Monday, April 28, 2008


I think I am gradually becoming an eco-nazi. Don't get me wrong, I don't run around wearing hemp clothing or berate strangers for not recyling a soda can - but I think I'm definitely well on my way. I took an environmental science course in college, and it totally impacted the way I think about the Earth and how we function on it. I found the whole thing very interesting (short course summary: we're killing the planet and we're all going to die) and honestly if I was any good at regular science, I would have really enjoyed minoring in environmental science. But as it is, I just don't have a very scientific brain. But I digress...

I think I've replaced most of the bulbs in our house with the CFL's. And I've been recycling like a fiend for a few years now - God bless Springfield for making recycling a free part of trash pickup. I'm teaching Paige how to sort everything into the bins now - and still trying to train the husband to recycle. He's getting better, but there's still a lot of nagging involved. I'm so glad that eco-friendly is becoming a mainstream thing now. It's so much easier to find information and products to help people be more green. I am loving that!

A couple of weeks ago I got a compost tumbler...I've wanted one for like 5 years now and finally broke down and got a small one. My neighbors have compost piles but I just couldn't handle having snakes on it or worrying about it attracting rats or something. I guess I'll know in a couple of months how well it works. I'm big on gardening and this year, since Paige is big enough to finally (kind of) help out, we're loading up the vegetable garden. I'm going to try to hit the farmer's market more often this year too. Buying organic food is too expensive most of the time, but in the summer at least we can eat our own. My next big green move is to get some of the reusable shopping bags to take to the stores. I've really gotten to hate the plastic ones - I try to reuse them but I still end up with more than I can use and always forget to take them to Walmart to recycle. The other thing on my list is to start a paper recycling program at my school. I talked to my principal about it this year but just got too busy to take it on myself. And if I can talk my husband into taking the kids to daycare next school year, I'll be able to walk or ride my bike to work!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why I should hate my friends

So I'm at a meeting at work the other morning and my friend 'Jan' starts telling me this story about this wacky video she found on YouTube the night before. I guess her son is planning on doing one of the annual local 5K runs and she was looking up information about it (or something). Low and behold, she came across this video and got such a kick out of the fact that she knew someone in it. And my first thought is...Oh no, tell me he didn't.

Now, I should have prefaced this with the fact that my husband and I have this friend...we'll call him 'John'. He has a lot of free time on his hands and was apparently a documentary filmmaker in a past life. Or maybe he's missing his calling by working for the State. In any case, how would most people feel knowing that possibly very unglamorous footage of themselves was stored on the Internet for all (and by all, I mean co-workers) to find and see? As luck would have it, I did not run into John that day (which is probably lucky for him!) and didn't even have time this week to take a look at the video until this evening. Now all I can think is - is it wrong to envy a man for his editing skills?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Excitement and Expense

We're getting a new fridge this weekend, which is exciting - for me at least. Our current refrigerator is probably close to 30 years old (no really!) and I've been waiting for it to die for some time now. Luckily I've been able to sock away the money to beat it to the punch. We were looking at spending an extra grand and replacing the microwave, dishwasher, and stove also - it'll have to be done anyway before we put the house up for sale in a few years - but unfortunately the news from my union regarding negotiations is not sounding too good. We can't afford to spend too much money if a strike is I'm settling for just a new fridge for now.

Speaking of new houses, I'm having a hard time right now. It seems like everyone we know is moving and after 6 years in this house the gypsy in me is getting antsy. It also doesn't help that I literally have toys scattered throughout every room in my house! The bigger the girls get, the smaller the house seems. My goal for some time now has been to build a house when we move - right now the husband and I are having an ongoing argument about that pipe dream. He says we won't be able to afford it, and I say we make too much money not to be able to. Granted, we do have debt and pay an insane amount of money for daycare for both the girls. And he also seems to think that saving for retirement and college funds is somehow a priority. Personally I think he just relishes being a killjoy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Old Spice

So I am home at Easter, helping my mother cook the meal. This is what I find in the spice drawer.

I'm not even kidding - one of the containers had a date stamp of 1977 on the bottom! Whether or not that was the expiration date, I have no idea, but am I the only one that is a little disturbed by this? These spice canisters are older than I am for God's sakes! In any case, I figure they'll soon be considered "vintage" (if they aren't already), so I'm going to find a place to put them in my kitchen.

That is, of course, assuming I ever get anything more done in my kitchen now that we've stripped the wallpaper. The weather is finally supposed to start warming up next week - on my last 4 days off! - so I'll be back outside in my yard most of the time. The last two years have been hard to get anything accomplished...pregnancy and infants don't lend well to yard work. So this year I'm determined to get some things done. Of course, as usual I'm pretty sure I've got a longer list of projects than I will ever have time to accomplish them. But at least I've got a plan, so we'll see where it gets me by then end of the summer. As of right now, the grad class I was going to take this summer is full, so I may end up with more time on my hands come June. That really wouldn't be so bad - it would be nice to have a semester off to do some things that I like to do for once.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Holy Smokes

I do not know how stay-at-home moms do it. I don't know any personally, but I have an extreme amount of respect for them. I have been off for about a week and a half on my spring break, and yesterday I thought we were going to be at least one child shorter on next year's tax return. It was not like this when I was off work and staying home with just my oldest. That was great - we shopped, we played at home - lots of good quality time. With two of them at home, school vacations are not near as relaxing as they used to be. I actually think I am more stressed now than I am when I'm working full time! Don't get me wrong, I love my girls. And they love each other. It's just that when they are not loving each other (which seems like every 5 minutes when the TV is not on) it makes me crazy. Luckily the youngest one is almost 20 months old now and getting much easier to deal with. We may keep her after all. She is awfully cute - she got her first haircut yesterday.

It went surprisingly well - no screaming or fighting, which for Elle is saying something. Of course, it probably helped that I went armed with a Mickey Mouse video!