Wednesday, December 30, 2009
For those who don't regularly read this blog, these ladies are part of a team who run an orphanage and school in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. The orphanage houses 77 orphans and the school educates and feeds over 500 children. Life is harsh in Haiti and the orphanage/school (Hope for Haiti's Children) is a virtual oasis. These women are on call 24/7 and often deal with actual life and death decisions. These ladies and saints and my heros. I'm so glad they've chosen to spend some of their precious free time with us.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Rather than resolutions, I try to set quarterly goals with step-by-step directions for myself. Say, if I have ten things I want to do or change, I don't set them as resolutions to start on January 1st. Instead, I look at the list and pick out about three items that I think are the most important and that I think are realistic to accomplish in three months. Then I look at my schedule and see how I can work towards the goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I set deadlines and rewards to keep me motivated. At the end of the quarter, I look at what I've accomplished and then pick new goals for the next quarter. Sometimes the past quarter's goals are actually habits I've acquired rather than a goal with an end (i.e., exercise daily versus lose 10 pounds). So, once the habit is established, I continue on without giving it much more thought.
This week I'll be setting aside some time to think about what goals to set for myself. I actually look forward to the process, seeing it as a time of renewal and improvement. It's a very positive way to begin a new year.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior's boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
In addition to the snow news, we have new baby goats! Two of the nannys were pregnant and gave birth on the same day - yesterday! Sheena and Judy both gave birth to twin girls - Blondie and Barbie; Ramona and Sharona. All are healthy and happy. It's amazing how baby goats (I don't call them kids because that's what I call my human children) get up on their feet so quickly. And I marvel at how most goat mothers immediately bond with and care for their babies. I love how the mamas are so trusting of us when it comes to their babies.
82-88 Quality costume jewelry (to be saved for the church rummage sale)
89 Orphan sock
90 Old prescription glasses to be donated to Lions Club
91 Key chain
92-100 Miscellaneous junky costume jewelry I never wear
Done! That was a very painless and quick way to declutter. I'm thinking I need to make this a regular quarterly ritual. While I don't entirely agree with the whole practice of feng shui, I do know that according to scientists, everything has energy. When I have too much *energy* (i.e, clutter) around, it makes me feel bad. Going through my possessions and eliminating those that aren't earning their keep is a great exercise in creating more tranquility in my life.
41-46 Misc. disposable plastic containers that I've been hanging onto out of guilt but for which I have absolutely no use...
47-50 Coats and jackets from hall closet (either outgrown or unused). I'll donate these to charity.
51-53 Old wire hangers from hall closet
54-57 flip flops and sandals
58 fabric flower pin
59 leather belt
60 fabric belt
61-64 summer scarves
65-68 winter scarves. I'll donate these to charity
69 pair of old gloves
70-71 thermal hoods
72 fabric headband
73 straw hat
74 another winter scarf
75-77 winter hats
78-79 more gloves
80 another straw hat (had been part of a costume)
81 pair of shoes that are not at all my style
This challenge reminds me of the "27 fling boogie" on Flylady, but her assignment is to throw away 27 items and then give away 27 more. Either way, it's a way of decluttering and simplifying life. Only 19 more items to go!
Monday, December 21, 2009
1-25 Items of clothing that were either 1) the wrong color for me; 2) the wrong style for me; 3) didn't fit well; 4) were duplicates of things I didn't need duplicates of; 5) worn out items.
26-27 Old sunglasses
28-30 Novels I finished that I will never re-read
31-33 Old shoes
34-37 More items of clothing
38 Key chain
39 Cardboard jewelry box
40 Cloth drawstring bag from some purchase that I can't even remember
Well, I'm off to a great start today - almost halfway there!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Danita Estrella #17645
C/O Agape Flights
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
I've gone into this long history lesson because I believe that Americans are no different than these doomed royals. For the most part, we view the world from a position of comfort and abundance. Ours is a nation where the number one health problem among the poor is obesity. We don't know what it's like to go days without food, to have to drink polluted water, to be displaced by wars, or to lack basic medical care. So, as we interact with the rest of the world (the other 95%), we are wearing rose-colored glasses. We don't mean to be insensitive, it's just that we have a skewed reference point .
