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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Earth Hour: TONIGHT, 8:30--9:30 pm, Lights Out, Your Time Zone


Today's the day.  Earth Hour has begun in certain time zones.  You can go and check out the "Earth Day Live" pics on their website to see it as it unfolds!

If you're still looking for ways to celebrate and be part of the hour long dark "wave" of activism in your time zone between 8:30--9:30 pm tonight, check out the list below. You'll be in good company with over 7000+ cities, 160 countries, historic buildings, and global landmarks world wide have committing to this small symbolic act, unifying a dedication toward building a healthier planet. 

Some ways ways to celebrate Earth Hour this Saturday night:

1. Sit on the coach by the fireplace with a good book or loved one.

2. Go "tech free" and unplug, opting for quality family time by candlelight. (Yes, this coming from the Tech Specialist!)

3. Play board games by candlelight or flashlight.

4. Play backyard games with your kids like Ghosts in the Graveyard, Flashlight Tag, or Hide & Seek.

5. Build a backyard bonfire & toast your toes &/or marshmallows.

6. Go on a night hike.

7. Go camping in your back yard.

8. Enjoy the start of spring by stargazing.

9. Donate to one of Earth Hour's environmental crowdsourcing projects.

10. Use it as an opportunity to teach your loved ones that small gestures & actions can indeed lead to being a part of something bigger.

Earth Hour Screen shot from http://www.earthhour.org/about-us ; Earth Hour "You + Lights Out" image from http://coolimages4free.com/earth-hour-background-and-history/

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Earth Hour is Coming: Saturday, March 28, 8:30--9:30 pm

It's coming!  Earth Hour, that is.  In our mega month of environmental "days," Earth Hour is one of my favorites!  With days-only to go, be sure to set aside an hour of darkness for this Saturday night, March 28th, for 8:30--9:30 pm in your time zone.

Here's a historic infographic I created over at Easel.ly to showcase Earth Hour's growth over the last 9 years!  It shows what once started small, in one country, can grow and become a total movement toward change!



Sunday, March 22, 2015

#WaterIs....Today! Celebrate World Water Day 2015

Wrapping up my series on World Water Day, it only seems fitting to end ON World Water Day.

Given some of my last entries have felt heavy-handed on the "doom and gloom" of the severity of the situation, it seemed like a natural place to end looking at what you can indeed do to conserve water and make a difference!

Watch or track your water intake today.
Or think about how far that water could go for those who don't have it.
Really think about what you can do to reduce your usage.
Limit your bottled water intake, which also wastes plastic.
Donate to a charity like Plan International USA that give gifts of water.

Watch the 21 sH20rts 2015 films.
Also check out the Walk4Wells & Water videos.
Take it to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other Social Media:
Embrace the Hashtag:  #WaterIs, #WalkForWater, or #WorldWaterDay
Remind the people in your house that water is a limited resource.

Dive into the 5 Gallon Challenge.  Can you live on only 5 gallons? That's the
Amount recommended for healthy & hydrated living a day.
You can do it.  If we all cut back a little, we'd save a lot!


World Water Day banner from http://www.unwater.org/fileadmin/user_upload/worldwaterday2015/docs/468x60.jpg;
Today is World Water Day image from http://www.wheniscalendars.com/tag/world-water-day-2015-date/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#WaterIs...In Global Crisis

My series continues this month on World Water Day 2015.

The infographic below, created by Seametrics back in 2012, is still just as current today. (Interestingly, it was shared on MindBodyGreen on Oct. 31st, 2012--a year [to the date] after the United Nations declared world population hit 7 billion).  The demand for water continues to grow.  If we don't all stand up and take notice, we're going to find ourselves indeed in a Global Water Crisis!


