Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Polenta Pear Bread with Rosemary

 Here is a recipe for a quick bread that is versatile enough to work for a breakfast treat or as an accompaniment with dinner. I like it because it is so different from any other bread I have tasted...

What You Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil (canola or other)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored and chopped (any pears will work... I prefer green pears for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
What You Do:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Using a mixer, mix on high for 1-2 minutes
  • Add flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt. Stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Then fold in pears, lemon zest and rosemary.
  • Pour into a prepared bread pan and bake at 350 for about 1 hour 40 minutes (I think my loaf even took a bit longer) or until done.
I think next time I will try to make these as muffins because they are quite crumbly and the bread can be hard to slice. Pin It Now!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Belly Cast

I still have 4 weeks until my due date, but as Finn came 3 weeks early I have suddenly felt all of this pressure to get things done within the next week, just in case this little one is as early as her brother. So yesterday, despite the lack of motivation, Todd (and Finn) made my belly cast.
When I compared it with Finn's belly cast, it was amazing to see how differently my body is shaped in this pregnancy versus my last... I obviously already knew that I was carrying differently this time around, but it was cool to see it side by side. I am pretty sure I am carrying differently because #2 is a girl... and EVERYTHING about this pregnancy has been different!
Have you carried differently in pregnancies? Do you think it was due to gender, being stretched out, or just a different baby?
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Friday, January 28, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The First Bloom of the Year....

Yesterday we were lucky enough to have a small window of sun and Finn and I wandered around the neighborhood. It's funny how much more I notice, how much more I linger, when the sun is out...
Anyways, I saw that the first crocus of the year had popped up on my street- amazing since it is only January- but it gave me hope that sunnier days will come. In Portland the rain doesn't officially stop until July, but there are definitely longer and sunnier days on the horizon.

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Matching Monsters: A Gift for Grasser

 I have been meaning to make Finn a stuffed monster for a long time.... one inspired by those ugly dolls... but it kept getting pushed farther back on the to-make list. But a few weeks ago I saw a post on Peas and Carrots that showed a hand-made gift of a stuffed monster very similar to what I had been envisioning, and it motivated me to get started on Finn's monster.
Finn helped with the making of the monster by choosing the fabric for the arms and legs, deciding on the number of teeth, and the basic shape and design. So this really was Finn's monster. We also decided that we should make a smaller version for his new sister-to-be (whom he affectionately calls Grasser-- don't worry, that is not actually going to be her name). This mini-monster will be Finn's present to Grasser once she arrives. Finn has named both of the monsters Polar Express.
This was my first time making a stuffed monster, and I learned a lot in the process... I figured out things that I would change if I were to make another (like only using embroidery floss to add the facial features as the double threaded strand kept getting tangled). But, I think they came out pretty cute. Finn is happy with his and excited to present Grasser with her monster once she arrives.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The One Percent: A Review

The One Percent is a documentary film directed by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. This film examines the gap that exists between the wealthiest 1% of America's population (who control half of the country's wealth), and the rest of us who always seem to be struggling to get by. The film talks about the power that money has on society and politics and has a few interesting interviews with big names like Milton Friedman, an (evil) economist, Steve Forbes, and a few radicals that had pretty wild opinions on being wealthy. Johnson's documentary touches on gentrification, food subsidies, economic policies and many other situations that show the disparity between the rich and poor in this country. There were a few great shots of New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, with the point being that those who were left behind (and somewhat forgotten) were mainly the poor people who didn't have a car and couldn't afford a bus ticket.
For me, however, the most interesting part of this film was that it was conceived and directed by someone FROM that wealthiest 1%, which is a different perspective than what we normally get. Furthermore, Jamie's family was rather reluctant to be involved in the film, and hesitant about him even making such a film. He pestered them for interviews nonetheless, but the whole time I kept wondering if this documentary was worth all of the family strife that it was leaving in its wake.
There were some interesting moments in this film, but I guess overall I felt like it was a bit lacking, as most of what was portrayed was what all of us in that bottom 90% already know.... that the people with the money control the country and it basically sucks for everyone else. Our country's policies are developed by rich folks and do a pretty good job of making the very rich richer, and hurting everyone else. I would say this film is still worth a watch, especially if you are in the mood to get rather pissed off at rich people, but don't expect it to unveil any deep dark secrets that you haven't heard. It does do a good job at probing into the minds of the rich (and the not so rich) and allowing us to see things from another point of view. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Preparing for a Homebirth

