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!
A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
It's getting harder and harder for me to believe that the majority of Americans who work outside the home commute by car. I understand that many small towns and suburban and rural areas have no public transit at all, and that many cities have inadequate public transit providing infrequent service to just a few neighborhoods. … Continue reading Public Transit and Convenient Commuting
On days like this, when the sky is so heavy with clouds that we never glimpse the sun, and the wind is cold and damp, and it seems like winter will never end . . . I think of Eminem. I guess I don't mean the rapper himself so much as the character he played … Continue reading The City of Slim Shadies
Although I've managed to get 5 articles posted in the past 6 weeks, I'm actually not doing all that well, and I finally decided that I owe my readers an explanation. I was driving, with my whole family in the car, when our car was rear-ended on August 15. Nobody else was hurt. I didn't … Continue reading What Insurance Is For
Daniel and I both drink coffee, at least 3 cups a day each. That adds up! We support human rights and environmental stewardship by buying only fair-trade*, organic coffee for our home. My church also buys fair-trade, organic coffee. This coffee is more expensive than the big mainstream brands. How can we get the most … Continue reading 3 Ways to Save on Fair-Trade Coffee
This is not a sponsored post. This is a recommendation of products I tried and liked. Daniel and I try to make enough real, from-scratch, healthy food that I (working in an office) can take leftovers for my lunch every day and he (working at home) can get something ready to eat within a few … Continue reading All-Natural Vegetarian Non-Refrigerated Convenience Foods
When I was born, my mother quit her paying job so she could be home with me. When my kids were born, I took 12 weeks off and then returned to my job. It's my father, not my mother, who has been my role model for balancing parenthood with employment.
Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday. *** There are three main things I do … Continue reading A Day as Mama and Data Manager
I love oatmeal. It's nutritious, with plenty of fiber and minerals and Vitamin B1, and has many health benefits. It's filling. It can be seasoned any way you like. Quick-cooking oats are really easy to make--I don't even bother cooking them in a pot, just mix them with boiling water in a bowl--and very low-priced, … Continue reading DIY Instant Oatmeal: Ditch the Packets!
Lydia is three months old now, and I went back to working outside the home last week, back to the same job I had while I was pregnant. In fact, I still do basically the same work as I did when Nicholas was a baby nine years ago (although we have moved office buildings since then), and Lydia is going to the same conveniently-located home childcare as Nicholas did, so my daily routine is very much the same as it was then. You'd think that would make it easy to remember what stuff I needed to bring to use at work and what stuff I needed to pack for the baby. Apparently, it wasn't easy, because by noon on my first day I'd made a list of SEVEN things to bring the next day . . . and I'd already noticed the most important forgotten item when I arrived at childcare . . . and when I picked up Lydia, her sitter informed me of yet another thing she needed! That's NINE things I forgot!
Want to decorate your home for a party? You could buy a bunch of bright-colored paper streamers or rubber balloons that you inflate with air. These things are inexpensive, but they're typically made in China by exploited workers in polluting factories and then shipped halfway around the world to you, wasting a bunch of fossil … Continue reading FREE Earth-friendly Party Decorations!
My only child weaned 5 years ago this month, and I've been meaning to write this article ever since! I finally got inspired by a recent magazine article arguing that the whole concept of breastfeeding being any kind of good idea is A PLOT TO KEEP WOMEN DOWN!!! and supporting this argument by quoting outdated … Continue reading Breastfeeding While Working Outside the Home
This is an historic moment for The Earthling's Handbook. Almost 15 years after we started this Website, almost 5 years after we set up blog software so that I could write articles on my lunch break and post them easily, we have never posted any photographs. I've explained my reservations about photos but also said … Continue reading Staying On the Ball at Work
I've been composting some of my household garbage most of my life. At work, though, I had been putting compostable items in the wastebasket because there isn't a compost bin in my office building. Then one day in early November, I was setting my office wastebasket outside the door for the cleaning people to empty. … Continue reading Composting in the Office
I wish this were a story of a big project I did that made a big difference, but this one is only about a personal choice that made a small difference. It's still better than nothing! And you can't always change what big organizations do, but you can change what you do--so maybe you could … Continue reading Greening the Employee Holiday Meal
More than 20 years ago, inspired by Earth Day 1990 and by one of my high school teachers handing out a huge amount of paper printed only on one side that was useless after a single day's activity, I designated a bin on my desk for scrap paper: full sheets of paper with one blank … Continue reading Scrap Paper Saves Money and the Environment
My paternal grandmother would be 100 years old today, if she were still alive. She died in July 1991, when I was 18. Her name was Janette, so we grandchildren called her Janmother. Janmother was an outstanding high school student but never went to college. She married just after turning 20, and at times she … Continue reading My grandmother got a few things done.
Hey, I'm not about to claim my job is worse than yours. That correction fluid misadventure was about as bad as it gets. I really like my job, actually, and often notice how lucky I am to be able to use the restroom, drink coffee, get online, or receive a personal phone call anytime. Lots … Continue reading You think YOUR job sucks?!