Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's exhausting

never understand anything 
for themselves, 
and it is tiresome for children 
to be always and forever 
explaining things to them.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Friday, May 30, 2014

Instead of This, Use This??

It's Friday, which means it's time for Instead of This, Use This. Well, actually, right now, it's late Thursday night, but I'm getting ready to post this for tomorrow. The thing is, we had unexpected company tonight. My plan was to blog, among other things, since I'm leaving for DC in the morning to attend the Green Festival on Saturday. 

This is where my daughter and I will be on Saturday.

Dilemma. When our friend called to let us know he'd be passing through Pittsburgh on his way to California, I had to make a decision. Do I tell him we were unavailable or do I drop everything and open my arms to an old friend? Duh. It didn't take long for me to decide.

Did I get everything done I had planned to do? Did I even pack yet (it's currently 11:48 p.m. and, no, I didn't pack yet)? But so what?

I dropped what I was doing and went into the kitchen and started cooking. After all, who knows how long it would be before we were able to share a meal again.

But now, my friends, I must get packing. So this week's Instead of This, Use This is actually Instead of This, Do This. That means that sometimes it's important to drop everything, scrap our plans, let things go undone, and open our homes, our arms, and our hearts to others. The rewards are infinite.

Don't forget to drop in next Friday for our monthly Vinegar Fridays chat. And make sure you check out the great giveaways going on next week. Now, I'm off to pack.

When's the last time you dropped everything to be there for someone else?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The American Bible Challenge Prize Pack -- Who wants to win?

Who's up for a challenge? I am working with Game Show Network and THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE to bring you this giveaway. If you're not familiar with the show, here are 5 Things you didn’t know about THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE:

1. All the money won in every single episode is donated to charities
2. All of the questions come from the old and new testament
3. Your bible knowledge will be tested in physical challenges as well
4. THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE is the highest rated TV program in Game Show Network history
5. It is nominated for two daytime emmy awards: Outstanding Game Show, and Outstanding Game Show Host Jeff Foxworthy

THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE is a spirited game show that celebrates the Bible and its place in American culture. Bible enthusiasts from all across the country compete in a variety of challenges that put their knowledge of the Good Book to the test. The show’s prizing further reflects the celebration of faith, as teams earn money for the charity of their choice. The American Bible Challenge returned on May 22nd at 8/7c on Game Show Network. Don’t forget to tune in June 5th for the first episode of IT TAKES A CHURCH premiering right after THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE. Keep up with the show on Twitter & Facebook

For fans of the show, here's a dandy prize for you! THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE Prize Pack INCLUDES:
  • 1 11x17 official Season 3 poster


Just enter to win by sharing your favorite verse or passage of the Bible in the comments below. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to U.S. residents only. Contest runs from 5/29/14 through midnight ET 6/6/14. Winner will be chosen via and announced here on the blog (click this link on 6/7/14 and beyond) and on the Green Grandma Facebook page and must respond within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be chosen. If you wish to receive an email if you win, please leave your email address.

Let's have some fun with this. Can't wait to read all of your favorite verses! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Call for entries -- Green Film Festival in Malaysia

The Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) has a film competition component which encourages film makers, amateur or professional, to submit their environment-themed videos or films in various genres such as short film, documentary, animation, public service announcement (PSA), music video and so forth.

KLEFF is organized by EcoKnights ( a non-profit environmental NGO based in Kuala Lumpur. EcoKnights’ core activities are mainly environmental education and awareness, community development and environmental communication. One of its efforts to raise the awareness of Malaysians on environmental issues is the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, which is a free platform for the public to learn about environmental issues through films.

Currently KLEFF is inviting all film makers to participate by submitting their films/videos to The dateline for all submissions in July 31 2014.

I know we have some really talented people in the GG community and would love to see one of your films featured in this festival! 

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A memorable Memorial Day

Yesterday was a different kind of Memorial Day for me. Not because I didn't observe the day for what it truly is, but because I did. I'm ashamed to admit that, despite my intentions year after year, I simply chose to stay home rather than attending a Memorial Day event. First of all, I'm not a fan of parades. I'm just not. But there's no excuse for skipping the locally held events each year. Seriously -- how much of a sacrifice is it to spend an hour honoring those who died for my country? Look at the sacrifice made by them and their families. Like I said, I'm ashamed.

Yesterday was different, however. Why? Because my beautiful little five-year-old granddaughter was joining others in her preschool to sing "God Bless America" at the event at Richland Township Community Park. I couldn't miss that, right? 

Laura spent the night with us on Sunday, so I was responsible for getting her ready for her "performance." I even French-braided her hair and got her there on time! I was proud of myself for that at least.

On Sunday evening, Laura went with my husband to the cemetery to plant flowers on five graves. She was a huge help to her grandpap as designated water girl, running back and forth from the spigot with water for the freshly planted geraniums. While there, Grandpap spent time teaching Laura about the significance of the day and about the people she never knew who were buried there. I, too, spent time with her on Sunday teaching her about wars and the brave men and women who fought in them, dying so we can be free. She must have grasped a bit of what we taught her because on Monday, at the ceremony, she listened intently to the keynote speaker and the others who shared messages of what the day has come to mean to so many. 

As we were leaving, she watched as I thanked a Korean war hero. Then she approached him, held out her hand and shook his as she, too, thanked him.

With tears in my eyes, I captured a mental image of that moment, which will be forever etched in my mind. It is a treasure. A treasure, indeed. 

