Friday, November 30, 2012

A frost-free Vinegar Friday


Photo by Larisa Koshkina

Is it just me, or do Fridays come up awfully quickly these days? Only 3 more Vinegar Fridays before Christmas! How is that possible??

As the cold air descends, I have a tip I feel is worth sharing again and again. To help you avoid the miserable scrapping of your windshield on frosty mornings:

Mix up a 3:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it on your windshield and other car windows. Ice will not form on the windows because the acetic acid in vinegar raises the melting point of water which prevents freezing. Cool beans.

That's it. Have a safe and frost-free weekend!

Keeping it green and easy with vinegar,


Thursday, November 29, 2012

A breath of fresh air... or not

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

I grew up 2 blocks away from an asbestos plant. Day in and day out for the first 18 years of my life, I breathed in asbestos-infused air. Even though I lived in beautiful Lancaster County, where inner city kids traveled for the "Fresh Air" program, I was still exposed to dangerous toxins more commonly recognized in cities and industrial areas. 

Despite the many people who died in Manheim, including some of my relatives who worked at the plant, from asbestosis or mesothelioma, I never really thought about the dangers. Not until a few years ago when an x-ray revealed a spot on my lung. Uh oh. Fear gripped me as the realization hit that the asbestos plant just might kill me, too.

As it turns out, it was a false alarm... this time. But it got me thinking. In my late 20s, I developed a persistent cough that would not go away. I was treated for bronchitis and the likes. But antibiotics did nothing. I would cough until I threw up. Finally, I went to a pulmonary specialist who diagnosed me with asthma. I remember when Dr. Patrick walked into the exam room and pronounced the verdict. I told him to leave and come back again with a diagnosis for something curable. He didn't comply. 

In some ways, seeing Dr. Patrick was a blessing. It was he who finally put a name to the illness I'd been suffering with since I was 16 -- Epstein-Barr Virus Syndrome. I was very ill my junior year of high school, missing months of school and an entire year of extra-curricular activity. At first, I was diagnosed with mononucleosis, but the diagnosis eventually changed. It had a different name at the time, which I no longer recall, but Dr. Patrick recognized it and sent me for testing for EBVS. Chronic Epstein Barr is a lifetime illness that, according to a study in Boston a few years ago, gives sufferers a higher risk for multiple sclerosis. Of the individuals with MS involved in the research study, 100% of them had the Epstein Barr virus present in their systems. At one point, in my late 20s, early 30s, my EBVS was so severe, the doctors thought I had MS. I could barely walk and, in addition to loads of pain, I experienced extreme weakness and fatigue. Not fun for a mom with 2 young children.

I'm much better these days. Why? Well, for one thing, I'm no longer exposed to daily doses of fumes and vapors from the asbestos plant. And for another, my husband of 8 years, died. What does that have to do with any of this? Simple. My husband, Jim, worked for a chemical plant in Pittsburgh. The chemicals he worked with were so volatile, he had to be tested for leukemia every 6 months. Naive and foolish, it never occurred to me that he should quit the job and opt for something safer. Sadly, in September of 1989, a chemical spill and an electrical box located too close to his unit caused a flash fire that killed him.

In the months following Jim's death, an amazing thing happened. I started to get better. The pain lessened. Strength returned. My daily exposure to the chemicals he brought home with him 5 days a week was gone. I was no longer breathing in the residue from the resins he was basically saturated with. Prior to his death, a wise doctor made the connection between my EBVS and my extreme chemical sensitivity. We started isolating my exposure as best we could. He used one car exclusively for work. He laundered his clothing separately from mine. It helped, but it wasn't enough. Even after a shower, Jim smelled, and tasted, like the chemicals from the plant. 

Today, my asthma is under control. There are several reasons for that. For one thing, I have removed as many toxins from my home as possible. We use absolutely no harsh chemicals in our house. While bleach will bring on a full-fledged asthma attack for me, vinegar will not. Plain and simple. I also started taking daily doses of a product called Silver Plus from Innerlight. It is ionized colloidal silver, gold, titanium and copper and I take a couple drops under my tongue once to twice a day. The results are remarkable. I'm no longer taking yearly trips to the ER for steroid shots and breathing treatments. 

As far as my EBVS, it's better, but flares up unexpectedly. After all, I have no control over the toxins used in stores, restaurants... even my church. When I'm exposed, I can expect problems. Airborne toxins are brutal for me. And, even if you don't know it, they can brutal to you as well. How often have I heard, "She ended up with lung cancer and never smoked a day in her life;" as if smoking was the only toxin we have to worry about!