During this advent season, I encourage everyone to take some time to get to know our "neighbors," those with whom we share this planet. As we have learned from Marie and Louis, we are what we know, so let's set out to learn. Read a book, watch a documentary, or research on the internet. Let's try to understand the rest of the world and look upon them with love and compassion. And avoid going down in history as a nation who thought the rest of the world should just eat cake.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
[I discovered this quote on an interesting blog, Wonder of Creation]
Friday, November 27, 2009
In some ways, I've been trying to live close to the earth my entire life. I chalk that up to growing up in Southern California. As an adult, I've slowly adopted a greener lifestyle. There have been times when I've had a wakeup call that made me realize how far I have strayed from my beliefs. One major turning point was when I took a required class in college. One of the first books we had to read was How Much Is Enough? by Alan Durning. This book opened my eyes to how unsustainable the American lifestyle is and how greedy we appear to the rest of the world. Later, a bad case of food poisioning made me return to my vegetarian roots and got me reading books like Fast Food Nation.
For many years, I was alone in my quest to green my life and to influence others to do so. I've recycled for years and have used recycled paper products or rags whenever possible. Most of my personal care products are all natural and I try to use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. My husband would roll his eyes at many of my green practices. However, when we moved back to his home town, he began to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. One of his biggest joys is his compost pile! Now my biggest struggle is plastic. I feel guilty every time I get a "to go" beverage because I know the the plastic lid, plastic straw, and (sometimes) plastic cup are so bad for the environment. I did a bag-free month back in October and am trying to do that as much as possible by keeping reusuable bags in my car. Now I have to remember to bring my own cup with me where ever I go.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I want to share Mr. Stearn's own translation of Matthew 25:35-36:
"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."It really makes one think, doesn't it? This book puts the spotlight on the church and how we have lost our way. We've become more about "us" and less about those who Christ has told us to care for. While reading this book, I couldn't put the highlighter down.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Speaking of heaven, about a year ago a large, nationally-known sporting goods store opened in our city. My husband and I visitied the store one day; I think he was in search of some fishing gear. As he perused the isles of poles and lures, I decided to venture out beyong the yoga wear section. I stumbled upon red neck nirvana! Camouflage everywhere! There was a whole department devoted to everything camo. It almost hurt my eyes to look at it. It was then that I knew that despite the economy, despite the high prices, this store is going to succeed in our community.
This time of year there are amazing sights to see. Masses of camouflaged men congregate in grocery store parking lots - preening like peacocks. They gather together to purchase supplies for the day: Little Debbie snacks and beer. Oftentimes, men bring along their sons, mini-me's swaggering about in head-to-toe camo. In some ways I'm jealous, because these little boys have mastered something I'm still trying to understand: how does one coordinate the various patterns of camouflage? How do you know when it clashes or is just too much? Perhaps a reader could enlighten me.
In the meantime, I have another question. Why the camouflage? Deer are color blind; it doesn't matter to them what you wear. Once, while out for a walk on my farm, my hubby and I stumbled upon some deer grazing on the side of a hill. As soon as we saw them, we froze. We could tell that they sensed a presence but they couldn't see us - despite the fact that I was wearing hot pink yoga pants. Also, if deer are fooled by the camouflage, clearly they would spot the blaze orange caps. Ah, the mysteries of living in a different culture.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The rain has gotten to me, too. I got into housewife mode to distract myself from thinking warm, dry thoughts of Florida. One project I've been putting off (mainly because it's not really that important to me) was using a *magic eraser* to remove various marks off the walls downstairs. I found this to be a scary project. I mean, what are these erasers made of? And where do they go (and so quickly)? I guess that's a good rainy day research project....
"The morality of the nations must be as the morality of the individual writ large, therefore,
I. The State shall not exalt the false gods of national glory, national pride, national greed, for the Lord God is a jealous God, visiting the disobedience of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of those that neglect Him, and showing mercy unto thousands of those that love Him and keep His commandments.
