Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Favorite Thing

Occasionally I will pass along a favorite item that I come across. This shoe is one of those items. It's a Keen shoe that you can wear on your daily walk! I have never had a slip-on that I could wear without socks, and not have my feet hurt by the time I walked a few miles. I hate to put on socks and tennis shoes, so this is a great summer walking shoe for me. I may try and wear it on a short hike since it has a hard bottom. This shoe did not have a break-in time before it was comfortable, and has a wide stretchy strap on top that is really nice. An end to hot feet! You can find it here: http://www.keenfootwear.com/product/ss09/shoes/women/market%20street/sienna%20mj

Love and Reality TV

WARNING: Reading this blog post may be hazardous to your intelligence.

What is with some of us women? Why do we always want to believe the bad guy? He looks at us and spins out a lie and we know, deep in our heart, that he's lying, but does that stop us from believing him? No, on some level, we want bad.

The story repeats itself over and over. Despite books and movies that try to warn us that he's just not that into us, we always think we are the "One", that can change the Bad Boy. It usually takes a few years and a few tears before we see the error of our ways.

Anyone watching the reality series The Bachelorette? Wes, the country western singer has repeatedly said to the camera, behind her back, that he is there to get publicity for his new CD. One of the bachelors came back (after being rejected) to warn her he has a girlfriend. He looks like he's lying when he is talking to her. She had twenty-five guys to choose from, and guess what she does? Well, it's down to the final four and Bad/Wes is still in the running.

And why should I care? Well, it's better than looking at flayed bodies on autopsy tables, or watching people really make a fool of themselves on obstacle courses, or - the list goes on. It's a pick your poison type of television.

I know this is not real, I know that it's mostly staged, but it doesn't stop some real feelings, and human frailties/strengths from seeping through. You can't fake some of the emotions and disappointment witnessed. Since there is not much interesting on television, and one can only read and blog so much, The Bachelorette is one that I watch. The voyeur in me, the student of human nature, can't resist. (My husband escapes to the other room, but gets sucked in anytime he wanders through while it's on - often asking things like - isn't he the jerk?)

So I hope this sweet girl really does find love. The woman in me, the romantic in me, hopes that this time one of the really good guys will win, and the bad boy will be sent packing. That it might actually work out, and they will live happily ever after. Not likely, as after all of The Bachelors and Bachelorettes, only one couple got married and are still together. So this should actually be named The Bachelorette Who Will Remain One.

As for me, I won't buy Wes's CD!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Your Suggestions!

I checked out your suggested food blogs, and thought I would pass them along. Sink, of a Bigger Cup suggested Eating Simply. What I really liked about this blog is it's emphasis on nutrition, simplicity, and frugality. If her recipe Naturally Sweetened Blood-Orange Sherbet is any indication of her other recipes, this is a good one.

Hilary of Crazy as a Loom, a new bloggy friend, suggested Kayotic Kitchen. The first three recipes looked very good, a casserole my husband would love, some baked onions I definitely need to try, and a caprese-type salad. But she also has a Toffee Brownie to die for, and comes with step by step instructions.

Smiles4u of My Life Interrupted offered two blogs to check out. Sarah's Cucina Bella started right off with how to freeze fresh strawberries and continued on with Strawberries and Cream Whole Wheat Crepes, an added punch of nutrition with the whole wheat crepes. I'll pass this one along to my son-in-law who is a crepe-maker supreme! The other one she suggested was Kaylin's Kitchen. Kaylin has all kinds of South Beach Diet recipes, including some with five ingredients or less.

DJan of d-jan-ity suggested a food blog by a writer I have been following on her other blog. Linda of Dinner Chez Nous had me with her first recipe of Loco Moco (blue-plate special), originating in Hilo, Hawaii. Love it in Hawaii, must love it here on the mainland, especially as she trimmed it down a bit.

Brian of WaystationOne, one of my favorite male blogging friends, suggested Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino, and the very first recipe hooked me with Panzanella - a mouth watering recipe for a bread salad. This needs to be tried this week as I have leftover ciabatta bread.