As we lose more and more of those who served in WWII and the Korean War, let's not lose the opportunity to say thank you and to teach our children and grandchildren about these amazing people who were willing to sacrifice all for our freedom. No, Memorial Day is not about them, because they were the lucky ones who made it home. But someday soon, they will be in flag-decorated graves and it will be too late to express our gratitude. How blessed are we, who live in the United States of America, to have been served by generations of bravery? Let us never forget it.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Agent Orange and those who died

The Three Servicemen Statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

This Memorial Day post is a bit different than most. I'm writing it to honor the men and women who died, not while in Vietnam, but after they returned home. They did not die from shrapnel or gunshots or explosions. They did not return to the States in body bags. They came back, eager to resume their lives. They married, had children, pursued careers. But something happened to them while in Nam. Ultimately, it cost them their lives. 

Today I'm remembering the brave men and women who died from exposure to Agent Orange. One of the members of our community lost her own husband to pancreatic cancer when he was just 43. While there is no definitive cause stated, she knows it was caused by Agent Orange.

For those of you who do not know what Agent Orange is, here's a little info:

In order to rid the U.S. bases of surrounding crops, forest cover, and other vegetation, Operation Ranch Hand was set in motion. From 1962-1971, millions of gallons of herbicides produced by Monsanto and Dow Chemicals were sprayed on the ground via low flying aircraft or by boat. Most were mixtures of two phenoxy herbicides including 
  • 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)
  • 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T)
Transported in large drums, the ones containing equal parts of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T were marked with broad orange stripes. Thus the name, Agent Orange.

As if these chemicals were not enough of a problem, apparently at some point in the manufacturing process, the 2,4,5-T in AO was contaminated with dioxins. Later it was discovered that dioxin, a known carcinogen, is a byproduct of Agent Orange.

The veterans started returning home in the 70s with myriad health issues, including rashes, psychological issues, cancers, and a handful of other health issues. Children were born to them with birth defects. But hey, there was no proof Agent Orange had anything to do with it, right?

In 1979, a Class Action Suit was filed again the manufacturers of the herbicides. It was settled out of court in 1984 for $200 million, which was distributed to veterans between 1988-1996.

In a more recent case, a $93 million settlement against Monsanto was awarded to the community of Nitro, West Virginia. Apparently, the town was contaminated by the burning of waste from the production of AO. Of course, that's just a side note. But it's further proof of something the government and the herbicide-producing corporations do not want to acknowledge. People's lives were ruined by Agent Orange. Period.

I wish I could quote statistics of how many have died due to exposure to Agent Orange during their time in Vietnam between the years 1962-1971 when Operation Ranch Hand was active. But I can't. The statistics are skewed. Much of the research done has been affected by those paying for the research. No one wants to take the blame for poisoning the troops with chemicals. Of course, they don't. One vet dies of pancreatic cancer, another of leukemia, still another of Parkinson's Disease. Surely it's coincidental they were all exposed to AO, right? The sad fact is, we'll never know the actual casualty count. We know how many POWs there are. We know how many died in battle. What we don't know is what the numbers really are for those who gave their lives in Vietnam. 

But the families know. What the statistics will not claim, they know. They're the ones who watched their loved ones waste away. They remember. 

And today, I want to remember as well. 

A Year's Worth of YumEarth Organics. Yes, please.


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Hosted by: NYSavingSpecials

Co-hosted by:

Ronda Writes - Total Randomness!, Barbara's Beat, Brooke Blogs,

Mamal Diane Keeping Life Simple,

My Devotional Thoughts, Simply Sherryl and Dividing by Zero

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You can purchase YumEarth Organics at local stores like Target. Or save on YumEarth online at various sites, such as,, and To read a full review of YumEarth Organics, please go here.

Giveaway details:

May 26 12:01 a.m. EST to June 9 11:59 p.m. EST
Valid only in the Continental United States.
Void where prohibited
18 years or older to enter/only 1 entrant per household
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All entries are optional and winning entries will be verified.

Disclaimer: Green Grandma is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at This blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network is not associated with this giveaway.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Detox the Box!

It's Friday, which means we're talking greener and safer alternatives. Check out this info and fun video from Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) about why, until they make the necessary changes, you should find a safer alternative to your feminine products -- we're talking ditching the tampons and pads.

Toxic chemicals don’t belong in feminine products. Period. They especially don’t belong in the top-selling brands Tampax and Always, where they have the potential to harm the health of the millions of women using those pads and tampons.

Women’s Voices for the Earth needed a fun way to get this message across to as many women as possible. After all, our health is at stake. 

Remember Justin Timberlake’s Dick in a Box music video from SNL? WVE spoofed it. Seriously.

Watch Detox the Box, WVE’s latest and greatest spoof video with a hard-hitting message telling Tampax and Always to drop the toxics and list all ingredients.

Please share this music video with the women in your life. Together, we can convince the top-selling pad and tampon brands that toxic chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and hormone disruption don’t belong in products that come anywhere near our ladyparts.

In the meantime, as we wait for changes in the industry, there are products you can use to keep you safe during that time of the month. 

First, there is the menstrual cup. There are several alternatives out there (available online and at retailers such as Whole Foods). You can check out this review of the Diva Cup here on the blog. 

Next, consider using mama cloths -- comfy cloth menstrual pads for light to heavy days, postpartum, and even overnights. Click here for a review I did for one mama cloth company, but there are dozens more out there. Just check out Etsy for a wide array of choices. 

Instead of disposal feminine care products loaded with toxins, use reusable products. It's as simple (and cost effective) as that!

That's it for today's IOTUS. Stop by next Friday for our next installment.

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