Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to School, Back to Green

It's almost that time: the one that Staples refers to as "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Pip, Sprout and I have had a wonderfully relaxed summer thanks to my new work schedule but now we are watching the summer days slip away and hoping for a wonderful start to September.

Here are a few ideas I have for making sure that we don't lose sight of our eco-friendly lunch habits as we head into a more hectic fall.

You may recall my reluctance to let go of the plastic baggies, but I think we have found a nice, if not entirely eco-friendly alternative. For everything from Pirate Booty to sliced cucumbers, I've been using small, plastic containers with screw-on lids. They are small, light, reusable, and the reliable lids give me the peace of mind that their lunch boxes won't return to me smelling like Eau de Spilt Yogurt.

I usually don't go for juice boxes, but when I do I go with the less compact juice pouch option. Why? Because Terracycle can turn them into radical pencil cases or homework folders! We only hope that Terracycle will have their new website up and running soon with details on how you can turn this reuse opportunity into a school fundraiser! **Update - Terracycle emailed me letting me know that they are frantically working on a much needed website makeover. Stay tuned!**

After much teeth gnashing and price comparing, I finally settled on a decent water bottle option: the bpa-free offerings from Nalgene. I was able to pick them up at Target and they have proven to be quite successful. The wide mouth lets me plunk in some ice cubes or, better yet, I can freeze water in them overnight so that Pip and Sprout will still have some icy cold refreshment when snack time finally rolls around.

And as for reusable cloth napkins, don't even get me started. Etsy is seriously draining my bank account when it comes to adorable, handmade accoutrements for les enfants!

I realize we are heavy on the plastics, but for now these are the best choices for my family. Perhaps after I steal, er, glean some ideas from the Green Moms Carnival {**updated link!} back to school edition we'll be making some even greener choices in the future.

How about you? Any ideas for healthy, waste-free lunches?

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Three Hundreth Post

I'm hitting the 300 post mark today and I can scarcely recognize myself from when I began.

A new job that is basically a new career.

Two sassy seeds that are growing before my eyes.

One thing remains the same, the love of my husband. Always there beside me, encouraging me, giving me those little pep talks disguised as chit-chat.

My blog started out very green. I have diverged somewhat from that topic, although greening has never left my consciousness.

My readership has waxed and waned, and that's okay. I have lost some readers. Gained some new ones. My interests have run the gamet and so do my bloggy friends.

Welcome to my 300th post and thanks for stopping by.


Who am I? Making an omelette yesterday and then today, I hardly know myself anymore!, scurrying off to Whole Foods to pick up some free range chicken breasts (yes, I know the chicken ends up the same (read: dead), but I've read a few articles on "conventional" chicken and it's not pretty). Why you ask? To make Parmesan Chicken from this cookbook. I mean, what the...?

So I buy the chicken breasts (not on sale) that are thin(ner) cut (more expensive) because frankly those big breasts (oh the google searches that will end up here now) scared me and I needed breasts that were a bit closer to the 1/4 inch thickness required. I also buy a nice chunk of parmesan cheese (not from that green shaker thingie) and miraculously the rest of the ingredients were lurking in my pantry (lo! Kosher salt!).

At 4:30 I bring the children in from the slip-n-slide (heat index: 105 degrees) and plop them uncerimonously in front of the television. I Cannot Be Disturbed, as I am making Parmesan Chicken a al Ina Garten and I am scared.

I mis en place (I think) all of my ingredients, pound the chicken to within a 1/4 inch of its life, drink a quarter of a bottle of wine and ignore that fact that "dredge" and "dip" are not really vocabulary with which I am familiar, but nevermind.

Using a cast iron skillet that allows me to cook one breast at a time ("Never apologize!"), I solider on wondering what exactly "medium-low" means and trying to ignore the voices in my head that are whispering "Shake and Bake! Shake and Bake! Why aren't you just using Shake and Bake?", I manage, one and one half hour later to produce delicious Parmesan Chicken (so says Green Husband) with some fancy French green beans and some Near East grain product.

All's well that ends well.

Providing that I interpreted "Until Cooked Through" correctly. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stop the Presses

I made an omelette.

It was delicious.

Who knew that the key was to turn the flame on high about 30 seconds after your pour the egg into the pan?

{And since you've stopped by, please join us and Mr. Linky by linking to your most recent (or only, natch) clothesline-related post}

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Julie & Julia: WON-derful!

I wanted to like Julie & Julia, really I did. But I did not have much hope for it. I felt like it would let me down, despite the brilliant Meryl Streep, and that I had overextended my expectations. Nevertheless, I was giddy with excitement when I arrived at a 7:30 screening opening night.

Now having seen it, I have but one word to say for Julie & Julia: WON-derful!!! (Said in a certain voice like you-know-who). I may have to see it again - it was one of those bittersweet movie experiences where the laughter of the audience often obliterated the following line. Love that.

Why was it so wonderful? As Green Gramps reminded me, after reading the New York Times review, it was not just a campy imitation of this inspiring woman; Meryl Streep was much more than the exterior Julia Child. It was a movie that went deeper than her omelet-flipping fiasco or exclamations of Bon Appetite! There were moments, dear readers, when I cried.

There were several things I learned from this movie:

1) Having a small cramped "less-than-perfect" apartment or home, whether in Queens or Paris, is no excuse for a) not cooking or b) not entertaining. Nobody cares. Taking time over some good food, cooked in the smallest of spaces, some fresh flowers, candlelight, and even some big, red paper hearts pinned to your chest are truly all your friends want. My excuses for non-hosting have ended.

2) "Never Apologize!" Julia uses it in a cooking context, but so perfect for so many other situations. Give yourself some credit. Really.

3) Life begins at 40, the year Julia got married. Or 50, the year her cookbook was finally published. 'Nuf said.

4) I may try cooking. And I won't apologize.

