Monday, December 31, 2007

September Resolution

Doesn't it seem like everyone in the world is talking about New Year's resolutions? The neighborhood brunch the family attended yesterday was ripe with talk of resolutions. It got me thinking. Why haven't I ever made a New Year's resolution?

When I was little the year seemed to begin with September when school started. When I went off to college, school began in September. As an adult, and a teacher myself , school began in September. Now that I am home with the kids, September still feels like the start of the year as they climb aboard the school bus.

Even my date book begins in September.

September just feels like a new beginning. Anything is possible. That is when I make my resolutions. Not after Christmas in cold, dark December like the rest of the world.

As for my resolution answer at yesterday's brunch. Not an exciting one when it comes to small talk. Cut-down on sugar.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Living Simply

Everywhere I turn people are talking about living simply. How to get by with less. How to love what you already have. How to save money by spending less. Anyway you slice it, it is a tough proposition for most.

My family tries to live simply. We really do. I don't want to want a few new sweaters every winter. I don't want to want to go out to dinner. I don't want to want to drop by the scrapbooking store. I really don't.

Still, the idea of having a simple life is a relative idea.

Recently, Little Guy had another little guy come over to play. The mom was shocked by the few toys in our family room and wanted to know where all of the toys were. She even cracked a joke about the kids only having sticks and dust bunnies to play with. "No" to the sticks and "hell ya" to the dust bunnies.

In my eyes the kids are majorly spoiled. In this mummy's eyes I was raising my kids like it was 1860's Ireland.

Many other families that I read about online would look at that same family room and be overwhelmed by all of the toys. Relativity baby.

So how do we get to a more simple place? How do we save more money and clear away the clutter?

My first step started on Friday. Hubby and I are both writing down every penny that we spend.

I originally included the list of what the family has spent in the last three days, but I deleted it out of utter embarrassment. Wowsers!

Today's Hartford Courant included a link to a great site that I thought that I would pass on. follows an environmentalist, Annie Leonard, who spent 10 years traveling to find out exactly where our stuff goes when we are done with it. She has a great short film, links to her blog and other resources. Watching the film really made me think twice about all of my wants and how what I buy effects all of us.

So what is a gruppie to do? Will writing down our spending educate us enough to find the problems and fix them? Maybe we should go into a total spending freeze and it will become a habit? Is there another way?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What To Blog About

Over Christmas my mummy asked if she could read my blog. Not that she knew exactly what a blog was. Still, this is a very big step for a woman who just traded in her manual type writer and carbon paper.

Sitting with Mummy while she read Gruppie Girl was a huge ego boost. Every blogger should sit down with their mummy and read their blog together. Did you know that I am "hysterically funny", "my writing has a great pace" and "I really open eyes about environmental issues without being too pushy"? And yes, I am "beautiful." Thanks Mummy!

Maybe I could rent my mummy out to other bloggers to boost their self-esteem. Do I smell a cottage industry?

Now that Mummy knows that I blog and what a blog actually is, she has started to give me suggestions about what to blog.

The first suggestion was to blog about the cute red shoes that I wore of Christmas. Perhaps. I do wear them a lot and therefore I am not being wasteful. Could that be my green slant?

The second suggestion was to blog about Christmas day at my in-law's house. My sister-in-law took an hour and quickly sewed a bunch of fabric gift bags. Hubby's aunt wrapped our gift in the cloth bag that we wrapped her gift in last year. Everyone seemed to be really concerned about the amount of trash that we were creating. Very different from Christmas' past.

Get your thinking cap on kids; My mummy gave me a gift in a cloth angel bag. I gave my mummy-in-law a gift in that same angel bag. She gave a gift to my sister-in-law in the angel bag. And finally, I got the angel bag back this year with a nice gift card tucked inside. If that isn't recycling, then I don't know what is!

