January 2016 | bluegreenie

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ririn Ekawati (Foto: Radarcirebon)

ANAK-ANAK sering rewel di pesawat, baik akibat tekanan udara maupun turbulensi. Aktris cantik Ririn Ekawati punya cara biar anak tidak pernah rewel.

Fasilitas di pesawat ternyata membuat anak Ririn menjadi tenang dan tidak rewel seperti anak yang lain. Karena sang anak menikmati hiburan sehingga tidak berpikir tentang hal buruk di esawat.

“Anakku tidak rewel saat duduk di pesawat. Karena dia menikmati hiburan yang disediakan di pesawat, seperti nonton film,” kata Ririn kepada Okezone di Gedung Djakarta Theater XXI, Thamrin, Jakarta Pusat, Rabu 7 Januari 2015.

Hal tersebut membuat pemeran Salma dalam film ‘Di Balik 98’ ini merasa senang. Karena ia tidak repot mengatur dan meminta anaknya untuk tenang. Kepanikan anaknya masih dalam tahap wajar, sebab sang anak hanya minta Ririn memeganginya ketika pesawat mendarat.
“Paling di saat landing pesawatnya suka goyang-goyang, dia cuma minta pegangan tangan,” tutup Ririn.
Had a stupid day yesterday, filled with people who I wanted to strangle. Instead either walked away from them or sent them an email to asking them politely to refrain from being horrid. Both apologized after, so that says something.

Anyway, the cure for my stupid day was a piece of old fashioned chocolate cake and a reviving cup of Earl Grey at Baked Expectations with my friend Elizabeth. And since I was falling off the wagon, I dragged O with me and took him home a piece of chocolate orange mousse cake. Total cost? $20. Yep. Food budget for the week blown in one frosting-filled evening.

It was so delicious. And I felt so much better. And we almost made it the entire month. But excuses, excuses. Will channel my guilt into summarizing our experiment next week.
Monday - perogies, beans, fried onions and corn (sensing a pattern here?)
Tuesday - tofu and zucchini in a black bean sauce with rice
Wednesday - omelette and spicy potatoes
Thursday - leftover omelette with toast (O in Calgary, so not inspired to cook for myself)
Friday - sichuan eggplant with rice
Saturday - gingered carrot soup and my first attempt at focaccia bread
Sunday - not sure, but either pasta with tomato sauce or going to O's dad's
Okay, first of all, check out my rockin' focaccia bread. This is how we've been eating on $20 each a week.

Second, our lessons learned:

$20 a week for food really is no fun. Eating is an incredibly social activity, but on this budget, you can't afford to entertain or to go out. Potluck would definitely be an option, but it wasn't something we got around to organizing.
$20 a week for food for one person would be tough, but when it is $40 for two, it is much easier. With $40, you can buy bulk quantities of things like rice, and it works out much cheaper in the long run.
It is not as much work to plan meals as you might think. The first week we put a lot of effort into it, but by week two, we were sort of winging it and it all worked out fine.
It is a lot more work to actually make all your meals. This budget doesn't allow much room for convenience foods. When you are having a busy week, taking the time to cook can be a huge burden.
You really have to know how to cook in order to live on this budget. We are both comfortable in the kitchen, so we actually ate better in March than we usually do because we were making an effort to be creative (see focaccia bread above!). Instant foods (other than Monday night perogies and beans!)were out of the question for us.
If you don't know how to cook, then this budget limits you to only the worst foods. We were actually eating healthier because of the planning we were doing.
We had to do a lot of compromising. Most of the organic food we usually buy is out of our price range, but we found that there were many local choices. For example, we couldn't afford the organic potatoes which came from the US, but we could afford locally grown non-organic potatoes. I insisted on organic apples, but with the rest of the food, we only bought organic if the price was comparable, like with dried lentils.

Third, for a variety of reasons, we find ourselves quite skint these days. The menu planning and home cooking have really been working for us, so we are keeping up with the $20 each a week for food until our finances are more stable. We will be putting aside an extra $10 each so we can go out for coffee or dinner once in a while or have people over, because that is something we've really missed.
The large planter outside my workplace was seriously pathetic. There are quite a few ferns that seem to be thriving, but the rest of it was filled with weeds, cigarette butts, pop cans and other assorted garbage. My co-workers and I decided that we were sick of walking past this eyesore everyday, and have adopted this potentially beautiful garden.

It is only semi-guerrilla gardening because I did call property management to find out if by chance they might be planting it this year. They answered in the negative and told me that if I wanted to plant it, I could "knock myself out." This was all the permission we needed.

