Archive for August 31, 2015

Cooking Dinner for the Garbage Can

Tonight, cook dinner and throw away 1/3 before you serve it to your family.  Sounds not only wasteful but downright stupid, doesn’t it?  However, that’s the amount of the food that we grow in our world that goes to waste.  And yet there is famine, hunger, and food insecurity among children while our landfills overflow.

Supermarkets put out only the perfect produce for us to buy.  They know that we won’t pay their prices for misshapen vegetables or fruit that has a slight bruise. Not that we get the chance to buy it, because stores toss it out, even though it tastes the same and is just as nutritious.  After all, it’s all grown the same, in dirt or dangling from buggy trees.

I like the idea of a Canadian company who is packaging its appropriately named  “No Name Naturally Imperfect” produce.  These fruits and veggies can sell to markets cheaper, and markets can sell to us for less.  In fact, Raley’s Nob Hill has announced that they’ll do just that in the near future.

I’ll be in line to buy it.  I like saving money, getting a bargain, and eating apples that aren’t perfectly rounded or a shiny uniform color.  Who knows?  I might even learn to eat healthy.




See the Light

Do you light your garden or pathway?  Solar powered lights save energy AND can be used for light inside the house during a power outage.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-book seller.]

It’s True–It IS the Best Medicine

Laughter Really Is Good Medicine.

Scientists at Oxford did six studies—five in the lab and one in the field—to see if that old saw “laughter is the best medicine” has any truth to it.  They studied what they call “social laughter,” which happens when we’re relaxed and in a group, which allows it to be contagious, and laughter when a person is simply watching a funny video.

Their results show that laughter releases those feel-good endorphins and help control pain and stress and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  In addition, 40 calories can be burned just by laughing for 10-15 minutes a day.

You can read more about this by going to a New York Times article, “Scientists Hint at Why Laughter Feels So Good.”

Or Huffington Post’s “New Study Proves that Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine.

So, are you feeling stressed out today, especially over your cholesterol levels or having some nagging pain?  Have a good laugh.

Hope for People with Alzheimer’s

Although teenage music may drive you up a tree, if you have Alzheimer’s–even late stage–the right music can do wonders for you.  It can stimulate your memory, make you active or quiet you down, redirect your attention when you become agitated, and lead you to situations in which you feel comfortable with the human touch.

Read the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s fascinating article, Education and Care/Music.  It gives hope to anyone who has a loved one suffering from not only Alzheimer’s but any form of dementia.


Getting Out of Being on a Jury

How can I get out of it?!

That’s a common first reaction when someone opens a notice to appear for jury duty.  After all, we figure, aren’t we told “Judge not, lest you be judged”?  Does that mean, though, that we should leave a person’s future in the hands of those who actually resent being there or feel they have nothing better to do?  Would we want them to pass judgment on us or on our loved one accused of a crime? We’ve been given intelligence and compassion, which we should use to fight inequality, manipulation, discrimination, and exploitation—all of which often appear in our good, yet flawed,  justice system.

It takes only one individual to lead the rest of the jurors to the truth of “guilty” or “not guilty.”  If you aren’t there, who will stand up for the American principle of a truly fair and just trial?




A Day to Waffle

Hey, it’s Monday.  Let’s start our week with some silliness.  Or at least a hot, syrupy waffle.  After all, today is National Waffle Day, celebrating the day in 1869 when a patent was granted to Cornelius Swarthout from Troy, New York, for his waffle-baking device.  Back then, it was a simple covered griddle that had to be flipped on the coal stove.  A far cry from our modern electric device.

While you munch, here’s a short history lesson from Mr.

13th Century A.C. – Ancient Greeks cook flat cakes between two metal plates. These early waffles were called obleios and were primarily savory in nature, prepared with cheeses and herbs.

1620 – The pilgrims bring Dutch “wafles” to America.

1735 – The word “waffle” – with two “f”s – appears in English print for the first time.

Late 1800s – Thomas Jefferson returns to the U.S. from France with a long handled, patterned waffle iron.

1869 – Cornelius Swarthout patents the first U.S. Waffle Iron.

1953 – Frank Dorsa’s Eggo Frozen Waffles are sold in Supermarkets for the first time.

