Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All's well

In case you noticed, I removed the pregnancy ticker. Only because I was tired of it, and haven't found one I like better. I'm still pregnant, everything is fine, and I'm being kicked as I type this. :-) That's all. TTFN

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The passing lane rule

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you are in a NO PASSING zone, the car in front of you is going 10-15 mph below the posted limit? And as soon as you get to a passing zone, there's just enough traffic spaced just right coming in the opposite direction that you cannot pass.

I experience this often. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my heavy right foot combined with my car accelerating much like a cheetah. Tonight it definitely had nothing to do with my *ahem* cheetah* pulling out behind a van that accelerated much like a snail might.

Anyway, that's all. I'm off to dream about cheetahs. Or cheetos.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

One of the cool things about living where we do, is we are nestled between two major cities that each have their own PBS affiliates, so we have lots of opportunities to see all the neat shows they do. One of the sucky things about living where we live is sometimes we have to choose which PBS show we’d rather watch. Tonight I face that dilemma. All the channels are featuring Earth Day relevant shows. Anyway, I've been thinking...

I love Earth Day - I love that we have a day to focus on the Earth and what we can be doing to make it a better place. I always try to think of something cute for my girls to do for their classmates - we're giving them each a packet of seeds. Plus, lots of my favorite eco shops have Earth Day discounts - love when you can combine greenin' it up with saving some dough! ;-)

Anyway, while I love Earth Day, I'm also saddened at realizing that we need to have Earth Day at all. Shouldn't it be a priority of everyone everywhere to take care of this place we call home. This only place we can call home? Why do we have to mark it on the calender to take care of our home?

I know in my life there are so many things I could do to be greener. At the same time, I know we do an awful lot - more than most people I know personally. I don't say that with judgment or a feeling of superiority. But, in knowing that we do so much, I'm able to talk myself out of feeling guilty when I use the occasional ziploc bag or throw out a package from a food product I know I could've made myself but didn't take the time to do. That's a bad habit, talking myself out of feeling guilty - I'm still being wasteful, and in the end, I'm still contributing to the problem instead of the solution.

I guess Earth Day is relevant because we still need it to be relevant. Until every single one of us is committed to solving the problem and focused on no longer contributing to the problem, we need Earth Day to remind us to take care of our home. And, unfortunately, there are lots of us that still need to figure out that taking care of our Earth is not some hippie-dippie trend for those just trying to be cool - it's a responsibility we each have.

No matter what's going on in your life, chances are you can do more. Please think long and hard about what more you can be doing, and let's work together to make Earth Day irrelevant.

Some things I will be trying:
- switch completely to cloth wipes - no toilet paper at all at home (except a roll tucked away for guests)
- hang my clothes out to dry every load (when the weather doesn't allow for hanging outside, use my indoor drying rack)
- bake 1 loaf of bread a week (with a goal of soon baking all our bread - with the help of my bread machine)
- unplug more unused appliances - this will involve some rearranging and investing in power strips to make it possible - I will not move the 6' buffet every time I need to plug in or unplug the tv!
- be organized enough to go to rummage sales
- eliminate ziploc baggies

Some things I will be continuing:
- cloth menstrual pads
- stainless steel water bottles for the family
- bringing our own bags shopping (and work harder at remembering the cloth produce bags we have!)
- recycling (though reducing our use of recyclable materials is the greenest option)
- baking soda and vinegar to wash hair
- combining errands so trips to town are minimal
- buying local eggs and produce, as well as growing my own veggie garden (this is seasonal at this time in my life)
- check Goodwill for what we need before going to Kohl's or Target
- no paper towels - use kitchen towels instead
- composting kitchen scraps and yard waste

What are you doing or willing to try?

(image courtesy Sacramento365)

recycling books

This lady here, featured in this npr article, turns old, unwanted books into purses and wallets. How cute is that? And how green, too! Anything green I'm bound to love!

I'm at work, trying to finish my day, so that's all for now, I'll post again soon. :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures... it's about time!

First – the girls’ dresses – I love sundresses! No frilly, poufy stuff for my girls (well, not when mom goes shopping without them, at least!). Aubrey’s is dark brown with bright pink flowers, so her. Also, she’s got on her first pair of heels. She loves them, she feels so grown up.

Then, some random pictures that have been hanging out on my camera for entirely too long…

Lauren is phasing out of needing naps, which means sometimes she falls asleep at dinnertime. At the table. While sitting in her chair. It’s hilarious.

And, all the toys two siblings spend hours fighting over, but put them both in a box, and oh the magic that happens. They flew, drove, sailed and maybe also were on a train for a bit. With one playing mama, the other playing baby. Always. It’s the game that gets played throughout every other game day in and day out – mama and baby. This box has become priceless, it brings so much peace to our home.

Now, back to Easter. This picture is of only a portion of the cantata singers. What I love about it, and about church, is that, in no order, you see: a shop owner, a house painter, a teacher, a Wal-Mart stocker, a city attorney, a dairy farmer, a retired shop owner, a great-grandmother, a business man, a housewife and an unemployed salesperson, among others. We may have nothing in common with the people next to us, except that we are all seeking Jesus. And really, isn’t that all the matters?

And, just because I like this picture, here’s one of my sweeties, looking especially sweet….

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny was smart to hide our eggs late last night - we were in the (cold) yard before 7am looking for them! That silly rabbit, though, was trying to hide our neighbors eggs this morning, so he spent a few minutes hiding in the neighbor's garage while we found ours - you know he doesn't want to be spotted!

