You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

43

This is a site to list “43 Things” you want to do. I created an account tonight and so far have one thing to do, “Live in a houseboat in Amsterdam“.

I love this list already.

-Cara

Advertisements

Crate Cross – A humanitarian crisis has erupted and people urgently need supplies. As an aid worker, it is your job to deliver the food and other material to the people as fast as possible. Good Luck!

This game is addictive.

-Cara

sbr

This is an easy, but always good to have recipe.

What You Need

1 cup organic sweet brown rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter

sea salt to taste

What You Do

Put all the ingredients into a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes. Do not remove lid while cooking. Remove from heat and allow to stay covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.

And it’s good for you!

-Cara

Cat and Dog

This is a great idea. I think I first saw stapleless staplers at the Whitney Museum. It’s fun and important to not waste staples and who doesn’t love to staple things?

Staple

Good times.

-Cara

reversegraffitiproject.com

What a really great concept of something large we do on a small scale while thinking, siting in a dirty diner, shower, or car…or is that just me again?

:)

-Cara

The Bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act gets first Congressional hearing in 12 years on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held, for the first time ever, a hearing on the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. Championed by Representative DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Snowe (R-ME) and Senator Landrieu (D-LA), this bill would eliminate the practice of “drive-through” mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital following their physically and emotionally difficult breast cancer surgeries before they and their doctors may feel they are ready to go home. For the nearly 200,000 women who will face breast cancer this year, they feel it is way past due.

Sign the petition today and urge Congress to continue to take steps to pass this bill.

Here is a video by hersfund.org about breast cancer that’s inspiring.

Be heard.

-Cara

I often wondered who inspired the Mia Farrows, Angelina Jolies, Madonnas and middle-class, white Americans to adopt internationally. After cruising the National Women’s Hall of Fame website, I found her. Bertha Holt was her name.

Bertha Holt

Bertha Holt and her husband Harry, already the parents of six children, adopted eight Korean children in 1955, after seeing a documentary film about the deplorable conditions of orphaned Amerasian children in Korea. This was a time when adoption in the United States was often a secretive process, and children were matched to parents by their physical appearance to conceal the fact of their adoption. The Holts openly adopting children from another country and race, lifted the shameful stigma of adoption and made it about the love and desire to help those too small to help themselves.

Here is a video of how Holt International was started.

People are interesting.

-Cara

Decline Plastic Bags When Possible

Here is something simple and fun to do. It is an action list that gives you ideas of good, eco, green, funny, energy conservation, recycling, and just being nice ideas. I like it because it tracks the ideas the give you as actions and you can invite Friends. I love stats.

I think I am going to put their tracker on this blog just to see how it looks. [Update – It doesn’t work with WordPress…but I still like it!]

Enjoy.

-Cara

Today’s game is World Without Oil. I am beyond excited to come up with a plan of what to do in the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis. I don’t know what medium I will use yet, but I love to think and come up with solutions, especially in a virtual world, so bring it.

According to the WWO site, “World Without Oil concluded on June 1, 2007. [They are] no longer publishing links to in-game stories on the WWO site (unless they’re really good). But everyone is welcome to sign up as a Netizen Hero and to participate in “WWO Lives,” [their] ongoing blog about all matters WWO.”

The cool thing is they say they will link to good in-game stories from the WWO Lives blog. That means only the superstar stories will make it on the site, which is a still a competition, and who doesn’t like a little healthy competition.

I’m in.

-Cara

French Toast

Organic pain perdu is a simple to make, tasty Saturday morning treat. It is great for our household as we always seem to have stale baguettes laying around waiting to be turned into a fantastical brunch. :)

What You Need

2 organic eggs, well beaten

1 cup organic milk

1 tablespoon organic sugar

pinch of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla

1/2 teaspoon organic cinnamon with 2 teaspoons organic sugar

2 tablespoons organic butter

2 tablespoons organic olive oil

a stale organic baguette or 6 slices organic white bread (toasted)

What To Do

In a bowl, combine milk, beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. For the stale baguette soak for a few minutes. For the toasted white bread, soak for a second just before frying. Melt butter in a heavy skillet, add oil, and fry bread, as many slices fits at one time, on each side till brown. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over toast while cooking. I do both sides of the bread, but you can do one side, or even wait till they are done cooking and sprinkle the bread on the plate to be served.

