Thursday, April 30, 2009

For Erin and Sarah

We just finished celebrating our daughters' birthdays with a lovely, fattening, delicious dinner at Red Lobster. It's difficult to get us all together these days and we didn't have Molly and Beau due to other plans, but we were thrilled to get the five of us, including Adam, plus Sarah's Justin.

Sarah is 25 and Erin is 28 this year. Hard to believe since they came to me fully formed when Sarah was 8 and Erin was 11, part of my new, blended family when Scott and I married 17 years ago.

Erin and Sarah lived with us for a number of reasons, but it was always a joy for me as they are amazing women as they were amazing girls. But they were my stepdaughters, not my daughters really, since they had a mother, Robin, who loved them happily, deeply, completely.

And they loved her, too. How could you not since Robin was an angel among humans.

And then she died, suddenly, horribly, unexpectedly and the girls became mine. It was unspoken, mutual, easy. . . a passing of the torch from a woman I loved to me. A bequest which I embraced and have rejoiced in ever since.

Robin would be so proud of her girls. They have graduated from college and are living full lives, discovering their talents, gifts and potential more every day. They are like her in different ways. Erin has her beauty and her courage. Sarah has her compassionate spirit and her gentleness.

I have them both now, a gift from their mother to me, that I unwrap with gratitude on their birthdays.

Our family is different, many will say. But it is also seamless, beautiful, complete. We are blessed indeed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day Keeps on Going

Did you miss it?

Yesterday was Earth Day and the media was full of green this and environmental that. All good. But what about today? Earth Day is over and now what. We forget about the earth and its attendant woes for a whole year?

Let's hope not.

How about Earth Day every day? We could reduce, reuse and recycle every day. We could reduce our carbon footprint every day. We could conserve water, drive less, and eat low on the food chain every day.

Yes, we can.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coming Full Circle

You may know that life is circular.

So it should be of no surprise that my blog is circular also. It started out as a blog about writing, following the publishing process until my fiction book comes out next month--YES, NEXT MONTH!

Then I got bored and changed it to Sensible Shoes and began writing about more bloggy things like kids and diets and whatever.

Then, here came Earth Day. Well, my first book, Cherish the Gift was spawned 19 years ago on Earth Day, 1990, so I have a passion for saving our little blue planet and started writing about that.

Multiple Personality Disorder.

Here comes the circular part: Today I finished a detailed proposal for a new version of Cherish the Gift subtitled Ten THings Your Church Can Do to Save the Earth. I submitted the idea to Chalice Press last month and received a request for a full proposal to be considered at the May editorial meeting. So I have finished it and sent it off today with lots of encantations, mantras, prayers and Hail Marys (covering all the bases.)

And so, now I'm writing about writing again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Drive-By Ecology

No time today to chat, so here are five fast things to do in your car (or out of it) to save energy, resources, money and the earth.

1. Don't idle at the drive-through for more than a minute or two

2. Recycle used motor oil

3. Get tires aired up to the proper pressure

4. Tune up the car

5. Walk if you can

Friday, April 10, 2009

Leave It a Lawn

God did not create lawns.

God created an ecological wonder that requires only that it be left alone to work properly. So we have come into the garden, tilled it, planted it, and mowed it. God created fields of wildflowers; we planted Bermuda grass. God created forests and we cleared them and planted St. Augustine.

And most amazingly, we insist on having lush green lawns in the strangest places--the middle of our western deserts, on craggy mountain tops, in marshy wetlands. We are punished for this by God, who sends pestilence and grubworms and dandelions. And so we poison, fertilize and yank them out by their tenacious roots.

God will win.

So, cut your losses. Plant some native grasses, trees and shrubs. Those are the ones meant for your sunlight, your temperature and rainfall. They will survive and thrive and be beautiful because they were intended in the great scheme of things to live long and prosper.

Okay, so I've mixed my Bible with Star Trek, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Mountain of Garbage

Landfills are just big mountains of garbage.
Did you know that every American throws out about 4 pounds of garbage a week? Think about that. Over the course of the year, we throw out aboiut 208 pounds of trash.

Now think about everyone in your family doing that, now everyone on your street, in the city, the state, the country. OH MY!

Now consider how much of that is recyclable. Maybe a quarter, maybe a third, maybe half?
Since we started recycling to the limit of what our city will take, we have reduced our garbage by half. We now take out just as many recyclable bags of alulminum cans, tin cans, plastic bottles, newspaper, printed materials (like junk mail), glass and cardboard packaging as we do trash bags.

I know some cities aren't as generous about their recycling program as Dallas is, but hey, you can lobby city hall. And some places, while they may not offer curbside recycling, they will have a drop-off center near their landfill.

All-in-all, it's an easy way for me to reduce my footprint on the earth. And at least I won't be leaving such a big pile of junk behind for my children to deal with.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The economy sucks. Your 401K has tanked. You can't pay your mortgage, you're upside down on your car loan, and you just found out your kid needs braces.

It's tough out there.

And then you hear, "Save the Planet." You can't save the planet when you're life is in the dumper!
So save yourself instead. Take a tip from your grandmother. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." That's the heart of reduce, reuse, recycle.

Reduce your buying, your garbage, your spending, your packaging, your waste.

Reuse your clothes, your toys, your tools, your leftovers in new and creative ways. Donate to charities, swap with neighbors, hand off to friends and family.

Recycle your glass, paper, aluminum, plastic. Find donation points for electronics and hazardous waste. Give precious resources new life.

And, guess what? In the midst of saving the planet you'll save money, too. Really. It might just pay for those braces.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April is Earth Month

April 22 is Earth Day.

I know you don't know that, because it isn't a Hallmark card day or a TeleFlorist day or a honey-ham day or a give-gifts day or a candy day.

It's just a day for recognizing that God made the earth and there is only one of it (that we know of) and it has a finite amount of breathable air, drinkable water and tillable soil. It's a day of reckoning with our lifestyles.

Does what I do every day help or hinder the earth's ability to sustain life in the future?

No, no, no. Don't give me that "I'm just one person. How can I make a difference?" crap.

I'll tell you how you can make a difference. Every day. I'm going to put up a tip on how you can save the earth. Just you. Okay, maybe you and several billion others, but you matter.

More than you know.

Just think, if all the YOUs changed just a little, it could accomplish a lot toward saving the earth.

And don't you think that would make God smile?

Heck, yeah, it would.

So, here's today's tip: turn off the water when you brush your teeth. You'll save almost a gallon of water--clean, undirtied water running helter skelter down the drain, unused. It's easy. Teach your kids and your spouse.

Hey, there's maybe four people right there! You're on your way.

More tomorrow.