World Water Day logo from http://www.unwater.org/
Infographic found at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6735/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-the-Worlds-Water-Infographic.html

Monday, March 16, 2015

#WaterIs...Everywhere, But Not Everywhere

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Here in this continuing series on World Water Day 2015, we turn to Christiana Z. Peppard.  In her TED-ED lesson "Where We Get Our Fresh Water" she has a video just over 3.5 minutes that sums up the limited yet valuable resource of water.  She includes some post-video questions for your students to ponder, as well as some additional links in her "Dig Deeper" section.  

Here's the video--which will make you want to head over to TED-ED!




Friday, March 13, 2015

#WaterIs....A Limited Supply!

Water is the one thing that truly makes the world go 'round.  Just as you don't fully get to see the way the wind blows, you miss the way the water flows, until it goes!  

Here's an interesting infographic investagation on the "First World Problems" of bottled water.  A great infographic to ponder this World Water Day week

Water Information


Image from https://www.plumber24hours.co.uk/water-information.html

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#WaterIs: World Water Day: March 22, 2015

World Water Day is annually every March 22nd.  Sponsored by the United Nations, this day is a day of emphasizing the importance of clean water on our global community.  The UN's overriding theme is "Water Is."  What is water?  All these things, straight from their website:

Water is health.
Water is nature.
Water is urbanization.
Water is industry.
Water is energy.
Water is food.
Water is equality.

Water is at the heart of our global sustainability.

To learn more about the vital importance of water on all 7 of these levels, go to the UN World Water Day Learn page.  You will certainly be struck by some significant statistics as you read this page, from how much water it takes to...
  • produce plastic (some of which sadly returns back to our water ways as marine debris that never deteriorates), 
  • raise beef cattle, 
  • meet the global water demand for manufacturing.
You'll also see the number...
  • and percentage of people who live in cities, 
  • of people who do not have access to clean water, 
  • of hours a day women in developing countries spend retrieving fresh water for their family.
For lessons to use in your classroom, check out Project WET.

Think consciously this week, leading up to World Water Day!  
What can you do to make good choices to conserve water?

Image from https://www.facebook.com/unwater,  

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's Coming: Earth Hour 2015

It's coming and it's just a few short weeks from now.
Here for the 9th year in a row, it's Earth Hour 2015!

Mark your calendar and watch the video to learn more: 

Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:30--9:30 pm 

Turn off your lights in your time zone to be a part of
the global movement for sustainability.

To learn more, go to EarthHour.org


video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxIMib4e8f8

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

World Wildlife Day: March 3rd Every Year



As mentioned earlier in the week, there are a number of EcoDays here in March.  World Wildlife Day is one of the annual events that The United Nations sponsors.  This year is the 2nd year we've observed World Wildlife Day.  The point is to find ways to make this annual day (and other environmental days) a time and a place to come together as an international community.
"Let us use the 3rd of March as one day we come together to commit to working more actively in the year ahead to combat illegal trade in wildlife and also to create the space and also the understanding for the future of wildlife to thrive."    ~ Quote by Mr. Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary General, Executive Director in the UN video explaining World Wildlife Day.
For a list of resources to use in your classrooms or with your children at home, check out these wonderful wildlife conservation websites:



 Videos from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V8DbbqKYDQ and http://www.wildlifeday.org/key-messages
Logo from http://www.wildlifeday.org/content/outreach-material
Social Media image from http://www.wildlifeday.org/content/social-media-images

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Is an Eco-Mecca

March is a mecca of global eco events.  In the upcoming weeks, I'll be focusing on some of these eco-days.  But in the mean time, take some time and mark your calendar!

World Wildlife Day
Tuesday, March 3
Goal: To value & protect all animals & plants, especially those that are endangered

Daylight Saving Time
Sunday, March 8th
Turn Clocks ahead 1 hour






International Day of Actions for Rivers
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Goal:  To protect and cleanse our rivers, and celebrate river restoration







World Consumer Rights Day
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Goal:  To raise global awareness of our rights as consumers



First Day of Spring
Friday, March 20







World Water Day
Sunday, March 22
Goal:  To celebrate the vital resource that water is, and promote its multi-faceted role in our sustainability.





