eudaemonic- (adj.) producing happiness and well-being

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Here's the deal.
I want to live life on purpose. For me, that can only happen in community. Oh, believe me, I've tried it on my own.
Before getting a job, I looked forward to my alone time. I looked forward to me being in control of me. I looked forward to a quiet house when I wanted to go to bed. See the problem there? I bolded the words just in case... The words "I" and "Me" have nothing to do with community.
Here's the sad part- I had it... yeah, it was in my house for four years. I had a community in college, but what did I do with it? I studied. (cringe) I went to meetings. I furthered my career. Man, was that stupid! Now, I would give anything to have a themed dinner with my roommates, to go running with Katherine, to go to a midnight movie with the Auburn Court house, I would have breakfast at 6 a.m. every morning, if that meant I got to share my life with someone.
I'm not writing this out of despair, but rather with hope because I know it's possible! The Lord has put this in my heart not only to better my life, but the lives of all who participate... and those who reap the rewards of happy lives... and the lives that touch the lives that touch the lives that touch the other lives, because the way we live doesn't just affect us. And what does the Lord love, but a LIVE-ER, (without the hyphen, it reads like the organ/meat. ugh. :O) ) a live-er for Him.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sad day... I accidentally erased my post. BUMMER! I hate it when that happens. So, instead of writing again (and knowing that the second was not as good as the first) I will do a little tap dance for your enjoyment.

tappy tap tap, ttttaaap tttaaap TAP TAP TAP

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I covered a children's symphony today and it made me very happy.
I love children! I love talking to them, I love being around them.

I also wrote a glorified obit. I didn't enjoy the obit part, but I did enjoy talking to all his pals. I love older people. I love talking to them, I love being around them.

