|Photo by Petr Kratochvil|
Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.
Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Tae Kwon Do 2008 Olympic Bronze Medallist
Friday, July 27, 2012
|Potatoes -- yes or no for diabetics?|
Check out some more tips on Tiny Tips Tuesdays!
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
I can't let today go by without addressing the horrific tragedy that happened in Aurora, Colorado in the early hours of this morning. My heart is sick with grief for the friends and families of the victims of this senseless crime. I can't pull myself away from the news coverage. I can't stop the wonderings and wanderings of my mind as I contemplate what would lead a young man, a medical student, to randomly take so many lives. What happened to him to go from a precious innocent baby to a heartless killer in just 24 short years? How does a mind get warped that way? How much guilt must his mother feel and is it just or unjust? Is she an innocent victim, too?
Tears flow freely right now. Yet life on Twitter and Facebook seems to go on as usual. Jokes, giveaways, complaints, cute sayings... I don't get it. Remember Columbine? As a nation, we sat in front of our televisions, horrified and deeply, deeply saddened. We hugged our kids more. We worried as we sent them to school. Our hearts broke.
Since then, school shootings have continued to shock us... although, with time and number of incidents, it seems as though they affect us less and less. Since Columbine, students have died in school shootings in Georgia, Oklahoma, Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania (remember those precious Amish children?), Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alaska, Washington... the list goes on and on. Do you even remember hearing about these? And the school shootings are not just confined to the U.S. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Yemen, France, Germany, and even Finland have been affected by this evil.
Do we care? Or have we been so inundated with tragedy, that it no longer weighs on our hearts? Are we immune to the pain of our fellow human beings as they bear the unbearable... the death of a child?
I'm not trying to drag you down. Honestly, I'm not.
Actually, it was the inspiration of one of the victims that prompted this post. Jessica (Ghawi) Redfield was a beautiful young woman, full of life, who was super-excited to attend the movie last night. She enthusiastically tweeted as she waited for the movie to begin: MOVIE DOESN'T START FOR 20 MINUTES.
What makes Jessica (Ghawi) Redfield particularly noteworthy among the victims? Simply, it was her close brush with death just last month when she was at the Eaton Center in Toronto. Minutes after she left the food court, shots rung out. Had she stopped to look at a new shirt, had the cashier at the hamburger joint moved a bit slower, had she opted for sushi... any number of variables could have equaled her death at the time. The experience left her with a new appreciation for life.
Jessica wrote about this in her last blog post.
It's hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being n the middle of a deadly shooting. What started off as a trip to the mall to get sushi and shop, ended up as a day that has forever changed my life...
... I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw he terror on bystanders' faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given...
Her seconds ran out. Unexpectedly. Violently. Tragically. Jessica (Ghawi) Redfield's seconds ran out.
She has lessons to teach us. Life-changing lessons we would be fools to ignore. I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to read Jessica's last blog post. Let her words, her experience, her wisdom seep into your soul, and take some time, right now, to thank God for the blessings of the people in your life. And for the blessing you are in theirs. ...each second I am given.
Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your life lesson with each of us.
|My office (with my chair turned away from my desk)|
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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Monday, July 16, 2012
We were late in planting our garden this year, but we have still been able to harvest some goodies... like snow peas, lettuce and, just yesterday, our first bowl of green beans. Yum.
Our garden is a bit nontraditional in that it's on our second floor 16'x20' balcony. This is our 4th or 5th year cultivating a balcony garden (free from deer and bunnies), but this is the best year ever! Why? Because this is our first year using our own composting soil. What a difference!! I tried to grow zucchini every year, yet this is the first year I'm having any success. We don't have any actual zucchini yet, but we have lots of flowers and I can't wait to watch the transformation.
|Green beans (the kids' playhouse in the background)|
|My first eggplant!|
|I think the eggplant plant is so pretty|
|Cucumbers in the making|
|Sally, the scaredoll, keeping birds away since 2009|
On Thursday, my husband planted more beans. Look at them already! How does that happen?! Wonder soil!!
|Our baby beans. Look how fast they're growing!|
Anyway, as you can see, our container garden includes pallets filled with composting soil. This was an experiment and we made some mistakes. Next year, we'll plan better by giving the cucumber and zucchini enough room of their own. We're finding it amusing to see plants that we didn't put there, emerging from the soil in various places. Obviously tomato and zucchini seeds sprouted in the compost, as did a kernel of corn! It will be interesting to see what comes of these random plants!
|Random plant (zucchini?) growing between 2 pallets|
As we were checking out, I asked the cashier about their corn and other produce.
