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Passing by?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Yes, I really did take this photo while driving over a bridge in the fast lane. Just for you...

You're not getting as many comments on your blog, Mr. C randomly says to me this morning. So...., I respond. Well, there used to consistently be about 20 comments and now there are hardly more than 5 or 6. (You can tell what kind of job description Mr. C has, can't you?...). I don't have time to comment on other peoples' blogs, so they likely aren't commenting on mine, I say.

But it got me thinking...I used to enjoy seeing the numbers of comments rise. Who doesn't? But my blog has morphed into something more introspective and personal than it used to be. I find that more and more I am writing here for me as opposed to writing something for an audience. Perhaps that has made it less interesting. But I do know that I don't come around and visit you as often as I used to. This I do regret.

So tell me...do you pay attention to the number of comments you get?

Or does it really matter?

(Oh, and if you are just passing by, please leave a comment: it would likely make Mr.C feel better :)

Written by Cathy

These Days

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Youngest son, S...wandering.

When will there be leaves on the trees again, mum? my older son asked me while driving in the car today? Very soon, I reply, but wonder the same myself. The desolate cold and damp is making me cranky. I need warmth and spring flowers. But then when that comes I will curse it for making me want to avoid my work.

Where does water come from? He quickly asks before I could pity myself much longer about our terrible weather. As I start to explain clouds and rain droplets, he interrupts Oh, I know that, but I mean the water that we can drink; how does it get from the rivers and lakes to our taps and to bottles in the stores? I explain about water purification which quickly segues into an explanation of the fact that many people in other parts of the world don't have access to water, much less clean water.

The world is not fair, mum. He says after pausing. If everyone sent the people who didn't have food and water something, then it would be fair...

I'm working on it, J.

Written by Cathy

My Visual DNA

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's Yours?

Written by Cathy

What obsesses you?...

Mr. C has become obsessed with checking the live-mouse trap in the attic (we do not kill mice in this house, daddy, said our oldest). He caught one yesterday and drove it 2 km down the road to freedom (lest he return).

I, of course, am obsessed with checking my e-mail, and now Facebook is obsessing me. Have you gotten sucked into that? It is keeping me away from blogging (now getting to be an old obsession).

What about you?

Written by Cathy

Lesson #3: Freecycle!

Monday, April 23, 2007

In my recent reading, I came across a concept that is a combination of the gift economy, sustainable thinking and a kind of reverse e-Bay. I have to admit that I have never gotten involved in the whole e-Bay thing. I never really knew why until I came across the "Freecycle" concept. I guess I don't like the idea of having to pay for someone's used stuff. If they don't want it anymore, why don't they just give it away?

The premise of freecycling suits me perfectly: if you don't want something, you join your local "freecycling" e-mail listserve . People post things that they don't want anymore that others can request. It's all free and you can get rid of things that have been accumulating. Don't take these things to the dump, or set them at the curb! This really is an environmentally and socially conscious thing to do. I don't waste my time on e-Bay and I can give someone something that they need and I don't.
So what (from the disastrous photo above) did I give away? When we moved into this house several years ago, there was a washing machine and dryer already installed that the woman didn't want, so they came with the house. We had a set that we owned and brought with us. We thought that we would store them in our garage in the event that the washer or dryer in the hosue broke down. The extra washer and dryer have now been operating as a space to accumulate clutter in the garage. Someone could be using these for something other than messy shelving! Rather than be bothered with advertising to sell them, I joined freecycle and now have a family that could really use them come and get them this week. I get rid of something I don't need, and they don't need to buy one! I love this!
Got anything you want to give away?

Written by Cathy

Happy Earth Day

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"We need in the next twenty-five years or so, to do something never before done. We need to consciously redesign the entire material basis of our civilization. The model we replace it with must be dramatically more ecologically sustainable, offer large increases in prosperity for everyone on the planet, and not only function in areas of chaos and corruption, but also transform them. That alone is a task of heroic magnitude, but there's an additional complication: we only get one shot."
"...If we face an unprecedented planetary crisis, we also find ourselves in a moment of innovation unlike any that has come before...we don't need a miracle to win this race; we need a movement. We need millions more people who are committed to doing their part to embrace good ideas, find new solutions in their own work, and live and share what they learn."
-From "WorldChanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century"

Written by Cathy

Lesson #2

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Even though I do it for a living, I am not intending to lecture you (really, I'm not). I am finding this to be an outlet to document the things that I am doing to try and address my passion (well, one of them, anyway). We need to be innovative and determined in our stewardship of the environment. After all, there is only one Earth, right? Assuming that you all agree, here is my second lesson;
Read about the issues, and the most pressing one right now is climate change; the photo above shows a few good ones. If you are going to have one book on your shelf that provides you with examples of things that you can do to protect the planet, this is a great one. But one of the best is George Monbiot's Heat, which I blogged about on my other site. Once you have a handle on the basics behind the carbon cycle and how climate change basically works, then move on to some reading on how to address it, such as How to Live a Low Carbon Life by Chris Goodall. Right...you say. No time to read full length books; life is busy as it is. You can skim the boring bits and get to the meat of the issues or find magazine articles that will sum up the issues for you. There are loads of great web sites as well.
Check this one regularly for a map of signs of global warming.
This is a good overview of climate change and has a lot of good content for Americans.
This one provides lots of great examples of things that individuals can do.
This one is full of great links and articles as well as examples of current impacts.
Well, and while I'm at it ; here's one more.
The point here is to get informed. Because then when the media or a politician or anyone for that matter, tells us something about the issues, we can see through the misinformation. If the people in Europe during WWII had books that would have told them how to end the war, but didn't read them, how absurd would that have been?
I would love for you to tell me what great books you have come across. Maybe I can make a contest out of this; the best recommendation gets one of the bracelets in the photo!

