Monday, January 30, 2006

New year, new look

By now, I think my readership is probably down to my boyfriend and a few close friends who only read this blog because I read their blogs. Even I've started getting bored with it. Let's be honest, my day-to-day life just isn't all that interesting to write about, especially since I refuse to write about work (I rather like my job and don't fancy getting fired). So, I've decided to give this blog a new focus, an underlying theme that can string the posts together and give me an incentive to write. I'm going to focus more on my ongoing attempts to be more conscious of the way my lifestyle and choices affects the world around me.

Environmental awareness is something I've been interested in since I was a child growing up in the 80s and trying to make compost in an icecream container under the sink and nagging my parents to seperate their recyclebles. Now that I'm all grown up and have 100% control over my buying and household habbits I'm trying to be decidedly aware of how everything I do changes the environment around me. I've started using biodegradable cleaning products and wheat-based cat litter. Unfortunately, I don't live in the Annex, so there are no organic grocery stores nearby, but there is a halal butcher so it's a start.

My major eco-achievement today, however, took place at work. In the lounges we provide for the students we offer coffee and tea and filtered water. This cornucopia of beverage options causes thousands of polystyrene cups to be thrown out every month. Luckily, my boss is very environmentally conscious, she simply hasn't had time to do the research necessary to make the office more green, a task I have jumped at the chance to do. So this afternoon, I finally managed to find a local company, called Greenshift, that sells biodegradable hot drink cups. The best part is, they are actually LESS expensive than the polystyrene cups we've been buying, by about $30 a box! Since we go through close to 10 boxes a month, this is no slight savings. Don't you just love it when being good to the world is good to you budget?

0( )__

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Welcome, worms!

A few weeks ago a lovely couple on Freecycle heeded my request for vermicomposter worms and gave me some. For those of you who don't know, vermicomposting is composting using worms. It's a great way to keep a composter in your kitchen, because it doesn't smell (thanks to the worms and the air holes drilled into the container) and it can be made small enough to fit under your kitchen sink (which is where mine lives). It's also really easy to set up and maintain - this is my first time trying one and the worms have already started breeding! That's a very good sign, because creatures only breed when they feel secure in their environment.

I have to admit I've always liked worms - I don't think twice about rescuing a worm from the sidewalk on a rainy day - and I'm loving that I can use them as little workers in my home. The soil they produce is so rich that it has to be mixed with potting soil for gardening because otherwise it would overload the plants. The excess water produced by the worms can be used as also a highly concentrated fertilizer spray and the worms themselves make excellent fishing worms (Nyron's father loves to fish).

So welcome, worms! I hope you like living under my sink.

0( )__

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Where have all the snowflakes gone?

Is anyone else as bothered as I am about the weather? Probably not. The teachers at my school are thrilled that it's so "nice and warm". I find it rather forboding. It's January. It should be snowing. Full stop.

I've been actively working on my New Year's Resolutions the last few weeks. So far I'm off to a good start, at a good pace (don't want to burn myself out before March). I have two resolutions I'm working on;

1) Start my home business that I've been dreaming about for years now. Spirit Eyes Designs (let me know what you think of the name) will sell hand-made home decor products made with reclaimed materials. I plan to set up a website and sell them in some local stores as well.

2) Slow down. It's amazing how quickly I've fallen into the "must get everthing done right now Oh My God I'm so behind!!!" mentality at work. I rush around like my belt is on fire and return home to tired to even cook dinner. This was rather inevitable since I was the only one working front desk for about a month and literally did have to do everything single-handedly. But now we have a new girl with me at the desk and it's taking a lot of the load off. I'm also making a decided effort not to freak out and rush to get everything done. After all, the students can wait! If it takes me a little extra time to do one thing or the other, it's not the end of the world. If I have to be strict about rules like "Only sign up for events during the break periods" in order to get work done, then that's what I have to do. It's not the end of their world or mine to make them wait a little or to take my time and do things calmly. It's certailny worth my sanity!

o( )__

Monday, January 02, 2006

Warning: the following entry includes pictures that some viewers may find too cute to tolerate. Viewer discretion is advized.

My mom just sent me these pictures of the Christmas Puppies. Get ready for some extreme cuteness:

First we have the proud mother, Belle, in the maternity ward (the padded cardboard box we put together for her). She's so beautiful, I'm sure the puppies will be beautiful just like her. Well, you can see for yourselves...



three times the puppies!

It's hard to tell since there's nothing for comparison, but Mom says they're about 6" long now. Their eyes are still closed, or course, since they're only about a week old. In another week or so their eyes should be open and the puppies will be even bigger and start to become chewers of socks and messers of the kitchen floor. But for right now they're just sweet as sugar.

o( )__

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006

So how was everyone's New Years? Our's was great. Nice and relaxing, and we even managed to leave the house.

First we went to Canadian Tire and Ikea for some house stuff. Well, actaully, we went to Canadian Tire for house stuff, Ikea was for browsing - we can't really afford furniture right now. But we did really well at the CT. It's amazing how I ever got along without little things like baking sheets and a cutlery drawer sorter - you try making chicken fingers in an aluminum roasting pan. Then we came home and relaxed on the couch and watched some Black Adder and a Hitchcock film from the boxed-set I got Nyron for Chrismtas. Nyron went to a fine food store downtown before coming over the other day and we still had some deli turkey and roast beef and some really nice french bread left for dinner. Mmmmm, good! You can put whatever gourmet ingredients you like on a sandwich but if it's smooshed between to pieces of preservative-laden Dempsters your sandwich will still taste like shit. At least, that's my humble opinion.

After a few hours of that I started feeling a little restless, so we caught up with some friend who were drinking in the Red Room downtown. That was fun. It's mostly people I don't get to see often because they're initially Nyron's friends, but I'd certianly like to see more of them. And there were new people that neither of us had met, which is alway exciting. We had our own little Idea City conference at the table, discussing various ways to save the world in the new year. It was a blast.

Today is more pratical. I've been getting a lot of house work done and watching the almost complete lack of entertainment on TV. I even discovered that I get the SexTV channel, but I have yet to see any sex. I'd say, "What a rip off" if I wasn't getting the channel for free. You get what you pay for, I guess.

o( )__