Baby #2 is due on March 1st and we decided about a month ago that we are going to birth her at home. We had Finn at a stand-alone birth center (Alma Midwifery) and didn't think twice about going back there for this birth. However, in the time since we had Finn my health insurance has changed and, for some reason, having a birth at the birth center is quite a bit more expensive. If we chose the birth center route, we would end up paying about $1,500 more than if we chose to have the baby at home. We would still have the same midwives and the same equipment. The only thing a home birth would be lacking is the lovely birthing tub (in which Finn was born by the way). But, my labor with Finn happened super quickly, and the midwives cautioned that  I may not even have a chance to use the tub (or may not even make it to the birth center!) if things happened any faster than last time. So, $1,500 to maybe use a birthing tub just didn't fit into our budget.
So, to save money and make things easier on ourselves, we decided that having this baby at home was the right option. A lot of our family thinks that we are crazy, but we are still less than 2 miles from a hospital if we do run into an emergency. And knowing that I will be in a familiar place with my things and my animals (well, maybe the animals will be a disadvantage... I know the hair will!), and knowing that I don't have to leave once I start laboring, are all very nice and comforting thoughts. I have complete trust in my midwives and my ability to get this baby out when the time comes. I know that there is a chance that we will have a complication and end up at the hospital, but I am REALLY hoping that doesn't happen.....
So, the past few weeks I have been compiling my home birth kit to prepare for the birth. Finn came 3 weeks early, so I figured that I had better be prepared.... and honestly, knowing that I have everything I need for the birth already has made the anticipation of going into labor a little bit less stressful. Pin It Now!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sitz Bath

 A sitz bath can be very healing after birth. It helps to reduce swelling and heal tears. Last week I made a homemade herbal sitz bath that I will use after I give birth. Here is the recipe:

1/2 oz. chickweed
1/2 oz. marshmallow root
1/2 oz. chamomille
1/2 oz. calendula
1 oz. lavender
1 oz. rosemary
1 oz. uva-ursi
1 oz. sea salt

Using 3 oz (half of this recipe) of herbs, steep them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Fill your bathtub with just enough water to cover your bottom. Strain the herbs from the tea and add the tea to your bath water. Sit for 15-20 minutes and enjoy some quiet healing time.
I haven't used this recipe yet, but I will keep you all posted on how it turned out!!
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Sunny Day Excursion

Yesterday we had a gorgeous sunny day here in Portland, and my family took advantage of it. We headed out to the beach on Sauvie's Island, let the dogs run, and enjoyed some time in the sun and the sand. I am thinking it may be one of my last day excursion before the little miss arrives!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

 I have been craving soup a lot lately (winter related more than pregnancy related, I think) and this is one of my favorites to whip up. It is adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant  Daily Special.

What You Need:
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalk celery, chopped
  • Tbl olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 cups chopped and peeled sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups low sodium stock (or you can substitute water)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • Tbl lemon juice
  • Cilantro or toasted coconut flakes for garnish (optional)
What You Do:
  • Heat oil in a large soup pan on medium-low heat. Add onions and celery and saute for about 10 minutes, or until onion begin to turn translucent. 
  • Add curry powder, ginger, nutmeg, bay leaves, salt and pepper and stir continuously for 1 minute
  • Add sweet potatoes, stock, and grated lemon peel. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lowered heat and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).
  • Remove from heat. Add OJ, coconut milk and lemon juice. Puree in a blender until smooth.
  • Top with cilantro or toasted coconut flakes (I prefer it with cilantro) and serve with yummy bread and salad! Enjoy!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Burp Cloth (and cloth wipes!) Tutorial

Since baby #2 is coming in approximately 6 weeks, I have been collecting hand-me-downs and pulling out Finn's baby things from the closet and garage. Luckily we have most of what we need and have been very fortunate to get some hand me downs from friends and neighbors.
What I realized that we did need were some new burp cloths. We still had several from Finn's baby days, but most of them had gotten pretty nasty, and I figured this little lady could use a few cute ones to spruce up the collection. So this weekend I managed to squeeze in a few burp cloths in between other activities. They are quick and easy and pretty cheap.... I bought some higher end flannel on sale, and so these burp cloths cost me about $2 each, however, you could find cheaper fabric for about 1/2 the price or thrifted fabric for even cheaper. But since baby #2 is not going to have anything new, I figured I could splurge for $2 burp cloths!
Here is how you make them (sorry the pictures aren't so great.... the lighting in my house is terrible):

