Blog Action Day: The Environment

Thanks to Susan Gets Native who stated in her blog that today is Blog Action Day and the topic is The Environment.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I think I’ve blogged about this before and the things I do to try to help our environment. These are simple things, really, but it takes time to implement them. And I am far from perfect, as it is all a learning process.

1. I try to buy only organic products. Yes, I know the term organic is overused, but if it means supporting my local farmers in their efforts to not use pesticides on their produce, I am so there for them. (Yes, I understand there are mega chemicals in our environment so nothing is truly organic).

2. Which gets at my second point. I try to buy local. I would rather support my hard-working local organic farmers and pay a little more for their produce than to support the non-organic produce being shipped across the country. Shipping produce (which is mostly water anyway) across the country may have less impact on my pocket-book, but it has a greater negative impact on the environment. And their produce tastes so much better!

3. My yard is completely natural. No chemicals, none of the bad things are used in my yard that hurt the environment. My lawn is not perfect and I don’t care. The environment, the birdies, and all living things that gather in my backyard are more important to me than the perfect lawn.

4. My gardens are completely natural. I use the leaves that fall from the trees every fall as my plant’s mulch and natural fertilizer. The worms, the snakes and the toads, oh my, they love this environment! And the plants love the leaves and the worms and snakes and toads, and everyone is happy.

5. I compost my produce kitchen scraps and also use this on my gardens.

6. I use natural house-cleaning products and paper products. Some of the companies I support are Ecover, Seventh Generation, Olde Tyme 1881 Super Pine, Earth Friendly and Natural Value. There’s probably more that I’ll think of later, but this list is a good start. You can find more ideas at your local healthy food and products store, like Wholefoods if you’re so lucky to have one in your town. Or you can find products online at such places like Frontier Natural Co-Op or at Kokopelli’s Green Market.

7. I use only natural / organic products on my skin and hair. I like Aubrey’s Organics and 17th Century Suds, a company located in Ithaca, NY (back to my buying local point).

I’m sure there’s more I do that I’ll think of later, but this list is a good start for what I try to do to help The Environment. I look forward to reading what others have to say on this topic today!

The new Victoria Magazine

I was going to write about something else today, but I am still exhausted from only having three days off total for the last month. And getting used to going from 90 degrees F and very humid to 50 degrees F and chilly in a matter of days, which makes me just want to curl up in a ball and stay underneath my down comforter all weekend doesn’t help. So thank you for bearing with me as I recoup and regenerate and hopefully soon I can get back to nature posts (I’ve got some good ones in my brain)!

Yesterday I received the new Victoria magazine in the mail, and yay!!! Volume One, Number One, I don’t get restarting the numbers, but, whatever, it’s a wonderful magazine, just like it used to be!

Victoria

I got this from the Victoria magazine website instead of scanning a larger image myself, I’m just too lazy today. Even though I’m still reading through it and basking in all of the lovely photos, I highly recommend this magazine to all of my friends! You can click on the Victoria magazine website and see a little of what is inside this issue. If you read it, please let me know what your favorite thing is.

Oh, and I learned in this issue that the Smithsonian Institution has an exhibition called One Life: Katharine Hepburn from Nov 2, 2007 to October 5, 2008. Washington, DC, here I come!

Dream Catcher

I went to pick up my dishwasher (are you sick of hearing about it yet) and the guy that was loading it into my explorer said “I like your dream catcher.” I’m thinking ‘WTF?’ And then it hits me, oh, my DREAM CATCHER! Nobody, but nobody EVER comments on my dream catcher so he totally caught me off guard.

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Dream catcher I bought at the top of Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona about five years ago. It was made by a Navajo Native American.
I took this photo while driving home.

Then he says “I have a dream catcher tattoo on my arm” and he rolled up his shirt sleeve to show me. It was very cool, for a tat. I asked him where he got it and then I told him I got my dream catcher in Arizona. Turns out his mother is a Choctaw Native American originally from Oklahoma and she lives in Arizona. He proceeded to show me another tattoo on his other arm with the word Choctaw and I don’t remember what else. And he has one on his back which fortunately (or unfortunately) I didn’t see because I needed to move my truck to make way for other people. Hmmm, now what other appliance do I need to buy so I can go pick it up so I can go talk to him again. I’m only kidding, of course!

