Sunday, April 27, 2008

I just calculated my family's carbon footprint and it is not pretty even with the green things that we do. The average US carbon load is 97,838 lbs., ours was 116,971 lbs. I wish our town would start the recycling program they are trying to put in place, that would help, but our main problem is my dear husbands commute to work everyday and our various other car trips. My husband has to go to work, but I am trying to only go to school and back and trip chain when I am going into Houston. Trip chaining is where you plan to do several errands or appointments on the same day in the same area. example, I do not make special trips to Whole Foods, I go on a day that I am already in town. Think of all of the things that you can do to make your carbon load less and share what these ideas are. You may think that they have already been thought of, but they may be new to all of us.

By the way I have given up on the political race. We are all doomed. Maybe I will get some enthusiasm later.

On the Green Front I was watching this afternoon's NHL playoff game between the NY Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, and an old NHL star Mike Richter has and affiliation with a new company where you can buy carbon offsets for the carbon footprint you are leaving. The NHL is now going "green" so I thought you might like to check out the company. It is called Green Life and can be found at . I have never purchased carbon offsets for anything, but I know that people do it for all kinds of reasons, the biggest being airplane flight. The one neat thing on the site that I am going to investigate when I have more time is the Carbon Offset Calculator. I think it might be scary to see just how bad we are. If you do the calculator, send me your score. I will post mine when I get a chance to do it.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Morning Book Review

Beloved by Toni Morrison

I just finished reading Beloved by Toni Morrison for the African American Women’s Novelist class that I took this semester. This is a very difficult book to read, not because of the words used, they are very simple, or because of the sentence structure, again it is simple, but because of the subject matter of slavery and the images that Morrison paints so skillfully. This book will affect you and will make you think, but the material presented is material that better affect you and it is material that needs to be thought about. We read several books concerning slavery and the African American past this semester, but this novel was the most thorough. Morrison shows what it was truly like to be a slave. I will place a link to the book in Favorites Book Reviews and I will also add a link for the movie which I highly recommend watching but only after you have read the book. The movie stars Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.

Happy reading,
On the April 15th blog I gave you information about the Air Car. I have received some additional information since then from the original inventors of the Air Car. Please check out the following information:

Hi, just to let you know, the official site for the inventor of the Air Car is I made a fan website with the most current information on the 2010 North American model, the Citycat. The other models are from the 2006 prototypes that they have been road-testing in France. Our air car will be a 4-door 6-seater sedan.
Contact for the Official U.S. representative.

Some of the information is in French so if you can't read it you can still see how cute the car is. I am still making my van hang in there until some of these new things come out and I can try them.


PS Saturday Morning Book Review coming later in the day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

At the first of the year I said that one of my goals was to entertain once a month. I have sadly only entertained twice, I think, but I am changing that. We are having friends over tonight for my famous Mexican Soup, corn bread, salad and cake. Not fancy, but it is always eaten and enjoyed. I actually cleaned house on Wednesday and so this is the perfect time to have company. I have lavender essential oil in my diffuser and with the soup in the crock pot the house smells great. Why don't we all have friends over more often? I am going to change.

Mexican Soup

1 lb. ground beef, browned
2 cans ranch style beans
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans minestrone soup
1 can mexi corn
1 can beef broth

Put all ingredients in the crock pot on low and simmer all day. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.

Fix a pot for your family and have a movie night or invite some friends over and enjoy some good conversation.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

I don't have time for a real post, but just wanted to commemorate this day in some way. To celebrate Earth Day, I want each of us to change just one light bulb in our house to a CFL. You can make that small change I know.

Please send comments on you bulb changing ceremony.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

You will be happy to know that I will be finished with this semester soon and will be back in blogging mode. Sorry for the spotty posts, hang in there.


Friday, April 18, 2008

On the Green Front Tuesday is Earth Day Check around your area for different events that are occurring on Saturday. I know in my area there is an electronics recycling drop off event which is exciting. It is very important to make sure that your old electronics get recycled and not just thrown away to become part of the landfill. Electronics like old computers, old cell phones, old TVs and so on have a lot of icky stuff in them that needs to be disposed of properly. We don't want this stuff to get in our water supply and our soil. So check your local paper and see if there is not something like this happening in your area.

