Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little less stuff, an odd sense of fun

We went to a dinner last week whose theme was “Less stuff, more fun.” It wasn’t quite as inspiring as we’d hoped -- the film itself didn’t offer many tangible ideas beyond the usual composting and twisty lightbulbs, and the discussion got bogged down in recycling and transportation frustrations. We sensed an overall frustration that people wanted to take some kind of next step, but nobody was sure what that was. Do we form a group? Tackle a project? Which one?
Driving home afterward, I found myself wondering if that “next step” might be a little different for each of us -- and a lot smaller than we expected. Here’s one thing I’ve discovered recently that I wish I’d shared with the group: Dismantled cereal boxes work fairly well as file folders. I just fold them on their natural crease, and one side automatically sticks up a bit higher than the other, creating a space on which to write the title (provided you turn the printed side out.) With four kids, we buy enough cereal to provide all of our file folder needs. And using up the cereal boxes reduces the amount of cardboard we take to the recyling center.
It’s a small thing, not worth forming a committee to discuss. And you’ve got to be able to deal with the fact that your folders will be more homely than the Office Depot version. Still, if a lot of people made this one itsy bitsy change, wouldn’t that add up to ... something?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Let's try this again

Well, I see it's been two months since my last post, and I still haven't finished sewing in that zipper. I actually got it half sewed in, and pinned in the second part, but then when I tested it I found I couldn't detach the bottom of the zipper. So that project has been set aside for further study.
In the meantime, as so often happens, a solution presented itself: Realizing that our oldest daughter rarely wears a winter coat (she's in a hoodie phase, and it's got to dip below zero for her to don anything heavier), we let Kid No. 3 "borrow" Kid No. 1's seldom used second-string coat. It fit her perfectly, and Kid No. 1 has hardly missed it.