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Compost Happens is a personal blog: part family, part garden, part crunchy green eco-writer. I'm Daisy, and I'm the groundskeeper here. I take care of family, garden, and coffee, when I'm not teaching and doing laundry.

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  • Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Those who can - teach.

    There's an old saying that goes something like this. Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. I'll tell you the truth: Those who can, teach. Those who are really, really capable also write about teaching.

    Enjoy the whole story here, at the new Compost Happens. Remember to change your bookmarks!
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    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Daisy's Garden Takes Shape: Part One, The Plan.

    Here's the plan:

    Here are the raw materials. 

    To see the whole story, go to the new Compost Happens. While you're there, please bookmark the new URL. 


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    Friday, May 18, 2012

    What will I tell the grandchildren?

    t was 2011 or 2012, you youngsters. I forget which year, but I can never forget what went down. And oh, boy, did it go down! 
    Wisconsin’s newly elected governor decided to take a piece out of all the people who worked for the state in any way, shape, or form. His goal was to destroy our unions’ rights to bargain, to cooperate with our employers and negotiate. He focused in on teachers, but we (yes, that included me back in the day) weren’t alone by any means. All public employees began to feel like public enemies as he vilified (look it up, honey, there are still dictionaries in this home) vilified us for daring to earn a living from a public source, a.k.a. tax monies, instead of a private company.

    Find the rest here, at the new Compost Happens. 

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    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    To educate or not to educate?

    Overheard: "Educated people aren't as happy underemployed as uneducated people."
    Scary thought, isn't it?
    Educated people expect more. Educated adults tend to raise educated children. Educated people value education and vote for candidates who will fund and maintain successful education systems. 
    To read more, go to the new Compost Happens. Update your bookmarks, too! 
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    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Chairs and Flowers and Mother's Day

    What do these two chairs have in common? 

    To read the whole story and see all the pictures, go to the new Compost Happens. See you there! 

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    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Romney: None so Blind

    My son, known to readers as Amigo, stands with his white can and tells a good joke.
    Mitt Romney, on the other hand, isn't funny. Mitt is gaining notoriety for his bullying behavior in high school, behavior he calls "dumb things." I'd take it farther than just dumb or dumber.
    To read the rest of the post, go to the new URL for Compost Happens. Trust me. It's all there. 

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    Wednesday, May 09, 2012

    Biding my thyme on election day

    Elections get me wired up. It's not the adrenaline rush of a candidate running for office. It's not the excitement of a journalist covering the story. It's a little simpler than that, but at the same time, it's more complex.

    To read the rest of this post, go to Compost Happens' new home! While you're there, update your bookmarks to the new URL. 
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    Tuesday, May 08, 2012

    You've seen this one already. It's a symbol of the slipshod lawmaking without care for detail or quality. I searched for something else with which to illustrate the upcoming election and the frightening actions in our capitol.
    actual photo of actual sign
    To see the rest of the signs and read the rest of the post, go to the new Compost Happens. 
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    Monday, May 07, 2012

    There's a storm coming in.

    It's literal and it's figurative. There's a storm brewing in my state.
    Skies are clouding over and the temperature is dropping. The radar shows lots of green (rain) with patches of yellow and red representing the stronger storms within. The forecast predicts thunderstorms overnight and through tomorrow.
    That's the literal storm.
    To read the rest of this post, go to the new Compost Happens. 
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    Sunday, May 06, 2012

    Isn't my blog the center of the universe?

    Actual evening conversation in our home

    Me: Oh, no! Our Internet connection is really, really slow!
    Chuck: May I recommend you wait a day? There may still be some problems caused by last night's storm.
    Me: But I'm in a Blogathon! I have to get tomorrow's post ready!
    Chuck: Life goes on, dear, despite your blog.
    Me: But it's part of my marketing strategy for the new domain and new URL!
    Chuck (now trying not to laugh): Life goes on, dear, despite your blogging needs.

    Luckily, I got online at that point.

    Yes, we are still married.

    And I'm cross-posting for a while at both URLs while the new Compost Happens is under construction. You can check out the progress here: Let me know how you like the new look!

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    Wednesday, May 02, 2012

    Quieting my Inner Cynic

    If every cloud has a silver lining, every environmentalist has an inner cynic. We're the ones who say, "Earth Day? I do this kind of thing 24-7-365."  True to form, I had a field day today when I came home from school.

