6.23.2017

The Heat Dome


Yesterday during On Point on NPR with Tom Ashbrook (June 22, 2017) there was a fantastic discussion of the Heat Dome that has settled over the South West - with temperatures in the 125+ degrees. One man who works at the airport was working in 118 degree heat overhead and the tarmac was a stifling 180 degrees! The discussion of Climate Change has been going on for awhile, but this program was interesting because it suggested solutions that we will all have to become more aware of as time goes on. From shaded areas, which you are finally seeing more and more of in places like Las Vegas - but are also needed everywhere. It was a great discussion with Charles Redman in particular, he runs the School for Sustainability for Arizona State University, his second moniker is even more interesting: Professor at ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change - how's that for an interesting title, I don't even know this guy and I like him. 

It's something that I put a lot of stock into and I think many people overlook - SHADE! I use it throughout our home and I know my family thinks I'm nuts but I have a system to keep us cool and we don't have AC. It's a series of open windows, shades, etc... The most important planning when building a home is placement of your home with regards to the sun and placement of windows and overhangs (how large or small is the overhang). Watch how cool air moves through your home and use it to keep your home cool without AC. Find the cool breeze and help it to move through your home. For instance in the morning there is almost always a cool breeze at our front door which lasts until about noon or just after, as soon as the sun hits that area I shut the door. 

Your biggest helper is SHADE - our school PTO raises money year after year, and year after year I suggest trees around the playground so that there is shade on the playground, year after year everyone laughs at me - and then we end up buying more technology for the school - it's frustrating but one of these days someone is going to listen and think it's a good idea. Parking lots, why can't they have trees!? It drives me NUTS!

It's a great discussion and I for one, am happy that people are starting to think about these things. It was good to hear this program - some interesting conversations were started.

here is the link to listen to the show on NPR
and type "solar" into my search to find more things I have posted on this subject - this is not a new obsession for me, I'm constantly having this conversation.

Many Moons - only a few left!


In case you haven't ordered your new Many Moons workbook for July - December 2017 I hope you can get in there and order, I just have a few left - and when they are gone, they are gone! These books have helped my journey to inner peace with myself and also navigating my way through this seemingly crazy time that we are experiencing with lots of negativity surrounding us. It has helped to put me in a peaceful space, set goals for my work and open new paths that I only dreamed about before. I found a way to be more active in my decisions and this all came about with the help of these workbooks! They are written in the most familiar and inviting way (I've grown to love the typos). She asks questions that help you to reflect on your personal path - but I happen to like her suggestions, they are the best!

Many Moons is written by a collaboration of people under the name "Modern Women". Sarah Faith Gottesdiener brings together this great group of collaborators who help to bring a diverse amount of information and a wealth of knowledge.

Find the books on my website here

6.17.2017

furniture :: kalon and finishes for wood


Kalon is one of my favorite furniture makers and recently they posted an article in their journal about wood and their finishes. I remember when we built our home and I struggled with our builder because I wanted everything unfinished. I told him that my families home in Sweden has pine floors that have never had a finish on them - let's just say we fought about it for a long time (I won! - most of the time). I think that coating beautiful wood with poly wax or whatever is a bit ridiculous and totally oversold by an industry of... well whatever... paint!

caravan crib turned into a cute day-bed!

In this article by Kalon they explain why they finish some things, and not others... thank you for explaining it! and it makes total sense, and no you do not need to finish everything! But... you do need to sometimes, but NOT all the time! There is nothing more beautiful than the natural grain of wood and their furniture shows off just that... the gorgeous wood, oh, and yes it's functional. Their furniture grows up with your kids (and doesn't need to be thrown, sold or given away), it's simplicity means that it can meld with whatever style is in your home and it won't change your entire personality. You adorn IT they way you want or you can leave it alone - it's your choice. OH and they sell organic mattresses to go with your beautiful kalon bed!

finishers used in NATURAL finishing - oil-wax and hemp oil!

