Miracles and Wonders

This is the time of miracles and wonders… Chanukah is all about miracles. Christmas is all about faith, which is all about miracles. When all the children we knew were little, we asked them “why do you light the menorah in the window”? And they all had learned the answer – “because you can”. The greatest miracle is that we live in a place and time where the freedom to worship is writ in stone. The most frightening is that the stone seems more eroded every day. Every day in e-mails spewing hate about muslims and their disregard for human life. Every day in political commentary that “evangelicals” are afraid of a Mormon becoming president because they aren’t “christian”. Every day when increasingly in this country the debate is not about who has the experience, knowledge, intelligence and compassion to run our out of control government but about who has the right faith, or enough faith to be an acceptable president. I am afraid that John Kennedy’s firm belief in the absolute separation of church and state is no longer possible. Sometimes it seems that the popular belief, and that of many of the candidates, is that faith is the only credential. I am afraid that here, as in France, anti-semitism will naturally arise as we become so centered in fundamentalist christianity that we become afraid of and hostile to everything else. So as I light my menorah in the window, I wonder for how many more holidays I will feel unafraid to do so. I wonder if my son will feel unafraid to light his in his future window, and if he is afraid, whether he willl have the courage to do it anyway. And so, in this time of miracles and wonders, the miracle I most pray for is that tolerance and acceptance flourish and that peace on earth prevails.

Useful Links

As noted in my e-book, there are sites that are helpful in various ways if you are trying to “green” your house.
Some sites that might offer solutions to the recycling bin issue are:

http://www.containerstore.com/
http://www.lowes.com/
http://www.amazon.com/

A site with a great review of recycling generally is
http://www.eartheasy.com/

Some good green cleaning product solutions are:

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products have the greatest scents, your whole house will smell wonderful. I use their geranium in my dishwasher and every time you open it you get a floral blast. They are available at: (besides health food markets)

http://www.mrsmeyers.com/
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/

Cost Plus World Market (some of the products, not all at all stores)

Seventh Generation products are extremely effective and are are available at:

Publix supermarkets (and some others regionally)
http://www.seventhgeneration.com/

Method products are available at various stores including:

Target and http://www.target.com/
http://www.methodhome.com/

This is by no means an exhaustive list but I will continue to add to it. As I talk about in my e-book, I prefer to list those items that are very easily available. There are many products that are eco-friendly; some more effective, some less. Many of them are available only in specialty stores, generally health food. If you live in a small or rural area, these may be harder to find. The purpose here is to make it easy enough to inspire.

Useful Links

As noted in my e-book, there are sites that are helpful in various ways if you are trying to “green” your house.
Some sites that might offer solutions to the recycling bin issue are:

http://www.containerstore.com/
http://www.lowes.com/
http://www.amazon.com/

A site with a great review of recycling generally is
http://www.eartheasy.com/

Some good green cleaning product solutions are:

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products have the greatest scents, your whole house will smell wonderful. I use their geranium in my dishwasher and every time you open it you get a floral blast. They are available at: (besides health food markets)

http://www.mrsmeyers.com/
http://www.williams-sonoma.com/

Cost Plus World Market (some of the products, not all at all stores)

Seventh Generation products are extremely effective and are are available at:

Publix supermarkets (and some others regionally)
http://www.seventhgeneration.com/

Method products are available at various stores including:

Target and http://www.target.com/
http://www.methodhome.com/

This is by no means an exhaustive list but I will continue to add to it. As I talk about in my e-book, I prefer to list those items that are very easily available. There are many products that are eco-friendly; some more effective, some less. Many of them are available only in specialty stores, generally health food. If you live in a small or rural area, these may be harder to find. The purpose here is to make it easy enough to inspire.

To Do Lists

Had I thought about it when I was younger, I would have thought that as I got older my to do lists would get shorter. That is a huge laugh. My life is more complicated than ever before and my lists are longer and more labor intensive all the time. I find that I have my own to do list. Then I have my husband’s to do list, which requires me to have a list of what I need to remind him to do. Then I have my son’s to do list, which requires me to have a list of what I need to remind him to do and a list of what I need to remind my husband to remind my son to do! I have a list for work related items, a list for home related items, a list for holiday related items, a list of phone calls I have been meaning to make for the last five years, a list of notes I should have sent and a shopping list which always includes at least ten of the same items. Eggs, bread, milk, gallons of juice, half and half, coffee, things for sandwiches, gatorade, chocolate syrup and kashi bars. This should tell you something about most weekday eating. I even make list of what we are going to eat for the week in the vain hope that someone else will make it. Otherwise, it just means I only have to think about it once, to make the list, and not every day. My husband occasionally offers to do the shopping in an effort to alleviate my burden, making him a list, however, takes longer than the shopping since he is not aware of the recurring items, their brands or sizes. So the whole to do list thing has become somewhat humorous, in my view, because the list takes, generally, as much effort as just doing the things as they occur to you. Of course as I age I have the advantage as I forget the items regularly and if I have no list, I will have less to do as the tasks will occur to me with less and less frequency! So perhaps today I will do away with my to do lists (or perhaps not?)

To Do Lists

Had I thought about it when I was younger, I would have thought that as I got older my to do lists would get shorter. That is a huge laugh. My life is more complicated than ever before and my lists are longer and more labor intensive all the time. I find that I have my own to do list. Then I have my husband’s to do list, which requires me to have a list of what I need to remind him to do. Then I have my son’s to do list, which requires me to have a list of what I need to remind him to do and a list of what I need to remind my husband to remind my son to do! I have a list for work related items, a list for home related items, a list for holiday related items, a list of phone calls I have been meaning to make for the last five years, a list of notes I should have sent and a shopping list which always includes at least ten of the same items. Eggs, bread, milk, gallons of juice, half and half, coffee, things for sandwiches, gatorade, chocolate syrup and kashi bars. This should tell you something about most weekday eating. I even make list of what we are going to eat for the week in the vain hope that someone else will make it. Otherwise, it just means I only have to think about it once, to make the list, and not every day. My husband occasionally offers to do the shopping in an effort to alleviate my burden, making him a list, however, takes longer than the shopping since he is not aware of the recurring items, their brands or sizes. So the whole to do list thing has become somewhat humorous, in my view, because the list takes, generally, as much effort as just doing the things as they occur to you. Of course as I age I have the advantage as I forget the items regularly and if I have no list, I will have less to do as the tasks will occur to me with less and less frequency! So perhaps today I will do away with my to do lists (or perhaps not?)