Author Archives: Ginny Marie

Every Day Is Earth Day

My grandparents were masters at reusing everything. My grandma used an empty coffee can as a cookie jar. She never bought ziplock bags because bread bags were perfectly good for storing food. Why buy new clothes when the old ones are fine?

I am making fun of them a little, but I also think we need a little more of my grandparents’ common sense. We really have become a throw-away society, and I’m just as guilty as everyone else. For heaven’s sake, I barely had my washing machine for 11 years when it became more expensive to repair than to just replace it, so that’s what I did. When I was a child in the 70’s, I remember my grandma washing clothes with her old wringer washing machine in her basement. To wring out the wet laundry, she put the clothes between two rollers and turned the handle. She must have had that machine for at least 30 years!

Ed and I try to do our part. At least my new washing machine is a high efficiency machine, so it uses less water and energy than the old machine. While we do buy ziplock bags, we also try to use washable containers for lunches and leftovers. I avoid buying water bottles and instead we fill washable bottles. I take reusable totes to the grocery store, although sometimes I forget to put them back in the car when I’m done unpacking them! We recycle junk mail and cardboard boxes, cans and bottles. On my countertop is a shiny silver container where my kitchen scraps go. Last summer, Ed made me a large compost bin for my garden, and I’m really excited to be able to use compost in my garden this spring!

Purple coneflowers in my garden last summer
Purple coneflowers in my garden last summer

 

This week on The Spin Cycle, get excited about the planet we live on! You can:

    Tell us about your favorite place on Earth!
    Share an idea using one of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse or Recycle.
    Write about anything related to Earth Day!

Link up your blog post here!


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NEXT WEEK: April is National Poetry Month, so during the last week of April, share some of your favorite poems or write your own poem!

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Could the Use Of GMOs Help Our Environment?

We are very fortunate to live close to our elementary school and I pick up my daughters after school every day. We walk in any kind of weather; rain, snow or shine. As we walk, we pass a long line of cars waiting for children to come out the doors when the bell rings and–this annoys me–their engines are running the entire time. All I can think about are those noxious fumes going into the air.

walking to school

Ever since my parents bought me my first copy of Ranger Rick, I’ve been interested in preserving our environment. So it was very interesting to me when I learned that organic farming, something we think is good for the environment, actually has a larger carbon footprint than farmers who use genetically modified crops. Why? The simple explanation is that organic farmers need to go over their fields more often to till up weeds.

Sometimes, even when we try to make the right choices, we don’t completely understand the environmental impact our choices have. Yes, organic farming is good for the environment because it uses more natural pesticides and herbicides, but it also uses more gas to run the tractors over the fields more often. Every time a farmer tills the ground, nutrients and water are released into the air. Tilling can also lead to water run-off and fertilizers may enter the water system. Even natural fertilizers can cause problems in our waterways. Nitrogen and phosphorus that help crops grow also cause algae to grow. The algal bloom in Lake Erie last summer affected the drinking water of thousands of people.

Many farmers are protecting our environment, the soil and the water by using the no-till method. Genetically modified crops enable farmers to use this method. As I research genetically modified crops, I have become more excited about the technology and science behind GMOs. It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? How can I consider myself to be an environmentalist and also be excited about the possibilities GMOs offer?

Field Mom Corn Acre

On Saturday, I have the amazing opportunity to visit Monsanto, a company well-known (and vilified) for producing GMO products. One of the questions I will be asking is how GMOs affect the environment.

I’m glad we live in a place where we have a variety of farms and so many food choices. Do I buy organic food? Not usually. When I gave up my career to stay at home with my children, I also became very budget conscious. Organic foods usually don’t fit into that budget. Part of the luxury of working part time, however, is being able to buy less processed food and make more meals from scratch.

Do I support your choice to buy organic food? Absolutely! I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. It’s good to be skeptical and to search for answers. I believe that the key word here is to search, and not rely on just one source or one point of view. In the next few farming posts, I’ll tell you about my search process, including my trip to Monsanto.

Be honest with me. What do you think about GMOs? What questions do you have about GMOs?

 

Field Mom Ambassador

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In our discussion about organic foods and GMOs, please be respectful. Any comment that is inappropriate or inflammatory may be removed.

 

We Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

One time when my sister was visiting me, we had bought a papaya to try. As we were unpacking the groceries, I held the papaya in my hand and started making up a song. “Pa-pa-pa-pi-yah!” I sang.

At this point in my life, I had made some bad decisions about the men I dated. My sister told me that when I met a man that I could sing the papaya song to without being embarrassed, he would be the right man for me.

