Monthly Archives: June 2010

Green Grilling

Last year Hubby was elated to get a quintessential Father’s Day gift: a grill. Hubby did the research and new that he wanted wanted quality over lots of bells and whistles that we’d never use. So he asked for a Weber, but the only problem was that they cost about twice as much as I wanted to pay for a grill.


I opted to search Craiglist, but it turns out that June isn’t the time to find good second-hand grill. I ended up finding the perfect grill/price, but after not hearing back for a few days I thought it was long-since sold. Yet, I had all the luck, because when seller finally took a moment to listen to all his messages, he choose me because I sounded the nicest! I’m sure I got extra points for saying that it was a Father’s Day gift. 🙂 


Now on to the green part of grilling. I was stoked to find a great article comparing the carbon footprint of grilling options. Believe it or not there are hybrid grills available for the green gourmet.


Grilling in the Pacific NW often includes salmon, and the beauty is that it’s so easy to grill up a delicious balsamic glazed salmon fillet for family and friends. Make sure to always buy frozen salmon, because it’s really the best choice for the environment and is usually cheaper too. Wild salmon may cost a premium, but the food chain will thank you. I’m also going to challenge myself this summer to grill my first portabello mushroom, I love them in restaurants but have never grilled them myself.


What’s your favorite grilling recipe, I’d love some new veggie ones?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Ode to Green Dads

I guess the cards must have been stacked in my favor from the beginning, because I was raised by two “Dads.” Actually my Mom married my “Dad” when my Twin Sis and I were two and we’ve always had a friendship with our biological father. As it turns out, they both fit the “Green Dad” title in their own unique way. 


My father was a tree planter for 25 years, and planted thousands of trees across Oregon and Washington. He was actually the President of Hoedads Cooperative for several terms. During the summers, he often took contracts to pick cones needed to grow the tree seedlings. He scaled giant fir and pine trees from Kodiak Island to the Redwoods. My father didn’t get rich from his career as a tree planter, but he offset his own carbon footprint before society realized the need.


My Dad was a car mechanic, and has always had a passion thinking about how to fix things. His van has over 300,000 miles on it and he kept my parents washer running for thirty years! The Berenstain Bears are smart enough to know that “everything needs a fixer,” but sadly in our throw-away consumer society fixing things is almost a lost art. My Dad reminisces fondly about when my family lived off the grid, with spring fed water and a root cellar to preserve food for the year. They lived off the land and not much else, but they were happy.


Both my “Dads” are innately frugal and eco-conscious, no wonder I’m on this path. Thanks!


Do you have a “Green Dad” who inspires you?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Paternity Leave Finances

Figuring out your family finances during paternity can be complex and highly personal. Often it can make you question whether you are financially prepared for a child, and all the pressure that comes with parenthood.


With my first pregnancy I was working for a small non-profit, and quickly realized I was not guaranteed any leave under the FMLA policy (not even unpaid with workplace under 50 employees). Yes, U.S. maternity leave ranks the same Ghana, Swaziland, and Zambia. As a result I opted to leave my job, and hope to find a position that would work with motherhood.


The next big question was, “How the hell were we going to manage an unpaid maternity leave?” So, I remember creating a spreadsheet of various timelines and how much we could manage to scrape by on. Perhaps our saving grace was that I had been making very little in my part-time non-profit gig through grad school, so we were used to paying the bulk of our bills on Hubby’s paycheck. Sadly and honestly, the only way I managed to stay home to raise our Big Guy for his first four months was with a small inheritance of a few thousand dollars. As it was, Hubby only managed to take a week of vacation time off.


Fortunately, our financial circumstances improved substantially between our first and second children, so at least I didn’t have to wonder whether we could afford our mortgage and groceries. I still had to figure our finances out to see how long we could manage on a single income, turns out that I started working part-time from home when Girly was six weeks and returned to full-time when she was eight months when I drained every last hour of unpaid leave. Hard to believe that this wouldn’t have been possible if our family wasn’t covered by Hubby’s employer paid health insurance.



How did you manage your finances during your family leave?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Supportland

I am super excited about the debut of the new supportland local rewards card, and hope the Mercury was correct in announcing the official launch today. Since I already try to shop mostly local, I’m really looking forward to trying it out. 


The basic gist is that you earn reward points by shopping local, and local shops will offer ways to “spend” the points you earned by shopping locally with freebies! Sounds ingenious to me.


Even if you’re not from p-town, you should be excited, because they have plans to support buying local across the nation. Who knows maybe the idea will globalize local, wouldn’t that be ironic?!


Here’s a quick video that explains how the program will help you save money while supporting local businesses:


Tell me your stories about using supportland!


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

All in This Together



I’m home sick today, so I’m sharing this little pick-me-up. This song always make me smile, and the lyrics are a good reminder of how we are all connected:





What helps remind you that “we’re all in this together”?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.