In My Brain Today: The Value of the Childhood Swing Set

By Leslie Lindsay

[This post originally aired on 5.27.14 on my other site, http://www.speakingofapraxia.com. Repeated here for fun and well, it’s still in my brain].

I don’t know about you, but I have about a million and eight memories on my childhood swingset. Juicy, sticky twin-pops running orange and cheery and grape flavored sugar water down my wrists and puddling in that little space on the other side of my elbow. Of course there was the putting the damn thing together, a project in which I heard my dad curse for the first time, the metal parts lined up a jumble that no man could disentangle.

“Don’t ever say that word,” he cautioned.

“Oh? Okay.” I didn’t even know what gosh-dang-it, or rumpy-pumpy-poo-poo-head meant, but it didn’t sound good. Note to self: don’t put together a swing set lest you’ll spew out words that make no sense.

I recall swinging back and forth on the double-sided glider thing-y and feeling like the whole swing set would pull right out of the ground and topple over because we had two kids and one chunky kid on one side and a single skinny pole-like kid on the other. Balance. All things in balance.

Skipping rungs across the monkey bars did not yield me a monkey, but a cripple. Yes, I twisted down, slapped my forearm on the base of the swing set and–bam–broke my arm. These were the days of heavy plaster casts, mind you and it was the summer I was five. No more swimming or sprinkers for me, and certainly not monkey bars. And when the cast came off, my arm was atrophied, extra-white and smelly. Yes, a lovely dead smell wafted from my monkey arm.

But I got some cool signatures and drawings on that cast, most of them from my parents and Cabbage Patch dolls.

When I was little–really little–I taught myself the ABCs while pumping my teeny cable-knit knee-highs up and down; it was then that I learned lmnop was really one word, onereallylongandsillyword.

Creating a water slide using a hose at the top of the metal and allowing it to rest at the top, the water pouring from the hose down the side of the slide and into the baby pool at the bottom: dumb. The rungs get wet, slick feet do not grip, wedgies ensue. And the ride down: nothing like it was at Wet-Willies.

But here’s the thing: there are a lot of lessons to be learned on the swing set:

  • Life is all about balance
  • And sweet things. Or at least looking for the sweetness as it drips from your blood, sweat, and tears (or, your twinpop)
  • Bad words are bad. They are a disturbing noise to hear from your father’s lips and they are even more disgusting from a child’s.
  • Water makes life delicate. Use with caution.
  • Don’t show off, lest you break a bone and get a smelly arm. And who wants that?!
  • The alphabet is only a series of 26 letters which allows human beings with a properly functioning prefrontal cortex to create an infinite number of words and phrases, stories and songs, and a fantastically satisfying way to express ourselves to the world. And that may be the best lesson of the swing set yet.

That’s it…class dismissed!

[This post inspired by a passage in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (2012). See page 124, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS becomes a movie soon–June 3rd and you can bet I’ll be there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fault_in_Our_Stars, swing set image retrieved from www.paradisoagencies.com on 5.27.14]

 

 

In My Brain Today: All in 7 Days

By Leslie Lindsay In My Brain Today: Random thoughts by Leslie Lindsay

I’m so glad tomorrow’s Friday. Well, kind of. Saturday is my daughter’s BD and then Sunday is recovery day and I won’t have Caribou to do it at. : (  Because, if you are a coffee store nut like me, you’ll know that the Caribou Corporation was bought out by another company who decided to throw the baby out with the bath water.  80 stores closed their doors, leaving 800 employees job-less.  This place was my life.  I know, it sounds really cheesy, but it was a big source of community for me.  (See bullet point about a 1/3 of the way down).

And speaking of bullets, (kind of), what about the Boston bombing.  Tragic.  My heart really goes out to these folks. 