Below are the before pictures. Will post updates. So far we have weeded and cleaned, then planted old fashioned lilies, day lilies, wolfsbane, sun flowers, big bluestem, lily of the valley and himalayan impatiens. Daisies are coming this week. Our poor plants have suffered through a wind storm and two major deluges in the two short weeks since they moved into their new home. They are a bit battered, but still standing strong.

(Side note... my workplace may not care much about flowers, but they provide lots of bike racks!)
Sunflowers are gone. And by gone, I don't mean dead (though I suppose they probably are). I mean, there is no sign that 5 sunflowers were ever planted. And one of the himalayan impatiens died. Stem snapped in the latest torrential rain.

But the good news is that I got 9 free rudbeckia that were leftovers at the community garden. May also be able to snag some salvia and possibly some peppers and tomatoes. So things are still coming along nicely.

No rain today. No rain predicted until Thursday. Just sun and warmth. Grow, plants, grow!
Broke again. Since this happened around the same time last year, I'm blaming December. The whole holiday season is so expensive. Not just buying gifts, but all the eating out, drinking wine, making cookies, traveling to visit loved ones...

So here we are. Eating on $20 each a week until the end of February. That's right... 8 whole weeks. Went a bit over budget this time because we miscalculated. Thinking we had enough money to cover raisins, I threw a tub of them in the basket. Organic no less. And then I ran to the corner store and bought $10 maple syrup for our pancakes. Thought we had some in the fridge, but turned out we didn't and the pancakes were already in the pan. Still... this put us at about $60, which is about $20 less than we usually spend.

Menu for the week looks good:
Risotto primavera
Baked lentils, steamed carrots & mashed potatoes
Refried bean quesadillas with wild rice
Tofu stir fry
Some kind of soup using our slightly wilted veggies
Getting taken out for birthday dinner (yay!)
Lunches will be leftovers and/or salads. Breakfasts will be oatmeal (with raisins, of course) or cream of wheat. A healthy and relatively cheap way to start the New Year!
Could go to the Musicycle Tour performance in my town tonight, but probably won't. Not that I don't think that what they are doing is really, really cool. I just have an arch nemisis that I'd prefer not to run into, and there is a good chance that he'll be there given his love of music, the environment and biking around. With so much in common, we should be friends. But we're not. So, anyway, think I'll stay home reading Persuasion instead. BUT if you happen to live near one of their future tour stops, then GO... and let me know how it was.

Also inspiring is EnviroWoman, the environmental superhero who was interviewed on CBC this afternoon. Really glad I happened to catch it. Tons of useful info, and really darned funny. Trying to reduce the plastic in my life, so I'll be returning to her blog often.
I've become obsessed with the new, improved Skin Deep website. Part of that is residual weirdness left over from my thesis on breast cancer... trying to de-toxify my life in every way possible. Part of it is my sensitive skin. Part is environmental. In any case, I'm looking up everything I use and trying to find better products to replace them with. Was happy to see that the soap I've been using is way up the list of stuff that ain't bad for ya.

I've used the old version of this site before, and not thought much of it. Interesting, ya, ya, but for some reason it didn't grab me. Was directed to the new site from Conscious Cosmetics, which is a blog by the Breast Cancer Action Montreal folks. Love the way one thing leads to another on the internet, though it can also be a horrible waste of time.

Have been thinking about being an "environmentalist", and I'm not sure that's how I'd label myself. Almost all my environmental do-gooding has been a direct result of health concerns stemming from my mom's cancer in 1999, or from the fact that I'm a perpetual student i.e. perpetually broke. So, using baking soda and vinegar to clean? Healthy and cheap. Turning down the heat in the house? Cheap. Hanging laundry on the line? Cheap... maybe I should be saying frugal. Walking everywhere? Healthy and frugal. Growing my own veggies? Healthy and frugal.

Haven't quite got the point of making my own cosmetics. Mostly it's a lack of time to learn how. And not wanting to waste money messing up recipes. But thinking about it, and was happy to get some ideas thrown my way by CC.
Despite my earlier complaints about supposedly "green goods", there are some things that need to be bought new and if an environmentally (and healthy) choice can be made, I say, do it. Case in point...

Probably more info than you need, but my undergarments are pathetic. Most pre-date my return to school six years ago, so they are shifty, saggy, creepy bit of cotton. Graduating calls for a celebration, and what better way than to toss those holey knickers and buy me some new pairs? Enter Blue Canoe.

Tried four of their styles: sheer low cut, sheer high cut, lace panty & string bikini (this picture is NOT me, by the way). Did an extensive search for something closer to home than California, but couldn't find anything attractive. Very happy with all the styles and have gone back and ordered multiples. If you are interested in ordering, the sizing was very accurate, so get out that measuring tape.
If cotton undies aren't your thing, Groovy Green has a long list of other places to get "sustainable skivvys".
It has been ages since I've blogged. Months ago, a good friend of mine gave me a brass snail that she picked up at a garage sale, and suggested that I slow down just a tad. I placed the snail in a spot where I see it every morning when I wake up, but so far, it hasn't helped. Have been busy finishing my undergrad thesis so that I can actually graduate this Saturday (done!), working on a conference committee that I stupidly agreed to be on (over!), applying for a home repair grant (submitted!), and moonlighting at a greenhouse 'cause school has left me dead broke.


