I’ve been working on a FREE homemade breathing device for a month now. It filters the air in and out in separate flapper-valve-controlled spaces and thus protects the wearer as well as the nearby public from contracting airborne diseases, such as COVID-19. All of the components are readily available as throw-away items, possibly even findable floating in the oceans. A plastic bottle, tiny bits of string or twist ties, pieces of discarded cloth, and a few tools like a sharp point for cutting the plastic bottle, and strings, and cloths to my specified shapes.

The problem is getting all of these things to function perfectly for filtering air in a way that is totally separated from the wearer and the public. The simple cloth face masks that are now ubiquitous concentrate the moisture and the viruses expelled from a carrier’s breath. These masks shouldn’t be thrown away in the kitchen trash because of the viruses they carry. They should be put directly into the outside trash can. Even better would be to incinerate them immediately, but few people can follow that obvious suggestion. A simple alternative would be to spray them with soap and toss them immediately into the clothes washing machine, close the door and run the machine daily.

Because the threat of frost is now gone, here in Bend, Oregon, I put in two hours planting seeds outdoors and transplanting plants from my homemade greenhouse into the exterior garden. Some of those greenhouse plants had several more weeks of early life in my south-facing window. There were 70 one-quart yogurt containers there, and some of them had two or more plants. After all the movements, my 32 x 12 foot greenhouse is filled with foot-high tomatoes. There are lots of Black Krims because my friend Steve gave me three of them last year and I fell in love with them.

Rhubarb chutney is still my hoped-for ecstasy later this year.