Thousands of Miles Fresher

I took my youth group this past Sunday to an Earth Day celebration in a nearby city.  There was world music, organic food, a dove release, and a lot of great booths chocked full of information about leaving a smaller footprint here on this lovely planet.

One of the booths was offering a bumper sticker that many of you have probably seen before…you know, this one:

LOCAL FOOD…THOUSANDS OF MILES FRESHER

I’ve seen this bumper sticker hundreds of times in my local area, and it always makes me want to honk in support.  Unfortunately, being a locavore doesn’t necessarily make you immune to misunderstanding, so it is likely that I might get some ugly looks or even a not-so-friendly hand signal or two if I were to try that, so instead I just give them a silent cheer or thumbs up.

Supporting local agriculture is something I am personally passionate about.  Our local area used to be dotted with gorgeous farmland.  These days, much of that land is being sold to developers because it is so difficult for local farmers to compete with the low-priced (and low taste) produce that can be shipped into the country at cents on the dollar. 

Seeing monstrous fabricated mansions go up where cows used to graze always makes my eyes mist over.  And watching the daily progression of meaningless tree clearing sets me into a tizzy. 

So I pulled my old soapbox out of storage, dusted it off, and am perched right on top today.  First, I want to share one of my all-time fave websites: Local Harvest.  This is a gem of a site where you can go and find out about where to buy local meat, produce, and other homemade goodies.  They have information on CSA’s (if you don’t know about CSA’s PLEASE do some research!), tailgate markets, and pick-your-own farms.  produce

Our region has its own version of a local sustainability site, and I’m  going to share a link to a section of it, too, because it includes some terrific lesson plans that homeschoolers can definitely find useful:  Growing Minds: Farm to School

If you randomly head to your grocer’s produce department without ever noticing where that food comes from, this consider this your friendly Topsy-Techie conscience reminding you to take the little bit of extra time it takes and research where to find local (and keep in mind that means fresher and tastier) options for what you are about to purchase. 

No one needs that extra summer vacation home…but we DESPERATELY need our wonderful farmers.

 

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Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints: Science Experiments

 fridays hardwired homeschool hints pic

I haven’t touched on a whole lot of science sites or programs in HHH so far, so today I’m being both scientifically minded AND lazy.

Yes, I said lazy, because I’m just sending you somewhere else for today’s homeschool techie goodness.  Why do all that work compiling sites when someone else has already done it for you, I always say?

So today, head over to the following post from MakeUseOf.com (my all-time fave techie destination), and check out some fun sites about science experiments you can do right at home. 

Then come back here and congratulate me, because if I’m not mistaken, I’ve posted on this here blog EVERY SINGLE DAY THIS WEEK!!  What’s up with THAT?!  (Don’t get comfortable, folks)

Enjoy…

Try Fun Science Experiments At Home With These 6 Websites | MakeUseOf.com

 

A Thousand Words Thursday

ATWT

 

I promise you that it wasn’t that long ago that I was smiling about this…

4-22

instead of worrying about this…

The times, they keep on a’changin’.  (sigh)

Less Anxiety in 30 Days Or Your Money Back

Time for sharing.

You still with me?  Ok. Good.  Cause those words often cause my husband to suddenly need to leave the room to pee or something.

Anyway, I joke on my blog from time to time about needing anti-anxiety meds in crisis, but the honest-to-God truth is that I need them to handle most everything.  I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), which basically means that whether things are going badly or peachy, I still get anxious. 

In my case, it may have a genetic component because my dad had severe anxiety, and H-T struggles with it as well.  I’ve been on an SSNRI medication on and off for the last four years to combat my symptoms.  Most of my anxiety presents itself with physical symptoms – – muscle tension and pain, heart palpitations, twitching, etc. 

I bring it up now because I’m having an especially bad bout , and have recently had to go back on my medication after a nice “long” seven month break. 

