Archive for 2014

JANUARY 2015: Begin Anew

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Renee Locks is an artist and calligraphy whose work I love. Reprinted with her permission.
Here is her website:
Also, if you Google her name, many sites will come up that carry her creative offerings.

The New Year offers us an opportunity to look back at what we accomplished in 2014 and what we still want to accomplish in 2015. So instead of New Year’s Resolutions, make a list with these two topics. Mine is beginning to look something like this, with the left side 2014 and right side 2015.

1. Entered Writing contest                                                      1. Investigate Master’s Writing Program @ Rosemont Coll.

2. Ongoing Rhyming Memoir                                                 2. Pursue new venues for freelancing

3. Received an iPad Mini for b’day                                        3. Learn to navigate iPad @ Apple store

4. Look for a place to stay in Calif. for winter 2016            4. Next trip to Calif. go by car to towns

I plan to add onto each of these columns to give me a sense of what I still want to accomplish. I will coached by Crista Nelson, a woman I interviewed this year. More as coaching begins in exchange for teaching Crista Ayurvedic cooking.

Ayurveda will be my health focus this year. If you go to my Nobody Eats Like Me using this link:, you will find many postings on this ancient Indian healing system.

To kick start the year I will review PranaMama’s booklet, which is a user-friendly beginner’s guide to Ayurveda.

As part of my Ayurvedic focus, I will be posting some recipes using Ayurvedic spices, such as I did last month on my Kitchari recipe. Here is a soup photo from my archives that I will remake with an Ayurvedic flavor:

Nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a wintry day!

On the website is a list of all the major events for January, which includes more than just New year’s Day. Here are just three January events from that website:

Jan. 5th: National Bird Day
Jan. 10th- Houseplant Appreciation Day  –    Bonsai’s make lovely houseplants>>>>>>>
January 31st- Chinese New Year



On another site, there are several awareness categories for the US: Cervical Health Awareness, Glaucoma Awareness, National Blood Donor Month and Thyroid Awareness. However, since many of my readers are from outside the US, you may want to know that January 4th is World Braille Day and January 25th is World Leprosy Month.

I am also planning to launch an Etsy page with my tote bags. Here are some recent gifts that I have made and feel ready to put similar ones on Etsy for sale, one of a kind totes, pillows, wall hangings, etc. that can be made to your specifications. This is one I made for my niece which I call The Jungle Tote, front & back. One side is plainer and on the other I use crazy quilting, which resembles crazed pottery with no set pattern. You make the pattern as you sew…… challenging and exciting for me because I never repeat the pattern.

This side is just a quilted piece of jungle-like fabric with a pocket and Jane’s initial in ribbon.

The other side is a jumble of jungle prints with an inside pocket.      

Straps go over the shoulder; large snap closes the tote.

Buttons anchor the straps that are also stitched to the bag by machine.

If you are interested in having a tote, pillow, yoga bag, wall hanging, or cover for your   computer or iPad made for you, please email me at for specifics. Prices start at $25 plus postage for small totes & iPad covers and $50 to $75+ for larger totes, plus postage and handling. Prices vary not only because of size, but also because of cost of fabric and trim. Here is the yoga I made for myself (with a small tote bag to match, not shown). Both have pockets:

So, as you can see, I am planning a challenge-filled new year and hope to keep you posted of my wins and losses. I may not accomplish everything, but I will give everything on my list an honest effort.

Finally, I may have arthroscopic surgery on my rotator cuff, which will put me out of commission for a few weeks, so you  may see some repeat postings and I will probably postpone the Etsy page until I can sew with both hands. But the preview above stills hold and I am giving my readers “first ups” on the list of purchases.

I want to wish all of you a fascinating, happy, healthy green-living New Year.



P.S. this was supposed to post automatically on Dec. 31st and did not, so excuse the delay.







Snopes Report: UNICEF, RED CROSS, and other Charities

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

A few days ago I posted “A Time to Give” ( and listed The Red Cross. Then a friend told me that the salaries are so high they can’t be using most of their money for disasters. After that, another friend who reads my website emailed me about The Red Cross and sent this link from Snopes:

This article reveals the top salaries of charities, and while I do not begrudge people from earning a good living, earning $1,200,000 to run a non-profit organization, in this case, UNICEF’s CEO is a little over the top.

The American Red Cross is second only to UNICEF, with a 2010 salary of $1,037,000 for the CEO, although an article before that quoted a much lower salary, so I need to investigate this more closely.

Actually, I found the article a bit confusing, since some of the info is noted as being out-of-date and another issue is that of efficiency of each organization. The accurate and inaccurate information are presented in a way I found difficult to figure out, so I plan to print out the entire article and read it more slowly and carefully.

At the end of the article is a link for additional information on America’s Most Efficient Charities, which may be the better way to regard which organizations deserve your hard-earned money. I could not get the link to work, so I Googled the topic and here are two direct links:

My “A Time to Give List” may have to be revised in the future. The best advice I can give is to ask for the company’s year end report, which shows how much money goes to administration and salaries and how much to the actual programs. Then decide what % of each is acceptable to you. And also check with for a company’s standing. Not only do you want to know where your money goes, but how much goes to actually helping the people who are the recipients of your donation.

As you can see, we have our homework cut out for us if we want to give responsibly. Any input is welcome. Thanx, es