So, here’s what’s going on in this corner of the world: 

  • Huge build-up, let-down, whatever you want to call it with finishing the mss and then going right to conference.
  • Of course, I learned a ton and had fun…but
  • My head is about to explode with new information and
  • I still haven’t had a chance to go through my conference materials.
  • And then the agent I pitched to said ‘no.’
  • Not a big deal really. I will revise and pitch/query some more.
  • Upon return, the house was a mess. Well, not really. Just not up to “Leslie Standards”
  • The weather was nice, so I got inspired to do some spring cleaning. I probably took it too far : )
  • And then Caribou closed. We said 12 years worth of good-byes Sunday and brought home a chair which I plan to get a little plaque engraved “Leslie’s butt sat here for many, many, many hours toiling away on her books.”Write on, Wednesday:  Decontrusting a Novel
  • Oh, and my foot hurts due to plantar fasciatas. Really, really badly. I need a podiatrist but don’t know of anyone.  But I did place a random call to someone today.  Maybe they are good, maybe not. 
  • So I suffer and whine and can’t get to the gym. And then I get fat.
  • My hound dog has emergent eye issues. She spent a very spendy night at a pet hospital. They can’t help her.
  • We go to 1 of 300 Veterinary opthamologists in the entire US and learn she is blind in the right eye.
  • I pay more money to allievate her pain and pick up about 4 different medications I am to administer to her eyeballs 4 times a day. For always.  (Till the hound kicks the bucket, which I am really hoping doesn’t happen anytime soon.  She’s my partner in crime). 
  • Sally (the hound) doesn’t mind, as long as we remember to give her table scraps.
  • But her *vet* minds, Wow–she’s a hefty little thing!” (my eyeroll).Pups and Such 077
  • And then today, the roads are significantly flooded, obstructing nearly all routes into and out of our neighborhood.
  • Water flows like grand rapids in our back yard. We now have lakefront property. It’s muddy and brown and full of bacteria, but who cares? The kids sure as heck don’t as they pull out air mattresses and hockey sticks to go “boating.” Mine just stand around and watch–and wish–they were part of the spectacle. I cancel all evening activities so I can stay home with
  • A screaming banshee of an almost 8yo who was 100% completely disrespectful to her dad when he suggests she choose a game for family game night. “NO! I don’t *want* to.”
  • She threatens to run away from home, getting into the minivan and telling me it would now be her home.
  • Until I have to drive it.
  • When I ask if I can have her BD gifts, she comes inside.

No writing. I’ve barely touched my FB, blog, Twitter, or email. I wonder if it even matters? I think I am making all the difference in the world by sending my thoughts into the world wide web, but in reality, I wonder if it does matter?

Blah.

My  home office is a mess and I don’t want to clean it. I can’t tell you how many papers are piled around me. (school registration, summer camp, special needs at school), I just want to crawl under a rock and stay there for a really long time.

Okay, I ready for Calgon to take me away. 

My hubby says it’s normal to feel like this after a big project is done. I screw my lips and stare at him like he has a third eyeball. “No, really honey…I feel like that at work. It’s hard to dive back into things. You need a break. That’s normal.”

Not me. I’m practically perfect in every way…or says Mary Poppins. I’d like to *think* I am perfect, but alas I am not. (image source: www.starpulse.com)
So, I am going to pull myself together after I’ve had a tub of cookie dough and finish reading something for pleasure. Yay—an accomplishment!!

Tomorrow will be better.

And that is what is in my mind today, Thurday April 18th 2013.

In My Brain Today: Handing out Natural Consequences

By Leslie Lindsay

[Cartoon: Child cleaning rug thinking, "I hate cleaning the rug, it would have been easier to take my shoes off."]

About a week ago, I posted a comment on Facebook which seemed a tad bit controversial.  It was about my views on natural/logical consequences and went something like this:  

“Yesterday, my daughter refused to clean her room.   Instead, she shoved paper and Kleenex in her nightstand drawer.  She had piles–I mean piles–of projects, toys, stuffed animals, etc on her floor, resulting in a fall hazard.  She’d heard our threats–that if she continues to treat her bedroom as a trashcan, we’d take away her trashcan. 

We took the trashcan away. 

Last night, the same daughter refused to eat dinner neatly after several reminders and spilled her dinner all over herself.  She hated the feeling of warm food on her sweater and jeans.  I shrugged and said, “Well, take it off and put it in the laundry room and then come back to the table to finish your meal.”  

We didn’t yell, we didn’t scream.  She did.

