Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You do what you can.

Philanthropy etymologically means "the love of humanity", in the sense of "what it is to be human", the essence of our humanity. In modern practical terms, it is "private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life"—balancing the social-scientific aspect emphasized in the twentieth century, with the long-traditional and original humanistic core of the word's ancient coinage.

Put simply, philanthropy is the pursuit of excellence in every facet of human life, for every human life, by imagining and implementing new systems, to bring that philosophy to fruition.

An important distinction should be made, that whilst admirable, charity is not the same as philanthropy. Simply argued by the concept that an implemented philanthropic idea may make its owner rich, if he or she so wishes. Compare this to the singular act of giving money away, associated with charity, the two concepts almost oppose each other.
(Source: Wikipedia)

As someone with limited time and relatively limited finances*, I have to get creative (literally) with my philanthropy and charity. While I might not have the time to devote to helping out at an event, I will likely be able to donate a tray of cookies or cupcakes, and just because I can’t afford to write you a cheque for $150, I can probably give you a piece of art or a pretty scarf for your raffle.

I am sure that as I get older and wiser and wealthier (that’ll happen, right?), I’ll be able to contribute more, but for now, I'll be keeping my eyes open for opportunities to give.

I do what I can.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It’s not easy drinking green.

Spirulina powder doesn’t really have a taste or a smell, but what it lacks in both of those, it makes up for in colour. To call it “green” would be an understatement. It’s Green with a capital G. It’s green with an attitude. It’s green on steroids. It’s so green that it is impossible to hide.

I started out by putting it in chocolate protein powder. It looked like whatever the Creature from the Black Swamp crawled out of.

I mixed a teaspoon with my vanilla protein powder, added water and shook well. It was greener than Kermit the Frog’s…well…let’s just say it was greener than Kermit.

I tried it in blueberry juice. It was frightening. Really frightening.

But, here’s the thing: as bad as all three concoctions *looked*...they all tasted great. Like, really great. It was just the fact that they looked gross that I either had to deal with or get over.

And, it’s not like I have anything against green stuff. I love green stuff. I eat a pillowcase-sized bag of spinach a week. I just don’t like to drink creamy, sweet green stuff first thing in the morning.

So, you know what I did? I bought a green bottle for my protein shakes/smoothies. I’m apparently very easy to fool because…you know what?...it worked.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Green Monster

Last week, while I was on a nutrition website ordering a vat of chocolate protein powder, I noticed that they were having a sale on organic spirulina. I had heard good things about it in the past, (and far be it for me to pass up a sale), so I clicked "add to cart" and set out to do some more research.

What I found out was that spirulina is actually quite amazing.

- Considered a "super-food", this nutrient dense blue-green algae is a complete protein and the highest source of plant-based protein, with a whopping 60% protein content.

- Spirulina is high in anti-oxidants and contains: vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, vitamin K, biotin, pantothenic acid, beta carotene (source of vitamin A), inositol, calcium, manganese, iron, chromium, phosphorus, molybdenum, iodine, chloride, magnesium, sodium, zinc, potassium, selenium, germanium, copper, boron, phycocyanin, chlorophyll, carotenoids, myxoxanthophyll, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, echinenone and other xanthophylls, gamma linolenic acid, glycolipids, sulfolipids, polysaccharides, isoleucine, phenylalanine, leucine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, valine, alanine, glycine, arginine, histidine, aspartic acid, proline, cystine, serine, glutamic acid, tyrosine.

Not bad for a single-celled organism measuring .0196850394 inches in length!

Although it was the high-protein content that had originally piqued my interest, through my research I discovered that Spirulina is thought to reduce cholesterol and support cardiovascular health, improve eyesight, stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, promote detoxification, and aid in athletic endurance and recovery. Three words: sign me up!

So far, I have only taken my Spirulina once, but as I continue to take it, I plan to (hopefully) report back on its effectiveness. I would love to hear from others who are using it, as well, so please feel free to share your experiences!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The lucky one.

Last night, the mascot and I went for a late dinner with my mom on Corydon. After we said our goodbyes to Mumji, we walked hand-in-hand back to our car.

While we were cutting through the 7-11 parking lot, a guy in a truck leaned out his window and yelled "LUCKY!!" This, of course, made us both burst out in a fit of giggles. After we regained our composure, the mascot said, "Wow. That guy thinks I'm lucky to be holding hands with you!"

As flattering (ha!) as being hollered at is, I couldn't help but think that I am the lucky one. As far as kids go, I think I really lucked out by ending up with that one. He's smart, funny, sensitive and cool (but not too cool to hold hands with his mom once in a while). He gives me strength and a reason to be strong. I know that as long as we stick together, everything is going to be a-ok. Yup, lady-luck was definitely smiling down on me 12 years and 10 months ago.

We spent the next couple minutes in silence. I looked over at the mascot's freckled face and wondered what he was so deep in thought about.

He looked back at me, eyes sparkling, and said:
"You know who *is* lucky? Babies. They get to look at boobies."


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tomato, tomato!

I checked on the garden this morning and discovered a tomato in a very preliminary stage of redness. Considering the fact that my tomato crop was a bust last year, this is very exciting news. I could be eating a caprese salad by this time next week!

In other horticulture news, the basil is doing very well (despite its numerous attempts to bolt), the strawberries have been surprisingly abundant (if you consider a dozen off one plant "abundant"), and there is a gigantic butternut squash blossom lighting up the garden. I am concerned that the squash won't have enough time to grow, but then again, I'm not completely against eating babies.
Baby squashes, that is.

(x-posted to Relish!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Map My Run...and tell the world.

What’s as much fun as running? Mapping it and seeing how far I’ve gone, of course.

I am a huge fan of Voomaxer to keep track of my running logs and post them to Facebook (& Twitter), but lately their routing function has been on the fritz. I don’t want to stop using Voomaxer, though, because the more people you tell about your run, the more calories you burn. Trust me…it’s scientific.

Now I’m using Map My Run to calculate my milage and I am loving it. Other than the general ease-of-use, the really cool thing about the mapping function is that it lets you “bend” your lines. This means less clicking and more accuracy…especially when charting runs down bendy streets. Try it yourself: Map My Run

* Yes, it’s a little goofy to have to use two sites, but I’m already goofy for never running the same route twice…and for mapping it after the fact. So, shush.

Monday, June 14, 2010


This past weekend, the mascot and I finally got the chance to plant our herbs, veggies and annuals. With the exception of the rock garden (RIP), which didn't have enough of a snow-cover to protect it, all of our perennials came up beautifully. The only thing that was missing was a little colour and a little flavour.

We added crazy-coloured Coleus to the front and back perennial beds, planted the pots on the front steps with petunias (thanks to our friends Em and Jason!), and brightened up the garden along the back of the house with a riot of annuals. That garden is also home to 7 or 8 tomato plants (early girl, tiny tim, yellow, sweet 100...), a new blueberry bush (what?), strawberries, and one, lone butternut squash (the mascot's addition). There are also random herbs, here and there; a rosemary in the old rock garden, thyme in a planter, and basil beside the tomatoes.

I can't wait to see everything fill-in and bloom!