Archive for June, 2007

Luff Luff

Kind of Crunchy Mama gave me a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award while I was freezing my butt off at the beach last weekend!

The thing is, I have been feeling very much lately like I don’t have much to say. And, to be fair, like that which I might want to say simply comes out of my mouth in a way very different from what I intended.  And, honestly, as though I’m too self-centered to interact genuinely and properly with others.
I’ve been so ensconced in curmudgeonry (seriously about everything) and the icks of pregnancy (ass pimple anyone?) that I really have neglected anything and everything that isn’t directly in front of me demanding care.  Chances are, if I’m supposed to email you, I haven’t.  Did I tell you I was sending you a letter?  It’s probably not even stamped yet.  Do I owe you a package?  It’s under my hall table, unsealed.  Have you telephoned?  I haven’t called you back.  And when I do talk to people I listen to myself go on and on and I wonder what the hell I’m talking about.

I hate when I go through periods like this, and yet here I am.  I’m just hoping it passes quickly.

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Lots to talk about when we get back–Lucy’s new glasses should be here, I’ll hopefully have tomato plants and my new planter, the caterpillars that decimated the parsley plant, Riot for Austerity week 3 results and how addicted I am to doing laundry now that we’re hanging things to dry.

Right now, though, I have plants and cats to water, coffee to drink, and bags to repack.  I packed this time without aid of a packing list and we’re taking 2 suitcases for 3 days so I’m suitably nervous.  I lost like 2 hours yesterday.  I’m losing more time than I’m wasting at this point.  Between sleep, insatiable hunger, and a complete inability to multitask anymore, I’m feeling pretty screwed.

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Ok, not really but it sure feels like it.  One minute it was Tuesday morning and I was frantically running around, and the next thing I know it’s Thursday evening and a zillion things have happened.

First and foremost:  C and I went to a dinner on Tuesday night for the foundation for which I’ve been doing some proofreading and I was cited as an important volunteer by the executive director in her speech. Which honestly, was about the coolest thing to ever happen to me.  Seriously, I practically strutted home.  I’m such a dork.

Does anyone else catch their kids reading odd things on the toilet?  I just found Lucy flipping through an old copy of Sage Woman.

Yesterday, on information provided by one of the women in workshop, I headed up to this health food store which has…BULK FOODS!  Which rocks.  Picked up some flake cereal, apple rings and peanuts for C, plus some apple cider vinegar and fish sticks and frozen lemonade concentrate for making popsicles.  Mmmmm, popsicles.

Figured up our numbers for week 2 of the Riot for Austerity and found them very similar to last week’s:

  • gasoline 2.46 gallons– still working from the 100mpg figure even though it doesn’t really fit for NYC subway.  Another member figured out the proper equation, which involves electricity instead of gas since the subway is electric, but I haven’t really looked at it yet.
  • garbage 22.1 lbs.–I never charted out what we were throwing out so I have no idea why so much more this week.  Honestly, I feel sometimes like our garbage is all Pull-ups and magic beans and cat litter.  I have to get this kid out of pull-ups at night.
  • recycling 10.7 lbs.–I feel like this should be going down but it isn’t.  Part is Fresh Direct boxes, which I really should start freecycling except I don’t have much space to store them.  I’d love to be able to cut out the delivery altogether, but this is how we’re getting local, antibiotic-free milk, of which we go through a ton since I crave it with everything.  I’m cutting out a 1/2 gallon this week as an experiment.  We’ve also been getting local fish, cheese and apples this way.  Sigh.
  • consumer goods $67.46–books.  I went in for 2 and came out with 5, which is a common problem for me.  I did, however, keep myself from buying magazines which is a pretty big coup.  On the upside, I may finally read To Kill a Mockingbird.  This does mean, however, that I have already overspent my goal for the entire month of June.
  • food was 34% local, 17% bulk, 49% wet.  This is still way better than it used to be but I didn’t make it to the greenmarket this week and I did give into cravings for chips and ice cream.  Check out the 17% bulk number, though.  During control week, that percentage was 0!  Awesomeness.  This is the section I’m most proud of.  To go from minimal local food to double digits to me is great.  Onward and upward!

What else.  Hell if I know.  Am off to watch Who Killed the Electric Car before C gets home from class and I pass the hell out.  I might not make it.

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It’s a….


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Oh a mood

4 hours middle of night, child awake.  leg cramps.  piece for workshop thrown together at last minute.  15 emails from my MIL since June 4th trying to schedule swimming lessons I swear to Christ we decided *not* to take no less than 3 times.   The last of which was LAST GODDAMN NIGHT.  Just had breakfast and am still hungry.  I am turning off the computer and walking away because it holds nothing but drama and all.i.want.is.to.get.today.over.with.

The sad part?  Today is ultrasound day, and all of my excitement for it has been replaced by bullshit I no longer care about.  Thanks, world.  Really, swimming lessons?  I’m sick to goddamn death of thinking about you.  No lesson for a 4 year old should be this much fucking trouble to try to schedule, and I’d say  no again but NOBODY IS LISTENING.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go chisel mac and cheese out of my daughter’s hair and collate a piece of crap essay before I go see my baby which I’ve been looking forward to since I found out I was pregnant.