Soooo good.

-Cara

According to the company, Intelligent Forms Design, Inc. (I.F.), who manufactures three laptop pillow designs, “Each laptop pillow is constructed using sustainable materials and methods.“, which is why it made it into Friday’s shopping entry.

My favorite visually is the Terrapin Pillow. The Terrapin Pillow’s stats, according to I.F. are as follows,” [The pillow is] supported by the recyclable polyethylene panel – a felt and foam sandwich – the Terrapin Pillow provides comfort while maintaining a flat and firm work surface for stable computing while reclining. Aluminized felt deflects heat while the quilted work surface offers improved cooling and air ventilation for the computer.

This is an entry that will be helpful to Marine, who owns a laptop that within 5 minutes is hot enough to cook an egg on. She has tried many things, and nothing has worked. This laptop pillow could be the answer to all her problems.

As far as I can see, the pillow is not for sale yet, but you can give your name and email to be contacted when available for purchase in Canada! :| I don’t know if I can wait that long. I might make one for Marine.

I will keep you updated.

-Cara

Cara Logo

OK, so you know I could not resist writing about an organization with such a fantastical name as, The Cara Program. Not only is their name awesome, but so is their mission, “to assist the homeless and at-risk populations in their efforts to achieve real and lasting success by providing comprehensive training, permanent job placement and critical support services.”

The Cara Program was founded in Chicago, by Tom Owens in 1991. They provide services and tools to motivated people committed to getting out of a rut and achieving success. The program and runs for twelve weeks and includes life skills classes, job training and specialized skills training. They focus on topics such as self-esteem building, ethics, conflict management, diversity training and daily motivations.

For at least one year, client support staff works closely with participants on issues such as job retention, career advancement and goal setting. Additionally, they provide financial literacy training, a matched savings program, housing referrals and rental assistance, homeowner education and support and dental assistance to its employed participants.

All in all, they teach people how to grow and attain the necessary skills to go out there and kick some ass. Just like another Cara I know! That’s right, I said it!!!

:)

-Cara

I’m in the worst mood right now. I am feeling backed against a wall, trapped in a situation I don’t want to be in…hopeless… I really need things to change for the better in my life, and they don’t seem to be doing much but getting worse. I am losing faith, which is rare for me. I mean when I get to this point it pushes me to be better and I always evolve because I hate this feeling, but I feel like being a baby right now. I want what I want, and what I want is things to get better already.

So today’s cause is me and anyone else out there feeling this way. If you have any positive things to say, cool stories about strong people, inspiring people, quotes, whatever. Send a comment, that way if anyone else feels down or hopeless, maybe they might stumble upon this blog….you never know. :)

I’m out.

-Cara

I don’t know. I have no one in mind to write about today. I have done some research, but am still drained from writing and learning so much about Anne Sullivan last week that I think I am scared to start another heroine entry. lol.

OK, I could not find one woman that motivated me to write, but I did find a group of awesome women to talk about, SWOOP (Strong Women Organizing Outrageous Projects).

SWOOP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which began in September 1996 in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran in Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to their web site,

“Several friends emerged from their debris-strewn houses and yards and banded together to help each other clean up the mess. This group of women quickly discovered that, though the work was tough, they were totally invigorated by the power that they all felt from totally cleaning up a place that, when they arrived, had looked devastated.

After a couple of very full weekends of hurricane work, they decided that they enjoyed working together so much that they started “swooping in” to do outrageous one-day clean-up projects about once a month, and formally named themselves “SWOOP.” Quickly becoming specialists in awesome hurricane clean-ups, their numbers grew as friends told friends, who told friends. From the original 16 women, SWOOP membership has grown to over 500 women from the Greater Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) and beyond. Since 1996, SWOOPers have branched out from hurricane clean-ups to major yard clean-ups, fence-building, painting, refurbishing, construction, deconstruction, and renovation for those individuals or agencies that SWOOP serves. ”

These ladies are super fresh. They have done great things.

