Take Part in Earth Hour!

“Make an impact beyond the hour. Taking part in Earth Hour isn’t only about committing for one hour on one day – it’s about committing every day to shape a brighter future for people and our planet.”

How will you spend Earth Hour? I’ll probably sit on my balcony and read from an actual paper and cardboard book. And my goal is to work more “Earth hours” into my days, turning everything off for a while. LATER: I certainly enjoyed that time reading and was further entertained by four doves roosting in the tree almost close enough to touch. Beautiful evening. Take care! Becky

Spring Today, Winter Tomorrow?

First Blooms of the Season

This dainty Narcissus on my balcony bloomed for the first time today. Since the temperatures are predicted to plunge again tonight, I decided to take a photo while it was still in good shape!

From “Greek Myths & Greek Mythology”

The Myth Of Narcissus In Modern Life And Art

narcissus-caravaggio

“The myth of Narcissus is known also for one additional reason; the flower Narcissus that is found usually at the banks of rivers and lakes, took its name after the mythical hero. It is a graceful flower featuring 40 different species, mostly grown in Europe. It blooms in early spring and is considered fragile and very beautiful, with white, yellow and pink blossoms.

The Myth of Narcissus has inspired several artists as well; the most known is Caravaggio who painted a young man admiring his reflection in the water.

The painters Turner and Dali were also inspired by the myth, while poets, such as Keats and Housman, used his example in many of their works.

The Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky created several characters with the mentality and loneliness of Narcissus, such as Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin.”

Why Children’s Stories Are a Powerful Tool to Fight Climate Change – YES! Magazine

reading at beach

The children will inherit the environmental situation (mess) we have allowed on our planet, and we must make sure they have the tools to make life-saving decisions! This informative article discusses why children’s literature is so important for them, in addition to the facts of science…

“Stories that move us do so on a personal level and change us from within in ways that facts alone never could. This is especially true of young people, most of whom respond to stories with emotional intensity.”

Source: Why Children’s Stories Are a Powerful Tool to Fight Climate Change – YES! Magazine

Spice is the Key to Eating Less Meat

From Maria Godoy’s Life Kit at NPR

“Trying to eat less meat? Make sure your meat-free meals are just as satisfying by seasoning your vegetables with the same spices you use to cook meat. It will carry some of that flavor over.

Keep your cupboard stocked with spices like cumin, paprika and ginger that enhance any meal. Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and basil can also add a nice touch.

‘If you love Thai, if you love Ethiopian, if you love Caribbean [food] — keep those spices on hand as well,’ says Tracye McQuirter, a public health nutritionist and author.

It turns out you don’t need to become vegetarian or vegan to make an impact on your health or the environment. Just cutting back on your meat consumption can go a long way. You could also try plant-based proteins to fill out a meal, like tofu, cashews, almonds, mushrooms or edamame.

It also helps to think about what your meals are gaining, instead of what they’re lacking.”

Check out the short podcast and link for recipe ideas! ~Becky

A Good Sign from the Mailbox

Even though I no longer have a garden beyond my balcony, I still love receiving that first seed & plant catalog of the new year in the mail. Spring will return…it’s just around the corner! And I like that the pages appear to hold even more selections marked as “container friendly,” which works out well for me. Time to start planning!

And speaking of planning, if you’ve been thinking about including more plant-based foods in your meals, you might want to check out the Meatless Monday Challenge. It’s a free 12-week program that’s set up to assist you in meeting that goal, while you help the environment at the same time!

I look forward to reading all of your blogs in the coming months and wish each of you a healthy and happy 2022!

Fantastic Find at the Bookstore #12: Punch-Out Fun!

Bookstore, used bookstore, used bookstore with ephemera. Good, better, best! I love those used bookstores that carry all sorts of “doo-dads,” and I was ecstatic the day I found this “Tiny Town” punch-out book!

This one is from 1969 when I was already in my teens. But punch-out books were very popular when I was much younger. I have fond memories of pressing out and putting together a castle one time and a giant treehouse another, both on our old card table that looked a lot like the one pictured below.

Although not nearly as challenging as today’s Lego creations, these cardboard activity books offered plenty of fun to punch out the pieces, decide how they all fit together, and then play with the finished product. I’m sure that my older sister, Terri, was our “project director,” since I wasn’t overly patient. I remember lots of tape being involved!

Wikipedia says these books first appeared in the 1930s and that most were published, as this one was, by Whitman Publishing of Racine, Wisconsin. Many of them were based on televisions shows or movies. Maybe you remember these from your childhood, as well? Here are a few other examples found online. Hope you enjoy looking!

Something for Everyone: Plant-Based Holiday Recipes

If you have friends or family over during the holidays, chances are that someone in your group prefers to follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. You’ll want to be sure that there are choices to please everyone. Check out Meatless Monday for some great recipe options! I can personally vouch for the “No-Meat Meatloaf” as being very tasty, and I’m eager to try a few more of these offerings, as well. Of course, fresh fruits/veggies and regular or non-dairy cheeses are always easy additions to the table. Enjoy!

My Little Corner of the World

My Balcony in October

The daytime temperatures have finally downgraded from hot to warm, and the nights are so pleasantly cool! Flowers are still blooming but beginning to look a bit spent. I did NOT grow those little pumpkins set on the table but couldn’t resist. Back in the shadows, those are miniature yellow sweet peppers still ripening. I recently planted some garlic (thanks Alanna!) and also some late-season bush beans. I’ll soon take out most of the annuals and plant a variety of small bulb flowers, like grape hyacinths and crocus.

Halloween is almost upon us, and the other holidays follow closely behind. They’ve already started putting the holiday lights up in the Square, in fact. Seems like they just took them down from last season! Time moves much too quickly these days.

Wherever you live and whatever season you are now enjoying, I hope you’re finding pleasant times!