Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Last month when I blogged about our decision to give up international air travel, I asked if there is anything that you have given up in order to live a more sustainable life.

One reader emailed to say that she had bought herself a menstrual cup because she wanted to stop using disposable sanitary products. This is something I have also been wanting to do.

I hate that the Australian Government has placed the GST on sanitary items because they are considered non-essential, and even though I compost my tampons I still hate the waste of having to buy new ones every single month.

I have a friend who uses a Mooncup, so I bought myself one too. I have used it for one period now. It's recommended you empty it every four hours or so, but I found myself emptying it more often because I couldn't wait to see how full it was. The cup has measurements on the side so you can see how much you're harvesting. I was actually surprised how little blood there was as my tampons are usually soaked through, especially on the second day, my heaviest. I was also surprised by the colour of the blood - a rich, dark colour that tampons usually make look paler.

Each time I emptied the Mooncup I tipped the blood into a jar of water in the bathroom cupboard, then at the end of the five days I poured the bloody mix onto the soil around our budding fruit trees.

Why should I wait till I'm dead so my innards can be of use to the Earth?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Rednesday: Aprons

It's my grandmother's birthday today. The last photo I had taken with her before she died is this one, snapped at her birthday party last year by my sister Abby. She died a month later.

Chapter eight of the book my mum wrote about her experience of my grandmother's Alzheimer's starts with this paragraph:
My mother had been a balabosta, a Yiddish term for a person who raises housekeeping to the level of an Olympic sport. In her spotless kitchen, the balabosta cooks gourmet feasts for her family, and when they have finished eating first, second and third helpings, she insists they take leftovers home with them. All this she does week after week, apparently without effort, while wearing lipstick, French perfume, and an apron over her good clothes.
Even on my most house-proud of days, I could never hope to be as good a housekeeper as my grandmother was. But I do like to pretend I am a little like her when it's my turn to do the cooking and I skip from the oven to the table. I can't attribute my lack of cooking prowess to her, but I most definitely hold her accountable for my love of aprons.

(The last one reads: I cook in the kitchen, but I boil in the bedroom.)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Blog Baton 3

Last night I taught my final class for this semester's blogging course. I made my signature ginger cookies - the word BLOG for each student - which were heartily enjoyed by students and teacher, alike.

Here are some of the blogs that were created. Please join me in welcoming them to the wonderful wwworld that is the blogosphere:

Over the last few years I have celebrated many an event (and non-event) with these cookies. Here are some of the photos I have managed to take before the words were eagerly eaten.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Having Less

Since I made the decision to try to be more and do less, I have been thinking about other ways I might be able to uncomplicate my life. I have never been a hoarder and I live in a house with an uncompromising lack of storage, but over the years I have managed to hold onto many an item that I figured I might need again one of these days.

On Saturday, Z's school had a garage sale and auction to raise money for furniture to fit out their recently renovated art room. It was the perfect excuse for me to go through my history of accumulations so as to pass onto new owners, that which I no longer need to possess.

How about you? Do you have any de-cluttering tips for me?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Fresh Knickers

How often do you buy new knickers? Actually, that's none of my business. Sorry.

When we made the decision to only buy second hand clothes, I hadn't really considered the issue of buying underpants and bras. Occasionally we'll find plain cotton underwear in our sizes still in their packets at the op shop, and until recently that's been enough.

But the other day when PJ caught me wearing two pairs, I knew it was time to do something about it. (One pair had functional elastic at the top, and the other pair was still OK at the bottom.)

I guess we could learn to sew our own or we could go without, but this time, we bit the bullet and bought ourselves some new ones. And just in time, as I recently read that:
Police will soon have sweeping powers to search people at random, including strip-search, even if there is no reasonable suspicion those targeted have done anything wrong.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Got Milk

I woke early thinking about milk today. Perhaps because it looked like our neighbourhood had been dunked in a big glass of it. And perhaps because I had arranged to get some fresh milk today from a cow who's weaning her calf.

I had wanted to find the cow to thank her and snap a pic, but she couldn't be found in the fog. Here is H who looks after the cow, filling my bottle in her kitchen.

Over on PJ's blog, he has a discussion going about the ethics of food that has got me thinking a bit more about what we eat (and drink) and why.

We buy a litre of organic milk a week and I assume that that's good enough. But is it? It comes in a carton from Bendigo, 45 minutes (by car) away, which isn't so bad, although I'm sure a lot of energy is used in the production of that humble litre.

Did you know that due to health regulations it's illegal to buy and sell milk that hasn't been pasteurised? People get around the laws by selling it as 'bath milk'. I don't know the laws in other countries but in Australia, this is the case.

I put the bath milk in my tea today, and can happily say I look forward to meeting Elly the cow next week when I stop by for my litre.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Collective Nouns

My sister Kate from Fox's Lane is this week's theme queen for My Place and Yours. The theme she has chosen is My Collection.

Whenever I think about collections, a line of comedian Steven Wright's comes to mind: 'You can't have everything. Where would you put it?' Which is why I just collect red things; it narrows it down some.

I have been waving my red flag high for the past ten years, during which time I have accrued a lot of great treasures. Here are some of them:

Thank you Kate for the great theme!

Now, I'm going to put the kettle on for a nice hot cuppa while I drop by Meet Me At Mike's to see what everyone else is collecting.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Do Nothing

For the first time in a long time I have started to read a book that's on PJ's reading list and not mine: The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka.

I have loved each passage PJ has read out to me, and then when he blogged this quote yesterday I just knew that I had to read the whole book myself:
The more people do, the more society develops, the more problems arise. The increasing desolation of nature, the exhaustion of resources, the uneasiness and disintegration of the human spirit, all have been brought about by humanity's trying to accomplish something. Originally there was no reason to progress, and nothing that had to be done. We have come to the point at which there is no other way than to bring about a "movement" not to bring anything about.
Fukuoka's solution is called Do Nothing Farming. It's not entirely Do Nothing, but is more concerned with nature playing the starring role and not people, pesticides or machinery.

I live in the country because I love the lack of hustle and bustle, but feel that my desire to create, accomplish and be productive has gotten in the way of my ability to be quiet with myself. I have forgotten how to do nothing.

And so, I have decided to start Do Nothing Blogging, where I will blog according to the season of my mood, and not every single day as I have been doing with gusto for the last year and a half.

This has been a big decision that's been coming for a while. It feels good to actually make it.

So stay tuned, and thanks for visiting us here in the Land of Meg.