Monday, January 20, 2014

How to be a Drought resistant family

So you may have heard that Governor Jerry Brown Declared on Friday, January 17 that we in California have a State Drought emergency.  Click here for the LA Times article on this.

 Two years of almost no rainfall has taken its toll on our water supplies making crop shortage and fires a real and present danger.

This mom has lived in this area her entire life and is well acquainted with the drought cycles.  I remember summers where lake Cachuma was closed and our lawns were brown.  The photos of Lake San Antonio I saw last week brought tears to my eyes as it is a puddle now.  Inaction by politicians could be blamed as the average person simply enjoys the warmer weather and does not connect the dots as to what it means in the grand scheme.

However, I think we all have to pay attention to what is going on around us and realize mother nature warned us and for the most part we ignored her.  This family didn't though.  We have not really watered our lawn in a year.  We did water the backyard because I had food producing plants, which fed the local squirrel and rabbit population, much to my irritation.

I will say we were not a good as we should have been.  But now we have been asked to cut 20%.  It's voluntary but this blogger urges you to treat as mandatory as we will face bad consequences as we hit summer.  Here are some ideas to reduce water:

1. Stop watering lawns, best would be to remove the lawn and plant drought resistant landscaping.  That way when the the drought is over water use for your yard will have no need to go up.  Why is this important?  We need to have long term strategies and be cognizant of the fact we live in a desert.

2.  Don't use the hose to wash your car.  Those car washing assembly lines typically recycle the water making them much more conservative of the water use than you can be at home.

3.  Turn off the sink while brushing your teeth or shaving.  There is absolutely no need to have water running down the drain while you brush.  If you are shaving fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor in that.  I guarantee you will use less.

Say  it gets to a point where these are not enough of a cutback and it may just get to that point in some parts of California.  Here are some more, less appealing ideas.

1.  Shower less often and use the Military shower model.  First of all you actually produce more oil the more frequent you bathe.  So stretching the time between showers may actually help skin issues.  Next if it gets to this point we have to do what we have to do,.  Have the kids share one tub of water.  Or turn the water off between soaping and rinsing.

2.  Hand wash your dishes in a tub or basin and use the dishwasher as a drying rack only.  We use a more natural dish soap that has no harmful chemicals in it, so I could then use that water to water my lemon, orange and apple trees.

3.  Flush less often.  Sounds gross I know, but when you need to you need to.

Whatever happens we are in this together and depend on each other to be wise with our resources.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Grace is Gods gift to mankind.  With such a  great gift comes immense responsibility.  Is the expectation that of perfection.  No.  But it is to stop expecting perfection of everyone else.  We all stumble.  We all fall.  But we all have been given grace.

We have been given forgiveness, but we don't forgive so easily.  I was talking with a friend today and a memory was brought back.  The memory was of a friend who found herself pregnant out of wedlock.  This friend was not married but they were committed to marriage, and now their baby on the way.   She was asked to step down from our choir as it wouldn't look good.  However, a male counterpart in a similar situation only no committed relationship was allowed to keep his position.  When asked why, it was because people could visually see the evidence of her sin, while his was not front and center.

Talking with my friend and remembering this I said to her in words I wished I'd had then...All of us have a scarlet letter.  All of us fall short,  Without exception.  So, why shame one and not all.

This was on my heart and why I share it here today.

See the pregnant girl
  Give her Grace for letting life live instead of shame for a mistake.

See the angry mom
  Give her Grace for the morning of constant battles, backaches and dirty dishes instead of mean glares for       having a bad moment.

See the child throwing a fit
  Give Grace for the child whose tummy hurts, muscles ache, and to whom the world seems a constant confusion; for to you it may seem like a spoiled brat but for them life is a struggle.

See the man looking with disgust at the children laughing around him
  Give Grace for he was told he would never have one and his heart breaks but our world doesn't allow for a    man's heart to.

See the homeless man
   Give Grace because he tried, he was once a productive member of society and became it's out cast,    and now all he wants is someone to call him by name.

Give grace
   for it is easy to judge, but remember eyes are watching you too.

I for sure need to remember these words.  Even the smaller imperfections need Grace too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New years no resolution

I get the idea of the new year and turning a new leaf, but I have rarely had success at this.  There is one exception.  Before I had kids I weighed over 200's tough to think about now.  But just after 9/11 I ended up in the ER with a kidney infection, the follow up Dr. appointment I was told I was morbidly obese and I needed to make changes.  This was in October 2001.  That sent me into a depressive tailspin which of course made me turn to food.

That Christmas we spent with my hubby's family and it was one that, for a time, made me have a distaste for every single one of them,  They were beyond mean in their criticism of John and I and it was beyond hurtful.  I remember crying to my sister-in-law and how angry she got.  She told me, "I've never seen you as fat, I just love you for who you are."  I did need that reassurance, but the truth was I had been denying my weight problem.

That Christmas we also spent some time with our adapted family and our adapted Brother Brian and his Fiance had lost a ton of weight.  So we spent an evening with them and talked to them about how they did this.  They told us Weight watchers.  I appreciated their form of honesty because they both understood what it was like to have food control you so they were loving and kind about each and every word. Their time is what motivated me.
John and I the Christmas of 2001

I guess I look back and realize that John's family also motivated me, but it was not something I would ever do to anyone.

Yes the words we heard still hurt, but yes I still love them all.  I realize now that I am here and not there that we were all younger and more immature and their comments likely came from a place of concern, so for that I am thankful.

I vowed after talking with Brian and Ida that I would lose the weight.  I joined weight watchers  January of 2002...John did this with me only at home.  John joined a fitness competition at work with money on the line.  He tied for the pot by May.  By August I had lost 65 pounds and was trying to reach lifetime.  In September I discovered I was pregnant with I never reached lifetime.  Though my weight has fluctuated I have never again reached those heights.  I believe weight watchers taught me how eat right and what a portion looks like and it has stuck with me.

What I love about that experience is rarely can someone say they look better after having 3 kids than they did on their wedding day.  I actually had that confirmed when a cashier at Osh Kosh (who happened to be a young male college student) did a double take of my id.  You see that picture had been taken just after our honeymoon.  There I stood many years and three kids later.  He finally asked me how old the picture was.  I told him and he was flabbergasted...he then said that he had never met anyone who looked better after three kids.

A side by side comparison, wedding day and May of 2013

Aside from that one year I have never really made a resolution...probably for fear I won't reach it nearly as successfully as I did that year.  Also, I think we should always be making small goals to improve ourselves...and if we slide back, we don't give up.   Don't wait a whole year because you messed up on week three of 2014.  It takes consistency to make any changes.  

Lets make this our resolution revolution: I vow to try my best every day and not let failure defeat me.  I vow to make the healthier choices even if they aren't the more fun options.

These are things we should be doing anyways and it's a day by day adventure not a mammoth task that ends the next new year.

Here's to a happy, healthy and thriving 2014 and beyond!!!