Oops, I went off task there (look at their website, you will LOVe everything)... In this article you will find how to finish your pieces, what is best for what wood, natural finishers (!!) and the how-to of it all. So you can make your own decisions, don't let someone tell you that you need to put toxic finishers on your beautiful solid non-toxic wood! Here, Kalon explains natural vs. synthetic finishes:

Natural vs. Synthetic Finishes

Solid wood is a living, breathing material that responds to its environment. This is also true for the solid brass used in the custom drawer pulls and feet. We coat these materials with natural, live finishes as opposed to synthetic, poly finishes because of the way they reveal the natural beauty of the materials and allow them to continue to breathe and patina. Polyurethane may preserve the look of raw wood, but it encases it in a plastic coating that freezes the piece in time. It allows for less frequent maintenance, but damage means that the piece must be completely stripped and refinished. A natural oil and wax finish requires more regular care, but any damage can be spot repaired with light sanding and oiling.

 But don't try this on your Ikea furniture :)

visit the Kalon website here
link to article on finishes here

caravan crib by Kalon

Education at Sea :: Oliver Hazzard Perry


If you are thinking that a cruise is not for you, well maybe the Oliver Hazzard Perry is your answer. The name Commodore Oliver Hazzard Perry is a familiar for anyone in Rhode Island, it's the name for one of our most traveled roads here in the South County, but did you know that he led us to victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. His namesake ship is now in port at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. It is the first ocean-going, full-rigged ship to be built in the United States in over 100 years.

Here ends your history lesson, this amazing ship takes 32 trainees and 17 professional crew members as a 'sailing school vessel' on a voyage that leaves from Newport or Boston up to Nova Scotia (there is also a shorter legs available). But don't think you will be kicking back and laying around this ship... On the Oliver Hazzard Perry you will take on the duties of any sailor. This ship doesn't take passengers, everyone has a role - which includes working the sails (crewing), working in the kitchen (galley), and keeping things neat and tidy. Everyone is involved, this program is focused on growth and leadership development for students of all ages.


Get a taste of life on a tall ship! Hands-on, inspiring, innovative learning - experience climbing aloft, hauling lines and being at the helm. This ship is some 200 feet, with 7 miles of rope, 160 belaying pins and 20 sails!


From what I can understand the ship is traveling the seas so you need to check the website to see where it's at and where you could pick up your journey. At the moment they are offering voyages for the summer of 2017, including the eastern seaboard up to Nova Scotia, Canada. There are 7 day legs or 15 day legs of the journey that you can take, this is a non-profit ship and you will be working all the while so accommodations are NOT luxurious. There are two, 16 bed berth with 2 shared bathrooms - which means you are sleeping in a tiny bunk with 16 people! But what a fantastic experience for any teenager (or any age for that matter!).

Get all the information from their wonderful website www.ohpri.org

6.10.2017

Summer Travel and a Solar Eclipse!


You might want to plan your summer travel around the solar eclipse that is going to happen this summer on August 21st. We have not experienced this kind of solar eclipse since 1918! And it won't happen again until April 2024. I know, I know - doesn't it feel like this moon and sun stuff happens all the time? Well yes and no... This does happen but it isn't always visible from the United States, in fact, this eclipse will only be visible by a narrow, 70 mile path, across the country. You can watch the video of the path and where it's going here - the path begins in Oregon and crosses through portions of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina before ending in South Carolina (but check the map to see exactly where it's going to be) and depending on where you are the moon will be covering the sun in a total solar eclipse for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. But remember you cannot watch a SOLAR eclipse without protective eyewear, you can look at the total eclipse with the naked eye, but nothing leading up to it or afterwards - that can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

Should you plan a trip to the Grande Canyon for that very special day... YES! I'm sure you will not be the only one with that idea but what an amazing sight! Apparently at the time of the exact eclipse you can actually see planets and stars! You will also notice a difference in temperature and birds and nature will go quiet. It all sounds very amazing doesn't it. So make your plans early and get yourself in the path of the eclipse. Read more about it on the National Geographic website in an article by Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, who is the author of Star Trek: The Official Guide to Our Universe and host of NG Live! Mankind to Mars presentations. He writes a wonderfully detailed article with all the facts and additional photos. It also includes a map for the path of the eclipse. If you are not in the path of the eclipse you may see a partial, depending on where you are in the country.

It's all very exciting isn't it!