Well, I did it. I spent the afternoon at the mall. My girls were very wise and made good shopping choices. “Third and final markdown!” was our battle cry. I did not spend all of the gift card I had. I could not find enough that called to me. I did not find the cast iron dutch oven I wanted so I may have to get it on line or from Lehmans but I am going to check out the camping supply store first. They carry a lot of cast iron cookwear. I did get the measuring cup and a cookie scoop as well as a turtleneck and a new pair of jeans. The jeans feel great. I have to acknowledge that the ten extra pounds I have been carrying are maybe not going anywhere. Jeans that are not too tight are a very good thing.

I came home to find more seed catalogs as well as the catalog for the 2010 Storey book list. It is nirvana to sit next to the fire with a cup of Earl Grey and my catalogs and dream of spring.

I got a lot great responses about the switch from plastic to glass. It is a problem for sure. Plastic is light weight and will not break. It stacks well and can be found for pennies at yard sales and thrift shops. Glass does not retain odor, does not stain, is non-toxic, can be bought from made-in-america sources and looks great.

After a lot of planning, I am ready to tackle some of my drawers. I have a lot of drawers. The two I am getting to today are the one I keep my tools in and the one that stores all of the electrical cords and chargers. I am willing to bet that the phones and such that those chargers belong with are long gone but I am afraid to toss one and find out that I need it. I will follow the advice of putting the orphans in a box in an out-of-the way place. If next New Years Day rolls around and I haven’t needed one, out it goes. The waste and the consumption that is signified by the pile of wire is appalling and I pay attention to what I purchase. I do have a pile of adult kids who have left stuff behind but still. Here is my thought for the chargers. My girls each have cell phones and iPod. If I stitched up small bags for each of them, would they put their chargers in the bags when they finished with them? I tried to have them wrap the cords with twisty ties but it was a losing battle. I think the bags would work better. My goal is, as always, to have things function well and look presentable. I some ways, this does relate to sustainable living in that I believe we spent a lot of time on hunting for things. This is time that could be put to better use such as cooking from scratch or reading to our babies. (or perusing seed catalogs) I would love to claim to be a purist, one whose teenagers did not want cell phones or iPods but that is just not true. Granted, they listed to country music and we don’t get cell service up here anyway so the phones are rarely used except to call home to let me know they have arrives someplace safely but still. Sustainable living is a journey, not a destination. I might never take another step if I felt the only success would be in the arrival.

I am looking forward to getting to the tool drawer. I am running down the street to our little hardware store and looking for some better quality tools. Those little, pink tool kits are useless. I want a real hammer and a couple of good screwdrivers as well as a set of pliers. I have a good collection of various tapes and adhesives. I keep a baby food jar with some screws and nails in it and that should be refilled. I keep an eyeglass repair kit in this drawer as well as a good magnifying glass and a tape measure. For big things like saws and wrenches, I use My DH’s tools. Bruce has a good set of tools but he keeps his in the basement workshop. I like to have a few my own tools right at hand. I consider my mouse traps tools too and keep several on hand. That is a preparedness item that is sometimes overlooked. We live in the country, next to a river and mice, as well as the occasional rat, are a fact of life. They would be a far bigger problem if the trash compactor was out of commission for a while. I have tried every rodent control on the market. For my money, an old fashioned trap works the best. I have had no luck with adhesive traps and I think they are cruel in any case. For places where little kids might get snapped, I use the traps where the mouse has to get inside in order to trip the snapper. My complaint with those is that they are single use. I have use some regular traps dozens of times before the wires weaken. Does that make up for all of those orphaned chargers?