***Updated*** 5) Letter writing. My goodness, how could I forget letter writing. The pure giddy about to jump out of your skin excitement of tearing a letter open. I will be writing one "real" letter per week for now on. There's MY Julie/Julia project!

My reading list based on Julie & Julia and cooking in general...

The real Julie.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Neglected Baby

No, not my children. Don't worry about them. They've been up to their ears in activities. Let me update the tally:

::made popovers
::spent many hours idling at the pool

More to follow.

I suppose I could be referring to my dear Green Husband. He truly treats me like a Queen but sometimes I feel like I treat him less than perfectly. Not intentionally, but when I ask him about his day and then from the corner of my eye I see one child climbing up the door frame and from the corner of my other eye the other child taking LOCKS OF HER OWN HAIR out of her PURSE, I just can't seem to concentrate. I believe the solution is called date night.

My blog has been rather neglected as well. Oh, my dedicated Clothesline Challengers...how ARE you? Please let me know by signing on to this new-fangled Mr. Linky widget (not so new-fangled...this old dog is just learning some new tricks) and highlighting your most recent (or not so recent) clothesline-related post (clothesline-related posts only please).


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Everything's Popping Up Popovers

Yesterday I decided to a try a little, ehem, cooking. {"For her birthday, my wife asked me to take her someplace she'd never been before. I said, 'How 'bout the kitchen?'"}

I dusted off this thing called a COOK BOOK which happened to be Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup. Pip, Sprout and I were rewarded handsomely because with just a few ingredients and some simple steps (really, I would not lie about these things), we were eating pouffy, moist, yummy popovers hot from the oven.

I do believe that this success story will be the first on my Summer Redux list:

::Made popovers

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Four Years Ago

Flowers from Aunt Suzie Sent on Your Original Birthday

Four years ago, right about now, I gave birth to you, the baby girl of my dreams.

My "Sprout". My laughing Allegra. My daisy. My sunshine. My love. My "Mr. Golden Sun".

Your daddy and I checked in to the hospital at 6:10 a.m. (so said the admission papers I found in my suitcase during last week's trip to the beach) and five peaceful hours later you arrived.

My darling girl. What more can I say?

Happy birthday, Sprout.


Your Mama

Monday, August 3, 2009

Preparing for a Party

The Evites have gone out for Sprout's fourth birthday party and now I come to you, crafty, baking followers, for advice on The Cake.

In an effort to get back on the green wagon (don't worry - I'm still line drying) and to go a little less artificial, I would like to bake the cake myself. I'll give you a minute to stop laughing. Okay, so, she wants an Ariel cake. Is this hard to do? Here's the rub - I do not want to do one of those fairly bizarre looking cakes where a Barbie doll is disembodied with her top half popping out of the batter.

So tell me...any ideas? What's this about baking a cake in a Pyrex bowl and then inverting it?


And while we're on the subject of birthdays...

Happy Birthday, Green Gramps!! The best is yet to come!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coming August 7th to a Theatre Near You

I really don't care what the reviews say and please don't burst my bubble:

I Can't Wait!!!!

**Update: Our tickets have been purchased!**

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back from the Beach

A little tanner but not burnt.

There were a lot of quotable quotes from the trip, but my favorite was from the trip home. Sprout saw a car towing a boat and said, "Mommy, I just saw a boat! And it was pushing a car!"

Now that August is upon us I suppose it's time for taking it reeeeeeal easy as the new school year will be here quicker than we think.

I'm finishing up a P.D. James from the beach, "The Lighthouse". Not my usual fare, but I am enjoying it. How about yoooou?

Speaking, or writing, of books, I wanted to highlight a new find called Learning Parade that is all about teaching, crafting, exploring, whatever through stories and books. I am hoping for find some good ideas and inspiration for my students this fall. Check it out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Countdown Sticks - How Many Days 'Till Whatever!

OMG! I crafted AGAIN!

Well, to be fair, Pip and Sprout crafted and it was a fun one!

Whether you are counting down to a trip to the beach or a visit from Santa Claus, our Countdown Sticks (TM) are the sticks for you!

First, take some jumbo popsicle sticks...as many as you have days to count down.

Decorate them any which way you please.

(We used markers, glue, beads, pens, and glitter foam with adhesive backing).

Place them in a cup or tin (or in this case our Christmas Countdown Cup - even though we're counting down to sun and sand - see the deflated Water Wing?).

Each day, take out one stick so you'll know how many days you have before you can rip open all your presents (or how many days you have to pack the sunscreen and water wings).


Thursday, July 23, 2009


First we had too much.

Then we've been having too little.

Tonight the raindrops are just right.

I love the sound of raindrops on the roof.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tips for the Traveler

As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate the sounds of bluegrass, gospel, and what you might call traditional country music. I am busily planning a trip that I hope to take when Pip and Sprout are eight and nine; granted, a long way off, but part of the excitement of the trip is planning and looking forward to it.

Here is my planned itinerary. Can any of you add comments, make suggestions for additional stops or tell me about your experiences? Until our road trip, I will live vicariously through you!

Stop One: The Carter Family Fold

Stop Two: Dollywood

Stop Three: Graceland

Stop Four: Grand Ole Opry

Any smaller places along the way would be a perfect way to break up the driving.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Loving the Line

In my neck of the woods, close to Washington, D.C., the weather has been absolutely beautiful: no rain, low humidity, gentle breezes. This is quite unusual for D.C. summers where breathing, Mark Twain (I believe) once said, compared to sucking blubber through a straw.

I have received so many comments at my original Clothesline Challenge post. Please check back there for my replies as you know Blogger does not provide me with your personal email addresses.

I think it's time for another giveaway, don't you?

I have just finished reading, and am perfectly in love with, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney. If you have ever read, and loved, Cold Sassy Tree or even Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe you will understand the feel of this book. So, please leave a comment if you would like to be entered into a drawing for this little gem by Sunday, July 19th, 2009 at midnight Virginia time. And with all my friends from abroad chiming in, how could I not not ship internationally, so enter away!

