Lydia and I were riding in the back seat of our car, along the highway at the beginning of our family's Memorial Day vacation. Lydia was looking out the window at the passing cars and suddenly turned to me. LYDIA: Mama, do you know about a tater-totter? That's a car but with two wheels in … Continue reading Tater-Totter: A 4-year-old’s Traffic Safety Invention
Chewing gum with sugar is really bad for your teeth. But some of the alternative sweeteners are dangerous, and all of them can cause unpleasant metabolic reactions when the sweet taste makes your body prepare to digest sugar and then there's no sugar! I'm very sensitive to artificial sweeteners, but I do like to chew … Continue reading Xylitol Chewing Gum: Health Facts and Product Reviews
Tonight I attended a meeting at my son's school (grades K-8) about the decision to hire a full-time security guard and get a metal detector. I meant to do some research before the meeting on the extent to which schools with metal detectors have experienced shooting rampages, compared to schools without. I ended up not … Continue reading Do metal detectors prevent school shootings?
My church planned a Lenten book study, and then our books came in late, so I've spent the Easter season reading Waking Up White in parallel with the fiction that looked interesting at the library, which coincidentally was all by Asian authors. Sometimes I make an effort to seek out diverse authors/characters in my reading, … Continue reading 3 novels by Asian authors + Waking Up White
Both of my children have gone through a sequence of behavior toward food that's familiar to a lot of parents: They started out eagerly sampling the foods their parents eat and liking almost everything! Then, around the third birthday, they became much more particular and soon established a short list of acceptable foods, just a … Continue reading My 3-year-old’s 3 Favorite Foods
Some fiction and some nonfiction, both with strong female characters. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly This book tells an amazing story that deserves a place in history, but reading it isn't nearly as much fun as watching the movie. I'm disappointed to realize that a lot of the most pleasing moments in the movie … Continue reading What I’ve Been Reading Lately
I love the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and have treasured the experience of sharing them with my children. Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book that interested Nicholas enough for me to read it to him. His sister Lydia's first chapter book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of … Continue reading Little House on the Prairie: Too racist for children?
One of the most effective things you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to drive less. Every gallon of gasoline burned puts 24 pounds of pollution into our air! Of course we should work toward powering more cars with cleanly generated electricity or other alternative fuels, but we also need to move away … Continue reading Go Green in 2018: Get Out of the Car!
On the way home from preschool on Monday, after we got off the bus in our neighborhood, Lydia stopped to examine a pine tree in the tiny yard of an apartment building. I took this opportunity to get some photos of her looking cute in her winter gear (she'd insisted on wearing two hooded cardigans … Continue reading The Urban Nature Experience All Children Deserve
Life here on Earth presents an astonishing array of abundance. There's so much stuff that we can gather to fulfill not only our basic needs but also our more frivolous desires and, perhaps, our need to feel prepared for meeting future needs. Many years during Lent, I've given up some category of material things in … Continue reading Would decluttering save you from buying a new appliance?
It's Dr. Seuss's birthday! This is the day to enjoy reading a Dr. Seuss book, no matter how old you are. Stop by your local library and look for one you haven't read before! That's how we found Scrambled Eggs Super! (reviewed here). If you've never read I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew … Continue reading Easy Costume for Dr. Seuss Day
I first heard about the amazing usefulness of hemp when I was in college, 25 years ago. I had gotten onto the mailing lists of various environmental organizations, and from time to time they mentioned that hemp is excellent for making biofuel, food for humans and animals, rope, clothing, paper, plastics, construction and auto-body materials, … Continue reading Peeking Over the Hemp Horizon
This is a guest post by Rick Blanchard, an expert on sleep product materials and manufacturing for BestMattressReviews.com. His research covers the entire life cycle of mattresses and bedding, including production, wear over time, and disposal. Rick lives in Tarrytown, New York. We welcomed this article because we will soon need to shop for a … Continue reading What You Need to Know About So-Called “Green Mattresses”
It's hard to think of titles for book-review posts. I only read two books this month, and U-words in the titles is one thing they have in common. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume Between December 1951 and February 1952, three commercial airliners crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Judy Blume was a teenager in … Continue reading U is for Unlikely Uterus [book reviews]
Good morning! It's time to start another productive work-week! My recent rant about how teenagers aren't so terrifying was inspired partly by being the parent of a teen and partly by reflecting on my own teenaged years while sorting through some of my old stuff. One thing I found was the journal I wrote for … Continue reading Have a Marvelous Monday!
My son Nicholas turned 13. It happened more than a month ago, and I wouldn't have any more to say about it than any other birthday if it weren't for other people's reactions. Nearly every time somebody asks how old he is now and I tell them, they have something to say about it (beyond … Continue reading Oh, no, a teenager!!!
I've been on this Earth-friendly journey for a long time, and some parts of it have gotten a lot easier. Twenty years ago, you couldn't buy plant-based cleaners or chlorine-free toilet paper at target.com and have them show up on your porch two days later! I saw a tiny ad for Seventh Generation brand products … Continue reading How the East End Food Co-op Keeps Me Fit and Happy
I started the year by finishing my library book, then dived into the stack of books I got for Christmas! Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, translated from Swedish by Henning KochThis novel featuring one of the background characters from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (reviewed here) isn't nearly as unusual … Continue reading What I Read First in 2018
It's Girl Scout Cookie time! I was a Girl Scout from second grade all the way through high school, I am a Lifetime Member, and I was a leader from 2002 to 2010. I've sold a few thousand boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scouting is an important program that had a huge influence on … Continue reading How to support Girl Scouts without buying cookies
See Chapter 1 for explanation of this unusual recipe collection. SPECULOOS: Add Brussels sprouts, not the bechamel sauce, and very little cayenne. Baste often with a few raisins or two dessertspoonfuls of an edge and dip them quickly with thick consistency in the flour you have sprinkled with vinegar. Then roll in sherry and a … Continue reading A Robot’s Cookbook, Chapter 4