As parents, we were employing the idea of “natural consequences.”  It sounds like tough love and maybe it is.  But I will tell you, it’s highly effective. 

We are also parenting a complex child.  At nearly 8years old, Kate is a firery, independent redhead with AD/HD and also recovering from childhood apraxia of speech.  She has a tremendous amout of ingenuity, creativity, and impulsivity.  She has trouble remembering rules and adhearing to social norms (at least at home–at school, I understand she’s a perfect angel).  She’s beautiful and brilliant.  And we love her to pieces. 

So, when we pull out a natural consequence from our hat of parenting tricks, I feel as if we’re being not parents but a magician.  It works.  It’s mysterious, but an illusion it is not.  (image source: http://blog.positivediscipline.com/2012/04/natural-consequences.html)

If you are parenting more than one child, then you know you may need to vary your parenting techniques from child to child.  Sure, they may have the same genetic make-up, they may live under the same roof, and have vaguely the same experiences.  Yet they need different types of discipline.  For our oldest daughter, this is the kind of discipline that is most effective.  (The other one…well, you can just give her a brief look of disappointment and she bursts into tears). 

But back to natural /logical consequences…what is it, exactly you want you to know.  “A consequence is a result of something a person does. Letting children experience the natural or logical consequences of their actions is one way to teach responsibility. A natural consequence means what happens because of something a child does.

“A logical consequence is a result arranged by the parent but logically related to what the child did. Natural and logical consequences result from choices children make about their behavior. In effect, they choose the consequence they experience.” as quoted from the University of Minnesota’s Extension Website   (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/familydevelopment/W00019.html

I first heard of natural/logical consquences as a Child/Adolescent Psychiatric RN at the Mayo Clinic.  We were trained in a program known as The Incredible Years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton.  If you click this link and scroll down to pages 9-11, you will find a good  algorithm to follow with you are thinking of attaching a natural consequence to a behavior. (http://www.incredibleyears.com/Resources/basic-program-handouts-misbehavior-06.pdf

I won’t sit here and say this is easy, far be it.  We all want our kids to be successful.  When they aren’t, we want to step in and fix the problem for them (sure, I’ll bring your lunch to you at school).  Would it have been easier for me to get up and wipe the spilled dinner from my daughter’s sweater, or clean her room myself?  Maybe.  Would I have rather done those things instead of hearing her wail as I scooped the trashcan up and moved it out of the room.  You bet. 

But I know that handing out a natural consequence–one that is not preferred by her–the behavior won’t happen again. 

And that is what is in my brain today, March 7th 2012. 

For more information:

In My Brain Today: Reader’s Choice Finalist

By Leslie Lindsay

It is with great pleasure, awe, and humility that I share fantastic news.  SPEAKING OF APRAXIA:  A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Woodbine House, 2012) has advanced to the finalist stage of the Reader’s Choice Awards by About.com/Terri Mauro, mother and author.  Terri Mauro

(image source: http://specialchildren.about.com/od/readerschoice/tp/Readers-Choice-Favorite-New-Special-needs-Parenting-Book.htm.  Retrieved 2.21.13) 

When I decided to write this book, I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) even was.  I was the one who wanted/needed the book, I certainly didn’t think I could write one!  Published by Woodbine House, a leader in special needs parenting books, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA is currently the only book on the shelves written exclusively on apraxia for parents.  Having the book reach the finalist stage of a nationally-known award is more than a dream come true. 

But I could use  your help.  Just as the award’s name suggests, obtaining the honor of the award is based solely on readers.  So, if you–your child(ren)–or your organization–have been touched by the book, childhood apraxia of speech, any speech disorder, Down’s syndrome, or any other bioneurological disorder, then please take a moment to vote.  It’s really very simple.  Just click on the link below and a mark your ballot for SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.  Readers' Choice Awards Logo

VOTE HERE!! http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2013/02/19/vote-for-favorite-new-special-needs-parenting-book-2.htm

You may be asked to sign-in via Facebook, personal email, or About.com.  You can vote once per day till March 19th.  The book with the most votes WINS.