Lori ann of lori times five suggested Taste With Your Eyes and could not have picked a blog with a better title. Wow, the very first recipe I came across was Osso Buco, Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata and the pictures are unbelievable. But the second recipe of Curried Pork-Fried Rice deserves an honorable mention. If you haven't visited Lori, you need to, because she has been sharing her African Safari stories!

Another great blogger and blog, Ruth at synch-ro-nizing, suggested Laylita's Recipes. This blog was taking us on a tour of Equador, and it's food, but I also found an incredible recipe for Asparagus Risotto.

May I also suggest Marguerite's blog, Cajun Delights, as it is chock-full of unbelievable Cajun cooking. Plus she takes us dancing! And another terrific blog that I follow who is also a wonderful food blog is Pam at sidewalk shoes. Her White Bean Salad with Mint and Red Onion are the types of foods we are trying to incorporate into our diet.

So there you have it. Terrific new food blogs suggested by equally wonderful bloggers. Thanks so much and be sure to share any new dynamite recipes!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cooking Blogs

This bruschetta recipe (click for better view) came from Stacey's Snacks, and you can find it here. It was a total hit with dinner guests last night. It's a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients. Which seems to be the direction I'm taking for summer cooking. Another blog that I enjoy for a variety of reasons, but also has wonderful recipes is The Good Cook. What about you? Do you have a cooking blog that you would like to share with us?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Bad JuJu Closet

I have been working on improving some things in my life, as you can probably tell from my reading list lately. One of those things is anger, which got totally out of hand with the collapse of our economy last September. Of course, once you start working on something that needs attention and healing, it gets tested. I am supposed to be thankful for these tests, as how can I improve without them? But my bad-juju closet not only tested me this week, I failed the exam.

It has been six months since we finished our remodel, yet the closet that was the very last wrong thing, continues to be a vortex of bad energy. Not only did my contractor not order the proper doors the first time, he did it again. Now, six months later, we are in the throes of either accepting what we did not order, or insist he get it right. Let me preface by saying he is not in a good financial position, as are many contractors, in this economy.

Anger, burning hot, won out yesterday. Not with him, but with my poor husband that had to listen to the rant. Today, I've decided to follow the advice given by my current hero, Pema Chodron, and forgive myself for failing the test, and move on. If we can't forgive ourselves, we cannot forgive anyone else (like my contractor.) Now I hope to be prepared for the next test. Maybe I'll be able to center myself, breathe, and not resort to any kind of anger.

As for the bad-juju closet - I guess it will just have to be what it turns out to be. Photos to follow - whenever it's done. I've given up on the three days it was supposed to take.

Are you working on a part of yourself that is constantly getting tested?

Friday, June 26, 2009

What is for sure?

What can we count on in this world? Change. That is the only thing we can count on. The world and it's creatures, including us, are in constant flux. We set ourselves up for pain and angst when we try to keep things the same.

I often look out of my window at the little stream outside my bedroom and wonder how long it has been there. Has it been there since my grandfather worked here as a trapper in the early part of the last century? Before that? Will it be there after I die? The answer is yes. Probably to all of those questions. But it changes constantly. The sides change with wet years, the little waterfalls change with dry years. My point is that everything in our world changes. The pain comes when we want it to stay the same.

We want things to be predictable, we want resolution and crave security. Our conventional minds cannot grasp the dynamic flow of the universe, so we create addictions and prejudices to deal with the fear of a fluid existence. "We are like people in a sinking boat trying to hold on to the water." (Pema Chodron)

So what to do?

Let go of wanting to protect yourself from what is. Embrace each new moment. Expect that moment to be gone, and a new one will take it's place. Realize that we are a part of something that is not to be controlled. It is natural, and normal, and all that we are. Don't fear what you cannot change. Greet each new moment as though it holds the promise of a lifetime. Because it does.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


No, not that kind. That kind is pictured on the right. The kind I'm talking about is pictured on the left, and is a very different kind of hemp. It produces products like:


The hemp plant can be used for it's fiber, seeds, seed meal and seed oil. The products that can be made from this versatile plant include: insulation, fiber board, animal bedding, lumber, pulp, plastic composites for automobiles, even combined with other products to produce ceramic tile, food, and health care products. And many, many more. And it is biodegradable.

