Monday, August 31, 2009

California’s Top Ten Solar Cities

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When I first saw that Santa Rosa (the city I live in) was listed as one of "California's Top Ten Solar Cities" I was thrilled, but then I realized that it made #8 because 729 roofs were solar. That seemed like such a low number to get in the top ten, but I still have to say - "good job" Santa Rosa!!
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I have seen many solar panels on roofs in Santa Rosa, and I am proud to say that my children's school even has it's own large solar panel - mounted on a steel pole out near the playground (which makes me smile each time I see it). We ourselves would have already gone solar, at least if only for the hot water heater, but the upfront cost has been an issue we have debated back and forth. I guess that's something that keeps a lot of people who would love to go solar out of the fold. We will continue to look into it though and hopefully - one day soon - we can help that # out by one more.
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Top 10 for Number of Solar Roofs in California
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Rank___ Cities_______Number of Solar Roofs_
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#1_____ San Diego_____2,267
#2_____ San Francisco__1,493
#3_____ Los Angeles___ 1,432
#4_____ San Jose_____ 1,336
#5_____ Fresno______ 1,031
#6_____ Bakersfield____ 751
#7_____ Clovis________ 733
#8_____ Santa Rosa____ 729 (Yay!!!)
#9_____ Sacramento___ _692
#10____ Berkeley_____ _648
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(Information Courtesy Of Environmental California - Photos Courtesy of Jupiter Images)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christopher's 20th Birthday

My son Christopher turns 20 tomorrow. Another milestone in our family. You may not have heard me mention my second son too much on my blog - it's not because he is any less wonderful than my oldest - just more private, and I try to respect that. He is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever had the honor to know. Contemplative and open minded - I always tell him that I want to be more like him when I grow up, and I can never seem to win an argument with him which makes us both laugh. As a child he was unbelievably creative and wildly energetic. As an adult he is graceful and straight forward - with a quiet, but strong nature. This aloof quietness often leads others to misunderstand him, but he doesn't seem to mind this, and I admire that. To quote a line I once heard - he is the delight of my eye and the darling of my heart. Happy birthday Chris - xoxoxo!!!

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Eco Friendly Home

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Creating a more eco friendly home and world - just takes getting the word out to consumers. I've found that people across all walks of life really do care about these issues - they just haven't been informed. Offering solutions can be really transformative.
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Fact:
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Did you know that strangely enough household cleaners aren't required to be tested for toxicity and that the ingredients aren't required to be fully listed on the label? That's a problem not only for consumers but for scientists who are trying to figure out if those products are safe or not.
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Kick chemicals to the curb. Take steps to make your home healthier for yourself and the planet. Two harmful chemicals that we have given up in our home are chlorine bleach and ammonia. I had a hard time letting go of these products at first - especially bleach - but I have found that alternative products have come a long way and are readily available and affordable. And after all is said and done sometimes just having white vinegar, baking soda, and good old soap and water on hand will take care of most household jobs with ease.
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For more tips and info check out greenhome.com
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote - Anais Nin

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(Images courtesy of Jupiter Images)
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There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
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Anais Nin ~
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One Small Change - One Huge Result

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Home is where we can do a lot to reduce pollution and sustain the health of our planet and our own in the process.
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While recycling is up in this country Americans still throw a lot of trees away. It's really not necessary to flush ancient forests down the toilet - we have perfectly good alternatives.
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Fact : If each household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper with recycled paper - we could save 423,900 trees.
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That's pretty significant!! This goes for paper towels too. Pledge to make this small change today!!
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Check out "The National Resource Defense Council's" link for more information and a Shopper's Guide to Home Tissue Products.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Missed My Own Blogging Anniversary

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I've been so busy I missed my own blogging anniversary on July 31st. It has been two years since that first post. When I was first inspired to begin barefoot in the orchard, I had no idea how many wonderful people I would come to know, or how many wonderful blogs I would read and love!! So...happy blogging birthday to me and in honor of that first post I will re-post -- Sacred Housework (below).
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Sacred Housework (First Post - July 31st 2007)

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I know your thinking – “What is so sacred about cleaning the toilet?” I fought the idea that I could hold these chores in such high regard from the very start. Of course when I began my career as a "homemaker" things were much easier. My husband and had I just moved in together and our tiny apartment housed no children and little to no furniture. The T.V. – which we bought on credit – sat on two cinder blocks atop a piece of plywood. The idea of mopping made me feel grown up and took all of 10 minutes. My husband and I shared tasks and it seemed to take no time at all to straighten things up. Now, cleaning up after a family of seven requires serious skills and timing. The words “Are there any clean towels!” can send shivers up my spine and a burst of resentment if I’m not careful. To some extent I’ve lowered my expectations but on the other hand I’ve raised them too. I am the keeper of our home. I carry this with great pride like carrying the Olympic Torch. Of course it helps that I only work this gig and believe me it is a seven day a week round the clock kind of schedule. I would not even attempt to work an outside job. Some years ago I was lucky enough to come across a book called Simple Abundance (http://www.simpleabundance.com/) and it changed everything for me. It taught me the value of being organized (which has saved my sanity numerous times let me tell you) this book really resonated with my “authentic self” pardon my lapse into the world of Sarah Ban Breathnach. Our homes are our shelter from the world. The place we come to escape the harshness of life. It’s a place where people greet you with warmth and are happy to see you coming through the door at the end of the day. Well… most days anyhow. This really does matter and I realize that my work here is my expression of love for those faces. If you believe that God is part of everything then it’s part of washing the dishes and sweeping the floor too. So it is sacred - even if the profoundness of it is only visible to me. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against women working outside the home. I am not one of those religious types either that think they are their husbands helpers. No, I am a serious feminist woman. I am proud of the fact that I kept my name (no man would give his up) and after all it’s who I’m known as in this world. What I am most proud of though is that I know the value of real family life and so does my husband. Maybe we don’t have all the monetary things we could have had if I would have been focused on bringing home more money and maybe we never would have taken on 3 more kids (although someone would have had to do this even if it was the State of California) but what we do have is sacred and I’ll clean that toilet over and over to keep that.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Lovely Day

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I have special songs for all five of my kids. Occasionally I fire up iTunes and begin playing one - which always brings them running. Well to be honest, my two oldest sons don't quite respond the same way they use to, but the three younger ones do. They still think that they will live in our house forever, and never want to leave home, or mommy, but of course they will - and that is as it should be. My oldest son Benjamin just had his "bon voyage party" over the weekend, and next Friday I will pack him up and drive him to his new apartment a few hours away - where he will attend more college and do community service work in exchange for free room and board (what a deal). But where did all the time I thought we had left go? I am so proud of him and all his choices. I cannot even begin to express how talented and wonderful he is. I know he will go out into the world and make it a better place, but as the party wrapped I found myself feeling a little melancholy. So this morning I queued up my youngest son Andy's special song - It's Lovely Day, by Bill Withers - and turned it up as loud as I could. Within seconds he was in the kitchen, along with everyone else, and we danced the morning and my blues away. 1 down 4 more to go.
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Andy's Song

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