Earth Hour 
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
8:30--9:30 pm in your time zone
Goal:  To turn off your lights for an hour to be part of a global "wave" of movement in support of a multitude of environmental issues.








World Wildlife Day image from http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/world-wildlife-day-march-3
World Water day image from http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday
Daylight Saving time image from http://www.roswellstreet.com/announcements/daylight-savings-time-begins, 
1st day of spring http://clipartmountain.com/clip8/firstspring1.htm,
World Consumer Day image from  http://www.consumersinternational.org/our-work/wcrd/
International Day of Rivers image from http://www.internationalrivers.org/international-day-of-action-for-rivers
Earth Hour image from http://www.earthhour.org/

Friday, February 27, 2015

Eco-Thinking from Room to Room

The winter blues getting you down?  Be excited, it's less than 2 months until Earth Day.  Here's some things (50 in fact) you can start to do around your house to make some changes...especially if you're stuck inside on a snow day! (Click here [twice] to magnify to a larger image.)



Infographic from http://inhabitat.com/infographic-50-ways-your-home-could-help-save-the-planet/ and http://www.anglianhome.co.uk/goodtobehome/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/50-ways-your-home-could-save-the-earth.jpg

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside

Living along the East Coast, the last week or so has brought about some frigid Arctic blasts along
with the dumping of inches of "that white stuff."  Depending on where you fall on the map has determined the number of snow days you've encountered.  The public schools in and around our area have also had a number of late starts... largely due to the chill-tonian temperatures upon sunrise. Sometimes there's the fear of melting and then refreeze (creating hazardous driving conditions) and sometimes it's more a matter of not wanting our littlest of ones (or even our walking high schoolers or bus-stop middle schoolers) out facing the frigid temperatures, fraught with extensive wind chill.

Wind chill has been making a name for itself!

(And it's right about here, that noisy naysayer say "Oh, and what's all this about 'global warming?'" 'Climate change' [the better terminology] means that we are in an era of more extreme weather.  Not that there will be no winter. Don't even get me started on this noise!!)

If you are in search and wonder as to what exactly wind chill is, or what kind of activities you can do at school to investigate wind chill, check out these resources.

  • TED-ED's "What is the Wind Chill Index" (A lesson created by Amy Woxland, with a 2 minute video, multiple choice quiz, and further investigation links to determine the day's wind chill factor.)
  • Conduction lesson plan from Climate Education for K-12.  This includes the National Weather Service's Wind Chill chart, which you can also find here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tales of a 4th Grade Eco-Adventure

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Here in this continuing series on World Water Day 2015, we turn to Christiana Z. Peppard.  In her TED-ED lesson "Where We Get Our Fresh Water" she has a video just over 3.5 minutes that sums up the limited yet valuable resource of water.  She includes some post-video questions for your students to ponder, as well as some additional links in her "Dig Deeper" section.  

Here's the video--which will make you want to head over to TED-ED!




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Living Outside the Landfill

The Green Phone Booth is an environmental blog I like to follow. 

Their tagline is "Where Ordinary People Become Eco-Heroes."

One of their most recent articles this past week was entitled "82 Ways to Avoid the Landfill."  It's a great list of a lot of old, new, and possibly forgotten ways to reduce your planetary impact.  

My top 5 favorites from their amazingly thorough list:
  • Give junk mail the boot.
  • Push away from plastic plates & utensils & make the move to the "real" stuff.
  • Take your own to-go containers for doggie-bag time when dining out.
  • Push for plastic bag bans & take your own bags to the store
  • Take dry cleaning hangers back to the dry cleaner!

Photo from:  http://www.greenphonebooth.com/2015/02/82-ways-to-avoid-landfill.html

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Framing Education Around Population

I'm still flying high after last weekend's MAEOE Conference in Ocean City.  I mentioned it before, but it definitely is worth a re-mention:  my favorite session of the weekend was led by Carol Bliese of Population Education.


