Zero Waste Month!



An idea hatched by Erika and KMKat, who roped me in as well. We figure this way there’s a blog on each coast and one in the middle of the continent putting it out there. (so I lifted the code right outta kat’s page for the challenge…)

We challenge ourselves and
 anyone else who is interested to

reduce the amount of trash
produced by our/their household

Erika has some a great table of alternatives, including some FAQs and a very interesting bit about how when Ireland starting charging for plastic grocery bags, usage dropped 94%!

Like Kat, I am also certain that I cannot achieve zero waste, but I figure I’ll try to reduce what we do produce, and maybe you will too. In addition, I’d say we should all think about our impacts on our environment. So blather about this on your own blog, spread the idea, your friends, your family, your coworkers.

m-button-hq zerowaste-button

Some things we do, and maybe you do also

  1. live close (w/in 5 miles) to where we work and shop
  2. hang laundry to dry
  3. recently got a water savings front loading washing machine (less water in means less out in the gray water)
  4. don’t drive megavehicles
  5. recycle
  6. use cloth grocery bags (well, I do…)
  7. re-use the plastic grocery bags
  8. recycle at work
  9. return bottles, home and work
  10. re-use loads of paper at work (including using the maps as gift wrap)
  11. purchase used clothing
  12. donate outgrown or unwanted clothing
  13. make rags out of things like the trashy t-shirts
  14. repurpose things
  15. use the library a lot
  16. rent videos, oops dvds
  17. keep the house relatively cool
  18. use lunch boxes

This is where a lot of clothes get dried, especially in winter,
It is a re-purposed re-purposed item… originally a pool skimmer handle, with a garden rake attached at the end (for sampling aquatic vegetation), and now primarily a clothes hanging rack. This is the ell to the house, and there’s a wood stove here, so things do dry fairly quickly.

I tried some new laundry soap that I got at the common ground fair, and now it is my preferred soap,
and the packaging is compostable! (or in our case burnable…) I was told that I don’t need the full tablespoon per load, so often I use half, and things get clean. In addition to this being an environmentally friendly product, it is hugely economical.

Some things we could do better

  1. compost (I have a long story about this)
  2. get a worm bin
  3. doggie doo composting
  4. shorter showers (I’m all about this, but the 13 year old? Not so much, I figure at least he’s bathing)
  5. walk not drive (but then there’s that time thing)
  6. use re-usable grocery bags more (it would help if I would keep them in the car, and if I could get DH to use them)
  7. get/make re-usable produce bags
  8. use the one cup coffee press more (verus the one cup melita, unless I can find a metal #2 filter)
  9. maybe replace the 25 year old refrigerator?

So, what about you?

I’m thinking that maybe this can come out and the worm bin could go on a shelf here,


another reason I shouldn’t cut my own hair

lefthand righthand

I am long overdue and was feeling a little crazed, so off came an inch or so. It’s not bad, but I’ll be at my hairdresser friend’s within the next couple weeks. It’s that time thing. I love her, but she’s 20 minutes away! But I’m glad she got her own shop and it works out great for her.

I’ve always wanted to go red (I have been told repeatedly by my hair friend that it is not a good color for me), but not by drizzling my own blood through my hair. One of these days I’ll just do it… after all, it grows.

The hand pics are for Vicki who has a thing about palms… Mine have been wrinkled like this since I was a kid. And I dunno, never had a “reading”, but I’d say those lifelines are all screwed up. What can that mean???


(banners and buttons courtesy of Erika and Kat’s son Matt… download and use if you want to blab about it).

coffee swap time!


    My partner is Rowena, somebody totally new (OK OK, new to me)!!

    So, in case you don’t already know,

  1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean.
  2. Fully loaded or decaf? Usually fully loaded, but I do like a hearty, rich decaf.
  3. Regular or flavored? Regular please.
  4. How do I drink my coffee? HOT and with some half and half. Oops, just finished a mug with a bit of likker, it being after dinner and I having missed my afternoon brew…
  5. Favorite coffee ever? Um, I blather rather a lot about it, Carrabassett Coffee, but I am open to new adventures. I haven’t had that wicked good Jamaican or Kona stuff… that’s what I want out of the swap, to be sitting in the tropics on the veranda sipping the good stuff, with a rum boy to attend to my every whim.
  6. Am I fussy about my coffee? Um, well, you saw (scroll down to “exfoliate”) what I did with the Green Mountain stuff…
  7. Favorite treats to have with coffee? Oooh, lots… chocolate dark and rich, rich chocolatey cake, chocolate, oh, did I say chocolate? M&M’s have to make do at work sometimes…
  8. Anything else about coffee preferences? I like rich coffees… they don’t have to be dark, but I like rich over winey or acidy… like Tanzanian Peaberry, Guatamala Huehuetenengo, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea… and I love a good French Roast
  9. Yarn/Fiber I love? Yes. OK, love natural fibers… all sorts.
  10. Yarn/Fiber I hate? Plasticy stuff. Though I admit to thinking lately about fun fur, in several colors of green to make a grass skirt using board shorts as a starter (I saw this someplace… is nearly 48 too old for this sort of behaviour??)
  11. What’s on my needles? Yawn. Navy cotton fleece garter stitch baby sweater, though it’s looking more toddler-sized. And right now that’s it! OH NO, forgot about the other dh sweater…
  12. What’s on my mind to go on my needles? Slinky greenish scarfy/headwrap; finger puppets (spider, maybe centipede, other bugs, snake?); baby surprise jacket; crazy mittens with liners; a lopi sweater for me… the list goes on and on and on…
  13. Favorite colors? Earthy, deep, warm, autumny, natural. I like to look at the deep blues, but mostly they don’t do well for me (though sometimes they do…), not much for the pastels.
  14. Allergies? No.
  15. Anything else? Time, I want more time.


