Discovery’s Final Launch

As a young girl, I was a dreamer, and believed in endless possibilities! It was dreams of being a marine biologist, astronaut, anthropologist that made me want to learn about the world around me, dreaming up at the stars, and charting my next adventure into unknown territories.

It was this past week that I was able to get as close to the stars as I could ever imagine. The moment we learned we would be in Florida, at the same time Discovery would make its final launch into space, we decided not to miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

On February 24th we drove from Orlando to Titusville Florida to watch Discovery make its final voyage into space.  My children, husband, and I were ecstatic to be there as we waited patiently in the park with hundreds of other people from all over the states and world. We met people from Baltimore, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Michigan, and Ireland. It was amazing to see this ship’s final voyage  bring so many people together on this one extraordinary day.

We had front row seats at the event and were able to watch a clear view of Discovery’s blast off. It was a once in a lifetime experience that my children, husband, and I will always remember.

10, 9, 8,

 

7,6,5,4

 

3,2,1!!!!

 

Blast Off!

 

Disappearing into space,

 

leaving us with a beautiful cloud of dreams and endless possibilities...

An Idealistic Christmas List

As, I finish the last-minute wrapping, baking, and dream of boxing day sales. I look forward to a Christmas with an open heart, merriment, and wonder of a child.  And with those child-like eyes I’ve made my own idealistic Christmas list:

1.  End World Hunger

2. Free Effective Health Care for All

3. World Peace

4. Equality for All People

5. Good Governance

6. A Sustainable Environment

Now, my list is small, but in the world of back room politics, and let’s make a deal with the devil, I know these problems will never be solved. But it’s nice to look with a childs eyes knowing with full heart that there is simple solution to all of the world’s problems right in front of us.  But wouldn’t it be nice, if this wish list could come true?

I guess that’s why we wish, to hope for a better day, and brighter future. And that is what I wish for all of you over this holiday season. I also wish you all  a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Procrastination Rears Its Ugly Head

One first draft of a novella, two half-finished short stories, and one personal essay, all looking at me, waiting for me to edit, rework, rewrite and then start the whole evil  cycle over, once again. Unfortunately, editing has become one of those  tedious labours which my red pen keeps getting interrupted by the telephone, the anxious dog, and the thumping of the washing machine. I’m looking, at the papers, looking at my red pen, and then looking out the window.

Heck! I’m even blogging about not editing! If this is not full-out procrastination - I don’t know what is? I do however know that my stuff needs work!  Lots of work!  The message I’m attempting to convey on paper  is not coming out  the way I visualize in my head! I wonder if today is one of those days in which  I should just throw my red pen down, step away, and take a break. Or, do I keep bamming my head against the brick wall?

I know if I walked into my sisters office and start bemoaning this whole neurotic issue to her. Her eyes would roll to the back of her head, she might sigh, and  then  respond with her most  compassionate tone,   “Quit moaning, suck it up, and finish writing the frickin’ thing!”

Trust me! She never glosses anything over and she’s right!  Time to pick up that red pen,  and start slashing!

What do you to overcome procrastination?

Trash Talk Tuesday: It’s All About H20

It’s Trash Talk Tuesday! We could debate global warming! Or, I could knock you over the head with why idling your SUV in the Tim Horton’s line-up is bad for the environment? Or discuss an already fiery eyed topic like the Tar Sands? But I’m not… The topic of the week is water conservation!

I believe water conservation is the last thing on our minds in the cold depths of winter. The weather is freezing, there is no forest fires looming, no gardens to water, and no nasty brown spots on the lawn to battle with…The last thing, everyone is thinking is how do we conserve more water?  Am I right?  Of course! I am!  

But water is important necessity to everyone all year round! Environment Canada points out:

“water is the lifeblood of the planet. Without a steady supply of clean, fresh water, all life, including human, would cease to exist.’

Would you like a glass of water, coffee, tea, juice, wine, or pop to swallow this little thought down? It’s true water is our lifeline. I believe as Canadians we sometime take one of our most precious resources for granted.  But did you know  it is estimated in 2004 the average Canadian domestic use was 329 litres. So when you think about it the average household uses over 438 wine bottles per day. That’s a lot of  wine! Eer! I mean water!

So to improve my households water consumption I checked out Water Use It Wisely, 100 Ways to Conserve, as I scrolled through – I felt rather smug been there, done, that, doing that,  I assume all of you are too!  Plus,  I live in a stinking cold climate and don’t own a pool!

So, I studied the list a little  harder and realized there was several things that I don’t actually do! And I have a confession! I never reuse the hotel towel!

 I know! Gasp! But by the time, I think of it, read the sign on the door, it’s too late the towel is on the floor!  After that I visualize the person who may have walked across that floor with their stinky feet, and presto the used towel is sent off to la-la land, only to be replaced by another bountiful, fresh towel.

