The Great Fundraising Act

12 Tue, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t know Susan.

Honestly, I am only vaguely familiar with her story.

But have you ever been moved to act simply by the compassionate efforts of others?

Susan (of The Great Balancing Act) was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma.  Despite this, she still carries on with a happy, smiling face & persevering strength while sharing her story.

Because Susan is stuck in the hospital, chemo is expensive & bloggers are powerful, Janetha has rallied the blogging community to come together & raise money for Susan’s medical bills.  Over one hundred bloggers & dozens of companies are donating items to a live auction & bake sale on Monday, July 25th from 8:00 AM (EST) to 11:00 PM (EST).

Items will include delicious baked goods, a professional blog makeover, a lifetime recipe hosting service, autographed books & cookbooks from published bloggers, kitchen gadgets & dishes, clothing, accessories & much more.

I am donating my homemade deodorant,

made with tea tree & lavender oil, vitamin E & cacao butter.

All bids will start at $10.  All proceeds from the auction will go directly to Susan.

You can show support by spreading the word & adding the Great Fundraising Act button to the sidebar of your blog.  I have included the code below.

<a href=”“><img src=”×237.jpg“></a>

You do not have to be a blogger to participate.  Contact Janetha if you would like to take part.  You can join in the auction or donate money directly.

For more information about the fundraiser, click on the image below.

Let’s come together & show there is love in the world!



26 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments

In New Mexico, a Navajo man with a mental disability is kidnapped & branded with swastikas.

People demand “proof” in the form of corpse photos.

A video of a beheading was posted to the web, a horrified public…hit Google.

Last year, the domain name sold for $10,000,000 $13,000,000.00

Bumper stickers reveal our souls with little true thought for what is actually being said.  ie: “If you don’t stand behind our troops, stand in front of them.”

The desire for mature sex appeal has blazed through teenagers & is targeting an even younger group.  We have dubbed them “Tweeners”, making it even easier for marketers & media to zero in.

This is the pop culture of my era.

When did the body first set out on its own adventures, after having ditched its old traveling companions, the mind & the soul?  It must have got tired of the soul’s constant nagging & whining & the anxiety-driven intellectual web-spinning of the mind, distracting it whenever it was getting its teeth into something juicy or its fingers into something good.  It had dumped the other two back there somewhere, leaving them stranded in some damp sanctuary or stuffy lecture hall while it made a beeline for the topless bars, & it had dumped culture along with them: music & painting & poetry & plays.  Sublimation, all of it; nothing but sublimation, according to the body.  Why not cut to the chase?

But the body had its own cultural forms.  It had its own art.  Executions were its tragedies, pornography was its romance.

~Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake

I’m not a prude.  The body is beautiful.  Death is part of life; we don’t need to shield ourselves from it.  But the vulgar?  The disrespect?  The obsession with (& numbing to) violence?  Spectacles for sheer shock?

I know it isn’t all like this.  There is a lot of beauty, intellect, kindness & art in the world, but the shallow filth can be so loud.  Lately, I have felt assaulted by it.  I’m just sad.  How do I dim its noise?


She muffles it.

Whether it’s a short hike, an after work bouldering session with friends or a more extended camping trip into the desert, “escaping civilization” through nature reminds me there is beauty & sanity in the world.  Dave & I often transpose “wilderness” & “civilization”, claiming we escape the wilderness when we leave the city & nature is truly civilized.  It makes sense, follows life’s rules & lives in balance & harmony; even when aggressive or hostile, it serves a purpose.  The simplicity it casts reflects back on us, reminding me what matters & what I would like to reflect into the world myself.

If every one spent a little more time connecting with & actually seeing the natural world, a lot of the ugliness would disappear; we would act with love.


21 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments

All of the techy capabilities we have now-a-days are amazing &, of course, I love the blogging community & other social media like Facebook.  When we are here, let’s be here.  Let’s share recipes & ideas about lifestyle, health, fitness & whatever else suits our fancy.  Let’s be engaged in active discussions, make friends & enrich each others life though we may never meet.

When we aren’t here though, let’s be wherever it is we are.  Go for a nice walk & leave your phone behind — & stop texting when you are with your friend at the coffee shop or on a date for goodness sake!  Facebook won’t collapse if you don’t check it every hour.  You don’t have to Tweet every thought.  Conquering Angry Birds won’t make us like you more.  😉

Connect with someone face to face, with nature or simply with yourself.

[photo by David Finch]

Adbuster dares you to unplug & see what happens.  I challenge us all to step back & evaluate our digital “addictions”.  I will be completely unplugged part of this week [though I have a short video & workout scheduled to post tomorrow].  You don’t have to do an extreme digital detox & swear it all off; determine the permanent changes you could make for a happier, healthier, more connected you.



13 Sun, 2011 § 9 Comments

One of them eats any & all plants I attempt to have — even mizuna left on the counter for mere minutes.

One of them has a tendency to attack my face with “kisses” way too E.A.R.L.Y. on certain mornings…& step on my face.

One of them does not always rinse or soak recently used dishes.

I am not quite sure why my mind has been so focused on those I love most & share my life with — perhaps it is the awful, large-scale tragedies abroad [both natural & human-inflicted], perhaps it is the thoughtful blog posts I have come across as well as the touching & heart-wrenching ones — but I cannot get enough of my family.

While the above behaviors have a tendency to bug me in the moment, I have decided to change this reaction.

If I suddenly were without those I love most, I know I would give anything to see those teeth marks in my leaves, to have my face drenched in slobber & to scrub that last dish.  Maybe this is a depressing mindset, but I have realized to cherish what I have — everything I have & every aspect of it.