Well, it appears that I have married the right man, because Ed has made up a song for jalapenos, and he and the girls sing it all the time! Ed is always singing. He sings in the backyard while he’s mowing the lawn, he sings in the car and tells us all to join in even when we don’t know the words, and he sings at church. The one place I haven’t heard him sing is in the shower, where all normal people sing. He picked the perfect song for our first dance at our wedding; “Goodbye” by Def Leppard, which really isn’t about goodbyes after all.

Ed also knows what I like. While we were dating, I was trying to cut back on drinking Coke. After a long work week, he showed up at my apartment with a 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola with a bright red bow on top. That was one of the most romantic things he’s every done.

Dating for us was a little rough. We lived over 60 miles away from each other, so the only times we saw each other was on the weekends. Once we knew that we wanted to be together, we committed to spending every weekend together. Most of the time it worked, but some of the time it was exhausting! During this time, Ed saw the worst come out in me. (I don’t do well when I’m tired or hungry!) He stuck with me anyway. (I’m going to add…I stuck with him, too…he’s not perfect!)

We knew we would be good together when we traveled from Chicago to Yellowstone National Park together. Road Trip! Being stuck in a car together for 12 hours at a time will teach you if you’re compatible. Ed and I passed with flying colors! Now we drag out kids all over the country with us. We like places that aren’t too touristy. We like hiking on trails and packing our own lunches. We like eating in unique restaurants and refuse to go to McDonald’s on vacation. When the kids are in bed, we’ll sit on the balcony of our hotel room (if we’re lucky enough to have one). He’ll have a beer, I’ll have a glass of wine, and we’ll talk. I love that after 12 years of marriage, we still have plenty to talk about!

On Valentine’s Day he brings me fresh flowers, but not tulips because they make me sneeze. For Mother’s Day, we had the exact same idea for what he should buy the kids to give to me. (I’m not going to tell you…yet.) He makes me coffee every morning. He tells me he loves me often, and tucks me in at night.

I think I’ll keep him.

The Golden Spoons

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Earth Day Is This Week {Spin Cycle Prompt}

Earth Day is on Wednesday, April 22. I love teaching about Earth Day and the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Last year, my students made flowers from cereal boxes. They turned out so cute!

Reused cereal boxes
Reused cereal boxes

When Emmy was in preschool, she decided that we were going to spend Earth Day walking around the neighborhood and picking up trash. We had a great time!

Earth Day Emmy
Earth Day Emmy

This week on The Spin Cycle, get excited about the planet we live on! You can:

    Tell us about your favorite place on Earth!
    Share an idea using one of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse or Recycle.
    Write about anything related to Earth Day!

Link up your blog post here any day this week, and I’ll be back on Friday with my Earth Day post!



 

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Just Write! {Spin Cycle}

The writing advice I give most often is to just start writing and the words will come. I use this strategy most often during the month of November, when I blog every day for 30 days. I keep going strong for the first couple of days in December…and then I get back into my old routine of blogging only when I feel like it. This is one reason why I like doing The Spin Cycle; even during the weeks with low links, I’m still forced to write!

So why do I force myself to write? One reason is because when I stop, it’s hard to get going again. I have journals with year-long gaps in them. Another reason is that I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I first started journaling in high school and have several journals that are filled with all my hopes and dreams between the covers.

Emmy has been fascinated with my writing lately. She has plucked the first book I contributed to, The Mother of All Meltdowns, off the shelf and has been reading it by herself! (It’s been a while since I read everyone’s stories; I’m crossing my fingers that there’s no swear words in it!) This is another reason I write; to show my daughters that writing is fun and is not just for schoolwork. It seems to be working pretty well. Emmy has written some books about her friends. (In one book, her friend’s husband dies. It’s very sad. Then she gets a cat to replace the husband.) Emmy loves to take out her series of books made from pieces of paper stapled together. We sit on my bed and she reads them to me.

Lily has always loved to write. When she was angry with me, she would disappear into her room and write angry notes about what was upsetting her. I actually encouraged her, because I thought it would help her get her feelings out. When she was four years old, she would write notes telling me or her dad, “I HAT YOU!” We will never let Lily forget those notes! (I saved at least one of them!)

What about Ed? He doesn’t write much, but he’s a good writer when he has to be. He even wrote a guest post this one time. He also reads all my book submissions. He learned grammar from the best teachers in elementary school, so he’s my go-to proofreader!

Tower of Terror

Just Write a blog post this week, any day, and come back here to link it up! So easy, so simple! Just Write!



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Get the code in my blog’s sidebar!

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