Here are two projects they have worked on,

“The Heads Up! Therapeutic Riding Program in Pittsboro, North Carolina, provides therapy to children and adults with special needs, using horses as dynamic interactive tools, to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in people with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. The program had been given permission to ride on two adjoining tracts of land, but had no way to clear the trails that would make this possible. In February 2005, over 90 SWOOPers arrived at Heads Up! to clear the trails, and while there, also built a fence, made a playground, and refurbished the barn. This one-day project now allows Heads Up! riders and horses to get out of the riding ring and into terrain that provides greater stimulation, an important goal of the Heads Up! program.

Facing bankruptcy, Mary (not her real name) lacked the resources for necessary upkeep and repairs on her home. In April 2005, despite cold and rainy weather, nearly 70 SWOOPers descended on Mary’s home to make extensive carpentry repairs, completely repaint the interior of her six-room home, clean up the yard, haul off junk, and remove yard waste. Mary was not in a position to accomplish any of these tasks, and no other organization would or could devote the sheer numbers of workers and time necessary to do the job. SWOOP paid over $600 for all of the necessary construction materials.”

My mom and dad just moved to North Carolina. When I go see her next week I am going to tell her about it. She is about an hour from Raleigh I think…you never know!

Strong women rock!

-Cara

Michel de Broin is the artist who came up with this idea. They went to court to protest the ticket and it was thrown out in the end.

Here is what he says about the project on his site.

In this project, all superfluous devices were removed from an 86’ Buick Regal – the engine, suspension, transmission and electrical system – thereby reducing the weight of the vehicle whilst preserving its appearance.  It was then equipped with 4 independent pedal and gear mechanisms that make it possible for passengers to form the self-propulsion group. A cutting edge transmission technology was developed to transmit the power supplied by the passengers to the drive wheels and to vary the reduction ratios between cyclists and wheels, so as to ensure their progressive coupling for start-ups. With a top speed of around 15 km/h, the vehicle’s resistance to the culture of performance is raised to an unprecedented level.

I don’t know….I say buy a bike!

-Cara

let\'s play

I love game day!

It goes like this, in Climate Challenge you are the president of the European Nations. You handle the issue of global warming from 2000 to 2100. It is like the Sims game but for the good of the world.

I like it so far, but will like it more when I win!

-Cara

mojito

It’s summer, which means it’s Mojitos on the beach time. This recipe is the bomb!

What You Need

2 teaspoons of organic powdered sugar
2 ounces of organic lime juice
4 organic mint leaves
1 sprig of organic mint
2 ounces of organic white Rum
2 ounces of club soda [This is why the recipe is almost organic. I found that there is no such thing as organic club soda. If you can prove me wrong, do it!]

What You Need To Do

Place the mint leaves into a long “collins” glass, if you have one, if not a tumbler works just as well.

tumbler

Next pour the the juice from the limes over it, add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (you can also use the back of a spoon if one isn’t available). Add ice (preferably crushed), then add the rum and stir. Top it off with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Live it.

-Cara

g a

In previous Friday shopping entries I would list three items you could buy, but I have decided I would rather focus on just one product per shopping entry. The reason is it’s easier to focus and provide more information one one product, in comparison to three. OK, now that we have discussed the changes, lets move on.

Here is a really cool idea from Desert Sweet Organic.

In a pristine high desert farm in Arizona, 141,000 certified organic apple trees (Choose from Gala, Red, Golden, Granny Smith, or Fuji apple tree) are up for sale.

You can send 10-lb gifts boxes that contain certified organic apples from your very own apple tree to whoever, for $11.50 plus shipping, plus the one time cost of the tree and yearly horticulture. Prices of the trees range between $200-$250 depending on the tree and yearly horticulture is $45 a year.

Simply send them your gift list and they’ll do all the work for you. They take care of your tree and send the apples to your gift recipients every year it produces fruit, for as long as it lives. These trees have approximately 20 more years of fruit producing life.

If anyone cares I love Gala apples. ;)

-Cara

GA

I noticed a new referrer link on my blog tonight (scroogle.org/cgi-bin/nbbw.cgi) and I thought, why does that sound so familiar, so I hit up scroogle.org. And who did I discover, but my old friends from Google Watch (I have written about these guys in other blogs and have been a supporter for a long time.)

Google is creepy and possibly evil; might I recommend you to stay off their chat and search engine?

