#FeelTheBern

So, ya, I’m power-posting Bernie messages today. If you’re undecided, I hope you’ll check out a few of them.

I know a lot of my FB connections might be sick and tired of my posts (maybe even tuned me out from their feeds), but this is something I am deeply passionate about, and those that know me know I can be kind of a force of nature when I truly believe something is right. So love me, or block me…but if you love me, please know that I will continue posting and sharing, and pass along some of these messages to others. I‪#‎FeelTheBern‬ and I can’t hide it.

I felt passionate about Obama, too, in the ’08 election, but quickly became disillusioned by him, when one of the first things he did once in office was to send more troops to Afghanistan, and later signed the NDAA allowing US citizens to be held, without representation, even on US soil. I even considered giving up voting when I became truly conscious of just how corrupt our Congress is, and how little our vote actually affects policy.

Instead, I decided to get active, to do what I could to make a difference. It’s when I went to DC with Oriah, and lived in an Occupy encampment in the middle of winter. After all, it is my children –all our children– who will end up having to live with the mess that WE created, with our apathetic lack of involvement in our own government … you know, the gov’t that is supposed to be Of the People, By the People, For the People? And by doing this I was showing the next generation what it takes to make positive change in our country: WE take control of it.

I’ve met Bernie. I’ve shook his hand, asked questions, and gotten real answers. I’ve had reason to call his VT office, as a constituent, to ask for help for a friend, and for myself, and his dedicated staff “got ‘er done” in record time for both of us. I’ve seen him in action as a representative of the people of VT since he was the Mayor of Burlington –I didn’t live in Burlington at that time, so I couldn’t vote for him then, but i would have. I have, however, voted for him ever since.

Unlike Obama, I know he actually does what he says he’s gonna do. He has an integrity that is unmatched and unparalleled by any other candidate. He’s tried, tested and true, where Obama was not. Where Hillary definitely is not. While they accept money from the very monster we are rebelling against, Bernie has not, and will not. And when he says he’s going to fight for something, he does, with every ounce of his being. And unlike Trump, he represents all of us, without the hate rhetoric, demeaning misogyny, and racist speech.

Bernie won’t build walls. He’ll build bridges and roads.

Bernie won’t allow Big Pharma and Insurers to take more and more, raising prices to the highest anywhere in the world, while we get sicker and sicker, for lack of ability to pay for healthcare.

Bernie won’t decrease taxes on the rich, while the working classes take home less and less in order to support tax cuts for the 1%. He’ll take off the caps on the wealthiest Americans –those that can afford it and will still remain filthy stinkin’ rich (seriously, do you think that if Waltons of Walmart paid -say a Billion- in taxes they’d be unable to buy a small nation, a few yachts & a jet or two, plus 100 spare Mazeratis -in case one broke down?? Would they really have to raise prices or decrease wages to put gourmet food put on their tables every night?)

Bernie won’t enact any policy that sends the the bulk of profits of your labor UP to the top few hundred wealthiest American, while your standard of living continues to go DOWN.

Bernie won’t allow the gov’t to take YOUR social security earnings to pay for more war. He’ll increase your benefits, and secure that future payments are there, by demanding the wealthiest to pay into the system at the same rate –no more caps.

Bernie won’t allow massively wealthy corporations to claim they’re American businesses when they avoid paying their fair share of taxes by hiding it in other countries, and sending our jobs to countries without workers’ rights -Human Rights!- and disasterous environmental policies. Instead, he’ll demand that US corporations behave like the rest of us: pay their fair share, uphold Human Rights/Workers’ Rights, and set real goals to mitigate the damage to our environment (so our children have air to breathe in the future, water to drink, etc. ya know? like actually have a future to live?)

Bernie won’t give billions to “bail out banks” (ie, paying themselves multi-million dollar bonuses with your tax dollars) while our youth are going bankrupt with student loans, and families lose their homes. Bernie will see that the real Big Bank criminals are prosecuted with more than a slap on the wrist, and break up those “too big to fail” Oligarchs. Banks should serve the financial interests of their communities, not their fat-cat corporate CEOs.

Bernie won’t become one of the corporate puppets, getting rich off campaign contributions, slick “gifting” by corporations in exchange for doing what they want. Instead he’ll fight for publicly funded campaigns and funding limits, returning the power of our vote to us in full measure.

Bernie wants an educated, healthy, industrious nation of involved citizens; an economically sound and secure country in which all its citizens have access to healthcare, education, a healthy environment and a livable wage.

So do I.