As careful as I am, I might end up dying from lung cancer someday. And some people will mock, "See! All that green stuff she touted... look where it got her." If this happens, I hope someone will remind them of my 18 years breathing in asbestos particles, and my 8 years with a husband who simply wanted to provide for his family, never realizing the danger he was putting us all in.

Today, I pray for my daughters, whose exposure to the dangerous chemicals in their early years just might make them ill someday. May God's great mercy shelter them.

Read more interesting posts on this topic at the Clean Air and Environmental Justice for All: A MomsRising Blog Carnival.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Woolino 2013 Collection 4 Season Baby Sleep Bag Giveaway Event!

Thirty years ago when I had babies, we simply didn't have all the "rules" there are now. Or the "rules" were different. 

"Never lay your baby on her back!" the pediatricians warned. "Start your baby off with rice cereal." Those are just a couple of "rules" that changed. Fortunately, my kids survived!

Now, one of the new "rules" is to keep blankets out of your baby's crib. That's why the Woolino Sleep Bags are so awesome. What better way to keep your babies warm and safe than in a cozy baby sleep sack? Unfortunately so many of those on the market are made of synthetic materials which can cause the baby to overheat and actually increase the risk factor for SIDS. Woolino comes to the rescue by creating all natural 100% Australian merino wool baby sleep bags that keep baby warm at night in any season.  

Woolino merino baby sleep bags have a host of amazing features, from being super easy to clean to having a convenient harness slot to use during travel. It is compact and warm, perfect at home or on the go. Snaps on both shoulders and an inverted zipper make dressing and diaper changes easier. Underarm snaps make it adjustable to fit small babies. Your baby will be comfortable in a Woolino 4 Season baby sleep bag in temperatures ranging from 63 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with a travel bag, room thermometer, and it is in a plastic-free, ready-to-gift package which makes it perfect for a baby shower or Christmas!

Our Favorite Features: 

  • Fits babies 3 to 24 months

  • Seat belt slot for easy transfer from car to crib

  • Naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal

  • Naturally fire resistant without the use of harsh chemicals

  • Regulates temperature

  • Made with sustainable and 100% natural Australian merino wool

  • GOTS certified organic cotton outer

  • Machine washable

  • Super soft on baby's skin
  • Purchase: The 2013 Collection Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bags retail for $119.99 each, you can purchase it on the Woolino website. They also make toddler sleep sacks for kids 2 to 4 years old! The Woolino sleep bags are also available on Amazon

    Win One! Woolino is blessing two of you with a 2013 Collection Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bag in size 3 to 24 months, one reader will win Sage and another Spring (both gender neutral).

    Special thanks to AnaB Social for hosting this giveaway. Huge thanks to all participating bloggers as well! Giveaway ends December 27th at 12:01 am, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Thank you!

    Disclaimer: Green Grandma is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. 

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    The fairest way to shop

    Fair Trade display at The Shepherd's Door in Bellevue, PA

    If your kids watch television, they are assaulted with commercials telling them what they MUST have for Christmas. Lots of electronic and plastic stuff... much of which could involve unfair labor practices and even child labor.

    It's never too early to teach your little ones about fair trade. But, of course, telling them about something without modeling it yourself is a bit worthless, don't you think? While most people, me included, do not shop exclusively for fair trade products, it's nice to know there are places nearby that feature them. 

    In my area, there is a store in Bellevue, PA. The Shepherd's Door has a nice selection of fair trade items. I'm always drawn to the jewelry when I go into the store. They have a nice explanation of "Why Fair Trade" on their website. I encourage you to check it out. 

    Another nice thing about shopping for fair trade items at The Shepherd's Door is that you're supporting a local business. 

    Whatever town you're in, try to find a local store that sells fair trade. Many areas have Ten Thousand Villages stores, where "every product is a miracle." We have one in the Squirrel Hill section here in Pittsburgh. This coming Friday and Saturday, they have an awesome opportunity for Pittsburgh kids!

    Here's the info they have posted on their website:

    Join us for the Children’s Shop!

    Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1
    Noon–5:00 p.m.

    Let the kids in your life surprise you with fairly traded, handmade holiday gifts for under $10.  Parents tell us who children are shopping for and volunteers help kids choose the perfect gifts and wrap all of their presents.  A special children's shop awaits the little shoppers just beyond our beaded curtain. We look forward to seeing you. Happy holidays will soon be here!

