Friday, April 18, 2008

Hello, Again :)


Well, it's been nice to be away for a bit and a special, "thank you" to those of you who left me such kind and supportive comments. I am heeding your advice and will continue to blog for the time being. Mostly, I found that I just kept thinking about posting! That, in and of itself, let me know that I was not ready to walk away just yet.

It was quite nice, however, just to peruse some sights without the niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I should be spending some time posting instead of reading. It's funny, isn't it, how easy it is to impose rules on oneself, when there are no rules to begin with! I tend to do that quite a bit. Maybe it's because the majority of my time is self-governed. As a SAHM/homeschool parent, like anyone else who works at home, I have moderate myself with my time. I'm sure everyone does... I just think I'm kind of strict with myself sometimes. I'm not very good at being unproductive, but it was nice having a little blogging vacation there.

I finally finished up my latest picture. It's a mixed-media piece: watercolor pencil, watercolor, magazine collage, and embroidery (the branch is backstitched). I am pleased with how it turned out and now I just need to find a frame for it and for a couple other things I've done. I'm glad to be finished with that one. All the cutting and gluing of the petals, buds, and leaves was a bit tedious. I just kept wanting to just draw and paint again. I'm going to give myself a little break from that for a few days too. I want to take some time this weekend to do a bit of what my word of the year invites me to do: IMAGINE.

In listening to some of my favorite green podcasts lately, I've been thinking again about stepping up some of our efforts. Specifically, I was listening to episode 32 of Living Green on peak oil and it got me thinking again. This kind of news always excites and inspires me - and thrills me when I hear how many more people are participating in going more lightly. This particular show, though, freaked me out just a little bit. The reality of the situation is getting more and more blatant all the time: the "earth crisis" is showing itself more and more in the rising price of fuel, the cost of a sad and needless war, and our faltering economy. All of these things have me stressed, to say the least. We are feeling the pressures of it here at home (are you?) and know many others who are struggling too.

The parts of all of this that excite me are the conversations about the new ways of living that are going to become necessary for more than just those of us who have been labeled "crunchy" and/or "treehuggers" for years and years. I am excited to think that I may have a little company! :) lol! It will be interesting to see the developments that will arise from all of this in the (nearer) future. I guess what I'm saying is that, while some of us have been practicing green living, voluntary simplicity, etc. for years now, it has been looked at as a choice. I think now we are going to begin to see a situation where folks are going to be forced to "play their hand." I am hoping more and more conversations with people who wouldn't have called themselves environmentalists in the past are going to be happening.

One thing I am planning on doing next week is talking with a gentleman from the University of Florida's, "Florida Yards and Neighborhoods" program. I am inviting them out to do an evaluation of our yard to see if we will qualify as a "Florida Friendly Yard" and earn ourselves a little yard sign! :) I love signs and bumper stickers, yes I do! Paul doesn't quite understand my enthusiasm for a little sign, but, as I told him last night, it just might make folks stop and wonder just what the sign is for and may inspire them to try it themselves.

In fact, recently, our boulevard garden, planted all with plants native to Florida, attracted the attention of our next-door neighbors. They liked it from the beginning,:



but just last Sunday, he was asking me what kinds of plants we used, since he would like to do something similar!! See how much is has grown just since last fall when we put it in?!



Incredible!! I've already had to trim back the bee balm twice, because it's getting so huge. The red salvia has already seeded itself and new plants are starting and 1) we haven't even had it for a year yet and 2) we haven't even had the rainy season yet!

My neighbor would like to put in some sort of irrigation system. They are on a tight budget like we are and he was thinking that he would save having to water the boulevard if he could just plant it with native plants. BINGO!! Aaahhh, the beauty of xerascaping!

Some other places that have got me thinking are some blogs that I haven't had time to visit in a while and just did again while I've been on my blogging break. Crunchy Chicken is always a favorite and she has been posting regular challenges to up the ante on our green practices. Check out her Extreme Eco Throwdown challenge. I haven't completely signed on yet, but am giving it some serious thought. I am thinking specifically of giving up plastic, paper products (an easy one in this house), and eating only local. It's only for a month, but I wonder how well I'll do.

So. Long post to say hello again. I hope some of the things that have been inspiring me will inspire you too! Do you grow "green thoughtful" around Earth Day? Are you going to do anything to celebrate this wonderful day next Tuesday? I'd love to hear your ideas. Maybe that will be the day I sign on to Crunchy Chicken's challenge. I hope you'll pick something big or small too. Hey, Mom, maybe you could start using just cloth napkins! We'll be at dinner Wednesday night; I'll be looking for them! :)
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