Also tomorrow is National Hanging Out Day. For this one day hang your clothes to dry outside instead of in the dryer and enjoy the smell of sheets air dried. There is nothing like it. I have to say that I have never hung anything outside to dry. I don't even have close lines, but my grandmother did and I can still remember the smell. The information for National Hanging Out Day can be found here .

There seems to be so much cool stuff happening on the "green" front. I want everyone to know that it is not just about the environment, it is just a healthier way to live. Some of us are very sensitive to chemicals and living "green" just makes us feel better. So if you don't buy into Global Warming, think about you and your families health.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tonight Hillary and Obama are going to go at it in PA. It should be interesting, but I don't think very informative. I think that this debate will be a true slug fest and that gets us nowhere and McCain everywhere. McCain will not win this election because he was the countries choice, but because the Dems are giving it to him. I just don't think I can stand 4 more years of what we have now, but I am trying to at least understand that the possibility is there.

On the Crochet/Knit Front I still have no pictures as I am in the middle of writing a major paper for school and still have not finished anything. I will tell you this, when I did take a break last night and knitted on my sweater for a little while, it was just long enough to realize that I had knitted two right sides to my sweater. I had to frog back to where I had started the arm hole indention and start from there to make it the left side of my sweater. Maybe I should have just kept working on my paper and maybe that was God's way of telling me.

On the Weight Loss Front I walked last night and it felt great. I have got to do this every night. Tomorrow if I can I am going to see what it takes to work out in the facilities at school, but all depends on this paper. At this point everything in my world is revolving around this dang paper. I am determined that I will finish it today, but I said that yesterday as well.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day. Are we all happy that we are having to give our money to an institution that spends it on a war nobody supports, not even the country we have supposedly freed? If Iraq is happy to be free then let them take over the fighting and let them pay for it with their own oil money. Surly with the price of oil these days they would get a whole lot more value compared to it being paid for with US dollars that fall on a daily basis. I wish that we could let them know what we want to pay for with our dollars. Like little boxes we could check and that is were our money would go. If that were the case it would be interesting to see what the majority of the people would want their money spent on.

On the Green Front The Air Car. Yes, it is real. A car that runs on air and the exhaust is cold air that can be directed back into the car for air conditioning. I think this is the coolest thing yet. Check out these links and keep up with, what I hope, is the wave of the future.:

Air Car Factories
A great article
Another model from

I even think they look cool. They look like the cars of the future we have been promised since I was a kid. At the Air Car Factories site you can even sign up to be one of the first to have an opportunity to buy one.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Remember tomorrow is Tax Day. Don't forget to send in your return and all of your hard earned dollars to a government that has no clue how to balance a budget.

I think Hillary and Obama are about to implode on each other and we are going to be stuck with McCain and this country is, at the very best, not going to get any better, but at the worst, it could get a whole lot worse. Can't the Dems just kiss, make up and try to beat McCain? Please let's hope they turn things around before it is too late.

On the Weight Loss Front I am not losing, although I just found out today that I can work out at my college campus for free. I wish I had checked into this sooner, but live and learn. I am going to see what I have to do to sign up this afternoon. I am sure I am paying for it in all of my fees so I should take advantage of it and at least 2 days per week I can come early enough to work out before class. Also, a few days ago I told you about the cute site Hungry Girl, well her book site is up now with a sneak peek at the recipes and the WW points associated with them. Check it out at .

On the Crochet/Knit Front I have now completed the back and right front of my sweater. I have cast on the left front and have close to half of it completed. And the most exciting part is all of the pieces look like a garment. I can't wait to complete it.

Send some comments.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hopefully the second time is a charm. I was writing this great blog post when I accidentally turned off the computer. So here I go again.

On the Weight Loss Front I found this great new site with great tips and recipes, Hungry Girl. It can be found at . It is a really cute site and I think you would like checking it out. Personally I have practiced yoga 3 days in a row now and I walked last night. I am taking this one day at a time.

On the Crochet/Knit Front I am sorry that I did not post pictures yesterday, but I don't have any finished projects. I am coming right along on my sweater for our vacation. It is looking great.