    What a great opportunity to teach your kids about fair trade while also instilling in them the joy of giving. If you're not in the Pittsburgh area, check with your local Ten Thousand Villages to see if they're hosting a similar event.

    Pittsburghers... I hope to see you there! Happy shopping!

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Kindle Fire & Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

    Well, I did it. I finally broke down and bought a Kindle Fire. As I said in my post yesterday, I love books. Real, hold-in-your-hands, turn pages, display on a bookshelf kind of books. However, as the voice of Maya Ray for iStorybooks, I have narrated over 70 audiobooks for iMarvel and would like to "own" some of them. In addition, I am currently working on writing my 20th book for them and, as the 'i' indicates, I need an electronic reader in order to have them in my collection. It's not the same as bookcases full of books with my name on the spine, but it is what it is. Readers love their Kindles. And now you have a chance to win one of your own. 
    Delightfully has teamed up with Happy Mothering and Green Moms Media to bring you a giveaway of a Kindle Fire and $40 Amazon Gift Card to spread the word about their new virtual gift-wrap service!

    Think about how many gifts are given online now, between music, gift cards, subscriptions, e-books… I’m sure you’ve sent at least one online gift – and likely will again before Christmas. Delightfully is a new service that allows you to hand-wrap your online gift!

    With Delightfully, you can create the perfect ‘unwrapping’ moment for any gift occasion. Say goodbye to wasteful paper and tape and say hello to this eco-friendly gift-wrap alternative!

    Delightfully is ideal for sending a personalized message to friends and family who you can’t spend the holidays with in person. You can check out an example of the Delightfully gift-wrap here. At only $3, it’s a very nice way to personalize the otherwise impersonal online gift!


    To thank you for taking the time to consider their virtual gift-wrapping service, Delightfully is offering our readers a chance to win a Kindle Fire & $40 gift card!


    The Kindle Fire is thin, light and durable. It features:


  • 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB on-device storage with free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Apps such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, HBO GO and Pandora
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi
  • The ability to stream instant videos and access the lending library for Amazon Prime Members
  • Kindle FreeTime - a free, personalized tablet experience just for kids that allows you to set daily screen limits and give access to appropriate content for each child
  • Up to 9 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.

  • And, with a $40 Amazon gift card, you can load up your new Kindle Fire with some new books and movies, or use the Delightfully service to send a gift to a loved one!

    For your chance to win, please use the Rafflecopter form below. This contest runs through December 17, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST and is open to US & Canadian residents ages 18 and older.

    A cup of coffee and a quiet morning

    Best friends!
    I'm sitting on the recliner with my laptop and a cup of coffee. I just finished my morning devotions and my daily dose of Dr. Richard Carlson's Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and I'm appreciating the sound of silence. Well, silence in the house at least. The roadwork outside has been roaring since 7:30, but it's become so much a part of every day for the last few weeks, that I can pretty much ignore it.

    I love mornings. Since my husband retired in May, this is the only real me-time I can count on. Not that we're together non-stop throughout the rest of the day, but at least I know I won't have to speak to anyone for a couple of hours. I love that.

    Bill and I traveled to Manheim, PA this past Tuesday and spent several days at my 85-year-old mother's house. That is why I'm especially enjoying this particular Monday morning. You see, my mom gets a bit frustrated (or maybe disgusted is a better word) if I'm not downstairs by 8:30. So... I rush around getting ready for the day first thing in the morning and then head down to the kitchen armed for constant conversation from then on. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But my brain prefers easing into the day with a bit of silence before being assaulted with a steady flow of words.

    Maybe that's why I was more prone to accepting my own Sabbath experiment. I'm not wired to thrive on constant stimulation. I appreciate silence. I relish stillness. I despise the need for electronic this-and-that on a never-ending basis. 

    Yesterday, our minister, Tom Fodi, mentioned my Sabbath Experiment during his sermon. After a Saturday night of sleeplessness, I stayed home on Sunday morning and missed church. But my husband filled me in on the sermon and I was happy to hear "my" message being shared. I started the experiment over 2 years ago in September of 2010. Since then, it became my Sabbath Experience, after I discovered there was no longer anything experimental about it. Now, it's a necessary way of life.

