__ _ _ "Following our dreams keeps our souls alive." _ When I saw this house in Green Parent Magazine it reminded me so much of a hobbit's home - warm and friendly - tucked away in the Shire. This home may be going to the extreme, in terms of being "Eco friendly", but it's definitely worth checking out. _ A young Welsh couple intent on building a low-impact, self-sufficient home in natural surroundings for their growing family. Starting out with no capital to speak of, no experience as a builder and using a minimal set of basic tools, Simon, his wife and his father-in-law, along with a little help from visiting friends and passersby, were able to construct this charming, functional home using local materials over a period of four months. It was built with maximum regard for the environment at a cost of £3000(a little under $5000.00). There are a number of projects making this a reality in Britain and Ireland and plenty of resources to support green building ideas. This makes for lots of wonderful innovation. _ • Their refrigerator is cooled by air coming underground through foundations _ • They use solar panels for lighting, music and computing _ • The water comes in by gravity from nearby spring _ • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light _ • Compost toilet _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Photos Courtesy of - At Home in the Forest by Jasmine Savillean in an article written for Green Parent Magazine ( Raising Kids With A Conscience). _ P.S. Happy Friday!!
"We need your service, right now, at this moment in history. I'm not going to tell you what your role should be; that's for you to discover. But I am asking you to stand up play your part. I am asking you to help change history's course."
President Barack Obama ~
On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. During a time of almost unprecedented challenges it is critical that we all work together, the government alone cannot fix everything. Working together in a sustained, collaborative effort, we can harness our greatest resource, our people, and change the course of history. This website is a new portal all Americans to find ways to serve in your communities. Just choose your keyword - "education," "environment," or whatever interests you - and type in your zip code to see what opportunities our partner organizations have in your area. _
This is so exciting -"community service" has always been of great importance to me.Log onto SERVE.GOV and find a large variety of ways that you can help serve your communities and our country!! My search results brought back many things I was unaware of locally, and I can't wait to check them out!! What a wonderful way to bring real change!!
If you are interested in reading highlights of The Serve America Act visit -
These wonderful trolleys are great for using at the farmers market or anywhere!
Using Reisenthel's Bags help to eliminate the countless paper & plastic bags handed out when buying groceries. They are a smart, and reusable alternative. Their philosophy is based on creating products that enhance quality of living while being respectful to the environment. They are also made with Fair Wages and Fair Labor. All products are made from recyclable materials of the highest quality. A perfect blend of form and function.
It can be folded three times and stowed away in its’ own outside pocket. This is possible by means of the special design of the wheels which can be flattened thanks to a spring mechanism. So your large shopping assistant turns into a small package neatly stowable anywhere.
Buying locally helps to support local farmers who are more likely to be stewards of their land. Local growers also have more flexibility than industrial farmers to experiment with different crop varieties, which encourages biodiversity and extends growing seasons.
Farmers Market Etiquette and Tips
1. Bring cash - only small bills.
2. Bring your own bag (I have a wheeled shopping trolley I could not live without).
3. Dirt and holes in the leafs - that's a good thing - especially if you're looking for organic.
4. Ask the vendor when was this picked or look on the bottom of food for a fresh clean cut where it was harvested.
5. Don't - I repeat don't - ask for discounts unless you're going to buy the whole crate.
6. Ask for a sample to taste.
7. Ask the farmers questions or opinions - who has the best ....?
8. Get there early.
9. Be ready to try or learn something new on each visit and have fun!!
People worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious. It is also good for your local economy--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.
Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. The food we eat should taste good; it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.
_ _ _ These photos come courtesy of House Beautiful. Architect Bobby McAlpine designed this house - located in rural Missouri - as a series of buildings around walled outdoor rooms. He describes the style as Mississippi Valley French Colonial, and the exterior colors as "a misty lake palette with wet bark color." __ Enjoy your weekend!! Happy Friday!! _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice, such as Uncle Ben's 3 1/2 cups chicken stock 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 clove garlic, minced 2 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons) (the Secret Ingredient) 1 tablespoon hot sauce 1 cup whipping cream Freshly ground black pepper
_ In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat 1/2 of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and rest covered for 5 minutes.
_ In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
_ Using a fork, fluff the rice and arrange on a platter. Spoon the shrimp cream sauce over the rice and serve.
Carolyn Rubenstein launched Carolyn's Compassionate Children when she was only 14 years old. CCC is a nonprofit organization that raises money for young cancer survivors so that they are able to attend college. I found out about this via one of my favorite bloggers over at Annechovie. I wanted to lend my voice to help spread the word out about the "Artist Auction for Cancer", which marks the 10th anniversary of CCC.
The auction will be held online via eBay and will run from Tuesday, April 14, 2009 through Friday, April 24, 2009. The following artists have generously donated pieces from their most inspired collections to benefit scholarship recipients of CCC: Belle and Boo (Tracy Oakley), Amy Butler, Susannah Conway, Gemma Correll, Melissa de la Fuente, Kiki Fuhr, Sarah Gardner, Aby Garvey, Jess Gonacha, Julie Green, Anne Harwell, Christine Mason Miller, Jill Rosenwald, Paige Russell, Kenny Scharf (Kevin Bruk Gallery), David Silvers.
Stop by and check it out and help spread the word!! _
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. I spent part of my time at the hospital with my 8 year old son having a (glow-in-the-dark) cast put on his left arm. In all the excitement and fun he fell in our front yard and broke a bone in his wrist. It isn't too bad, but required a cast. When the Dr. told him he needed to leave it on for 3 weeks he exclaimed, "That's 21 days!!" So I had to feature him in today's post and tell him what a brave and funny guy he is.
__ Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, _
And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. _ I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
This poem is part of a much larger poem called, Life.
Thank you mom for my wonderful Emily Dickinson book - I've enjoyed it so very much!!
(Me - On My 5th Birthday)
P.S. Hugs (xxx) and kisses (ooo) you're the best mom ever!!
Although she eats and sleeps on solid ground, you won’t find Zena Holloway working anywhere but underwater. “Working topside is very distracting,” explains UK based photographer, describing the drawbacks of shooting on land. “There’s always a buzz about working underwater, creative’s are intrigued to see how its done, the artists are excited to be doing something different and the water gives me a unique space to put it all together. My experiences of shooting on land are very dreary by comparison and not nearly as creative. Water always adds a magical quality.”Her love affair with water began well before her career in photography. For several years Holloway worked internationally as a diving instructor, a talent that serves her well.
(The above text is from an online article in The F Stop)
Seattle Metropolitan Area, Pacific Northwest, United States
Location Scout ~ Flâneur ~ Amateur Photographer -
Northern California Girl - Living in the Seattle Metro Area. Happily married, mother of five amazing individuals. Each day is a new adventure and I don't want to miss one minute.
♥ ♥ Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting -- barefoot in the orchard ♥ ♥
One of my favorite memories was walking barefoot in our apricot orchard. That was some 37 years ago, and it's still one of the first things that comes to mind when searching my life's memories.
It is unbearable for me to think about my beautiful orchard and the many others that surrounded it now only exist in my memory -- long ago replaced by houses. I prefer to keep those images in my mind as if it were only yesterday...
It's a beautiful summer morning, I'm 12 years old, outside my cat Peewee (a big yellow tabby with a bobbed tail) greets me. I head straight out into the orchard. The branches overhead hang low and heavy -- and the sweet smell of apricots fill the air. Running faster and farther with each step -- the seemingly never-ending rows of trees stretch out before me. I can feel the warm sun on my face and the cool feel of the dirt under my feet. ~
"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever."