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What the what?

Yup, every now and then (a lot of the time) one end of my bedroom looks like this.

Look what 15 minutes can do.

That stuff in the corner needs a better home.

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Twenty Minutes

The twenty minutes included a little vacuuming. The basket below contains single socks looking for love:

For the Salvation Army:

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One Car

I thought I'd post a bit this week about how our busy family gets by with one car.

We could use the car a lot less and we could be much better about carpooling, but it is what it is. You'll see. . .


Today, I had to be at an elementary school 20 minutes west of here very early in the morning.

Curt had to be at work.

The girls had to be at school.


If we had two cars, I'd drive out to the elementary school early, and Curt would have a slower morning with the girls before driving them to school and then driving himself to work.


I drove out to the elementary school early, but I also dropped our girls at their school early, where they bought breakfast. This is the third time *ever* that they've had their morning meal at school, and it was their choice: They think it's fun.

Curt walked two blocks to the bus stop and caught the bus to work. It's a 20 minute commute from door to door.

On my way home from school I picked up Curt from work (since I was already in the car and he was ready to come home), then we both swung by a friend's house to pick up the girls.

We ditched our evening activities because Curt and I had raging headaches. No complaints from anyone. It was a quiet, peaceful evening.

Tomorrow I have day classes, the girls have school, Curt has work, I have crossing guard duty after school, one daughter has an evening dance class, and I have an evening obligation for work.

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Garden Status

This is how the garden looks today. Hmmmm. . .

That's Iowa, for you.

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Before and After

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Garden Update

Here's how the garden looks now.

One more bed to dig. We can't plant in Iowa until after the last frost, and that's over a month away.

After I dig the last bed, I'll go back over all three to break up the clumps and add a bit of compost.

We might get snow this weekend. SNOW!!

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Food Stamp Challenge

Check out Mama Says. . . for her food stamp challenge. She's attempting to feed her family for $2.00 per person per day, which in her case is $140 per week.
After twelve weeks, her average is $113.67 per week--and the family is eating well with plenty of meat and veggies and fresh fruits.

I've seen experiments such as this elsewhere, and typically it is quite possible to feed a family on a food stamp ration if you know what you're doing. The problem is that it takes skill and time to plan ahead, budget, and cook from scratch--and I suspect that many people don't have those skills these days. Maybe all public school students, starting in elementary school, ought to to have old-style "home ec" training so that they know what pantry staples are, and what to do with them. How many people today know what to do with a bag of dried beans?

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From the Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide:

"Unitarian Universalists value the individual spiritual journey and believe that there is no one right way to lead a religious life."

"The wisdom and teaching of all the world's great faith traditions are resources for us. But our relationship with the holy rests in the human heart, however we may name the sacred in our lives."

"Whatever we think the holy be, Creation itself is holy."
"Life's gifts are available to everyone, not just the Chosen or the Saved."
"That which is Divine . . . is made evident, not in the miraculous or otherworldly, but in the simple and the everyday."
"Human beings themselves are responsible for the planet and its future."
"Every one of us is held in Creation's hand--we share its burdens and its radiance--and hence strangers need not be enemies."
"Though death confronts us all, we love life all the more even though we lose it."

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Garden Primer

When it comes to vegetables, we've only ever grown tomatoes, herbs, scallions, and all sorts of peppers.

We've grown loads of flowers--especially perennials.

Well, Curt has.

I had this book in hand when I first introduced myself to a clump of dirt.

Our experienced gardening friends had recommended it as the beginning gardener's bible.

I love this book.

The Garden Primer explains EVERYTHING one needs to know about how to convince a patch of grass to become fruitful and multiply. It's over 600 pages long, but it's easy to read.

From the author's web site:

"Each fully illustrated chapter is a book in itself, from planning your property and stocking the tool shed to growing perennials, annuals, roses, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, fruits, lawns & groundcover, trees, shrubs, vines, and more. Instructions are included for growing and tending approximately 300 plants."

This year I'm referring to my gardening bible as I take my gardening skills to the next level.

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Turning over the Soil

I decided to go for the shovel approach.

It's a start.

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What I'm Reading

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Impossible Will Take a Little While, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling (reading to my children)

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Understanding the Bible by John A. Buehrens

The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson


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