Sunday, September 25, 2011

Social Consciousness, Developing Empathy.

Hubby and I have been on a path lately. Sometimes it feels like a warpath because of the amount of friction that any amount of mind and habit changing incurs, but mostly it's a path towards peace and love. (Well, we HOPE anyway!) It was really unintended, this new way we're walking, and it all started with our garden and our food.

We've been trying to instill a broader social conscience in our kids. They have so much and lately it seems like they are taking it all for granted. (not appreciating good, healthy food, misuse of belongings and abuse of privileges.) So, we've been talking about other kids in other lands that don't have even the simplest of the things that we think are rights, like clean water and food. As with most things I teach the kids, visual references are key, so we YouTubed a few videos that illustrated the hardships that most of the world has to bear. The lesson was meant for the boys, but all of us were moved and I cried myself to sleep Friday night, wondering what we could do to help the world and hoping for direction of some sort to come to me in my sleep.

So, yesterday morning as we were attempting to clear the front jungle--I mean MOW THE LAWN-- a neighbor came by to collect cans for the local Food Bank. Since we've gone Paleo and won't be going back, much of our very large "Apocalypse Now" non-Paleo food storage items were nearing their expiration dates. Husband called a meeting of the minds and after careful and thoughtful consideration over the course of 35 seconds we decided to donate a good two-thirds of our non-Paleo items. (I was all for donating everything, but Husband and Boy 1 still have this running thing about a potential Zombie attack, and apparently we'll have a better chance at survival so long as we have superfluous amounts of non-fat dry milk, canned white flour and dehydrated refried beans.) Anyhow, we packed up the food and the kids and drove to the Food Bank and let the boys unload our wares. We explained to them beforehand what we were doing and how this was helping other families in our town. I was proud of our little guys because there was a treasure trove of their old faves (peaches in heavy syrup, hamburger helper, Gushers fruit snacks, cake mixes, etc) that they cheerfully unloaded and donated with their own little hands and nary a wince or sniffle! That's pretty great for a 4 and 7 year old!

On our way home Boy 1 talked about how we could maybe give some of our money to the kids we saw on the YouTube videos. As a family we've now decided to clean out our house and donate all the things that we don't want/ need/have too much of to a yard sale. We will take a portion of the money made there and donate it to charities that we would like to support. So far, we have this one:

Friends of Kingston, A charity established in memory of my little cousin who was taken too early by a very rare auto-immune disorder that, up until 2 days before he passed no one knew he had. X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which is also known as Duncan’s disease, is a rare often fatal disease that affects only boys. To date only about 100 families and 400+ boys have been diagnosed worldwide. It is likely, however, that there are many more cases where the correct diagnosis has not been made. This charity was formed to help families, like my Uncle's, who are affected by XLP.

We'd also like suggestions for a reputable charity that fights hunger/starvation and doesn't re-direct the money they receive. If you know of one, please let me know.

September Nook Look

Holy crap! It's been WAAAY over a month since the last Nook Look update! Let's hop to it and see what I did and didn't do, shall we???

So, I managed to get put away (stash somewhere else) most of the stuff from the last time we looked. Pantry and 1st aid kit were re-stocked, Xmas deco got put in attic (thanks Bill), I took kids to the waterpark one more time before Summer ended and the bills got paid. The 4th of July return was done, by a very patient husband who needs no praise, right babe? LOL. But the dress-up hat, parasols and weekly circulars that I was supposed to make a menu from were all just chucked in the garbage. The hat got shredded by a my little girl who hates hats and loves pink, so a green sun hat was no bueno. And the bulbs got returned to Costco, not planted. I've taken WAY too big a bite out of life lately, so I couldn't handle planting them. To do that would first require that I weed, mow and till the area. Not happening this fall. *sigh* I guess I will have to enjoy beautiful perennial loveliness NEXT next Spring!!!

So, as you can see, I've got a few new pet projects on my plate. There's non-Paleo food returns, charitable donations, a yard sale (100% of the proceeds will be donated to charity) and PTA! Oh, the PTA!!! LOL! It's been a great experience, I just didn't anticipate so MUCH experience! I will fill you all in about that later! But I AM very grateful for the other women who I am serving with this year, they are a great bunch!

OK, so we'll see how my Nook Looks next month, until then, chew on this pic of my partially painted porch. (Partially because there's another coat coming in the next 24-48 hours!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paleo Birthday Cake!

So, since we've gone Paleo this year each of our kids have had a birthday. Girl was the 1st, followed by 1st boy, and finally 2nd boy, yesterday. I made Paleo cupcakes for the girl's birthday, cheated with a flan for the 1st boy's, but yesterday I wanted to make sure 2nd boy didn't feel like the forgotten middle kid, so I went all out. I made a grain free/gluten free/dairy free/sugar free double layer German Chocolate Cake and Paleo Berry Ice Cream (my own recipe for a future blog) for his birthday. It was a big hit, despite all the "frees"!