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Think Pink (w/painting by Jan!) April 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Poetry, Writing & Writers.
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I got up today
In the usual way
And readied myself to think

I looked outside
And there I spied
Bits and pieces of pink

A pink raft in the pool
What a great tool
For floating around in the drink

Swirling round and round
With nary a sound
A raft won’t let you sink

A woman wandered by
Her head held high
Carrying a beach towel of pink

The color so bright
I stared in delight
Wanting one to hang by my sink

A short distance away 
More color filled the day . . .   
A woman sporting a visor of pink

She sat on a beach chair
With nary a care
Sipping a tall, cool drink

Imagine my surprise
When with my own eyes
I saw yet another flash of pink

I had unknowingly worn
A pink shirt this morn
Pink . . . it just makes you think

“Think Pink” painting by Jan Philpot ~ a talented artist, prolific writer, retired school teacher, and compassionate humanitarian.  ♥ ♥ ♥

Pedaling with Pets April 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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If you love biking, and you have a dog that needs to be walked, but you don’t want your dog to get tangled up in the tires of your bike, read on . . .

My brother-in-law is an engineer and an inventor.  One of his inventions: a bike tow leash for dogs.

Designed to prevent tipping and tangling and mangling of limbs (both yours and your pets), his bike tow leash allows you to exercise your pets at faster speeds than using your own foot power.

Instead of taking your dog for a walk . . . take your dog with you when you go biking!

JUST REMEMBER . . . to take ample water for your dog to drink and not to pedal faster than your dog can comfortably travel. 

The experience should be FUN for you and your pet ~ if your dog is not able to keep up, then slow down.  And make sure to stop periodically, especially on warm days, to let them rest and drink some much needed water.

For more information:  Bike Tow Leash 

For a testimonial:  Dynamite Animals ~ Biking

No TP? No Way! April 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Sustainable Living.
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In No Impact Man: The Documentary, one New York City family documented its efforts to  reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to lessen their carbon footprint on the planet.

In this post, we’ll address . . . toilet paper!  Necessity?  Or luxury? You decide.

During the 12 month experiment, No Impact Man and his family gave up all paper products ~ including toilet paper:

[They] stopped using disposable products ~ no paper napkins, no take out containers, no paper towels, no plastic bags, no plastic water bottles, no disposable razors, and . . . no toilet paper.


Of all the changes they made, that change seems the most extreme.  I’m willing to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but . . . I’m not giving up toilet paper without a fight.

When I posted a review of the film on WEbook, everyone agreed about the inherent value of TP:

Amy ~ Like you, I’m not forfeiting toilet paper.  Not happening.

Larilie ~ I’m quite keen on toilet paper, myself!  I like the idea of getting rid of STUFF so long as it goes to other people!

Andi ~ So, I have to cut down on the take out, OK, I can do that.
I have to recycle more, OK.
I have to go without TV – mmm, OK.
Use only my feet as transport – ah, I can manage that.
I have to go without toilet paper – no f*cking way!!
Excuse me but – no. I’ll use LESS toilet paper, but I’m not giving it up.

Kent ~ This was a fascinating read!  And apparently viewed with both
pros and cons.  As for myself, I could go without just about anything
mentioned.  Except T.P. ~ unless there was an over abundance of broad-leafed vegetation about!

As indicated by the general consensus,  TP is a disposable product worth hanging onto.  The solution?  Keep the TP and reduce, reuse, and recycle in other areas of our lives.

In Simplify Your Life, Elaine St. James gave readers 100 ways to simplify their lives and live more meaningfully on the planet.  Knowing that Life Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, Ms. St. James encourages readers to focus first on the tips that would be easiest to implement.

By getting rid of stuff that doesn’t mean much, we gain clarity about what we want before we have to make tough choices.  By making conscious choices, we create room for clarity:  No Impact Man: A Dose of Clarity.

Now, back to the issue-at-hand . . . or should I say tissue-in-hand?

Although I’m a bit of a tree hugger, toilet paper is a convenience worth its weight in pulp to me.

It’s sanitary and it’s a real time saver . . .

Just wipe and flush ~ no need to air dry your ass.

I expect we will always view toilet paper as a necessity in our house.

For one thing, I just can’t imagine greeting overnight guests with, “So great to see you!  Here’s your towel, your wash cloth, and . . . your butt wipe.”

Fortunately, companies like Marcal now manufacture TP from post-consumer recycled paper:  since it’s recycled, the broken down fibers feel S-O-F-T on tender bums.

When Marcal products are on sale, I stock up on economy size packs of TP ~ it won’t go stale, it won’t spoil, and it’s always going to be in demand . . . in our house anyway.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  WP Daily Prompt ~ Luxury

Start Composting April 11, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Life Balance, Nature, Sustainable Living.
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220px-TaleofPeterRabbit8A great way to reduce your impact on the earth is to start composting.

For those not familiar with the process, composting is the decomposition of plant remains and other once-living materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent for adding to houseplants or enriching garden soil.

It’s a wonderful way to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal.

In Maryland, we had a black plastic compost bin in the back yard to collect our brush, grass, and food waste ~ we made deposits all year, and withdrew nutrient rich compost to work into the soil for our vegetable garden each spring.

For other ways of setting up a compost system, see the resources included at the end of the article.

Items to toss into your compost bin, or onto your compost pile, include:  vegetable and fruit scraps (peels, rinds, stems, seeds, leaves), coffee grinds, tea bags, egg shells, grass & lawn clippings, and leaves.

Things not to include:  meat scraps, fatty food wastes, milk products, bones, animal or pet waste, chemically treated wood, and weeds.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a place to set up a compost pile, especially if they live in an apartment or retirement community.

When we moved here, we found ourselves in just that situation ~ and, unlike No Impact Man, we were not interested sharing our tiny living room with a bin of worms!

Our solution ~ after we joined the local CSA, we asked Adam (the farmer) whether he would set up a community compost pile for members.

He readily agreed.

Now, when we pick up our weekly share of fresh, organic, locally grown and sustainably harvested fruits and veggies, we bring a pail of vegetable and fruit peels, cores, seeds, leaves, etc., with us and add them to the community compost pile.

Down the road, members will be able to make withdrawals from the pile if they need compost to enrich the soil in their yard or container gardens.

Between visits, we keep the collection pail inside a covered tote, just outside the kitchen door ~ easy to use and environmentally friendly.

For more information on compost piles:  Guide to Composting  (Garden Guides) * Composting (Earth 911) * Create Your Own Compost Pile (EPA) * Your Compost Resource Guide


Happy Earth Day 2010!