Wally’s Way

As my close friends and family already know, my father Wally passed away, and just last Monday I was busy hosting a wake in his honor. Needless to say, it’s been a surreal experience to both mourn and celebrate his life.

Like perhaps most daughters, I now realize how much I took him for granted. But I also realize how much his direct influence has shaped my life, especially when it comes to pursuing my passions and speaking my truth. And I feel deeply that his memory will only make me a better parent, friend, and person.

Reuniting with and meeting many of his friends has given me pause to think about the value of my friendships, and my desire to invest my energy into them more readily. Let’s face it, relationships take lots of time and energy, but my father never hesitated to make himself available to friends. Upon his death, it was abundantly clear that he had hundreds of friends touched by his friendship. I can only hope that I will be so lucky to have such genuine love poured out when I go, and the whole experience makes my heart feel more open.

More than anything, Wally was an oral historian for his community. He listened to people, he learned, and he shared. He had his own unique “Wallyisms,” but everyone loved him. Like his life partner said, “He was the best. The best Wally he could be.” And in my opinion, that’s best anyone can aspire to…being true to yourself and having people who love you for you.

In reflection, I’ve also been thinking about how much my father was really the definition of hippie and he created his own sub-culture:

  • Dropped out of college to live in Haight-Ashbury
  • Hitch-hiked to Woodstock
  • Smoked a joint with Janis Joplin
  • Lived off the grid (just gravity fed piped water…like the Bull Run)
  • Lived in a house truck (his father built a homemade RV on a pick-up truck to travel to Alaska for a month when he was ten years)
  • Founding member of Hoedads Treeplanting Cooperative – planted trees and picked cones (for seedlings) for 25 years
  • Charter member of the Oregon Country Fair
  • OCF Recycling Crew member for 25 years
  • Dated Jerry Garcia’s wife, Mountain Girl, until she returned to him following health issues
  • Renaissance man – Taught skiing at Mt Bachelor, t aught himself to sail, t aught himself to play guitar
  • Called Eugene his home – as one friend put it – “Wally was a Eugene Icon
He was obviously one-of-a-kind in an era of much social change, but I know that he felt like his true legacy was leaving behind twin daughters who are simultaneously working to live authentically, while sharing our passions with the world. I feel like my true legacy will be raising children who are willing to express themselves with such openness and love.

What legacy will you leave behind?

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

Happy Mama’s Day!

I’m excited to be heading for a mini-Mama’s day vacation…dropping kids off at “Grandma and Papas” before Hubby and I head down for a few cherished days as adults…we lived in Ashland for two years prior to kids, so I’m sure it will feel surreal to visit…then we’ll have time as a family for Mama’s day itself.

Last year I took a lot of time to write several of my favorite posts on “Green Mamas.” I’ve gained lots of new readers since then, so in an effort to recycle:

Ode to Green Mamas
Celebrity Green Mamas
Green Mompreneurs – I would now add JBF organizers to this list! 
Global Green Mamas
Great and Grand Mamas

Lastly, to our beloved Mama: Thank you for raising us with green family values and being generous to the core. We  love you more than you can know. 

(photo of Twin Sis on the left)

Happy Mama’s Day!

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

Family Friendly Farmer’s Markets

Despite the fact that I froze this morning when daring to wear a skirt, I am determined to believe that spring is finally here. For me that means the return of my ritual visits to the Portland Farmer’s Markets! 

I mark dates on my calendar, and try to make at least one a week. This year I plan on buying much more produce, since we no longer have organic home delivery.

Not surprisingly, Portland made the Apartment Therapy’s Top 10 List of Farmer’s Market . But they don’t share that the PSU Saturday market is really one mostly for visitors, and locals visit the others all across the city on different days of the week. Here are my favorites:

Here are some tips for saving money at Farmer’s Markets:

  • Buy in season – pretty simple, but you’ll pay more if you get impatient
  • Bring a list, but be flexible – it’s obviously harder to predict availability and sales, so flexibility is key
  • Buy in bulk – freezing fresh produce is a great way to save and eat healthy out of season. But there’s a caveat…
  • Don’t buy more than you have time to eat/store – nothing worse than wasting food!
  • Shop at the end of the day – no vendor wants to schlep home wares, so deals are to be made…and don’t be afraid to negotiate, but remember market etiquette 

While it won’t likely reduce your grocery bill, I think bringing kids to farmer’s markets encourages lifelong healthy eating habits. We’re lucky that our kids go to the market almost every week with their childcare classes. The kids pick out veggies that the cook uses on healthy pizzas, and as you would guess the kids come up with some really creative combos. Portland Farmer’s Markets even offers cooking lessons for kids, which  reminds me of my niece, Kid Foodie 🙂 

Do you frequent farmer’s markets with your family?

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

Cloth Diaper Tips

I’ve been feeling a bit naked lately…without schlepping cloth diapers to/from the office/childcare. You see, once we got serious about potty training and having Girly visit the Toddler room for potty visits, it became challenging for staff to tote clean/dirty diapers between classrooms with up to four Wobblers. I can only imagine the feet of patience that would require, so in an effort to support their effort, I agreed to no longer using cloth diapers at “school”… naturally hoping that this will speed the process toward no diapers altogether!

cloth diaper tips Not that I want to brag about our effort to use cloth diapers almost full time, but it is pretty rare. I was lucky that the first few months after Girly was in childcare she attended a place that provided cloth service (at no extra charge!), so when we transitioned, I didn’t really want to give that up. But I also knew that it would require quite a bit of effort on my part. Beyond doing two extra loads of diapers per week , one of my initial tests was getting full support of staff to use cloth. They were open to it, but still needed some support on the learning curve…some of these tips should be helpful to new parents too!

Note, most critical factor to hauling dirty diapers is a smell proof container. I bought snapping boxes with handles at Storables, and they truly keep the smell out. I skipped expensive diaper pails in our laundry area for a large snap close tub.

Here is the personal tip sheet that I made for staff to help with using cloth diapers:

Cloth Diaper Tips

Thank you for making the extra effort to use our cloth diapers!

I try to set them up in advance so you don’t have much prep work. Here are a few tips to help make both our lives a bit easier:


  • There are a variety of style diapers – all of Makenna’s fasten in front (G’s are in back)
  • Please use the thin liners whenever possible – helps remove solids easily
  • Pocket diapers or All-in-ones: These can only be used once.
  • Wraps can be used multiple times with fresh folding cloth inserts. They are designed to be very repellent and only need to be washed when poop gets on the wrap itself.


  • Please fasten the tabs to the inside Velcro squares – see photos below, this step doesn’t take any extra time really, but it does save me from fastening before washing.
  • Using one bag to line the box daily is sufficient – saves time on both sides.

Darcy and family

Here’s a review of the new Bum Genius diapers, which happen to be one favorite brand

Do you use cloth diapers in a childcare setting…any tips?

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