Friday, November 19, 2010

An Overwhelming Sense of Community....

As many of my friends and family know, I've recently intensified my focus around living greener and creating a safer environment in our home. Sometimes this new commitment comes up naturally in conversations -- whether at the groceries store, in line at the local coffee house or out at lunch with friends -- the most common response has been, "that's great...that's something I've been meaning to learn more about."

Sharing this information has been something that I've done openly, the caveat being that I'm always learning, correcting many of my own misconceptions as findings change, evolve, and science makes greater strides. But I have felt like I'm somewhat removed and a little alone in this a bumble bee looking for a hive to join forces with and add a my passion to the greater effort. Don't get me husband is incredibly supportive of my hording problem with plastics (just until I can get them down to the recycling center...I promise). And he hasn't yet once slapped my hand away when I reach over and calmly turn his water facet off when he's shaving or brushing his teeth. If fact, he's been changing his habit, and I now hear him in the bathroom shaving...turning on the water (swish, swish of the razor)...turning off the water ("shaving sounds")...turning on the water...turning off the water. I'm so proud of him! (*sniff sniff*)

I recently made a discovery of an amazing site called Healthy Child Healthy World and I felt like I had walked into a room of people that were long-lost members of my family. I found people who shared the same concerns over the safety of the place we all call home. People who were interested in reducing the amounts of chemicals in their homes, food, playgrounds and buildings. I was so moved by the "Wake Up" video, that I had to stop the video twice because my eyes were "sweating" and I was worried someone would walk into my office, desk with walls and a walk-thru hole, cubical, see me crying sitting there with sweaty eyes and think I had big problems really bad allergies. Besides, it doesn't matter what you're watching during lunch, you still have to explain the sweating eyeballs!

One book on my library list is Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. Boy, I wish I had had this book 10 years ago. Imagine how far ahead of the learning curve I'd be! Imagine how many fewer chemicals my children (and my husband and I) would have NOT been exposed to in our home! But that's okay...I'm looking forward and making a difference now, because I believe the most valuable gift God gives us is the next 24 hours ahead of us.

So I share my latest find. I hope you enjoy and find something that will make your corner of the world a little cleaner, safer and feeling more like how a home was meant to feel. I plan to keep moving forward...each day a little step further down the path towards creating a safer place for my family...each day trying to teach by example and learn a little more. Because tomorrow is another 24 hours!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Season of Giving Thanks Has Arrived!

Oh the we roll through the after-glow of Halloween...bellies (and thighs) sporting a little new found pudge from the overindulgence of our savory treats...costumes draped over chairs or rolled into balls on bedroom floors. Gone is the angel with the faux-fur wings...cast aside is the hotdog...and the stylist Eskimo girl has moved on. Now into my personal favorite season of the year -- Thanksgiving!

In our home, Thanksgiving is "officially" on it's way when Momma puts up the Harvest Tree. And nothing says beautiful and decorated unless it's been blessed by our feline diva *Snowflake* (aka "Sassy Pants"..."Fuzzy Merow Merow").

Harvest Tree is up!
"How do I look?"
But how can you blame her...everything around her seems be to perfectly accented to her color palette!

I love this picture because, thanks to the inherent nature of wood floors, you can't see the dust bunnies (or they're shunning the light till they get larger).

The days are getting shorter and colder. I've picked my remaining green tomatoes and they're ripening on the windowsill. All my green beans have gone to seed (at least I'm set for next season). I'm looking forward to sweater weather and the coming gives us the justification we need to hunker down and play board games or while away the afternoon reading books or watching old movies. As we move into the next season, I am once again reminded how blessed we are. We give thanks for everything we have. And yes, running water and bathroom tissue always make my short list (maybe I'm watching too many survival shows).

Monday, October 18, 2010

November 2nd - Recognizing Women Who Came Before Us

It was brought to my attention (actually slapped home would be a more accurate description) just how often I take for granted the little things I enjoy each day. Running water...refrigeration...bathroom tissue!

But most importantly as a woman, my right to vote.

