The Words for Wednesday were . . .

. . . Truth and Honesty

Someone told me once that the secret to the continuing success of her marriage was these two words. I had never thought much about the distinction (if any) ’til then, but after that I did, for some years.

I came to this conclusion:

Truth = not lying
You ask me if I have seen your glasses in the living room. I tell the truth: no, I haven’t.

Honesty = full disclosure
You ask me if I have seen your glasses in the living room. I am honest: no, I haven’t, but I did see them in the kitchen.

These are simplistic examples, but you can see what I mean.

I think the courts, governments and various media are full of examples of telling the truth without being honest; frequently this is a tactic used by someone trying to get their own way with little regard for consequences to others.

What would change if honesty prevailed? Worth thinking about . . .


The word for Wednesday was . . .

. . . waste

I’ve been lazy/busy and so this word should really be for the week, not for Wednesday. Oh, well, I hope you all forgive me . . . (note: there are other thoughts in here besides strictly waste-related ones . . . those darn ‘blades of grass’ . . .)

What sparked this word was this:

I very much agree with the Pope on this and am thrilled that he is calling for global financial reform and other positive changes. This is very good news, if it is followed up by action.

I see waste so often; at work it was amazing. I got in trouble for suggesting that if people weren’t going to eat their ‘dated’ yogourt, etc., that they let me know and I would see it got to someone who would use it. I worked in the natural and organic food business some years ago and I know that food does not become inedible the minute the ‘due date’ arrives. I always check, of course, because sometimes even food with ‘time left’ has gone bad early.

Another way of not wasting food is to use leftovers to make frittatas, soups, stews, shepherds’ pies, and much more. I have always saved all the bones from chicken or turkey and used them to make stock. The hard part here is having so little storage room; a freezer would help a lot.

Small amounts of vegetables can be blended with liquid and used for making breads. I see that Dempster’s  now has a Veggie Bread that claims to provide half a serving of veg in every two slices. But I could do that for less . . .

Many large businesses here, especially retailers, do not recycle paper (no time, they say). The condo building (recently converted from apartments) that we live in only started providing re-cycle bins in the past year. Before that I would put Mum’s and my recycling items into blue bags; when I had two or three ready, I would call friends to pick them up. We would put them in the garbage collection area back of their house. I first began recycling long ago, when we had to separate everything (cans, glass jars, paper, etc.), then take it to a recycling centre and put each type into a separate collection box. At one time, when it first began, you had to pay for the privilege, too.

When I lived in Chilliwack, BC, there was a group called ‘The Gleaners’; they would come pick up any garden produce that you couldn’t use yourself. They came for the extra zucchini that I grew in the backyard. Not much of my garden did well, but I didn’t have much time for it, either.

I was not happy when I found out that untouched food in restaurants cannot be given to a local food bank; it’s a ‘health risk’. Apparently, throwing it in the dumpster, then letting homeless people dig through for whatever they can salvage is not a health risk . . .

For myself, I finish what’s on my plate (early training, along with ‘don’t take more than you can eat, come back for seconds if necessary’) or else I take the leftovers home for the next day. When I had a compost pile, anything I didn’t want to eat the next day went there to be recycled.

I don’t throw out my clothes, either. I mend if needed and I re-use the fabrics once they are past wearing. When I lived in the country, old clothes became what we wore for outdoor work. My grandmothers made quilts out of old clothing; none of what we do now (buying new fabric, cutting it up small, then sewing it back together). The art quilts are fantastic, and I plan to make some myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also make recycled quilts. My grandmothers often used old woolen things, like coats, for filling the quilt. Makes for heavy covers, but on an icy winter night, that’s often a good thing.