Cut out a piece of fabric twice as large as the size of your burp cloth. I ended up buying 1/2 yard of the flannel fabrics that I liked, and then cut that in half to make 2 burp clothes. Now fold your piece of fabric in half with the patterned side folded on the inside. Sew around the edges leaving a 2-inch gap where you don't sew the fabric together.

This gap is how you will flip the fabric so that the right side is facing out. Now trim the fabric close to your seam, however, leave a little more fabric around the gap.

Now pull the fabric through the gap. I like to use a chopstick or a pencil eraser to help push the fabric through and to smooth out the edges.

Now you need to iron. I really dislike ironing, but it is pretty crucial here... if you don't, it will be hard to get the fabric to line up right. Make sure that you tuck the fabric in around the gap and iron it so that the edges match up with your sewn edges.

Once it is ironed, sew a seam about 1/4 inch in from the edge, all of the way around. When you get to the area where you left the gap, make sure the fabric is tucked under. This seam will close that gap and make your fabric lay flat.

Viola! Now you have a super cute and super easy burp cloth!

 Also, I found some scrap flannel in my fabric box and decided to make some more cloth wipes. We used cloth diapers and cloth wipes with Finn, and I figured a few extra cloth wipes would be a great idea. I followed this same pattern for the wipes, but I just made them a lot smaller. You can find my recipe for homemade wipe solution here.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some Much Needed Sunshine

Yesterday we had some much needed sun here in Portland. The temperature was mild, the rain stopped and it seemed that all of my neighbors were outside with smiles on their faces. A sunny (well, partially sunny anyways) day amidst a week of rain can certainly work some magic and bring a sense of hope to us Pacific Northwesterners. We certainly know how to appreciate a fleetingly sunny day in winter!
Today we are back to the rain, but the weather reports hold promise for some more sun (or at least less rain) for the next couple of day. Pin It Now!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tapped: A Review

Tapped, the movie, is a film that discusses the myriad of problems with the bottled water industry. Bottled water companies have moved into communities and are depleting their groundwater at alarming rates... often paying only 6-10 cents per gallon for the water they withdraw and selling it for a huge profit. These companies rarely put any money back into the communities whose lives they are destroying, nor do they take account the impact they are making on those companies. For example, Coca Cola (Dasani) continued to use large quantities of water in Atlanta during the midst of a major drought. Local residents were asked to conserve while the bottled industry continued to take what little water was left.
The film also touches on the pollution aspect of bottled water. The production of the plastic bottles (made from a byproduct of oil) is leaving drinking water polluted and causing increased rates of cancer and birth defects in towns near refineries. Despite the fact that water bottles are recyclable, only about 20% are actually recycled, and the rest end up being thrown "away".... and a lot of that plastic that is meant for landfills actually ends up in our oceans in a gyre commonly called the garbage patch. Here, the plastics break into smaller pieces and are consumed by fish, birds and other wildlife, often with dire consequences.
These plastic bottles can also leach BPA, an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart problems and more. Furthermore, bottled water is not very well regulated. In any state that produces and sells the bottled water within state boundaries, there is no external regulation and the only form of regulation on the water going into the bottles is from the companies themselves. For bottles that do cross state lines, there is ONE person at the FDA who spends PART of her time regulating all of that bottled water. What does that mean? It means that while your city tap water is likely tested 10 or more time EVERY DAY, that bottle of water your just paid $3 for likely had no regulation whatsoever. Tests from independent companies have found high levels of arsenic, mercury, and other chemicals in many samples of bottled water. Not to mention that a good portion of bottled water (like most of that bottled from Coke and Pepsi) is actually just tap water from a city municipality. So, while they pay pennies for the water, they charge you dollars.
The bottom line is this: go buy a stainless steel reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water. It is safer for you, costs less, causes a whole lot less pollution and is not destroying communities.
I have done a bit of personal research on tap water versus bottled water, and have previously blogged about the problems with bottled water several times. So, this is an issue that is quite important to me. Whenever I teach about water in my environmental studies class, I always have the students do some internet research on the impacts of bottled water and ask them to examine their personal use of this product. It always amazes me how many of my (usually poor) students use bottled water on a regular basis and how uninformed of the problems they were contributing to by consuming such large quantities. Although I personally didn't learn a lot from this film, I did think it was a great summary of the problems related to bottled water consumption and is a great introductory film on this topic. It will definitely make it into the rotation for my environmental studies course. This movie is  currently on instant view on Netflix and is definitely worth a watch. Check out the film's website to learn more. Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Day!

