Flu sucks

I’ve been sick with the flu for 3 days now and it sucks.  I’m not used to being sick; not used to just sitting around until my “behind” gets numb; not used to having ‘sandwiches’ or toast for supper….for 3 days in a row; yup, having the flu sucks.  I can’t remember having the flu for about 16+ years, so I guess it was time to re-boost my immune system naturally.  While I’m sitting around unable to do too much on-the-move, I’m AM able to type this blog.  And I’m cranky too so don’t expect an uplifting moment from me today……..okay? (sheepishly said).

So while I’m down and out today, I’m going to get up on my soapbox just because I want to (and remember I’m miserable and crochetty too).  Let me qualify my situation right off the bat here:  I never have a flu shot.  I’ve researched the entire debate for years and I’ve decided that I’m better off without a flu shot.  Drug companies decide the year before which flu “types” to include in the next year’s vaccine.  I suppose they must do some terrific research or guessing which flu stain will become the most virulent a whole year into the future.  And so many times, I’ve heard ‘oh sorry, we didn’t include THAT strain that’s the most serious this year….oops, we guessed wrong’.    I’m not surprised with my decisions as I’ll admit that I’m biased in the first place and go on “high alert” for any ‘Authorities’ recommendation of routine immunizations like the annual flu shot or childhood immunizations.  It’s debatable whether routine immunizations are as effective as the public is led to believe.  For instance, other factors have historically come into play at the same time as the introduction of childhood immunizations, like antibiotics,  refrigeration, electricity, and clean drinking water.  I invite you to research before making any decisions about routine immunizations for you or your family.   AND there’s alot of money to be made by Pharmaceutical companies with that flu shot they’ve convinced the government to fund and your Doctor to recommend…….just saying.

‘Back in the day’, in 1975 when my first baby was born, I asked about the routine immunizations ‘demanded’ by my family doctor.  It was like I was practically insulting him to question him!  I admit that I did not immunize my first born at the usual tender age but rather later, after I had started him on solid foods.  Those days, babies were immunized against Diptheria, Polio, Tetanus, Pertussis, and Measles, Mumps, Rubella.  Today, in addition to these immunizations, the Government here also recommends Hepatitis B, Influenza, Varicella (chicken pox), Rotavirus,  Meningoccal Disease-group CHaemophilus Influenzae B (HIB), Pneumococcal disease, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) -for grade 8 girls.  Whew!  I feel sick again just THINKING about all this!  AND “because of changes in the influenza strains, adults also need an influenza shot each year. As well as a tetanus and diphtheria shot every 10 years throughout life, to be protected against these diseases” -so they say. *   I notice that they group certain immunizations together, like diptheria-polio-tetanus or measle, mumps, and rubella.  When we chose to immunize one of our sons against polio, we had to special order that vaccine BUT it was coupled with tetanus.  We were told that it was manufactured in this way only.  SO it seems that the manufacturers have a stranglehold on parental decisions too.

Diptheria!  I’ve never known anyone who had diptheria, have you?  Is it even common in our country?  In the United States, a country with ten times our population, there were only 3 cases of diptheria between 2000-2007.  But the Pharmaceutical industry is BIG business!  And they have lots of clout with decision-making governments who fund the immunization program.

When I was a child, it was pretty routine for every kid to get chicken pox. In fact, many parents had “chicken pox parties” to expose their children to the disease and get it over with.  I found having chicken pox  itchy but kinda cool laying on the couch for a couple of days.  I still have a few scars, but nothing that has affected my life.  In fact,  about 15 years ago, I developed Shingles (the “Chicken Pox” virus / Varicella-zoster virus) and actually ‘gave’ the chicken pox to my two youngest children!  -not on purpose, honest!

I also remember being vaccinated against Smallpox in the 1950s, something that is NOT done these days as the World Health Organization declared its eradication in 1979.

Some of my children have had various combinations of vaccinations while my two youngest have had none.  Upon school registration, the public health unit tried to intimidate and threaten me with misinformation to get me to immunize our children, unsuccessfully.  It was THEM who got informed!  And now there is an Immunizations Exemption form for parents to sign  saying ‘Conscious Objection’ rather than having to lie for “religious reasons” which used to be the only exemption other than medical.

One of my adult children, Marty, is a world traveller often going to Asian countries without further immunizations other than that polio-tetanus shot he had as a child.  It seems he has decided that this is the best decision for him.

Okay, well I think that it’s time for me to slowly get down off my “soapbox” and rest awhile…..maybe it’s not so bad having the flu after all.

*http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/immun/immunization.html

Cheery Geranium blooming

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP for the Soul

As promised in my last post, I’m sharing my recipe for homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  I usually make soup the day after I have roasted a whole chicken for dinner, which I did on Thursday.  Hence I made soup on Friday…. here’s my recipe:

First I take all the meat off of the bones of the cooked chicken and save any leftovers for soup, Chicken sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, or hot chicken sandwiches.

Then I put all the bones in a large pot and add at least 6-10 cups of water plus 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar and put it on the stove to simmer for 2-4 hours.  The vinegar helps bring out the “good stuff” from the marrow.   I usually put mine on the wood cookstove to simmer for the afternoon.

Boiling Chicken Bones

After boiling the bones, drain.  If there is alot of stock just use the generous amount of ingredients below.  The chicken ‘stock’ is now ready for :

* 1-2 handfuls of egg noodles (I personally like Lancia).  You could probably use cooked rice too I suppose, but don’t cook it to death or it will get mushy and fall apart…..

* 1 – 1  1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon or so of “Mrs. Dash”  or other non-salt combination of herbs

*  1 tablespoon of dried or fresh (use abit more)  parsley

*  pieces of cubed cooked chicken.

You can also add any cooked veggies that suit you…..  I don’t for this soup.

Simmer until the noodles are soft, then it’s ready to eat or store in a glass bottle in the fridge.  This soup makes a quick, great lunch for days afterwards.

I’ve also used the chicken stock to replace the water when cooking rice.  With some added Mrs. Dash, it’s a pretty tasty side dish.

My friend Della calls my Chicken Noodle Soup “magic soup” for it’s perceived medicinal properties when you are sick….

Enjoy!

Ready to Eat!

My Thoughts on World Oil

I like to write about everyday happenings in my life but occasionally I like to pursue ‘deep’ topics that are near and dear to my heart.  Peak Oil is one of them.  “Peak Oil” is the point at which the production of conventional crude oil begins an irreversible decline.  The effect of this is that scarcity-induced price increases will require huge changes in modern industrial societies.

I can barely remember the 1973 oil crisis of the seventies as I lived in an apartment and we had an old ’65 Chevelle, which we filled up for about $0.36 (yes that’s cents) a gallon!  I actually had to research that oil crisis online to refresh my memory.  I am really in my infancy when it comes to knowledge about the world’s oil, peak oil, all the products made of oil, and how all this affects every single one of us in every aspect of our lives, now and in the future.   Let me share with you what I’ve learned, because knowledge is power.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fanatic, just an informed citizen!

One thing for sure is that “the 1973 ‘oil price shock’, along with the 1973-1974 stock market crash, have been regarded as the first ever event since the Great Depression to have a persistent economic effect.”* –  the price of oil suddenly quadrupled…..to $12 US a barrel…..oooooooh (sarcastic).  The developed world had been used to inexpensive fossil fuels since the second world war and created a life around it.  I watched a video recently about the relationship between cheap fossil fuels and how it has moulded our entire lives.  I was astounded to learn that the auto industry was instrumental in

Our Post WWII House 1955

the development of post WWII suburban subdivisions and financed building the roads leading to them – to sell more cars which used all that cheap oil.  After the deprivation during the war, people wanted stuff and lots of it, from homes in the suburbs and everything that went in them to shiny new cars to get them there. (if anyone knows of the video I’m referring to, please share the link).  It made ME think about how my parents, us, and our childrens’ generations have been manipulated for profit…..mind boggling!

Just about everything in our lives has a connection to oil:  from the food we eat, the plates we eat it on, every day containers, beauty products…..not just fuel for our vehicles.  Oil is utilized in most products either in the making of them, actually an ingredient in them, or transporting them.

.......from far, far away

Oil has such a profound influence on our lives, so can you imagine what life would be like with much less oil?  It’s a known fact that the world has already reached its maximum production of oil.  The Oil Sands project in Alberta is an example of how much harder it will be to extract oil from the ground…..and how much more expensive it’s about to get for less oil.  Can you imagine our world with fewer products we presently rely on?  Less fuel, albiet more and more expensive to purchase, to warm homes, transport food and goods, and get people from all those suburbs to their jobs?

So what is a person to do?  Are there ways to simply decrease our personal dependence on oil?  Yes!  First, BUY LESS STUFF!   It’s pretty simple that the less we consume, the less oil utilized because producing and transporting nothing uses nothing…..duh!  It’s a real learning curve to buy less stuff than you are used to, either out of habit or convenience.  Secondly, BUY LOCAL.  Anything!  Everything!  That’s a no-brainer.  Yes for sure it takes time to source out local goods and services, but I think WE and our world are worth it.  Back in the old days, 70-80 years ago, most goods and services were local.  NOTHING came from China.   Every town and city area had its own bakery, cobbler, creamery, mill, cheese factory, cabinet-maker, and farmers market.  My Nana Lil told us that back in the ’20s and ’30s most people in her city neighbourhood had a few chickens in their backyard and a big garden, feeding families much larger than today.  Anybody can have a garden!

Spring 2011 new 'Kitchen Garden'

Apartment dwellers can rent a plot from the city for a nominal fee and homeowners can turn any patch of grass into a garden.  Third, I feel we need to SIMPLIFY.  I shake my head when I see a new gadget ‘invented’ to do the same job of another – and people feel they NEED to have it.   And of course, DRIVE LESS.  There are many other ways to reduce our dependence on oil.

Like I said before, I’m just learning about all this oil stuff.  It’s very thought-provoking and is instilling a sense of committment to our planet in a greater sense than once a year on Earth Day.  Thanks for listening to my rant……..  and next time, I promise, I’ll post a recipe!

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis#cite_note-Perron1988-2The

My Family History

I watched a TV show yesterday called Ancestors in the Attic where a man who had never met his deceased  birth father eventually traced the family back to Japan thereby meeting an entire side of his family he didn’t even know existed.  It got me thinking how lucky I am:  I come from a very large family -most of whom I’ve met – that is now spread throughout the globe.  But my ancestry is very interesting indeed.

1929 Aunties Marg, Alberta, Ida & my Mom, baby Nellie

On my mother’s side of the family, our heritage has been traced back as far as 1730 and on my father’s side to the year 1693!  I can take no credit for this amazing discovery of my past:  my cousin Glenn traced our maternal family history in celebration of my Grandmother’s 100th birthday.  His discovery through Family Search matched the oral history which had been handed down to me!  I recall that my some of my ancestors were United Empire Loyalists who came to Canada via their eviction from America for being loyal to the British Crown around 1775.  It seems that my grandparents’ families were “land locked” in a town on the east coast, before road access, for several hundred years, therefore it appears that I am related to nearly everybody who ever lived in or near that small town!   Both sides of my family share some of the same last names too.   My Grandmother’s Grandfather was a native Canadian and my Grandfather’s Greatx5 Grandfather was a Colonel to General Wolfe  at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759!  Most of my ancestors are buried in several church graveyards in that small maritime town.  Many of these relatives lived long lives through hard times.  Some of the common names over the last 275 years include Ellen (year 1992, 1929, 1842), John (year 1878, 1833, 1825, 1790, 1753, 1730) , William (year 1924, 1875, 1821, 1825),  and Sarah (year 1904, 1871, 1821, 1786).   They are said to be originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Holland, and Germany.

My paternal British cousin Graham traced our family history while looking for his birth father’s burial place in Canada.  This is an interesting story:  Our Dads were brothers and he’d lost touch with his Father when he was very young.  But our Moms always stayed in touch over the years even though they lived on different continents.  So I had the opportunity to finally meet my cousin and my Auntie when I travelled to England in 1977.  Then thirty-two years passed and I lost touch with them (my Aunt passed away- my mail returned) until I got a phone call one afternoon in 2009, from England from my long, lost cousin Graham!  I was so thrilled and relieved that I had been re-connected!  That same year, my sisters and I discovered that our Dad’s only living sister lived about an hour away from me!  We made the trek to see her and found out that we had many cousins we didn’t even know existed!  Our Aunt gave us further information about the family as well.  Graham and his wife Valerie came over from England to visit me in 2010.  I had known very little about my Dad’s side of the family until Graham did his research.  That side of the family came from Neilston, Renfrewshire, Scotland and came over to Canada in the early 1800s.  It appears that ‘they’ spent the next 140 years in the same small town.   Popular names on my Dad’s side of the family include John (1693, 1800, 1843, 1863, 1880, 1914) and Elizabeth (1748, 1774, 1811, 1951).

It was incredible for me to stroll with my daughter Kristi,  through the cemetaries down home a few years ago, as it  provided so much history and a connection to our family so long ago.  I’ve always been interested in where I ‘came’ from and all those that came before me.  I think about what life must have been like for my family members in the 1940s, 1880s, 1820s, and 1750s.   Some of my relatives have graciously shared old family photos in their possession online for the rest of us to see.  What a treasure!   When I asked my 95 year old Grandmother how many decendants that she ‘begat’, she listed all the numbers for her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and assured me that she knew everyone’s name -well over 100!  I believe that in order to know where you are going in this life, it helps to know where you’ve come from.   Even though the only family I have nearby are my children and grandchildren, I feel connected to all my relatives who live far away.

I have 19 Aunts and Uncles (several now deceased) and 67 first cousins, most of them having families of their own.   My two sisters and I have 11 children and 3 grandchildren (and growing)  between us, to carry on.  I  keep my family history in two Family History books as a my life’s gift for my children, grandchildren, other interested family members,  and all the generations yet to come, so they may have a sense of personal history.

My Family History Books

 

I Love Books, Books, and more Books!

Today I decided to ‘organize’ the bookshelves downstairs instead of going outside to trim my apple trees.  I’ve collected books for over 50 years, so I had my work cut out for me!   I had a great time reminiscing as I made my way through some of the shelves of my eight bookcases. ( I guess one doesn’t count as it’s full of movies and DVDs).  We have everything from Harry Potter  to Molecular Biology!  I found SO many treasures too!!  I came across a whole bunch of promotional 9×11″  team pictures of 1934 NHL teams too, safely tucked away inside a book.  I still have all the books I read to my children when they were young.  I found one called Wings of Wonder which had such poems like Forgiven by A.A. Milne that was my son Taylor’s favourite :  “I had a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name, And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same……”  I even photocopied that page and had it professionally mounted for him for Christmas one year.  Another short story from that popular book was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I read in a creepy, old voice to the kids near Halloween:  “Ichabod Crane was  (said high-pitched) a schoolmaster…..”.  There were old Berenstain Bears books, Goosebumps books, and many childhood favourites.

My Bookshelves

Several shelves held my ‘library’ for my midwifery clients:  I’d loan out books for parents to read on topics about childbirth and parenting.  Then I discovered a pile of professional journals mixed in with years and years worth of old magazines like Organic Gardening and Farming from the ’60s,’70s, and ’80s,  Harrowsmith from the ’80s and ’90s, Mothering Magazine and The Compleat Mother from the 1980’s+ .  Man, I never throw anything out!  I started to feel like one of those hoarders from TV, but quickly dismissed that notion since I was organized!  And I figure that these magazines hold their information value without getting old so they are worth saving.  I noticed that in my ‘back-to-the-land’ section, there were several gaps from missing books, which I assume my grown children have borrowed.  Some of the best books ever include The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book and Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing as well as any of my books by Bradford Angier.  And I’m discovering awesome new books all the time like Cam Mather’s All You Can Eat Gardening Handbook :

http://aztextpress.wordpress.com/available-books-and-dvds/

I also came across a collection of my childhood encyclopedias and a 5″ thick dictionary that are over 50 years old, purchased with “Lucky Green Stamps” from Loblaws in the 1950s.  And the entire set of Nancy Drew books that my sister Betty and I collected when we were teens!  I found a few yearbooks from my own high school years and several of my childrens.  There were all the little Pocket Guidebooks for everything from Rocks and Minerals to Fish to Stars, every one well used and worn.  And large, thick University textbooks, a half dozen dictionaries and thesauruses, and classics like The Complete Works of Shakespeare.  Some shelves with smaller paperback books were 2 books deep!  Then there was a shelf with all the manuals from every item (that came with a manual) that we had ever purchased!  I really have to go through THAT collection and discard some of those obsolete manuals…  I found photos that my children took long ago, tucked in amongst the books and even my original sketchbook from 1968!

I actually didn’t get very far in my ‘organizing’ because I began to leaf through the pages of many long forgotten books, remembering and laughing out-loud for several hours.  I love books:  the feel of the pages in my fingers, their ‘musty-inky’ smell, the sound of turning pages, and the look of print.  I prefer reading an actual book to online reading anytime, hands down.   I have one very special shelf called my “Retirement” shelf:  it’s full of books that I’m collecting to leisurely read when I ‘retire’.  But after seeing all those great books today, I’m going to start to re-read my favourites all over again!

Two of my favourite books

All Things Red

Since it’s Valentines Day, I’ve been thinking about all things that are red that I like.

The Red maple leaves in the fall are one of my favourites!  We have this large maple tree beside our garage which turns the most gorgeous bright red in the fall!  It’s really breathtaking….  Other maples on my property turn orange or yellow, but the red one is my favourite.

I also have an assortment of Japanese Maple trees which have a burgandy colour.  They look especially beautiful when the sun is shining on them and the leaves just pop with colour!

My Red sweet peppers that I grow in the summer are a sight to behold.  They are crisp and sweet and unlike any grocery store fodder.  Also grown in my garden, are the heirloom Brandywine tomatoes that I start from seed I’ve saved from the year before.  There is nothing like putting two slices of bread in the toaster then running down to the garden and picking a ripe, juicy tomato to make a toasted tomato sandwich!   That first tomato of the season is especially coveted.  My neighbour makes a delicious Bruschetta from their summer tomatoes, which is SO yummy.

In the spring, I have alot of tulips in my gardens that give me such pleasure, especially the red ones.  After a winter full of various shades of white,  it’s refreshing to see bright, vibrant colours in April.  Another garden favourite is Bee Balm or Monarda – I have a brilliant red variety which is the best:  I think my sister Faye gave me a clump to start.  I like to rub the leaves and just enjoy their scent which lingers on my fingers for hours.  I have many other shades of bee balm but red is my fave.

Red wing Blackbirds – I love that little red splash on their wings!  I look forward to hearing their

My "Cardinals" painting

song announcing that they are back and spring is here!  But during the winter, Cardinals give me immense pleasure to watch.  They are very shy birds, often showing up at dusk after all the other birds have gorged themselves all day long.  My last painting that I did in 2004 as a Christmas gift for my son Marty was of Cardinals at the birdfeeder.  I think it’s my favourite painting so far.

I have a pair of red wool socks that I love to wear when the weather is cold and I need extra “worksocks” in my boots.

My favourite axe has a red handle.  It used to be my late father-in-law’s and he painted all his tool handles red so that anyone who borrowed them would know who they belonged to!  Brilliant!!

I love spagetti sauce, lasagna, pizza and all other tomato red foods.  And red potatoes.  My late Uncle Lloyd from the east coast, once gave me a “blue potato” he called it – but it was actually purple.  He said that it was purple inside until you cooked it too….lol.  I didn`t cook any of these incredible potatoes that he gave me – instead I saved them until the next year and planted them to get even more!

I love looking out my back window and seeing the Red Buoy in the river.  It`s somehow comforting to see the same thing, day in and day out for over 30 years.  In the winter, it`s the only colour on the frozen, white River, while in the summer the red buoy signals that you are almost home when you`ve been  out in the canoe.   My kids all know the significance of the `red buoy` – from tying up the canoe to it and going swimming in the channel where there were no weeds, to our shock when Parks Canada moved it 25 feet to the west one year.

My friend Della gave me a container full of Red sour cherry candies one Christmas……I loved them!

Kristi & baby Marty

I loved my first son Robin`s curly,strawberry blond hair that he had when he was a toddler!  And so did all the strangers that used to come up to him and pet his head, much to his chagrin.  Baby Marty had a head full of auburn hair which set off his big eyes beautifully!   And my “Uncle Walter” used to call me ‘carrot-top’ – I guess he somehow saw red hair when the sun shone through my hair as a young girl……

The Red poinsettia that sits on our dining room table during Christmastime is always beautiful.  That pop of red colour in the house is very cheery.

Strawberries – I love strawberries!  I love walking along our roadway and spying a wild strawberry.  I also love to pick strawberries nearby while they are in season.  I have to admit that I think I eat the first one(s) I pick……to test it’s ripeness, you know…..I love the smell of the strawberry field too.  I remember as a child, at my grandparents, a truckload of us would go back to some field along an un-named lane, to pick potfulls of wild strawberries  – little tiny strawberries.  I think that we only had enough for a pie or two by the time we got back, after eating most of them……  I can’t say that I love cherry picking as much – We grew up near the fruit belt of Ontario and one summer my Dad took us cherry picking to earn some extra money.   You had to pick alot of cherries to earn a little money back then.

I love watching a sunrise over the river, when the sky is burning pinkish-red…..they say “red skies at morn, sailors be warn”, but I like them anyway…….even if it means that the atmospheric pressure is falling and we are in for some kind of precipitation.

Backyard Sunrise

The site of red coals in my cookstove on a cold winter’s morning is a real comforting site…..a few small pieces of wood, some more air flow and a hot fire takes off in minutes.

I don’t particularly like Valentines Day “propaganda” -just another money making scheme, especially for the flower and chocolate industries.  ~Gag~  Love should be shown 24/7, not just on one day a year.   I do like Red hearts however.

And I like ketchup.

The Real “3 Rs” Re-visited

The 3 Rs:  Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.  I’ve been thinking about that triple letter lately.  Humour me by allowing me to wander backwards a few steps:

Somewhere along the line I think many people have forgotten about the first two ‘R’s:  society seems to have quickly skipped over Reducing and Re-using and sped right into Recycling!   My oldest son Robin recently led me to a video on the truth about Recycling called  ‘Gone Tomorrow:  The Hidden Life of Garbage’ @

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5934530156227758850#.  

 A real eye-opener!!  Everybody is into recycling and that’s great.  Where my sister Betty lives in British Columbia, people TAKE their bottles and cans to depots where they are given money back, all while they are out and about anyway – a ‘Pay-as-You-Throw’ system, so to speak.  Here in Ontario, many communities have contracted curb-side recycling  pick up……at a tremendous cost to the taxpayer and the environment we were committed to ‘respect’.  These huge garbage trucks utilize a non-renewable oil resource to drive all over the place to pick up the recycled bottles and cans every single week, spewing diesel fumes, polluting our air; then take these items to a recycling center to be sorted (Many items are thrown into the garbage anyway as they don’t meet the accepted recycling categories of a #2,3,4,or 6 -or whatever the municipality has deemed).  An interesting 20 minute video that you should check out is the Story of Stuff @

http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/ .

 Personally, I recycle/compost  everything possible and have a small bag of “packaging” garbage each week (for our family of 3), which I feel is still too much and intend to cut down on.  But I realize that I can improve even more . 

It seems to me that lately it is becoming increasingly popular to re-use things.  I believe in British Columbia I noticed that they called it “retro”……it’s good to know that what’s old has become new again:  I’m back in style!  Thrift shops have sprung up all over the place, providing a place for people to to let someone else re-use an item if they are finished with it and make a few bucks.  And even better is Freecycle where you can GIVE away an unused item or find something you need

www.freecycle.org .  Other re-using modes include www.kijiji.ca  or  www.usedottawa.com (or whatever community you live in), and even Ebay.  And I can’t help but mention MY favourite:  garage sales!  As long as I only spend a few dollars on gas driving around (in my efficient ’92 Honda),  it’s a fun time, too.   But seriously, we seem to live in a disposable society – people buy and buy then throw it away when they get tired of it or it breaks….  or have a yard sale.

First and foremost, we need to Reduce our consumption.  Along with purchases, comes all that packaging.  Everyone can take little steps to reduce the amount of packaging our products come in by making a conscious effort when we shop:

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1O1RAe/www.good.is/post/tips-on-how-to-reduce-food-packaging-waste/

But we can simply reduce the amount of stuff we buy! 

The new buzz word is ‘Precycling’ or smart-shopping in the first place.  Precycling involves making buying choices that support responsible products and packaging.  It’s another way to reduce your garbage by not purchasing it in the first place!

I’ve stopped picking up the weekly paper with all those flyers.  It really bothered me to think about all the trees that were destroyed just for my reading and recycling pleasure.  I now just go online to read the local paper and check out any flyers.  Many years ago I stopped subscribing to my favourite magazines in a effort to reduce paper and the accumulation of years worth of magazines that I never throw out.  But I suppose it’s a good thing too because now my adult children can read my ‘vintage’  Harrowsmith or Organic Gardening Magazines.  And I can simply read my favourite, Mother Earth News, at my daughter Kristi’s place, since she subscribes.  I admit that I do love paper copies of books usually bought at the local book fair rather than read anything online as I have 8 full bookshelves to prove it.     As a mother, I used cloth diapers for all 7 babies and mainly ‘handed-down’ clothing:  my children experienced the 3Rs right from the beginning!  I made my own ‘baby food’  from foods we were eating at mealtimes anyway, avoiding babyfood jars and boxes (even though I coveted those small little jars from others).  During the ice storm of ’98, I became acutely aware of the value of water and it’s recyclable qualities for flushing the toilet!

There are literally thousands of books and videos about the 3 R’s.  I’ve set some goals for myself  for 2012 and will strive every day to learn even more and achieve them….

REDUCE first.  RE-USE second. And last RECYCLE.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

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The official blog of the International Lactation Consultant Association

thekitchensgarden

farming, gardens, cows, goats, chickens, food, organic, sustainable, photography,