II. Every State shall acknowledge that all men are equally the children of God, and recognize the brotherhood of all men and the rights of primitive peoples.
III. The State shall not bear false witness against its neighbours, for Christ has said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you."
IV. The State shall do no murder, nor order its subjects to kill.
V. The State shall not steal, nor keep what it gains by force, for Christ has said "It is more blessed to give that to receive." "Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."
VI. The State shall not covet its neighbours' wealth, nor its neighbours' territory, nor anything that is theirs.
VII. The State shall not judge in its own case, for too often we fail to see the beam in our own eye, looking only for the mote in our brother's eye.
VIII. The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and no State shall fear the prosperity of another, but rather rejoice in it.
IX. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, and thy neighbour State as thine own country.
X. The State shall not seek its own life, for whosoever would save his life, shall lose it.
LOVE IS THE LAW OF LIFE. FOR GOD IS LOVE."
(by A. Ruth Fry)
Monday, November 9, 2009
In the meantime, I had a lot going on in my personal life. We had many visits from family and friends. Both of my college-age children blasted through a couple of times, friends in tow. One of my uncles was terminally ill and I ended up spending time at the hospital, attending his funeral, and visiting with my aunt, cousin, sister, and a number of family members I had not seen in years. It was a sad time but there was also a lot of joy as I spent time with a some wonderful people.
I'm now ready to rejoin the blogging world - both as a writer and reader. This week I want to catch up on on the great blogs that I regularly enjoy and then dive in to adding posts to my own blog.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I found this testimony over at Fake Plastic Fish (http://fakeplasticfish.com). If rock stars can do this, so can everyone.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
That fashioned man, the king;
The God of the Whole gave a spark of soul
To each furred and feathered thing.
And I am my brother's keeper,
And I will fight his fight,
And speak the word for beast and bird…
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Here are the rules . . .
1.) Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award.
2.) Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs (blogs you love!) Alert them so they know to receive the award.
I’m nominating these 6 blogs:
Posted from Home
This Vintage Chica
Power to the Peaceful
The Frugal Girl
Ecology of a Woman
3.) Copy and paste this quiz… Change the answers, ONE word only!!
1-Your cell phone? Old
2- Your hair? Brown
3-Your mother? Southern
4-Your father? Southern
5-Your favorite food? Vegetarian
6-Your favorite drink? IcedTea
7-Your dream last night? Scary
8-Your dream/goal? Peace
9-What room are you in? Family
10-Your hobby? Reading
11-Your fear? Pain
12-Where do you want to be in 6 years? Traveling
13-Where were you last night? Home
14-Something that you aren’t? Superhero
16-Wish list item? Nothing
17-Where did you grow up? California
18-Last thing you did? Cleaned
19-What are you wearing? Jeans
20-Your TV? CSI
21-Your pets? Many
23- Your life? Complicated
24-Your mood? Relaxed
25-Missing someone? Yes
27-Something you aren’t wearing? Shoes
28-Your favorite store? Amazon
29-Favorite color? All
30-When was the last time you laughed? Today
31-Last time you cried? Haiti
32-Your best friend? Bill
33-One place you go to over and over? Barnes/and/Noble
34-One person who emails you regularly? Bill
35-Favorite place to eat? Out
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The 'rules' for the award are listed below:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name seven things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven "Kreativ Bloggers."
