May. 5th, 2008

kayjayoh: (find x)
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how I want to live. My ideal would be to leave a small carbon footprint, support small and local business and good environmental and labor practices, keep myself in good health, and be economically responsible. What I need to determine is my level of commitment as my ideals come up against the realities of convenience and cost.

I have been living without a car since Christmas out necessity. Can't afford to get new tires, can't drive with what I have. As a result, my carbon footprint has been greatly reduced and my cost for a 31-day bus pass is much smaller than a month's worth of gas. However, getting through the winter without a car was difficult. Walking to the grocery store and the bus stops in the bitter cold, over ice and snow and poorly shoveled walks was a trial, and there were many times I stayed home rather than face the challenge. Even now that the weather is mild and the sidewalks are clear, not having a car limits where I can go and when.

There are plenty of places I can't get to by bus (like Sun Prairie), and many times that the buses don't run (like after midnight--earlier on weekends). I've been depending on the kindness of friends and family to give me rides much of the time, sometimes going out of their way to get to my home. As much as I think about continuing to live without a car once I can afford to get it fixed, I don't know if I would. I don't know that I would be able to come to terms with selling it right now, and once it was in working order would I be able to keep myself from using it all the time? It might be easier of I lived closer to the transfer point, to a Community Car location, or to downtown in general, but I'm going to work with what I've got and where I am for now.

Besides the transportation issue, I also think about the food I buy and eat. I try to stay aways from the processed food and stick with the outside ring of the store, but I'm not perfect about that. I know I need to eat way more green vegetables than I do. The next question is: What about buying local, sustainable/organic produce, dairy, and meat? Can I do that? I like the idea, but can I get past the expense? It's already tricky to buy groceries for one, and my budget is wee.

I may be able to do it with meat. It would certainly make it more expensive, but given how rarely I buy meat in my groceries it probably wouldn't pinch much. Fruit and vegetables are easy to come by locally at this time of year, but what of the winter? Do I stay local or buy the Texas styrofoam strip-mined tomatoes? The really hard part is the dairy. I only buy small amounts of milk at a time, so buying from a local farm would be more expensive but maybe still reasonable. But what about cheese and butter? Considering how much of my diet seems to be made up of bread and cheese, could I afford to buy local for that as well?

I know there are people who have less money than I am who are able to make the local, sustainable, green lifestyle work. I read about them in the Isthmus each week. I also know that it involves a lot of choices and a certain amount of sacrifice. Do I have what it takes? I guess am willing to try, even if I fail.
kayjayoh: (Genevieve)
My little red wagon is a sad little thing. It is made entirely of plastic, extruded in some factory in China, purchased for $20 at the Family Dollar and hastily assembled right in the store. Even the wheels are made of plastic--hollow plastic at that. It can hold *maybe* 30 pounds and I'm waiting for the day when it falls apart on a grocery run. I definitely wouldn't try to carry Sol in it. Someday, I want to get myself a Radio Flyer. Those babies are so sweet. Sadly, they are also kind of expensive. So, in the interim, I will continue to pull my current, haphazard wagon until it falls apart.

This afternoon I pulled my rickety wagon down to the grocery store, where, as usual, I met with Epic Fail when trying to buy vegetables. Well, maybe not epic...I did buy a red bell pepper, an avocado, and some mushrooms, but it took me 20 minutes of staring at things to get to that. The bell pepper is for the potstickers Uncle Alton is showing me how to make (via YouTube). The avocado was on special and I know they are tasty and what to do with them, and while mushrooms are delicious, I can hardly count them in my "eat more green vegetables" quota. I don't have anything against veggies, and when they are served to me I will eat them. Heck, I even default to veggie pizza and subs half the time when I'm ordering out. But I don't buy them. This really needs to change somehow.

On the way home I picked myself a big bunch of dandelions. Such a maligned flower, but I love it so. I turned my nose yellow sniffing them, though I avoided getting the brown stains on my hands that marked my childhood. I brought them home and put them in a vase, though the proper method of display would have been a mason jar. When I'm a grown-up and have a house, I want my lawn to be covered with dandelions. Dandelions, creeping jenny, and wood violets. My garden will be full of lilies of the valley and irises.


May. 5th, 2008 09:08 pm
kayjayoh: (Default)
Is anyone else having a problem getting LJ userpics to load, or is it just me?
kayjayoh: (Default)
The recent kerfuffle over at Making Light reminded me that I probably don't back my data up nearly as often as I should. I suppose I can start making better use of the iMac to store copies of new stuff on the iBook, but I need a less time consuming way to do it.

Hey, people who are smarter than me: how do you back up your data?
kayjayoh: (the meme thing)
Trying to remember the name of that song you have stuck in your head? Don't know the lyrics? Wish you could just it an have a search engine find it for you?

Well, you can, sort of. doesn't always get it, but that may be more of a factor of my ability to carry a tune. So freaking neat!

June 2008

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