But he can’t and won’t do all this on his own: WE will do it, by making sure we put him in office, and like-minded representatives in the House and Senate. Other countries are already doing all of this, and have a citizenry that values its democratic system (hell, they VOTE to raise their own taxes so their society will benefit!)

We can do all this, and so much more. Because we’re Americans and that’s just how we roll, when we put our minds to it.

When I couldn’t afford to donate to his campaign, I had a tag sale and donated 50% of the net proceeds to his campaign. I still can’t afford to spend money outside of my own family’s immediate needs, so when I really, really needed a seasonally appropriate jacket, I bought a Bernie zip sweatshirt…that way my investment in a much needed jacket also supported his campaign. I’m still broke, but I have a phone, and I have a laptop. These are the tools available to me that make it possible to stay involved in doing what I believe is the right thing to do, for the future of this country, and for the future of my children.

That’s how much I #FeelTheBern

Take time to really understand what WE are doing in OUR political revolution.

www.BernieSanders.com

MicroAggression -V- White Privilege

Micro-aggression is considered a form of “unintended discrimination”.  It is depicted by the use of known social norms of behavior and/or expression that, with or without intent by the user, still has the same effect as conscious, intended discrimination.  A simple illustration of the meaning of micro-aggression can be seen by the use of pronoun “He” which, in its use is meant as a congregation of all, but which, by its inherent nature, actually segregates and demotes the feminine, “She”. Attempts to use opposite gender pronoun in the same situation as “He” has the unintended consequence of limiting the power implied in the original situation. It is our culturally conditioned response to accept that the masculine is assertive and that the feminine is passive; that “She” is a lesser part of the whole that is “He”.  This is equally true where He and She are replaced with White and Black. Continue reading

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

I’ll be posting pictures after I make my next batch.

Ingredients:

read, please, before you start!

A bar of soap: The Original DIY Recipe calls for Fels Naptha, or Zote, and can be found in the laundry detergent isle, often overlooked.  It is also on Amazon. This laundry soap has been around for nearly a century, and your grandmother or great grandmother probably used it long before she bought her first automatic washing machine. It works great on greasy grime, from sweat stains to motor oil. There isn’t much this bar of soap can’t get out. But one great thing about this recipe is that you can use almost any kind of bar soap you like, from Ivory to Zest…although I won’t recommend using Dove. Something about it being a moisturizing bar seems to limit its laundry washing options. Otherwise, choose away! Even soaps for sensitive skin or allergic reactions can work well (particularly Dr. Bronner’s baby castile bar soap).

20-MuleTeam Borax(SODIUM TETRABORATE DECAHYDRATE): No it’s not the same as Boric Acid, nor is it Boron, both of which people often confuse with Borax, asking “isn’t that stuff toxic?” There are plenty of sites that will provide you with the scientific breakdown of each, as well as some conflicting stuff by people who really don’t know their a@@ from their elbow (it’s obvious.  when you read their info, and follow their links, not one leads to any trustworthy source). I did a lot of research on it a few years back, and ended up choosing to try it as a particular remedy that involved ingesting small quantities on a daily basis. Basically, it’s far less toxic that table salt, and it is used in all kinds of products you already use, like make up, skin care, even in some agriculture processes, and definitely in other cleaning products. Here is the MSDS sheet on it  You can also look up Sodium Tetraborate on the NIH ToxNet website. Anyway, it, too, can be found in your laundry detergent isle. If not, you can request that your store carry it, or order it on Amazon

Washing Soda: not baking soda, washing soda. Again, found in your Laundry detergent isle or on Amazon. It’s a box that’s about the same size as the Borax, usually found in the same vicinity. It’s the Borax and Washing Soda team that seems to really do the trick in this recipe. Some people even use just the bar soap and the washing soda! (although I think the Borax is the key dirt kicker…)

You can buy all three together on Amazon, too.

Finally, if you like scented laundry detergents, then drop by a health food store or coop and buy a few Essential Oils. It can get kind of pricey if you go overboard, which I think happens when you sniff too many different EOs in too short a time period. (Surely, that can be the only explanation…). My own experience in buying EOs eventually led me to searching for other ways to make my DIY products smell nice, and led to learning how to make DIY EO, which I’ll be sharing with you soon. For now, bring along a scent sensitive friend who can slow down your frenzied EO sniffing and purchasing, and try only one or two for your first batch. You can always go back for others, later.

OPTIONAL Ingredients: I think I’ve read somewhere to avoid adding oxy-clean… I’ll look for it and report back here. Otherwise, almost anything you feel you need, including adding a small amount of your old detergent, simply because you think nothing can clean as well (tho’ I hope you’ll try this without, first) or because you prefer it’s fragrance (which are quite toxic, and harmful to those with multiple chemical sensitivities).