This year the Easter Bunny went light on junk - each girl got a hula hoop, chocolate bunny, box of rainbow goldfish (a treat because Mommy thinks they are disgusting!) and a miniature growing kit. Also, though, the EB left two certificates - one for an ice cream date with Mommy Daddy, and the other for dinner out at our favorite Japanese restaurant. I am excited. And, there's no plastic easter grass in my house. Yet. The day is young, the girls may be getting easter gifts from some relatives we'll be seeing later.

Andy's singing in the cantata this morning, at all 3 church services, so he missed helping us find eggs, and we won't have a chance to hang out with him until 'brunch' at 1pm. I'm a little sad, because I so enjoy spending holidays together, but then I'm not sad, because he's singing at church this morning, which is not something I ever would've predicted when we got married.

I hope your Easter is a celebration of Jesus, and that you are able to spend some time with people that matter in your life. :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

by Mary Oliver

Next Time
Next time what I'd do is look at
the earth before saying anything.
I'd stop just before going into a house
and be an emperor for a minute
and listen better to the wind
or to the air being still.
When anyone talked to me, whether
blame or praise or just passing time,
I'd watch the face, how the mouth
has to work, and see any strain, any
sign of what lifted the voice.
And for all, I'd know more -- the earth
bracing itself and soaring, the air
finding every leaf and feather over
forest and water, and for every person
the body glowing inside the clothes
like a light.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Let the Gardening Begin!

It's supposed to snow tonight and into tomorrow, but dangit, it's spring time, and we should be playing in the dirt. So we did.

I'm hoping to blog about my gardening this year so that I can go back and remember what worked and didn't work, and well, this is the best place for me to do it, so I'll try to amuse you with my gardening trials. :-)

First, we (Col, the girlies and I) headed to the farm where we have a community garden plot. Last fall we were very mindful to clean up our tomato cages and retrieve our tools, but not everyone remembered to do that, so we volunteered to help the owner of the property clean up. Doug opens up his property to our church community, prepares it at his expense and receives no monetary compensation - the least we could do was pull a few tomato cages and garden markers out of the ground!

Then, a quick trip to Wal-Mart to buy some seeds. Actually, it was a long trip to Wal-Mart because it was 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon. The worst time to go to Wal-Mart. But whatever. We only needed seeds and soil.

Since we don't know where we'll be when, we just got the small packets of seeds - the $0.20 packets. I know, I know, I'm a big spender. I'm going to break the bank, what with the $1.60 we spent on seeds. But, what I like about these packets is you get just a few seeds - 14 green bean seeds, 11 cucumber seeds. I didn't count the tomato seeds, and the other packets remain unopened. Anyway, just a few seeds works great for me as I'm not organized enough to consistently remember where I put last year's seeds that I can plant this year, and I do not need to plant 75 green bean plants.

So we reused two cardboard egg cartons to plant green beans and cucumbers, and Aubrey planted some cherry tomato seeds in two larger pots. We'll start them inside, and maybe by the 4th of July the snow will have stopped and we can put things outside then.

That's where I'm at today. Are you growing anything this year? If so, what, and when did/will you start it?

I'll try to blog more later about life and such, but first I've got some girlies to bathe.

2 pots Large Red Cherry Tomatoes
11 Muncher Cucumbers
13 Tendergreen Improved Garden Beans

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Well nevermind then!

You know, yesterday, as I drove home from work, I thought of at least two things that made me say, “Oh, I should blog about this!” And then I picked up the girls, stopped at the house to get the crockpot of chili, get to church asap for Lenten dinner and service, back home, bathe girlies, help with homework, admire the mountain of dishes in the sink (and strategically add to said mountain), tell the bunnies they were extra stinky, and then I went to bed. And completely forgot what I wanted to blog about.

So, a blog about nothing is what I’ve got. But, as it turns out, sometimes I can blab on and on about nothing. Andy loves it. Trust me. Anyway, we’ll see how full of blab I am tonight!

Tomorrow is multicultural day at school, and all the 1st graders are representing Ireland. Aubrey’s teacher has requested they wear green. Gag. Anyway, we’ll see what we come up with in the morning as we are getting dressed. And, Aubrey (with some help) made Irish Soda Bread to share tomorrow as a snack. This is the first time we’ve ever made it, so I am hoping it’ll be good. If it’s not good, well, blame the Irish. It couldn’t be the chefs. ;-)

Anyway, we wrote down a few things about Irish Soda Bread for Aubrey to share with class. My capital ‘i’s are like lower case ‘L’s, and so Aubrey made it a point to tell me that she would want to say LLLLLrish if we didn’t clearly make the I an I. LLLLLLrish, LLLLLrish. We can’t have any of that now, can we? And, did you know that if you add raisins to soda bread it becomes “Spotted Dog?” So, technically, Aubrey is taking “Spotted Dog” to school tomorrow.

In other first grader news, we are now reading chapter books – Junie B. Jones, specifically. I am so excited. I hope Aubrey loves to read throughout her life.

In 3 year old news, Lauren’s still crazy. Her current favorite toy is a teeny tiny mermaid whose tail is broken. We call her Mermaidia. Oh, and she’s sporting a stylish purple hairdo, with quite a large bald spot right in the middle of her head. Naked Polly Pocket, who is affectionately called “Friend” is rarely far from Mermaidia’s side.

Also, Lauren has figured out the birthing process all on her own….. Daddy will use all his tools to get the baby out of Mommy. And he might cut Mommy a little. Or maybe we will use a finger, to push my belly button. Whatever the case, since Lauren is talking to her preschool friends about this, I think it’s time to have a talk about the way it really works.

Update 4/4 - the Irish Soda Bread was really tasty! We'll probably make it again, it was so easy. :-)