Tuesday, April 15, 2014

computer malfunction


My office computer had a melt-down... apparently some kind of hardware issue that has yet to be fixed. In fact, we aren't sure it can be fixed, or if my data can be recovered. ugh. So that means I don't have access to my calendar and don't know what is scheduled, or what I'm missing. It also means that all my content for the blog posts is unavailable, and that I can't maintain the regular office duties. We'll find out today whether the computer is even worth repairing, whether we have to buy another, and whether the data is recoverable or not. ugh. Am I stressed? You Bet ! However I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and distract myself with garden and yard work instead. 

I beg your patience and indulgence during this transition here... and know that I'll be back at it as soon as I am able. In the meantime please do scroll through the archives here on this blog (the posts), browse the links on the side panels, and listen to the archived audio from the radio show. 
And if I've missed something we've scheduled together, please do forgive this error as I have no control over this issue at this time. We'll be back in action soon though.

In appreciation,
Lillian

Friday, April 11, 2014

Green Prom





My Big, Fat Green Prom


* By Erin E. Schmidt -  a writer, editor, and owner of Creative Web Content Providers. She wrote the "Here Comes the Bride" article in the May 2010 issue of True Love. She's the author of The Magical Girls' Guide to Womanhood. Find Erin @ https://www.facebook.com/CreativeWCP

You care about the planet. You try to do things to make sure the earth’s future is as fresh and green as the outdoors you love so much. You also want the prom to be an unforgettable, magical experience. Why not combine your two passions?

The Green Dress

Choosing the right dress to wear to prom is a big step, but a brand-new gown made from traditional materials, the kind you’re likely to find in the mall, comes with a hefty environmental price. Most of them are made overseas. Not only might that beautiful off-the-rack gown have been made under sweatshop conditions, but it also required extravagant amounts of fuel to bring to market.

One alternative is to find a vintage gown. If you don’t have a fave local vintage boutique, look on eBay or Etsy. If you get a vintage gown, remember older gowns (especially designer ones) “run big.” Yesterday’s size 8 is today’s size 4, so go by measurements, not dress sizes. Prom dresses often need some tailoring anyway, so don’t be afraid if a vintage gown doesn’t fit you quite right.

Another alternative is to find a gown made from all-natural, organic, and/or sustainable materials. Options include hemp, wood pulp fibers, bamboo, and even pineapple, all of which can be woven into fine, silk-like material. Find retailers, such as Conscious Clothing, online. Or try organic cotton (non-organic cotton requires ridiculous amounts of pesticides to grow); Wholly Jo (wholly-jo.co.uk) is one organic cotton dressmaker.

As an added socially conscious choice, when the prom is over, donate your gown to a charity. Before you do, have it cleaned in by an environmentally friendly dry cleaner…traditional dry cleaning uses toxic chemical solvents. Or choose fabrics that can be washed at home.

Eco-Wear For Him

If your date already owns a good suit, or can borrow one, that will save some of the impact of buying new. If he’s renting a suit, the only down side is the dry cleaning. If his suit didn’t get terribly dirty at the prom, he can ask the dry cleaner to spot clean and press it to reduce the use of chemicals.

Guys can also find quality vintage wear. If he likes the retro look, suggest he surf the Internet for The Rusty Zipper or American Vintage Classics. For organic/sustainable fibers, retailers like Rawganique make men’s suits and jackets in hemp. Depending on the weather, he might also consider wool, another natural fiber.

Make Your Make-up Natural

When you buy your make-up from prom, start by looking at the packaging. Is it recyclable? If not, pass. Look for a USDA certified 100% organic stamp if you want all-natural ingredients. Not every product that says “natural” or “organic” is, though, so always look at the ingredients.

Look for lightweight, natural mineral colors for your face; Jane Iredale is one brand. They contain no fragrances or artificial colors, so besides being good for the earth, they’re also less likely to give you an allergic reaction. As an added bonus, some mineral make-ups contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, natural sun blocks. When you buy make-up brushes, look for handles made with sustainable products. Think bamboo, not hardwoods.

Hair care is another environmental issue. Some hair care products contain ingredients that are bad for the earth or bad for you. Keep your hair naturally healthy and shiny by eating enough protein and B vitamins. Choose shampoos and conditioners without sulfates, palm oil (harvested in an environmentally unfriendly way), artificial fragrances or alcohol. Try John Masters, Aubrey Organics, Erbaviva, or Weleda products. Or consider a simple up ‘do or any hair style that doesn’t require lots of products.

Whether you’re doing your manicure and pedicure yourself or going to a salon, look for soy-based and water-based nail polishes and removers. Added plus: nontoxic nail polishes don’t chip as easily and last longer than polishes containing formaldehyde, toluene, and other potentially harmful ingredients.

Organic Flowers

The problem with traditionally grown flowers? Pesticides and petroleum-based fertilizers. If you’re buying flowers that don’t happen to bloom where you live at this time of year, they had to be flown in from another part of the world, using up more fossil fuels. You can easily find local, organic in season flowers if you have a local food co-op or farmers’ market. Otherwise, your florist can order certified organic flowers for you. With a little planning, you can even grow your own flowers for a corsage and a boutonniere.

Green Transportation

Will you and your friends look cool hopping out of the back of a stretch Hummer? Probably. Will you be able to live with the carbon footprint of such an environmental catastrophe? Hopefully not. There are green modes of transportation to get you to the prom, though.

Gas-powered vehicles are the #1 contributors to air pollution, so if you have to travel by car, plan to carpool with your friends. Or, rent a low-emissions vehicle, like a hybrid or electric car. You might also consider using a form of public transportation to arrive at the prom. It could be fun to ride the bus, trolley, or subway in your prom gear. Think of all the attention you’ll receive. You might even get some opportunities for truly one-of-a-kind, artsy photos. If you and your date are both athletic, you could ride bikes to the prom…or even horses.

If you do decide to arrive by car, you can always practice carbon-offsetting: plant trees to make up for the carbon dioxide emitted by your choice of ride. Don’t have time to do the dirty work yourself? Look into carbon-offset websites like americanforests.org or co2balance.com.

Memories

To capture your prom memories, think digital. Avoid disposable cameras that’ll end up in a landfill. (If you must use a disposable camera, look for one that’s been recycled.) Film processing requires potentially hazardous chemicals, while if you take your photos and videos without film, you can get them faster, and often higher-quality. Plus, digital photos are easy to share on the web.



References:

Harrison, Kate L. The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget. Naperville, Illinois: SourceBooks, 2008.

Kozin, Michelle. Organic Weddings: Balancing Ecology, Style and Tradition. Gabroila Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2003.

Project Green Prom. (n. d.) “Flawless Face.” Accessed March 4, 2010 from the Teens Turning Green website at http://www.projectgreenprom.com/beauty/makeup/makeup_main2.html.

Project Green Prom. (n. d.) “Hair: Super Natural.” Accessed March 4, 2010 from the Teens Turning Green website at http://www.projectgreenprom.com/beauty/beauty_hair.html.

Project Green Prom. (n. d.) “The Truth About Polish.” Accessed March 4, 2010 from the Teens Turning Green website at http://www.projectgreenprom.com/beauty/beauty_nails.html.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Doing what you do well



-- Quote of the Day -- 

“Success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame. If it comes at all, it will come because it is deserved – not because it is sought after.” 

~ Henry Longfellow 


-- Brummet's In the Media -- 

Drop by the link below for a blog interview re: Writing, Poetry, and Promotion Tips ...Hosted by: Toi Thomas
April 10th -  the link should be active today: http://wp.me/p2Iaue-EO   



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Poetry



-- Poetry -- 

Occasionally I like to share excerpted poetry from one of our published poetry books... today I'll be sharing from Rhythm and Rhyme. The first poem was one I had read during a recent interview so I thought it would be interesting to share the written words here...


Wings on a Breeze

I dream of feathers;
Ruffled and rippling
By the force of the wind,
…Sounds like laundry on a line,
Swept by a brisk breeze.

I’m Alive…
And I lament a life
Of bitter resentment,
The terrible need for approval –
Now faded with her death,
Leaves this mind weighted down
By thoughts of sacrifice
And loss.

A regret that childhood
Dared me the strength to support
While circumstances struck,
And struck and struck again.
Taking bits and pieces of her joy
Her trust… her strength.
And with her soured look on life
I grew
Into a woman…
- And her friend.

She no longer fights the wind
To stay afloat and fly
To that special castle in the sky
Today she soars without bruised wings,
Nor battered body to hinder her.

While I,
Now in mid-life,
I, who never knew wings,
Have sprouted a pair.
So small, so awkward…
Will they enable me to fly one day?
And try my own flight with the wind?

* This powerfully emotional piece was written within moments of a strange dream I had back in March ’11; only wisps of dream memory remained as I wrote this down in an attempt to capture the remaining strands on paper. Mom often used the phrase “building your castle in the sky”, meaning to always dream and have hope.


Lustrous Moon


How many millions of
Pairs of eyes
Glancing up
Become mesmerized
And could not tear
Their eyes away
From you?

For just that moment
While private thoughts
Flit in their minds
And like mine,
Flashing imagery
Of days long past
And out of view.

