What I love about Luminance Skincare is how it was started. When Priscilla, company Founder Kim’s wife, became allergic to conventional skincare products they decided they needed to do something. Just walking through the beauty section in a department store would have Priscilla down for the day with a migraine. [Read more...]
A few days ago when I settled down after I put my kids to bed I saw the news on Facebook, we were under a water advisory. E coli had been found in a water sample taken a few days prior and the results had just come in. Within minutes, conspiracy theories were circulating how long did the mayor know before telling us, did the McDonald’s in town know earlier in the week when they were not serving soda or other drinks and one person even reported seeing a town employee purchasing several cases of water the day before the advisory. There was an immediate run on water at the store.
My small town (which was the ONLY town under advisory) had fallen into chaos almost immediately. It was funny, sad and honestly a little scary. As anyone who follows the impacts of climate change knows, water may become scare in many location either permanently or from time to time. In less than 12 hours I watched people completely devolve, I could not imagine what would happen when it involved total regions. I understood even more why the military is planning for the issues that come with water scarcity. [Read more...]
I had two amazing grandmothers! They were two great role models to women, today I am going to tell you about my Baba because she would have been the most popular blogger in the world, I am talking Pioneer Woman Ree’s kind of star power. I think about her a lot when I write and she died when I was in high school. She was green without meaning to be green.
My Baba was a widowed mother of two in the depression era. So imagine raising two boys on a fixed income, she knew how to be thrifty, save and not waste. She found a use for everything and at this point I think you are imagining that she is hoarder, not so, but that is not to say she did not have a garage full of things (imagine Monica from Friends and the closet… the house was spotless but she had a lot of stuff in this one place). Here are some of the main titles I would give when I think of Baba:
She taught me about WWII Victory gardens. This was probably my first lesson in sustainable agriculture and I was probably only 6 years old. She told me how they planted their yards with as much food as they could grow. She talked about how she shared with her neighbors and how they saved their seeds for the following year (they even shared seeds). When she explained to me that rationing and the high food costs it seemed only logical that people would be growing food in their yard to actually feed their family. My grandmother lived on a little less than an acre and she made the most of it. She gardened into her 80′s and I know if she was here today she would have a million tips to share with all of us on how we could improve our gardens without all the chemicals that are so easy to get now.
I still have the quilt Baba made me that matched the curtains she made me for my childhood room. She could sew anything and if she did not know how to do something she had an endless network of friends who could help her. I feel like she had the real life Pinterest back then, she would get together with the other ladies and they would make things. They would make things for one another, for parties, for the kids in the neighborhood, for members of the church, or anyone else who needed something. She used to get together with the ladies for quilting bees and they would make several quilts in one night, by hand!
I still remember my favorite dishes that she made and the last time she cooked for me I was probably in 6th grade. I still purchase stuffed cabbage and peirogies from any Polish deli or vendor I can in search of the same meals she used to make me. Do not get me wrong not everything she made was exciting and fantastic but of any family member who has ever cooked for me I had more favorite meals from her than anyone else. I think it is because everything she made would be defined today as “Real Food” and I guess I appreciated it even then. If she had a blog she would be sharing her recipes every week and I am sure she would have a great meal plan for all of us to follow on a very tight budget.
She did not waste money (or at least that I am aware of). The depression and being widow with two growing boys I am sure MAKES you that way even if you did not want to be that way. She penny pinched in a way that I admire, she still ate food, was dressed nicely, and still made time to help her friends and family. I am sure there were meals that none of us would eat but were super economical and that she did things that no one else would know about that saved money in her home (thermostat real low when there were no visitors…etc.) but she never skrimpt to point where you worried about her. She made decisions that I think she was ok with. I am sure she wished she had more money, everyone does, by my young child’s view of it did not show me a jaded women who wished she had more she seemed content to live in a frugal manner.
She did not own a car, she took the bus to visit us, she walked every where she could, and she squeezed the useful life out of everything before she replaced it. I do not remember her house changing at all. Looking back at pictures from her house I do not think she even moved anything around in her house, if it worked it stayed. She was a master canner, she used to make me pickles and bring me jars every time she would see me. I used to bring the pickles with me everywhere I went for lunch, all pickles to this day are judged against she bread and butter pickles. She canned so many things because that was the thing to do. I do not ever remember seeing a disposable anything in her house including napkins and paper towels. Obviously in her time this was the way you did things but she seemed to get it, and do it well.
I think she could have taught me so many skills and now as mother of two kids of my own I cannot imagine how hard it was for her to do what she did at the time in our history that she did. She was very determined woman though so I am not even the slightest bit surprised she did it successfully. So I think if she was around today she would be telling us how to can, sew, re-purpose, and grow the best garden in the most no-nonsense tone she could. I am sad she left this world when I was so young but she did live into her 90′s, I was just too young to know what to ask her before she left because trust me her advice would be something we would all love to have today.
This week the first study of its kind came out showing a direct link between a pregnant woman’s exposure to pesticides and Autism. While this is scary news at least it is some definitive research on what might be one cause of Autism. With knowledge like this we can make smart decisions to reduce our risk and exposure to pesticides.
Limiting your pesticide exposure when you are pregnant is a good idea regardless of the results of this study. Here are 7 things you can do to prevent pesticide exposure:
Eat Organic Fruits and Veggies. While this may sound hard or expensive it does not have to be. Eating fruits and veggies that are in season makes it more affordable to eat organic. Go to your local farmers market, often times [Read more...]
I read a really interesting piece on Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers about the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. My daughter recently took this book out the library and liked it so much she asked me to buy it for her. Everytime I read it I have different emotions about it as mother, as a child, and as an environmentalist. I admit the environmentalist side is what drives my discussion with my daughter and I use the book as teaching tool about environmentalism but the two mothers (one for and one against) who wrote a debate about the book looked at it from a mother and child perspective.
I agree with both authors, mothers (and all parents), LOVE their children and want to help and provide for them as best they can. Sometime no matter how much [Read more...]