Category Archives: herbs

Summertime Serenade

Image

This poem was written last summer

to celebrate the 2014 season.

It will be my “encore” serenade to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~*x*x*x*~~~~~~~~~~

Let’s hear it for Summer, 2015!

If you are in another season…

Hope it is a wonderful time for you.

~~~~~~~~~~~*x*x*x*~~~~~~~~~~~

Summertime Serenade

by Robin Oldrieve Cochran

Shimmering sun shines through haze,

“Shoo!” to flies, bugs and mosquitoes.

“Sh-h-h” – settling down – naptime now.

Silent respite, serene moments.

Sensation of peace surrounding home.

Skinny-dipping, slippery babies,

Slide smoothly into cool water.

Swing soars high into the sky,

Shoes kicked off, sandals flipped. . .

Splashing sounds, as hands release!

Sprinklers shifting, swishing rhythmically,

Sprays of warm water change.

Shivering, cold droplets follow: “Br-r-r!”

Soaking grateful kids, dogs and grass.

(Cats hiss!)

Shrieks ring out:  joy and sheer delight.

Sensational salads whet appetites.

Sliced fresh vegetable from garden,

Savory spices of basil with sprigs of parsley,

Soaked with slippery vinaigrette dressing poured,

Sizzling barbecue aromas, family gathering,

Should I bring something?

. . . Satisfaction!

June 28, 2014

Sending a Little Sunshine to You

Standard

Here is a collection of things that produce happy thoughts,

along with a few quotes that hopefully will brighten your

day.

Drew Barrymore is so funny, sometimes in a quirky awkward

way but also in a beautiful and soulful way. Here is a book

she has written having taken photographs of hearts and

including them for all to see in, “Find It in Everything.”

Her words are well worth putting on your refrigerator:

“Hearts are my beacons. . .

Whenever and wherever I

see the heart shape, a smile

spreads across my face.

The heart has an unbeatable

romance when you discover

one where you least expect it.”

 

This made me think of the movie, “Titanic,” with Celine Deon’s song,

“My Heart Will Go On.”

 

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine- –

and shadows will fall behind you.”

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

Winter brings a change in moods and outlook, so here are a few more

ways to enjoy your days and find brighter moments.

1. Listen to upbeat music. Move with the music and dancing will give

you some extra energy and motivation. Also, it is FUN!

 

2. Walks with dogs or friends, a partner or spouse, with hand held,

warm scarf, mittens or gloves and a big parka, crunching through

old leaves or new snow… Just petting an animal or hugging a pal,

can be extra special to include. I have had friends who say they

need 4 hugs a day!

 

3. Add a potted plant to your office space. This has been found to

make people more productive and less stressed. The reason is

scientific: The plant reduces airborne dust, adds moisture and O2

to small spaces. It is also known to filter out harmful pollutants.

 

4. Placing vacation photos in strategic spots, can open your mind

to the times when you were happy and relaxed. “Gazing at a happy

moment from the past, can improve your present outlook.” In

other photos, choose ones of family and great memories together.

 

5. Staying hydrated with a slice of lemon or infusing your water with

berries, can certainly add a twist to your taste buds and improve

you in more than one way. Our daily ‘slump’ in the afternoon, is not

just due to wanting a nap or aging! We need to remember to add H2O

to our daily habits.

 

6. Fruit flavor sorbets and other refreshing choices can help be your

saving graces, helping ‘save the day.’ Chocolate and coffee have those

anti-cancer elements along with giving you some extra ‘pep in your

step.’

 

7. Just as a potted plant in your office or bathroom can improve a

location in your house or workplace, a bouquet of those grocery

store flowers can make your dining room a pleasant place to be.

I am sure there are many gardeners that can attest to their bringing

a bouquet of their garden’s flowers has brightened many people’s

days. A shut-in or elderly person will respond with such a big smile,

it will be a day-brightener to you, as well.

