The Importance of Voting


Today is super Tuesday with more than 20 states in the country participating in caucus or primaries to decide on candidate to nominate for President in November.  This is an historic election as we have two serious candidates on the democratic side in contention for the office.  I understand that there are some people who apathetic about voting and believe that her or his vote does not count, but the person could not be anymore mistaken.    I listen to BBC News in the mornings, and hear reports of people from other parts of the world struggle to get the opportunity to vote for their political choices.  Sometimes they are met with opposition, physical intimidation, and sometimes death for that previous moment to walk into that booth to vote. 

Yet some people living in the United States with the right and freedom to vote make excuses for not voting thus refusing to participate in the process.  There are times when we take things for granted, but there is a moment when one should understand the importance of voting.  It is the right of everyone who reaches the age of 18 to vote in this country, and we have the responsibility to comprehend and participate in the process.  Now, I certainly cannot tell you who to vote for, but asking you to consider that you are part of the process, and voice your opinion at the polls.  Also, do not forget to write letters to your Congresspersons and Senators, in addition to local politicians to voice your complaints.

Friday and other Happenings


I must admit that I have not done any knitting or sewing this week, but it continues to stay on my mind the list of projects that need to be completed. I have been catching up some reading particular magazine articles from the New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine for have I a need to know what is going on in the country and around the world. I watched a heart-wrenching documentary on HBO about the situation in Darfur entitled “Sand and Sorrow” narrated by George Clooney. What I find so amazing how people can get so involved in politics and concerned who is going to control the land that we lose our sense of humanity in the process. I remember first hearing about Darfur in 2003 on BBC as the United States did not cover the story until some months later. Darfur is a very complex story with many rebel factions and the Sudanese government’s involvement of displacing and killing its own citizens making a distinction from Arabs and non Arabs persons (although both groups practice Islam). It is very unfortunate that we have yet learned from past mistakes and continue the perpetuation of violence of the poorest citizens of the world. It is with great sadness that the powers that be find these citizens dispensable and it is an fortunate truth that I wish one day no longer exist. This really makes the scandal of the use of steroids among baseball players seem trifling in the grander scheme. If anyone is interested in learning more about Darfur Don Cheadle (Actor) and John Prendergest has a written a book entitled Not on Our Watch: The Mission to end Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, you can visit www.enoughproject.org.

Well enough of my preaching, I have no plans of doing anything this weekend which means catching up some cleaning for the holidays. I purchased a magazine yesterday that I have seen many times, but have not brought. The publisher is Somerset Studio which publishes a variety of magazines that include mix media, scrapbooking, and blogging. I brought the paper and mixed media edition which has some very inspirational ideas of holiday cards and ornaments. I think am going to subscribe to Belle Amoire and possibly Artful Blogging magazines (I need to have a more artful look to my blog). Belle Amoire focuses on handmade garments, jewelry, and accessories and I want to learn more about felting fabric. Well that is it for my ramblings today. Happy Friday Everybody!

Things are Getting Greener


The other day, I wrote a blog about doing a little laundering on the fabrics we made into clothes and caring for them.  It would be easier to take them the dry cleaners, but there are times when the cleaners can do more harm than good our nice fabrics.  You may have horror stories to tell about that favorite cashmere sweater that the dry cleaner managed to ruin.  However, does anyone ever wonder about the chemicals that are used at the dry cleaners cannot be good for clothes or the environment.

Going green has become a huge trend over the past couple of years with Al Gore’s book and movie “An Inconvenient Truth” has made the public more aware of global warming or the new catch phase climate change that conservatives are more with using.  However, I believe the average do-it-yourselfer is more conscience of using and recycling things around the house.  I recycle as much as possible as it does save some cash.  I know that people who sew, knit and crochet probably has a million ideas about recycling such as using that glass jar originally for pickles turn into a convenient containers for buttons, ribbons and other notions.

I listened to an interview the other day on Fresh Air with Terry Gross (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16616951) with Mark Schapiro discussing his book “Exposed.”  Schapiro is an investigative reporter who examined how toxic chemicals exist in many of the products we handle every day from the gadgets, toys, beauty products, etc.  He also discussed how the European Union requires businesses to minimize toxic chemicals or list them, and the U.S. does not provide any such requirements in its policy, and with an increasingly green economy, American businesses could get shut of the huge market he argues.  You can listen to the interview at the above-listed link.  In fact, Fresh Air is airing inteviews this week pertaining to environmental issues.  FYI, after hearing the interview, you may not want to purchase anymore plastic toys for your children.

Here is the section where I give some web resources about getting a little greener.  There some good resources on the web on being environmental safer and putting some green in yourself, and there are many instances where you save money.  An interesting tipbit that using a dishwasher saves more water than handwashing dishes as we tend to continually run water while washing them.

Now here are the resources:

National Geographic created a magazine called the Green Guide that provide information on green products, make your own green products, and about the environment www.thegreenguide.com.  

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization consisting of a team of scientists, enginners, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers pores over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and our own laboratory tests to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions. Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know, www.ewg.org.

This one of my favorite websites.  The cosmetics database list beauty products and rates the level of toxic chemicals from 0 being the lowest to 8 being the highest www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.

 

Ideal Bite is an website that gives daily tips for green living.  You can also subscribe to the e-newsletter for your daily bite www.idealbite.com.

 

Lime is a great website that provide mass media, TV, Radio, Podcasts, etc.  There is a variety of information concerning alternative health, fitness, green living, etc. www.lime.com. 

 

Of course there is Body and Soul Magazine from Martha Stweart Omnimedia (www.bodyandsoulmag.com, Plenty Magazine (www.plentymag.com), and Verdant Magazine (www.verdantmag.com) are some of the magazines about green living on the market.

 

 Finally, here are some blogs about green living:

 

http://greenliving.suite101.com/

 

http://dannyseo.typepad.com/

 

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/cgi-bin/svblog.cgi

 

www.treehugger.com

 

http://thegreenwayblog.com

 

http://www.greenlivingtips.com

 

http://blog.greenlivingonline.com

 

www.greendaily.com

 

I hope that I gave you something to think about, and perhaps visit some of the website to give some ideas how to make your life safer because we only get one and life is too short to waste.  Now, I know everyone isn’t going to do everything, but maybe not having so many lights on in the house, and remember to turn off the water while brushing your teeth to conserve water.  Finally, being aware of the toxic chemicals in your cleaning and everyday products and use with caution, or find alternative products that are safer.  Have a greener day everybody!