Monday, April 22, 2013

My Earth Day Resolution first Check-in #earthdayresolution

My first Earth Day Resolution check-in is today! Earth Day. Happy Earth Day everyone!

My Earth Day Resolution is to reduce the amount of garbage that my household produces and the first problem area I have found is fast food. I can't believe the amount of garbage fast food produces. So, my goal this month is to lay off the fast food.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day Dedication Ceremony #earthdayresolution

I begin by cleaning and consecrating my altar and decorating it with symbols of Gaia.I would love to have a
 Millennial Gaia Statue, but I cannot afford one at this time. (Perhaps I will reward myself with one after I have saved a ton of money by only buying reusable things for a whole year!) Instead I will use a dish of earth with a votive candle in the center.
I will also have handy a piece of paper on which my resolution is written: "I resolve for the remainder of the year 2013 to purchase no disposable items and to work to eliminate the use of disposable items at home and at work."

I begin in the usual way, doing my usual opening ceremony. Then I will continue by lighting my Gaia candle and reading the Homeric Hymn to Gaia:

I sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honor! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honor O holy goddess, bountiful spirit.
I leave off the last bit because I didn't write this so I shouldn't ask for blessings for writing it. Instead I present the offering I have. My piece of paper with my resolution on it, which I read out loud and place under the bowl of earth.

Then I close the ceremony in the usual way.
(Everyone has their own way of opening and closing a ceremony, so I won't go into details. If you are super curious, you can see it in my online Book of Shadows at

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Earth Day Resolution #earthdayresolution

This Earth Day I resolve to reduce the amount of garbage I produce.

Steps to achieving this goal-
  • Identify all items that I throw away after using throughout my home and for my business.
  • Identify reusable alternatives to these disposable items.
  • Identify any negative outcomes that may occur as a result of this change and brainstorm ways to mitigate the negatives.
  • Purchase or make reusable items to replace disposable items.
  • Begin using these items, teach family members how to use them.
Now that I have identified my goal and the steps to achieving it I am ready to go. On Earth Day I will perform a ceremony of dedication to the Earth and state my resolution to Her and it will begin. On the 22nd of each month I will check in with an article about some disposable item or other I have replaced with a reusable item. This will keep me honest and on track.

So, are you in? Please post a comment with either your goals and steps or a link back to your blog article where you have listed your goals and steps.

I will post my Earth Day Resolution Dedication Ceremony in just a moment so that you can use it too if you like.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's Your Earth Day Resolution? #earthdayresolution

Earth Day is on its way and as honoring the Earth is a major part of my Tradition, it seems to me that Earth Day is a holiday I should be celebrating. So, I have resolved that this year and every year hereafter I will be making an Earth Day Resolution; a commitment to make a change in my habits that will result in lowering my footprint on the Earth. I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I have lots of options and I am going to blog about my journey as I make my habit change.

Here are just a few options I have brainstormed. Feel free to comment with your ideas.

1. Resolve to eat more sustainably. Organic and local foods, less meat, more homemade/less pre-made, etc. maybe plant a garden?

2. Resolve to walk more and drive less. Considering that I work out of my car this might not be practical for me, but I can certainly walk to the grocery store and farmers' market...

3. Go disposable free. I did cloth diapers last year, what other ways can I eliminate disposables in my life? Thinking about things I throw away - paper towels, maxi pads, coffee filters, napkins... um toilet paper?

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Recycling isn't easy in my neck of the woods. Where I used to live there was recycling pickup days, but here there isn't. That doesn't mean recycling is impossible, just that it's not easy, so I've been lazy. I'll need to do some research into how to recycle things on my own. Plus I will need to think about reducing packaging and how I will reuse the things I buy.

5. Improve my home's energy efficiency - I like to think I'm pretty frugal about the power I use in my home, but I'm sure there are ways I can improve.

I'm sure there are more and I'm looking forward to seeing your ideas too.

Each month I will focus on creating one new habit toward my ultimate goal (yet to be decided) and I will have a blog check in on the 22nd. I am going to combine magical and mundane actions, techniques, as that's the most effective way to do things. I would absolutely love it if other bloggers would join me on this project! As Pagans, especially those who are well settled in, some of us may be looking for a new spiritual challenge and a way to manifest our reverence for the Earth in concrete ways and I think this is one way to do it. I am really excited about this project. I'm glad I thought of it. Wow. I'm pretty smart. Of course I'm not the first person to think of this. Visit to see a corporate angle on this idea.

Anyhow, holler if you're in and we'll do this together!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Menu Planning #myheartdayresolution

Menu planning is easy, it's even fun. It's sticking to the plan that's hard. But I'm muddling through and it's been good for us. Family dinner almost every night, on time, almost. And no more wandering aimlessly through the grocery store. Not that that isn't fun...

