Back on Earth Day I posted about the UU Sacred Waters challenge. We are about halfway into the forty day challenge, so I thought I’d post an update about how I am doing.
I committed to using a reusable water bottle rather than picking up a new plastic bottle every time I went to the gym. I don’t know why I grabbed the bright blue ugly thing I did on that first day, because it is all dinged up and sort of nasty looking, but it’s functional. Three weeks in, and I’ve only failed to bring it with me to the gym once. I keep it in the car next to me and have even washed it several times to keep it clean. In the last twenty days, I would have used roughly nine plastic bottles from the gym and they would have all been piled up on the floor of my car. It’s a double bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’d say I get an A- so far.
Another thing I said I would do is to use a sponge rather than running water to pre-clean the dishes as I load the dishwasher. We have a funky European dishwasher that doesn’t do well with any food particles on the plates, so they have to be pretty well wiped before going in. I’ve managed to do pretty well on this. I’ll give myself an B- on this bit because I still find myself consciously shutting off the tap and picking up the sponge.
Blogging about the challenge is another thing I said I’d do, so…here’s blog post number two. I didn’t say I would do a daily blog, so I’ll give myself a shiny A for that.
Now for a few bonus points. I’ve been thinking about water usage more often by making sure my laundry loads are as full as possible without over-loading the machine, shutting off the water while brushing my teeth and reducing the water I use during showers.
And now for Thursday’s bonus moment… Gilgamesh is a water kitty. He has always curled up in our smaller bathroom sinks and he has always been fascinated by running water. He’ll come into the bathroom during bath-time and put his paws up on the edge and look over and into the pool of water. Some of you might recall that the cats had flooded our house once and that they just like water. Recently, Gilly has been spending time at the art room sink, literally crying for us to turn it on. I posted a video of it on facebook and you can see the little image from that here. So, we’ve turned on the water to a drizzle and let it run for a while. Over the last week or so, I’ve let it run for a long while and felt guilty the entire time even though watching him play with it has been rather cute.
While shopping for kitty litter at the local Petco, I came saw the Raindrop Design Stainless Steel Water Fountain for cats. We had a plastic Drinkwell for a long time, but, frankly, it got rather gross and seemed like a health hazard after a while. This fountain comes completely apart and goes into the dishwasher with ease. I put it down for Gilly this morning and he circled around it half a dozen times, his ears perked forward with clear interest. It only took him about a minute before deciding he might like this new thing. The fountain uses a quart or so of water and gives our kitty the running water action he enjoys so much while saving gallons of water from flowing down the sink.
I have a love-hate relationship with ritual. I usually love the first couple of times through something, but then I end up hating too much repetition. How many times will I sing “Merry Month of May” in my life? I’ve already lost track, and we have six more years! The May Day festival at my son’s school has morphed over time. It’s better now–the 5th-8th graders perform Morris dances so that it’s not an endless k-8 stream of dancing around and around. It’s colorful, and there’s always festive music. Add a Welsh native in a kilt bedecked in flowers and ribbons as the emcee, it’s a pretty fun time.
This year, I approached the day, actually celebrated on Friday since school was in session and May Day landed on a Sunday,with some amount of trepidation. As I noted in this blog post a year ago the date had been tinged with melancholy for me the last few years. I went to the festival this year more annoyed that it was still 44 degrees and overcast. I carried my umbrella with me sure that we were going to be standing in a muddy field. To my surprise, the weather held and the slight misting that did appear was a far cry from the thunderous downpour I was expecting.
My anger at my mom’s death has dulled, and I’ve found the last year has taken me along way to being more nostalgic and allowing me to share with my kids little things about my mom so she can live on in their memories as well as my own.
As I was getting ready for my annual dessert and charade party that I host for the school as a fundraiser, I found myself rummaging around in the liquor cabinet. No, it’s not so stressful it sends me careening off the wagon. I was making a cookie that requires a quarter cup or so of whiskey. I found this bottle (pictured to the right) in the back of the shelf. I know it’s a little bit of a disconnect for someone with 23 years of sobriety under her belt to be holding a nearly empty bottle of booze, but I’m safely past any kind of temptation to go on a binge.
My mom bought this bottle during her last trip her in 2006. She didn’t quite finish it, and I couldn’t just dump out perfectly good bourbon. I let it get shoved back behind the cognac and calvados until I went searching. It was finding this bottle of whiskey that sent me into a moment of thinking about my mom and the fact that we were coming up on the anniversary of her surgery. I used what I needed for the cookies and put the bottle back in the cupboard. Given the rate I use up booze around here, that little connection with her will be sitting around for another year at least.