Scroogle.org states and I agree, “Not only does Google scrape much of the web, but they keep records of who searches for what. If information about your searching is accessible by cookie ID or by your IP address, it is subject to subpoena. This is a violation of your privacy. Someday Google’s data retention practices will be regulated, because Google is too arrogant to do the right thing voluntarily. In the meantime, you should not be leaving your fingerprints in Google’s databases.”

Here is a link to how Scroogle’s SSL option protects your privacy.

So you can use Scroogle.org to search the internet and here is a cool option for a chat service that will not keep your chats indefinitely, that I use. They are Zoho Chat. They have a bunch of other features you can check out at their site. I use their Chat and their Project’s application, which is also cool and can be found at Zoho.com. I found this site after I refused to get on Google to chat, so thanks to Zoho everyone can chat Google free!

Google is not cool.

-Cara

Many of you have already joined in Rainforest Action Network’s new effort to target companies that use palm oil which destroys rainforest destruction in food, cosmetics and detergents.

Now we’re kicking this into high gear and I need you join in.

http://www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org/

On July 1, Brihannala Morgan, a Rainforest Agribusiness Campaigner, will start sending letters warning companies that using palm oil in their products just will not be tolerated.

Get your friends to join your “Palm Oil Inspection Team” and visit your supermarket. Check the candy, snack food and soap/detergents aisles and mark down the 12 or 13-digit UPC number of products that contain any of the following:

* palm oil
* palm kernel oil
* palm fruit oil
* palmitate

Download the form outlining what information you need to collect

Enter your UPC codes and score points for every palm oil product or alternative that you’re the first to register.

Fill out the online sleuthing form!

Keep adding more products as you find them. Those who collect the most products will be listed on the site.

The Rainforest Action Network’s next step will be to send letters to all the companies, both those that use palm oil and those that don’t, asking them to join them in putting pressure on ADM, Bunge, and Cargill to
supply a truly sustainable source of the oil.

July 1 is their deadline to identify companies that use palm oil and start the next phase of the campaign. Go to http://www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org/ and enter your products now.

Once RAN put these companies on notice, they’ll be following up with a targeted, hard-hitting campaign in the fall. Your help is the first step in making sure that they warn as many companies as possible that they are not going to stand for the destruction of rainforests and communities in our food and cosmetics, and to put pressure on ADM, Bunge, and Cargill to make real changes and create real, sustainable alternatives.

Visit http://www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org/ by July 1!

Get everyone into the act. The more sleuths they have, the sooner they’ll find all the palm oil products hiding in our supermarkets.

Tell your friends about the problem with palm oil

Or you could film your sleuthing like RAN did and upload your video to YouTube as a video response to their channel.

Keep it real!

-Cara


anne sullivan and helen keller

[Helen and Anne]

When I was younger I found the story of Helen Keller interesting, but she never really grab my attention. Anne Sullivan, on the other hand, did. There has always been something about her I was drawn too. Maybe the hardships she suffered and the fact that she didn’t give into it. She pushed and achieved more than those who suffered little and those who suffered greatly.

Anne’s personal story remains relatively unknown. Although some of her letters still exist, it is primarily through the the words of others, that we know of her life.

Anne grew up poorer than poor in Massachusetts. She was the eldest of five children, and one of the only two of whom reached adulthood. When Anne was 7 years old she developed trachoma, a bacterial infection in her eyes. This infection went untreated. She had almost no usable sight and after numerous operations on her eyes, at the age of 15, success, her vision was restored.

Her father, Thomas Sullivan, was an alcoholic and her mother, Alice Chloesy Sullivan, died from tuberculosis when Anne was 9 years old. At first, Anne’s siblings, Mary and Jimmie, were sent to live with their uncle, and Anne remained with her father. A few months later, Jimmie and Anne were sent to the Tewksbury Almshouse (February 22, 1876), an institution that housed the poor and needy. Anne was 10 years old at the time and any semblance of a childhood she might have had ended upon entering Tewsbury. Mary (whom she never saw again after being sent to Tewksbury), on the other hand, was sent to live with an aunt. Supposedly, she didn’t end up in the institution because she was easier to handle than Anne and Jimmie. Anne had strong opinions, and expressed them passionately and poor Jimmie suffered from a tubercular hip, both were too high maintenance for the aunt I suppose.

