The Concept . . .

The only reason for beginning this make-a-(green)plan blog is to give me a perch to shout out my resolution to live in a way that I am proud to write about, excited to explore changes and motivated to share with others. In fairness, I need to admit that I started reading blogs as part of my political frustration with the corporate media and another (2004) election theft by the NRP for Bu$h & Co. Hurricane Katrina showed the conscious people in this country the venal nature of those in power. My rage and frustration was partially assuaged by finding a progressive community within the internet who shared my views, my goals. But in 2007 I suffered from indignation fatigue and a deep personal fugue. Congress critters in the Democratic Party openly showed their reluctance to buck the administration or represent the people of this country
Bruce Levine, in his brilliant new book SURVIVING AMERICA’S DEPRESSION EPIDEMIC writes:

Depression is highly associated with the experience of hopelessness and helplessness, and politics is all about power. In genuine democracy, people don’t merely get to vote but instead they have a real sense that they actually have an impact on their society. When you are voting, year after year, for the lesser-of-two-evils, neither of whom you support and both of whom are in the pocket of corporations and wealthy individuals, you don’t experience any real political power. Politics is all about power, and depression is largely about powerlessness.

Feeling powerless and drained, I read No Impact Man last summer. As he stated,
The way I see it, waiting for the senators and the CEOs to change the way we treat the world is taking too long. Polar bears are already drowning because the polar ice is melting. In fact, research shows it’s worse: they are so hungry, they are actually starting to eat each other.
I can’t stand my so-called liberal self sitting around not doing anything about it anymore. The question is: what would it be like if I took the situation (or at least my tiny part of it) into my own hands? I’m finding out.

For one year, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, my dog and I, while living in the middle of New York City, are attempting to live without making any net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no toilets…

What would it be like to try to live a no impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Is living this way more fun or less fun? More satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Is it worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed or is there hope? These are the questions at the heart of this whole crazy-assed endeavor.

You might be thinking, Colin Beavan is cracked--no one can cause literally NO impact on the planet, right? Well, what I’m talking about is no NET impact. If you don’t get it, or you want to know more about how we’re proceeding?

Well, there you go. I had to face the fact that I needed to switch my focus towards my own sphere, to things I can control. In addition my make-a-(green) plan blog is for this political junkie to feel like I am in control of something. It is for the teacher in me to share what I know. It is for the writer in me to express. It is for the artist in me to create. It is for the woman in me to love and nurture - to lead.

To make-a-(green) plan I will begin with accessing where I am at right now with lists, photos, documentation & receipts. It is about a small carbon footprint, low impact, frugality and living more simply. Kate: start logs now! Daily logs of electrical, water, food, money, etc. - in order to have baselines.

Oh, and I am starting this challenge off right. Today is the last day of the year and I am going to walk along the beach. Activity and Activism in a new form for the new year ahead.Update: This is the last sunset of 2007, taken a couple of hours ago. Happy New Year.


Hot Damn - the 60th ! This is a significant one. I woke late to a sunny, but chilly day in Southern California. I have been sick for days. I am not complaining as I haven't been sick much at all in years. So, I am just lying around, wrapped in blankets and eating when hungry. Life is good.

Democracy versus Despotism

I am days away from starting my new year. In the meantime, an interesting video.

(h/t driftglass)


This is lifted from Shakesville - Wolfrum hits it perfectly.

Bush Administration Checklist:

1) Blow through budget surplus - check

2) Start unprovoked war with Iraq to steal their oil - check

3) Take steaming crap on U.S. Constitution - check

4) Make torture a national policy - check

5) Burn down the White House - check

6) Move to Paraguay - [Pending]

Almost done.


Intergenerational Terrorism

I am a little surprised at myself for the last couple of videos. I am proud to place the information they bring to a holding place on this blog. I only wish it wasn't seemingly requisite to hear yet again from old white men. I am so sick and tired of old white men. These two are perfect examples of individuals who defy the general. The GOP campaign, the Corporate News, the Bu$h Administration and the Xtian fanatics all make me sick of old white men.