On top of being in love with their 7 minute video that I posted last weekend, I'm also in love with the above map (which you can download or buy poster sized on their site). The map shows what the world would look like if the land masses matched the population per country.  Interesting!

I think the study of population relates directly to the planetary problems.  Over-population, over-consumption of static non-renewable resources, and then the over-abundance of landfillling waste (through the crazy idea of planned obsolescence of tech goodies and gadgets)...all of this is directly related to the number of people on the planet.  Add in water pollution, water shortages, availability of healthy food... The study of population can do a lot to open eyes for the amount of planets we are using, and what our planet's carrying capacity looks like!

Carol Bliese wrote a blog post on the Population Education website about the 19 of us and how our 3 hour session played out last Friday.

It was a good day!!  Any day you can go home with a boatload full of exciting hands-on activities is a great day!

Other definite goodies worth checking out can be found on the Population Education website:
Images from:
Carol Bliese's photo from https://www.populationeducation.org/content/meet-our-trainers, map from https://www.populationeducation.org/content/population-map

Friday, February 13, 2015

Send a Little eLove this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is full of hearts, hugs, happiness, red, pink, and love.  It's a prime time to send those you love an eCard to show your eLove.  Not to mention, eCards, along with being quick, can help you save two prime resources:  money and paper.

World Wildlife Fund has a slew of Valentine's eCards, as well as cards filled with adorable endangered animals for other card-giving reasons for other seasons.  What a great way to show the people you care--about them and the things that are important.


Image from http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/PageServer?pagename=WWF_Free_Ecards

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Planting the Seeds of Change

I love how the author of this Mother Natured article decided to post this poster on her fridge in order to make small steps toward bigger action and future change. Every step in the right direction is going the right way!



Poster from http://mothernatured.com/2014/05/29/save-the-environment-poster/

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Superbowl: MAEOE'S Annual Conference


Ahh....one of my favorite weekends of the year is here:  Maryland Association of Environmental & Outdoor Educators' annual conference.  It's always the first weekend of February, and for the bulk of the past 7 years, I have been here.  2 days with like-minded people, going to workshops and educational sessions, soaking up the green scene, and learning new (and being reminded of old) tidbits and trends for the classroom.  It's completely like coming home.

It's my li'l eco-nirvana!!

After 2 days of sessions, my mind is swimming with resources I can't wait to share.  Too much info, too little time!!

Here's where I will end...for now!  With a dynamic 7 minute video from Population Education, my 3-hour morning session yesterday.  I personally love timelines, and it reminds me of my Social Studies curriculum last year, at my former very "green" school that this conference reminds me of so much..  This video shows population growth from 1 AD to the present to the projected 2030.  The last 200 years will blow you away as we make our way to 7.3 billion people planet-wide!  Remember, each dot on the video is 1 million people. It starts with 170.  [Spoiler alert:  The only time the numbers ever decrease is during the Black Plague.]


Image from http://maeoe.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/conference-banner-2.jpg;
Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BbkQiQyaYc

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Story of the Sea Turtle ~ Mathematically Speaking

"A longshot.
The exception not the rule.
A jackpot.
A miracle."

This is the story of the sea turtle.
Mathematically speaking.



This TED-Ed video by Scott Glass does a nice job of showing the math behind the difficulties of being a surviving sea turtle in a human world.  Not only does this 4.5 minute video show the environmental impacts on this species, but there's an interesting secondary mathematical conversation that can be had.  Elementary students would clearly see the power of division, and what that can mean over time to the sea turtle population.

For additional kid-friendly information that will appeal to your students, check out these links:

Sea Turtles from Ranger Rick

Sea Turtles ~ a variety of sea turtles by species with information, photos, videos, and conservation status.

Green Sea Turtles at the National Aquarium

Sea Turtles:  The Kids Times from NOAA Fisheries



Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=t-KmQ6pGxg4
Sea Turtle poster by http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick/Animals/Amphibians-and-Reptiles/Sea-Turtles.aspx

Friday, January 30, 2015

Having Never Failed Means You've Yet to Try

I have seen this video (& something akin to this poster) before, but it's an idea that needs to be revisited every now and again.

