Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category


Long Time No Write

April 2, 2013

It’s spring time, so it is a good time for new starts. My last post was in October.  I had good intentions of DSCF1496being a more consistent blogger, but life interfered more pointedly than usual with family illness on top of the usual work and community responsibilities (everyone is fine now – knock wood).  And then, of course once you are out of the writing habit it can be hard to get back in.

But I would like to get back into the writing habit.  And so I plan to. I’ve been accumulating bits and pieces of things to write about.  It actually is surprisingly difficult to find the happy medium between ideas to blog about and ideas just to post on Facebook. And then if something is blog worthy, I want my writing to be interesting at least, maybe even entertaining, and definitely not preachy.  It’s a careful balance.  I won’t always succeed.  Sorry.

The picture?  It’s my early spring picture.  A birch with just a tinge of red from new buds.  The last bit of snow left in the creek bed.  A partly sunny but bright and pretty day.  A harbinger of good things to come.


Look for me weekly, right here on your favorite blog

January 30, 2011

I have signed up for a blogging challenge – to post at least once a week in 2011.  I looked at my recent output and saw that I’ve posted nearly once a week for the last few weeks, so I know it’s doable (I don’t sign up for undoable challenges – masochist, I am not).  Since I’m already doing it a lot of the time all I need to do is keep doing it.  And so I will, or I’ll try.

Why?  Why would I want to challenge myself to post to my blog once a week? 

  • First and foremost, because I like it. I like my general theme (living a relatively green life – although I’ve been known to go off topic – like now).  I like writing too.  I find it both relaxing and energizing at the same time, if that makes sense. I it when I didn’t have the time to blog.
  • Second, the blog helps me keep my priorities focused.  If I do something “un-green” I am much more likely to notice it when I’m blogging about greenness (loosely defined) than if I’m not blogging.  I noticed that last fall while on my hiatus.
  • Third, I want to improve my writing and the only way to do that is to write.  You’ll be the judge of my success on that front.

So even though it is the second to last day of January in 2011, I don’t think it is too late for a resolution.  I resolve to try really hard to post something not too lame once a week right here on Midwest Green.


I’m Back to the Blog and My Green Ways

December 12, 2010

Did you miss me?  Were you less inspired to do green things without my constant push in the ecofriendly direction?  You know what?  I found myself slacking without the blog as a background motivator, without that little voice saying “You could post about this” or “You’ll have to fess up that you didn’t bring a bag to the grocery store.”  But I wasn’t a total slacker and it was interesting to see what types of behaviors have become second nature.

The quick take is we recycle. DSCF8656We take our lunches to work and school in reusable containers. We have greatly reduced our use of plastic bags. We drive cars that get respectable gas mileage, try to buy fresh, local, organic, and/or fair trade whenever possible.  We put effort into trying to conserve energy. And we eat our own,or our own bees’, honey.

Where do I slack?  The reusable bags seem to be in the kitchen more than in the car (but we do reuse the grocery store bags) and the house generally has more lights on than necessary.  I bought non-recycled wrapping paper for Christmas (I just couldn’t afford the recycled stuff, nor have time to make fabric gift bags) and not only did I accidentally buy a set of 3 little lit trees with non-LED lights (the horror!) – they are in the back yard, lit (and look cute, actually).  I figure this is probably offset a little bit by


It took a year and a 1/2, but we have them and they are turned on (just in time for the darkest days of winter).  We have saved about 33lbs of carbon from the atmosphere (the readout on the inverters also tells how many kilowatt hours the panels have made that day and cumulatively – but lbs. of carbon is less abstract for me – I wonder how long before we’ve saved my body weight in carbon – or a ton? (my body weight does not equal a ton)…. you know you’ll read it here).

It’s nice to be back to the blog. 



On Hiatus

September 8, 2010

Have you missed me?  I have missed writing here – but I have a big professional writing project that I need to work on this fall so it may be awhile before I can get back to anything resembling regular blogging. 

Rest assured I am still trying to be as green as possible.  I hope that I will have a long litany of green achievements to report when I’m able to write again.

Meanwhile, have a green fall.


Happy Anniversary to Me! And a Big Thank You! to you!

March 2, 2010



A friend pointed out that I’d sent my introductory e-mail to her one year ago today.  A quick double check and yep, my first post was on March 2, 2009.

