Today I was reading a blog that I follow and well, you know how it goes, one blog leads to another and then another and then… I happened upon this blog.  As I read through the bloggers earlier posts, I found a post that really resonated with me.  The post is about: Blame.

In the past, I have been blamed for things, as I’m sure at one time or another; most of you out there have been as well.  Of course, we are not always aware of the blame until word gets back to you, like it did to me.  My infraction?  I was blamed for the deterioration of a friendship. When the friendship ended, I had thought it ended on a rather honest note — there was no argument, no harsh words, no mudslinging or the like.  I closed the book on our friendship and made a conscious effort to own what is mine, learn from the experience and move forward. If there is one thing I can say with the utmost certainty is this: in any situation, I always own what is mine – always.  People will often hear me say, “…even if 98% is the fault of the other person, 2% is mine so I have to own it…” — and I do, believe you me, I do.  Since 2006, I have been working very hard to own what is mine – in every scenario.

I’m not the type of person who likes to air her dirty laundry to all and sundry. I also do not need to amass an army of people to stand behind me when I have a falling out with someone because I am strong enough to stand on my own. The causes of the falling out are too many to list and too personal; however, I will say this, we each share responsibility in the falling out — it wasn’t all me.  Unlike some, I do not have the energy or the imagination to trump up charges and lies so as to convince everyone that I am a victim. I don’t do *victim* it’s not how I roll.  [Besides, I have always been of the belief that he who screams the loudest is guilty.] My timeenergy and thoughts are far too precious to waste on people who no longer matter to me. If my accuser(s) chooses to blame me, well then to that I say, “Thank you!” because just like says in this post, you have given me your power.  Nicely done! I’ll take it.


To sum up *blame*, my feelings are simply these:  instead of casting blame, hurling insults and telling lies, why not take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what is the motivation behind slandering someone? What is to be gained? What is to be lost? And lastly, what is missing from your life that drives the need to tear someone down?

Rather than sling mud, I prefer to soul search and get to the root of my feelings and why I am having them. Anyone out there who feels the need to blame, lie, and insult really ought to think about what’s driving their emotions. I’m serious. For anyone who feels the urge to lash-out in a irrational manner, why not take a step back, breath, and then sit down and figure out what’s going on with you, not your target, just you.  I mean it, do your homework, you cannot fudge this. Trust me, since 2002 I have learned a shit-ton of life lessons, but it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided to really sit down and DO. THE. WORK.  So go on and  figure out where you fit into the grand scheme. And when you’re finished with that, do something selfless so as to gain some much needed perspective but don’t brag about it. In fact, don’t tell anyone, just do it because you want to be a better person and you care deeply about helping others, not because you want the accolades and atta-boys.

And lastly, stop wasting time acting like a person who exhibits the symptoms of someone suffering from arrested development. Instead, when you feel the urge to blame, lie, and insult as well as retaliate, why not do as I have recommended above and then to further your growth, do any one of (or all) the suggestions I have outlined below:

1.)   Get a hobby;

2.)   Take up a sport;

3.)   Volunteer

4.)   Call a therapist;

5.)   Go back to school

And last, but not least importantly, ACT LIKE AN ADULT AND OWN WHAT’S YOURS!!!!!  I MEAN SERIOUSLY! With all that is going on in the world, you have to go and create such trivial insipid drama, spreading poison, lies and fostering hate? Really????  I don’t know about you, but I’ve got better things to do with my life.

And in the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.” 


Meet Nicholas

The next time you tuck into a glass of milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese… think of Nicholas.

Nicholas: The Story of a Rescued Steer, Casualty of the Dairy Industry

Nicholas is a five-year-old steer rescued by Animal Place last Christmas day. He was found at only one day old, tied up outside an apartment complex with no food or water. Lucky for him, he is living out his life at the sanctuary. Male dairy calves have little value to dairy farmers. They don’t produce milk. Watch this informative and inspiring video featuring Marji Beach, Education Manager at Animal Place explaining the story of Nicholas.
Story Source can be found here:

12 Wishes of Christmas

This past weekend, I was engrossed in some pathetically sappy Christmas movie with serious religious undertones [not that I have anything against G-d].  Due to the fact I reduced my cable package down to *basic*, I couldn’t tell you the station I was watching. Suffice it to say, it was one of the 2-22 channels.  (That ought to narrow it down, eh?)

