Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm an Addict; so are you!

Wow! Posting two days in a row! My plan was to watch a documentary and then take pictures of my jewelry and beads. I'll get back on track, but first I feel it is my duty to share the documentary with you.

A Crude Awakening: the Oil Crash (click the link to watch for free; watch carefully and thoughtfully, over a period of days if that's what you need, but watch and listen and THINK.) "Through expert interviews, this documentary examnes the world's dependency on oil and the chaos that's sure to follow when the resource runs dry." (2006.) 

 A topic like this is often overwhelming because it is immediately apparent that the problem is global, and immediately daunting and inconceivable that as individuals we can make a difference. I know we can; I know we must believe we can make a difference. The key is to understand that we must make a choice now, and we must make a difference in our own life; local scale and time WILL make a difference globally.

Solar Energy in India
The only natural resource that produces the amount of energy that we now receive is solar energy. It is also the only natural resource that can meet the demands projected for the future based on current growth of population and industry. However, the technology on the global scale is not advanced enough to put it effectively in place ON TIME. That is the key; time. 

The Economist
We are not out of oil, but we are using more oil than we have reserves for. The wars are about oil; do you want to live in a world that insists on taking energy by force? That is one of two choices we can make. The other choice is to understand the other key; scale. 

If we try to address the issues of energy demand-versus-supply on a global scale, we start at a losing position; the second choice we have is to address the situation on a personal scale. Look at personal use of oil; then look at how personal use of oil can be replaced. 

Texas Tribune
No, I do not pay directly for the oil used to deliver groceries to my dinner table, but when I understand that I certainly contribute, I can see that if I grow my own vegetables, my contribution to the use of oil energy is greatly reduced. I can also see that if everyone in my town did the same, the impact on my community would be huge, huge, huge. 

Deanna Smith's Blog
It is exciting to think I might convince everyone in my town to grow a vegetable garden, to raise their own beef and poultry, to fish from the rivers, and hunt the land. That last one poses many problems on its own, but if we would just start with gardens. 

Crazy Jungle Blog
We also need to start with our children. Teach them to think not of their personal gain in the future, but rather their personal contribution. We do that already, sorta’. We teach the kids to do a community project in order to graduate high school and in order to have a better application for college, but it is all to their own personal gain in the end. 

We say our kids are our future, but we teach them to fend only for themselves and to aim for a personal goal that will give them financial stability and excess, to compete against each other, and to fear having no money. It is not too late to give that effort a tweak. 

I will talk to my son about this. We recently had a conversation about politics and Monsanto and independence in crisis. My son’s question was, “How can we make a difference? What should we do?” At the time I said, “Stay local; buy local; grow local; vote local.” Now I will expand that answer;  Make a difference by providing a way to use energy locally in a different way. 

I’m going to ask my son to focus not on becoming wealthy but to focus on energy, ingenuity, and teaching locally how to be independent and harness local sources. I’m going to look at how to harness solar energy on my own; I’m going to look at the Tesla Coil; I’m going to look at the efficiency of producing energy and reducing oil dependence.  Just look at all the things I CAN do!!

The Dullum File
And I’m going to vote for politicians who tell the truth. How will I know it’s the truth? I’ll know it is the truth when they tell me the bad news rather than the good; when they tell me it will be hard rather than to be hopeful; when they tell me what it will take to change rather than simply a desire to make a change. I CAN handle the truth.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Veggies, fish, and fire Oh My!

Today's documentary film, Dying to Have Known by Steve Kroschel; Mr. Kroshel sets out to determine the legitimacy of the Gerson Method for cancer treatment. As a film it is really terrible (and as research it is highly unscientific) in that it is melodramatic and clearly manipulative and biased; there is no intelligence expected of the audience to be able to decide for itself. That lack of credit for the audience is enough to discredit it’s own message because it lacks confidence in its own posits. On the other hand, I already believe that “Big Pharma” controls the world of health and medicine and that the “conspiracy” theories are closer to truth than not.

Image courtesy of EntertainmentWallpaper.com
If I were to come down with cancer I would want to try alternative therapies before chemotherapy; my concern is the cost and affordability. I also think about how very  brave it is for a person to chose alternative therapies, such as the Gerson Therapy or that of Burzynski, in the face of death, and the ever pressing winding down of the clock of life; you only have enough time to try it once, unless you make the right choice. What kind of place is that to be? I better start juicing now so I can never find out!

I’ve already started growing my own vegetables. I felt the most important aspect would be to chose non-GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds. I felt that the soil didn’t have to be organic, just pesticide free. I’ve decided my thinking is faulty and if I’m going to the trouble at all, I should use organic soil as well. My seedlings have been a great success. Of all those I transplanted, only one died. I am looking forward to the peas and tomatoes climbing all over this bird cage; it will be beautiful. There’s spinach in the center and I left the door free to reach inside. The cucumbers in the 5 gallon bucket have secondary, true leaves now. My herbs are really small. I didn’t plant all my seeds, and these are really too early. You can see I have blossoms on the squash and that isn’t supposed to happen for another month. Next week I’ll transplant into permanent pots and start more seeds. It seems to me I don’t have enough!

