We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow the earth from our
-Native American Proverb
We have been treating the Earth like we don't live on it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Leapin' Lemurs! That was good!

I entered a contest on A Little Greener Everyday to win 2 boxes of cereal from Envirokids on July 23rd. And I won! I just received my boxes of Leapin' Lemurs and Penguin Puffs, just about 20 minutes ago! I scarfed down a small bowl of Leapin' Lemurs and it was yummy! I liked that it was just sweet enough, but not too sweet, for me and the kids to like. (I like sweet cereal, many adults may not.) I rarely eat the kids' cereal but I wanted to know if the cereal was tasty. The kids of course immediately grabbed bowls. My son ate Leapin' Lemurs and my daughter ate Penguin Puffs. I asked if they wanted me to buy these again and they "YAH!"
Thanks Robin. And Nature's Path.

Friday Finds: Vinegar, Sewing

Maggy hogging the fan.

Good Morning. I am out walking right now but you can read up on what I found interesting this week. Have a great weekend.

Be Green.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What is MSDS Report?

An MSDS report describes the properties of a particular substance, such as household products.

"A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs." (ILPI.com FAQ's)

The MSDS report is mostly used by workers or employees to reference the report in case of an emergency. But for greenies this report is a handy resource to find out if your favorite household product is toxic or not. The report will list the ingredients of the substance and then you as the green consumer can take those ingredients to the EWG Skindeep Database to find out how toxic they are to your health. Handy eh?

To find the MSDS report for a particular substance simply type in your search engine "MSDS brand name here". For example, I searched "MSDS Tide" and got this report. I can now read the report, which is a lot of scientific stuff, and found the ingredients, among other facts, and then took the individual ingredients to EWG's Skin Deep website to look up each one. (Green Disclaimer: I don't use Tide anymore but it was an easy example.) Wah Lah!

Some substances may be hard to find so here are some websites that may help:

Be Green.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Help Me W/ Politics Part 2: The Issues

Yesterday I asked for help in choosing a president. Maybe if I reveal to everyone where I stand on the issues surrounding the election I can get more help. Or just make some people really angry, including myself.

Let me start off my saying I am extremely patriotic. I am one of those people that loves my country. I get all choked up hearing the National Anthem at the Olympics. I respect the flag and follow all the proper procedures to take care of it. I get VERY angry when people talk or do not place their hands on their hearts during the National Anthem. We have a flag in our front yard-ALWAYS. I wear red, white and blue on July 4th. This is the best country. Why? We do have freedom. We have options. Many. Don't believe me. The following list of issues proves we have freedom. Without freedom I would not have a choice to which issue I get to vote for, that would be done for me by the government. Yes, I know many other countries are free but I like where I am and wouldn't change that.

Let's start simple, if I can:

1. I want people to be judged by who they are not what they are. This pertains to affirmative action. People should go to universities based on their merit not because they are a minority. I don't understand how getting into a university because you are a minority stands for equality. (1 for Republican stance.)

2. I love nature and strive to save it. (1 for Democrats)

3. I oppose gun control. All that will do is take guns away from law abiding citizens. It will not get it out of the criminal's hands, their guns are illegal anyway. You outlaw guns, all that will happen is more illegal guns will come into the country. (1 for Rep)

4. No universal health care. Honestly, does anyone think that a government run health care system will work? You know eventually the taxes for health care will get diverted to some other fund. And will that health care really be good? People with universal health care in their own countries come to the United States for surgery because we are that good. Doctors come from all over the world to practice medicine here. (1 for rep)

5. Please stop illegal immigration. I am proud to live in California, the salad bowl of the west. I have met people from all over the world here, but they were legally here. I welcome them. I oppose illegal immigration for one main reason-IT'S ILLEGAL. And don't call me a racist, I grew up the only white girl in an all Mexican school and community eating tomales and pan dulce. Don't go there. My maiden name is Gonzalez. (1 for reps)

6. I can care less if gay couples want to get married. Actually I encourage it, and then adopt children, please. (1 for dems)

7. I support lower taxes, I don't know why anyone would oppose that. We get taxes everywhere-paycheck, gas, sales, property. How much more do they want. (1 for rep)

8. I want us out of Iraq and never to war again. (1 for dems)

9. Religion and government. I lean toward democrats just to be fair to every religion. But I oppose taking the name God off of already established entities. Those symbolize our history as a nation. All that seems like is trying to erase the past the way it was. (1 for both)