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As Low Impact Week draws to a close, I figured I’d weigh in with the hows and how didn’ts, as it were.  My numbers (estimating tv and computer for the rest of the day based on last night’s figures):

  • 10 plastic bags.  Most of these were from the farmer’s market on Wednesday so I’ll have to remember to take back and reuse next week.
  • packaged foods:  23.  I really thought this would be lower so I’ll have to really keep an eye on what I’m buying.
  • meat:  6 out of 7 days.  Of that, the only substantial chunk of meat was a burger on Tuesday.  The rest was chicken nuggets for Lucy and little bits like pepperoni on pizza or soup with beef.
  • dairy:  tons and tons.  I don’t think I’m so worried about dairy after all.  A lot of what we consume is local anyway.
  • takeout:  2 days plus leftovers from dinner out on Saturday.  This is stellar!  A few weeks ago we were ordering out almost every day.  I’m really thrilled with this result.
  • lbs garbage:  16.9.  I have no freaking idea what was in the first garbage bag last night but it weighed 8 pounds.  We’re usually between 4 and 5 pounds per bag.  And then we had cat litter on top of that.  I’m going to start logging what gets thrown out because that’s mad trash.
  • 28.75 oz fed to worms.  I have to start cutting stuff up into smaller pieces because I just can’t fit enough into the bin.  I should be able to fit 2-3 lbs per week but they aren’t going through it quickly enough to do that.  I actually have worm food saved in the fridge at this point.  Still, that’s all food that would’ve otherwise gone into the trash and I’m really having fun checking up on the worms and making sure everything is under control.
  • 12.8 lbs recycling.  Cardboard boxes and catalogs plus there was beer in the house this week.  I have gotten myself off of 4 catalog lists though.
  • television:  36 hours 48 minutes.  I was shooting for 32 hours for the whole household, so this is not the greatest since it only counts Lucy and me.  Why do we watch so much tv?  This part I really have to think about.  Other than baseball and Lucy’s shows, I don’t even know what we watch.
  • computer:  30 hours, 15 minutes.  Again, only Lucy’s and my numbers.  Goal was 49 hours for the household, so again we need to look more closely at this.  Still, I think this reflects a marked improvement over the control week so we may just be on the right track.

This also ends the first week of the Riot for Austerity/90% Reduction.  I’ve been quite pleased with our results for this challenge, aside from the garbage of last week, our  car mileage and the big chunk of spending.  Here are those numbers:

  • 172.85 mi on transit (1.73 gallons) and 50.3 mi in a car (2.8 gallons.)  The car was ride share for me to LI and then Lucy’s time with Grandma this week.  I’m counting full gas for all trips.
  •  Consumer goods:  new–$105.92  used–$5.80
  • Food:  Local–45%
  • Food:  Bulk–14%
  • Food:  Wet–41%

Other great and new things that have come about for this first week include only having to use the dryer for one load of laundry and, of course, the pie!  Anything that gets me to bake something can’t be bad.  And, yes, this is the first thing I’ve ever baked that didn’t come in a box.  I didn’t make the crust but I did make the crumb topping, and it’s freaking delicious even though you have to eat it with a spoon.  It looks like only one side was totally gloppy–the other is chunky-soup and even has some bottom shell left intact.  I think it’s something about my oven.

Dude, I can’t believe I baked a frigging pie.  That’s so awesome!  This week CSA is all leafy veg so only cooking I’m planning is some collard greens.  I hope next week brings something new–I’m eating like three salads a day.  The baby is going to pop out smothered in vinaigrette.

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First, the Low Impact Week update because it’s been making me an obsessive shrew:  I have officially changed the tracking of our numbers.  After spending far too much time staring daggers at the back of my husband’s head while he passed the hours on the computer and, ultimately, after freaking out over 4 more plastic bags coming into the house when I specifically got reusable ones, I have decided to only count MY bags and Lucy’s and my tv/computer usage.  Trust me, it isn’t worth the fight in my house and it’s not fair that I expect C to suddenly become accustomed to taking reusable bags.  This means that the control week numbers will be inflated (those captured all of our usage) but it also means that I won’t alienate my husband from the ongoing process of reduction, which is far more important.

That said, here are the low points:  pizza.  I broke down on Friday and ordered pizza after my doc appt/transit nightmare and then had to stop for pizza yesterday before workshop.  That’s twice for takeout when my personal goal was no takeout, but with all containers recycled it could be far worse.

Second low point:  packaged foods.  We haven’t gotten quite to the point of preparing foods in advance for her although we’re working on it.  As soon as all of the junk is out of the freezer and food cabinet, we’ll make a plan.  That’s not going to be this week after all, though we’re slowly working on it.

