Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Strike

Hey, ya’ll!  Will you join in?

From CNN this morning:  
     From London to New York City and from Perth to Paris, climate activists are taking part in a global climate strike today in what is expected to be the biggest day of climate demonstrations in the planet's history.  The Global Climate Strike is the third in a worldwide series of rallies organized by students, led by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.
  Some of the first protests were held in Australia and organizers have said "well over" 300,000 people gathered at more than 100 cities and towns across the country. Melbourne hosted the biggest march, according to organizers, with 100,000 people turning out, while 80,000 rallied in Sydney and 30,000 in Brisbane. 
   Hope the day’s events are as well-attended in rest of the world.  I’m definitely on board, because of my grandchildren — I want them to know, when they inherit this tremendous problem from my generation, that I was one of the ones who tried to fix it.
  Sadly, there are no events to join within many miles of our home.  Maybe that’s the case for others as well. So, I was thinking we could share some ways here that we make the extra effort to help our planet.  I’ll start!

  As we replace things that wear out, we try to avoid plastic and find materials that are easy to recycle.  Here are a few of our choices in the last few years:

Glass and metal hummingbird feeder, wooden matches to replace plastic lighters.

Glass and steel cans instead of plastic, both recyclable in our town, and two of the few materials that are.  Alas, the glass jars are starting to come with this outer piece of plastic around the the lid. Why oh why?  It’s already sealed inside!  The jar is also reusable, handy for storing food in place of plastic “Tupperware”.  

Cotton and other natural fiber clothing (right). They can be cut up and composted when the item wears out and they don’t shed dangerous plastic micro fibers in the wash.

Brushes:  Outdoor scrub brushes of wood and palmyra palm fiber bristles.  We cut them in half to make them last longer and fit the hand better.

Kitchen brushes made of bamboo with plant-based and recycled plastic bristles.  (If we ever have to replace these we will get some now available with a replaceable head.)

Toilet brush and nail brush of wood and natural bristles.  The bristles of the toilet brush are made of coconut fiber.  

Reusable bags — small homemade ones are produce bags, larger shopping bags fold up small, easily carried in my purse.  The black one in front is folded up.  They hold a ton of stuff.  Yogi tea comes in a cardboard package and the teabags have no plastic fibers in them and can be put in the compost. (Did you know most teabags are made with plastic fibers for “strength”?  They are not compostable and the plastic chemicals leach into your cup.)
Last — dental floss.  700 million of these little plastic 
boxes wind up in the landfills and oceans every
YEAR!  This box is made of cardboard.  (Recently they have started wrapping the floss on the little (plastic) spool inside the box in a small plastic package!  Why oh why??)

  Well, those are a few of the attempts we are making to make the world a better place.  A proverbial drop in the bucket of waste globally I realize.  But what if everyone did the same?  Maybe industries and big polluters would take notice, feel the pressure, and change, cumulatively making a huge difference. 

  If you are interested in sources, most of these things can be found on Amazon but we make an effort to buy them locally first.  It takes work to find them, however.  

  In keeping with Global Climate Strike Day, would you comment and share a few of the things you do that others might be inspired, too?  

Monday, September 16, 2019

Laundry Day

“What have you done to my toys?”

“How long are they going to be up there?”

Saturday, September 14, 2019


  I have a few more photos to share with you from my trip home to Minnesota a few weeks ago.  I realized I had shown a number of Mason, the youngest, (because he was the one home all the time I was there) and none of the older boys.  So ...

  This is Lincoln, the oldest, who will be 11 in a few days (we are birthday twins — just a few years difference!).  He loves Legos and has been making intricate creations since long before he could read the instructions himself.  His favorite is the one at the top of the bookcase — Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter.  He plays on football and basketball teams.

The middle two boys are twins, age 10.

Jack is in the chess club at his elementary school and plays in chess tournaments in the city and state.  My daughter and I were shopping for some school clothes and spotted this chess-themed t-shirt, which says, “Always Three Steps Ahead”.  That’s Jack.  (He  loved the shirt!)