I'm looking forward to more blog ideas from my mummy. Be aware that they may be about how wonderful my mummy thinks I am. But isn't that a mummy's job to tell her kids the great stuff?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gift Wrapping

My Girlie has a social life that I can only dream of. Parties and playdates galore. Oh to be 7 again.

The funniest thing happened at one of those endless birthday parties. All of the birthday presents were heaped in a pile. The sister of the birthday girl grabbed Girlie's gift and said "open Girlie's present next." I was stunned. How did she know that this particular gift was Girlie's? So I of course asked. The girl looked at me like I had two heads and replied that "the present is wrapped in a cloth bag. Of course it was from Girlie."


Cloth gift bags can be used again and again. I give a bag to Sally. She wraps up another gift in the SAME bag for Tim. He wraps up another gift in the SAME bag for Amy. Amy wraps up another gift and puts it in the SAME bag for Bill. That bag can live on and on....No trash, no trees cut down, no harmful dyes and no extra money spent.

Over the years I have purchased various cloth bags online and from little old ladies at craft fairs. This year I was going to dust off Grandma Dot's old sewing machine and clear away the cobwebs from my memories of seventh grade home economics. I was going to sew my own bags.

I took a field trip to the local fabric store for their huge sale. Found cute fabric that wasn't too Chrismasy. Some thread, ribbon and jingle bells. It sure looked easy enough to make my own bags.

Here is the carnage;

In my desperation I called over my soon-to-be 90 year old neighbor who has been sewing for 80+ years to help. No luck. That stupid bobbin thing just wouldn't cooperate.

Off to dig the Sunday comics out of the paper recycling. Maybe next year the kids won't have newsprint on their hands on Christnas morning....A girl can dream!

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

These Boots Are Made For Walking

My family is lucky enough to live near a small village center. Elementary school, health food store, dentist, dance studio, get the idea.

We enjoy leaving the car in the garage and walking downtown when we can. Free exercise, uninterrupted family time and no carbon footprint. In the warmer weather we even walk to and from school on most days. It is rare, with the exception of the parades, festival and fireworks, that we ever see anyone else walking. Strange.

Today was my day to be the library helper at the school library. I also needed a few things at the health food store. So I walked.

Now comes the rant.

First, if you live on main Street and have a sidewalk in front of your house, shovel it! I do not want to take my life in my hands by walking on the main road. I don't want to arrive at school with cold and wet pant legs.

I am now the cranky old lady in the village and called the police on the two offending home owners. They promised citations. I just want the sidewalks cleared.

Next, if you see someone standing in a crosswalk stop! I can count on one hand how many people have stopped for myself and my family over the past two years when we have been standing in the crosswalks. A police officer once blew by my family as we were walking to school. Now that s sad.

I had the town install a sidewalk coming out of my neighborhood across the main road. The first of only three cars to stop at this crosswalk had a North Carolina plate. That made me laugh.

Does the state of Connecticut not include the "must stop for pedestrians in sidewalks" lesson in drivers ed? Even when my son was in the stroller I couldn't get anyone to stop. I have taken to screaming at passing cars and jumping out in front of them to give them a scare. Girlie absolutely freaks when I leap out into the road.

The entire family, including the grandparents from both sides, will be walking downtown again for the carol sing and tour of the museum. It will be dark. Wish me luck.

Rant over.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brushing With Poison

Very few licensed characters get through the front door of my house. I don't appreciate companies using my kids for free advertising. Here is the story of one that got by.

Each and every morning and evening I have to remind my kids to brush their teeth. I would do anything to make them want to brush their teeth more often and for longer periods of time. So one day I was at the store with Little Guy. He spied a Power Ranger toothbrush and asked for the "hero" toothbrush. Luckily he still has no idea who the Power Rangers are. I bought the toothbrush for him hoping that he would want to use it more than his boring plain toothbrush.

Fast forward to last night. I opened my email box only to receive an update from Healthy Toys is an independent toy testing website that I have blogged about before here. You can search for toys you already own, vote for the toys that will be tested next and suggest a toy to be tested. HT tests for lead, mercury, PVC/chlorine, cadmium and arsenic. Yummy!

