Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Welcome To "The Jelly Toaster!"

Where to begin with this one?

I got in a car accident last Thursday. I was at a two-way stop sign, stopped, and looked. I know I stopped and looked in all directions because I was contemplating a bike route. Ryan and I bought bikes last week, and I was attempting to create a bike route to the Park and to work. After stopping and looking, I decided to go straight. Before I knew it, as I crossed the two lane intersection, my car and I were spinning. It's easy to place fault and blame, especially when dealing with insurance, but I'll leave that alone. I don't have any broken bones, but I am healing from some nasty bruises and whiplash. What was our only car sits at the wrecker waiting for an adjuster to let us know if it's totaled.

On to The Jelly Toaster...Ryan and I have been saving money to buy a car in the Fall. We've been talking about buying a new car for a couple of years, gone to car shows, read and researched the different cars that we're fond of. Well, when this all happened, we double checked our finances. We had a certain amount and said to each other....let's go and see what happens. We went and test drove a couple of cars that we've had our eye on that we knew we were interested in. There are some things that Ryan and I just know deep down, and we both knew deep down which vehicle we wanted before we even went. Of course, after the fact - we admit that to each other. After a day of driving and talking, we purchased a new car. It's a 2008 Honda Element that we named The Jelly Toaster.

Let's see - what have I gleaned from this experience so far.

In a nutshell, be conscious and aware when you're driving. They are huge metal machines that are not to be reckoned with. You are not invincible just because you are in a metal cage. When you're driving, drive.

Our bodies are amazing. Knowing how the body works is pretty interesting. I could feel my body doing the whole "fight or flight" thing during and right after the accident. And now it's healing itself. I haven't had to take pain medication - just ice, heat, rest, massage, and Epsom Salt soaks.

Family and true friends love and support you. Ryan came immediately to my rescue and has been dealing with the insurance companies and loving on me ever since. He's even taken a couple of days off to spend time with me. Our friend, Jim, dashed out of work to check on me and give me a ride home. Ryan was on his motorcycle, so I needed a way to get my stuff and me home. Jim and Choyer as well as our friend, Logan, offered up vehicles to the Jenkins'. Logan and Becky brought ice cream over - Soy!, of course...and my favorite flavor at that. Both of our parents have called to check on us a lot and give us advice and their love. Maranda, another friend, gave up a slot for a paying client to give me a massage the day after. A group of friends rearranged "Girls Day" so I could be there. Everyone has been so kind and nice.

Show gratitude. At first I had a hard time being appreciative for the new car. I had this guilt for having an accident and then spending money for a new car. I didn't feel like I deserved it! I admitted that to a friend, and she put it into perspective for me. Speak your gratitude. I am very grateful that we have been able to buy a new car, the one we've had our eye on for years. I am also grateful that everyone is safe and healthy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Airing Out the Family Trash

Airing out the Family Trash, huh? I wondered if that would spark anyone's interest. What is KJ up to now? Is she about to disclose some family secrets for the world to read? Sorry to disappoint, or should I say "You are so welcome." No, this time I literally mean...Here is The Jenkins' Family Trash!!

Honestly, I never really thought about recycling. Don't roll your eyes - I'm being honest here. In Spring Hill, there wasn't a system of recycling that I was aware and so I never thought too much about it. I didn't know what I could or couldn't recycle or what to do with it. So, nothing ever got done. I didn't even know where or how to start.

When we moved into Nashville, there was a green trashcan and a tan trashcan. What in the world did we need 2 trashcans for? Common sense...green is the color for the environment. Hmm...recycling?

It didn't take long for me to get curious about recycling. For one, the county dropped off another set when we moved into the house, so we have 2 tan ones and 2 green ones. Here we have 4 trashcans and only one was being used. Ryan and I got on the internet and researched "Curby." That's Nashville's recycling! We read about what could and couldn't be thrown away in the recycling trashcan, what day Curby comes to pick up our recycled trash - which is once a month, where do you take your glass and plastic bags, and where exactly the recycling goes. It's a pretty interesting website.