When Anne and Jimmie arrived at Tewksbury, Anne wanted them to remain together and made it known. As a result, both siblings were sent to the women’s ward, where inmates were physically and/or mentally ill. Jimmie’s condition resulting from a tubercular hip weakened him and he died a few months later. Anne was all alone in this horrible place and in life. Imprisoned in an institution where complaints were made to the state in regards to cruelty, sexually perverted practices, and even cannibalism.

Anne, during an investigation of Tewksbury by the head of the Perkins School for the Blind, pleaded with him to allow her to go to Perkins. He agreed, and Anne excelled in this new environment. It was because she did so well that a teacher at Perkins recommended she become a governess to the unruly deaf and blind six year old Helen Keller. Helen’s parents, Kate and Arthur Keller, had contacted the famous inventor and educator of the deaf, Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C. for help. He, in turn, had put them in touch with the Perkins School for the Blind, and so began the relationship between Anne and Helen, that lasted throughout Anne’s life.

Alexander Graham Bell once said about Anne’s teaching skills, “You were at least not hampered by preconceived notions of how to proceed with your little pupil and I think that an advantage. You did not take to your task standardized ideas, and your own individuality was so ingrained that you did not try to repress Helen’s. Being a minority of one is hard but stimulating. You must not lay so much stress on what you were not taught by others. What we learn from others is of less value than what we teach ourselves.”

In 1904, Anne and Helen bought a farm and seven acres of land in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In Helen’s 1955 biography, “Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy“, she wrote that these were probably some of the happiest days of their lives.

In 1905, she married John Albert Macy, a young Harvard teacher (11 years her junior) and literary critic at the magazine “A Youth’s Companion”. Not long after they married, she burned her private journals for fear of what her husband might think of her. I am curious what such a strong woman would have to hide for her husband… Their marriage lasted only a few years and seemed to be more of a business arrangement (he was Helen’s manager and editor) to aide in getting Helen published, than a marriage. In the end, it is thought that jealously of Anne and Helen’s relationship was the reason Macy eventually left. For years after they separated (they never officially divorced) Macy would contact Anne for money, until eventually he faded out of the picture.

This picture shows Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan Macy, and Polly Thomson, with dogs Darky and Helga, circa 1931.

[Helen, Anne, and Polly]

In the fall of 1916, Anne stopped working for a period of time as a result of pleurisy and incorrectly diagnosed tuberculosis. On November 20, she and Polly Thomson (Polly started working for Anne in 1914 as her secretary) traveled to Lake Placid, New York without Helen in order for Anne to recover. While they were there Anne spotted an advertisement about traveling to Puerto Rico and immediately bought two boat tickets for her and Polly. Anne’s five months in the islands was one of the happiest times of her life.

Here is a letter from Puerto Rico she wrote to Helen in 1917,

Dear Helen:

I’m glad I didn’t inherit the New England conscience. If I did, I should be worrying about the state of sin I am now enjoying in Porto Rico. One can’t help being happy here, Helen—happy and idle and aimless and pagan—all the sins we are warned against. I go to bed every night soaked with sunshine and orange blossoms, and fall asleep to the soporific sound of oxen munching banana leaves.

We sit on the porch every evening and watch the sunset melt from one vivid color to another—rose asphodel (Do you know what color that is? I thought it was blue, but I have learned that it is golden yellow, the color of Scotch broom) to violet, then deep purple. Polly and I hold our breath as the stars come out in the sky—they hang low in the heavens like lamps of many colors—and myriads of fire-flies come out on the grass and twinkle in the dark trees! Harry Lake says that a beautiful Porto Rican girl went to a dance in a gown ablaze with fire-flies which she had imprisoned in black net.

Did you know that in tropical skies the stars appear much larger and nearer to the earth than farther north? I didn’t know it myself. Neither Polly nor I have ever seen such stars! It is no exaggeration to say they are lamps—ruby, emerald, amethyst, sapphire! It seems to Polly and me, if we could climb to the bamboo roof of our new garage, we could touch them. We lie on our cots and gaze up at them—the shack has no windows, only shutters and our view is unobstructed—we say over and over the names of stars we know, but that doesn’t help us to identify these. Is that long, swinging curve the Pleiades? We are ashamed to be so ignorant. If we could get hold of a book on astronomy, how we should study it here!