But as great as medicine is for those of us with anxiety, we are always aware that things we do that exacerbate it as well.  Things like…

  • Not exercising enough
  • Not getting outside enough – – or getting enough fresh air
  • Hyper-focusing
  • Holding in your feelings
  • Consuming caffeine or other stimulants
  • Not getting enough sleep

This is in no way an exhaustive list, but these are my biggest problem areas.  There are things you can control in life, and things you can’t.  Just as the serenity prayer says, I’m trying to figure out the difference.  But the abovementioned items are definitely things I have at least some semblance of command over.

So this week I discovered a cool FREE tool that I am hoping to use to help me track how I am doing in these areas.  It is called Joe’s Goals, and it lets you track practically ANYTHING in your life.  Bad habits you want to nix?  Track ‘em.  Short term goals you want to achieve?  Track ‘em.  Or in my case…tracking how well I’m keeping the anxiety-producers at bay.  You can even make yourself accountable to your buddies by publishing your daily outcomes on Facebook, MySpace, your blog sidebar, etc. 

Here is how the results look:

 

    Kerry's Personal Score Badge

    Maybe it will help me.  Maybe it won’t.  Doesn’t cost anything to find out!!

    So if you have a goal you’ve been wanting to reach, or a habit you’ve been wanting to nix, Joe’s Goals is an easy and fun techie way to keep yourself on task.  I’d love to hear about what you would track if you used a tool like “Joe’s Goals”…sound off below!

     

    Food + HTML = Economic Upturn

    Now that is the new economic recession

    Now that is the new economic recession

    Yard-Saleous Maximus

    Do you yard sale?  yard-sale

    I know that isn’t technically a verb…but in my world it is not only a verb, but a DOUBLE verb.

    1. Yard Saleverb – to sell used or unwanted household goods, personal items, bric-a-brac, etc., typically held in one’s garage or yard. See also: tag sale, garage sale

    Using that definition, I don’t “yard sale” that often, but Friday I “yard saled” my butt off.  Got rid of tons of stuff the boys had outgrown or outlived, and stuff I was determined that if I hadn’t used in at least two years, was someone else’s problem now.  By the time I nickeled, dimed, and quartered my way through several hours, I’ll admit I didn’t have THAT much to show for my effort, but the house is significantly less cluttered, and I would have PAID the same amount I made just for that relief.

    2. Yard Saleverb –to get up entirely too early on a Friday or Saturday morning, search all over the newspaper classifieds, or simply drive around randomly looking for yard sale signs to follow, and then spend the better part of a morning rifling through other people’s belongings in search of that item that is going to fill that void in your soul that you know is there but don’t like to admit.  See also: cheapskate, packrat, clutterbug

    Using this definition, I’m afraid I “yard sale” enough to rival ANYONE who happens to live in a home supported in any way by cement blocks.  (That’s no insult either…our house is so old it only WISHES it had cement blocks…we’ve got old pieces of boulder holding us up!!!)

    Anyway, imagine my glee when I discovered this wonderful little dilly to help this techie mom in her quest to find cheap jeans for boys who grow a quarter of an inch a week.  Introducing: Yard Sale Treasure Map, the coolest tool this side of the Mason Dixon for finding local yard sales.  It uses Craig’s List local yard sale listings and maps them for you by location and date of sale.  A white trash techie’s dream come true!

    So no matter which Latin definition you technically prefer…to “yard sale” is divine!

    I’m Not Wired Well For Sad

    When my blog gets quiet, you can know I’m either busy, on vacation, or very, very sad.  Unfortunately this week, it is the latter. 

    On Tuesday, a high school classmate of mine died during childbirth with her fifth child.  She was 39.  A devoted homeschooling mom.  That leaves her husband with four children and a brand new infant.  The word “grief”  just doesn’t cover circumstances like that. 

    If you’re the praying type, I hope you wouldn’t mind lifting up this family.  If you aren’t the praying type, I hope you’ll hug your own family close and remind them how much you love them tonight. 

    As for me, I hope my blog will be on fire next week.  I’m not wired well for sad.