We started one week setting aside everything that could be recycled at the end of the counter. It was overflowing with aluminum cans, junk mail, empty frozen veggie bags, cardboard boxes like Cheerios and Oatmeal, and glass jars and bottles after a couple of days. When the garbage came that week, we didn't even have a bag that needed to be taken. Whoah! It hit me all the trash we were dumping in landfills that would never go away. And there is a solution. It can be reused.

Now that we've been doing it for over a year, it's real simple. And it's efficient and good for the Earth we live on. Every couple of days, we walk to the back of the house and dump our recycling in the can. Once a month we have to take one or maybe two of our green trashcans up to the road. And on our normal trash day, we often times don't have a bag to dump or if we do, it's usually one measly plastic bag. It really does blow our minds every time the trash comes.

My new interest now is composting. Because when I take a look in the trash, all I see is food that could be composted and used as fertilizer. We'll let you know as that adventure progresses.

Oh! And about the glass and plastic grocery bags. I had my first experience this week. We kept our glass bottles in our basement and the plastic bags that people manage to collect for nearly a year. I admit Ryan and I are procrastinators on certain things. But there are stations throughout town that you drop off those items. The closest one to us is a couple of miles away. I went to Kroger and gave them back their bags in the bins placed outside the store. Took a total of 2 minutes tops. And then I went across the street to dump the jars and bottles. They even had a system there!!! I dumped brown colored glass in one bin, green/blue in another one, and clear in yet a different one. Let me tell you - I had so much fun. If you have any pent up tension that needs a way out, offer to recycle someone's glass. As you threw the glass in, you could hear it shatter when it hit the bottom. It was a great stress reliever!

Anyway, check out your local recycling. I mean you are already on the Internet. See what's available in your area and look into what you can do. Write your local officials if you need to.

Thanks for taking a look into The Jenkins' Family Trash today!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life with a Honda Civic...

...and only a Honda Civic.

Kari and I sold our truck last November. It was an ol' 98 Mazda B3000 we lovingly called the White Buddah, only because we had to rub the dashboard to make sure it'd get us where we wanted to go.
We decided to live life with one car for a while, just to save money so when we bought another vehicle we could pay cash. Luckily I have my motorcycle to rely on, so the going hasn't been too tough. If the temp was above freezing when I left in the morning or the rain was holding off, I was ok riding the Yamaha almost every day this winter. But we came to a realization this week...
...A Honda Civic and a motorcycle are no help when your trying to bring home 5 large shrubs for your newly bare flowerbed...
I took some of the precious free time that I am allotted now and dug up the flower bed in our front yard. The folks before us had just put a hodge-podge of shrubs and bushes there, and we promised ourselves we would work on it this April. So Wednesday Kari and I stopped by the store after work to pick up some boxwoods for the flowerbed.
First of all, I left two shrubs that I thought were boxwoods in the flowerbed, just because they were still alive and I thought we could just add to them. Well, we get to the store and start looking at the boxwoods and Kari says...."that's not what we have at home." I was convinced it was. But after careful consideration...(Kari's always right)...I realized what we had at home were a type of Holly bush. So we ended up buying a couple of those and 5 Boxwoods.
Now realize that the Boxwoods were about 2-3 feet tall and fairly wide. We cart them out to our car and stand there wondering "how in the world are we going to get these things home?"
Bad planning on our part.
So sure enough, because we live by the motto of our life being an adventure, we begin stuffing the plants into the innocent Honda Civic. About 15 minutes later, we finally had them all in...and this is what we looked like:
Now, I'm not sure if you can see or not, but Kari is stuffed in the middle of the back seat between all the shrubs. Don't worry, she somehow got her seatbelt on and miraculously I was able to see out of all the rear-view mirrors.
It would have been nice to have a truck or large SUV to throw all the plants in and head home, but what fun would that have been? We laughed the whole way home wondering what people thought of us.
We got the plants home and I spent some time today planting them. I have to say, I wish we had a before picture, because it has made a world of difference. I actually feel good about the front of our house now.
So if you are looking for a vehicle to help you move a large load of....well, anything, then look no further than a Honda Civic. We know from experience.