Happy Halloween !

Woo hoo, time is flying by – here it is Halloween already. One of my favorite holidays!

Happy Halloween pumpkin

We’re all set for the little ones to come by for goodies. Didn’t do as much as usual this year, somehow the holiday snuck up on us. So we don’t have the vibrating dead rat, or the huge ghost out front – but we do have creepies and crawlies, and our friendly Scary Witch on the front porch. My DH is probably going to wear his Headless Frankenstein Monster suit again. The kids love it :-)

Have a happy, safe, fun Halloween!

Saturday morning cartoons…

A day I never thought I’d see: Saturday, October 4, 2014, there were no Saturday morning cartoons.

I haven’t actually watched Saturday cartoons in decades. I won’t miss them or anything. And I think it’d be great if thousands of kids weren’t parked parked in front of the TV so they could absorb early-propoganda lessons about Stuff They Need To Buy. But I’m not that naive. There is still “children’s programming” and there are lots of commercials for those.

And handing your kid the iPad or tablet and letting them play on that for hours isn’t a big improvement over cartoons.

It’s just another name for “keeping the kids entertained”. And yeah there’s educational stuff available on the net. Oh yeah, kids are turning that on, right.

Kind of makes me miss the cartoons, actually.

Gisele Bundchen in sustainable hemp gown!

Now this is fashion at its finest. A beautiful woman, and a gorgeous gown:

Gisele Bundchen in sustainable hemp gown

I spotted this gorgeous creation (I meant the dress but hey, Gisele too) on Yahoo’s weekly “Too Hot to Handle” photo feature spotlighting celebrities who look great, or who are promoting something Yahoo’s invested in, or whatever. But this one is totally on the mark. Gisele looks great. The dress is fab. And according to the text, the gown is a “100% sustainable Prophetik hemp gown”.

We need to see more from Prophetik, and more of these gorgeous dresses, and does anybody want to guess why we haven’t seen more hemp products in, like, ever? Oh? because the right wing doesn’t want us to grow pot…er, hemp (no, it is not always the same thing) because they can’t make any money off it, if we do? You don’t suppose that’s it, do you?

Pfft. Hemp is sustainable. The dress is beautiful. What’s not to love?

Easter Wishes

Spring is finally here – yes it’s rainy today and chilly, but there’s fresh green out there too – it’s springtime in Missouri :-)

And this is Easter week – for everyone who celebrates it, have a wonderful, happy, and loving Easter!

And – you probably know what I’m going to say. It’s a lovely tradition to give gifts at Easter.

These are often considered gifts:

Bunny Rabbit
Bunny Rabbit

Baby Chicks
Baby Chicks

These are living creatures. Please, please, don’t give them as gifts. They’re not toys.

Have a wonderful and loving Easter.

The Challenger

It’s January 28, and of course I’m rememering the Challenger.

This pretty much says it all:

The Challenger astronauts - civvies here

Why did I put that pic first? Because before they were astronauts – even more important than that they were astronauts – first they were just people. Courageous, outrageous, fun-loving, silly, ordinary people. Well. Maybe not ordinary.

And here’s the official one:

The official Challenger Crew pic

Yes, they are heroes. Not because they died. That was just – stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. They were heroes because they wanted to go, and worked for it, and knew it was risky, and WANTED to go.

So this is for Greg Jarvis, Christa Mcauliffe, Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnick, Dick Scobee, and Michael Smith. Thanks, guys. You’re not forgotten. R.I.P. and God bless.

Boycotting Smithfield Foods And Smithfield Farms and WHY

It’s all over the web right now – the Humane Society worked undercover at a farm owned by Smithfield Foods, probably the main pork producer in this country. The Yahoo News article can be found here:

Undercover investigation of Smithfield Foods reveals factory farm horrors. If you enjoy eating pork occasionally, you might not want to read any further. But you probably should –

And yes, you probably should. I did. I’m writing to Smithfield Foods to let them know why I’m boycotting all of their products. And am researching right now to find local farmers who sell retail groceries (at farmers markets and such) as well as to stores. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while – now I’ve gotten a kick in the butt.

I’m not a vegan – leaning more that way as time goes by, but not yet. I just don’t want to support companies that torture animals, every day, all year long, because it makes them a little more money.

I’ll pay more. I’ll sleep better. Support local farmers!

Rare Pink Diamond – or, What Planet Do You Live On?

Saw this in the news today: Sotheby’s is going to be offering a 24.78 karat, uber rare pink diamond for sale next month:

Rare Pink Diamond offered at Sotheby's

Just for giggles, let’s compare it to these:

Pink Octagon Vintage Glass Jewels

Pink 12mm x 10mm vintage glass diamond jewels I have available in my Etsy shop.

Of course the two are worlds apart, and the cut of the diamond is incomparable.

However – the diamond is expected to fetch up to $38 million dollars at auction. Yes. That was “thirty eight MILLION”.