Advantages to Menu Planning

Menu planning saves money
When you do your grocery shopping according to a menu, you will by more of what you need and less of what you don't. When you wander around the store, uninspired, you buy all kinds of weird stuff you don't need. You also might save money on gas with fewer unplanned trips to the grocery store as well as the savings you get by not resorting to the late night party store.

Planning your meals improves nutrition
When you plan your meals ahead of time, you are more likely to eat those things you planned to eat like veggies and lean proteins, and less likely to eat unplanned things, like donuts and hamburgers. Unless donuts and hamburgers are your thing. You're also more likely to plan complete meals and have everything on hand to prepare complete meals.

Planning meals cuts back on waste
You only buy what you need, so you throw away less. No more moldy cheese, questionable cold cuts or freezer-burned salmon.

Menu planning saves time
Yes, it takes a bit to look over your sales fliers and check out what's going on in your cupboards, but a few minutes once a week saves you time day to day with fewer emergency food runs and less time fiddling around in the afternoon trying to figure out what you're going to make for dinner.

Planning your meals promotes family dinners
Family dinners are important. They develop healthy eating habits in your children, encourage communication among family members and reduce stress. And of course they are traditions that bind the generations together.

Menu Planning Resources

I highly recommend, as it has great menu planning resources coupled with a family calendar. It also allows you to store your recipes and copy recipes from other websites, as well as providing recipe suggestions of their own. After you fill your calendar up with recipes, you can tell it to automatically create a shopping list for you. Then you just check it against what you have on hand and voila! all that's left is a shopping trip.

Now, I find this difficult to use because of my cantankerous printer. I have to print everything out. However, those people who have those nifty little devices like tablets can download the ap and have everything they need right there, without having to print out anything.

A pen and paper method that is much more feasible for my technically challenged self is the Magnetic What to Eat Pad. Goes write up on the fridge, easy peasy. Or print out one of these Menu Planning Worksheets.

My Menu Planning Process

1. I made a list of all of my recipes, asking my family for input as to their favorites. I listed all the ingredients in these. (I am inspired by this to create a cook book to gift my children with as they move out.) This goes right in my Book of Shadows since homemaking is a major part of my path.

2. I created for myself a weekly guideline for which meals to prepare on which days. On Monday it's vegetarian (not just meatless as we're not really meat people anyway, we're cheese and egg people) and Friday is fish. Since food is delivered on Thursday, Wednesday night is leftover night, to get rid of last weeks extras and make room for the new stuff.

3. Each week, I take a quick glance at my grocery store's website, which has an electronic version of the sales circular and I check to see what will be arriving in my Door to Door Organics box that week and select appropriate recipes from my list for each day, keeping in mind how quickly some of my delivered veggies will begin to wilt.

4. I make a grocery list based on what I have and what I need.

5. I go shopping.

Some Problems With the Process (and Possible Solutions)

People eating my stuff!
Oh yea, these boys, they eat anything and everything. Half a can of pasta sauce to make pita pizzas. Half a bag of pita bread. Giant handfuls of walnuts. Then when it's time for me to cook, I've got half of what I need!
Possible solutions
1. Put snack stuff in a special section in the fridge. You're allowed to eat from here, no where else.
2. Divide up food for meals and store them conspicuously so they know what's off limits.
3. Maybe a combination of both?

Schedule Changes, Screws Everything Up
So when the unexpected happens or I'm feeling like absolute crap, things don't get cooked when they're supposed to get cooked. The whole system goes haywire and things end up wasted.
Possible Solutions
1. When I have to skip a day, cook twice and freeze the extra the next day.
2. Get other people to cook on bad days.
3. Schedule in unplanned days.

Last Month's Goal - Get Active
My goal to be more active is coming along. I am making a point of taking the baby on an outing every day that I am home with him. It's really necessary because I am weaning him so I can go on some necessary medications and it's much easier to distract him from wanting to nurse when we'er out and about so that's an additional motivation. On nice days we go to the park, on not so nice days, we go to the museum. I bought a museum membership so it's easier. I am also making use of the Wii Fit and Xbox 360 games that involve movement. The baby especially enjoys Xbox Party. Getting to the gym, not so easy. I also do some active kids videos with him. Like Bo on the Go, but I'm not excited about that, so I hope to come up with something better soon. I am pleased with my progress this month.
Activity this week: Walking: 2 at the park, 2 at the museum, 2 with dogs Dancing: 0 Baby Video: 2 Yoga: 2 Fitness Center: 0

Weight: 185.1
BMI calculation: 30.85
Waist measurement: 39
Hip Measurement: 44
Waist to Hip Ratio: .89

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Next Month's Goal/Habit: Packing a Lunch