gmaxanimThe kids are home and there are numerous chores that I have accumulated waiting for the “many hands make light work” help. We moved the couch from the barn to the house to accommodate cousins and friends who will be hanging out over the next few days. We tidied up and raked some leaves from the driveway and front of the house and while I was at it I trimmed some suckers off the lilacs. We collected more kindling for the fireplace, covered the seasoning wood pile and put some gardening things away. We also rearranged art and photos on the walls. But there is one chore I forgot until the sun went down- and I sure hope we can get to tomorrow; it’s an icky, stinky job but must be done. Cleaning the gutters. 

According to Josh Peterson, from Planet Green, there are many obvious reasons to clean the gutters and some benefits I hadn’t even considered. The wet leaves are great for the compost pile because they are already gunky and decomposing much faster than “clean and dry” leaves. 

There are also companies that make rain pipes from recycled plastic, screens or even the above pictured possibility from Guttermaxx.  I can easily imagine life without having to clean the gutters every fall. If you like the pipe idea, DIYFIXIT has detailed instructions on how to measure for the correct size pipes that will be able to handle the amount of water coming off your roof; you don’t want to undersize it and have a flood. Of course you can direct the runoff and create a rain garden! images4

Via: Treehugger


Organic Skin Care

November 26, 2008

Aubrey Organics
Nikken True Elements


Your skincare products have petroleum-based ingredients, or parabens or chemicals you cannot pronounce….What to do? You can Freak Out or take control and start to READ LABELS and make informed choices for your healthy home.

For personal care products Aubrey Organics has a line of excellent products and library of safe ingredients for cosmetics. Dr Epstein’s Personal Care Bible addresses other toxic ingredients in personal care products.

Nikken has a new skin care line, True Elements, available  January, 1, 2009,  with all organic and natural ingredients- nothing petroleum-based- and bears the European ecocert seal. I have been using the True Elements entire line for the past month and I notice my pores are tighter and my skin is hydrated all day, and people have commented on my skin, the coloring and texture. The True Elements products come singly or as a pack which include exfoliating scrub, foaming cleanser, toner, contour serum, day cream and night creams. There is so much new information about the importance of what we put in our body and on our body. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so please make smart choices and make the effort to use safe and simply formulated and organic skin care products.

Sporadically, for over a year, I have been experiencing a very itchy, burning and blistering rash on my breasts. Dermatologists and MD’s, homeopaths and ND’s couldn’t figure out the cause except maybe rubbing from my bra causing some kind of contact dermatitis, allergic reaction to soap…. The rash was ONLY under my bra. I washed and washed my bras, I changed detergents, eliminated detergents and even resorted to trying cortisone creams and claritin. The only thing that worked was not wearing a bra for a few weeks so it could clear up, which is fine in most situations, but there are times when ya just gotta have some support and then I’d get the rash. Well, I just found out why (thanks to Karla!) and I want you all to pass on this information to your sisters. 
Some Victoria’s Secret bras- maybe other brands, don’t know, somehow have formaldehyde or some toxic irritant in them. I have not had my bras tested- I threw them away before I read all about this, however, there is a bra that apparently did have formaldehyde in the fabric and if you read the links below you will find other similar stories. I’d say don’t wear them- even if you don’t have symptoms, until we get to the bottom of this. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell your friends and family. There are so many women who have been suffering with rashes and burning on their breasts. I have ordered some magnetic clay for a poultice, I’ll let you know how that goes.
and the list goes on.
Let me know if you know anything more!

picture-3I am not a car freak but after hearing the report on NPR tonight I was totally sold and I really want one of these sports cars just launched by Tesla Motors and who wouldn’t? 244 miles per charge, burns no oil, quiet- there’s a little melody that plays to let you know it’s on, 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds not that I need whiplash but still…, you can read the faq’s and decide for yourself on questions such as what are the benefits in driving and EV, will my iPod and Bluetooth work with the car and how long does it take to charge. Can I borrow $100K? Don’t know if I can wait until the family model comes out next year and the price comes down.

I like Martha Beck’s article in Oprah’s Spirit Newsletter online. Beck is a life coach and regular contributor to the newsletter. This particular column addresses the helpful person in all of us and gives us several choices when dealing with someone who is asking for help but is resistant to our suggestions. 

She writes: “One of my personal mottoes is “Love it, leave it, or lead it.” When faced with a problem, I allow myself these three options—and only these three. “Love it” means peacefully accept whatever’s happening. If that’s not possible, I may be able to “leave it,” simply walk away from the whole dilemma. The third option, “lead it,” requires that I recognize and use whatever power I have (even if I feel helpless). If I can’t devise a solution on my own, I must “lead” my helpers by asking clear, purposeful questions and taking good advice when I get it. I’ve found that the “three Ls” are invaluable when you find yourself trading volleys with someone who doesn’t want to change. ”

She goes on to give concrete examples of situations and possible outcomes using these three options. Most important she takes this into the arena of self-talk and self-sabotage. Have you ever noticed yourself doing this same thing while speaking with someone else or even battling it out amongst your “selves”? Use those 3 “L’s”!! Click here to read.

Song Du Jour

November 16, 2008


From a songwriters sing concert at Milton Hall, Litchfield, CT in ’91.

And although my husband still travels alot I have a better handle on my life, and it isn’t as hard as it used to be now that the children are grown.


November 14, 2008


Josh is my source for cool things and though I tried to resist passing this on, well I just couldn’t. Watch 4 year old Capucha with the big brown eyes tell the never-ending tale of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and the hippo, crocodile giraffe, monkeys, witch and the rest. I laughed so much, she is just too cute.


Every religion teaches compassion and tolerance. In these times of extremism and fundamentalism is there a way to come together? Starting as the wish of Karen Armstrong, authority on world religion and recipient of one of the 3 2008 TED prizes and now being created, the intention of the Charter for Compassion  is about “bringing together the voices of people from all religions… the Charter seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule.

“The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world”. And it will be written by the world through special group decision making software and the overseeing by a Council of Sages, made up of religious thinkers and leaders, who will craft the world’s words into the Charter which will not only speak to the core ideas of compassion “but will also address the actions all segments of society can take to bring these ideas into the world more fully”. Visit the new website, watch the short video and contribute your thoughts and ideas. I am very moved by the masterpiece we will create together through this project.

via: TED

I Get Misty

November 12, 2008


Of course, Josh has found the most stylish humidifier. Most humidifiers are strange looking, right? Clear wells that need refilling and clunky shape that you wish you could hide. Well here is that camoflage product in designer colors, too. This is a product made by a Japanese company who makes everyday objects useful art. humidifier_01

Don’t forget we need air filtration especially in the winter. Indoor air is worse than outdoor air- and it’s winter, our windows are closed and besides being dry there will normally be a dearth of negative ions– so an air filter that generates negative ions safely (without creating ozone as a by product) is a must.

Mind the Gap

November 11, 2008


Okay, every woman needs a package of these useful tape strips on hand. Peek-A-Boob Strips-tell me how I lived without them up ’til now? Useful, useful and useful for the unsightly gap between buttons on a shirt, or the too plunging neckline of my new silver ruffled blouse and I suppose you can use it to stick clothing to skin, too? The suggested uses include sticking together a hem come loose, bra strap hiding and securing clothing. $8.89 for 30 strips and FREE SHIPPING.



via: CatWalkQueen