Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ecoliving ... is that for ecology or economy?

One would think that since I was raised on a ranch that I have vast experience with line drying clothes. This is so far from true. We had a washroom on the ranch, complete with dryer. As it stands now Clay and I are doing whatever we can to cut expenses and live greener, healthier lives. So I started line drying the clothes. It is healthier for the earth, the clothes and the pocketbook, or at least so says Martha Stewart. After a month of no dryer, except on rainy occasions, I’m hoping to see improvement in the electric bill. Aside from that I'm actually having fun with it. It's been a bit muddy so it is a balancing act. I've put one of the blue jean purses I made to work as a clothes pin bag and it works like a charm. We get a decent breeze in the evenings and this speeds drying most days. Today was too muggy for things to dry all the way but it sure cut dryer time. It seems odd that we didn't have a line on the ranch. The money it would have saved and the memories it would have created make it seem like the obvious choice what with the perpetual river valley breeze and loads of sunshine... I'll have to ask my mother why we didn't have one...

Another thing that brings up old ranch memories is open windows and March breezes at night. Actually, we went off the air conditioner in February. The windows are open almost 24/7. My hope is we can last until Clay gets on with the district. It brings back memories of when I listened to the night breezes on the ranch. It seems like yesterday and a thousand years ago all at once. The whisper of the fans, the crickets, the small neighborhood noises and distant cars all sing a soothing lullaby. I count myself truly blessed to live in this neighborhood. The doctor said the moisture in the air is supposed to help heal the eczema that Kay and I have on our arms and reduce the electricity cost…I hope.

I even started what was SUPPOSED to be a patio garden, but it has sort of taken over our lives and most of the area close to the house. Kay calls it ‘digging in the dirt’ and we call it exhausting. If all those plants make it, come summer there will be more peas, beans, squash, corn, tomatoes, egg plant, herbs, garlic, potatoes, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, lettuce, carrots, and bell peppers than we can cook. I’m hoping this is the case because then we can donate to the local food bank as well as enjoy a price reduction on the food bill. Even the aloe that I thought dead after years of neglect in the garage found new life as a green and growing thing artfully surrounded by chunks of petrified palm wood (our state stone). I forgot about the poor thing when we moved in and only recently found it in a dark corner looking kind of like I felt; pail, sick and stressed to the limits. However, this poor thing didn’t bring it’s condition on itself so I dug a spot for it where it would get plenty of sun during the midday hours and plenty of shade in the heat of the day. It decided to survive. The color is vibrant and new shoots reach skyward as I type. I pruned the mini rose bushes that came with the house and new growth is rocketing up along with around twenty iris volunteers and what looks like it might be red amaryllis. We cleared the west fence line and will somehow find time to clear the east and then the south but it is a huge job. We raked all the leaves up in January and found we had no grass… none. So we seeded and the rye shot up like crazy. After hanging a red load of clothes and towels on the line the entire yard looks like a lush rain forest. There is still work to be done. The rest of the seeds need planting and the front yard now needs some attention.

My friends will be happy to know that we, or I, have been adopted by a cat. This stray has been in the neighborhood for a while. When she first showed up she was a healthy weight but now she is skinny. She is very tame. Kay has been able to pick her up many times. So finally we reached critical mass and Kay named her. Penny. Penny, the cat. Kay says she is her cat but Penny thinks she is my cat. Why? Only God can tell. She sleeps in my bed (or on my head) at night now. She inherited Dobby’s puppy dishes and only pooed in my house once… in the bathtub. Since that first ‘accident’ she is content to go out, poo, roll in the sunshine, and return to being an indoor cat. Either this cat is a former house cat to another family or… she knows me from somewhere. The thought that this cat could be an L.G.R. (lower grade returnable i.e. Oh Heavenly Dog ) gives me goosebumps. I try hard not to think about it. I broke down and bought two toys so Kay can play with Penny. Penny is good about not scratching when Kay picks her up. They look for all the world like the little girl in the Peanuts comic with the cat that looks somewhat boneless. It is a bit of a salve for my heart. Unicorn left a rather large hole and while this cat is nothing like Unicorn she is familiar somehow and that is a comfort.

We took Kay to Kindermusik this morning and she LOVED it. Dancing, singing, and instruments are all right up her alley. We have two more classes on the gift certificate and then we decide whether or not to sign her up for the full program. It all depends on whether or not my congestion clears up soon. To keep from using up our savings Clay and I are going to ‘donate’ plasma. A lot of the students do it for a little extra cash. I can’t donate yet because I’m still battling congestion. A week before my birthday I caught what felt like the flue and bronchitis combined. I figured it was just a really terrible sinus infection that traveled to my chest but it is STILL hanging on and it is required that I be in good health.

We made a list of schools to look at for Kay and I need to set up visits for them this week. I’m nervous. I feel out of place among the moms around here but I’d do anything to keep Kay in good company and a good school. We will see what comes about and I will do my best to prepare for it. I may have to start reading the local paper again.

I know that this must seem a mundane blog but my life is my life like it or not. I prefer a quiet life as opposed to one filled with DRAMA. Our neighborhood is quiet, the street is safer than expected, Mom’s house is six houses down if we need her or she needs us and it is close to many of the stores we use. Who needs world domination when you have a nice patio to sit out on in the afternoons?

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Putting KK in school must be a scary thought for both of you! It's hard to believe she's so grown up! :)

We need to plan a trip down to Bryan sometime! We love y'all, give KK hugs and kisses for us!