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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Fight to Stop Global Warming Heats Up

Tonight I received the following email. (Many of you probably already know this because I immediately forwarded it onto you!)

Now I will admit that I opened it because "Al Gore" was listed as the sender. I mean, believe it or not I don't get email everyday from a former President-elect. And once I read it, I knew I had to pass it on to as many people as I could.

So here is a copy of the email I sent to several of the people in my address book, followed by the email I received from Al. Please take it to heart. Our very lives depend upon it.

From Nancy:
As we all know global warming is quite possible the issue of our time and will define us as a generation to our children and grandchildren. There is no more time to waste, so Mr. Gore is going to Congress in a few weeks to continue his work in slowing, and eventually stopping, global warming. It's not a political issue - it's one that affects our very survival and the survival of our beautiful planet.

So please take action and provide Al with a stack of signatures so big he'll need an army to carry the boxes up the steps of the Capitol on March 21st.

Don't be one of those people who regrets later that they stood by and did nothing.

From Mr. Gore:
On March 21st, I'll hand-deliver your message to Washington when I testify at Congressional hearings on the climate crisis.

Can you commit to finding 10 friends to send a message to Congress demanding immediate action?

Ask them to visit:

Dear Nancy,

When the producers of An Inconvenient Truth first approached me with the concept for the film, I was skeptical. Could we really take a slideshow about the climate crisis and turn it into a compelling movie? Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar win for best documentary and a second one for Melissa Etheridge’s beautiful song “I Need to Wake Up” was a testament to their ability, but it was also a testament to you.

It was you who packed the theaters and got your friends to go see this film, greatly increasing the audience. And then this past December, it was you who connected through and to attend An Inconvenient Truth viewing parties. At those parties and in the weeks that followed, nearly 200,000 of you wrote to Congress, demanding that they address the climate crisis like the planetary emergency that it is.

Even though I have been a life-long movie fan, I didn’t really understand how big of an audience a movie could reach. And of course I never would have imagined in a million years that a movie that I was a part of would receive two Academy Awards—or one—or would have ever been made in the first place! As humbling as this moment is, An Inconvenient Truth will only succeed if it drives all of us to take action. That’s why I’m asking you to join me in the next stage of our fight. On March 21st, I'm going to hand-deliver the messages you signed when I testify at Congressional hearings on the climate crisis.

This is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate to Congress that we demand immediate action. And I need your help to really make this moment count. Can you commit to getting 10 friends to send their message to Congress through before March 21st? The more voices I can bring to Washington, the more powerful our message will be.

To get your friends involved, just forward them this note or direct them to:

There is no longer a debate about the fact that global warming is real. We're causing it. The consequences are serious, and could be headed towards catastrophe if we don’t fix it. And it's not too late. I don't want to imagine a future in which our children say, “What were our parents thinking?” “Why didn't they wake up when they had a chance?” And I know you don’t either.

The hundreds of thousands of you who signed messages to Congress showed me what's possible. Working together we can unite millions of people and build support for real action on a scale that has never been seen before.

Help me take the first step and fill up that hearing room with your signatures. That picture alone will send a powerful message.

Can you commit to getting ten more people to send messages to Congress demanding action to stop global warming?

I’m looking forward to working with you on this monumental task.

Thank you,

Al Gore

So stop just reading about this catastrophe waiting to happen - do something! Start by adding your signature and telling your representatives in Congress that we cannot wait any longer for real solutions to global warming. And while you're at it, find out what you can do in your own life to lessen the destruction of our Mother Earth. (You can start by going to see An Inconvenient Truth if you haven't already done so. It will blow you away.)

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Sunday, February 25, 2007


So I've been in a writing mood lately and because of that my reading has fallen quite behind. In fact, I have a stack of magazines I need to catch up with. And books? Forget it. That's why I'm hoping that reading a few banned books this week will give me a jumpstart.

Anyway, as I'm catching up I've found quite a few excellent articles that I want to share. I won't offer up too much commentary, but do encourage you to check out the links. I'm only putting the good ones out there, so if you find that you have some time be sure and give at least one or two a quick read:

  • Here's a great article from the New York Times about one of my favorite organizations, It's a good introduction for those of you still not familiar with the organization, founded by some of the same people who started, who are really working toward making a change in how the U.S. treats families (and mothers in particular) with grassroots movements to change and create legislation. In fact, they have a documentary that illustrates the need for such an organization and I'm contemplating hosting a screening party of my own to get the word out. Details to follow on that since I don't even have the DVD yet. (Don't worry, Cheryl, I'll be inside so there's no worry of my canceling due to rain or cold :)

  • Also the Virtual March to Stop Global Warming has some interesting things happening over at their website. They've teamed up with the Natural Resources Defence Council to create a Beat the Heat interactive map, "that highlights the global warming solutions and consequences . . . and concrete actions that will drastically cut global warming pollution." This is one of those things that will take minutes to investigate, but provides valuable information and easy solutions for people like you and me in doing our part to slow global warming.

