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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas-Be Kind

Why can't everyone be this nice year round? Yesterday, everywhere I went people where into saying "excuse me" or "thank you" or any other kind gesture you can imagine. Yes, imagine that. Here where I live people lost there way and think it is not ok to be kind anytime of the year except the holidays. They are being nice enough to start conversations with me! Why does the human race find it necessary to be so horrible any other time of the year? That is why I love the holiday season. People are nice.

My dog got out of the yard yesterday. A neighbor I don't know caught her and called my house. (Our number is on her tag.) I didn't know the woman but she was being nice. Who knows maybe she would have helped me any other time of the year, but then, maybe not.

I went to get take-out food and while in line a slightly older couple just started up a pleasant conversation about how short the line was and thought it would be much longer. It didn't take much to smile and say something pleasant, we're all stuck in line together. No where to go so might as well talk to the person standing next to you. I thought maybe they were from another state where people are nice.

I was also in line at another store for 40 minutes, I looked around and people were smiling. SMILING! In the Bay Area! Did we all win the lottery, no! I think they are not stressed. They don't have to work for the next couple of days AND, believe this, they are happy about GIVING to others! Imagine that, giving gifts to family and friends can make you happy! And at this time of year they also give smiles and kind gestures to strangers and, wow, that makes them feel good inside.

This seems like the only time of the year-between Thanksgiving and New Year-that we are thankful for what we have. Why can't we be thankful every day?

I just don't understand. Actually, I do. Most of the time people are running around trying to work and get as much as they can done and don't think about other people much, even family. If everyone stopped for 2 minutes and thought about how lucky most of us are in the "modern" world to be free of common diseases, to be free of war on our soil and to be free of starvation, maybe then we would think we were luckier than some in this world and then we would SMILE! If everyone stopped and became thankful for their health and their loved ones health. Thankful for their wealth-home, warmth, food, and clothes. Maybe more people would smile and be kind to strangers all year round.

So if you are one that is nice year round thank you so much. You make the world a better place. All the others need to work on it!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Richest Man in Town

"No man is a failure as long as he has friends."

I think this may be my favorite movie. And I cry every time I watch it!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Meadow Turf has a simple post about the Cedar Waxwings in her neck of the woods. I love birds. They seem to be the life that persists in winter when everything else is silent. The other day while trying to catch a photo of Mount Diablo with snow I caught a flock of pigeons feasting on seeds left behind after crops had been harvested. Humans tend to not like pigeons, calling them flying rats at times, but to see them in more of a semi-natural setting I can see that they are just birds. I captured a flock which is a rare sight near any cities.

(Mt Diablo, Northern CA, East Contra Costa County)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

My Jeans

(That's not me, but those are my jeans.)

How many more days until the Big "C"? I think I am done shopping now. I can finally rest and just wrap gifts and bake cookies. This is when I start to put on the pounds, when I stop. I was just thinking yesterday that my jeans still fit me. I guess I better break out the sweats. Ha ha. Anyway, my green goal for this season is to not gain weight. Why is that green? First, I don't consume as much so less product is bought and less product needs to be grown and less travel to the supermarket and less pollution. Secondly, if I gain weight I will need to buy new pants in a larger size which is more product made and placed into society. The basic premise here is to comsume less-food and items- and the world will be greener. We'll see, that chocolate chip cookie dough calls to me every night after the kids are in bed...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green Holiday Guilt

(Our crabapples withering away in the cold.)

I feel so guilty this morning. Every post I read on my favorite green blogs is about how they are greening the holidays. I have not. Well, I have made an effort to buy less, recycle and upcycle anything I can but when I have been buying gifts I haven't been buying green. I take that back I bought recycle cotton socks at Target, yes Target. I bought some great palm oil candles from my mom. She is a seller for Aloha Bay Candles and these candles and salt products are great! Some of their items are organic and/or fair trade. The scent coming from the candles is far superior than petroleum based candles and they last 3 times as long. And I am going to try and find some java logs to burn in our fireplace.

Other than that not much greeny going on with me. So you see my green guilt. I can admit much of the non greening going on is from my husband the light and fire guy. He bought all new lights for the house and loves to have a fire every night. I don't blame him, he loves this time of the year and so do I but I should have found greener alternatives for him.

I can say I tried some. I did look for recycled wrapping paper and found it more expensive. I am cold right now because of the thermostat being turned down. I do walk around in the dark to save energy. But I feel I have strayed from my green goals.

Next year: bake mostly organic cookies, find organic turkey and trimmings, and replace broken and burnt out lights with LED lights.