10. I believe every able bodied person should work instead of being poor or homeless or suck off the government. This sounds harsh, I know. It is a greater gift to enable someone to proudly work hard than to expect a handout. This is a sketchy subject. And hard to argue in writing. I never want to see anyone homeless or poor. But they should be given a job not a check. My father owned a restaurant when I was a child. Homeless would beg from him for money. He never gave them money because he knew they would go get drugs. He would offer them a meal happily if they went out back and picked weeds first (or some other odd job). Some would say no way. My father then knew what they truly wanted. And some would head to the back, pick weeds and have beans, rice, tacos and burritos for dinner that night. Which homeless guy do you think was happier? (1 for rep)

11. The last issue is the touchiest. Abortion. I hate to bring it up but you may think of me as coward. I oppose it. I know, I know. I have a very good friend who is so pro-abortion that she tries every election to sway me. She knows all her facts and argues them like any good democrat would. But my morals get in the way of me saying that it is ok to kill an unborn child. Believe me, I tried to convince myself so many times. I argued in my head things like overpopulation, the fetus is not viable, the child will grow up in a bad environment, the child will be hooked on crank, the children is mentally incapable. The list goes on. My Christian morals cannot change my conscience. I wish I could.

And the last argument: it's a woman's right. I believe a woman has a right over her own body, every organ. But that baby inside her is not just another organ, it is a separate entity with it's own organs. What about its rights to live? And has anyone ever heard of adoption? Or abstinence? I knew a very young girl that used abortion as her birth control. She had 6 abortions by age 15. Couldn't that hurt her eventually? Who is watching out for this young girl to be sure she doesn't harm her body?

I just wish our society wasn't so quick to throw everything away. We talk about recycling a lot here on the green blogs and to respect mother earth. Why don't we respect our bodies as women and make better decisions? Why don't we stop throwing everything away, including humans? I think it is a sad society when it is so easy and so accepted to just think of a human being as something to be thrown away. Why is it that so many people are quick to save the polar bears but can care less about a human unborn child?

I don't want to outlaw abortion completely. I am aware of cases of rape, incest or detriment to the woman's well being. I just wish their were tougher laws or guidelines.

Like I said this is a very touchy subject with almost no sollution. (1 for reps)

Now that some of you hate me or even love me more, I think I lean Republican. YIKES! John McCain scares me! I still don't think I can vote for him. I need a drink.

No more politics. I need to go back to green goodness....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Help Me w/ Politics Part 1: Presidential Noms

Anyone up for some non-green ranting?

I'm having a hard time and I may piss off some people right now. But I am always open for other people's views and at times I can be swayed.

I don't trust Obama or McCain. I don't trust any politician. I read somewhere that we don't have statesman anymore, they are called politicians now. Winston Churchill said it best, "A politician thinks about the next elections - the statesman thinks about the next generations." Why can't we have statesman? It seems that liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, politicians cannot be trusted. They seem to be in it for themselves, not the people.

In my time, I have witnessed Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush. I was young when Reagan was president but I remember my father just loving him. I also remember thinking that he was a great man for putting a start to the end of the cold war. Bush, not much there, what did he do? Clinton, my impression is that he was a great speaker, good president, liar and cheat. And Bush, oh Bush, do I really need to go there?

Those are the presidents that I've had to endure. Are they great like Washington, Lincoln or Roosevelt? Not really. That depends on your view. Now, I am cutting down our most recent presidents because I have found flaws and I idolize the great ones from the past. They had great policies and made great decisions but were they great men? I heard Washington was a racist. (Sounds blasphemous, doesn't it?) JFK had his share of women. Grant was an alcoholic. But we idolize these presidents. My point is should we care about a president's personal issues if he/she has done well for the country?

So who do I choose? Who do I trust? Obama or McCain? Democrat or Republican? I took a few of those silly tests on the internet that help you figure out which party you lean toward and I am, drum roll, a Libertarian. Who are their presidential noms: Barr/Root. Who the hell is Barr/Root? Why don't they get media time? Oh, they probably don't have enough money for that. Wait, wait, Colbert Report will have Barr on tonight. I will have to catch it.

I don't need to vote for president anyway. The electoral college does that for me. And I live in California, enough said there, Obama will take this state if he is not already chosen by the rest of the country before the time catches up here on the west coast. Poor Hawaii and Alaska, do they really count? So if I am a Democrat great. Republican, that sucks.

Or should I just put my trust issues aside and vote for a party? And then wish for the best.

