The Day the Water went Green & I Didn’t!!!

As many of you know I am very passionate about living a green and sustainable lifestyle. When my children were babies we used cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and our last baby even refused a bottle and strictly nursed (clearly my favorite! Haha! Just kidding!).  My household cleaning products consist of water, baking soda, vinegar, and rags. I read labels on products and look out for any carcinogens, pesticides, toxins, etc. I do not purchase paper towels or napkins (oh the heated conversations I had with my husband those first couple years of marriage, yes, napkins…I do realize how silly it sounds, haha!).  I am happy to say that we have been using cloth napkins for 9 years now…he has grown accustom to the environmental and financial advantages.  I do not purchase disposable dishes, utensils, or sandwich bags. We have a filter on our faucet for our water and we use water canteens and travel mugs when we need to take water with us. I am a ‘just say no’ to water bottles kind of momma! Now, it should be noted that my mommas is not. In fact she is the complete opposite of me. And we are related, crazy, right!? She has tons of water bottles and basically disposable EVERYTHING! I have been on her for quite some time encouraging less consumption! As of yet I have not made much segue, it kills me when I see all the bottle waters stacked up!!  WHY!! Why such consumption?

 

That Horrific Morning…..

August 2, 2014!!! This day will forever go down in history!! It started off like any other morning. I woke up around 7 pm, made my way downstairs to make some much needed coffee. Turned on the television as I walked through the living room then slide in dog pee as I entered the kitchen (I keep it real folks…and the truth is lately I have been slipping on dog pee at least 3 mornings a week…our dog is a diabetic and currently suffers from old dog syndrome, but damn he’s cute!). While cleaning the pee I overheard the news in the other room. It indicated that we should not drink our water…which let’s be honest it happens sometimes and we just boil it….next phrase out of the Newscasters mouth, DO NO BOIL!  My first thought was, what!?! My second thought was, oh crap that means no coffee!!! SH*T just got real!!!  I have a family of 5, a diabetic old dog, and household to take care of and I cannot do that sans caffeine!!! So the next logical step was, panic. So I tried it for a minute but it literally got me nowhere so I decided to maintain composure and go in search of caffeine, I mean water.  By then my 7 year old son was up so I brought him along thinking between his 7 year old brain and my non-caffeinated brain we should have the equivalent of one working adult brain and I figured we would be back in 15 minutes or so. Little did I know!!!

The Hunt for Caffeine, I mean Water….

August 2, 2014 7:45am we arrive at Kroger’s. We walk in, me in my sunglasses, thinking those are more forgiving than my tired eyes and unwashed face…if only I could just splash a little water on my face! And I was rocking a hot bed hair too…looking back I guess I could have brushed my hair, after all there was no ban on brushing, oh well. We grab a cart and make our way to what WAS the isle filled with water, flavored water, and Gatorade, all of which were gone! We left the cart in the isle and made our way back to the car. On our way to the car a gentleman yelled to everyone GO TO MICHIGAN THEY HAVE WATER! So we all piled into our cars and drove to Michigan (BTW, Michigan is literally 8 minutes up the road so we didn’t go far). We get there and SHOCKER, they are all out of water!! At this point I am feeling like such a failure! There was no way I could go home empty handed. And I am starting to suffer from caffeine withdrawal, I am not going to lie, it wasn’t pretty! So I drove a half hour into Michigan and every stop was OUT OF WATER (later they actually typed up signs so you didn’t have to waste your time getting out of the car). Now the real irony was that I was driving all over the place for water while it was pouring down rain outside…in case you were wondering, God definitely has a sense of humor. Haha! What was initially going to only take all of 15 minutes had tuned into 2 hours, and we needed gas!  So I pull into a gas station and I finally had the brilliant idea to grab an iced coffee…what can I say, my brain doesn’t function well without caffeine! And of course I looked for water but they were all out! Thus the search continued!!

 

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Time to Eat some Humble pie….

After 3 hours of searching for water, numerous texts coming in from family and friends informing me not to drink the water and to rush out ASAP to grab some (talk about rubbing salt in the wound) I knew what I had to do. I knew it would not be easy. I knew I would have to take a huge piece of humble pie…well, maybe more like the entire pie.  I made a call. I called….I called my water bottle loving momma! And she hooked a girl up! She said we were more than welcomed to her bottled waters, disposable dishes, utensils, etc. And not once did she make mention of my green and sustainable ways not being conducive to the situation or say her way was right, nope, because she is one of the most classy, remarkable people I know…always willing to help, to lend a hand, to build you up. Yep, my water bottle loving momma saved this green and sustainable preaching momma, turns out we might just need each other after all, who knew! And hopefully all her consumption and my conserving will somehow balance out in the end, maybe?!

 

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It Kills me to admit….But I had to….I confess….

So this ‘go green’ momma used disposable dishes and utensil because we were not able to use the water to clean our dishes. Used wet wipes as baths for the kids. Hand sanitizer to wash hands. I used paper towels to clean up spills (dog pee) because we couldn’t use hot water to do laundry. And more bottled waters than I would like to admit to in order for the family to drink, dog to drink, and use for anything else…cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth. It kills me to look at the picture of all those items that go against a green and sustainable lifestyle. But I must admit a little wine in the evening and iced coffee in the morning made the experience much more manageable. And the people, oh, the people in Toledo and the surrounding area were absolutely amazing!!

