So I hope everyone is doing something positive for Mother Earth this year.  Actually I hope you are always doing something positive for her!  But at minimum, at least on Earth Day.  This year we are building new planter beds in our front yard (it’s been a long time coming- we’ve been saying we’ve needed new ones since the day we moved in)  So almost 5 years later and many remodeling projects later we are starting on this one. 

We went to the central landfill and purchased reused lumber.


  What a deal!  $0.28/ft. and it was used for framing so it was totally perfect (minus the nails that had to be pulled) but it’s awesome- we are reusing wood that would normally have ended up being burned or left at the landfill or who knows what else and we didn’t have to buy new.  The central landfill is amazing.  They have everything so dialed in, all the wood is separated in piles by type (redwood, doug fir, etc.) size (2×4, 4×4, etc) then they have piles of compost, mulch, cords of fire wood, etc – and I haven’t even mentioned the reuse area that has kids toys, bikes, doors, windows, etc, etc, etc,.  Up at the site we purchased the wood there is a big sign that says they have diverted over 1 million TONS of yard waste from going to the landfill!  If only all cities did this!


So, after a trip to the landfill, a day of pulling nails, we were ready to build.  We are so thrilled with the beds, they still need the lip added (somewhere to sit or put our garden shovel) and we need to cut down the 4×4 to make it level with the top of the box. 


But we are pretty much there- one more day and we’ll be ready to get our veggies in.  We had to take a break from it and go to the Earth Day celebration in Golden Gate Park.  Bobby and Mickey from the Dead were playing along with Yonder Mountain String Band.  It was a gorgeous day and good tunes carried in the breeze. 

Just getting our hands in the dirt and nourishing the soil was our minor contribution to our Earth.  We will continue to nourish her throughout the year as we tend to our veggies and fruit.  We want to pass this on to our children.  By creating a habitat for the bees, birds, butterflies, worms, etc. we are showing our children respect for all living beings and respect for the earth and for themselves.  We will reap the rewards when we are picking fresh strawberries off the vine, fresh tomato and lettuce for sandwiches, fruit for lunch and more. 

So what are your plans for Earth Day?  If you don’t have any- think about going out and buying yourself a Sigg water bottle or Klean Kanteen (stainless steel water bottles) and vow to not buy bottled water and bring your own water wherever you go.  This one simple step can reduce the amount of plastic that is produced and that is sent to the landfills everyday (you know that plastic is made from oil) so this also helps in our reliance on oil.  Another thing you can do is vow to bring your own bag to the grocery store- another very simple thing you can do but again it helps reduce our reliance on oil (no more plastic bags).  They are making it so easy and cheap- most stores carry reusable bags that you can purchase for $0.99- keep a couple in your car at all times so you don’t even have to remember to bring them- they will always be there for you.

So happy Earth Day to you- go spread the good word!!!! 

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  ~Native American Proverb

This weekend was unbelieveably gorgeous out- mid 60’s and sunny- like a spring day – except it’s February.  Well we decided to get out and finish up some projects in the backyard.  We had some extra decking so we wanted to build a little deck off of the cottage. 

stage one deck

One thing I’ve learned since having kids is that everything takes a bit longer.  I should say I’ve learned two things, #2 is patience!  Ryder is the best helper ever.  He really gets into it and has a good time.

 ryder and the wheelbarrow

  It is so worth the extra time it takes to have him out there helping us (and learning).  We often laugh that he’ll either be an architect or a chef because he’s either building or cooking with us. 

Too often, we (adults) are just trying to get things done quickly and don’t take that extra time to slow down and show our children how it’s done.  This is something Doug and I have vowed to do with Ryder and Saige.  There is a sense of pride ad ownership for Ryder when we have completed a project.  He calls the deck “his new deck”. 


This is also a great learning environment for children- whether it’s math (counting how many cups or spoonfuls to pour into the bowl or how many inches long something is) or science (when you add yeast to warm water it bubbles) or any other subject – it’s not like you’re forcing it down their throats- they actually enjoy it and so do we.

We had the best time – KPFA was doing their fund drive and it was an entire day of Grateful Dead music with David Gans (obviously we were in heaven) and Ryder too got into the groove on his new deck. 

So I guess what I’m saying is, slow down, next time your children want to help, let them- it may take a little longer but in the end everyone will benefit. 

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”