The vintage glass jewels sell for $3.19 a pair.

So my point is, both are pretty. Yes, absolutely, the diamond is rare and incalculable and like that, but — who buys stuff like that? This isn’t even sour grapes on my part. Why would a person want something like that? Just to show it off? Well, yeah, but — I mean, who cares? It’s simply a cultural / ethnic / socioeconomic gap so wide it’s funny.

I mean – what planet do THEY live on?

Let Vermontasaurus Live!

I’m probably joining a very big bandwagon here, but I don’t care – they need to find a way to let Vermontasaurus live.

You’ve probably heard about it, but if not, here’s the short form: Brian Boland, a gentleman in Vermont, decided to turn a bunch of trash, scrap lumber, discarded broken ladders, and you name it, into a… well, a dinosaur-ish creature. This was apparently a spontaneous idea, and a fun one, and the stuff was just trash and junk, and he (and a bunch of volunteers) made – Ta Da – Vermontasaurus:

Vermontasaurus, The Only One Of His Kind

And they – the guvmint, the revooners, the permit people, the Official Nameless Ones, are probably going to make him tear it down. It’s probably a fire hazard, or somebody might stab themselves on a rusty nail, or maybe kids will god forbid play on it.

Yes, kids should probably stay off it. And I guess they have to think about the fire thing – although the ‘raw materials’ trash was allowed to collect, and nobody hollered about it. But either way, dammit, this is Art, or at least Fresh Air, this was spontaneous or so we’re told, and it’s fun. At a time when we could use a little of that – well we always need fun, truly – but right now? with all the bad news out there? Come on.

Let the Vermontasaurus live.

A Silly Question about the U.S. Census

Only, maybe not so much. Like most of us (well here in the U.S. anyway) we recently got a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau (or whatever their official name is) telling us that we were going to get a letter from them soon, requesting accurate updated census information about our household.

Then we got the census form. Then a few days later, we got another piece of mail from them, reminding us how important the Census Data is, and saying if we hadn’t mailed it back yet, would we please remember to do so Real Soon.

Now first off this seems like a lot of (expensive) mail for them to generate. The guys on the news say it’s worth it because there are so many people who won’t bother, and the census people have to send real live humans to each house that doesn’t respond, to get accurate data, etc etc. Okay fine, I’ll go along with that.

But: the instructions on the census form very clearly state that you are supposed to fill out the form with accurate information AS OF APRIL 1, 2010. And they’re already asking why we haven’t returned the form. Note that I am writing this blog entry on March 27, 2010 – and we received the “why haven’t you returned your form yet” postcard FIVE DAYS AGO.

Well, duh, it’s not April 1, 2010 yet. (Gotta wondered who picked April-Fools-Day as a return date, too.)

I know a lot of households won’t change from, say, March 20 to April 1. But, sadly, many of them will. People die, people move out, people split up. The kids leave. The kids come home. His or her kids come home – and need to be counted in census because they have to fit into classrooms.

So is this a case of “you can have it now, or you can have it right”? Do they want us to follow their instructions? If not, why did they include them? And if they DO want us to follow their instructions, why are they bugging us?

Dryer Sheets – don’t use them – but if you do, REuse them!

So first off I should say that I never use dryer sheets. I don’t think we need them (the only thing that ever gets static-y is the few silk things we’ve got, and I’m totally willing to deal with that). I think it is a deliberate Proctor-and-Grumble-ish advertising invention to make us think we need them. And, we have birds. The fake perfume in the dryer sheets is poison to birds (and to us too, only we are bigger).

But a whole lot of people do use them, and think they need them. So I’m just asking, if you buy them, please do reuse them! Turns out there are a bunch of nifty things to do with them. These ideas aren’t original with me – I’ve gotten this handy list from Daily Green Cheapskate over on Yahoo. (Love that name, by the way.)
Dryer Softener SheetsA few highlights from the “how to reuse dryer sheets” list:

1. Use them more than once. (Back when I did use them, years ago, this totally worked. They’re good for three-four washes at least.)

2. Anti-static dust wipes (use them to clean your monitor and TV screen – they’re great for that).

3. Pot scrubbers and sink / tub scrubs.

4. Dust-free blinds: Not only do spent dryer sheets make a handy wipe for metal and plastic blinds, but the chemicals in them help to repel dust.

5. Get your shine on: When used as a polishing rag, dryer sheets make mirrors and chrome appliances shine. They’re also great for cleaning windows and other glass.

They’re also recommended as sort-of-sachet. Put one in your glove box or underwear drawer so you can smell that creepy sweet scent for ages. (Can you tell I don’t like the smell? Yeah.)

Check out the full article here.

And for even more super useful info on how to go green easily, go to The Green Cheapskate Blog. There are TONS of good ideas there.

And it’s fun. And you’ll feel good about it :-)