"Do you use any Monsanto products?"
She looked at me quizzically. My husband clarified it for her by adding, "GMOs."
"Oh, no," she responded without hesitation. "We don't use anything like that. Let me give you a paper that explains how we grow our food."
She put it in my bag and we left. I was thrilled to read their explanations under the subtitles: Conventional, Organic, Biotechnology, What We Do, Fertility, Pathology, and Entomology. Sweet. Here's what they have to say about biotechnology:
Genetically modified foods, commonly referred to as "GMOs" are growing in popularity and also raising some eyebrows with concerned consumers. Science now gives growers the ability to grow vegetables, grains and even livestock with built-in "pest guards" that make them immune to disease, can produce their own insecticides and be unaffected by synthetic herbicides. Rather than engage in a debate about whether or not this is a good idea, I will just say that the crops grown on Shenot's soil are in no way genetically modified.
Yes! Even though it is a bit costlier than other places we've shopped this summer, we will return to Shenot's often, secure in the knowledge that Monsanto has not yet invaded this territory. And... the corn was phenomenal!!
With all this fresh goodness, I thought it would be a good day to share a salad recipe with you. We had this the other night, and it was amazing!
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Serve dressing on the side.
Champagne Vinegar Dressing
This is a very “pure” dressing in that I don’t add any spices or herbs so the flavor of the vinegar can shine through.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
|Photo by Kim Newburg|
and the leaping of fish in the streams,
Friday, July 13, 2012
When you think vinegar, what do you usually think of? French fries? Cleaning windows? Salad dressing?
In my book, Vinegar Fridays, I included lots of vinegar tips that surprised readers ... things they'd never thought of. Since many of you haven't read the book, I thought I'd share some of these. Of course, if you're intrigued by what you read, I hope you'll head over to Lulu.com and order a copy of the book. And today, since it's Vinegar Friday, I'm offering a 10% discount. PLUS, Lulu is sweetening the deal by offering an additional 18% off with the code CAUGHT. That's 28% off today only. Or you can order the book from Amazon.com for $12.50. Order 2 and get free shipping.
Okay, enough about that. Let's move on to the free stuff!
Chapter 3 Spic-and-Span without the Chemicals: Vinegar and Cleaning
Before dusting your wood furniture, dampen your dust cloth with a 50/50 blend of distilled white vinegar and olive oil -- hey, you can use what's left to dress your dinner salad... just add a couple of spices.
Chapter 4 Coffee, Tea or Vinegar? Vinegar in the Kitchen
Can opener. I hope none of you reading this actually still uses electricity to open a can, unless, of course, you have a condition, such as arthritis, which makes it difficult to open cans otherwise. I have a wall-mounted hand-operated can opener, just like my mom's, which works wonderfully. But it does get goopy, just like the handheld and electric ones do. All you need to do to clean the goop off the wheel of your can opener, is to wet an old toothbrush with vinegar and scrub away. That's it. You'll find your opener operating smoothly in no time.
Chapter 5 What is that Lurking Under all those Bubbles?
This chapter is all about hot tubs and the dangerous bacterias that grow in the jets. Of course, cleaning with vinegar is the answer. Instead of going into how (you can read it in the book), I wanted to simply share the last paragraph of the chapter:
If you are pregnant, especially in your first trimester, avoid hot tubs altogether! According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, exposure to the high temps in hot tubs can result in an increased risk of neural tube defects in the baby. Protect your little one -- he or she is counting on it.
|Photo by Peter Griffin|
Chapter 6 Vinegar -- The Original Odor Eater
To minimize a fishy odor, just apply some of the DWV [distilled white vinegar] to the fish and rub it in.
Chapter 7 It's in the Details: Vinegar and Cars
Is that political bumper sticker outdated? Maybe your support of the candidate has waned. Take the same cloth, drench it in the vinegar, and cover the sticker for a couple hours. It should peel right off.
