Monday, May 18, 2009

Dad's Horrible Sins!

My Dad is a workaholic.

It's really horrible.

Here in Slovenia, we have a word 'priden' /pronounce: preedn!/ (meaning: good, hardworking) and my Dad is just, well too preedn!!

I wanted to boast about our zero waste week resulting in less waste in a month than in a week before!

& partly, it is true: our kitchen bin is after 5 weeks (!) only half-full, approximately!

Before zero waste week, we made 1 bag of trash a week, now it's been 5 weeks & it's not even fully half-full!

But, the very last weekend before 1 month anniversary, my Dad really did something horrible & ruined it all!

He stuffed a crate full of old dirty glass oil bottles - into the bin! Yikes!

& while I was asking myself on Tuseday (emptying-the-bin day!) how my neighbours could be so stupid to put so much glass into their bin (the bin lorry machine chewing glass is LOUD!! & glass doesn't burn!), I learnt the horrible truth - it wasn't my neighbours, it was my Dad!!

& he wasn't even ashamed of it!!

Door was slammed, Dad got yelled at (& still remained clueless! /sigh/)
I was devastated. I hid under the duvet & cried. (& contemplated staying there forever).

How could I preach to inspire anyone to go zero waste or talk to my local politicians on anything trash if my Dad did such horrible things?!!

The worst part of it is I know it was partly my fault for not figuring out what to do with the bottles in the right time.. (First I asked Dad to give me one week, then one month to figure out..) Mum just thought I was meaning to wash 'em & put into recycling. 'But they were too dirty to be washed,' Dad said..
I was meaning to call the two companies who could tell me more, & kinda hesitated (afraid they'd both tell me different things anyway!)

Then, I got even more furious.
It was precisely because of this sort of thing that all matters trash should be really accessible to the masses (so I or Dad didn't need to ruminate for a month over what to do with the old oil bottles!)
Ideally, all info would be readily available online, & trash consultants happy to answer all questions, & consult people! & the battle against trash should really be increased, not abandoned completely out of all misery!

Like in Star Wars, 'one battle may be lost, but we can still win a war!'

So I went & knitted crocheted not 1, but 2 dish cloths!!

(while watching Pride&Prejudice - the series! to calm my nerves.. & get more 'into' the 'spirit' of ladies' handiworks! I also coveted the lovely hats & dresses!
I didn't even know if I could still knit crochet!
At first I fumbled about a bit, didn't really follow a pattern, due to a storm we had to turn off the PC - & well, doesn't look to shabby! so I was quite proud!)

Do you know the story of a wife who made a doll every time her husband really made her mad? (I think she was ideal wife, never raised a voice, & got rich selling the dolls or something!)

'So it was your pride that got hurt?' Dad asked me 2 days later when I calmed down. & we talked. & he says it was because a relative was coming to visit & he might see the damn bottles!
/sigh, whose pride are we talking about?!/

So then Dad & I made peace, & I thought that was the end of it!

Next day or so, I find our old doggie house (kennel) roofless!!

'Why did you do that, Dad?' - 'Oh, it was old & in the way...'


I had asked him to donate the kennel to someone 2 years ago already..
'Oh, maybe we'll get a dog...' - Grr! Of course we didn't, Sis & I are still lamenting our old doggie too much!! & everyone's too busy with other things anyway!
(& since neighbours' doggie isn't walked enough, I prefer to take him for a walk!)

He told me to fix it & donate it myself, & well, I couldn't figure out what to do with it in 2 days.. (not really handy with fixing roofs without Dad! & he was busy until today..)

So now we ended up with this:

And this:
without further notice! :(

I want our old doggie house back!! :(

And why all this maddness?
Why is Dad removing everything like a mad man?

Well, our big balcony is to have a wall & a roof over it, & Dad is 'making space'... which is all in all, a good thing. (as water has been going into Sis's room!) I just hate the way he goes about it.
No consulting with the family, no family meeting.. maybe sometimes he casually asked Mum, who half-misunderstood him & gave him the 'go ahead' to 'remove' the kennel? (But where, I said? Mum thought he'd just move it away, Dad saw as permission to annihilate!)

I printed him out an article in Slovenian warning about burning trash or painted wood! (because of dioxins!)

It's making me frantic, both the balcony workings & the promise of 'building trash' - this is another 'sore spot' of Slovenian trash & waste & building companies..
Dad said at first he just meant to shove the balcony tiles by the river (to improve the banks anyway!) - not half a bad idea, though are the tiles & the cement glue they were glued on with really so harmless?
Then, he said, 'he couldn't do it if I'm so strict about it, soo.. he might give 'em to a mate to shove in a ditch where he puts such waste!'
He mentioned some building waste (including plastic - possibly PVC - flooring?!!) being already put there (not ours! but still!!).. Grr!!

So I lamented & wondered if it will ever be sorted, the War on Waste!!

& now I truly saw it as WAR!!

Especially after reading the awesome Saga of the Otori trilogy!

