Thursday, January 31, 2008
On the Healthy Eating Front I want you to check out a great site that helps you take fattening versions of your favorite recipes and learn to make them healthier. The site is called Mom's Meal Makeovers and can be found at http://www.mealmakeovermoms.com/ . I have the cookbook and it is very good. At the front of the book, Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss give great advice on how to make you kitchen healthier, they also give you a look at what a Makeover pantry should be. Then come the recipes which include things like "Halftime Taco Chili," "Hungry Kids Goulash," and "Oatmeal Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies." Check them out as we can all use food that contains more nutrition and less calories.
On the Yoga and Creativity Front I want to let you know about an exciting opportunity to connect with your creative side. Kimberly Wilson of Hip Tranquil Chick fame will be conducting an online Creativity Circle for 4 weeks beginning in February. The Creativity Circle will be doing Kimberly's material based on her book, Hip Tranquil Chick, A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat , (which I will be reviewing this Saturday) and Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity . For more information go to http://www.hiptranquilchick.com/happenings.html . On the same page, there is information about her next Le Chic Teleclass on March 31st. I have been involved in all of these and they are so fun and inspiring and all of the proceeds go to The Hip Tranquil Chick Foundation. Check it out, I am sure that I will be on the call. I also wanted to let everyone know that The Yoga Journal is now publishing a weekly podcast of a 30 minute yoga practice. I have not actually done any of the practices yet, but I have subscribed to the podcast. You can find the podcast at www.yogajournal.com or on itunes. I have also added The Yoga Journal to Favorites-Yoga and the books mentiond above can also be found at Favorites-Yoga.
On the Crochet Front I have finished all of the pieces of the Hippo and I just need to put her bikini on her and do her face. She is so cute.
On the Weight Loss Front I walked again yesterday. That makes 4 workouts out of 5 days. Today the weather is supposed to be scary so I hope to do Yoga.
Keep the comments coming and do something creative today and everyday.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
On the Green Front I would like to talk to you about a great magazine that I just love, Mother Earth News, http://www.motherearthnews.com/ . I know that this magazine has been around forever and you can get it anywhere, even at your grocery store, but there is so much great information in it. If you garden, which I don't or should I say can't, I kill plastic plants, this is a great resource; If you cook, there are always great recipes; and if you are just a hippie type like me, there is just neat stuff to learn. I have added a link to the magazine under Favorite-Green, pick up one today and then get a subscription. Another magazine that I love is Real Simple , it too can be found anywhere and is a little bit more upscale than Mother Earth News , but it contains some great practical tips in each issue. Plus, Real Simple has fashion articles in it and I have always been a sucker for the latest fashion trends, I am working real hard to get away from that, but, well, it doesn't hurt to just look, does it? Real Simple can be found at www.realsimple.com and I have added a link under Favorite-Green. In the future I will have to put together a blog about sustainable clothing and fabrics.
On the Crochet Front My Hippo is coming together great. This is the first time I have ever made an animal and it is going to be so cute. If you have had success in making cute crocheted toys, send me the pictures and I will post them here so that everyone can enjoy them.
On the Weight Loss Front I walked yesterday and it was so pretty outside at the time I was out. I love to walk. To me walking is like meditation in motion. I have tried to meditate and be silent and still, but I guess I just have too much of a "monkey mind" to be that still, but with walking I feel I get the same benefits. As far as the diet thing, I have eaten meat the past two days and I am now not sure if I really want to give it up. I know that it would be better for me and the the planet and the animals, but it is so hard when the rest of your family is never going to go along with it. I, like many women, am the grocery buyer and cook for the house and unless I want my family to eat fast food all of the time, I just can't buck the system. I feel a responsibility to my husband and son. I know this may be weak excuses, but, right now, it is the way I feel. So, as far as weight loss, I am totally watching what I eat and sort of counting points with Weight Watchers Online. I have not been very faithful about actually writing everything down, but I am keeping a general count in my head and think before I put something in my mouth.
Send comments, questions and pictures of crochet. Also, send me any great blogs or websites that you have found.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On the Crochet Front I am now currently working on 3 projects. I have to complete a stuffed hippo for my little great niece's first birthday Saturday. I am following a free pattern from Lion Brand, http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70459AD.html , and working this in Vanna's Choice #142 Rose, and #146 Dusty Purple. So far all I have done is the head and my dear son thought it was a leg. It is going to be really cute though. I am still working on my first Christmas presents for next year, the snowflake Scarves that I talked about earlier. The pattern can be found in the Jan/Feb '08 Crochet Today magazine on p. 26. I have added a link to this magazine under Favorites-Crochet. And finally, I am still working on the preemie blanket that I am doing as a charity project. I am working it in just a basic baby green yarn. See the pictures you have to look forward to next week. I also want to let you know about a great new crochet/knit podcast I have found. It is called Yarn Thing and can be found on itunes or at http://yarnthing.blogspot.com/ . Marly is just about as funny and entertaining as they come. Get out your needles and hooks and give her a listen. And, if any of you are still not crocheting, I still have the basics posted under Favorites-Crochet, get off your bottom and get crocheting.
