Monday, December 27, 2010

My homemade Christmas

This Christmas has been a challenge. Our budget is always tight but this year a little more than usual. Anyone who has ever tried to live a healthier live knows that it tends to cost a little bit more to live a healthier life. It is a price I am willing to pay. However, I have been blessed with awesome friends who stepped in and gave us a hand to help and make sure my children had a Happy Holiday.
     My dear cousin sent me a $50 gift card to WalMart right after we were given a tree we had NO decorations for. I figured I would pick up some decorations with the gift card, and still have money to get a few games or a craft for the kids, they couldn't cost that much right? As I looked at the items I thought about the fate of our decorations from last year. Our bulbs were broken and the garland had shed so all of it went in the trash. I think the lights I had a short in them and our angel is the only thing left she is actually broke.  So I made a decision I didn't feel the need to give the electric company extra money, just so I can worry that my tree will catch fire, and I am not buying tacky decorations that will get broke and I will buy again next year. So I took my gift card and I purchased some construction paper, glitter glue, ribbon, and used the rest  to purchase things for another craft project and went home. Off I went wondering if my kids would think I had lost my mind asking them to make a paper chain to use as garland and cut out and draw ornaments. Yet, as we sit in the living room making the paper chain my ten year old looked up at me and said "mom this is waaay better than buying stuff this is fun!" That is when I knew I made the right choice.
    We only get so many years when they are young and to create memories that they will carry with them forever. They won't necessarily remember that's the Christmas that we were broke but they will probably remember the time they spent with mom and their siblings making decorations on the living room floor listening to Christmas music thinking it was cool. Much how I thought my mom and I ate pancakes for dinner for fun when I was little not because that's all we had. One thing I have always tried to instill in my children is the ideal that what you own doesn't make you a better person we have been scaling back Christmas for a few years. Weird things happen when you focus on having less you get more, you get more love from one another, you get more time with one another, and the best for me was getting make memories with one another!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recycling my secret nemesis and secret shame

So here is my confession we are lazy recyclers. I am ashamed I have a recycling drop off at MY JOB! Why does the recycling not get done you ask, because my family refuses to get in the habit of sorting our trash. I know, I know that's crazy it is one of the reason I wanted to start composting, thinking that once you take out most of the food scraps and compost-able items recycling would be easy. Um, no my children like to but trash in the plastics bin, get the paper greasy, mixing everything up to the point that as trash day approaches I just throw up my hands and say forget it just take it to the curb. I don't believe I am the only one is this not the reason many of us do not recycle? It seems like too much work, the sorting, rinsing, and if you live in a city like mine that does not have curbside recycling the transporting.  (Note: when we lived in our former location that had curbside recycling we did a better job I think that's why its important for cities to offer it) Then I start to think is it really to much work to deal with my OWN mess.? That's what I teach my children. Clean up behind yourself  take care of your messes. Yet somehow when it comes to my trash and our household trash its too much work and we just want it to go away without realizing there really is no place called away. That our trash doesn't go away it stays, it stays for a very, very long time.  My family and I have to do better and so does our community before we are literally wallowing in our own garbage. We can lessen our impact therefore we should, it is our duty.

Adventures in container gardening! Part 3

So we are making small gains we planted some lettuce and we haven't killed it! After we managed to grow some basil, thyme and a few other kitchen herbs this summer we figured for fall/winter we would try to grow a few heads of lettuce and that is what we have done. I am proud of us so far we are doing well. I purchased ours already seeded in six packs from a local organic nursery and then because leaf lettuce do not have deep roots I planted them in litter boxes I had purchased at the grocery store on clearance for $1.50 poked holes in the bottom with a screwdriver and ta da its a planter.  They make great containers because once full they are not heavy which makes them easy to move as needed for sunlight or because of space limitations. I brought about 10 so I can use them in the summer they will be great for starting seeds and growing certain veggies.  The lettuce should be ready to pick in a few weeks and I am sure it will be one of the best salads we ever ate. Pics to come!!!!!!