Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn 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!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gratitude Sunday

Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, I have been trying to take the time to notice the many things I have to be grateful for. This week I have felt grateful for:
  • The time that I got to spend with my family (in Florida!) this December. It is hard to live so far away from my family, and getting to see them around the holidays is a treat!
  • That my children are at an age where they can fly on a plane without a major disaster ensuing. Our two (long) flights home from Florida were filled with crying babies, screaming toddlers, and frustrated parents. I remember those days, oh-too-well... and am not sad to see them go. As the kids and I sat in our own row, surrounded by chaos, I was so amazed and thankful that my children were content. It surely makes life a lot easier.
  • Our warm, dry house that has sheltered us during this very rainy month. We have had over 14 inches of rain in December so far......My thoughts go out to all of the Portland homeless who probably haven't been dry for weeks.
  • That the rain (mostly) held out tonight while we walked down Peacock Lane, an annual tradition in Portland. 
  • My break from work. I really need some down time-- time to organize, to ponder, and to take care of the things that always get pushed to the bottom of the list when work and school are in the equation. It is unlikely that I will have my teaching job within a year or two, as I need to find a job that is full time.. something that is oh-so-elusive in the community college environment. Once I have a "real" job, I won't have weeks off around the holidays, so I am trying to really appreciate this time while I have it. And if I am lucky enough to be able to teach full time one day, I will appreciate it even more!

What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots

May the Christmas force be with you!

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Field Notes From a Catastrophe: A Review


I recently finished reading Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert and it was amazing. The book is a wee bit outdated, first published in 2004, I believe, but Kolbert does a fabulous job of explaining the implications of global warming in layman’s terms.
Kolbert writes about melting glaciers, changes in cultures, and species that are going extinct. She talks about the politics surrounding climate change and the  "business as usual" mentality that prevents any real changes in the amount of carbon emissions we are spewing out. She talks about places that have made change... and how little of a difference it makes until the entire world follows suit. She talks about technological fixes that many people are assuming, or at least really hoping, will save us, and the adaptations that will need to start happening very soon if they don't.
I have the revised and updated edition, so there are a few more chapters tacked onto the end which are really just essays that Kobert had already published, but it does give some updates and make the book slightly more relevant.
Either way, I loved this book. It does such a great job of explaining the basics of climate change in a simple and captivating way, and it touches on all aspects of the issue. And as much as the book emphasizes the importance of our current climate situation, it doesn't feel completely doom-and-gloom. This is a perfect book for folks who want to learn about change in a bit more detail, but don't want to be bogged down with scientific jargon and data. Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

An Escape From the Rain

Hello! The kids and I have just returned home from a fabulous week away in Florida! We were visiting my family, and it was wonderful. We escaped the Portland monsoon (at least temporarily) and enjoyed beach time, pool time, and even a trip to Legoland.
The kids had lots of cousin time, and there was rarely a minute to spare. I think we are all a bit exhausted, but also filled with happiness and gratitude for time spent with family. (I didn’t bring my camera, so my pictures are all from my i-phone, and are less than spectacular, but sometimes the camera just seems like one thing too many.....)
And now we are home, and I am looking forward to a couple of weeks of down time, snuggled home with the kids, doing less. And hoping that this rain stops. Or just slows down a bit. We may float away soon......

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Our Weekend


This weekend was:
  • Saturday morning pastries from the french bakery. Yum.
  • Running a few errands 
  • Making Christmas cookies
  • Lots of reading
  • A trip downtown to see an amazing gingerbread display and the lit-up tree at Pioneer square
  • Finishing up some hand made gifts
  • Soup, soup, and more soup
  • So much rain......

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend.

Joining in with Karen from Pumpkin Sunrise



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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Yarn Along

Hello! Can you believe that it's already December? Joining with Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.

I have finished Phoebe's puddle duck sweater and it is super cute. I decided to not do the 3/4 length sleeves and just did little capped sleeves instead. I am happy with my choice. I don't have a picture to show you because there never seems to be any natural light any more these days.... it's tricky to sneak in a picture in daylight (and I am also trying to hide the sweater from Miss P since it is a Christmas gift).

I am now working on this jumper for Phoebe, also for Christmas. Now that December has arrived, I am realizing that I had better knit faster if I am going to finish all of the projects that I had in mind! I think this will be another weekend around the house filled with crafting....

And what am I reading? It's more like what am I not reading.... I have a huge stack of books right now. I am slowly picking my way through War and Peace..... each pages is quite tedious to read as I often find myself having to look up characters, and of course, reading all of the french translations is slow too. However, I am starting to get pulled into the story and I am enjoying it. Tolstoy has a wonderful sense of humor. I think that I will be reading this one slowly, over many months, but that is fine by me.

I am also plowing through Reached, the last book in YA series Matched. I haven't been enjoying it as much as the first two, but oh well. It's a nice mindless read.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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