Sustainable Life – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Sustainable Life

Rosemary that I asked for, from a friend’s bush. We bartered!

January 25, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s 542am and the wind is howling. It’s raining in Southern California, and it’s much needed but unusual for us. Having lived through multiple droughts in our sunny state, I’m always grateful for whatever rain we can get. I spent last night updating our finances and refining our goals. I thought I had neglected things of late, but everything was fine. We are in tip-top shape financially and have some medium sized investments that we will make soon. It’s funny how the hard-work and foundation we laid out fifteen years ago are paying generous dividends. Personal finance is easy now. I had mentioned on the KevinMD podcast that it helps to be financially independent, and I wanted to check if that was true for our numbers. And it actually is. I could stop working now completely, and we would be fine without my income. But that has never been the point of financial independence, it was more freedom from someone else or some other entity being able to control me.

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I honestly really grew this all myself, and my family ate it!

January 12, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It wasn’t enough to make an entire dish, but I grew it. I grew it all myself. The shallots were from the store but I saved the ends and just stuck them in some water. I chopped them up, and put the bulbs in my container garden. The radishes and beet greens I planted from seed in my container garden. I did it myself. I sold our Honda Odyssey Minivan https://drplasticpicker.com/the-road-to-fise-let-it-go-the-2006-honda-minivan/, turned our backyard concrete parking pad into a minicontainer garden. This took learning how to sell the Minivan myself and filling out the DMV paperwork. Then after selling the minivan, taking multiple trips with Mr. Plastic Picker to Home Depot to buy the containers and soil. I had to clean the entire area. I moved an old outside rug that had been upstairs on the roofdeck for over a year, and very dusty. I vaccumed the rug and carried the heavy thing downstairs myself. Then I moved the patio furniture around, and a chair over to my mini-container garden area. Suddenly a small wicker end table appeared, my mother-in-law brought it out from their stash. I bought seed packets of radishes and beet greens. I bought them because I want to start eating them more, and I read that they are almost impossible to mess up. And then I started gardening. It’s been a multi-month process. The parsley I tried got riddled with these unknown bugs and I have no idea what they are. But finally, yesterday – it was time to harvest.

Radishes!!!

It’s so important to plant things. I need to set a good example. I was standing at the local taco shop across from our clinic, and Dr. Dear Friend and Dr. MM and I were buying lunch. Then Jupiter Ascending was playing on the screen. That movie is a closet vampire movie about this god-awful sci-fi fantasy about people harvesting souls. It’s horrible and now a cult classic. I want to be a creator of life and I don’t want to live forever young. I am happy being middle-aged and wise (but with lucious hair from my new HiBar shampoo bar!). So I am trying to plant a garden myself for my children and myself, and to set a good example for my patients and the world. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it. Succulents that people have gifted to me in the past have died in my office.

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First Christmas Hike.

December 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s not too late to create your traditions. The holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) were always a painful time of year for Mr. Plastic Picker and myself. It may have been for you as well. When we lived in Boston and had our son, we were still immersed in the university life and still trainee physicians. We had the MDs but not the salary nor the marketable skills, nor the scheduling freedom. Little did we know that scheduling freedom is really a mythical unicorn and does not exist. But every holiday the grandparents would disappear from Boston to New York City, as Mr. Plastic Picker’s sisters were in New York with their chaotic lives and the chaotic cousins.

On the holidays if one of us was actually off, someone would stay home with our then one child. If either was working, we sent our son with his grandparents to be with the chaotic cousins. I remember distinctly this one Thanksgiving when he must have been about two, when we both had Thanksgiving off and the grandparents were gone. We lived in a very small apartment and of course we didn’t know how to cook yet. Free Thanksgiving Dinner was provided by Crimson University at a select number of dining halls and we went to Adams House. This was Mr. Plastic Picker’s old undergraduate House at Crimson University. Honestly the dinner , although well made and delicious, was always kind of sad. Crimson University for all it’s glory was still a faceless institution, and we sat there eating with our toddler son as graduate advisors with a roomful of other sentient beings living their lives and really wishing to be with others that were not us.

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Food is so important, but so is exercise in moderation.

December 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Exercise is important. I haven’t blogged about exercise other than plogging much because I self-identified as a runnter for over 30 years in my life. Exercise like managing my finances has always been easy for me. I’ve trained for marathons, run more than my fair share of half-marathons – and my fastest mile time is not bad at 5 minutes 15 seconds (I think). My half marathon time was also very decent, but it’s not important anymore. I didn’t blog about exercise because I needed to learn more about the earth, mindfulness, stretching my body, centering mt body through yoga, slowing my mind enough to notice the birds (there is one perched on our hammock right now a Black Phoebe) and actually I really needed to figure out how to cook. Above was yesterday’s project which was a Vegan Omelette with Besan (chickpea flour) which was a success.

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I really like them.

December 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This blog has always been about helping us live a more sustainable life. I had a particularly creative day yesterday making four mini-figurines partially from gathered ocean plastic waste. I had made them during one of our middle management meetings, along with a tofu container turned soap dish, an iPhone cradle (actually two), and a robot with a plastic brain. I was really pleased with myself and sent pictures of my mini-figurines to everyone and posted in everywhere on Facebook. I got some reactions from folks, and hopefully raised some awareness about plastic waste. I was creative at breakfast and sauteed some bell peppers and placed it in a warmed pita bread with a bit of real mozarella cheese for our teen son. I used to give him so many Eggos, and it is satisfying to give him something wholesome, vegetable-filled and non-processed after all these years.

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Beautiful sky. It was there all along.

November 23, 2020

by drplastipicker

Everything is on the internet. My father taught me that. If you can wade through the disinformation, you can just about Ecosia (not Google) anything. Supplementing it with real-world advice from friends and experts is good. The reason you can learn everything and anything on the internet, is that the internet is just a virtual echo of us.

I’ve tried to do yoga in the past, and it just didn’t work. I would open my eyes and peak at the others around me. I can’t exercise in a group. I just can’t. This is why I’ve always been a solo runner and a solo beach cleaner. If I do group workout sessions or group litter-picking sessions, I don’t feel restored. Fundamentally being with others depletes my energy. I’d rather be alone. I’m fundamentally an introvert. This is the polar opposite to my younger sister. This all makes sense now. I blog in the early morning and in the silence of my kitchen. She started a podcast at her kitchen table chatting with her neighbor, and is rejuvenated from this.

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