Forget that, this guy has something interesting to say about business.

Polar Ice Caps Melting

From earthfamilyalpha:

Even as the United States delegation continues its assault on the world as it continues to stonewall a global agreement to actually deal with climate change, scientists continue to be amazed just how strong the signs are, while others are perplexed as to just how deaf and blind US leadership has become.

Of course, they are not really blind or deaf.

They are evil villains who should and will be excoriated for their corrupt policies favoring the oily pals that elected them. And I'm trying to be nice. They are actually worse than War Criminals, for they are enabling a human catastrophe of epic scale. History will revile them as butchers who would have led the world to slaughter, had they not been removed from power.

Here is another story about the Arctic melt down from AP that shows just how concerned climate scientists have become:

"Scientists fear global warming has passed an ominous tipping point after new Nasa satellite data showed the already relentless melting of the Arctic increased greatly during the Northern Hemisphere's hot summer months."[snip]

"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data centre in Colorado."

These are dire times, despite the meaningless blather that substitutes for our media coverage in the US. And meanwhile our congress critters pile on a piece of poop legislation about yea rah xtianity. I am disgusted.

Comic Genius

I am so grateful for Digby and Tristero at Hullabaloo for providing a memory trigger of a really talented comic pair, Sid Ceasar and Nanette Fabray from the Show of Shows of the 1950's.

Free Heat

Free Heat Metacafe video

This is an intriguing idea and I think I will give it a try. Thanks to the contributors at Riot 4 Austerity.

I have the foam core, the pennies, the paint and the plexi. There is nothing to stop me but determination. It will have to be another day because there is no sun, it is pouring rain and I have a moat outside my door. Rain is a precious wonderful thing so this is not a complaint.


This morning’s news is about those old white men who spent last night at a YouTube debate trying to out-hate and out-bigot each other. This makes my morning choice of music appropriate.

From Howie Klein at Crooks and Liars:
Biblical scholars know the concept of the Jezebel spirit as reference to women, usually painted ones, who supposedly lead weak men astray. Fundamentalist preachers often refer to the Jezebel spirit when they want to cast aspersions on any woman with whom they disagree. In 1981 Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and producer Brian Eno (formerly of Roxy Music) recorded a groundbreaking album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts which featured the underground hit, “The Jezebel Spirit.”

I had to lose the video because there were problems loading it. Take a leap to Crooks and Liars to hear it.
If I had to choose the one album I could have in favor of any other it would be My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I love this album and I have listened to it thousands of times since 1982. For me, it isn't about a woman (poor Jezebel) as much as a thundering fucktard who is terrified of her. These images are new for me, pretty spooky mental images and not my style. Nevertheless, I enjoy this sound again.

Gift Ideas

Besides the great purchase I made earlier this month of a toilet lid sink, I have been eyeing other products to assist me in a no impact lifestyle. At the top of my list here is a solar oven from the same people I got my sink. Now, I know I could make a solar oven, but I would prefer not to have a homemade one. Next, I’d like to have a washer that uses very little water or detergent and no money or power. Not one of these things that follow is needed in my life, but all of them would help me save water, energy and money. A bike should be number one on this list. But, I’d like to postpone my discussion until I borrow my neighbor’s bike for a test run and do some more research.

Sport Solar Oven

This lightweight 10 lb oven concentrates the renewable heat of the sun to effortlessly (and deliciously!) roast meats, steam vegetables, bake breads and cookies, and prepare rice, soups and stews. Requires only minimal sun aiming to cook most foods in two to four hours.

The complete kit includes two black cooking pots, solar reflector (for an increase in temperature on cold or cloudy days), oven thermometer, water pasteurization indicator and recipe book.