 

8. Sunrooms, atriums, public places that have sunny places are so

wonderful to help you feel better. I enjoy the Columbus, Ohio

Franklin Conservatory, at least two times in the winter. My Mom’s

senior living apartments has a greenhouse with three cozy chairs

in there. You can often see a couple of people sitting in this room

that is attached to the art room. Also, it is a nice place to snip and

weed, feeling useful. There are sometimes people sitting in the

art room, putting together a puzzle, with the greenhouse room’s

double doors open so they may benefit from the sunshine and

plant’s energy given.

There are also other places at no cost to visit. Let me know if you have

a few that I may include…

 

9. Herbs and spices can enliven your life, bringing some vigor into

your appetite and their scents can exhilarate you, too. I love the

scent of tangy patchouli or Italian herbs like basil and oregano.

The scent of peppermint is a great one that can invigorate too.

It is also great to calm and create better muscle relaxing in your

stomach, not only soothing it, but enhancing its function.

 

10. Colorful fabric will change your room and change your own

perspective while wearing brighter hues. It is a simple way of

sprucing up,’ along with being a fairly reasonable way of changing

your décor or wardrobe. Add a dash of color, while the skies are

gloomy and gray, your mood lightens without too much fuss or

bother. I enjoy looking at decorating magazines, paint and fabric

swatches, merely ‘dreaming’ about a change, makes me happy.

 

Here are a few musical ‘suggestions.’

1. I just discovered a man named Andrew McMahon, who sings in a real earthy voice,

gravelly and reminiscent of some of my old rocker favorites, along with Neil Diamond.

His song that mesmerized me was, “Canyon Moon,” which begins with lyrics about

a dissatisfied woman, “Somewhere on a cold October.” His debut solo album, having

been in bands but not on his own… is titled, “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.”

**Wow!**

2. If you are wishing a little sunshine, here is one of my favorites, “Little Darlin’s!”

The Beatles’  in “Here Comes the Sun.”

Always a big wow, when I hear the tinkling beginning guitar strands and only one

man, from Kentucky, ever called me, “little darlin’.” (Alas!)

 

 

What little sunny things make your mood cheerier?

 

 

 

 

 

Real Food

Standard

It is officially the weekend! Hope that most of you are also having time off

from work. I do feel bad for those who are weekend ‘warriors’ or have to

go into a job, while others are off. It all balances out, I suppose. My oldest

daughter is one who works weekends, gets a couple of weekdays off, along

with my son. Both are busy parents and partners with someone who is the

one who is home over the weekend. While during the week, I may keep a

healthy eating balanced ‘diet,’ on weekends; I enjoy ‘splurges!’

My friend and I walked to Dairy Point, to get our ‘end of summer’ meal

there. Mine is a hot dog with onions, pickles, relish and mustard, fried

mushrooms with ranch dressing to add more calories and dip into and

a sundae. This place roasts nuts, they have what they call, “The Nut

House,” as part of their business. This will let you in on why I get so

excited to go there, (remember that I like butter pecan ice cream?)

I usually ask for their hard ice cream in the butter pecan flavor, a big

dose of hot caramel, real whipped cream, a cherry on top with roasted

salty pecans added over the top. This was my meal. No apologies, to

the ones who don’t eat animal by-products nor the ones who are possibly

dieting…

 

I love this quote that is attributed sometimes (accidentally) to George

Carlin, the comedian. It is actually taken from the book, “The Vision of

Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree” by Roger J. Corless:

 

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to

satisfy your hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”

 

In order to ‘redeem myself’ and make myself not feel too guilty about my

innocent ‘splurge,’ I am going to let you in on some healthy and yummy

foods to snack and enjoy over the weekend!

 

Here are some appetizing and delicious natural food products that can be

purchased in your local grocery store or Trader Joe’s may have another

equivalent, more fresh choices available, too.

1. Sabra.  Have you tried this brand yet?

I love the Classic Guacamole with healthy fat, fiber and Vitamin C.

 

2. Wholly Classic Mild (or you may try a spicier blend) of Salsa.

I like blue corn chips to dip into this and feel the tomatoes and

flavors are almost as good as homemade salsa. In this healthy

snack, there are only 10 calories in the salsa, but keep in mind

the word:  moderation when it comes to the chips!

