Gardening classes starting

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It may be snowy right now, but it’s time to start thinking about summer gardening. Classes are available every other Wednesday from 6-8 beginning March 29th.


Happily Ever After

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“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? (prompt from DailyPost)

We started this blog with high expectations but, as always, life gets in the way. Winter is hurrying into spring in a series of five minute jumps of light; the sunlight was just coming up over the mountains as I made my journey into school this morning. The air was warm this morning when I left the house (34F?!?), albeit a little later than usual because I slept until 6 A.M. instead of visiting the gym.

I’ve been daydreaming lately about our permaculture plans for our yard – at some point during spring break I’ll need to finish getting them on paper. What I’ve learned from studying permaculture though is that there is no happily ever after. You start from where you are and then make slow, gradual progress toward your goal, adjusting and readjusting as you go. You may be progressing happily, but without reflection and assessment it won’t be an “ever after” situation. That goes for this blog as well – we can’t keep it up without a plan, without reassessing our goals and figuring out what we want to do with our writing and our lives. We can live happily ever after, but need to remember that a lot of effort and commitment goes into creating that fairy tale.

Small worm bin

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I have a large worm bin at my house, but I wanted to make a bin that I can keep safely at school, under my desk. This would also work underneath a kitchen sink or another small space.

My worms are mostly eating coffee grounds and shredded paper, but they also get some leftover vegetables from lunch and from home.

I used two smaller bins that fit under my desk.

After drilling holes for aeration, I covered the boxes with paper (to keep the worms in the dark), added food, soil and dampened paper for the worms to dig in, and put the boxes together.


clear boxes need to be covered


adding in organic matter after it is chopped up


I use a Keurig at work. This kind is easier to add the grounds and filters to the worm bin.



But with scissors and a little effort it is possible to use the regular K cups.


Poke a hole, dump the grounds, and peel the filter out.


I drilled aeration holes and then covered the bin with paper. I poked holes through the paper too.


Here’s my worm bin, expertly covered in leftover scrapbooking paper.


And here’s the bin, tucked away under my desk.

Finding a special place

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Winding Trails

We live in a nifty little house that was built in the 20s and has lots of character. We can walk or bike to the store, the kids’ school, the library, and many parks and playgrounds. We could have afforded a more expensive home, but wanted one that was less expensive so that we can still afford to travel and head out on family adventures. I think it’s beneficial for the kids to get out and see our country’s natural wonders–the Black Hills, Arches National Park, Acadia, Mammoth Cave, etc. However, I also believe it’s equally important for kids to get out and explore the local environment on a regular basis. I connect my love of nature to two sources: family camping road trips around the country, and many long summers spent building forts and playing in the woods and stream behind my childhood home.

Thus, the only downside to…

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Green Christmas – Lego key holder

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Yeah, I might just need to make this when I get home tonight. Kevin already has a Lego guy on his keychain so we may as well just take this one step further.

Update: We made one yesterday but it needs a little work still. Finley added quite a bit of Lego decoration to it so it looks extra spiffy. :/  Anyway, I’ll keep working on it because I love this idea.

Design Milk's Lego key holder

Design Milk’s Lego key holder

Green Christmas – Ten Ways to Refashion a Sweater

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We are practicing the recommendation on Simple Kids for a simpler gift-giving this year, especially since the boys and I are going to Florida for a week and most of our money has been spent on that. But in the meantime I thought we’d highlight some great upcycled projects from around our homes and around the net.

Ten Ways to Refashion a Sweater.

via Ten Ways to Refashion a Sweater.