Thursday, April 14, 2011

Going Green

Well, no more than usual...

Just so happens we had an opportunity this week to expand on our usual "greenness".

We recently had the van inspected, and though it passed, there were several little things that needed attention. The horn hasn't worked for a while, the power steering had a small leak, and it was time for a transmission flush.

The mechanic's, called Finish Line, is about 5 miles from our house. We are still a one vehicle family, and it seemed like no one was available to get a lift from, and the work they had to do would take most of the day, so Dale decided to bring his bike down in the back of the van and ride home after dropping it off. Now, 5 miles on a bike isn't too bad, especially as it is easy riding from here to there, or there to here,as it were. However, Dale ended up taking Elizabeth's bike because his was buried in the way back of the shed, and the tires needed pumping, etc. Not a big deal except Elizabeth's bike is a tad small for his 6'2" frame, and made the ride home a bit more challenging than if he was on his own 10 speed. He made it however, in 27 minutes, and could still function throughout the rest of the day.

Time went on. This week we have been doing standardized testing, which we finished up Tuesday. There was a time of near panic when Isaac came over to the table and managed to spill my FULL cup of tea all over the testing materials. After calming down and looking it over, the damage wasn't near so bad as I had imagined, and we were able to get the testing done. The brunt of the spill was soaked up by two of the test books, and we were able to dry them with a hair dryer, and still use them. One answer sheet was hit, but not too badly, and after a light ironing, looked good as new. Well, maybe more like good as "used", but it should be okay still.

Yesterday I devoted the day, since Dale was home and I could concentrate on what I was doing, on ordering new school books for next term. Everyone seems to have a sale on right now until tax day, so we wanted to take advantage of it. We are doing things a little bit different next year, but I managed to plow through it all and was done by 3:30 or so.

We still hadn't heard back from the mechanic's. By 5pm or so, Dale was wondering if he should just plan on riding down in the morning to pick it up. He called and they said that they should be done by around 6:15. Our Wednesday night church starts at 6:30, and that was cutting things way too close. I mean seriously, when has anyone working on any vehicle ever gotten done by their estimated time? So, I volunteered to ride down and wait. Benjamin asked if he could go with me, and I figured the company would be good, so we bundled up against the mist (it had been raining all day off and on lightly) and we were off. I told Benjamin to time us.

Before we left they had raised the seat to Elizabeth's bike a bit. That makes for easier peddling, and tilted the seat back properly, as it was loose before. It was a nice ride, and I quite enjoyed it. If the seat was a tad more comfortable I could have biked a lot longer. Anyway, we made it to the mechanics in 21 minutes.

As we walked in I told him we were there for the big van and he said "Oh, I just talked to your husband... it's going to be at least another hour." No problem. Benjamin and I made ourselves comfortable. I doled out the trail mix bars I packed in my fanny pack for such a time as this. We read magazines, chatted, and Benjamin got a kick out of watching them work on the few vehicles in the shop through the big windows in the waiting area. It was 7:30pm before they were done. We got home 5 minutes before the troops came in from church.

The point of this is that I realized how "freeing" it was to be able to bike to where I needed to go, instead of relying on a vehicle that burns money, um, gas. Living out in the boon docks like we do, we end up having to drive pretty much everywhere. But it was fun to NOT have to do that for a change.

We do try to do what we can to be kind to the enviornment. We do believe we should be responsible with what God has provided for us. We don't go overboard, and what we do has to be within our finicial abilities... in other words, no going in debt to go green. We use cloth napkins a lot, cloth diapers, real plates MOST of the time (though there are times we use paper, just not our normal SOP), recycle, and try to "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". We have 7 children, one in diapers still, and I have noticed that our trash pick up is no more and many times noticably LESS than our neighbors, who have only one or 2 children. Plus we put out the trash for the church, as well. Not too bad, I'd say!

With all the brain work and leg work going on this week I haven't made much progress on my sewing. The Spring Fling quilt is almost ready to be sandwiched. I worked on piecing the back, using up the scraps from the front some, and just have a couple of easy seams left. They are pinned and ready to go, then I can sandwich and baste the quilt together, and get quilting!

I'll be finishing cutting out the twins' birthday bathrobes, and starting to cut out our spring/summer church outfits. I'm trying to make the bathrobes on the sly, even though they picked out their own fabric. While they are outside, I can work a few minutes on them. Meanwhile, I have a wedding quilt to finish. I'm nowhere near done with that! That is due at the end of May. YIKES!

I'll post pics of the Spring Fling quilt as soon as it is done. MY hopes are by the end of this weekend, but the way things are going here, that may be an unreasonable expectation.

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