Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've Been Meme'd

Mary Beth over at SaltandChocolate has tagged me for a quirky meme. No, really, it's a meme where I tell you six quirky things about myself. Actually, they are supposed to be six unspectacular quirks - as opposed to all my spectacular quirks - so here goes:
  • I cannot do anything in my kitchen, including make coffee, until the dishes are done and the sink is clean. Sometimes I go without coffee.
  • I am a Johnny and June Carter Cash fan. This is why Sprout and Pip can both sing the words to "Jackson".
  • I Heart New York Magazine.
  • According to my husband, I parent and converse in rooms where the people I am conversing to or parenting are not.
  • I quite frequently lose checks. Unfortunately, they are incoming checks - not outgoing ones.
  • I am an only child. 'Nuf said.
There are six Wanna Greenies (or not) who must get their quirks on (their blogs). Consider yourself tagged: Jennifer at Big Binder, Ames at Yay! Pie!, Dayna at Speaking, Susie at SusieJ, and Crystal at My Longest Year.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2008 Bloggy Giveaway!

Okay, first of all...apologies for the delay. We are painting Sprout's room (using EcoSpec which I highly recommend) - therefore no Internet access. Don't ask.

Second, my clothesline collapsed. COLLAPSED, dear friends, collapsed. It was the retractable clothesline that we have in our backyard, and thankfully Green Husband was able to fix it and he set up a second clothesline while he was at it. This weekend we are doing beautifully about about 90%, but I will admit that last week, during the rains, I probably only made it about 30%. So much wet little room. Did you check out Amalia's comments? She drys 100% of her clothes on a line from April through October. Fear of a major house fire is one motivating factor.

By now you're saying to yourself...get on with it, woman! Okay. The details on Gift of Green's first Clothesline Challenge 2008 giveaway. If you haven't already guessed, the prize is a beautiful peg bag handmade by the wonderful woman behind Nini Makes. Joanie sent two of these darling oil cloth peg bags: one that I could selfishly keep for myself (and I have used it ever day since its receipt) and the other to give away. Wasn't that absolutely lovely of her? Joanie also sent me an issue of The Green Parent which is such a wonderful magazine straight out of the UK (where Joanie lives). You should see some of the amazing little trinkets, fun shops, and wonderful websites this magazine features. My wish list increased exponentially after reading it (so much for anti-consumerism). This issue also featured a wonderful article, written by Joanie herself, on creating magnetic number and letter boards - adorable! Thank you, Joanie!

To enter this giveaway, you must join the challenge by indicating your line level in the comments. You will be added to the sidebar, and for those of you who are already listed on the sidebar, you are already entered. You need not comment again (unless you want to comment on how adorable the peg bag is...). Please leave your comment by midnight (Eastern U.S. time), Sunday, June 1st. And don't worry - I cannot guarantee that I will get your name onto the sidebar the same day you comment, but I know when you've left a comment and I will be sure you are added by the deadline. One winner will be picked randomly from those who have joined the challenge. And yes...I will ship internationally.

Pictures of my peg bag are forthcoming. We are painting so therefore no ability to upload pictures. Don't ask.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The First (So I Suppose There Will Be Others) Clothesline Challenge Giveaway!!

OMG! The first Clothesline Challenge giveaway.

I have the item in my hot little hands and I cannot wait to send this adorable prize jetting off to some lucky winner.

Need a hint? Try here and here.

And stay tuned for the entry deadline (although if you've already signed up for the Challenge with your Line Level, you're already entered) and the big reveal.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Hope Still Lives

"And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:

I am a part of all that I have met
To [Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

~ Senator Ted Kennedy, 1980

Best wishes, Senator, from a former Bay Stater

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Anon! Five Green Outings With Kids in Northern Virginia

Anon, anon, hey nonny, nonny.

It has been a while since I've done a top ten (or in this case, top five) list and Anonymous suggested a nice topic in the comments section of my last post: green kid-friendly excursions for those of us in Northern Virginia. So let's take a break from the clothesline chit-chat and talk about...

Five Green Kid-Friendly Excursions in Northern Virginia

1) When you say lock, I think key. When you say high, I think low. When your say goodbye, I say...oh, nevermind. But when you say green, I think outdoors. If you are truly in the North of Virginia (I'm thinking you...Arlingtonians) than you must check out these Arlington Walkabouts. This one is even wheelchair-accessible and includes stops for food to give those little ones a boost. So get walking before the weather gets to muggy to do so.