I think it's especially worth watching--not only for oneself, but also as a parent who is raising kids in today's world.  There's no instant "reset button" like there is on an Angry Birds video game.  You don't simply re-spawn.  These instant gratification-techification kids du jour need a bit of a reality check.  What you do is get up, dust yourself off, and try again.  Retry, redesign, reiterate, and redo.  And if that doesn't work, try try again!

You might surprise yourself, but those failures might end up building some strength, some confidence, and ultimately some great success!!



Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLYECIjmnQs; Never Failed-Never Tried Poster from http://www.cmoe.com/blog/famous-failures.htm

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thank You

I would like to send out a good ole fashioned GTG "Thank You."

Thank you to all of you who have been routinely checking in over the last 2 weeks.  I have been highly absent.  And for that I apologize.

But, there's been a lot going on.

There usually is!  But it's true.

There has been an incredible loss to my community.  We have been far more in the news than I would have liked.  There have been far more tears than I would have liked.

Some excellent articles I would like to direct you to are here.

Baltimore Sun:  Families Releases Statement

Firehouse Zen:   Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of Course, The Haters

Capital Gazette:  Families of Victims Release a Statement


Image from http://media.npr.org/assets/artslife/books/2010/04/poetry-month/art-of-losing/candle-c310328a1ef08a3c359730d2219c7fedaa7ab686-s800-c15.jpg


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oceanic Threats Infographic

I find infographics so fascinating in the presentation of facts.  

Largely, I would imagine, it is due to my  very visual learning style.  

Here is an eye-opening one on the importance of oceans to our planet, and how both human and environmental factors are affecting them!  Click here (or enlarge) to see it in a more readable size. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Earth is My Church

This Video has been around apparently since Earth Day 2013, but it's a new one to me, and felt like a strong, powerful way to start the new year.

 


Video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoKAYoe6Tuw

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Make a "One Word"Commitment for One Year

Ever since writing about "one word" and reflecting back on what that probably was for 2014 ("Change"), I have been pondering my potential word for 2015. 

It's kind of like dress shopping. I've been trying them on, sampling them for size, shape, fit, comfort level. 

I nearly went with "Invest." That one had a pretty good fit--not just from a money decision side, but also in these ways:

  • Invest in the relationships that matter; 
  • Invest in spending time in ways I value; 
  • Invest in food and health choices to build the body and energy I desire. 
A good word.   A "walk-to-the-counter-it's-mine" word.

But, just like when you think you have that "just right outfit" and are walking up to the counter to purchase it and make it your own, you see "it." That unassuming yet perfect outfit tucked away that you somehow managed to miss on your first go around. Surprisingly simple, yet so ideal. 

Yep, it's the one.    Make.

It ties in with the Maker Movement of inventive thinking that we are embracing at school to embody the 21st century skills of design thinking, creativity, collaboration, & critical thinking. So this 1 word builds in, for me, a professional goal.

Yet, this seemingly simple word has a lot of power:

  • Make time for what I value. 
  • Make time for the people I love. 
  • Make healthy food choices. 
  • Make smart money choices.
  • Make room in my house for the things I love, and make a break from the things we have outgrown. 
  • Make a move to get outside more. 
  • Make more "unplugged" time (& make my family see the importance of that). 
  • Make more time to "play" (& to sleep!) 
  • Make time for creativity and blogging. 
  • Make time to be less busy while making time for re-energizing & more adventures. 
  • Make time for more books and less Social Media Trawling. 
  • Make peace with the imperfections. 
  • Make more laughter to alleviate the stress of modern living. 
  • Make more space amongst the busy. 
  • Make some lemonade, & make time to watch the sunset while drinking it. 
  • Make a family word for the year that the 4 of us can aspire to. 
  • Make a life that energizes me. 
  • Make sure I'm not sleep walking through life (though make sure to sleep if that's what my body needs!) 
  • Make this the year that you make things happen. 
  • Make a difference. 
  • Make. 
As my husband told me, many of these, while all encompassing, seem to counter each other. 'Tis true, but I think that's what life is. Kind of like the old Kenny Rogers song from the long ago movie "The Gambler:"
"You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them.                Know when to walk away...Know when to run."
Sometimes you ebb, sometimes you flow. It's about being more self-aware and knowing what you need at the time. "Make sure you aren't sleepwalking through life" sums that up well.

