Monday, 22 December 2008

Tags and Memes and Such....

Last week SoapBoxTech tagged me with a Bookworm Award, and yesterday Alexah at Learning to Step Lightly tagged me for a Green Meme. So in this my last post before I go on Christmas/New Years hiatus, I wanted to respond to each of these in turn. Remember, I have granted myself immunity from the rules of memes and tags and such, and so I will bend the rules to my liking.

First, SoapBox passed on a Bookworm Award to me. Thank you kindly SoapBox! The award comes with two rules:

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

Ok, of the three books sitting within arm's reach here in my 'office', I chose one called "The Simpler Life" by Deborah Deford. It was the first book on voluntary simplicity I read, and it was one of the first books to nudge me down the path of mindful living. Starting on the fifth line of page 56, the book reads as follows:

"Attempting to skimp on holiday, rest and exercise," says Fiore, "leads to suppression of the spirit and motivation as life begins to look like all spinach and no dessert."

How's that for a timely reminder of the importance of balance and stillness in life? It's neat when things coincide like that.

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.

I am going to bend this rule and copy Chile's approach to memes: I encourage everyone to take a look at all the blogs in my sidebar, and stop by any you haven't already checked out. Maybe leave an encouraging comment, in the spirit of the season. In particular, check out the Blogging Bookworm, for tons of great references and reviews for 'green reads' of all kinds.

The second meme I received came from Alexah at Learning to Step Lightly. This meme comes with several rules:
  1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers
  2. Link to whoever tagged you - thanks Alexah!
  3. Include meme number - MEME #1
  4. Include these guidelines in your post - check!
  5. Answer the questions - see below - check!
  6. Tag 3 other green bloggers - I'm going to skip this, again instead asking people to check out the sidebar and stop by and comment at some of the blogs you may not have visited before.
Ok, on to the questions:

1) Name two motivations for being green:

a) My belief in the fundamental interconnection of all things

b) The "Theory of Anyway"

2) Name 2 eco-UNfriendly items you refuse to give up?

a) Right now, my car. There's no public transit to where I work and living this far away from the city meant that we could afford some land along with the house.

b) My clothes dryer. I do air/line dry some clothes, but I hate crunchy jeans and towels!

3) Are you at peace with or do you feel guilty about number 2?

a) Not too guilty, because the car is a diesel Jetta and gets 55+ mpg.

b) A bit guilty, because it is for laziness and comfort that I haven't yet given it up.

4) What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?

A lot of the changes I'd like to try next will cost a fair amount of money (e.g., solar water heater, digging a well and plumbing it into the house, etc.) Right now it seems more important to pay down debt than to get these things done, everything except digging the well. That I would be willing to go into some short term debt for, if necessary.

5) Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average? (

I used this calculator and our usage is slightly under the average. Being vegetarian (and nearly so in Gord's case) really helps, but all the miles I drive to work really hinders the average.

6) What's eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?

a) eco-frustrating: in Alberta oil is king and talk of slowing down tarsands development is tantamount to heresy.

b) eco-fantastic: A CSA farm just 20 minutes up the road! (by car). I could bike there, but that would take some doing. Oh, and a bike.

7) Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow your own?

I'm a vegetarian and my husband Gord is what Steve Solomon would call a vegetabletarian - he eats mostly vegetables, most of the time. We grow some of our own food and are expanding our garden, and we joined a local organic CSA for the first time last year. We are able to forage for some of our own food on our own land too - like saskatoons, strawberries and wild herbs for tea.

8) What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?

Working full time 5 days a week and trying to find the time to fit in the planning, preparation and organization it takes to do things in a sustainable way. It's like having a foot in two worlds, and it gets tiring sometimes.

9) Do you have a green confession?

I am addicted to carrots to the degree that my skin is sort of orangy. I have stopped eating carrots 'cold turkey' for the past 2 1/2 weeks and my hands and feet are still kind of yellow. I'm hoping I'll be mostly back to normal in time for Christmas pictures, but it's seeming unlinkely at this point. Strange, hey? Oh, and I don't have a bike. Yet.

10) Do you have the support of family and/or friends?

Yes. Gord is totally supportive and even if he thinks something is far fetched he keeps an open mind. He is on board with most everything I want to do that is 'green.' He doesn't even bug me about my excess carrot-eating! My family is also supportive, and while they may not agree with everything I do or the reasons I do them, they are never judgmental.

Well, that was fun!

I hope everyone has a peaceful and restful holiday period and that we all begin 2009 with fresh hope, enthusiasm and determination. There is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the planet and all its inhabitants are well, now and into the future, and we are just the people to do it!


Isle Dance said...

You are so entertaining! :o)

Theresa said...

Hee! I'm glad you think so :)

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful holiday!

Theresa said...

Thanks Alexah - same to you! :)

Amber said...

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and peaceful holiday season Theresa.

I give thanks for having found you and your blog and connecting with you this year.

All the best,

Theresa said...

Thanks so much Amber. I have enjoyed connecting with you as well, and I marvel at all the stuff you don't buy and the insights you provide. Peace and contentment to you and yours in 2009 :)

Liz said...

I hope you and Gord enjoy your holidays. All the best for the new year.

Theresa said...

Thanks Liz - same to you and yours :)

Apple Jack Creek said...

Happy Solstice, Christmas, and winter to you from Apple Jack Creek! :) I love your blog, and it's so cool to see someone who is so close and thinks so much like I do. Thanks for being you! Blessings to you & yours.

Now for a humble request: I noticed in this post that you harvest herbs for tea from your land ... your land is probably lots like mine, and I'm struggling to find drinkable herbal teas from what grows here! I'm horridly congested today and drinking yarrow (picked from the pastures) with cinnamon and ginger (purchased), which may or may not help, but it's liquids. :) Any suggestions for tasty and/or healthy teas from stuff that grows here would be MUCH appreciated!

Theresa said...

Hi AJC! Sending the same wishes back to you and your family :)

I am very new to using the herbs/plants that grow around here, but I've used yarrow, like you and I've also harvested some bergamot (it gets called bee balm around here I think, with the purple flowers). I grow some sage for tea, which is very nice with the yarrow and bergamot. Rose hips are good for upping the Vit C content of your tea - I've dried a few of those and put them in with some sage and (purchased) ginger. I think strawberry and raspberry leaves are also very good for something, but I can't remember what. You might need to google that - I have a book at home about their uses, but I'm away from home right now. I do know that you don't want to use yarrow in too big a quantity - maybe google that as well.

I hope to save/dry/use many more herbs/plants that grow native to this area - I'll definitely post about it when I have some more info! I'm going to grow some echinacea flowers next year for tea as well - I believe they do grow quite well in our area (Aspen Parkland biome, Zone 2 - 3).

Apple Jack Creek said...

Thank you Theresa! I had tried the rose hips, they do help the taste (as well as the vitamin c), and I knew to go easy on the yarrow ... it's good for digestive troubles, and flu and such, but too much is not a good thing.

I'll give the bee balm and sage a try, haven't attempted that yet.

When I was pregnant/nursing I drank raspberry leaf tea all the time - it is great! Tastes good, very good for you, no caffeine. I am going to order raspberry bushes this year!

Here's to tea! Yum! :)

Theresa said...

Hi again AJC :) How much yarrow do you put in your tea? I usually just put in two small leaves, since I didn't know how much would be too much.

Oh, and I use the bergamot leaves, not the flowers (my comment was sort of ambiguous on that point). I am planning to harvest and dry way more leaves for tea this year! I just love getting delicious and free tea right from my own back yard! We have tons of wild raspberry bushes here - I will have to do some research to see what they are all good for, but it seemed like the leaves had a wide range of good uses. :)