Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ka-runchy Mama

Jenny Gniadecki, who I had the privilege of meeting at a VA industry conference a few years ago, recently asked, "How are you a crunchy mama?"

I started typing the reply below in her comment box, then realized I needed to just blog it.

(a) it was getting ridiculously long for a comment
(b) I need all the blog fodder I can find

I am a little crunchy, but not much.

--I've started seeking out hormone-free milk and eggs. I don't like the word games food labels play "No Artificial Hormones" means they can still add all the darn extra natural hormones they want to the food. So I'm going hormone-free on the two products most likely to have hormones added that we consume most heavily, particularly the girlchild.

--I recycle. A lot. Glass, plastic, paper, aluminum... I keep a bin on each floor, one in my office and one in the kitchen so no one has to walk too far to recycle stuff (probably since I know some members of our household will NOT walk far to recycle, lol).

I love this picture! It's somewhere in Europe and there are bins for (L-R)
Paper, Plastic, Glass, Metal, Organic Matter, and Batteries.
The ugly grey one on the end is for cigarette butts.

--I buy green dish soap for the dishwasher. Yes, not using the dishwasher would be greener, but that is just not going to happen. So I buy the soaps that promise a smaller impact when they wash down my drain.

--I buy many of our clothes at thrift and consignment stores. Well, Me & J's clothes anyway. Hers because I can't bring myself to spend $20 on a shirt she'll outgrow in 4 months and mine because I still have delusions of losing weight and it's okay to buy more fat clothes if they aren't new fat clothes. That and fat clothes are ridiculously more expensive for what amounts, often times, to less than a 1/2 yard of fabric more--totally unfair!

--I buy brown (unbleached) coffee filters. I know, it's a stretch, but I'm trying.

--I used cloth diapers with my kids. Not exclusively, cuz I couldn't handle carrying the leftovers around in public and hoping the ziploc didn't leak, but I did use 'em. The baby in the fam is 8 now, so this no longer applies.

In many ways I am ~less~ crunchy than I was when I was younger.

Sometimes this makes me sad, sometimes it makes me feel practical; depends on which side of the coin is up after the flip.

- I used to cut my hair and the kiddo's until the entire family begged me to stop. I'm being literal here--Raidman begged and my other relatives, in desperation, got me a decrepit 70's book called, "The Guide to Home Haircutting." If you're interested I have it on my paperback swap page, lol.

- I used to compost, then the rats moved in. I'm in the burbs near a cow pasture and it's an open compost pile cuz no one told me that open compost here is different than at my old house in the city proper where all we had was squirrels.

Weird, right? I'd have expected rats in town but it's been the other way round. Still have the pile, but won't go near it cuz of the rodents. This one, incidentally, still fills me with guilt. Composting is so simple anyone can do it, and I FAILED. And I hate throwing away food trash.

I was a bad composter, though, possibly the origin of my rat trouble. I figured compost was supposed to be an artificial duplicate of the rich loam and rot from a forest floor, right? Which will occasionally include dead animals, right? I was not too particular about making sure protein scraps/fats didn't go in the compost--baked potato skins with butter & sour cream debris? Sure! Why not!

THe ginormous colony of rodents that moved in under the shed immediately adjacent to the compost bin (another egregious error I realize in hindsight) is the visual aid answer to the, "Why not?" above.

- I use a pest control company. But, I use their organic product/service plan. Do I get, like, half credit?

-I use a clothes dryer. I have hung 3 different clotheslines in our backyard in the nine years we've lived in this house and every one has been a disappointment. The retractable one didn't, the plain one lost tension all the time, etc. Hanging large items like comforters over the open railing on the 2nd floor is more practical than any of the clothes lines I've tried. Sad really, I miss the smell of clothes dried outside.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain in Central Texas. Sorta

Woo hoo!

I deleted an old blog last year, lock stock and barrel without backing up my old content in the midst of a personal crisis. I've since regretted the impulse, but it's too late now.

One of the things I thought I'd lost was a short video I shot of Raidman and J singing, "It's Raining Men." Wonder of wonders, I'd used Google Video to upload it and the GV account I'd forgotten I had still had the file. So, without further ado, the mighty duo does karaoke:

PS - Please don't tell him I put this back up. It's just too damn funny, though, and I was unable to resist. It's not my fault, really!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brings Me Round Again

My husband. He's funny and knows me pretty darn well. That's a good thing, since we celebrated the 14th anniversary of the beginning of the madness last week.

I was in my office being totally useless after the girl was in bed last night, round 10ish--hey, it's Summer, or will be this Sunday. I was randomly surfing--yea, okay, Stumbling--the Internet for writers' sites when I hear the new (to us) Singstar crank up downstairs. When the man isn't trying to hit the weird notes on Rock Band (read semi-falsetto too much of the time) he's got a pretty nice voice and I do like to listen to him sing. But I was ~not~ going to join him.

It's a Freudian thing. I'm totally blaming my mother.

My mom told me from puberty through last month (cuz I haven't sung around her since then) that I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Casting directors for any of a number of musical theatre productions from 5th - 12th grade concurred, though they were more polite about it, so I don't sing. Not in public and not around other people.

My one public karaoke experience involved so much alcohol that it was a miracle I managed to stay vertical. Two hours and lots of bad bar coffee to sober up after ONE song. Any wonder I skip this particular form of entertainment?

The ironic and cruel twist to all this is that I love to sing. I sing along with music I love for my own pleasure all the time because it makes me happy. (And I play the music loud enough I don't have to hear myself much!)

I was firmly boycotting the karaoke last night in favor of discovering new blogs to say I'm going to follow then fail to follow through on. So what does he do? He starts singing an Elton John song. Does he know me or what? I am such a sad little fangirl when it comes to Elton.

I tried to resist. I may be a little slow, but I know an obvious ploy for my attention when I see hear it. I'm weak. Before he got to the part in Rocketman where it goes, "I think's it's gonna be a long, long time..." over and over, I was downstairs singing along.

And there I stayed for the next two hours. Oh, and did I mention that the painters painted the front door late yesterday evening so we were unable to close it? Yea, I bet the neighbors loved that last night, especially when we dug out the 90s disk for a little "Baby Got Back*" action.

It's a silly little thing, but it tickled me. Incidents like this remind me why I married him and why, after 14 years and a lot more crap than any two people should ever have to endure, we're still HERE. He knows me well, my Raidman.

* FTR -- I may not be able to sing, but I can rap like a mofo when I want to and totally kicked his ass ;-)