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Friday, April 22, 2011

Be Green on Earth Day!

Most recently I finished reading Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. And if my family thought I wasn't already obsessive, just watch me now! Now that I'm uber informed of the dangerous carcinogins in the plethora of household products we use... I'm like a crazed eco-woman, determined to rid our home of any toxins that might harm my precious loved ones.  Oh sure, they look askance, utter sly remarks, and question whether this exuberance will last a week, a month, two months. But I've already purchased $100 worth of certified organic products to get us started, AND my compost pile is building up nicely now.

So eventually I will toss out all of the chemical-infiltrated products in our perimeter. But I won't shock my family's system or poison the earth all at once by dumping the current products down the drain. And I'm having some trouble convincing my beloved of the benefits of the mud-like shampoo and the "fresh" aroma of the shower gel.  (Alex thought I smelled like the dog shampoo after a complete organic scrubbing...I think she's just being a poop.) Admittedly, it takes a little getting used to. But doesn't all change?
Our new shampoo!

Anyway, on this earth day, take a look at the products on your shelf and around your home. Are they really good for you? They might deem themselves "organic" or "natural," but unless it contains the organic seal, it doesn't count. There's an amazing website called Skin Deep which allows you to check up on your companies.  It's quite enlightening.  A bit disappointing as well.  I was happy to report that one product I use from Nature's Origins scored relatively well. (I knew I liked those sales girls for some reason.)

Sustain the Earth...for our Posterity!

There is much we can do on this earth to make it a better place. I received Gorgeously Green as a gift and learned a lot about living a sustainable life which I hope to pass on to my kids...much to their chagrin. But the chagrin will dissipate when they begin to understand their own responsibility to care for ourselves and our planet. Anyway, think of a small change - whether it's throwing that aluminum can in the recycle bin or recycling your clothes. It all adds up in the end. And happy earth day to you and your family on this lovely day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dogs and Reading - Two Favorites!

From my Read.Write.Share. Blog ----

Most recently, I alternated between tears and smiles as my dog peacefully slept at my feet while reading The Art of Racing in the Rain - a tale narrated by a dog. Enzo is the most clever of dogs - interpreting his surroundings infinitely well (including the English language) which leaves this novel completely rich with detail.

Of course, Enzo is handicapped by his inability to speak (tongue is much too long) and his lack of a thumb. So all he really has "is gestures." But as we all know, dogs perform amazing feats - to stir or sooth our emotions - using...gestures! Throughout this compelling story line - of a race car driver who must fight for custody of his daughter - Enzo never forgets his purpose.

All dog lovers will relish in this book. Race car enthusiasts will also be amused. And those who appreciate strong prose will think, "Smart dog."

This morning I sat on the floor, attempting to stretch my legs. My faithful dog, Percy, decided to join me. I thought to myself, "I wonder if he understands more than we even realize." So, I looked into his big brown eyes as he wagged his tail. Then I gently reminded him,

"Remember what I told you about not putting your paws on my tummy right now. That would be a no-no. Because it hurts pretty bad."

He wagged a bit more. Before reaching his little paw right over to my sore belly. So, he might not have Enzo's mind. But he does have gestures. And that's all he needs. That's all we need, Percy.

Our Percy...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tell Me A Story!

Tonight we ventured to Mom and Pop's for a roast beef dinner, compliments of my Uncle Curt. It was quite enlightening. Really.

I heard a story about my dad today that I've never heard before. (Gosh, it sort of sounds like I'm talking about him as if he's dead. No worries - he's not!) I tend to assume that I know everything about my parents. Apparently I don't.

Alex had gone go-carting at a birthday party yesterday. So Mom brought up how Dad had wall-to-wall trophies from all his go-cart racing days. My Dad? Really? I looked to my father who was nodding with what I think is his half-smile.

So then Dad told us how his father would engineer go-carts that couldn't lose: by tearing apart a six-horsepower single motor on the kitchen table, scrupulously cleaning each working part until the machine was more than merely a go-cart, and finally training his son how to wisely maneuver corners so no one could beat him in any class. Imagine the disbelief when 30-year old men were losing to a 14-year old chap. (Although, Dad admitted there was one guy he could never beat. Everyone has his nemesis.)

"So, were you scared when you raced?" Cole asked my dad.
"Every time," Dad answered without batting an eye.

But when Dad started talking about the "unsponsored" drag racing that occurred later in his teenage years, he didn't mention any fear. And once after coming home from being sorely defeated from a race on his 45 Harley (and assuming he had outsmarted his Dad by not letting him know of his extra-curricular racing activities), his father asked him, "Well, how'd you do?" You might be able to hide stuff from your children, but it's hard to pull one over a keen parent.

Mom and Dad in Oahu
Anyway, how often do we take the time to sit down and share stories? Hardly ever. When we're little, we beg our mommies and daddies to "Tell me a story!" Then we grow up and convince ourselves that we barely have time to flush the toilet. (Actually, Cole doesn't have time to do this now.) Well, I'm going to start asking for more stories. And not only from Mom and Dad - I bet my aunts and uncles have a few colorful yarns to spin. I'm all ears.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Big Day

Today was a big day for me.

  • I wore normal underwear! Seriously, I've been wearing my hubby's "Hanes" boxer-briefs since the surgery. So what if it happens to be the biggest pair of panties I own! Actually, the doctor said it was okay if I wore men's undies. Just as long as Doug didn't start wearing mine...
  • I ventured out to watch my son play (and lose) his first soccer game. While I only sat in the pickup the entire time, the change in scenery from my living room walls to the brown Iowa grass was breath-taking!
Well, that was about it. I'm pooped. It's been a fabulous day.