My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Monday, July 30, 2007

All Blogged Out!


Blogathon SurvivorWell I, my iMac and my blog all made it through the entire 24 hour Blogathon and ended up raising $242 for the AHF, but kids, as my post title says, I am indeed blogged out!!

early morning at the computerI'm pretty much recovered sleepwise, but typing is still a bit difficult and if I sit at the computer for more than 5 or 10 minutes, it seems that some invisible, evil being douses my neck and shoulders with kerosene and sets them on fire. But it was fun and rewarding, and I met some great people, enjoyed their fun blogs and enjoyed supporting some other worthy causes...

Cheri (aka
rift) at LeafShadows, blogging for Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary

Jen at
no fixed address, blogging for Nova Scotia SPCA
(Jennie even has posts about Willow, Tess & Josie!) :-)

Jess at
spectavi, blogging for the Tibetan Nuns Project

and Sally at
Living Without Meat, blogging for Farm Sanctuary

The evil creature is back and I can feel the flames licking at my hair now, so I think I'll head for the hammock!

Please take a peek at my
Shambhala Blogathon blog if you get a chance, and have a great week! (BW's on vacation, so I'll be back next week.)

Be seeing you!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First Sponsor, Extra Fawn!


First, in non-blogathon news, Jane Doe showed up this morning with not one, not two, but THREE fawns! Turns out that stinker had triplets this year! She's just been showing up with one or two of them before this morning (and often with none of them, as she apparently has really generous day-care benefits!) :-) They were gone before I could grab my camera, but I hope for other opportunities to photograph all three adorable babies.

And oh, yay! I have my first blogathon sponsor!
Thank you, rift!


If you get a chance, check out the great blurb about my blogging efforts on the AHF home page! How nice! (I never thought I'd see my name mentioned on the same page as His Holiness the Dalai Lama!) :-)

In addition, the kind folks at the AHF have generously offered to donate the book
Himalaya to my sponsor who makes the largest donation (who will also receive a prize/award/thank you gift from me!) The book is about 250 pages, hardcover, and filled with great color photos and essays about the people and issues of the Himalayan region.

I've noticed that several of my fellow bloggers have set pledge goals for themselves, so I decided to do the same. My goal is a lofty one, but hey, I'm blogging about the Himalaya! If you can't do lofty there, where can you? ;-) My goal is to try to raise $695, which according to the AHF "is enough to purchase materials for two greenhouses for Tibetan refugees, who will build them, feed their families and sell extra produce for income." Seems like a perfect goal for a vegan high-altitude gardener who has long campaigned for a greenhouse of her own! :-)

I'll try to post and email reminders when the time comes, but the AHF folks have also asked that when my sponsors submit their donations following the blogathon, they either write in the comment field of the online donation form or annotate on their check that they were my sponsors in the blogathon.

I've got a lot to do between now and Saturday morning (and won't be home on Friday), so I won't be able to post here till next week. So please check
my Shambhala blog for updates and information, and visit me during the blogathon, where I'll be blogging about various things Himalayan, posting photos and conducting polls, and when I run out of those I'll just blog about my own mundane life, as usual. :-)

And if you can, please oh please oh please

Click to Sponsor Me!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Taking the plunge


Well, here's reason #89,452 that it's a good thing I'm not in politics: I would definitely be accused of "flip-flopping!" :-) Two days ago I was 98% sure I
was going to participate as a blogger in the Blogathon. Then I had a bout of insomnia (may it revisit me on Saturday night, o Morpheus!) and felt like kaka yesterday, in addition to feeling overwhelmed by my "to do" list, so I was 100% certain that being a blogathoner was not a good idea. Then I got a good night's sleep and got a few things on the hideous list accomplished, and so today I took the plunge, and I'm now committed (or maybe I just should be!) and officially registered.

So, let the marathon blogging and shameless begging begin! :-)


Blogathon

I've created a new blog specifically for this, called Shambhala, and I'm raising money for The American Himalayan Foundation, which provides education, healthcare, wildlife protection, and cultural & environmental preservation in the Himalayan region.