Happy hooking (Or what ever needle work you do),
Monday, January 28, 2008
On the Green Front I got another plastic bag. This is still ok because my goal was no more than 25 in the year and this month is almost over and I have only gotten 2. Saturday I bought a big load of groceries as I had not been to the store in a while and this is the first time I did not have enough of my own bags, so I consciously had to put some extra items into a plastic bag. Yesterday I think I embarrassed my poor husband and son. We went to Frys electronics and bought several small items and I refused a bag and carried everything out in my arms. I don't think my family quite gets it or me, but we did not get another bag. I think that is doubly important when you are buying electronic items because of all of the unnecessary plastic and boxing that is used by this industry in its packaging. The electronics industry really needs to work on this.
On the Crochet Front I have not crocheted any this weekend. I was so busy with family, friends and school work that I just never picked up a hook. I do want you to know about a yarn sale that I found out about this morning at Hobby Lobby. They have all of their private label Yarn Bee yarn on sale for $0.99 per skein. I have used many of the different types of Yarn Bee and I really like it, but it is usually really expensive, I have seen some skeins for as much as $11.99. So go stock up and add to your stash.
On the Weight Loss Front I did Vinyasa yoga last night, podcast #92 from http://www.hiptranquilchick.com/ . That is 3 days in row that I have worked out. Now I must get motivated for today to make it 4 in a row.
Keep you comments coming, I enjoy reading them all, but be sure to include your e:mail address in the body of the comment so I can reply back.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
This is the Sunday weight loss blog. I have almost finished listening to Skinny Bitch. Like I mentioned earlier when I talked about this book, if you are at all offended by "sailor" language, do not read this book. It is rather like being taught about nutrition and weight loss by the Osbornes, but with out the bleeps. There is a lot of great information in this little book though. It gives a no-holds-barred account of the meat and dairy industry. If you do not want to know where the meat you eat and the dairy you consume comes from, how it is raised, how it is treated, what it is fed and how it is slaughtered, you do not need to read this book. I have researched a lot about our food supply so none of this was new to me, but this book does not give a gentle introduction into these topics. It is rough.
Now with all of the warnings out of the way, the premise of this book is to become a whole foods vegan. No refined sugar, no white flour, no artificial sweetener, no nothing that is bad for you, all of the things that we pretty well know all ready. The other part is to be a vegan, that means no animal products at all, no meat, no dairy, nothing. I am not there yet. I know that it is the right way to go for many different reasons, the most important being your health, but soy ice cream just does not do it for me. I am, however, going to work towards this as a goal. I went to the grocery yesterday and bought some supplies and it is always easier to be good during the week, so tomorrow I am going to buckle down. I worked out for the past two days and I plan on doing something today, so I am making progress in that respect.
Please send me comments and let me know all of the great things you are doing.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare
In August, I went back to college to pursue a Masters Degree in Literature. My undergraduate degree is in Accounting so this is a big shift. I was told that I needed some upper level undergrad literature courses before I could embark on my Master's journey, so I took a course in Shakespeare. What could be more "literature" than that. I had not had any type of formal classwork for 25 years and that was all business courses, lets just say I was scared to death of my chances of getting through this course, but I knew that if I made it I would be ok for the rest of the way. I not only made it, I got an A and most importantly, I loved it. This class solidified all of the reasons I wanted to pursue this path in the first place. I want to be able to relate and discuss relevant issues of today as seen through great literary works. (Sorry so heavy, I just thought you needed some back ground.) Now, for at least one Saturday Morning Book Review per month, I want you to have the same experience.
Today's classic is The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare. Like any great work of art, this play affects you on many different levels; it makes you laugh, get angry, and, most of all, realize that for all the progress we think we have made, human relationships have not changed that much over time. Shrew is the story of Petruchio and Katherine. It is a love story, but in a very weird way. Petruchio is determined to make Katherine his wife and Katherine is determined to be no man's wife. Running through the play, also, is a side story about all of the eligible men trying to make Bianca, Katherine's younger sister, their wife. This play has something for everyone in the family. If you are at all a feminist, you are going to love Katherine, if you are a somewhat male chauvinist guy, you are going to love Petruchio and everyone else will just love the great story and comedy.
The great thing about reading the old classics is that you do not have to buy them to enjoy them. There is a site called Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org , where you can find over 20,000 works whose copyrights have expired and so they are part of the public domain. You can, of course, purchase a copy of The Taming of the Shrew and I have added to Favorites-Book Review a text that includes a great forward about Shakespeare's works and life. I have also added a great DVD of the play staring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. This play so typifies their relationship. No cheating though, have family reading night (the writers have all gone on strike so there is no TV, unless you want to watch people asked personal questions while strapped to a lie detector.) and enjoy the words and story of the play, then get the DVD and enjoy it all over again.
Friday, January 25, 2008
On the Diet Front I feel fatter than ever, I think I am just having major PMS, but it has rained all week and I have not been able to walk. I am going to make myself do yoga as soon as I finish this blog. I have also started reading yet another diet book, Skinny Bitch and the companion cookbook, Skinny Bitch In the Kitch. Both of these books are written by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. If you are at all offended by "sailor" language, do not get these books. They do however present some powerful information in an extremely unique way. I have added both to Favorites: Weight loss. I will update my progress in my Sunday diet blog.
On the Green Front I would like to introduce you to a new concept in magazine reading, it is a company called Zinio and can be found at www.zinio.com . This company allows you to subscribe to and read your magazines online. The content in the magazines is the same as the one you receive in the mail, even the ads, but it all resides on your computer so you are not killing any trees or polluting the environment with all of the inks. There are issues you can view for free and the download of the reader is free. I have subscribed to Elle through Zinio and really enjoy it. Check it out.