Little Guy's toothbrush was listed as containing lead and chlorine/PVC in the face. The face? That part was getting wet, being touched by his little hands and possibly even put into his mouth. My head is still spinning!

How could any company not know exactly what they are making a child's toothbrush out of? Do their own children use this toothbrush?

Being one for solutions, off to Whole Foods Little Guy and I went. We found a brand called Preserve by Recycline.

Recycline's handles are made of 100% recycled plastic. The company has partnered with Stoneyfield Yogurt and use many of their old yogurt cups to create the handles. The brush comes in a vented traveling case. Even the paper insert is made of 100% recycled materials. Best of all, Recycline gives you a postage-paid mailer to return the used brushes and cases. The company will recycle them into new brushes. Very cool!

I am going to suggest that Healthy Toys tests these toothbrushes too, but I feel fairly certain that they will be a safer option than that scary character toothbrush.

UPDATE: I just got an email from the friendly people at Recycline. They are sending out 10 of their toothbrushes for me to give away to readers. I'll keep you posted when they come in.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lost That Lovin' Feeling

My home's roof is south facing and my front yard is free from trees. Perfect conditions for a solar system to heat my home and run my TV. The problem is that I don't have the $20,000+ needed to pay for the solar system hiding under the mattress.

So, I have been trying to integrate smaller solar, electric lights into my house.

First, it was a solar nightlight for Little Guy's room. I found it at LL Bean and it was affordable. Simply place the nightlight's suction cups on the window and voila you are done. Turn the light on at night and off during the day. Couldn't be easier.

Next, I bought a solar LED strand of lights for my little outside tree. I bought "clear" Christmas lights. They look blue. A super-tacky blue. I have read that LED lights can give off different tones of light. How was I to know? When shopping online you can't try the lights before buying.

On top of the strange color, the lights don't have an on/off switch. Just a sensor. So if the moon is out, a streetlight is on or the neighbor's front light is on they will not come on. I have to flip the solar panel each night to "trick" the lights into thinking it is dark. Then in the morning I have to remember to flip it back over to charge in the sun.

My latest solar purchase was a solar spotlight. I placed it in the yard and aimed it at the front door. It doesn't work. The company gave me a hard time when I called to tell them that it didn't work. They were very defensive. Had they heard more calls like mine? Eventually I sent it back. Now number two doesn't work. Even if it did work it doesn't have an on/off switch. Just a light sensor on top of the unit that cannot be flipped over to avoid other light. What a waste of money.

In my solar quest I have seen solar cell phone chargers, laptop chargers and iPod chargers for sale online. They are seriously expensive. For example the cell phone charger cost $99 before shipping. By the time I save $99 in energy costs I would probably need a new cell phone and the plugs probably won't fit by then. And then I wonder how well it will work.

Why is this technology so expensive while still being so flawed? Yes, there are government rebates on whole-house systems, but they barely take a chunk out of the cost.

What about small business who use a ton more energy than I do? A friend owns a chain fastish food restaurant. His electric bill runs around $9,000 a month. There are no solar rebates for him. Trust me, he has hired people to look. That fact absolutely blows my mind.

Please tell me that solar technology will be like DVD players. Every year they get better and the price goes down. I paid hundred of dollars for my first DVD player. After that one went to that special DVD place in the sky, I plunked down $40 for my most recent DVD player.

Monday, December 17, 2007


In yesterday's Consumer section of the Hartford Courant there was an article about "greenwashing."

The Courant defines greenwashing as "the act of misleading consumers into believing that a company's environmental practices or its services are environmentally-friendly."

What a great word to describe what I've been seeing everywhere! Greenwashing. Greeenwashing. Greenwashing. Greenwashing. It just rolls off of the tongue.

Working Mother Magazine (I picked it up while waiting for Girlie's dance class) rated Windex as one of their top 10 green products. Seriously? Windex is green? I can't wrap my brain around that one.