All in that moment
When millions of eyes
Just happen to glance up
And in that one moment
Become mesmerized by
Your glowing face that cries
“Tomorrow is brand new”.


* On this amazing August ’11 evening there was a stunning night sky display that inspired awe - I tried to capture that feeling here.


 
Find this book at: http://brummet.ca/store.html

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Solar FAQ




Answers to Common Questions Solar Companies Receive


* Today's article was submitted to us from Tiffany Olson - an established guest blogger from a small town in Northern California. She has a special interest and passion for sustainable living topics. In her downtime she loves to cook, do yoga, and travel. 
 

Solar panels have become a popular topic of discussion and are intriguing to both home and business owners, but before jumping to make such a large investment, there are typically several questions that they’ll need answered. The concept of solar energy can be quite challenging to understand, but solar installation companies should be able to provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision. Below you will find answers to a few basic questions that solar companies are commonly presented with by potential customers.

How Do I Know Which Solar Panels My Home or Business Needs?

Your solar company will assist you in selecting the most efficient solar system for your building. There are a few different kinds of solar panels to choose from, and the factors used to decide typically include cost, quality, energy conversion, temperature resistance, tolerance and durability. After examining all of these elements, making a choice on a system that will meet your electricity needs should be easier.

Will Enough Solar Power Be Generated in My Location?

Though it’s true that some areas receive more sunlight hours than others, it’s safe to say that solar power can be generated in just about any location. Using weather information and shade analysis, solar companies are able to track the availability of direct sunlight for whichever location is in question to estimate the amount of energy that will be generated. Your power supply will be determined by how many solar panels you have installed and how much sun they receive.

What Kind of Maintenance Do Solar Systems Require?

Solar panels require very little maintenance. Every now and then, washing them off with water to remove any dirt or debris is sufficient. This is mainly to keep them from being blocked to full exposure from the sun due to dirt or dust buildup.

How Do I Get Power at Night or in Cloudy Weather?

While solar panels aren’t able to generate electricity without sunlight, they are able to store energy created from the sun that can then be put to use during nighttime hours or on cloudy days. Panels will still generate electricity on cloudier days, but not as much. It is also possible to use power from the grid during times when direct sunlight isn’t available.

How Affordable Are Solar Systems?

Solar systems have become increasingly affordable in recent years. Many solar companies offer financing options, which allow home and business owners to see a return on their investment in just a short period of time. Tax incentive programs and rebates from the government have also helped to reduce overall cost.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Solar System Installed?

There are several benefits of investing in a solar system. Aside from the tax deductions mentioned above, solar panels can also increase the value of a property, significantly decrease utility bills and contribute to a greener environment.

It is important to obtain all the facts before making such a big decision and any certified solar company will be happy to give you more detailed answers to these and any other questions you may have about solar power.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
 
 


Monday, April 7, 2014

planting seeds of consciousness



-- Quote of the Day -- 


 “I do not want to die – until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.” 

~ Kathie Kolliqitz



 -- Brummet's In The Media -- 

Join me with Diva Weekly Strategies For Success talk radio host Robbie Motter on  April  7  @  4 PM (Pacific) - where we'll discuss the varied ways writers can have a positive impact and influence positive change in the world. The audio will be made available as an archive so you can access it at your convenience later on as well.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/diva-weekly-strategies-for-success/2014/04/07/how-writers-can-have-a-positive-impact-on-the-world-1

 
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Egg Cartons; reuse


-- Reuse - Egg Cartons --


I was inspired to create this post from a discussion on a community forum where people were asking where they might take empty and clean egg cartons for reuse. 

Some of the responses included:

- Taking them to elementary school arts classrooms where they will reuse them for various art projects. This is a great idea, and as long as the art teacher is actually needing them of course, it would help extend the school budget too. 

- Taking them to the local food bank. A lot of food banks have eggs given to them by local farmers or they might purchase eggs in bulk packs from the grocery store. They'll often saw the egg cartons in half and distribute the 1/2 dozen packages to their clients.

- A business in town (Creston, BC) known as Cresteramics also takes egg cartons for their art programs. 

- Another business in town, Sunset Seeds, will collect egg cartons and invite their farmer clientele to take from their collection.  

- I've noticed that one of our 2 health food stores - The Golden Herb - and also the butcher shop - Fritz's - sell local farm eggs... one might ask those stores and others like them if they would like cartons for their egg supplier to reuse. 

- Go online and do an Internet search using key words like "crafts using egg cartons" to find dozens and dozens of craft ideas for your family to do over the summer.

Alternatively, check out our book: Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green Vol. 1; we have a full chapter dedicated to the reuse and recycling and even repurposing of egg cartons - and share how this can have a surprisingly positive effect in the community.

http://brummet.ca/store.html



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!