Tomorrow is the Saturday Morning Book Review and I have been toying with the idea of doing one review a month on a classic. As some of you may know, I am currently working on getting my Masters in Literature, so I thought this would get the rest of you who have not looked at say Shakespeare since college to maybe think about reading a classic every now and then. And to me a true classic should be as relevant to today as it was when it was written. After all, does human nature ever really change? Tune in tomorrow and see what I decide.
P.S. Send comments, questions, suggestions, so on.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
On the Green Front Today I want to introduce you not to a product or a company, but a concept, a certification, something to look for. What I am going to discuss is Fair Trade certification and why it is important on many different levels to buy, when possible, products that are Fair Trade certified. The information for this post comes from the organization that certifies products as Fair Trade, Transfair, which can be found at www.transfairusa.org .
"Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace."
Fair Trade includes:
Fair price-farmers have a floor price that their goods will not sell below.
Fair labor conditions-which includes a living wage and no forced child labor.
Direct Trade-goods are purchased from a farmer or group of farmers directly.
Democratic and transparent organizations-farmers collectively decide how to use fair trade funds.
Community development-fair trade farmers not only invest in their farms, but also in their communities.
Environmental sustainability-no agrochemicals or GMO's on fair trade farms.
"Transfair is a the only independent, third party certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S."
"Fair Trade Certification is currently available in the U.S. for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, rice, and vanilla." You can purchase Fair Trade products almost anywhere. Visit Transfair's site so you can recognize the label. And, of course, I do my part by purchasing fair trade chocolate and coffee, and for those who know me, you would think that with my purchases of these 2 products, I could single handedly solve the problem.
I have added some Fair Trade items under Favorites-Fair Trade. Buy something yummy and enjoy.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
On the Green Front I would like to introduce you to an organization that will help you reduce your spending and consumption, which in turn should lessen your carbon footprint. The information you find at this site should also help you with saving money which, as mentioned above, we are all going to have to start doing because we will not have any. This organization is called the New American Dream and can be found at http://www.newdream.org/ . One of the more interesting features on this site is their "Alternative Gift Registry." You can pick organizations that you would like money to be sent to instead of having someone give you something that you do not need or want. Check this organization out and maybe we can all start reducing and reusing together. Now all I have to find out is how to effectively recycle in a town that does not care about such things.
On the Crochet Front Sorry I am a day late with this, but I finished my vest.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Will any of us have any money after today? It seems the whole world economy is going to hell in a hand basket. The FED even cut rates by .75 basis points and the futures are still down almost 500 points. Why did mortgage companies make all these loans to people they had to know would not be able to pay. I think a 2 year old would understand that someone making $50,000 a year can not pay for a $300,000 house. The other thing is, why don't home builders build smaller homes? I grew up in a 2 bedroom, maybe 1200 sq ft home and I now live in a 3 bedroom maybe 1500 sq ft home and my life is great. My dear husband and I knew that we could pay for our house at the time we purchased it even if we never had an increase in income. Why are people betting on making more money when they go to buy a house? You may not make more money, at some point you may even make less. I don't understand any of this from a logical point of view, but we are in a big mess now and I hope the economy pulls itself out.
Did ya'll watch the Democratic debate on CNN last night? I am kind of glad the writers are on strike. This stuff is getting good. At one point I thought Hillary and Obama were going to go from debate mode to Celebrity boxing mode. We may actually be going back to the days when there is a fight to the death and who ever is living rules the world. I have never heard such personal attacks. I think it makes the debate seem more honest, because you always know that this is what the candidates are thinking about each other, well now they are just going to come out and say it. After having said all of that though, I think that John Edwards won the debate, because he was the only one who stayed on point and talked about issues instead of who had the better campaign spouse.
On the Goal Front As I mentioned in my previous blog on my goals for the new year, I said that I wanted to have people come over to the house more. Well, there is a reason I made this goal and there is a reason I previously was hesitant to have people over. Saturday my dear husband played golf with his usual group and decided to invite one of the guys back to the house for dinner. That morning I threw a great roast into the crockpot, I made black-eyed peas, rice, green beans, cornbread, and cherry crisp. I know I can cook, its just the rest of it. I cleaned the house, which was not too bad and had everything ready to serve when they came in from the course. We had finished eating and the guys were watching something on UTUBE and laughing when I looked over at the bar where I had but the food out to serve and there, on the bar, was my dear son's big fat cat helping himself to the roast. I was horrified. Luckily the person who had joined us for dinner is a vet and understands animals. But, this is the reason I do not entertain.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I did watch the Las Vegas caucus, and it was a hoot seeing a group of people have a political meeting with a big banner for Caesar's Palace in the background. I think that one of the interesting things that seems to be happening during these primaries is that the media cannot rely on the polls. Everyone was so sure that there were going to be great numbers of workers at these mobile precincts and that seemed not to be the case. Also, some how, and this has not been talked about in the media much, Hillary was said to have won Nevada, but Obama came away with more delegates. How does that work? And why does South Carolina have its Republican primary one weekend and the Democratic primary the next weekend? Isn't that a big waste of money to have to hold two separate elections? Is there that much animosity between the Republicans and Democrats in South Carolina that they can't be in the same place at the same time? It just seems like a big waste to me.
