Yesterday we received over an inch of rain. Oh. Happy New Year! In America! Sorry, keep forgetting things like that. The social niceties! Anyway we got over an inch -there is so much water in the ground and so little evaporation at this time of year.When spring comes we will be in great shape! Manu and Molly racing in for dinner.

Thought I would show you another unsightly angle.

Nothing I can do about this one – that mess is all thanks to Mother Nature. Why nature was designated female I have no idea. The ancient ones are to blame for that. Her fickleness? The fact that she does not like to tidy up. Her wild growth in all directions. Or maybe it is her vulnerability to mankind’s whims.

Anyway the water troughs are full. Thank you Mrs.

My cows are soaked and in a mood because no- one cleaned out their INdoors while I was away. I am coming – I will start today Tia and Del.

They can’t get new straw until I have some of the proverbial cleaned out. I might bring the tractor through for the concrete pad. Nothing is draining this year.

This time last year we were -17c I was in New Zealand drinking coffee at the beach with my sister.

Let’s look at today’s weather.

Remember weather and climate are not the same thing. The changes in weather are symptoms, if you like, of the climate changing. And there have been many contributing factors to the changes in our climate. We are only in charge of our own contribution. But there are things we can do. Pollution is a word we cannot ignore. You and I have cut down on single use plastic and unnecessary gasoline consumption (the two things I know I can personally contribute) – live small and thoughtfully, I work to heal the land with small scale farming. I have made definite changes this year – I will never use a plastic toothbrush again. Or Saran Wrap – we call it Gladwrap in NZ – ( we never had it as kids so it is not a hardship for me) or paper towels – once again – pretty easy.

I find – for me – it is easy to nominate concrete changes I can make – concrete is a massive contributor to warming up an area. I never buy prepackaged vegetables for instance – for a number of reasons but that useless plastic tray is one of them.

Now, I know how hard it is to be the only one in your household who cares. But don’t worry about preaching to them or changing them – we do what you/I can do. Make our own quiet changes. Let’s be the change we want to see.

Anyway – help me. What else can I easily adapt into my routine of thoughtful plastic use. It does not have to be a big change. Remember the hummingbird. Be the hummingbird.

Much love.


59 Comments on “UNSIGHTLY ANGLE

  1. Overall health and fitness are like climate. Body temperature, BP, heart rate, pulse, sugar level, etc, are like the weather. As you correctly point out, not the same.

  2. Nature comes from the Latin natura, which means birth. Pan was to a certain extent an earth father, but when we all became Christian he got demoted and became identified with Satan.
    Happy New Year!

  3. You are an amazing writer! I love your words…your honesty…right from the heart! I could feel your love for the countryside in your simplicity of words. And, the photos are magnificent–honest portrayal—reality! I love the ducks finding a little pond for themselves—so natural—make use of what is there. I am going to join you with the refusal to use plastic. You are correct that we must “be the change” we want…a friend of mine calls it “hopeful action.” I am from Wisconsin, a state below Ontario, Canada. I live an hour from Lake Michigan. I live in the countryside but unfortunately, my plot is considered too small for animals. May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR of 2019! Thank you for sharing such wonderful posts! You have touched my heart across the oceans! Best to YOU!

    • Thank you! And I am so grateful for your message. Just choose one thing to change. I have been taking my own bags to the supermarket now that I forgot that was one of my changes. You see how they become easier over time. Best wishes and let me know your first step in cutting down plastic use. I would love to hear how that goes.

      • Ok, will do! I have been thinking of not buying Plastic Water Bottles–that will be the hardest but necessary move. And I need to add the supermarket bag idea–WHY I always forget that! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. You are wise to just look at it as what you can do. I often get overwhelmed by the choices. It feels like every choice has a negative impact. The best I can do is choose the lesser of evils, and often that requires research.

    I remind myself often that NEW anything is not a good choice for the climate. It can’t always be avoided but it can be avoided 80 percent of the time. Keeping things longer instead of buying new, choosing to buy used, up-cycling.

  5. Paper towels go into my bokashi bucket, I am thinking of making wax cotton cloths to replace glad wrap and some Tupperware items.

    We have had 58mm (about 2.5 inches) of rain since Xmas day and with another 10 days of rain forecast so far, happy days, may our puddles match yours soon.

    Happy New Year to you and the farmy fellowship. Laura

  6. It’s sometimes tough to avoid plastic….I use empty paper feed bags for what trash I have, wrap my homemade bread in meat wrapping paper, will spend more if I can find a product in glass (mustard/peanut butter etc), use cloth bags to bring groceries home from the store. Any plastic I do end up with – goes to the recycle place. Up here – if you want your groceries bagged in plastic you have to pay for the bags. Some communities (Fort McMurray for instance) there is no option but to bring your own boxes or cloth bags to the grocery stores. Shampoo bottles are a pet peeve of mine – I make my own shampoo bars. Deodorant- make my own. I don’t always win the war though, I’ve yet to figure out how to freeze our fresh chickens properly in anything other than plastic. 😊

    • Yes! You are doing marvelously! But you are right – trying to cut out plastic completely is hugely difficult and probably a recipe for obsessional insanity. A little More as we learn more- then it is easier to incorporate fully

      • I haven’t looked lately but they used to make freezer paper. It was something like parchment paper. You wrap your meat and use butchers twine to tie it closed.