 So, today my family finally made it up to the mountains for a morning romp in the snow. The weather reports have been 'threatening' snow in Portland for weeks, but since it never happened, we all had the urge. And we figured with a new baby coming soon, we had better have a snow day while we still could!
Our snow for our snow day was actually pretty disappointing....It was raining pretty hard, so the snow was not fluffy by any means, and while it wasn't cold out, we got pretty wet. Not to mention that our old regular sledding hill now costs money ($10 per child and $20 per adult... completely ridiculous!!) so we had to find a new hill to sled on, and it wasn't as great.
But, we all had fun having a romp in the snow, especially the dogs. It was our puppy's first time seeing snow, and she had a grand time! We had a snowball fight, some attempts at snow angels, and Finn and Todd got a few runs down on the sled. Not the best weather, but a fun family adventure!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Inspired by Soulemama 

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making Room For A Little Lady

 The past couple of weeks have found me doing some serious cleaning and organizing..... reorganizing Finn's closet and filling half of it with baby girl clothes, doing a huge clean-out of the fridge and pantry, purging all sort of unnecessary extras from the garage. I thought that I had already started nesting, which I was actually pretty excited about, as I was dreaming of all of the projects I could accomplish in the now 7 weeks that I have before baby #2 is due to arrive. However, the past couple days I have been feeling quite lazy and unproductive, and I am starting to wonder if my organizing madness was just an attempt at some New Year's resolutions and not at all related to being pregnant. Anyways, if it's not nesting, I hope I start nesting soon. Fitting an entire fourth person into our 880 square foot home (that also has 2 dogs and 3 cats, mind you) will be no easy feat, so I think some serious preparations are in order. And the earlier that we get a move on with this, the better!
I also feel extremely lucky this time for all of the hand-me-downs we have received for this little lady who is going to enter our lives. From about 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was having a girl as I felt so different from when  was pregnant with Finn (and yes, an ultrasound did confirm my feelings, so I don't think we are in for any surprises...).  I was of course excited about having a girl, but also a little bit nervous about how different it would be. I also had feelings of frustration about needing a whole second set of clothes since we already had a perfectly good little boy's wardrobe boxed up in our garage.
However, as soon as word got out that I was having a girl, I was the recipient of several bags of hand-me-downs from neighbors and mama friends. Friends have offered to lend us the few baby items that we don't have left from Finn (like an electric breast pump!). Amazingly, I think we are going to squeeze by with only needing to get a few size small cloth diapers (we only had about 8 with Finn, and I found myself doing diaper laundry every day for awhile, which is definitely not energy efficient). I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful, generous friends who have not only saved us a lot of money, but have allowed us to reduce our impact by not having to purchase new items. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crude: A Review

