Tuesday, October 28, 2008

8pm And All Is....Snowy?!

What's this? I was out here an hour ago and it was raining. This doesn't look like rain.

Yup. This is my tree. Hang on...I think I remember this stuff. But it wasn't here an hour ago...

What the heck is with the wind? I've never seen it snow sideways...Hey! Someone made a snowbank!

This is better than those leaves I was tunnelling in this morning.... Where'd they go, anyway??

Friday, October 24, 2008

Local Government Week

This week is Local Government Week in our community. The kids and I, along with some homeschooling friends, were off to City Hall to see where all those exciting local government things go on this past Tuesday morning.

We had a great tour with the City Clerk. Her talk ranged from the history of the building to the roles of the council members to the reason for the bell on the Mayor's Desk to the job of the Clock Master to the exciting work of the Planning Department.
The tragic thing I discovered about the inner workings of our fair City Hall is that the best view of all of the 1000 Islands Region is out the windows of the Council Chamber. Why oh why do they only use that room at night when it's dark?! You could charge admission for that view!
Anyway, a good morning had by all.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Shamefully Negligent or Fall Photos

I must admit that there has not been an adequate amount of Fall Appreciation going on around here. We're not out enjoying the colours or playing in the leaves nearly enough.

The colours are gorgeous here in our corner of SE Ontario - I noticed the other weekend as I drove to Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's place in the country.

Since then, many of the leaves have fallen. Instead of the intense, warm, bright colours, we're starting to get the muted browns and yellows of later Fall.

Today I took our first Fall pics of 2008. It was only outside on our tiny postage stamp of a lawn, but pictures are pictures. To redeem myself, I feel I must direct you to the Fall pictures of my friend Jennifer. I was a little surprised at how much Nuk-Dog liked the leaves. But then again, she does like the smell of dead rotten things.

Cloth Napkins

I was thinking about the amount of paper we go through in my family.

I find the amount particularly ridiculous when I'm grocery shopping and I buy paper towel and 'dinner napkins'.

Spending $6 - $8 dollars every few shopping trips isn't a big deal. However, it is a big deal if I think about standing in my kitchen while tossing a handful of loonies into the trash.

Facing my sewing apprehension, I called my mommy to come over and help me get started.

I cut a couple of dollar store dish towels in half and finished the cut edge. Presto - cloth napkins!

I was so impressed with the finished product that I wasn't satisfied with a measly set of four. I bought three more matching dish towels. Now I've got a collection of ten napkins. Enough to get us partway through the week and certainly enough to have company at the table.

Next project: cut our paper towel consumption. Suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Federal Election 2009

Here's what we're doing tonight....

On CTV we're keeping track of seats won and we're hoping for a majority government of some sort.

It's turned into great fun. I was explaining too much and R was falling asleep on the couch. So I drummed up some cardstock and my papercutter and started making a graph of sorts.

It's been taken over by smaller hands and I've been relegated to paper square cutter. It's 10:10pm here now...we'll see how long this keeps up!

*Update* We made it to midnight. At 11, after the local candidate's victory had been announced on tv, R insisted we drive by the winning campaign office to see if there was a celebration going on. There wasn't. Final polls haven't yet been counted, but everyone was falling asleep, so we'll update our chart in the morning. The paranoid-homeschooling-mom in me is happy to announce that we all have a firm understanding of 'minority government' now. As well as other various terms that I'm sure will be useful in the years to come. It was a pretty fun sort of learning kind of family evening. Mission accomplished.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Laundry Mondays

For a little more than two months now, Mondays have become Laundry Day.

I ventured onto this new scheduled task for one reason. Time. I was constantly interrupting my day to move the laundry forward. Usually I would remember that I was mid-way through a load of laundry at the most inopportune times: read aloud, making lunch, on the way out the door, bedtime or - the worst - when B was tromping through the house looking for clean jeans when he should have been on his way to work.

It seemed as though I was constantly doing laundry. Every day I would have to traipse down to the laundry area in the basement and get a load going. Then, I would have to remember that I was doing laundry. More times than not, I would get through 2ish loads a day. A day!! First, that's a lot of laundry. Second, that's a lot of forgotten laundry. Wrinkled laundry. Unfolded laundry. Laundry sitting in the dryer, or worse, the washer. All in all, I was doing 11 or 12 loads a week.

If that's not scary enough for you, this should do it: I haven't yet counted in the bed sheets and linens. Who feels like doing beds when the laundry rooms always backlogged?? It's pretty bad when the 9-year-old boy is seen bringing his sheets downstairs because they need a wash. This is the same 9-year-old who insists he only needs to shower every two weeks because the sweat he works up at hockey and soccer is enough of a wash for him.

12 to 15 loads per week depending on if the beds got done. That seems excessive when you add it all up.

So, Mondays are now laundry days. The laundry sits, sorted, in hampers in the laundry area until Monday morning. I wash, dry, sort and fold everyone's clothes. I've been managing it all in 4 loads: whites, colours, darks and denims. By the end of the day, the washer is empty, the dryer is empty, shirts are hung, socks are paired and everything is ready to be put away.

Savings? Less water, less hydro, less time. I'm doing 1/3 the laundry. I'm using the dryer less as I refuse to let the wet stuff pile up while I wait for the dryer to completely dry every load. Damp things can be hung. I know that if I can just get the laundry caught up on Mondays, I can forget about it for the rest of the week.

This means that bright and early on Tuesdays, I wake up to a row of empty hampers. Well, I would if I woke up in the basement. But I don't. I have to schlep my sleepy self down there to get to the clean clothes I washed, dried, sorted, folded and left there yesterday. What better time to change the sheets than when I have a totally available laundry area? So, Tuesdays have become Linen Day. I wash the sheets. And towels. And facecloths. And dish towels. And if I get ambitious, I'll do the dog's blanket. She sheds a lot.

In the space of two days, I do 6 - or 7 if a duvet or comforter needs it - loads of laundry. Fully half of what I was not really accomplishing very well before. Everyone has clothes that are clean, everyone has a bed that is fresh and the best part is the freeing feeling of not having to think about laundry until Monday rolls around again.