In fact it's pest-resistant, requires no pesticides, fungicides, and very little herbicides. Unlike cotton. However, when blended with wool, cotton, or linen it produces a very breathable, cool, and comfortable fabric. It can be grown on a variety of soils but does best in the same soil as corn. YOU CANNOT GET HIGH on this type of hemp. IT CONTAINS NO THC. In fact it has an ingredient, CBD, that actually blocks a marijuana high. Sort of an anti-marijuana.

It is currently being grown in Canada and many other European countries, and is one of the oldest sources of textile fabrics used, mostly for sail cloth and rope. Car makers such as Henry Ford used hemp for a variety of strengthening fibers in his cars back in the day. The Mercedes C-Class currently has over 30 parts that contain natural fibers, including hemp. A hemp house is being built in South Dakota:

It's major benefits are saving trees from becoming lumber and pulp, and using a biodegradable product instead of plastic. But using less pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides is also detrimental to our ecosystems. These products are in our food, our clothes, our homes, our children. They wash into our streams, rivers, canals and eventually our oceans. I think it's time our country came out of the dark and into the light about this product. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Wandering Mind

I have always had one foot in science and one foot in spirit. Finally, at least in this instance, the two have come together. Which always makes me happy.

Researchers have determined that they can now map our brains during an "aha" moment. An article in the Wall Street Journal, (that bastion of scientific discovery), has written that findings show that our brains are actually very active during seeming inactive times. All those daydreams you have? Not bad anymore. They are actually providing more insight (a burst of mental clarity), crucial to intellect, than previously supposed. It happened to Archimedes in the the bath, Descarts while lying in bed watching flies on the ceiling, and Newton while standing in an orchard watching an apple fall from a tree. Of course insight favors a prepared mind, and in all of these instances, the minds had been honed, you might say. But we also have the ability to prepare.

Mapping brain waves is nothing new, but now researchers are able to document the brains behavior during these "aha" moments by recording brain-wave patterns and imaging neural circuits. These moments of clarity (insight) utilize different parts of the brain, including the right frontal cortex. EEG's have shown that an intense and complex series of brain states are more involved than previously thought, while daydreaming. Networks become very busy and Gamma Waves emanating from the right hemisphere of the brain flash about 1/3 of a second before the "aha" moment. "An eternity at the speed of light," stated one researcher.

Of course all of this is nothing new in the world of spirit. All the great teachers have taught how to quiet the mind through meditation, controlling the ego, going into the stillness that lies behind the mind's chatter. Evidently insight also favors a positive attitude, something we have already known to be essential to mental and spiritual health.

It is always nice when science catches up, and we can revel in the realization that science doesn't know everything. We knew it first.

"You want to quiet the noise in your head to solidify that fragile gem of an idea", says Dr. Jung-Beeman at Northwestern."

Bottom line? Be positive, work at what you love, and enjoy letting your mind wander. Take time to smell the roses. It's all in a days work.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Brain Tumor

A few people have asked about my post on the brain tumor I had a little over 20 years ago. You can find it here. And while I wish I could hear on one side, that my one eye still had tears, that my face was not disfigured, I do not regret going through what I did. I know that sounds a little Mother Teresa, but it really is true. I don't think I would be the person I am today, had I not been reduced to that dismal, depressed place after my surgery. I had lost my father 15 months before, been in a terrible car accident, my husband was told he would need to find another job, my tiny daughter almost died in child birth, and I ended up with hair on only one side of my head. I was depressed. Really depressed. More depressed than I had ever been.

Eckhart Tolle talks about spiritual awakening often occurring when our egos have no where else to turn. For me, this was true. Without all that went before, I don't think it would have happened, at least not then. "Stressor buildup" is the technical term when stressors become overwhelming and become the proverbial 'hair on the camel's back'. It is when we break. In my case, I had two small children and a husband that needed me to pick myself up and find a way back to being a mommy and being happy. I did that by reminding myself how lucky I was to be alive. There were so many others not nearly so lucky. But I was damaged, and I needed to find a way to deal with it. Enter my spiritual search.

I would bring home stacks of books from the library. Since recovery was slow and required sitting, I would read books on everything. From how the mind works, psychology, brain function, Gary Zukov, (who's book "The Seat of the Soul" changed my life), to every kind of meditative, creative visualization, Buddha, Bible, religious book that I could find. Literally hundreds. Studying is where I turn when I feel insecure. I always think I can find answers in books. Anyway, after recovery and several years, I entered college again as an adult. I then studied Human Development & Family Studies, with a Psychology minor. The end result was my own understanding of why we are here.

I believe what we are is within, not what our bodies look like, or where we live, or how much money we have. We are equals, all coming from the same place. I believe many in our world are finally waking up to this realization.

So, I really mean it when I say - I wouldn't change a thing. I am who I am today because of this great struggle. When I find a blog where someone is in great pain, I can empathize from a place of having been there. But I would guess that most of us can empathize. Very few of us get through this life intact and unscathed.

I am happy to be who I am, to have the people in my life that I do, and to have the opportunities that I have. We are experiencing difficult and amazing times. It's scary and exciting. But I'm not alone, and neither are you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I have been blessed with the best husband and father for my children. He has been our "rock", as his girls carry on in their sometimes frantic and mysterious ways. He's always been the one to stay calm, except when our daughter pierced her nose (the first time.) By the time the second daughter did it, he didn't bat an eye. So he grows with us.

When I had a brain tumor, and half of my face was paralyzed after the surgery, he never once made me feel anything less than cherished.

He never spanked, ever. And rarely raised his voice to them, or me.

He has always been good at saving them when I just wanted to ....

He always cleaned the cat box, hamster habitats, dog & cat "messes", chased bugs, unclogged toilets, does the poop scoop...well you get the picture.

So happy Father's Day honey, you are the best!

And to all those Dad's out there that do everything they can to care for their family - hope you have a wonderful day, because you are so important to your family!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The New Normal

Did anyone catch 20/20 last night? It was kind of fun because several of the segments were topics that we have been discussing for a while now. For instance, one of the segments was about a car manufacturing shop that has been successfully turned into a wind turbine manufacturer that is employing 40 people and growing! These turbines are for individual homes to generate clean electricity. We discussed that in my post on Michael Moore. One of the other segments depicted a young family who have realized that downsizing has actually improved their family life. Many of you have written blogs on that topic.

Then they did one on Iceland's descent into madness and banking. They now have women on their banking boards, and legislative processes. I have to admit that it seemed as though they may have used the same sources as I did in writing that segment. But the beauty of it was when I wrote the post, women were not yet installed on said boards.

The one that touched me the most was of the woman who had gone to an auction house with her son to buy him a house. She met a sobbing woman who was there to see her home auctioned. Something came over the woman and she bought the house back for the woman! The lady was not wealthy, and she had no idea what came over her. But she bought the house for the woman and only asked her to pay what she could! This one act of kindness has blossomed into a foundation that buys the homes of people who are being evicted and can only pay so much.

All of this reminded me of a blog post yesterday by Elizabeth Bradley, wherein we are so bombarded with awful things going on in the world that we just have to pick one, and do our part. It's exciting to see people's ideas actually manifesting. What it means is that we have the talents and the vision to solve our own problems. You have ideas that you may be just mulling over, and have not yet acted on, that could solve one or more of your own, or someone else's. We all do. It's a matter of thinking things through, drawing on our faith, whatever it may be, using trial and error, and never giving up. I think that's the key, really. Never giving up.

Do you have something that you have been working on in your mind? Some plan, that hasn't yet taken flight, that could solve a problem?

A little bag of...

I was thinking of enlarging this picture of my husband and dog, and putting it on the family "wall" until I noticed what he was carrying... (click to enlarge.)

What would it look like?

