All green, nature, and sustainability posts have been moved to Loving Nature's Garden

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catching up on September

Monarch Magic at
Sometimes weeks go by and I wonder what on Earth I've been doing with my time. I find that writing is a great way to review what is going on in my life and to realize that I really have actually achieved something. With that in mind, her's an update on items I've blogged about in the last month or so:

Monarch, Mini and Tiny, our monarch caterpillars, successfully transformed into beautiful butterflies. We had the amazing pleasure of watching them fly off to a new life. I'll never tire of raising monarchs!

Four weeks after planting, my fall vegetables have given us our first green salad. I wasn't sure what to expect with this gardening adventure. Germination was faster than I expected, then the weather cooled and everything seemed to grow very little. The weather warmed back up and now the greens are at least six inches tall. I picked a salad while thinning them out a couple of days back. That was 4 weeks from planting to yield the first food - not bad!

My green improvements have not gone anywhere to date - they exist only in my head.

The spikey trees are still standing, but Handyman Hubby has studied and so have I. He has a plan and is ready to go as soon as he has some time to get out there. Everything we've read and everyone we've spoken to says that herbicide is the way to go when removing trees for prairie restoration. I don't like to spray, but I reluctantly agree that in this situation that carefully targeted herbicide is the best approach. OK, send me the hate mail now for using herbicide if you must! Humans have created this problem of trees invading the grassland and we need to be responsible and clear it up.

I'm on my own so far as I know with the Green Laundry Challenge (no readers told me they joined in yet). I've successfully cut my use of the tumble drier down to practically zero. Initially I planned to just air dry when I felt like it, but soon I began to do this for more and more laundry. To date I've air dried 18 loads of laundry - some of them were very full loads too. I've even started making crunchy towels; I discovered that if I really want softer towels 10 minutes of no-heat tumbling in the drier will soften them up reasonably. This is nice because that uses a LOT less electricity.

I'm happy with our homeschool choices for this year. It's the first year I've been able to say that. I'm particularly happy with Rosetta Stone. It's totally awesome to hear Japanese and German coming from the other side of the room; it feels like my kids have been replaced with strange counterparts! I'm proud of how we are doing with homeschooling this year. It does look like we need to make a change on how we're doing social studies; the one subject we have been doing as a family seems to need a change, which I suppose is not terribly surprising given that we have a 3 year age gap and two kids who take dramatically different approaches to learning.There are many things I'd like to have done this last month, but I think I've done the things that are most important to me and to my family and that feels good :-)

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