 

3. Triscuit’s have a great line called, “Hint of Salt,” which makes

this a good one to add a slice of low sodium cheese or peanut

butter to make it complete.

 

4. Here’s another cheese to try on those Triscuits, woven crackers:

Kerrygold Reduced Fat Dubliner cheese. This is made from milk

from grass fed cows, smooth texture with 1/3 fat.

 

5. Another choice of cheese is Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese.

I love this natural, lower fat cheese with the flavor of sourness, like

it is made out of sour cream.

 

6. My youngest daughter and I had an antipasto box and added hummus

with sliced carrots and cucumbers from Opa’s Greek Restaurant, located

across the street from my apartment to watch a movie. We felt self-righteous

and healthier than our usual buttered popcorn and chocolate candies, we

usually buy to eat when we are sitting on a mattress in my living room floor.

We watched the movie that Beth recommended, so I must write a review soon

on the movie. Coming Soon at a blog near you!

 

7. A delicious and acquired taste that was shared with me by a friend, is the

Kalamata Olive Spread that supplies good olive fat and that tangy flavor of

olives. I enjoy this on pita corners, supplied by the Opa’s Greek Restaurant

or spread directly on a thick slice of cheese.

 

8. Planter’s Nuts has come up with a great new product called, “Nut-ration

Heart Healthy Mix.” This can be a great protein snack that meets some of

your salty taste buds’ needs! (Hint: 50% less sodium than their other cans

of mixed nuts.)

 

9. If you are one, like one of my old boyfriends, who likes to have pizza to

‘chow down on,’ you may wish to try Amy’s brand, which has a whole wheat

kind of crust or Amy’s Pesto Pizza, with has less saturated fat and sodium,

along with baking it will bring out the fresh taste, you can also add some of

your garden herbs and vegetables. You may find this brand either in the

general frozen foods’ aisle or you may need to look for Amy’s in the healthy

frozen foods’ section. In our local Kroger’s, I found several variations of

this name brand in a separate area of the store, close to the produce

department.

10. Since I mentioned deep fried mushrooms, on my lunch menu today, I

should offer a healthy alternative: “Alexia Mushroom Bites with Roasted

Garlic and Olive Oil.” They are a non-greasy yet tasty substitute. I like to

add a low fat ranch dressing, which if you haven’t tried Cindy’s Kitchen

brand, their product line offers Fresh Buttermilk Ranch. Yummy!

 

When I mentioned that my youngest daughter and I viewed a movie,

while eating the antipasto and hummus with vegetables, I would also like

to include in this post a recipe for:

“Spiced Chickpea Yogurt Dip”

Serves 12 people.

a. Rinse and drain 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas.

b. Add to food processor, with 6 T. of 2% plain Greek-style yogurt,

2-3 T. of fresh lemon juice, 2 T. of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp.

minced garlic and 1 and a 1/2 tsp. Moroccan seasoning (McCormick

has this, along with other shops sell different variations).

Season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

c. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(Makes 1 and 1/2 cups.)

Serve with pita chips, corners or crudités for dipping. Or as I

mentioned, we chose to add carrots and cucumbers.

 

Which, by the way, the fun walk and lively conversation, along with the

tasty treats, were ‘way’ worth it the calories and ‘danger’ to our arteries!

Yet, definitely not ‘worked off’ on our 1 mile walk home.  My friend chose

a chili dog, a peanut butter shake and also a side dish of French fries. No

ranch, just ketchup.

 

Have fun any way you can this weekend!

Closing with a ‘real’ quote from great comedian/philosopher, George Carlin:

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music.”

 

 

 

Healthy and Simple “Switches” to Lower Carbs

Standard

The Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams of carbohydrates a day!

One big sundae, with my girlfriend, used up my daily ‘allowance’ and then

some of the next day’s, too! Smiles for this, but seriously, I have several

close friends who have to consider their carbohydrates, due to diabetes

and/or high cholesterol.