I have long felt that the world would be a less violent place if women were in charge. And I certainly do not mean this post to be a rant on men. It is just an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. Most women are not apt to kill when they know exactly what it takes to reproduce. In fact, it's rare when women kill. It usually makes headlines. There are many historical women figures that that were also violent creatures, of course. The world has a few right now. But the reality is that in the 20th century alone, the human race killed over one hundred million of their own species. Think about that for a moment. One hundred million! Most were killed in wars, totalitarian regimes bent on eliminating dissent, and various other means of annihilation. One common thread? Well, let's just say it wasn't women. If I were an alien, this planet would freak me out.

So now that Iran's women are exerting their presence, what will that mean to the world? Put another way, if all the women came together throughout the world, what would that look like? I, for one, would love to see a massive, grass-roots women's movement. Not against men, but in favor of life. I believe in grass-root movements, seemingly the only thing working right now. We could solve the world's problems instead of destroying it, take care of our children, elderly, and less fortunate, work on saving our ecosystems, put effort into clean fuel sources. March to a different drum. Insist our governments take us seriously.

It can be done. It was done last November, and it's being done in Iran right now. People, men and women, taking some control of their lives, their future. Old regimes, not paying attention to what it's people are telling it, need to move on and make way for a new understanding. A planet united in it's desire for equality, for all people, in all countries, throughout the world. What would it look like if the entire human race understood the dire consequences we face, and worked together to solve these problems?

Let's look at the planet as One, because we really are.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Where is my family?

Ex-Pat did a post this morning , that started me thinking. Are families changing? He noted that most of his family does not stay in touch, despite so many ways to do so. Mine is much the same way. While I do not have a Facebook account, e-mail is easy, telephones (remember those?) are easy, not to mention my blog, which they all know about. But none, except one daughter, even reads it.

My extended family was adamant about getting together for certain holidays. When the children were small it was just a given that we spent Easter on a picnic, Fourth of July camping or at my brother's pool in Sacramento, and Thanksgiving at my house. Over the last two years it has all changed. Granted, our children are mostly grown and have other responsibilities, and live far apart. But, more than that, I feel an apathy towards getting together.

We no longer do Easter, younger sister didn't like how "the hunt" held money in some of the plastic eggs. Fourth of July turned into a huge debacle, unworthy of family participation, once my brother included all of his friends, and Thanksgiving is either without my children in our small place, or in Portland where we divide time with in-laws of my daughter. To say I miss having my family at my house, with the table set in my finest, is an understatement. But we no longer have the large home that accommodates families traveling, and the huge dining room with the big table.

So, like Ex-Pat, I'm left wondering - what is going on? Are we going to be looking to friends to fill the table in the future? Certainly we have a few that are in the same boat. Maybe a small get-together, with no family members in attendance? Or is this just a natural part of life? Children grow up and start lives that go in different directions, and we just need to roll with it. What about your family? Are you struggling with the same issues, or are you intact and looking forward to all the holidays complete with your extended family?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nutritious Salad

Here is a picture of our dinner last night, thanks to my daughter sharing her variation on this salad. Very low calorie, but delicious. I added a little sugar to the dressing to take the "bite" out of the vinegar. An old trick that my grandmother taught me whenever using acidic ingredients. We had grilled chicken, but you could add just about anything you like, such as shrimp, or just veggie.

Green beans - steamed (about 5 minutes, then rinse in cold water)
Small red potatoes - steamed (left to cool)
Salad greens
Red onion
Hard-boiled egg
Kalamata olives
Grape tomatoes

3 TBL olive oil
3 TBL apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic - minced
1/2 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste (although my daughter hates that I eat too much salt, so this is my addition)

Easy, cool for summer, and very nutritious.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tommorow Is Another Day

I had one of those days today. I know you know the kind. Starts out okay, and then some bomb drops and scares you into the tough reality we are facing in these difficult times. It ended up okay, but not before making me come face to face with all the emotions I try so hard to keep at bay. I know by reading other blogs that many of you are facing your own difficult problems, and issues with depression and anxiety. Today reminded me how hard it is to keep those emotions under control.

So I had to take a deep breath and ask myself - right now, in this second, am I in pain? The answer was no.

Am I in danger right in this moment? No...but...

Well then, am I hungry? Well, maybe a little - but only because I am a box on wheels and have to diet.

