Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The New Compost Bin

My husband works less in the wintertime. That is to say, he still works his regular full-time job, but the marina he co-owns is closed for the season. He still works there part-time doing paperwork and preparing for the upcoming summer (booking bands for the bar and sending out dockage contracts, that sort of thing). So to keep himself busy during this relatively slow period he started building things out of pallet boxes.

He built us a wall wine rack for the dining room and a coat rack to hang by the front door. Then I reminded him that I've been quietly asking him to build me a pallet box compost bin for years. Sometimes patience pays off. I got my compost bin!

Now you might be a tad confused because if you know me, you know that gardening is not my thing. While I love the concept of it, the actual reality of gardening does not appeal in the slightest. We tried container gardening a few years ago, but not a single usable item was produced. Not one vegetable, not one tomato, not even any herbs. Part of the problem is my many trees. There are just no sunny spots left in the yard. Add to that my general laziness and a lack of interest on both of our parts, and you do not have a recipe for success.

Why then, you ask, do I want a compost bin? My singular goal is to reduce the amount of waste at the curb each week. It kills me to see rotten potatoes, apple cores or banana and orange peels in the trash can. I've been known to just toss old fruit and veggies out the backdoor, but this will work better for all involved. It always surprises me that none of the creatures that devour the pumpkins on the front porch at Halloween will deign to touch a potato when it's freely given.

I don't mind slipping on my big boots and trudging through the snow to empty the ceramic compost container I keep near the sink. Now I just need to remember to toss the used tea bags in there each morning. And apparently, dryer lint. For a brief composting 101, check out this article/graphic.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Using a Weekly Planner

I've been working two part-time jobs, neither of which have regular set hours.

Add in all the midwife appointments (we've now entered the every two week phase of pregnancy).

And then try to plan hikes around all this (I'm part of a national organization in which volunteers lead weekly walks for families with little ones).

Good luck, I tell you.

It's just too much to keep straight. I tried using an online calendar, but I need to see it all laid out in front of me. Plus, I'm still trying to come up with a system to ensure my bills get paid in plenty of time.

I really wanted one of the fabulous life planners I'd read so much about by Erin Condren Design, but I didn't have $50 to spend on a planner. I did, however, receive an Amazon gift card as a Christmas present, so I spent many (many) hours perusing the options. I finally decided on one and, after one of the most discouraging deliveries on the planet, it eventually arrived. Side-note: Is this why people have Prime? So their packages don't drop off the grid and arrive 4 days later than expected? Anyway, moving on.

Having only used the planner for a couple weeks, I've already realized that I would have preferred one with the days broken down by hours so I could block out whole chunks of time. Next year! Otherwise, I'm loving it.

And it's one more item I can cross off my 2015 To-Do List.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

My 2015 To-Do List

I saw this on She Likes Purple, so thank you for the inspiration Jennie. I struggle with goal setting, as many goals are hard to assess. Take for example the goals I set for 2014:

1. Pay bills sooner (don't wait until the last minute!)

2. Eat more veggies.

3. Eat more fruits.

4. Reduce clutter. Donate or throw out possessions that aren't being used. (Specific areas to focus attention on: small bedroom, family room, and basement.)

5. Read three classic novels.

1, 4, and 5 just didn't happen. 2 and 3 were a definite success for the first six months or so when I was drinking green smoothies every day. Then I got pregnant and veggies were a not a thing I could eat. It's gotten better in the second and now third trimester, but eating 2-4 clementines a day wasn't quite what I had in mind when I set the goal. 

Assessing terms like "sooner," "more," and "reduce" isn't easy. So following Jennie's example I created a to-do list for 2015 instead of just vague goals. The items on the list are all specific and tangible and can be crossed off as I make progress. In fact, I've already crossed off three items since I wrote the list on December 31st.

1. Empty baby’s room of all non-baby items

2. Set up baby’s room

3. Clean stroller

4. Wash all hand-me-down baby clothes (NB - 6 months)

5. Wash all new baby clothes

6. Wash all hand-me-down crib bedding

7. Take some sort of belly pics (not professional). Painted? Henna? Check Pinterest for ideas.

8. Get husband to hang wall art (Chapel Pond, Grandpa's flowers)

9. Have husband construct a pallet box compost bin

10. Read 30 books

11. Watch Mockingjay, Part 1

12. Watch Wild

13. Attend a yoga class at the new yoga studio in the village when it opens

14. Find & try a prenatal yoga video on YouTube

15. Blog at least 2x per month

16. Find a pediatrician for the baby

17. Tour Hospital Family Birth Center

18. Have house assessed for new solar panel installation

19. Go to Chicks & Hens at least once

20. Attend a Babywearing Dance class at Chicks & Hens at least once

21. Learn how to use essential oils

22. Clean up back property line 

23. Clean up back corner of yard: former vegetable garden/currant bushes area

24. Buy/hang window treatments in baby's room

25. Use new planner to organize payment of bills, days working, and for scheduling hikes, etc.

I may or may not add more items to the list. Since this is my first yearly to-do list, I am leaving myself room to figure out what works best for me. Maybe next year I'll start thinking about it before New Year's Eve.