what device I can’t live without

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There are very few technological devices I can live without. Yes, going out without my Blackberry can make me feel a bit naked, but I don't turn around to go back to the house for it. The internet is like crack, and at first it would be annoying not to be able to look things up at a moments notice, but I would have loads more time for other things.

If I had to choose just one thing, it would be the computer for word processing purposes. I can't imagine not having the ability to save documents and have to use a type writer. I am so glad then when I got to school, Word had been invented.

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A Wasteful Habit

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The internet is an incredible wasteful habit for me. Not does it only waste my time, but also wastes my money, wastes my energy and wastes the Earth's energy.

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Rain, rain, go away.

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Rain, rain, rain. That is all this Summer has been. July 4th began three days of intermittent downpours that brought a seasons worth of rain all at once. Floods everywhere.

On the plus side, I have been doing allot of dancing in the rain. The air has been quite warm, but doesn’t reach above 70 degrees often.  Our back garden is a swampy jungle, but this has not been a good year for the garden I had started.  The strawberry plants are huge and trying to produce strawberries,but they rot before they turn red.  The peas were successful, but then the snails got to the pods before we did.  Our corn is tiny and the leaves are shredded.  We have two corn plants growing inside to see if we can get something.  I am still waiting on the success of a cauliflower plant and some slow growing onions.

My sunflowers, on the other hand, are blooming and are at least 5 feet tall.  Our fushia bushes, which were tiny last year, are huge and bushy, and the roses are finally full of blossoms.

 

But let’s talk about snails.  I am amazed at the quantity and size of this years snails.  Today I found a snail whose home was 1 inch in length. and about that in height.  I do not come from a place where snails are common place.  I am used to huge slugs in mass quantities, snails are almost a welcomed guest.  My mom is an amazing slug hunter.  I have this vision of her in her garden impaling slugs without a second thought.   Last year, after dark, I would go snail hunting.  I would smash any snail of a small to medium size and throw large snails over the fence into the road.  I felt awful.  So this year I put out poison.  The only problem is that you are left with hundreds of snail shells all over the garden and then I still feel awful.  The recent rain has made it difficult to keep the poison around, so the Sprout and I routinely scour the garden collecting snails and throwing them over the fence.

This Summer has been a total bummer in terms of weather.  It is a good thing that so many cool things (the Jubilee, Wimbledon, and the Olympics) are happening to detour us from the weather.

Hands up

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It’s been two months since my last entry.  This was not intentional.  I just didn’t have anything to say.  Now enough has piled up.

I am enjoying my Mini Music Makes group.  At the beginning of May I took over the group because of cut backs in government funding.  I felt very strongly about the cancellation of the group, even though the Sprout and I had never attended it.  I instantly volunteered to head the group and it has proven to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Every Wednesday I go to the library and sing with 20+ toddlers and their parents.  It is really fun.  If anything, I get to sing and be the centre of attention for 30 minutes.  The only thing that makes me sad is that the Sprout does’t come with me.  The Sprout sings, but on his own time.  He isn’t much for large, structured groups and he certainly doesn’t enjoy sharing me.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was really special.  Although we had to watch it on TV, it didn’t take away from the festivities.  I have really enjoyed seeing England be patriotic.  There is bunting and Union Jacks everywhere.  Everyone is dressed in the red, white and blue.  I hope this continues though the Olympics.  The Sprout loves his flag flying monkey shirt.

Yesterday I had Carpel Tunnel Release surgery on my right hand.  It has been a challenge not to use my hand, but the pain keeps me in check.  On the plus side, I got to sleep until 11 am today.  I don’t know when I did that last.

On the Sprout front, he is growing by leaps and bounds.  He is talking more and more, some of it still complete gibberish, but he says enough to get his point across.  One of his more important developments is that he has begun swimming solo during his swimming class.

Do what you gotta do

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I hear the phrase “Do what you gotta do” allot.  But what does that mean?  Usually it is used in the context to give someone a free pass to do what they think is right and will make themselves happy even if it means disappointing everyone who is dear to them.  What does this truly mean and is it a free pass?

If I had to “do what I had to do,” at least did what I felt would make me happy, I would leave England.

Once I had left  England, then what?  I would have no job, no means to buy a car, health insurance, or pay my bills.  I am totally reliant on other people. I would need to find a job in archaeology, as it is what I love to do.  This would most likely come in the form of temporary work, which may pay the bills for the moment, but doesn’t pay for health insurance.  I would still need a car and a house.

