Thursday, January 28, 2010

Green Dilemma

In March of 2009, I purchased a new car:

A beautiful 2006 Subaru Outback.  I'd been dreaming about a new car for years, but hadn't wanted to take on payments, and my old car just wasn't broken enough yet.  It's not the most fuel efficient car, but I wanted a car that would Last.  Subarus tend to stick around a while, so rather then need a new care in 5 or 6 years, I wanted a car that might last me 8 or 9 years and still be reliable. 

I love my Subaru.  I could found a fan club for Subarus. 

I like to keep my Subaru clean, so that it looks nice, and also to preserve the paint and fend off any rust.  I live in a climate where it snows a LOT, and the plows use salt on the roads, which eats paint. 

How do you who drive new-ish cars (possibly hybrids) keep them clean in the winter? I took my baby through the car wash the other night and it occured to me how many chemicals they were spraying on my car, that would no doubt be sent right to the water table....


I can't justify just letting my car rust so that it will need wasteful replacing before the life of the car is up.

What's a green-minded girl to do?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Comforts of home...

It's so good to spend a day around the house.

A freshly mopped kitchen floor

 An empty kitchen sink


Pan of Low-Fat Oatmeal-Fruit bars cooling


Spinach-Artichoke Quiche for weekday lunches


The blessing of a stocked fridge


Hot cup of tea to unwind before preparing supper

Every weekend is a balancing act between busy and calm.  This weekend has been especially energizing and rejuvenating.  May this week bring you many blessings and much peace!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brain Lint...

Some miscellaneous stuff I've been holding on to, but not enough on their own for individual posts.

This was supper one night last week.
Grits/Polenta with a sort of chile/sloppy joe sauce
And crispy onions on top. Yummy

Homemade chicken stock this weekend.
I was sick, and using up a lot of what I had made, so it was time...

Thrift store find.  It was $3.99

Look what was inside!:

That's the sort of things that bounce around between posts.  I think I'm going to try to share them in a clump like this every so often, when a few build up, but not so many that it's overwhelming....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The last Holiday Post, I promise...

As the Grand Finale (belatedly, I admit) of all my holiday posting,  here are some photos of my grandparents' recycled gift to me:

A note:
Dearest Meg-
This gift is given with much love and a piece of history.  The peach chemise was your Great Grandma Alice's for her wedding.  She also had the silk stockings in her cedar chest when she died.  The hankies are ones she gave me as gifts on Christmas's in our early years of marriage.  The top one I carried on my wedding day 47 years ago.  The beaded purse was a gift from my sister-in-law Anne-Marie when I was in high school.  Never having had anything so fancy I thought I was pretty special.  Hope you will enjoy owning these gifts or you may sell as you wish.
Grandma and Poppy

First of all, I would hardly think of selling family heirlooms such as these!  I have a hard time getting rid of clothes that don't fit for sentimental reasons, much less family history!

Second, I am truly touched by the items in the box, and intend on using some of them in our September wedding.

Photos of the items within the box:

Great Grandma's chemise

Great Grandma's silk stockings


Grandma's wedding handkerchief
I will carry this on my wedding day,
along with some of the others, perhaps, 
I'm a sentimental fool, and probably will cry a TON!

 Heirloom Handkerchiefs:













Grandma's purse.
I've been looking for a purse to carry on my wedding day.
It found me, instead!

Detail of the beautiful beading

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A different kind of New Year's Resolution

Every year, I make a bunch of futile, abstract goals that I can never accomplish.  This year, I have, again, made similar kinds of goals. 

But, I've also set a goal for myself that has no "outcome."

This year, I would like to make better use of my time:

Instead of making supper, eating it, then curling up on the sofa and falling asleep, dishes undone, I resolve to make supper, eat it, and then wash the dishes before curling up on the sofa.  Better yet, do them as I go!

Instead of wasting time on the internet, do double duty, and work on things for our upcoming wedding while I'm farting around on Facebook or in Blogland.