Instead of buying plastic ‘toys’ for kids, which often do nothing but clutter up the house and look ugly, we bought books and project kits or supplies (mostly supplies) for our own and other people’s kids. The books are often from the second-hand book store. My theory is that everything’s ‘used’ after you’ve had it for a couple of hours, so why the big deal? And my Mum often remarked that when we were toddlers, we were just as happy with a couple of pot lids to bang together and a cardboard box to climb in and out of, as with a new toy. Mum was good at helping us create fun from very little. By the time I was 9 or 10, she showed us how to tie a piece of string on one end of a long branch (about a foot back from the end, and the branch usually had no twigs or leaves; maybe a small bunch at the far end). We would straddle these ‘horses’ and gallop happily through the woods, across the meadows, down the driveway and back, making loud neighing sounds the whole way. (or we’d be cowboys . . .)

We made our own music and played board games of various sorts. All of us read a LOT!! As did my own two. And we mostly did things together, not each off in a separate room. Sundays we often went for a drive (cars were still a big deal then and no-one had thought about pollution or peak oil), sometimes to go fishing, more often to visit a favourite uncle and aunt, who had a son just younger than I was. Sometimes it was just a drive, off the main highways, with a stop at a lake to swim or an icecream and pop treat (those were fairly rare, even at 5 cents a cone for a single, 10 cents for a double scoop and 10 cents for the bottle of pop, it was still pricey for a family with nine kids).

We used to sing in the car. My Dad had a great voice and at home he played the guitar as well as singing, alone or with us joining in. We later had a small chord organ and all of us taught ourselves to play. Dad would accompany us while we sang.

We went to the drive-in to watch a movie most weekends when Dad was home. Mum popped popcorn and we ate it out of shared brown grocery bags. For a drink, we each got a glass of ‘Freshie’, which was the Canadian original to ‘Kool-Aid’. It was on the market from the 50s to the early 80s. Nowadays, I’d find something healthier to take along.

Friends of mine, whose three children lived at home back then, took their kids to the thrift stores every week or two. They would donate any clothes they had outgrown or gotten tired of, then were allowed to buy ‘new’ things to replace them. The littlest girl just loved it! I remember when she found a cute tulle tutu and wore it over everything; long skirts, jeans, pajamas; for weeks, it was her one constant garment. The parents bought nearly all their clothing at the thrift store, too. I’m quite tall, and in later years put on some extra pounds, so I’ve always had difficulty finding things that fit and looked ok on me. But that was true in the retail stores as well as the thrift stores. I’m not a fashionista, but I don’t care to look as though I thought the feed sack would do, either. My solution was teaching myself to sew. I hand-stitched (no electricity, then, by choice) so much of my clothing. I love long skirts and dresses, so that was the bulk of it. I still have those things, too . . . I saved money buying T-shirts and jeans in the mens’ departments. The sizing offers more choices (ladies’ pants just got wider but not longer, so I always looked as though I’d grown out of my things; and the blouses end a couple of inches north of my wrist; a look that only appeals if I was going for the ‘orphan Annie’ or ‘Little MatchGirl’ look . . . ) Sizing is a little better these days, but it’s still hard for me to find clothes I like that also fit.

I know some people are making ‘plarn’ (plastic yarn) by cutting plastic bags into long strips and using that for knitting or crocheting things like boot mats for outside the front door. Others are re-cycling old T-shirts into ‘Tarn’, using the same process. There’s not end to human creativity; and now we can share what we know and learn from others, too.

I’ve been lucky, I think. I never had the ‘new’ bug that so many people have. I like to get things the way I like them and then leave them that way. Occasionally, I might move some furniture to make room for a new ‘find’ or to accomodate a new hobby. The benefit to leaving things where they ‘belong’ is not tripping over them when you get up in the night.

I’ve been very happy salvaging from what others have thrown out, or intended to throw out. I have a few books from the late 1800s that I found in a house I was hired to clean out after the renters fled, leaving a few things behind. Three of them are music books with embossing and gilt lettering on the covers. One features English music, another Scottish Music and the third is all songs by the Irish composer Thomas Moore, who wrote “The Minstrel Boy”, still one of my favourites and it still makes me cry. Speaking of waste . . .