Crude is a film that portrays Texaco's (now Chevron's) involvement in oil production in the Amazon of Ecuador. Texaco's irresponsible production practices and poor environmental remediation have left a trail of environmental destruction that is leaving sick natives, including many cancer victims, in its wake. The natives are drinking contaminated water, and living on contaminated soil. This pollution is essentially poisoning not only individuals, but also an entire culture, that once destroyed, will never be replaced. Texaco denies all responsibility, arguing that the Ecuadorian oil company that moved in after them is responsible for all pollution.
I enjoyed this film, however, it wasn't quite what I had expected. The film focuses on the trial between the natives and Texaco (Chevron) and most of the dialog is with the plaintiffs lawyers. They do show great footage of the oil pits and interviews with the natives, but the point of view is mainly of the lawyers. The law-side of this battle IS extremely important, as it has been a struggle that hasn't really gone anywhere. However, I personally think this film could have won more hearts if they focused more tightly on the plight of a few of those families whose water was poisoned and whose children were dying of cancer. But, this film was informative and heartbreaking nonetheless, and my hormonal pregnant self would probably just have cried the entire way through if it got much more personal.
Expert scientists have suggested that Chevron pay the Amazonian natives a huge settlement, but the case is still undecided in Ecuadorian court. It will likely be another 10 years or so before a resolution is found. In the meantime, Unicef and the Rainforest Foundation (Sting and his wife Trudie's foundation) have put in rainbarrels with filtration systems so that the locals no longer have to drink contaminated water.  In the meantime, they will wait around in their oil-filled soil, sick and too poor to afford treatment, until someone finally makes a decision on this case.
I have been to Ecuador twice, including to the  Ecuadorian Amazon. I fell in love with Ecuador while I was there and it holds a special place in my heart, so I can only hope that the Ecuadorian legal system makes the right decision and does so quickly before they lose any more of their culture or environmental integrity. This film is definitely worth watching (currently it is available as a watch instantly on netflix) and this struggle is definitely worth doing something about. Check out Crude's page on how to get involved. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some Time Outside...

 Yesterday, Finn and I decided to spend a little time exploring a park on the other side of Portland... one that we had never been to before. This park was interesting, as it was located in an industrial area down by the river, yet it had a pretty secluded feeling. We saw a few other people walking their dogs, but other than that it was empty.
I thought we were going somewhere for more of a hike, but the trail we ended up on didn't go far and let us out into a big open field. Finn was completely satisfied to play with the sticks, sand, trees and other goodies that he found in this field (with a little interaction from mom, of course). But watching him entertain himself in this small patch of nature surrounded by industry reminded me how crucial those times in nature are for our children.. even if 'nature' is only a small patch of open space. When I told him it was time to head home for lunch, he asked for just 5 more minutes to could I say no?
Finn loves playgrounds, playdates, bike rides, and hikes... but I now realize that some days we just need to go to a patch of green space where he can explore, imagine and create with nothing but himself and the toys he finds in nature.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Almost a Big Brother

It's not too long before my little guy is going to be a big brother! We have been spending a lot of time talking with Finn about having a baby, being a big brother and what things are going to be like once his little sister arrives.
A few days after we explained to Finn that there was a baby in my belly, he confidently named her Grasser and has called her that ever since. Sadly, we don't have a name picked out yet, so we have also been calling her Grasser for the past 6-plus months. Hopefully Finn is not too hurt when we don't actually chose that as her name.
Anyways, he talks all of he time about how he is going to hold Grasser, teach her things, share his toys.... but I wonder how much of this he really understands and how prepared he really is. His best friend became a big sister last summer, and I think spending time around a newborn and watching his friend make that transition has been helpful. However,  I know we will be in for some big emotions once that baby actually gets here.
Our midwives let us borrow a sibling backpack, complete with books and films on birth and being a big sibling, and a nursing doll. We watched the film on babies being born last week and Finn's response to that was "That lady's bottom looks funny. I am going to hide when Grasser comes.". So, yeah.., that didn't reassure me in his preparedness, but it did make my decision for me that Finn probably shouldn't be at the birth (at least not without someone that can leave with him if need be). I also don't blame him, as after watching the film, I got nervous to give birth again. It wasn't so bad giving birth to Finn, but watching it brings back some of those memories that I think I tried to repress.
Anyways, we will continue to read books and talk about being a big brother and hope for the best. But if anyone has any tips that made the big sibling transition easier for them, I am all ears! Pin It Now!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Inspired by Soulemama 
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where's the Beef?

