Monthly Archives: July 2012
It is Throwback Thursday people!!!!!
I am at a conference in Colorado at the moment. Several conversations I have had reminded me of this post. So, I am sharing it again!
I grew up in Texas and have always been pretty conscious about being ‘green’. But then I moved to Seattle and –hello– I was out of my league. I quickly realized I was not as eco-friendly as I thought. Perhaps some of you will someday find yourself in a situation needing some assistance with a very ‘green’ crowd. Sure, you want to learn, but your home isn’t solar powered yet. So, how can you fake it till you make it? Here are some thoughts…
1. Know the Lingo. You aren’t an expert yet, but there are a few words you can sprinkle in that will elevate your credibility with the enviro-crew. Try and drop the words ‘thinking globally’ , ‘ sustainable’ , ‘carbon footprint’ and if you are feeling really confident ‘ genetically modified organisms’ or GMOs for short.
2. Grow Something. Basil, flowers, tomatoes … it doesn’t really matter. Just grow something. Having pots around your house gives you street cred… and if you need to escape a convo about growth hormones in meat you can always say “Excuse me, I need to tend to something in the garden.” Who can argue with that?
3. Divide by Two. Not four wheels, two. Roller blades, bikes, scooters, two feet…If it involves two instead of four then you win. Unless of course the four wheels are a Prius…then they win.
4. Get Your Meat From A Local Butcher. This helps you on two fronts. First, its just plain good for you. Knowing the source your meat comes from gives you the opportunity to know what went into it and how it has been handled. Second, your vegetarian friends will give you a pass if you tell them your meat is locally & sustainably raised. Win, win.
5. Grow a beard. This obviously only pertains to men ( I hope). A beard is an outward manifestation of your inner beliefs. Plus, beards are in style.
6. Throw An Earth Day Party. Everyone loves a party. If you throw an Earth Day Bash then you are pretty covered for the rest of the year. Just make sure you use actual dishes & not styrofoam. Thats a dead give away.
7. Bring Up The Polar Bears. A lot of conversations regarding environmental issues and stewardship can be a bit complex. Some scientific terms you may not be familiar with. If a discussion should go beyond your realm of understanding, I suggest bringing up the polar bears. They are endangered and their plight is pretty straightforward. If global warming increases that means that the ice will melt. If the ice melts the polar bears will be in serious trouble. It’s a pretty obvious plot to follow.
8. Join the Sierra Club. You can put the newsletters straight in the trash…err, recycle bin…Just place the decal on your car & the card in your wallet. Voila! You have just joined the Eco-Fraternity.
9. Take Lots of Supplements. It seems that the environmentalists I know take gobs of supplements. Fish oil, omega 3, herbal vitamins. If you grow your garden (see #2) large enough and start a small fishery in your yard, then you will eventually be able to skip this step. Until then its up to the supplements. Keep a stash around and pop them when your friends are looking.
10. Get a Tarp. I can’t exactly tell you why you need a tarp. It just seems like the perfect prop for an eco-friendly person. It says ” I go camping” , “I collect my own firewood”, or “I have shelter in case of a natural disaster”.
Hope these tips are useful as you ‘green’ up your life. The environment isn’t just for hippies anymore. Jump on the bandwagon. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.
This week I am at a conference in Colorado, so I will be reposting a few of my favorites from months past. Enjoy!
Today I decided not to become a Guru. It all started when I signed up for Klout. If you don’t know, a Klout score is a way of measuring your influence. You can set up an account & it shows you your score & compares you to other people you know.
Great, another way to compare myself to those around me. I understand a tool like that is useful for companies or individuals whose jobs involve social media. But, for the rest of us?
I sat there & looked at all my friends who had higher scores & were listed as having expertise in a certain area. There was no expertise next to my name. Bummer. I guess there isn’t an expertise field for Mongolian horsemanship or babysitting for murderers. Maybe I should quote more books?
Next I saw a barage of articles on how to improve my Klout score. A list of topics people respond to & how I can work to gain influence. I read all the articles on how to be a social media Guru. I felt the pressure to fix my lame score. How can I get more followers? How can I increase my retweets??? I was in a tailspin of social media depression. Gee gosh.
Fine, Klout. I’m not an expert. I don’t tweet leadership tips or recipes. I’m just a normal person. Is that so bad?