The sugary, starchy ‘yummy’ stuff, can be replaced or “switched” into

equally delicious, but more healthier foods. I love it when I find a few in

a row, so hope you will enjoy this compilation list:

1. This is the place I have trouble in:  restaurants!

Give yourself one carb allowance for that meal. Choose to splurge on a

glass of wine or a beer. Or would you rather have a piece of bread or a

dinner roll?

Do you have someone who really wants to try a dessert after the meal,

who would be willing to ‘split it’ with you?

Make your plate fill up with vegetables, fish, meat, or a protein of some

kind.

2. Instead of having regular order of pizza, ask if they have a carb-free

choice, whole grain crust or possibly gluten free. Any of these beats the

‘white dough crust’ that usually you enjoy. Now, vegans and vegetarians

use a lot of vegetables to fill their plate and suit their palate, too. Can

you skip the pepperoni? If at the store, you could buy turkey pepperoni…

Otherwise, go for all the vegetables, add a little extra red pepper flakes

and you will find yourself satisfied and feeling kind of ‘righteous!’

3. If you are interested in totally carb-free pizzas, try a Portobello

mushroom or eggplant slices for the base, add sauce, (try to check for

less sugar in your pasta sauces…) and go to ‘town’ on the veggies!

4. While ordering burgers or veggie burgers, try asking for a lettuce

‘wrap’ instead of a bun! You can also do what my friend does, she

puts her meat on her salad! Steak, chicken strips and even- burgers!

5. When you go out with family or on a Sunday brunch ‘date,’ you

may want to think about scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, cheese

and mushrooms, or an omelet! Try to get only one whole grain pancake,

ask for real butter and a small amount of real maple syrup. (I order, for

example, at Cracker Barrel, the breakfast for ‘Any Ages’ which has one

egg, one bread and one piece of meat. I love their thick bacon. Sorry, I

know I have Vegans who are my blogging friends!

Then, I put my cornbread muffin in a box (saving it for another day)

and ask for one Pecan Pancake with real butter and real maple syrup!

It adds up to (I think) about $5.99, with my beverage of choice, coffee

included.

As a matter of fact, any of their daily specials, you can get “Kids of Any

Ages” with a bread and beverage included. It is a smaller portion, of

the Friday Fish Fry, for example, but it satisfies! Most places have Senior

Menu, but are only eligible for over a certain age. I recommend ‘ala carte’

when you cannot find what you want on a menu. There used to be a

“Hoggy’s Restaurant” in Delaware, Ohio, where you could order two

vegetable meals or three vegetable meals. Also, you could do salad and

soup. Sometimes, you have to let the calories go in soups, but asking

about carbs, while diabetic, is important!

6. Thai and Indian curries, don’t necessarily have to go over rice! This

was a new concept to me, thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s holiday

suggestions for making a bland serving of cauliflower or broccoli, taste

so much more interesting. I also find cheese sauces and ask for it on the

side, then can decide how much to put on my vegetables.

The article gave this summary: “The rage in the Paleo community is

“Cauliflower rice” as a nutrient- and fiber-rich way to stick to your diet

and still enjoy Thai panang or chicken tikka masala.” (December, 2013).

7. I am sure you have already tried Spaghetti squash, but just in case

you have been holding back on this, it is easy to prepare, shreds and

looks like spaghetti. I like having it with marinara sauce, lots of fresh

Parmesan or Romano cheese sprinkled over it. You can also make your

meatballs, (my son does this) without any bread crumbs but using some

mushrooms and eggs to hold it together. Do you have any favorite ways

to make meatballs without bread or cracker crumbs?

Just FYI: According to the United States government’s food guidelines,

a serving portion of spaghetti is one half a cup. (That is 1/2 cup, folks!)

At least, practice with whole wheat pasta and find it delicious by not

overcooking it! It makes it a little healthier and yet, not as much as

you could eat of spaghetti squash! Or eggplant parmesan…

8. A way to get the flavor of Italian restaurants is to always ask for

the red, marinara sauce, pour it over a piece of grilled chicken or a

pork chop, or a veggie burger, then add an unlimited number of

salads, if you are at Olive Garden! (Yes, their Italian has carbs!)