    • You wouldn’t have a link to your shampoo recipe would you? I am often stuck by lack of resources to properly trial and error what the internet promises “works great!” only to end up with still-dirty clothes (homemade laundry soap) or non-absorbant “paper towels” on a roll, to name two failed attempts.

      • Go to voyageursoapandcandle.com
        This is where I get some of my soap making supplies….they have several recipes on their website that are made ‘in store’ along with good instructions. I tried their shampoo bar before I made it – and I like theirs best. Keep in mind – using a shampoo bar takes a bit for results as it takes time to rid your hair of regular shampoo product. Rinse with a cider vinegar spritz if you have hard water.
        Also – once a year laundry concentrate:
        1/4 cup clay powder
        13 cups borax
        12 cups baking soda
        4 cups sodium lauryl sulfate (or another powder surfactant available at a soap making supply outlet)
        Mix together (wear a mask it’s dusty to mix).
        I use 1/4 cup a load.

  7. We use Ziplock plastic squares with covers over and over again. At the moment they are filled with tofu, carrots, olives,, boiled eggs, chicken salad for lunch, half an apple., a red onion. They get washed over and over. And as a result—I’m bragging here—we rarely throw any food away. I never use Saran Wrap—I hate the stuff because I never got the hang of using it and besides it made the hairs on my arms stand up or aluminum foil. My sin is paper towels. Their lure is in being so much cleaner than cloth towels—but in my defense we use dedicated hand towels over and over to dry lettuce after washing it.
    But here’s what I MUST do better: remember to bring my bags into the grocery store. They do no good in the trunk. So my NYRes is keep the bags in the body of the car. This way I’ll remember to bring them with me. After reading this over
    I sound like a complete

  8. I remember my mom toting a canvas grocery bag or two to the grocer’s. Odd, we went from that to paper, then plastic, and now we are back to canvas or even bamboo bags. I even have a delightful dress made from bamboo fibers. Love it! Have another made from recycled plastic…. I wash my foil for re-use, reuse plastic zip bags over and over – til the cows come home! Paper towels – I use the ‘pick a size’ where you can just use half, and when I’m finished, rinse them out and lay the on the edge of the sink to dry. Always good for several times around. Otherwise, why would they make them so durable?There are so many little things that can be done. My daughters laugh at my frugality, but blatant throw-away is expensive to everything on earth. I learned how important a saved ball of string, tire patches, hand-me-downs, etc., are from my folks is from their living through the depression era. Hope 2019 is a wonderful year for you all!

    • My mum had one of those string bags that got bigger and bigger the more you put in. We did not have paper bags in nz. Everything went in a box. We either took one or found one. Plastic bags for s number of years but though you can buy them in nz now – very soon only the sturdy ones will be for sale and they will be expensive – no more single use. They will shortly be against the law. I always wash my foil too but never a paper towel – you can buy bamboo ones I think?

  9. I endured my son over Christmas, stomping about because there was no glad wrap to cover his left over chicken with, he was suspicious of my beeswax wraps, and rolled his eyes at my suggestion he put another plate over the top. If I forget my cloth bags when I go shopping…..which is very rare….I only buy as much as I can carry. I save on packaging by taking my jars to the wholefoods and filling them with what I use…..herbs, spices, dried beans, lentils, oats,tahini, oil, etc…

    • Oh jars! How do you weigh your dried goods? I tend to take the old zip lock bags I bought the last lot in – I just slap on s new label. Oh how I long for a Whole Foods!!
      I asked John if he would take my canvas bags to the supermarket when he shops but says he won’t – and he shops all the time . But we can only do what WE can do.

      • Jars get weighed at the counter before I fill them, although mostly I reuse the same ones for the same goods, and the weight is written on the bottom. Then they weigh the filled jar. Reusing old ziplocks is a great thing to do. I feel for you with no Whole Foods, I can’t imagine not having one nearby. My son’s like John, won’t take my bags if he shops for me, so I refuse to let him bring plastic into my house, he has to unpack at the car and take the bags away with him. Doing our bit is all we can do, it all helps.

  10. I have a jar fetish. I wash and thoroughly clean most of the glass jars I use–anything that is a useful size/shape. And they occupy a shelf in my old meat safe that I have had for years and years. They look lovely, and are so useful. I try to use a jar instead of plastic. The ones I don’t use I take to the health food store for others to use to buy things like spices, honey, flours etc. I also recently donated some to the coffee shop here who does not use take away cups, but charges customers $2 for a takeaway jar! I have other practices, too, much the same as named above.

  11. I also reluctantly because I hate getting the labels off am a habitual jar recycler, for pantry & fridge storage and preserves. But jars don’t work for freezer storage or in the fridge for certain foods. We have a pile of washable kitchen cloths so rarely use paper towel, we have been using cloth grocery bags, beeswax wraps and net produce bags for years, avoid supermarket packaging, am frugal with everything including kitchen wraps, foil, paper. However I am beleaguered by plastic containers… needing them for food storage and reusing them until they are too well worn and then they go to the shed before the bin. I would like to transition to something else but the alternatives it seems are still made from something by someone in a factory and they cost so much… I’m looking into reusable silcone storage bags. Sigh. I too have bought a bokashi bin even though with our preference for eating/stashing our leftovers, giving food scraps to the chooks and compost I’d like to turn some into bokashi juice for the garden.