And just to be clear, since it seems that bloggy giveaways are coming under a bit of scrutiny, this book will be purchased with all the money I'm saving by line drying.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let Evening Come ~ Poems from New England

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

~From "Let Evening Come" by Jane Kenyon

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finish Every Day - Quotes from New England

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

De-Crafto Craft

Um, remember when I vowed to NEVER craft again?

Well, I crafted.

And I am so proud of myself because I cannot craft. Seriously.

But here, by some miracle, a crafty endeavor actually worked! Inspired by The Nester, I stuck with the project from start to finish! I did not waste money by purchasing cute accoutrements that found themselves relegated to the back of my closet! My daughter expressed joy at my finished product!

So without further ado (or don't) I present to you a pair of Ikea curtains. Hemmed (big accomplishment!) with Stitch Witchery (who knew?!) and then cuted up with an adorable trim of pink pom-poms (Hot Glue Gun!). Yippeeeee! Now I am really gung-ho to complete my daughter's room in the Fifties, chenille-esque bed covering, girly-girl, princess phone look I'm going for... Any suggestions? Who knows...I may craft again...

Monday, July 6, 2009


This was my first full day as a 39 year old and goshdarnit it wasn't that bad. I do feel like I am suffering from a few aches and pains; I guess it is time to kick that exercise regime into full gear, er, I mean, kick start it period.

Any suggestions from you young whippersnappers?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Power to De-Sour?

Wendy asked, "Waaah, I want to participate, but we have a humidity problem I don't know how to deal with. Sometimes I hang the clothes out and instead of drying, they SOUR!! Does anyone have that problem?? I assume it's the humidity, but I have no idea!"

I did not know the answer, so I promised her I'd ask the masses: YOU! :)

On a related note, please check back under comments if you leave me a note. I read all of your messages (thank you, thank you!) but sometimes Blogger does not allow me to reply directly to you.

As for summer reading, run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore or library and read the beautifully sweet, funny, and all around peach pie delectable "The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs" by Betty Birney. I'm only half-way done and it's my favorite book yet. See what happens when you listen to third graders? You can find some marvelous books that way!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sorry to leave you hanging...

so to speak! We have so many new clothesline challenge members from all around the world, I'm happy to report!

Here are a few friends that have recently joined us:

Patricia, aka Sunflower Mama, writes, "We're Super Star/Advanced. I hang everything. My husband does not. But having a husband who helps with laundry is good enough for me. He can throw it in the dryer. =) In May we washed 18 loads, hung 16. For June we're 2 for 2.
I have three lines. Two go from the back porch to a tree. The last one is between two trees. I don't have anything for indoors. I hang outside year round. It just takes a load 1-2 days in the winter, compared to 1-2 hours in the summer. Thank you for hosting"

My pleasure, Sunflower Mama, and wow!, good work on your high clothesline to dryer ratio!

My dear friend (can I call you that, Susiej?) sent an update as quick as her slow internet access at the lake would allow: "I am using my clothesline!!! But, forgot to post about this... when I get my fast internet connection back, I will post this."

Keren checked in all the way from Israel to say, "I think I earned the super-star level. I hate the dryer and never use it. I live in sunny Israel and it's a pity not to use the natural sun, which gives me the feeling that not only does it dry the clothes but also cleans some stains.
great challenge! keep up the good work!"

Same to you, Keren!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Winner of the Lotuspad Yoga Mat!

Thank you, thank you to all of you who entered this giveaway, and who, more importantly, decided to have a go at the 2009 Clothesline Challenge! {Remember, it is never too late to join}

And the winner of a yoga mat and strap is...

Jeanne of EcoLabelFundraising!

Jeanne, please email me with your mailing address so that I can coordinate with Lotuspad and get your mat and strap out to you!

Coming up - we'll shine the spotlight (or shall I say, sunlight) on some of our participants and...another giveaway!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Quick Update

Dear All,

The SUN is SHINING at last so just a quick update to tell that I have received all of your wonderful comments and emails about your clotheslines and they make me so very happy!

I'm off to hang more on the line, but I will return shortly to give mention to our new Challenge members, to highlight some of your comments, and to reveal the winner of a beautiful yoga mat and strap from LotusPad.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

~ Amy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Clothesline Confessions & The Giveaway Revealed

Well, my pretties, let me tell you something...you can bet that I didn't save much money this weekend, not to mention the environment as I did 100%, yes, count 'em, 100% of my drying in the dryer. I mean, there were a few items that were slung over the shower curtain rod or hung from the doorknob, but read it and weep, sisters (and brothers), I was like, below novice...I was like, the anti-novice.

But! No matter! Spit-spot and all that! Tomorrow's another day (albeit a rainy one) and who cares about your THINGS when you can use this great giveaway to take care of your SOUL!

Yes, it's time for the first Clothesline Challenge giveaway...a beautiful eco-friendly yoga mat and strap courtesy of Gift of Green and LotusPad.

Here are the rules because there must be rules!

1) Those of you who have entered the Clothesline Challenge and are listed on my sidebar are automatically entered! If you would like an extra entry, please tweet this giveway and leave a comment at this post letting me know you've done so.

2) Those of you who have not yet entered the Clothesline Challenge, leave a comment at this post letting me know what level you are taking on...you may also get an extra entry by tweeting this giveaway and leaving me a comment at this post letting me know you've done so.

3) All challengers, please go to LotusPad and peruse these beautiful, environment-friendly, biodegradable mats and leave a comment at this post letting me know which mat and which strap you would like should you be the winner!

4) The contest ends at Midnight, Friday, May 22nd and the winner will be randomly picked.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sometimes You Just Gotta


I miss.

It was the very first blog I read and her writing, her mod home, her daily dress, were little postly gems.

I have no reason for writing this; I guess it's like when you've reached the end of a darn good book series and you're in search of another one.

Tomorrow we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming and The Giveaway will be revealed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Clothesline Challege Giveaway!

