I stepped into an aisle in my local library's fiction section and checked out the first two books that looked good. Each of them turned out to be the first novel by an author experienced in another type of writing--Erin Kelly is a journalist, and Richard Kramer is a television scriptwriter. Both of them are … Continue reading Two First Novels by Authors Starting with K [book reviews]
I attended the Student Climate Strike on September 20 in Pittsburgh. So did my 14-year-old son, who is actually a student. I went to show my support of the students but also because climate change is affecting me, too, and all of us. A lot of other gray-haired people had the same idea. In fact, … Continue reading Two Things About the Climate Strikes
My family spends a lot less time in the car than the American average, but we get into our car for hours-long errand binges some weekends and several long road trips each year. For the past three school years, my son had to be driven through urban rush-hour traffic to a weekly activity at dinnertime. … Continue reading Cutting Back on Car Snacks
Earlier this year, I joined a local campaign against single-use plastic, and it's been great working with like-minded, enthusiastic people and feeling so much hope about making the world a better place before it's too late! But there was one blind spot in the organizing of our first several meetings that just stunned me: On … Continue reading Zero-Waste Name Tags
We're drowning in tomatoes and also have a lot of bell peppers and onions from our farm share. Is it 3 weeks in a row now, or 4, that Daniel and/or I have done a weekly tomato-roasting binge? It's a lot of work, but it does make it possible for us to eat all of … Continue reading Plastic-Free Bean Dip with Roasted Vegetables
Now is the cool of the day. It's time to get serious about taking better care of our Earth, and it's easier than ever to do! You might think it's gotten more complicated, though, because of the recent news about recycling: China is no longer accepting recyclable materials from the United States for processing in … Continue reading Go Green in 2019: New Opportunities to Reduce Garbage!
There's a lot of bad news about America's food supply in this century: Terrifying pesticides! Increasing rates of food allergies and gluten sensitivity! Food poisoning! Junk food loaded with crappy ingredients, pushed on us from every direction using unscrupulous marketing techniques! Insane amounts of Earth-destroying packaging! Endocrine disruptors! Epidemic obesity! Food crops threatened by the … Continue reading Good News About Irradiated Food!
This is an honest review of a product I was offered for free, with no restrictions on what I could say in the review. I did not receive any compensation other than this tote bag shipped internationally to my home, and I have no other connection to this company. Hello Sunday is an Australian business … Continue reading Hello Sunday tote bag review
My daughter Lydia is about to start kindergarten and is not really reading yet, only recognizing about 10 words. That's fine. When I was her age, I was reading on about a fourth-grade level, and that was fine, too--except that I got bored with the books in my classroom. My father mentioned to a co-worker … Continue reading Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]
There are various methods for teaching a child how to do household tasks and motivating her to be involved in the daily work of maintaining the family home. One that's worked well for me is this: Show the child how to solve a problem she created, and then extend her new skill into routine maintenance. … Continue reading How to Get Preschoolers to Help with Housework
In this particular household of Earthlings, we all have about the same color of skin, and if we wanted to wear makeup we'd get the second-lightest shade in most brands: We are not the palest people on the planet, but we're fairly fair. That said, we're not especially prone to sunburn, so we don't wear … Continue reading Sunscreens that Save Your Skin Without Hurting the Earth
The Biggest Little Farm and Symbiotic Earth are two informative films that are fun to watch--perfect for raising awareness of ecosystems and how we can live in harmony.
Let it dry and scrape it off with a used-up gift-card. Simple! Much simpler than I feared.
I wrote about what I really learned in college 22 years after graduating--but here, I'm letting my high-school self speak from the perspective of the 11th-to-last day of 11th grade. I'm publishing this on my son's 14-and-a-halfth birthday, as he prepares for high school in the fall. I've just been writing about how I taught … Continue reading What I Really Learned in High School
This is a question people used to ask me really often. Then, when I became a mother, the question changed to, "How did you lose the baby weight?" Sometimes, these are just rhetorical questions, a way of saying, "I see you're thinner than I am, and that bothers me." (See Jessica's article "Stop Telling Me … Continue reading How do I stay so thin?
Here are four books I read to myself and two I read to my daughter Lydia in the past month. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty Nine people check into a ten-day wellness retreat in rural Australia. Three of them are a family, two others are a couple, but otherwise they've never met before. Each … Continue reading Books for Myself; Books to Read to my 5-year-old
Looking for something gluten-free to bring to a potluck? My family recently tested 4 varieties of gluten-free pasta and two pasta alternatives in my Sunflower Pasta Salad recipe. One of the alternatives that didn't work well was brown rice--the size and texture just aren't right for that recipe. But we had a recipe for a … Continue reading Brown Rice Salad
Once upon a time, there was a stuffed bear. It was a very soft bear, with shaggy white fur and a pink nose. It held a pink plush heart with a stiff taffeta ruffle around the edges, and on the heart was embroidered, Hug Me. The bear could never let go of that heart, for … Continue reading How Repurposing Brings Abundance
I haven't written any book reviews since January, but I've been reading! These books are very different from one another, but a lot of the covers have a certain color scheme. Beige isn't always boring! I really like some of these cover designs. Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham Rowan is a 21st-century teenager with a … Continue reading Beige Book Reviews
Earlier this year, I wrote about strategies for eliminating disposable plastic garbage from your daily life. Then we needed a paper document on the subject, to hand out at some showings of plastic-trash documentaries here in Pittsburgh. I made this, and people seem to like it! Click here to download "12 Easy Ways to Cut … Continue reading 12 Ways to Cut Back on Single-Use Plastic PRINTABLE