Oven dimensions are 12"H x 27"W x 16"D (not including reflector)
Take a look at some useful questions and answers at Path of Freedom recently.

$150 plus $23 shipping from Peddler’s Wagon

Wonder Washer

Wonder Clean is the ideal washing machine to use in any place. It is virtually for everyone. It washes in the same way as the best electrical washing machine, but it does it so much more quickly and easily. How it works: It is neither MIRACLE nor MAGIC - It is SCIENCE. The principle of operation is based on the physics laws of pressure and heat. The hot water heats the air inside the container. The heated air "tries" to expand but is prevented so by the hermetically sealed container. When the expansion of the air is prevented, the result is that the pressure is built up inside the container. This pressure causes the soap and water to penetrate forcefully through the garment and the stains are released. Turning the container causes the previously released stain to be removed from the garment.

$ 43 plus shipping from Laundry Alternative

or $47 plus shipping from Emergency Essentials

Lastly, I was so excited with this controllable flush product and was ready to purchase it when I looked more closely at the figure and the description. It is made to convert a toilet with a front-flush. Alas, mine is a side flush. I offer the information to others who might be able to take advantage of this simple design.

Controllable Flush

Convert your standard toilet into a low-flow toilet -without tools or a plumber- and save up to 35,000 gallons of water a year. Because not all flushes need to be the same, the dual-action Controllable Flush controls the amount of water you use to flush waste matter. Push handle down for a conservative 1.5 gallon flush for liquid; lift for a powerful flush for solids. Easily retrofits to standard front-flush toilets.
12.5"H x 5.5"W x 2"D. 5 oz. USA.

$36 plus shipping from Gaiam

Oh yes, about gifts. I don't expect to receive these gifts this year (or any year) because I don't give them. My friend gets me something - despite my being open about non-consumerism, rejection of the forced generosity of the holidays, blah, blah, blah. But, she usually selects something that has touched her in some way;e.g., something she has seen that makes her think of me or our friendship. My mother and I have an agreement. She and I used to send each other checks because we wanted to allow each other the option of selecting what we wanted (for our $25). On top of this, we both have December birthdays - so this check exchanging could happen twice with attached greeting cards. Last year I said to her we should just leave out the banking/checking portion and just share with each other what we purchased.

So, I will probably be gifting myself and that's fine by me.

My Inner European

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!

For a Kate with red hair and a sprinkling of Irish in my background . . . I can live with this. Check it out.

Crunchy Chicken Challenge to Freeze My Buns

I have written about No Impact Man and Path to Freedom as two primary sources of inspiration and guidance for how I will make a green plan to live a sustainable life. Whereas Path to Freedom showed me a dedicated project started many years ago and supported by grown children, there was great drama to No Impact Man and his flourish of no electricity or refrigerator or toilet paper with his wife and toddler daughter in the heart of NYC. Crunchy Chicken is a blogger beloved of many. She keeps her readers energized and challenged with the comradery of taking on solutions to problems as a team effort.

She admits it when she’s flummoxed and when she is confused while remaining bold in her daily decisions and optimism. Her family sounds like families all over the country where there are middle income white people living their comfortable lives. She is pushing her readers out of their comfort zones without attacks. I am particularly drawn to Crunchy Chicken these days as her family learned in September that her husband has an incurable blood cancer. Life is heartbreaking and yet she continues to challenge herself and those who read her blog. Here are some of the past ones – most of which I missed because I wasn’t reading yet.

The Challenge I signed on for is the Freeze Yer Buns for Nov. 1 – April 1. Right now there isn’t anything for me to do. I live in Southern California and haven’t needed to turn on a heater yet. I have had some really chilly nights, but I have dressed warm or simply gone to bed.

The dilemma for me has been that I don’t have a furnace or radiators. I just have a heater and no thermostat. So, I was not able to name the temperature range I was pledging to maintain all winter. I knew I needed to get a thermostat. I searched my local thrift stores with no luck. But, fortune struck my world when I found out that an Ace Hardware opened up a couple weeks ago in my town.

