Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This Time Last Year...

Jesse and I were traveling to California to retrieve my stuff that had traveled all the way from Georgia. I friend of mine was moving to California and my stuff was sitting in Georgia waiting to join me in Washington. So this friend and I struck a deal to help each other.

I realized that I never shared the few pictures that I took of Jesse and I on the road traveling back home from California.

Here's to adventures and seeing new lands!

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Year and New Green Goals

As I look back over this year and think about all I have accomplished I am quite pleased.  Life sure is an adventure and takes you places you never would have thought.

2012 starts my third year living here in Washington state. I am hope full that it will be another wonderfully productive year. So far I know that I get to see family (my sister, her husband and my twin niece and nephew) in Feb/ March, that Jesse and I will celebrate two years of dating and the traditional fun of birthdays and holidays.

As for new ambitions my life has really taken a shift in  importance. A few years ago I was focused on job/ career and thought less about how I could make a difference in this country/ world. Now today my thoughts go more and more to what I can do! I started in 2011 making some real lifestyle changes that make a difference in an area that I have complete control of my home (see my post Look what you can accomplish in a year! for what all I did in 2011). I also started shifting my focus when it comes to a job I am not quite there with what I want so that will continue into 2012!

For 2012, I will continue to do just about everything in the above blog and slowly add more and more.
To name a few:
  1. try homemade deodorant
  2.  try homemade shampoo
  3. try homemade toothpaste
  4. learn how to make soap and homemade bread. (Homemade bread and soap are items that may have to wait as they need some significant tool purchasing to pursue.)
Also, want to shop more locally (it is so important for a variety of reasons) and volunteer.

My view of the world has always been about being more local and community based, but as I get older I really value this in myself more and more. I begin to see all that I am doing that is not in line with my own belief system.

Hoop House!

Jesse and I took on the challenge of making a hoop house for our community garden plot.  This year it will be more of trial situation to see if what we did will work. It took planning, shopping and a few times at the garden to complete. The biggest area of contention was on the plastic. I found numerous of articles stating regular painting plastic. Our friends at the garden said it had to be (super expense) greenhouse plastic to let in the correct UV rays.  We shall see if it works!

Our project uses about half of a 10' x 25' roll of 3mil. plastic, 8- 10', 1/2" dia. PVC pipes, 10 circle screws, twine and plastic holders.

Here are the results:

Currently, we have planted our strawberry plant, carrots, onions and (donated to us) catnip.

Bonus- time lapse of our garden this year, 2011

Must take way more pictures next year, I do not even have pictures of our tall beautiful sunflowers that were there. Will do better in 2012!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Look what you can accomplish in just a year!

My boyfriend, Jesse and I started this year (2011) wanting to really work on our "green" habits. We actually accomplished a great deal this year and I wanted to share the list. It all started with our new friends the worms.

1. Worm Compost- Still functioning well and the worms have had babies too.
2. Purchased a cedar plant box for our patio.
3. Joined a Community Garden
4. Made natural cleaners for the home- We are still working on using up the chemical ones, but have not bought new and have mostly used the green ones because they work better.
5. Made laundry detergent
6. Bought sturdy plastic cups, plates and cutlery for a family reunion (we collected in a bin and washed/ stored them for next time).
7. Started supply of glass containers for leftovers to replace the plastic ones we currently use.
8. Changed all my bills to online and e-pay so that I no longer receive any paper bills.
9. Learned how to make paper
10. Made a raised bed for my parents
11. At work, I changed our schedule posting from being single sided to double. This will save a lot of paper per year (and we recycle them when we are done).

Items we have started and will continue working on:
1. Shopping locally
2. looking at items and their packaging before we buy

Items we were already doing:
1. Recycling
2. Using metal cans for water instead of plastic bottles
3. Visiting the farmer's market

We also harvested  from our community garden plot and at home: zucchinis, swiss chard, carrots, spinach, lettuce mixes, rosemary, oregano, pumkins, sunflowers and bachelor buttons. 

What a Year And I plan on doing a lot more next year!