Welcome back to Saturday Shares! Ever feel resentful of a jigsaw puzzle because it reminds you of all the places you can't go? Yeah, that's me today, ha... (not to mention I seem to lose one piece out of each box, argh...) So anyhow, here's what I've been reading and thinking about this past week that I thought was worth sharing. To my newest blog followers, I'd love to hear from you!
Sustainability It's December 5th, and here on the North Oregon Coast I went out to see how the ducks and chickens were doing...without a jacket. The sun is out and it's been in the 50's all week. We've been comfortable just having a fire at night and letting it go out during the day. From Alaska to California, the Climate is Off-Kilter in the West, Grist reports, and they're definitely spot-on. No season is predictable. Here's hoping for more stealth climate bills...
Equity Being Gen X, my mother grew up in the 1950's and I distinctly remember her telling me about all the things she wasn't allowed to do as a young woman, in particular having a credit card in her own name, buying a home and access to birth control. When I was 10 years old, Geraldine Ferraro was the VP candidate and I couldn't have been prouder, and when I was a freshman in college, I learned the term sexual harassment during the SCOTUS hearings that brought the disgusting Clarence Thomas to the bench, where the brilliant Anita Hill was demonized and women's voices were ignored on a scale that made it apparent we still had a long, long way to go. I saw throughout my career where men's voices were heard and where women's voices were muted, denigrated, castigated for the same things. I remember when women weren't allowed to be in combat roles in the military, and . 20 Women's Rights That Didn't Exist Until the 20th Century is a reminder that we need to read, particularly for young women whose mothers are closer to my age and didn't have the same level of exposure to what wasn't allowed for women until only recently. And I must say, this one was one that a) I didn't know, but b) doesn't surprise me: "Per the Expatriation Act of 1907, if an American woman married a non-U.S. citizen between 1907 and 1922, she would immediately lose her U.S. citizenship...The law was repealed with the Cable Act of 1922, but it's worth noting that none of these restrictions applied to men." And in case anyone seems to think we're all squared away now? 18 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men explains what's still so messed up, going beyond pay equity into representation, how much we are charged for essential items and services compared to men, and more. And legalized sexism is still rampant as well, from child marriage to rapist's "rights" to various forms of sexual assault in some states. Yeah, so so SO much more work to do, folks.
Creativity Last night was definitely a 'bubble & squeak' event for dinner. Husband came home, neither of us with a clue of what to do, and then we just stared at all the food we'd preserved/frozen/canned/etc. this past year and I pulled out a bag of shredded carrots and said - there's GOT to be something we can do with these. So we made carrot fritters, adding some cumin and cilantro to season it up a bit, baked some leftover yams and topped them with black beans and salsa, threw some greens on the plate and...voila! Simple vegetarian meal...and crazy good!
Simplicity Ever since I was in my 20's and my Dad said that the holiday gifts I'd mailed to his daughters (do I call them half-sisters when we don't actually have a relationship?) hadn't arrived yet, and blamed me for ruining their Christmas, I've said 'F- it' to presents as an obligation. I stopped giving them to most people, and stopped expecting them as well. Honestly? And...I don't feel bad about it, nor neglected by not getting gifts for a holiday that a) I don't technically believe in since I'm agnostic, and b) that isn't about materialistic things in the first place but rather impressed upon by our consumerist society! Now, I'm not saying never do anything nice for anyone, but to feel obligated to give someone something because it's Christmas, and that it means one has to go to a store (or shop online) go obtain it? Aww hell no. Australian website The Conversation reports that "Charity groups are inundated with unwanted goods directly after Christmas. Not all of these are resold – charities reportedly send about 60,000 tonnes of unwanted items to landfill every year." They also give lots of ideas for experiential, handmade, and other green ways of giving that I love. This year, husband and I are cooking Peruvian and doing nothing at all beyond maybe going for a walk or watching a movie. No gifts, not even a tree this year, as we just aren't feeling it. And that's just fine! For those not at our end of the spectrum, consider this wisdom from MoneyWise: "If you could cut your Christmas spending in half, you could use the rest of that money to take your family on vacation or spend time with those closest to you in other meaningful and enjoyable ways. Let's face it: We could all use a little warmth outside of Christmas season."
Discovery I've been obsessed with dinosaurs since we studied them in Mrs. Vecchio's class in 2nd grade. I even remember the one I did for my report - the biggest one, brachiosaurus (you might remember from Jurassic Park this was the one nicknamed 'veggie-saurus' because it only eats plants). With that, I love every time they discover more fossils, and wanted to share Why some dinosaurs had such long necks with y'all.