Friday, April 30, 2010


The oil spill off the coast of Louisiana is getting worse, threatening wildlife and pristine wetlands.  Where are all the "Drill, Baby, Drill" supporters now?  California learned a lesson after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that killed an estimated 10,000 birds.  The U.S. needs to rethink the new drilling policy and implement plans to take advantage of alternative sources of energy.

(Photo source:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This is going to be another rant....

Recently I posted about how Americans are environmentally aware and yet continue to purchase unnecessary disposable products.  Many of these products are popular among germaphobes.  Often I wonder what germs might be lurking in my house or neighborhood that I should be so deathly afraid of them.  Americans are afraid of cold and flu germs.  What many don't realize is that we NEED to be exposed to these germs in order to build our immune system.  However, what we as a society have done is create superbugs which are much worse that the original.  

So, we're obsessed with avoiding the flu and colds.  We use hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap.  We have disposable hand towels, sponges, and mop heads.  We douse our bathrooms and kitchens with dangerous chemicals.  Problem is, Americans are much more likely to die from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes than the flu.  Many of these diseases are lifestyle diseases - caused by poor diets, lack of exercise, and exposure to toxins.  These diseases don't have a quick fix, like antibacterial soap.  We need to make a conscious effort to change the way we live, watch what we eat, and care for the environment.  It's a long-term commitment.  We shouldn't be afraid of our neighbors; we should be afraid of ourselves.  When I try to talk to people about these issues, they look at me as if I'm an extremist.  "What?!  Stop using commercial cleaners?  Use all natural personal care products?  Try to reduce pollution?  Exercise?!!  You're just an extremist!"

Yes, I guess I'm an extremist...but I'm not the one obsessively pulling out the hand sanitizer...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Living Gently on the Earth

Just wanted to share a great blog post I found at "Simple Minimalist:  Far Beyond the Stars" by  Everett Bogue.  His 26 Ways to Achieve Minimalist Freedom covers so many great ways to simplify life and save the planet. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quote for the Day

"Is he/she a believer?  I always hesitate to answer that question because I wonder what that really means.  What is the definition of a believer?  Someone might consider themself a believer when they don't fit my definition or that of the person posing the question."

(Source unknown; if anyone knows, please send me a comment so I can give proper credit.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Is Wrong with Us?

I've been thinking about this a lot - and Earth Day really got me thinking.  We (I mean Americans) as a society are more aware of environmental degradation than ever before.  And yet our economy  keeps cranking out more and more products that are single-use, disposable items.  I watch as people are encouraged to toss mops, brooms, cotton towels, and washcloths, in exchange for the newest, latest, greatest thing that Madison Avenue has dreamed up.  We're being indoctrinated to be afraid of dirt and germs.  Are our homes that germ infested that we're afraid to touch anything?  I know food-borne illnesses are a problem and we need to be careful how we handle food, especially meat.  But often that problem is caused by the huge industrial food complex - but I'll save that for another post.

In the meantime, take a look at this new disposable product:

Or this:
Or this:

And finally, this well known product:

These (and many other) products are incredibly wasteful.  We have so many one-use products that not only end up in landfills, but use up our valuable resources and create unnecessary pollution that contributes to health problems for humans and the rest of the planet.

Seems like other bloggers are thinking along these lines.  For a better discussion of this growing problem, head over to The Good Green Witch, where she's written blog posts covering these and other wasteful products.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blessed Earth Simulcast

Don't forget that Blessed Earth is holding its simulcast in honor of Earth Day tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Christians around the world are coming together over the issue of creation care.  You can sign up to view the Blessed Earth simulcast in the comfort of your own home here or you can find a church near you here.  In the meantime, go over to the resources page at Blessed Earth to begin the green journey.

Monday, April 19, 2010


...that's what I've been lately when it comes to my blog.  But I have excuses, really.  

We had a family move to our farm this month so we've been partly busy with that.  Another baby goat was born on the farm, to Juliette, and he's such a cute little guy.  He has extra long ears and a short little face.  I need to remember to get a photo of him.

Our mission trip to Haiti was cancelled (more on that in another post), but I'm still spearheading a fundraising yard sale at our church.  The orphanage we work with had to cancel all mission trips due to safety concerns about some of their buildings, the ones they rent.  They don't want visitors staying in potentially unsafe housing - Haiti continues to have strong aftershocks.  Our team can't go this year but we can still send funds for medical supplies.

But what's most kept me from the blog is grad school.  This particular course I'm taking is a condensed 8 week class and I have to do a major research paper as part - I repeat part - of the class work.  I'm learning quite a bit and I enjoy that, but I'm also counting down the weeks until I'm done and summer is here.  It makes me feel like a kid.  