What does this mean?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

vewy inewesting

Can Polyester Save the World
NY Times

JOSEPHINE COPELAND and her 20-year-old daughter, Jo Jo, visited Primark at the Peacock Center mall here, in the London suburbs, to buy presents for friends, but ended up loaded with clothes for themselves: boots, a cardigan, a festive blouse, and a long silver coat with faux fur trim, which cost £12 but looks like a million bucks. “If it falls apart, you just toss it away!” said Jo Jo, proudly wearing her purchase.
Environmentally, that is more and more of a problem.
With rainbow piles of sweaters and T-shirts that often cost less than a sandwich, stores like Primark are leaders in the quick-growing “fast fashion” industry, selling cheap garments that can be used and discarded without a second thought. Consumers, especially teenagers, love the concept, pioneered also by stores like H&M internationally and by Old Navy and Target in the United States, since it allows them to shift styles with speed on a low budget.
But clothes — and fast clothes in particular — are a large and worsening source of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, because of how they are both produced and cared for, concludes a new report from researchers at Cambridge University titled “Well Dressed?”
The global textile industry must become eco-conscious, the report concludes. It explores how to develop a more “sustainable clothing” industry — a seeming oxymoron in a world where fashions change every few months.
“Hmmm,” said Sally Neild, 44, dressed in casual chic, in jeans and boots, as she pondered such alien concepts, shopping bags in hand. “People now think a lot about green travel and green food. But I think we are a long way from there in terms of clothes. People are mad about those stores.”
It is hard to imagine how customers who rush after trends, or the stores that serve them, will respond to the report’s suggestions: that people lease clothes and return them at the end of a month or a season, so the garments can be lent again to someone else — like library books — and that they buy more expensive and durable clothing that can be worn for years.
In terms of care, the report highlights the benefits of synthetic fabrics that require less hot water to wash and less ironing. It suggests that consumers air-dry clothes and throw away their tumble dryers, which require huge amounts of energy.
But some big retailers are starting to explore their options. “Our research shows that customers are getting very concerned about environmental issues, and we don’t want to get caught between the eyes,” said Mike Barry, head of corporate social responsibility at Marks & Spencer, one of Britain’s largest retailers, which helped pay for the Cambridge study. “It’s a trend that we know won’t go away after a season, like a poncho.”
Customers “will ask ‘what are you doing?’ ” Mr. Barry said, noting that 70 percent of Britons shop at his chain. “So we’re doing a lot of thinking about what a sustainable clothing industry could look like in five years.”
Consumers spend more than $1 trillion a year on clothing and textiles, an estimated one-third of that in Western Europe, another third in North America, and about a quarter in Asia. In many places, cheap, readily disposable clothes have displaced hand-me-downs as the mainstay of dressing.
“My mother had the same wardrobe her entire life,” Ms. Neild said. “For my daughter, styles change every six months and you need to keep up.”
As a result, women’s clothing sales in Britain rose by 21 percent between 2001 and 2005 alone to about £24 billion ($47.6 billion), spurred by lower prices, according to the Cambridge report.
And while many people have grown accustomed to recycling cans, bottles and newspapers, used clothes are generally thrown away. “In a wealthy society, clothing and textiles are bought as much for fashion as for function,” the report says, and that means that clothes are replaced “before the end of their natural life.”
Dr. Julian Allwood, who led a team of environmental researchers in conducting the report, noted in an interview that it is now easier for British consumers to toss unwanted clothes than to take them to a recycling center, and easier to throw clothes into the hamper for a quick machine wash and dry than to sponge off stains.
He hopes his report will educate shoppers about the costs to the environment, so that they change their behavior.
There are many examples of how changing consumer priorities have forced even the most staid retailers to alter the way they do business.
Last year Marks & Spencer — Britain’s mainstay for products like underwear and shortbread — decided to go organic in its food business; it now sells only fair-trade coffee and teas, for example. Many executives regarded the shift as a foolish and risky decision, but the store found that sales jumped 12 percent. The store learned a lesson that executives think will apply to clothes.
“Morally, we know more sustainable clothing is the right thing to do, but we are more and more convinced that commercially it is the right thing as well,” Mr. Barry said. In fact, marketing the “green” value of clothing, even if costs a bit more, may provide an advantage over competitors.
Part of the problem is that neither manufacturers nor customers understand much about how and when clothing purchases degrade the environment, since these can occur anywhere from the harvest of cotton or the manufacture of synthetic fibers to how — and how often — the garment must be washed.
“We’ve got fantastic standards when it comes to food, but it is all brand-new when it comes to clothes,” Mr. Barry admitted. “We have a lot to learn.”
In their efforts to buy green, customers tend to focus on packaging and chemicals, issues that do not factor in with clothing. Likewise, they purchase “natural” fibers like cotton, believing they are good for the environment.
But that is not always the case: while so-called organic cotton is exemplary in the way it avoids pesticides, cotton garments squander energy because they must be washed frequently at high temperatures, and generally require tumble-drying and ironing. Sixty percent of the carbon emissions generated by a simple cotton T-shirt comes from the 25 washes and machine dryings it will require, the Cambridge study found.
A polyester blouse, by contrast, takes more energy to make, since synthetic fabric comes from materials like wood and oil. But upkeep is far more fuel-efficient, since polyester cleans more easily and dries faster.
Over a lifetime, a polyester blouse uses less energy than a cotton T-shirt.
One way to change the balance would be to develop technology to treat cotton so that it did not absorb odors so readily.
Also, Dr. Allwood said that “reducing washing temperature has a huge impact,” speaking of a significant drop from about 122 Fahrenheit to 105. Even better, he said, would be to drop washing temperature below normal body temperatures, but that would require changes in washing machines and detergents.
The report suggests that retailers could begin to lease clothes for a season (just as wedding stores rent tuxedos) or buy back old clothes from customers at a discount, for recycling.
But experiments along these lines have faltered. A decade ago, Hanna Andersson, an eco-conscious American clothing company, tried offering mail-order customers 20 percent credit toward new purchases if they sent back their used garments. This “hannadowns” program was canceled after two years.
People hope “we’ll find new sources of energy, so we won’t really have to change much,” Dr. Allwood said. “But that is extremely unlikely.”
To cut back the use of carbons and make fashion truly sustainable, shoppers will have “to own less, to have less stuff,” Dr. Allwood said. “And that is a very hard sell.”
And so Marks & Spencer is thinking about whether its customers will be willing to change their buying habits, to pay more for less-fashionable but “sustainable” garments. After all, consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for clothes not made in sweatshops, and some are unwilling to buy diamonds because of forced labor in African mines.
On a recent day outside Marks & Spencer on Guildford High Street, where everyone was loaded with shopping bags, Audrey Mammana, who is 45, said she was not “a throw-away person” and would be happy to lease high-end clothing for a season. She would also be willing to repair old clothes to extend their use, although fewer shops perform this task.
But, she added: “If you cut out tumble-drying, I think you’d lose me. I couldn’t do without that.”

uh oh...