Most of the DIY recipes you find are for making 4-5 gallons of detergent, requiring you to find a large restaurant sized pickle bucket. While I firmly doubt you’ll ever look at another detergent after trying this, I am going to start you off with a smaller quantity, so you can get a feel for the stuff without having to make a lifetime commitment (no comments on my love life from the peanut gallery, please). You’ll still end up with a considerable amount (about 2 gallons). If you find you like it, then move on to the next phase: find that 5-gal bucket, with a lid, and double the recipe*!!

*Bonus: No wedding ring required, either.

Before starting, gather all your ingredients, and these items as well:

  • 2 gallons of water
  • a pyrex/glass liquid measuring cup (4 cup if you have it, 1cup will do) and a few non-liquid measuring cups, (the 1/3 is all you’ll need)
  • a hand-held grater or cuisinart/food processor
  • a good spatula
  • a good wooden spoon (the spatula can do double duty instead, if it can handle hot temps)
  • a good hand whisk, or hand-held beater, or a blender, or an electric drill with the paint mixing spatula on (all, but the hand whisk, are optional, although any one of them will create a preferred end product).
  • and several wide-mouthed containers, enough to hold up to 2 gallons of laundry detergent.

1) To start, grate 1/3 of your bar of Fels Naptha  (or about 1/2 of your regular soap. If you do not have a hand grater or zester, you can cut the portion of soap into small bits and toss it in your food processor and pulse it until you have a finely granulated portion that equals 1/3 cup of Fels (1/2 other soap). I usually grate the whole bar, putting what I don’t use in a ziploc baggie, ready for the next time I need to make a batch).

2) Next, bring 8 cups of water to boil in your largest spaghetti pot (it should hold up to 16 cups, or 2 gallons, of water total). Once it has started to boil, turn the heat to medium. Sprinkle in the soap. You will need to stay close and pay attention! The goal is to melt the soap, which takes a bit of patience. Turning up the heat to make it go faster is not a good idea, as it will likely bubble up and over before you know it. It will only take about 10 minutes. You want it to have very small bubbles around the edges of the pot, as in simmering a soup.

3) While you’re keeping tabs on the pot, pre-measure and set aside 1/3 cup of Borax and 1/3 cup Washing Soda. Then, stir the pot from time to time, scraping down any that starts to creep up the sides.

4) Once the soap melts, the liquid will be slightly thicker, and that’s your cue to turn off the heat and add the Borax, stirring well, and often for the next few minutes. When it appears the Borax has dissolved completely…

5) add the Washing Soda, and do the same. The liquid is getting thicker by now, so it’s time to

6) add the rest of your water, between 6-8 cups, depending on how thick you want the final product, and to finalize the stirring, being sure all your ingredients are melted and dissolved.

7) Take your mixture off the heat, but leave it on the stove for now. Come back in about an hour, or use the time to put everything you’ve used away, or read something else on my blog (you are forewarned: we may not agree on things. We can enjoy each other’s company without agreeing on all things, can’t we?).

8) Now comes the fun part!! When you come back you’ll notice a layer of jello-like stuff in your pot. Poke through and there will probably be a bunch of liquid below. If you were away a lot longer, it may be almost completely gelatinous at this point! No worries! At this point you already have a perfect laundry soap; all that matters is its texture or consistency. It will work great no matter what happens.

Regardless of it’s condition, you can choose to give it a final whipping with a hand whisk and be done, or take the time to whip it in the blender (or with your paint whip on a drill, or hand held mixer). As for me, I prefer the blender option, and I like to do this when there is a minimal “jello crust”, while there is plenty of warm –not too hot to touch–liquid underneath. First, I give the mixture a good hand whisking. The end result of that is that it looks like the kind of pile of gloppy goo that boys would love having a discussion over, but not good for discussion here. Just consider it gross looking, and be glad if you don’t have a cold.

9) That’s when I start pouring batches into my blender and really whipping it, on the highest setting, till it lightens and starts take on a frosting-like texture. I prefer mine this way. It’s easy to scoop with a tablespoon (which is the amount to use for an average load!), and to spot treat, using a child’s wetted soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub into stains before laundering. However, if you want a real liquid laundry soap, add more water to the blender, whip again. Continue to do this (remove some if it becomes too full, add what you take out back into the pot) until you reach the right liquid consistency for you. A real liquid-y laundry soap may need about a 1/4 to a 1/3 cup per load of laundry in the end. As each batch reaches it’s final whipping

10) add your EO fragrance, then pour into the appropriate storage containers. Keep one near the washer and store the others.

