Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Green, Socially Responsible Gift Giving

Dec 2007 update

Ouch, says my pocketbook. But, alas, I have never figured out how to extricate myself from participating in the winter holidays’ madness. Plus, BabyG and GreenDaddy have birthdays December 22nd. And BabyG’s Dadi, GreenDaddy’s dad, has a birthday the 26th. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

The main reason I can’t excuse myself from gift-giving frenzies is that I like giving, and I like receiving. My dad liked holidays, especially this one. My family didn’t do a lot of things well…but holidays and gift giving were good. We never had tons of gifts, we just always exchanged thoughtful ones. And this is still important to me. I liked sitting in a room with the whole family, opening things one at a time, mulling over each, remembering them. It’s the surprise I love most. I like adorning my family and friends with things they’ll love but not expect. And these days, I enjoy figuring out how to give people surprising, delightful, AND worthwhile gifts…which means socially responsible, green, charitable, homemade, or local.

In my green gift guide, below, I’ve sort of categorized the sorts of gift genres I like. Sometimes I construct a green gift; sometimes I get an item that I would otherwise label hoary from a local shop or a used store and feel better about it; sometimes I get a fairly traded gift from the web. Generally This list will grow with time, with your suggestions, etc. And please do make suggestions.

This is newly updated for 2008. A couple caveats: I welcome suggestions, but this is not a site to advertise stores. I mention stores I've been to or shop at, but the goal here isn't to amass a long list of deserving stores. Mostly it's a list of 'generes' of giving with examples I particularly like. So feel free to leave info about your store in the comments, but don't be offended if I never ad it. There are millions of organic clothing stores, for example...I note this, and suggest people google them rather than this list being over-wrought.

Basically, the local version of any of the following is better than the internet-purchased version in terms of supporting local businesses. Local meaning a store owned by an individual in your community--probably not a corporation-- or a non-profit organization in your community. If the choice is from Amazon or Target, I don’t see a huge difference, especially if you’re sending it to an Auntie in Argentina or something.
1) Crafts, Foods, Clothes from Locally Owned Fair Trade Shops.
Most major cities have a few. In Houston we have an ever growing number, though I most often frequent: Corazon, Taft Street Coffee, and Ten Thousand Villages (which is a chain, but a worthy one…). Hey, see what shops sell fair trade products in your part of the states (there’s not a world-wide listing, yet…but Google…)
2) Resale or antique shops. I am not a pro at Houston resale. Mostly, I go to a resale children’s shop called Young and Restless. In Montrose I go to Bluebird Circle, but I know this city abounds with good resale I don't know about. I will quote a little birdie's comment on adult resale rather than paraphrase: "Blue Bird on W Alabama is the granddaddy of resale - good selection of furniture and so forth and they sort the clothes by size. Catholic Charities on Lovett and the Junior League shop in the Heights also sort by size, but the Junior League store is best for the size fours of the world. Salvation Army on Washington and Goodwill on the North Freeway are the largest of their brethern."
3) Gifty Foods or Crafts from Farmers Markets Etc. We go to Central City Co-Op and they sell little edible items. Friends like Bayou City Farmer’s Market and Mid-Town Farmer’s Market. To find other Texas or US markets, go to Local Harvest.
4) Support A Local Charity instead of a Mega-One In Your Loved One’s Name. Too many to mention…
6) Gift certificates to local venues…restaurants, your favorite baby shop, a masseuse, an art class, a composting class, a cooking class, a writing class
7) Memberships to a local museum…children’s, mfa, natural science, zoo. 
8) Pass to a National Park in your area…go here
9) Shops of all Ilks. Childrens’, bookstores, bikes, hardware stores, antique shops. Might cost a little extra, but hey, no shipping and handling and the monetary and environmental costs it incurs.