Yes, "Make" fits quite comfortably.
What might your word of 2015 be?

Friday, January 2, 2015

#12BloggerDays Revisited


At the start of December, (yes, a mere month ago) I gave myself a blogging challenge.  The 12 Days of Blogging... which seemed perfectly natural given "the song."  (You know the one I'm a-talking about!)  

So, as my "Scrap-It" App pic above indicates--I did it!  A whole baker's dozen: 12 + 1 bonus.  Yes, a sense of triumph and jubilation is mine.  There were some times, early on especially, when I wasn't sure I could do it--at which my husband always makes fun of me.  Here I go again, bringing about my own self-induced anxiety and frustration by my own self-induced project!

But, my take-aways are strong & I'm glad I did it:
  • It's always good to set a goal (even relatively short term), & accomplish it.
  • It put my feet to the fire in a good way, which in turn rejuvenated my writing (at least for me internally--which for me, is what counts)!  It got me thinking in more creative ways, & I dabbled in some different styles I hadn't used in awhile.
  • It got some of my procrastination topics marked off my to-do list--another sense of accomplishment right there.  Those things that "just hang there," taunting you, start to demean you.  I was feeling quite hard on myself for never getting them there--which does nothing to your self-worth & value!
  • Christmas season served as a good time for me to do it. (Again, this is on a personal level just for me--you might have your own "best time" to do such things.)  I tend to get frenzied and hurried, and thereby grouchy and sometimes discouraged during this season.  So many lists, so many things to do--sometimes I wind up losing the meaning of the season.  Yet, this gave me writing, which for me is a way to re-energize.  I get into the flow, and I bask in the "me time."  A very good way to counter the exciting-yet-sometimes-draining elements of  prep time during "the most wonderful time of the year."  Plus, Christmas sometimes opens up seasonal topics which are ripe and perfect for blog fodder!
  •  It has already started to inspire some January posts, so it continues to be a gift (to myself) that keeps giving.
I'd recommend to anyone to find little (and sometimes big) ways to shake it up.  Kind of what New Year's is all about, with resolutions.  I used to love that about "new calendar season."  A brand new calendar, empty, waiting to be filled.  A year waiting to be lived.  Reminds me of the quote below from Brad Paisley (that cropped up around New Year's). 

My #12BloggerDays walk-away-words:  Write a good book, build some great adventures for 2015, and shake it up in little and big ways! 


Book & Brad Paisley quote from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B6KyK-gIYAA56Hx.png:large; 12 Days of Blogging pic created on my ipad using the Scrap It HD app.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

On the Road Again....Holiday Style

Back in the day, flying solo, I used to adore the space in-flight, on plane, 
between here and there.  Point A and Point B.   Destination & Arrival. 

It was a no-man's land where time sort of stands still... especially if you are traveling between time zones.  Some peaceful solo time.  Don't talk to me mid-flight: this is my time!  On paper, time even seems to cease to exist, because sometimes you arrive, in that other time zone, at a time that just reasonably doesn't make sense (due to the time zones!).  At the very least, it's the perfect time for reflection.  And possibly even a nap!  (Anyone who knows me knows I love a good nap!)


At this point in life with 2 kids, a spousal unit, and two dogs, the mode of transportation is a four-wheeled, non-flying vehicle... largely due to stuff to schlep, Christmas gifts to give, and the expense.  (Though thankfully, we are at least able to locally offload the pups!) 

Now that the jaunt is the highway versus the flyway, the path is 12-14 hours on the road to get from Point B to my old homeland of Point A. 

