weekend recap for my mom

The last few days have been filled with humans, and while I recharge my spoons for today, I really enjoyed seeing people.
On Friday I met with a dear friend for coffee and we chatted about opportunities and mental health. There’s this handful of people that I have in my life, they always seem to pop in right when they’re needed most. It’s amazing when people you admire hold you up and love you right back.
I then spent a few hours just kind of existing in the city. I went to Lush and purchased a bunch of naked products: two facial oils, two primer oils, a massage brick that smells like cinnamon hearts, their solid armpit powder thingy, and some toothi-tabs samples (thus far, the verdict is LOL OF COURSE OIL MAKES YOUR SKIN ANGRY, and toothi-tabs taste like Satan, but I’ll keep trying.)
After that I went to Goodwill because I just wanted to do something. I ended up coming home with an organizey thing for my pans, some rope to fix our cat scratcher, a white plant pot, and a bunch of cross-stitch floss.

$7 for all this floss. The case was from my DnD DM ❤

On Saturday, I had a DnD session with the P-BAGs (Port Brackish Adventuring Guild), snina (my big owl boy) kept getting wrecked. I’m a great liability.
I then came home, organized all my embroidery thread, and started teaching myself how to cross-stitch while we marathoned a half a season of The Expanse.

Plexiglass over a TV makes for a super handy DnD map.

Sunday was a lot. My …Cheech (SIL) moved into her own place, so we were helping her. I think I’m coming down with something and am trying real hard not to. We got home around dinner time, and finished The Expanse (3 seasons all on Amazon Prime, my dudes). My guts were extremely sad, so I ended up staying up til 3am finishing up my cross-stitch and marathoning old seasons of Roseanne.

Not 100% accurate, but I love it. Link to pattern on image. By MariBoriEmbroidery.

I’m probably going to nap soon, espresso isn’t strong enough to keep me awake.

Reducing Food Waste

I’m at home a lot. Like…most of my life these days. I keep thinking of things to do or create, like crochet a king size blanket for my fiance, or teach myself to sew. I’ve also been baking and derping around in the kitchen a lot more than usual. Mostly because whenever I go grocery shopping I think “oh hey, maybe I should buy some banana bread muffins/some vanilla syrup for my coffee/some etc” and I’ve realized that I can just make that stuff myself.
I’ve also read a bunch of blogs and posts about food waste and now I’m all motivated to change up my food habits. Again. Sorry CatLord.
I’ve been switching my cleaning supplies over to more natural cleaners, I’ve been using vinegar and water as our AP cleaner for the last several years, but have started repurposing our orange peels as a cleaner enhancer/scent. Once the orange is infused in the vinegar, I throw the peels in the compost. Last night, we had some fruit while we were lazily watching The Expanse and used the orange peels, half of the orange went zested in the freezer for muffins, and the other half I dehydrated in the oven this morning for tea. I think I might try making candied orange peels next time.
I’ve also made a good scrub out of my spent espresso grounds, and some coconut oil. I added a bit of white sugar, to my preference (but have heard that this isn’t always the best for your skin). I use it on my lips and on my legs/arms when they start to get real dry, I just put it on in the shower and then rinse it off. The weather in Alberta is -so- dry, but the scrub really helps to soothe my irritated skin.
We’re also that family that buys a whole bag of potatoes with good intentions and by the time we get around to using all of them, they’ve started sprout. They’ll be used as started potatoes for us when the sky stops crapping snow on us. I’m trying to get away from the Costco run where we buy all our veggies in bulk, as half of them usually go bad before we can get around to eating them and then we all feel like trash for wasting food/money. I’m interested in what other folks do with their leftover food scraps. I think I’ll be starting a freezer bag for veggie stock, what are some other ways you repurpose your food waste?

a freezer full of bananas

Mood: off
Project: Chris’ blanket, banana bread
Desire: to drink tea and have a nap

