Month: July 2011
I want to help save the planet. I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I want to make a difference. I recycle. I even attempted to grow some tomatoes, but I have found that it is not easy being green.
After a little bit of reading, I discovered that buying local produce from the Augusta farmers market is a great way to begin going green. I even shop with a reusable bag with a cart on wheels each week. I even I started a walking program about a month ago and then the temperatures went to 100 degrees. I scrapped that idea until maybe cooler weather. I wasn’t daunted though, continued to strive for a better way and a better day. I decided maybe simple is better.
Off I trotted to Lowes and purchased a water filter for my kitchen sink. Along with my new filter, I also purchased BPA free water containers. I did away with buying bottled water and now have tasty water in a reusable container. See I’m working it. I even went one step further. I purchased new energy efficient appliances. Yes, it was a sacrifice but it had to be done. At least I didn’t buy the fridge with the TV on the door.
I then began to look for other ways to make a difference. I bought a Cruz Reader, to read my books and magazines, you know to save a tree. I even got a free Thriller from Kobo. I think other people also had the same idea and look what happened to Borders Books. I didn’t save any jobs, but hey, I am saving paper and thus saved a tree. I almost went to e-billing, but I don’t check my email often enough, and if I bill came is as Spam, I would probably just dump the folder then my credit would be ruined.
I am working hard though. I do not have any paper plates or plastic forks in my house. I was very pleased to find out that using these items increases land fill waste and my being snobby actually was helping. Who knew? I even joined Recycle Bank to increase my incentives as a do-gooder type. I even changed my light bulbs, make sure that lights are off, and the thermostat is adjusted to an even temperature. Well, I know enough about being frugal to call Georgia Power and stay on a flat bill payment plan, and they even have a Go Green plan as well!
I even begin a water conservation program at home and started taking showers with hubby. Oh shut up, I have been married for 21 years, every little bit helps. Just so you know that I am serious about my efforts, I reduced my driving to only necessity. I am staying home as much as possible to save gas and decrease air pollution.
I know it may not seem like much, but what are you doing to make a difference in your life, and where you live? I am not one to get preachy because I am an essayist, not a lobbyist, but in order for a change to come, at some place we all have to recycle, reduce, and reuse to close the loop. Give it a try, I know that it’s not easy being green, but somebody’s got to do it.
Read more and sign up for email tips at Everyday Health.
16 JuLY 2011
I wear many shirts, hats, and titles. I willingly admit to be being an avid blogger, an author, a foodie, a mother, a smart aleck, and many other titles. I wear the titles with pride an often will change hats to make sure I am properly attired to address each role. I don’t really have to change clothing to be wear my newest title, just change my shirt. My newest favorite comfy shirt carries a ridiculous light blue T and gets me all a flutter. I am talking about the subtle art of Tweeting.
As a Tweeter, I can be all of those things listed above and only wear one hat, one shirt, and the proud handle of @Assistingu. The main drawback is that I can only say what I must in 170 characters or less. Think about it, how succinct must you be to make your point? Here’s the beauty, I can express my own opinion or just copy or retweet what someone else has stated.
As a Tweeter, there are of course rules. There is an imaginary line. You can agree, you can disagree, or you can follow a trending topic that is usually in red letters marked with a #hashtag. The responses are completed in real time. I know, it’s a lot isn’t it? Actually no it is not. Let’s say for instance you are interested in saving money and deals and steals. Search using the word deals or the word coupon. A list will appear of the most active Tweeters on these subjects. You can follow these groups or individuals for on the spot information in your city, town or across the country. There are all sorts of Tweeters who offer ways to #savemoney. You just have to follow and see who is giving you something relevant and who is just mouthing off.
I like to mouth off on the go. I have attached my Foursquare account to my Twitter account so when I check in, or check out, I can leave comments about great service, good food, or hot tips on local events or businesses. Recently, while I was in Puerto Rico exploring Old San Juan, I was checking in, finding deals and Tweeting as I walked. I received 4 invitations to visit restaurants and businesses.
My newest mission is to acquire 20, 000 followers by the Holidays. I am only off by 15, 500. Shut up, we all need a personal goal, this one just happens to be mine. I invite you to join the revolution. Join the Twitter nation. Join me on my quest. Line up, link up and send me a message when you have made the connection; just make sure it is 170 characters or less.
Often when we think of vacations, we think of sun, fun and being tired when we return. I find it humorous that so many people rush through the week, over pack the weekend with activities and come Sunday, are just as tired as when they left the office on Friday. These worries and tiredness leads to the ever so familiar mantra of “I need a vacation!” Fine, you need a vacation, but what are you doing on your vacation or has the word vacation becomes just another synonym for off days?
For our tenth anniversary, my husband and I headed to Key West or the Florida Keys for a vacation, both were geriatrically exciting so I often get them confused. We were bored out of our minds. This was no way to spend our off days. Outside of getting drunk, fishing, and the glass bottom boat tour, what was there to do? There were people laid about on chaise lounges reading books while sipping what I would equate to a Mint Julep. We stayed one night, packed the car and drove back to Miami. Even on the outskirts of the city, you could feel the pulse of the hot blooded Latina welcoming you back into her lair.
The same can be said for Las Vegas. Our next set of off days, we headed to hot bed of demoralization, and spent some time in Sin City. We left the strip, took the city bus downtown to the Freemont experience and watched some people find different ways to make money on their off days. When you think of Vegas, you don’t think of vacation, you think getaway. You don’t think oooh, while we are there Honey, how about a quick trip over to the Hoover Dam? The Hoover Dam is something you explore on your off-day; Vegas ,is a get away to see a show, party, and drink a lot. Yeah, get away from it all, starting with cheap liquor as a constant companion.
As I have aged, I have learned the difference between off days, a weekend getaway and a vacation. Allow me to clarify. On my off days, I can head up to the lake and spend some time with a good book, some friends, fish and nap. When experiencing a getaway, I think of a nice bed and breakfast off the beaten path for a few days doing something that could fall into my hobby and special interest category. A quilting retreat or a weekend writing conference, which helps me, well get away from it all for a day or two. However, when it comes to vacation, this is an altogether different animal.
A vacation, from my perspective, is me a soil that I have not touched. I am eating foods that I would not normally eat. Partake in adventures, and treasure hunts, snorkel, and in between take naps, and blog about the journey. This is a weeklong venture that requires 3 days of doing something that I KNOW I am too old to still try, because if it goes wrong, my old bones won’t heal like they should. It is three nights of overly priced dinners in four and five-star restaurants eating dishes that I can barely spell. It is drinking Wines that only come by the bottle and not by the glass, sleeping late, venturing to museums, shops, and searching for the perfect shot glass to go in my collection.
When I return home, I am not tired. I am not twisted into knots. I am relaxed. I am rejuvenated. I have enlightened my spirit, my mind and my soul. I did not have a few off days. I did not partake in a weekend getaway. I went on vacation.
Upon my return, I shall spend the next week, uploading photos from my adventure, as well as beginning plans for the next year. I will scrimp and save as much as humanly possible so that when I arrive at my new destination next year, I don’t have to watch every dime; because I am on vacation.
Now tell me how you spend your vacation?