The buzz started at the end of June, with an email announcing that a Palisades Porpoise was seeded second in the Olympic trials. Bethesda had a real Olympian in its midst. Suddenly, everyone knew Katie Ledecky – or talked about how they knew someone who knew Katie!
All around town, signs of support popped up. At the dentist’s office, I couldn’t help but smile at this ode to Katie Ledecky.
Katie Ledecky’s hometown is special. Bethesda is a place where Amazing Things Happen When a Community Pulls Together.
Nowhere on race day was Bethesda’s community spirit more evident than at Katie Ledecky’s school. Hundreds of friends, family and fans spilled out of a conference room at the Stone Ridge Upper School to cheer Katie on as she swam in her first Olympic race.
There were “Stone Ridge gator” cookies – in red, white and blue, of course.
The real Stone Ridge Gator was there too!
A beautiful American flag cake waited for the after party.
And, of course, t-shirts. (Two days later, and I’m still wearing mine, a bit less bright white than it appears in the pic below!)
As you’d expect at a Catholic school, before the race there was a prayer. A prayer whose Amen was followed by screams of “Go Katie!!!!”
The atmosphere? Well, let’s just say I couldn’t convince one of my colleagues to join me at Stone Ridge because as he said, “I spend enough time with screaming teen-age girls.” But since Lauren and I are both former teen-age girls, we knew we could handle it. Watch this video. The screaming at the end? Yours truly.
Later that night, I watched the NBC broadcast and the irony of the announcers’ commentary hit me. The men sounded worried about the young girl. Of course, I had the benefit of knowing that Katie had won. So I made these notes of their doubts…
“She is so far out there now…”
“She went out so quick..6/10 faster than she’s ever been in her life in the 400…”
“You’re concerned about that?”
There was some banter about how the experienced racers typically work to conserve energy in the long race. The experts were puzzled.
“What’s her strategy?”
“You usually lay it off in the beginning…and then get into a race…
“She is so far out there now…[sounding worried and skeptical] unless she has a lot of confidence…?”
“These wily veterans [referring to all the other Olympic swimmers] know what they’re doing.”
“Two body lengths ahead!!!”
“Trying to win gold in the 800 free.”
“Just go out and make it happen…”
This Stone Ridge girl knew what she was doing. She was there to win gold. And she did. Congratulations, Katie!
As for us, after such an exciting afternoon, there was no way I could return to the office. So I picked up my youngest son, and we headed off…Where else? To the Palisades Pool, where next summer he hopes to become a Porpoise, like Katie Ledecky.
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On Thursday, I quickly put up a post about a community gathering in memory of Jayna Murray. A friend from Bethesda’s Mindfulness Center had asked me to put the post up, emailing me that“the women at the Mindfulness Center have been close to Jayna and all the workers at Lululemon.”
No longer. The murder victim’s co-worker, Brittany Norwood, was arrested on Friday and charged with the slaying. She’s due in Montgomery County court today.
Like so many in our community, I was horrified by this senseless tragedy and then incredibly shocked to learn that one of the “nice girls” from Lululemon may have committed this crime. Perhaps it’s ghoulish, but I wondered what she looked like – I wondered if I had seen Brittany on Bethesda Row. I searched for images of Brittany Norwood, and turned up two that seemed like fits, but as I tweeted Friday night, I was afraid to post the images in case I had identified the wrong person.
It turns out I hadn’t identified the wrong Brittany Norwood – biographical details since revealed by the news media, and her sad looking mug shot match the images I found of a pretty young woman partying in her FaceBook picture and a wholesome looking woman in her college soccer profile picture.
We tend not to think of women as murderers. It’s far easier to imagine brutal “masked men,” as Brittany had claimed, even when logically we know that the odds of “masked men” sneaking into a store on a well traveled street are extremely low.
I wasn’t originally going to post these photos of Brittany Norwood, but I wondered if they would stay up online. And sure enough, they’ve been removed from the websites where I found them. Facebook profile deleted. College soccer shot gone.
