Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Don't Understand....

Recently, one of the Yahoo groups I'm in had an 'arguement'. Someone thought there was suddenly an increase in religious talk/postings. Someone mentioned that their beliefs are very important to them and so naturally it just 'comes up' in everyday conversations. Well, I don't understand how religious beliefs could come up in a discussion about diapers. Anyway, I was just reading through old emails from the group and came across one that must have been near the start of the 'arguement'. I don't get this woman's logic at all (some details have been altered):

"i have made and sent many pads to goods4girls dot org. But the pads I make just to donate, I dont donate to G4G because when I asked if i could inclose a Christian bookmark with the kits I was sending, she said "no, that it was a secular charity". Well, that was fine, she created the charity! who am I to insist that my personal beliefs get pushed into her idea?
so I just contacted some missionaries and sent the pad kits to Africa that way. My mom has been helping me quite a bit, in fact, she created her own NFP charity with a Christian emphasis, called Project Paprika (name changed by me). Which basically means that we make up the kits with 5 pads, a wetbag, and a Christian bookmark, and that we send it with a missionary, so that they have a platform to teach the girls hygene, taking care of yourself, and also sexual purity. so yeah, whether you donate with a religious agenda or not, the girls definately need the pads!"

It's fine for her to not impose her beliefs on a secular charity, but it's okay for missionaries to 'teach' these girls? I understand the teaching of hygene, etc, but all that could be done by health care workers. Doesn't anyone believe that these people might just be happy with their own beliefs and don't need missionaries? White people have done so much harm to so many people/cultures around the globe; often with the disguise of 'spiritual teaching'. I find it shocking that there are people out there who still feel that their religious beliefs need to be pushed onto others.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thanks Freecycle!

Recently, we have had a string of good luck with Freecycle. Perhaps because the computer is always on, and is next to my kitchen? Sometimes nothing comes up that we need, or no one responds to needed posts. But lately, I've been feeling very blessed.

Huey learned to ride a scooter before his birthday, to keep up with the other kids. I asked for one, but no one had one. A few weeks after I bought him one for his birthday, he finally learned to ride his bike. The one he got when he turned 4. A couple weeks later, someone posted with a bike suitable for a 7-8 year old. Rob got it, fixed it up, and it's been awesome. Lucy broke Meg's tricycle seat, so I asked for a new trike. Someone responded, but it was on a moving truck and would have to wait a couple weeks. That was fine. We picked it up, and she loves it. I asked for a jogging type stroller, and got a response. The stroller was not in the conditioner the person had said it would be, and has needed some work. But the girls love to sit together and have Daddy push them around the neighbourhood. I find it too heavy and awkward with two girls (75lbs!), and it has steering issues.

Lately, I've passed on some towels, sock stretchers, a Jolly Jumper, and loaned the giant dog crate among other things I can't remember (so obviously I didn't need!).

I have been searching for a desk, hutch, or dresser for a messy corner in our family room. I love antiques but don't get the opportunity to shop. I was just starting to resign myself to shopping at IKEA again. Then, the woman I got the trike from posted an antique dresser!! OMG, her fingers were probably still on the keyboard when I sent my response, LOL. We arranged to go get it that night. We got there, and started to hear the story.
Lucy, about 43" tall, in front of the new cabinet.
It had been her FIL's, was about 40 years old (that's antique?), and had travelled around the States and to Brazil (where she met her husband). Once we got it home, we found the manufacturer's stamp inside. It was made in Hanover, Ontario, about an hour to the north!There was just no room in their new basement. Overall, it is a great, solid piece, weighs a ton.
The three compartments inside will be for the kids---three kids; three sections!! Fate!
There is one styling element we're a little iffy on, LOL.
But Rob is excited to re-finish it and it will get well used and appreciated here.

Then, late last night, another woman I've exchanged things with before posted a jogging stroller! We exchanged emails, she sent a picture, and we're excited like Christmas morning!
Detail of the top. The trim is solid, and the top is a veneer. I think there's more veneer, but 40 year old veneer is probably better than current veneer!

But isn't Freecycle for poor people? I hear you ask. No. The original idea behind Freecycle was to exchange goods that still had some use to someone, instead of putting them in the landfill. You know those little things---you buy the wrong vacuum bags, you've got too many muffin tins, the kids don't like their movie collection anymore. It's a way to network and find new owners for things, often things you wouldn't bother putting an ad in the paper for. Like, we got duplicate copies of a computer game from Wendy's. Sure, we could afford to buy Huey a new bike, but, being frugal people, recycling comes first. Kids grow quickly and he'll use it for only a year or two and there's no younger sibling to pass it to, but we'll re-Freecycle it. It IS a good resource for lower income people, particularly for baby items, but my experience has been that posting 'wanted' ads are not very productive---responding to 'offer' ads yields better results, but if you're in a time crunch, that's not always possible.