As women, we are stretched so thin...multitask so many things throughout our day...take care of so many others...and basically fuel the lives of all within our families that we forget that our voice matters. This November 2nd is an important day. An important day not just for the town I call home, but for my state and my country. This November 2nd is voting day. The day when we get to exercise our right to vote our mind or our passion. The day when this year, I promise not to just cast my vote with a sigh of irritated resignation as I drive across my small town to deposit my ballot, but with the spirit of all the Suffragettes who, about 90 years ago, fought for MY right to vote.

I am embarrassed to admit this (but do so in an effort to set a good example for my children) that I'm a whiner. Yep, you heard me...I caught myself whining to my wonderful husband just yesterday as we drove to our local organic/all natural grocery store (I can hear your snickers and the rolling of your eyes...I know, I know). But I was whining about how sometimes "I wonder what's the point? Why do I bother when everything feels so overwhelming at times?" And I will admit, he gave me a sideways look that spoke volumes to me. I could see his shock at my statement (from me of all people! The one who is his perpetual "Pollyanna" and cheerleader...the one who regularly tells him that God provides us challenges in our life in order for us to learn and teach...the one who at times steps up on her portable soap box--you can get these at the container store--and preaches to him about how fortunate and blessed we are least he ever forget it!).

So I'll admit (with a sheepish look on my face and a slight blush across my aging cheeks), that I need to quit complaining and do something. Be a little more Ghandi in my corner of the world--be the change I want to see. So in this spirit, I want to share a little insight from some others who bless the circle of women in my life.

From Kookoolan Farms, Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor, who in her quiet yet passionate way helps educate and feed people in and around her community. Visit her site and especially her blog at Kookoolan Farms.

To Maria Rodale's blog Maria's Farm Country Kitchen has provided me with knowledge, chuckles and a few "ah ha" moments.

To my sister and friend Karen who in her quiet strength and wisdom adds laughter, love and friendship to my life.

To all my sisters--near and far.
To my aunt who is less "aunt" and more "sister."
To my nieces who I've watched grow into amazing women of their own.
To my daughters who are successfully navigating the journey from girl into womanhood and take my breath away in wonder and amazement each day.
To all my girlfriends--you know who you are--who keep my silly secrets and love me despite the comments that flow a little too freely from my lips once I've enjoyed a glass of wine.

This November 2nd, I will vote with a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment. I will try and remember to be the change I want to see. And I urge you all, whether we agree or not, vote your passion. Speak up and let our leaders hear what is important to you. Set the example for your children or your friends' children. Remember, you have the choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Living the Dream Everyday

Good Morning and a WONDERFUL Tuesday to the world!
I woke up this morning (HOW can it already be Tuesday?!), and after the rush of getting young ones dressed, feed, lunched and all of us out the door, it wasn't until I took a deep breath while driving down our street that I realized what a beautiful day it was. All too soon the leaves will put on their fall colors and soccer practice will be viewed by parents wearing coats with their flip-flops! =0)

Our family spent a busy weekend running around (isn't that a prerequisite for all families?) before we hosted loved ones at our home for dinner. It was a warm and scrumptious meal (if I do say so myself), and was pulled together with the help of our wonderful teenage daughter. (Yes, you heard it...a teenager that was willing to help with a smile--our blessings know no bounds!)

On my shopping list this week:
  • Organic milk--to keep us until I can get out to Kookoolan Farms in beautiful Yamhill for more raw, organic milk.
  • Organic creamer--wish I could find it flavored
On my to do list this week:
  • Library--pay our usual city "contribution" for borrowing books (aka late fees)
  • Library--check out Maria Rodale's book Organic Manifesto (although I'll end up buying it). Click on the link to learn about what her book's about.
  • Triple-check "Back-to-School" lists to make sure Mom hasn't forgotten anything which will bring undue-social-backlash-and-shame-onto-offspring.
Here's to another day--health, happiness and energy to all who read my posts!
And don't forget to take a deep breath and look around once in a while.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garden Bounty

FINALLY! Summer arrived in Oregon not too long ago and we've had several days that have reached above 90 degrees (phew!). The rainy season ran rather late this year, but the plants were happy to share their bounty! I LOVE going into our garden and picking yummy stuff for snacks and dinner. Our blueberries are very happy...our legumes are becoming more prolific...and all the tomatoes are finally ripening! Life is very good. =0)