Leaving England with my family means getting a visa and a job for my husband.

Out of the amount of people who “do what they have to do,” how many actually benefit?  Do they end up regretting their choice and end up facing the choice to “do what they gotta do” again?

What about the phrase being used in terms of making life better for everyone but themselves?  The people who “do what they gotta do” to make their children better off and sacrifice all happiness for themselves.  I must seem like a real selfish human being.

As someone who drowns in depression every so often, I seem to run this phrase through my head to figure out what would get me out of this dark hole.  In the past, I may do what I thought was best and quit a job.  Now that I have a family, I find this an extremely hard quest to carry out.  With debt up to my eye balls, I can no longer choose to quit my job and with joblessness the way it is, I should be thankful for having one.  With a husband of another nationality, it makes it extremely hard to move back to my own country.  And with a young son, every little decision seems vital and needs to be thought out with extreme forethought and planning, which to me eludes from the nature of the question.

In my opinion, this phrase is far from a free pass.  In fact, I think it makes things harder.  I personally have a hard time thinking of just myself.  I can’t put my thumb over the other faces in the picture.  However, I am not making myself happy or the others around me happy.  I feel I am helping to paddle in a circle and never really move forward, I hope for the current to push the boat in a random direction that forces change, unfortunately this doesn’t necessarily come as change I want.

 

Must haves for a successful road trip

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I won’t lie, I like to road trip alone.  LOVE IT as a matter of fact, and I know that I have blogged on this before, so this will not warrant a large answer to the Plinky.com question.  This list is based on the many a lone road trips I have made.

Besides all the safety car check list stuff:

1. Camera

2. Music, including back up music for when your radio decides to die in the middle of nowhere.

3. Tent and camping equipment.

4. Good old fashion map.  No GPS for this stuff.  I have never gone in for a GPS for a road trip, it ruins it.  I would rather be fighting with myself than with a stupid machine.

5. Water and nibbles and a plastic bottle…trust me.

6. The ability to not care if you get to where you were going.  That is my favourite part.

 

It has been so long since I have been on a lonely road trip that I might have to force one on myself, however I think my husband might object.

The great dilemma

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My first local organic meat box

 

I watched Food Inc. on TV the other day, and it had an effect on me.  All documentaries about food have an effect on me because it is one of those issues that surprises me.  How can the government get away with letting companies wash our ground beef in ammonia?  How can the government justify allowing junk food to be cheaper than fruit and veg? And the biggest question, why do we tolerate the horrible treatment of pigs, cows and chickens (and farmers) so that we can have cheap meat?  The answer, because the people don’t know about it, or think about it.  The consumer lets it happen.  I am completely guilty of this.

A couple of years ago ordered veg and fruit from Able and Cole, a box scheme that delivered to my door.  All the items were locally grown and organic.  It was not cheap, but I thought what the heck, it will also allow me to eat seasonally and make me eat vegetables I never eat.  Eventually I got tired of throwing away veg that I didn’t eat and I was tired of the cost.  But instead of buying seasonally and organically from the supermarket, I went back to buying the bargain veg, fruit and meat.  I even went back to buying non-eco friendly soaps because, I will say this, they work better and could get my new baby’s clothes whiter and softer.

Now I watch a documentary explaining the horrible factorization of our food and it makes me angry.  The way that a few huge corporations can swoop in and put the farmer under their thumb is amazing.  There was only one woman who bucked the system to let the film crew into her chicken farm because she decided she didn’t care anymore.  It was awful.  The documentary mainly focused on meat because it is one of the hugest shocker, but they also mentioned corn and the way it is farmed and utilized.

For this week’s shop, I decided to go back to the box scheme.  I was surprised that Riverford Organics had a Meat Box.  It was pricey but I decided to give it a try and opted to get the Quick and Easy Meat Box for £29.  It came today and I am excited to eat it, however, I cannot buy this every week.  I got onto Supermarket.co.uk, my favourite shopping site, and decided to see what this box would cost at the supermarket.  Tesco was the cheapest (not ASDA.  I tend to stay away from Tesco but if it’s cheaper, so be it).  I could get everything but the pork for £10.  One problem with this is that I don’t know if the meat comes from UK farms and whether or not they are “ethical” farms.  These animals may still be on a feed lot, but are fed organic corn.  I know that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has had problems with Tesco and the fine print of their organic meats.  Never-the-less, next week I may venture into the world of supermarket organic foods.

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