A Huge thank you to everyone who offered their home to us to get showered/cleaned up, who offered water and other necessities, and to all those who helped others, your generosity truly warmed my heart. After witnessing all the kindness bestowed on neighbors this past weekend it has definitely confirmed what I already knew, Toledo is a great place to live because of the people!! God Bless all of you!

 

 

 

What a Weekend: House showing, Pinewood Derby, Comforting Hearts 5k, and more!

We had a busy weekend but it was definitely full of family fun and even a little solitude, in a roundabout way.

Friday….

Friday evening we had a showing which left me extremely exhausted from preparing the entire house.  I think I might have gone overboard with cleaning.  I learned my lesson, you can’t clean all 3 levels of the house, the floors, scrub walls, counters, dust, vacuum, etc. in 4 hours, the human body was not equipped for such labor especially when paired with motherhood and crazy pets!

What mud?

Saturday…..

Our little Princess participated in a Pinewood Derby with the Native Sons and Daughters Program.  Her car was all girl which comes as no surprise. And even though she did not place two of her best friends did, actually, they tied for 2nd, how cool is that!! She was really excited for her friends and had so much fun with her friends, brother, and dad. 

Even though her car did not place in the Derby, all participants received a trophy. Which is very kind but we still had the discussion about how excited we were for her friends and those who placed and how sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  It is important that children are taught that they will lose.  While it is disappointing, they can learn from their losses/mistakes, to practice and try harder next time.  Because let’s be honest, doesn’t it feel so much better to win knowing you practiced, worked hard, put in your time, and it paid off? This topic deserves a post all its own, so there will be more to come on this topic at a later date.

While they were attending the Derby my mom, sister, toddler, and I attended mass since we had a 5k to attend on Palm Sunday.  Granted, Saturday’s mass isn’t quite as profound as Palm Sundays when the entire congregation assembles outside church and proceeds together into the church, but what is important is that we did attend a mass.

Sunday……

So, Sunday morning my mom, sister, and I attended the You’d have to be a Fool 5k out at Maumee Bay State Park for Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts Inc.   Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts Inc. gives care packages to the patients at The Toledo Children’s Hospital and Mercy Children’s Hospital in the oncology department. Elias’ story is shocking and sad but his memory is touching the lives of many.  Please consider donating to this amazing cause.  To read more about Elias’ story and donate checkout http://www.comfort-hearts.com/Welcome.html.

While at Maumee Bay State Park we stopped in the Lodge and had breakfast then took a peaceful stroll on the boardwalk.  

The delightful boardwalk takes you through a large coastal wetland complex faintly reminiscent of what A the Great Black Swamp may have been like before it was drained and cleared for farmland in the 1800′s. The trees in this wetland forest are a bit smaller, but the species mix is similar: Green Ash, Cottonwood, Silver Maple, Red Maple, Elm, Swamp White Oak.

Bird life is abundant in our coastal Ohio wetlands. Here you may see the Wood Duck, Redheads, Ruddy Ducks, Pintails, as well as a number of woodpecker species, such as the hairy woodpecker. Great Blue Heron hunt in the shallow water for fish, while the yellow warbler, swamp sparrows, and other songbirds sing their praises to the great Lake Erie. http://www.neonaturalist.com/trails/maumee_boardwalk_trail.html

Walking on the boardwalk was precisely what I needed. I blogged last week about trying to find some form of mediation, or peace, away from the distractions of technology, rapid random thoughts, worries, and such and I think I found it. 

My mind was cleared of worries, planning, wondering, and such and I simply got back to nature. I listened, looked, and breathed.  That was all. For those few minutes I did not have to be in charge of anyone or anything but myself.  I did not have to participate in conversation.  I did not have to do anything but walk, look, and listen. And look and listen I did, once away from the noise and distractions of modern society I was able to see God’s wonder and glory so clearly.   I found peace.  I also noticed God’s beauty through the gift of the human senses paired with my newfound peace. I slowed down and was able to notice the beauty around me including deer hidden in the long grass and a snake camouflaged in the foliage. Though physically exhausted from the activities of the weekend I left Maumee Bay with the solitude I knew my spirit was desperately seeking.

At the conclusion of my walk I realized that I was nurturing my relationships with my wonderful and supportive family and friends. But yet I was still beginning to feel overwhelmed and simply drained emotionally, mentally, and physically and I couldn’t pinpoint why.

While on that walk I figured it out, I had been focusing so much energy on cleaning the house for open houses and showings, running children to various activities, and the everyday issues of life. But I noticed that during all the commotion of life I became distracted and I had begun to neglect the most important relationship in my life, my relationship with God.  I have decided that I need to make a date with God. I make plans with friends to grab coffee, I have date night with my hubby, I make plans with those who are important to me, to nurture those relationships, to give them my undivided attention, and why should God be any different?

Have you ever found yourself drained and couldn’t figure out why? Do you have a place you go to renew your spirit, to pray, to nurture your relationship what God?