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Archive for the ‘Worth Reading’ Category

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Aug
31
2010

Tree-hugging Tuesday ‘s Top Seven Green Websites

Welcome Tuesday!  I thought I would share 7 of my favorite green websites.  Hopefully I will introduce you do some you haven’t found on your own.

With the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf coast this past Sunday, there was quite a bit of news coverage of how the people of New Orleans are rebuilding their lives as well as their homes.  So I will start with my favorite local green websites and then on to my other faves.

#1  Making it Right NOLA, the brainchild of Brad Pitt who found it simply unacceptable that once vibrant intercity communities and neighborhoods were still silent two years after the storm.  No rebuilding had begun and the area looked much as it had just after the waters receded.  The most fascinating thing to me is that some of the homes owe no energy bills.  They actually generate more energy than they use.  AMAZING.

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#2 New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Villiage While I am on the subjects of post Katrina, The Gulf Coast and specifically New Orleans, I found the Musicians’ Village is a project affiliated with Habitat for Humanity. This project goes beyond rebuilding homes and addresses the need to preserve a culture unique to New Orleans’ music community.

#3 The Nature Conservancy works to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

#4 Saving Farmland website of The American Farmland Trust  ~ At farmers’ markets, restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias and communities across America, people are searching for healthy food that’s grown on nearby farms. Meeting this demand will take more farms, more farmers and more farmland growing local food.

#5 Treehugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, Treehugger strives to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.

#6 The Daily Green The consumer’s guide to the green revolution.  Tips, green guides, green homes, green cuisine, living green.  So much info in one place!

#7 Green Guide for Everyday Living  Website and Blog Trying to understand what climate change, fuel efficiency, green chemistry, and sustainability have to do with you? Green Guide’s blog helps you wade through the greenwashing and complicated science. GG writers bring you some of the most notable stories and trends, and provide tips on how you can meaningfully and easily green your own life.

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~ REUSE ~ REDUCE ~ RECYCLE ~

My NEWEST green pledge – no new clothes for 1 year.  If I happen to change sizes, and I am trying to do just that, I will dig, borrow, alter, whatever it takes.  I am going to start September 2010 off right.  Not only am I not buying anything new, I am cleaning out my closet.  Clothes and shoes.  This may not seem like much but I need to recycle, reduce and reuse!

Aug
26
2010

Thoughtful Thursday

The following is solely my opinion on things.  At times what I have written seemed rambling and disjointed.  I hope I brought it together enough to make it worth your time.  Next Thursday will be easier to write.  I found myself concentrating awfully hard gathering my thoughts on the whole purpose of writing about such a broad subject.

Just committing to writing posts for Thoughtful Thursday has prompted me to be thoughtful.  Contemplating all the definitions of thoughtful, made me think and think hard.

1. showing consideration for others; considerate.

2. characterized by or manifesting careful thought: a thoughtful essay.

3. occupied with or given to thought; contemplative; meditative; reflective: in a thoughtful mood.

4. careful, heedful, or mindful: to be thoughtful of one’s safety.

I suppose being called thoughtful would be a very high form of praise indeed.  And I reckon thoughtfulness is a virtue to strive for.  It covers so many human characteristics that make one also kind and giving.  One who is dependable and honest and not prone to impulsiveness and impertinence.

One of my very favorite quotes is:

What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? ~ George Eliot

If you can find it in yourself to consider this thought every day of your life, with every task, everything that is asked of you or required of you, it will certainly make some bitter pills easier to swallow.

Being thoughtful, to me, means putting the needs of another above your own.  It means considering the consequences of what you choose to do or not do in any given circumstance.  It recalls that age old Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.  And in my opinion, there is certainly not enough of that going around these days.

As I am sure most everyone has, I have done things for the good of someone else when it seemed the cost to me, personally, was beyond exorbitant.  And at the time, while I most certainly did what was required, I didn’t necessarily do it with a gladness.  At times I have felt bitter, used, put upon, taken advantage of.  Looking back, however, the act of going ahead with the right thing, the thoughtful thing, paid me back in ways I couldn’t see going in.  Such is life.  And at the end of mine, I want to know I lived my beliefs.

Sometimes one is discouraged from patting oneself on the back.  I am not so sure that is ever a bad thing.  Pride is a slippery slope, but unless you reflect on a good deed done, bask in the happiness or helpfulness you have brought about, how do you ever step up the next time you are needed in such a personal way?  Sometimes the praise or thanks is slow in coming or not forthcoming at all.  We can live with that.  Surely.  You were not thoughtful so someone else would compliment you and stroke your ego, telling you how good a person you are.  You did it so when you put your head on your pillow at night, you can sleep with a clear conscience knowing when called upon, you responded and in a way that made someone’s life less difficult.  Sometimes that peaceful rest and clear head is more than any “thank you” could ever be.