And since you are curious, I will be honest:  the “prize” is *just* bragging rights.  That’s it.  No money, no personal gain on my part…just a great book that readers like and gain valuable information from. 

Your support and commitment would be much, much appreciated. 

***And that is what is in my brain today, Thurday February 21st 2013***

For more information, and to see the other finalists, look here:  http://specialchildren.about.com/od/readerschoice/tp/Readers-Choice-Favorite-New-Special-needs-Parenting-Book.htm

In My Brain Today: Who Invented Valentine’s Day, Anyway?!

By Leslie Lindsay

This was a question that my 2nd grader posed to me in the school drop-off line this morning.  And it got me thinking…I knew there was a St. Valentine who did…what…good deeds? But of that I wasn’t even sure.   How then, did the day become such a romantic commercialized holiday?  I told her I would do a little research on the subject while she was at school and report back.  (see, this learning thing…it lasts forever).

According to an article by NPR today, the origins of the cute, cozy, lovey holiday can be attributed to the ancient Romans.  Why not?  They seem to have started everything else.  Seems in those very early days of  Roman culture, men would ‘hit on women’ by doing just that–hitting them.  It was a brutal way of saying ‘I love you,’ but well…the theory was beating woman made them more fertile, and after all, populating the empire was of utmost importance. 

In another theory of Roman love, men would pull a woman’s name at random from a jar in a sort of matchmaking lottery.  The couple would then be…uh, hooked up…and if the connection was a good one, well they stayed that way even longer.

How’s that for a Latin lover?

The ancient Romans were also responible for the modern-day moniker of St. Valentine’s Day.  The then-Pope  (let’s not get into that) had a couple of guys executed on February 14th in the 3rd century A.D. both by the name of Valentine.  This supposed marytardom was honored by the Catholic Church.  A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine — one of them, anyway. The Romans executed two men by that name on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.

(A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine — one of them, anyway. The Romans executed two men by that name on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images (Image source: NPR.org)

Later, Shakespeare and Chaucer made the holiday a little more lovey-dovey with their plays and poems and short-stories.  Paper Valentine cards were made and handed out to one’s beloved on the day, thus deeming the day of love in Medieval times. 

Later, in 1913 Hallmark rolled out the first commercialized cards.  Other merchandise soon followed suit…all for own’s suitors. 

As for me, I don’t quite get it.  The daily trivia question at my favorite coffee shop was, “How many married couples will celebrate Valentine’s Day?”  a) 25% b) 50% or c) 65%? 

I answered, 25%.  I was chastised, “Gee Leslie, you gotta have more faith in the institution than that.” 

Oh, really? 

Yes, seems the answer is 65% of all married couples will celebrate Valentines Day.  I think I am lucky if I get a card. 

Nope, I am not bitter.  It’s just that over the years, I have become to realize that love it not about a day.  It’s about the way we conduct our lives everyday, all year.  And so I am off to see the cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie this morning…because a little eye candy will do my Roman Gaelic heart some good.  And then later, I will volunteer my time at the Kindergarten Valentines’ Day Party, because it’s really about sharing our heart for others. 

Happy Valentines’ Day. 

References:

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day

In My Brain Today: Guest Post and Give-a-way: Luca’s Lashes

By Leslie Lindsay

What a fun week!  I am blessed with yet another guest post from author Nicole Fonovich, co-creator of the “Luca Lashes”  a collection of kids’ ebooks and interactive apps – aimed at kids ages 0–4 – that turn“fear of firsts” into fun.

Created by long-time educators and husband/wife team Nicole and Damir Fonovich, the series was inspired by their little boy, Lucas, and their desire to help him be brave in all his childhood discoveries. The newest release is Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor. Other 2012 ebooks cover first swim lesson, airplane ride and first haircut.

Take a look below for a fun Luca Lashes contest! Okay…take it away, Nicole!!