9. Another favorite food of many is mashed potatoes or macaroni and

cheese. Both of these can have substitutions of cauliflower, one with it

being mashed, with a little milk and butter and the other with cheese

over cauliflower florets.

10. When you are making salads at home, you can certainly prevent

the croutons, fried tortilla strips, sugary salad dressings, and the

bread bowls or tortilla shell bowls. I found out, surprisingly, that

Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressings are the main ones with low levels

of sugar. If you make your own dressing, you may use vinegar, oil,

a small amount of Blue Agave Nectar or honey, but you are in

control of adding delicious spices! It will be easier and less calories,

than the store bought dressings. If you love blue cheese, look up on

the internet, some healthy recipes or buy yogurt based or ones in the

low calorie or even the sugar free aisle! In the summer time, if you

are not diabetic, adding raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, orange

slices, and even watermelon, can really brighten up your salad.

If you are diabetic, you know how many berries or other fruits you

may have in your daily diet. I enjoy adding pecans, walnuts or

almonds to my salads, for protein instead of meat. Spare use of

cheese, will limit your calories, of course!

Enjoy your food preparation and your meals out, too. You deserve to

be pampered and have someone else prepare it, wash the dishes and

help you to slow down while you eat. Isn’t it true? Don’t you eat much

slower at a restaurant? Allowing yourself to savor your foods, will always

help make you mindful. This is good on so many levels, to add “Being

Mindful,” into our lives!

My last suggestion on this trip down “Carbohydrates Free Street” is:

I hope you find these helpful and easy ways to make your diet a lot

more healthier and nutritious. Any changes will help you feel much

better!

 

is

 

A Leader in Her “Field”

Standard

Alice Waters has been advocating for natural farming and gardening,

since the seventies. She has been best known for her support of local,

organically grown food choices. She is considered the “Mother of the

Farm-to-Table Movement.” Her vision includes having children become

part of gardening projects and creating sustainable garden school

programs for schools.

Alice Waters is responsible for the opening of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse

back in 1971. She was considered avante garde then, with a vision and

a mission!

Alice has put into action another equally valuable program while

supporting her beliefs. I was excited to learn something new about

this innovative woman’s spreading a healthy message in wider and

more expanded ways. Reaching out to schools and city children is

a great move right now.

Thousands of United States’ classrooms have become part of Alice

Water’s “Edible Schoolyard Project.” Students, ranging from younger

ages, in elementary schools and beyond, are learning how to grow

and cook ‘real’ food. I do realize that there are a lot of ‘country kids’

who have known this all along!

Alice’s goal is to ‘plant the seed’ of healthy and wholesome living

in this next generation. She believes that this is such a worthy

cause to ‘fight for.’ I just wanted to help her along and champion

her cause!

I had just written about our local Delaware Community Market’s

plot of land, where last year children in gardening gloves and

work aprons dug into the dirt and planted seeds and seedlings.

Their goal had been to “grow a pizza garden.” I hoped by passing

this idea on, it would become a way for families and communities

to connect children. Making the chores of weeding and gardening

more fun as a team with a goal in mind. Especially if their focus

was on the finished food items.

I had suggested for Cinco de Mayo, to start a “Taco Garden.”

While sitting in the doctor’s office today, I saw March, 2014’s copy

of “Prevention” Magazine with information about Alice Waters. This

is yet another resource on this subject to introduce to some who may

have not heard of her. I enjoy all the delicious and nutritious

recipes that are ‘good for you,’ every time I get a chance to read

this magazine.

The “Postscript” for the magazine has a photo of Alice Waters and

the article is entitled, “A New Harvest.” Tall green plants, with

sunflowers and trees behind her, with her smiling profile captured

my attention.

To find out more, please check out Alice Water’s website:

http://edibleshoolyard.org

Hope the weather won’t be too chilly in your neighborhood, that you

may get out to take a lovely hike and enjoy some Spring flowers!

I am hoping to have a grand time touring among the artists, crafts-

persons and artisans with their displays and booths tomorrow at the

Delaware Arts Festival. I enjoyed my walk to the library, noting all

the Ohio Wesleyan Alumni filling the local restaurants and walking

about town. Wonder if there are many who were rowdy and remember a

wilder time?