On Monday I found a thermometer for $13. Now I can be sure of the temperature and not feel all whiney when I think it is freezing – and it is not.
Tuesday, first day with thermometer Fun Facts to Know and Tell: This morning before dawn I found that it was 50 degrees and it is up to 70 degrees now after lunch.

Monday Screaming, Monday Outrage

A Question of Impeachment: Staceyann Chin. “A Question of Impeachment”, presented by the New York City theatre group, Culture Project, can be watched on the group’s page on YouTube. The tagline for the show is They took it off the table so we put it on the stage - Trial by Theater.

Thank you for raising your voice. The time is now.

Today at Common Dreams I read Beth Quinn:
I am stunned by those same people who want to shut me up, shout me down, spew viciousness into my telephone because I exercise my own right to speak. They are so confused, these people who believe in free speech until someone says something they disagree with.

I am stunned by those who say, “He’s our president, so he deserves our respect.” No he doesn’t. He deserves our fury for bringing shame to the presidency and embarrassment to Americans around the world.
Sometimes, those of us who continue to be outraged by this administration sound like a broken record, even to our own ears.

We keep singing the same tune while our critics say enough is enough.

But that the same old tune has to be sung as long as Bush continues to wage the same old war against America’s poor and shrinking middle class.

We have to keep singing. I have to keep singing.

But what I’d like to know is, where is the chorus?

There are 421 days ’til Jan. 20, 2009.

Australia’s PM is out! Labor is in!

I will confess my knowledge of Australia’s political environment is pretty unknown for me – except that Australia and the US have the dubious honor of being among the worst violators of climate treaties. And, like the Bu$h administration, Howard has fought any and all environmental groups and legislation throughout his 11 years as prime minister.

Australia’s Opposition Leader Rudd Wins Landslide Election Victory

SYDNEY - Centre-left leader Kevin Rudd stormed to victory in Australia’s election Saturday, ending conservative Prime Minister John Howard’s 11-year rule with pledges to change course on climate change and the Iraq war. [snip]
In fact he may have even lost his parliamentary seat, which he has held since 1974, putting him in danger of becoming the first prime minister since 1929 to lose his constituency.

Rudd’s election is a small first step for Australia, according to one of the world’s leading scientists, Australian Tim Flannery. I heard him recently on Democracy Now. The following video is a concise overview of climate change issues and Australia’s potential role in bring about change.

I am most pleased with Flannery’s last statement in this interview with Amy Goodman. He is telling her about visiting schools and speaking to students. He describes for the student the analogy that we are all living like cattle in a feed lot. Our energy comes to each house from a power plant through wires to us. The water comes to us from an outside supply into our home without our knowing about source and so does our food.

“The first step of creating a sustainable lifestyle is to free ourselves from the feedlot. Ask Mum and Dad to see the power bill.“

He suggests students challenge their parents to letting them take steps to save money and let them pocket the savings. Not only will students learn they will have the fun of getting the money.

Tim Flannery, leading Australian scientist and climate change campaigner. He was named 2007 Australian of the Year. He is author of several books including "The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change."

America the Beautiful and The National Debt

Laurie Anderson is a treasure. This video is of really poor quality, but what she has to say is really insightful. I love the way she makes me think.

Saturday night entertainment a Casa katecontinued . . . With more Laurie

What Would Jesus Buy?

No Impact Man posted a video of a Rev. Billy interview (with a vile media guy). But it reminded me that I'd heard the Rev. Billy on Democracy Now this Week.

“What Would Jesus Buy” is produced by Morgan Spurlock, who gained fame with his documentary “Super Size Me.” Reverend Billy joins us now in our firehouse studio and Morgan Spurlock joins us from Los Angeles.

* Reverend Billy. Founder of the Church of Stop Shopping. His latest book is “What Would Jesus Buy?: Fabulous Prayers in the Face of the Shopocalypse.”

