a rambling list with no cute pictures because I am out of time

There are so many different things on my mind lately that I came up with a master list so I wouldn't lose track of them. (that's been known to happen to me, oh, all the time) After all the work I put into this list (15 minutes on the couch with a smoothie) I thought I'd post it here. Might as well get a blog post out of it too, right?

As far as lists go, this one isn't super organized. It's roughly organized and tends to ramble. (kind of like me) Some of these things need to be done soon, some of them are for the future.

The Great Outdoors:
  1. Start veggie & flower seeds indoors. I found this website as a good reference for those of us in WI.
  2. Start seeds in empty yogurt containers and toilet paper rolls
  3. Plant a Square Foot Garden this year. (4x4')
  4. Do some pruning outside (soon)
  5. weed our rock gardens
  6. finish other rock garden that we started last year (remember our obsession with river rock? it lives on)
  7. Join the Arbor Day Foundation, get 10 free trees & plant them (Heidi told me about this a long time ago and I still want to do it)
  8. MAKE A RAIN BARREL (this is a priority...we talked about this so much last year, too. sigh) Directions here or, if you live in Dane Co., you can buy one here. (thanks for the sustaindane info, Zoe)
  9. Divert our grey water from washing machine out to the lawn. This might take some work but imagine how great it would be! (This says we shouldn't do that but there's a lot of other things we can do...must keep researching.)
  10. Find (and cough up the money for) organic weed killer
  11. fire pit
  12. clothesline (whimper)
  1. Put aerators on faucets (got them this weekend, hope they are the right size)
  2. Find a good low flow shower head
  3. Deal with the trauma of letting go of my lovely decorative shower head
  4. Start worm compost bin (Patrick doesn't want me to but he doesn't even have to know until it's up and running and the kids will love it!)
  5. If it's yellow, let it mellow (thanks, Heidi)
  6. Put something in toilet tank to reduce water flow (I think our toilet is low flow but I'm not sure, just going to try this)
  7. Continue to replace any burnt out bulbs with fluorescents (nice to do it this way as the round globes are $5 each and our kitchen fixtures need 5 EACH)
PERSONAL: (not that personal or it wouldn't be here, but personal nonetheless)

  1. Floss regularly
  2. start waking up earlier than my kids again
  3. 5 fruits/veggies a day (green smoothies are great for this)
  4. Try the diva cup
  5. drink more water
  6. start walking again
  7. lose 15 lbs by sister's wedding (next summer
  8. pray out loud with kids more (I pray a lot in my head throughout the day and they could easily be included in this...I'd like to show them now that you can talk to God about everything)
  9. keep going to church
  10. continue working on our budget/grocery budget (new post coming soon!)/meal planning
  11. Make a phone call or send a card to one loved one per week
  12. continue to get have a babysitter so Patrick & I get some time alone
  13. be outside A LOT with the kids this spring & summer
  14. Try to limit trips to Madison (this is hard)
  15. try bread making again
  16. continue with OFFLINE by 9 rule (I am pretty good about this and am not even online much anymore at night. I like that)
  17. Find somewhere to volunteer regularly. I'm thinking either the Mother/Child Resource Center at church or the Nehemiah Foundation.
  18. Sell some of my cool vintage stuff in an Etsy shop. And maybe some stuff I sew.
SEWING: (see? rambling)

  1. Summer dress for Ruby
  2. Mei Tai for Heidi (see who else wants them & decide how much to charge) (some will be gifts)
  3. New summer bag for me
  4. Finish Erin's apron (I am so close, must do this)
  5. Apron for mom
  6. wine bags for sister
  7. Cloth pads to send to girls & women in Africa. Read about it here, find out how to make them & where to send them here
  8. (try them myself!)
  9. little belt for Ruby
And, just because, here are some simple changes I've made that I feel good about. Some of these things I've done for a long time, others I've read about online or in books or magazines. These have been the easier changes I've made...a lot of stuff on those lists up there will take more time but probably be even more rewarding.

  1. Line dry a lot of our clothes (I have lots of lines in the basement and think this has so many benefits: less energy used, clothes last longer, less static so no need for dryer sheets) (static is caused by drying anything that isn't all cotton...I just learned that)
  2. Use no heat dry function on dishwasher and better yet, when I remember, stop it after rinse cycle and let it air dry overnight
  3. Signed us up for our power company's Second Nature Program. I think 100% participation for us costs $12 a month and there are so many benefits. Most power companies are offering this now. Yay!
  4. Switched to paperless statements for all of our bills (still get bank statements) and online bill pay.
  5. Signed up to stop getting all those credit card offers! (I hate them!)
  6. Switched to Marcal Toilet Paper. (read more about it here) It is cheap and 100% recycled and our bums are just fine. (don't worry, Dad, we will get Charmin when you come over) (We get it at Woodman's)
  7. I love using the 4-0-mine and vinegar for my cleaning and the microfiber swiffer cloths
  8. Turn heat off when we leave during the day (simple but I haven't always done this! dumb.)
  9. Switch to phosphate free laundry detergent
And, finally, some things that I feel guilty about doing but don't seem to feel guilty enough to stop. (any words of encouragement welcome)
  1. still using disposable diapers
  2. and wipes
  3. and paper plates
  4. we use a lot of gas

Allright, I must go start on my list for today that looks like this:

  1. laundry
  2. laundry
  3. laundry
  4. laundry
  5. laundry

Any comments, ideas, criticisms, experience welcome and appreciated! What do you do?


