Monday, November 30, 2009

blessings 2

#10 ~ my in-laws, who drove 3 hours and spent a night in a hotel to attend my Grandma Marg's funeral

#11 ~ dental insurance

#12 ~ pie. buttermilk, or pumpkin, or cherry, or apple. mmmmm

#13 ~ St. Luke's. My grandparents married there in 1944. 4 of 5 of their children were baptized there (the oldest was baptized in Pennsylvania, where they lived for a short time), all 5 confirmed there. Two of their children were married there. One of their granddaughters was baptized there. And now their ashes rest there, as their souls rejoice in heaven.

#14 ~ my washing machine and dryer

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tree Huggin' Tuesday

Did you know that lots of things that can decompose don't always get the chance, when tossed in the landfill? They end up just taking up space for way too long.

And, did you know that deer love apple cores and banana peels? Whenever I'm eating one of those in the car, I throw the core or peel out the window (umm, in areas where I know there's wildlife - not in downtown Albuquerque!) for some lucky critter to find. I always hope the lucky critter is on the correct side of the road to enjoy the treat, or that they attended Safety Town and know to look both ways. :-) I also always hope that no one sees me and thinks I'm littering.

I like to see how little we throw away, so I try to put as few food scraps into the trash as possible. Right now I don't have a compost pile, but I have a dog and loads of deer. Combined, they like most of our food scraps. Egg shells, onion skins and bell peppers don't fare well, but almost everything else disappears if given the opportunity.

What I really want is a 'wormery' - a bin of worms to eat my scraps. They are even cooler than the deer - much less picky! (I've heard they like junk mail) Plus, worm poop is like gold in the gardening world. I'm trying to talk myself up to trying it. And trying to talk Andy into letting me try it. In the meantime, we've got lots of happy deer. Really happy.

Happy Chuckin' (your apple core out the window, that is!)

Monday, November 23, 2009


holy experience

I stumbled upon this cool idea, thought I'd give it a go. :-) My goal is to list 1000 blessings. Not today, or next week or next month, but bit by bit. On Mondays, if all goes according to plan.

#1 ~ wiggly, sleepy baby cuddled in my arms

#2 ~ acorn tops aka fairy hats in assorted sizes, adorning my windowsill, hidden in the doll house, fallen behind the loveseat, forgotten in pants pockets

#3 ~ my Grandma Marg, and all the beautiful lessons she quietly taught by her example

#4 ~ the smell of cold in the morning

#5 ~ pink sunsets in New Mexico

#6 ~ my sister, arguably the coolest sister anyone, anywhere, could hope for

#7 ~ finger nails (and sometimes toe nails) painted 6 different colors

#8 ~ snores down the hall

#9 ~ toasted lentil soup, and a husband who does the dishes

Saturday, November 21, 2009

and another thing

I've been to Forks. It's the closest town to the Hoh Rainforest. After seeing New Moon, I have to say, locationally speaking, they were right on. My understanding is that they shot on location, same mountain range, just north a bit, in Canada.
The forest was beautiful. We also went to the Sol Duc Hot Springs - very hot and relaxing! All I really remember about Forks is that it is really stinkin' tiny, and one of the funniest bumper stickers I've ever seen was on a truck in that town:

Hug a Logger
You'll Never Go Back to Trees

Obviously I don't share that sentiment, but still, I laughed out loud. And I'm not opposed to hugging loggers, I just like hugging trees. :-)


Last night I went to see New Moon. By myself. It was great. Mostly. I could've done without the texting and tweeting going on all over the place (the GROWN ladies next to me were doing it - not the 12 year olds in front of me!), and the screams and giggles when Jacob took off his shirt were ridiculous, but it was a theater full of New Moon fans... not surprising!

I liked the movie, but not nearly as much as the book. Mostly I liked having a few hours to myself. Next time I have a few hours to myself, I doubt it'll be at a crowded movie theater, though!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Periodically, one of us will be inspired to be healthier, and the other, not so much. So, while there's never actual, outloud discouragement, it can still be really tough to get going with eating better and exercising.

Knock on wood, though, I think Andy and I are on the same page right now. It's so much easier when we're working together on this! We're both paying much closer attention to what we eat (had an amazing dinner tonight!), and trying to work out more. He joined a gym this weekend. I'm still deciding between gym or curves, but in the meantime, I'm jog/walking the dog around our block at least 1x daily - it's just over a mile around our loop here.

I'm really hoping this sticks. We both need to shed some pounds and be healthier.

Tree Huggin' Tuesday

Mellow Yellow

Have you heard, "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." ? :-) We try to practice this. Lauren does really well if she's the first, but if some one is already letting it mellow she freaks out, "Mice pee! Mice pee! Flush the toilet, I have to peeeeeeee!!!" I have no explanation for the whole mice pee thing, except to say that Lauren is crazy.