One last note: as a liquid it will still tend to separate, forming a layer of gel on top. Just give your laundry soap a good shaking prior to using. The heavier paste style I’ve made never separated.

So, remember: no matter what it looks like in the end, it will work. Add fragrances last, so that the heat doesn’t cause it to dissipate before you ever get to use it!

Total time: about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs max.

To use: a thick laundry soap will use about 1 TBSP per load.

A very liquid-y laundry soap will use anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

This stuff is an excellent pre-treatment, too!

It works in ALL TEMPERATURES, and in ALL MACHINES, including HE machines*!

*A special note to HE machine users: I don’t own one, but on every site that I’ve found with DIY laundry soap recipes, the question arose in the comment section, by at least one HE owner, of manufacturer’s rules and requirement to use only special and expensive HE detergents. The responses were 100% in agreement: the DIY laundry soap never caused any problems. And a few HE owners even mentioned the thievery of plumbers who are making a fortune coming out to fix their machines that no longer drain well, and learning that the real problem was a clogged filter–clogged with debris from laundry, regardless of detergents used. So, check your filters. Apparently this, too, can be a challenge, as the directions, let alone the actual filter, are not easily found. Good luck. Use the recipe at your own discretion.

If you have a great project or DIY recipe, I would love to learn about it, and any other money-saving and earth-friendly DIY projects or recipes that you have, or improvements to any that I post. Please let me know if I can share them, once I’ve tried them out myself!

****please note: questions asked, that are discussed within the article or recipe, may only receive a short, to-the-point response informing you that what you seek has already been answered, for example, “question answered in the article/recipe. Please read it again.”  Thank you for understanding that taking time to repeat the same information many times, to many individuals, can take up precious time spent doing other things I love to do.

Your considerate comments are welcomed!

battle3

Battle For The Net

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

the internet's spinning wheel of death

the internet’s spinning wheel of death

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On February 26th,  just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you still don’t understand what Net Neutrality is all about,* Last Week Tonight comedian, John Oliver, explain:

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here:

 Countdown for Net Neutrality tools

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown:

Join the Battle for Net Neutrality

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net on February 26th!

via Battle For The Net.

*shared for educational purposes only

How A Welfare Queen Saves Money: DIY Recipes

How A Welfare Queen Saves Money: DIY Recipes

DIY Recipes Listed After my Rant...

If you have been reading my blog, then you know I am one of “those” people. You know, the one that the GOP and Faux News (aka, Fox News) like to lay the blame on for everything that is wrong in this country, who is described as a lazy, good-for-nothing-user, living a decadent life of luxury off the lap of government hand-outs– that are funded with your hard earned tax dollars. This us the kind of person who likely smokes pot all day, uses, or sells drugs (probably both). To make it worse, the drugs are bought with foodstamps! …All so that her kids can wear made-by-child-labor, X brand name sneakers; she is a lowly, reprehensible person who can’t even be bothered to try working for a living. Yes, it is the dreaded welfare queen. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I am the kind of person that is often judged in this way, but that it is simply not the Truth!

When I decided to start a blog, I knew that I would be writing about my Activist work as well as offering insight to life as a single parent, and life as a person with disabilities. I also knew that if I wanted my insight to have any credibility, I would have admit that I’ve gained these perspectives because I receive a number of public supports that are funded by taxes, such as foodstamps and section 8 rental assistance. I hate admitting it because it is cannon fodder–I am immediately judged to be one of the aforementioned “welfare queens”, or subjected to the debasing, simpering look of pity–I have to fight the urge to give a disgusted roll my eyes and sneer at the latter, and grit my teeth against the urge to kick the prior. Life happens. Plain and simple. I would much rather the judgemental attitudes and looks of pity were saved for someone who deserves such a lack of respect, and be dealt with in the present, on equal footing, as a human being. I will point out the challenges faced from my part of the world, not for pity or loathing, but for understanding, by clarifying things with the Truth. If you can’t respect that, please don’t bother reading any further. Continue reading

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Rural White Folks Need to Speak Out against Racism in our Communities

Thank you for such a beautifully written and elegant commentary. I have been struggling to find ways to more fully understand my own white privilege and I continue to seek ways to break its hold, to become more humble, open, accepting, aware, and conscientious of what it means to be a racist. My cultural DNA dictates that I am, in fact, a racist, but how it gets expressed in my life is up to me. I, too, live in a more rural state (VT), bI’ve also been told that disagreeing that something is a racist microaggression is another curse of white privilege. but what is happening here is, in some ways perhaps, more insidious. My town is all about “Tolerance” (gadz, I hate that word). Employers have their workshop on tolerance, our schools have 0 tolerance rules, etc., and yet the undercurrent is dragging everyone out into the deepest of depths and drowning us all in racism. It’s microaggressive racism. Anyway, all I know for sure is that a)White people cannot lead this movement, we must follow and learn and b)White people must talk and talk and talk about it, no just with other white people, but with people of color.