  1. i missed the link to the germ story in your last post, so i'm glad i read through the comments to see what the gross stuff was about. blech.

    also, we'd lvoe to do a worm compost bin. my friend does it and it's super easy and not messy at all. nor stinky. the worms are GREAT for food scraps and paper scraps...and it's relaly easy. did i mention it's easy? i can't wait to start one soon. our outdoor compost bin is almost full!

    and my list today looks just liek yours. all laundry. all day.

    do you have a favorite apron pattern? i'd love to start a few of those for spring/summer gifts. :)

  2. Well, we are not particularly green, but the ONE thing I did do (and still have to do, sigh), is to make my own diaper wipes. Just buy $2 worth of flannel, cut them into 4 x 4 inch squares, pile them up by where you change diapers. I would wet a handful at a time and store them in one of those wipe warmer things, but you could use a piece of tuppeware for that job too.

    When they are dirty, throw them in an empty trash can, and then just wash as needed.

    For 3.5 years of diapering, I spent a grand total of $3 on diaper wipes.

  3. Wow--so nice to catch up with your blog as I have been outta town--love all of the thoughts you are posting about reducing, reusing and recycling. My current initiative for this week is to not go grocery shopping at all for the week--and just be creative with what is in the fridge and the pantry. I have my essentials, milk, half and half, coffee for the week, so I think I can do it. We'll see!

  4. I love these idea and might try some of them myself. I think that you might want to be careful of putting a brick in your toilet tank as I have heard that this can be bad for your toilet. The tank is the size that you need to get the stuff down. I would bet that since your house is so new that the tank is a low flow one anyway.

    I want to try the worms so let me know what you think and where you get them.

    We get our organic lawn stuff at gardens alive they are great and have lots of cool stuff.

    Elijah is telling me that Ada is going to cry so I will go now;)

  5. You're awesome to keep track of it and do all you can to make it happen- the gas will be reduced if you take less trips, like you plan to do! So much is inter-connected. Palmolive is making phosphate free dishwasher junk and hopefully that will inpire more phsphate-free laundry stuff. SUN is veggie based and wicked cheap- it's on my too-try list! Diapers will go soon- potty train this summer when she can be naked all day. It works!!

  6. Liz - Fun to hear about the worms. I really want to do this soon. We don't even have an outdoor compost so I think this will be a good way to start. I've been using the tea towel apron idea from Bend-the-Rules. I can email you the info if you'd like. (in case you don't check back here)

    Sarah - Do you just use the flannels & water? Sounds easy & cheap & soft. :)

    TLS - Hi! Good luck with using what you have for meals. You should be fine since you have creamer. ;)

    Hey Zoe - Thanks for the toilet tip. I should look up our model # somewhere, eh? I know you use that good weed killer, I will check that place out. (I think you first told me about corn pellets or something like that) :)

  7. Hey Ellen - thanks for the tip on SUN stuff and Palmolive. The last natural dishwasher stuff I tried didn't work. I am using the Arm & Hammer detergent (green bottle) and I like it.

    I hope potty training works this summer. Thanks for your encouragement. :)

  8. Wow. Reading all of this makes me feel very Un-green. I enjoy learning about earth friendly & healthier things to try, but actually doing them...not yet.

    Good for you!

  9. I want to try a Diva cup, too. Just a little too squeamish still. Such a leap for me!

    A few of my favorite green changes have been cloth toilet "paper" and making our all-purpose spray cleaner and floor cleaner. Oooo, I mellow the yellow here, too. Lots of my greeness centers around the loo, lol!

    Great lists. Post this somewhere in your home where you can keep refering to it!

  10. I love the green smoothies :)

    And, I can't wait to hear more about the square foot garden. I bought that book but haven't even cracked it open yet!


  11. i'd love the details on the apron. was there a pattern in the back of the book? or just instructions?
    i just need to buy the book one of these days! :)

  12. Gosh - you put us to shame...let's see...
    we never use paper plates, hardly use any paper towels, reuse those big paper napkins when we can, water is from a Brita pitcher and then into Nalgenes, the dishwasher has an evaporator that is supposed to be better than a dryer element...

    I'd love a clothesline but our yard is mostly dark and I cannot imagine carrying wet laundry up a flight of stairs. Four boys worth of wet jeans would kill me.

  13. instead of paper plates we use stainless steel camping ones.

    Good luck with all your goals!


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