The movie was about a woman named Laura, who feels everything in her life is going wrong. For example:  She loses her job. Her Hedge Fund boyfriend quits his job to become a writer (and for some reason cannot pick up on Laura’s signals that she’s ready to settle down, ahem! Get married!). Laura’s landlord makes her give up her dog due to apartment regulations…and…well, you get the gist.   Laura’s best friend Faith (how apropos) convinces Laura to go see a life coach (who is secretly an angel but Laura doesn’t realize until much much later…). The life coach grants Laura 12 wishes which she can submit via the coach’s website.  However, before submitting her wishes, the coach advises Laura to read the terms and conditions — it is imperative that she does so (of course Laura doesn’t read them. Are you surprised? Neither was I).  Laura is skeptical. I mean, who wouldn’t be, right?  To test the veracity of the coach’s website, Laura logs on and decides to wish for something simple:  she wishes her boyfriend would send her flowers.  Suddenly, there is an earthquake like feeling and voila! flowers appear at her door.   Hot diggity dog!  Laura is hooked and proceeds to enter more wishes.   Like most people (I assume), Laura wishes for all material sh*t. (Pardon my French.)  She also enters wishes for her best friend Faith, which I thought was a nice, selfless act.   And then, one day, while leaving the mall, Laura runs into the coach who chides her for being so cavalier with her wishes.  With only 2 wishes left, the coach advises Laura to use them wisely.  She doesn’t (naturally).  Despite the wishes, Laura’s life isn’t any better post-wishes than pre (shocking!).  Laura learns her boyfriend is cheating.  She has a falling out with Faith. She uses up one of her two remaining wishes to get her job back and then uses her last wish to have a co-worker fired (without realizing said co-worker has a sick daughter).   At this point in the movie, I couldn’t help but think: Be careful what you wish for honey.  I am not a religious person, but I do believe in energy and karma.  I believe what goes around comes around – in fact, I think most people do.

Have you ever heard of the expressions: change your thoughts and you will change your world? Or, change your views and your world will change? Something like that, right? I’m too lazy to look up the exact phrases.  Truth be told, as I watched the movie, I became infuriated that Laura was wasting her wishes on material shit and revenge, believing that these items would bring her happiness. Which got me to thinking, what is it about our nature as humans that we seek out material stuff to make us happy?   I’ve seen people rack up credit card debt buying the latest and the greatest and yet they don’t seem to be very happy.  They drive the most expensive cars, they have their homes decorated by professionals, and their kids are in private schools – and yet, they act out in ways that tell me, they are not happy.  These people I speak of have the best money can buy and money is no object and yet underneath the money veneer is/are miserable people. For example: just watch the Real Housewives of: [fill in blank] and you’ll get a glimpse into their unhappy material world.

I once worked with an executive who told me:  Happiness comes from within. You can choose to wake up and be happy every day and share it, or be miserable – the choice is yours.

I have never forgotten this.

Incidentally, the girl who cuts my hair refuses to play the lottery because she believes, from the depths of her soul, that money will not make her happier, rather, it will bring her unhappiness, headache, heartache and trouble.  I think she’s on to something… wouldn’t you agree?


In closing, if an angel disguised as a life coach granted me 12 wishes.  This is what I would wish for:

1.)    I wish every single person on this planet would become a vegan – forever!

2.)    I wish cruelty to all animals would end – forever!

3.)    I wish human and animal suffering would end – forever!

4.)    I wish people would be kinder to one another

5.)    I wish people would believe in climate change and take a stand to reduce their carbon footprint

6.)    I wish for cures for:  cancer, leukemia and Aids

7.)    I wish people would stop caring about material possessions

8.)    I wish everyone would recycle and re-use.

9.)    I wish there were no more wars

10.) I wish racism, discrimination including religious discrimination would end – forever

11.) I wish…

12.) I wish…

As you can see, this is as far as I got.  And if you’ll notice I didn’t wish for: money, a fancy car, a big house, expensive clothes or purse/bag, a horse, or any other material item. I also didn’t wish for revenge on the people who have hurt me.