All the public is left with is an image of Brittany Norwood in a mug shot. An image that is what she became…but doesn’t reflect all that she was..and doesn’t remind us, like those other images do, that things are not always as they seem.
How sad.Filed under Bethesda | Wordpress Comments (2) |
Bethesda Community to Gather at Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Jayna Murray this Friday Evening
Our community has been rocked by a random act of violence: the senseless attack against two beautiful young women, yogis who radiated peace and happiness through their work at Lululemon Athletica. I was asked to post the following to help get the word out about a community gathering this Friday evening in remembrance of Jayna Murray.
Community Gathering in Remembrance of Jayna Murray
and in support of our friends at Lululemon and our Community.
Friday, March 18, 2011
We will gather at The Mindfulness Center at 8:00 pm, with an open forum for remembrances and prayer, in celebration of the life of Jayna and in support of our friends at Lululemon, and the healing of our community. This will be followed by a candlelight vigil to Lululemon for song and prayer. Dr. Deborah Norris will lead us in meditation, and Rev. John Love will lead us in prayer. Counselors will be available at The Mindfulness Center throughout the week.
Deborah Norris, Ph.D.
Founder, The Mindfulness Center
4963 Elm Street, Suite 100
Bethesda, MD 20814
Director, Psychobiology of Healing Program
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I had a great time at Blogher. Some people in my circles asked why, given all the controversy about the Nestle sponsorship and the excessive, sometimes reckless consumption which marred BlogHer ’09.
So here’s why. Here’s a list of the Top 10 Things I Loved About BlogHer.
- It’s the only time I get to see my tribe: the members of the Green Moms Carnival and the many other bloggers whose work I respect so much. I tweeted that I was up “partying” with The Smart Mama, Condo Blues, Fake Plastic Fish, Mindful Momma, and The Soft Landing. But actually, we’re a little nerdier than that. Sure we love to party. But you can do that anytime. Looking up municipal water tables and calculating the amount of time a glass of water stays fresh before bacteria breeds? I just can’t do that with my friends at home in Bethesda!
Ok, Ok, this pic was taken last year at BlogHer ’09. Can you believe we don’t have a group shot from this year?
2. I loved seeing all the women. It’s a very special experience to be at a conference for women, by women, particularly if you’ve worked in fields, like I have, where there are few women on the conference circuit.
Doppelgangers? It’s been said that Alicia of The Soft Landing and I look alike. What do you think?
3. It was a better BlogHer than last year from a sustainability perspective. Would I call it a Green Conference? Or even say, “BlogHer Goes Green?” Uh….no. But it was a huge step in the right direction. And I’ll have more to say on that in my next post.
4. Great speakers. My favorite this year was the ending keynote. When I listened to the beautiful 70-year old Marie Wilson of The White House Project and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, I was inspired. Her vitality made me think, “Wow, I’ve only just begun. I’m not so old after all. I have a lot yet to do and to give.”
6. Great dancing. The dance floor rocked. How often do most of us get out dancing? Uh…never. (Except for my recent college reunion!)
8. Never being asked to stop tweeting.
9. Interesting people. The opportunity to strike up conversations is right in front of you all the time. Every woman there has a story. What’s hers?
With Debbie Bookstaber, co-founder of Bloganthropy. (Thank you, Corolle dolls for your sponsorship of Bloganthropy!)
10. Wonderful venues. New York, of course, was amazing. So was Chicago last year (my first BlogHer conference). And next year, BlogHer ’11 will be in San Diego. I’ll be there. Will you?
Filed under Blog, Green moms, Tips | Wordpress Comments (11) |
As if the blizzard, earthquake, and 106 degree heat were not enough weather related wackiness for the DC area, we were struck with 80 mph winds yesterday which left 250,000 people (including yours truly) without power.