Do you remember the big globe in the rotunda at “Perkins?” Well, the moon looks as large as that sometimes, and often it is girdled with pearls as large as oranges, like the metal circle the globe hangs in. And several times we have seen it lighted as by lightning.

The place has cast a spell over me. Something that has slept in me is awake and watchful. Disembarking at San Juan was like stepping upon my native heath after a long, distressful absence. I will tell you more of these strange experiences anon.

Love to all,

Affectionately,

Teacher.

I really like that letter.

Anne, Polly, and Helen remained together, working and living until Anne’s death on October 20, 1936. Polly remained taking care of Helen after Anne’s death.

Anne some time before her death dictated the following excerpted message to Polly,

“I wanted to be loved, I was lonesome. Then Helen came into my life, I wanted her to love me and I loved her. Then later Polly came and I loved Polly and we were always so happy together, my Polly, my Helen. Dear children may we all meet to-gether [sic] in harmony.”

In Nella Braddy Henney’s book, “Anne Sullivan Macy“, Anne is quoted as saying, “How often I have been asked: “If you had your life to live over, would you follow the same path?” Would I be a teacher? If I had my life to live over I probably should have as little choice of a career as I had this time. We do not, I think, choose our destiny. It chooses us.”

Anne used her amazing abilities to bring the world to Helen and to bring Helen back into the world. In doing so it also opened up a world for Anne far from the place she began this life. It is true, we do not choose our destiny it chooses us, but I also think it is a person of strength who chooses to follow their destiny, instead of taking the simpler route.

That ended up being a few days of research and writing in between life, but more than worth it.

-Cara

Greenwashing Index

I discovered Greenwashingindex.com in an email I received today. What people seem to do is upload “green” ads, rate them, and then others comment. It is not too hostile an environment so far, and a cool concept, if done right. The rating system is from 1 to 6, 1 being a “Good Ad”, 3 being “Pushing It” and 6 being “Total Greenwashing”.

They say they are promoted by EnviroMedia Social Marketing, who say they are, ““…not tree huggers, but we can put you in touch with some.” Here is a link to learn more about them. Not too sure what to say after watching a painful MSNBC segment with EnviroMedia’s Valerie Davis, Ann Curry, Janice Liberman and some angry, anti-everything woman. You can find said video on their homepage if you so choose to watch the Honda Accord or Cascade ad (you must watch the advertisement before this segment begins), or whoever the non-green NBC advertiser of the day is.

Have fun.

-Cara

Today’s eco game is, The Adventures of KabMan. This game is an easy, but fun one. You need to get 40 recyclable items while avoiding the trash using your arrow keys. There’s even a prize at the end if you are successful!

k mAN

This game was created by Keep America Beautiful. Keep America Beautiful, Inc. is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of nearly 1,000 affiliate and participating organizations, KAB forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment.

Good times.

-Cara

This gravy is sooo good. You can use it on anything, from fake chicken (frickin as I like to call it), to tofurkey,  to any type of sandwich and beyond.

What You Need

1/2 cup organic olive oil

1/3 cup chopped organic white onion

5 cloves of organic garlic, minced

1/2 organic all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons organic nutritional yeast

4 tablespoons organic tamari or braggs liquid aminos

2 cups organic vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon organic dried sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

What You Need To Do

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast and tamari to form a smooth paste.

3. Gradually whisk in the broth.

4. Season with sage, salt and pepper.

5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.

Live it!

-Cara

Yesterday’s blog entry was all about air conditioners. In it I wrote ten tips to fight the heat, number 9 was, “Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs the heat, fast and easy.” This is what will be covered in today’s shopping entry.

This is the women’s Solar Roller Hat. According to Altrec, its SolarShield fabric provides a protection rating of UPF 30+ for bright days on the trail. A broad foam-stiffened brim creates shade, while a Coolmax® mesh headband manages moisture. An external drawcord adjustment and a removable chin cord keep the Solar Roller secure through sunset’s gusts.

I also think it looks cute. :)

Dumb Donald

The Beanie Hat is 100% cotton with two eyeholes in the brim to pull off your Dumb Donald (He was the kid who wore a pink stocking cap with eye holes on Fat Albert, and was prone to poor judgment.) look. The hat is available at youmustcreate.com in both camel and a darker mushroom color for £35…more in American money…I loved Fat Albert growing up.