Charlie Sheen has a really high Klout score, but I don’t know that many people would say he has influenced their lives. Having a lot of people know you makes you famous. Having people actually take what you say to heart & follow your advice…that is influence.
I think about the people who have influenced my life the most. They probably aren’t even on twitter. They didn’t gather a massive following, instead they sat down with me one-on-one.
I’m not saying that Klout is bad. I do want to know how to maximize social media. But knowing your neighbor’s name is pretty important too. Remembering a friends birthday (without facebook reminding you) is a rare form of relationship these days.
Do I still want to beat my husband to a million twitter followers? You betcha.
I want to make a difference.
But, I’m not going be a Guru. I’m gonna influence, but I’m not keeping score. Sorry Klout.
|My sweet simple son.|
When I was in 10th grade I took geometry. I don’t remember my teacher’s name & I don’t remember geometry. Something about shapes? Clearly it was an effective educational experience.
It’s Throwback Thursday people…enjoy.
|My little man.|
I thought tonight I would jot down a few lyrics I have heard recently that cause me to question the intelligence of the music industry. Not some weird obscure song, but mainstream songs we have all heard. It was hard to narrow it down, but here are the finalists.
1. “Coast to Coast
L.A. to Chicago “
– Sade ‘Smooth Operator’
Other places make me feel like a dork.”
– Madonna “I love New York”
– America ‘Horse With No Name’
– Elton John “Your Song’
– The Commodores ‘Brick House’
– Backstreet Boys
– Clay Aiken ‘Invisible’
-The Vapors ‘Turning Japanese’
– Train ‘Hey Soul Sister’
|Just readin my paper in the middle of nowhere|
I was once a runaway Mongolian cowgirl. Before I start, lets clarify a few things. I am not Mongolian, but I was in Mongolia. Second, I didn’t actually run away, my horse did.
When I was eleven my family moved to Irkutsk, Russia. Yep, I spent my junior high years living in Siberia. For our family vacation one of those years we went to Mongolia. I loved it the moment I saw the mountains out the window of our propeller airplane. It was beautiful and felt strangely like home.
One of our days there we went with some friends out into the most rural of places. Eventually we pull up to a ger ( a ger is a type of portable housing similar to a yurt). The rolling countryside was dotted with white gers and the nomadic families who live in them. Herds of animals were roaming the hills all around.
We visited a family in their ger, ate some very interesting food & absorbed stories of their nomadic lives. Then came the fun part. They were going to let me ride one of their horses. This was fun until I saw the saddle. It was made of wood. An uncomfortable sport just got more uncomfortable.
There were no fences. Just thousands of miles of rolling hills. My incredibly adventurous parents told me to go wherever I wanted , just don’t loose sight of the ger. So I did. I roamed free and it was grand.
The ger where my family was waiting had become just a white speck so I decided to go back. But along the way something happened. I heard a yell from a herd on the next hill over & my horse took off. It soon became evident that the families assist each other in gathering their livestock & this guy needed some help. He recognized the horse I was on and called for us to come help him. Clearly the horse knew the drill and soon I was herding goats with an old Mongolian cowboy. Wish you could have seen his face when a 12 year old American girl showed up instead of the horse’s owner. I would venture to say that this nomadic herdsman had never seen a white girl in person. At least that is what his expression communicated.
I was completely useless. The cowboy kept giving me instructions but I had no clue what he was saying (this was most likely due to a combination of my not speaking Mongolian & his not having many teeth). Thankfully my horse knew what to do. I just sat on him & held on for about 10 minutes while the horse did all the work. Round & round until all the goats were gathered.
How do an old Mongolian cowboy & an adolescent American say goodbye after rounding up goats? Neither of us knew, so there was a very painfully awkward attempt. I bid farewell to my perplexed Mongolian cowboy buddy and rode my horse back to my ger. It was one of the most unusual experiences of my life.
I was thinking about this story the other day & I realized something. I realized that it is how God works. When He asks us to do something, it doesn’t mean go figure out how to do it. I could never have figured out how to herd goats with a stranger in Mongolia. But I was riding on a horse who did.
All we do is hold on to God while He does it. We simply go with Him wherever He takes us. He knows how to do the things He has called us to.
Our job is to go along for the ride.