So – from this day forward,  I promise I will make more  conscientious effort to reuse my hotel towels.

Now,that I  have given you my lurid confession – what do you or don’t do to conserve water? Do have any tips?

Trash Talk Tuesday: Advice from the Little People

Last night my little Robert  read to me his take home book from school “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” He read each page slowly, soaked in the pictures, and when he finished he beamed with pride. Mom,” We do all of this! We recycle!” 

His excitement peaked my interest and I was curious to see what advice my little guys could for making our lifestyle more green. So, I piped up “What else do you think we could do to help the environment?”

My oldest son Alex exclaimed, “Clean our rooms!”

I looked befuddled at his response and replied, “What does that mean?”

“It means that we would have a cleaner bedroom, and a better smelling environment!”

“Ha! Ha! Very creative! But what really should we do to help the earth?”

Robert sat quietly, “I know if you see trash from the side of the road, pick it up, and put it in the recycle bin. Nobody likes a litter bug!”

“Very true! Alex, do you have any suggestions?”

“Yes Mom! I notice you take too many showers maybe you should cut back to conserve water.”

“You want me to cut back on showers? But I’ll stink!”

“So, it would be better for the environment!”

“I don’t know about that one…You might not want to sit next to me!”

“I know!’ piped up Robert,”How about we reuse plastic bags to save the fish!”

“That’s a very good idea! And we do it already!”

Alex than eyes brightened ” We should plant more trees so we can have fresh air. But mom you have to work on you gardening skills because you killed the last one.”

“Thanks for the reminder, sweet pea!”

“Also Mom, maybe we should email Santa instead of sending him a letter. That way we can save on paper! Do you think Santa has an email address?”

“We can see.  I’m not really sure how up to date Santa is on technology.”

“Oh!” responded Alex.

“So, guys, why do you think it’s so important to do all of this?”

Alex chimed in, “So we can breathe clean air and protect our trees.”

Robert sat their quietly thinking and replied, “Also, to keep the world safe and protect it for God. He wouldn’t like it if we hurt it. “

It with that the conversation ended and the kids slowly got ready for bed. I always find there point of view a refreshing outlook on life.

Trash Talk Tuesday: Plastic Bags Have Forced My Kitchen into Purgatory!

Did you know that over 55 million bags a week  are used in Canada fo our day-to-day shopping habits? When you think about it that’s a lot of non recyclable bags clogging up our landfills, blowing in our urban streets, and invading our oceans. It’s one of those facts that at times I have ignored with my own day to-day shopping habits.  Now, as I look in my kitchen, I see an abundance of non biodegradable plastic bags taking over my kitchen space and I have no clue what to do with them.

Usually, I store my cloth totes in my car,but I’m not always diligent in returning them back to the car after my last visit to the grocery store. Totes are never on my mind while I run out the door with the last of my sanity, my hands full of hockey gear,  as  I’m rushing two  energetic kids to hockey practise . The unplanned  last minute grocery stop and tote bags just don’t register on my mind…

That is  until I’m at the  grocery store in line, at the check-out and have the guilty surge that once again I forgot the elusive tote bag.  I’m stuck in the conundrum do I buy more tote bags or do I suck it up and carry out the plastic? Generally, being a  frugal-minded  gal I refuse to spend anymore money on tote bags because I have an abundance invading my kitchen closet.

 Currently,  my kitchen is in Bag Purgatory!  The angelic tote bags, shining bright in my closet and the evil plastic bags hovering in the dark corner of my kitchen. What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do…I have made a pact with myself and pledge to always put my angelic totes in the back of my car, I will make the extra effort to always use the tote, and I will place a hex on all plastic bags. 

Now, with that pledge – what do I do with all of those plastic bags? Christmas is coming, perhaps I could make a stuffed Santa out of plastic bags? Plastic Bag Wreath? Snow Flakes?  Any crafty suggestion’s?

Trash Talk Tuesday: What’s Wrong with Recycling?

Just this past weekend we hosted a Halloween Party! It was fun, lots of laughs, and a ton of kids running around hopped up on sugar. It was a motley crew of individuals some close friends, and acquaintances all thrown together for this one occasion.  However, when hanging with this Motley bunch Mr.MBA and I  avoid the topics of politics, religion, and sex.  It’s only with our more established relationships that we are more comfortable debating politics, and taking on the more heated topics. It’s when you are in a room full of various people, different backgrounds, sometimes it’s just best to leave the politics for the tavern with your closest friends.

 However, I was mildly irked when Mr.MBA was too embarrassed to admit to Mr.Camel Toe that we recycle. As Mr. Camel Toe went to throw out his appetizer plate, he let out a suprised gasp, “Holy crow! Why so many garbage cans?”

Mr. MBA’s face flustered red,” My wife makes us recycle.”