I had a hard time choosing a charity, there are so many that I love and that we've been long-time supporters of, so I came up with some criteria to winnow down my list. I wanted one that: wasn't that well known so it could hopefully get some attention; no one else was blogging for; has an excellent rating from
Charity Navigator; and doesn't have a minimum donation requirement. After all that, my list was narrowed down to three, and it was my personal connection to AHF that broke the tie. I went to college at the University of New Hampshire with AHF's vice president, Norbu Tenzing (son of Tenzing Norgay who, with Sir Edmund Hillary, first summitted Mt. Everest.) Norbu was a sophomore when I was a senior, and we lived together in the International dorm. Well, not together together! (Oh, you know what I mean!) :-)

Anyway, I hope you'll visit the AHF web site and my Shambhala blog, and if you would like to and are able to, I'd love to have you sponsor me! You can sponsor my blog before or during the blogathon and for any amount. Automatic reminders are sent out after the blogathon to all sponsors, and pledges are made by the sponsors directly to the charity through their online donation form or by check (not to me or to Blogathon). All donors to AHF will receive their newsletter, donations over $20 receive a thank you/acknowledgment for tax purposes (smaller donations receive one upon request), and donations of $100 or more receive an AHF t-shirt. In addition, I'll be awarding prizes to my sponsors, though I'm still working out the details! I'm thinking my first pledge and my biggest pledge (excluding family members) will receive thank-you gifts for sure (with a Himalayan theme), and maybe my favorite sponsor-commenter will as well. Which reminds me, whether or not you wish to sponsor me, I hope you'll be able to leave me comments on my blog during the 'thon, to help keep me company! :-)

I seriously doubt I'll make it the entire 24 hours, but I shall do my best. It's all any of us can ever do! :-)

Thanks for listening! I must skeedaddle, as we have a huge thunderstorm overhead that's threatening to knock me offline. (The high today was 102º, the high tomorrow will be in the low 80's, so you know there will be some righteous thunderboomers in between!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blogathon 2007



My thanks to "rift" for bringing Blogathon to my attention through a Care2 post the other day. Guess I'm too new at blogging ~ I'd never heard of it! But now...

I'm a Blogathon Sponsor!

Participating bloggers agree to post to their blogs every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight, each blogger raising donations for a charity of their choice by collecting sponsors. The donations are made by the sponsor through an online contribution directly to the charity after the blogathon. It all starts next Saturday morning, July 28th. We're currently sponsoring rift's blog, LeafShadows, blogging for Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, and Sally's blog Living Without Meat, who is blogging for Farm Sanctuary. It all sounds like great fun, and I'm going to stay up as late as possible to keep "my" bloggers company and read their posts. I'm also considering becoming a 24-hour blogger myself, though I can pretty much guarantee I'll crash and burn long before the 24 hour mark! Staying up after 11 pm usually exacts a heavy physical toll anymore, but even in my college days I had an awful time pulling all-nighters and suffered various adverse effects the next day. The morning after my first all-nighter my freshman year I was in a communications class when suddenly, for absolutely no reason, I just burst into tears and couldn't stop crying! (I was deeply mortified, but that did nothing to turn off the waterworks.) So if I do become a blogathoner, I'll be easy to spot... I'll be the one weeping uncontrollably! Anyway, I'll keep you "posted" (harhar) on my decision, and if I join I will of course crassly beg you all to sponsor me. ;-)


Hauling Hay with "Haybale Willie"


Sheesh, it didn't cool down at all till the sun set last night, so we mostly loaded hay in the dark. Hence, no photos! So here are a few from our hay-hauling expedition three years ago to the day. Everything looks about the same, just browner after all this heat. Sweet Willow has, if anything, only gotten cuter! :-)




Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cloud-Gazers, Unite!


This is for you, Spud! (And my other fellow cloud-gazers!) :-)
Cloud Watching
Cloud Watching by Harriet Peck Taylor

I love Harriet's colorful artwork, always full of cute critters doing cute stuff! I have a couple of organic cotton tshirts featuring her designs that I got from the
Jim Morris Environmental T-Shirt Company (the source of this image).

Gonna be 102º here today ~ a record high ~ so guess what we're going to be doing? Hauling hay! Brilliant. We have no choice... it's going to be just as hot tomorrow (and every day next week, ugh!), Mocha's gotta eat this winter, and the guy we buy our hay from is always antsy to have us come get it out of his pasture the day it's baled. We'll wait till later this evening when it has (we hope) cooled off substantially. We usually take Willow with us (Tess and Josie, bless their hearts, require far too much adult supervision during adventures!), so if it's cool enough to take her and I remember to take my camera, I'll try to take a photo worth posting.

May intriguing clouds dance across your skies today! (I think this one looks like a hangglider... what do
you think?)


Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Wild Rose for Merima :-)



For your sweet Wild Rose story (and beautiful accompanying photo), for the inspiration your lovely Mayday blog gave me to start my own, and for being such a thoroughly delightful, thoughtful friend, this wild rose is for you! :-) Be well, dear Merima!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm melting... MMMELLllltiinnggg...


Ah do declayah, it's HOT out thayah!


And humid too, which is unusual for these parts, where the temps often hover around 100º but with dry-as-a-bone humidity which makes it more bearable. I can't handle muggy! I've been outside watering the trees & lilacs, but now I'm headed for the shady patio to continue reading A Thousand Splendid Suns (the title goes well with our temps!). But first I thought I'd share a few summery photos.