On the Green Front We went to a friends house to watch last nights Green Bay game, those people are nuts sitting out in below zero weather to watch grown men run into each other, and they had solar powered landscaping lights. They were so cool. They looked just like electric landscape lights except each light had a little solar panel on the top of it. The light that it produced last night was not terribly bright, but this is the middle of winter. I can't wait to see how well they work when the days start getting longer and they can charge more during the sunlight hours. Get out there and find some of these green solutions and let me know about them.
On the Crochet Front I have almost finished my vest. If I can finish it today, tomorrow will be a Tuesday Crochet Blog and I will have pictures. This vest is so cute and it has taken me no time to complete it. Details when finished.
Please start leaving comments, don't forget to include your e:mail so I can write back, and let me know where you are from.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I have been writing, but not "Morning Pages." School has started back and I have already had to do a good deal of writing there, and of course here on the blog. Maybe things will settle down when I get a handle on my class work.
Sorry so short.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Organic Body Care Recipes, 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Growing Skin and a Vibrant Self
by Stephanie Tourles
Are you tired of hearing about lead in your lipstick? Are you tired of spending a fortune on strong smelling, irritating skin care products? This is the book for you. I picked up this edition from one of my favorite book stores in the country, Gazebo Bookstore in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which, also happens to be my favorite place in the whole world. One day I will live there, but I digress. Organic Body Care, by Stephanie Tourles is a useful book to have around for many different reasons.
The most obvious reason to get this book is for the great bath and beauty products that you can make with simple ingredients that you either already have on hand or can pick up quickly online or at you favorite health food store. Some of my favorite recipes are: "Basic Cold Cream and Makeup Remover" on p. 117, "Herbal Soapy Skin Wash" on p. 118, and "Ever-so-Gentle Soap Lover's Floral Face and Body Wash" on p. 119. These are the only recipes I have had time to make so far. I use the "Basic Cold Cream" as my nightly moisturizer on my cracked heal and elbows and I use the other two items as shower gel. A few of the other interesting items that I want to make are "Fragrant Hair Sheen," "Herbal Shampoo for all Hair Types," "Foot Scrub," "Salt of the Earth Body Scrub," and the "Healing and Cooling Lip Balm and Gloss."
The next great reason to get this book is to be able to make wonderful unique gifts for family and friends. I know that no one wants to think about gifts right now because we have just finished Christmas, but people have birthdays all year long. You could find out what your best friends favorite scent is, get that essential oil and use it in several different products that you can give to her in a cute gift bag. These items would also be great homecoming gifts for new moms. There are wonderful explanations of what properties different essential oils have, so you can tailor any gift to a special need.
That leads to to the third reason you might like this book. On the first 108 pages, Tourles explains the basics of skin care, what to use on different types of skin, the different ingredients used in making beauty products, the different tools needed, and a brief explanation of different essential oils. Everything you needed to know about bath and beauty products, but were afraid to ask.
This book is a fun, informative read and it is great to have on had to play and experiment with.
Friday, January 18, 2008
On the Green Front I would like to let you know about a wonderful organization that helps facilitate all things "green." It is called Co-op American and its mission statement is:
"Our mission is to harness economic power-the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace-to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society." (National Green Pages, p. 37)
And the Co-op America Vision is :
"We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the health and beauty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come." (National Green Pages, p. 37)
You can become a member of Co-op America and receive a lot of great information, the best item being The National Green Pages. Think of this book as a Yellow Pages for the Green world. In fact, on the cover, it states "Directory of good ad services for people and the planet." For a company to be included in the Green Pages, they must pass a screening process that looks at the companies: "1)...commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and 2) significant action in terms of this commitment." "Businesses that pass the screening process are included in the National Green Pages, become members of our Green Business Network and can proudly display Co-op America's Seal of Approval." (National Green Pages, p. 9)
The organization supports companies and financial institutions that use and encourage sustainable and fair trade practices. I have found the Green Pages very informative and very useful when I have been trying to find a product or a service. Please check out Co-op America at www.coopamerica.org .
On the Healthy Eating Front I did eat somewhat better yesterday, but I have found out that I am going to have to take something with me for dinner before my Thursday night class because my only choice last night was semi-cold vegi pizza. I walked again yesterday so that means that I have exercised for the last 3 days in a row. I hope to make it 4 in just a few minutes.
On the Crochet Front I made quite a bit of progress on my vest. I am just not sure how much more progress I will be making considering the amount of school work I am about to have, or, I guess I should say, already have. I think I am just in denial.
Please leave comments and when you do, include your e:mail address so that I can respond back to you. I cannot see your e:mail address from your e:mail when you send me a comment.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
On the Green Front I have decided that I am going to highlight one great, green company per week in the Thursday blog, and in case you are not keeping up, today is Thursday. The company that I would like to tell you about today is www.greenfeet.com . This company was started by Val of www.morehipthanhippie.com fame. This company is based in Chico, California, but ships anywhere in the world. Val and her husband Rob are the owners and, as a result, you get exceptional customer service. Val scrutinizes each product to make sure that it stands up to the 3 R's; reduce, reuse, recycle. She also makes sure that the products are produced in a manner consist ant with "Fair Trade" practices and, if possible, that the product is made in America. The made in America part is getting consistently harder to find. Please go check out Greenfeet's offerings and tell them that "Green neck" Laura sent you.
