autumn days

Monday, December 20, 2010

weekly lists

Dearest Hannah,

Yes, it has already been a week since I have last written.  And I thought I'd find plenty of time here and there for letters.  I am busy writing thank you and holiday cards to friends and family in this holiday season.  I could save paper and send emails, but find hand-written notes more touching in an old fashioned way.  My original plan for this first letter was to make a detailed list of the many things I'd like to accomplish in terms of helping the environment, but with just 20 minutes to spare before your "quiet time" ends and the talking begins, I am not sure what will be accomplished here.

I finally have been able to talk you into nighttime cloth diapers.  You don't really need them, but your cosleeping papa doesn't want to take the chance of waking up wet in the middle of the night.  It feels like quite an accomplishment to talk you out of your beloved disposable diapers.  We've also been using old gift wrap for art projects and as covers for homemade journals.  Your coloring pages have become our new gift wrap for this year.  Tape that has come from various gifts is now holding holiday pictures from friends onto our cupboard.  We're baking our own bread, though it is so delicious that we haven't yet saved any to make sandwiches.  These are the things we have accomplished this busy week.

In general as part of having a new baby in our house, we travel less, don't eat out, we take walks, and have friends over to our home to play.  We have a weekly trip to the library and have a "reading marathon" with the new books that lasts days.  Perhaps this summer we can bike a few miles to the library together; that's what our bike trailer is for.  A benefit of being home with a baby is we live at a slower pace than usual.  We eat when we like, nap sometimes, walk around our neighborhood or to the park, visit with friends, make new friends, and just stay home to relax and play.  Your papa is helping you learn to read, I am helping you with writing.  We concoct various art projects from whatever is at hand.  We make spontaneous gifts for our next door grandmother.  This is what maternity leave is supposed to be, a time together to rest, grow, play, and share the love.  Now if only your papa didn't have to work every day.

Okay, let's see if I can make a list of things I'd like to accomplish, and then you and I will make another loaf of delicious bread, this time with raisins, cinnamon, flax, honey, and poppy seeds.

We've accomplished (or noticed) this last week:
  • mostly all cloth wipes
  • all cloth diapers for both kids
  • only a couple meat meals per week
  • coloring pages became wrapping paper
  • homemade bread, no store bought bread
  • reusing tape
  • reusing gift wrap
  • recyclable toothbrush
  • biodegradable hand soap
  • use clean diaper pads and cloth napkins for wiping spills of all sorts
  • hanging out in the bedroom with a space heater instead of heating the whole house
  • saving our clean non-recyclable garbage for some future recycling or project
  • sent political emails regarding environmental issues using various websites (that immediately increased the volume of my junk email)
  • shared nutty data information with friends, like why beeswax candles are the only clean candle and why using petroleum sources increases our CO2 emissions
  • saved to reuse or recycled bread and other plastic bags
  • picked up and recycled paper and plastic bags floating around neighborhood
  • took walks in the rain and cold to just get ourselves outside (followed by a bubble bath with hot cocoa)
  • took our friends on walks
At home:
  • continue last week's successes
  • only biodegradable environmental-friendly products used
  • make oodles of fabric gift bags
  • make more homemade journals for self and others
  • make gifts with materials I have at home (like this year)
  • raise bees for honey and wax
  • raise chickens
  • biodegradable cat litter
  • use only beeswax candles
  • buy only second hand goods
  • eat dinner with only candle light
  • one family car instead of two
  • virtually no garbage or recycling
  • no disposable wipes in our house
  • barter with others more often
  • use craigslist and freecycle when need new items
  • share our progress with others by talking or in other forms
  • local organic CSA vegetables and meats
Out in the world:
  • no chemicals at Papa's work
  • more recycling at Papa's work
  • maximize electrical and water efficiency at Papa's work
  • pick up garbage
This week:
  • purchase biodegradable shower soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • eat dinner by beeswax candle once this week
  • dream up new ideas for next year's holiday gifts with things we have here: cornhusk dolls, beeswax candles, handmade journals, fabric gift bags, pretty things with plastic flowers, etc.
  • talk again with Papa about raising bees
  • break bee keeping down to steps
    • signatures from neighbors within 100 feet of hive (or property?)
    • bee hive
    • find the bees
    • maintenance
Now that there are lists (I do love lists!) and our hands are ready for homemade bread, let's see what we can accomplish in this coming week.

Much love,
your mama

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