COUNTRY QUEERS : a multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural and smalltown LGBTQI folks in the U.S.A.

December 13, 2014

If you are a white person living in a rural and predominantly white mountain community today, on this National Day of Resistance, you may be confused about how best to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement.  I have no answers, I have a lot of questions, and I know that it is inappropriate for white folks to take up public space processing our place in this movement.  However, what is also inappropriate and outright dangerous is for white folks in rural places to disengage completely from this movement and from conversations about racism and white supremacy in our communities, or to only engage in these conversations when it is a “hot topic” in the news.  I am not writing this as any kind of expert.  I am not writing this as someone who has been doing a good job of being engaged and active.  I am…

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Hands Up! Don't Shoot!

a chanting poem for white and black

I’m going to a solidarity event on Friday, in hopes of creating awareness of White Privilege. Most people in my community are white, and I believe a great majority would make the claim that they are not racist. That statement, on its own, is proof of still being racist, but also that the issue of racism itself has become an undercurrent issue: unseen on the surface, but powerfully active and very damaging underneath.  We will be racists until white privilege disappears.

Anyway, I agreed to come up with some chants but, I sure could use your help! I want to break free from the typical protesting chants (What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!).  I want to bring in a sense of empowerment that says “we can fight this, we can win this,” and I want something that honors the memory of so many who have been killed, due to the color of their skin.

Can you help? Make some suggesting in the comment box below. Remember, please keep it clean, keep it constructive. Take a look at my Polling Page, too! Thank you!

a chanting poem for white and black

Eric,’ Michael ‘ and Trayvon
say something still ’ is going on
It’s ignorance,’ fear and that hate !
Real issues of racism’ we must debate
Listen! Listen! ‘ They speak from their graves
challenge your Privilege’, Be brave, be brave!
Listen! Listen! ‘ They cry from their graves!
For it may be ’ a Human life that we save!
It’s not the tone ’ or shade of the skin
that shows a heart’s merit ‘ from within
We take it for granted,’ so cozy in White
but it’s heart and soul’ that carry our Light.
Our actions they speak ’ louder than a word
So break free today ’ from the Racist herd
Listen! Listen! Their deaths not in vain ’
Racism like Slavery ‘
We must break the chain.

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The New ‘Normal Barbie’ Comes With an Average Woman’s Proportions — And Cellulite Sticker Accessories

A wonderful, and refreshing, alternative for those parents who want to give their daughters a head start on developing a healthy self-image!

TIME

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 3.57.10 AMIt’s a month before the holidays and you’re grappling with a serious toy buyer’s dilemma: On the one hand, you kind of just want to get your kid a Barbie; on the other hand you’d rather not perpetuate the peddling of anatomical ideals that are so impossible to achieve–and impractical. (Were Barbie human, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her tiny feet and would only have room for half a liver.)

That’s why graphic designer-turned-toy-maker Nickolay Lamm created the Lammily doll — what the Barbie would look like if she actually had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body (based on CDC data). And brown hair. (She also comes with a sticker extension pack, complete with cellulite, freckles and acne, but we’ll get to that later.)

What started as an art project in July 2013 became available for purchase and delivery Wednesday. “Parents and…

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Stardust

I just love this kind of stuff–being aware that we are all so intimately interconnected. This is the kind of awarenes from which I feel my sense of spirituality.

The Science Geek

Last week I was on holiday with Mrs Geek in London.  While I was there, I spent an afternoon at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which is set on top of a hill in East London. It was commissioned in 1675 making it one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the world.  Sadly, it can no longer function as an observatory. There is far too much light pollution caused by street lights, road traffic, housing, offices etc.  So it now a museum. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is that within its grounds is a steel strip, which shows the line of 0 degrees longitude marking the boundary between the East and West hemispheres of the Earth.

However, the thing that really stuck in my mind was a display which contained a quote from the British physicist and popular science writer John Gribbin (1946-).

Stardust

Of all the elements only hydrogen and helium…

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