Here's where I hang out when it gets too hot for anything but a siesta (it's where I do a lot of my reading, too!) The hammock's usually in the shade, but I took this photo last week when our temps were cool and it felt good to lay in the sunshine! (Hard to imagine that now!)


And here's Willow's preferred hangout, where she can enjoy the cool of the basement while watching the chipmunks cavort on the patio...


Here's how our garden's looking lately! We've been enjoying lettuce and herbs for a while, but we enjoyed our first Swiss chard over the weekend and I picked our first zucchini yesterday. (Now if only the tomatoes would hurry the hell up!!)...


That does it for me, I'm off to log some hammock time! (Though this looks even more appealing!)...


Ya'll stay cool! :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Juicer & Wheatgrass Crop




We finally bought a new juicer (after talking about it for a few years!), and now that we've made three batches of juice with it, I figure I am qualified to blog about it. ;-)

If you've ever shopped for one, you know the array of juicers is dizzying to say the least, and some of the prices are stratospheric (is that a word?) :-) But after doing our homework we opted for simplicity by getting the
Tribest Manual Zstar Juicer...
We liked its affordability and the fact it's portable, doesn't use electricity, is quiet and easy to clean, and can juice most fruits, vegetables and wheatgrass. We understand it can also make nut butters but we have yet to try that function! (We got ours through Amazon.com).

So then we
grew a nice crop of wheatgrass...


... and last weekend we harvested some for the first time, and juiced it along with some apples, carrots, spinach greens from our garden, cucumbers, oranges and a lime. The "recipe" was our own invention. :-) I must admit, it was a fairly noxious shade of green, but it smelled really good and it tasted delicious! Perfect sweetness, really fresh, and no one ingredient overpowered another. We drank a lot of it right away and then refrigerated the rest and drank it during the next 48 hours, and it was just as good by that last day. (Jane was rewarded with the very special treat of the leftover pulp, and there was much loud lipsmacking!)



Enjoy a happy and lucky (or happy-go-lucky!) Friday the 13th and a great weekend!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Clouds

I just love interesting clouds, so it follows that I also love to photograph interesting clouds! I took this one of a nearby thunderstorm from the deck last evening...


And as is so often the case, where seemingly unrelated events and topics blend into one another in serendipitous ways, last evening I also caught the final part of a wonderful PBS show called "Garden Insects." The film was made by an organic gardener named Chris Korrow. This morning I did a Good Search for his film company, Breathe Deep Productions. I had no luck finding it but I did find several references to Chris, including a link to a poem he'd written about clouds posted by The Cloud Appreciation Society! Who knew? Located in London, they boast more than 8,700 members (including one sky-gazing canine) and share some breathtaking cloud photos!
And now, in honor of clouds, and because I haven't shared any in a while, here are not one but two lovely quotes (and two more cloud photos from my archives)... :-)

The fear that was on me so long was gone,
and when thunder clouds appeared
I was always glad to see them,
for they came as relatives now to visit me.
~Black Elk


Clouds come floating into my life,
No longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Peanut


Thought I'd better give the guys equal time, and Peanut was happy to pose for some "GQ" shots yesterday morning! We've known Peanut since he was a new fawn, and he's just as sweet as he is handsome...


This is one of my favorite photos of Peanut (taken about 2 years ago), getting a kiss from little brother Hodie. Hodie and Peanut still hang out together... Peanut's always been a great babysitter and a wonderful big brother! :-)


Monday, July 2, 2007

Baby Announcement!



Speaking of visitors, I was wondering which of the several subjects I have rattling around in my head I was going to blog about today when Jane Doe made that decision an easy one! She brought her new twin fawns up to our living room window this morning to introduce them. :-) One skittered off before I could get outside with my camera, but the other one was a sweetly cooperative and adorably photogenic model. But don't take my word for it... check out the baby pictures!



And here's a cute one of Jane standing in the garage doorway...



In other news...

It's bloody hot here today; Mocha got his hooves trimmed this morning; today is my friend Ajit's birthday (Happy Birthday, Ajit!); BW returned to work after a week of vacation (waaaaa); and I'm about to head upstairs to make some creamy cilantro tofu dressing, a new recipe I found last night. Sounds wonderful and I've got some cilantro ready to harvest (along with lots of lettuce), so if it's as good as it sounds, I'll post it here! :-)

And two more items to pass along... Farm Sanctuary has rescued some "fois gras" ducks and needs contributions to help with their care. And Environmental Defense has a donor who's matching every dollar donated until midnight July 7th with two dollars of his own, so if you'd like to contribute to their work, now's a great time to do it and triple your donation! Links to both organizations can be found on my "Good Karma" list. Thankee!

And in case I don't have time to post again in the next couple of days, here's wishing you a safe and happy Fourth!

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"