I am normally a mostly-vegetarian..... I do eat fish and dairy, and I usually enjoy a little bit of turkey on Thanksgiving. However, about 1/3 of the way through both my pregnancies, I have started eating meat on a regular basis. It seems a little counter-intuitive, but I think my body just craves more protein than I can get from legumes and dairy (I am allergic to nuts and try to limit my soy intake).
So, now that I am a regular carnivore, I have been thinking more about meat production and it's (rather large) impact on the Earth. Even though sustainably raised meats are quite a bit pricier, I have decided to forgo quantity for quality, essentially eating less of the good stuff. Choosing locally raised meats grown without antibiotics or hormones is better not only for my health but also for the health of our planet. I have also decided to stick to chicken, turkey and pork as my meat protein sources.
Red meat (beef) takes the most resources (land and water) to produce and releases the most greenhouse gas emissions in the process. So, cutting back on your red meat consumption is a definite plus for the environment. According to Do One Green Thing, skipping red meat (and replacing it with another meat) for 1 day a week will save the same carbon emissions as driving 760 fewer miles a year! That is a fairly significant road trip worth of driving! Also, cutting back your red meat intake will significantly save water resources. For example, one hamburger needs 10,000 liters of water to be produced! Holy cow (pun intended)!
So, if you choose to eat meat, consider cutting back on your red meat intake... even one less day a week can make a huge difference. I will likely (to the upset of my husband) go back to my vegetarian ways after baby #2 arrives, but until then I will try and make my impact as a carnivore as minimal as possible. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Frozen Puddles and Stomach Bugs

Winter weather in Portland tends to be either mild and rainy or clear and freezing. The last week has been the latter, which I don't really mind except that it does require quite a bit of bundling to go anywhere. The picture above was taken on a hike we took on New Year's Day. We had quite a lot of rain over Christmas, which caused some flooding, which then froze... so we got to hike across a giant frozen puddle. Slightly treacherous while pregnant, but it made for some cool photographs.
Sunday night Finn and I were overtaken by the stomach flu. It only lasted until yesterday morning, but I feel like it has taken me until today to recovery my energy. Hoping to recover enough to enjoy some more non-rainy (but cold) weather before the rains are due to return at the end of this week. Pin It Now!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cove: A Review

After a recommendation from several students of mine, I watched the film The Cove a few days ago. Have you guys seen this movie? It is unbelievably horrendous and brought me to tears.... several times. I won't give away too much, as I think this is a film that everyone should see for themselves. But, the film is a documentary about a small town in Japan where fisherman round up dolphins (by making loud noises which scare them) and trapping them with nets inside a cove. After the dolphins are contained, Sea World and other similar places come and take their pick of the best dolphins (mainly the young females) and then the remainder of the dolphins are slaughtered. Very inhumanely.
The dolphin meat is often sold to markets. However, because of bioaccumulation of toxins up the food chain, dolphin meat is toxic and should not be consumed. So, it is labeled as something entirely different (like shark or whale meat) and consumers are tricked into eating meat that could literally kill them.
A superbly depressing film, but a story that everyone should know about. I can promise you all that I will never ever be going to Sea World, as I am astounded that they can support this type of animal cruelty. So, please watch the film and educate yourself! There is also a webpage where you can help take action against these horrible acts. Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wow! It's hard to believe that it's already 2011..... seriously, where does the time go? I know for my family, 2011 is going to be a year of excitement and big changes. With baby #2 due to arrive on March 1, I know the dynamics of our home are going to be changing as we all figure out how we fit in as a family of 4!!
I spent some time yesterday reflecting on the past year, and set some goals for myself for the new year to come. Since the new babe is scheduled to arrive near the end of this term of school, I am not teaching any classes this winter term. On one hand, I am a little sad about that, both because I like my job and we could use the money. But, I am also happy and grateful to have some extra time to spend with Finn, trying to make him realize how special he is before he has to share his mommy-time with his new sister. This little break from work will also give me some time to nest, and to figure out how a 4th person is going to fit into out tiny, 800 square foot home. I think that is going to take a lot of purging, organizing, and becoming a minimalist.... keeping only what is really and truly necessary.
I also hope to find some time this year to continue to educate myself, to learn new things, to get better at things I already do and to share what I learn with others. Knowledge is power, so bring it on! I will also be reminding myself to work on my patience with Finn, which isn't always the easiest for me... and now with a new one arriving soon, I think I will need to have a lot of patience to keep my sanity. Lastly, I am going to find ways to be gentler to both myself and to the Earth in 2011. And through all of this, I will have to remind myself that I am pregnant and tired, and will soon have a newborn and will still be tired, so I can only do my best and I will have to be satisfied with that. See, I am being gentler on myself already!
Hoping that you have a wonderful start to your new year and wishing you joy and excitement in the year to come! Pin It Now!