Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Can You Do For Our Earth?

Happy Earth Day! Okay, so it's the day after earth day, but that is sort of going to be the point of today's blog. Do we actually need an earth day or shouldn't everyday be a day to make a positive change in our lives that helps our planet?

I've been volunteering a lot at the Aquariam of the Pacific in Long Beach. This is something I decided to do this year, and I'm so glad I did. Volunteer work of any kind really pulls you out of your normal everyday ME syndrome. For a little while, you get to forget about personal problems and issues and do something to help others. But I digress. What I really want to share about the aquariam is that they are an awesome example of an organization that does what they can to be kind to the environment - everyday.

Something I learned from them is that we help our oceans and fish population by eating sustainable fish. What is that? I didn't know when I first heard it. Sustainable fish are fish that are abundant and caught and raised in an environmentally conscious manner. You can view what types of fish are sustainable and delicious reciepe recommendations at the AOP website.

By eating sustainable fish we allow fish population that have been overfished time to recover.

Here is one example of a reciepe you can find on the AOP site:

2 pints of Fresh Dungeness Crab

2 granny smith apples diced fine

2 ripe avocado sliced1 tble fresh chopped parsley

2 tble mayonaisse

1 t fresh lemon juice

1 t Dijon mustard

Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

Mixed Organic Greens (optional)

Sustainability: The pacific coast Dungeness crab fishery is considered one of the most sustainable crab fishery in the world. Crabs are caught in environmentally friendly traps and are managed by size season and sex. Only male crabs are harvested: females are returned to the sea to reproduce for years to come. Most crab fisheries are dependent on traps that allow for the release of bycatch, undersized crabs, and females. Crab traps are constructed so as to minimize so-called “ghost fishing” when lost (Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been lost by fishermen. These nets are left to drift the oceans of Earth entangling sea life and causing varying degrees of damage throughout Earth’s oceanic ecosystem).

Healthfulness: Crab contains very little fat and provides essential omega 3 fatty acids which are believed to be linked to good heart health.

Flavor and Cooking: The sweet and succulent flavor of Dungeness crab is best simply prepared. The success in this recipe relies on the balance of flavors between the richness of the avocado and the tartness of the apples, the sweet flavor of the crab and a touch of fresh lemon juice to cut accentuate these refined flavors. This salad can be served on a crispy baguette, served over mixed lettuces or eaten alone.

Combine all the ingredients and serve immediately.

Hope you try it and enjoy!


Friday, April 16, 2010

My Love of Books

I've been reading A LOT. Books for research. Books as part of my MFA program. Books that I had to judge for the RWA RITA. Books that students I tutor read so I can tell if they're summarizing correctly. Books scheduled for my book club. Books I like and want to read for fun. And I've loved (am loving) every minute of it.

Reading is one of my very favorite activities. I'd rather read than eat, and I really love to eat. And this has always been the case with me. Even as a child my mother would complain, because I was sitting around "doing nothing". Which kind of makes me wonder where I got this love of books. My father was a reader, but mostly newspapers. My house growing up was not rich with reading material. The only books I had were those I'd borrow from the library. I never owned a book until I was a teenager and old enough to buy my own book - usually at a library sale.

With my children, I made a point to expose them to books. Every room in my house has bookcases. They have their own personal library in their bedrooms. And thankfully, they are readers. As a teacher, I found that some kids I had to cajole into reading while others loved it on their own. But once "forced" most seemed to get into the books they'd chosen to read.

But, I wonder if we're either born readers and loving books or if it's something we learn . . .

Since it's been a while since I've had a give-away, I'd like to give a book lover out there some books to read. Leave a comment below, sharing what you love about books, and I'll choose someone at the end of the weekend to receive Elizabeth Hoyt's Prince collection: The Raven Prince, The Serpent Prince, and The Leopard Prince. In your comments, leave me an email where I can contact you and let you know if you're the winner.

Good Luck!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Break or Spring Work?

Remember the days when spring break meant hanging at the beach with friends or traveling to placed like South Padre Island or Miami or Las Vegas and partying from the day you arrive until you board the plane hung over? Well, me neither. It was never exactly like that for me. First of all I don't get that drunk, ever. I'm too much of a control freak and would hate not to remember the stupid things I'd done while drunk.

BUT, I do remember spring breaks when I was going to college, back when my husband and I were newlywed and we were free to go to places like Vegas or Palm Springs and have a great time just being together. We stayed in the spa until midnight then slept in all morning. We enjoyed fancy dinners and great shows. And we didn't even think of work or any of our obligations wating for us back home

But as this week of spring break ends, I'm exhausted. I decided to continue my spring cleaning since the kids weren't bogged down with school work. We cleared out a lot of the old dead plants and planted new. We weeded out more clothes they've out grown. I've (sadly) pulled books that I've already read or decided I will never read and put them in boxes to donate. So as we approach the weekend, I'm exhausted! And I didn't even get everything I wanted to get done done. I wanted to paint my family room, but that will have to wait another weekend or two.

Even though I'm pretty worn out, I really don't miss those spring breaks of my youth all that much. It's kind of nice to get to home projects that always get pushed aside. But now that it's Friday night, I've put away my gardening gloves and shoved all my junk into the garage. I'm going to take a hot shower and put all work aside for the weekend, which I plan to spend with friends.

What about you all? What did you do for spring break?