Your Ecological Footprint

August 4, 2011



Do you know how large your ecological footprint is? Are you interested in lowering your footprint?

Look no further. The Center For Sustainable Ecology has put together a good quiz with wonderful information about all aspects of our lifestyles and possible changes we can make.

I took the quiz and found out that if everyone lived as my family does (which I thought was very frugally and consciously) we would still require more than one earth to sustain the lifestyle. It isn’t fair to the rest of the world to take such a large share of things.

The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis. After answering 27 easy questions you’ll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to others’ and learn how to reduce your impact on the Earth.

Flash Mob? Crop Mob!

July 24, 2011

Farming is traditionally a physical and labor intensive endeavor. In the past, community efforts were often necessary for planting, harvesting, processing, including barn-raising and house-raising. Modern day farming has become mechanized enabling  farmers to “do it alone”. A lonely career. Through resurgence of smaller farming initiatives a wonderful community spirit has emerged. People are participating in CSA’s and organic and local farmers are recognized in their communities and are well-received at local farmer’s markets.

Enter the Crop Mob movement. A group of 19 farmers, apprentices and friends in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) began to work together to harvest sweet potatoes at the Piedmont Biofarm. They have made it a tradition and out of that tradition has grown to over 50 groups throughout the US. Find your local group on the map.

From the Crop Mob website:

“Many crop mobbers are apprentices or interns on these sustainable farms. The need for community participation matches a desire for community among young people interested in getting into farming. The crop mob was conceived as a way of building the community necessary to practice this kind of agriculture and to put the power to muster this group in the hands of our future food producers.

Any crop mobber can call a crop mob to do the kind of work it takes a community to do. We work together, share a meal, play, talk, and make music. No money is exchanged. This is the stuff that communities are made of.”

For more information, please send an email to And check them out on facebook.


VIA: Kay Carroll, Market Master, Litchfield Farmer’s Market

Recently I was driving and talking on the phone (hands-free) with my dearest friend, T. Somewhere shortly into our conversation I could hear her connection getting bad as she was driving in the rain and clearly getting out of range of a cell tower. Then, predictably, the called was dropped.

(Dropped calls are annoying but a fact of life. My friend K is very patient with me when I am on my cellphone because I live in a rural area with poor cell coverage and she is Chicago where there is probably too much. When we are disconnected I call her back when I get into range.)

Giving T time to move back into range, I think I phoned her back, or maybe she phoned me…hmmm.

We laughed about the call drop and then T pronounced the following edict: Whoever initiates the call, calls back. No matter what. And that’s her new rule.

When two people converse it is a mutual agreement to converse. So it stands to reason that when this protocol is employed everyone needs to agree as well. So, of course, I agree, it makes sense not to exchange calls and messages back and forth. Then I had thoughts like: how about when I phone her back and she is still out of range? Is it then her turn to phone me back? Or is the responsibility all with me? In my family usually whoever drops the call calls back when they have service. So now I’ll have to remember whose protocol is whose.

I appreciate that T has brought this up and I am curious about this so I have been cruising the internet reading about cellphone etiquette. There are many “rules” out there concerning ringtones, where it is cool and uncool to have conversations, volume of conversations and more. Here are some funny and thoughtful ideas as well as some of my input (5 and 6) on dropped call etiquette:

1. Some dropped calls are on purpose! Have you ever just hung up because you didn’t want to speak to someone? People do! Check out some of the responses at

2. Have you done this: “What? Can’t hear you? You’re breaking up….” and then hang up? People do that, too, and even talk about it online….So how can you be sure someone hasn’t just hung up on you? There is even “fake an excuse” software out there.

3. There are many online references to the “Scoville Protocol” which is whoever dropped the call, phones back. I tend to like this one. You usually know if you dropped the call, don’t you? I found references to smartphones that know they’ve dropped a call and can redial the last number. Get the App called AutoRedial 1.0 or RedialOn for Blackberry.

4. There are also many references to what I now call the “T Protocol”: whoever initiated the call, calls back. People online have even claimed it as their original idea!

5. True confession: Sometimes I don’t remember who called whom. (Forgive me if I don’t call back, friends.)

6. If you are talking to my 96-year-old cousin or my father, you will always call them back, please, no matter who initiated the call.

7. I found this excellent and anonymous comment online: “There is perhaps one exception; if both are fairly certain that one of them is known to have a less expensive way of returning the call, then a few extra moments should be left reserved to give them an opportunity to do so.”

8. And, this from, “So what should you do if a spotty patch of cell coverage lops off the call before the closing bookend? (“Well, I really should get going. I’m trying to …”) Even if there’s not much left to say, the redial button is obligatory. Otherwise, the likely effect is either confusion (think colleagues or grandparents) or insult (think boss or boyfriend). “Communication is not just about accomplishing tasks,” says Scripps College of Communication dean Gregory Shepherd. “It’s about managing relationships.” So call back to say good-bye, even if you had them at hello … hello?”