All this sounds like I don't vote. I do, every time. I have voted for both parties in the past depending on my marital status, financial status, mental status (was I angry with the last party I voted for) and whether I had children. But I can tell you with my Catholic upbringing I lean conservative with the moral decisions. But with my love for nature I lean more liberal. I am so confused!!!! Help!

Tomorrow: Help Me W/ Politics Part 2: The Issues

Jenny The Elephant

I was reading a story today on wowOwow.com about an elephant named Jenny who at this moment resides in the Dallas Zoo but will soon (Oct 1) be moved to a drive thru park in Mexico where her "habitat" will only be 1 acre large. Lily Tomlin (yes, the actress) wrote about her in wowOwow earlier in August and is asking for her readers to help move Jenny to an Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where Jenny can roam 300 acres with other elephants. Wow! That is better than 1 acre and alone. Not to mention she will have no animal welfare protection once out of the United States.

If anyone reading is familiar with elephants they are very social with their kinship and some believe they show emotions such as grieving for a lost comrade. Jenny deserves to live out the rest of her life with other elephants in a protected location. Not harassed by people and vehicles in a drive thru park.
You can read about Jenny here and visit her website. Or better yet learn how you can help Jenny here.
Pass on the word. Thanks.
Be Green.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Va Va Veev

Robin over at A Little Greener Everyday has written about Veev, "the industry's first certified carbon neutral spirits company." They make vodka. I like vodka. I prefer margaritas but many drinks with vodka are my second choice for mixed drinks. Read Robin's post and try some Veev. I am. (And what a pretty bottle.)
Be Green.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the Groove?

My kids have been back to school for just over 3 weeks now and I am just getting back into my normal routine. It took me this long for 3 reasons:

1. I fought it. I had a lot of fun this summer and did not want it to end. I got lazy from having too much fun and it took me 3 weeks to break that habit.

2. I have been busy reconnecting with my mom friends over breakfast and lunch. ( how spoiled I am.)

3. Football and cheer started the same time as school so needless to say we have been BUSY. A very strict schedule dictates our lives Monday through Thursday.

So, hopefully, I can fall back into my usual routine of keeping house, holding my family together, keeping my sanity and looking for the perfect way for a mom to earn money at home. (We all know that last one is nearly impossible without some super dedication and time.) And lastly, BLOGGING. I have missed writing in my blog. I loved to get an inspirational idea, researching it and posting it here. My goal is to get my head back into my blog and catch up with all my favorites.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Finds

I am not interested in Friday Finds this week. Well maybe. I am not in the mood for reading about "green". Post summer life has started and frankly I am busy trying to raise my children right and keep my husband happy. My life style gets in the way of being green. I try to shop for local food but I don't have time to visit 3 stores for my groceries. I try to shop at thrift stores but I don't find much and end up at the big box stores (not Walmart, I refuse to support them.) I try to ride my bike but it has a flat tire. I try to conserve gas but I have to take my son to football practice 5 times a week. I try to keep the air conditioning off but it is 90 to 100 degrees the last 2 weeks. What's a mom to do?
I do make green choices given my circumstances. You know, recycle, carpool, buy only what I need. Honestly, if it were up to me I would be a hermit in the woods. I would be the crazy lady in the woods. But I wouldn't be crazy, that's just the name the local kids would give me. But my husband didn't like that idea. And I guess I would eventually go crazy living in the woods without access to Starbuck's, just kidding, no really.

Since living as a hermit in the woods is not an option I go about my daily life all middle class, suburban, SUV driving (smallest SUV), day-time soap watching (OLTL), blogging mom and wife. I love my life. It is the most precious gift. I don't think I would change a thing. (Except I would have been a park ranger and marry Brad Pitt.)

You know, I need to back up. My life style does not get in the way of being green. My lifestyle is just fine, there just aren't that many green options. I strive to be green but what about people who really don't give a crap, they need green products readily available and cheap so they will buy it too. We need more renewable energy, greener building, more local farmers, and more education to the public about being green. I guess that takes me full circle. I can try to encourage the politicians and corporations to create more environmentally sound products but blogging is my way of getting the word out to be a better human to our planet. And Friday Finds does just that.

So here are some interesting articles and stories I have found.

