Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Water Month: The LifeStraw

Came across this story on my favorite mental_floss: about the LifeStraw, an amazingly simple idea that truly could change the world. Basically it’s a straw that contains a filter that removes diseases and bacteria from water as it’s being used (it doesn’t filter out Giardia yet, but they’re working on it) Cost per straw? $3, which is more than most of the people who truly need the straw can afford. Here's hoping my economic stimulus check comes through soon so we can redirect those funds to get some of these devices out where they really need them. How wonderful is it that a simple little device could make such a difference?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

12 Resolutions May: That is not a sign of a healthy lawn.

We’ve been doing our own water conservation here at the Burbank bungalow—seems the reason our front lawn has turned to dried hay was my neighbor deciding the sprinkler timer needed to be unplugged without realizing what it was or without telling anyone that she had done so. So, while we’ve conserved some water (and her electric bill—[so she claims]) we’ve got a dead and crispy lawn that probably isn’t coming back this year. Finally realizing that the sprinklers weren’t on at all does have an added water conservation benefit: now I’m in charge, for the time being, of watering the lawn. The timer can’t decide to take the day off because it’s raining like I can (which believe it or not, it’s actually raining today. In May. In L.A. OMG, it actually just THUNDERED as I typed that!). It also called to light the fact that we were missing a sprinkler head and had created essentially a geyser that bypassed even the corner of the lawn and drained directly into the street. I was also able to redirect the sprinkler heads so they’re pointing We’ve got a little dribbling problem at one of the sprinkler turn-on valves, but it’s a work in progress people.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May Resolution: better late than never

I’ve been a little MIA in the blogosphere lately—too much work, too much heat and just not enough energy to do the little things that aren’t essential to day-to-day living. Here it is 3/4 through the month of May and I haven’t even had the wherewithal to come up with a monthly challenge. (Or possibly recap my April successes and failures). Temperature reads 87ยบ here today, but feels much, much warmer in my kiln…er, apartment. But we’ve got a few weeks left on the month, so I probably can come up with a challenge that I might have even been observing all along. May apparently is some sort of water conservation month here in California (I think every month should be water conservation month, but we’ll go with it…) I’m a thirsty gal (I usually drink at least a gallon of water a day) so I know the importance of making every drop count. I’m usually pretty good about the conservation: recycle the gray water for non-edible plants, use the bucket in the shower to catch water to use for toilet flushing, water the crops early in the morning to prevent evaporation. This month’s challenge will be to find a way to cut back even more so, while still remaining hydrated.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

TLC should always be organic.

I’ve always known the hardest times to stay simplified are: when there’s an emergency, when we’re in a rush, when we’re on vacation, any time we’re distracted, when we succumb to peer pressure, and when our beliefs contradict each other. This week I would probably add another situation to the list: when time is of the essence. With two very dear people in my life in the hospital this week, I want to support them but not at the expense of my beliefs. I don’t want to just grab a bunch of flowers from the supermarket to express my “get well” wishes. So instead, I stopped and thought for a little bit about what I would appreciate if I was laid up for awhile. The organic bouquet was the first thing that was a must (organicbouquet.com)

Next was to devise a pampering care package for my pal Marla, which was very cathartic to make because it made me think of all the wonderful things that she has done for me for so many years. It also feels good to make something that doesn’t betray my beliefs. Recipe for a natural and clear-conscience “get well soon” care package:
• Some nice Pomegranate white tea (lots of good anti-oxidants)
• Some Trader Joe’s lavender body oil (good for keeping skin moisturized)
• a few lavender sachets for under the pillow or in the clothes drawer (relaxing scent, without chemical fragrances)
• one of my infamous soothing eye pillows (relaxing & soothing; can never have enough of either)
• (shameless plug) a Simplicity Connection exclusive “simplify” tee (made in the sweatshop of my living room)
• a pink ribbon ball cap (donated by one Lesley Davis, paid for by donating much of her sassy blood & platelets)
• and my favorite item by far, the “Guess Who’s Kicking Cancer’s Ass?” mix CD. (Had to share the play list because I’m quite proud of it. ☺ (Clicking the graphic makes it larger, so it can actually be read!)

(P.S. Re: #22 on the CD: If you’ve never seen the Joss Stone/Melissa Etheridge Janis Joplin tribute from the Grammys 3 years ago, it’s an amazing representation of what kicking cancer’s ass can do: see it here on Youtube.)