|Wishing everyone Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them!|
Today I'm ironing a half-dozen linen dinner napkins in preparation for our traditional Christmas morning breakfast.
I found them for just a few dollars at a tag sale this past summer. Belonged to the mother of a local artist who never used them. And they have a fancy letter "P" embroidered on them. A serendipitous find!
We've been using them for all our special occasions since. No disposables.
I don't mind ironing these.
Have been doing a lot more things by hand this past year in order to reduce my environmental impact: hand washing dishes, hanging laundry up to dry, and continuing to cook more and more from scratch. These activities provide valuable time for reflection. They slow the fast spinning wheel of life.
And I love second hand things. They come with stories.
These napkins were likely a wedding present given with love by a caring relative, used at many festive family gatherings. These are the happy stories I imagine, and hope will join others we write for ourselves in the coming years.
May all your stories be happy ones in 2010 and beyond!
(c)2009 Kay Pere ~ Effusive Muse Publishing
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
- "No criticism of you intended, but I'm always amazed at the things we think are normal in New Zealand that seem eco-radical to Americans!"
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- 12 sweaters [mostly purchased from second-hand stores last fall, still good as new]
- 3 long-sleeve tops
- 1 sweatshirt
- 6 pair of heavy socks
- 1 polar fleece vest
- 2 polar fleece jackets
- 2 tops and 2 bottoms of silk long underwear [To be worn indoors as a layer under other warm clothes, so we can keep the heat set at 65F during the winter, saving $ and heating oil.]
- 10 cotton handkerchiefs [Started using these back in May to replace disposable Kleenex tissues, reducing my use of disposables and the energy consumed to make them.]
- 2 long-sleave shirts
- undergarments not suitable for air drying in publicly visible areas of the house or outside
Monday, July 27, 2009
- Stonington Village Fair: Saturday 8/1/09, 10 AM-4PM, Stonington Village Green, CT
- Mystic Outdoor Art Festival: Saturday 8/8 10AM-6PM & Sunday 8/9/09 10AM-5PM. Look for my SACRED SHARDS booth in the parking lot of "You've Got to Be Beading" near the Mystic Post Office, Mystic, CT.
In the photo above are prototypes at several new items: hand built bowls available with Om symbol, chai (hebrew not tea), or hearts; spiral-design napkin rings; and tiny nests to wear as pendants or display close at hand. The nests can be customized with initials on the eggs to represent those who share your home nest and a small inscription on the back.
The photo above shows the bottom shelf of the kiln loaded for bisque firing.
Two more layers of greenware (dry unfired ceramics) to bisque fire in the same load.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
All this was time consuming, but I'm hopeful that by honoring past effort in this way--by documenting it--the process of making many more will go more smoothly, and perhaps lead to new ideas that otherwise might have been lost.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
- A Piece of Cake by Susan G. Purdy
- Wooden Spoon Kitchen: Meet and Potatoes and Other Comfort Foods, by Marilyn M. Moore.
- Chocolate by Nika Standen Hazelton
- Cookies: Food Writers' Favorites edited by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker
- plus one (don't peek, Shaun) for a gift
- The Macmillan Visual Dictionary
- Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
- The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams (autobiography)
- The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
- Solitude: A Return to the Self by Anthony Storr
- Third Person Rural by Noel Perrin
- Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality by Matthew Fox
- How to Make Amulets, Charms and Talismans by Deborah Lippman and Paul Colin
- plus several for gifts
- The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, Commentary by Joseph Campbell
- Over the River and Through the Woods by Lydia Maria Child, pictures by Brinton Turkle
- Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
- How You Talk by Paul Showers 1966 Hardcover (about how your voice works)
- Wee Sing and Play by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp (with cassette tape)
- The Book of Kids Songs: A Holler-Along Handbook by Nancy Cassidy (with cassette tape)
- plus about a dozen more to give to a couple of special girls
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
- "Wicked French for the Traveler" by Howard Tomb
- "Earth Prayers from Around the World" Edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon
- "Best Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer" by Noel Perrin
- "Emerson Among the Eccentrics: A Group Portrait" by Carlos Baker
- "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew" by Daniel Pool
- "Art of Preserving" by Jan Berry
- "The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World" by Ken Adler
- "The Fountain of Age" by Betty Friedan
- Plus a couple of items to give as gifts
Saturday, June 06, 2009
- "Larousse Gastronomique" [!!!!!!!] by Prosper Montagne, 1961 Edition
- Chambers Murray Latin-English Dictionary
- "The Poetry of Robert Frost: All eleven of his books-complete," Edited by Edward Connery Lathem
- "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder," by Richard Louv
- "Between Jihad and Salaam: Profiles in Islam," by Joyce M. Davis
- "Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment," by the Dalai Lama
- "Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook"
- "Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey," by Lillian Schlissel
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
- Tap water contains chlorine.
- Chlorine kills micro-organisms (including bacteria, fungi, single celled organisms, etc).
- Yeast is a kind of micro-organism (a fungi).
- Sourdough starter is a symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria
- Using tap water in my sourdough starter may kill off some of the yeast and bacteria, making it harder to activate.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Over at the No Impact Man Blog today, Colin Beavan asked: "Do you have any eco-living lines in the sand?"
Here's my reply.
LINES IN SAND: If something passes through my hands once or for a short period of time and is then thrown away, don't use it. Eat locally grown or make my own as much as possible. If we're not using it turn it off. Walk or bus if possible.
Changes I've made just in the past three months (on top of many others in the past) include:
- Got my first ever bus pass a few weeks ago ( I live in a suburban area)
- Using cloth handkerchiefs instead of tissues (found at a yard sale, lacy antique cotton, not noticeably used)
- Using cloth napkins for meals at home instead of paper (another yard sale purchase)
- Refusing plastic straws when eating out
- Trying to take food from home with me in reusable containers when I'm traveling, so I don't have to purchase fast food in disposables
- Joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and started getting my half-share pick-ups of very fresh locally grown produce.
- Carrying a large purse with room for purchases in case I've forgotten my cloth bags
- Bought (dollar store) and started using reusable mesh bags for fruits, veggies and bagels from the grocery store, instead of plastic produce bags (though I reuse those, too, when I can)
- Making the switch to pre-owned cast-iron cookware (yard sale) to phase out my battered non-stick pans (non-stick coating lasts only a few years and may be dangerous, cast-iron is practically forever)
- Phasing out my use of my #7 plastic Nalgene water bottles, will keep them for occasional use, not throw them out. Instead, at home I'm using a drinking glass for water (duh!), and a pint canning jar with a lid for when I'm out and about.
This looks like a lot for just three months, but it really hasn't been a big deal. It's just happening naturally a little at a time.