On the Crochet Front Yesterday I started a vest for myself. I have never had great success making clothing items and I hope yesterdays efforts do not hold for the entire project. The largest size of instructions printed is for a 2X, I generally wear a 3X, so I noticed the stitch difference between the Large and the 2X and added what I thought was appropriate. Well, after I had crocheted about 3 rows I stood up and put my efforts around my waist and around my waist again. The funny thing is, this pattern is not even supposed to meet once at the waist, much less wrap around. Needless to say I then ripped out the 3 rows I had completed and am now making the vest according to the very generous 2X instructions. My husband always says that I must really like working on a project, because I am always unraveling and doing it again.
On the Healthy Eating Front I am not sure I really ate healthy, but I did walk even though the weather was yucky all day, yesterday. It wasn't really raining, it was just like walking in soup. As I walked I listened to the podcast Crochet Unraveled which can be found at www.crochetville.org or on ITUNES. You should check this podcast out to keep abreast with all the goings on in the world of crochet.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
On the Green Front I got a plastic bag yesterday and I did not even realize it until way late at night. My dear son and I went to the book store and I walked out with our purchases in a plastic bag. I had been doing so good, this is my first one this year. Last week I even carried out a whole basket load of stuff from Targets in the basket and put the purchases in my car loose because I forgot my shopping bags and realized this as I was checking out. You talk about strange looks, I thought the cashier was going to call someone to take me to the Funny Farm, but I got no plastic bags. And then to be foiled by two books. Well that's one down and I have only 24 left for the year. I can do this. Remember to start purchasing you reusable ChicoBags from Favorites-Green.
On the Healthy Eating Front On Monday I did a great Vinyasa Yoga practice. It was from a CD titled Tribal Yoga , by Misty Tripoli, I purchased it off of ITUNES. She has several and this was the Beginner version.
Yesterday the FDA approved cloned animals for our food supply. Our food supply is moving closer to the movie Soylent Green everyday. (If you have not seen Soylent Green , find it and watch it. I have added a link to the movie under Favorites-Green) Our food animals are already produced in such a way that they have to be given massive doses of antibiotics and hormones in their feed, which is causing drug resistant bacteria, super strains of EColi and girls going into puberty earlier and earlier. Now, the FDA is going to allow animals that were not produced the way God intended them to be. The food industry says that the animals will never find their way into the supermarket because they will be too expensive, but they will be used for breeding purposes . And the FDA has decided that if someone does send a cloned cow, sheep, chicken, or pig to slaughter, we, the public, will never know because there is no requirement to label the meat as coming from a cloned animal. I see so many problems with this that I can not even write them all down, but two of the major problems I see are; no data on how cloned food products will affect the person eating them, and the halt of natural genetic changes from one generation to the next.
In the drug approval process, it takes years of clinical studies on lab animals and humans before a drug can be sold, but with our food, which everyone eats, no such process is followed. The FDA just says OK, and its on our supermarket shelf. It may be years before the real effect of such food is discovered, like with the effects of BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) on adolescent girls. It is now common for young girls to start their period when they are nine years old. Marion Jones is going to jail for using steroids and Roger Clements is fighting to have his name disassociated with steroids, but it is perfectly alright to give dairy cows steroids so that they can produce more milk. Not to mention the fact that humans are the only species that, not only drinks another mammals milk, but continues to drink milk passed the age of weaning. (a side rant, sorry.) What will always eating genetically identical animals do to us?
The other major problem I see is that our food supply will be in danger because it will not be as genetically diverse. Organisms are smart and their genetic makeup changes with each generation to survive whatever potential threat there is from their environment, survival of the fittest. (Not evolution. I do not believe I came from a monkey, but I do believe in the survival of the fittest principal, where a species can adapt, over time, to fit its surroundings better.) If man is cloning each animal from a few prize animals of a certain period of time, then the genetic material is static to that period in time, and natural selection cannot occur. As a result of this halt in genetic change, if the right strain of disease comes through, all animals would be wiped out because they had not been allowed to develop natural resistance to such diseases. This principal also holds true for genetically mortified foods, which Europe bans, but the FDA says is just fine for us on this side of the pond. If plants are not allowed to develop and pollinate as nature intended, a wrong disease can wipe out an entire crop. This is what happened during the potato famine in Ireland, which ruined the food supply and caused the death of many people.
On one hand, we hear everyday in the media that doctors should not prescribe antibiotics as much to stop the threat of drug resistant strains of bacteria, yet the FDA allows all types of stuff into the feed of our food animals, and now they are going to allow them to be cloned. Man should never fool with God or Mother Nature and, personally, I know God will win.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
As you can see from the picture below, this is just a large Granny Square. It is a pattern I got from the free pattern section at www.lionbrand.com . They have not only the best yarn, but also a great selection of patterns. This project was worked with Lion Brands new Vanna's Choice yarn which I have highlighted under Favorites-Crochet. There were eleven colors used for this piece (in order worked): #147 Purple, #173 Dusty Green, #142 Rose, #135 Rust, #130 Honey, #146 Dusty Purple, #126 Chocolate, #170 Pea Green, #174 Olive, #158 Mustard and #143 Antique Rose. This blanket was worked with a 6.5 crochet hook. I finished the blanket with a round of half-double crochet in all stitches and spaces in #158 Mustard as my dear sister-in-laws favorite color is yellow.
