Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Line of Thought

In Idaho, most of our friends thought that Nick and I were hippies. The charges against us:
  • We were from Western Oregon. This one was probably the most damning.
  • We actually USED our recycling bin, often to overflowing.
  • I am fond of wearing peasant skirts, blouses and going barefoot
  • We checked our gas mileage on every tank of gas and experimented with ways to get more out of our little Corolla. No, those experiments didn't include Idaho potato oil, but wouldn't that be cool?
  • At one of our first barbecues at a friend's house, I admit I fished all the pop cans out of the curbside trash can, took them home and recycled them. This involved me getting all the way inside the said can.
Our Idahoan buddies razzed us on a regular basis about our green behaviors. "Tree huggers!" they'd say. Somehow, the laughter only got louder when I reminded them that my dad worked at a sawmill. I most definitely CANNOT be a tree hugger with that sort of occupation! Yet good-natured insults of "Hey hippie, is Cherry Garcia your favorite ice cream flavor?" (it's not, just in case you were wondering) still abounded.

Oh, if only my Idaho friends could see us now.

I admit, it's mainly my MOPS group's fault. They're the ones who got me to use cloth diapers, bike for my groceries, walk to church, get a compost bin and make my own baby food.

So this is just our latest green project. Goodbye dryer (at least in summer), hello clothesline!

My friend Andrea started exclusively using clotheslines and drying racks (even in winter) a few years ago. In her first month of ditching her Maytag, her electricity bill DROPPED 90 BUCKS! I'm not sure if ours is that high to begin with, but I would love to save that sort of money every month!

Already, the clothesline is proving its worth. My older neighbors love it and chat fondly about their childhood clotheslines while I'm outside hanging things up. The laundry smells AMAZING. The utility room stays cooler. I no longer have to starch/iron shirts and skirts (boy, is line-dried clothing stiff!). Jude stays quiet longer, staring up at it while I get yardwork done. Jack uses it as an obstacle course. And as Nick admitted as he hung up his first load, it feels old-fashioned. I count that as a good thing.

Of course, there are downsides: I have to plan my loads out much more carefully because of time. On days like today, I have to work around the rain. And yes, inevitably I've had company waltz through the door right as I realized there were *ahem* certain things on the line I don't want my pastor seeing.

But it's all good. And green.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To Exchange or Not?

Nick and I are in the process of becoming a foreign exchange student host family.

Nick says it will be like having a built-in babysitter.

I say it has to be a girl who is not a) thinner or b) a better piano player than me. I guess that rules out whole swaths of Asia.

What do you say?