Well, then in this very second can I do anything about my bomb/problem? No, not now, out of my hands.

So, in this very moment, am I okay? Yes, I'm okay, but...I have so many things to worry about!

But the reality is...in this very moment, I am okay. Taking stock of where you are in any given second can give you power. Power over anxiety, sadness, helplessness, and depression. Staying in the Now is all-important. And no one knows better than I how hard that can be sometimes. But it really is all we have. The past is gone. Nothing can be done about our mistakes, decisions, triumphs, that are gone forever. The future can change in an instant, and often for the better. So staying in the very moment you are in is the only refuge from the storm around us. Worrying won't change anything.

This too shall pass, and tomorrow is another day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Day, New Diet

My older daughter is getting her certification in holistic nutrition. She has always been obsessed with healthy eating. My younger daughter is a vegan. So now I am having them help me with new eating habits. I'm going to start with some health tips my daughter has been posting each week: I will have the two teaspoons of organic, raw, vinegar in a glass of water with each meal (she sent me home with a bottle), 2-3 cups of green tea per day, and will use the many wonderful recipes she has devised. I will eat more organic and raw foods, such as younger daughter. I'm not ready to be a vegan, however. While I am willing to give up meat most nights, cheese is going to be harder. I could tell it was really hard for her this last week, when we were celebrating her graduation and the rest of us were having sandwiches with cheese, and she just had a look on her face that said CHEESE! But she is committed, and now I need to be too. I've already pretty much eliminated most sweets. 

But it's not the eating that is the problem, as we eat healthy most of the time. My problem has been blogging, reading, studying, educating myself on things that I have needed to learn about, but required sitting. We moved to a much smaller house, minus the exercise room, and have been trapped in one room for months while remodeling. But now I need to get out on the trails with my husband, walking more, basically just moving around more. After a certain age, it can't just be about what we eat, we have to stay on the go, too.

So after a week of running after a toddler, I'm ready to tackle a new regime. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daughters, Moms & Shoes

My daughters and I are being careful about any excess, unneeded shopping lately. But about once a year we have to indulge a bit. Today was the day. We were just going to take back a jacket I bought, but hadn't worn. Several items later, we gathered in my daughter's bedroom to try on our treasures and give each other advice. What is it about getting new shoes that just makes a female happy? We wish it wasn't so, but most of us like new shoes. And a skirt to go with it. And maybe a cute tank? What about a light sweater/wrap/thingy? I guess some things are just they way they are...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Class of 2009 - Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest and WiserEarth

Paul Hawken was the speaker today at my daughter's graduation. (The above excerpt came from another speech he did.)  It was an honor to have him address this class faced with so many problems. There is no doubt our society may very well be in decline, just as so many before us throughout history. But even more daunting is that every single ecosystem in the world is also in decline. The young people who are entering a workforce that has been reduced to the lowest level in many years, will also be faced with trying to save a dying planet. So they will be militant, and we need to not only respect them, we need to get on board. I look forward to having my new graduate teach me about sustainability, conservation, urban planning. This may be a new beginning not just for her, but for us as well. 

Friday, June 12, 2009


Well let's see if I can get a quick post in before the blog gods send a bolt my way. I've been really busy with my little grandson and all that Portland has to offer. We are off to see my darling daughter graduate from college tomorrow. 

We had the great pleasure of having lunch with Trish and Rob MacGregor and their cute daughter today at Skamania Lodge in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. I think Trish might do a blog on how it came about. Thanks to synchronicity! 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Still not able to post much. I'm usually dropped before I finish a sentence. We are trying some new things today, otherwise my not be able to post until next week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Computer Problems

I am having problems visiting your blogs, writing on my own, and leaving comments. I don't know if it's my computer, the wi-fi at my daughter's house, or blogspot. Anyone else having problems?

Monday, June 8, 2009


One of my favorite sea creatures is the Dolphin. I had some direct experience with this amazing animal while sailing through the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1970's. A highly intelligent mammal, it is also incredibly social. Dolphins can live up to 40 years in pods, and are often found swimming in synchrony, twisting and turning together in perfect harmony. With those that they are most bonded, they can be found swimming face to face, touching flippers, and stroking one another. Since they breath air, they can actually drown, and have been known to ban together to support and float an injured member, so that the blow hole is above water.

