Monthly Archives: January 2011

Waiting for February

It has been a long January around here.  In fact, it’s been the snowiest Connecticut January on record.  We’ve had a huge snowstorm every week, and six snow days from school.  I’m going just a little bit stir crazy.

I’ve always said that I’m a true New Englander because I love all four seasons, but right about now it’s getting very hard to enjoy winter.  Joshua is too young to really play in the snow, and the few times I bundled him up and headed outside were short-lived at best.

I’ve been trying to remember why I used to like winter, and I do have some great childhood memories of fun in the snow.  Sledding down the hills on the farm, where on a very good day you could make it past the peach orchard, into the apple orchard and all the way to the pond.  It was a very long walk back up the hill, but it was worth it.  Skating on the pond after getting the okay from my grandfather, and doing my best twirls, figure eights and skating backwards while the boys played hockey.  Riding our old snowmobile, “The Whip,” around the horse trail and through the orchards, where I was happy for a leisurely ride.  Attaching a rubber raft to the back of the snowmobile and inviting all of our friends to come for rides in the field, until the raft popped.  Skiing in Vermont, going slow and steady down the bunny trail.  Though I’ve skied for a long time, I’m not a dare-devil and consider it a success if I’ve made it all day without falling down.  Enjoying some of my mom’s homemade soup or hot chocolate, warming up and letting our mittens dry before heading back out to play.

What are your favorite winter memories?

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Filed under Home, Living from Scratch, Outside

Patchwork

My boys resting under blankies. 

Joshua’s great-great grandma made the quilt, and his great-grandma made the afghan.

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Filed under Home, Living from Scratch

Homemade Yogurt

Go check out my waste-free yogurt tutorial at the Green Phone Booth!

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Sustainable Living

On the move!

I fell off with the 365 project, and I’m okay with that! I’ll post photos when I can!

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Filed under Home, parenting

Green Decluttering

This post is my contribution to the January Green Moms Carnival: “Green Decluttering” hosted by Amber.

I am not an expert in cleaning, especially since Joshua was born. I honestly see no reason to continue to clean the same thing when you can’t even see the dirt there.  If something’s not visibly dirty, I’m not going to clean it.

However, clutter does bother me.  As a teacher, my biggest clutter problem is paper. Piles and piles of paper.  The only thing I’ve found to really remedy the paper pile problem is to not create the clutter in the first place.  In the past few years, I’ve made a real effort to not bring unnecessary paper into the house.   

Here are the best ways I’ve found to reduce my paper clutter at home:

  • Think before I print! I don’t keep my printer hooked up to my laptop at all times, so I actually have to walk into the other room to print.  This really helps reduce my printing because my laziness prevents it.  I have a pretty notebook that I write recipes in, so when I find one online, I copy it down into the notebook.  I’m sure you could do this electronically as well, but I like the notebook method.  
  • Only do work electronically at home.  I don’t bring lesson plans or assignment papers home.  I have them all saved on my computer, so it’s easy to work on documents on the laptop.  The only papers I bring home are ones I have to grade, and I haven’t yet found a way to reduce them!
  • Reduce and then immediately sort junk mail! When I get the mail, I only bring the important items into the house.  The rest of the mail stays in my car (we have a long driveway!) to wait for recycling day or goes right into the recycling bin.  I’ve tried to reduce our junk mail by removing my name from lists, but we still get junk almost every day.
  • Cancel the newspaper! You can read the news online for free.  Or watch it on TV.
  • Pay bills online or set up automatic payments.  You won’t need stamps or envelopes and you won’t ever have a late payment.
  • Immediately recycle envelopes and used scrap paper.  These papers only contribute to clutter and make your piles bigger.  You can save them to write on, but I’ve found that I’d rather use a contained notebook than disheveled scraps of paper.

Just like so many other aspects of being green, reducing consumption is a necessary first step.  The best way to declutter is to prevent clutter in the first place.  Now if only I could apply what I know about paper to toys…

Any tips on reducing toy clutter? I just throw them in a basket so far!

15 Comments

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

Blizzard

Yesterday was the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever seen.  I heard on the news that a neighboring town got 30″ of snow and broke the record from 1888.  We got about 2′ of snow yesterday, on top of the foot that fell over the weekend.  I got two days off of school, too!

Our deck. The snow is up to the seats of the chairs!

The back of our house with tracks from the snowmobile.  The snow was too high  for it and Ed had to dig it out three times in only one lap around the house.

My dad had to plow our road to get to our house to plow the driveway. 

 The view from the bottom of our driveway.  How’s your weather?

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Filed under Home, Outside