Stay tuned… More about Zero tomorrow!

better late than never

A finished birthday sweater for dh…

Unblocked… the neck is a little wonky. But I tell him that at least it is so wide it doesn’t itch his neck.

So, what is it that keeps us from finishing certain projects?? This was supposed to be a birthday gift last January… And then I thought maybe the body was too small… but it’s ok… and then I wasn’t happy about picking up the sleeves in the round, but that was ok too. In the end, I’m not so sure I’m happy with the neck, but it will have to do.

In some ways knitting this without a pattern was easier, you know, just go. But in others, I wonder if the neck would’ve been better. But then it seems that any pattern I use, I have to adjust it for something.

Other knitting

This is supposed to be a six month size… I’m on gauge, but it seems huge. But, at least babies grow!

It’s a pattern from an old Rebecca Baby & Kids booklet. I’m doing it in Cotton Fleece, Cavern (dark navy).

more snow

snow29jan09 snow29hjan09b

Which sent us home from work early… and I went shopping at the Goodwill for spoons. Every time I need a spoon at work, there are none to be found. The “spoon” bag contained spoons, forks, glass plates, a glass cake dish, army pants (I love the big pockets and comfy fit for field trips… though they are not in the least flattering), army jacket that I will return…


You need a fix, no?
gracie29jan09 zuzu29jan09

geeky work excitement


And with a bit of help I made this (click on the “launch our ecological reserve maps”).

It needs a bit of tweaking, but I see all sorts of possibilities! And FYI, I posted ecoreserve fact sheets and maps recently…

a little home veterinary surgery

Don’t panic, it was nothing like this!

It all started because I was cleaning off the top of the fridge…

The patient,
One Dirty Rotten Kitty

The operating theater,
(complete with fortification for the surgeon)

I think the single ear look does him well,
He chose the red thread… He’s happy he has his squeaker.

He might be good for some mug shots, but he’s never walking the catwalk again,
Looks like a shark bite victim…

The sharks,
Who were anxiously waiting for Dirty Rotten Kitty to recover from his surgery.

Can we amputate any other limbs and still have some fun with him?

first time in a long time

Not counting once for about 30 minutes two years ago, it’s been nearly 14 years since I did this…
ski 060

If you embiggen, you can see evidence of my cool-off strategy. We all know you get hot skiing. Sitting in the snow cools you off! Since knee surgery a few years back, I have a toddler’s sensibilities about falling… I just sit down. Mostly it works well. Trying a 360 degree jumping kick in a leg brace in the park in front of the tae kwon do grandmaster? Yeah, I sat down for that. Going too fast for my rusty skills today? Sat down for that too. Getting back up, when your weight is behind you (or you’re on your behind), and your feet are in front of you, on a slick surface, wearing something meant to glide on said slick surface, and on something of a downhill slant… let’s just say it was a little bit of entertainment.


I have only to do the collar on the Lopi sweater… have picked up the stitches, but am wondering about where to place the corrugated rib… center the gray? center the blue? does it matter?

Shhhh… one sleeve is about 1/2 inch longer than the other (two rounds). I figure I’ll let him try it on and if he doesn’t notice, well that’s fine. And if he does, we’ll see which sleeve is better and I’ll rip the other out.

I did start a cotton baby sweater, Thursday night at a rather dry annual meeting of the Kennebec Historical Society (since I sit on the board, I figured I should go…). The chicken was dry, the guest speaker was dull, but the company was entertaining. The funniest thing?

Chair slippers!
Leave it to the French… this was at the Calumet Club. If you don’t know about the French, or more specifically, French-Canadian-Americans, they are a rather hardworking, anally neat crowd (I am speaking from familial experience here…). So I’m sure Le Club Calumet figured the expense of these slippers into the costs of refinishing the floors.

did the birthday sweater get finished?

Um, nope, not yet… but almost!

The first sleeve (on the circular needle) just seemed to go on forever, and the next thing you know, I’d knit it too long… so it’s ripped back to the correct length here. The other sleeve got its cuff knit last night (corrugated like the rib at the bottom of the sweater). Maybe I’ll get the other cuff and collar done tonight. Probably not.


What else we’re all talking about…

A new president!


We got to watch the inauguration at lunch at work yesterday, but not online. We got the message that we shouldn’t because the state’s bandwidth usage was over the top and all sorts of web applications were failing.

Geology has a television (rabbit ears reception), and I convinced them that we’d have better reception upstairs, because we have a big open space at the end of the hall…
and it was a little better, and we got color, which wasn’t happening downstairs. But see that snowy image? It was only marginally better in person. And how do you like those “shades” covering the glass window? They are tarps quickly grabbed from the field gear and taped up.

Here’s the Peanut Gallery (mostly Geology folks at the foreground… some of us MNAPers are out of the view)

A historic day and a momentous occasion!

And don’t you all want a hat like Aretha wore? OK, maybe not if we all will look like Ellen. Maybe you need to be a queen to carry it off.