Threats are increasing. Dolphins suffer horrifically through injury, disease, entanglement nets, boats, naval sonar, offshore construction, wind farms, and garbage in the ocean. Various fishing methods are an extreme threat, including drift and gill nets, and anti-predator nets used in farm fishing. In some parts of the world such as Tajii, Japan and the Faroe Islands dolphins are hunted for food in drive hunts and harpooning.

Dolphinariums such as SeaWorld are found all over the world, and pose often terrible conditions for these sweet creatures. Some countries, such as Australia, have made it illegal to import or catch dolphins. We all need to put pressure on our governments to follow their good example. 

Maybe in the future we can visit our dolphin friends in coastal marines, instead of barren concrete tanks, where they can interact with humans at their discretion, no longer having to perform for food. Regulations could be designed to ensure dolphins are not harmed or stressed by humans.

What you can do right now:

Adopt A Dolphin - World Wildlife Fund
Adopt A Dolphin - UK
Dolphin-Free Labels - Buy only foods, such as canned tuna, with this label.
Clean Up Marine Debris - Do you live near the ocean? How about joining or organizing a day?
Recycle - The best way to keep garbage out of the ocean? Recycle!!

Please visit Here, There and Everywhere to read more stories from around the world, as we share our love of the oceans on Oceans Day.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

For The Love Of Waffles

If you are a waffle lover, and need a good laugh, visit Boehmcke's Human Condition. This not only cracked me up, but made me really want a waffle!

Friday, June 5, 2009


This is a little update on how to post your "oceans post" on Monday so we can all visit your blog. Chris is coordinating the blog-a-thon and we are all excited to see your post. So jump on board, she will have it up and running on Sunday sometime (she is in Spain - a bit of a time difference.) 

Just wanted to share an update. Yesterday I announced our Blog-A-Thon on The Ocean Project website, among their list of 2009 World Oceans Day events (click here). So hopefully we might be able to cast a slightly wider net of participants... who knows?

Before I sign off, just a reminder of what to do:
  1. Prepare a post on your Blog on the Seas / Oceans. It can be about this year's theme "One Ocean, One Climate, One Future" or something else entirely. You can share your maritime experiences, tell us how the seas inspire you, write a quirky tail sorry tale, or illustrate your blog with marine photos (or whatever else takes your fancy!).
  2. Include a link back to the main Ocean Blog-A-Thon post here which I will have up and running some time Sunday night (GMT) so your readers will know where to go look for other Oceanic posts and can have access to the wide variety (I hope!) of inspiring posts we'll all be writing.
  3. Leave me a comment here or send me an email (crazycrisb at ymail dot com) with your post's address so I can include and link to it in the main Oceanic Blog-A-Thon post and so send readers back to you.
As for something relatively simple you can do in "the real world", The Ocean Projectproposes you Wear Blue and Tell Two! The idea being that you wear blue and tell people two things they don't know about the ocean and two ways they can take action (shouldn't be a problem for me, half the clothes I own are blue! Now if they had chosen pink or orange... *shudder*). Hmmm... I get the feeling my poor Monday afternoon English student is going to get a crash course in Marine Biology! ;o)

I'm really looking forward to this. I hope you all have as much fun with this as I am! And I hope it helps us and our readers become more aware of the importance of the seas.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

World Oceans Day

My friend, Chris, at Here, There and Everywhere, is an oceanographer and marine biologist. She has come up with a wonderful way for all of us to show our appreciation and concern for our oceans by having a blog-a-thon for World Oceans Day on June 8th. All you have to do, if you would like to participate, is to link to her blog, letting her know you have posted a blog on June 8th, something about the oceans. I think I already know what I want to write about...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Beauty of Babies

I feel so special. The young woman that lives next door occasionally (vacation home), has asked me to babysit her little tiny baby while she runs some errands. This sweet little peach is only three months old, and I met her the other day. Babies are almost of another world. You can see God in their innocence. Yet, when they are so new to the world, deep in their eyes you can almost see their power, as well. Their smile often reminds me of a soul that recognizes me, in a way. As if to say - Oh you, hi!