As luck would have it, I had just bought enough organic, natural and rGBH-free ice cream to last the summer. “Savings!” I told my husband. “I stocked up! And I’ll blog about it!”
Then the power went out.
Our neighbors walked around picking up the branches and trees that littered our streets.
People gawked at the downed power lines and exploded asphalt.
And I went into party planning mode.
Less than an hour later, the ice cream was loaded up on the little red wagon.
The neighbor girls made a sign.
And our block partied down.
But what about the rest of the food?
I wasn’t optimistic that our power would be back on soon. After a bad storm last winter, some people were left without power for more than a week. Two thirds of my zipcode is without power!
We were headed to a lucky neighbor’s home – they still had power. And we had two large freezer chests to fill. Our fridge was overflowing.
Here’s what I took:
– The Ayrshire Farm organic chicken I bought at My Organic Market. I’ve been to a chicken tasting at this farm, and the chickens live better lives than most people. It’s like the Versailles of chicken farms.
– Organic milk.
– Some wonderful provisions from our biodynamic CSA: home made butter, biodynamic eggs and biodynamic yogurt from Seven Stars Farm;
– Whole Foods rotisserie chicken;
– Applegate Farms anti-biotic free turkey bologna;
– Organic frozen veggies
What would you save from your fridge?
And the second part of the ice cream series? Coming soon, I promise! My schedule has been – interrupted! (As well as some great pix from the party, which you can find on my twitter stream @organicmania or my twitpic account!)
— LynnFiled under Bethesda | Wordpress Comments (6) |
For years now, I’ve been blogging about my wonderful CSA. I love it. I love everything about it. The biodynamic food, of course, is delicious – out of this world good. The atmosphere is more Berkeley than Bethesda. It’s like a mini-vacation into another world every time I head over there, a few short blocks from my home.
That’s what my husband does. I really don’t know how to cook.
Now I have a wonderful surprise for you: each week this summer I’ll be featuring a recipe and post from guest blogger Mattie Kahn. A green teen and foodie, she’s also, as you’ll see, a wonderful writer. And she knows how to cook! She’ll be at culinary school in the fall, but for now, we get to enjoy her explorations with my weekly CSA share.
Think summer picnic. Go ahead. Picture it, you can close your eyes if you need to. If you’re like me, you’re probably envisioning a rolling, green lawn, a checked blanket, friends, family, kids–company of some kind, anyway, maybe, if you’re feeling optimistic, a warm mid-summer breeze, and definitely a picnic basket. The picnic baskets that dot my childhood memories were always filled with some variation on sandwiches, salad, brownies, and watermelon. My siblings and I munched on PB&J in Central Park, tuna-cucumber along the pier on the Hudson River, even an adventurous spread of hummus and veggies on a pebbly Cape Cod beach.
But my most persistent summer picnic memory is the sweet, salty taste of the perfect, cold potato salad, carted along in some container to satisfy every picnic participant, every time. My family’s trademark German-style potato salad–meaning, a mustard-based dressing–was so pervasive, that it wasn’t until I was ten or eleven that I’d ever tasted a potato salad made with mayonnaise. Since then, I’ve been to many more picnics, with families other than my own, and sometimes just with friends. I’ve tasted a LOT of potato salads.
With fourth of July around the corner, and this week’s CSA share list boasting delicious, flavor-packed new potatoes, and brimming with other potato salad ingredients, I thought I’d introduce you all to a potato salad that’s a little more adventurous than your average picnic side-dish fare. This one’s lightly adapted from the geniuses over at Food and Wine magazine, and it’s been a staff favorite over there for ages. Embrace the vibrant flavor of salsa verde as a delicious and unexpected dressing for this salad. In it’s original Food and Wine incarnation, the recipe is made with green beans, but being a green peas lover as I am, and because peas appeared on the CSA sharelist this week, I decided to sub out the beans for peas. Enjoy!
Potato Salad with Green Beans and Salsa Verde:
1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2. 1/4 cup minced chives
3. 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (another CSA sharelist goody!)