    • A lot of scientists are working on just this problem so hopefully there will be good news soon. Though plastic is made from petrol so the oil companies DO NOT want anyone to get in the way of their business pushing out as much plastic and fertilizer as they can. We might have to wait for oil to run out.

    • Jars work well in the freezer for some things – I freeze all the butter I make in half pint jars 🙂

    • Yes – I love the bees wrap PLUS if I am clever and find an old iron I think I can make it myself. Long live the bees!! Amazing how many people don’t reuse tinfoil!

      • I bought my beeswax wrapa about 3 years ago, and just recently freshened them up by placing them one at time between sheets of kitchen baking paper and using my everyday iron to smooth them out. The baking paper can be reused as well.

  12. I’ve been taking my own bags to the supermarket for years, and I’ve made my own netting produce bags with a drawstring instead of those thin plastic ones they have on a roll. I’ve had a lot of people ask where I bought them, but it’s just an old roll of mosquito netting and some old bootlaces! I crochet cotton dishcloths instead of those disposable Chux-type cloths, so although I have paper towel, it’s just for the occasional really mucky, sticky spill. I also have a source for recycling ‘soft’ plastics like Gladwrap that comes on food – there’s three big recycling bins in my kitchen as well as a small one for the stuff I can’t recycle. Quite often, we don’t need to put out the rubbish on collection day, as there isn’t enough to bother. I’m lucky, the Husband is on board with this stuff too, and has begun carrying his own folding cloth shopping bag.

    • Recycling anything is hard to do here in the Midwest- best to just not get it in the first place. I used to have some produce bags but I so seldom do the shopping. John is the shopper. And whether I will drive two hours to do the shopping myself so there are no plastic bags brought home? I don’t know. He will still go because I don’t get the right junk food . So the petrol is still used. It is a conundrum.

  13. All of our food waste other than meat, bones, and oils go into the worm farm. Paper, cardboard, egg cartons, leaves, every organic item in it goes the worms eat it all, The big BUT, Plastic, solutions are needed. Good Post! Thanks.

    • Hullo Jacques. That’s excellent- I used to have a worm farm but the chickens got jealous. The plastic is multi use though / you will probably have it for years. What solutions do you use?

  14. We limit our purchases, the packaging is a problem, plus those plastics used are mostly not re-recyclable. Unfortunately, most of it goes in the blue bin. Our water is not the best which means we must purchase drinking water, we buy 5-gallon (19 L) R.O. water and use reusable thermoses or aluminum bottles. Plastic waste is a real challenge for my wife and me.

  15. Mine is in repairing or doing without or doing differently.
    A set of blinds broke. I’m in the process of restringing them. Sure, I could pop over and spend $30 for a new set, but then the old ones would go to the land fill.
    I think more people should visit land fills on a regular basis. “Out of sight, out of mind” tends to get our species in a pickle or worse.

  16. I love this post. Love them all actually, but very much appreciated the reminder to make the changes we can. We use a lot of bees wrap. And like many of your readers I am a jar fiend. love jars. we are helped in northern italy by reliable community recycling. when the recycling and composting are done, we have hardly any trash. And we also have lots of markets and vendors, as you know, who put things in your bags instead of in plastic…it’s a help. Just thought I’d toss this in for New Years. A quote a saw on a friend’s newsletter which I love: “If the only prayer you say throughout your life is “Thank You,” then that will be enough.” ― Elie Wiesel

  17. Thank you for the thought-provoking post! I recently started using wraps and bags from etee in place of saran wrap and quart-size plastic storage bags: they’re a lot like bees wrap, with added sustainably-sourced tree resins to “wax” the paper. So far, so good! Not cheap, but once they do finally wear out I can toss them on the compost. http://www.shopetee.com

  18. I do struggle with being alone in a household that refuses to recognize the need to recycle. I do take the husband’s newspapers to be recycled, as he simply refuses to read online. Our newspaper publisher has forced the issue by publishing only online on Tuesday and Saturday. I’m sure it is a sign of things to come, hopefully. I also get the feeling that I’m the laughing stock of Walmart, as I seem to be famous for bringing my own bags. In the meantime, I do volunteer at the local animal shelter, and would love to hear any ideas on using anything other than plastic grocery bags for disposing of dog waste on our walks with the pups. It breaks my heart to think of how many bags of dog waste are being “preserved” in the landfills.

  19. Hi Cee. I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a whike si I have missed your posts. Did you cone home for Christmas? We didnt have the amount of rain you have had but on tge day it poured in Raumati. And how is our favourite Pig?

  20. Happy New Year Celi! I’m with you on plastics … I take my own bags with me to the supermarket, and other outlets. How I wish veg would no longer be packaged in plastic and all the other items that are wrapped in such! Maybe one day

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: