Archive for November, 2007

Well, okay now, I’m not completely sneaking it, as in hiding in a dark corner, but I do feel like I’m sneaking spare moments all over the place (knitting a row while showing a 10 minute movie clip in class yesterday, ahem). Today was my first break/chance to sew in what felt like ages. (Really, only since I finished those grandparent bags.)



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In my last post I mentioned how spoiled I was. Here is the proof of the spoiling from my Sock Pal, Katy.

First, the socks:
Sockapaloooza 4 Socks Sockapaloooza 4 Socks
Knit in Lorna’s Laces (a favorite of mine!) using the Spring Cable Pattern by Elinor Gray, they are the first pair of knit “sided” socks I have! (Sided meaning one goes on a particular foot, or at least, that is how it appears to me.)

Second, goodies for the entire family:
Presents for the Whole Family
Katy made those notepads with recycled materials. She found my soft spot, eh?

Third, more fiber and recycled goodness:
Presents for L2
Extra yarn from my socks, hopefully enough to make a pair for L3, a record bowl (Beethoven is the selection, btw), and two skeins of Lorna’s Laces, colorway = one of a kind! Come January, you should see that yarn on my blog, hopefully be knit up in some fantastic pattern.

Please forgive the photo quality, as this late autumn lighting does not lend itself to photos (ie: gray, then sun, then gray again).

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We were out of town for the past several days visiting with my wonderful cousin and her husband and dog-kids.  We had a wonderful veggie-thanksgiving feast that lasted for days. There was good music, good food, good company, and even a trip to IKEA on the way home yesterday.  So many things for which to be thankful.

And coming in a post when I can get some good, sunny pictures my other bits about which I’m thankful.  I got not one, but TWO PAIRS of hand knit socks in the past week.  Yes, I’m a spoiled woman.

I hope all of you had a lovely holiday as well.  Soon I should be back to my regularly scheduled blogging.  Except for the piles of grading awaiting me…

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Recycling Dilemma

A dilemma over recycling? What could that be? In my post a few days ago I mentioned recycling electronics. Here is the article from my friend that I mentioned yesterday. While I like the idea that many companies are starting to take back their old things now, it isn’t enough. It’s so frustrating to think that I have been trying to do good, to do right by the earth, and it has been hurting other people. I don’t have a good answer to this problem as I don’t know enough about technology. But I do know that I can continue to curb what I buy, to try to repair. For instance, my laptop will be 5 years old in January. I’ve replaced 2 hard drives and 3 power cords for it, and it still works fine for my needs/wants.

I can hope that there will be more classes/ initiatives like the one that KAB‘s husband is in this semester in grad school. It is a class that is all about designing products whose materials can be reused/repurposed. The goal is that there is zero waste. I like it.

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Bags in a Row This past weekend I finally began to tackle my holiday “make” list. First up? These grocery bags for each set of grandparents and one set of great-grandparents. The hands? One L3 and one L4 print, each bag with hands in a different, and hopefully appropriate for the recipients, fabric. The tag that will be attached to each? It says, “Please use this in order to make the world a better place for us. Happy Holidays! Love, L3 & L4” Yes, this is my way of guilting family into being more crunchy.  But I’m hoping they won’t be able to resist the little hand-prints.  I’m brainstorming where I can put a little pair of hands on something of ours.  For the time being, though, the hand pattern pieces are hanging about my sewing machine so that I can see them while I’m working there.  🙂

Other things I worked on? Knitting projects (why did I think it would be a good idea to knit my step-father-in-law a pair of handmade socks on US 2s?!?), capes as dress-up gifts for kiddos, and cutting fabric for children’s place-mats and napkins. Alright, so the latter is for my shop, but I’ve had it on my to-do list for awhile now! (That and the pair of patchwork pants all ready to be sewn, and then there’s the ….)

I also have a link to add to the last post about electronic recycling that my friendly Inkwench passed on to me today. I’m on the wrong computer at the moment, though, and don’t have the link. But look for it!