This is post 144.  There have been 313 comments (some are by me).  The most viewers were on June 25, 2009 which was actually a day I didn’t post anything.  But a few days earlier I had posted about the Railsplitter Wind Farm.  It is still a popular search term that causes people to find my blog, as is Kilgus milk.

I don’t have a big following, but it seems fairly stable and might even be increasing a tiny bit.  If I didn’t have a day job perhaps I’d devote more effort to establishing a following.  Instead, when I publish my blog as a best selling book and then a move (ala Julie & Julia) only you, my faithful few, will have “known me when”.

So, Thank You! for reading my blog. 



January 14, 2010

I am flying high!  The last 48 hours have been filled with one happy surprise after another:

  • I had an e-mail from my friend Susan.  I haven’t heard from her in months and months and knew she had a really rough 2009, so it was great to hear her outlook is up and life is good.
  • I ran into a friend who was coming out of the gym.  He has been getting chemo for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but said his last PET scan was clean. 
  • I had my usual several times a day e-mail conversation with my friend Vicky.  It is so great be able to dash off a quick observation, respond to something she has said, or share a funny – at least as good as a daily phone call – and much cheaper. 
  • My husband e-mailed and not only will we be having a date this Saturday but it will include a couple that I really want to get to know better. 
  • I had a meeting – a drug prevention task force meeting – the type of meeting that could be deadly dull – but was actually filled with people in good-humor and we all laughed a lot while we also had a very productive meeting.
  • I had a surprise e-mail from the editor of a textbook I authored.  They want a third edition!
  • I had an e-mail from the publications office at work.  They are interested in the story behind some survey research I’m doing on beekeepers.
  • Today in the mail I received my first copy of MaryJanesFarm: The Everyday Organic Lifestyle Magazine, a Christmas present from the aforementioned Vicky.
  • And as if that weren’t enough – Retro Housewife Goes Green gave me (and 9 others)  the Happy 101 Award!  I would like to thank all the little people who have made this possible…

Happy award

Here are the rules for the Happy 101 Award (yes, an award with rules – there are no free lunches in this world):

  • List 10 things that make you happy. (Try to do one of them today)
  • Tag 10 bloggers that make you happy.
  • Make sure to link back to the person that tagged you.

So here goes – my 10, very self-centered, things that make me happy:

  1. A conversation with my husband
  2. Making my teenager laugh
  3. A hug from daughter
  4. Knitting, beading, or reading a good book (hmm, I need to get to the library and pick up this month’s book club book)
  5. Making myself a cup of tea
  6. Doing a jigsaw puzzle
  7. Chocolate
  8. The scale going down
  9. A cat curled up next to me in bed
  10. Writing – writing my blog, writing my column, heck – even writing lectures (on interesting stuff anyway)

[It’s been a good day, I’ve done 9 so far – and there is still time to make that kid laugh.]

And here are 10 of the many blogs that make me smile – a Happy 101 award to each of you!:

  1. Squash Blossom Farm – Susan and her family’s adventures on their new small farm
  2. Nyack Backyard – reminds me to keep my eyes open to the nature around me (hey! I’ve seen a bald Eagle twice this week!  another happy thing)
  3. The Mommy Porch – “meandering thoughts on food and life” – sums it up pretty well
  4. (not so) Urban Hennery – started reading it for the bees and then continued reading – and now she has got me involved in The Dark Days challenge
  5. My Green Conscience – a fantastic approach to encouraging an eco-friendly lifestyle
  6. Fessenden Farmstead – chronicles of Stacey’s urban farming and homesteader lifestyle
  7. Are We There Yet? – fun and candid observations
  8. Mayberry Mom – comments about and from a life with young kids – such a fun reminder for me
  9. Divine Nature – beautiful photographs
  10. A+A Adopt a Baby – a new baby in a happy family – what’s not to like?

Thank you Retro Housewife for the award!


Quick Change

June 2, 2009

Yes, I changed the look again. I found I needed a side bar and the other version wouldn’t allow one. Since I was at it I thought I’d show off the llamas. That’s Hummer behind the letters, Penelope, Serendipity with her back to us, and Ogden, the old man (13 this fall).

UPDATE: Since this post is now lower in the file and not right up next to the header I thought I’d add the picture of the llamas here:the herd