Glimmers of Hope

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I think of myself as a “glass half full” kind of person. I try to stay positive, focus on the good things, and spread optimism. But, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been pretty hard to do that with the state of our country – and world – lately. Especially when it comes to the environment and climate change. Headlines like 23 Environmental Rules Rolled Back in Trump’s First 100 Days , Looming Floods, Threatened Cities , Sea level rise will double coastal flood risk worldwide are the new norm. And it’s pretty overwhelming.

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The Art of Gift Giving

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Children’s birthday gift wrapped in left over fabric and scrap yarn pom pom.

With Mother’s Day approaching I have been reflecting a lot about giving gifts. As we move more and more towards a life with less things its hard to justify giving “things” to others. However I do feel there is something special about giving something to someone you care about and experiencing the joy it brings them. There has to be a responsible way to do this. I find that living “zero waste” or adopting our principles isn’t necessarily limiting, though it takes more research in the beginning and certainly more creativity I don’t feel limited. My outlook towards gifts is not necessarily the same. It seems ridiculous when a person who is taking trunk fulls for donation pops in to buy something for someone just because a holiday. How can we keep the “art of gift giving” without depleting the earth of it precious resources? Continue reading

Read for a Change

Reading to my kids is a favorite part of the day. I love to overstuff my daughter’s rocking chair with our bodies, snuggled together under a cozy quilt my mom made or a dear friend knitted, their heads still damp from the bath at nose height so I can deeply inhale the sweet smell from their scalps. Each one chooses a book, and the parent reading that night gets to choose another. That way, a new book taps into the rotation to break up the pleasant monotony of Goodnight Moon or Green Eggs and Ham that often plays on repeat.IMG_0056 Continue reading

Urge to Purge

Do you sometimes get the feeling you are drowning in stuff? Do you spend a good amount of time organizing? Dusting? Or shuffling stuff from one spot to another? I do. I sometimes feel like I can never find an end in sight. Lately its as if a little birdie has been whispering in my ear urging me to purge. Is it the pregnancy (yes I am)? Is it spring? Or is this new outlook on life this challenge has given me?  Continue reading

A Letter from Dianne Feinstein

Slowly but surely, the time is passing and we have nearly 100 days behind us. Sigh.The hubby, in an effort to appease my desperate pleas to write to somebody about something, spent time thoughtfully drafting a letter to one of our representatives. He researched what he wanted to say, and even read up on how to write an effective political letter. His letter made me swoon with pride in him, and I fell even more in love with the intelligent, kind, caring, and upstanding man that I married almost 10 years ago and with whom I chose to make a family. I think there is something to be said about a real snail-mail letter to a representative. There are a multitude of ways to connect these days, especially from behind a screen. Easy, quick, copy and paste, touch-screen clicking, social media and apps for just about anything. I don’t know much about communicating with my representatives, but I figure that since they are human just like me, they wouldn’t appreciate a bunch of semi-mindless clicks as much as a stamped, sealed, and delivered heartfelt letter from a real person with a pulse. Here is the response the letter received. Weather you chose to email, tweet, attend a town hall, or write a letter, please take the time to contact your elected officials about issues that are important to you.

 

Dear Brett and Mellissa:

Thank you for writing to express your concern about our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and share your support for expanding the use of renewable energy. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I agree that in order to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, protect our environment, and increase our energy independence, the United States must take swift action to invest in the infrastructure and workforce necessary to make a permanent shift toward renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

I believe that the carbon content of our fuel supply must be decreased by substituting fossil fuels with lower carbon fuels – such as biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, hydrogen, and electricity – and I have consistently supported efforts to promote such fuels and increase the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources.

For many years, I have worked to revise the tax code to incentivize renewable energy production.  On numerous occasions, I have voted to extend and expand federal tax incentives for the production of wind, geothermal, and other forms of renewable electricity.  Extending business and residential solar investment tax credits as well as the clean energy production tax credit is critical to the economic viability of renewable energy projects.  I strongly support the renewable electricity production tax credit (Internal Revenue Code Section 45), the solar energy investment tax credit (Internal Revenue Code Section 48), and other efforts to increase the production of renewable energy in the United States.

Please know that I share your support for expanding the use of renewable energy.  I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as I continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to advocate for clean energy.

Again, thank you for writing.  If you have any further questions or comments, please contact my office in Washington, D.C., at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at http://feinstein.senate.gov.  Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Three Things You Can Do Today – In the Garden!

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My pollinator garden is taking off this year with all the rain!

Spring has sprung! In between this rainy winter and spring I find myself itching to get my hands dirty. Even enjoying a good weed pull every now and then, which if you saw my front yard you’d think I’d need to do more of. With all this time spent amongst the buzzing bees and lush plants it has me reflecting how not so green the garden is, well how not so green some gardens can be. Here I thought I would direct three things you can do today over to your garden for a a very appropriate change.  Continue reading