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them
Now, here goes with the seven things you might not know about me:
1. I think I'm the only woman on earth who loves The Three Stooges.
2. I wanted to be a spy when I was growing up or at least a detective.
3. I'm a hardcore vegetarian, except when it comes to Caesar salads - those pesky anchovies!
4. As a teenager, I was obsessed with the L.A. Dodgers because I thought they were cute.
5. I'm a closet sunflower seed eater.
6. Even when it wasn't cool, I liked disco music.
7. I once sang with Buckwheat Zydeco.
I'm passing on this award to the following bloggers:
1. The Conscious Shopper
2. La Bella Figura
3. Suburban Turmoil
4. Eco Yogini
5. Miss Pink Ponsonby's Swell Soiree
6. Country Pleasures
7. Une Vie Chic
Thursday, October 15, 2009
One of my pet peeves is individuals who deny that humans have a part in the changes we've been seeing in weather and climate. Many say the changes are natural and the actions of humans have no effect whatsoever. I have two things to say about that. First of all, anyone who grew up in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s knows how bad the air pollution got. It's almost surreal when I tell people that there were days when children were not allowed outside for recess or to play in back yards. The air was too filthy. The entire Los Angeles basin was filled with polluted air. The cause: human actions. Luckily, citizens realized this problem was human made and steps were taken to cut back on car emissions. Now, the air in Los Angeles is much cleaner than when I was a child. As the industrialized world grows, so do the number of cars and factories spewing pollutants into the air. Imagine what this is doing to the globe. If we take steps now, we might be able to see a global turnaround just as Los Angeles has seen. If not, the earth can change in unforseen ways, threatening our health, our crops, and other creatures on the planet.
Secondly, for those who deny that humans are causing the climate change crisis, what is the down side to taking steps to clean up the earth? Limiting how we use resources and keeping a check on pollutants are good things in themselves. Our health will benefit thus lowering health care costs. Wise utilization of resources will ensure that all the world can share in prosperity. Who can be against that?
Scientists have shown that we are definitely going through climate change. It's a shame that individuals are taking sides against the health of the globe based on what politicians say and which politicians they support. Having an open mind and taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint is a win/win situation.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
In the meantime, I picked up a book at the library - Be the Change by Lisa Endlich. This book profiled several individuals who made fortunes and were in a position to spend the rest of their lives in extreme luxury. Instead, they chose to give back to their communities and to the world. These individuals included people like Bill and Melinda Gates, and Donna and Philip Berber.
All of the individuals featured in the above-named books are such an inspiration to me. Although most of us could never fund a large program, we can do small things in big ways. After all, Mother Teresa said you have to begin with the first person. Several things I got from Endlich's book were: you need to have passion about what you do; you need to research the organizations you support to see where the money is going and what impact you can make; you need to ask benefactors "what do you need?" rather than deciding what you will give; and you need to realize that you will make mistakes - it's part of the learning process.
My experiences this week have made me more committed than ever to helping others, even in small ways. The old cliche is true: I feel I get much more out of it than I give.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I understand why it's such a struggle to separate needs from wants. Several years ago, I read a book called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. It's a frightening read and makes one understand the irrisistable need to buy, buy, buy. You see, the marketeeers know us better than we know ourselves. They use psychological tricks to get into our heads, to make it impossible to venture into a store or mall and leave either without buying anything or with just what we set out to buy in the first place. It takes superhuman strength to overcome some of the tricks utilized to turn on the desire to acquire things.
For many years, I've strived to live a simple life and avoided acquiring a lot of stuff. But now, I'm finding simple, everyday purchases as suspect. When I think about the fact that a casual purchase at the mall could instead be turned into an opportunity for a child to go to school and eat for a monthy,well, it changes everything.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
~The Dalai Lama
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Most of the physiological needs must be met or life cannot exist. We need oxygen, food, water, shelter, etc. Next we need to be in secure surroundings. These two levels ensure our physical well-being. Love and then self-esteem keep our minds healthy.
Visiting Haiti last month has triggered my interest in this theory. Anyone reading my blog knows that for most Haitians, their basic needs are not met – some yes, but not most of them. Many don’t have daily meals; some resort to making a kind of mud cake to keep their stomach full when food is unavailable. Shelter is also an issue – not everyone has a place they can call home; sometimes they only have a place where they are allowed to sleep (but not always). Of course, under such conditions, safety is not guaranteed. With a poor, unstable government, the police force is almost nonexistent. Crime is rampant. There is love in Haiti but with most individuals trying to eek out a living, the philosophy is every man for himself. It is hard to love under those conditions.