2) Last year I wrote about the spray parks in Arlington and I waxed poetic about how eco-friendly they are because they recirculate the water they use. Now I'm not so certain about that. Is it cheating if I list our two favorite spots with a "to be continued" caveat? And let me also warn you..."One of these parks doesn't have a restroom...tell me...can you guess which one? Before my song is done."

3) The Claude Moore Colonial Farm should be paying me a commission based on the number of folks I've sent their way. I wrote about it way back when I was still blogging for DC Metro Moms, and it remains one of our most favorite summer destinations. Think you're having problems with the clothesline challenge? Try a washing machine challenge...or toilet challenge...or central heating challenge for that matter.

4) Rosebud! Rosebud! Er...wait! I meant Greenspring!, Greenspring! Doris Frances Gurney wrote "The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth." The same could be said for nearer a child's heart and Greenspring will give you ample opportunity to let them run free over the great lawn, the wooded paths and the children's garden (currently being renovated but picnic-friendly nonetheless).

5) Okay...I'm cheating again here because I've never done this before but it just looks so frickin' fun! Letterboxing! In Virginia! Learn it, live it, love it (I'm guessing)...but also kind of be safe and if some of these instructions are a bit dated there may be a tad bit of disappointment involved. Nonetheless nothing can be better than finding treasures hidden among the roots and shoots.

What's your favorite NOVA eco-friendly activity with kids?

On a side note, I must be getting old because quotes like these are starting to make me tear up... "The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

That Hum You're Hearing

is the sound of the dryer going. Yes, the rains have come - have been around for several days now - and although it's great for our vegetable garden it's not so great for the Clothesline Challenge. After a week of 100% line dried clothing, today we are 50%. Half in the dryer and half hung from every available skirt hanger and shower curtain rod available.

I am so excited that so many of you have already signed up - I do have some fun giveaways coming up and those of you who are listed along with your Line Level are automatically entered!

If you are in need of some inspiration, or at least some good reading, about clotheslines, here are a few links for your enjoyment:

If your are one of those who live in an area where clothelines are banned, you'll enjoy Amy Quinton's NPR piece from 2007.

An inspiring ode to the clothesline from Green Bean Dreams.

And for those of you who live where smog and pollen dampen your enthusiasm for outdoor clotheslines, zoinks!, look at these fun alternatives on TreeHugger. Hey, I could probably use at least one of those systems now that April showers have turned into May...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bloggy Button Code

My gosh, you have all forced me to become a coding genius (NOT!)... Link away!

Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge

[a href=""][img src="" alt="Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge"][/a]

(Replace these [ ] with these < > to make the button appear.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2008 Bloggy Button!

Thanks to my local friend Sue, who designed the button, and my bloggy friend Dayna, who resized the button, Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge is now off and running with a real, honest to goodness button for your blog!

This past weekend was the perfect weather for line drying here in Plant Hardiness Zone Seven. Although my poor, dear husband who was only trying to help: he comes bounding downstairs only to have me snap, "Is that the dryer? Did you just turn on the dryer?" I think I may need to relax a little. Anyway - so far 100% CRP-dry: a combination of outdoor line, some children's clothing on hanger hung from the shower curtain rod, and a few odds and ends draped over this and that has kept us honest so far. We shall see...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kashi's Thin Crust Pizza - T'um's Up!

{Today I washed one load of laundry and line dried one load of laundry = 100% line dried laundry today! (But the rains are coming!) It's never too late to join Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2008!}

I have always been a fan of Kashi products and was eating them way before, by some miracle, Kashi contacted me about taste-testing their new thin crust pizza. While it's not so new anymore (sorry, Kashi) I wanted to let you all know that this family gave Kashi Thin Crust pizzas the T'um's Up Award! :)

Kashi sent to me, free of charge (full disclosure here), their three thin crust pizzas to try. The mushroom trio and spinach and the roasted vegetable were quite yummy and did not suffer from that thin crust "snap" that makes you feel like you've just bit into a stale tortilla. I must be frank when I write that these pizzas (meaning the toppings) were a bit too "different" for my pre-schoolers. They are pepperoni lovers on "original" crust kind of kids - but the adults gobbled them up. One odd thing about the very fresh tasting vegetable toppings - they seemed to be distributed a bit unevenly - some slices had no toppings while other had mucho. Perhaps their topping distributing machine was on the fritz or perhaps the veggies shifted in transport? Who knows - they were easily redistributed once the pizzas were cooked, but that's one little area that might need a bit of tweeking.

Overall, a T'um's Up for Kashi's thin crust pizza!