I've met some really nice people through Freecycle too. In fact, one of my friends---we chatted through Freecycle posts and then realized after she read my blog, that we had met a few times in a parenting class! Since then, I got her to join the Orangeville Band, and we and our kids, hang out together too. I also bought my third knitting machine through a Freecycle member!

Sometimes we get an item that doesn't work out---the original double jogging stroller, an old sewing machine--so we re-gift on Freecycle. But lately, I have been feeling REALLY blessed and lucky to be part of this Freecycle group. With Rob not getting overtime pay anymore, finances are a little tighter, so every little bit helps. I highly recommend you search out Freecycle in your area. I think the main site is http://www.freecycle.org/. It's operated through Yahoo groups though. If there's not one for your area, START one!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birth Sounds Beautiful

I was reading a birth blog today and she had a great post about vocalization during labour. I knew all of this already, and in fact, when labouring alone, in the hospital, with Lucy, an nurse coming in to go on shift heard me and could tell that it was almost time. Birth noises are surprisingly cross-cultural similar. Women who believe in their power and allow it to happen, almost all make the same sorts of noises (and it's not the he-he-he-he-he-ho of Lamaze). However, the blog had an amazing video of a woman in transition SINGING, while someone (her husband?) played the guitar. It was the epitome of the power of vocalization during labour. Why don't ALL women know they CAN do this?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


For the past 7 months, in particular, I have been trying to get into some mangeable household routines. I've done pretty good in some areas---I make my bed most mornings---and some areas are still a bit of an issue. One place where I've made improvements (progress; not perfection) is laundry. She's not called Messy Meg for no reason!

Two summers ago Rob re-vamped the laundry 'room' while I wasn't home. I put in my input, but he said it wasn't do-able. I think if I had had the chance to study the area before he started anything it could have been improved. A much bigger project involving plumbing, LOL, but the result would have been 'why wasn't it like that in the beginning?'

Here's my set-up. Washer on the right, dryer on the left. It used to be a closet, but when it was converted, they didn't think through the clearances needed for the shut-off taps (on the floor, behind the washer), the drain (not high enough to clear the washer, where it goes through the wall), and the exhaust. So, the machines stick out from the back and sides quite a bit. Big black holes where things drop, missing for months....above the washing machine is a rod. I wanted it lower but Rob said it'd be too close to the controls. I can barely reach it. On the left is a cupboard. I wanted it lower, but then there'd be nothing to attach the rod to. I used the top of the washer/dryer to fold the laundry. It's a top loader, so laundry has to get put away to do more. Except.....Rob won't put his away. His dresser is a mess and it can't fit more clothes in (his sock/underwear drawer looks more like a workbench drawer). He leaves his pile on the dryer, and there is always clothes hanging on the rod (I can't reach his rod in the closet either).

So...today, I'm doing a load of whites, including some towels and dishcloths. I thought perhaps it's time to brighten them up a little with a splush of bleach.

A brand new dishcloth and an old one in the SAME yarn!!!

I rarely use bleach. I had put a few things in the machine, and the water was filling in, so I carefully aimed the bleach for where the water fills in as there were no items there. The bleach hit the stream of water and splashed. Uh huh, onto Rob's pile of clothes, onto the cuffs and hems of items hanging from the rod....Of course, it wasn't a light coloured load that had just been folded. It was navy (I say black) shorts and dark moss green shorts, his two best pairs;
a nice brown t-shirt with red trim we bought for Father's Day, moss green pants, his best, most expensive light blue plaid dress shirt, even a few specks on a brown shirt of mine.

The black shorts I will just re-die black; I do that every so often with his black jeans. The green pants and blue shirt....it's on the sleeve cuff where it buttons and the leg cuff and not too noticeable. The mossy green shorts....I got them into some cold water quickly, so instead of distinct spots, there is a slightly discoloured area on the front thigh. It might re-dye. The brown t-shirt (my brown shirt is barely noticeable)....it looks like he got splattered with bleach. Not a lot, but on the front. I can re-dye it...but the trim is all red. And, given my past experience with trying to dye brown....

I haven't taken the load out yet....but it better be BRIGHT WHITE!!!