Report: Seafood faces collapse by 2048

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Clambakes, crabcakes, swordfish steaks and even humble fish sticks could be little more than a fond memory in a few decades. If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, the populations of just about all seafood face collapse by 2048, a team of ecologists and economists warns in a report in Friday's issue of the journal Science. "Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world's ocean, we saw the same picture emerging. In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems," said the lead author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected," Worm said. (Who is catching what) While the study focused on the oceans, concerns have been expressed by ecologists about threats to fish in the Great Lakes and other lakes, rivers and freshwaters, too. Worm and an international team spent four years analyzing 32 controlled experiments, other studies from 48 marine protected areas and global catch data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's database of all fish and invertebrates worldwide from 1950 to 2003. The scientists also looked at a 1,000-year time series for 12 coastal regions, drawing on data from archives, fishery records, sediment cores and archaeological data. "At this point 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed -- that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating," Worm said. "If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime -- by 2048." "It looks grim and the projection of the trend into the future looks even grimmer," he said. "But it's not too late to turn this around. It can be done, but it must be done soon. We need a shift from single species management to ecosystem management. It just requires a big chunk of political will to do it." The researchers called for new marine reserves, better management to prevent overfishing and tighter controls on pollution. In the 48 areas worldwide that have been protected to improve marine biodiversity, they found, "diversity of species recovered dramatically, and with it the ecosystem's productivity and stability." While seafood forms a crucial concern in their study, the researchers were analyzing overall biodiversity of the oceans. The more species in the oceans, the better each can handle exploitation. "Even bugs and weeds make clear, measurable contributions to ecosystems," said co-author J. Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. The National Fisheries Institute, a trade association for the seafood industry, does not share the researchers alarm. "Fish stocks naturally fluctuate in population," the institute said in a statement. "By developing new technologies that capture target species more efficiently and result in less impact on other species or the environment, we are helping to ensure our industry does not adversely affect surrounding ecosystems or damage native species. Seafood has become a growing part of Americans' diet in recent years. Consumption totaled 16.6 pounds per person in 2004, the most recent data available, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That compares with 15.2 pounds in 2000. Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts' environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dressing scandalously. Accepting abuse. Cutting one another down.

Why do women live like they're not good enough for the best? I've recently been overwhelmed with the desire to just shout


Somehow, the devil has inched his way into men and women's hearts to think that we're just not enough on our own. So, to make up the difference we feel on the scale, we do things that may grant attention... but don't improve.

I have a friend who teaches middle school near Tyler. She talks a lot about how they disrespect themselves by denying education, by using fowl language, not wearing a lot of clothes and even discussing things that are sexual in nature. I want to take all of these girls and just tell them that they are so special. And I want to take these guys and tell them that they are so special.

People may say that it's the style of the times (dressing too mature and being hateful), but, really... I am in the times... I'm not an old person, I'm a fresh-cracked farm egg straight from my college nest. Rather than blame culture and Brittney Spears, I think a lot of it goes back to shame we feel as humans. If you want to blame someone, blame our first culture pop stars - so... thank you Adam and Eve.

If we lived like Proverbs 11:12, Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion, I really think we (women)would change our mind at how we acted. Who cares if a pig has a gold ring in its nose? It's still a pig. It still eat cow manure. It still smells. (and this is coming from someone who loooovvveesss pigs... another lister else could go on with this pig-putrid talk).

So, what is outward beauty, what is a 3 inch mini skirt, what is a cleavage enhancing shirt, if you're just a pig on the inside. Inward beauty ladies... inward beauty is where it's at. Inward beauty leads to respect because, face it, I'm worth it. Inward beauty knows that I'm okay, no, forget okay... good... forget good... best... forget best... LOVED! That you are loved by Jesus. I haven't channeled some crazy talking preacher... you really are loved by Him. Love is all anyone wants anyway right? That's why people hurt one another in talk and action. That's why women disrespect themselves.

So, I guess the story part of this is, the feeling has prompted me to the point of opening my mouth and creating awkward moments for myself.

What else is new?

Maybe if this gig doesn't turn out I'll take up harrasing middle schoolers about how wonderful they are.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My apartment smells like ginger, and I like it :O)
I can read your thoughts...
"Why is the scent aggressive enough to muscle into dishes opposite as cookies and Thai food now wafting through your collection of wooden spoons?"
(that is what you were thinking, right? right.)
Well, it's because I made this...

GINGERBREAD GRANOLA... oh boy, oh boy :O)

There's something very Zen about granola. I'm not sure what it is, but I almost felt a little unworthy mixing the ingredients in my kitchen where fakies like spray butter and the sugar-sub Splenda are routinely used. Maybe it's just that I just haven't preformed my life quota of yoga's downward facing dogs yet.

It does make you smile though, huh?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have straight hair (Thank you Robin!) :O)
Plus a few other favorites!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I watched some 20/20 copycat earlier today where the anchors detailed three different cases for murder and kidnapping. It could have just been the journalistic spin, but in each of the cases, the defendants looked pretty guilty. Yet, at arraignment, they each pleaded non-guilty.

