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!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Our May Garden

Our yard is so full of color and life right now. I love it. We have had a warm and dry spring, so the garden seems to be a bit ahead of schedule. We are eating strawberries and snap peas on a daily basis. We have a whole bunch of different varieties of squash just starting to leaf out, tomatoes that are just beginning to get flowers, blueberries that are still a ways from blue, and blackberries that have flowered too. We have peppers and potatoes, some chard and kale. And of course, a whole assortment of flowers and herbs!
I still have a lot of planting that I am hoping to fit in, but the longer I wait the less room there is because everything else keeps growing! Next week I will do another round of salad greens and beets. Yum.
Our youngest of our two ducks decided to build herself a very lovely next this year. She has worked very hard on it. We don't have any males, so her eggs are not fertile... which is OK, because she has decided to sit on a rock instead. She does lay her eggs in her nest, but we take them each morning and then she lovingly sits on and protects her rock for most of the day. It's like she is practicing to get broody. Hehe. Good, cheap entertainment.
How does your garden grow?

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

DIY: Family Cloths

Several months ago, I made a whole stack of family cloths. Essentially each cloth is just a piece of soft flannel folded in half, sewed together, with the edges trimmed using pinking shears so they don't get too frayed. They were super quick and easy to make, and I used leftover fabric so I didn't spend a dime.
I initially made these because as Phoebe was learning how to wipe herself, she was having a really hard time judging how much t.p. to use. This has completely solved that problem as she knows that she can just grab a wipe-- and that should be exactly what she needs to dry off.
The logistics of my system are that we keep the wipes on the back of the toilet, within easy reach for a 4 year old. Right next to the toilet is a bucket to deposit used wipes. Wipes are for wiping pee only (no poop!), and can also be used for blowing your nose, or can be moistened and use to wipe off body parts. Since it is only pee, there is no smell at all, and I wash these when I wash our towels so there is no extra laundry.
So far this system has worked magic in our house. No more wasted toilet paper, no more wet hands and bums from not using enough toilet paper, and less resource use overall.Two thumbs up from me! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yarn Along

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

How is it already time for another yarn along? This week has flown by.....

I am still knitting myself a slouchy hat. Very, very slowly. I have finished the ribbing and have moved on to the mindless portion now... but I just haven't had much downtime for knitting these days..... the garden and outdoor chores are keeping me on my toes, in a good way.

I am mostly reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I am nearing the end.  I have a stack of half-finished books on my nightstand, all calling my name, but am pretty eager to figure out the mystery of this one.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Weekend Adventure

This past weekend, the kids and I took a day trip to the Columbia Gorge. We went to the dam to check out the fish ladders, where we saw a handful of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. We went to the fish hatchery and paid a visit to Herman, the 70 year old white sturgeon. And then we hiked up to Wachlella Falls. It was a bit crowded, probably because of the 3-day weekend, but the views were stunning and their were tons of wild flowers. It was a perfect half day adventure!

How was your weekend?

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gratitude Sunday

This week I have felt so grateful for my children. I know that they depend on me for so many things (as it should be), but in the past few weeks I have begun to realize how much I depend on them as well. It's nothing short of magical to watch children learn and grow, and I am feeling pretty lucky that I get to join them in their journey.
I am also feeling so grateful for the place in which I live.... In the past couple of weeks alone I have been to the ocean and in mountains, walked through giant tress, and been surrounded by colorful blooms.
And, lastly, I am feeling grateful that summer is just a few short weeks away. I will have a break from work, the kids will have a break from school, and we have quite a few exciting adventures coming out way.
What have you felt grateful for this week?

Playing along with the other Taryn of Wooly Moss Roots. Pin It Now!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Toxin Toxout: A Review


Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World by

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Friday, May 22, 2015

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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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarn Along

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

I finished up Phoebe's sun romper several weeks ago, but the weather has not been appropriate and so I haven't had a chance to have her model it. Pictures to come soon though....