Monday, April 12, 2010


With Earth Day fast approaching, I thought I'd share some information about how long it takes some typical household items to decompose in a landfill:

Glass bottle - 1 million years
Monofilament fishing line - 600 years
Plastic beverage bottles - 450 years
Disposable diapers - 450 years
Aluminum can - 80-200 years
Boot sole - 50-80 years
Tin can - 50 years
Leather - 50 years
Nylon fabric - 30-40 years
Plastic bag - 10-20 years
Cigarette filter - 1-5 years
Wool sock - 1-5 years
Plywood - 1-3 years
Waxed milk carton - 3 months
Apple core - 2 months
Newspaper - 6 weeks
Orange or banana peel - 2-5 weeks
Paper towel - 2-4 weeks

Now these times vary depending upon how much air the items are exposed to.  The less air, such as at the bottom of a landfill, the more time it takes to decompose.  Also keep in mind, especially with the plastic and nylon, the material never actually goes away; it just breaks down into smaller pieces and sometimes enters our food chain.  Isn't that appetizing?  The best way to ensure that we have fewer items in landfill (and fewer toxins in our food) is to consume less and to demand what you do use is made of natural materials with as little packaging as possible.

(List source:  Natural Triad Magazine, April 2010; photo source:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quote for the Day

 "This is the day the Lord has made;  let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sign Needs an Update

Drowning Sign Fail

I know I shouldn't find this funny, but I do. lol!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Bottled Water Scam

Not a Cent for Lent

Easter meant the end of my Lenten vow.  Yesterday, at church, our pastor asked if everyone was glad to see Lent end - he got a big "Amen" for that!  

I did pretty well with "Not a Cent for Lent."  For the most part, I avoided impulse spending and put off any nonessential purchases.  I made a couple of exceptions on eating out.  We had a delayed anniversary celebration dinner because Bill had been out of town for over a month (from prior to Ash Wednesday) and we missed our actual anniversary.  Saturday night we went out to dinner "just because" - mainly because this winter had been horrendous and hubby wanted to treat me for all my hard work.  It was a violation of my vow (ours, actually, as Bill had joined me in the Lenten vow) but I found several ways to justify it - we hadn't taken any feast days; we did have to eat, after all; and it's the day before Easter and the sun will be setting soon....The only real violation I can think of is when I ordered concert tickets without thinking.  In fact, it didn't occur to me until a week later that I had broken my vow.

My plan is to continue the mindset of no unnecessary or impulse spending.  Not only does it save time and money, but it's green, too.  I'm going to try to use up food and other products in my house before buying more.  And I'm going to try to find more green replacements once I use up food or personal care items.  Erin at The Conscious Shopper has a number of ideas for greener personal care products, including instructions on how to go "no 'poo." 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter Benediction

"Go out now as God's chosen witnesses
to testify that Christ has been raised 
and that we are raised with him.
Set your minds on the things of God
and do not be afraid 
for your life is safe with Christ in God.
And may God raise you from all that would entomb you.
May Christ Jesus be your life.
And may the Holy Spirit empower you for all that is good.

A Blessed Easter to all!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Quarterly Goals

The first quarter of this year turned out to be a mess - so although I accomplished a lot, I didn't fulfill my personal goals.  This quarter, I've decided to have one-time tasks as my goals.  That way, I'm more likely to accomplish them.  Here are four things I'd like to do this quarter:

  1. Go hiking in the mountains now that it's warm.
  2. Attend a Friends meeting.
  3. Hear a homily by our local Catholic priest.  (I've been told he always has a good message.)
  4. Visit Asheville, North Carolina for a long weekend.

So, it seems like a very modest list and really doable.  I'll keep you posted on my success.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Farmers and Farm News

We now have new farmers living on White Flint Farm.  After a grueling four days of travel, our friends arrived from San Antonio on Monday.  They're going to spend the next couple of week acclimating and then pitch in, helping with the gardens and the animals.  They have the most adorable children who are so excited to be *on the farm.*  On Monday, the youngest greeted me by saying, "We're going to live here FOREVER!"  Gotta love that enthusiasm.

On the farm front, I was finally able to release my goat Maggie back into the herd.  It took three rounds of different antibiotics and hand feeding her to get her where she is.  Just over a week ago Maggie was on death's door but this morning she was in the pasture defending her place in the goat hierarchy - she was the *beta* goat (sidekick to the alpha goat) before she got ill.  I'm not sure where she stands now - I'm just glad she's standing.