Now I’d like to turn the tables on you.  If you were granted 12 wishes, what would they be? You don’t have to tell me, but perhaps you’ll consider this the next time you write an entry into your Gratitude Journal and if you don’t have a Gratitude Journal, well then dammit! Go on and start one.

Yours truly,



My vegan Thanksgiving, 2012

Last Thanksgiving (2011) I was forced, against my will (I might add),  to cook a non-vegan Thanksgiving dinner – primarily the poor helpless turkey.  To say I was pissed would be an understatement.

Flash forward to 2012:  This year I told all and sundry that I was not, repeat: NOT cooking a turkey!  Matter of fact, I told everyone I was not going to participate in the holiday; rather I was going to stay home and chill.  True to form: my family guilted me into hosting – what a surprise. Not!  Due to peer pressure, I succumbed but I made sure all were aware that I was not going to fold and cook a poor innocent murdered turkey.  I said, “If you want me to host, well then you must abide by my rules and eat a vegan Thanksgiving.  There is no room for argument.”

Well what a surprise! Not only did my family LOVE my vegan Thanksgiving feast, but they went back for seconds.

This was the (vegan) menu lineup:

  • Roasted potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips (purchased all veggies from my local farmer’s market)
  • Whipped Butternut Squash (also purchased at the farmer’s market)
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Field Roast (in place of the turkey – purchased from Whole Foods)
  • Pumpkin Pie with whipped coconut milk “cream” (Ah, yuuuuuuuuum!)

To my surprise everyone loved the Field Roast and couldn’t believe it and all the sides were vegan.  My response was, “Just because something is vegan, does not mean it is tasteless.”   

 I wish I had taken a photo of the entire meal but I was so caught up I completely forgot.  Thankfully I saved the box from the Field Roast so you could see what I am talking about.

I give you Field Roast:

Field Roast for Thanksgiving 2012

Slaughterhouse-Free Pumpkin Bread

Oh good, I was hoping the title would grab your attention.

So hello there!

Yesterday I was home sick from work. Lucky me, I manged to catch the bronchial plague that is running rampant through my office [heavy sarcasm].  So as to spare everyone my plague, I stayed home because, well, that’s how I roll.  At around 11:00, I had had enough of lying down. I mean, I couldn’t sleep due to the coughing so why stay in bed?  Yah, my thoughts exactly.  I took a shower, slipped into some Vicky Secrets (what’s she really hiding?) lounging attire and proceeded to experiment in the kitchen.  With my formal pastry background in check, I proceeded to create a vegan pumpkin bread.  BAM!

At this time,  I do not want to share the formula because I want to experiment a few more times until I feel that I have perfected it.  [Note: in the professional culinary world, pastry recipes are referred to as formulas, not recipes.]

I was reluctant to take any pictures of my creation, but then decided it might be a good idea to document the first batch so as to compare it to subsequent batches.  As with all of my photos, these were taken with my trusty iPhone.  WARNING:  I am not a professional photographer OR a professional food stylist so pretty please with vegan sugar on top, excuse the crudeness of my photos.


So, here is the first batch of Slaughterhouse-Free Pumpkin Bread:  BAM! (again)

Just out of the oven

Let’s take a peak inside…

How about another peak inside?

The First Slice. YUM!

© 2012 GiRRL_Earth

“Free Range” isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be…

Please watch this video rescue so you can see exactly what “Free Range” means to the poultry industry! 


VIDEO: Take Four Minutes to Watch This Turkey Rescue; It Could Change Everything

A young female turkey was found hiding away in the corner of a free range shed on a Petaluma, CA farm. As a result, she evaded her captors on the day the transport truck came to haul away the other turkeys to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving…

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Take a look at this female pig, trapped in a gestational crate, unable to turn, move, breathe fresh air or feel the sun on her back — living out her miserable life in a factory farm  Tell me you cannot feel her pain and sadness just by looking at her in this photo.

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photos Courtesy of Free From Harm

Oh and btw, gestational crates are the equivalent to being strapped into an airline chair for your entire life… noodle on that the next time you board a plane.  This is what life is like for sows in factory farms.  

