Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fascinating... in a weird way

So last week I was searching for the correct way to wash my satin-y cloth napkins that we used at Christmas. I came across this thread - about using cloth napkins in every day use, instead of paper napkins. I thought this was a perfect, green idea to go with my new thing of moving more towards being green. I thought that I might start to do this after we work through the paper napkin supply in the house that we currently have. I told Julie (the mother in law!) about this and she suggested putting the paper napkins in the camper where we can burn them in the campfire instead of putting them in the garbage, and that way I could start on cloth napkins now. Genius idea!

So I decided I wanted to see some other ideas from these people that brought me this cloth napkin idea. So I went back from that thread to the more broad forum - it's called Frugality and Finances, at Mothering (which is apparently a "natural family living community" - sounds like there is a magazine that this all comes from). Okay, interesting, but just because these people have kids doesn't mean their ideas can't relate to me. They're all big on Dave Ramsey (I've never actually read any of his books, but I've read so many personal finance forums and blogs and things that I feel like I have!) and have some interesting ideas. The interesting thing about this forum compared to most personal finance forums I read is that they're MORE into overall natural living than they are into finance. So for instance, even though you can often find new items more cheaply at Ikea or Target, they would prefer buying the same item used from Goodwill or a thrift store because it lowers overall consumption. Interesting.

I can see in the signatures these people use on their forum postings other things they're into - home schooling, family bed, no vaccinations, eating organic, "babywearing" (never heard of that before this forum), etc. So I back up even further into their overall Mothering forum - YIKES. Reading their discussions about all of these ways they are raising their kids are fascinating to me. Certainly things I'd (for the most part) never thought about. If I ever have kids, they would definitely be topics I would do some research into and spend some time thinking about. I mentioned them to Geoff and for most things his first reaction was "ew, no" but he also said they are things worth thinking about if you do have kids. Interesting, anyway.

So after that I stayed safely in the world of "Frugality and Finances"... still a lot of interesting discussion. There was a discussion about if teens are more expensive than babies and kids, and one mother pointed out that America is one of the only countries where braces seem to be a given for almost all kids. In most cases, they're really just cosmetic and not needed for health reasons. Stuff on gardening, stocking up your pantry, having "no spend days/weekends", etc. All fascinating to me. A woman's blog link about how she stocks her pantry, doesn't have trash service (takes her own loads to the dump instead), turns her water heater down except for laundering cloth diapers, line drys laundry, etc.

Today... I encountered a whole new kind of frugality - cloth toilet paper! I am so fascinated by these people. On many of these topics I can't/haven't even formed an opinion one way or the other about if I think these are good or bad ideas (for me, I'm not questioning if they're good ideas for those folks!), but I just love how much it makes me think.

One note about this blog: I completely generalize this entire forum... I realize they're individuals who all have their own ideas and do different things, but I am speaking in general when I say "those people". Just the feeling I get from the general nature of the discussion. Anyway though, I'll keep reading occasionally. It's certainly an interesting read if nothing else! Reveals my own ignorance to me. :)

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