While cooking supper, clean off a counter, tidy a drawer, put away dishes, sweep, etc. while waiting for something to cook, defrost, boil, etc.

When I do settle down to watch television, do something productive while I'm watching, at least to start off with-fold laundry, bead, do wedding stuff, dust, etc.

Get at least a couple household chores done each evening before I collapse on the sofa.

These resolutions are not outcome driven, they are changing the way I approach each day, tackling things as they come instead of letting them pile up.  I hope that by changing my approach in increments, with do-able tasks, I won't procrastinate as much as I have in the past. 

I'm making progress already:  While I write this blog, I'm minding a pan of Risotto (which needs a bit of minding), and I've already tidied 2 kitchen drawers. Since I got home, I've done a load of laundry and washed a sinkful of dishes.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Recycled Christmas

For Christmas this year, my Grandparents suggested that our family have a "Recycled Christmas:"  everything given was to be handmade, homemade, re-gifted, recycled, or bought used.  I, of course, jumped right on the bandwagon as we have been trying to cut down on "things."  The idea was met with some resistance by a few members of our family, but in the end, it turned out great! 

I don't have many photos to share with this post, but I wanted to share with you some of the creative and thoughtful gifts that were exchanged in our family this holiday season.

My grandparents gave each of us family heirlooms, along with a personal note that explains the story.  For example, my fiance received a photo album full of childhood pictures of yours truly.  I received old family handkerchiefs, and a beautiful beaded white purse given as a gift many years ago to my grandma.  My mother received a hatbox full of family photos.  My brother, a great great uncle's ring. 

My aunt (a skeptic) gave me a conga drum that she traded a train table that her children didn't play with anymore for, and she gave my fiance an antique radio she bought when Aeropostale was selling all of the decorations from its store closing.  She also made us tie-dye shirts.  My cousins also helped making gifts, decoupaging a chair for my sister's roommate, and coloring Christmas pictures for each of us.  My uncle gave my mother bacon that he smoked himself, and my brother gave my uncle gourmet, homemade flavored vinegars. 

I gave my cousin a blanket I made, another one used books, and I made my grandma a jewelry set.  My Poppy (Grandpa) got my homemade french onion dip, a jar of salsa I canned, and a re-gifted (yet unopened) bag of Terrell's SU cheese poofs.

If you haven't tried a homemade/recycled holiday with your extended family, try bringing it up sometime, our entire family had a blast making and searching for gifts in unusual places, and each gift has a lot more meaning than something just purchased in a store.  Even those of us who were unsure of the idea ended up enjoying the family bonding experience it created.

My mom, opening her box of old family photos and documents
(even one of my grandmother's old report cards!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A holiday in photos...

Christmas Eve

Bongo Bob-my brother with my new conga drum and
his new tie-dye shirt (he's more of a camouflage guy)

Siblings-the four of us don't get all together very often anymore...

Christmas Day

My sister and I got aprons from Italy!

My Dad got a hat from Italy...

December 26-Toronto, ON

Mike got a Team Canada sweater from his sister

Merry Christmas, eh?

New Years Eve-Niagara Falls, ON

Mike, in front of the American falls

Me, in the same place

It was a misty, drizzly day, so the Skylon tower seemed to disappear

Mike, in front of the Horseshoe falls

Me, in the same place

It was rainy and miserable, so we went to Ripley's Believe it Or Not!
This Buddha is made from money-like 3 million dollars!

Then I put Mike in the Stocks

This neat-o fence was outside the Hard Rock Cafe

Mike got a Canada jersey

And I got boppers (I call them Knockers) for New Years

We got wine, but forgot to bring wine or champagne glasses,
so I used my plastic snowflake cup we had brought along with us

Happy New Years!

We hope that 2010 is a blessed year for everyone.  We have so much to look forward to this year: buying a house, getting married and embarking on the next adventure of this great journey called life!