Friday, April 18, 2008

He's BACK!

For the past two weeks we have been wondering where our dog was. He slipped out the door when Ethan was going outside and ran off and never came back. I've gone knocking on doors, made a trip to the pound, scoured petfinder websites, driven slowly along the highway looking in ditches, all to no avail. And then this afternoon our neighbor found him walking along the road in front of his house. How I wish he could talk and tell us what he's been up to. Welcome home, Jed!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

National Hanging Out Day!

I have a confession to make. Awhile back I posted that one of the things I was trying to do to save energy was air dry my clothes. Well since we moved to Oregon I haven't done it once! In California spring meant warm sunny days. In Oregon springtime is another story. And that rainy story has hampered my good intentions.
That leads me to tell you about April 19th -- National Hanging Out Day. No this does not mean you get to be lazy all day. You get to hang your laundry out to dry the old fashioned way! Did you know that after the refrigerator the dryer is the next appliance in energy consumption? Did you know that hanging clothes to dry has been outlawed or banned by many cities and homeowners associations? Can you believe someone telling you that you can't use the free energy of the sun to dry your clothes? That's like cities saying, "No walking or biking allowed---it doesn't make our streets look good."
So join with me and try hanging a load of clothes up on Saturday. Inside or outside. Its good for your pocket book, your body and the air!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Plastic, part 2

A few weeks ago I posted about plastic. Since then I have been learning alot about plastic. Here are a few disturbing facts I have learned:
1) There is a floating garbage patch twice the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. By weight it contains 6 times more plastic than plankton.

2) Sea animals injest plastic, it blocks their intestines and they die. As their body decomposes the plastic is released ready to be eaten again.

3) Plastic doesn't biodegrade- it photodegrades, meaning it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces but it is still plastic.

4) That means plastic is being eaten on lower levels of the foodchain. And its not just plastic the animals are eating; pesticides and toxins in the water cling to these small plastic pieces.

5) It is often cheaper to make things with new virgin plastic than with recycled plastic.

6) Plastic is in everything: hair care products, lotions, exfoliants, food packaging, stuff packaging, it lines many of our cans and cartons of food, it is used in baby bottles, water bottles, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

7) Scientists are finding that plastics leach into our food and mimic hormones, damaging developing reproductive systems.

Bottom line...we are filling our world with plastic and it ain't goin' away folks!

Recycling is possible but it is not as economical for plastic so let's try to REDUCE and REUSE first!

Here are just a few ideas to get started:
* Try taking your own jars or bags and buy from the bulk food bins at the grocery store.
* Try to not use plastic baggies and wrap for everything. Foil can be reused if it doesn't get too dirty, a plate can be placed over a bowl as a lid in the fridge. People did survive before ziploc bags were invented....I promise!
* Take your own bags when shopping.
* Don't heat up food in plastic (especially in the microwave)
* Refuse to buy things that are excessively packaged

Monday, April 07, 2008

Trip to Southern California

Springtime in Southern California is gorgeous. It was sunny and warm and there were avocados, tangelos and tangerines dripping off my parents' trees. My sister and her family came to visit, too. It was fun to get all the family together again...we just wish Jonathan could have been there.

We went to Disneyland on Monday and we spent the rest of the week recovering from it. We had three kids on leashes, one in a sling, and two by the hand. I soon found trying to keep a large group together in a crowd mentally exhausting. My mom and I ended up taking the little kids home after lunch while everyone else stayed and played. I felt bad that Abby didn't get to go on any of the little kid rides but the lines were so long. Standing in line in the hot sun for an hour to enjoy a 2 minute ride is just not worth it sometimes. Maggie and Abby were perfectly happy to come home and dance in their new ballerina leotards and watch the fish swim in the pond.

We also went swimming at Sarah's apartment pool, poked around at some garage sales, and visited for an afternoon with my Grandma. We had a relaxing week with good weather. What more could you want for Spring Break?