The Packrat Chronicles

by | Jul 15, 2010 | Food, Lay of the land, THRIFT

There’s a reason my family calls my house “Li-Mart.” In recent weeks, I have supplied the following without leaving the confines of my home:

**298 Danish Krone to my mother. In August, she goes to Copenhagen to visit friends (a family that includes the woman I’m named after), and, mistaking me for Thomas Cook, dropped by today to ask my advice on changing money. I recommended ATMs, but then I also just happen to have a foreign currency stash in my WHQ office, where I have leftovers from trips along with a curious accumulation of currency for places I’ve never been, including Portugal and China.


*A handwoven Ethiopian netela, sewn by yours truly into a Tibetan-style baby carrier (this is also the way I saw many Ethiopian girls carrying their smaller siblings, and a method I imagine is too sensible not to be used in multiple cultures). The carrier was a collaborative project with the visiting DIL (Daughter-In-Love), whose current AZ locale makes the gauzy cotton weave of the netela especially apropos for toting around an increasingly active, heat-generating 12-lb wonderbaby. In the desert. In summer.

**Shallots, shallots and more shallots. Our highest-yielding crop to date (with raspberries a solid second). Other garden plantings that seem to be faring well: the rainbow chard is a gift that keeps on giving; Magda squash seems to be borer resistant; and the various tomatoes–if we can keep on top of the potato beetles–look to be coming on strong. Much curiosity about the currant tomatoes and wondering whether the 3/4-inch little guys will deliver flavor bombs as promised.

**Oilcloth and other fabrics and sewing notions to my niece, Phoebe, and her friend Fazia–so they could make banners for their eighth-grade graduation ceremony. Some kids focused on their high schools, their families, their academic interests. Our girl dealt with such matters in the circular tassels she hung down from hers — but mostly, she made a giant sneaker.