All sorts of charities are making it very easy for you to give in another person’s honor. Most send the person something representative of your purchase, be it a certificate, a photo, a turtle tracking system, or the National Green Pages.
1) Giving That Benefits People: Give a cow to a family in a loved one’s name via Heifer International ... conservatives in the family?  They're pro-Heifer, from what I've gleaned in my own family.  You can all feel good about a gift from there.  Or help a rural community develop health or social services (or a number of other options) via Seva Foundation, Oxfam.  
2) Giving That Benefits Social Justice. Purchasing gift memberships for your loved ones to Oxfam, CoOp America, Pacifica, whatever organization it is you think they’d appreciate membership to.
3) Giving That Promotes the Environment. Trees for Life.
4) Giving That Promotes Conservation. Nature Conservancy gifts to save forests and reefs
5) Giving To Benefit Animals: Adopt and track a sea turtle throughout the year at, Farm Sanctuary
6) There are numerous websites that offer much longer lists of the many different ways you can give these sorts of gifts. The ones above caught my eye for various reasons. But here are three good sites to goto if none of the ones I’ve offered tip your kettles:, NoMoreSocks (defunct!), Oxfam, National Resources Defense Council
7) Echoage is a company that you ask guests to give $20 to for a gift (birthday is the idea on the site) and half that money goes to buying one gift for the child, the other goes to the cause of the child & parents' choice.

There are millions of sites, so I won’t go into detail. But I like the ideas over at NoMoreSocks.
1) Scientific Toys
2) Board Games
3) Craft Items
4) Costumes, puppets…
5) Music
6) Photo related I have used Zazzle a couple of years to make mugs, aprons, t-shirts that make grandparents happy. Zazzle has a lot more options than similar sites for standard items. I am newly impressed with the sites Moo for unusual photo gifting options and the site QOOP because it makes nice photo books.

I forgot this on my original lists, and it has been a longtime favorite gift of mine: sending seedlings or windowbox gardening kits to friends throughout the country. Last year I sent tomato plants to several relatives via -- though they messed up two orders, they resent one and credited me money for the other, and I had a good experience. Windowbox promotes gardening for people w/o the space, which I think is a fabulous idea. Still, this year, my gifts will come via Seeds of Change because they sell organic plants and work hard at preserving biodiversity. You can buy a truffle tree for somebody to reap the benefits of, rent vines you get the bottles of wine from...

Basically, you can get the green version of about anything, but it costs…Also, check to make sure item is really green…ie, many yoga mats from green companies are made out of gassing plastics. Many green things aren’t “fair trade” and “vice-versa.” I’m happy when I can get both (and can buy them locally!)…but it doesn’t always happen. I’d shop around for most any of these items…you CAN find good deals if you look hard enough
1) Clothes: Buying new (or used!), organic, worker friendly, fairly traded, and/or vegan clothes or wallets, bags, or shoes.
2) Crafts: Buying fairly traded crafts from around the world for your loved ones try Global Exchange, Bright Hope, Ten Thousand Villages, World of Good
3) Food Items: AKA fairly traded coffee, teas, chocolates…Global Exchange, CafĂ© Campesino, Shaman Chocolates, Glee Gum
4) Personal Care Items: Soaps, salts,at stores like Our Green House.
5) Toys: Wood, cotton, pvc-free…Kid Bean, Toys from the Heart, Peapods
Portals to find the stores that sell these goods: Co-Op America, Eco Mall, Global Exchange
6) Jewelry: Buy recycled gold etc from
7) Movies: Buy movies that support women filmmakers at
8) Health equipment. Healthy yoga mats at stores like Natural Fitness.

1) The Green Guide via Grist
2) Co-Op America’s Green Pages
3) Environmental Defense
4) Tree hugger

1) Books are good to give used, as they’re not particularly environmentally friendly. And it goes against the idea of local, but these days, it’s pretty easy to get a new-looking used book online. Or go the other way and get a funky old edition of a book, or an illustrated old edition…
2) Jewelry. Want to avoid supporting icky work practices in the mining industry & yet still get your sweetie some kind of bling? Antique jewelry is a good choice…
3) Baby/Kid Things. You can get good wooden baby toys and avoid those nasty plastic chemicals. Or a snowflake dress some baby only wore once. Or black patent leather shoes a baby wore twice. Or cool costumes for babies, kids, toddlers…
4) Furniture. Buy a crappy old table and refinish it. Or if you’ve got the dough, buy a refinished table.
5) Wrapping Paper. I’m ahead of myself here, but as long as you’re out, used stores (and your attic and about everywhere you look) is full of papers or cloth that make inexpensive, cool looking, distinctive wrappings.
6) Doo-dads. You know who you’re shopping for better than I do…go hunting!

