Tag Archives: economy

Laziness is not civilized!

Okay people, por favor, don’t let’s get completely pathetic.

I was walking through the parking lot at Target yesterday and I saw a perfectly able-bodied woman who, having loaded her SUV with Christmas surplus, was standing there watching the hatch close itself!!!  

I am disgusted.  This is not an awesome use of technology, people!  This is an example of why we are a flabby, soft, lazy, weak population!

Okay, maybe I’m overreacting a little.  Maybe having to close the hatch of her SUV is the bane of her existence.  I know if I could get something that would make it so I never had to touch a dirty dish again as long as I lived, I would buy it in a heartbeat. 

And really, there are lots of contraptions helping us out.  I haven’t beat my clothes against a rock in the creek in quite some time.  But seriously.  When will it stop?  When will we take some pride in having strength, agility, endurance?

When will we see “automatic hatch closer” on the list of car features and say, “Honestly, no, see the flab hanging off my upper arms?  I think I’d better close the hatch myself, thanks.”

Considering the economic state of our country, we’ve got a lot of work to do.  I suspect it is the roll-up-your-sleeves, elbow grease kind of work that makes you sweat, and not something for which if one pushes the correct sequence of buttons one might remotely signal the economy to restart itself.

Let’s stop being proud of our new laze-crazy devices and start being proud of ourselves and each other for our genuine human abilities.


Filed under society

“I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas”

Here is a post by a guest blogger: my sister, Emily Horton.  She recently took a course called “Master Recycler Program” from a local agency aiming to maximize sustainability in the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon.  After having taken the course, she tells me that she feels her life has new direction and purpose as she seeks to implement some of the ideas and strategies she has learned.

As “pay back” for the class, students are required to fulfill a certain amount of volunteer work.  She wants to develop presentations to give in local classrooms and also to publish some of her ideas and experiences.  

She welcomes any comments and feedback you have on her article!

“I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas”

With Christmas looming right around the corner and three young children to consider, I am beginning to brainstorm my holiday plan.  When I think back to Christmases past, I see visions of trashbags full of plastic packaging dancing in my head.  In the Lane County Waste Management Master Recycler Program, I learned it’s okay that I can’t afford all the gizmos and hoopla our consumer-based culture has come to expect from the holidays: Mother Earth can’t afford it either.  And so I sit in the November rain, pondering how to make this season go easy on the Earth and my pocketbook, but heavy on the festivities.

Such an outcome is possible if we use the Green Triangle.  Ernest Callenbach developed the Green Triangle as a way to visualize the connection between our personal well-being, the health of our planet and our economy.  Picture a triangle with each point representing one of the aforementioned factors.  Every decision we make, everything we buy affects all three points in a similar way.

So when we choose to clean our yard with a rake instead of a leafblower, we positively affect our personal health with exercise, our earth’s health with a zero-emissions human-powered tool, and our financial health with a one-time, low-cost investment and no additional fuel or tune-ups required.  When we make a decision that is responsible and positive for the earth, we positively affect our health, and definitely save money.

Now to take the Green Triangle theory and apply it to my holiday dilemma.  Our family’s main holiday priority is making happy memories for the kids and infusing the season with meaning.  In addition to the Eugene Register-Guard, I check the Eugene Weekly and Oregon Family Newsletter for free or low-cost family events in the area.  Our favorites become annual traditions, like the free live nativity at Herrick’s Farm and the open house at Heceta Head Lighthouse.

While we try not to focus on gifts, we do like to spoil the kids a little at Christmas.  In years past we spent $200 or more at major corporate retailers and really didn’t have much to show for it, and nothing cherished or special.  But last year we bought a few beautiful toys and puzzles from a local family-owned toy & hobby shop and then spent the rest of our budget at non-profit second-hand stores like Teen Challenge and St. Vincent de Paul’s.  It feels good to support local businesses (it’s great for the economy, too!), it’s good for the planet to buy non-plastic, minimally-packaged gifts (especially second-hand) and we spend less money while giving better gifts.

Why stress and work overtime to fund your Christmas this year?  I see everyone’s lives improving dramatically as we use the Green Triangle to guide our daily decisions and purchases.  There’s no better time than now to start, so go ahead, give it a try!

For more information on the Green Triangle, visit

 http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC26/Callnbch.htm and read his original article.


Filed under Life

A dollar ninety-seven

Not much news.  Saw gas on sale today.  A dollar ninety-seven.

A dollar ninety-seven!

Was it or was it not twice that much a month ago?

Is there rhyme or reason?  

Not complaining.  

DON’T want to see a news story to help me marvel at the unceasing wonders (nudge nudge, wink wink to RPG).  

Great timing before our Thanksgiving trek.  

I feel a hoard coming on.

Does anyone have a few hundred empty 50-gallon drums they don’t want?  😀


Filed under economy

The Recession from the Trenches

The months after a layoff, waiting to be hired by a new employer, knowing you must relocate in order to continue the pursuit of a certain career, feels a lot like the end of a pregnancy.

As time passes, you wait, you know that something has to happen soon, you try to imagine which day will be The Big Day, when your water breaks/the phone rings, and it all begins.  You try to imagine the face and personality of your new baby/town, and what the new dynamic will be like.

Of course, it is my husband and not me that is on the job hunt at the present moment, but I must also live in daily wonderment of what the future holds.

Watching the news these days is not helpful; hearing of how badly the economy is sinking into an abyss might be analogous to a hypothetical situation like hearing of how maternity wards accept fewer and fewer women in labor.  Although, of course, with pregnancy, it must end one way or another, naturally or by inducing or even c-section.  A stint of unemployment might hypothetically continue on forever… and so the light at the end of the tunnel can be imagined to be very dim indeed.

When we are adults we are supposed to be a responsible and contributing member of a community.  To feel unneeded, unwanted, unessential to the project at hand is a horrible feeling.  The desire to sink roots, to sink my teeth into a situation and give it everything I have, is overwhelming.  But we will leave soon, so I must dam up my inspiration, my life energy, stay grounded as best I can when there is no ground beneath my feet.  Stay ready.

And this, too, is like the end of a pregnancy, when you’ve done all you can to prepare for the birth: organized your household, focused your mind, braced yourself emotionally.  You hold your breath, waiting.  You tense up, waiting.  You don’t know how you can possibly be more ready.  You spend every day shoring up the readiness which is daily eroded by being alive.

To all of us on the edge of a major life change… peace, good health, and a serious dose of positive vibration.


Leave a comment

Filed under work