Have a good weekend. Be Green.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In Rememberance of Sigg

Bay Area, CA----At the tender age of 4 months old Gray Sigg Bottle held his last drop of water on the evening of August 18, 2008. A tragic freezer accident took him from us. Gray Sigg Bottle loved the outdoors and traveled often. His friends would describe him as a "trooper" and reliable. Known for his tenacity and respect for the environment he will be missed deeply. He is survived by Hello Kitty Sigg, Pow Sigg, Green Sigg and Hearts Sigg. The cupboard will be bare without him. He requested no services be held in his honor just that he be recycled into a racing bike or canoe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Yesterday our friends were coming over and I had to tidy the house up quickly because we were running late. I had to pick up shoes, vacuum, mop and clean the windows. I recently ran out of Windex so I poured about 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water into a bottle to clean our mirrors. Do you know how much longer it takes to clean mirrors with vinegar than it does with Windex? Now I know why Windex is a superior mirror cleaner, it practically dries by itself without streaks! Vinegar and water on the other hand, OMG, you need to wipe and wipe and wipe until the mirror is not only dry but streak free. My right arm got a workout, that's the good part.

Now, I won't stop using vinegar to clean the mirrors but did I do something wrong? Is my vinegar to water ratio wrong? I don't get the newspaper so I reuse an old clothe, does that make a difference? Or does washing the mirrors (and windows) just take good old fashion elbow grease to get the job done?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Finds: Water Toys, Green Give Away, Bioplastics

My dog Maggy making faces.

Last week I was gone so I missed Friday Finds. And this week I am posting it later in the day so it doesn't cover up my Waterways post.


Have a great weekend.

Sign Up To Clean Your Waterways

Did you sign up yet to clean your waterways? See details from my post Greener Water.

California: Coastal Cleanup Day
United States and Internationally: Ocean Conservancy
Canada: TD Great Canandian Shore Cleanup

Click here to reduce 1 pound of carbon. Care2

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Job Venting

I haven't really been thinking green lately. I have been thinking about how I can use my brain and get paid for it, i.e a job.

This happens to me every year since my son started 1st grade- 4 years ago. My kids go off to school for about 6 hours and I think, "I want a job. Something to use my brain." Before children I went to UCSD and got a bachelor's in Anthropology, I was going to be a CA state park ranger. Before I could make it to the program, and I was getting close, I got pregnant with my son. I have not looked back, I have been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) ever since. Yah, I did the bookkeeping for my husband's business but "quit" because he never brought me the receipts and I would get angry with him. Last year I worked as a secretary for a real estate broker and it was the most boring job ever. In there somewhere I was the treasurer for the parents club at my kids' school, scout leader and community volunteer. I have kept myself busy.

But now, I really want to use my brain like I intended to 10 years ago. I feel stuck. But here is the catch, I don't want to work weekends or nights. Well, I can work those hours at home.

So I am stuck wanting a job but I am picky about it.
How do I do this? I have almost no job experience. I don't want to commute. I do have a degree but in a very limited field. I am no spring chicken. At 36 you look at the situation and think, "who would hire me?" Starbuck's? Trader Joe's? Well, those would be fun but I need more. I also live really far from any big corporations or companies. Like a 1-2 hour commute. I refuse to do that.
By no means am I saying I don't like being a SAHM but I need to feel like I accomplished something with my brain at a higher level. I have loved being home. Running the house, having breakfast with my buddies and having my own schedule. My problem is that I am spoiled.
I wonder what my options are. Writer? Do I have the knack for it? Can I do that? Real estate agent? In this market? And they work nights and weekends. Sales? No. Web Design? I can't go to school anymore.
My husband wants me to look into some real estate investing that we can dabble in. That sounds promising and I love being around the real estate field, I grew up with my parents flipping houses.
Help!!! What do you do to make money? I am willing to put in the time and money, I just need to know what is out there and how to get there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Keep Tahoe Rockin'

Wow! It has been a few days since I was here. I hate being away from my blog for too long but I went away to Lake Tahoe to party with friends for a bachelorette weekend. I had so much fun! And I barely even saw the lake. We drank quite a bit, went to see Sammy Hagar rock in concert and hung out at Cabo Wabos until they kicked us out, well closed. I had a blast! It took me until today to finally catch up with reality again. Whoo! Yes, back to dishes, laundry, school, football, cheerleading, cooking and all the fun things mommies do. I was sad to leave Tahoe but so happy to see my family again.
I also need to get back to my green quest. The greenest thing I did this weekend was refill my water bottle. Not that I disrespected the environment or anything like that but green went out the window with the first Caborita I drank. I think the only veggie I had this weekend was french fries and popcorn.
Well, I have to go catch up with my friends' blogs, make some comments and be green.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Do You Do With Your Zucchini?