Get ready, Hardy Hangers! It's mid-May so it's time for the first of the Clothesline Challenge 2009 giveaways!

Remember, those of you who are listed on the sidebar are automatically entered! You'll be able to Twitter for another entry (yes, I've turned into one of THOSE).

And for those of you who have not yet taken the Clothesline plunge, now's the time. In fact, we need more Novices! Don't let those Advanced Super Stars intimidate you! Let it Shine! Put Up a Line! (I'm so losing it).

And here's a hint as I finalize the giveaway: OM.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!

Last Year's Rainy Day Backup Plan

Although there is, dare I say, a bit of a chill in the air, that yellow orb has returned to our fair city. Although my line:dryer ratio was slightly lacking, we did get several loads out on the line this past weekend.

I am so thrilled to have so many of you with us this year for the Clothesline Challenge, some again and some for the first time. And thank you, once again to Joanie at Nini Makes for the adorable button that is gracing so many of your blogs!

Stay tuned for a clothesline checkup where I will visit your blogs to see how things are hanging... In the meantime, let the sun shine in!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Diary,

Natural Lincoln Logs

Well, first it rained today. And then after breakfast there was a bit of a drizzle, followed by a light downpour. Around lunchtime things were slightly overcast, with a misting right before tea. Just before supper there was a driving rain, with misting that followed. Showers after dark, with more towards dawn.

Monday, May 4, 2009

And A Clothesline Runs Through It

Frog Among the Onions

Hmmm, maybe I should have started this year's Clothesline Challenge on June 1st. From your comments (and I do read every one), I can tell that we are all having troubles with this rainy weather. Great weather if you're a worm, not so much if you're a wet pair of jeans. Hang in there, folks!!

{It's never too late to join}

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rainy Day

Waiting for Sprouts - Recycled Egg Carton

Rain today with nothing on the clothesline, so it is a good thing we accomplished yesterday what needed to be done outdoors. This included walks around the neighborhood, a bit of weeding in the garden, a stroll on over to the park (where Pip and Sprout climbed the jungle gym like little monkeys - my, they're getting old), mowing, edging, and seed planting.

Peony Compost

Incidentally, you may want to know (or not) how we control dandelions on our property. The answer is: Green Husband. No, he's not a product, he's my spouse, and he prowls around with a sharp tool and digs those flowers up by the roots. And that, my friends, is how we have a dandelion-free and chemical-free yard.

What is emerging in your flower garden?

Garden Courtesy of Green Husband

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Clothesline Challenge Bloggy Button is Here!

The Second Annual (and the first annual, for that matter) Clothesline Challenge would not happen without a lot of bloggy friends who are a lot more creative than I (myself? me?). A huge thank you across the pond to... Nini Makes! who designed this year's bloggy button.

Steal away!

[a href="http://giftofgreen.blogspot.com/2009/03/get-ready-gog-clothesline-challenge.html"][img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_t3-jZFXowvk/Sfw23N_8e0I/AAAAAAAAAeE/mujOl8TWZ7Y/s400/GOG2009.jpg" alt="Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2009"][/a]

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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hello. Just a friendly reminder

...that I am not blogging or twittering this week in deference to Television Turn-Off Week.

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume on Saturday.

This has been a pre-scheduled post.

Thank you for your patience.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Green Chit Chat

Even though I have sworn off crafting forever! (basically because I am no good at it), I just had to alert you crafty-crafters to some fun things I've found on my Internet and magazine travels:

Knotions has a nice article on how to find sweaters suitable for repurposing at your local thrift store (not repurposing AT the thrift store - that might get you in trouble).

The articles references two sites I had not seen before and I am sure I will now waste countless hours looking them over: Thrifty Planet Resource Guide and The Thrift Shopper.

Also, did you know that Betz White has a new book out and about? It's called Sewing Green and it looks fantabulous. So go ahead, crafter! Let me live vicariously through you and craft up some green goodness!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bloggy Button to Follow

I'm taking a brief break until Monday to enjoy the Easter holiday. When I return next week, the Clothesline Challenge 2009 Bloggy Button will be ready for you to steal!

Can't wait? Need a hint? Here's a clue...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

All Things Great and Clotheslines

I happened upon two great posts yesterday on all things clotheslines.

First, head on over to Heather's post at Enviromom and then to The Greenest Dollar to get inspired, and then sign on for Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge that begins (for those of you, like, er, me, who don't actually air dry year round!) May 1st!

And then, oh beauty, if you are in need of some inspiration there are two Flickr groups - who knew there could be such beauty in clothes hanging out to dry?

Clothespins & Beautiful Clotheslines

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

GOG Review - The All-New Illustrated Guide to Gardening

***Don't forget to join Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2009!***

As a Wanna-Greenie blogger I get a lot of emails extolling the latest and greatest in supplements and such, but every once and a while I get an offer to review a book! It is just torture for me to accept these offers, I dread when the mailman leaves that heavy envelope on my doorstep, and it just breaks my heart that once I'm done reading a donation I either have to keep it or give it away on my blog. Torture, I tell ya!

So, you can imagine my chagrin when the Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening landed with a heavy thud on my front stoop. It certainly was larger than I had expected, but no matter, and it sports a medallion on the cover that reads, "Now All Organic!".

The end pages have a lovely color map of the plant hardiness zones, which you know is near and dear to my heart. Chapters cover everything from ferns to hedges to heathers and heaths. The chapter that I decided to peruse first was on vegetables, and I kept an eye out for any organic tips of the trade. I found the section on homemade organic controls to be interesting - who know you could make a garlic oil spray to combat squash bugs and and cabbageworms?! And although I knew the ladybug was useful in fighting garden pests, the small section on other "little helpers" revealed the helpfulness of, among other bugs, the hover fly.