Music

I think I’ve mentioned before that I pretty much like most music. The guy I’m working with at work has an mp3 player so we’re always curious what each other is coming up with for new or rediscovered music. One group I had completely forgotten about that he has on his player is Blackfoot. OMG, remember them? Southern Rock, which I love for sure, and a Native American or two. I looked at the library to see if they had any albums (no) so I’ve downloaded some of their music to my iPod and I’ve been rockin’ to them all week. And I’m not sick of them yet. In fact, I may download more tonight, hmmmm.
I went to their website and they’re touring this year! How awesome! It seems like quite a few of the groups from years past are touring again.

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I love album art, don’t you? I love the kitty on this next album cover:

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Generally I like music that makes me happy. But there is one song that can cause me to cry on the spot. It happens every time I hear it. Because it makes me think of my Dad. In fact, I just heard it on my way home. It’s ‘Lightning Crashes’ by Live.

How about you, do you have a song that can make you bawl on the spot, or one that makes you smile wide, or one that takes you right back to a special time you associate it with?

Turning Leaves

Living near one of the great lakes, I live in an area that was still like summer until yesterday, and this area will stay about 10 degrees F warmer than areas to the south for a while. As a result, the leaves are still pretty much green here. Yesterday as I was driving home from the store, I saw one of my favorite sugar maples starting to change into its beautiful fall colors:

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It was a piece of cake to take this photo because the car in front of me was going sooo slow and nobody was behind me. Hopefully I’ll get lucky like this next time I want to take a photo of this tree as it continues to become even more beautiful. I love sugar maples!

Double Eeeek!!

When I came home on Sunday night I saw this huge spider on the side of my home. Okay, well, not as big as a daddy long legs in diameter and not as big as those spiders you see elsewhere, but this guy was huge in comparison to the other spider I have on my home that I recently showed you, and his legs were wiggling wildly. And what are those shiny things – his eyeballs? Notice I’m calling this spider a “him”!

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I mean a girl spider can’t be this ugly, can she?

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And she wouldn’t have such hairy legs, would she?

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Although that butt is kinda big.

As I was going to work yesterday morning, there were two of these guys on my home. I sure hope they don’t keep multiplying! All kidding aside, I actually think this spider is *very* cool! As long as it doesn’t touch me.

P.S. Thanks for all of your comments on my dishwasher post. I bought a GE dishwasher today at my local appliance store, and wouldn’t you know, because I went in there *after* 3:00 I won’t get it until next *THURSDAY*! If I had been there before 3:00 it would be here tomorrow. How icky is that? Now I have to waste time every night doing dishes. How b-o-r-i-n-g!

Dishwashers, Dishwashing, ugh!

So my dishwasher blew it’s pump last week, and fortunately I found out because I started it up, cleaned the bathroom, then went downstairs to put in a load of wash. And water was pouring down from the kitchen into the basement. Yuck-o!!! And no Daddy to call for help, darn it! At this point I’m thinking, ‘life sucks, then you die.’ Not really, but I felt like getting dramatic for a moment. Actually I was thinking, yay! The dishwasher was old when I bought my home 15 years ago, and I’m so into getting a new one. And this is where the fun starts.

Every appliance in my home is Kenmore of some vintage or other, simply because I like Kenmore for everything. Except dishwashers. I like GE / Hotpoint. So I went to the GE website, and of course the first dishwasher I see was $1,429.00. And I about had a stroke. I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes. That’s it. No bells and whistles. Scrolling towards the end of the dishwasher list I finally found some dishwashers in my price range. Now all I need to do is go to my local appliance store and see which one has the least amount of features (the less to break down, right, because I. just. want. it. to. wash. dishes).