Often I used to say to my youngest brother “When you wake up each day you have choices.  You have to ask yourself, will I do the right things today or the easy things?”  More often than not, those things are not the same things.  I think he thought so many times I was being preachy and condescending.  That was not my intention at all.  I wanted him to be happy.  To have purpose.  I believe until you learn to enjoy doing for others even at great cost to yourself, you can never truly be happy.  As the quote says “what are we here for?”  What indeed?  If we do not interact with other human beings and more than just coexist, are we not just some terrible experiment gone wrong?  No matter what religion you call yourself a part of, if any, no matter what you believe about how and why humans exist, our humanity depends on our thoughtfulness.  Even if you don’t believe in anything, the fact of the matter is, how happy you are rarely depends on what others do for you or even what you do for yourself.  My contentment, happiness, peace, fulfillment, serenity wholly depends on my interaction with other people and how well I nurture my relationships.  Relationships, good ones, strong ones, aren’t happenstance.  They may start out serendipitously but they must be tended, cultivated, patched and treated as something of great value.  Protected even.  I guess what I am trying to say is a good, healthy relationship requires a lot of thought.

I have known both extraordinarily selfish people and extraordinarily thoughtful people.  Intentionally or not, they touched my life and helped me decide what kind of person I want to be.  That decision is one that evolves constantly.  As well it should. We will never handle every situation the way we should.  We will mess up.  We will hurt feelings.  We might even let our mean streak take over from time to time.   But it isn’t what happens to us, but how we handle what happens to us.  And we must always be mindful that how we react to these happenings almost never affects just us.  We should right wrongs whenever possible.  And remember forgiveness is for us not for the person we are forgiving.  And on the other hand, if you do your best to right a wrong and the offended person chooses not to forgive, then that is their burden to bear.  However, if we are thoughtful people, hopefully those times will be few and far between.

Circumstances change, people come in and go out of our lives, hardships and heartaches happen to all of us and hopefully we will all know, more than once in our lives, happiness and true bliss.  But if nothing else may we all be content.

Aug
25
2010

Wednesday’s Woman: Ree – The Pioneer Woman

Welcome to the very first Wednesday’s Woman.  I think as I start contemplating getting into what I would like to call a “cottage business” once again, and as I spend precious time writing my thoughts down for others to read,  I am constantly amazed at the success some women bloggers have enjoyed.  The first one that came to my mind was The Pioneer Woman blog.  A WILD success story.  I have wondered if Ree Drummond’s success is kismet, or if she had a plan and executed it beyond even her wildest imagination.

There is likely NO need for introductions.  If you don’t know The Pioneer Woman then you must live under a rock.  Or you just got your first computer and I am the first website you stopped by when you logged on.  If that is the case, how you found me would be an interesting story!  Ree The Pioneer Woman has almost done it all.  She’s a happy wife, homeschooling mother, daughter, sister, blogger, author and one heck of a photographer.  Man, that sounds like a lot of people I know.  Even me! Well except for the photography part.

Ree really seems to have  a handle on everything.  Her blog is beautiful and so very addictive.  SO much to enjoy from her “Love Story” of how she met Marlboro Man (her hubs) to her Tasty Kitchen pages where if you don’t find something that makes you want to run into the kitchen, you are not paying attention! You will laugh. You will cry.  You will feel like you have a new friend.  Maybe not a real life friend but a friend who Forbes  ranked No. 22 on their 2010 Web Celeb 25–one of only three women. The Pioneer Woman was named Weblog of the Year at the 2009 Bloggie Awards and keeps growing and growing to nearly 22 million page views monthly.  Kind of amazing.  But if I read her right, I would imagine it means just as much to her that there are fan sites devoted to her. Of course with anyone famous, there are naysayers.  Yes, she’s successful.  That’s a good thing right? I think so.

I didn’t speak to Ree directly before making this post.  Likely she will never see it.  I can’t imagine that she has time to read everything written about her.  But I am pretty sure I haven’t said anything she would disapprove of.  And because I didn’t speak to her, I didn’t get permission to use a picture so I used a photo of the cover of her cookbook.  Really its so much more than a cookbook.  It’s beautiful.  Trust me.

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I mean really, look at that cover.  Amazing.  And evidently I am not the only one impressed since this book was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.  Not too shabby. If you click on the cover you can zip over and buy a copy.

So get yourselves over there and get you a big helping of what The Pioneer Woman is dishing up today.  But don’t blame me when you spend hours and hours trying to peek into every corner of her blog.  I don’t know that it can be done! But in your spare time then you can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.  Frankly, The Pioneer Woman is everywhere!  And from what I hear, soon to be in a movie theater near you! Not kidding.

So there you have it.  The Pioneer Woman in a nutshell.  And as far as I can see she is one lucky duck.  A lucky duck I think has worked very hard for her success.

Tomorrow is Thoughtful Thursday. Stop by if you have a minute.

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