Friday, September 27, 2013

Keeping an Environmentally-Friendly House

I didn't go anywhere today. So, what do I tell you about when I didn't go anywhere today?

I admit that I drove my boy to school.

Yes, I took him to school in my pajamas. Guess I haven't learned anything, except that, this time, I didn't get out of the car.

After that, I went back to sleep for a little while. It was great! I got nothing done. I didn't clean up after my boy. I didn't clean up after my husband. I didn't clean up after any Boy Scouts.

I've gotten to be the Boy Scout merry maid lately. I clean up after them. I cleaned out a moldy bundt pan from a spring camporee a couple of weeks ago. I tried to wash it. I really did. But I could not redeem that pan. It was never going to be the same.

Last week, I looked through Mike's camping crates and found my vanilla. I had scrapped plans to make cookies and had to put vanilla on my list. Two days later, after I'd gotten more at the store, I found my half-used bottle. Now I have one and a half bottles of vanilla. And I found a couple of containers with old food in them. I could no longer identify what the food had been. I want to ask my husband, the Scoutmaster, 'Can't you just unpack the yucky stuff when you get home?'

I also have two an a half pounds of extra butter I need to figure out how to use. What recipe can you come up with that calls for two and a half pounds of butter and three-quarters of a cup of vanilla? Last weekend's popcorn never got its melted butter since the cooler housing the eight sticks happened to be up at camp while I struggled in a commercial kitchen to make popcorn the way I do in my own kitchen. No container smaller than five gallons existed there. No pot holders! Thankfully, I had three macho Boy Scout men who wadded up aprons they'd never be seen wearing and shook the ten-gallon stock pots as oil and kernels sizzled then popped. I never would have been able to do all that by myself unless we'd arrived an hour ahead and I'd been alone in the kitchen popping one stock pot of popcorn at a time. I doubt I'd have had time to melt the butter and put it all on while it was still hot. Nobody likes cold popcorn soggy with butter, so I imagine it worked out okay. All but two of the popcorn bags were claimed and the macho guys and I had a kitchen party while we popped and shook and scooped and spilled popcorn. I had never been so popular in real life.

Okay, so that was fun. Guess I'm not just the Boy Scout merry maid. And a couple of weekends ago, Mike and I paddled our canoe while the boys floated inner tubes in the cold water down the Snoqualmie river. I love that the Snoqualmie river is more challenging in a canoe than in a floaty tube. There were a couple of riffles that made me happy, standing waves nearly crashing over the bow of the canoe. I barely noticed that the gravel on the bottom of the canoe was grinding into my knees while we paddled those rapids.

There's so much satisfaction in finding the right route through the water.

So, no. I'm not just a cleaner bee for the Boy Scouts. I need to remember that.

Still, the fact that Mike's Dutch ovens are pitted and need to be completely reseasoned makes me feel a little aggravated since I already had to reseason one of them last spring after it came home with crap still in it, crap that made the whole thing smell like my mother's vegetable drawer. Have I ever told you about my mother's vegetable drawer? Let's just say that it's contents seemed forever to have to be poured onto the compost pile. Don't imagine that smell. Just don't.

I'm procrastinating around my own house, let alone Boy Scout duties. The carpet is furry. Bed sheets are mangled and damp. The lawn is too wet to mow, but its blooming weeds needs to be deadheaded. Leaves have fallen in a slick the truck skids on as it comes around the corner of the driveway. Gutters are clogged. Windows host spider webs, thankfully on the outside. Yet I do have a couple of cobwebs if I look for them. Dust? What dust. Those are star particles. It would be sacrosanct to brush them away, wouldn't it?

Can I say I'm protecting the environment when I only wash the car twice a year? What about saving the planet by not buying new flooring or painting the house? I put fewer household cleaners down the drain than most women do! My leaves compost naturally and bring nutrients back into the soil. I allow nature to take it's course, killing thousands of pesky mosquitoes and flies by leaving the spider's webs alone. Don't I get kudos for that?

I'm not a bad housekeeper. I'm an environmentalist!

Thank you for listening, jb

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