4. 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint or cilantro, or a mix of both, depending on your taste preferences
5. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
7. 1 large garlic clove, minced
9. 1 1/4 pounds new red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
10. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
11. 1 1/2 pounds green peas, fresh if you can find them! They’re in season.
- In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil with the chives, parsley, mint or cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic and season with salt. Let the salsa verde stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add a large pinch of salt (Kosher salt, if you have it on hand) and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes over moderately high heat until just tender, about 8 minutes; drain and return them to the saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until tender, but not mushy, 3-4 minutes; drain. Return the beans to the pot and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt.
- Add half of the salsa verde to the potatoes and half to the peas, stirring to coat. Transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Top with the potatoes, and serve. Keeping this potato salad warm lends the potatoes and added velvety texture, but from my trial experience, it’s just as delicious after being cooled in the fridge!
Enjoy your holiday weekend!
Copyright 2010 OrganicManiaFiled under Bethesda, CSAs, Food, Holidays, Recipes | Wordpress Comment (1) |
A tweet yesterday about teaching financial literacy through allowances caught my attention, mainly because I’m expecting to start work shortly on a new client project that will engage kids with financial issues (in a green way, of course!… More to come on that when it’s finalized).
As @johnlanza said, allowances are a great idea.
BUT there’s so much more involved than simply handing over $x a week to spend on stuff…Especially if your values are trying to teach kids that we don’t need so much of the stuff that consumes our environmental resources.
A few years ago, when Big Boy was 5, I took a class in allowances at a wonderful local non-profit parenting organization, The Parent Encouragement Program. Their philosophy is simple: start allowances at age 5 to teach saving, spending, and charity, and adjust the allowance over time as your child grows.
We started at age 5 with $3 for spending, $1 for a charity of my son’s choosing, and $1 for savings. Very early on he grasped the concept of “saving” up for large purchases (you guessed it – Legos). It would take him 10 weeks or more to save up for a decent-sized Lego, but he did it. His first charitable donation was to the local Bethesda library.
Two years on, he’s getting $7 a week, with $4.50 for spending, $1.50 for saving, and $1 for charity.
Judging by the number of Lego pieces I trip over in our house, I think he’s got too much spending money. He’s deposited $272 in the bank, and he loves reading the bank statements when they arrive. (I miss the days of the old passbook savings accounts – which made the money somehow seem so much more tangible.)
But it’s the charity thing we’ve had the hardest time working on. Somehow, my complaints about Lego’s exorbitant prices have been misinterpreted. He became convinced that Lego must charge so much because they need the money. Therefore, in his mind, The Lego Company is a charity. And for several weeks, he was bound and determined to donate his charitable savings to The Lego Company. But of course, I wouldn’t allow it!
He’s now finally got the concept of for-profit corporations down pat, and as the note below attests, his charitable contributions will be flowing to Haiti and Chile.
I am donating $X to give to Haiti and Chile. I hope this money will help the people in Haiti and Chile for food and water.
Do you give your kids an allowance? What’s worked for you?
Copyright 2010 OrganicManiaFiled under Parenting | Wordpress Comments (3) |
This year, with increased awareness of the dangers of perchlorates in fireworks displays, people are wondering what they can do to make the 4th of July more eco-friendly. Here are ten tips to help you get started.
1. About the perchlorates issue: Yes, fireworks contain perchlorates, which are toxic and have been linked to a host of health issues, especially when they get into the drinking water supply. If your local fireworks are exploded over fresh water bodies, such as small lakes or rivers full of fish, you may want to have a talk with your local authorities. I’m checking this out now and once I hear back from some experts, I’ll share the latest with you. There are “green, eco-friendly” fireworks in development, but none are on the market yet, at least to my knowledge.
2. Skip the plastic streamers, metal jingle jangles, and other traditional décor and look for paper decorations made of recycled stock or at least paper decorations that you can easily recycle.