Maybe in the seventies, while Alice Waters was ‘preaching’ about

subjects that only hippies who lived on communes and people who

lived on farms were interested in. She was bandying around words

like, “ecological,” “natural fertilizer,” and “sustainable.”

I have mentioned to a few of my friends who complain about all the

rain and wind, expecting to see the 30 degree mark possibly along

with the Full Moon tonight:

“Come on! It is Spring until June 21st, expect incredible weather

changes!”

On the other hand, I hope that all the ones who have had drought out

West with fires, too much rain or tornadoes, and other truly dangerous

weather conditions, through it all…

You have been safe and sound.

The Wonderful Domino Effect

Standard

I have always felt that the song, “What a Wonderful World,” was

one of my all time favorites. It IS a wonderful world! I love that

Louis Armstrong song! There are moments that it can bring me to

tears, others where it can give me bubbles of joy and wonderment!

I also, enjoyed the old black and white Christmas movie, “It’s A

Wonderful Life.” The character that Jimmy Stewart plays is named

George Bailey. The movie shows us a fantastic, but simple, story of

how one man’s life impacts others around him. It is so moving.

The small town in this movie, plays its part in telling the tale,

too. But, most importantly, the people in the town gather round and

‘circle their wagons,’ to help George to really know his life has

meaning to it. The townspeople all take turns, sharing and expressing

their reasons why he is needed to be part of their lives. How his

life impacted theirs, too. They want him to believe they all feel

that he is why they got to be where they are today, through his

actions.

It is valuable for you to remember, wherever you go, that there

are people surrounding you, caring about you, and who are cheering

you on, in so many unspoken ways.

Please, never feel you wish to end your life! I always get teary-

eyed, when I think of some of you, who deal with chronic pain,

going blind or blindness, cancer, Lyme’s Disease, OC/DC, other

afflictions and anxieties. There are everyday problems, challenges

and disabilities too numerous to explain or describe. If it were

possible to gather you all together, giving you a warm embrace,

I would do this!

Today.

Right now!

Let’s hug!

I thought, long and hard, about my recent award nomination where I

was once more recognized for my blogging. I wondered how I could make

this post different and how it could be received.

How could I express this in a unique way and still give meaning to the

wonder that I get when someone gives me something like this!

I thought about what my blogging community has added to my life,

in so many directions, leading my thoughts into other dimensions

and how could I express this best?

This is my important original thought I wish to pass on to you

all.

“Dominoes

We all are like dominoes, leaning on each other.

We can form a great wall of protection.

We can overlap our black bodies and white spots.

We can match the two’s with the two’s

And the blank’s with the blank’s.

We can find our similarities and join them.

We can create paths across borders.

We can make ourselves form straight lines.

We can create gradual curves, gently angling

In waves of comraderie and companionship.

(Dominoes cannot hook arms, but they can seem

like they are ‘working together’ in unison.)

We can pile on top of each other!

Neatly or hap-hazardly.

We can ’embrace’ each other,

caring and supporting one another.

On other more wilder, carefree days,

We can overlap, standing up tall,

All come tumbling down,

Giggling and laughing with each other!

Dominoes is such a lovely game we play together.”

Written 4/30/14 by Robin Elizabeth Oldrieve Cochran.

This leads me to the same conclusion that the character, George

Bailey discovers.

That once we all become part of a community, the world becomes

a way of being our ‘small town.’

We are like neighbors, where we come to know, understand and

make the world a ‘smaller place.’

My friend, Amanda, has hysterically funny ways of looking at

life, especially as a mother of three children and wife of the

man she loves. A recent post where she compares herself to the

‘perfect mum’ and the ‘perfect wife.’ I know you will love her

forever for expressing her doubts and her lively photos of what

we could look like or do, if we were all so perfect! She is also

a photographer and philosopher. You will enjoy her blog at:

http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

You will find the beautiful newer friends to my blogging

community in my list of nominees! If you wish to seek out

the rules and other important parts of the Award Post that

Amanda composed and included ‘moi!’ then please look at her

blog!