Now look at this picture of a rescued pig living her life on a farm sanctuary. Can you see the difference?  It’s pretty obvious isn’t it.

Nancy, enjoying peaceful sanctuary life. This is where pigs belong! Farm Sanctuary, NY, USA. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photo Courtesy of Free From Harm

Folks I beg you, please stop eating all pork products which only supports this horrible industry. 

Oh and…

allow me to leave you with this disturbing photo — baby pigs some dead, some still alive, bulldozed or tossed into a dumpster. Nice, huh?

Dead and dying pigs are put in this dumpster at a factory farm. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur, www.weanimals.orgAll in a day's work. Piglet corpses being bulldozed away. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur,

Photo Courtesy of Free From Harm 

If you like to see more disturbing photos or learn more about what you can do to prevent these egregious acts, nav here:


Nitty Gritty Dirt Man

Beautiful Blogger Award 

A few weeks ago,  the very kind and sweet NittyGrittyDirtMan sent me a message to say he nominated me for The Beautiful Blogger Award and I failed to make mention of. What a bitch, right? I had intended on mentioning it, I pinky swear, but one thing led to another and it fell to the way side. (Shame on me!) When I received NGDM’s note, I was touched (awe).  Honestly, I was. Never in a million years would I ever consider my blog worthy of such recognition, especially by someone whose blog is levels above what my blog could ever hope to be.  Sounds pathetic but I’m serious. My blog has been morphing since it’s inception in 2011 and lately it seems to be all over the map.

So how did I get here from there? Well kids, my blog journey began July 2011.  I was riding the commuter train home from Boston one evening reflecting on my life.   Health-wise, I lived through what I like call, a shit-storm, especially during the latter part of 2010.  Kiddies, the fact I’m still standing is a fucking miracle. That’s right, I said, MIRACLE!  When I think about what my poor body has been through, I am amazed.

Inspiration comes from the strangest of places.  For some, it takes a wake up call and as a result, I became a vegan. This is also the reason why harsh chemicals no longer reside in my home.  I couldn’t help but wonder if what happened to me was due to environmental contaminates in my food, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.  It was during this time, I discovered Ask a Broke-Ass Grouch’s blog. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Reading through her blog made me realize she was living a defacto green lifestyle.  Suffice it to say, I was in awe (she had me at: “Let me put it in fucking perspective for you”)  Further inspiration came from the death of my brother. His death, my health, Broke-Ass Grouch’s blog and Voila! GiRRL-Earth was born (Waaaaaaa!).  [Would you believe, the acronym came to me as I was washing dishes (go figure).]  GiRRL_EarthGrow it. Re-use. Recycle. Love our Earth.  Ooooooooooh two snaps and a circle, uh-huh, that’s right.   The initial platform of my blog was to write about living a green lifestyle: ixnaying chemical cleaners, reducing one’s carbon footprint, growing vegetables… etc. Or so I thought. Little by little, vegan consciousness started creeping into my blog…and then stories about the egregious treatment to farm animals; recipes, and then, well… vintage slipped in and before I could see what was happening, my blog morphed into a ‘mashup’ of all the things I am passionate about: Green Living; Vegan Living; Food; Animal Rights & Abuse; Cats; My house; Ballet; Blogs who inspire me; and all things 1950s vintage.

I don’t know how it happened, but I began to attract followers to my blog. [Miracles do happen ya know.]  I can recall a time when my blog was like a fart in the wind. No one had heard of it.  Now I have some really groovy, talented, inspiring followers whose blogs totally rock.  I am in such awe of these people that I have a feeling most if not all of them have been nominated a hundred times over already so my nominating them will probably feel like this:  Again?! Jesus, not another nomination?!?!  “…Fucking nuts! I long for a grapefruit! – He seemed to say.” – Sorry I couldn’t help myself but to throw in an Eddy Izzard reference.

In accordance with the beautiful blogger award parameters I am supposed to reveal seven things about me, as well as nominate other bloggers. 

Seven things about me:

1.)   For the past two years I have been a vegan (former vegetarian). My health. A death. Alicia Silverstone’s book: The Kind Diet and Forks over Knives all inspired me to become a vegan. Despite the fact I was a vegetarian, I was still eating dairy and occasional fish. About six months after becoming a vegan, 15 lbs melted off my body and I feel so much clearer.  It is difficult to convey but since abstaining from all things animal, I feel a sense of clarity I never had before. Becoming a vegan has been a win-win for me.

2.)   I am an animal rights volunteer/activist (and the property of five fury felines). I have always been an animal lover/rescuer but now I give more of my $$ assisting local shelters as well as The Farm Sactury –most recently I adopted a turkey named Gable.

3.)   Seven years ago, I got back into ballet and have been faithfully dancing since.

4.)   I believe in a power greater than myself. I do not subscribe to organized religion or an Omnipotent God, but I do believe in energy, karma and spirituality.

5.)   I learned to forgive; to take the high road; and to not become tangled up in insipid drama. Life’s too short – if you feel the need to sling mud and cause trouble, do yourself a favor, take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself “What is missing from my life that I have to create such trouble for others?”

6.)   December 2004 I quit my corporate job to attend culinary school with a focus on pastry arts. Although I am no longer working in the field, this was the best experience ever!

7.)   I am a fan of Hitchcock, Bogie & Bacall, Edith Head, Mad Men and 1950s vintage


And now for the nominations: Below is a list of bloggers/blogs that inspire me and therefore I must nominate.

First and foremost: Ask a Broke-Ass-Grouch [Full Disclosure: I inadvertently left her out when I initially posted this! How could I have done that when she is/was the inspiration for this blog?!?!    😦

BookPeeps BP & I found each other because her blog was Freshly Pressed  after writing about the death of Helen Gurley Brown and I had literally just read a post by another writer about the very same topic (Barbara Lippert’s Mad Blog” (normally I would link you to BookPeeps post about HGB but I cannot find it.)

Next is Somer, of VedgedOut I honestly do not know how Somer and I found one another – had she commented on something I had posted or vice versa.  Oh wait, perhaps we found each other via her other co-blog:  Either way,  I find inspiration from Somer almost every single day.  This girl is my hero. 

NittyGirttyDirtMan.  NGDM blogged about 9/11 on the anniversary of 9/11 and as a result was Freshly Pressed. Had his blog not been FP’d, I may not have discovered him.  I have a feeling, if NGDM and I lived closer, we would be friends as we seem to be of the same generation and have the same interests in music, books and movies. Of course, putting myself in the same playing field as NGDM could be viewed as an insult. Not only is he a beautiful, inspiring writer but an incredible gardener!  Have you ever seen the movie A Fish Called Wanda when Wanda’s “brother” Otto tells Wanda  not to call him stupid and she says,  Oh, that’s right because calling you stupid, would be an insult to stupid people.” Well I feel, putting  myself in the same playing field with NGDM would like that… an insult.

Thanks to my adorable, young, brilliant, talented, graphic designer co-worker Erica, I learned of Manhattan-Nest When I am having a bad day or in need of a good guffaw, I nav on over to MN.  This kid is funny as shit and a true hero in my book because he saved a homeless dog from the streets of NYC Anyone who follows my blog clearly knows my stance on animals.  They rule!

Irunibreath How did I discover iRuniBreath? Was she FP’d like so many others? I honestly cannot recall but this girl is a riot. She writes about stuff we all think but don’t dare say, or if we do muster the courage to say what we are thinking, we only do so in selected company.  iRuniBreath throws balls to the wall and says what we all wish we could say.  I have a feeling IRIB and Somer of VedgedOut are kindred spirits. These two women are amazing – they are doing it all:  wife, mother, career, blogger, athlete, vegan cook – and they make it look so darn easy!  Argh! I hate them in a love kind of way…    😉

ElroyJones this woman took the time to blog about a very painful experience that happened to her when she was in her 20s, while staying in Italy.  To blog about something so painful takes a tremendous amount of courage.

BipolarBlogging  BPB was recently FP’d because he wrote about his decision to end it all and then managed to write (or blog) himself out of the abyss.  BPB wears his disease like a 2nd skin – he says the disease and he are one. I disagree. I think there is the man and then the disease.  BPB comes across as downtrodden. He has a very low opinion of himself, but I can see through is writing that he is so much more than he gives himself credit for.

MorningWarmUp   MWU fuond me because I had left a comment on Somer’s blog asking about running.  Seeing as I had just taken up the sport, I needed some guidance.  MWU’s blog is a wealth of info regarding running, health & fitness.  Coincidence that I have attracted three runners into my life: Somer; iRuniBreath and MorningWarmUp? I think not.

InPursuitofMore (while living with a lot lessSomer led me to IPM’s very touching blog about shopping addiction.  InPursuit was a woman who had it all, and yet still felt empty. She tried to fill the void with shopping, until she realized, she had a problem. Admitting you have an addiction takes strength, no matter what the addiction is and to share it with the world takes true courage.

TheFrailestThing   if Michael Sacasas was a college professor here in Boston, I would sign up for his class in a heartbeat. Most of what Michael writes about is so over-my-head that it leaves a part in my hair as it flies over – seriously, this guy can write!

In his own words: “Currently, I’m a working through a PhD program vaguely titled “Texts and Technology,” so much of what will pass through these pages will relate in some way or another to the interaction between technology and culture. My aim in thinking and writing about technology is, so far as it is possible, to achieve the critical distance necessary to make wise and humane use of technology; and neither unbridled optimism nor thoughtless pessimism regarding technology foster the sort of critical distance required to live wisely with technology. Before beginning my present track of study, I earned an MA in Theological Studies. And so another theme you will find running through this blog is the exploration of technology’s influence on communities of faith, particularly within the Christian tradition. Ultimately, I am interested not only in living wisely with technology, but also in living faithfully with technology.”

And last but not least importantly:

My best (and long time) friend Wheeza (nickname), started a blog: stupes_insips_rants   Sadly, Wheeza hasn’t had much time to devote to his blog because during the day he whiles away the hours as a corporate accountant; and during his off hours he writes movie and music reviews for Edge Magazine in Providence while patiently (and secretly) waiting for Pat Benatar and Neil Gilrado to adopt him.

So there you have it folks…



A Far Right Freak Out

I really enjoy Scott’s blog and felt his recent post was worth sharing (read: spreading).

World in Motion

The re-election of President Obama was not unexpected.   In fact, having followed the polls and Nate Silver’s modeling of the election it played out almost as if scripted, with no surprises.    In my predictions I got only two races wrong, and I knew each was a long shot (NC for Obama, Carmona for AZ Senate).    Usually elections hold surprises, this one did not.

At least, not for those of us who believed that the pollsters knew their business and someone with Nate Silver’s track record should be taken seriously.    On the far right there was shock, indignation and collective anger and dismay.   How could this happen?   (Note: I use the term “far right” to differentiate them from average, reasonable Republicans and Romney supporters.)

Many bemoaned the fact that the country “is no longer center-right,” and talked openly about the inevitable decline of the United States…

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Vintage Addiction

I know I shouldn’t have…but I just had to.  What you ask? Well, last night, after I voted (natch!),  I purchased the following vintage coat from  Another coat you ask? Yes, dammit! Another coat.   What can I say, I had to, I just did. Okay? So stop judging.  It was my moral imperative to purchase this coat. Besides the price was too good to pass up.  And you know I’m a sucker for 1950s Vintage.

This is the coat (isn’t it gorgeous!):

RESERVED 1950s Camel Swing Coat  MAD MEN  Professional Work  Attire Jackie Kennedy


…and this is the adorable seller: Klassy Klassics – Klassic Vintage Apparel  with whom I purchased the coat from.  The seller’s name is Shirley (which btw, is my mom’s name) who was not only kind enough to reserve the coat for me but she rejected an order when someone tried to buy the coat, after she had reserved it.  Now that’s customer loyalty!  Shirley at Klassy Klassics has some adorable finds.  If you love vintage as much as I do, well then I suggest you mosey on over to her sight right. this. minute… go on… go!



Sandy Cats

And these are the other victims of Hurricane Sandy, the one’s you don’t often hear or read about but they matter, at least to those of us who view our pets as family members.