    This past week, I opted for a Friday Sabbath, since I was already at my mom's and wasn't planning on working. I spent the morning decorating her house for Christmas. Then I had a lovely 2-hour lunch with my best friend of 50 years and our husbands. We caught up with each other's lives (we live 240 miles apart) and we laughed. We always laugh when we're together, which is one of the reasons I cherish our friendship. Plus, there's something so valuable about having someone in your life who has shared the intimate details of it for 5 decades! This year marks our Golden Anniversary and I'm incredibly proud of that milestone. It represents not only my worth of having a friend, but also my ability to be a friend. Priceless. I love you, Dawn.

    After lunch, Bill and I headed home. It was a pleasant and relaxing drive... perfect for a Sabbath. We watched a movie before going to bed and I turned off my alarm. Sleeping in on Saturday, after a rather stressful week, was the plan, but the road crew outside usurped it. Oh well, there was work for me to do. My Sabbath was over and it was time to get busy. Speaking of which, my work is breathing down my neck right now, demanding my attention. Better go address it; there are deadlines looming. Oh, and I hear Bill stirring. Conversation is about to break the silence. But how blessed am I to have a loving husband here at home to have that conversation with?

    How do you like to spend your mornings?

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Sunday funnies

    1/3 of our family room bookshelves

    On Saturday, my husband and I were cleaning out our bookshelves in our family room. This was a long overdue chore and resulted in our packing up over 200 books for donations to the church, the library and Goodwill. Now our shelves are organized and visually appealing, unlike the mess they were in for years. I must say, we have a lot of books. In addition to the built-in bookshelves in the family room, we also have books in 4 other rooms in the house! I love books... and no amount of downloaded books on Kindle or Nook or iPad will ever be the same as a houseful of books. Books reveal our character and personality.

    Among the books we rediscovered yesterday was one signed by Pearl Bailey and another by Rod McKuen. We found my grandmother's Finnish New Testament from the 1800s, as well as a few other gems from the 19th century. It was a day of discovery and reminiscing. Reading inscriptions from friends, or from each other, brought back loads of memories... some sweet and some bittersweet. It was a Saturday adventure.

    Shoved in the shelf between high school yearbooks was my youngest daughter's baby book. I was a terrible recorder of my kids' firsts, etc. It just wasn't something I engaged in much, despite my being a writer. That is something I really regret. Especially after reading the few gems recorded in the book, like the letter I wrote to my precious baby when she was 3. It described her so perfectly, and tears ran down my cheeks as I read it. But then I turned the page and my tears were replaced with laughter.   

    I remember looking forward to reading the Sunday Funnies when I was a kid and I bet you did, too. In honor of my childhood tradition, I thought I'd share this little 'funny' with you... courtesy of my daughter, Jessica. Perhaps some of you will relate.

    When Jessi Jeanne (that's what I called her back then) was 3 1/2, we were at a restaurant rather late in the evening. Most likely, we were eating out because the dishes were dirty at home and I didn't have the energy to wash them only to mess them up again. I said to Jessi, "If I were a little girl, I'd be very tired." Without missing a beat, she looked at me and said, "If I were a mommy, I'd clean up the kitchen."

    A Sunday funny for your enjoyment, although, unless you've been there, you probably didn't laugh as hard as I did as I recalled the memory last night!

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    Mission Driven

    Image by Fran Hogan

    When God gives the vision,
    how can you ignore the mission?

    Pressing forward.

    Spreading the news.

    Fully believing
    it is my responsibility
    to care for Creation.

    Where do you fit into this mission?
    Do you have the vision?

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    Frenzied Friday

    Black Friday.

    Ahhh, a day when an attitude of thanksgiving is often displaced by an attitude of greed. How does that happen? One day, we're grateful for all that we have and the next, we're pushing others aside in our wanton desire for more. Granted, many are looking for bargains to wrap up and place under the tree. But the bottom line is still the same... gimme, gimme, gimme.

    I made the mistake of doing the whole early morning Black Friday thing only once... and never again! My daughter was moving to her first apartment and needed everything. Her plans were to hit Walmart as soon as it opened, grab her bargains and then head to work at the flower shop.

    Being a night person, more so then than now, I was soaking in the tub at 4 a.m. and decided to just skip sleep and go with her. What could it hurt? And it just might be fun. Besides, we would be done before she had to be at work at 8, so I could come home and crawl into bed for awhile.

    Oh my. The insanity was remarkable. I think we got the last parking place and it wasn't even time for the store to open! Really? I naively asked myself. People really do this? Keep in mind, this was nearly a decade ago, and apparently things have progressed a bit... and not in a good way! One thing that's changed for me is that I won't step foot in a Walmart these days. Nope. No way.