My Mother-in-Law bought a bottle of Poland Spring water in their new "Eco-Shape Bottle." How can a plastic bottle be "eco" anything? I'm scratching my head.

It seems like everywhere I turn products are suddenly "green" and "earth friendly." What is a consumer to do? It is already tough enough to wade through labels, company histories and boycotts to buy what is best for my family. Now I have to step-up my research game. Good thing Little Guy starts Kindergarten next year. I'm going to need some more free time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

How To Grow Green Parents

Recently I was asked if I grew up with parents who were environmentally conscious. Without missing a beat I responded with a "hell no."

My father carries around a stereotypical Irish soapbox. When he tells a story, everyone in the room hangs on his every word. One story that I vividly remembering him telling and retelling was the story of the Dennis, Massachusetts dump.

The Dennis Dump was WAY ahead of it's time. Back in the 80's they had a lending library, good-as-new swap area and glass recycling. My father thought this was absolutely hysterical. Why would anyone go to a dump to swap a book that they have already read for a a book they haven't yet read. The dump? Dad was shocked and appalled.

This weekend I was snowed-in at my parent's house. My mom and I were invited to a former neighbor's 60th birthday party near their house. (Happy Birthday Diane!) Being at their house made me think about exactly how green my parents are.

While my parents don't eat much organic food, have a spotty recycling record and clean with yucky chemicals they may actually be greener than me.

They are not consumers.

The carpet was purchased in 1976. The couch in the mid 1980's. The TVs are not flat screens. The answering machine was mine in college. They rarely eat out or eat prepackaged foods. The oven may be from the 1960's. My father only owns two pairs of boat shoes (one dress and one everyday) and one pair of work boots. They are happy. They don't need all of the stuff that I think that I need.

How many of us would be happy with a bathroom from the 1960's? How many of us would only purchase three pairs of shoes? How many of us are happy with the stuff we have?

I'm not raising my hand.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Pox on Your House

My hope was for Little Guy to catch chicken pox before he started school. My wish may have come true!

This morning Little guy had a two little dots on his neck and one on his chest. Not unusual for someone with such sensitive skin. Now, it seems that the dots are multiplying and Little Guy is feeling very tired.

Many have forgotten what it is like to have Chicken Pox as a kid. A few itchy days in bed with lots of TV and then it's done. Lifelong immunity for most. My best memory of the pox was receiving a stuffed mouse from my dad. He called me "the mouse of the house."

Pox as an adult can be dangerous.

Chicken pox vaccine does not equal immunity. Many kids need booster shots every few years and even then they can often catch and pass along pox. What is going to happen when these kids grow-up to become adults? What if they are not up to date with their vaccines and they catch chicken pox?

Off to spend a snuggly, snowy day with Little Guy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Baby Came Home Today

Just a few days ago I blogged about my new knowledge of how dangerous PVC can be and how I discovered that almost all of Girlie's dollys were made out of PVC.

Together Girlie and I decided on a "for now" solution. We paired down the dollys to one wooden bin and a cloth dolly "may" be arriving for Christmas.

Today, while both little munchies were in school, I drove over to the next town and found a sweet-faced cloth Waldorf dolly.

My family has a long-standing tradition that the children all open one special gift on Christmas Eve. Cloth Dolly will be officially arriving on Christmas Eve.


Baby Judy 2001-2007
Baby Nicholas 2002-2007
Baby Julia 2001-2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Guilt Over Gingerbread

Just after college graduation I took one of the only jobs that I could get in my field. I taught nursery school. I was twenty-two years old, naturally skinny and very naive.

I can still remember a mom who came to pick-up and started chatting about their weekend. She said that she bought a gingerbread house kit to make with the kids. I joked that she was "cheating" since the gingerbread was prebaked and everything was included.

Karma has come back to kick me in the butt.