It was -8 yesterday, it got up to 0. It felt like I was living on a tropical island. It was amazing. The sun was out. I could take Daisy to the dog wash without fear of her freezing as soon as we stepped outside.
It’s only -7 today, but it’s a bit windy, snowy, and overcasty, so I’m hiding indoors today.
Does anyone else buy perfectly good bananas specifically to let them brown for banana bread? Because I secretly do. The only place I’ve found paper bags of browned bananas is at the organic store, and they still charge per banana. Cmon child. Please.
I’m currently flooding my house with the scent of banana bread. My mom has this imperial margarine cookbook from a looonngg time ago, it has the best recipes in it. Some of my favorites are the pancakes (although we’ve altered it and tripled it to fit our fams needs), the chocolate chip cookies, the dogturd cookies (no bake chocolate drop cookies), and the banana bread. One year, my mom asked me to make a bunch of loaves of banana bread for a Legion gathering or something. So I harvested the several grocery bags (yes) of frozen bananas and made like 15 loaves. I substituted the eggs for more bananas and used…butter…I think, instead of margarine. They were the best damn loaves of banana bread I’ve ever tasted. I continue to scour the internet for a recipe that is close, subbing eggs for bananas, and so far I’ve come up with a bunch of overly moist banana loaves that no one else eats but me (I’m not complaining). I should add that recipe book to my thrift store watch list, it’s amazing.

I’m in the middle of another med adjustment, my spirits feel up but my mood seems low. If that’s possible. I’m trying to be optimistic, but it feels draining.
CatLord and I watched half of season 2 of the Expanse last night, it’s pretty great. I’m really loving watching more sci-fi. I think my next big series watch is Battlestar Galactica. 
Anyways, the banana bread is just about done, and I think I’m going to try to get rid of this oncoming migraine.

crafts & spaceships

It was a long weekend for CatLord and I, for Family Day. I miss my family back home in BC, but enjoyed spending Family Day with my little created family of misfits.
I’m on this new medication and it’s working really well, I have a lot more energy and am extremely motivated. I have 3 business ideas that are brewing around in my brain, words for blogs that have been stewing, and am crafting like it’s going out of style.

One of the things I did this weekend was re-teach myself to use a sewing machine. I was determined to make myself some reusable cotton rounds for my toner. It took me a good 2 hours to relearn how to set up the sewing machine and figure out why it kept jamming, and another 45 minutes to cut out circles of t-shirts (left over from my t-shirt rugs and dog toys!) and a thrifted receiving blanket. Some of the pads are pretty janked up, but I got the hang of it eventually! A coworker said they looked like nursing pads, and I mean, I guess you could use them for that…lol.

I also got a hankering to make some more beeswax wraps for my bestie. I had this super cute fabric that I wanted to use, but I think it’s too thin. So I ended up using this fabric. I need to find some pinking sheers I think, but once I’ve trimmed some of the sides a bit, I’ll be mailing these over to her.

I also crocheted a bit more of CatLord’s Christmas present. I started this blanket in November, and have been working on it since. I have to take breaks, otherwise my hands and arms get all crampy and gross. I am trying to keep the pet hair from being weaved into the blanket itself but crocheting out of a plastic tub, but as you can see, it’s not working very well. I also need to go to Michael’s to get more yarn. I’ll post a full picture of this blanket once it’s completed. 🙂

Finally, I became a plant-grand-parent this weekend! My giant aloe vera plant Muyo II (after the anime Tenchi Muyo, that I never watched, but that hair tho) had a little baby aloe plant that needed to be repotted. What do you think we should name the little baby?
I also am trying to propagate some new snake plants. Plantsplantsplantsplants.

Long post is long. Other than craftin’ and plantin’, I haven’t been up to much. CatLord and I rewatched season 1 of The Expanse, I’m stoked to start season 2 this week. I think I’ll likely be decluttering and doing some more repurposing, if you’re into those kind of posts.
Have a great week my friends. ❤

not perfect

CatLord and I went to the Farmer’s Market, on my quest for a low waste grocery shop adventure. I left the Farmer’s Market so incredibly disheartened. “Chris, there is *so* much plastic. Why are these carrots in bags?! Why would any one bother to bring their reusable produce bags to the market if everything comes pre-packaged?” We left with some leeks, some maple syrup, some broth bones for Daisy, and a real strong sense of responsibility.
Every day I get closer to opening a low waste wet/dry bulk store. It’s going to happen, I can’t keep bringing all this plastic into my house.

