Archive for February, 2009

Fill ‘er up – from the deep fryer ?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

If you happen to live in Sarasota, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix or Dallas – or any place in between, you might want to keep your eyes open for a blue Mercedes station wagon with plenty of advertisement stickers on it. And if you see it – give a big wave and a holler!

The driver will be Colin Coon, 18 years old, who had the guts, the know-how and organizational skills to convert a diesel engine to run on used oil which will be donated by various restaurants along the way. ColinĀ  plans to be on the road Feb. 28 through April 18. Why does Colin do it? To show the power of alternative energy. Now tell me that young people have nothing but parties on their mind!

Eat vegetables, prevent cancer?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

After years of mothers telling their kids to eat their veggies there are finally studies that back us up. Hallelujah I say!

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara laboratories have discovered that vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are influential in healing at a cellular level and are especially good for women as they might actually prevent certain kinds of cancer.

If you live in a part of the world that struggles through winter this time of year as I do, and if you want to eat what is grown in your area, cabbage type vegetables and potatoes are pretty much at the top of the list. And now we find out what mothers seem to have know all along, that these vegetables are especially beneficial. A very good reason to eat local.

I have never quite figured out why cabbage type veggies elicit such a high yuck factor with quite a number of people. They are tasty and do not smell up the kitchen unless you overcook them until they lose their texture. Steamed or stir fried broccoli or cabbage, cooked only long enough until they turn a bright green, taste excellent. Guess what’s for dinner ? :)

Time for some good news …

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Just as I was getting ready to give up hope that anything positive would ever again come out of the news reports, along comes a story that goes a long way in restoring my faith in humanity. Lately it seem the news is mostly depressing. If it isn’t about factories that must close their doors, or people getting laid off, or the high rate of foreclosures, it is about crooks that line their pockets with money that is not their own. So it is truly uplifting to see that there are some good people out there who do care for others. Here is an amazing story that might just give us hope again.

Musings for a happy day

Monday, February 16th, 2009

We roll out of bed in the morning with a fuzzy head, somehow muddle through it all and end the day many hours later with a tired and exhausted feeling. Sounds about right? Yep. I have days like that at times too. This overwhelming feeling that it simply cannot all be accomplished in the hours that are available in a day. The lump that sits in the stomach and gets bigger and heavier as the day gets on, the tiredness that overcomes us and won’t go away.

The reasons for stress seem made to order to suit each of us – aren’t we the lucky ones – and while some of us are stronger than others to resist that little devil that whispers in our ear ‘you’ll never get it all done’, we all at one time or another have fallen into this same deplorable pit of misery. Maybe looking at things from a slightly different angle is the charm, or it might be a change of scenery that does the trick. A few moments taken from our busy schedules to have only to ourselves, egotistical as it might appear. All really simple ideas that can help us get through each day a little bit more at ease.

I watched a butterfly yesterday, orange with yellow spots, as it fluttered between blossoms. I saw a gull lift its wings and soar into the blue sky. A tiny white bloom among blades of dried out grass. The melody of a bird that sings its heart out high in a tree. Take a minute and really listen to it. A smile, a hug. So many little things that can be islands of peace in our hectic lives. If only we look for them. So let’s keep our eyes open and collect these special moments for ourselves. Then pass them on to the people around us. But most of all – give it your best do make today a happy day for yourself! Then watch it spread out from there.

JG captured this sunflower balloon as it boobed in the warm breeze at the entrance to a spice shop. So, close your eyes, imagine the aroma of clove and cinnamon, curry and lemons infusing the air around you. Now, take a deep breath, and smile.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day . . .

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

If you are a bit like me things tend to creep up on you. Before you had a reasonable chance to let the date sink in, here it is and it is already too late to prepare for it. Take for instance Valentine’s day. Just recently I began to notice heart balloons bobbing in shop windows, candy boxes all in red, and who knows all the special items I missed along the way. Had I ignored or failed to see all the blunt directives that show you how to spend in order to express your love I also happened upon a great article at the Sierra Club site this morning with great ideas specifically for a green Valentine’s Day. It shows that we do have a choice in the way we give. It does not have to be hot house flowers or candy or the formerly ‘unmentionables’ – which usually do more for the giver than the recipient anyway ;)

Let’s not blindly reach for an item without considering the impact that item has on our environment. It takes practice and there might not always be a green alternative to what we want to buy, but let’s at least try and give it a fair shot. After all, how do the suppliers, growers, manufacturers know what we really want if we do not express our wants and needs in the way we make our selections.

Take flowers as an example. They are forever popular, easy to come by, just walk into any florist’s or pick a pretty bunch up in the supermarket. But what about the impact on the environment. Most probably these blooms were grown in greenhouses where they needed to be irrigated, had to be grown under strict climate and light control, then they were shipped over great distances to finally arrive at their destination. Looks like a large carbon footprint to me. Or we might look for flowers that are grown locally and are not treated with pesticides at an organic farm in our area. The choice is ours.

And what better time to get those creative juices flowing than Valentine’s day. Some of my most treasured presents ever are those made by my children when they were still quite young. They may be basic and simple, and over the years may not have held up too well, but oh, those memories! Nothing store-bought could ever replace them. So why not give something novel this year that says I love you much better than something one picks up in a store, some item that requires us to think about what would please the person we love. Maybe something simple but from our hearts. The challenge is on . . . :)

Found on a beach in Sarasota, FL, a love message to John, written in the sand with sea shells.