I wish to pass the Wonderful Team Members Readership Award

to the following people. I assure you that their blogs are

clever, witty, fun and beautiful. I am probably going to take

a ‘shortcut’ and wish that all my readers please check them

out and hope you find new great places to visit!

1. Marylin, Poetry, beauty and light found here:

http://kintal.wordpress.com

2. Colleen, you get me thinking and you have interesting ways

of expressing yourself in your posts. You are new to me, which

makes me want to get to know you better!

http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com

3. April, I feel close to you. I worry about your health challenges

and also, appreciate your seeing beauty in spite of yourself!

http:/momof3isnuts.wordpress.com

4. Mama Bear Musings has given me ideas of oils, healing and meditation

reminders. Her DIY recipe for cellulite reducing, wow! Here she is in

her giving blog, that shares with us so much we need to hear about!

http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com

5. Redbird’s Roost:

http://birdchirp.wordpress.com

6. Faith and thoughts shared here:

http://jisbell22.wordpress.com

7. Family and fun are important to Dorreen:

http://motherhendiaries.wordpress.com

8. Kim is a new grandmother, along with a spiritual warrior:

http://kimgosselinblog.com

9. She has been having a hard time lately, so this may cheer

her up!

http://penguinqueen1988.wordpress.com

10. There are lovely photos and poetry here:

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com

11. He has a sense of humor. The post on chocolate pie, ‘had’ me!

http://christiangrandfather.wordpress.com

12. Paul has fantastic artwork in his photography:

http://photopaulm.com

13. Thoughts and fun can be found here:

http://pamela984.wordpress.com

14. Hi to the different places you take my mind:

http://whatsintheboxblog.wordpress.com

I am so glad that all of you are on my Wonderful Team!

I appreciate your reading and commenting on my posts. I have a lot

of hope that we will someday get to meet and have a stadium of people

who will all cheer in unison for blogging and our friendships!

Go, Team, Go!

Greener Choices

Standard

In only a few days, April holds two important ‘green’

days: Earth Day and Arbor Day. I thought it may be

pertinent to make a list of progressive choices for a

healthier lifestyle. They may make the world a better

place, too!

While the Spring sales are still going on, you may wish

to stock up on cloth towels and cotton sheets. Cloth

towels to wipe up things are much better for the

environment than using lots of paper towels. Cotton

sheets are able to be dry quicker, reducing energy

usage, than ones that have polyester fibers.

Once you have stocked up and chosen which ‘rags’ to

discard, consider the following places who welcome old

towels, along with old blankets. Homeless shelters and

battered women’s shelters appreciate clean towels, as

well as ones to wipe up spills. They are happy to receive

donations of clean sheets and clothing items, especially

warm coats in the winter, as well as cotton t-shirts that

are clean for summer wear. Check on their ‘needs lists’

and you may have some of the necessities around the house

going to waste. Local animal shelters also are happy to

receive towels and cloths that look a little ‘raggedy.’

They also appreciate other donations of pet food, kitty

litter and unused leashes. I mentioned this to a friend

who is insisting that she will ‘never own another pet,’

since her beautiful golden retriever died of cancer.

Another ‘switch’ from good choices to better choices,

is to replace your toothbrushes with more eco-friendly

ones. There are ones now on the market made of castor

oil plants instead of petroleum (plastic ones). Look

for BPA-free and recyclable on the label.

I could not believe this figure that I found in the

Central Ohio “Natural Awakenings” magazine! Our library

has them in a stack, labeled ‘free.’ The statistic that

had my jaw drop open, thank goodness too early for a fly

to be caught, was that Americans use 500 million disposable

straws in ONE DAY! The founder of the Be Straw Free Campaign,

Milo Cress, accumulated this horrifying data. As you may

know, at parks, zoos and other natural wildlife preserves,

you are requested to not even drink out of plastic straws.

