure anywhere from 22 to 32 inches in length (doubled), are circular, and seamless.   They can be worn a variety of ways, which I will be posting soon as well.

As mentioned in previous posts, they are made from large white t-shirts purchased from thrift stores and hand dyed.

This first line will be available at The Wandering Wardrobe in Port Townsend after October 18th, and will retail for $10 each.

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