Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting rid of the dryer

Ok! So I'm a few days behind in keeping up with my One Small Change challenge for the month. I'm behind on a lot of things but this is an important one. If you are just now learning about it One Small Change is a challenge posted by Hip Mountain Mama to make one small change in our daily lives that positively effects the planet. It could be to recycle, compost, use natural cleaners you name it. She challenged anyone willing to post about it to make one change every month for the year. For the month of January our family got rid of our microwave. We had lived without a microwave for years until we bought our current home and it came with one. Having been here for two years we had gotten into the habit of nuking our food which I have always found to be a little disturbing. I was glad when this challenge came along because it gave me the excuse (I didn't really need) to get rid of the large radioactive contraption in my kitchen. So for the month of February I am vowing to discontinue using our dryer. We have a clothesline strung on the back porch already (we used it quite a bit last summer) and we also have one of those wooden drying racks. So I ask myself : Why do I continue to use the dryer?....it eats up massive amounts of electricity! The answer; I was being lazy. There are no excuses for this one. Millions of people around the world have no electric dryer for their clothes much less and electric washer. I live in the southern USA where the temperature year around is mostly pleasant. We have sunny days here every week. I can dry the clothes on the wooden drying rack if it is raining. This does drive my hubby crazy though because it is quite inconvenient in our kitchen but so what if we have to walk around it. We will be saving money by not using it, we will be using less electricity, we will be setting a good example for our neighbors and children, we will in our own little way be helping our earth. I don't quite have the where with all to completely give it away to a charity yet but I think in the mean time I might get creative with some duct tape and tape the front door shut so I won't be tempted to use it. Maybe I'll even let the girls draw on it with some markers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who needs toys when you have playsilks

I have been in awe lately of the versatility of the simple playsilk. My girls play with this basket of scarves more than they play with any other toy in the house. There is a huge pile of dress up clothes and hats in my oldest daughters closet that goes untouched for the most part except to get tossed to the floor. The playsilks downstairs however go through many transformations during any given day. They can be a river on the floor one moment and the next they are part of a beautiful gown. Sometimes the scarves are part of a shelter other times they are used as bandages for wounds. Little Karma at just a year old loves to wrap up the "baabiees" in them and never tires of hiding under them to play peek-a-boo. They can magically transform a child into any creature or even be a leash or a bridle. They have even been known to transform a young child into an old woman or Rapunzel with her long flowing hair reaching down from the stairs.

Both girls love to play with them....sometimes I wonder why I even bother to buy the other toys. We don't have a lot of money to spend on toys and I am kinda picky about the toys I do buy. I have tried over the last couple of years to get rid of almost every plastic toy we have and opt for high quality wooden toys instead. I have managed to get some really nice wooden toys from time to time at the thrift store...a nice wooden castle, a great collection of wooden cars and rolling animals, wooden blocks and trains. The girls play with these occasionally. The scarves they play with everyday all day.
The inevitable plastic Christmas toy always seems to make it's way into the mix though. How can you make your kid give up their brand new piece of bright shiny plastic? Well, I have found that after about a week or two at most these have lost their novelty and go untouched...eventually making their way into the next bag destined for the local charity or thrift store without anyone missing them or objecting. My oldest just turned seven and I continue to be amazed when I am going through one of my household purges getting rid of "stuff"....just how much of her "stuff" she graciously and willingly puts into the give away bag. I know I probably wouldn't have given up my toys when I was a kid without a little fight.
You can see from this picture the pure joy and imagination she is filled with. She has always had an imagination without borders or restraint. It is a beautiful thing in action.
My beautiful butterfly acting out Eric Carle's The Hungry Caterpillar. What a metamorphosis!
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