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Kermit

Kermit was right. However, it *is* getting easier to “go green” because there are finally more options all across the board. There are hybrid cars not just in development but actually on the roads. Shelves in the marketplace are filled with phosphate-free, biodegradable cleaning products. I have been using canvas bags for grocery trips since the early 90’s. People looked at me oddly but allowed the eccentricity. Now the stores are hawking reusable bags, WITH their logos on them, for cold and hot foods, and cotton mesh for fruits and vegetables. There are many made of recycled plastic that sport a variety of colorful themed photos. The nylon bag stash comes in several sizes and has it’s own tiny bag to stuff it into. They are marketed as emergency-keep-in-your-pocketbook/handbag/purse. The colors are bright, the fabric lightweight, and once I took the knitting out of the one my mother gave me, I find I can use it for CVS purchases, and other impromptu carrying.

I am a Green Bag convert. They really do keep fruits and veggies fresh for two weeks and longer. We picked fresh blueberries at the family farm in early August. I stored them in green bags in the frig. There was still a small bag in the frig two and a half weeks later. With a heavy sigh I grabbed the bag, took it to the compost pile and tossed the contents in. They were not gross. They were not smushy or discolored or in any way changed from when I first stored them in the frig. I was seriously pissed I hadn’t checked before chucking them. I now use Green Bags consistently. There is some basil I picked a couple weeks ago (thanks to my fellow farmer at work for her crop sharing!) that is still looking and smelling fresh. I have dipped into it for salads and pasta a few times and it still is good!

Because we do not have young children at home anymore, we don’t half-fill up our large garbage can every week. Plastic is recycled. Plastic bags are reused for dog dirt and the extras go back to the stores themselves. Paper and cardboard boxes are collapsed and recycled. We use things up, wear them out, repair them or make do. Those things that are still usable but not actually being used by us are posted on Freecycle.

You’d think I’d have less “stuff” with all this efficient use of resources, but somehow I manage to end up with more stuff than I need because… well… because it caught my eye, it was pretty, it was loved once but not-so-much now, it was an idea that didn’t work, or was abandoned due to lack of time or interest…

Jess does an amazing job of being green. She has replaced a lot of petroleum cleaning products with natural cleaners, stopped buying Pampers and begun using flushable diaper inserts, and her supply of reusable shopping bags puts my lot to shame. She buys organic foods, shops at local organic farm co-ops, and scrutinizes the packaging of toys for potential problems.

I have benefited by her home cleansing efforts because when push comes to shove, I am more frugal than I am earth-conscious. I do not buy the ‘bad’ stuff, and I do draw the line on some products, still, I will gladly take almost-full bottles of Windex and use them up. I don’t think I will need to purchase any surface and glass cleansers or bathroom cleansers before the new year. (Actually, that may be partly because I do not clean as much as I used to, or even as much as I should β€” mostly spurts as the mood, energy, and time strike me.)

And now, a proverbial non sequitor:
CCR came across a novelty site and shared it on her blog. She encouraged others to try it, so I did.

HowManyOfMe.com
Logo There are
1
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

How do you like that “1 or fewer” phrase?

This is more a novelty than you might think. I haven’t read a pure for-the-fun-of-it story since I can’t remember when. There have been audio books to listen to. There have been tech manuals, user manuals, industry reading, catalogs galore, knitting patterns, blogs, weather reports, and the TV Guide online… but no hold-in-your-hands books. No lounge-in-the-bath novels.

It was a quick read. A fun, romp of a book, “Lady, My Life as a Bitch” by Melvin Burgess. The uncorrected proof (not for resale) was in our company cafeteria book swap. The concept amused meβ€”a wild 17-year-old suddenly changed into a dog by a drunk who became a drunk because of his unfortunate tendency to change people into dogs when he was angry with them.

The main character is a selfish, thoughtless, hedonistic wild-child. She’s only fully human for chapter one, although she tries very hard to regain human traits towards the end of the book in order to regain her family’s trust and recognition. This guy *knows* dogs. I wonder what a conversation between Cesar Millan and Melvin Burgess would be like? They both totally understand the concept of “now” that the whole of a dog’s life is lived in.

I miss taking time to read books. I seriously have to re-prioritize my time to include more of the hold-in-your-hands indulgence.

Read any good books lately? Tell me!

reading, books

After all this time, you’d think I’d finally catch on and not do dumb things like this. I confidently venture forth into the unknown assuming I actually *do* know what is in my path when the truth is, I don’t. My imagination populates dark areas with all sorts of traps, blundering bog holes, and vast areas of gravity pockets. I prefer to see where I am and where I am going…even if the imagined perils are real, if I actually can see them, I can deal with or circumvent them. The road in front of me should be liberally festooned with signs (do NOT assume you know where you are in space and time β€” look where you are going!) and running lights for those times when I neglect to read the signs.

I was sorting junk mail (yes I sort junk mail into piles: ‘just look’ and ‘no fricking way will I order from this’ β€” the latter pile usually has to go through the first pile at least once to get put into the second pile). The TV was on for season premier of ‘BONES’ and every other commercial break I would get up and take pile #2 to the recycling basket in the front room.

You know I have puppies, right? You know how puppies can be just like small children with the constant “Look at me! Look at me! Are you watching? Did you see? Look! Look!” Craving attention leads to all sorts of attention-getting shenanigans when they bark-announce “Look! A bird! Look! People walking by…with a DOG!!!” from their window couch positions in the front room. Duncan is so intense his backside quivers and vibrates. Dixie adds her “Woo-woo!” and generally it gets so loud that even two rooms away I can’t hear the TV I am right in front of. I have to get up, order them out of the front room, and loosely place a baby gate across the room entryway. After a while I remove it again so they can try to watch without barking insanely.

The 2-hour season premier is over. It is now dark in all areas of the house except for the room where I am. I gather up pile #2 and confidently walk through the dimly lit kitchen area to the front room and…

…trip over the baby gate that I didn’t see in the dark, having forgotten I had put it there a mere hour previously. Lights would have helped. The electric bill was paid and I could have flicked a switch at any point in my journey through the kitchen. Mindlessness… an often painful event for me.

The crash brought the puppies running…to the couch first to check outside the front window, and then to me, rolling and snarling on the floor. Playtime! Except I wasn’t making play noises. My right knee took the brunt of the fall on the wooden baby gate. When I could stand (oh my stars that hurt!), I limped to the freezer, got an ice pack for my knee, and sat and watched the news for 20 minutes, accepting sympathy licks from the puppies.

Today the knee is stiff and sore. The bruise probably won’t show up until tomorrow so I’m wearing a dress while I can. Tomorrow I’ll start wearing slacks at work until the worst of the discoloration leaves. Some people plan their wardrobe around the weather. Mine is also complicated by what can I wear that minimizes the latest batch of bruises so I don’t scare small children and co-workers.

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