Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pittsfield Hosts a Green Panel Discussion

Come see what we have in store!  My hubby Chris, of Cesco Plumbing and Heating - the Biodiesel Specialist, myself and a couple of other Berkshire Greenies have been invited by Pittsfield's Green Committee to be panelists on Thursday afternoon at the Berkshire Museum.  I am excited to have an opportunity to talk about what we are doing at Alchemy Initiative and spread the message of scaling back our consumption.  Once I have my talk finished I will post my notes here.  

If you are local come by and participate!  After the discussion Pittsfield's Third Thursday festivities will be in full swing.  I will have a table in front of Dotties where you can stop by and buy my latest wares or just have a chat.

Also we are having a Summer Solstice Garden Party on Friday evening.  There will be live, old thyme, bluegrassy music and dancing beginning at 7:30pm.  Bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawn of our urban farmhouse!  $10 donation will pay the bands.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jiggety Jig

Our trip home began at 3am when Chris and I woke, packed up the girls, and gave middle-of-the-night good-bye kisses to John and Primm as they slept. We could see city lights of Galway twinkling across the bay as we closed the garden gate for the last time.

So the plan was:
Shannon, Dublin, JFK, shuttle to GCS, Metro North to Wassaic, to Warren picking us up in Chris' truck. Then home - for a garden harvest dinner with the Alchemy Initiative peeps - and bed hhuuuuh!

We were due to arrive at JFK at 1pm local time, but arrived an hour early.
We caught the Grand Central shuttle just as we arrived on the sidewalk.
We got to Grand Central where there was a train leaving in 15 minutes - rather than the two hours we were planning.
We took the train to Wassaic with two, still well behaved, easily engaged little girls - without a plan on our next step or a cell phone to make one.

Ben lives with his dad 10 minutes from the station so we thought we
could go visit him and meet Warren as scheduled - BUT as we were pumping the last of our $7 worth of change into the payphone, trying to get a live person on Ben's end, Warren pulled into the station - 2 hours ahead of schedule! I was just starting to loose my cool and was SO happy it all continued to work so smoothly.
As we were leaving the station, Charlie, Ben's dad arrived having gotten all my messages.
We stopped for icecream on the way home.
Dinner was a loving re-entry. The food was superb, Scott made polenta with home tomato sauce, Jess Conzo made goat cheese and mushroom quesadillas, and a huge lovely salad from the garden, Diane brought a dish of sauteed carrots, chard, and quinoa.
Reconnecting girls flitted into the evening dancing around bountiful beds, shoes off, on the ground and happy.
Violet mastered the slide with coaching from Ella - all by herself!

Morning came after a deep and comfortable sleep - Okemo and I went for a run.
Chris went to work. The girls and I went to Dotties to catch up with Jess Rufo.
Dinner was at Dream Away Lodge to catch up with Daniel and others we had been missing. The car belongs to Rip - the herd of kids I was hangin' with loved it!
Fheeeuw! It was a long couple days. Good to be home with the space needed to see the magic.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Galway Playground

Since we arrived here in Ireland we have been searching for playgrounds. My friend who lives here gave me directions to a few. Playgrounds in Ireland are not located in every town or at every elementary school like w are used to in the states. Yesterday we finally made it to a playground - the girls were in HEAVEN!
We started the day by meeting Nicholas - my Dublin cousin at the Galway train station. We wandered down shop street and around the canal to the main cathedral and came upon this truly magical place.
There was a play yard for little ones my kids' age, a climbing gym for older kids where Lucy took a try adn a skate park for teenagers who were out in droves. Even the public outside bathroom was memorable. It cost 20 cents and was fully automated. The money went in a slot the door opened with an automated voice notifying the user of this happening. The door then closed. The lock button was like an elevator button on the inside. Everything about the washroom was spotless, clean, and automatic. After
each use there is a cleaning cycle - sounded like a dishwasher!
We spent a couple of hours playing in the sunny weather with a herd of shorties. Everyone had a lot of fun. The girls slept all the way back to Kinvara.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Smoothing Out My Web Presence

I've got Facebook for myself and Facebook for by biz. There is this Blog, and the Alchemy Initiative Blog, my website, Twitter, Flickr, Etsy, Gmail, and Constant Contact. So many places to go and people to virtually meet! Now that I have some familiarity with it all I am working to smooth it out, to make it consistent and easy to navigate. As I dabble in the technology I keep running across other post ideas and friends online with super interesting/intriguing sites of their own - adding hours to the learning process but keeping me inspired and learning. Check out Spoonflower. The image here tells you a little about what they have to offer. HOW COOL! I haven't used their services yet but am jazzed about the possibilities!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Naked Lights

The station attendant said it meant exposed flames. Cost 55 Euro to fill the tank. Good thing we are getting 43 miles to the gallon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recycling Trash in Ireland

Since our arrival I have been carefully separating our trash in the same way we do at home. Plastic, cans, glass and paper, then compost, and finally household trash. As the stuff was accumulating I was working to learn the Irish standards for this part of our consumption. So far I have found this. A bank of receptacles, found in every community, for all different colored glass (must be separated by color), and beverage cans (must be crushed). There was no place for any sort of plastics, paper, or other sorts of cans. My work to figure it out continues.
While grocery stores charge for shopping bags in an effort to reduce litter, I have noticed that there is a lot of trash on the beaches and roadsides. People are shameless about tossing stuff out their car windows as they hurtle along on the very narrow and windy Irish roads.

As far as the compost goes, we fed it to the cows across the street.