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Showing posts from October, 2010

Remorselessly

One trait I've always had is "buyer's remorse": that tendency in human nature to regret commitments made, and to wonder if we haven't made a terrible mistake as soon as a decision is irrevocable.

For instance, when I brought home Morgan, our 185 pound English mastiff and the dog of a lifetime, I spent at least a week fending off a sinking feeling that I had ruined my life (and this dog's), and that it would never, ever work out!  It did--Morgan eventually joined me in my therapy practice, working with me and with my trauma-survivor clients on a daily basis.  She was enormous, she slobbered, but she could sense a painful emotion a mile away, and loved nothing better than to rest her head on someone's knee and look up at them with the big, sincere gaze of a mastiff, telling them without words that she would never have treated them that way.

Of course, there is a difference between a dog, a living, breathing animal who can give and receive love, and stuff. …

Eating In

Mmmm... supper!

I started by baking my own bread, in an attempt to get affordable bread without all the plastic packaging.  One thing led to another, and I returned to making my own pie crusts, as I had in college--only this time, making one to use now, and freezing the second--buying local produce and freezing it, then pickling it and turning it into jams and jellies, and finally into getting pretty much all of my produce local and organic.

But it's almost winter here in New England, and my favorite farmstand has closed for the winter, and I'm reluctant either to give up fresh produce, or to go back to buying the stuff hauled in from California, plastic-wrapped and ready for me at the local supermarket.

In fact, if all goes well, tonight's salad may be the last grocery store lettuce I'll need.

My fingers are firmly crossed; I've never been much of a gardener, though I lived with one as a child, and I know how much better home-grown anything tends to be.

But I've go…

Bear Magic

I just came back from a walk in our woods, and for the first time, I have seen a bear.
Oh, I've seen cubs before, even before we moved out of downtown.  As woods have grown up around the small cities in Western Massachusetts, bears have found places to live that are awkwardly close to humans; about a year ago, for instance, the wildlife police had to remove a mother bear with cubs who had made a den in a drainage culvert in the heart of a thickly settled neighborhood.  We even had a treed bear in a sidewalk oak tree just off Main Street a few years back.  That took some pretty skillful work to remove the bear cub without killing him.
And it's well known that only a fool leaves a bird feeder in place once the snow starts to melt.  Bears love bird feeders.  And garbage, so it's a good idea to plan accordingly, especially if you have dogs or small children.
All that is common sense.  So, yeah, I've seen bears before, and I've known about bears for years.
But it's…

Since My Last Confession

OK, so I'm not Catholic.  But it has been a very long time since my last confession here--meaning, the last time I posted our weigh-in of plastic trash and recycling.  (Why do I count recycling?  Because, although I do recycle everything I can, plastic is not like aluminum or glass that can recycle endlessly; plastic actually "downcycles" and becomes, essentially, hazardous waste for thousands of years after only a handful of reuses.  So it all counts, sooner or later.)

The last time I posted our weigh-in was back in July: a two-week tally of 3 lbs. 1 oz.

In the ten weeks since then, we have generated 6 lbs, 7 oz. of trash, which would average out to about 17 lbs of plastic waste per year per person for each of us... in comparison with an American average of over 80 lbs per person.

Of course, I'm not counting my totaled automobile in that amount.  I have to hope that many of the plastic parts will be salvaged, and used on other cars.

But I am counting the dead twenty-yea…