And it’s hard for me to look at our society here in the United States. For the vast majority of us, all of our basic needs are met. So, according to Maslow’s theory, we should all be focused on being the best people we can be. But that doesn’t appear to be happening. The problem, as I see it, is that we keep raising the bar on what constitutes “basic” needs. The size of our homes continues to increase; we own more cars than any other country; we are weighted down with all the latest electronic gadgets; we are the most obese nation on the planet.
Talking to people, I hear that times are tough, money is tight. Many would like to help others, but they say there’s no money in their budget. But I notice the family eats out on a regular basis; mom has her hair colored and highlighted and gets regular manicures; dad spends Saturday on the golf course; and the kids have their own cell phones. I suppose they don’t realize that sometimes the lack of $20 a month keeps a child from attending school or that a dollar a day can make the difference between living and starvation.
This post isn’t just about Haiti; it’s about human beings around the world who don’t have their basic needs met. Millions of people are dying each year of starvation and preventable diseases. And yet we continue on, raising the bar on what we feel we’re entitled to, what we consider basics. My heart breaks when I think about the suffering that is going on right now as I type this entry. In this country, what we call suffering is usually just discomfort or inconvenience. Not so for the vast majority of other nations.
I’m hoping that this rambling post will make my readers realize that their needs really are met and that we all need to move on to self-actualization, to making the world a better place. Please, take a few minutes to do research on conditions in other parts of the world and then think about what you can do to help.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Today hubby and I spent some time managing our herd. Our latest babies were old enough to be separated from their mothers which meant the boys were taken to the market to be sold (I don't like to think about it) and the mothers moved into another pasture, away from the lone female. We have to do this because the babies will continue to nurse long after it's necessary for their survival. It's not easy to move the goats. We have to load them into a cage in the back of the pickup truck and drive them to the other pasture. In the meantime, the guard dog and the remaining goats want to run out as soon as we open the gate. We're trying to come up with a better system - maybe a ramp so we don't have to lift the goats and so we don't have to worry about accidents involving us and their powerful horns.
In the meantime, while hubby was at the market, a friend called about some female goats he was taking to market and asked if we were interested. After several calls back and forth, three beautiful young female goats were delivered to our farm. As is my custom, I had to have a *christening ceremony.* I spent some time deciding on names and then went out to the barn to determine which name was suitable for each goat. Thus, we now have: Angie, Jolene, and Wendy (From left to right: Jolene, Wendy, and Angie).
The new goats are a bit skittish right now (can't say I blame them) but I think they'll settle down and make a nice addition to White Flint Farm.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
To help keep me and my readers aware of the unbelievable number of plastic bags consumed on this planet, I've added a counter on the left side of my blog, courtesy of reusable bags.com.
If you have a second, I'd like to hear about your own bag-free experiences.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
September 19th is International Coastal Cleanup Day. Towns and cities across the United States and throughout the world have cleanup activities planned throughout September and October. You don't have to live on the coast to participate; the cleanup includes all kinds of beaches and waterways. My kids and I have participated in this effort in the past and found it very rewarding. Go to the Ocean Conservancy web site to sign up at a location near you.
Monday, August 31, 2009
"[O]ur Christian faith compels us to address the world through the lens of our relationship to God and to one another. Public discourse is enhanced as we engage civic leaders on the values and ethics affirmed by our faith. At the same time, religious liberty and the integrity of our democracy will be protected as candidates refrain from using faith-based organizations and institutions for partisan gain. We offer these 10 principles to those seeking to accept the responsibility that comes with holding public office.
1. War is contrary to the will of God. While the use of violent force may, at times, be a necessity of last resort, Christ pronounces his blessing on the peacemakers. We look for political leaders who will make peace with justice a top priority and who will actively seek nonviolent solutions to conflict.
2. God calls us to live in communities shaped by peace and cooperation. We reject policies that abandon large segments of our inner city and rural populations to hopelessness. We look for political leaders who will re-build our communities and bring an end to the cycles of violence and killing.
