Friday, February 22, 2008


Tessa woke at 2am, crying with an earache. With Children's Tylenol, and bringing her into our bed, she finally fell back asleep, but it kept me up until about 5:30am. I yawn just thinking about it. THANK YOU to Ryan for making my morning coffee - today I'd really be lost without it.

This morning, she appears well and happy. What was that about? I'm delighted that she's fine but wondering what the middle-of-the-night hubbub was about. She slept in until about 8:45 so she's feeling rested, but not so much for me.


Tomorrow, Tessa & Ryan (along with Shep) are going snowshoeing with Artie & Anna. I am staying home to attend a baby shower for a wonderful friend, and to bake a cake for my grandma, who turned 85 this week and is having a family party tomorrow. I decided that a home made cake (enough to feed 20) was the perfect gift - she doesn't need "stuff" but I want to share love and affection, and this is my way to do that. My cake decorating skills aren't great but I do have a decorating set that I've used for Tessa's birthday. I'm going to do chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and white writing/flowers, I think. Wish me luck on that one - I'm not worried about the cake itself, just the decorating. I am truly looking forward to attending the family party, and seeing everyone.

And in waste not notes...
My refrigerator is down to bare bones: bottles of condiments, milk, cheese, a couple of lemons, a container of fresh pasta. HURRAH! My new plan is to do this weekly: to fill up the fridge, and then eat every single bit of the contents (condiments aside) by the weekend, then refill. If I'm doing this, then I'm certain that I'm not wasting things, that I'm using what I've got.

Today I'll do a small shopping trip at PCC to buy ingredients to fill out tonight's dinner (home made pizza - since that's Ryan & Tessa's favorite meal, and we're not ordering out, I'm making it). I'm determined to shop more at PCC because they do have more local/seasonal stuff, and I love that fact that they're certified organic. This week I didn't quite buy enough at the beginning to make it to the end (we're out of all vegetables, even carrots) so I'll just do a little trip to get us through until Sunday morning (not much food since we're dining at GGs tomorrow night). My long term plan is to shop as much as possible at the Farmer's Market on Sunday, buying whatever looks good, fresh, seasonal, reasonably priced, etc., then to come home and figure out a menu for the week based on those items. Then, when Tessa is at gymnastics on Mondays, I will walk to PCC (a block from gymnastics) and buy the rest of my items there.

When I'm at the store, even the grocery store, it's quite tempting to impulse shop. My hope is that by going to the grocery store only once a week I will remove some of that temptation; not so many sweets, not the funky salsa that sounds good but I'm not sure when I'll use it, etc.

In other thoughts....

The fence between our house and Steven & Sarah's needs replacing; the supports are rotten and it's leaning. I'm wondering if we can recycle the boards of the fence in the new fence, instead of buying all new (getting all new supports/posts, of course). But more than that, I'm wondering if one of the fence posts can actually become a tall post for a clothesline. I have this idea that maybe we could attach the clothesline from the corner of our house up high but where I can reach it from our deck, to a tall post along the fenceline. I remember the smell of my pillowcase from when I was small; the sunshine would get trapped inside it, and would fill my senses and linger in my hair when I layed on it. I also remember standing next to my mom, handing her the basket of clothespins, chatting away as she hung things out; I remember doing the same thing at with my Granny at her house.

Europeans don't generally use clothes dryers, seeing them as wasteful, inefficient, and unnecessary, as they use a LOT of energy. When I was in Italy, "Mama" Bianchini had a shed in her yard with clothes racks in it for drying clothes (this was also where the washing machine was), so even when the weather was poor she was able to dry her clothes this way. Europeans in general have a lower carbon footprint than we do, and practice a lot more common sense in their shopping habits (not all, I'm generalizing, of course, but the trend is clear from the data).

Now, I live in Seattle, and mid-December, I'm not going to hang my clothes out, because they wouldn't dry until February. And sometimes I have to do 3 loads in a day, and I don't plan on having 12 clotheslines to accomodate all of that. But on sunny days, with things like pillowcases and t-shirts (no desire to show off my underwear to the neighbors), I think it would be fabulous. If it cut our power bill, that would be a bonus. We aren't in a position to convert our home to solar power, but we could certainly use some solar power to dry our clothes...

I am enjoying the challenges of thinking in this way.

I've also decided that maybe we could put a bucket in the shower to catch the extra water, and use this in part to water the garden this summer. All the more reason to make sure we're using "healthy" shampoo and soap; we've been trying Avalon Organics but I'm open to hearing of other brands as their lavendar conditioner is not perfect for my hair and doesn't leave it soft enough (or as soft as usual). I'd also like to get a rain barrel, and I'm looking into sources for that.

Okay, off to the day - Tessa wants to play. Enjoy the Seattle sunshine!

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