Last night we tuned to HBO’s premier of Gasland, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary by Josh Fox. Within 30 minutes, we got it, got very upset and had to turn off the film. See trailer.

It feels like it’s all too much these days. Corporate disregard for our environment. Governmental oversight regulations. What? Big corporations who do the most polluting can continue to pollute while everyone looks the other way?

This is the last frontier. How can it get worse, folks? Human behavior has to change now so we don’t have to start colonizing other planets in the future. I mean, what animal fouls its own drinking water? We cannot be that stupid. Yet, amazingly, we are.

The underground stores of natural gas in the US are tremendous. Gas companies are tapping this ocean through hundreds of thousands of wells all over the US. from Texas and Colorado to Pennsylvania and New York State. The result of the fracking, or forcing millions of gallons of chemical laden water into cracks to release the gas does just that- it puts toxic chemicals right into our water supply and releases natural gas.

Gasland shows us up close the damage done, the sickness and devastation thousands of families and communities are experiencing across the country.

We cannot even know what the hundreds of chemicals are because companies do not have to report such information. The EPA would normally be the regulator of an issue like this but the gas lobbyists managed to have fracking exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The most succinct article about the film is in the Huff Post. But there are many people who are speaking out about the results of fracking on their drinking water, including Peter Gorman in The Fort Worth Weekly back in 2008, Jeff Brady for NPR and more. Face it, my driving a fuel efficient car and recycling my cat food cans is such a small piece of a very huge and out-of-control puzzle. Compared with the huge military and corporate reach? I feel like a flea trying to bite a bulldozer.

Rather than leaving us in the lurch, a most useful site is the Gasland site, where you can learn about fracking, and take action.

Environmental groups are lobbying congress. Other ways to support that effort are through EarthworksAction.org, and get educated by reading the OGAP’s (Oil and Gas Accounatibility Project article, and the OGAP’s list of model regulatory and operational practices.

And, if the government isn’t going to regulate, then the states must step up. My next call is to my local congress people. Who are we going to call, T? Ghostbusters?

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Monsanto sues Oakhurst Dairy for label stating that their milk is free from artificial growth hormones and is demanding that the dairy stop labeling as such.

They demand that the dairy remove: “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones.”

Healthfreedoms.org posted this article submitted by Drew Kaplan. The article states: “Monsanto officials said Oakhurst’s ads and labels are deceptive and disparage Monsanto’s products with the inference that milk from untreated cows is better than milk from hormone-treated cows.”

“We believe Oakhurst labels deceive consumers; they’re marketing a perception that one milk product is safer or of higher quality than other milk,” said Jennifer Garrett, director of technical services for Monsanto’s dairy business. “Numerous scientific and regulatory reviews throughout the world demonstrate that that’s unfounded. The milk is the same, and the amount of protein, fats, nutrients, etc. are all the same.”

I don’t believe they are the same milk. Do you? One is tampered with and one isn’t. One is the way nature created it and the other isn’t. One is genetically modified and owned by a huge corporation and one by a small local dairy in Maine.

Think about it. Do they feel threatened? What?!?

I am up to my ears with information about chemicals in shampoos. You need a degree in chemistry to even read the ingredients let alone understand the list. Not only the ingredients, there is the plastic bottle quandary, too.

BUT, wait a minute, shampoo is soap. There are natural soap companies all over. Soap making is an leasy local business.

It is easier than you think to buy shampoo without:

  • detergents
  • sulfates
  • petroleum products
  • parabens
  • pthalates
  • synthetic preservatives
  • artificial colors
  • artificial fragrances
  • foam boosters
  • propylene glycol

You can use a shampoo bar and that is just what I’ve been doing. So, unbeknownst to my bestest friend, T, I have quietly become a fan of shampoo bars- I like the Liggett’s brand, there are countless others and now I have decided that I am going to make some.

Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft is an all natural soap company. Their site explains much about the soap making process.