Nicole Anne TortorelloNICOLE FONOVICH, M.Ed, is a tech-savvy mom blazing a new trail in children’s publishing. (image source: http://www.lucalashes.com/t-about.aspx)

“Taking your child to the doctor? Five tips to help them say “Ah” with confidence. Winter is on its way and everyone knows what that means. Not skiing, not hot chocolate, not kissing under the mistletoe. Colder temps bring cold and flu season, sick kids and doctor’s offices. (Cue sniffles and sneezing.) Any self-preserving individual will avoid sick people like the plague. But if you’re the parent of a young child you might not have a choice. Here are five life-changing tips for bringing your sick child to the doctor’s office and surviving the sniffle season ahead.   (image source: http://tracysnook.com/blog/2012/11/26/luca-lashes-visits-the-doctor-guest-post-by-nicole-fonovich/)

1. Avoid it at all costs.  Crying babies, snotty noses, heat-seeking germ missiles that love to embed themselves inside busy working mothers. These are all the things that await you at the doctor’s office. So if you can avoid it, do. The most efficient way is to have your child immunized. This requires some preemptive planning. Go early, the sooner the better. That way you can avoid all the mayhem of bringing a sick child to a doctor’s office full of other sick kids.

2. Choose wisely. When it comes to sticking sharp things into your child’s skin, the friendlier the better. Don’t just settle for the first pediatrician that accepts your health insurance. Look for a doctor who works well with your child’s personality. Ideally it is someone who is great at distractions. “Dear sick little baby, here is a cute, fuzzy little bear.” The needle will be in and out before your baby knows what hit her. Be picky when it comes to your child’s doctor. You’re the one who will end up paying in the car ride home

3. When all else fails…play doctor! So, you’ve done your best. You got your child immunized; you disinfected every surface in your house; you even kept her away from the coughing kid at the playground. But, she still came down with the flu. What’s worse than a sick, irritable kid? A sick kid who is terrified of the doctor. You have no choice. She’s spiked a fever and it’s not coming down. Before you drag baby to the doctor, prepare her for what to expect. Buy a toy doctor kit with things like a stethoscope, shot dispenser, and a fake plastic hammer. She will become familiar with the sites and sounds of the doctor and associate them with fun rather than fear

4. In the waiting room, play some more. Waiting rooms are germy places, and the last thing you want is to get infected yourself or to make your child even sicker. This is where your handy dandy iPad comes in use. It can provide great entertainment and distraction without having to share any germs.

5. Take control for your baby.  Be a model for your child. Project confidence, not fear when at the doctor. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and get all the answers you need. Bring a pen and paper, take notes, and be inquisitive. This helps your child see the doctor as a resource for help and information. There’s no need for nervousness here.

With these tips you can turn a potentially dreadful experience into a lot of fun for your child (and yourself), one that they will be eager to repeat in the future. Regular doctor’s visits will be a piece of cake after this, allowing children to enjoy an important part of a lifetime of health benefits.

Bio: Nicole and Damir Fonovich are co-authors of Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor, available at all app/ebook marketplaces. For more helpful suggestions, visit the Luca Lashes YouTube Channel and LucaLashes.com.

*** Enter the Luca Lashes contest!***

Readers: Comment on the post with your most interesting story of taking your kid(s) to the doctor and you’ll be entered to win a gift pack complete with a toy doctor kit, fun bandaids and a $20 Baskin Robbins gift card for use after their next appointment!  [Comments must be entered into the blog, not Facebook or Twitter] to be considered for the gift pack.  Contest is being facilitated by the author of Luca Lashes, not me.]

In My Brain Today: There’s an App (mag) for That!

By Leslie Lindsay

My daughter is in Brownies.  She wears that brown vest plastered with patches and sings songs about smiles in pockets and friends being the color of precious metals.  She takes hikes and pets snakes at nature preserves.  She loves it. 

She also participates in the fall fundraiser (don’t get me started on fundraisers…that’s a whole other blog post).  Don’t get your hopes up too much: the fall fundraiser is not the infamously tasty cookies.  It’s nuts and magazines.  That’s cool.  Good timing for holiday gift-giving.

So, last weekend my hubby and I sat sipping coffee after a leisurely breakfast (our darling daughters were creating a toy bomb in the basement playroom)–magazine catalog spread on the table.

“Who can we give a magazine gift subscriptions to?” we mused.