I will say that the typeface is extremely small, which I suppose is a necessity for a book that covers so much, but for those who have some sight limitations, this might dissuade them from turning to this guide as a regular resource. This book will certainly be a comprehensive addition to a gardener's reference collection; I'm sure it will get a workout this summer as the Wanna-Greenies refer to it again and again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wise Summer Spending on Safe 'Cessities

Even though I went to the park today in a down jacket and scarf, I know that summer is just around the corner.

Time to stock up - but I'm on a budget. So, for summer should the kids get Sigg or Kleen Kanteen?

For sunscreen Blue Lizard or California Baby?

And what is the most cost effective way of buying any or all of these products? Mail order? Local WF?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Clothesline Challenge - Just Hanging Around

I am thrilled that we already have several souls who are willing to get creatively crunchy in the quest for air drying goodness.

Kate from Ramble on Rose joins us with a traditional backyard clothesline, as does yours truly.

Dayna from fo.ne.tic.lee speaking joins us for year number two and writes, "My line is between an old tall pine and a super shiny eye hook on my daughters swing set. I even got a middle of the line extending pole holder thing-a-ma-jig last summer." Hmmm...we may need a photo of that thing-a-ma-jig, Dayna.

Ames at Yay! Pie! is terrified of crunchy towels, but she has added two collapsible wooden drying racks to her arsenal.

Maxine is laaaahfing at all ower leeetle baaaaby steps, as she never really took a break from line drying after last year's challenge. Bonus, her blog Green Across Texas is now featuring a post on her homemade laundry detergent.

Another reader has been line drying away since last summer's challenge, putting me to absolute SHAME! And let me tell you something...she lives where it is cold, like, 10 months out of the year. TEN! Like, I think sometimes they only get daylight for a few hours. Do I have that right, Jen?

And welcome to our newest participant and for alerting us to Project Laundry List, just a bunch of people hanging around. Get it? Hanging around?

Remember, it is never too late to join the Clothesline Challenge 2009!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Clotheslines and Automatons

I may be a year or so behind the times, but if I told you that The Invention of Hugo Cabret was worth the wait, I wouldn't be lying. The book has been checkout of my library continuously since September and I finally got my hands on it - I read it in one night.

And don't forget to sign on to our 2009 Clothesline Challenge! You have plenty of time to prepare as we count down to May 1st.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pip!

I cannot, just cannot, believe that you are the big 5.

Learn a bit more about the very moving and very simple way that Montessori celebrates a child's birthday here. We are so fortunate to have joined in a similar celebration today.

I leave you with a poem that I have quoted before; one that has sustained our family many times before.

I'm dancing.
I'm leaping.
I'm skipping about.
I gallop.
I grin.
I giggle.
I shout.
I'm Earth's many colors.
I'm morning and night.
I'm honey on toast.
I'm funny.
I'm bright.
I'm swinging.
I'm singing.
I wiggle.
I run.
I'm a piece of the sky
in a circle of sun

--Rebecca Kai Dotlich from Lemonade Sun: And Other Summer Poems

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Get Ready! GOG Clothesline Challenge 2009!

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

~The Great Gatsby

**Update! Get Your GOG 2009 Clothesline Challenge Bloggy Button Here! Thank you, NiniMakes!***

The 2009 Gift of Green Clothesline Challenge began May 1st!!

The Clothesline Challenge will run for four months this year: May, June, July and August. Of course, your clothesline need not be a traditional line hung between posts in your backyard! You may use your shower curtain rod, your banister, your apartment balcony, or a clotheshorse, of course, of course.

There are four Line Levels this year: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Super Star. Choose your Line Level based on what you think you can accomplish over the next four months.

Novice: Using a clothesline (or clothesline-related product) gives you the chills. You have bad memories of a towel burn you got from a crunchy sun-dried towel. You'll give it a try, pledging to dry 10% of your wet laundry (1 item out of ten per load or one load per ten loads) on a clothesline or CRP.

Intermediate: You've been itching to formalize your clothesline (or CRP) and here's your chance. You want to rig up a better system, whatever that may be, and see how much you can save on your energy bills by cutting out the dryer. You pledge to dry 50% (5 out of ten items per load or 5 loads out of ten loads) for the duration on a clotheslines or CRP.

Advanced: Crunchy towels don't scare you! In fact, bring them on! Crunch builds character! In fact, you are running out of space to hang all of your fine and not-so-fine washables. You pledge to dry 90% (9 out of ten items per load or 9 loads out of 10 loads) for the duration on a clothesline or CRP.

And this year...Super Star Level: As IF! You don't even OWN a dryer! You dry 100% of your laundry, and you do it almost year round. De Clothes Line Chaaaa-lenge Es Fur Baaaabeees. (Use Terminator voice while reading previous sentence).

To sign up for the challenge, leave a comment stating your Line Level and the type(s) of clothesline(s) you have (just out of pure curiosity on my part). I will post a list of participants on my sidebar linking to your blog (or just your first name and state - whatever you prefer).

Caveats? Can't think of any at the moment. There will be some fun clothesline-related giveaways (and I promise to mail them out ON TIME; I am post officially-challenged) and lots of links to help you on your non-dryer journey.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tofu Tuesday - Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Brought to you by...
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Boy, I am reeeeeeally stretching it to be part of Tofu Tuesday.

But wait, seriously, can't I still get some TT love even though we purchased dinner from Subway?

I ordered an all veggie sub filled with lettuce, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, mustard and that lovely oil they've got goin' on over there. And I must tell you, there is something about the veggie sub on that slightly stale but nonetheless wheat bun that is immensely satisfying and filling. With summer veggies percolating in my garden, I'll have to remember the true value of a veggie sub value meal.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Garden 2009 Begins

Our garden is newly roto-tilled, the clothesline is up, the adorable peg bag courtesy of Nini Makes from last year's Clothesline Challenge looks like Easter candy hanging from the line, the seeds are in (radish, carrots, lima beans, peas and lettuce), and our two beds of strawberries promise red, juicy berries in the not so distant future.