Fan Head

The Safari Solar Hat’s solar and battery-powered fan keeps you chilled. Cool hat for a hot day, on a safari, picnic, watching a game played outside, at the beach, whatever it may be.

A weatherproof hat of natural linen straw uses a built-in solar cell or 2 “AA” batteries to power a small fan that directs a constant cooling breeze to your forehead. It then works in or out of the sun. May I suggest using rechargeable batteries.

Keep it real.

-Cara

I don’t know where you are from, but it is getting super hot in NYC. Along with the heat of summer comes the seasonal struggle of, do I turn on the air conditioner or don’t I? With me it is not just my decision, but also the decision of my girlfriend Marine, who is what you would call a “delicate flower” when it comes to heat. What I mean by delicate flower is, if she senses heat might be anywhere in the vicinity, it is time to shut all the windows, turn on all the a.c.’s and fans and to cease all movement. Without the air conditioner things get dangerous around here.

What I thought I would do after already experiencing round one of our seasonal fight is write an entry on why a.c. is not cool and some helpful tips besides using a.c. to cool down. Fell free to comment with any additional tips you know.

First it is important to learn how an air conditioner works.

AC

Air conditioning is not about adding cool air to the room, but more about drawing the heat out. The end result is a space without that menacing and sweltering air. Air conditioning is in effect just the result of evaporation. A swab of alcohol rubbed on your skin makes you feel cooler as the liquid evaporates. In reality the alcohol does not lower your body temperature, but rather draws heat away from the air as it turns to a gas.

Air conditioning units contain refrigerant, a chemical which has the unique ability to change from a gas to a liquid in a short amount of time. Air conditioning units form a closed system which consist of a compressor, a condenser, and an expansion valve. Motorized fans within the unit aide in circulating conditioned air, while the thin metal fins on the back of your air conditioner allow heat to dissipate quickly.

Air conditioning starts with the refrigerant entering the compressor. The state of the refrigerant is a cool gas at this stage. Next, the gas enters the compressor’s inner chamber, the compressor squeezes the refrigerant and the gas becomes a very hot liquid under high pressure. This hot liquid goes through a series of condensing coils placed outside of the room being cooled. The heat dissipates into the outside air. Once the refrigerant reaches the end of these coils, it is significantly cooler and in liquid form.

The liquid in a high pressure state, at this juncture the liquid refrigerant is forced through the expansion valve. This valve has an extremely small opening, which forces the liquid refrigerant out of the other end of the expansion valve as a very fine mist. Because refrigerant evaporates at a much lower temperature than water, it begins to evaporate while traveling through another set of coils, which are located in the room being cooled. It is this evaporation action that draws heat out of the air, which includes the air in the room being processed. The air conditioning unit’s fan then blows across the metal fins over these coils, blowing cool air into the room and eliminating heat. Lastly, the liquid refrigerant becomes a cold gas again and re-enters the compressor, where the entire process begins again.

Essentially, air conditioning takes indoor heat and pushes it outdoors. To do this, it uses energy, which increases production of greenhouse gases (a little side note on global warming, check out this article on DeSmog Blog) which warm the atmosphere. From a cooling standpoint, the first transaction is illogical, and the second just proves this. We are cooking the earth to refrigerate the diminishing part that’s still habitable. That’s crazy and that’s why a.c. is not cool

Here are ten tips to fight the heat.

  1. Cover all your windows with curtains and during the day. Then at night open your windows and use fans or cross-ventilation to circulate cooler air.
  2. Drink plenty of cold, non-carbonated liquids like water or electrolyte-enriched liquids to replace your fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty or are like me have a hard time drinking water, because you dislike it. No alcohol, coffee or tea!!! :( I curse you heat!
  3. Light meals, like salads, fruit, cold soup, cheese and bread! Avoid hot, heavy meals and don’t use the oven.
  4. Lay a cool, moistened towel over your forehead or back of the neck and replace often.
  5. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, natural, breathable, organic when possible, light-colored clothing.
  6. Go hang out in your pool, ocean, lake, rock quarry or for people like me the local public pool!
  7. If you go out in this heat stay in the shade.
  8. Stay in air-conditioned areas such as libraries, bookstores, movie theaters, coffee shops (you can drink water there), pottery classes, theater, lectures, and community centers, etc. Even a few hours can cool your body’s temperature.
  9. Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs the heat, fast and easy.
  10. Limit all that physical activity to morning and evening hours people. Avoid physical activity or exercise between 10AM and 3PM usually the hottest part of the day.