Ten Thousand Kittens

Here is a video from IFAW, featuring Bill from the Animal Rescue League of Boston:

Rescue technicians Bill and Mark are back in Boston now, in part due to the well-organized animal relief efforts.

I’ve seen a number of news articles about animal disaster relief and it’s shocking how many people in the comments sections say that the owners don’t deserve their animals back after they abandoned them. During an emergency, it can be extremely difficult to take pets along. Some authorities won’t let you take them; many shelters won’t admit you with cats or dogs (this has started to change since Hurricane Katrina, but still persists).

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Why BAG Has Stayed Quiet During the Election Season–and Thank You, Tia

I have been a follower of: Ask a Broke-Ass-Grouch for some time now. In fact, Broke-Ass was the inspiration for my blog. Lately, BAG has been curiously quiet, until today! I was happy to see in my RSS feed and WP REader that BAG has something to say. In fact, today’s post about the Election sums up my feelings about Mitt Romney to a Tee. I hope you’ll take the time to read her post. Her writing alone is worth it.

Ask a Broke-Ass Grouch

Yesterday, following her short screed on Sandy, Broke-Ass received a for real, important Facebook message. Here it is:

As someone who loves your articles, I’m glad you moved from the Rancho before Sandy hit, glad you posted and are physically OK after the storm roared over Philly .. even if you are a little shaken & pissed off.

After the trauma of Katrina & Sandy, the devastating floods in Pakistan, the fires and droughts in Texas & the drought with crop loss in the midwest, the overwhelming fires in the west, food shortages in Russia, freak-freezes in Europe followed by freak heatwaves, and signs the jet stream is slowing — I agree, denial of climate change is unforgivable.

Please stay safe in the next storm — but please stay mad in your writing to give voice to the voiceless fighting to survive the economy, and now Sandy.


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Addendum to: Back to Basics: Heinz White Vinegar, it’s all you need

Hi folks,

Since the inception of this blog, I have been trying to convince friends and family members to stop buying commercial cleaning products. Instead, I would like for everyone buy a gallon or two of white vinegar, a 13.5 lb bag of baking soda and all of your cleaning problems will be solved without harming good ole’ Mother Earth.

Recently, I blogged about the multitude of uses White Vinegar has in this post.  I also blogged about an earth-friendly laundry detergent called: Charlie’s Soap.   And yet…[sigh]… no matter how much I preach (and at times I do feel a bit, well, preachy) my friends insist on buying fancy so-called eco-friendly cleaning products such as Method and Mrs. Meyers believing these products are equal to, if not greater than, vinegar and baking soda.

This morning, via Word Press Freshly Pressed page , I read the following Freshly Pressed Post about how plastic is harming the albatross (among other animals).  This isn’t the first time I have read about the dangers of plastic to our wildlife.  It also isn’t  the first time I have read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch   If you read through the comments to the post, you will see the writer links you to the following site:  Well what do you know! Right there on the front page (so-to-speak) is an article about how Mrs. Meyer’s so-called “eco-friendly” cleaning products are in fact, not so “eco-friendly” after all.  Hmmmmmmmmm.  Why am I not surprised. Slap on a few fancy labels and marketers ease the guilt of consumers.  I liken this to our food labeling: Grass-Fed Beef; Organic Milk with pictures of Happy Cows on the container, or “free-range chickens”.  It’s all just labeling — just because something says it’s eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean that it is.  Have you noticed bottles of vinegar do not say, “Eco-friendly”? That’s because they don’t have to! Duh!  If you have to tell someone what it is, chances are it is not.  Muhammad Ali used to say, “I’m the greatest!”  Well, actually sweetie, not if you have to say it.  Sorry.

Folks, don’t be fooled by labels.  Stop trying to find the most convenient. Do me a favor. Take a drive to Costco and fill up your cart with  a couple of gallons of white vinegar and 13.5 lb bag of baking soda.  I guarantee, you will only need make this trip once maybe two times a year.  Use up your so-called eco-products. Rinse out the bottle, and  fill them with 2 parts vinegar, 1 part water.  Keep the bottles along with your bag of baking soda under the sink in your kitchen,  so as to have them handy for when you’re ready to clean the house.