Monday, January 14, 2008
On the Green Front I want to start letting everyone out there know about green items that you may not have thought about before. Today I want to introduce you to the idea of green, ethically obtained, sustainable jewelery. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a jewelery harlot. I began to think about this issue after trying to watch Blood Diamond , which I only made it through the first 3 minutes and I knew I could not watch it. The diamond industry is one of the most inhumane industries going. The workers are treated worse than slaves, there is child labor, it is all just too awful for words. But, we can still have our bling and feel good about it too. I have done business with a company called Green Karat . They make beautiful items using recycled and ethically mined gold and gems. They can be found at www.greenkarat.com . And of course feel free to purchase something for your favorite green blog writer. Other companies with similar philosophies are: www.brilliantearth.com and www.credjewellery.com .
Go out there and get your "green" bling on.
As I was writing, I realized that I should do a whole blog on "fair trade" goods. Stay tuned for that in days to come. Also, if all goes well, tomorrow will be a crochet blog - I finished the afghan.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Please, please, please, leave me comments about anything, but, also, if you struggle with some of these same issues.
Also, notice in the right corner that you can now subscribe to Granny's Hippie Threads if you aggregate the blogs that you read. All you have to do is click on the link and you will be walked through it.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Simplify Your Life, 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter. by Elaine St. James
Do you feel like your world is driving you mad? Do you have too much stuff? I know I do. Do you owe too much money? I am working on that. Do you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? This little book will help you in all of these areas and then some. It has been years since I read Simplify Your Life, but when I was thinking about what book to review this week, I decided that I really wanted to share this little gem with you. Also, by re-reading it I am hoping to get back on the road to simplicity.
Elaine St. James has broken down simplicity into all areas of your life; household, life-style, finances, job, health, personal life, special issues for women, and hard-core simplicity. And , under these categories she writes several one to two page ways for simplifying that area. You could almost read this book as one idea a day, but you will not want to. I think the first time I read it, I did so all in one day, and I never do that. There is a lot of food for thought in this little package.
Please look for a link to this book under Favorites-Book Reviews.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I feel bad. I meant to give a shout out to Dori and Val at www.morehipthanhippie.com yesterday and I forgot to. They gave a link and a shout out to Granny's Hippie Threads in this weeks podcast and I really appreciate that. If you have never listened to More Hip that Hippie, you are really missing out. These two present all things green in a most entertaining way, think Lucy and Ethel, and they review a beer and a chocolate in every episode. What is not to love about that. Go to the link above and give them a listen, you will think me I know.
There have been so many weird weather things happening all over the US lately, that I thought it was a good idea to post this Survival Preparedness list. I got it from www.vegparadise.com and I thought it was one of the most complete lists of this kind that I have seen. I think we all should work on putting something like this together, I know I usually do not prepare for emergencies until they tell me the hurricane is coming this way and then you can not find a bottle of water or a loaf of bread anywhere.
Survival Supply List:
Potable drinking water - 1 gallon per person per day
Food--enough non-perishable pantry food for a week
Portable butane stove (or other safe way to cook food )
A complete first-aid kit
Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils or disposable mess kits
Manual can opener
Pots and pans and other kitchen tools (if evacuating)
Candles, lamps, and lamp oil
Matches in a waterproof container
Plastic zip-lock bags
Plastic storage containers with lids
Needles and thread
Wrenches to turn off household gas and water
Clean dry clothes
Pet supplies: food, water, bowls, collar/leash, litter box, I.D., carriers (if evacuation is necessary) Legal documents, insurance papers, and bank and utility bills in watertight container
Keep recent computer backup discs with your Disaster Emergency Kit. (we also stash one in the safety deposit box at the bank)
Keep set of supplies in car, including food, water, first aid kit, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.
Keep your gas tanks full - Gasoline will be unavailable if the power goes out because the pumps operate by electricity. Therefore, it's a good idea to fill up regularly, especially before an approaching storm.
Please send in any other survival tips you might have. It is never too early to be ready.
On the Green Front I realized about two years ago that I had more china and real glasses and silverware than I knew what to do with, yet every time I had a party, I would buy paper and plastic everything. Why waste all that money just to add to the landfill. Now when I have a party I take out all of my china, glasses and real forks and knives. It is so much nicer, how often to you eat on real china, and it is so much easier to eat with real utensils. I know the rest of you out there are the same way. Make it a point this year to use all your real stuff and if you don't have enough, go to garage sales and flea markets to acquire enough and you are set for parties for the rest of your life. Plus, I like the fact that not all the dishes match because it just looks more fun for some reason. I also know that you are thinking, "but I will have to wash all of this." I had a very dear friend teach me that it is fun to wash dishes as a group before everyone leaves. Your kitchen is clean, you have had fun working together, and you have not increased the landfill. I also made napkins from scrap material that I had, I thought I was going to quilt, I just hemmed them and they were good to go. I just throw them in the washer when everyone leaves and they are good for the next day. We only use paper towels or napkins in this house when it is something that really has to be thrown away.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
On the Green Front Let's discuss "green" cleaning. Even before I became an environmental advocate, I used environmentally friendly cleaning products because I am very sensitive to smells and things getting on my skin. I can be around the wrong thing for just a short period of time and I will have a sinus infection. As a result of this sensitivity, I have gathered a selection of "green"cleaning products that I really like. (I still hate to clean, but at least if I have to, I won't get sick doing it.) I love all Mrs. Meyers products. They come in a number of different scents and can be found at Whole Foods in our area. I will also include them on my Green Favorites because you can also purchase them from Amazon, in fact, there are some items I have only found on Amazon. My favorite scent is the Lemon Verbena, but I am sure they are all great. Don't be scared by the price, they last longer than any product I have ever bought at the grocery store. I have a bottle of the All Purpose Concentrate that I mix in a spray bottle that is only about half used and I know that I bought it probably two years ago. Also, most of the Method products found at Target stores are great, too, they just have a stronger scent than Mrs. Meyers. Like the ChicoBags, buy one new environmentally friendly cleaning product a month and slowly transition. Your lungs, skin and the world will thank you.