I have not been knitting much lately. I have had big intentions, like bringing my knitting with on my camping trip last weekend, and then never touching it. I guess I have just had too much other stuff in the way. I did cast on for a new slouchy hat for me a couple of days ago... I am only a few rows in, but I plan to get some knitting in this weekend. And I am in love with the colorway...

And as for reading.....I am actually reading about 5 books right now... I have slumped back into my habit of starting new books in the middle of other books. Sometimes, it just can't be helped. The one I am mostly focused on right now is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. So far it is a good, intriguing, mostly-mindless thriller, which is exactly what my brain wants to be reading right now.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Monday, May 18, 2015

The Sou'Wester: A Weekend Extraordinaire

I spent the weekend on the coast of Washington camping with some ladies.. a couple old friends, and a few new friends and it was just a lovely time.
We stayed at the Sou'Wester, which is a funky resort unlike any other I have seen. The main draw to the resort are the refurbished streamlines that dot the property-- you can stay in one of those, which are very hip on the inside (complete with record players), inside the lodge, or like us, you can bring your own tent and camp. The property has live music, a sauna, bikes you can borrow to ride to the beach, and even a thrift store where I scored a mighty-fine bright yellow dress. The folks who run the place are low-key and it was just great, happy times. I will be back, for sure!
We made a quick detour on the way home through Cape Disappointment State Park and it was gorgeous. I plan to go back that way soon... and maybe bring the kids along next time.
How was your weekend?

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope your day is full of love and joy!
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Painted Ladies

Things around here have been hectic. There's just been a ton going on and I haven't much time to just sit and organize my thoughts. And I haven't nearly had the time I would like to blog. So, I am a bit behind, and in my head there is a whole list of things I want to share with you. But, for now, I will just focus on butterflies.
For Christmas, my mom got the kids a butterfly kit, and over the past few weeks the kids and I have raised caterpillars and watched them turn into Painted Lady butterflies. This is something that I had never done before, and I have to admit, I was just as excited as the kids. Well, more excited than Finn actually (he HAS done this before, at school). Anyways, we loved watching the caterpillars grow at an amazing rate, and then form a chrysalis and hang, suspended by a silken thread, until they suddenly (and I mean suddenly) emerge as a butterfly. We only kept them as butterflies for a day, because we all wanted them to be free. And I must say that watching them fly away was the very best part.

I was astounded at how fragile the chrysalises are once the butterflies emerge: paper thin. I don't know how that meager shell can support such an amazing metamorphosis. Pretty cool stuff.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Over the past couple of weeks, I have felt so thankful for :

My friends, near and far, old and new. Friends who are there to lend a hand, or sometimes an ear. Friends who you know that you can count on no matter the distance between you. Friends who become family, maybe not by blood, but sometimes by ties even stronger.  I know that I am fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.

Spring. A new beginning for nature. Life springing up in unexpected places, every color of the rainbow represented. The sounds of birds, busy building nests. The drizzle of rain landing on leaves. Spider webs and snail trails. Butterflies and bees.

The quiet moments I have found for myself. Moments for yoga, for reading, for meditating, or sometimes for just simply being, without an agenda, for just a little while. Those moments often seem few and far between, but I have noticed that when I really need them, I will make the time.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Dog Mountain

On Sunday, I hiked Dog Mountain, in Washington, with two of my mama friends. Dog Mountain is a steep uphill climb with amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge. We went at peak wildflower time, and it was breathtaking. Flowers, flowers everywhere. My photos don't come close to capturing the beauty (especially since they were taken with my phone)!
It was a hard hike...... the kind I don't get to do very often because it's not so kid friendly. As the children get older, and less dependent on me, it's nice to find times to do the things I loved so much in my pre-kids life. I love being a mama, more than anything, but I also miss some of the parts of me that have gotten pushed to the back along this journey. As my children grow, I find that I am reclaiming those parts of myself, and making more room for them at the foreground of my life. And one day, I hope that my children will be able to join me on these adventures!
And for now, I am just feeling lucky that I live in such a beautiful place!

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