Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Slacker Blogger Pawns You Off on Someone Else (But wait...good stuff is coming!)

This week I am overwhelmed by my gardens, my children’s activities, and my life, so instead of an actual post, I’m offering links to some other blogs I find interesting.

Lots of great projects/ideas/recipes/inspiration mostly for women at home with kids, but also plenty of good ideas for people with no kids (like this week’s post on how to make your own re-usable produce bags). The pictures are beautiful. I aspire to blog as well as Kelly.

Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen – this blog from Rodale’s queen of organic gardening is inspiring and practical. I get lots of my ideas from this blog. (copying is the sincerest form of flattery!) Organic Gardening offers over a dozen other blogs on various gardening topics.

Kelly Rae is my favorite artist/designer who offers beautiful art, powerful messages, and inspiration like nobody’s business. I just adore this woman and her creations. I'm slowly filling my house with her work. Check her out.

 Enjoy! And have a wonderful weekend. Next month – Book Club and the Wear-Everything-You-Own challenge!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Have You Been Greenwashed?

Do you ever have the experience of buying something and wondering if you’ve been “greenwashed?” The term refers to companies that market a product as “green” when in reality it’s actually not so green. Companies can be nimble creatures when it comes to finding ways to make more money from the same product. As the public becomes increasingly aware of the need for environmentally friendly products, it’s fairly easy for an adept marketing department to slap an “all natural” or “earth friendly” claim on the same product they’ve been selling for years.

As in the claim “compostable.” Without a working definition, you could almost say everything is compostable. It might take a million years if it’s Styrofoam or a little less if it’s plastic. My discover card is compostable. When I needed a new card a few years back, I went online to choose my own personalized card. Of the many, many options, one featured polar bears and claimed to be “compostable”. In my fervor to be “green” I thought – great! I want a compostable card! Whenever a store clerk commented on my cute polar bears, I’d tell her, “I could really care less about polar bears but the card is compostable!”

In reality, my compostable card will never be composted (although the numbers are wearing off rather quickly). How likely is it that I will toss a credit card with a rather high lending limit into my compost pile when it expires? Seems like a dangerous practice. I may test out the theory when the current card expires in a controlled composting environment. Another fun project for my skeptical hubby! I don’t recall any claims as to the length of time it would take to compost my credit card when I selected it. And what’s even more curious is that when I went on the discover site today to hunt down that information, the polar bears were still available, but no longer labeled “compostable.” Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homemade English Muffins! You can do it too!

Today I’m attempting something I’ve never tried before. I’m making English Muffins. I know you were hoping I was going to say something a little more exciting like hang gliding or breaking some sort of Guiness World Record like the most chickens to jump through a hoop in a row, but no, I’m simply going for a soft, yet crunchy combination of nooks and crannies just like Thomas’.

This monumental moment came about in large part because of the retraining my shopping habits have undergone these past few months. It is several days after Easter and time to make Cream Ham and Eggs, which is a meal most loved by the three male members of the family (the smaller female member shudders at the idea). It’s a decidedly unhealthy creation that I make for them every time we have ham, which would be once a year on Easter. English Muffins are the required vehicle for eating Cream Ham and Eggs.

There were no English Muffins in my pantry. I had two options – one, head over to the locally owned grocery store (for the second time this week) or make them myself. The sun is shining, but the ground has not realized it’s spring yet here in Central PA, so my planned garden chores are on indefinite hold leaving me with a little time on my hands. And time, it seems, is what is most required when it comes to making homemade English Muffins. Everything else, I had in my pantry.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Distracted by a Rat and Disputed GMO Corn Study

All week I’ve been distracted by this picture of a rat with an obscene tumor. It’s been sitting on my desk freaking me out on an hourly basis. The rat in question was part of a French study of GMO round-up ready corn. I’ve written about my own concerns about GMO corn before. In case you aren’t aware (and you wouldn’t be because the USDA refuses to require labeling) about 90% of the corn in the US is GMO corn, and most of it is grown from Monsanto’s Round Up Ready GMO seed. And that corn is all over your grocery store, vending machines, restaurants, and school cafeterias.

The study has gotten an awful lot of official people, agencies, and lobbyists in a tizzy. They are busy pointing out all the errors in the methodology of the study. If you read a few of their postings on line, you will soon be thoroughly confused and certain that the study has nothing to do with GMO corn, rats, or cancer. They’ll have your head spinning so fast you’ll begin to doubt global warming, gravity, and whether you put your socks on this morning.

In honor of this poor mouse who is still gazing my way as I write, let me break it down for you.