I am going to start in spring and look for greener alternatives to our favorite holiday traditions. I will set a date on my calendar so I can remember. (That's how I remember most of my life, ha ha.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recycle Christmas Lights?

Wow! This week is going to be crazy! It is the last week before my kids get out of school for winter break so my shopping needs to be done by Thursday. I will be going into their classrooms on Friday for parties. I am almost done with my gift shopping. I wish I could go greener but try explaining that to my family. The greenist I can go is bringing my own bag, buying quality gifts and not wasting anything from food to goods for the holidays. Actually this is what I do year round. I wish I could get it all done for $200 or less like Beth.

I did go to the Goodwill last week to look for a used blender for paper making but had no luck. I also went to see if I could find blankets or sweaters I could unravel to make something new from them. No luck there also. I live in a small town so maybe if I headed to a larger city to shop the thrift stores I would find more. I only scored 2 frames for my paper making and they were only .99 each! If I have time this week I will make some paper tags.

I do have a huge dilemma!! We have a ton of Christmas lights that don't work and I really don't want to throw them out but it is looking like I have to. Should I give them to the Salvation Army? Would they really want mostly burnt out lights? They are the little lights that are hard to replace if they are broken or burnt out. I looked online and found no way to recycle them and my husband is being very adamant about getting rid of them to make room for the new ones he bought this year. (I can't control his buying.) What should I do?

Greener Seasons!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Plastic Bags and Crochet

I am trying this soon. Maybe after the holidays!

Day Without a Gay?

I love that it rhymes. But, really, could the organizers of this could have picked a worse time for gay people to do this? I mean how many gay people need to go to work everyday? Hello? It's the holiday season, does anyone want to miss out on pay today? Gay or straight? Ok, if you are on salary you can take the day off and go rally; take your sick day. But what about the homosexual that gets paid on commission or hourly? Many times he or she cannot take the day off, especially right now! I am not gay and I am a stay-at-home mom but this even pisses me off. If I were gay and worked on commission I wouldn't be able to take the day off and support a cause I feel strongly about. And did I mention people are being laid off by the thousands every week because of the economy? Do you think a gay mom wants to play with fate and take a day off and possibly lose her job?

I don't normally rally for gay rights, I let gay people do that. I support them with a "way to go" or "good for you". My money, time and heart are with animal and children's rights. But, hey, this should have been done at a better time, seasonally and economically. Can gay people just wear rainbow bows like the ones for breast cancer and still go to work?

I hope it plays out ok today.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


What? A Saturday post? Yes, I am so unpredictable these days. Ha ha!

As if I don't have enough going on in my life I decided I am going to try and make my own recycled paper. Yesterday I was looking around Etsy and I noticed recycled notecards and I thought, "Hey! How do you make homemade paper?" I watched some videos here. And now I am on a mission to make homemade paper tags for my Christmas gifts. And I want to find all my "tools" used, like a blender and picture frames, at a thrift store. (Hey, maybe while I am there I will look for yarn!) This seems like a fun and easy craft I can do with my kids so I thought I would give it a try.

My crocheting is coming along. I crochet everyday, but usually end up taking apart the project because I don't like what I've done. I also crochet samples of stiches and yarns for future reference. Below is what started out as a double stitch sample and ended up a scarf for my daughter in her school colors.

I want to make scarves for my kids' teachers this year. So yesterday I started on a simple black scarf for my son's teacher and I have already taken it apart 4 times. Once or twice because I didn't like the stitches and a few more times because the stitches were uneven and off count. Here is what I have so far but I am going to unravel this one also.

Have a green weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ready for a Green Winter?

(At my in-laws in Michigan-BURR!)

I have found that I was not ready to be green in the winter months. Robin mentioned that she is having a hard time with being green in the winter and I agree. But I am still trying. Things you can still do:

  • Turn down the thermostat- wear a sweater and slippers in the house and drink hot tea
  • Turn on lights a little later
  • Combine trips for errands
  • Take short showers and turn down the hot water (hot water dries your skin anyway)
  • Find drafts and cover them, even with a towel
  • Cook double and freeze leftovers-this saves in energy on your stove and time for you later
  • Use all your leftovers for soup, wraps or burritos
  • Close vents in rooms you don't use
  • Put an extra blanket on your bed at night
  • Use your oven's heat after it is off by opening it to share it with rest of house
  • Use clothes dryer (if you need to) at night (if in house) to share the heat (mine is next to kitchen so I get heat)
I can't remember anything else right now. And I live where it does not snow so feel free to add to my list in regards to freezing weather and being green.

Stay green and warm.