It is as if I has woken from a long winter's nap, and discovered what has happened in my absence. It is a good thing, a hopeful thing to see spring returning to my life but suddenly I realize all the trash that has blown into my habits, how short sighted I had become in the Winter of Difficulty. A sort of malase had crept into a life that once raised livestock and vegies and traded them for vegies for a large garden and babysitting.
The simple practicality of changing my ways met me in the face this morning: I was up very early for prayer and preparation, dressed in sensable clothes: dressy yet fit for walking and got ready to leave and realized that I had not adjusted my leaving time to allow for the walk. Ugg, how basic! So I drove where I could have walked because I am kind of particular about being on time to church....given that I'm the priest.
What we have done so far: We are eating lower on the food chain a little at a time. Nisama became vegetarian on the way to Thanksgiving dinner 2 1/2 years ago. She was listening to an NPR report recording from Jane Goodall and procliamed herself vegitarian, walked through the door of the feast as a vegitarian and has been so ever since. I wanted to support this (then) 14 year old in her taking moral stance on an important issue, though we (still) have no intention of being vegitarian. However we have gone from a western, service of 10oz. steaks for every person to one such steak feeding the family with left-overs for stir-fry. We have gone from meat daily, and holding two freezers full, to meat a couple of times a week.
We are all walking more. The girls wanted me to run out to the grocery for just stuff today. We didn't go - we didn't need junk food. We are planting a kitchen garden that will support our summer eating and hopefully provide food for next winter as well. We have composted for years and haved moved compost barrels to our new location. We have a couple of water barrels on order to water the garden in an arid climate. I quilt, we use hand-me downs, turn down the heat, use energy efficient appliances, have never purchased a TV (but recieve hand me downs), don't pay for cable, buy in bulk, freeze and can fruit and vegies in season, and fish close to home.... but it's not enough. So here is where we are going:
*With our Economic Stimulus Check we are buying a Chicken coop (locally built shed) to go in the side yard of our suburban home. We are ripping up about 1/5 of the lawn this year to go into raised bed organic gardens.
We have in our plans to begin solar projects:
*we want to be able to turn on a light on the asphalt side yard but instead of wiring one we are going to put in a solar panel so we can learn more about what it means to move our house to solar power.
* I'm going to put up a clothes line - the climate here is dry and we might as well use it to dry the clothes. This is an example of how even we have become greater energy users because when the girls were litte we would wash diapers and hang them along with all our clothes.
* I want to build a solar food drier. Last year I wanted to buy an electric one, now I want a solar one.
* fast grow the weeds has given me goal for food cellaring to work toward.
*Here I mumble into my sleeve but I'm going to try Crunchy Chicken's Diva Cup challenge though I wish to not speak of it in the Kitchen again.
We are not doing the no-purchasing challenge because there are things we plan to buy for the Urban homestead including soaker hoses, solar panels, water barrels, Diva Cups, Lumber for raised beds, another Compost Tumbler, a fence to keep the dogs out of the garden, specialty work clothes, a little giant ladder, a chipper....