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Here is a recent conversation with some of my family members:

Aunt (speaking to L1 & I): Well, I ended up getting a new camera.

L1 & I: Did you try getting a new battery first?

Aunt: Yes, and that wasn’t it. There was something wrong with the whole camera. It was going to cost $X to send it in to fix it, so it went in the garbage and I got a new one.

Me: In the garbage?! You should recycle it!

Aunt (and her husband, too): No, it’s in the garbage.

Uncle: You should see all the things that should be recycled on job sites that are thrown out. (and then he chuckled)

L3 (with a raised voice): You should recycle it! Recycling rules!! (and visibly upset by hearing that things were thrown out that could be recycled.)

And then the conversation went in a different direction. For the rest of the evening L1 and I were upset by the interaction. When going to bed last night I asked him, “Is that how most people think? Just throw it out?” and he replied, “Yes.”

Is this really how most people think? Is it because there still isn’t enough information out there? Is it that people don’t know how/where to do things? Are we really that selfish as creatures?

I am far from perfect and there are things I do that are not as crunchy as I would like (ex: driving). But the above disregard/nonchalance makes me angry. I don’t want to hear excuses like, “Oh, well, they’re just too set in their ways because they are a little older.” Bull-dookie! If my grandmother who is now 80+ can learn to the use the internet and a computer and change the way she eats to be more healthy in her older age, then so can other people. AGE has nothing to do with it!!

So my friendly readers, what do you think? What can we do to change the current social climate? Apathy is not acceptable here, we’re talking about the future of the place where we all live, where our future generations, as well as countless other organisms, will live. It is irreplaceable. And I do mean “we.” It has to start somewhere, and blogland/the internet are wonderful vehicles for spreading ideas and information. So let’s hear it!

I pledge to continue to educate/make my extended family more aware of what they could be doing to tread more gently on Gaia. I pledge to continue to raise my children with this awareness and the behaviors that correspond with it.
lapogden MV2007-24.jpg Letting the kids learn to love nature so they will care for nature.

In a related note, I’m so upset/not sure what to do about Clorox buying Burt’s Bees! I just switched to using their shampoo and have happily used a face soap by them for the past several months, and their chapstick for years now. This just sucks.

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Our yard is full of big maple trees. The trees were one of the many things that let us know that this house was to be our home. We imagined ourselves and our child (no L4 at the time) climbing them. And we have since then. Of all the trees we have in our yard, one stands out from all the others.

Shady Tree in Autumn

Several years ago L3 named this “The Shady Tree.” I love this tree. It is the epitome of maple tree, of tree, to me. We have picnicked under it, read under it, laid under it.
Under the Shady Tree L4 under the Shady Tree

When beneath these limbs reaching toward the sky, I feel protected, sheltered, and at peace. I’ve been thinking about this tree a lot this fall and wanted to share it with you. (I think my rereading of the Anne series is reminding me to take a look at the nature I love.)

Other random things I wanted to share with you from the week are these two blog posts, seemingly unrelated, but snapshots of discussions I wish more people were having. One, by Shannon, is a post about Veterans’ Day and the war in Iraq. She says things to well in it, and rather than posting my own thoughts I encourage you to go and read hers as they mirror my own! The other post is by SouleMama on toys, play, and the costs of it all. It, too, fits so well with our family’s values and what we are striving toward today (sometimes I feel like I’ve been lax in some of those values over the past few years, bleh!). I hope, if nothing else, that reading those will make you think even if you don’t agree with the ideas expressed. (And that’s why this is filed under “contemplation!”)

And my last random bit for this blissful post is that I updated A Crunchy Life on Etsy this evening. Here is one of the new items about which I’m so excited.
Waste Not Patchwork Scarf

I am so happy with this is so many ways. The creation was enjoyable and it fits with my “crunchy” values of reusing materials.

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