Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn Oakley and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along.

My  sweater is done. Completely. I have even worn it once. You can see a picture below, although I think I am looking a bit haggard in that photo (taken by Finn), which maybe takes away from some of the loveliness of the sweater. My problem with my sweater is that it is sooooo tiny (and tight) even after blocking and stretching it (and even after making it a size larger than I am!). And, the tight sleeves are quite scratchy. I did spray the sweater with vinegar, which seemed to help the scratchiness a bit, but hasn't quite cured the problem. Anyone have a great remedy for softening out wool?

Now I am working on a quick hat for Phoebe, and have a whole list of projects I want to start. I think the cooler weather just gets my knitting juices flowing!

I  am currently reading Gideon the Cutpurse. It is the first in an English fantasy trilogy that is supposedly similar to Harry Potter. So far it is OK, but I can't say that I am hooked yet.....

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

This week I have been grateful for
  • Our wonderful library. Finn has just been eating up chapter books, sometimes reading 3 or more in a single day, and there is no way we could sustain that habit if we had to buy the books for him. 
  • For over-hearing Finn say to his friend "I would do anything for my mom and dad. My parents are the most important thing in my life, you know".  I hope he always stays this sweet. 
  • For fall. For cooler days and changing leaves. Crisp morning air and autumn breezes.
  • For a return to a slower schedule; nights spent at home with no obligations. Time to read, watch movies, knit and sew. As much as I love summer, I think that I love the return to my home-body phase just as much.
What are you grateful for this week?
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Our September Garden

Our garden has been changing a lot this month. In fact, we have seen many changes even since I took these photos a few days ago. We are eating grapes and kale from the garden on a regular basis these days. Our zucchini and tomatoes are producing their last fruits. We have jalapeno and Anaheim peppers, a few beets, and some parsley and basil that will soon go to seed. Our winter squash is finishing up (we even ate a delicata squash for dinner the other night!). And our potatoes that we planted this summer are still growing. We aren't sure if they didn't get enough light, and will be small (as we had expected the plants to have yellowed already), but I am going to wait another week or so before I dig in and check things out myself. I planted garlic and shallots last week, as well as some lettuce starts (because the birds keep eating all of my seeds that I plant). Hoping to get another round of herbs into the ground in the next week or so, but haven't yet had the time.
All in all we had a decent gardening summer, especially considering we weren't around all that much. However, I can tell that our soil is starting to become depleted even though we regularly add compost. We are starting to see the same pests again and again, even with crop rotation. Essentially, I think our available area is really just too small to grow everything we want each year, and in reality we should be rotating crops and only growing each family once every few years. But that's so fun. I think next year we will add a layer of fresh soil to our garden, which is sort of cheating, but I think that is the only way we can maintain a diverse garden in a small space.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo- no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I am Always So Tired (Or Tales of a Zombie Mama)

For my birthday I got a fitbit flex. I love it. Have you heard of these? It is a bracelet you wear and it tracks your exercise as well as your sleep (including the number of times you are awake each night). I have always been a terrible sleeper. I often get insomnia at night and have trouble falling asleep, and despite the number of hours I am actually in bed, I usually have trouble waking up and feel exhausted most of each day. When the kiddos were little, I expected to be exhausted and didn't think twice about it. But now that my children are sleeping through the night, I feel like I should be waking up rested. I never expected to still feel like I had a newborn when my youngest was 3 and 1/2.
But now I know why I do.
According to my fitbit, I am waking up between 12 and 37 times a night. Yes-- 37!!! This doesn't mean I am up and out of bed that much, just restless and not fully asleep. When I am "sleeping" for 7 hours, and waking up 37 times, that means I am only really sleeping in 10-15 minutes stretches. Yikes.
Well, at least this explains why I am constantly tired. Now I just need to figure out how to be a better sleeper. Doing some brief internet research leads me to believe that my chronic back pain (which was made worse by my August car accident) is probably at least partially to blame. The pain is probably just enough to make me uncomfortable, and move around, partially waking me in the process.
So now I am on a quest to be a better sleeper. 
How do you help yourself fall into a restful sleep?
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Autumn!

Happy first day of fall everyone!
One of my calendars said the first day of fall is today, the other says it was yesterday. There seems to be a lack of agreement on the internet as well. So, I decided on celebrating it today. Why not.
I love fall. I love the crispness of the morning air, the warmth of the late afternoon sun, the changing of the leaves.
I love the urge I get to stay home and start (and finish) projects-- things that have been on my mind since summer, but have been set aside for social schedules and outdoor explorations.
I love the return to a more steady rhythm, where things have a scheduled time and place.
I love the warmth of a cozy kitchen where smells of deliciousness fill the air.

This summer was a fantastic one, filled with lots of fun and adventure, but I am ready to start teaching again and ready to shift to a (somewhat) slower pace. It has been a hot summer here and I am looking forward to cooler temperatures. I am even looking forward (a little) to the rain, although I know that it will likely get old pretty quickly.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

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Monday, September 22, 2014

The People's Climate March

Yesterday, Phoebe and I headed downtown to participate in the People's Climate March and rally. It was awesome. It was about 5,000 people strong, which is amazing, but certainly pales in comparison to the more than 300,000 folks that turned up to march in New York City (!!!).
Our bus ride downtown was full of people headed to the rally, and Phoebe made fast friends with some other young children. She was a trooper, and despite to 90-degree weather, she didn't complain once. I think she is my mini-activist in training, and was certainly the best rally partner I have ever had.
Now we just have to hope our actions convince our government (and our corporations) to start thinking differently about how we treat this planet. Time is running our to make change. I hope we can work together on this one.

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