Archive for ‘Sustainable Living’

September 12, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a post by my favorite blogger, Bhavna Hinduja, author of Bhavna Hinduja on Being Simple, Sustainable & Mindful.  I was thrilled to see that she had been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  What I wasn’t prepared for was to read on and find that she had nominated me for the award as well.  Bhavna,thank you, I was, and still am, so grateful for your nomination!

Having only been a blogger for about a year and a half I really wasn’t sure what this meant.  So I did what any good student would do and “Googled it.”.   There I found a list of blog after blog who have received a nomination for this award.  All I could think was, “How cool.”  Honestly, I didn’t continue my research to learn more, and I realized that I don’t care whether there is a real award or not.  I love the concept and I love the rules.  It was such a good feeling to receive this nomination and now I get to share that feeling with others, “pay it forward” so to speak.

Here are the award rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you (Bhavna Hinduja, thank you!)
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and link to them
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the awards requirements.

7 Things about me:

1.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I’m horrible at hiding my emotions.  This can be a blessing and a curse.

2.  I love alone time.  This is my time to read, write and go exploring with my creativity.

3.  I never get tired of the Blues.  I loved “sap tunes” (as in sappy love songs) in junior high, Prince and hair bands in the 80s, but regardless of the year, I have and always will love listening to the Blues.

4.  My right leg is shorter than my left.  Not drastically, about 1/2 inch.  Just enough to make my spine curved and my purse constantly fall off my right shoulder.

5.  I have a tattoo.  Didn’t get it in my teens or 20s, got it in my 30s.  I wanted it to mean something. Don’t regret it yet.

6.  I love to write, but only discovered it a year and a half ago.  Yep.  Never thought of myself as a writer.  Started writing on a whim and completely fell in love.  Don’t do it often enough.

7.  My circle of friends is small and close.  I know a lot of people and have a lot of acquaintances, but my circle of friends is small and I keep them close.  If I call you my friend, I will defend and protect you like a momma bear defends her cubs.

And now for the 15 bloggers who inspire me. My nominees are:

  1. Bhavna Hinduja on Being Simple, Sustainable & Mindful
  2. Writing Like Crazy | A writer’s journey
  3. 100 Days of Real Food
  4. The Gracious Pantry
  5. The Pursuit of Hippieness
  6. Edible Landscaping with Rosalind Creasy
  7. Hilary and Ted
  8. Woo-hoo Tofu!
  9. The Soulsby Farm
  10. Growing Up in the Garden
  11. Gardening in the Lines | a diary of gardens.
  12. The Café Sucré Farine
  13. Food in Jars – A Canning Blog
  14. sarah + paper design – Blog
  15. Mystery Writing is Murder

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


July 26, 2012

Mindful Mondays

I don’t know what it is about blogs, but I find them fun to follow.  Some I follow for design ideas, some for recipes, some because friends write them and some simply because I like what they have to say.  Tonight I started to follow another blog because I like what they have to say.

I found this blog, or rather it found me, by way of my own blog.  You see, the other day, after I wrote the post WWGD (What would Grandma do?), I had a new comment from a fellow blogger.  As I sat down tonight to check out her blog, I instantly loved it.  So far I’ve only read a few of her posts, but I’ve enjoyed each of them and found her mindset to be in sync with mine.  She is on a path of simplification, sustainability and mindfulness.  Sound familiar?

Anyway, while poking around on her blog I found one category called Mindful Mondays.  I instantly loved the concept of starting the week with the focus being on mindfulness, but reading her explanation was even better.  So let me stop here and let her speak for herself. If you have a moment, I hope you check out her blog Being Simple, Sustainable & Mindful.  Hopefully you’ll find it as wonderful as I have.


July 22, 2012

WWGD (What would Grandma do?)

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to simplify things in my life.  I know, the whole “simplify” thing has gotten a little overused, okay, a lot overused, but the more I think about it, I think that is for good reason.  I think it’s needed, simplification that is, because life has gotten so busy.

I remember summers as a kid, I got up, went outside and played with my friends… all day long.  It wasn’t until 4th or 5th grade that I became involved in organized sports and at that, I don’t recall it taking up a lot of time.  I did take dance classes from a young age, but even that was only one day a week if I remember right.  And in my spare time?  I played.  You see there weren’t cell phones or iPads or iPods for that matter.  And games we played were in boxes, cardboard boxes, not Xboxes.  My point is that life wasn’t so scheduled and obviously not filled with technology.  Now things are different. (Man, this makes me sound old, doesn’t it?) My son is an active kid.  He’s involved in a sport nearly every season, because that’s what kids do these days.  And while I’m grateful that he’s active, athletic and enjoys sports, the fact that all sports are organized and that each of them is usually two nights a week is a bit much.  And if they overlap, then you’re looking at three or four days a week.  Add to that swimming lessons or music lessons and there really isn’t time left to just be a kid.