On the Being Healthy Front (I have really got to come up with a title for this section instead of changing it everyday) I have already written my morning pages and walked today. It was a dreary walk because it is kind of misty, foggy here, but I think that you can find a certain kind of pleasure in all climates, unless, of course, it is 102 in the shade. Today I am going to make a conscious effort to get in my 5 fruits and vegies and drink more water.
I said that I would publish my goals for 2008 and I thought since this is already the second week, I better get to it. Here they are:
I want to lose 50 pounds this year-I know that is a lot, but that is only 1 pound a week. I will give you weekly updates on the Sunday Weight Loss edition the the blog.
I want to continue this blog on a daily basis-I am currently attending college to get a Masters in Literature. One of the things that I would like to do is write, so this is an avenue to make myself write a little bit every day. And, for those of you who know me, I kind of like a forum to give my opinions. lol
I want to do some form of exercise 5 times per week-This can be Yoga or walking or whatever, just something. If I don't lose weight at least I will be moving and making my heart pump on a regular basis.
I want to invite people to our home more-I am not the worlds best housekeeper, I just think there are other things that I would rather be doing, but as a result of knowing this about myself, I am very self-conscious about our house and am not comfortable with others being here. I am going to get over that this year. Our house is what it is, I will keep it sanitary but probably still cluttered, but I want to have people over for dinner and to have a good time. I love to cook and I love to be with friends and family. I think this will be my hardest goal.
I think that these are enough goals for now. If I think of more I will add them in the coming days. Please feel free to share your goals with us here as well. Don't make me the only one out there on a limb.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
On the Crochet Front I worked on the Granny Square Afghan that I have in progress and need to finish soon as it is a Christmas present. I will post pictures when I have completed it. I did, however, start a new project today because I needed something to small to take with me to a friends doctors appointment. I started a beautiful scarf made out of Caron Simply Soft Shadows. If I ever get one of the snowflake motifs completed, I will post a picture.
On the Eating Better Front (I am no longer going to refer to this as weight loss or diet, because what we all need to do is to eat better.) I subscribe to a few daily e:mail newsletters and two of them today had the same theme, eat your 5 fruits and vegies a day. This reminder came from www.idealbite.com and from www.beliefnet.com . In the Beliefnet article it was noted that, along with eating your vegies, if you did not smoke, got regular physical activity, and consumed moderate amounts of alcohol, you could add 14 years to your life. If they are 14 healthy, alert years I will take them. So keep the 5 fruits and vegies in mind when you are tempted to grab a candy bar or a bag of chips.
On the Green Front I think everyone should make some small changes right now, this second week of the new year, to start becoming "greener." I sat down and thought about what would make a good "green" starter kit and this is it:
ChicoBags (which we have already talked about)
Change all you light bulbs to CFL's your old ones burn out (remember to recycle your CFL's, if they burn out, at your local IKEA store.)
Stainless Steel water bottle (instead of buying bottled water which is no better than tap water anyway)
Dryer Balls (Every dryer should have balls, you no longer need dryer sheets and they speed up the drying time.)
Reusable Coffee/Tea Mug for your morning drive through Starbucks. You actually get a discount at some places when you bring your own mug.
So this is what I am going to refer to as the Granny's Hippie Threads "Green" Starter Kit, and I have added all the items under Green Favorites. Put yours together soon.
Sorry so late with the blog, will do better tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Last night I took a great teleclass on goal setting for the new year from Kimberly Wilson of Hip Tranquil Chick fame. It really made me think about how people, myself included, can just drift through life if they have no concrete goals. Goals need to be written down and they need to have deadlines attached to them or they are of no use. After I have written mine down, if I am comfortable with them, I will write them here for all of you to see. The reason I say, "if I am comfortable," is that I have one dear sister-in-law who will keep me honest if she knows about them. Also, from the class last night I met another blogger who I have linked to this page: http://yogaandalatte.wordpress.com Check it out I think it will be a great read and reference.
On the Green Front I was asked a great question yesterday from my above mentioned dear sister-in-law. She was wondering if you always use reusable shopping bags, and you never get any plastic ones, what do you use to line your bathroom trashcans? Well, my goal of no plastic bags is a personal goal. I cannot control my dear husband or my dear son, so, plastic bags do, unfortunately, make it into our house and I do use them in my bathroom trashcans, but there are much better alternatives. At Amazon you can get biodegradable bags for all your trash needs, and I have added them to my Green Favorites. They are called biobags and they come in all different sizes for all different needs.
On the yoga and weight loss front I had a great Vinyasa practice yesterday and am going to try to walk today. I have been doing my "morning pages" from The Writer's Diet, and I am really enjoying the process.
Please feel free to comment on any of the items I have written about and, if you would like, share some of your New Year's goals.
Monday, January 07, 2008
On the political front: Is Hilary over? I really thought that people would vote for her because she was a Clinton, I wonder if they would vote for Bill again? Tomorrows New Hampshire primary should be quite interesting. This is such a much more exciting process since there is no clear front runner as there usually is and what is even better is there is no front runner in either party. The only thing I am afraid of is that all of this could turn very ugly and that gets voters no where. We need to know about issues, not what one candidate did when he or she was in college. I know when I was in college I was not who I am now and all of the candidates are at least 20 years older than I am. I dare say that in 20 years, I won't be who I am now.