Hubby was away all weekend and I really needed to come-up with a few exciting activities to pass the time with the kids. After the birthday party at the movies, lunch at a restaurant and a swim at the YMCA I decided to pull out the gingerbread house kit that I recently purchased.

The kids sat at the island as I began to unpack the box. The word "deluxe" caught my eye.

"Cut the gingerbread to the size and shape desired."
"using an electric mixer..."
"Use cut Styrofoam to keep the base steady"
"Let base dry for four hours"
"Let the roof dry for four hours"
"Cover frosting with damp towel"


This is a "kit!" It should practically put itself together for me. The kids and I just want to cover the house with frosting and candy and then eat it.

It was not a pretty scene.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pretty Little Baby Face

Ever since Little Girlie was a tiny baby she just loved other little tiny babies. Real or in the dolly form. Now that Little Girlie is seven, she has acquired quite a collection!

Yesterday I read about a website that is independently testing toys for lead, PVC, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Yummy! already has a database of toys that they have tested for safety and is accepting votes for which toys should be tested next. The toys that they have recognized as having high levels of unhealthy substances have not been recalled for the most part. Scary stuff.

For the most part, I have steered away from plastic toys, toys with batteries and character toys. Because of that, we are lucky to have avoided the mass toy recalls. On the Healthy Toys website I found two of Girlie's baby dolls with "medium" levels of PVC. Not so lucky.

Now my head is spinning. Of course I set out to do more research...The European Union banned PVC in toys way back in 1999. The US has made no such move. PVC is made of phthalates and chlorine. Almost all Americans have detectable levels of PVC in our bodies. Some of the chemicals in phthaletes have endocrine-disrupting properties. Would this explain the fact that almost all of my friends and myself have thyroid disorders? Could our baby dolls be to blame?

As for researching exactly what toys are made from, best of luck. Why is this information so hidden? I wonder if the toy companies even know.

So what do I do? Do I pack-up all of the dollys, including the Cabbage Patch and American Girl, and toss them? Do I bribe my daughter with an expensive organic cotton doll? Do I let her keep the dolls since she isn't licking them? Should I let her keep a special few?

Friday, December 7, 2007

How To Feed Your Suburban Family

I don't like to cook. I'm not good at it. I can't look in the fridge and whip-up a wonderful meal. I am no Bree.

Even more importantly than my lack of cooking skills, is the fact that I would rater be outside playing with my kids in the afternoon. I used to bring the kids inside and plunk them down in front of the TV so that Mummy could cook dinner. That doesn't seem fair to anyone.

For years I wrestled with cooking good meals that cost me a ton in terms of money and wasted food every time I bought an ingredient that I only used once, calling for take-out that was laden with junky ingredients or going out to eat and paying a ton while eating at record speed before the kids got itchy. About five years ago I found a solution. Not a perfect solution, but one that works for now.

Once a month I would drive 45 minutes each way to one of those food preparation places. You've heard of them. You visit for 2 hours and prepare your meals for the month using their recipes, chopped ingredients and foil pans. All of my preparation for the month was done. Easy smeeshy.

Eventually I got a little queasy about the meals. Yes, they were easy. But, no they weren't too green. None of the ingredients were local or organic. The meat was getting a little dicey. I took a break.

After moving to Connecticut, I found a food preparation store that wasn't a chain. The owner buys all of her meat from a local butcher, lots of the veggies are organic and many are locally grown. The only drawback is that the store is located one hour away.

I tried this food preparation place even though it is a hike. And really love it!

Last month I chatted with an acquaintance, Amy, at library story time and she mentioned just how stressed dinner was making her. I of course talked up the food preparation store. She bit! We devised a plan where we would alternate months for picking-up the food and delivering it to the other person. Whoo hoo!

By "carpooling" our food, I am feeling a little less guilty about driving so far. Now, if we could just find a third mummy I would only have to make the trip four times a year. Any takers?

Last month Amy picked up the food and loved it. Today it is my turn to drive the two hours total to pick-up our meals. Tonight the family will be munching on freshly made chicken, black bean, spinach and chicken enchiladas. Much healthier than the pizza delivery that I would have ordered in the past.