It’s not that hard to cut down on waste, at home, work or in public. And we can all put the pressure on companies to do more, and do it better, when it comes to re-cycling.

If you have a minute (and aren’t too busy un-wasting something LOL), share your favourite way to not waste or anything your community is doing to effect positive change in this area.

The Word for Wednesday is . . .

. . . Synergy!

Synergy is what happens when several things interact and what comes out is greater than the sum of the parts.

If you want a more formal definition, Wikipedia says:

Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia συνέργια from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together”.[1]

When I think of synergy, I think of a co-operative (worker, financial, housing, etc.), a family, a marriage (committed relationship of any sort). And now I think of the relationships we form in the blogosphere, where what we form contributes inspiration and encouragement to each other and to our readers, globally. I see how we are working together to make incremental changes in the world as it used to be, shaping the world as it is becoming.

Now I’m thinking that there must be ways to increase this synergy; make it more concrete in results. Any thoughts on that?

and the Word for Wednesday was . . .

. . . diet!  No, not as in eating to lose weight; I’ve been reading a bit about the latest thing: Paleo and Primal diets. Apparently (and I have not been reading in depth, so forgive me if I tread on some neolithic digits), these two ways of thinking about food (and eating it, I suppose) have some things in common:

*           Eating tons of veggies
*           Eating lots of protein
*           Avoiding grains
*           Eliminating gluten
*           Doing away with corn
*           Avoiding high fructose corn syrup
*           Avoiding sugar
*           Eliminating processed foods
*           Enjoying the occasional wine and beer
*           Exercising regularly

There are differences,  too, but I’m not getting into that now; I have a limited amount of time on the computer tonight.

My initial thoughts on this (and again, this is my gut reaction to a very limited exposure to a wee bit of information): From what I know about pre-historic civilizations, people ate according to where they lived, what they could harvest and the season of the year. I don’t see cutting out grains altogether; instead, why not eat them from mid-summer to late autumn, maybe storing some for use through the winter. Then in spring, back to lots of greens; later on add berries and tree fruits; then back to grains again.

Corn, or maize was a staple in central North America, but not in Europe or, I think, other continents, either. And the grains would have been the ancient varieties, not the hybridized stuff we have nowadays.

Meats would have been wild, so in most cases healthier, as they could generally eat what they needed, not just what they would have been fed in captivity. Of course, this means getting out there and hunting . . .

The natural diet of those days included roots, barks, lots of herbs that we would turn up our noses at these days; they tend to be fibrous and strongly flavoured.

And before you rush out with your hand-knotted bag made from cedar roots (or whatever passes for weaving fibres in your locale), you may want to read up on the various things you are planning to harvest. In Victoria (BC), First Nations people dug and ate crocus bulbs; however, they knew that the chocolate coloured blooms had a bulb that is poisonous.

Cooking soup the Paleo/Primal way:  Nettles are yummy (to me, anyway LOL), but you will want a good pair of gloves before you begin gathering. Pigweed (known as lamb’s quarters in more upwardly mobile Pleistocene circles) is also very nutritious; add it to that soup of wild rabbit and gopher that you are simmering in your deer’s stomach soup pot (suspend the stomach on a tripod, add water and roots, plus whatever meat, fish and veggies you happen to have gathered), then drop in a few small stones that have been heated in the campfire’s ashes. The water will boil; as the boiling subsides, lift the stones out, using a pair of ‘Y’ shaped branches (fairly sturdy ones) and put them back in the ashes to heat again. Repeat until the soup is done. Oh, remember to remove the gland from the hind leg of any rabbits, too.

Salads: Gather greens that are in season. Watch for onion or garlic shoots; they add flavour and are nutritious, too. Miner’s lettuce and chickweed are juicy, mild and good for you.

