Sunday, May 11, 2008

say, say oh playmate

come out and play with me
and bring your dollies three
climb up my apple tree
holler down my rain barrel...

Rain barrel? What the heck is a rain barrel? Now that I've gone all diy with the worm bin, this seems like a cool project. But did you notice that barrel is one of those words that looks like it's spelled wrong and stops making sense the more you write it or see it?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

four things

On Saturday, I was teaching Sebastian to ride a two wheeler. I told him the same thing that I told Dante when he was learning: "You have to do three things to be able to ride by yourself. Pedal, balance, steer." Sebastian said, "And imagine. So that's four things. Pedal, balance, steer, imagine."

video

I guess it worked! On Saturday, he couldn't ride at all without help, but on Sunday he could!

And I know this sideways video thing is lame, but my computer can't read the file, so I can't get it to rotate before I upload it. I'll have to either hold the phone differently when I record video or get some technical help. In the meantime, just be glad it's short so your neck won't hurt too much! Or you could pretend that not only can he ride a bike, he can also defy gravity and ride on a street that's perpendicular to the earth!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

yay, me!

I ran my first 10K this morning! My goal was to do it in less than an hour, which I did (57:28 so a 9:17/mile pace). I loved it, and it felt great while I was doing it, but my hip flexors are awfully sore right now. Maybe not such a good idea to do a race this long when the last time I ran over 6 miles was Christmas break?! On the other hand, the race served its purpose, which was to motivate me to get back into a running/training schedule.

As I ran, I was thinking about how weird it is that just over a year and a half ago (the week I turned 33) I went running for the first time. I ran slightly less than half a mile and thought I was going to die. If anyone had told me then that I would be able to finish a 10K, let alone actually enjoy running it, I would have thought they were crazy.

That fall I ran three days a week, adding half a mile each week (so the first week I ran 3 days x 1/2 mile, the second week I ran 3 days x 1 mile...) until at the end of last summer I was logging around 30-36 miles a week. Then school started again, and I've had trouble finding the time to do more than 2-3 miles a couple of days a week.

But the weather is getting better and school is almost out, so I'm planning to pick up the training pace again. If only my damn hips didn't hurt so much!

Friday, May 2, 2008

this might just be the freakiest thing I've ever seen

I guess some people really don't like anyone reading over their shoulders?!

maybe I should change the name of this blog


to awfullysweetbrothers

stuff we were already doing

I realized that we already do some things that qualify me for environmental geek status, so thought I'd throw a quick list here, since they don't really fit on the list of changes.

Stuff we were already doing:
Walk to the grocery store with our wagon and a bunch of cloth bags. We got this wagon for $7 at a yard sale. The trailer definitely makes grocery shopping more doable.

  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper, and washcloths instead of paper towels.
  • Buy lots of stuff at thrift stores and rummage sales instead of buying it new.
  • Program our thermostat so we're not heating an empty house (and it goes down to 55 degrees at night, while we cuddle up under blankets.)
  • Turn off lights when we leave a room.
  • Buy as much organic food as possible.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • Reuse and recycle.
  • Leave produce loose when buying it, instead of putting it in a plastic bag.
  • I'm sure there's more...I'll add to the list as I think of stuff.

Stuff we used to do but don't need to anymore:

  • Cloth diapers -- did this for both kids from the time they were about 2 weeks old. I was so committed that I used cloth even when we didn't have a washer and I had to haul the dirty diapers to the laundromat. I'm convinced that cloth also made potty training much easier and earlier than if we had used what my mom calls artificial diapers.
  • Breastfeed. I didn't do it for the environmental benefit, but that was a nice side effect!

Stuff we used to do and somehow got out of the habit that I really need to start again:

  • Hang wet clothes on the line.
  • Use non-disposable menstrual products.
  • More home cooking, less eating out or eating convenience food.

environmental geek

This is what Dante calls me, based on the following little changes I've made in the past couple of weeks.
  • Switched from buying organic milk at the grocery store to buying organic, local milk that's delivered in glass bottles.
  • Moved our garbage out from under the kitchen sink to make room for a worm bin (more on that later).
  • Stopped having a disposable cup of yogurt for breakfast every morning. I found some yogurt that comes in glass jars, since the plastic containers aren't recyclable. I've been using that for smoothies and to substitute for sour cream.
  • Rode my bike to work 5 out of the last 14 days. It's not great, but it's a start! Four of those days I never got in the car at all.
  • Opted out of junk mail (more on that later, too).
  • Switched out the boys' plastic water bottles for stainless steel ones. I tried to do this years ago and they resisted, but this time the water bottles are smaller and have sport tops, and the change has been taken with grace.
  • Took the food canisters that sit on my kitchen counter to Whole Foods and filled them directly with bulk foods, to avoid the plastic bag middle-man.
  • Called my landlord about the leaky bathtub.
  • Switched one of our lightbulbs to compact fluorescent. This was actually not entirely successful -- I think it deserves it's own post, too (see how I keep promising more info -- that's not really for you, it's to motivate my procrastinator virgo self to keep posting!)