You may win one battle (like my own bathroom, & now the kitchen!! YAY!:)
But you must always WATCH THE BIN!! (One month of my family behaving well made me careless!! so first someone slipped a recyclable chocolate wrapper in the bin, then other things followed, now even the budgie's waste!! grr!!) And that's despite me making zero waste cookies AND muffins for the 1-month anniversary (& the relative's visit!) previous weekend! (Okay, almost zero waste! just previously-used baking powder baggie got thrown away. Better than tons of cellophane or plastic bags or containers when buying cookies!)

I was trying to be zen about it all, & many times didn't 'fly into the air' & make a terrible fuss, cause I thought I was making too much fuss as it was, & wanted to give my folks a bit of a break!

AND, seems like the 'downstairs' will be a new & tough battle!!

Dad has always seen the 'Downstairs' as his supreme legacy, Mum had the upstairs & kitchen etc in her command, his downstairs was where he could be free!!


To make garbage? - I don't think so!

It may be a long tough battle, but already there have been some victories too!!

You know how loud noises REALLY annoy me? I mean, REALLY annoy me!!
My Dad used to mow the lawn in a really non-eco way, with the loud gas guzzler!!

So I objected & demanded it be mown old-style, with a scythe!
'Then mow it yourself!' Dad said, not believing I'd do it!

He didn't even tell me, one day he just started mowing the lawn! I ran outside & yelled!
Then, we negotiated the lawn! He'd mow the harder-accessible half, since he had gas in the lawn mower already (& we have small fruit trees) & I'd get to mow the better half.. I felt quite smug, negotiating it all!
He grunted, but since he had promised to teach me to mow, he had to comply!

(scythe in the backround, I felt like Death's daughter Susan! :)
okay, I didn't use the old-time transport means, I used a wheelbarrow)

but our compost looks nice now:

& I may be ADDICTED to making dish cloths now!! :)
/if only I knew what size to make 'em? 12 - 14 cm might be too small? What do you guys think? Also, Mum suggested a softer pattern-?)


  1. Hi Layla!
    If I knew before what happened to you on Monday, I would come here early to support you!

    Be patient with your parents... they surely have their own problems and frustrations... and when I find also problems with my mother or my mother-in-law I let them do and, in a second time, I explain with calm that they could do things differently. With good manners they better understand my motivations!

    But a thing is true: it's not their fault if nobody provided a collecting system or give an answer for such things like dirty oil bottles and similar! Slovenian and Italian waste collecting systems are unfortunately almost identical!

    As regards oil bottles or damijohns I wash them with few drops of eco-detergent for dishes and then I rinse them and re-wash with vinegar and hot water. At the end they they are very clean and can be reused because no residuals of oil remain in.

    As regards grass, instead, we have an electrical appliance to mow it but we prefer scythe too! :) And you have plenty of compost! WOW

    Have you done your dish cloths? Your dimensions seems a bit small but it depends on what you have to do with them... let us know! ;)

  2. Thank you Danda!! :)

    I'm all good now, but I really had a 'moral crisis' (& PMS!:) last week... heh this stuff makes us stronger... :)

    Thank you for your tips! I will try washing the oil bottles this way! :) Do you also use the 'brush' for bottles? (Mum has an old one..)

    electrical lawn mower is MUCH better than gas! (very quiet, no?) glad you prefer the scythe too! do you both know how to use it?
    (my neighbor said I must learn so I can teach my man if he doesn't know how!:)

    the compost is partly leaning to a small 'hill' (riverbank) so it's not all that big, we do need more even! :)

    Do you have dish cloths too? & how big?
    I haven't made them bigger yet, am thinking to finish & try them out, & see if I need to make them bigger?
    I just wanted to use them to wash the dishes..

  3. You're welcome! If I can, I 'd help you!

    So, in certain cases I use also the brush for bottles... only if residuals are hard to remove. I had the brush because I use it also to wash reusable bottles for milk on tap. :)

    My mate knows how to use the scythe. I must learn because grass is grown again and he had allergy last weekend taking the green waste to the HWRC! :( But the scythe is quite different form yours. it has a little handle and you must be curved to mow the lawn. A bit hardest, but fortunately garden is little... :D

    Sorry, I confused dish clothes with dish towels used to dry dishes! :D I wash the dishes with a cellulose sponge wich is biodegradable at 100% and, to remove hard dirt, I use a little rigid cotton cloth I bought at the superstore... even if I'm not sure about the substance that make it rigid... but surely better then synthetic sponges, I think.
    I'm searching for loofah (or luffa) sponges here... they say that they are great to clean pots... see
    See you! ;)

  4. Thank you Danda!! :)

    Do you know if old Nivea hand cream is compostable? :)

    It is really good your mate knows how to use the scythe! I wonder, if you have the much smaller version, that is about as big as your elbow? (like in the communist flag, with the hammer, or for reaping wheat?) I have no idea how to use that one, but it would be interesting to learn!

    we had a cellulose sponge to wash counters, it does get dirty & mouldy quickly, & comes in a cellophane wrapper.. not sure what you mean with rigid cotton cloth - can you post a picture/link?
    I may have seen luffas sold for bathrom use - for rubbing the back while bathing or such!
    It would be interesting to have one indeed!!
    Do tell if you get it & try it out!!
    I wonder if we could grow them in the garden..? ;)