Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hi! I know that I have been absent quite a bit lately when I have actually been home and able to post. I am sorry about the lack of eye candy but lots has been happening and I have been so very busy. This time of year we often reevaluate the things we are doing our business's our lives just stuff. Well I really started back in July to look at many of the ways my life has been going. I have not been doing the volunteer work that I used to do and love so much when my son was young and we have not be thinking about the environment in our day to day lives. At the Gathering ( A huge glass bead event put on by the International Society of Glass Bead makers) things started to form in my mind and then when we took a trip to Florida the next week and my son and I ended up doing a very long week of flying and driving we talked a lot about different things. Some of the things that have come out of this are probably going to seem a little odd.

First I want to try to do more for an organization called Beads of Courage. It is a program for children with cancer. I want to find other ways of giving back as well but this is where I plan to start.

Secondly I want to be more environmentally friendly. We live in a community that has very little in the way of recycling programs but they do sort things at the local dump and I am sure many of you know that I go every fall and collect firewood to help offset the fuel we use to heat the house and the studio. Since my studio is in the barn this really helps I keep the furnace turned all the way down just so things don't freeze and only use the wood stove when I am out there. It helps more in the house at night when I am in and can keep the stove full but it at least helps and the wood I use has already been considered waste by some one else.

We use our junk mail and cardboard to start these fires. The boxes and pacaging that comes in here that I do not reuse I take to the UPS store. All those plastic peanuts get reused.

We save and take our soda cans to the recyclers and our many water bottles while not recycled are at least reused by the puppies at the humane society where they give them to the dogs as chew toys. (Yes I know it would be better not to buy water in bottles but you should taste our water even after filtering it is way to yucky to drink)

I have been collecting and reusing glass bottles from wine and soda to make pendent rings and lately melting them to make beads. I have also been using these bottles to make some beach glass like pieces. There is a lot more of this to come as my mind is running wild with ideas.

Now comes the big one and the reason I have not posted in over a week. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about running straight vegetable oil in a diesel truck. I have also been hunting everywhere for a truck. You would think they would be easy to come by here in the Midwest but no they are few and far between. This idea is a little different than taking the waste oil to make bio diesel and requires more set up to the truck but less to process the fuel and so uses even less energy to use a product that is already considered waste. My son and I talked about this for hours on those rides back in August. Now why you ask would I ever want to do this. Well I put a lot of miles on my vehicle in a year going to shows all over the Midwest and often needing to drive to Florida to visit family, my van has over 170,000 miles on it and while it gets good gas mileage and is running great it is time to think about something newer. I also do a lot of this driving alone so I need something reliable. Also the idea of lowering my impact on the environment really appeals to me. Crazy I know and my husband said so at first but the last few days he has been really getting on board with the whole thing.

Wow after writing that novel I feel better that I have been doing something to move toward the place I would like to be. Now if I can find the energy to plant and maintain a garden this year I will be doing okay. I hope I can find more ways to reduce and reuse and recycle so you know I am open to any ideas you all have.

Have a great Holiday and I will try to get some eye candy up soon!


Stephanie & Chris Haussler said...

Does Beads of Courage have a website? If so I would like to attach them to my blog.

TanyaMcGuire said...

Stephanie I know they have a web site I will try to add a link for you.