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Archive for the ‘the ennui’ Category

One

My grandfather gave me a piece of advice once about how to be a good employee–always do one more thing before you leave your office.  It doesn’t matter what it is, just that you make it a habit of doing one thing a day above and beyond the things you have to do.

Tomorrow is Earth Day and I’m not planning on doing anything for it.  Or, rather, what I’m planning to do for it is what I do every day.  Not drive.  Not eat red meat.  Not shop.  Throw as little away as possible.  Turn the light off when I leave a room.  I’ll do some wash and hang it to dry, and I’m going to try to get to the bulk store for seeds, nuts and cereal.

Being bombarded with ‘go green’ crap every five minutes is reminding me that I think ‘go green’ crap is just another feel good pat-on-the-back tactic.  Which in turn reminds me that it i hard sometimes (often) to have one foot in super-carbon-reduction-attempt-land and the other in the place I used to live.  And sometimes I find myself counting my actions one bead at a time like a secular rosary, over and over.  Flush toilet with dishwater.  Hang laundry to dry.  Used hemp diapers.  Vinegar.  Borax.  Walk, don’t ride.  Don’t buy it.  Tomorrow I’m going to find that one extra thing that I wouldn’t normally do.  It won’t be something huge, just something to remind me that there’s always more that needs doing and that I can’t let myself get burned out now.

I don’t know yet what it will be but I’ll be thinking about it tonight as I feel overwhelmed by my perceived lack of progress on projects and the enormity of the environmental crisis we’re headed for.  Maybe that one extra thing will be the thing that snaps me out of this funk.  It’s clear that there is plenty more to be done.

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I’ll admit it, I am jealous of Venessa’s homesteading progress.  In my dreams, we are able to turn the old apartment into our own Little House in the Big City.  In reality, this is never going to happen, for reasons ranging from co-op restrictions to me simply not having resources/knowledge/enough hours in the day/sufficient motivation to forego other activities in order to implement such radical changes.  So instead of dwelling on my coveting, I’m going to do some planting.  Mesclun and wheatgrass tomorrow, and then I’m going to improvise the rest.

I feel as though I am at another crossroads, where the big-impact changes have either been made or are bigger than I’m ready to make.  I can either continue on my merry way, satisfied with the reductions we have made, or I can really hunker down and lower percentage points by piecemeal until I’m either ready for more drastic changes or able to feel like I’m giving it my all.

This is where the planting comes in.  Last Technology-Free day I spent largely tidying up and visiting with someone who dropped by.  This week, I want to do something purely selfish (that doesn’t involve wasting hours online) .  I also want to stop the ‘shouldas’ that hit every night as I look back at how I spent my day–I shoulda worked on a project instead of worrying about getting stuff put away.  I’ve been better about pushing them out of my head (and not wasting time on the internet) since last Thursday–I cut up more TC to replace that which was thrown out while I was in the hospital.  I started washing about half of our dishes by hand.  I haven’t used the dryer in many loads of laundry.  I cleaned out some condiments from the back of the fridge os indeterminate age and washed their jars for recycling.  And, of course, I started writing my college application essay.
Ironically, it has felt really good to  just do things instead of sitting around worrying about when I’m going to do things.  I’m hoping I can make this a new habit instead of the old one where I drive myself crazy and run myself ragged getting little done.  After all, it may not be a homestead, but I rather like this old apartment even though I act as though it’s nothing but a pain in my ass.

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Today I was going to get the Salvation Army stuff sorted out but frankly, I feel too much like crap.  I’m thoroughly tired of tea with honey and lemon, and noodle soup, and blowing my nose.  I’m sweaty, tired, cranky and generally a big old baby.  And I have a 28 page program to proofread if I can make my eyes focus long enough to get through it.  Did I mention I’m sweaty?  Isn’t it supposed to be fall?

Anyway, here it is, Day 6 of the the cloth TP challenge and I have to confess…last night I forgot to use cloth and accidentally wiped with regular toilet paper.  I swear, everything went in slow motion for a minute as I dropped the wad into the toilet and exclaimed, ‘nooooooooooooo!’  Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I did feel pretty dumb for forgetting.  Anywho, it’s still going well.

What isn’t going so well is the use of cloth hankies.  I cut up an old pillowcase and proceeded to go through 7 hankies in the first night.  I don’t know if it’s the material or if I’m just inordinately squicked out by my own snot, but I’m not so jazzed on blowing my nose on cloth.  Then again, I’m not so jazzed about blowing my nose at all right about now, so perhaps I need to give ’em another chance.

Today is Peace One Day.  For my part, I’ll be pulling down The Big Book for Peace for Lucy and me to look at tonight when she gets home from school.

Holy crap, can I stop sweating already?  Damn tea.