I learned a lot writing this entry. My house which only had 2 curtains up that were never closed, now has five curtains in all the main windows. Two we already had, Marine made two others herself, one we found in an unopened package last week after a neighbor moved out across the hall. We have two more windows that need curtains to be made for and then that’s a wrap.

Keep cool.

-Cara

SOE

Today’s Letter to your Senators is all about the Climate Security Act.

This includes amendments to increase the stringency of global warming pollution reduction targets to 80% by 2050, making polluters pay for all of their pollution permits, and using that money to help consumers and promote clean energy.

It’s about global warming people, and backed by the League of Women Voters and the Environmental Defense Fund.

You just need to sign and send.

-Cara

Emily Dickinson

When I was a kid living at home still, maybe 14 or so, I read an Emily Dickinson poem in one of my mom’s books. I liked the poem I guess, but it was strange at the same time. I read a few others and connected to them, but didn’t really understand what she was saying at the time. I guess I liked the idea of Dickinson held up in some room, staring out her window, writing, a recluse…

This poem (also known as number 465 in The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson) so far has always been my favorite.

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For the last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

I received a book of her poems as a gift years later. I have read it many times, written in it, underlined, and lived with it. I get the poems more and more as I get older. Emily Dickinson is one of the few people that keeps poetry alive in me. That is why she is today’s heroine.

Happy Tuesday.

-Cara

Nelsons Tea Tree Cream

Flip-flop season is upon us here in New York City, well at least it was last week. This week it has gotten a bit colder and rainy. None of this matters of course, except that last week it was warm enough for me to wear my flip-flops out. I walked for about three hours in them non-stop. My left foot was not ready it seems for such a long journey and served me with a blister where the strap rubbed it one too many times. I needed some first aid fast!

I got home and discovered we were out of topical antibiotic ointment or first aid cream (like Neosporin or Band-Aid cream), call it what you will. Anyway, I wanted to get a natural cream instead of a chemically based one, but was worried, I had tried Bach’s Rescue Cream based on a recommendation that it healed cuts with its blend of “six Bach Flower Essences“. I like the regular Rescue Remedy, so I tried it. It turned out to do nothing for me. This is why I was worried about trying another natural cream. My other struggle was I knew Neosporin worked and worked fast…but at what cost???

This other gentleman recommended I use Nelsons Tea Tree Cream (they make Bach’s Rescue Cream as well), over this other cream specifically designed for cuts and blisters. I was weary and had yet another struggle over trusting a box or a person. In the end I chose the person and took the Tea Tree Cream.

Here’s what happen, the first day (after two applications) I did not notice much improvement. The second day (I think I used it once) maybe it was a little better…well not worse for sure. Then suddenly by the third day…magic…no red around the wounds and it scabbed up really well. :-O It’s great now and if I had used the cream everyday, it would have healed faster, but that’s not me! :)

I am glad I listened to the human.

Humans – 1 Boxes – 0

-Cara

Consumer Consequences

Consumer Consequences is the name of the game and it is super fresh. First off, I love the diversity of the character traits selection. I chose to be a short haired, medium complexion woman with an eye patch and parrot. I like the animation and how the information is collected. You start out with one world and depending on your answers it starts accumulating points. The more resources you use the more worlds it will take to support your lifestyle.

It is the most fun carbon calculator I’ve ever played.

Good times.

-Cara

del.icio.us

Days To Do Something Good

Our Super Fly Site

Mushpa y Mensa Site

Mushpa y Mensa Site

All About Me

I start many things with good intentions, many, many things. This time I intend to stay focused. This time I will not leave behind what I started. This time it is larger and more important than my obsession with Martha Stewart, all design shows, and Teresa Witherspoon. :P This time it is about the greater good...this time I am serious.

Wanna cool, original, organic cotton, handmade, super fresh t-shirt? Yes you do...

Super Fresh Hits

  • 328,941 Enlightened Ones

Chronicles

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: