Tuesday, May 31, 2011

holidays are for boys

The older my children get the more I must orchestrate time for them together. We spent Sunday hanging out at the lake on just such a day. They like most boys are getting along well unless they are killing each other. They are as different as two boys can be while they are boys, brothers, and a lot alike.

My boys are 12 and 14 and have always been good playmates. The older they get the more their differences stand out. I like to take them to a neutral spot like the lake to force them to engage. I like this spot because it has a beautiful cliff overlooking the water. There are benches on the cliff where I can sit and observe without interfering. I want them to have freedom but I want to keep an eye on them.

We did bring my older boy’s friend but with the younger boys approval. There was a moment where the 12 year old felt he did not fit in however the friend asked him to join in the fun. I did set the guide lines in the car that everyone should be good to everyone else and have fun. I smiled from my perch as I watched them splash, jump and swim all day long. When we drug ourselves home all the boys were happy, burnt and tired.

I love holidays. Thanks to all the veterans who made this day possible. Whether my boys end up soldiers one day or enjoy the freedoms soldiers give us I know I want my young men to be friends for life!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No More Plastic Straws

We need to exchange bad habits for good to really change the world. If you guiltily reach for straws I found an excellent replacement. They are beautiful, so, no reason to hide them and it has to be easier to clean than plastic reuseable straws, yuk. Well, Heather Melling, a mechanical engineer in Massachusetts, created stainless steel straws. They are elegant and could be lots of fun. I'm not going to beat you over the head with reasons not to use plastic. But, come on, pcb's, petroleum by products yada, yada. I like practical ways to make change. So, get some cool stainless steel straws for yourself or a friend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Snack?

My families new favorite yummy item. I make Jiffy Brand muffins with a kick. I add oatmeal, nuts and double the eggs and mil. The batter is placed in greased muffin tins and cooks at Jiffy's temp. They are full of flavor and easy. In less than 20 minutes you can have this on the table. I like them because of the extra fiber, oatmeal and they are cheap. I try not to buy packaged processed cookies. I know this is processed but with a little extra time I at least have fresh and less processed ingredients.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Tomatoes

I made the perfect salad with our first tomatoes. I used the tomatoes sliced, swisschard, strawberries, walnuts and blue cheese. I tossed the tomatoes in a vinegar and olive oil with a a few sprigs of basil and placed them over the Chard. I like to place a variety of taste to make a winning salad. Can't wait for the next batch of tomatoes!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Our garden is looking pretty good though we got a late start. My Swiss chard is still generating and it is in it's second summer. Austin went through a long freeze and it is still beautiful. I have my first two heirloom tomatoes. I bought the tomato plants at the Austin Downtown Farmers Market, Cherokee Purple Heirlooms. I will pickup some fresh mozzarella cheese and make a small salad with the chard. A garden takes a little time but I went for items we use most often, tomatoes and salad. My husband is handling strawberries, peppers and herbs.

If you'd like to start a garden there are many sites to help. I recommend starting small maybe container garden. Large pots can do wonders and in Austin you could look on Freecycle for pots, seeds and even tools. There are also companies that will put in the garden and all you have to do is water and pick the veggies. City of Austin is a good place to start for resources.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rain Dance Worked!

Finally, it is raining I hope it is a long drenching. We need it. I hope this long Texas drought makes everyone understand how precious resources are. Austin is a growing progressive city and could make great changes. Instead of or along with the new treatment center we should utilize brown water at it's source. Sink water could be filtered and used to water grass and flush toilets in every home. Water rates could be higher representing water's true value. Mostly, the public needs to alter the perception of water and it's value. For more information about water in your area look to Clean Water Action.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where's my mommy!

My dog was hoping around what I thought was a snake in my yard this morning. Yikes! I went to peak and it was a baby bluejay. The baby bird was hoping around on the ground. I wanted to help him so I found this great web site and learned a little bit about wild life.
So I'll keep the dog out of the yard and keep an eye on the little guy. The Bird family was totally freaking out flying over head and making a ton of noise when I was checking out the area. I'm pretty sure he/she is safe as a bird on the ground can be. The wildlife web site is great and after a short and informative call I learned the best thing I can do is nothing. Awesome! Austin Wild Life Rescue runs on donation so if you care GIVE NOW.