  • I found a similar article in my inbox a few weeks ago (but am just getting around to reading) from the NRDC's "This Green Life" publication. Author Sheryl Eisenberg points out that while we can each do a little something to promote energy efficiency, waste reduction, etc. the most important thing is to get others involved as well. Her metaphor is that we should act not individually but as levers to assist others in making changes to their lives and that by acting as levers we can make that change easier and have a greater effect on the environment. (Reminds me of you, Shannon! Great idea to carpool to Parents Night Out - why take two cars when you only need one?)

  • And finally, (for this installment at least) you must read this short blurb on The Progressive's website about Bush's proposed cuts to public television. The Administration has tried this move before, but previous attempts have been thwarted by a viewing public that said, "No Way!" Well, that time has come again as Bush has proposed a 25% reduction of federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. If you don't even need to read the article to know that this is a bad idea and want to do something about it, click on over to and sign their petition now.

I guess that does it for now. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of things to add in the coming weeks as I try to make some headway in my backed-up reading department. Yes, it will probably take weeks :)

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Be Really, Really Bad This Week

"Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution /such call I good books." -- Henry David Thoreau

Tomorrow, February 25th, marks the beginning of Canada's "Freedom to Read," week. Yes, even in 2007 books are challenged and (crazy) people demand they be taken out of libraries for their "explicit sexual content," their use of "offensive language," because they "promote homosexuality" (god forbid!) or, my personal favorite (because I was surrounded by people like this during my teen years in the early 90's when supposedly little children were being sacrificed daily in the woods), because of an "occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism."

According to the American Library Association (which holds a similar event in the fall, but I couldn't wait that long!) the top 10 challenged authors in 2005 were - now be prepared; these writers are scandalous - Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Chris Crutcher, Robie Harris, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, Lois Lowry (author of The Giver and one of the greatest books I never read in school but am so glad it was recommended to me as an adult), Marilyn Reynolds and Sonya Sones.

I realize that several of these authors probably aren't surprising to you, but what about these from the ALA's list of Top 10 Most Challenged Authors from 1990-2004 (those not mentioned above): Alvin Schwartz (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter series), Michael Willhoite (Daddy's Roomate), Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia), Stephen King, Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), R.L. Stine (Goosebumps series) and John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men).


**If you want a real hoot, check out this list of the ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20001. I'm proud to say I've read quite a few of them and most were assigned to me when I attended a wonderful public school!!!

Now bear in mind that 71% of these "challenges" were brought against books assigned in schools or in school libraries and, yes, in an effort for us parents to control everything, 60% of those people making the challenges were parents. *sigh*

So what I'm asking you to do this week is pick up at least one of these really evil, scandalous, moral eroding tales and READ IT! And feel really, really good while you do ;)

I've already got a couple I want to try and read this week with Bridge to Terabithia at the top of the list, followed closely by The Chocolate War. This stuff is just too good to pass up and having an event like "Freedom to Read Week" is the perfect inspiration.

So be bad this week ... be very, very bad. And let me know what you're reading.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Dear Cheryl,

***Warning: This post is a sappy one and may be of no interest unless you are Cheryl. But feel free to read it anyway :)

"A friend might well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature." - R.W. Emerson

I could have stayed on the phone with you all night.

I can't believe we had been talking for three hours when I had to make my quick exit and go back to being a mommy. (Although it was 1 a.m. and I probably should have been in bed when my little one went looking for me there)

But can I just tell you that it was wonderful, pure bliss, just to talk to you without being interrupted; to talk to you about whatever came into my head; to talk about things other than my children; to listen to your voice and remember.

"We talk of choosing our friends, but friends are self-elected" - Emerson

Ours has been a friendship filled with happiness and (our fair share of) tribulations. While we were "inseparable" in high school, the post-high school drama was too much. And although I sometimes wonder about what might have been, I wouldn't necessarily change it because the friendship we have found as grown women is special to me as well, even if it is very different from the friendship we once had as girls.

