Friday, June 11, 2010

What Would People Find In My Garbage Can?

With all the talk about the environment and going Green lately, I'd thought I'd post the dirty truth about myself. Heh.

First of all, I do recycle.
  • All aluminum cans, and plastic bottles go to the recycling center.
  • Soda pop tabs are saved for the daycare lady who turns them in to Ronald McDonald House.
  • Plastic bags go to Wal-Mart for recycling. And we bought those reusable cloth ones, to limit the need for plastic bags.
  • All paper and cardboard boxes are burned, even junk mail (and there's a lot of that!). The recycling center only accepts newspaper, which I don't even get except on the rare occasion we need one for yard sales, but they burn nicely as well.
  • All food scraps, and with picky eaters there are A LOT, are usually given to the dogs if they are meat or bread or vegetables. Unfortunately I do not have a compost pile yet for egg shells, banana peels, and apple cores. That is on my to do list.

  • Used vegetable oil is a great weedkiller in the driveway, except stray dogs love to eat anything coated in it, and they will dig up the gravel to chew on the very soil, so be careful if you dump it out.

  • Motor oil gets taken to proper facilities to be disposed of.

  • We collect the metal into a bin in the garage to sell for scrap. Everything from the broken swing awning frame to busted bolts or other parts. Takes quite a bit to be heavy enough to sell. Anyone got an old washer to unload? a transmission? engine? :P

  • Old clothes in good condition, toys not played with anymore, books that weren't that good, decorations we're sick of, and other stuff goes into a yard sale pile. Then if no one buys it, it gets taken to Goodwill, no bringing it back into the house!

So what gets thrown away?

  • Packaging that is foil lined or covered in food, like gravy or meat blood;
  • Plastic packaging that food came in that the recycling center won't take;
  • Styrofoam cups from fast food places; (ugh, I know, that's terrible)
  • Diapers and diaper wipes;
  • Used dryer sheets;
  • Plastic drinking straws;
  • Pens that "died";
  • Broken toys, etc., and items no longer needed that can't be sold in our own yard sale.
  • Those food scraps the dogs won't eat, but should go into a compost pile that I don't have yet. (I know, still working on it!)
  • Used Q-tips, cuz, ew. And other used first aid items like band-aids, because kids will be kids.
  • I just learned that Batteries Plus, Staples, and Radio Shack will recycle NiCad batteries, and that's some of what we use. NiMH are less toxic, so I guess they aren't collecting those and I have no choice but to throw them away.

Hey, it's better than most people! In two weeks, being that we forgot to put out the garbage cans, oops, we have amassed about 6 bags of trash. So 3 bags a week for a family of four. If we get the fourth one potty trained, think of the savings!

What is in your trash?

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5 Things Everyone Wants, But I Am Happy NOT To Have

1. iAnything!I don't own an iPod, nor iPad, nor iPhone, and I really have no desire to do so. I know, you are going to say it's because I don't know what I'm missing. So what if I'm a Nun of Apple! We have so many gadgets around here that I'm quite content with what we have. I know you're going to freak out when I tell you that I still listen to CDs and you'll faint when I say the other day I listened to an old CASSETTE TAPE. (I'll give you some time to recover...)...
...But life does not end without an iPod, nor begin with one. Really, it doesn't.

2. E-Reader
What is the point of using a device that requires BATTERIES to READ A BOOK?? Huh? Books are made of PAPER, and they SMELL GREAT! They travel well, you can tell how much of the story is left by the thickness of the pages on the right as well as how much you've read for that sense of accomplishment, AND they don't die right in the middle of a good part, nor do you have to plug them in! Plus, some of the cover art deserves to be framed!

3. Hybrid CarMy current old beater gets WAY BETTER mileage than the hybrids right now. Did you know they invented cars that got better mileage back in the 50s or 60s (I'll have to ask my dad) and the car makers refused to manufacture them??! They sat right in the oil company's pockets. The "new" hybrids aren't living up to their potential in my book. My glorified lawn mower can do better on it's 3 cylinders! I used to want one, until I read up on their stats!

4. Cable TVThat's right, we don't have cable or satellite TV. We hardly watched it when we did have it, so no loss! No more cartoons, but they were all getting stupid, like worse than Spongebob, which I banned, and which post still gets hits today. I also banned Fanboy And Chum Chum, Chowder and the list kept growing. My kids watched more TV than I ever did. We look up shows on channels we did like, and watch them online via services like hulu. But there aren't many.

5. Credit CardsI mean seriously, do we need them? No. I don't have any. I may not make the most, but I am debt free, unlike most Americans. Okay, so I have a house payment and Student Loans to pay back, but that is good debt. Those don't count against you. The temptation to spend over your means is far too great when you are faced with ads of happy people enjoying their new items. It is far better to live within your means than to go into debt for a fad.

