Our work in progress – inspired by Pinterest, we built this new BBQ/food prep area on our back patio that uses leftover cinderblocks we had after we reorganized our raised beds in late fall, and repurposed cedar fencing from last year’s fence replacement by the property next door.  This will allow us to bring our trusty old George Foreman BBQ off its pedestal onto a kitchen-y surface and have a place to put plates and condiments & all that good stuff!
  • Super psyched to read about caring for our lemon-scented gum, which we have had for two years in our backyard and it dies back every winter. While it’s no longer technically in the eucalyptus family, the botany folks have decided, it smells like a dream when it comes back to life, and we’ve decided to move ours from the ground into a pot so that it can be near its friend on our front porch, the silver dollar gum (which has done much, much better cozied up next to our warm house).
  • For all those who have lost someone or something big in our lives, whether it be through death or any other type of loss (including my fellow women and men out there struggling with infertility, miscarriages and related challenges), I found this article, The Hardest Part of Grieving is Allowing Yourself to Grieve, very helpful. “While neither all-in nor all-out approaches to grieving are sustainable, I think it’s natural to traverse somewhere back and forth between the two.” – so, so true. The hardest point on this article for me, however, was the suggestion to ask for what you need from those around you. For me, that was impossible when my father died a little over 7 years ago. People either got it or they didn’t. I remember one friend stepped up beautifully by doing just what I needed – she just asked if she could come over, and let me cry on her shoulder. My boss sent me for a massage, another spot-on gift, while the two people I worked closely with ignored me and said NOTHING to acknowledge my loss, not even a simple “I’m sorry,” which was a real punch in the gut. And never having lost a close family member before beyond grandparents, I didn’t know what I should/could ask for. I just knew I felt lost beyond all comprehension. So perhaps that’d be a part of the article I would hesitate to recommend, and put that instead on the shoulders of those who are in a more rational mindset, those who should be looking out for the ones they love experiencing a loss. They should do their homework, and not put the blame on us for not telling them how to not be insensitive, eh?
  • As I’ve mentioned, I’m working with a financial planner to get our retirement savings caught up and hopefully pay off our mortgage ahead of schedule. One of my investments in my socially/environmentally focused portfolio is through Domini Social Investments, founded by Amy Domini. They also have advised on the development of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, “providing comprehensive guidance to corporations on how to report on human rights impacts.” So so cool.
  • “Rape culture is a beast with tentacles and spores across countless other facets of inequality and systems of oppression.” Isn’t that the truth. With only 3% of rapists ever spending a day in prison, it’s got to change. With 50+ women of all ages, sizes and colors being treated like pond scum because they finally dared to come forward against Bill Cosby, I am just sickened at the fact that he is allowed to sue them back for “defamation” when he’s already admitted in legal proceedings that he’s drugged multiple women in order to have sex with them without their consent. Check out the article, To End Rape Culture, We Must Address These 3 Things. Along with this, the statute of limitations MUST end on rape. Many, including myself, who have been the victims of rape and/or incest, don’t have the support systems or the courage to come forward immediately because they know that a) many will not believe them, b) many will find a way to blame them, and/or c) they are both ashamed and/or terrified of the repercussions of speaking up against their attacker. For me? It was within my family, a now-ex brother-in-law, and nearly 30 years after it happened, my sister actually got back together with him and had the audacity to invite me over for dinner at my mother’s where they would both be. So not only did this mean that she could give a shit about what he did to me, but my mother was as well in letting him into her home. (And people wonder why I don’t have a relationship with them anymore. That’s why when some people make those blanket statements that you MUST have a relationship with your parents no matter what? Fuck ’em. We are fortunate in that we have wonderful people in our lives who may not be DNA-related but who have shown us in their actions that they are here for us. Now THAT is family.)
  • My friend Sarah moved to Colorado in 2015 and let me know that it is still ILLEGAL in most areas of the state to collect your own rainwater. SO ridiculous. This article explains what the hell is going on and the asinine crap residents are dealing with.
  • Finally, I dug this infographic on the economic savings of living a green lifestyle and wanted to share it with y’all. While I don’t agree with all of it (buying a condo in 13 years when our house will be paid off is not a money-saver for us – plus it takes away from growing our own food – and our version of a vacation is so cheap: airline miles + cheap Airbnb’s, rather than tours/cruises!), it’s still a good holistic look at the benefits of a green life. 🙂

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