Aiden plays chess with the school club and has some trophies too but his “thing” at the moment is soccer.  He’s playing on his first traveling team this fall after playing on rec teams since he was four. 


    When I lived in Minnesota I was their day care person from the time the twins and Mason were born.  They are dear, sweet boys and I sure miss seeing them every day!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Dorian!

  Just wanted to let everyone know that we safely rode out Hurricane Dorian at home and are okay.  And on the second day after, things are getting back to normal.  Everyone in the county has electricity except “two homes”, according to the news this morning, leaving me wondering who these unfortunate souls are!   

  This morning downed trees, water, and sand have been removed from roads, the post office reopened, and grocery stores are getting restocked with produce. 

Our fridge was pretty empty and we were happy to be able to get out to shop today.

  Wind gusts on the bay during the hurricane were 84 mph but “only” 77 mph where our house sits.  Although similar to Matthew (2016), there is far less damage from Dorian and we had our electricity back completely in less than 24 hours.  I think the county and city have had so much practice, they have this hurricane thing pretty much down now after four in a row — Matthew (2016), then Irma (2017), Florence (2018), and now Dorian.  

  On our way home from the store today we passed this uniquely protected business and started joking about the conversation that might have gone on between the two men you can barely see standing behind the black tube.  
 The day before Dorian: “Harold, this will the fourth hurricane in as many years we are gonna have to clean up the water and mold mess left behind. I’m not doing it.  We are gonna go out and buy our own dam!”
  The day after Dorian: “Well, Jim, you were right.  No water in our building. But now what are we gonna do with all the water inside this thing?  Any ideas how we’re gonna roll it up and where we’re going to put it until next year?”

  We are counting our blessings that Dorian is gone and our home and big trees are intact.  But ... hurricane season isn’t over yet.  We are hanging on to our gallons of drinking water and the rest of our “hurricane food”, recharging our battery powered things, and crossing our fingers!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hello From Hurricane Land

  September used to be my favorite month but not anymore.  It’s that time of year again — hurricane season — on the East Coast, and we have Dorian hanging out in the Bahamas, taking its time deciding when (and where)  to forge onward on its path of destruction. 

  This is what it has felt like for days now, the Waiting Game.  Everything in town is closed, sandbagged, and boarded up, even McDonalds, for the duration.  No school, no government, no mail.

  We are in Zone A, which means closest to the ocean (half a block from Winyah Bay) and under a mandatory evacuation order.  No one is going anywhere yet, however, because the hurricane is stalled. We have hotel reservations an hour and a half inland but won’t go until if and when it becomes necessary.  

   We checked out the beach yesterday and things were getting a bit stormy looking.  Today however, the sun is shining brightly and it seems like just another summer day. 

   Meanwhile ... we have banana trees that were planted by the original owner of our house that freeze every winter so they never produce bananas.  The taller one here is about 10 feet tall.

  We cut them back to the ground a couple times a year but they keep coming back and I was inspired by another blogger (Anne from New Zealand at Arty Green in Paradise) to see if there was any other use for them.  

Well surprise! They make the best grilled salmon you have ever tasted! 

 For a feast for two, take one smallish banana leaf, two salmon steaks (plus one for leftovers) rubbed with a bit of olive oil and season them with lemon grass, ginger, lime juice, and salt.  Husk two ears of sweet corn.


 The banana leaf will char and flavor the salmon with sort of a smoky-grassy flavor and be the juiciest salmon ever!  

  So delicious I couldn’t get a photo of the plate before we ate it all up!

  For dessert, slice up a third of a mammoth pear from our neighbor’s pear tree.  That’s my hand to give you an idea of the size of Malcolm’s pears.  

  Well, back to assembling the crate for the cat to travel in, filling jugs with drinking water and the bathtub with washing and flushing water, putting the citrus trees out of harm’s way in the sunroom, etc etc. I’ll let you know what happens next.