Chapter 8 Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder... Or in that Bottle of Vinegar
In my 40s, I thought it to be quite an injustice that I had to battle acne as I was developing wrinkles. Wrinkles and acne do not belong on the same face. Period. At least that's my opinion. In actuality, over 17 million adult American women suffer from acne -- in their 20s, 30s and 40s. And, unfortunately, it is genetic (sorry, kids!). But if you mix 2 teaspoons of ACV [apple cider vinegar] in a cup of water and apply it to the breakouts after you wash your face morning and evening, you will watch them vanish... without spending a fortune on infomercial remedies!
Chapter 9 The F-word
ACV* is effective in jump-starting your metabolism. It also helps to dissolve fats because of the acetic acid that slows the absorption of carbs as it affects carbohydrate metabolism. This prevents the carbs from being stored as fat. Research shows that ACV can also lower blood sugar by up to 30 percent! Again, that helps to inhibit fat metabolism because of lower insulin levels.
*When taken internally, it is essential to us only organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I buy the Bragg brand at my local grocery store.
Chapter 10 Vinegar -- for the Health of it
Constipation -- In order to 'get going' in the morning, so to speak, grab your bottle of ACV as soon as you get up and mix up your ACV cocktail. The energy boost you will experience from being 'regular' will be worth every last drop. Of course, as with most ailments, you want to drink plenty of water.
Chapter 11 No More Tangles ... and No More Toxins: Vinegar and Hair Care
Once a month, I mix 1/2 cup of ACV in 2 cups of water and pour it over my head without rinsing it out. I was actually doing this for quite awhile... long before I ever heard about no pooing. Even if you cannot quite grasp the idea of not shampooing, this ACV rinse is an excellent way to strip away all the gunk in your hair every once in awhile.
Chapter 12 Summertime Woes
|Photo by Charles Rondeau|
Chapter 13 Kidstuff
Toys -- If you are anything like me, you love thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales. And it is hard to resist that adorable, like-new toy at that insanely low price, isn't it? But giving used toys to your kids just seems... icky. Don't you think? Especially if the toys have an unknown history. I mean, how do you know little Timmy didn't toss his sister's Barbie doll in the toilet? Hmmm. Like I said... icky.
So, what do you do? Bypass all those bargains? Not necessarily.
Non-stuffed toys (plastic and wood toys and teethers) can be cleaned economically and safely by simply spritzing them down with a solution of a cup each of water and DWV. Concerned about the strong odor of vinegar? Don't be... it dissipates quickly. And wouldn't you rather your child put something in his mouth that was cleaned with something edible instead of a cleaning product containing toxic chemicals?
Chapter 14 -- Furry, Finned and Feathered Friends
There is one more reason for bathing your pets in vinegar, which I looked into after my neighbor's Jack Russell terrier, Jake, got into a scuffle with a skunk! Not a pretty sight... or smell! If one of your furry friends needs fumigated, you can skip the messy route of a tomato juice bath. Mix up a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar and sponge him down. You can use any kind of vinegar for this, but I recommend distilled white vinegar, simply because it is cheaper and you might need quite a bit of it. Make sure you rinse him completely with clear water once the smell is gone.
Chapter 15 Great Outdoors
|Photo by Darren Lewis|
Warmer weather signals grilling season. To get your grill ready, shine it up by spraying DWV on a ball of aluminum foil and scrub away all of last year's cooked on grime.
Chapter 16 Creepy Crawlers
Just the thought of centipedes makes my skin crawl! To keep them out of your home, mix together 1 part vinegar with 1/4 part cumin in a spray bottle and spray the perimeter of your house. This should repel them.
Chapter 17 Snuggle-free and Loving It! Vinegar in the Laundry Room
Just can't resist buying new clothes? Wash them before wearing them and add 1/2 cup DWV to the water to get rid of the manufacturing chemicals you don't want up against your skin.
Chapter 18 A Little Taste of Vinegar
No buttermilk in the house for your favorite coffee cake recipe? Not a problem. Just add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a cup of milk. That will sour it up nicely.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
|Cedar waxwing eating serviceberry|
|Spicebush swallowtail larva eating spicebush leaf|
|Monarch butterfly on Joe-pye weed|
- Native insects cannot digest alien plants.
- Alien plants often beget alien insects or fungi, which in turn cause havoc in our environment.
- Non-native plants become invasive and replace native plants in the wild.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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