Dave Delaney from states: “He who called returns the call.” also has a great deal to say about cellphone etiquette.

And, of course, a dropped call joke: “I was talking to you when the call dropped. I do not know where to pick up…. We just had a cellular moment.”

Tapping for Japan

March 15, 2011

How to hold our hearts open to peace, love and hope in the face of all the fear and difficulties of the world today? Here is a beautiful Tapping Prayer from the Tapping Solution. Scroll to mid-page for Jessica’s recording. Very calming and very empowering.

Fear of the Future? Who me?

November 27, 2010

The wisdom of Spotted Eagle is always welcome for me. The re-post today on is timely on Thanksgiving weekend when I, at least, am a bit confronted with family “tradition”, myths and behaviors. Jennie Marlow writes that we must admit that  “we are resisting what has already been created; there is an uncertainty we cannot accept; and this uncertainty cannot be changed or controlled. We must further admit that the one thing we are most able to change is our thinking. If we do not start here, addressing the mythology of the Mind, then what we can and should do in the present moment will be hidden from us.”

Here is what Spotted Eagle says:

The Gifts of a Willing Heart

April 30th, 2010 by jenniemarlow

“Many of you have a habit of allowing your Mind to drag you off into its fearful imaginings about the future. Notice that you are very willing to believe in the terrors you imagine even though most of them never come to pass. Notice that the more traumatic your early life was, the more you believe in a terrible future. Depending upon your personality, you will either believe that you can control the future, or believe that the future will overwhelm you. Notice that this story of what will happen is your personal mythology, based on your conditioning, your history and your beliefs. Notice that it has nothing to do with your possibilities to experience essence in the now.”

— Spotted Eagle

Social Networking at work – I read a random post on a friend’s page from another friend about her new sci-fi book available for FREE download. Curious, I clicked the link and downloaded what turned out to be a good and even inspiring read. A good storyteller with a spiritual dream for a better world, Deborah Pratt’s The Vision Quest, Book One reveals the Earth in the not-too-distant future is suffering from the effects of genetic tampering, over-corporatizing and greed. Freedom is hanging by a thread. There is hope involved, too, in the form of passionate and talented young people, some broad-thinking adults and a “Yoda”- like sage/teacher. The lost continents have risen due to massive earthquakes and storms and polar cap meltings and it is a brave new world, complete with sentient and dangerous robots and the precious and endangered Gnorbs of knowledge, of course.

Deborah Pratt was a co-executive producer and a writer on the Quantum Leap TV series. Book 2 is already out and Book 3 is about to be released. The Vision Quest website looks like a haven for teen interaction, including “transmissions” and online experiences including:

Pratering – a single, focused thought supported by love, organized on a mass level, to occur at a specific time with the intention to create a shift in consciousness and manifest a result into reality. We are the heroes we have been waiting for. The Quest begins now.”

From Gaiam, here is an interesting video of not-so-easy, very toning and balancing poses with Pat Moreno, that engage your core and can crack a small sweat  in 6 minutes. Take these with you through the holidays when you might not be able to slip away for a workout.


Pretty Awesome Katie Makkai

October 23, 2010

“Will I be pretty….?” Katie Makkai asks in her powerful poem “Pretty” pretty what? – pretty intelligent, compassionate, creative?

Haven’t we all been programmed in our ancient DNA to be overly-concerned (obsessed?) with our outer physical body which merely houses the extraordinary, vast and complex inner resources making us the amazing individuals that we are. Watch this inspiring and deeply moving video of Makkai, pass this on to your sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers with love and compassion.

Big hug and hat tip to Gina Lazenby.

What is “HOME”

September 13, 2010

ET wanted to go home. Dorothy wanted to go home. As my mother-in-law was dying she told  us she wanted to go home. As a child, I never wanted to leave home.

What is that universal yearning for “homeness”? Is “Home” a place where your memories and secrets and unfinished business is stored? Here is an article and a beautiful short film by Richard Levine about Home. Inspired by reading Lee Kravitz’s book, My Unfinished Business, Levine, a former commercial producer turned cross-platform media creative through his company,  Cyberia Media, uses his known medium, film, to create his personal journey into facing his emotional unfinished business. The power of naming, facing our deep emotions from the past is a powerful form of internal feng shui/clearing. Levine’s poem set of evocative music and powerful imagery is moving for me. I found myself walking, walking and exploring my childhood home and my old memories and now see many things in a new light.

Hat tip: Jackie Austin

Hokusai Says

July 12, 2010

“Hokusai Says” is a poem by Roger Keyes. Hokusai was a master Japanese artist and printmaker of the nineteenth century who at eighty-nine on his own deathbed said, “If I had another five years, I could have become a real painter.”

Hokusai Says

Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself
as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
are life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

by Roger Keyes

Via: Barbara