* Morgan Spurlock. Producer of “What Would Jesus Buy?” He is the director of the 2004 Oscar-nominated film, “Super Size Me.”

I wonder if years from now we might look back and marvel that it took whacky, clowning to seize media attention to broadcast the idea of not consuming? It is such an anti-amurkan notion.

Buy Nothing Day

For more information on Buy Nothing Day, visit

Buy Nothing Day facts:
* The first BND was launched by Adbusters in Vancouver in September 1992, based on an idea by artist Ted Dave, as a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.
* In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after American Thanksgiving – “Black Friday” – which is the one of the nation’s busiest shopping days. Outside of North America, BND is usually celebrated on the following Saturday.
* Despite controversies, Adbusters managed to advertise BND on CNN, but many other major TV networks have declined to air the commercials.
* Though the decentralized nature of the event makes it difficult to pin down participation numbers, thousands of activists have held public events in over 65 nations, including most US states, Canada, the UK, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Norway and India.

While critics of the day charge that Buy Nothing Day simply causes participants to buy the next day. Adbusters states that it "isn't just about changing your habits for one day" but "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."

Shopping and consumption facts:
* Per capita consumption in the U.S. has risen 45 per cent in the last 20 years.
* Although people today are, on average, four-and-a-half times richer than our great-grandparents were at the turn of the century, Americans report feeling “significantly less well off” than in 1958.
* A recent article in New Scientist featured research suggesting that the more consumer goods you have the more you think you need to make you happy. Happiness through consumption is always out of reach (New Scientist, 4th October 2003, Vol.180, Issue 2415, p44. Available online after registering at

other links:

Son Is Cooking Today

I am thankful for this family of mine, my son.

Today I also want to recall the years I lived in Manhattan with my daughter, Angel. We were very poor and far from the big Lebanese family (ex in-laws) or my mid-western family and my young son.

I had been a chef for a Jesuit Community for a time and had years of fixing the family feasts and no longer wanted an obligatory holiday (still don't). There were those twin aspects that put me off. Cooking was something I had to do daily for so many years, I hated it. I also had been rejecting the notion of lockstep American holiday traditions. It was clear these were manufactured for corporate goals (Hallmark, Agri-business, Transportation, Retailers in general, Oil).

Fun fact: Thanksgiving used to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. Roosevelt changed it to the third Thursday to provide an additional week for retailers in the Christmas season.

So, we dined on escargot and other delicacies from Zabar's. I loved snails. It was a real treat and we giggled a lot.

Since that time I still have holidays away from the big main family gatherings by choice, unless cajoled by my son to join him with his friends (once is enough). Today, my son and I will continue the tradition he and I started more than a decade ago of preparing food together. The food preparation has become the joy for me again. Besides, I love that I taught him and now he teaches me.

If I were alone in a tiny room I'd have to fix something with the smells of this day.

Hump Day for National Bible Week

My thanks to Portly Dyke at Shakesville for a brilliant bit by Ricky Gervais.

Xtians might have more credibilty if this wasn't the tenor of the day in the Congress of the United States.

Jeebus. As I said about our political system last week , there is way too much to be done to be wasting taxpayer's money reading. Besides, this lot is a writhing mass of congressional concupiscence. Please pack up your bibles and go home.

No Impact Man Anniversary

I featured the Path to Freedom folks in my first week blogging. But, for sheer drama I must say that No Impact Man was single-handedly responsible for startling me out of my past mindset and into a real sense of urgency and purpose.

In Colin Beaven's
own words:
The No Impact Experiment

The way I see it, waiting for the senators and the CEOs to change the way we treat the world is taking too long. Polar bears are already drowning because the polar ice is melting. In fact, research shows it’s worse: they are so hungry, they are actually starting to eat each other.

