Friday, April 30, 2010

Biking and a Book Review: Make Your Place (Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills)

Dear Amy,

Happy Friday! I'm don't think I've looked forward to a weekend this much for awhile. What an exhausting week it's been. And I feel like I've hardly seen Rit all week. It will be so nice to simply be together as a family. We're heading down to Milwaukee early tomorrow morning for the Foster Family Walk/Run. We're meeting some family and friends there and we're really looking forward to it. Ah, weekend, I've missed you.

I've been doing a lot of reading so that I can make more educated decisions about our eating and wellness as a family. I thought I'd share one of my favorites with you every so often, maybe every Friday. One of the simplest, yet most helpful books I've found to date is Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs. Such a small little book, but what a font of good stuff! It is chocked full of information and recipes for common household items. It even covers how to grow things and make your garden more successful. Some of the recipes include cleaning products (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE homemade cleaning products), personal care products (Make your own shampoo, anyone?) and health and first aid products (I especially love this section).

I truly believe that our health and wellness as a family will result from the combination of a more healthy lifestyle overall. This includes recycling, spending less, reusing more, eating better, growing as much of our food as we can and making our environmental footprint as small as possible. This is so exciting to me!

We have committed as a family to walking and biking whenever and wherever possible. Our town is relatively small, so this is not too difficult. We purchased our first child bike trailer and it's scheduled to arrive today. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!  We bought the Chariot Cougar 2.

We did get a hand-me-down trailer from a friend, but we hadn't yet tried it out...until a couple of months ago. I pulled it out of the garage, cleaned it up, pumped up the tires and hooked it up to my cruiser (which is a beautiful, streamlined, copper-colored specimen of biking genius, by the way). I got the boys all ready in their helmets and strapped them in. Huh. Although the trailer is for two, they seemed a little teeny boys. Okay, A LOT snug. But I don't know, maybe that's how they're supposed to fit? We got 10 feet down the road before D started calling out, "See? See? See?" I pulled over to the side of road and got off my bike. Both boys' helmets had slid so far forward that neither could see at all. Their little chins were oh-so-comfortably resting on their chests. F-U-N! Right, boys? I fixed their helmets and continued on. Again, 10 feet down the road, I hear calls of protest from the trailer. I again pulled over and again adjusted the boys and fix their helmets. Let me just point out that the problem was not in the fit of the helmets. They were the right size and adjusted properly. We continued to stop every couple of minutes until we had made it half way around the block. I was trying not to laugh openly at the spectacle of it all. My heart sunk. I love to bike. My boys hated it. My lofty dreams of a pleasant ride turned into a stop and go 45-minute trip around the block. Literally. In fact, I made them suffer through it the last quarter of a block from the corner to our house without stopping. Mean mom. I know.

This new trailer? It represents my hope that I can return to biking this summer after not even venturing out on any of my three bikes at all last year. I miss biking. I want my boys to enjoy it. I want us to cruise around town to the library, to the store, to the museum, to see Rit at work. It's larger than our current one and has a hollow behind the boys' heads for their helmets so that their little heads remain upright. What a novel idea! They can actually see where we're going! I hope they won't panic at the sight of it. I hope the trauma of our one and only ride has subsided enough that they will at least TRY the new trailer. I can't wait! I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend!

Love, Kate


Post a Comment