I remember back in June our zucchini looked like this. I was thinking at the time, "will I get any zucchini?" HUH! Will I get any zucchini?! I was flooded with it! Soon the monster plants produced monster zucchini and I was freezing and eating it as much as I could. I steamed, I froze, I ate it raw and gave it away. But it kept coming. I realized I needed to cook it into something. As you all know, and if you don't, I am not fond of cooking. If it wasn't a necessity I wouldn't be doing it. But I can say I am a pretty good cook, when I put my heart into it. Actually I prefer to bake. And that is what I started with...zucchini bread.

So in late June I made my mother-in-laws Zucchini Bread. It was so yummy, she liked to put a lot of cinnamon in her recipes and it works very well. I later snuck in some whole wheat flour, about half the flour needed, and my family still liked the bread but I couldn't slip it past my husband too many times. He grew up with this bread and wanted me to stop messing with the recipe. I proceeded to find a whole wheat recipe and make variations on this classic bread. I made it with brown sugar and honey, just honey, just brown sugar, butter or oil, loaf of bread or mini-muffins. Every variation was very tasty.

I froze some of the bread for later consumption and moved onto more serious recipes like kitchen sink cookies. This recipe came from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, that I got from the library but I am thinking of buying, used of course. These were a hit. They have everything a good cookie has-sugar, butter, vanilla, chocolate chips-but also goodness for your body-whole wheat flour, oatmeal, zucchini. The recipe called for dried fruit but I knew my kids had nothing to do with that.

Now that I had gained 3-5 pounds eating all these yummy baked goods, I thought I would get more serious with the zucchini. Now came zucchini pizza, zucchini goulash, zucchini cheddar cheese soup, and soup starter. All pictured below and all from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook. I have yet to grill, saute and deep fry it. Every recipe I made we loved and would make again. (The last 2 pictures are before and after for soup starter. The veggies are sliced and sauteed then chopped in the food processor to save for starting soups.)
I had a lot of fun with my zucchini this year. I know, the season is not over yet. But my plants are starting to slow down their production so there may not be much more going on here.

If you have a favorite book or recipe you like to use for your garden gifts let me know. Beth, I know you like Putting Food By, I already ordered it. My library didn't carry it so I ordered it used based only on your expert advise.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Neutralize Your Carbon Footprint

You know who you are.  You eat out with plastic cups.  You drive by yourself when you can carpool.  You still use paper napkins.  You buy bananas.  And you don't even own a bike.  You are trying to be green but life just gets in the way.  I am here to tell you that you can neutrilize your non-green sins.  You can make the world a cleaner place without even getting out of your chair, unless you need to grab your wallet.  No, I am not selling anything.  I am asking you to plant a tree.  Relieved?

Nature Conservancy, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is running a campaign to plant a billion trees in the Amazon Rain Forest.  It is called (drum roll) "Plant a Billion Trees".  Anywho, all you need is a dollar (unless you are really big non-green sinner, then you need more) and the above organizations will plant a tree in the Amazon Rain Forest to help clean the air, make our planet more beautiful and cleanse your sinning non-green soul.  You see if you plant a tree that means you can drive more, but we won't do that.  We will choose to ride our bikes but still donate to see our earth, the only one we have, take another clean breathe of fresh air. 

So move it! CLICK BELOW. If you can't donate now I will always have the banner located on my sidebar, at least until I get 100 trees planted. 

One dollar, one tree, one planet.

Be Green

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stacks and Stacks

I stock pile and stack everything. The above picture is a small glimpse of ONE stack I need to conquer soon, maybe today. There are bills, books, pamphlets (I need to stop taking pamphlets home) and things in general that need to be filed away. Notice the unused, very lonely sewing machine that some day I will use if I figure out how to thread a bobbin. Notice the basket in the far background. To most people that is junk in that basket but to me it is stuff I may use some day. And being green I can't get rid of it. Remember reuse? There's a copy of Omnivore's Dilemma in there somewhere that I haven't read. There is also a cook book of recipes I want to copy, not done yet. The book is due to the library tomorrow.

Below is my scouting stuff in its unorganized state. Remember the scout financial report? Not done yet! I am a procrastinator to the core. I would rather fool around than work, who doesn't? But I have made it my life's work. When will I ever grow up? Thank God for kids, they make me do my chores like laundry, dishes and meals because they can't live without underwear, clean dishes or food.

So if you don't see me here today it is because I am suppose to be getting stuff done. We'll see...I am having lunch in 2 hours with a friend. Hee hee.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I rarely post on Sundays but I was just here and realized that I had post scheduled a post and didn't finish it first. Sorry if that post is gone. I need to finish it first.

Be Green.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Finds:

Canadian Geese at Lake Chabot, CA


Be Green.