    Okay, I admit, I'm probably stepping on some toes here. It's not my intention to offend. I'm just making my own observations about a trend that I don't quite understand. Is a bargain really worth the ugliness it brings out in people?

    For me, shopping local is a much better option. Might I pay a bit more? Perhaps? But I'll be helping a local business keep its doors open, and I believe our local businesses are a true gem in our society.

    So, I'm asking you to consider supporting your local shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. Spend some of your Christmas budget on folks who just want to make an honest living. Folks who most likely gave their employees a day off to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. Folks who truly care about their community.

    Just a suggestion.

    Either way, I encourage you to shop wisely... in whatever way that translates to you. Be safe and be smart.

    So, what are you? A Black Friday frenzier, a Small Business Saturday saavy shopper, or a Cyber Monday maniac? Or perhaps you're just a pantser... flying by the seat of your pants looking for bargains as Christmas creeps up. Let me know in the comments below.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    A Thanksgiving Proclamation

    A Proclamation. 
    Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."
    Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
    And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
    Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

    G. Washington.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Giveaway Event!

    After writing about the screening of the documentary Unacceptable Levels, Nancy Brown, a consultant with Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing some of her products. The company was mentioned in the documentary, and from everything I've read about them, they are a fantastically eco-friendly organization. Their products are safe for the environment and for we humans inhabiting the environment. And I love that the products I received were made in the USA. Big pluses all the way around, and I haven't even started my review!

    Ava Anderson Non-Toxic was born out of youthful idealism and passion just a few short years ago. They seek to develop and produce cutting-edge, safe personal care products, maintaining the highest performance standards. They also focus on providing wellness information as well as sharing the dangers of toxic chemicals in personal care products with families across America.

    So, let's get on with the review.

    First of all, the package Nancy sent me was more than generous. So much so, that I've decided to break this up into two separate reviews. One focusing on personal care, and one on household products.

    Let's start off with the personal care items Nancy sent to me.

    Eye Cream

    Here's what the website says about the eye cream:

    Formulated with beneficial ingredients and essential oils, known and respected for healing, anti inflammation, anti bacterial, anti viral, skin regeneration, moisturizing, firming properties, and ability to reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, and discoloration.

    Here's what I say about it:

    A little goes a long way! Therefore, the small .5 oz jar will last a long time. It applies easily without any pulling and is completely non-irritating.

    I decided to do an experiment and only used the eye cream under and around my left eye. The result? Well, it's minimal at this point. It is possible that 2 1/2 weeks of doing this just isn't long enough to see any substantial improvement. However, there is a slight difference between the skin under my left and right eyes, so I'm starting to see some benefits. There is less puffiness, and that is a huge thing for me.

    Hand Soap Refill

    Nancy sent me a 16 oz. refill bottle of liquid hand soap that is pleasant smelling and effective. 

    Here's what the website says about the hand soap:

    Contains the perfect combination of ingredients to eliminate bacteria while providing the moisture retaining ingredients that skin needs to stay healthy, hydrated and beautifully soft.

    Here's what I say about it:

    There is no triclosan! Let me repeat that -- there is no triclosan! I'm sold. This stuff smells good, cleans well and softens my hands. What more could I want?!

    Finally, my favorite item from this bunch:


    Yep. The mascara wins this contest hands down. I love it. 

    Here's what the website says about the mascara:

    Lengthening mineral mascara formulated for soft pliable lashes, without smudging, flaking, clumping or brittleness. Formulated to increase lash length, thickness, curl and separation using the safest, most natural ingredients available. Compact brush allows for precise application.

    Years ago, I heard about mink mascara brushes. I'd never used one, nor would I want to, but the sound of a mink mascara brush seemed so luxurious. While this brush is not made from the fur of a sweet little creature, it still has the luxurious feel of mink. I have never experienced anything like this when applying mascara! The brush is so soft, yet separates and coats the lashes beautifully. And it lasts all day! I can't imagine ever using any other kind of mascara from now on! 

    The only downside is that it only comes in brown. I wish there was an option for black, but hey, you can't have everything!

    However, one of you, can a have something, because Nancy is generously offering one of you a $50 gift certificate to Ava Anderson Non-Toxic... quality personal care without harmful chemicals. How cool is that?! If you win, you can try out the mascara for yourself... or any other of the amazing products. 

    Feel free to email Nancy if you have any questions about the products.

