Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is going on?

After feeling sick as a dog for the past several days, I woke up this morning feeling pretty decent. I got all ambitious. Not only did all of the Christmas decorations come down, we dragged out ALL of the Christmas stuff. Some of this stuff hasn't been used in years. I got it all sorted out...some is going to Goodwill, some just has to be thrown away. And the rest is neatly organized and labeled so I can know what is what without digging through boxes and piles of stuff. I think I reduced it by a third.

Now, though, after working hard for most of the day, I feel yucky again. Headachy, and exhausted....maybe I over did it. Oh well, this stuff needed to be done. Hopefully I will feel decent again by morning. Tomorrow I plan to take it easier, so I will be fine and dandy for work on Monday. I really don't want to waste any more time off. I have to make sure I have plenty of days left to go visit Erica this spring.

One thing I wanted to mention, Bruce gave me a membership to Simply Audio Books for Christmas. I listen to books on CD while I work. I go through a lot of books that way, and our library has a limited selection. Has anyone ever tried this before? You know, the sets of CD's come in the mail just like Netflix. You go set up your list of selections pretty much the same. My first 2 books came, but I don't know if it was the holidays getting in the way or seemed to take a while to get here. Not nearly as fast as Netflix. Still, I think I will really enjoy this a lot. Even if I have to supplement CD's from the library occasionally. I am excited to try this out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

So, I was planning to try and work through this cold crud bug, but I am not ashamed to admit that it finally got the best of me. I am taking a sick day off to try and recover. Lots of liquids and rest, and hopefully I will feel human again in a day or so. Right now, my voice is so scary that Bruce thought he had dialed the wrong number when he called a few minutes ago. LOL. But anyway, while I am home, sitting here doing nothing, and until I go nap again, I might as well write a blog....

I had a list of New Year's goals. Sounds less daunting than resolutions somehow. More of a guideline than an order. There are the usual things like exercise more....and compared to these last few months, ANY exercise can qualify as "more", so I think I got that one wrapped up. Actually my goals can be separated into 2 categories. One is physical, things that have a concrete physical action attached to it. And abstract, or more of a mental component. For example, my "eat healthier and exercise more" has a definite action I can take. Whereas, my goal to "be happier" and "be more grateful" is more mental or emotional. I do believe in expressing gratitude. It brings happiness as a by-product, so there can never be too much of it.

But I digress....the goal I wanted to blog about today is one of the physical ones. Make less trash destined for the landfill. And that led me to do a little research as to the recycling guidelines for our area. First of all, there are definite guidelines for your specific location, and I discovered that its quite easy to find online. Google it. I got a very specific listing that leaves nothing to doubt or chance. And it does vary from location to location so its better to check and be sure. A plastic that your waste system does NOT recycle, that ends up in the recycling by ignorance or mistake, will still eventually end up in the landfill anyway. But it will use up a lot of resources, having taken the scenic route, to get there. In that case, it would have been far better to just have been thrown away at the source. So, do take the time to educate yourself as to what can be recycled by your local waste management.

Another thing I learned.....keep it clean. Rinse it out. A glass bottle with a pool of salsa in the bottom will still be recycled, but your tax dollars will go towards the cleaning. Much cheaper to just give it that rinse at home, don't you think? And as for paper and cardboard....if its soiled by grease or food it will take that long convoluted, and expensive ride to the landfill, so just nip it in the bud and throw it away. A few dry crumbs are ok. Baked on greasy cheese can't be cleaned enough to make it reusable.

I was a little surprised to see how limited our recycling was here when it comes to plastics. Numbers 1 and 2 are all the ones that are recovered. Some areas recycle more, so please check to be sure. The number should be listed on the bottom of the item in question surrounded by the recycling triangle arrows. Also, although we do recover aluminum here, aluminum foil and pie plates are NOT accepted.
Seriously, there is a whole lot of progress to be made. So much more could be done.

But beyond all of that recycling.....Don't buy it in the first place, and it won't have to be thrown away. That one is a little more tricky. Thats the "Reduce" part of the recycling triangle. It takes more of a conscious effort to decide if this purchase is a "need" or a "want". If it is necessary, the next step is to decide if there is a better choice. I talked about this one with Lori when we were in Asheville. Say you need a dozen eggs.....take notice of the options. Eggs in a corregated cardboard carton that can be recycled would be the best option. Of course, I know people who find interesting uses for the styrofoam cartons, and if you can use it for something else, then more power to you. Some people use those things for mixing paint, or starting seedlings...etc.

And thats the last part of what I wanted to say....recycling uses fuel and energy. Can you figure out another use for it? Old tshirts make great rags. Clothing can be donated. Old toothbrushes make great cleaning tools. The creative side of trying to figure out new uses for old items is kind of fun. I am making it into a challenge. The goal is to reduce the amount of trash we send off to the landfill.
There is so much information out there to help figure all of this out. I am collecting new ideas with every article that I read.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seems like...

Seems like I am sick. I felt a little bit off yesterday, but it hit me like a ton of bricks about lunchtime today. Not sure if I will try to work through this or take a day off. Guess it depends on how I feel in the morning. Anyway, I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Home again

We are back home again after a lovely weekend in Asheville with the family. I would definitely recommend New Year's Eve at Biltmore. The decorations were beautiful, and dinner at The Stable House was spectacular. We all had such a good time. I WILL have pics as soon as I unpack and find my camera....but I am a bit disappointed that no photography was allowed inside the house. I should have remembered that but oh well.

One thing that happened that upset everybody was that as we all got to Greg and Lori's house and were unloading cars, somehow their cat Galileo got out and ran away. Everybody spent a lot of time searching for him to no avail. But he finally decided he had had enough of an adventure just after midnight last night (after being missing in action for about 48 hours) and showed up, meowing at the garage door. We were all so happy and relieved to see him. It felt like an omen foretelling a wonderful year ahead. We all agreed that putting 2011 behind us was good. I swear, it was just a sucky year for most everybody that I know. I think we are all due a good one now. Right?

Anyway, we had the opportunity to meet up with an old high school friend for lunch on our way home. Lin lives in Spain now and we literally haven't seen her since our wedding (almost 30 years ago....yikes!). It was so nice to see her even if it was all too brief. And now we are home again. Apparently just in the nick of time as Lori just texted me that it's snowing pretty good in Asheville right now. It's cold here, but clear. So I do want to post again. With pictures of the fun we all had...with hopes for the year ahead, but it's time to chill out and relax tonight. I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday!