Wednesday, December 03, 2008


At the end of 2007, I challenged myself to read 15 non-fiction books during 2008.

Well, I did it! I didn't record all of the titles, but I did it. Those books challenged me, supported me, and made me grateful. They also planted many, many seeds which have yet to produce fruit, but are definitely not dormant.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Countdown day 1

Yesterday, the kids wrote their letters to Santa as part of our Christmas Countdown/Advent celebration. It's funny because my kids do NOT associate behavior with presents from Santa. I don't make a big deal of it; for us, Santa's presence is not based on behavior, it is a magical gift for a special time of year.

I am sure this will come back to haunt me one day, but I give my kids a fair bit of direction in terms of writing their letters. We talk about how the items on the list are suggestions and we don't always get everything/the exact thing on the list. I also help them think critically and meaningfully about what they write down. Reminding them, for example, of that thing they really wanted (that I think is appropriate/affordable/already purchased) and having them include that on their list.

L used a wonderful tactic this year--he let Santa know that even though he was the one asking for one item on his list, it was really a gift that would benefit the whole family.

home again

I have decided to begin blogging again. I just read my previous entries and I fell in love with myself and my life all over again. I keep on trying, even when I fail. I really needed a reminder of this today. I have begun the processes of decluttering and greening my life again. I resigned from my weekend library job to spend more time with my entire family (and also to not go crazy arranging child care for when R has to travel).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

One Less Weekend

This weekend, the first school-free weekend for me in 2 years, was wonderful! It was a great kick-off for the One Less challenge.

A sampling of what we did:
  • cleaned garage (two less items cluttering the house)
  • walked to grocery and drug store (two less car trips)
  • played in the neighborhood (no driving, spending $ unnecessarily)
  • ate meals at home
  • spent time (38 hours) computer free (internet and computers powered down)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

One Less and Radical Simplicity

Liveblogging Radical Simplicity...

In Chapter 3 of Radical Simplicity, Merkel talks about sharing the earth and how the easiest first step is to take less. I read this 6 hours after creating my one less challenge. How fortuitous!

I am lost with the calculations.

One Less

In addition to the Bookworm Challenge, I am also instituting a Spring/Summer Challenge for myself: The One Less Challenge.
This can mean many things:
one less helping of food
one less car trip
one less hour in front of the computer
one less thing cluttering my house
one less thing out of place in our home
one less meal eaten out
one less trip to a chain store

and many more I am sure to think of.

Today's One Less: This morning I walked to an appointment to which I would have normally driven. This afternoon I did not give in to my desire for a Jimmy John's sub, and instead ate lunch as home. I also shopped at a local market because we were already on that side of town.

reconnecting with time

Something I realize as I shift away from my car is that I need to relearn how to gauge time and distance without my van odometer. I have no sense of how long it takes to walk somewhere which causes me to just jump in the car for fear of being late. I have also gotten myself so accustomed to being able to get there quickly that I push myself to the very limit.

Time to library--pushing M in the stroller: approx. 12 min.
Time to L's new school--pushing M in the stroller: approx. 18 min.

Two things to note: When walking by myself, the times will be shorter. AND As I get fitter and stronger, the times will be shorter.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Challenge Drop Out

But, a chance for redemption!

Well, I majorly flunked the Buy Nothing Challenge. I won't recap or make excuses. I just failed.

But, the chance for redemption starts now. I am joining Green Bean Dream's Bookworm Challenge. This is right up my alley. I found one book through my library's electronic books catalog, so I am reading at my laptop. (I can even highlight passages for later.) The book is Radical Simplicity and 15 pages in, I am already riveted.

Truthfully, I have been sort of an intellectual environmentalist, a green armchair quarterback. I know what I should be doing and I do do many things (reusable bags, clothesline, thrift store shopping, instituted cloth napkins and reusable cups and plates at my daughter's preschool, unplugging phantom appliances, shop at co-op/farmer's market/local independent grocery store, member of local meat co-op, joined CSA this year). BUT, these things are easy for me. I have not yet taken the next steps--reducing/eliminating car use, reducing/eliminating eating junk food, losing weight, growing my own food, and most importantly (as I'm learning from the blogging world) SPEAKING OUT. I have also not taken my beliefs and ideas into my son's public elementary school.

I am at the point where the changes I need to make are no longer invisible. They will require confrontation and explanation with my world. And that scares me. I need and want the support of the blogging community, but to get that I have to join not just as an observer, but as a participant.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New Challenge

I am joining Crunchy Chicken's newest challenge--Buy Nothing in April. Since I am already doing the Compact, you would think this is a no-brainer. But no, I gave myself too many exceptions on the Compact; this is hardcore. I am eliminating purchases for quilting/sewing (ok under my Compact).

Day 1--so far, so good.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2008 in 2008