But I did. I brought more of it in, because there just wasn’t anyway around it during our grocery adventure.
So I started making EcoBricks. What’s an EcoBrick, Phaidra? Well, kindhearted reader, lemme tell you. EcoBricks in it’s most basic form, is a plastic bottle stuffed with more plastic. Neat right?

No it totally is. So on a surface level, maybe not so neat. Just garbage stuffed with garbage. But, think about plastic. Plastic will take centuries to fully breakdown. The Earth is completely plastered with it, it’s going to be around forever, and we have all this single use crap just floating around.
If we can remove the plastic from our environment, and purposefully compact it into these bricks, we have a building material that we can create cool things with, AND keep plastic waste from taking over the universe. AND it’s like…entirely reusable as more bricks if the project is demolished. (The website explains it better)
Folks across the globe have been making EcoBricks as a way to take responsibility of their plastic usage, and I think it’s really cool. Communities have come together to build houses, benches, art, walls, etc with these bricks.
But what if I don’t want to build anything with these stupid plastic bricks?
Hey that’s okay! Lots of areas have EcoBrick drop sites. Except my area. Come on Edmonton, what could we build?

ANYWAYS, I almost have completely stuffed one 710ml gingerale bottle with plastic. Plastic that I have been putting in a different can for the last 4 weeks so gauge my plastic usage. I’m not like..thrilled about the amount of plastic, but knowing that there’s this transition phase, I’m like…okay with it. The next bottle will take much longer to fill up! I’m not perfect, I’m just trying to do better each day. That’s all we can ask. 🙂

my take on the low waste “trend”

I’ve been reading/listening to some responses to the low/no waste movement becoming trendy, here’s my piece.

I’m glad. I’m glad that people are able to finally look at the waste they are creating and /make an effort/ to do something about it. If that means they’re “No Straw” campaigners and KeepCup users, I’m fucking thrilled. Every straw that’s refused, every coffee cup retained, every shopping bag not purchased, keeps it out of the landfill.

I’m a firm believer in babysteps, god knows I started nose dive into low waste living by guilt purchasing a reusable bag, and maybe that’s all it takes. Maybe it’s being confronted by the amount of straws one uses, or the amount of clothes in their closet. Maybe it doesn’t take an entire garbage audit for someone to start to make better choices.

What makes me uncomfortable about the “trendiness” is the gate keeping that leads to consumerism. I don’t think there is any “one way” to reduce your waste. I think there’s a lot to be said about plastic, it’s done some great shit. Straws are amazing for folks who might have not have full mobility. Plastic bottles are accessible to folks on a low income. If I didn’t have my CatLord here with me, you bet your ass I’d be using disposable plates when I managed to muster enough energy to eat (although I hope I’d go for something like palm leaf plates or something).

I think there are folks who forget the places of privilege that they come from. Sure, some folks on a low income, or with disabilities or illness are able to make changes to reduce their impact and I’m so fucking happy for them, but there are a lot of people who don’t have choice or the ability to make those changes.
I have privilege, I have support, and financial ability to go out of my way to try to make better choices for me and my family. And I am making the effort to make those changes because I can. I am putting the effort into upcycling, making due, and refusing, because it is something I believe in. I’m purchasing things that I think will help me and my family reduce our carbon footprint in the long run because it’s what makes sense to me.

I think that each person who joins the low/no waste movement will have to decide for themselves how it fits into their lives. If it’s just a fucking straw or reusable bag, I’ll take it. It might not be perfect, branded, or instagram worthy, but it will be their step towards a smaller carbon footprint and really, that’s all I fucking care about.