    Enter below in the Rafflecopter.

    The contest will run through midnight Dec. 4th and the winner will be announced on Dec. 5th. 

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclaimer: Green Grandma is not responsible for the delivery of the products winner selects using the gift certificate. Winner is responsible for any charges exceeding $50 when ordering. Facebook and Twitter are not associated with this giveaway.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    My Green Gratitude List

    These are the real reasons I do what I do. Aren't they beautiful?
    If you're on Facebook, you've probably noticed a lot of your friends posting what they're thankful for each day. It's November and it brings out the gratitude in most of us. With so many other things on my plate right now, I opted out of this daily chore. But that doesn't mean I don't spend each day feeling thankful for numerous things and people in my life.

    Rather than a month of daily posts, I thought I'd share 30 things right here that I'm thankful for in relation to green living.

    1. My green husband. I am so blessed to have married a man who was recycling back in the 70s, long before it was a widely accepted practice. Bill encourages me in my path as Green Grandma, and is quick to embrace the new information I share with him. He's been a role model to me and for that, I am eternally grateful.

    2. My green daughters who cloth diaper, breastfeed, recycle, research products, feed their kids organic food, avoid harmful chemicals, and support me in all that I do.

    3. The mamas at Earth Mama Angel Baby, who not only care about their own kids, but they care about all of our kids. And they were one of the first companies to offer support and encouragement to me as Green Grandma.

    4. Adam and Lilli at Happy Baby Company. They spread the cloth diapering message with such love and grace. I'm grateful for their support as well.

    5. Allin and Catriona Faragalli of the wonderful Leaf & Bud Naturals. Always encouraging. Always supportive.

    6. Jill Wirth of Green Baby Clothing Company. Jill joins the above-mentioned as one of the green company owners who supported me right from the start. 

    7.Sherri Dmyterko for introducing me to the wonders of Norwex!

    8. William R. Reynolds Young, who gave me DEO deodorant to try... need I say more?

    9. Ed Brown, for his remarkable documentary, Unacceptable Levels, and for his graciousness.

    10. My mother for instilling in me the desire to use cloth napkins and china plates and silverware, even though she didn't do it for environmental reasons. I've been using them long before the thought of going green ever entered my mind. 

    11. My sister, Carolyn, for modeling what a good mommy looks like for me. I wanted to be just like her when I had my own children, which is why I cloth diapered and breastfed. Without her example, I might have made other choices.

    12. The doctor who determined I had Epstein Barr and that chemicals, particularly formaldehyde, were my triggers. Learning to avoid as many toxins as possible has led to less flare-ups for me.

    13. Dr. Patrick Maddigan, my chiropractor, who pursues a natural, non-medicated, path for my pain relief.

    14. My career, which allows me to stay at home and lessen my carbon footprint by not requiring a commute.

    15. My God-given appreciation of nature. Few things delight me more than watching the birds and squirrels in my back yard. As a matter of fact, there is a gorgeous red-headed woodpecker at the feeder outside my office window right now adding delight to my day!

    16. Vinegar! Of course, a green gratitude list would not be complete without my mentioning vinegar. I'm thankful for all the wonders of it!

    17. All of my green-minded friends, both old and new, who support me in this journey.

    18. Hyland's Homeopathic products -- pick one. They're all wonderful!
    19. Congregation members at Emmanuel Christian Church who bring their recyclables to church each Sunday and recognize our need as Christians to care for this magnificent world we live in.

    20. I'm thankful for all of the people who have bought my book and are taking steps to eliminate toxins in their lives.

    21. I'm thankful that Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar makes it possible for me to be off Nexium!

    22. My appreciation of quiet... which requires no electricity or wireless signals. I truly am thankful that my husband and I have no need or desire to be plugged in 24/7.

    23. The men and women who are fighting the big corporations like Monsanto, Dow and DuPont to bring back a safer world in which to raise our children.

    24. Clean air and clean water... when I can find it.

    25. My God-given passion to make a difference for the environment... in a common sense way.

    26. The Bible, which encourages me to keep going, despite those who mock me.

    27. The magnificence of the autumn landscape, which will no longer exist if we continue to chop down all the trees.

    28. Composting. What a simple way to reduce waste.

    29. You, the Green Grandma community. You inspire me, motivate me, bring me joy.

    30. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for this incredible creation. I imagine the Trinity had a ball creating it all! And I will never stop praising Him/Them for it!

    Well, that's my gratitude list. Now... what are you thankful for?

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