Let’s Catch Up

In a recent catch-up chat with a dear friend, the absence of any recent blog entries was noted. Why haven’t I posted in a bit? Here’s what I’ve got to say for myself:

1. The sky turned off the faucet in California and it has been gorgeous outside. Until two weeks ago, of course, with an unbearable “record breaking” heat wave. Does it count anymore if any weather is now “record breaking”? IMG_0075Anyway, I had my non-permeable concrete patio ripped out (and recycled), and have been busy reviving the dead dirt into a pollinator-friendly garden, veggie beds, and a flagstone pathway with permeable seams for planting ground cover. Hauling soil and busting rock and creating something beautiful and more sustainable is such fun hard work! I’ve been tending to cuttings and seedlings grown in paper pots to avoid plastic pots. This decision to refuse plastic was only cemented when I discovered a plastic pot, intact and un decomposed under the thick slab of concrete that abutted my 1950’s home. IMG_0078Say NO to plastic… it never goes away. I hope to share more of my new little patch in a post to come.

Its also been time to get outside with the kids and go places! We’ve bussed to the top of Mt. Tam for their annual mountain play, trekked to beaches to soak in the sun, dig in the sand, splash in the waves and fly kites, took the ferry to Angel Island for an outdoor screening of Moana, went camping, and chased butterflies on our Father’s Day hike. Next up, we plan to enjoy blue Tahoe and raft down river in all of this snowmelt.

2. I’ve been royally pissed off and discouraged! My last post before the silence was about my efforts to stockpile local, organic, sustainably-grown, seasonal fruit for the year. Here I am painstakingly freezing individual blueberries to do what I can for the environment while our current president pulls out of the Paris agreement like a horny and irresponsible teenager without a prophylactic. How embarrassing for the United States! This move really nocked the wind out of my sails.

It’s a lot easier to tear something down than build something up, but this administration only wants to take a wrecking ball to the hard work of his¬†predecessors in regards to climate change initiatives and environmental protections such as the clean water, air, and endangered species acts, our national parks, and California’s coastline. To what? Revive the coal industry and speed up emissions? Presidential-assisted suicide. Eat a turd burger, Trump.

Although I must say, Trump’s ineptitude is resulting a satisfying polarizing reaction in the climate action department. Did you know Governor Jerry Brown is sexy? I didn’t either!! But listening to him on NPR after Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement had me convinced that we can use this national fumble as a way to further catapult California and other smaller entities to create a larger collective initiative such as the C-40 Cities. It certainly had me doubling down my efforts to write my representatives.
3. Much of our family’s original goals are becoming hardwired and we are busy living them. The first time I sent Brett to the store with a glass container for food, he returned fuming, “I’m never taking containers again!” The meat counter guy had given him a hard time and the chivalrous husband who always offers to stop by the store on the way home was quite abashed.
Our skin is a little thicker now, our tactics a little more clear. Now, he confidently hands over the container and says, “I believe you know my wife,” and shares a chuckle with the bros behind the counter. He tells me every time someone thanks him for bringing his containers. Its the same kind of encouragement that pushes me onward, like when I notice a teenager eyeing my shopping cart full of bulk purchases, loose produce, and glass milk jugs. I saw the wheels turning in her mind as she considered why I might be shopping the way I was. Or the girl at the coffee shop who gushed, “I love this!” and held up my mason jar full of hot coffee.
Many of our posts are DYI fixes replacing convenient but less Earth-friendly options. For example, making your own soap, tortillas, pudding cups, yogurt, hanging your laundry to dry, and surviving the grocery store zero-waste style, takes more time and effort then if you just relied on single-use packaging, plastics, and your dryer, for example. So, just saying, we’ve been preoccupied!¬†IMG_0077

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