” Recycle?”

“Yup! Just throw it in this trash can, and don’t worry about it!” and then Mr.MBA turned to him slowly muttering with a sigh ,”Environmentalists…”

I caught him at the eye roll!  So, once Mr.Camel Toe walked away, back into the other room. I politely grilled Mr. MBA “What’s wrong with recycling?”

“Nothing!”

“So, if it’s nothing. Why are you embarrassed?”

“I’m not embarrassed!”

” Why did you roll your eyes?”

“I don’t know! It’ not a big deal!”

“It’s not! But why?”

” I don’t know! I can’t answer why!”

“If you can’t answer why! It’s veggie loaf for supper tomorrow night!”

He let out a loud “Ewwww!”    

As we both strolled back into the room a thought occurred to me that sometimes my husband reminds me of our beagle he’s always loving, kind, energetic, pig-headed, and obstinate. It was later in the evening, once the crowd dwindled, that he finally admitted  he just didn’t want to make such a fuss, and wanted all of our guests to feel comfortable.  Next time, I warned if you make any more jokes at my expense there will be a dry veggie loaf in your future.

Trash Talk Tuesday – The T-Disc Dilemma and the Dispute

It was just last week  I suffered from the great T-Disc dilemma!  I wasn’t sure if  T-Disc could be recycled?  But then I got an idea courtesy of Your Guide to  Green Living  which informed me that coffee grounds were full of nutrients that plants love. As I read I noticed  my lovely oregano, dill,  parsley and  basil looking a little hung over. I thought this would be  the perfect way to rescue my indoor herb garden from too much drink and very little nourishment.

So I have taken on this tedious task of recycling my T-Discs and saving the coffee grounds with vigor. Now, every time, I use a T-disc, I pop it open, scrape the coffee grounds into a can under the sink, and use it later as plant food. I then clean out the used t-discs and throw them  into the blue bag for recycling. This way I have my recycled cake and eat it too without the guilt!

However, Mr. MBA had issues with this whole process…

On Saturday morning he watched my T-disc ritual with bafflement and confusion.  He asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m cleaning out the T-discs, so they can be recycled, and use the coffee grounds to nourish the plants.”

“Oh! Why?”

“It’s good for the environment.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

“I’m not!”

“Are you bored?”

“Bored?”

“Yes, are you bored?”

“No, I’m not bored!”

“Then why are you creating all of this extra work?”

“It’s not extra work.”

“It is!”

“Well I’m not asking you to do it! Just give me your T-disc!”

“I’m not giving you the T-disc.”

“Why not?”

“It seems like a redundant task.”

“It’s not a redundant task! It’s good for the environment!”

“Well! Who else does this?”

“I don’t know!”

“It seems like a waste of time.”

“Don’t you want to be a good citizen? Show your children that you are the green machine Dad?”

“I am a good citizen! And I’m a machine!”

“I mean global citizen! Just think of the future, our children, their children.”

“Don’t pull that argument with me!”

He then took the T-Disc and threw it in the wet garbage!

I gasped, “What are you doing?”

“ I’m throwing the T-Disc in the Trash!”

“But it’s plant food! Dig it out!”

“I’m not digging it out!”

“Yes You are ! Or no dessert for you tonight!”

“No dessert?”

“That’s right!”

“Fine.”  And with that he plucked the T-disc out of the and grumbled “Good Grief! Next week we’ll all be vegans!”

As he walked away, I secretly thought, not such a bad idea.  It would be good for the environment, a great way to lose weight and maybe I would get those slender vegan yoga arms. A girl can dream…..

Trash Talk Tuesday

Did you ever have one of those weekends where you feel invigorated? Inspired for change?  As I enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend in Banff with my family soaking up the scenery, hiking the trails, and cooking the turkey.  I jotted this quickly down in my journal:

 It was one of those moments where I felt truly content with my life.  But it was also one of those turning points in my life when I realized that I have taken granted one of the most beautiful gifts man has and that is nature.

I avoid the topic of environmentalism like a child. I hear Suzuki on the radio and I turn him off. I’m like a child who doesn’t want to hear the truth. I stomp my feet and plug my ears. Pretending I can’t hear or see what is going on with our environment.

So, today is the day, I take the first step to pledge to do something different, each week, I will make a small change to my family’s lifestyle, which will improve our carbon footprint. I would love to change everything over night. But I’m not that brave.

So, first on the agenda, I vow as of today, that I will recycle, and separate my trash like a Type A at Christmas!

But I also want help from my few readers! That means you! I need tips and tricks!  So, each week I will add something new, to improving my green lifestyle!  I want to stay honest with myself and to be held accountable for staying green. I will also post the nitty, gritty, dirty truth, about my green habits, what works, and what work doesn’t work;  for a slacker such as, myself.

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