A gift for my big girl when the baby arrives - Ostheimer figurines representing our “new” family. And yes – I finally went for the toddler to represent her baby sister instead of the baby in a crib. So I’m hoping T. will accept the fact that the figurine representing her has a green, and not a pink dress… If not, I guess I’ll just have to order the baby as well. And I’m thinking of a couple of dogs, some rabbits and maybe some hens… You know – to represent the rest of the family… And maybe some fairytale figures…. Maybe some lions (T. loves lions – whenever she gets scared or insecure, she pretends to be a lion. They represent ultimate power and strength to her), and a family of moose/elk maybe…. And and…. :)
There are a vast amount of things and facts out there in the tryin’ to be green and ethical world that you really don’t want to know. The more you get to know, the worse it is to ignore. It’s difficult or impossible not to think about it. It might be (or should be) difficult not to act upon it.
But it can also be information overload. It can leave you in a state of passive stress – an overwhelming feeling of not knowing what to do, not believing that you can do a difference, or really just a feeling of getting lost in the immense jungle of facts (or is it always?) and stories.
The spring equinox has passed, Easter is coming. In our house this is kind of a merged celebration of spring. And for many people Easter means chocolate eggs and chocolate in general. And that’s one of those things that you might not want to think or know so much about.
Chocolate is – together with tea, coffee, cotton and quite a few other luxury goods – among the commodities that we here in the west, and in industrial countries, take for granted but (mostly) cannot or do not produce for ourselves. We’ve exploited other countries for centuries to get them and we keep on the same road today. I call these luxury goods because that’s really what they are. You can buy chocolate practically anywhere in this country, but I’ve never heard of anyone growing coco beans in their backyard... for obvious reasons.
According to www.etiskforbruk.no (Norwegian collaboration of organizations promoting ethical (“etisk”) consumption (“forbruk”) ) – most of our chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast. In many of the coco producing countries child labour and slavery is common. In resent years 15 000 children was sold to slavery in the Ivory Coast. One third of the children of coco farmers have never been to school. Almost 300 000 children are involved in producing chocolate for us... I can keep on searching out facts (in Norwegian) about this. But I think I’ll stop here. You get the picture. There is quite a few youtube videos related to this as well.
Go searching for Fair Trade organic chocolate. And really enjoy it. Awaken your senses and renew your respect for the people producing this delightful luxury for us to enjoy.
This is some of my spring knitting in progress. Mind you – this is just a small part of it. I can’t have just one project going; it would bore me to death and I would never finish. Not that I’m good at finishing any of it anyway – I’m the master of UFOs. But I discovered this cute baby socks/booties pattern that is really quick and understandable. After some initial confusion about how to knit a kast (I think it’s the YO – yarn over). Of course that is so simple that I could not get my head around it and just accept that it is easy…
More baby socks are on the way. I’m knitting a pair in spring green silk/baby alpaca yarn. They are so soft and fluffy – and hopefully we will find a need for them. Maybe in a month or two when I can take walks in the woods with the baby wrapped snugly in a shawl on my breast, and just breathe in the smells of life and growth.
Yes, yes I do. I have a few microfiber rags that I love, but most of them look awful and are starting to fringe. And although I think microfiber is a nice principle – I still don’t think it’s that fantastic. You’re supposed to clean without soap or detergents, but I seldom or never do. I always use a little dishwashing liquid (Ecover) or some home made formula (baking soda, vinegar, or a mix). Maybe I don’t need to, but I still do. Maybe the microfiber cuts through grease and germs and everything. I still like the feel of just a little soap or something.
And – the thought of cleaning with just water is a good one – but these rags are usually made of synthetic fibres and petroleum based stuff. So they are not biodegradable either. I have one knitted dishcloth. And I actually like it. I cannot see any difference in performance between them, so I decided to knit more dishcloths instead of buying. I bought some organic cotton, so I’m ready for some dishcloth knitting. I have to admit the thought of knitting dishcloths… Well, it’s a bit lame… isn’t it? Good training though, for a novice knitter. And although cotton is not the most sustainable material – it’s organic. I’m looking for some bamboo yarn as well. Bamboo is a much better choice environmentally speaking, it’s naturally anti-bacterial and it soaks up a lot more water than cotton. Great for cloth diapers and menstrual pads as well.
And… The diaper cover. I have more stuff nearly finished, but not photographed yet. And today we painted some eggs and soaked some sprouts. The spring equinox is just around the corner :)
- Meal plan. If you don’t do it already; this will be your friend and a great tool in so many ways. - Use a list when you go shopping. Use the meal plan and stick to your grocery list. - Plan your shopping. Shop in bulk and not on impulse. And keep your trips to the grocers/mall to a minimum. - Consider writing an inventory of your freezer and food storage/cupboard. Do an archaeological excavation and find out what you’ve got to work with. - Consider keeping up with the inventory lists so that you can use everything before it’s past its due date. - Involve the whole family in the meal planning. Let everyone have a say in what you buy and make. Get everyone involved. - Use the opportunity to educate your kids about food, cooking, composting etc. Make food together. Make compost. Make art. - When you throw food away – take a look at what gets thrown out. How can you reduce this, or how can you use it in different ways? - Get into the world of composting. - Get into cooking. Read food blogs. Get/stay inspired. - Grow some of your own - it's so much fun and and it will make you appreciate food more and thus wanting to waste less.
So the key to wasting less? Make a plan and stick to it :)
It’s March already. March is kind of the first month of spring, isn’t it? Well, it definitely doesn’t seem like it. So much snow – I’ll bet some of it will stick around till the summer solstice or something.
But I finished the diaper cover. Pictures coming soon; I’m waiting for some pinkish ribbon to arrive in my mailbox to make it a little cuter. I also ordered a bias trim “maker”. You see, I’m dreaming of getting the sewing machine out of its dusty corner, but it’s not possible to get enough room here now for more stuff. But the storage room/office in the basement is slowly getting closer to finished. Yey for that and yey for not having to live amongst cables and computers and office supplies anymore. Yey!
Three Ostheimer figurines have arrived; a mother, a father and a toddler. Now I just have to order a baby – I just can’t seem to figure out which. Do I order the baby in the crib? (Is it removable for play?) Or do I order an older sister figurine? You see – the problem with the latter is that this figurine has a green dress. Green. And T. will most likely be really upset if “she” had a green dress and her baby sister had a pink one. Major crisis alert. But I got to order it soon, wrap it up nicely, make a card, and maybe something else to celebrate her transition into siblinghood.
I took another photo of her rainbow playsilk – thinking of writing more about toys. And I will – just not right now. But the playsilks are her favourite toys of all times. She uses them for everything and they are always involved in her play in one way or another (together with all kinds of ropes and string).
Right now I’m going to make a humongous amount of fruit salad with some walnuts and raisins. Yey for that too.