I can’t stand my so-called liberal self sitting around not doing anything about it anymore. The question is: what would it be like if I took the situation (or at least my tiny part of it) into my own hands? I’m finding out.

For one year, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, my dog and I, while living in the middle of New York City, are attempting to live without making any net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no toilets…

What would it be like to try to live a no impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Is living this way more fun or less fun? More satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Is it worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed or is there hope? These are the questions at the heart of this whole crazy-assed endeavor.

The drama is the key. I am attracted to the no holds barred approach. My own plan will be vastly different as I am living in a small So.California town, I live alone, etc. But, Colin has a years worth of valuable insights and tips and I will continue to reference his archives. Additionally, he is now going to be working with his wife to re-introduce into their lives some of the items they gave up - or not.

Money as Debt

This is an education morning here at make-a-greenplan. Starting with the basics. Money. Grab a cup of coffee and give it 45 minutes and you will not regret it.

Discussion will follow.

Major Breakthrough - Major purchase

I finally did it. I have been researching Japanese websites and the internet in general for two years. This invention was made for a tiny space like my 278 square feet. At last I found what I wanted and then have waited months and months. I finally decided that it was silly to wait any longer. I am heading towards a year of no purchases and of a dramatic reduction in my carbon footprint. This lovely invention will assist me. It should arrive soon. I am one happy woman. I had a video of it and I will look for it to place on the blog.

Credit where credit is due, let me direct any other interested parties to the Path to Freedom folk's and their Peddler's Wagon where I purchased this for less than $100 including shipping.

The beauty of this design is that it uses the fresh water that usually is simply flushed down the toilet to wash hands before draining into the toilet's flush reservoir. It is one of those 'duh' inventions that make us scratch our heads and say, "What took so long?"

Update: I received an email this morning that the software at the Peddler's Wagon didn't automatically add the $12 shipping. I had to add that to my purchase price. So, for the record $108 and change. Still a bargain.

Cross Border Cooperation

To continue with the previous post, I am including this video from COA News about the strikes in France. COA News describes itself as a non-profit online news network featuring diverse, credible independent news and current affairs. COA News can best be described as the portal to independent news media.The title of this post is the point the moderator makes at the end of the news report. It is all about how we all must cope with the corporatist globalization.

On a personal note, my wonderful neighbor has a young daughter in France now who is working on a farm. The strike of the trains has really impacted her life right now.

People First

Early this morning I watched British, German and Middle Eastern News via BBC America and Link TV. I try to do this each morning - in my ongoing effort to become better connected to the grassroots internationally. It is clear that strikes are happening in Germany (train conductors) and all over France. As a service I might consider providing a better summary for my dear readers than - 'strikes happen'. But, for now my intent is to touch on the fundamental aspect - people come first. People's lives, specifically workers' lives are vastly more important than the inconvenience the strike causes, CEO earnings, shareholder earnings or the Gross National Product.

Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke eloquently about the GNP being based on all the wrong things, yet was considered the measure of success.
Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife. And the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

It is forty years later and nothing has changed. In fact it is worse. The sad reality is that this country has lost most of its unions through Walmartisation. Even the few remaining unions are often co-oped by their own leadership. That being said, I want to share this video about the Writer's Strike. It is really funny and spells out the issue quite simply. Maybe these really intelligent, funny and progressive writers can help wake up those still sleeping. Ya think?

Political Kind of Day

Although I haven't yet figured out how to handle the progressive politics within this blog about making my green plans, I confess I am a political junkie. Today the new Attorney General Mukasey was officially sworn in and it is a vile thing in my humble opinion.

This illustration from darkblack says it best for me.

It is a fact that my desire to survive the overwhelming depression, even despair, with this country's utter degradation via the reich wing descent into torture, imperial terrorism worldwide and at home as status quo with the complicity of the corporate media has prompted my search for a revised, personal raison d’être.