Wait, y'all would know one of them- Michael Devlin. He is suspected of kidnapping two boys in Missouri, one in 2002 and one just last week. Police searched his apartment and found BOTH of them! Yet, when brought before the judge, he said he wasn't guilty. WASN'T GUILTY? How, why... what??? The boys were kidnapped, and were found in his home!

I understand that we need to continue the precedent of "innocent until proven guilty," but why say you're not guilty when you know you are? Why can't lawyers use their skills to defend the people where there's at least reasonable doubt.

I guess this is a stupid rant, because why would you want to say you did something bad and get punishment if you have the opportunity to say you didn't and get less?

But, still...

Arrrgg, there wouldn't be a problem if people just told the truth, oh (HA) and didn't hurt one another :O)

Monday, January 15, 2007

I want to introduce you to one of my new favorite blogs....

Get ready for some gooooood cookin'!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Have you ever been moved by a radio spot? I hadn’t either….Until while driving to Henderson, I was listening one of the MILLIONS (okay, there are probably four or five) of Christian radio stations we have here in East Texas. One of them was sponsoring a radio talk show. I normally don’t like these things (all sweet talk and no meat), but they were talking about service so I listened.Truthfully, the real reason I was listening was to find fault with what they were saying, so (of course) I was mentally picking apart every word. If you've ever done this, you know it’s kind of hard to really listen when all you're doing is building a defense.
But then, the interviewer said something so nonchalantly, so unflappably that I know she wasn’t saying it to be cool or sound Christian -- it’s dumb really that I was moved by this… but she said, “I made a promise to God…. (and she went on). She made a promise to God. A promise to God…. Aggggg, I love that wording and I don’t know why. I’m a big promiser. I won’t say “promise” unless I know 100 percent that I am going to do the afore mentioned thing. I just won’t. But, her responsibility to pay up was even bigger... she made a promise to God. I guess this struck me because I had been thinking a lot about the relationship between God and man and how God makes all the promises to us. There are the big promises like: He promises to love us (no matter what). He promises the Holy Spirit will live inside of believers (totally cool). He promised never to flood the earth again (too many Sunday school lessons, did you really think I’d leave that one out? :O) ) And, the ones I've been pondering lately, the promise to never leave or forsake us, the promise that He has a plan for our future that is sure to bring hope, and that the Lord is my helper.

So, I had been stuck on what God has promised me... and was tapping my foot thinking He hadn't made good on them yet. HOWEVER, what a bummer for God... I had forgotten the promises we make to Him. For example, Jacob promised his worship and a 1/10th of everything in exchange of protection. Hannah promised her son to Him. The sailors that threw Jonah overboard were so freaked out about the storm and tossing homeboy over, that they made promises to God to escape punishment. Me? I've made promises too, the main one being my life on the alter. But, like the sailors, I too have pinky-sweared stuff that I thought would get me out of trouble.

The radio lady (I’m kind of putting words in her mouth, but…) reminded me that I can made ambiguous promises too, because the Lord can read my intentions. Promises offered like, love and acceptance may sound both hippie and hazy to you… but to God, they’re promises nonetheless that mean something special between the two of us.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Austin e-mailed me with this job....I want this job....

Position Opening

Communications Director
Texas Cattle Feeders Association

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association has an immediate opening for a communications director located in the TCFA office in Amarillo, Texas. TCFA is looking for an excellent communicator who has 3-5 years experience in agriculture, preferably in the cattle industry. This position requires strong news and feature writing skills as well as the ability to speak in front of a group, and be the association's spokesperson with the broadcast and print media.

The TCFA Communications Director is responsible for writing and editing a weekly newsletter and the Cattle Feeders Annual, conducting association media relations and crisis management efforts, among other duties.
Oh agriculture... my love still germinates, grows to maturity and is harvested for you (and only you) :O) I MISS AGRICULTURE! Never had a green thumb, but my brain was once the color of mashed peas...And what's worse is I think I'm losing it! In my prime I knew about cattle, goats, hogs, horses, sheep, oranges, corn, wheat, grapes, cotton, pumpkins, honey, and more. Now I'm so far removed, I didn't know Smith County was in a drought. The only vegetation I see is landscape watered four times a week. One of my dreams used to be international ag program building. I wanted to create programs that both conserved water and helped those who already didn't have enough. You know, I still want to do that. I don't know if it's because working in water is my adult version of a child wanting to be a princess as a grown up, or if it's something I really want to do because it's why I was made. I guess I'll just have to wait and see, especially since my lease lasts until Nov. '07!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I want to be a GREAT writer. Good isn't going to cut it anymore. I want to write the words that readers touch, see, smell, FEEL. I want those words to mean something.

Now... how do I do that?