1964-65 – Brussels restaurateur Maurice Vermersch brings his wife’s Brussels Waffle recipe to the World’s Fair in New York. The fluffy yeast-infused waffle becomes a huge hit and becomes known as the Belgium waffle.

[Next time you’re asked your opinion on this breakfast treat, give a straight answer—without waffling.]



Help Furry Orphans

You’ve already donated your old pillows, blankets, and towels to the orphaned furry ones.  Did you know that many animal shelters can also use pet food, cleaning supplies, plastic bags, and gloves?  Drop off these items to your local shelter, and take a peek at the orphans.  Be careful about looking into those little soulful eyes, though, or you may not go home alone–which isn’t a bad idea.

Leaf 6

[For more easy, money-saving, earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-book seller.]

Help Save a Life

[This is a plea from Susan Sarandon.  I think it’s important enough to get the word out to as many people as possible.]

Sister Helen Prejean, who I played in “Dead Man Walking,” is fighting her every waking hour to save an innocent man Oklahoma plans to execute in just 26 days. We need your help—and we need it right now.

Sign our petition asking Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to stop the execution of Richard Glossip.

Richard is scheduled to be executed on September 16. He was convicted of murder solely on the testimony of Justin Sneed, who confessed to the murder but claimed Richard had hired him to do it—even though there is not a shred of physical evidence to support his claim. By implicating Richard, Sneed avoided the death penalty himself and is serving a life sentence in a medium-security prison.1

Ten men on death row in Oklahoma have been exonerated in the past 35 years, four of them convicted based on the false testimony of criminals who had their sentences reduced in exchange for their testimony.2

Despite this, Gov. Fallin has said the state will go ahead with the execution.3 Our only hope is that a groundswell of public outrage forces the governor to issue a 60-day reprieve—giving Richard’s pro bono lawyers time to prove his innocence.

Add your voice to help save an innocent man’s life. Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends right away.

Sneed’s own daughter wrote to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board last October that she “strongly believe[s]” Richard is innocent. “For a couple of years now, my father has been talking to me about recanting his original testimony,” she wrote. “I feel his conscience is getting to him.”4

Decades of research and investigations show that the death penalty is discriminatory and is used disproportionately against people who are low-income (like Richard), and Black, and in cases where the victim is white.5

As Reverend Adam Leathers of Oklahoma City said, “Sixty days is a small price to pay to avoid killing an innocent man.”6

Thanks for all you do.

–Susan Sarandon


1. “Save Richard Glossip!” Ministry Against the Death Penalty, accessed August 7, 2015

2. “What Happened in Room 102: Oklahoma Prepares to Execute Richard Glossip,” The Intercept, July 9, 2015

3. “Fallin says state is prepared ‘to hold [Richard Glossip] accountable,’ activists plead for his life,” The City Sentinel, August 10, 2015

4. “Clemency letter from O’Ryan Justine Sneed,” Scribd, October 23, 2014

5. “Death Penalty 101,” American Civil Liberties Union, accessed August 14, 2015

6. “Fallin says state is prepared ‘to hold [Richard Glossip] accountable,’ activists plead for his life,” The City Sentinel, August 10, 2015



Julian Bond: The World’s Loss

The world lost a force for good last Saturday, when Julian Bond died.  For those of you who don’t recognize his name, he was  a civil rights activist, former NAACP chairman, educator, politician, and leader.  Many people disagreed with his stand against the Vietnam war and against discrimination, but he lived according to his conscious.  An interesting note is that he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives but, because he was Black, was not allowed to serve until after taking his case to the the Supreme Court and winning.

It’s only appropriate, then, that today’s Thursday Thought comes from him:



How Prop. 13 is Harming California

No, I’m not talking about Grandma’s home, which, thanks to Prop. 13, is secure even though she’s on limited income.  I’m talking about how corporations are benefiting from that 1978 proposition while small businesses and the rest of us are suffering with greatly decreased public services, including education.

Robert Reich has a short, yet clear, explanation of what is happening.  It’s worth the three minutes it will take you to view it.

Do you have a statute like California’w Proposition 13 in your state?

Go to Make It Fair California —