I wanted to share this, because we only have this moment to cherish…neglect…smile…scoff…dramatize…laugh…hate…embrace…worry…love.

What will you do in this moment?

Eating To Know

10 Thu, 2011 § 4 Comments

[inspired by A Terroir-ist’s Manifesto for Eating in Place by Gary Paul Nabhan]

Spring is a reminder to connect with my food & know where it comes from.

To know my food.

To know it by its taste —  to allow its freshness to assure me of its short journey.

To know it by by the hands that harvested & processed it & the land & water which nurtured it.  To know if these were left richer or poorer after I ate from them.

To know it through the stories shared at the table.

To know it through the patience & care taken while peeling, chopping, poaching, fermenting…& arranging the plate just so.  To slowly savor each bite, washing my body with the memories when I first knew each flavor.

The simplest foods often stir up the strongest memories.


My mom bottles carrots using the pressure cooker.  We would reheat them over the stove & top with pads of butter, salt & pepper.  Maybe they were not our favorite then, but recently I crave to have those tender bits fall apart in my mouth — not in the tasteless, disintegration of overcooking but melting over my tongue as it absorbs the marinated flavors.

While my mom’s carrots are hundreds of miles away, our recent CSA offering included a bunch of petit carrots.  Steaming thin slices along with chickpeas created the same tenderness without any mushiness or loss of flavor.  A little olive oil & sea salt were all that was needed to accentuate the fresh carrots.

I am getting spring fever in every sense — even in my taste buds.


How do you know your food?

It’s the Little Things

23 Wed, 2011 § 7 Comments

It is strange sleeping alone – well, I am not exactly alone.

[that’s Eisley’s little white-tipped nose…they are kissing]

I have become an Allie sandwich with Bodh-Eis bread.  These sweeties have sure softened the blow of my loneliness the last couple nights.

To show them how much they mean to me, I biked home yesterday during my lunch break to give them some love.  The act seemed small because my time with them was pretty short.  I would like to think this act is notable though & softened their lonely day.  My commute takes about 30 minutes in the morning, but happy anticipation pushed me home in 20.  This isn’t a leisurely stroll either; I’m cranking & have a decent climb over a hill that had slipped my mind.  They are worth it…their greetings makes it worth it too.

How on earth can I give Bodhi the attention he deserves with a needy pup in my face?  I try though.  After playing fetch with her for awhile, I distracted Eisley by letting her lick the skin off one hand while brushing Bodhi with the other.  😀

The little things have been on my mind.  I am recognizing & appreciating the small acts I do not normally notice on a day-to-day basis, like Dave always setting the alarm clock or turning on the space heater for me.  I mean, I am a big girl & can set my own clock, but honestly, I was a little paranoid it was not going to go off after I messed with it.

There are the big things too of course, like coming home to a clean – I mean immaculate – house.  We are both generally tidy people who prefer cleaning different areas, which makes us a great team.  If things are clean, I am good at keeping them clean…but the floors hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned since we moved in.  Confession: we have not replaced our vacuum yet & I am being picky about the dust mop I want, which is apparently out of stock indefinitely [or so it seems].  Christine was nice enough to drop off her vacuum & Swiffer before we left for Albuquerque, so Dave cleaned while I was gone – he vacuumed, organized, scrubbed & laundered.  Our home feels lighter & fresh.  I am simply happier because of it.

You know what else brings light, fresh & happy to mind now that we are in AZ?

Local oranges.

While I was away over the weekend, one of Dave’s Valentine gifts arrived, but he had no oranges.  He is the oj drinker of the house, & while I usually pass, it seems sad just sitting on the counter, so I will just have to break it in.  Oh what a life.

Nothing quite like fresh.  It just seems happier.



Open your eyes & heart today.  What small acts of love do you overlook?  Express your appreciation & make your own love known now!

Agencies & “Bombs”

5 Wed, 2011 § Leave a comment

I feel silly I did not think of this sooner, but a lot of people do not consider going through a staffing agency.  Monday I had an interview & assessment with Performance Staffing in Flagstaff; by 10:00 the next morning, they had placed me!  As of 8am tomorrow, that is where I will be.  It is actually with the same company my husband works for, though mine is a temporary position.

I highly recommend looking into a staffing agency to anyone out there who might be having a difficult time finding a job.

I actually really love that it is temporary work for the time being — who knows what may develop from it — because now I do not feel the stress of accepting the first offer I receive for something permanent.  It is also great while I am determining my schedule for school.

Things are finally seeming to settle & fall into place.  Flagstaff is starting to feel like home & not a transient resting point.  I am excited to embrace this town & offer what I can in return.

Maybe seed bombs?

Ever heard of a seed bomb?  While it is quite revolutionary, they are not necessarily new.  I guess the concept arose in the 70s, but recently Daniel Phillips & Kim Karlsrud completely revitalized the concept in a simple yet radical way.  Old gumball machines!

This is so cool.  You just need to watch the video [which I could not get to embed 😦 so just click on the photo below] & hear about it from them.  I want one here & am definitely looking into how I can make that happen.


Today I marveled as I was driving along the freeway to reach crosstown.  The fact I was completely surrounded by trees & that it was not obvious I was still “within” the city struck a deep chord.  Ever since my first glimpse Flagstaff has always meant trees.

A bit more greenery while strengthening the sense of community wouldn’t hurt though, right?


Ever heard of seed bombs?  Do you have any of the “gumball machines” in your city?

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