March 31, 2008


As Aaron used to call the possible future president- Barak Obama.... WE MET HIM TODAY!!!! There was an unannounced trip to our local candy factory (one of the oldest and best in the country!). Word amongst townsfolk grew, and there were about 100-150 of us that braved the cold rain for several hurs to meet him. I'm still sorta undecided in my vote, but he has sooooo much charisma, just in the quick handshaking we all experienced. (oh, and Dan Rather was there too!)

We were towards the back when he came in, but got closer to the front while he was in the store... one of his campaign guys saw that I had a book, and brought it in to him to sign.. when Barak came back out he saw that I was wearing a bookstore hat and asked if I got the book back!! COOL!!!! Below are photos from our rain-soaked adventure in civics :) (the hand in the last picture is Todd's, and Barak is leaning down shakign Aaron's hand)

Full photo album can be seen here:

March 27, 2008

The Local Angle

Wanna Save The Earth? Then Shop Local….

The “green” movement has many spokes in its wheel. One such spoke is targeting your shopping. While many view “Shop Local” as a separate campaign, I strongly believe that one can not be a true friend of the Earth and NOT pay attention to where one shops. To put it bluntly… if you do a majority of your shopping at “Wally-World” and the like (no matter how many CFL’s they sell), then you are not working towards a sustainable and healthy planet.

Why shop local? Why should you care?

**“Each food item in a typical US meal has traveled an average of 1500 miles… If every US citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce we could reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil EVERY WEEK” (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle)… This bears repeating 1.1 MILLION BARRELS spared just by eating ONE MEAL a week with local foods… imagine if you ate ½ your meals from local foods… imagine if you bought those foods at a local store rather than a chain that has thousands of trucks on the road daily polluting your air????

**A 200K sq foot space generally draws an additional 10K cars per day, and more on Saturdays; this amount traffic often depresses property values, but increases costs to local governments (Big Box Swindle)

**When a mega store opens, a community LOSES a net of 180 jobs (ibid)

**Because box-store employees often make minimum wage, the costs to taxpayers to fund Medicare and welfare greatly increases (ibid)

**Locally owned business generate 70% MORE local economic impact per square foot than a chain store (ibid)

**3 times as much money stays in the community when people shop local (chain store profits filter up to the corporate headquarters and CEO, where local business reinvest that $ into the community) (ibid)

Many of the above statistics are economically based, and that tends to lead to the assumption that “Shop Local” and the “Green” movement are separate... but if you add it up this way, it makes sense: If you shop local, then more people have better paying jobs, they then are more likely to spend their extra money in the community also shopping locally, thus giving the local farmer reason not to sell off land to developers, thus cutting back on overall pollution and increasing good air through larger organic farming and less commuting and trucking.

If we can’t support our local economy, then we can’t expect it to support us. Does this mean NEVER shopping at a chain store? No. Even I do every once in awhile! BUT it does mean planning shopping, looking for local alternatives, and not relying on the chains for everything. How do you know where to shop? Here are some local (Central PA) sources, as well as national links to websites.

1) Use your phonebook…. Let your fingers do the walking before you jump in the car
2) For those here in Lancaster area use the SSBN Green Pages, especially if you’re looking for local produce and organically grown goods
3) USDA list of local farmers markets
4) American Independent Business Alliance
5) Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

THINK GLOBALLY… SHOP LOCALLY. And don’t forget to take your reusable bags when shopping locally! :)

March 14, 2008

Airborne Patriots

Like Grandaddy, like Grandson!

Aaron's Grandaddy spent part of last week in New England and brought back with him a tri-corner hat for a budding young historian. Yesterday, Aaron informed me that he knows more than anyone about "the olden days" (ha!) In October our family vacation is going to be to Philadelphia (I'll be at a stitching festival while the boys traipse around Valley Forge), so Aaron will be appropriately attired now for that trip :)

On the stitching front, I'm no longer "semper rotanning" and am now AIRBORNE! I finished up dad's transportation wheel, and am now on my 2nd to last insignia... his first- AIRBORNE! (sorry, you just have to yell it each time, it can't be said quietly...)

I also did 2 bookmarks for some online friends.

And I've started a crochet shawl for our prayer shawl ministry. I hadn't crocheted since last October, so it's nice to get back to it. I'm doing better with my edges now, and it seems to move more quickly than knitting (may it's the one hand versus 2 hands... I have no coordination!)

Yesterday I ventured to a quilt store after reading the first 2 Jennifer Chiavarini books... big mistake. I bought a small wall hanging kit. When I told Todd I got the "oh no, not another craft!" eye roll! hee hee.

March 03, 2008

New Month, New Season, New...

I took an hour or so for myself today... I know, shocker! I got some new jeans (a need), trimmed up ye old hair, and dyed it for the first time in 2 years (my longest stretch in 20 without dying it!)
Aaron's Grandma visited this past week, and I decided it wasn't fair for him to have a mother with more grey hair than 3 out of 4 grandparents... so really it was all for him! hee hee
Today is our first taste of Spring, woohoo! This year I'm trying my hand at some gardening (yep, forcing the black thumb to turn a shade of green). Aaron and I are going to attempt some container gardening on our back deck- strawberries, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Not much else to report in Sam-land. Cross-stitching projects are coming along slowly. I'm trying to dedicate 2 days each week to each of the 3 BAPs (Big A$$ Project), and one for my store door hanger (April is a cute chick under an umbrella and will say "April Showers...."). Knitting has been on the back-burner again... I'm hopping I'll get thumped upside the head someday with some knitting talent, so I can stop doing straigh scraves! hehe