On the Green Front If you do not want to buy reusable bags for shopping, make your own with any stash material you have lying around or go to garage sales and pick up other peoples stash that they sale for a song. Here are some great patterns:

and, My own creation:

I use 1 1/2 yd of cotton fabric. Fold in half selvages together. Cut 2 2" strips. Place strips right sides together and sew with a 1/2" seam on each side. Turn. Press. Top stitch 1/4" down each side. Cut in half. Handles made. Fold remaining material in half, right sides together, with selvages at each end. Center a handle at each in and pin on the right side with handle facing inward. Sew around with a 5/8" seam and leaving an opening on the side to be able to turn bag. Turn bag by reaching into the opening and grabbing handles and pulling them through the whole. Make sure to turn corners square. Smooth out and press. Top stitch 1/4" across each end. Fold in half and sew down each side with a 1/2" seam and then again inside with a 5/8" seam. Your bag is now complete. You can fill the whole thing up with canned goods and, if you can lift it, it will not break. I will try and make a video and post it so the instructions will be easier to follow.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Good morning all. I am supposed to be doing school work right now, but I just thought I would pop in and tell you how much fun I had this weekend.

On the Green Front My dear husband and I went to the Houston Green Consumer Expo this weekend. It was not very big, but Houston is not very green, yet. All of the electric providers were giving away free CFL's. We collected as many as we could and gave them to my Mother who has not switched any of her bulbs yet. I also found out really how expensive solar panels are and so I am over ever having them on my house unless I win the lottery. For a 1500 sq ft house it would cost over $80,000. We did not even pay $80,000 for the house. So I will just continue to do all of the green baby steps I can do since I can't afford to make a giant leap. We got to see and sit in a Prius Plug In Hybrid. It was really nice and will be on the market in 2011. I hope my van makes it that long. Now for the funny part of the day, my dear husband was less than enthusiastic about going with me to this Expo, but God was looking out for him. In the same building, the Texas Golf Expo was going on, so, yes, we had to go to it after we went to the Green Expo. The good thing that came out of it was that my husband won a closest to the pin contest and should be getting two free rounds of golf. He lives a charmed life.

On the Crochet/Knit Front I have cast on a sweater to take with me on our vacation to upstate New York. It is a very, very easy pattern and I have already made quite a bit of head way on it. I am using Lion Brand's Wool Ease, #9 and #10 needles. It is going really fast and I can't wait to say that I actually completed a knit garment. I will have exact details tomorrow in the crochet blog.

Send some feedback.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hi all. I know two days in a row, that is almost a miracle.

On the Yoga Front I have not had a yoga post in a while because I have been very bad and not practicing, but that changed this morning. Sunday I got Quick Start Yoga for Weight Loss by Gaiam instructed by Suzanne Deason. I actually got my sizable rear out of the chair and practiced this morning. This DVD/CD combination is great. The work out is 30 minutes and very intense. It is split between standing and sitting poses and emphasizes breath work. There is breath work at both the beginning of the practice and the end. The DVD is 50 minutes long and includes both a 30 minute total body practice (that is what I did) and a 20 minute energy balancing practice. The CD is 15 minutes and guides you through a morning mini yoga practice. I will add a link for this to Favorites-Yoga. Pick up a copy and check it out.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I have so much to talk about. Saturday I spent the entire day at my Texas Democrat Senatorial Convention. I arrived at 8:00 am and did not leave until 6:00 pm and all we did was pick a delegate and an alternate for Obama to go to the Texas State Democrat Convention in Austin. I did a lot of knitting, crocheting, and people watching. The time thing was not because they did not know what they were doing, it is just that no one knows what to do when people actually show up to participate in the process. I thought it was all very organized and civilized for the amount of people who showed up. Our precinct was close though, 190 for Obama and 150 for Clinton. I still don't know what is going to happen, but I sure hope that McCain does not win because the Dems did not have their act together.

On the Green Front Saturday I am going to the Green Consumer Expo here in Houston. I will report back what I found. At Targets today I found some new "green" products put out by, of all people, Clorox. The brand is called Green Works and can be found at most stores. The price point was very reasonable as well.

On the Crochet Front Congratulations to Marley of The Yarn Thing Podcast, , she is going to have one of her designs published in the Fall 2008 Interweave Crochet Magazine. I can not wait to see what it is. If I start another thing without finishing something, I should be shot. It is like everyday I feel the urge to start something new. I have projects all over the house. As I finish them, I will take pictures and share.

Please send any comments and pictures of your completed works.