3. Consider recycled paper plates. I found the ones pictured above at my local Giant store in Bethesda, Maryland, for a price comparable to regular paper plates. They’re cute and an eco-friendlier choice!
4. Running out to pick up a grill? Diane MacEachern has some great tips on solar-powered and other “green grills”at her Big Green Purse blog here.
5. If you’re still using charcoal grills, reconsider. The prices of gas grills have dropped dramatically – I’ve seen them on sale for just $95 at KMart – and they’re a more Earth-friendly choice than charcoal.
6. If you must use charcoal, Diane MacEachern suggests using
lump charcoal instead of briquettes, which may contain coal dust and other additives. Diane says to look for hardwood briquettes from forests certified by the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program, or lumps made from coconut husks. Cow boy Charcoal, sold at Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s and under the Whole Foods 365 brand, makes chunk charcoal out of wood leftover from furniture making and construction.
7. Planning the menu? Re-think the beef. Beef is a key contributor to global warming. Can you go veggie? There are great veggie alternatives available like delicious veggie burgers, soy-based corn dogs, and of course the old staples of potato and pasta salad.
8. What’s for dessert? It’s berry season! Finally, organic strawberries and blueberries have really fallen in price. in some locales, you can still get out there and pick your own, as we did! (Just remember to bring your own container so you don’t have to use the typical plastic containers which the pick-your-own places will give you!) You can even make a red/white/blue dessert with organic strawberries and blueberries and vanilla ice cream.
9. Getting the yard spruced up? Cleaning yard chairs and looking to kill weeds? Use a simple vinegar and water mix. Want to cut the vinegar odor? Add parsley or lemon.
10. If you’re heading back home after enjoying time at the beach, you may want to check out the local farmers markets. Prices are generally cheaper there.
What are your 4th of July eco-tips? Leave a comment and share!
Copyright OrganiczMania 2009Filed under Holidays | Wordpress Comments (3) |
The week between the end of the school year and the start of summer camp is a rough time. Many families are left scrambling for child care or trying to arrange play dates to keep the kids entertained. This year, we wised up and headed out of town for a mini-vacation.
Since I’ve blogged about avoiding car use for the sake of the climate change fight, you might be thinking that we hopped into our hybrid for an eco-tour.
But since the theme of this month’s Green Moms Carnival is EcoConfessions, I have to confess that we don’t even own a hybrid.
Last week, we loaded up our station wagon to join the throngs of tots journeying to see Thomas the Tank Engine and to explore Dutch Wonderland, a kid-focused amusement park I remembered fondly from my 4th birthday.
The irony of this “Green Mom” traveling 400 miles round trip to see the Crown Prince of “Kid Marketing” – a coal-powered train no less – was not lost on me. Sure, we squealed with delight when Thomas steamed into the station, but we also coughed and complained when we breathed in the foul coal smoke from Thomas’ boiler.
That’s when I snapped this picture of the pile of coal used to power Thomas, and tried to shake off a feeling of hypocrisy. Memories of many bloggy conversations with LaMarguerite about coal and global warming and thoughts of Retro Housewife’s upcoming Green Moms Carnival on coal clouded my mind. I sighed and sent a quick tweet about how the trip was great fodder for this month’s EcoConfession carnival!
And it’s not just the travel – it’s the food and the souvenirs to boot. Yes, that’s a piece of Cheap Plastic Crap (also known as a miniature plastic train) that my 2 ½ year old is grasping ever so tightly in that photo. Yes, I’m the one who blogged about “Just Say No to Cheap Plastic Crap.” But when it’s the only thing a darling boy asks for in the souvenir shop, it’s hard to resist. I pushed thoughts of my plastic-free friend Beth from Fake Plastic Fish out of my head. And the Star Wars figurine in his other hand? Sigh. Caught again. I’ve clearly bought plastic toys more than once. (Beth, will you still be my friend?)