So What Do I Want?

1. To Stay Busy
I have multiple writing projects going, I teach my kids at home, we go out to fun places, and we take care of the pets and house. The most satisfaction comes from completing one of those projects, though.

2. To Spend Time with my KidsThey are only young once! My little guy has had a lot of personality and has some new vocabulary words to go with it! Anything that is difficult, he says "That's dangerous!" We worked on emotions with these emotion cards the other day and he took the mad one and made it yell at all the others. Then he took the happy one and told the mad one to stop. I think he's got that down! The older one enjoys going to the library and is learning about weather, the United States, and reads silly books. We go swimming, to movies, and fairs, events at the library, Children's museum, VBS, and even the pet store to see animals! These are the best years. I dont' want to waste them. Afterall, soon I'll "know nothing" and be "annoying"!

3. To Still Have Dates with HubbyEven longer than my children will be around, I plan on keeping my husband around. :) I cannot forsake him to focus on any other area of my life, I have to include him. We are a team. Spending quality time alone together may be a rare event, but it is vital to our relationship. Even if schedules change, or babysitting is not an option, we can still find moments and ways to be together.

4. To Meet my Ficly FriendsI have made some wonderful friendships via the writing website I talk about often in this blog. You can read some of my works in my other blog as well, which is geared toward writing. Those friendships may be online only, but they are very real. My dream is to go have lunch with those that I write with, to meet them, talk with them, and form an even stronger bond. Ultimately, a convention would be nice, but I don't think that is in the budget!

5. To Travel and see an OceanI want to travel. Maybe I can go visit some ficly people, but ultimately I want to swim with some dolphins, go to a real beach, see the ocean, and a few other landmarks. I never went on a family vacation as a child, so this desire is rather strong. We've gone to a few local places, in the state, but never something huge. One goal is to go on a cruise. Not only would that constitute seeing an ocean, but it also would mean traveling outside the midwest to a port. I think the family would also like a train ride one day.

What do you value most? When it all comes down to it, we treasure our relationships, because they lift us up, and the memories we create will last longer than any job, or material object.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Upon completion of my blue room, I quickly filled it with my "stuff". One of the items included is a stereo that plays cassettes and CDs because I like to listen to my music when I do laundry. Not owning an ipod means I get to blare my old CDs and cassettes loudly and sing along (and not sound as bad as if I were giving a accapella performance to earbuds).*screeching record sound* Did she say cassettes??!!
Yes, I still have them, and as I dug through the box, I found an old recording my sister and I had made when I was probably about 9-10 years old. I decided my boys would enjoy hearing their mother, aunt, and even uncle as childlike voices on a tape. I played it.

Memories came flooding back. I knew immediately where we were as my sister's voice read a story to a stuffed animal. I could hear the fan in the background because it was summer and we only had a window air conditioner in the living room. She was in our shared bedroom with a box fan propped in the window.

Playing School

We used to play school a lot, setting up our dolls and stuffed animals with crayons and paper. We had an extensive Barbie collection and would set up all of our cases as houses and let my brother pull the Barbies and Kens on 'dates' in the barbie jeep. We had tied yarn to the bumper so he could lead them down the hall and back. This would last for a good hour, then we would head outside.

My sister and the Barbie jeep

We played outdoors a lot, riding bikes and tromping through the tree row beside the lane. There was a tiny creek in there, a ditch mostly, and we would follow it back around the field behind our house. Our dogs would go with us, feeling it was their duty to protect us from the 'wild woods'. We avoided poison ivy and the deep well, collected leaves or flowers, threw bread crumbs to the fish in the pond, and swung on the swingset. Mostly, we rode our bikes.

My sister on her first bike without training wheels

No one put sunscreen on us, or told us to get out of that mud, or stay away from this or that. We took off our shoes and waded in the muddy ditch. We rescued baby bunnies and birds that the dogs had caught. We watched a blue heron and an owl take up residence in the tree row nearby and followed deer tracks in the field.

The tree row behind my sister (she was a good model)

These play times were never planned, always on a whim. I don't remember asking permission to leave the house to ride bikes, we most likely told our mother we wanted to, though the hours we disappeared off into the trees, she had to have worried. There wasn't much danger though. Since we only drove to 'town' once a week to get groceries and run errands, there weren't any plans, why not let us go play?

Boys and new furniture

Life isn't like that now. I keep my boys indoors so I don't lose them. We live in a quiet neighborhood, not a rural farm like I grew up on, so there are other people to worry about, property lines, and traffic. We try to stay busy, leaving the house more than once a week to shop, eat, work, or play. I realize that my kids will not have the same kind of childhood I did because it is not the same world anymore. The best I can do is allow them the freedom to play unhindered by a schedule of prearranged activities.

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