Well, this is awkward. I’ve been trying to write a post for the past two days, but the words are just not coming. I guess I don’t actually want to write about canning alternatives — that was my plan when I posted on Monday, and I should have sketched out a post then, because wow, whatever was in my head has now completely leaked out.
(Writer’s block is interesting, by the way, because you can totally write, it’s just all crap.)
(Oh, incidentally, V, I haven’t forgotten you, I just haven’t heard from the extension office agent about your canning question. I am ON IT and we will get it figured out!)
So what do I want to write about?
I’m kind of bummed because this Saturday is a repair cafe in a neighboring town, and I’m really curious about that. But we have other plans so I can’t go. I’ve heard of these and think they’re a great idea: You bring in something that is broken and any parts that might be needed to fix it, and then volunteers take a crack at it. I mean, how cool is that? The press release said you can bring anything from clothes in need of mending to TVs and small appliances (toasters, I guess?). We don’t actually have anything in need of repair that I could fit in the car (hey, anyone want to come fix my dishwasher? The top rack spinner thing won’t spin), but people can just go and hang out and drink coffee and, like, be backseat fixers. I think it sounds totally intriguing and kind of fun. And very zero wastey-y. Maybe there will be another one before my year is up here and I can go report.
Eric just got back from playing racquetball (I’m writing this Thursday evening) and handed me a small box. I’ve got a present for you, he said, and inside is a compact of brown eyeshadow from my favorite mother-in-law. She said it was free and she wasn’t going to use it, he added, and oh boy oh boy, I will totally use that! I think it counts as a zero waste alternative because the compact is already in the waste stream and I’m just, like, saving it from the landfill. Plus I can reuse the container — it’s got a nice mirror and someday will hold homemade lip balm and be someone’s birthday present. (Or whatevs.) Thanks, Joni! You’re awesome.
Also: There’s a decision I won’t have to make for a while longer — the whole “What Do I Do About Homemade Eyeshadow” ordeal, as the powdered stuff I made just flakes into my eyes and causes me a lot of discomfort. Powder in your eyes isn’t as fun as you’d think it’d be.
Johanna is three weeks into the new school year and has already broken her pencil sharpener. It was one of the items we were able to reuse from last year, and as they make these things as cheaply and crappily as possible, I wasn’t surprised when she made that particular announcement. Great, I thought, one more thing for the list, but then I found her rattling around the Box of Awesome (aka where we keep our leftover school supplies) for a replacement. The one in the box was also broken, apparently (uh, why was it in the box, then?), but I was proud of her anyway for going the reusable route first instead of just assuming we’d need to buy one (yeah, like I did, guilty as charged).
So hey, if I know you in real life and you have a pencil sharpener with shavings holder (don’t look at me, that’s what’s required) that you don’t want anymore, hit me up. I will happily buy it from you.
And if that heartfelt plea doesn’t work, then I’ll look in our stationary store. They carry a lot of loose, unpackaged office supplies … of better quality than, let’s say, The Store That Must Not Be Named. (Starts with a W, ends in a “mart,” that’s the only hint I’m prepared to give.)
See? I learned something from our mostly failed attempt at zero waste school supplies.
Speaking of my darling youngest child, she’s on a robotics team this fall, and, as we literally have to feed her every hour on the hour (she’s growing again), when one of the moms mentioned bringing snacks next time, I was like, sign me up for a shift!
And then walked back to the car thinking, dang it, what in the world can I bring that’s zero waste?
But! You guys, there’s literally SO MUCH STUFF. The more I thought about it, the more confident I felt in pulling this off: small apples (farm stand), carrot slices (farm stand or loose in the store), cherry tomatoes (farm stand), pears (farm stand) … dried fruit (I can do that myself with farm stand produce), homemade granola bars (I was doing a bit of research today, you don’t even have to bake those things!), homemade muffins (farm stand and store), bulk snack mix / crackers / nuts / granola (store) … that’s just as far as I’ve gotten on my mental list. If there’s something I haven’t mentioned, leave a comment! I can’t be the only parent faced with this dilemma.