Point A is my alpha home of days-gone-by, where you remember the original nuclear family where you were 8 or 12... despite the fact that you are now 40-&-change.

Yes, there is still reflection time trucking along in the driver's seat & also while "riding shotgun." Moreso with Papa Bear's book on tape, and the teenage and tweenage Bears all headphoned-&-hooked-into their electronic games and movies.


With New Year's ahead, thoughts of "one word," holiday hopes, annual reflections, and future goals, there certainly enough to think about. And, half a nation of countryside to admire. Sparse in its no-snow winter wonderland, still lovely in its rolling changes across the miles. 

It's nice to see what life looks like outside your typical daily circle of scenes. Reason #347 why travel opens your eyes and helps you see the vastness of what's out there. Even if it's a road you have traveled once before, to a place you once lived, it is still different for seeing it with new and current eyes. I have never seen it all in this light, the light I am seeing it in today, at this age I am at now, with the vision and wisdom (or perhaps lack there of) that I am at now.

Reminds me a bit of lines in two songs:

Sheryl Crow's song "Every Day is a Winding Road" 

"These are the days when anything goes...

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine."



The Beatles: "Long & Winding Road."

"The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear.
I've seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door."




Makes you curious where you own road will wind and take you for 2015. 
May it take you to new places, old places, memories in your heart and mind, exciting new adventures ahead, and places of reflection along the way.




Song lyrics from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/sherylcrow/everydayisawindingroad.html and http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beatles/thelongandwindingroad.html;  Song covers from  http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Winding-Road-Sheryl-Crow/dp/B00AYNDM80/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1419986670&sr=8-4&keywords=sheryl+crow+everyday+is+a+winding+road and http://www.amazon.com/Long-Winding-Road-Beatles-Story/dp/B00005YA92/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1419985960&sr=8-10&keywords=beatles+long+and+winding+road
All other photos from my roadside, carside camera.









Sunday, December 28, 2014

Battling Food Overload from Christmas into the New Year

Cookies with sprinkles
Cookies without sprinkles
Chocolate bits, bites, and bars
Candy canes, cupcakes, pies, & pastries
Fudge, feasts, festivities, and frenzies

The further into the holiday season, the more packages you unwrap... inevitably, the more pounds you can pack on.

Last December (the 20th, 2013) the Guardian came out with the post "How Much Weight Will I Gain at Christmas and How Long Will it Take to Lose It?"  Depending, you may still be wrestling with last Christmas' holiday weight gain, still attempting to lose THAT bad boy, while successfully piling on this year.   Yes, the seasons are rich in many ways (with some of the wealth being rather unforgiving!)

With New Year's Resolutions on the horizon (& weight loss always being a biggie in that department), perhaps your goals include being healthier, cutting a few calories, or shedding some of those seasonal pounds. If that's the case, these health links may be for you.

At the very least, they will shed light on some of your favorite sweet treats, and some healthier habits.

Your Teen's Brain on High Fructose Corn Syrup

John Oliver's Takedown of the Sugar Industry is Pretty Sweet
Love me some John Oliver!

Berkley Versus Big Soda
In the category of "Must See TV. (Let's face it--they all are!

This is what a More Sustainable American Food System Looks Like

How Much Sugar People Eat Around the World


And in an attempt for a healthier new year, here are some thing to look into eliminating....

10 Toxic Products No One Needs
From Vinyl shower curtains to oil based paints, to bottled water, pesticides & more!

Styrene Officially Linked to Cancer: 4 Things to Ditch Now
Best plan: ditch out Styrofoam plates, cups, takeout containers (all of which especially so if they hold the hot stuff) and #6 Plastics (that don't necessarily look like Styrofoam).

It's a Wrap! A Non-Toxic Substitute for Plastic Wrap, That Is
An oldie from the summer, but a nice alternative to use instead for food storage & something to keep an eye open for!


Images from our kitchen this holiday season.