Happy Boxing Day or just plain ol’ Happy December 26th depending where you are 🙂
My hubby and I had a wonderful Christmas, our first as married peeps, and did it just our way. Breakfast with friends on Xmas Eve, lazy afternoon, made lasagne for dinner with the fixin’s (dairy free with my homemade cashew ricotta and Daiya mozzarella), opened our stockings, watched movies, made an awesome breakfast on Xmas morning, went for a hike, and finished it off eating Chinese. And as quickly as it arrived, it has now passed. We took the tree down and cut it up to fit in the curbside compost bin, and are back to our normal lives. Near-zero stress, and lots of extra time to cuddle up and enjoy each other’s company. We even did 36 ours completely offline – laptops AND phones turned off, woo hoo!
Anyhow, here are some of the cool things that I’ve been wanting to share now that I’m back online:
* Perfect for some new year’s inspiration, I loved these 7 Practical Ideas for Compassionate Communities. One of my favorites of these? “Medical care for a song”, where arts and music are traded for basic health checkups. Beautiful.
* With winter upon us, it’s so much fun thinking about DIY projects to do in the spring and summer – and hey, in the mild days of winter even! 15 Green Projects for Under $500 is pretty rad. I stumbled upon this because, after the base of our old “TV Antenna” style clothesline broke off inside it’s cement base that I created years ago, we have decided to build an old fashioned T-style clothesline this spring, and it reminded me of how darn cheap it is to do that.
* On a different note…”We don’t use our pain as a masochistic trophy.” In The Destructive Nature of ‘It Happens to Men, Too!’, Stephanie Watson talks about about the massive amount of responses to women who call out misogynistic actions and diminish it by saying about how men are victims too. Kind of like people minimizing the impact of racism by talking about how white people are discriminated against, she reminds readers that “the biggest priority in a situation like this is first and foremost the victim, but while it’s being discussed, leave blame where blame is due.” What’s great about this article is that she also calls out how men are mocked for supporting women and being feminists, and brings up how men grow up in a society where they are discouraged from speaking out when they are abused or otherwise taken advantage of, because to speak out would mean they are not strong. Or, as it doesn’t say but we can clearly see, that they are weak – like women. And women are seen as lower. Throw like a girl. Cry like a little girl. Et cetera.
* For Christmas Day, my husband suggested we make a really special breakfast, so along with using a pretty antique linen tablecloth (recently scored at Stars in Sellwood), I’d splurged and bought us a new set of dishware. Sounds fancy but it wasn’t! My Viva Terra dishware bought 9 years ago had numerous chips, so they went to Community Warehouse, and for under $50 I got a set of simple, much sturdier (i.e., long term which I want!), clear glass Anchor Hocking plates, bowls, and mugs at Target (yup, I went into Target, a rare occurrence). They are all made-in-USA (a rarity, let me tell you), are recyclable, and have good corporate sustainability practices to boot. Oh and what did we make, you ask? The most delicious Challah French Toast (thank you New Seasons bakery for their organic challah!) made with local, organic eggs, organic soy creamer, vanilla and orange zest, with Beeler’s Bacon on the side and topped with a bit of my cranberry-apple chutney (leftovers from Thanksgiving I’d frozen, yay!). That and some almond milk hot cocoa with cinnamon sticks? Heaven 🙂
* Few folks pay attention to North Dakota. Exactly why they are falling prey to the oil and gas companies, and an area of the country that was one of the rare quiet places is getting slowly but surely destroyed. The New York Times’ article, What North Dakota Would Look Like If Its Oil Drilling Lines Were Aboveground tells you about the massiveness of what’s happened in a very compelling visual. “More than 11,000 oil wells have been drilled in North Dakota since 2006, covering the state’s agricultural landscape. In all, almost 40,000 miles of well bores have been drilled underground to connect the fracking operations to surface wells. Laid end to end, they would circle the Earth about one and a half times.” Terrifying.
* And finally, on a positive note, I’m getting ready to cut all my hair off once again (perhaps something like the cut I did back in 2011, but we’ll see!). It’s been about a year and a half since I’ve cut it, and with the length it’s getting a bit too high maintenance for moi. You see, I have a LOT of hair, but it’s also really fine, which means once it gets to a certain length it gets matted underneath while I sleep, or even just out and about on a windy day. I’ve wanted to cut it for a while but wanted to wait til I had enough to donate, but then I learned that Locks of Love gets way more donations than they can handle, and that much of the hair actually gets discarded, especially if it’s color-treated (like mine). So with that, I discovered Matter of Trust’s Clean Wave Program, which produces hair “booms” and mats used for oil spill cleanup (think about how our hair holds onto oil!), and coordinates large-scale efforts to clean contaminated water in rivers, oceans, and storm drains. And they collect hair donations as short as 3″. I’m all over that.
“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”