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." - R.W. Emerson

What hasn't changed is that I am so comfortable talking to you. I still feel safe in sharing my personal thoughts and ideas with you. I enjoy our reminiscing. I giggle at our complaints about our husbands and their lack of concern for fashion. (As if we're so "in the know.") I love listening to you talk about your daughter and hearing a love in your voice that I know is reserved for only her. And I appreciate your support, encouragement and kind words when you refer to me as a mother and the job I am doing as a parent.

My only regret is that we live too far apart these days :)
I know we wouldn't be able to enjoy late afternoon naps with three rambunctious children running around; no more spur of the moment driving trips to wherever (although they might help induce said naps for those three children I just mentioned); no more sleepovers or late night parties. But it would be nice to have a play date or two.

"Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance." - Henry David Thoreau

That is why I can't wait to see you in a few weeks. I can't wait to see your smiling face and to hug you and feel you hug me back. I can't wait to meet your precious daughter (and plan the arranged marriage between the bean and my little O).

So until then, my friend, take care of yourself and your family. I look forward to our next marathon phone call.


P.S. Although I loathe Wal-Mart, just remember that I only picket when it's not cold or raining. I mean, seriously, why should social change have to be difficult?

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Big Brother or Strictly Safety?

I'm blogging over at The Soccer Mom Vote today, so click on over and check me out!!

Have a great Monday!!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

A View from Space

Larger Image Here

This is an image taken by satellite of the Earth at night. While the image itself is what struck me at first - the way the continents are outlined by the lights, the deep, dark oceans announcing their presence by their absence of light - after staring at this image for a while I began to think about what it represented.

You see, the clusters of light represent the largest populations of "civilization." Those areas in which the most people live and therefore the most electricity is used, the most commodities consumed, the least personal space exists. And while these highly populated places jump out at you due to the light they produce I am just as intrigued by the darker places on the map.

Look at Africa. I mean, really look at it. It is a continent almost entirely in darkness especially when compared to India, Japan or the United States. Australia, Northern Canada and a large portion of South America (where the Amazon Rainforest happens to exist, at least for now) - all without the piercing beacons of light that are so clearly visible from thousands of miles above the Earth.

I guess it just makes me reconsider, yet again, what it means to be modern, to be technologically advanced, to live in poverty, to be civilized. While the benefits are many, the consequences are several as well . . . with our Mother Earth paying the highest price of all.

I will check back with this photograph often not only because of the pleasure it brings to my eyes, but because of what it says to me about my world.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Myspace Graphics

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day . . . May you be with the ones you love, romantic or otherwise, on this day and for many more years to come.

And if you don't have any romantic notions on this day when love is forced down your throat - treat yourself to some major chocolate intake. Chocolate never disappoints :)

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Feels Like Home

My precious mantle

With every passing day our new house is feeling more and more like home. I was telling people the first couple of weeks that while I loved it it felt like we were staying in someone else's house - like renting a house on vacation. But we've unpacked most of the boxes (and what remains to be unpacked is hidden away in closets), we've started to hang things on the walls and put pictures on tables and shelves - but last night's festivities really made this house feel like a home.

My husband's parents host a weekly Sunday night dinner. We don't attend every week, but it's one of those things that you know is there if you feel like stopping by. Well, we decided to host Sunday dinner at our house last night and invite his entire family (which isn't small, btw!) Everyone was able to make it except for one sister who had to work, but they'll be over this week.

It was a total success. My husband cooked an amazing meal of spaghetti and (homemade)meatballs and sauce. There were appetizers. There was a dessert. There was wine. We had good conversation. The kids were playing without any major meltdowns or fights. And best of all everyone had good things to say about our home :)

It just felt so good to host a gathering again. We hadn't done it in quite a while because, frankly, we were embarrassed by our apartment. The 1970's wallpaper, the permanently stained brown (supposed to be white) linoleum in the kitchen, the flooring in the bathroom held down by duct tape, the washer in the pantry and the dryer in the kitchen . . . We just weren't all that excited about having people over. So it was so nice last night to not only play host to our family, but to be proud of the house that we now call home.

I LOVE this house. I really do. I feel blessed to have found it. I've always felt lucky for all the wonderful things and people I have in my life, but tonight I feel extra blessed, as I have for the last three weeks.

P.S. Another one of my homeowner dreams came true yesterday. While we were getting ready for everyone to come over last night our neighbor stopped by to introduce herself. (I wish I had been more presentable since I was still unshowered because I was cleaning floors and such, but even dreams aren't always perfect) She has a little girl about my younger son's age and has invited us to come over this summer to swim in the pool. We talked about the neighborhood (especially how quiet it is!) and she gave us the lowdown on a few of our other neighbors.