On the Green Front: I have used no plastic bags yet in the new year. I did have two close calls on Friday, though. I went to buy my books for this coming semester of Grad school, and, standing in line, I realized that I had not brought my shopping bags and that there was no way I could carry out my books without a bag, so I am now the proud owner of a canvas bag with the UHCL logo on it. After this I went to Borders to look around, I am such a book person, and the poor sales girl had already put my purchases in a bag and I was walking away when I realized what I was about to do so I turned around, took the books out of the bag, handed her back the bag, and apologized and told her that my New Years Resolution was no plastic bags. She said that was great and graciously took the plastic bag back. Also, yesterday, I bought my groceries at Walmart, I had a gift card or I would not have gone there, and even though there were hundreds of people, I was the only shopper with reusable shopping bags. I would have thought by now that things would be changing, but I guess this area will not change until a law is passed, like in San Francisco, banning plastic bags. Remember if you take your own shopping bags to Whole Foods you receive a bag credit.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Please leave comments about any of my blog entries and about any weight loss or "green" resolutions you have made for the year.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. by Barbara Kingsolver
Have you ever thought about where your food comes from? If your answer to this question is, sure dummy, Krogers, you need to read this book. Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible, and her family took on the challenge of living for one year from food they either grew themselves or purchased from local farmers. Kingsolver, her husband, and two daughters not only met the challenge, but lived to write about it. Living for a year on only locally produced food might seem like a daunting task for most, but the Kingsolver clan lived this year on their rural Appalachian farm. They had the land and knowledge needed to grow the majority of their vegetables, and raise their own chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat. They even made their own cheese. I am not sure how feasible or practical this would be living in the city or the suburbs, I have tried and have failed miserably. I can not grow anything, I have even had to throw out plastic plants because they began to look so bad, and there is no way I am going to kill, gut, and pluck my Thanksgiving turkey. I know our grandparents did all these things, and I think that we would all be better off if we did them now, but I will just have to be a vegetarian.
Kinsolver is a wonderful writer and makes this year of her life sound delightful. Despite the topic, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, is a very entertaining book. It is quite humorous in many spots, including the chapter on killing, gutting, and plucking the birds. There is even sex in it, turkey sex that is, which is an eye opener.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone concerned about today's food supply, which should be everyone, and to anyone who likes to garden.
In the upcoming weeks, I will review the book, Plenty, which touches on the same subject, but is written by a Vancouver couple who lived in a tiny apartment and based their diet on food items that were grown and produced within a 100-mile radius of their apartment. These two books give us two new terms for the upcoming year; locavoire - a person who bases their food consumption from items that are locally grown and produced, and 100-mile diet - people who restrict their food consumption to items that are grown and produced within 100-miles from where they live. You will be hearing more about these terms in the media and on this blog.
Find a link for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, under Favorites - Book Reviews.
Friday, January 04, 2008
I had a great Vinyasa yoga practice yesterday. It was Podcast number 92 from Kimberly Wilson's Hip Tranquil Chick Podcast (see link on the side of this blog.) I just love her podcast and her yoga sequences, they are very challenging. Also, check out her book, Hip Tranquil Chick, A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat. This book is a fun read and it will make you think about what you really want to do with your life and help you to be more creative.
On the Green Front I would like to issue a challenge to everyone out there. For those of you who are not taking your own reusable shopping bags with you when you shop, I would like for you to purchase one ChicoBag per month until you have enough to hold your largest grocery purchases. Plastic never biodegrades and even paper does not biodegrade in a landfill, because nothing biodegrades in a landfill because of the way they are designed. I will add a link under My Favorites so that you can purchase your ChicoBags. If you have never used your own shopping bags you will be amazed at how much more you can fit into them, you will have fewer bags to take out of the car. I keep mine on a hook in my kitchen and when I walk out to go to the store they are there for me to grab. I am not perfect and I forget them sometimes, but I am going to work on that this year. I am going to challenge myself to use no more than 25 plastic bags this year. I will let you know each time I slip up and get one.
I did not crochet any yesterday, but I will today, maybe. I have started playing a computer game called Farm Frenzy and I am obsessed. I am determined that I am going to complete every level with a gold star. How stupid and time wasting is that? Now I know for sure that I can no longer say anything to my dear son about his gaming habits.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I am currently trying to complete my dear sister-in-laws afghan. I will post a picture when I finish it. It is a large Granny Square and I am using the new Lion Brand Vanna's Choice thread. I just love this thread. I made my Christmas Scarfs out of it this year. Keep up the good work Lion Brand.
I am currently reading:
For Fun: Sweet Revenge, by Diane Mott Davidson (I love her)
For Class: Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Listening to: Invasive Procedures, by Orson Scott Card (He is the ultimate in Sci-Fi)
On the Green Front, when I was paying my light bill yesterday, I noticed that there was a graph that showed our energy consumption for the past two years. Last year we changed all of our light bulbs to CFL's as our old bulbs went out and that is about the only energy change we made. It worked. According to the graph we actually used less energy last year than we did the year before. It is a good thing, because I know we had to pay more last year due to fuel costs, so I would hate to know what our bills would have been if we had consumed like the year before.
Happy New Year,