This is because they have accidentally flown out of trash

barrels, been dropped or otherwise gotten into the beaks

of animals. They can be caught and not able to be dislodged

by the animal, sometimes causing death or horrible pain.

The Ocean Conservancy has straws on their Top 10 list of

debris littering beaches. Paper straws are an alternative

since they do compost within 45-60 days. Otherwise, using

a sippy cup for kids and a twist up or down lid for adults

can keep animals and sea life ‘safe’ from harm of plastic

straws.

Of course, we have covered this in other posts of mine,

where I mention that I walk to the local Delaware Community

Market and also, during three seasons of the year, go to

the Farmer’s Market that is on the sidewalks downtown during

business hours on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

By purchasing locally grown foods, whether they are fruits,

vegetables or baked goods, you are supporting the farmers

and you are saving the environment. You carry a cloth bag,

which eliminates plastic or even, paper bags. You also are

getting healthier food choices, which is good for the body.

The planet appreciates your efforts to buy local, since

there is no need for shipping, warehousing, and boxing up

these products. Local purchases save gas!

A great and easy way to go ecological is to buy several

power-saver energy strips. They can be turned off when

machines are not being used. Also, unplugging things like

the toaster, coffee maker or blender can do a lot of good

by such simple actions. Completely shutting down computers

saves more energy than using sleep mode.

The Appliance Recycling Centers of America, in conjunction

with your local electric company, will come and pick up your

discarded appliances. You may find yourself purchasing a

more energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer in the

future, or your old one may just ‘conk out.’

In the states of California, Connecticut, Maryland,

Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont have

pledged to increase production or construction of the

charging stations needed to use for battery powered

cars, plug in hybrids and other ‘clean’ burning vehicles

by 2025. Consider buying one of these, when you have your

old car ‘bite the dust.’

There are companies that can help install solar panels

in your home, making renewable home energy cost-effective,

along with increasing your home’s property value.

There is a company that you may find on the internet,

that incorporates a “1% for the Planet” logo. You also

will find participating ‘green’ companies at Tinyurl.com/

OnePercentPlanet.

Some green tips for cooking are always helpful, sometimes

you may have already read them somewhere else. This can

help remind you of better eco-friendly kitchen processes.

Slow cooked soups and stews, a meal within a pot or pan,

covered to use the heat within the structure, is both

ecological and saves energy when it comes time to wash up.

This can be helpful to the budget, too, since you can use

a less expensive cut of meat, while it tenderizes in the

slow-cooking process. If you are a vegetarian, it is also

a delicious way to bring out the flavors of the foods and

softens root vegetables that need time to simmer.

Lastly, it is also a really nice way to come home, the

aroma wafting through the entryway to your house. In my

case, the hallway leading to my door. I adore smelling

the food that has been cooking on low heat while I have

been away at work!

I sometimes use a covered dish in the oven, which has a

similar economical and ecological purpose.

A company called Microban Europe, UK, has been testing

produce and finding it challenging to keep them fresh.

Unfortunately, I found this fact quite gross! our average

refrigerator harbors millions of bacteria! Yikes! There is

a eco-friendly product, called “The Berry Breeze” in-fridge

automated device. This circulates activated oxygen to

prevent mold, keeping produce fresh longer and reducing

spoiling to save your grocery money.

Another interesting ‘take’ on buying food that is healthy

and ecological, is to eliminate canned goods. I was not

sure I could get ‘on board’ with this plan! I have a limited

budget, so canned goods are more economical for one person.

Instead of a whole bag of potatoes or the singular, more

expensive one potato, I buy canned potatoes and rinse them

twice for the salt and metal taste to be rinsed off. I

then proceed to recycle my cans. There is a woman in the

Natural Awakenings magazine, Hannah Helsabeck, who is

president of WildMintShop.com, who shares “can-free”

meal tips online. Her quote is a positive and thought-

provoking one:

“It takes a little planning, but we can now avoid all the

toxic chemicals used in processing foods and making cans.

Let’s kick the can!”

I say, “Go Green!”

and

“Let’s get become a little more aware of how our actions

affect the environment and consequently, the world.”