Heading over to Dutch Wonderland the next morning, we were greeted by this sign: No Food Allowed.
We stayed in the car a few minutes extra to fill up on fresh hardboiled CSA eggs , organic cheese and whole wheat bread. As we entered the park, I managed a sarcastic aside to the guard, saying “Oh, since we can’t bring in our own food, I suppose there’s plenty of boiled eggs, fresh organic apples and raw veggies for sale in the park?” He referred me to the kosher mart as the best bet for “health food.”
Since the healthy kosher mart was closed, we ended up with this for lunch.
But I suppose it’s okay, because the souvenir shop’s organic t-shirts proclaimed, “Dutch Wonderland: We’re Going Green!”
And the most shocking part of my Eco Confession? We had such a great time that we hope to make this decidedly “un-green” vacation an annual event!
Copyright 2009 OrganicManiaFiled under Green moms, Parenting | Wordpress Comments (20) |
It’s been a while since the last Green and Organic Savings feature. With all this child advocacy, green activism, and taking care of clients, I’ve not had time for long, leisurely shopping trips. Mr. OrganicMania has picked up the slack, but that’s going to change.
Anyway, this week, you didn’t even need to make it to the stores to see some fabulous deals at Whole Foods, Safeway and CVS, thanks in part to some old-fashioned direct mail pieces and newspaper inserts.
CVS has an incredible deal running on Physician’s Formula make-up. With your CVS card, you can buy one, get 50% off one Physicians Formula cosmetic. And check your newspaper coupon insert today. The Sunday Washington Post has a $1 off coupon for Physicians Formula. As I blogged here, not all of their products score the best ratings in the Cosmetics Safety database, but five of their 185 products score “low hazard” ratings, so OrganicMania recommends you try these Physicians Formula products: liquid eyeliner, finishing veil, pressed powder, concealer stick, and extra sensitive skin sunblock. If you have questions, you can check out their ratings at the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database here.
Next time you’re in Whole Foods, be sure to use the Green & Black’s $1 off coupon from the Whole Foods Whole Deal newsletter (good through July). I’ve raved before about Green & Black’s delicious organic chocolate here at OrganicMania, over at Big Green Purse, and at The Daily Green, but since it’s nearly summer I decided to try their ice cream. Wow. It’s fantastic! Thanks again to my bloggy friend Wrekehavoc for turning me on to Green & Blacks Organic!
If you’re anywhere near Bethesda, be sure to check out the Arlington Road Giant, which is running a triple coupon deal through June 4th. You can find the triple savings coupons in a newsprint mailer sent to area homes. Now of course you don’t want to use those coupons for junk food, so I decided to scour the net to look for organic coupons for under $1 each that could be used at Giant to qualify for triple savings. The Giant deal means you can save up to $2.97 on each of five items, for $14.85 in savings! After looking at national organic brands with distribution at Giant including Stonyfield, Ian’s, Newman’s Own, Green & Black’s, Amy’s Organic, Annie’s Naturals and Earthbound Farm, incredibly I could only find valid online coupons (those under $1) at Stonyfield Farm. (Disclosure: Stonyfield is a sponsor of OrganicMania’s trip to BlogHER, but honestly I couldn’t find valid under $1 coupons anywhere else! Leave a comment some if you happen to find them!)
Stonyfield has 14 different online coupons available including .50 off their new Oikos organic Greek yogurt, as well as organic milk, Yo Baby, Smoothies and more. You need to register here before accessing the e-coupons.
Did you find any other great deals on organic and green products? Leave a comment and share!
Note: I’m looking for two additional sponsors to help defray the cost of my BlogHER trip. If you represent a sustainable brand that you think may be a good fit with OrganicMania, please email me at organicmania at gmail dot com.
Copyright 2009 OrganicManiaFiled under Bethesda, Coupons, CVS, Food, Giant, Organic Prices, Product Recommendations, Savings Tips, Where to Buy Organics, Whole Foods | Wordpress Comments (4) |