The great thing about soap is that there are many small companies spread out through our communities. Here in Litchfield County we have GoatBoy Soaps. You can buy their hand made soaps at many retail stores as well as at the Litchfield Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

I think this is a great idea for a business. T was thinking of starting a gluten-free cupcake company called “Cuppies”. But after eating beaucoup de cupcakes all last winter she seems to have changed her mind. At least she isn’t talking about it much. Well, you can’t eat soap. Whaddaya think, T? we could call it “Shampoo on a Rope”, or “Bar of ‘poo”. Only kidding.

I have found a wonderful site with downloadable audio Feldenkreis lessons – Feldenkreis-online.biz.

What is Feldenkreis Method? Dr Moshe Feldenkreis was a physicist who developed simple principles and lessons for personal awareness. Drawing on his years of research in anatomy, physiology, neurology, developmental psychology and sociology, he devised a theory of the particular interrelationships between awareness and movement.

“The main effects are a clear improvement in self-awareness and a pleasant feeling of relaxation in movement and repose. Often these two main effects are coupled with a tranquil, almost euphoric mood.”

Awareness through Movement is usually offered by Feldenkrais teachers for groups in evening or weekend courses, but now you can take a class in your own home.

I have always enjoyed Feldenkreis work. My friend T likes Feldenkreis too, I hope she reads this post! I have experienced both Awareness through Movement, where movements are carried out to verbal instructions, and Functional Integration, where movements are learned from the guiding hands of the Feldenkrais teacher.

The Awareness through Movement classes are deceptively simple with profound results. anyone can do the movements. They might seem so subtle that you think nothing is occurring in your body. I have experienced wonderful surprises by the end of a short 20 minute exploration.

You can try out 2 free classes and if you like, you can register for 4 classes to download to your computer @ 8 Euros/class  32 Euros. then of course, you can register for more. I like repeating a class and discovering and rediscovering possibility and ease in movements.

Feldenkrais Method is suitable for anyone and everyone, whatever their age or possible disabilities, who’s looking to explore their real physical potential and extend their personal movement range.

Feldenkreis is used:

  • in medicine – rehabilitation, preventative treatment, neurology (polio, MS and stroke patients), dental orthopaedics, physiotherapy etc.
  • in psychotherapeutic fields – where opening up to an improvement of physical activeness constitutes an important part of the therapy
  • in all fields – working creatively with movement and physical expression such as dance, drama, singing, instrumental music and sport.

Lead in Lipstick

June 13, 2010

HealthFreedom.org has just commented on the FDA’s test, conducted last year, of 22 red lipstick brands. All contained lead.

Irritability, unexplained changes in mood or personality, changes in sleeping patterns, inability to concentrate, memory loss are some of the adult symptoms of lead poisoning. HMMM….sounds like menopausal symptoms to me. Lead poisoning is insidious as it accumulates in our body slowly being stored and symptoms occur later. Children are greatly at risk because the burden on their little bodies is much greater.

It is estimated that women might ingest an average of 4 pounds of lipstick in our lifetime because we lick our lips, eat and drink.  So it would be a very good idea to know what we are smearing on our mouths every day, eh?

“The lead found in Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red was 34 times higher than the lead found in the lowest scoring lipstick, Avon’s Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee. Clearly, the manufacturers are capable of doing better, said the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics‘ Stacy Malkan. Cover Girl’s media center at Procter & Gamble did not respond to repeated requests for comment.”

“I think some companies are not doing a good job sourcing their ingredients,” Malkan said.

It is known that lead builds up in the body over time and is stored in bones and organs. When a woman is pregnant, nursing and in menopause the demands on her body cause bones and organs to release stored calcium, other minerals as well as lead. Even if there has been no recent exposure, there is lead stored.

Awareness is key. There needs to be more accountability with the manufacturing side, and, as consumers we must demand safe cosmetics. You can sign petitions and be better educated at the Safe Cosmetics site.

Safest lipstick? Not red. Gloss is safer.