Third low point:  shopping.  I’m not tracking this for LIW (it’s for 90% reduction) but I’m going to throw it on here anyway.  My beloved toaster which has seen me through every apartment I’ve ever lived in minus one, died on Friday evening.  A tear was shed, but we use the toaster daily so we had to replace it.  While doing so, I decided to bite the bullet and get a second sheet set for Lucy’s bed so that we can lose the pull-ups without having to worry about hauling sheets to the laundry every day.  We also picked up reusable muffin cups (shall eliminate my Thomas’ addiction) and another drying rack (first one didn’t hold full load.)  I’m counting the drying rack and muffin cups at 50% but not the sheets or toaster because those we would’ve gotten anyway.

Fourth, miles traveled.   I got dinged by grabbing a ride to LI.  Not terribly, but dinged anyway.  There have been a chunk of extra trips, actually, and there are a handful more in sight over the summer as we finish up our visiting family before I’m too pregnant to travel comfortably.  Fortunately, after the baby gets here, I won’t be going anywhere ‘cept on my own two feet.  We’re switching to a neighborhood pediatrician for both kids, Lucy’s cardiologist is local, our dentist is in our same building.  Good times.

The high points are:

  • garbage:  we’re actually on track to make it through the week with 9.45 lbs of garbage!
  • other shopping:  I got Lucy’s sandals and my dress for the benefit at a consignment store!  This is where I’m going to get a lot of her stuff (and stuff for the baby) going forward, as well as any other maternity crap I end up needing.
  • local food:  the CSA has started evening out our local to wet foods ratio and we ate a freaking lot of meals last week that incorporated local foods, which feels really good.  As the shares get bigger, so should our % of local foods.
  • I have only had to use the dryer once since purchasing the drying rack!  I should be able to get away with only using it for sheets and towels, which means once a week and only one load on high.
  • My computer usage has been hovering at between 2.5 and 3 hours a day.  I think, on days when no proofreading work comes through, I can get it down even further.  We’ve weaned Lucy down to one hour of tv in the morning and one in the evening but rarely does she watch that whole time!  And if the Yankees keep sucking, my tv usage while go down to nuttin’ as well.
  • We haven’t had to turn on the a/c or even a fan!  Of course, I’m just starting to get the pregnancy overheating, but I’m going to try to make it until the humidity goes through the roof.

Lucy has been a great help throughout this whole process (aside from the afternoon ‘I wanna watch a moooooviiiiieeeeee’ nonsense.)  She’s started a box of stuff to reuse for projects and has been an absolute trooper with trying new, fresh foods.  We’ve successfully made the switch from baby carrots to by the bunch, string cheese to fresh mozzarella, canned green beans to fresh, and over the weekend, she tried fettucine alfredo which may just be able to replace packaged mac and cheese!  Awesome.

In uterine news, I am huge and getting bigger.  And bigger.  The hunger has hit me over the past week, as well as the huffing and puffing when I truck up stairs.  And, a new one, the pelvic pain when I sit for too long on an unpadded chair which tells me I need to ignore the huffing and get to stretching because that postpartum ‘hit by a bus’ feeling is starting to come back to me and it ain’t pretty.

Last night Lucy woke up when I got home and waited for me to come in to bed so that she could say goodnight to the baby.  She’s starting to spend more and more time rubbing the belly and talking to the baby, and I swear, every time she does I feel like my heart is going to burst.  And now, Luce and I have a pie to make.

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First off, everything is fine with the baby’s heart.   I am so relieved.  The kid was a trooper, holding still and letting the tech get all of the pictures needed in minimal time.  And!  I got to see the spine and rib, which was pretty cool.  It’s funny, though.  I’ve seen about a half a million echos in the past 5 years and I can still only barely make out the 4 chambers of the heart.  It made me appreciate the speed of the tech all the more.

And then…coming home.  St. Francis Hospital is close to several LIRR stations so I decided to ask for directions at the front desk.  They said Port Washington, so to Port Washington I went.  After peeking out to see if I could spot the bus stop one of the people at the desk told me about, I decided to take a cab the 2.5 miles since walking didn’t look like the safest choice.  Half hour wait at the train station, and then I was off.  Things were looking pretty good until I got to Woodside and decided to transfer to the 7 instead of taking another LIRR train to Jamaica.  An hour later, I had made it the 20 minutes home.  7 train, I hate you.  By the time I got here, all of the happy cloud relief floaty crap of having a clean echo had been replaced with heat and smell and up and down stairs and the clench of knowing you’re close to the right stop but can’t get there easily.  I did find a bodega that sells food plants, however, so I’ll be back on the 7 next week, husband in tow, to pick up some tomatoes and whatever else we can find.  So, in one way, hurrah lost!  But not really.

90% reduction not off to the most stellar start, nor Low-Impact Week.   C forgot his reusable bags last night so we brought in 7 new plastic ones.  I was out of the house so Lucy finagled an extra hour of television (during lunch) and the computer was on for all but the couple of hours that C and Lucy were at the park.  And we ordered pizza when I got home because I hadn’t eaten in 6 hours, and C went to the grocery so everything was non-local and non-bulk and and and….waaaaaah.  Today will be better.

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