Friday, November 28, 2008

VIDEO: Me Singing "Time at the Table"

"Time at the Table"
Words and Music by Kay Pere and Bill Pere
Performed at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT
Kay Pere with Bill Pere and the LUNCH Ensemble

Check back soon for lyrics.

:-), Kay

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ECO ACTION: Sustainable Happiness

The pursuit of happiness has been transformed into the pursuit of consumer goods and energy hungry lifestyles that damage our planet.

Visit HERE to browse a large selection of articles about pursuing lasting happiness while consuming fewer resources and reducing your environmental impact.

It's a lot more fun than it sounds!

I hear the politicians talk a lot about "getting our economy moving again."  Does a "healthy economy" automatically mean, by definition, that they expect us to resume our old habits of consumption?  If so, we need to rewrite the definitions.  We need a new vision.

We've grown used to a world bulked up on the steroids of excess consumption.  Like a weight lifter who's steroid built muscles are damaging his liver and heart, we can't expect to keep this up over the long term.

Someone needs to rewrite the economics textbooks and redefine the tools by which we measure the health of our economy to take into account the long view of things.

I wonder:  Can we find a way to shifting our world economy and our individual lives toward a more sustainable and equitable model?

What would that look like?

Monday, November 24, 2008

ECO ACTION: No Impact Man Blog

As a self proclaimed Eco Geek, I love to read the No Impact Man blog.

It gives a clear picture of just how much one person can do to live more sustainably, how one persons actions can inspire others.

I'll never be able to alter my lifestyle to the extent described there, but it's a wonderful source of information and ideas about what might be the next step beyond those I've already taken.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VIDEO: Funny Hat

Oh, the fun you can have with someone else's hat!
No wonder I've been dizzy!
Hanover, VT, USA

CREATIVE OATMEAL: other things to think about #2

[free or nearly-free happy things]

Perhaps not the most exciting subject, but a favorite breakfast for cold weather.  And it provides many options.

Here's my recipe.  It makes about 6 servings.  I eat one immediately and refrigerate the remainder to reheat on subsequent days.

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (slow cooking)
  • 4-5 cups Water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (adds approx. 100 mg sodium per serving)
Bring to a boil.  Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat or until thickened.  Stir occasionally.

  • Dried Fruit, chopped (If you want them plumped, add at the beginning of cooking with oats.)
  • Frozen Fruit, thawed while cooking
  • Nuts, chopped (If you want them crunchy, add at the end of cooking.)
  • Flavorings:  cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves ... use your imagination
  • Sweeteners:  brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, molasses, jam, fruit juice
Once it's served up on a bowl, I also pour on a little soymilk to make complete proteins.  (legumes + whole grains)

  • 15 cup container uncooked Store Brand Rolled Oats = $1.75 US (on sale)
  • 3 Servings per cup (with additions)
  • $1.75 US for 45 servings per container
  • $0.04 US per serving + cost of optional additions and soymilk!
  • 10-15 minutes once a week to cook 6 days worth of servings.  
  • 2 minutes once a week to packaging in a resealable container for the frig
  • 2 minutes each day doing other things while the microwave reheats (stir in a little water to thin)
  • 1 minute once a week to scrub out the pan (if I don't remember to let it soak it takes longer)
  • less than 1 minute once a week to wash the resealable container
Favorite Creative Addition Combos:
  • chopped dried apples, brown sugar or maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, chopped walnuts
  • chopped dates, chopped pecans, cinnamon, vanilla
  • chopped dried apricots, honey, slivered almonds, almond extract (tiny amount)
  • frozen blueberries, maple syrup
  • frozen raspberries, honey
  • strawberry jam, almonds
  • blond raisins, pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup
Yum!  Now you can tell someone they are as interesting as oatmeal and mean it as a compliment.

And Mom was right.  It does "stick to your ribs."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

STUDIO WINDOW: other things to think about #1

Because life is not all gloom and doom, not all health concerns and financial contraction. ..

I'm going to make an effort to post quick snippets about happy everyday things, as an antidote.


There is a dogwood tree right outside my studio window who keeps me company as the seasons change. In the past few weeks it has lost all its vermilion leaves. A fine filigree of branches remains, outlined against the sky.

All day squirrels use its branches as a highway from one tree to the next. Fat grey clowns in flannel suits, they carrying nuts too big for their mouths to hold, performing acrobatic feats as they hurrying past on their way to some secret cache.

Occasionally one will catch sight of me watching through the window and freeze in place, as if hoping to become instantly invisible. This is usually followed by loud, menacing chirping sounds and wild waving of a long fluffy tail. The cat may be intimidated by such antics--I just smile.

My studio window faces west, with my computer monitor on a desk in front of it. This morning, over the top if my screen, I watched the last quarter moon on her way toward the horizon. This evening, if I'm lucky, I'll catch sight of a brilliant sunset sky behind the silhouette of my companion dogwood tree's branches.

These are my simple joys today.

:-), Kay