Throughout these Bu$h years my own political sensibilities have heightened. I discovered the internet blogs following the 2004 election debacle. I even threw myself into the 2006 elections. But, criminal behavior everywhere going on without prosecution – even ignored by the mainstream as news and unregarded by public discourse has seriously affected my spirit. And, since spring and summer I no longer have any confidence in the Democratic Party.

Turning away from a direct political path to change, I am looking towards a simple way of living to grapple with my role, my life. And identifying myself as an American is no longer a point of pride. I have deep shame for my country. I am reaching out to my place in humanity instead. There are a lot of old habits to change. Politics have a place somewhere in my changing life – although I can’t say where, what or how right now.


I finally cleaned. My deep mental pit had an escape hatch this weekend - via scrubbing the floors and hanging out laundry and putting away clothes and keepsakes. I packed these things frantically during the Southern California Wildfires and then let them sit around (packed) for weeks. It's simply ennui for me. This PostSecrets card really cracked me up.

I'd like to pay some respect to the PostSecret Blog as it was voted Best Blog for the 2007 Weblog Award. This is blog worth checking each and every Sunday - I do. I believe that the creator has tapped something primal in the modern citizen. Among other things, it is a deep need to interact with others, the weight of guilt and self-contempt and incredible creativity.

The story behind the creation of this blog is a fascinating one. The creator visited Paris in 2003, had a dream about postcards and acted on the impulses of this dream. Go to the site to find the details of this experience. The process continued . . .
In January 2004, I started the "reluctant oracle" project. Every Sunday, I created an released a new work to be discovered. They were discovered by people serendipitously. The story found local, national and international media coverage.

The last message from "reluctant oracle" bore the message, "You will find your answers in the secrets of strangers." The next Sunday the PostSecret began.

When Is Up a Down?

Looks like another really fine background idea presented in this video is that of uneconomic growth. My whole life I have heard and thought of economic growth as a positive thing. This video makes it clear that we are struggling with too much of a 'good thing.' This is a starting point for the question, why?

Courtesy of earthfamilalpha

Call to Arms

There have been four primary resources for my new commitment to change my lifestyle, to make my own green plan and to challenge myself and others to do more with less. Today I am thrilled to share the following video of really inspirational bioneers, the Path to Freedom website. Today they featured their story via this incredibly motivational video.

I intend to refer back to this video frequently in the upcoming year.

Money for Water Projects

Finally the Congress Critters overide the pResidents veto on water bill.
President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.

The bill funds hundreds of Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration, that are important to local communities and their representatives. It also includes money for the hurricane-hit Gulf Coast and for Florida Everglades restoration efforts.

Let us hope that some money gets to where the need is most urgent.

UPDATE: 11/10/07 My title is erroneous. I read the news of this bill too superficially. This Water Resources Bill lacks funding or priorities. Sen. Feingold spelled out the reason he voted against overriding the veto. Short story - no priorities were set for the $23 billion dollars worth of projects. No money was authorized and only the existing $2 billion dollar budget is available. There is a monster backlog of debt and unfunded projects already. A miserable bill that needed work. Read Feingold's letter here.

Poop Can Be Sublime

Negativity, depression is debilitating. When you feel overwhelmed, feel like poop, it is exhilerating to know that there is humor, art and responsiveness all around us. I am indebted today to the Sprinkle Brigade.

Their motto is "Just leave it, we got it."

Tipping My Hand

Today on my daily Shakesville stopover I made a comment on a guest blog by Frugal Fag. The post was about stocking up and survivalist fears.
I've got Blackwater and the Pacific Ocean right outside my door - so safety is out the window. Not only that, as Grumpy Old Man writes - I have Mexico a stone’s throw away and they are drowning and starving. Thanks to über-nature and NAFTA, life is increasingly a living hell. The racism waiting for them on this side grows more and more frightening.