Written by Cathy

Lesson #1

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

To be inspired to be the change you want the world to be, you need a strong source of inspiration. Here is mine. Let him inspire you too...and let us all be judged as those who acted, not those who watched and waited.
Blackcrag gave me some homework. He asked me to inform you all of some of the things you might do to address environmental problems and climate change. I know that you all know many of the things that can be done, but I thought that I would take his challenge and put it in the form of the things that I am personally doing. I make sure that I do something every day. Some days are more ambitious than others. Today I am making postcards to mail to Canada's Environment Minister and Prime Minister. This is part of an initiative of the Climate Action Network and "Voters Take Action on Climate Change". Feel free to make copies and send them in. If you are not Canadian, find out what is going on in your state or nation and make sure to let your politicians know how you feel about the environment.
I trust that you are about to complete Lesson #1, and Lesson #2 is soon to follow....

Written by Cathy


Sunday, April 15, 2007

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to be more "green" in my posts, and this reflects what my life is like right now. I have challenged myself to make better choices, and to test myself and my lifestyle. I am reducing my carbon footprint by not flying this year and putting more thought into the products I purchase. I am reading a plethora of magazines related to environmental topics, and I feel the environmental movement gaining momentum as it starts to go "mainstream". There is a paradigm shift in the works, and I am excited to be a part of it.

I think most of my posts will have at least a little infusion of "green" from now on. It will still be about me and my family and my life, for all its monotony. But here's an example of how I can do a better job of integrating these enhanced green lifestyle choices into my posts:

Mr. C and I went out to dinner last night to this restaurant in downtown Halifax. The proprietor and head chef is a good friend of ours and we are proud of the fact that he emphasizes locally grown and produced quality ingredients in his recipes. While looking at the menu, I quickly realized that some of the seafood on the menu was on the "avoid" SeaChoice list. When you go to a restaurant and order fish, think about the methods that were used to catch that fish, and whether it might be a threatened species or not. There are good alternatives, and restaurants can be persuaded to make better menu choices if the public is informed. If you want to know the better choices of seafood, you can print out a .pdf guide from the SeaChoice web site. Or ask me any questions if you have any.

In the meantime, Happy Sunday, Friends!

Written by Cathy

Writing again

Friday, April 13, 2007

I am finally back at the book and now I have a major research and writing stretch ahead. It will consume me for the next 5-6 months. In the meantime, I am struggling with brushing other work obligations aside so that I can clear my desk and focus on this one major task.

I won't stop blogging through it all; Blogging keeps my creativity flowing, and I have decided to make more "green" posts. You will see what I am talking about when you come back next time. Stay tuned.....

Written by Cathy


Monday, April 09, 2007

So Easter has now come and gone, and I am so looking forward to things getting back to a normal routine and being less hectic. Too many birthday parties and events and work going on lately. But now things are wrapping up and I am looking forward to working from home more frequently.
A rare loving moment (but is he trying to kiss or bite the babe? kidding.) I am soon going to have to stop referring to him as the babe...
A good deal of Easter Sunday morning was spent playing out in the snow (!), which is mostly melted as of this afternoon already.
It wasn't easy getting that one into his snow gear, though. Let me tell you...well, I guess the picture says it all, eh?

Written by Cathy

It's beginning to feel a lot like...whoops, wrong season.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

O.K...so how is the bunny going to hop through all that snow (it is now several hours past the moment when that photo was taken, and also several centimeters deeper). My son had to write a note explaining where the bunny should dig to find his carrots!
I hope your Easter isn't white!

Written by Cathy

Basketballs, birthdays and bunnies

Friday, April 06, 2007

This week has been crazy. And I know I sound like a broken record. The last lectures wrapped up (may the marking begin...), there was a retirement party in my department, and it was my sons' birthday. We took him out to dinner and then to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I admit to laughing at their predictable antics. Actually, it was a lot of fun. We are having a birthday party with his friends at our house tomorrow, and then it is Easter, of course. We are supposed to be getting a bad winter storm, with lots of snow. We have hardly had a bit all winter, and now this! I guess we'll be having the Easter egg hunt indoors this year.

Written by Cathy

Is there such a thing as too much fun?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Most definitely! (as evidenced by my son and the babe on the drive home). I will post more photos from our weekend "vacation" on my flickr site soon. I am in the home stretch: last week of teaching and then I can return to writing again. Hip hip!....well, then there's the matter of marking exams and research papers and assignments before any real celebration can begin. Back at it...I will be visiting your blogs again before you know it, though.

Written by Cathy

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