Photo Credits: Marisol Villanueva,
courtesy International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

From the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers:

“You Are Desperately Needed”

“We ask you to cast, anchor, and hold the Net of Light steady for
the Gulf of Mexico,” the Grandmothers said. “This crisis is
affecting the entire world, and humanity is asleep. Wake up!” they
cried. “Animals are dying, plants are dying, and your Mother is
writhing in agony. If you hold the Net of Light steady at this time
you will help stave off further catastrophe.

“You have been lulled into a false sleep,” they said, “told that
others (B.P.) will take care of this problem. This is not so,” they
said. “And this is not the time for you to fall into oblivion.
Determine now to stay awake, and once you have made that commitment,
think of, cast, and hold the Net of Light. Hold it deep and hold it
wide. Amplify its reach to penetrate the waters of the Gulf and dive
deep beneath the crust of Mother Earth. Anchor it at the earth’s
core and as you hold it there, ask it to unify with the mineral
kingdom of this planet. It will do this and will harmonize with all
the solid and liquid mineral states on earth-including oil and gas.
The Net of Light will call these minerals back into harmony.

“Whatever human beings have damaged, human beings must correct,” the
Grandmothers said. “This is the law. We repeat: This is the law. You
cannot sit back and ask God to fix the mess humanity has created.
Each of you must throw your shoulders to the wheel and work. We are
asking for your help. Several years ago we gave you the Net of Light
so you would be able to help the earth at times like this. Step
forward now. This is the Net of Light that will hold the earth
during the times of change that are upon you,” they said.

“First move into your heart and call on us. We will meet you there.
The Net of Light is lit by the jewel of your heart,” they said, “so
move into this lighted place within you and open to the Net of which
you are a part. Bask in its calming presence. It holds you at the
same time that you hold it.

“Now think of magnifying your union with us. We, the Great Council
of the Grandmothers, are with you now, and all those who work with
the Net of Light are also with you. There are thousands, even
millions now connected in light,” they said. “Along with this union,
call forth the power of the sacred places on earth. These will
amplify the potency of our joint effort. Then call on the sacred
beings that have come to prevent the catastrophe that threatens to
overwhelm your planet. We will work together,” they said, nodding
slowly.

“Think of, cast and magnify the presence of the Net of Light in the
Gulf of Mexico. See, imagine or think of it holding the waters,
holding the land, the plants, the sea life, and the people. Holding
them all!” they said. “The Net of Light is holding them steady; it
is returning them to balance. Let the love within your lighted heart
keep pouring into the Net of Light and hold, hold, hold. Calmly and
reverently watch as the light from your heart flows along the
strands of the Net. It will follow your command and continuously
move forth. As soon as you think of it, it will happen. We ask you
to practice this for only a few minutes at a time, but to repeat it
throughout the day and night.

“We promise that this work with the Net of Light will do untold good,”
the Grandmothers said. “We are calling you to service now. You are needed.
Do not miss this opportunity. We thank you and bless you.”

The Indigenous Grandmothers

WE, THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS,represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future. We look to further our vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children.

In my November 9, 2009 post I wrote about the glut of mail we all receive and ways to cut down. The US Postal Service had delivered some damaged mail in a special envelope. How nice, except the damaged mail was junk mail. At the time I only knew of a few sources for eliminating the wasteful catalogs and unsolicited advert mail I was receiving. My way of dealing was to phone each company and nicely request to be removed from the mailing list. Ehow had and still has a list of options.

Then my brother introduced me to CatalogChoice.org which at the time only dealt with, you guessed it, catalogs. Catalogs account for only 15% of unsolicited mail. Now CatalogChoice.org has expanded their services to include phonebooks, credit card offers, coupons and other letter-sized direct mailings.

I say, thank you, thank you, CatalogChoice.com.

It is easy to sign up and create your opt-out requests on the site. Taking the time to do this now can save time, energy, trees and recycling hassles in the future. I think it’s a good idea to ACT NOW before those annoying holiday catalogs are addressed, stamped and on their way to your mailbox.