What I'd much rather be doing is lingering in bed on the weekends, putting on some groovy tunes and cleaning my house, drinking cider while working in the garden, and on rainy days like today (a holiday that I'm working, by the way) re-using some of the material from my awesome snake skin crushed velvet pants that really shouldn't be seen in public any more (if ever they should have been) to make myself a new bag.
Grist recently had an article on all the magazines out there with "green"issues. And I have some issues with that. Not Grist, the magazines. Consumption is not "green", for one, it is only less or more harmful. Buying so-called green good will not save the planet any more than buying pink goods will cure breast cancer. But what really makes me run for my soapbox is that many of the articles or products they promote are not remotely environmentally friendly, natural, organic, etc.

Case in point is the April issue of Good Housekeeping (hey, I work in a hospital, so these things are just laying around). I was so irritated by their "green goods" section that I was prompted to write this:

Dear GH,
In response to your "Super. Natural." article in the April 2007 edition, just because products look like something from nature, doesn't make them in any way enironmentally friendly, organic, or natural. For example, the "place mats that resemble rain forest leaves" that you label eco-friendly, are made from vinyl. Polyvinyl chloride, in its manufacture, use, and disposal, involves dioxin, phthalates, lead, and other chemicals that are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, endometriosis, birth defects, respiratory problems, and immune system damage. Your article misleads readers into thinking that this product is not harmful to human health or the environment.
Concerned Citizen

Grrrr, I say.
Just flipping through my roommate’s copy of Affluenza. Chapter 5 has a section on time famine, which talks about how we thought technology would free us up and give us more leisure time, but instead, our world is getting increasingly complex and we are working even more. Instead of working 14 to 22 hours per week by the year 2000, as was estimated by a US Senate subcommittee in 1965, we’ve become swamped. As I pondered this in light of my current crazy schedule (working a 9-5, Monday to Friday job while attending university and stupidly volunteering to be on a conference committee), I realized that I could only think of one day in months that I had actually been on time for work. I average 8-12 minutes of lateness every day, a little less once the snow is gone and I ride my bike. Thankfully my boss just shrugs at my unconscious and clearly desperate attempt to find some balance in my life.

An Angus-Reid poll was released a couple of days ago that found that Canadians in general believe that global warming is happening. More, apparently, is to be released in the coming weeks. To quote Pee Wee Herman, “everybody I know has a big but…” I’m guessing that the “big but” in this case will be that, ya, we believe it’s happening, but we don’t actually want to change anything about the way we live in order to make a difference. Maybe switch to compact fluorescents. Maybe.

On the topic of making a difference, for some reason I really dig the latest Sierra Club campaign. Pretty much, I’m doing everything on the list, plus some. But I feel like I could convince people to do some of this stuff.

Or maybe not. Overheard in the hospital gift shop yesterday (where I was buying a stamp, thankyouverymuch), a conversation about Beanie Babies. “Isn’t is amazing? Only $6. It’s incredible to think they can make them that cheap and ship them all the way over here and still only charge $6. Wow.” I said, “How much is a stamp?” Yep, I did nothing. Perhaps it was the memory of the last impromptu information session I conducted at work that made me hesitate (Random person at the opening of the new 911 call centre: “it smells so new!”. Me: “that’s the carpet offgassing.” My boss: head shake, snicker. Random person: blank stare, moving away.) or perhaps it’s the head cold. Or perhaps I’m just overwhelmed by the fact that my home province has the lowest levels of belief in global warming and, from what I can tell, fairly low levels of concern about the environment in general. So what to do? Dust off the ol’ soapbox? Bury head in the loamy prairie soil? Read cartoons? Read cartoons it is…
Just noticed that MinusCar Project linked to me, so I thought I'd better post something. Been suffering with a miserable cold for over a week and have not been able to clear my head long enough to formulate a single thought. So how about a question instead?

I own a car, though I haven't driven it since November, when inspired by a local environmental contest, I voided my license. I have since found out that my car has some serious problems. Heater core has gone (heat in pretty important where I live), rear struts need to be replaced, breaks are on their way out... Probably looking at $3000+ to fix it. Given that it is a 1991 Golf and that I only paid $2600 for it, this doesn't seem like a reasonable option. So the question is, what are my options? What can I do with an old car besides sell it "as is"? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!