Exercise:  don’t worry about it; gathering your food, preparing it and storing it, not to mention making woven gathering bags, arrows, bows, spears and all that will have you in great shape in no time!

Have fun!

The Word for Wednesday is . . .

. . . Underground!
Many of us are part of an information underground, whether consciously or not, and many of us are part of an action underground, making choices in our lives so that we contribute to this planet’s healing and growth (and thus humanity’s, too); but only some of us are aware of the underground life forms that supports all life: the Ectomycorrhizal webs (the original ‘world-wide web’) and their hyphae.

If this is all Greek to you (and maybe if it isn’t), check out these links . . . Ents, Truffles and Flying Squirrels; who knew? (well, I didn’t know much of this . . . until recently)

. . . and when you are done, you will want to google ‘Hugelkultur’ and that may change your life . . .

Flying Squirrels and Truffles: Who Knew?


Climate Change and Tree Migration:

The world’s largest organism?
. . . and . . .

The relationship between trees, soil fertility and nutrient levels of crops:

Underground Connections and the Effects of Pollution:

Click to access kppcont_064013.pdf

The Word for (Wednesday) the Week is …

. . . Princess!

Now, this is a word that I’m not fond of, and many have heard me use it in a very disparaging fashion; largely because of what it has come to connote in our culture. Pretty much, it’s the Disney definition, which I’ve never liked.

If you think that to be princessy means to be vain, shallow, self-centred, not too bright, and so on, don’t bother to read the rest of this post. There are a number of little girls in our family at present and when I saw the movie “Brave”, I wanted to cheer! But I won’t waste your time with my ranting opinions; if this interests you, and if you don’t think that ‘Barbie’ is the best role model for girls, go ahead and read the rest. There may never be another petition featured on this blog, either; it’s not my goal here. However, if you think I should occasionally post about this sort of thing, do let me know. Together, we change the world, one signature, one garden, one action at a time. Also, if you like to help bring change through petitions, go to or You will find plenty there!

~ Linne

Disney: Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave!   

By A Mighty Girl

Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for — a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. She was a princess who looked like a real girl, complete with the ‘imperfections’ that all people have.

The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls’ capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value — to be recognized as true princesses — they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.

In an interview with Pixar Portal, “Brave” writer and co-director Brenda Chapman stated, “Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess — a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn’t be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead they’d be like, ‘Yeah, you go girl!’”

This new Merida is a paler reflection of her former self without the spark and the ‘you go girl’ quality that her creator intended.

We write to you on behalf of all the young girls who embraced Merida as a role model, who learned from her that they too could go off on an adventure and save the day; that it’s not how you look that matters but who you are. For them and for all the children — both girls and boys — who benefit from seeing depictions of strong, courageous, and independent-minded girls and women that are so scarce in animated movies, we ask you to return to the original Merida that we all know and love. We ask you to keep Merida Brave!

Sign the Petition

The Word for Wednesday is . . .

. . . Lawns

In my opinion, it’s a bit ridiculous to plant huge areas of our earth with what is essentially a three-foot hay crop; spend time and money, fertiliser and water, trying to make it into a uniformly green ground cover and THEN spend more time cutting it to two or three inches in height! And how often do you see anyone sitting on the front lawn, enjoying it? Oh, I forgot; that’s not why we have lawns, is it?

We apparently have lawns as a visual reassurance to others that we are just like them. Don’t believe me? In many communities there are laws about keeping yards uniform with the neighbours’ yards.

This can be good if it means not going out each day and being confronted by heaps of garbage and rusting hulks.

But what if you want to grow your own? Food, that is . . .

For the past few years, I have been reading stories of people who have created productive food gardens in their front yards and then were forced to destroy them or be fined huge amounts.

Why? With so many going hungry, not just in third world countries, but here in Canada, the USA and other so-called first world countries, why do we not cheer when someone takes steps to grow food, even in a very small way? Why is uniformity, of homes, but even more so, of people, the most valued characteristic, when we know that monocultures are so unhealthy?