Crisis in the suburbs averted. Dinner is done!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You've Got To Bag It, Bag It Up

My Little Guy has taken a real shine to woodworking. A creative outlet for a little one you might say. I say that "knocking down" my living room using only window candles is a very bad idea.

With that said, today I went to the crafty store for the second time this week to buy replacement window candles. Which, by the way, I bought the sensor candles by mistake. I will be going back again tomorrow to exchange them. Make that three trips this week.

My trip to the crafty store was timed to the second to fit in between Little Guy's nursery school pick-up and Girlie's bus drop-off. The store was a mob scene with only two registers open. My friendly cashier seemed to be the slowest according to Murphy's Law. When it was finally my turn to check out she tried to charge me for my cloth shopping bag.

Cashiers who try to find the price tags on my cute cloth bags seem to follow me all. The pharmacy, hardware store, food store and practically everywhere I go. Am I really the only customer they are seeing with cloth bags or are mine just so cute that I should be paying for them twice?

I try to be a glass half-full type of girl and look at the confused cashiers as a way for me to educate. I am probably not going to change the habits of the retired lady cashiers at the food store, but I love the teenage boy cashiers. Not love, love the teenage boys (as my Girlie would say). But, I love when they ask me about the bags because the are open to new ideas and have a lot of consumer years in front of them. Maybe they will reuse their shopping bags someday?

Brownie points to anyone who knows where I got the title for this post. Hint; it is Hubby's and my song. Yes, we are cheesy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Business Doing Good

I have never been in the business world. I don't understand why people love The Office and Dilbert doesn't make me laugh. Hubby, however, is in the business world. I guess you could say that we are a good balance.

Today Hubby had a meeting at his office. Apparently meetings are long, boring and commonplace in the corporate world. One of the topics today was the client holiday gift. In the past the clients have received a gift certificate and a catalog of gifts to chose a gift from. Hubby didn't love the catalog idea. Why do a bunch of corporate executives need a $50 gift certificate for crap anyway?

Hubby came up with a more responsible, green plan!

The company is are now going to email (goodbye tree-killing catalogs) a list of three well-respected charities for the clients to choose from. When the client chooses the charity, Hubby's company will make a donation to the charity in the client's name.

Everyone wins.

Two of the charities are national and the third is a local food pantry. In this area, food pantries are really hurting for donations. This money should be a great windfall for them.

Corporate swag and holiday gifts are alive in well in the form of personalized chocolates, desk clocks, inspirational calendars and lots of other junk that will end up going almost directly into the landfills. Let's cross our fingers for the corporations to swap trash for charity.

Sorry for the Hubby gush again. I'll post soon when he screws-up and gets on my nerves. ~GG

Monday, December 3, 2007

Litigation is NOT Green

Hubby and I are being sued. Again.

We've had a real estate matter linger on for two years. Every day I run to meet Casey the Mailman to see if he has a new update on the matter. The mail really stresses me out. After not hearing anything for the last year I thought that everything was done and gone.

Wrong. I don't think that this will ever end.

Hubby came home early today after being on a business trip. We had a nice, relaxing family day planned. On the drive home, our attorney (who we are easily on a first name basis with) made the call. Court on Wednesday.

I have a theory that litigation is the exact opposite of green.

Besides the obvious examples of the extra driving into the city courthouse and all of that paper and mailing of official-looking documents, there are a few examples that I never thought about until recently.

1. The electricity used when heating my oven to 400 degrees for 65 minutes to heat a blueberry pie that I have been eating all by myself.

2. The 223.1 miles that a delivery truck, spewing emissions, had to drive from the Ben and Jerry's factory in Waterbury, VT to my neighborhood food store in order to deliver my pint of cinnamon bun ice cream. The pint is now gone and I may have to move onto oatmeal cookie dough ice cream soon.