And us? We grownups aren’t much better.  We have our own stuff.  And if we have kids there’s the stuff that supports the kids: PTO meetings, volunteering for school, scouts, sports, you name it.   That leaves little time to just “be”.

Obviously, this has bothered me for a while, but I think it became more evident in the past couple of weeks when my son didn’t have anything scheduled in the evenings.  I realized that I’m far less stressed and far less crabby.  I’m not racing from one thing to another or stressed over making an early dinner, grabbing dinner on the road or a late dinner afterward.  The lack of scheduled activities has opened up the possibility for evening walks or just hanging out together.

Combine this sports break with the farm tour yesterday and it’s got me thinking that simple really might be better.  I visited three farms on the Eat Local Farm Tour yesterday and while each one was different, the resounding similarity is that their life is more simple.  Now by simple I don’t mean easy.  These people work hard, very hard.  But it is also obvious that they love what they do.  Maybe I’m crazy, maybe it was just my perception, but everyone I met also seemed… happy.

At one farm, the owner told us they didn’t grow up farmers.  Didn’t inherit a farm.  She and her husband used to live in the metro area and commuted every day.  Then they had kids and they wanted something different, so they bought the farm.  They knew it wouldn’t be easy, but they also knew they needed a change.  Before, they spent little time together.  Now, they work together and their kids work with them.  They work long hours and take few vacations, but they are happier.

Another farm, a small, sustainable, organic farm had a little bit of everything.  Bees, chickens, crops, sheep, goats, pigs… They try to produce everything on site that they can in order to create a fully sustainable farm.  The fruit and veggie scraps go to the chickens and the pigs, the animal waste gets composted and feeds the gardens, and so on.  They have honey and beeswax candles and soaps and… they do it there.  Small, predominantly self-sustaining and again… happy.

No, I’m not ready to move out to a farm and commit wholeheartedly to that lifestyle, but going to these farms did reinforce the direction I’m heading right now.  Life wasn’t always so busy.  People didn’t have all of the “stuff” we have now and I wonder, was it easier?  Were they happier?  Were relationships closer?  I have to think the answer is yes.

My Mom grew up in a small town in Iowa.  One of six children in the family.  They had a large garden, relatives had chickens and their uncle owned a store.  They did pretty much everything themselves.  Gardened, cooked, canned, cleaned, ironed, baked, mended… and while my Grandma did a lot of it, they all took part in what needed to be done.

When I was growing up my Mom often spoke of their schedule growing up.  Monday was wash day, Tuesday was baking, Wednesday… I know I have the details all wrong, but you get the idea.  They knew what needed to be done and when they were going to do it.  Their meals were the same way.

Lately, as I’ve been thinking about how I can simplify things in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Grandma.  How did she do it?  The gardens, the cooking, the canning, the mending.  She had six kids yet she did it all.  They all lived a more simplified life.  This simplified life some of us are trying to recreate.  It’s not new, its generations old.  We may have a new twist on things, but it’s not new. My Grandma did it.

Thankfully I still have my Mom and Aunts to go to with questions.  And while I’ve asked a few questions in the past, I still have a lot more.  Luckily, I can still learn from them, from what they learned from Grandma.  And as days move forward and I continue to try to figure out how to do things “better” I’ll continue to wonder, “What would Grandma do?”.  And from there, hopefully I will find a more simplified way of life.


July 21, 2012

Eat Local Farm Tour Today!

Are you interested in seeing where your food comes from?  Want to meet farmers, talk to them and learn from them?  Now is your chance.

Today is the 2nd Annual Eat Local Farm Tour.  This is a family friendly, free, self-guided tour. Ten farms are taking part in the tour, each offering self-guided and formal tours of the animals and gardens.  Most farms are offering activities for kids too, at some they are even able to gather eggs.

So download the tour guidebook, then pack a cooler (some farms will be selling goodies), gas up the car (or put on your bike shorts) and hit the road.  Oh, and bring a cup, some farms will offer refreshments but they ask that you bring your own refillable cup.  But please leave Bowser at home.

Have fun!