Oh, PS, I realize that not everyone is able to bring homemade items to school events. I will definitely ask before I start up the ol’ KitchenAide. I’ve been pretty lucky on that front, though, the most memorable being homemade St. Lucia’s Buns for Jo’s kindergarten class — her birthday being St. Lucia’s Day. 🙂
Well, that was fun. Sorry it wasn’t a real post, but this weekend I plan to sleep a lot so Monday I will be back, fresh and hopefully with a lot of words that actually make sense when strung together.
Next up: Let’s all just be surprised.
ref the dishwasher top spinny thing … ours stopped working a while ago and we couldn’t figure it out as water seemed to be coming out of it … but there was an apple pip wedged at the end and its the very end hole which directs the water at an angle which turns the spinny thing. Your instructions should show you how to take it off, then just give it a really good clean, especially the end holes.
Fingers crossed that works.
That’s EXACTLY the problem — water, no spinning. Thank you! Will do that this weekend!
I recently saw a blog where someone glued a pencil sharpener inside a tic-tac box to catch the shavings. If you know anyone who might use up tic-tacs or something like that, it might be worthwhile.
(On a related note, I’m hoping I can get my husband to bring home empty Altoids tins and eos containers for Christmas presents. I’ll make homemade lip balm in the eos container – it looks easy. But I think I’m babbling.)
Not blabbing, sharing great ideas! That might be a fun post in the very near future: Homemade gifts. Just open up the comments and everyone shares what they’ve got going on.
I hadn’t thought of just putting a regular sharpener into another container … we’ve got to have a mint tin or something around. That’s genius! Do you have a lip balm recipe you use? Would you share it? 🙂
That was totally a real post 🙂
Thank you for remembering me, but no pressure. I’d love to hear the answer, but I don’t *expect* one. If that makes sense.
Yeah, but I want to know too! I’m on a mission!
Hi, me again! I am becoming quite the regular. This post was fine…very real!
I am far from zero waste by any means but apparently a lot of stuff I do seems to be zero waste so I can share. Pencil sharpeners…if you have an art supply store near you, you can usually get some good ones, shaving holders and all, without any packaging. Both art stores I go to have my two favorite kinds…one for my pricey artsy colored pencils and one for my sketching pencils, much better than the office supply store ones, in bins on the shelf, not in packaging. And they last!!! They are plastic encased though on second thought so that might negate everything. But you can check it out. Mine even has two little spare sharpener blades packed inside it so I can replace the blades on my own when they get dull.and extend the life of the sharpener. I have yet to actually do this though. And have had to fish the blades out of the trash when I wasn’t careful while emptying the shavings.
I am in the same boat as you with the dishwasher. My handy husband has gone in several times to clean out and repair ours and it still doesn’t clean. So guess who is the current dishwasher. Yes the one who works from home so she is there anyway. Going on six months now 🙁 I try to turn into an exercise of meditation and relaxation…as I slowly and deliberately scrub each dish carefully and lovingly then let the hot water flow over it while I rinse the suds off…yeah it doesn’t always work.
I am still looking for a good solution to the litter boxes for the indoor cats though if you or anybody else has any advice. Since we compost, don’t eat much processed food or any meat or dairy, and buy most of our grains, beans, and produce in bulk via co-op, the used litter scoopings and junk mail seem to make up the most of our trash.
I like regulars, then I don’t feel like I’m talking to myself! 🙂
I’m okay with pricey if it lasts — like, Johanna can take it with her to college. We don’t have an art store, but the stationary store does sell some art supplies. I’m going to look their first.
Eric cleaned the spinner thing on the dishwasher tonight and found some gunk inside … and it is currently spinning again. I’m hoping it continues spinning because, while I’m okay with washing some dishes by hand, I’m not really a fan. Six months would drive me crazy! I had to laugh at your description of your dishes meditation — it doesn’t always work, but I think we get points for trying!
Oh, kitties. We haven’t found another cat — thought we had, but then it ended up going to someone else — so I haven’t had to put any zero waste kitty litter or food into practice. I think I’ve got the raw food diet worked out in my head, though, and would be comfortable going that route. Knowing that dry food is what led to Skilly’s kidney failure doesn’t exactly make me want to bring it in the house again. I miss that little furry face.
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