I also brush my teeth while showering. I know folks who pee in the shower, and others who save bath water and dish water to water their plants. Wait to do a load of laundry until it's a big load. Bathe only on the 5th Sunday of every month. Just kidding about that part. I think.

What other ways can we conserve water?

Happy Huggin',

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandma Marg

My Grandma Marg passed away November 9th, she was 88 years old.

I am so thankful that I was able to spend some time with her during her last days. In and out of reality, some of her delusions were beautiful. At one point Sasha was nestled in her arms, sleeping. It was getting late, and Marg protectively put her hand on Sasha, saying to Ali and I, "You can go now, I've got the baby." That delusion really stuck with her, and when we walked in the next morning, she commented about how the baby didn't cry at all in the night.

The next night, looking at Ali and I, she was talking to her daughters (my mom and my Aunt Marjie), "I feel like I might not see you tomorrow. If that's true, I'll see you across the border." She ended up stablizing and being moved to a nursing home, where she was very comfortable for about 5 days, before peacefully 'crossing the border.'

I go back and forth between feeling such sadness to feeling such joy. Sad, because, of course, I miss her. Terribly. And also sad because now everything changes. Family traditions are up for grabs. I think it was God's timing that she die in November, after everyone had made their Thanksgiving plans, because Thanksgiving is THE holiday for my family. We still have this Thanksgiving, but now that the grandparents are gone (my Grandpa John died in April, 2006), who knows how we'll be spending Thanksgiving from here on out. Hopefully together.

I feel overwhelming joy, too, though. Because she missed Grandpa John terribly since he died 3 years ago. They were married for over 60 years. And now they are together again, smiling down on their sillies. Oh, so much joy!

Here's a picture of her. I'm not positive how old it is, but I'm guessing it was taken in the 1980's.
Oh, we miss you, Grandma Marg! Thanksgiving will not be the same without you, but we all promise to be 'good guys' ~ though there's no guaranty that we won't misbehave and leave you rolling your eyes at us!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tree Huggin' Tuesday

Yup, I'm late. I'm not surprised, you shouldn't be either. :-)

Andy jokes with me that I think plastic is the devil. Think The Waterboy with Adam Sandler, his mama calling everything the devil. That's the tone he uses and everything. Sometimes he even calls me Bobby Bousher. "Plastic is the devil, Bobby Bousher!"

Anyway, one of the things I try to do is avoid plastic. (beyond produce bags) When given the choice of the mayonaise in the plastic tub, or the mayonaise in the glass jar, I choose the glass jar. I try not to look at the price when doing this (doesn't mean glass is more expensive - just that I don't let the monetary cost weigh in to my decision ~ usually).

This applies across the store. I buy the frozen concentrate juices that are in the cardboard packages instead of plastic. The brick of cream cheese in a block, instead of a tub. Sticks of butter wrapped in paper and packaged in cardboard, instead of a tub of margarine. Maxi-pads that are not individually wrapped. Big glass jar of apple sauce instead of 6 little plastic containers (we have specimen cups that seal tightly that we use for apple sauce in lunches - still plastic, but kid-friendly and reusable!). 24 cans of Coca Cola instead of 2 liter bottles. I've even taken my own container to the butcher (at the local meat market, haven't done it at Wal-Mart yet), and he's happily put my steaks in for me (after weigh-in).

Just being a bit more mindful about how everything is packaged has been really eye-opening for me. Buying used toys saves TONS of plastic (tried getting Barbie out of her package recently?) ~ this takes serious garage-saling skill, which I severely lack. But my friend Kim, back in Wisconsin, she's a freakin' garage saling pro. Crazy how many treasures she finds. This is an area of my 'greenitude' that I am trying to work on.

So, just notice how the things you buy are packaged, I bet you could make a handful of changes that you really wouldn't notice. And a handful of changes that would take some adjusting, if you're so inclined. ;-)

Happy huggin'!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tree Huggin' Tuesday

Power Sources

Your ability to choose your power company depends on where you live, and is, therefore, much easier for some than for others.

In Wisconsin, as far as I ever knew, there was THE power company. It was kind of a monopoly. I wasn't aware of having an option as to where my power camew from.

In Texas, though, there's lots of power companies, competing for my business. So, I was able to search for renewable energy sources, along with comparing rates, contract terms, etc. Our home is completely powered by wind. Not just any wind, either, but real, authentic Texas Wind (I like to keep it local, you know). The companies told me how much of their energy was 'green' - it varied from 0% to 100%. And the rates were definitely comparable to the less green options.

I don't know what it's like where you live. But if you are able to choose, once you've made the decision (and the switch, if it involves switching power companies), there's really no follow-up. Except paying your power bill, but you'd probably be doing that anyway. ;-)

Happy Huggin'