Well, let me tell you–a printed publication (I think we used to call those magazines), exists for just about every interest, hobby, age-group, whatever your little heart desires, it’s there.  From Family Handyman to Civil War Chronicals to Bird &  Garden.  Heck, there was even something about guns and gardens…as if those go together.

“We could get this one for your dad!”  I pointed to one on golf.  My hubby nodded his head.  Yeah, so he can keep up with all of the other retirees on the links. 
 
He nudged my elbow, “Hey–what do you think about The Economist for your dad?”  I nodded

And it went on like this  for awhile till  my mean-spirted side took over. (Yep, I’ve got one of those…believe it or not).  My eyes grazed over the magazine entitled, All You.  “Where’s Annoying You?”  I wondered. 

What?!” 

You know, the magzine for mother-in-laws.”  I deadpanned.

Slowly, carefully a grin spread across Jim’s face, “Yeah.  Everyone and their hampster would read it.” 

My eyes grew round, “Yeah…and I could be the editor-in-chief.  Heck, I could write all of the articles…what to do when your mother-in-law drives you bonkers at the next family gathering.”

He sniffed, “How about a quiz: what kind of mother-in-law do you have?  An annoying one?  Yeah…cause they’re all annoying!  How about meddlesome.? Yep.  They would qualilfy for that, too.” 

“How about 10 quips to use the next time your mother-in-law compares you to her own daughter?” 

“Or, what to give your mother-in-law for the holidays…a broom to ride next time she visits…or maybe a gavel…order, order in the court!  Judge Mother-in-Law presiding….” Jim was clearly pleased with himself.  I couldn’t help laughing either (okay, I rolled on the floor tears pouring from my eyes). mother-in-law-from hell

(image source: http://www.babyproofingyourmarriage.com/tag/mother-in-law-interfering/)

“How about  Annoying You magazine,” I countered, once I caught my breath., a little bit of tinkle in my pants.   

And so it done.  A new magazine is born.  And just what would the Brownies say about that?!

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday November 1st 2012. 

In My Brain Today: You are What you Eat…or Do

By Leslie Lindsay

(image source: http://jenuinemarketing.com/2012/07/06/writing-tome/brain-cartoon/)Brain Cartoon

You’ve heard this adage before: “You are what you eat.”  (And if that were the case, I’d be a big ol’ hunk of pumpkin bread and veggie chips from Trader Joes).  BUT have you heard this one: “You are what you do all day?” 

Ohhh…that’s a new one to you, too?  I know the feeling.  Just when I thought I’d heard it all…

And so it got me thinking.  I am what I do all day.  I am.  What. I do.  All day.  In that case, I am a cornucopia of people, careers, and ideas.  Some may call that schizophrenic.  (No comment, please).  From mom to dog-mom and slave-to-my-family, to educator (“you make an ‘m’ like a camel…two big humps”) to housekeeper and  post office girl, and friend, wife, sister, daughter, publicist, author, writer,…sigh…it’s down-right exhausting.  And that really  is really  the tip-of-the-iceburg. 

I want to be a writer who moms, not a mom who writes.  I want to be the size I was when I graduated college again.  You, too?!  I get it. 

But, really when it comes down to it, I won’t let some goofy saying shape who I am or how I see myself.  We are all unique.  We all do a ton of stuff all day, everyday to make the world go ’round.  There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘left’ or ‘best’ way of doing it.  We just do. 

And we do it gladly. 

And we are. 

Who.

We.

Say we are. 

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday October 4th 2012. 

In My Brain Today: I’ve Had It!

By Leslie Lindsay

School may be less than a month old around our house, but it already feels stale.  And school was something we were all looking forward to.  Seems we can’t be happy…summer is too long and intense and now that school is here, well, it’s just too darn hard.  I give up.

Yep–still dealing with my kindergarten student.  You know, the over-eager, super-precocious kid who used to tell me in preschool, “Don’t worry mom, the kids always come back.”  Yeah.  That’s the one who cries at night in bed and tells me how awful kindergarten is and has no appetite for breakfast, clinging instead to me as I bustle about the kitchen packing lunches all while dodging a bird-doggin’ hound.  Of course, since I apparently “gave more attention to Kelly (the kindergartner),” my 2nd grader is all upset, “You love her more!” she threatens. 

Calgon…take me away!! (image retrieved from http://www.makeherup.com/2010/03/22/calgon-take-me-away/ where you can learn more about the history of Calgon, etc. 9.6.12) 

Okay, so then it was off the gym where I blew off a little steam.  Home.  Sort through papers and emails to send a note to the school social worker because I don’t really know what else to do with my little 5-year-old.  Scope-creep.  Because then I spend the next 15 or so minutes sorting through all of the welcome packets from school and then decide, “Hell, this whole area [in the kitchen] needs a re-vamping.” 

The girls’ bathroom is on my to-do list for today.  Okay, it’s been on my list for the last month.  Can I even tell you how icky-grody-gross the toilet was?!  Oh, too much information?!?  Sorry.  Watermelon-scented toothpaste caked the sink and vanity, loose red hairs floated all about, sticking to the ceramic tile.  Out came the Magic Eraser.  Out came the Clorox (bleach-free) wipes…out came the toilet bowl cleaner…and somehow I got a big ol’ bleach stain on my black tee-shirt.  Oh, well…didn’t like that shit shirt much. 

 

It's a dirty job, but you can do it without adding toxins to your home. (Image retrieved from http://www.rodale.com/green-bathroom-cleaning-tips 9.6.12). 

So…nevermind the fact that I would like to do something sorta-kinda productive today.  Nevermind that fact that I feel like a decapitated fowl. 

I’ve had it.

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday September 6th 2012. 

 

In My Brain Today: Gettin’ Green Book Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay

***Be sure to comment on this post to be considered for a FREE copy of the book!***

Growing up, I am sad to say that there wasn’t much in terms of living a greener life.  Sure, there were the “Don’t be a litterbug” signs plastered about, but the big movement of really transforming your life to a greener one really didn’t happen until much later. 

So, when I learned of this new book by Kim Cecchi, I was intrigued.  Getting Green Now:  Tips for a Greener Life Quick hit the shelves in February 2012.  Written by mom, environmentalist, and yoga instructor, you will find plenty of great–and quick–tips in this handy little book.  No worries about drastically changing the way you live, this book is peppered with really snappy little changes that you can adapt in a heartbeat. Product Details(image retrieved from Amazon on 8.2.12)

The book is simple to use.  It’s layed out in sections of your life from “green home” to “beauty” (also includes office, enviroment, recycling, green living).  Just flip to a section where you think you can do better and soak up the tips. 

Here are a few of them: 

  • Tip:  Buy milk in bottles if possible. Why?  Plastic and glass containers can be reused and recycled, waxy cartons cannot. 
  • Tip:  Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every use.  Why?  It conserves energy, saves cash, and reduces fire hazard.  Keeping it clean decreases energy use by 30%. 
  • Tip:  Get rid of ant traps.  Why?  They are poison.  Try hitting affected areas with vinegar (Kim’s favorite), lemon juice, baking soda, cinnamon, or coffee grounds. 

****I really could go on and on about all of the great tips in Getting Green Now, but I will save that for one lucky blog reader.  That’s right:  Kim has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her book.  All you have to do is respond with a quick comment on one thing you do in your life to be a little greener. ***** Good Luck!!

(added 8.3.12 at 6:30pm) Okay…contest is over…and the WINNER IS…Wachusette Region Recycles!  (your name was placed in a bucket and randomally drawn by my basset hound!).  Thanks for sharing your ideas for getting green, Tara A. and Amanda B.! 

(only comments that appear on the blog will be considered for the give-a-way.  You have till Friday, 8.3.12 at 5pm to submit your comment.  Book will be mailed to you at no charge.) 

Here’s mine:   I take home all of my paper and plastic cups that I receive my beverages in, including the coffee sleeve (sometimes I request NO coffee sleeve) and recycle them with my home recycling instead of tossing into the trashcan at the restaurant.  

You may appreciate this story from Scientific American, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2010/03/25/policymakers-take-aim-at-new-recycling-frontier-solid-waste-retailers-and-packaging/

And that is what is in my brain today, Thursday August 2nd 2012.