A couple of people I’ve told about this think I’m a big nut for needing a replacement dishwasher. See, I was required to wash dishes by hand from a very early age, and I. hate. washing. dishes. by. hand. HATE in a big way.

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Me washing dishes at a very young age. Blech!
My older brother is drying the dishes.

But I don’t tell them that. I just tell them that I think a dishwasher can get dishes much cleaner and rinse & dry them much better than I can.

So has anyone bought a dishwasher lately? And if so, do you have anything to warn me about, since I have never bought a dishwasher in my life?

Apple Cider, mmmmm!!

It’s been six months since my Dad passed away, and it was a tough day all around because people at work are very tired, including myself, so it just magnified that I miss my Daddy!! But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Saturday after work I went grocery shopping (oh joy, just what I felt like doing after working all day), and the produce lady had cups of local organic apple cider for people to try. Mmmmm, it was yummy! Okay, the reason why I brought my Dad up in the first paragraph is apple cider is (shoot, that should be was) our thing to have in the fall together. With a yummy donut here and there for something to have to wash down!

Dad Making Apple Cider

My Dad making apple cider with my brother and me waiting for a taste!

 

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Another view of the same apple cider making day.
The apples used were ones that grew on our property, and they were really yummy!
Scanned from slides in really bad shape.

My Dad’s rule of thumb to me was don’t make or buy apple cider until after the first frost because that’s when the apples get really good. Which is true in normal years. But with the lack of rain this year, the apples are small and not very juicy and already very sweet, so the apple cider is tasting pretty good pre-frost. I miss sharing this different apple cider year with my Dad. But I can’t wait to taste the cider post-frost!

How about you, is apple cider a favorite of yours? And if so, what do you like to have with it, if anything?

Gorgeous Sunrise at Work!

Yesterday I was required to go into work. Required? Since I was required to go in on my day off I made a deal. I told them I won’t be working next Saturday. What a deal, huh? I just want to be able to sleep in for two days in a row since I’ve been working six days a week the last three weeks. Which I know is nothing for some people, but it’s hell on getting anything done at home and hell on the hiking time. I won’t mention it was a beautiful day to be hiking yesterday while I was stuck inside.

Okay, rant over. As I was working, I looked over and saw the most g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s sunrise. Always carrying my little p&s around, I went outside and shot photos. Other people joined me with their cameras. I couldn’t capture the whole scene because I didn’t want light poles in my photos, but you’ll get the drift!

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Here’s the bridge Mary and I wanted to walk under the other day:

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And we could see the moon:

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One of the things I like working where I do is it is out in the country!! I know that won’t last forever, though, with the way everyone is building all over the place.

Getting a Sun Tan in October?

My friend Mary at work and I decided we would start walking after work when it started getting cooler out. Well, we couldn’t wait and we started this week. And. The. Sun. Has. Been. *Very.* Hot.

I don’t remember the last time the sun felt so hot in October in New York state. Usually my sun tan is waning this time of year, which it was doing in September, but now it’s come back. Just with hiking for an hour every day. Anyway, we’re having a bit of a problem with the hiking trails around work. We tried to go down this trail underneath this bridge, but some men screamed at us that the trail was closed.

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Hmmm, we didn’t see any signs. We turned around and walked west along an open, boring trail.

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I don’t want to do that trail again. I want to see stuff while I’m walking!

Next we went to a place to find the middle of the trail we want to go on, but ended up on the Auburn trail instead.

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Which was a little less boring, but I don’t want to do it again.

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I want woods! And after we hiked the Auburn trail, we investigated our next hiking spot, and it is uphill into the woods. WooHoo!! That will be for Monday! And hopefully it will be a bit cooler out.

BTW: Mary and I worked at Xerox together and I didn’t realize it was her until she brought in the Xerox yearbook from some year I won’t mention but I had big hair.  What *was* I thinking?

On another note, while walking out on my deck the past few days to go to work, I’ve seen the moon overhead, and today since I was early I decided to capture it. I soooo do not like going to work in the dark!!

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