    The weather outside was delightful, so I was able to walk to and from work. I brought my own lunch, refilled my own water bottle and coffee mug, and handled the workday in my usual green way. Then I came home.

    A package was on the porch: a product review sample left by FedEx. While overnight shipping has a significant carbon footprint, I understand the need for marketers to get their products out to their bloggers quickly. I can swallow this one.

    The mailbox had a book in it, a title I'd ordered from a swap site. This book will go to the little free library in front of my school building. Wrapped in recyclable brown paper, this secondhand book quietly and firmly channeled my inner Kermit the Frog green.

    The newspaper had an article about reducing trash. A nearby city is considering a pay-by-the-bag policy instead of the current property tax billing. I laughed out loud. When we moved here 16 years ago, we filled our large garbage bin to the brim every week. Now we have a garbage bin that's half the size (and a fee of $0), and if we miss a weekly pick-up it doesn't matter. We generate very little garbage. Recycling, composting, and a sincere effort to reuse instead of disposing all contribute to our lack of trash. Charge by the bag? I'm so there.

    Well, I opened the box to find a half-axed attempt at enviro-packaging. First, they'd sent me both items instead of the one I wanted. Hint: I didn't sign up to review a kids' product because my "kids" are grown-ups now. Second: the box was way, way over-packaged. I might have let this go if the only packaging had been the (reusable and recyclable) shredded paper, but atop the paper was a plastic sheath and underneath were two - 2! - layers of puffy plastic pillows.

    Deep breath, Daisy, deep breath. Not everyone has the same eco-standards as the Okay Chorale. Finish supper, settle in with laptop, and relax.

    My inbox had a note from a consulting group recruiting bloggers to try a program called the One Bag Party. Their goal is (are you ready for this?) to keep trash bags out of the landfill by making their bags stronger with less plastic. I stopped myself from snorting cappuccino out my nose at this one. This is supposed to be eco-sensitive? Make the bags bigger and stronger so people can throw away more garbage? People, check out the graduation party for Amigo and La Petite - a true One Bag Party. We didn't even use the lyrical Red Solo Cup.

    Oh, sigh. I guess the world isn't ready for the Compostermom standard. Quiet, inner cynic, quiet.

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    Tuesday, May 01, 2012

    4 X 10 - a Grassroots Recall Effort

     Anyone who's tried converting a patch of lawn into a garden knows the power of grass roots. The grass will keep trying to come back. Fifteen years after turning the soil of my first garden plot, I still find corners with grass trying to grow. I fight it back, and I consider the metaphor. 

    Grassroots organizers are powerful, too. This kind of political activist group works at the ground level, hangs on tightly, and doesn't go away. Instead, a grassroots campaign spreads its message by canvassing, calling, and other direct to-the-voters techniques. Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) has a lot at stake in this election. 

    WEAC's grassroots style plan for the recall: hit the pavement and the phones. They call it 4 x 10: a plan for success. If each WEAC member accomplishes these four goals, the recall will be successful. The plan, like many grassroots plan, makes the election personal. Since it's personal, I ask myself "How do I measure up?"  

    Collect 10 signatures on recall petitions. Yes, I did that. I set a goal of being personally responsible for at least ten people signing petitions. My ten became part of the larger whole: more than one million signatures, nearly double the number needed to request a recall election. 

    Donate or raise $10 to the recall effort. I haven't done this yet. It might be best if I stop in at our local Democratic Party office and make my donation there. The Democrats are looking split right now between four candidates; by donating to the party itself, I can be a little more certain that my money will be part of a solid effort to defeat Walker. 

    Reach out to ten voters. I've started. I talked to two friends who vote absentee because their jobs require a lot of travel. Both plan to request their ballots early this week. Amigo will vote absentee as well, since he is in school out of town. That's three: I need to reach at least seven more. I'm aiming next at young parents - those who will see their children hurt by Walker's policies. 

    Give ten hours of time to help with the effort. Does blogging count? Maybe. In addition, I should look for another way to help turn voters toward a state of healing, not hurting.


    I'll reclaim my garden.
    Let's work together to reclaim Wisconsin.

    This post is also on my new URL: It's still under construction; I'll let you know when it's ready! 
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    About 1 in 5 child deaths is due to injury. CDC Vital Signs


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