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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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I have to write today and I’m putting it off. I managed to wake myself up at 5:59 to get a head start, but can’t bring myself to open the doc and begin editing. I should be a raging ball of nerves by noon and apoplectic by two if I don’t get working, so please send some motivation my way. I’d rather be doing almost anything else, and may end up doing just that.

Last week was my attempt at a control for Low Impact Week. Our results were…ok, I know I’m Negativity Girl this morning, but our results sucked. I keep trying to remind myself that that’s why I chose these categories to work on, that I already knew I would be unhappy with the numbers, but I’m just somewhere between pissed off and disheartened. This is what it looks like, to be followed by a mini-rant wherein I blame my husband for the whole damn thing*:

1. Number of plastic bags–shopping and produce: 17

2. Number of prepackaged foods: 20

3. Servings of local foods: 2

4. Servings of organic food: 30
5. Number of servings of meat: 13

6. Number of servings of dairy: 22.5

7. Number of takeout containers thrown out: 2.5

8. Number of garbage bags thrown out–grocery bag size: 3

9. Number of oz fed to worms: 9

10. Hours tv is on: 65

11. Hours computer is on: 98.25

12. Number of Low-dry loads of laundry: 1

13. Number of High-dry loads of laundry: 1

*it’s important to note that some of these numbers are household and some only refer to Lucy and me. Anything regarding diet is just for the two of us. Laundry, tv/comp, trash are all household. This is another problem: I can’t track things neatly right now. It may be easier once the CSA starts up and we’re eating more meals together.*

See what I mean? 65 hours of television? 98 hours of computer? Holy crap. And 17 plastic bags came into the house? That one really got to me. I mean, I use a reusable bag. That means that all 17 plastic bags came in with C. As for the tv and computer, well, I can cut how much Lucy and I use, but I’m not sure how much that’s going to be in the grand scheme of things. That’s not to say that C deserves the blame for our overuse, but it does mean that I’m going to have to figure out how I can make serious reductions when we’re talking about an entire household’s use. It’s really tough, and I may never find the balance. For now, I’m trying to just sort of shut up and deal, which usually leads to a huge explosion down the road. I try to tell myself that one 4-pack of Charmin instead of Marcal isn’t the end of the world, or that I can’t expect him to remember to take bags to the grocery store. After all, he doesn’t roll his eyes when I do things like, say, stick worms in the living room or log when I turn the tv on and off. At least not so I can see it. But, likewise, he doesn’t seem to care the same way. I mean, it’s not that he doesn’t care-care, just that he doesn’t feel the need to obsess about doing absolutely everything we can. And I am not the sort of person who can help myself once I get going. How do you change a household without alienating members therein? Or, equally importantly, without turning yourself into an eco-martyr?

Am I just over-thinking all of this or is the greening of the house like the housework fight for a new generation? Does anyone have any suggestions? WordPress registers 20+ of y’all reading this on a feed plus 20 or so daily hits–help a mommy out. Seriously, I’m perfectly nice as long as you don’t run up my electric bill or leave plastic bags in my kitchen.

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Spent almost all day yesterday in bed with killer headache.  Like makes you puke headache.  Terrible stuff, that.  Am tentatively feeling my way around this morning and so far so good.  I don’t know what the hell that sick crap was, but I’d like to not repeat it again.  Lucy was an angel and ‘read’ me books while I rested and made me pretend soup and cocoa and gave me a stuffed animal to cuddle.  She’s quite a fine little caregiver.   Look, only 2 days til 2007!

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Every year I look forward to fall and the opportunities it brings. And every year come October I’m back to the old pessimism. Take, for example, this morning. Lucy has not had enough sleep and is crying because Daddy is hugging her. I drank too much coffee last night and did not sleep well. I have not had enough coffee this morning for all of the whining and crying and drama. Why why why? I am annoyed with everything and I don’t know why. Oh, maybe I do.

The root of all of it? I have to take in a piece tomorrow to workshop. I have started a bunch of stuff, but none of it is anything I really want to take forward at this point. The piece I want to write about my brother and his <a href=”http://raisingsmiles.org”>Raising Smiles</a> work is stuck deep in the recesses of conceptuality in my brain and just won’t come out. I don’t want to take in another half-actualized piece of crap, and I can’t write here, and when I go out to write I have to do it on paper and have no idea how long things are or even exactly where they are going. And I wonder where Lucy gets the whining from. I’m ready for a huge-scale tantrum.

I’m sure I’ll end up hauling my cranky, juvenile self to the pub for lunch and get something done. And then I’ll feel pretty silly for this whole thing. And then I’ll type it all up, sit around like a jerk and pat myself on the back for not giving up and chin up old chap and all that. But right now? I don’t want to do anything but feel really sorry for myself.  Oh, and suddenly my very basic knowledge of html has escaped me and I’m too big of a freaking baby to figure out how to fix my link.

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