3. The 4 hours of TV that I have watched today so far, it's still early, because I am too depressed and lumpy. That's a lot of electricity used by just one person.

4. All of the negative karma, energy or whatever you want to call it hanging over my house. I'm going to have to be nice to a lot of people to lift this sucker.

I wonder if the kids have any Halloween candy left?...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For the past seven winters of home ownership I have shoveled the snow each and every time it fell. With the brief exception of the season that I was pregnant with Little Guy.

I really don't mind shoveling. It is kind of exhilarating after the first, second and maybe third storms. I consider it exercise. A day to skip the gym.

By the fourth snowfall, I am DONE!

The retired man across the street has lots of free time on his hands. He watches me shovel, rake, dig, plant, move 3 tons of stone (for another post) and do all of the heavy lifting. He says that I "work like a man."

The reason that I am the official snow shoveler for the Gruppie family is that hubby has back issues. Not the "ooh my muscles are tight" type of problems. He has the "wow I have never seen a patient with such severe deterioration at your age or even 30 years older" type of problem. He can barely life the bottle of apple juice anymore. I lovingly like to joke that if I was going to marry someone with an 80 year-old's body I would have married someone with a bank account to match.

This season hubby bought a snow thrower and I am feeling way guilty about it. Yes, shoveling is practically killing me by the end of the season. No, I don't want to add even more emissions into the air.

Maybe the guilt will fade by February?

Ho Ho Who?

The first real snowfall is predicted for tonight.

Little Guy thinks that snow means Christmas and that Santa is coming tonight. He imagination is helped by the fact that we visited Santa and Mrs. Claus at my lake's Christmas celebration today.

Little Guy is very worried that Santa will not be bringing him any presents because he broke my new solar spotlight.

I did try to allay his fears and let him know that he is a great kid and Santa will be bringing him gifts. Still, a little part of me likes to play the Santa card. A little guilting into getting along with his sister won't cause any permanent damage. Right?

"He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake.

He knows when you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!"

Note to Lake Group: Please don't dress-up the camp's Silly Willy Man as Santa. Yes, he looked great, Girlie is very smart and she immediately guessed that Silly Willy Man was dressed as Santa. Major buzz kill for Girlie and Mummy got a little teary realizing that her Girlie is growing up.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I Can Smooze Too

Generally I don't get out too much. Really, I'm OK with it. By the time 8:00 rolls around it takes just too much energy to try to coordinate a sitter, find someplace fun to go, come-up with thrilling topics to talk about, stay awake long enough to enjoy the place that is not my house and then finally pay for the entire night. Basically, I just end-up watching reality shows.

In the past month I have been invited to two very exciting, not in my norm, type of events.

First, it was a movie premier. Hubby and I got dressed-up and drove down to New London to a beautiful old movie theater. There was a red carpet, wine and interesting conversations. "Inclusions" is a dark comedy with a "Sweeney Todd" flair. The movie was written and filmed in Connecticut. Two thumbs up!

Last Thursday a fellow blogger and friend (should I mention her real name?) invited me to Hartford to the launch party of a new magazine. "AllGreen" in an environmentally conscious magazine for residents of Connecticut. Who knew that so many other people in my little state cared about the planet?

Again, there was wine and interesting conversation. In fact, I met a ton of interesting people. Most of whom asked for my card. I have never had a card. Teachers don't carry "cards." Mummys don't carry "cards." Anyway, I had real conversations about what matters to me in the environment and what is on the mind of others. Very mentally refreshing.

At the launch party there was a sneaky feeling of irony. Launching an environmental magazine~luxurious paper napkins in the bathroom. Intelligent magazine employee chatting about the world~a can of aerosol hairspray in her slightly open purse. Light dinner was served~with out of season and probably not organic veggies.

Isn't that what happens in real life? You are constantly told what to do and how to do it, so you do the exact opposite. Is that what all of us "do gooders" are really doing when we talk about keeping the earth safe and healthy? Are we driving people to do the opposite?