And someone needs more appropriate footwear for the garden.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The First Garden

No, I'm not talking about the Garden of Eden, I'm talking about the First Lady breaking ground for the First Garden! Yippppeeeeeee!!

I am also in the middle of Esperanza Rising and it is a beautiful book indeed. I just completed Bride to Terabithia, a book that is so deceiving in its simplicity - it is one of those books that makes you think, "Hey, I could have written that.", but really you couldn't have. Does anyone know what I mean?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tofu Tuesday - Back to Basics with Bulgur

Tofu Tuesdays
Brought to you by...
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Tonight's meal wasn't Totally Tofu, I must confess, but we did dabble in a new grain that, much to my surprise, was a real winner. Readers, meet Bulgur. Bulgur, meet readers.

I was a little nervous about this mystical Bulgur in a box; I was afraid it was going to taste chewy or dry or eck, like kasha . But armed with a recipe from this month's Martha, Green Husband cooked it up with some organic carrots and it was quite the delish dish.

Bulgur. It's what's for dinner.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Going Green for Lent

Yesterday's Washington Post had a great article on going green for Lent! After doing a quick Google search, I found a lot of other pieces on this topic too, including one in my former hometown newspaper, The Boston Globe. I mean, look at that clothesline! Ain't it grand!

Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
in Maryland has a nice .pdf document with suggestions for an lent 40-day Carbon Fast!

And there's even this at the Evangelical Ecologist (whose slug line is "The World Isn't Ours to Mess Up" - Psalm 24:1). His blogroll is just chock full of links to like-minded blogs of all faiths.

All of this meandering let me to the website and blog of The Regeneration Project, "a religious response to global warming", a response which includes over 4000 congregations in 28 states. Is your congregation one of the 4000? What activities are happening in your neck of the woods?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cutting Back Green Spaces - Another Casualty

If you are an Arlingtonian (VA), or even a Virginian (after this Washington Post article) then you have no doubt read about the proposed closure of Gulf Branch Nature Center.

Fortunately we have a dedicated group of citizens that is using the power of 2.0 to call attention to organize against cuts like these.

My family and I have never been to GBNC, but sure enough we have spent many, many happy and delightful days at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Virginia. It was one of my top picks for green outings for kids in Northern Virginia. It's a perfect place to go to celebrate the return of spring (it re-opens April 1st from its winter break) or even in the fall, as I wrote way back when for DC Metro Moms. Did I mention that at $35 for an entire year this place is one of the Last Best Bargains?

Do you see where this is leading...?

Yes, yesterday we received the CMCF newsletter informing its members that they are losing a grant of $31,500. The write:

"We have just received a letter from Fairfax County that we are not included in this year's contributory funding. For more than 10 years CMCF has received $31,5000 each year to help pay for our educational program staff and materials...We have no idea how we can replace these funds as every other part of the Farm's funding has been affected by these grim economic times...if you have any great fundraising ideas, contact aeberly@1771.org"

You might want to show your support of CMCF by coming to their Dairy Day on Saturday, April 18th from 1-4 p.m. Have you ever wondered what curds and whey look like? Do you know how to wash butter? Help the farm wife make soft cheese and churn butter.

It seems like a long road ahead if CMCF is going to support itself on admission fees alone, but every little bit helps, wouldn't you say?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Green Groceries...

Dear bloggers, tweeters and readers...

I need your help. One of my Mini Wanna-Greenies is having a terrible problem with, well, let's just get the 4-1-1 on the Number 2, constipation. This poor little tyke has been having a terrible time and although my sweet is now under doctor's care, we have been instructed to eliminate so many things that my cutie-on-duty loves: whole milk, yogurt, rice, applesauce...you get the idea.

So, while the doctor's drugs do the dramatics, what tasty snacks, high(er) in fiber, would you recommend? I am just fresh out of creative ideas - in fact, I get pooped just thinking about it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Barefoot Books, Tofu Tuesdays, & Clothesline Clubs

I love a little alliteration.

Happy hello to Horse Medicine, winner of this weekend's bloggy book giveaway. HM, please contact me with your address and I will ship The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales out to you pronto! Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I have more bloggy book giveaways coming up, so stay tuned!

Talking Tofu, Kelli over at Gohn Crazy and Kaci of Ellyphant are teaming up to bring you Tofu Tuesday, a little opportunity to eat a little lower on the food chain. It officially starts on March 17th when you will be able to link to your Tofu Tuesday tip using Mr. Linky. And is the TT badge adorable or what?!:

Tofu Tuesdays
Brought to you by...
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Oh, and speaking of (what, I don't know), you can bet your bottom dollar that Gift of Green will be hosting the second annual Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge. It will begin June 1, and although that sounds a long way off, it's never too early to start perusing those clothesline catalogs! Will you join us this year and exercise your right to dry!?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Reveal

Pip, my older, turns five this month. Five years ago we brought all four pounds, seven ounces of him home from the hospital. As the melting snow has slowly revealed the crocuses and daffodils, time has slowly revealed what Pip is able to do this Spring that he was never able to do before.

:: We went to the park yesterday and for the first time he was high up in the air on the big boy swing. How did he get there? He pumped, of course. Sniff.

:: He asked me if his Spiderman mask was washed yet, and when I told him that it just needed a few minutes in the dryer...he went upstairs and transferred the darned thing to the dryer. I only knew because he couldn't figure out how to start it. He still needs me. Barely.

:: The tree in the backyard...you know, the one where Pip needs a leg up to get to the lowest branch? No more.

:: We always called him Felix Unger and today confirmed it. He drew labels for each of his toy bins and taped them to the exterior: Transformers, Playmobils, Art Supplies. So organized.

And for some reason memories of this just bubbled up in my thoughts today. If you've read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", you must give this one a try.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5

{And don't forget to try your luck at yesterday's giveaway!}

Just in time for summer: Barefoot (Books)

I have reviewed some of the unique offerings from Barefoot Books before, but my, has it been that long?