There have been times when I could be in the worst mood, and a baby will smile at me and it just seems to wash away the negativity, because I can't help but smile back. My daughter says my grandson (17 months) has taken to smiling and saying hi to everyone he meets in the grocery store. I'm sure some just ignore him, intent on what they are doing, but I hope he has the same effect that babies have on me - I hope he brightens someone's day that can see the beauty and innocence in a simple smile and greeting.

P.S. I wasn't very clear about the photo of the baby - it is taken from a website - I didn't think the "Mom" would want me to post a pic of her baby on the internet. :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Michael Makes Sense

However you may personally feel about Michael Moore, of Roger and Me fame, his blog post yesterday made total sense to me. General Motors is bankrupt, now mostly owned by the US government, requiring at least another 30 billion dollars of taxpayer money. So why not take this lemon and turn it into lemonade?

The last thing we need this company to do is to provide the types of vehicles they provided in the past. The invention of "planned obsolescence" started with GM. In it's arrogance, it built cars that would fall apart after a few years, so people would have to buy new ones. It fought all attempts at environmentally safe vehicles, instead shipping thousands of jobs out of the country to Mexico and other countries at the height of record profits during the 1980's. But what is done is done. Now what?

Here is the good part.

Moore suggests converting our industrial infrastructure at GM to produce 21st-century modes of transportation. This was done during WWII in no time at all. The conversion could start right now. Putting our skilled labor force to work making the following:

  • Bullet Trains - Japan has had them for 45 years. We still do not have one! Average speed is 165 mph, average late time is 30 seconds. They have the capacity to go from New York to LA in 17 hours, Chicago to Detroit in less than 2 hours, Miami to DC in under 7 hours, Denver to Dallas in 5.5 hours.
  • Light Rail - Factories could be producing these immediately. Have local people working on the lines and infrastructure, training to run the system, in every large to medium city in the US.
  • Clean energy-efficient Buses - For small cities an infrastructure of these vehicles.
  • Electric or Hybrid Cars - A few factories to produce cars of the future as we wean ourselves from the combustion engine. If everyone is driving small energy-efficient vehicles - the need for bigger to be safer becomes less of an issue.
  • Wind Mills and Solar Panels - Thousands of solar panels are needed right now.
I believe that once we get started in this direction, many new and innovative ideas will surface. If we do not have a massive effort, immediately, our world will not sustain the degradation. Not to mention now is the time to put people to work. It's time for us to insist that our elected officials bring us into the 21st century, and I think in this case, Michael Moore makes sense.

What do you think?

BTW - Send comments to the White House this way: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Monday, June 1, 2009

Preparing The Path

I had one of those light-bulb moments this weekend. Have you ever wondered why you have the interests that you do? Not just interests that make you a bit curious, but the ones that you can lose hours in doing. I think those are moments when you are preparing a path. Eventually it will be clear to you why you are spending so much time on these passions.

A couple of things happened this week to bring on this light-bulb moment. My husband got a call from friends he used to work with that have an idea they want to pursue. They thought of him first, knowing his talents. No resume, no interview, just his particular skill set, and his reputation.

My daughter signed up for school. Nothing along the lines of what she went to college for, but all the training she received in college will help her with the school she is entering. She's passionate about this subject - always has been. I think she feels happy to be "home" in the sense that she is finally pursuing something that feels very right.

Younger daughter wants to be a farmer. Doesn't want a big graduation party in two weeks - wants us to gift her with a Master Gardner's tuition. Not what we had expected from her after four years of college - but who knows where this might go? The world is changing - food is being considered a bit more critically in terms of pesticides, locality, etc.

I think whatever we spend time on is not lost, even if it feels like "just messing around." The books we read, the time we spend dreaming, the things we study, are preparations for something we may not be able to understand when we begin them. But along the way, it becomes more clear, and at some point you have that aha moment and are able to say - that's why I've been studying that all these years!

Has this happened to you?