I also created a new necklace this week; it’s a choker. Silver findings, silver lined glass, lapis, sodalite and white jasper rounds, and porcelain beads with Chinese symbols I got from Lea Avroch. The chain with the dangles lies perfectly at the throat and the choker is not too heavy and very comfortable and stable on the neck.

I was active on Pinterest this week as well. Some of my favorites are from Lisa Liddy and Jennifer Geldard.
Lisa Liddy
Jennifer Geldard

Along the path of new discoveries I found a “Fish Watch”list from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I saw something once from which I remembered, choose sea food from the northernmost part of the Pacific, and never eat Talapia. Now I know I could eat Talapia if it is farmed in the USA, but I’d still rather have Salmon. It saddens me that I may never eat salmon again because “they” are going to genetically modify salmon; if that happens, I’ll consider it extinct. I think my dad would have been equally saddened; after retiring from the Army he fished salmon for a living. Along the line of fish food and Talapia, I found this awesome story about the urban farming movement. My final discovery was this cute pair of earrings modeled after Chinese knotting. These are a great inspiration.

Isaac went to the fair this weekend.  Our area is famous for Mark Twain’s Famous Jumping Frog of Calaveras County; yes, there is really a frog jumping contest. He had a wooden plaque entered which received a blue ribbon, was totally on his own for the first time (made me nervous, but all went well), took lots of pictures and had an awesome time!

As fire season, and the deadline for defensible space approaches, I have one more burn to take care of the two-year-old pile of pine needles, and one more week to rake and burn what fell this winter. On top of that duty I’ll be continuing my exercise regime on the Wii Fit (I started last week!). See you soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wow! It's been 2 months since my last post! On my way to changing that. I've decided to forgive myself for not making it more of a priority and I'm not going to worry any more about the shoulda, woulda, coulda's for posting. One of my inspirations is Marie Forleo's video, 8 secrets to write faster.

To write faster, Marie's first step is to flip your script (done in my first paragraph). I haven’t been too busy, but I have been telling myself I’m too busy. I’ve been telling myself I have too much to say and too much to catch up on. Now I’ll flip that script and write.  

Marie talks about having a goal. I want you to walk away with a desire to do something, whether it is to look at my beads on Etsy or my Face Book, my Pinterest board, check out Marie Forleo, improve your own writing efficiency, or share my blog with a friend

Marie also says keep a topic list. My topic list for today is: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lick the Bowl Good, Marie Forleo, Rock Recipes, beaders color pallet contest, and photography.

Pinterest has been very inspirational; my cooking is more interesting, more healthy, and more tasty! I found the Savory Sweet Life Blog while looking for "the best chocolate chip cookies" and these really ARE THE BEST! I've made them 5 times already.
My favorite baking web site is Lick the Bowl Good. I've made so many things from her recipies and I enjoy the personalization of her blog with stories about her family. For mother's day I made an amazing and easy no bake lemon cheese cake, and her recipe for a very chocolaty dense cake is a MUST try; makes great cupcakes too! I did the whole thing in my Cuisinart! A gift from my mom; now I use it for EVERYTHING.
My second fave food blog is Rock Recipes. I love their pics and for mother's day I made my own version based on their recipe for bacon cheddar potato frittata. I used the cuisinart to shred potatoes and added the raw shreds to sauteed garlic, onions and bacon in a cast iron skillet and topped with half the cheese. I added dried rosemary, salt, and pepper to the egg cream mix, poured over potatoes, topped with the rest of the cheese and covered with foil. 350 degrees, 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. YUM!

 As  you know I make lampwork beads and you might also know that I put myself on restriction from making more until I sell what I have either as they are or in jewelry I make. That's going to change too! I miss making beads, and so much of what I do on the computer involves the lampworking community, art and color, that the daily inspiration is screaming at me to get back on the torch! But I also need to do more than make beads; I've decided I need to retake my photos.
I started new pictures by shooting a necklace I made in natural lighting on different backgrounds and have been playing with GIMP freeware photo software. This is taken in natural, indirect light on a yellow background. I'm not satisfied; what do you think? I think I need to read this photo tips article from Digital Camera World!

I plan on sharing more, and more often. I would like to leave you now with a fun giveaway contest for a copy of The Beader's Color Pallet by Margie Deeb; she'll be drawing a winner on Monday May 28th.

Here's how to enter:

1 - Read Margie's article, "Shapely Jewelry, Beautiful Design" (the third in a 6-part Design & Color Mastery series) in the June 2012 issue of Bead & Button magazine (page 30).

2 - Email Margie answers to these two questions:

1. What shapes do you enjoy working with and why?

2. Is there more you would have liked to have learned from the article? If so, what (be specific)?