The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales, by Dawn Casey and Anne Wilson, features illustrations created from collaged papers with brilliant acrylic backgrounds in earthy browns, vibrant chartreuse, and sky blues. The book retells seven folktales from around the globe: from the American Southwest to Bali. Accompanying each tale is background information on the country of origin and an activity to try (some are more involved than others - one requires living willow rods, while another just requires cornhusks, string and scissors). Read "The Sun Mother", a Dream story from the indigenous peoples of Australia, and then try your hand at creating a song-line drawing in the style of the Aboriginal people.

Along with A Forest of Stories, this book celebrates the essence of oral tradition as culture after culture handed stories down around the fire or under a dome of sky. A sources and acknowledgements page encourages further reading.

I would be happy to share this book, sent to me by Barefoot Books, with one lucky winner selected randomly. Simply leave a comment on this post by midnight, U.S. East Coast time, Monday, March 9th, 2009. And yes, I will ship internationally.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Mary Beth over at Salt and Chocolate wrote a little ode to her now defunct stove top espresso maker - which reminded me of my own stove top percolator I received for Christmas from Green Husband (run on sentence).

Not only does my coffee seem to stay hotter longer (than when I used my drip coffee maker), but I just realized that it's a little bit greener than my drip: no need for coffee filters! Which is very helpful at 5 in the morning when you realize you've run out. Now running out of milk is another story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Garden Themes and Summer Dreams

Well, dear friends, thank you so much for all of your fabulous suggestions on what to plant in my little garden patch. Since I so nicely "volunteered" my fellow "volunteers", I decided I had better come up with a theme and quick. So here it is: A Garden of Gourds (Catchy. Not so much).

I got my inspiration from several places, linking both literacy and art. Know any other children's books that feature gourds as a story element? And by the way...now that I've chosen my garden theme...um...HELP!!! Anyone adept at growing gourds?

While we are on the subject of seeds, I wanted to share a project that I almost overlooked. SusieJ has a smart little badge that reminds us of the importance of sharing any bumper crops that might come our way (I know anything "bumper" other than snow is hard to imagine at this time of year!). And she is even offering a little contest to win your own very cool packet of Burpee's Money Garden seeds (I mean, aren't the graphics on the seed package adorable!). And while I'm over at Burpee...I mean, how fun is this!?

And by the way...remember my little post about "Garbage Can Gardening"? Voila! :) These are my peppers seeds, rescued straight from the trash can:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Will Try Harder

The family has been home since Tuesday, DTI (Due To Illness) and the house is rather a mess. I have not been the stellar mom that I strive to be, frantically trying to Catch Up, much to Sprout and Pip's chagrin. I may have been giving a second chance, as Major [downgraded: semi-Major] snowstorm has hit our region (hey, it is March 1st after all), and school is canceled for my wee ones. If I have off too, I Will Try Harder. I was reminded of this poem, Song for a Fifth Child from Ladies Home Journal, 1958:

Song for a Fifth Child.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But 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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The (Garden) Plot Thickens

Wow. Have you ever read over your blog's past entries? Maybe you have kept up with your blog like a good little do-bee, but then again perhaps you have even turned into a little slacker like me.

Like, I used to post pictures of myself as a toddler? Who knew?

Or post 21 entries over the course of ONE month!?

Dream Memes of me?

I have really let my blog go to...well, why am I in this handbasket and where am I going?

The GREAT news is - there was an extra garden plot in my school's courtyard and I snagged that baby for myself and three of my unsuspecting colleagues. Heh, heh. An entire plot! For me! And three of my closest co-workers! Without the aid of Green Husband! To plant! To tend! To weed! What the heck have I done! Hopefully my old standby, KidsGardening, will help get me through. I need a garden theme, dear readers, that should include literacy and art.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Warm Southerly Breeze

For those of you who live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you are going to laugh when I tell you how miserable the cold is making me. Not to mention The Cold of The Century that I have and the two little petri dishes I have (in the form of children) who are at the doctor's office as we speak (no, Green Husband has taken them there; I am not live blogging from the waiting room), no doubt being diagnosed with strep throat (again).

So you can imagine my sheer joy and almost shedding of tears when I heard this on the weather report: "Today may be the last cold day of the season, with a warm Southerly breeze bringing a warming trend to our area with highs tomorrow in the upper 40s." Warm Southerly Breeze. Upper 40s.

And please note that I am aware that I am driving you crazy with my almost weekly changes in blogger templates. I am itching for a real change. Can anyone suggest someone who will design a new blogger header for me?

I am so excited, not just for the upper 40s, but for all the greenness that is coming my way once again. I have an upcoming review of a new book from Barefoot Books (with a giveaway of said book), a new book from the Reader's Digest family on organic gardening, and, shall I mention it again, Gift of Green's Clothesline Challenge 2009!

And if you are having a rotten day, just look at Mary Beth's photo...doesn't it just bring a Warm Southerly Breeze to your face?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Can We Pleeeese Go Back to PB and J?

We are going through some serious PB and J withdrawal at the Wanna Greenies. So, what is the deal with the peanut butter recall? What brands? What are you buying? I mean, can someone give me the Cliff Notes version of this?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grown Woman Weans Herself Off Facebook!

Yes, this just in... I have finally weaned myself off Facebook which I found was a huge time-sucker - not to mention I had slight misgivings over their privacy policies. I have to admit that I reconnected with some very long lost friends (from elementary school, no less), but personal emails have been exchanged, so voila! Time to get back to my first love, Gift of Green.

Mom Go Green has some good questions in her comment on my last post. I made some suggestions in the comments section - any other suggestions for the newbie gardener? Please feel free to post here.

I am considering...dare I mention it...the Second Annual Gift of Green Clothesline Challenge. Would any of you be interested?

And, remember how I posted about Garbage Gardening? I deep-sixed cucumber and pepper seeds after making some crudites in the kitchen, and son of a gun, two weeks later, I have pepper sprouts popping up! I simply buried them in a small pot of potting soil and have left them on my kitchen window sill to see what would emerge. Give it a try!