Meanwhile, I started downsizing more than a decade ago. The freer I am from bondage to the corporatists or crap lifestyle choices the better off I am. In fairness, this consumerist lifestyle has been going on for decades. I am slow to wean myself, but years ahead of those oblivious to their own vulnerability. It becomes more than survival, it becomes a simpler, more natural way of living. That is different than a survivalist credo of self only (a different version of greed).

Shoot me if living with survivalists is the only option.
katecontinued | 11.07.07 - 3:44 pm | #

This is my first public mention of my intent to blog about a green life. Today I also let my best friend know. I told my kid yesterday. So, it is out. Frankly, I was disappointed the kid and the friend didn't leave a comment. Oh well, it isn't like I said anything very profound. My friend asked if I was going to talk about my worms. Yes, the time to discuss the worms is indeed a part of my future blogging.
Oh yes, there is also this added pressure, following my comment Melissa McEwan wrote, "I can't wait for this!"

BTW Art is a Natasha Mayer photo from Common Dreams. Please visit her biography and wonderful collection.

Bible Reading

I just read a post over at Shakesville by Melissa McEwan about this being National Bible Week. I find it repellent that our do nothing congress critters are spending the day reading aloud from the bible - and it isn't even a filibuster. With the seriousness of our current national breakdown of all systems and supports for the people, and with the mandate the voters gave these elected critters, it is a criminal waste of time and tax payers money.

But, I must put up the best comment I have read so far:

I have a degree in biblical studies from a conservative Christian college. I preached. I worked for Billy Graham for a time. To this day, I read the Bible, and about the Bible, probably more than is good for a person. And the one thing I can say is, the Bible is simply not very good. It has moments, surely, but with several centuries of editing and polish, even a Michael Crichton novel might be readable. It is not impressive literature. The only thing I can say in the Bible's favor is that re-reading it, and really getting into it, is chiefly responsible for my atheism, and what a freeing, glorious thing has been. To step out of the cramped, airless and sunless room of religion into the wild and fresh spaces of reality has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Thank you Bible, for helping me understand how risible are our petty ideas about gods.

I feel this says it best for me. I read the bible several times, I wrote in my own words what it was saying to me. I made this spiritual investigative lifestyle my focus for years. Like Greg above, it helped see the freedom of my atheism.

P.S. Greg's comment also triggered for me a deeply embarrassing memory. I confess to to the toobz - I once liked Michael Crichton's novels. Shudder.

What digby said . . .

This morning was encouraging in one way . . . the following ad.

Fuck It

My most prized memories in my life have sprung from my spontaneous acts. No doubt I will touch on these experiences in this blog . At the same time, I know that my ability to plan has placed me in a far better position in life than I should be able to claim.

I have been working on weekly letters to my mother for 4 years. This last year I have been moving many of my written observations away from her letter and into my computer journal. This has been leading me towards blogging. My original notion was to retain the quality of my letter to Lenore (mom) with some political links. Then I started reading blogs about sustainability and I inched away from my political focus.

The perfect format hasn't been born yet. Fuck it - I will let the spontaneous act lead again. The plan, the green plan, will follow.

Why Blog? - one explanation

I like to reminisce with people I don't know. Steven Wright

More and more I find that there is nobody around me to speak about what really matters to me. In many ways this might be an good thing. I might possibly find essential life issues, basic human experience the core of this conversation - rather than national, familial, regional, racial, class or gender differences blocking interactions, perceptions. Could be. That actually presumes a very open mindset and I am probably more closed than I realize. After all - I'm an amurkan. Gah

Offical Step 1 - Name It

Well, it is 60 to 60. In 60 days I will be 60 and I hope to be blogging here. I have a lot to do to organize myself. Frankly, I don't have any fucking idea what I am doing. I simply know I want to do it.

My turning 60 isn't really a watershed - except that it seems like it should be. Ergo, my push to prepare for it. By way of reference, I have been in a sort of limbo for 400 days. I will be exploring that and the next great thing in the days leading to my official website launch.