It was just how I always wanted it to be. People coming over and introducing themselves. Someone waved to me the other day while I was pulling out of the street and they were pulling onto it. Someone else said hello when we were getting out of the car the other day. You know, a REAL neighborhood.

We're going to make a lot of wonderful memories here. I just know it.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

OK, I'm a Little Slow

So I realize that the following is not news to most of you parents out there in the know. In fact, I've been hearing about this guy for quite some time myself, but never checked him out. I'm referring to the increasingly popular Jack Johnson.

He is responsible for the music on the Curious George soundtrack and after several suggestions from other parents I did some sampling today and found one song in particular which I love. (I liked the "The 3 R's" as well, but couldn't find a sample of it to share) His music is geared toward children but not in an annoying, high pitched, Barney voice sort of way. His lyrics are about real life kid situations like sharing and friendships and if you haven't heard his music then be sure to give him a listen.

This is my favorite (at least from my first listen through) - "With My Own Two Hands." I love the lyrics; I love the melody; I love the message that we can do anything with our own two hands. Something I really need to remember when I'm all down and out about the state of the world these days. We can do it and where we fall short our children will come through with a little inspiration from something called music.

Enjoy . . .

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

If You Want a Good Laugh

I realize that I have been a little cynical lately; a bit sarcastic. I don't really know why except that I have been posting quite late, while everyone else is asleep because what with everything going on right now it's the only time I get alone. Not that I'm complaining. It's all good busyness.

So I thought I'd lighten things up a little bit today. Besides, I've been telling anyone who will listen this little diddy that from my four year old's mouth and, of course, I want to share it with all of you.

The other day we were driving home from picking my son up at school and after the usual questions of "How was your morning? What did you do today? Who did you play with?" my four-year-old firmly stated,

FYO: Mommy, I think you should go to college.

Me: What? Why do you think that?

FYO: Because whenever I see you you're at home instead of going to work. If you went to college you could get a job.

Me (flabbergasted): But I have a job. Besides taking care of you and your brother, I work at the golf course, remember?

FYO: Then why are you always at home?

Me: Because it's too cold for the golfers to play golf.

FYO (cynically): Are you telling me that the golf course is closed?

Me: Yes. That's what I'm telling you and that's why I'm home right now. (no response) I can call (my boss) and he'll tell you the same thing. He's not working right now either.

FYO: How are you going to call him if the golf course is closed?

Me: I have his cell phone number . . . Wait a minute. The point is, I have two jobs and right now I've only got one which is taking care of you and your brother.

FYO: Well, I still think you should go to college and maybe you could get a better job.

And if that didn't do it, check out my nomination for January's ROFL Awards. It's Gretchen's take on the Academy Awards and how one particular nomination could actually be a sign of Armageddon. (I think I may just have to agree with her on this one, too!) It's too funny. Thanks for making me laugh (again) my friend!!

If you'd like to see more ROFL Award nominees just click on over to Mommy Off the Record or IzzyMom.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Why "They" Hate "Us": Reason #722

The BK Stacker Sandwich
"Guests Invited to Pile on Meat, Cheese & Bacon – Hold the Produce"

Now I love a good piece of meat as much as the next carnivore, however, this is just plain disgusting. I mean, who eats four hamburger patties covered in cheese and topped with bacon (no less) in one sitting? I think my cholesterol has gone up 25 points just looking at this photo.

It's big. It's flashy. It's over-indulgent. What it lacks in substance (nutrition) it makes up for in marketing - after all, they've made a virtual heart attack look appetizing.

This is American culture.

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Monday, February 5, 2007

Do You Really Want to Know?

I've been tagged. Yes, it's true. Alex believes that people might be interested to learn six "weird" things about me. (Either that or she just needed people to tag because apparently I have to tag six more people myself.) At any rate, I don't know how weird any of this will be, but here goes . . .

  1. I have this (sometimes overwhelming) fear that I will die in a car accident on the highway. It usually creeps up on me when I'm driving, no less, on the highway and my heart begins to pound and I merge over into the slow lane and I won't let my car go one mile over the speed limit and my eyes dart all over the place looking for potential trouble ... Anyway, you get the idea. It doesn't happen all the time - there are plenty of times when I cruise along without a care in the world (especially early in the morning when there aren't too many people on the road) - but it happens enough. Enough said.
  2. I can't stand looking at people's feet on television. OK, this one is definitely "weird" because, generally, I'm not bothered by other people's feet say at the beach or in the summer when everyone is wearing sandals - but there's just something about seeing feet on TV. I have to leave the room whenever the Elmo's World segment on feet comes on; I have to change the channel when the commercial about the foot fungus comes on, the one for the prescription medication and the yellow foot fungus guy with eyes and teeth and they pull up the toenail so he can crawl in .... OK. I know there must be others who find that particular ad unsettling, but overall, no feet on TV for me.
  3. I'm a scab picker and a lip biter. I simply can't stand to have anything but smoothness when it comes to my skin. I will bite and bite at my lip until it bleeds (and my eyes may even tear up) just to have a fresh new, SMOOTH, layer of skin to work with. (It's also a nervous habit and I always bite my lip, ravenously, when I'm worried or anxious. My husband yells at me when I do it.) We may be heading toward to much information, so I'll take a step back on the next one.
  4. I can dislocate my left shoulder at will. I used to do it all the time - kind of like a party trick - and actually had to go to physical therapy to try and fix it. It got better, but I can still do it. Hurts more now though. Must be because I'm getting old.
  5. And finally, this is totally weird ... totally out of character for me ... You're all going to be so surprised ... shocked maybe ... If the Democrats put up a chimpanzee for President in 2008 I will vote for him/her rather than vote for another Republican. (Besides of those in the running right now, the chimp is the only one who hasn't sold his soul to the highest campaign contributor.)

That's enough of that. I'm tired. I need to go to bed. So I tag Gretchen (of course!), Shani, Em, Christina, Cristina and . . . Damn. I don't even have six people to tag. Definitely time for bed.

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Saturday, February 3, 2007

While My Brain Synapses Reconnect

It's been quite a week here at our new homestead. We moved in officially a week ago today and on Sunday morning my four-year-old woke up puking and it's been a blur of toxic illness ever since. So far my husband is the only one who hasn't suffered the germ warfare that has been waged in our precious new home and if he makes it through tomorrow unscathed we should be in the clear. (For a couple of weeks at least . . .)

Anyway, I'm still a little scattered at the moment, but was feeling a bit of withdrawal having not written more than a grocery list this week. So here are some random thoughts floating around in my head -

  • I just read this amazing column by one of my favorite authors and political activists, Howard Zinn, in this month's edition of The Progressive. Truly, it was inspiring. While Zinn's call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney is not new, his ideas about how to go about it are. He believes in a grassroots effort - individual communities holding their own impeachment meetings across the country - in order to persuade those on Capitol Hill who are unwilling, for whatever reason, to do what is necessary in holding these war criminals responsible for their actions. He points out that the American Revolution did not just instantaneously begin one day in response to tyranny, but it was ordinary people holding town meetings and writing pamphlets about the injustices they were all suffering that brought about the conflict by which the U.S. gained its independence. I guess what I'm saying is, if you get the chance, read it.

  • I read another "interesting" piece today . . . Apparently, Exxon Mobil sat at the top of the capitalist pyramid in 2006 recording (read stealing) the biggest profit of any company last year - a whopping $39.5 billion. And while you and I shelled out over $3/gallon for gas this summer Exxon Mobil buddies in the oil and gas industry Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Marathon Oil Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. "also reported best-ever full-year profits. The four companies combined had earnings of $75.6 billion last year." And ConocoPhilips topped its 2005 profits by about $2 billion in 2006. Well, isn't that nice. Excuse me. I think I'm going to be sick again.

  • NEWSFLASH: Global Warming Isn't a Hoax!! Yes, yet another panel of "experts" have come forward, this time in Paris, to announce that global warming does in fact seem to be happening and that, yes, it appears that human beings are to blame for it. Imagine that. If only someone had told us sooner . . .

  • And last, but certainly not least, I want to make everyone aware that February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and in the U.S. someone loses a mother, a sister, an aunt or a cousin every minute to cardiovascular disease. So it's time to start taking care of ourselves, ladies! Many of these heart conditions are preventable by maintaining healthy eating habits, getting plenty of exercise and getting regular checkups with our doctors. I don't know about any of you, but I'm 0 for 3. There never seems to be the time. There's always something else to do. Well, if we don't take better care of ourselves our time will run out much too soon. For more information check out this article or visit the American Heart Association for suggestions on how to create a more heart healthy lifestyle for you and your family.

Take care of each other ;)

P.S. Imagine my disappointment when I recently learned the following:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

And all this time I thought I was the only one.

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