And...wearing my school librarian hat, I just have to tell you about an absolutely delightful book I read to my Kindergarteners this week: Isabel and the Hungry Coyote/Isabel y el coyote habriento (Bilingual)
I read it four times in a row and still could not get enough of it.

I read with amusement that someone had their feed to GiftofGreen bookmarked under "dying feeds". As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, I have the familiar conviction that life will begin again in the summer. Spring is just around the corner - I can feel it and it's great to be back as Gift of Green!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This Year's Garden

Here are the seeds we are planning to sow this year. We don't usually use transplants unless there is some kind of massive crop failure! We don't use cold frames; we are lucky to be in zone 7 so we have enough time to start from seed in starter pots. This list seems ambitious but it will be the first time I am off for the summer so I will have plenty of time to weed. Hahahahhhahaha, oh, hahahahah, I crack myself up. (Green Husband is looking at me like I'm nuts). With the first burst of warm air today, I am looking forward to Spring!

Strawberries (plants have been in the ground for about four years)

Lettuce (Deer tongue, Amish, black seeded)

Sugerboy watermelon
Red peppers
Green peppers

Italian tomatoes
Brandywine tomatoes
Peas (snap, sugar)
Lima beans
String beans
Cherry tomatoes

Herbs (All are perennials we've had in for about three years.)
Lavender (in the ground for about three years)

Moon Flowers
Four O'clocks

Ramble on Rose has her list up too. What about you?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Daze

So, even President Obama says we need a little kick in the keester (I'm paraphrasing) when it comes to winter weather, but it was icy out there and that means snow daze. My very first snow day as a new employee of the public school system! :)

The children and I did a little half-hearted research on saber-tooth tigers, rabbits, and cats - but then spent the rest of the day acting like Spider-Men and napping.

We did get in some baking (who, me?!) with some chocolate-chip banana muffins. I think there are about three left. Good thing it's back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slowly but Surely

I'm getting back on the Green bandwagon. I took my reusable totes to the grocery store this morning, and I must confess, dear friends, that it has been a long time since I have done so. This time I noticed that I received a .05 credit for each bag and that it seems most customers were bringing their own bags. Ah, what transformation while I slept. :)

Today I tried some Garbage Gardening by planting the seeds that I scooped out of some cucumbers. I just dumped them all wet and slimy into a pot of dirt. We shall see, my friends, we shall see.

SaltandChocolate, one of my favorite blogs, has an adorable Valentine's Day craft. I am truly a sucker for that holiday, truly.

Pip and Sprout are growing like weeds - Pip is very into Legoing and I just bought Sprout her first pair of ballet shoes. Sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Garbage Can Gardening, etc.

I saw this post on the National Gardening Association's website. Looks like a good project to get us through these chilly days.

Sprout is watching Mary Poppins (my favorite line: "Never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.") and I can't help but notice that Mrs. Banks gives up her sufferagist activities in the name of household harmony. Do I have that right?

The Dawn of a New Day!

Green Husband had to work today, but he listened to the festivities on NPR. I headed to my staunch-Republican friend's house to watch the inauguration and we both agreed it was a momentous occasion.

I remember Maya Angelou's poem that she read for Clinton's inauguration and I think it is even more meaningful today.

...Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream Today

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Poem by Sprout

He tells everyone to be nice to each other.
They need to be nice to each other.
They need to the movies together.
They need to go outside together.
They need to go on a walk together.
Every white people is going to hug Martin Luter
They need to treat everyone nice.
They need to trick and treat together.

Pre-Inauguration Celebration

I stepped outside today with Pip and Sprout bringing breakfast to their teachers (parent-teacher conference day - is that too obvious?). Now they are watching some Scooby-Doo while I get ready for the day: booster seats (they're getting so big!), new pants (they're getting so big!), and zipping around the wonderful little towns that surround us.

Green Husband is going to their school conferences. He's a little excited, seeing as they are his very first. He is such a dear darling - such a great father and caring husband - he catered to my every culinary whim this weekend: loaded nachos, baked potato bar and BLTs for lunch - comfort food in the cold.

February 7th we will be hosting the Code family (that's code, by the way) for a all out
Valentine's Day craft-a-rama. I am so excited to hit the craft store to buy everything they have in red and pink; I am truly a sucker for that holiday, truly.

Yours Truly,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inspiration, Determination, Celebration, A New Nation

Things are pretty dang exciting in my neck of the woods. I haven't set foot in DC since Wednesday, but the energy is palpable every where you go.

I am not the only one who has been inspired by Nie Nie, but her home is so full of light and family - she has some wonderful ideas featured here.

I am reading "The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963" and it just seems like everything is coming together: MLK, Jr.'s, birthday, Black History month, the inauguration of our new president. What a fitting way to remember those four little girls...

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Inauguration and other Fevers

As some of you may be able to tell from my posts, I live very close to the District of Columbia. Very close. Very, very close. Work has been canceled for the 20th, the bridges out of Virginia and Maryland are getting ready to close, and Metro officials, I'm sure, are having a few sleepless nights. Think rush hour...times 20? What am I doing? Since school and work is closed, I will be watching the festivities from the Virginia side with Pip and Sprout. Not sure where yet, but it seems to me that it should be a rather festive occasion. Anyone want to come over?

I am reading a number of books all for work. Poor me. I've had to laugh over Frindle, sit engrossed over A View from Saturday, and I am currently suffering through (NOT!) my first Artemis Fowl. Poor me. :)

As for the nature side of things, I must confess that I have turned my family into a bunch of slug-a-bugs. Sidelined by minor, but couch and fever-ridden, illnesses and the weather have severely affected our time outdoors. Now that we're on the mend I think some heartier clothing might be just what the doctor ordered. You there. You, in the really cold climate, how do you bundle up your little ones and what do you do outdoors in the cold?