NOT according to plan

I had such big plans for this weekend, Simple Year friends. On Friday, media outlets (including my own) were reporting that we were in for a big snow/ice storm and the Oregon Department of Transportation, not to mention our county’s emergency services division, had warned us to stock up on food and candles and stay the heck off the streets unless absolutely necessary.

Bear’s not sure what that white stuff is, but he finds it endlessly fascinating. P.S. Turns out Bear is a he, not a she.

My first thought was, staying home all weekend sounds awesome!

My second thought was, huh, I wonder if we have candles?

My third thought was, I am going to get SO MUCH DONE.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t get anything done.

Instead, I read all weekend. When I wasn’t reading, I was cuddling with kittens and hanging out with the fam and looking outside at the falling snow.

It was amazing. The promised winter weather didn’t end up materializing — or rather, it did, just not as terrible as forecasted. (Apparently the west coast is really hard to predict. The Pacific Ocean, etc. Science!) And we did stay home, and it was awesome.

But that doesn’t give me much to write about.

Well, I guess I have one story: I left work a little early on Friday to hit the grocery store in case the roads really did get bad and/or we lost power, which was apparently everyone’s plan in the entire town. I was lucky to find a parking space, even luckier that someone was leaving as I was heading in and gave me their cart.

It was complete pandemonium inside. Well, it was orderly enough, just packed. I’d never seen such long lines at the checkout counters, not even at Thanksgiving. I stood in line for 10 or 15 minutes just to get tare on my jars. I won’t lie, I did think about leaving the line and using paper bags, but whatever, I was in it to win it.

And just so you understand how amazing it is that I stayed in line: I have anxiety. Those crowds made me want to run for the hills.

I stayed. Got tare on my jars. Walked through the store and crossed items off my list. Saw about 50 people I knew. Tried not to think about limited access to exits. Appreciated the quiet of the bulk aisle. Then got back in line again.

Put my cloth bags of produce on the conveyer belt, followed by my jars of bulk items, then the canned food and milk. (At the beginning of the project, I wanted to eliminate EVERYTHING, even recycling. I’ve since come to peace with aluminum cans, since they can be recycled indefinitely. Plus it makes preparing for an emergency easier — they’re sturdy and they last a long time. With the threat of the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake breathing down our necks, it seems kind of reckless not to prepare, at least a little.) It was sort of interesting to be in such close proximity to so many people and their carts. What I really noticed, more than anything, is all the produce in plastic bags. Maybe someday people will embrace reusable produce bags like they embrace reusable grocery sacks here.

A girl can dream.

I guess the only other part of this story is that I spent a half-hour in line waiting to check out, had a nice conversation with some people behind me, volunteered to bag my own groceries to give the harried checker a break and also because I knew I’d get out of there faster, and then tried to get my cart unloaded and my car outta there so some other poor sap looking to get their shopping done ahead of the storm could take both.

Anyway, while I don’t have much to report on the zero waste front, I am the most rested and relaxed I have been in a long time. Eh, I can always do meal prep and baking today, right?

Thanks, books!

The end.

Next up: Um …


9 Responses to NOT according to plan

  1. Sounds like watching snow is very zero-waste. 🙂

    I know you’ve had cats before, but I don’t know if you’ve had a male. If you wait too long to neuter him, Bear might irrevocably develop some nasty personal habits.

    • So zero waste! LOL. Skilly was also a boy, but I can’t remember how old he was when we got him fixed. Bear is such a sweetheart, I’d be crushed if he ended up being a jerk. We’ll look into it when the snow lets up. Thanks for the warning!

  2. I’m proud of you for braving the crowds! I’m sure that was hard.

    I also have to tell you, I thought of you while shopping this weekend. While I’m by no means zero waste, you inspired several of my decisions: no bag for my cilantro, juice in glass instead of plastic, and reusable produce bags for bulk black beans and bulk mixed nuts. I used the little twist tie for the bulk bin number…still not brave enough to conquer that hurdle, but I feel like I’m making progress!

    • I love this! Sounds zero waste to me! I don’t think it has to be all or nothing. It took me years before I was brave enough to bring a jar to the store — but seriously, not bagging the cilantro, using the produce sacks for bulk, the glass jar of juice, that’s fantastic. That’s four less bits of trash you have to worry about! (Not that you have to do this, but I take a pic of the bulk VIN number with my iPod and show that to the cashier… although it’s a little embarrassing if I don’t have my glasses on and have to squint at the screen to see which one is which, LOL.)

      Thank you for sharing with me. Made my day.

    • Sarah J. Maas, “A Court of Mist and Fury,” second in a series. Um … it’s not high lit or anything, but it’s terribly entertaining, and I love that her female characters tend to kick ass. Sort of … retelling of fairytales (this one is Beauty and the Beast) with magic and war and some kind of terrible stuff thrown in. Second book is better than the first. (I’ve also read all of her Throne of Glass series. They’re kind of similar. Except I hope THIS series doesn’t drag on as long.)

      Another great series that is close to my heart is Cinder by Marisa Meyers. More retelling of fairytales, but set in the future. Cinderella is a cyborg, Little Red is a farmer, Rapunzel is a hacker, etc. Really fun, sort of dark, great female characters.

      What are you reading? 🙂

      • I’m a HS English teacher and my students love “Cinder”! I’ll have to look into Maas’ books, I’m sure my students would love them as well. I just finished Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings” with my book club and thoroughly enjoyed it and the discussion that followed. Recently reread “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer, as a group of students were reading it for a “coming of age” book club unit. I just started, and am loving, Ana Castillo’s “Peel My Love Like An Onion.”

        Fun to talk about zero waste AND books 🙂 That being said, do you include books in your zero waste plan? Buy only used? Borrow from the library? I buy a lot of new books (I love to annotate while I read) and consider it one of my “cheat” areas in terms of zero waste, minimalism, etc. Just can’t give up the books!

        • I have a Kindle, and I am quite fond of it — I like it better than paper books, which my girls find reprehensible. But it’s easier to carry around, and I like having my entire collection there. I also like that my collection isn’t a physical one. I got rid of the majority of my real books years ago. It was easier than I thought it would be.

          I can check out ebooks from the library, but it takes FOREVER for a title to become available because we’re part of a greater ebook library which covers Eastern Oregon. (We’re not even in Eastern Oregon, so I’m not sure why we’re part of that, but whatever.) And book choices are also fairly limited. So my ebooks come from Amazon.

          My girls are both readers, though, and books are just something they need, like food and air. (Me too.) Their collections mainly come from the local bookstore — sometimes from the local used bookstore, but that collection isn’t as varied. They get attached to their books, though, so while they’ll read things from the library (school and public), they usually end up wanting a copy anyway to keep. Especially my 17-year-old.

          I’m good with that. I understand how books are just … yeah, we need books. I’d love to get them Kindles, but they aren’t interested. I can justify it because we all have things we love that are technically clutter, and they’re so good about all of our minimalist and zero waste efforts that I feel like they’ve earned it. 😉

          Anyway, Abby (my 17-year-old) is the one who got me hooked on Cinder, and then on Throne of Glass. I’ve read lots of great books thanks to that kid. Adding your suggestions to my list too! And hey, I’m always ready to discuss books! This has been fun.

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