3. God created us for each other, and thus our security depends on the well being of our global neighbors. We look for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern.
4. God calls us to be advocates for those who are most vulnerable in our society. We look for political leaders who yearn for economic justice and who will seek to reduce the growing disparity between rich and poor.
5. Each human being is created in the image of God and is of infinite worth. We look for political leaders who actively promote racial justice and equal opportunity for everyone.
6. The earth belongs to God and is intrinsically good. We look for political leaders who recognize the earth's goodness, champion environmental justice, and uphold our responsibility to be stewards of God’s creation.
7. Christians have a biblical mandate to welcome strangers. We look for political leaders who will pursue fair immigration policies and speak out against xenophobia.
8. Those who follow Christ are called to heal the sick. We look for political leaders who will support adequate, affordable and accessible health care for all.
9. Because of the transforming power of God’s grace, all humans are called to be in right relationship with each other. We look for political leaders who seek a restorative, not retributive, approach to the criminal justice system and the individuals within it.
10. Providing enriched learning environments for all of God’s children is a moral imperative. We look for political leaders who advocate for equal educational opportunity and abundant funding for children’s services.
Finally, our religious tradition admonishes us not to bear false witness against our neighbor and to love our enemies. We ask that the campaigns of political candidates and the coverage of the media in this election season be conducted according to principles of fairness, honesty and integrity."
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
My hubby's recent blog post talking about the war in Afghanistan brought to mind how we rushed into war with Iraq before we had all the facts. We later learned the truth about the lack of weapons of mass destruction, but it was too late; we had turned our own weapons of mass destruction on innocent civilians. Within the past year, our government rushed in to borrow billions of dollars to invest in private corporations in order to "save the economy." The various bills that were passed to fund these bailouts were hastily slapped together. They were so voluminous that it is impossible that our lawmakers actually read them prior to passing them into law. Now we are addressing the healthcare "crisis." Again, we're being pushed into making decisions without careful consideration and honest public debate. We have a sense of urgency, that it's a now or never deal. In rushing to fix problems, we tend to create more. The need to rush to a decision is not based on the issues at hand but on the potential for politicians being voted out of office.
We need to keep in mind what Alexander Pope said, "For fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Let's not let artificial timelines mar our judgment.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
*4 to 5 trillion plastic bags are manufactured world-wide each year
*Approximately 100 billion are of these bags are plastic shopping bags used in the U.S.
*12 million barrels of oil is required to make those plastic bags
*Only 1-2% of bags are recycled in the U.S.
*Retailers in the U.S. spend about $4 billion annually on plastic bags
*Plastic bags do not biodegrade; they break down into smaller and smaller pieces and are eventually ingested by animals in the food chain
*Over 1 billion seabirds and mammals and approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die as a result of ingesting plastic bags; bottom-feeding sea life is affected when plastic bags sink to the bottom of bodies of water, preventing accesss to food.
*About 1,000 miles off the Coast of California is a place called the North Pacific Gyre. Within this spot is a mass called the Garbage Patch. It is twice the size of Texas and as deep as 300 feet. This patch is composed almost entirely of plastic, an estimated 3.5 million tons of plastic.
These facts make my head spin. And it makes me more determined than ever to answer the question, "Paper or plastic," with "No thanks, I brought my own."
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Several times I've found myself either in the grocery store or heading there when it dawned on me that I'd forgotten my bags. So, each time I returned to my car to retrieve the bags. It seems every store now sells reusable bags with their logos on them - the grocery store, the drug store, department store, you name it. With all of these reusable bags on the market and all the stores displaying them next to the cash registers, I have a couple of questions. Why do the sales clerks look puzzled when you actually come to the store with bags in hand and ask them to use them? Also, who is buying all these bags (and what do they do with them) because I almost never see anyone bringing bags into the stores? I'm starting to think that retailers are selling these bags as just another point of sale and not to be truly *green.* And the buyers are enjoying their *green* moment when they make the purchase. Sigh.....