Are we really so insecure that we cannot deal with the fact that people make different choices and have different preferences?

What if we choose to observe the choices of others, then examine our own? or are we trying to avoid that? Why?

Back to Lawns . . .

Does anyone ever ask ‘Why lawns’? Does anyone make different choices about the use of the ground around their house?

What would happen if one out of every two or three homes had a food garden in front, instead of a lawn?

Now for the positive . . .

In some communities, people ARE being encouraged to grow food. Some now allow a few chickens. A handful are allowing a milk goat!! I feel joy when I read those stories; may there be more . . . Until growing your osn is so commonplace it’s no longer newsworthy . . .

I know there are lots of other resources out there, but I’m out of time. Feel free to share your links and comments.

Spring or Autumn, enjoy your garden or any garden today!!

The Word for Wednesday is . . .

. . . Decimate (well, actually, it’s not, but I’ll explain that later)

If you were told that your crops had been ‘decimated’, how would you feel? Devastated? or relieved?

I’d feel relieved. Does that surprise you? {and no, not because there would be so much less to weed, water and harvest . . . 😉 }

The wrong use of this word is a pet peeve of mine. ‘Decimate’ originated in Roman times and was a military term. To maintain order in the army (like many modern authorities, the Romans put order way before justice on its priority list), sometimes an unruly unit was lined up, every tenth man was selected, then the remaining 90% were ordered to kill them. So ‘decimate’ means to reduce by 10%.

But I checked my facts online and according to one source, my preference for linguistic accuracy makes me “picky”, I suppose because the term is so widely misused these days and there is a growing acceptance of inaccuracy. (I share it occasionally, but we won’t talk about that now) 🙂

So, I have changed my mind (but not without having my little rant first 😉

The Word for Wednesday is now: “Paronomasia”, one of my pet joys . . .

My battery is now at 20% and fading fast (’cause I fell asleep dozed off while typing, so I won’t go into the definition now.

I will say, though, that, like the glazier, I will be wearing gloves later today as I read your responses, so as not to feel the pane . . .

The Word for Wednesday is . . .

. . . Clutter!
The recent fad for calling other people’s belongings ‘clutter’ has given me much to think about. It’s interesting to see how different people define the word and what they say, and do, about it.

It’s late, and I have to go to an appointment with Mum first thing in the morning. So I will say more tomorrow.

In the meantime, what’s your opinion on ‘clutter’? and what would you recommend?

The Word for Wednesday was . . .

. . . Educate. What does it mean to ‘educate’ a person? These days, we seem mostly to think ‘education’ is the same as ‘teaching’, but ‘teaching’ is putting things in; facts, thoughts, ideas . . . ‘education’ springs from the root ‘educare’; “to draw forth”. In ‘educare’ lies the implication that something already lies within us, needing only to be awakened, nourished, given time, room, support, so that it might grow to its fullest capacity; so that we might become more closely a fulfillmeng of our potential.

In ‘teaching’ there is an assumption that we are born empty husks, waiting to be filled; and what better to fill us with than the kapok of facts, that we might grow to be a better fit for the factories, for the factory way of life? Why? Because good factory workers spend their lives to enrich others with material things, with ‘power over’ rather than to enrich themselves with ‘power to’ . . .

I could go on, but today will be busy. The landlord came yesterday, but the heating system required a plumber, who has just now replaced the motor that opens and shuts the valve. Now to put things back and sort a few more bags/boxes. Not to mention running the vacuum and dustcloth over places that have not seen the light of day all winter . . . and then a walk with my friend A. It’s been weeks since weather and schedules allowed a walk. I’m feeling very ‘spring-feverish’ today, likely a result of more daylight and actual sunshine together with the moving of bags, boxes and furniture that was enforced by the heating failure. The universe conspires for the greater good . . . and I’m off to join the conspiracy! 😉 Have a great day, whether Thursday or Friday!