In closing, I believe climate change exists. I believe man and the factory animal farming industry are having an adverse affect on our planet. I believe every time we turn our backs on reducing our carbon footprint, we are spitting in the eye of Mother Nature.  As the late great Kurt Vonnegut said in 2005 on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, “I think we are terrible animals. And I think our planet’s immune system is trying to get rid of us and it should.” 

I do not want to see what has happened to the good people of  NYC/NJ happen again or happen to anyone else. Just like I had hoped what happened to the good people of Louisiana would never happen again.  And yet horrible things keep happening.  Why? I was pondering this very question on my train ride into work this morning when I decided to check my company Blackberry and there, waiting in my work email was a post from No Impact Man.   If you have never heard of No Impact Man, then I encourage you to check out his site. But more importantly, I encourage you, at the very least, to read yesterday’s post.

I agree with No Impact Man, we need to band together and reduce our impact our planet, we need to act now, before it is too late.

I hope you will at the very least consider it.  Thanks.




Lentil & Buttercup Squash Stoup with Brown Rice & Rye Berries

Every Sunday I make meals for the week, by doing so, I never have to worry about what I’m going to have for lunch or dinner. Today, I made Lentil & Buttercup Squash Soup (well, Stoup because it’s thicker than soup) with Brown Rice & Rye Berries (cooked using the Saveur method).   If you have never tried a buttercup squash then I suggestion you run out right now and purchase one. If you’re a squash lover like I am, then BC Squash will knock you over. The taste is incredible. I have cooked it in various ways (soups, stews, roasted, etc.) and I never grown tired of it.

I also used the last of my mutant carrots from my garden.  I didn’t want to toss these babies into the composter. I mean, just because they look like something from an alien planet, doesn’t mean they deserve a tossing with nary a care, right???



The ingredient list line-up:

Photo Left:  Buttercup Squash, onion, lemon, my mutant carrots and garlic.

Middle Photos: Kombu (I use kombu in most of my soup (stoup) and stews recipes. Kombu assists the body in breaking down legumes. )

Picture of Rye Berries

Photo on Right:  Snapshot of the Saveur brown rice cooking method


The finished product:


And here is a picture of my cat Sammy (just because), baking a sunshine cake (that’s what my father calls it when he sees a cat lying in the sun – “baking a sunshine cake”).


And this is a picture of my favorite snack (again, just because) which goes great with everything, especially hummus or Tahini. Yum!

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back 1 hour.



For your consideration:

Not everything is as it seems…

A co-worker of mine named Greg, who is the founding father of;  a restaurateur extraordinaire, creator of Man Soap,  and overall super nice guy, decided to make a pilgrimage to meet with the owner of a new vegan bakery that opened in Arlington, MA called Totally Sweet .  [Note: I had blogged about this back in October.] The reason Greg wanted to meet with the owner is to find out if in fact her goods were truly vegan; turns out, they are not. Evidently, the owner uses monoglycerides (diglycerides) in her baking, which is a derivative of animal fat and is found in margarines, cake mixes, candies, other foods etc.  it is even found in some cosmetics (yuck!).  When Greg questioned her about it, she didn’t seem to understand that her items cannot honestly be labeled “vegan” if she’s using said ingredients.  This truly is a pity because Greg and I were soooo looking forward to trying some of her vegan doughnuts.

Further into my conversation with Greg, I learned there is an App (natch!) that I can download which is basically an encyclopedia of all non-vegan ingredients that could be lurking in your so-called vegan pre-made foods (like Monoglycerides). This app is called Animal Free   Now mind you, I think it’s safe to say that most of us vegans eat whole foods and generally do not partake in something pre-made, prepackaged; however dot. dot. dot. sometimes some of us vegans like to nosh on things from our non-vegan days – this is why we often find substitutions for foods from our past. It is also the reason why some vegans make painstaking efforts to veganise (is this a word?) some of their favorite desserts.  Heck, even GiRRl_Earth likes to a little something-something to nibble on that isn’t exactly the best thing for her which is why when the mood strikes and I need something sweet and sinful,  I will pick up a dessert at Whole Foods from Candle Cafe or Moo-Cluck — as those desserts are vegan.

Hey, what can I say, contrary to popular belief (kidding) I am not perfect.  M-kay?