Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thrift stores rule.

I love thrift stores. One in town, in particular. It supports our local safe house and all proceeds go directly to it. I have been able to get many of my canning supplies there as well as countless items for the house. And the books for FREE. All they ask is that you toss a little something in the kitty.
I happened upon these lovely items on my last visit. I actually got two of these big may recall seeing one housing my gardening goodies in my previous post? I love them. They're so big and sturdy and well made. I thought they'd look cute with lettuce growing in them but I haven't figured out how to line the basket first so that it won't rot out. (Any ideas?) As far as the crate...I haven't figured out a use for it yet...but I mean, really, what CAN'T I use it for, right? Everyone needs an old wooden crate lying around!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One step at a time.

Slowly but surely I am converting to a more simple and pure lifestyle. "Slowly" is the key word here. It's got to be slow because I know myself, and if I say I'm going to dive head first into an all natural lifestyle, I won't. For me it has to be a process...a progression into a whole new way of life. I have to cut things out one at a time...and replace them with something healthier and more gratifying.
Take this whole gardening thing for instance. Lately I've been reading on organic ways to tend to a garden. This lead to saving egg shells (from the brown eggs I got from my friend Stephanie's chickens...they are gorgeous and delicious!), coffee grounds (that I still buy in a can that was probably shipped from somewhere across the U.S. sucking up tons of fuel and polluting the air) that I could then crush and mix into my garden soil along with grass clippings from the front yard. I did this for the first time the other day, using the egg shells you see in the photo, and it felt really good to till it all into my horrible soil. I felt like I was doing something worth while. I felt like I was giving back to the earth...feeding it, rather than poisoning it with man made chemicals.
Quite possibly the coolest part of it all was that my 12 year-old son reminded me about the grass clippings after he'd mowed the lawn. He came in and asked, "Mom, where do you want me to put these clippings?" I'd forgotten that I'd told him I would like to start saving them. But he remembered! My son, the one who doesn't like to read labels checking for MSG and partially hydrogenated oils. The one who gives me a hard time when I remind him about high fructose corn syrup and Aspartame. The one who will ask for a snack, say a HoHo or Ding Dong, by listing off the bad ingredients it contains. Instead of asking for a HoHo, he says, "Mom, can I please have some chocolate covered partially hydrogenated oil?" (He's an honor student...what can I say...) But like it or not, my 12 year old is even a part of the matter how hard he may fight it.
My 10 year old son, on the other hand, reads labels possibly more than I do! He's caught a few additives that I've missed when purchasing groceries...and is sure to call me on them, too! It's nice to know that even though they still crave all of the junk, they will grow up with some knowledge of what is in the so-called "food" they are offered in grocery stores. It's nice to know that I am teaching them to pay attention and to not just accept that Hamburger Helper is a balanced meal. Ick. My mom believed the lie. I knew better...even when I was 8. And let me tell you, serving it with over cooked frozen corn and iceberg lettuce with Thousand Island dressing did NOT make it ANY better. I bet we all have "those meals" that our moms served that we will never forget...and will NEVER serve! Care to share yours? What's the worst meal that YOUR mom served? Oh wait! I've got TWO! Creamed tuna on toast. What the...?! I cringe even NOW and I haven't eaten it in over 25 years!
So tell me...what did YOUR mom torture you with, uh...oops... I mean, serve you for dinner that made you wish you had a hungry dog under the table?