1) Bake. Deliver the goods to friends in lieu of purchased gifts
2) Books. Construct them yourself, write a poem or a story, or uses photos…or both…
3) Ornaments, picture frames, magnets. Go to a craft store (or a used store) find materials, and concoct them.
4) Calendars, cds, videos. Use the computer to make calendars or cds or a video
4) Compose. Songs, poems, stories, plays, portraits, dances…
5) Work. Clean out somebody’s garage, cupboards, paint their porch, weed their garden…
6) Sculpt. With clay or snow or granite.
7) Cross pollinate these and other ideas you have…
8) Puppets. Make puppets for the kids in your life…

A few trashy gifts that are not fair-trade, environmentally friendly, local, organic, or educational always slip into my giving. I don’t stress out too much, because I go out of my way to keep their numbers down. Last year I knew somebody who needed a talking Jackie Kennedy doll, so I will look locally and/or used…but I’m not holding my breath.
1) One way around this is to buy your gifts through sites like, which is a portal you enter before shopping at regular places like Amazon or the Gap...but if you do enter these places through the HEARTof hurdel 75% of your purchase money goes to a charity of your choice. Similar organizations that give less money -- 35% -- are or

1) Surprise the family with an outing to some outdoor place on your gift exchange day…an orchard, a sledding hill, a river, a park…bring snacks

***This is newly updated for 2007. A couple caveats: I welcome suggestions, but this is not a site to advertise stores. I mention stores I've been to or shop at, but the goal here isn't to amass a long list of deserving stores. Mostly it's a list of 'generes' of giving with examples I particularly like. So feel free to leave info about your store in the comments, but don't be offended if I never ad it. There are millions of organic clothing stores, for example...I note this, and suggest people google them rather than this list being over-wrought.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Green Parents of Hatchet Cove Farm

On this blog, we’ve chronicled our efforts to defy the SUV-centered, socially-fractured, concrete and strip mall, Velveeta cheese and microwaved broccoli culture of this great city Houston. Today’s post, however, is a break from our urban struggle. We had the honor of interviewing two young organic farmers from Maine – Bill Pluecker and Reba Richardson. They have a beautiful toddler and are visiting Houston to see their brother, who is a friend of mine, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I always tell MaGreen that our baby should grow up to be an organic farmer and she tells me that I have a romantic notion of organic farmers’ lives. So I jumped at the chance to talk with Bill and Reba. The interview did indeed disillusion me of my romantic ideas about the organic farming life, but it also renewed my respect and admiration for organic farmers. Their lives are clearly not an escape from the tribulations of modern life. They are busy and overwhelmed. They have a hard time balancing family life and work. And yet, the satisfaction they get from their labor is so clear. And they look so damn healthy. Not like appendages to computer workstations. I want to become an organic farmer just to have such a strong, vital body.

To hear the interview, click here – interview of the green parents of Hatchet Cove Farms.

If you live near Friendship, Maine, I would like to encourage you to join their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. You can reach them at 207 832 2264.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Plucking the Tofu in time for Thanksgiving

The last post was a little long and self-indulgent. But my nostalgic demon had to have it before I could get on to what I wanted to write, which is more on the topic of Green Parenting, and is short and sweet... Although it is another cooking post, but I promise it's the last for awhile.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks learning how to cook tofu. I haven't learned sooner because I'm terrified of marninades. But since I've been an on-off vegetarian for over ten years, I figured it's about time I got over that hump. Oh, and when I write, "I've been learning to cook tofu" I mean, actually, that I’ve just tried the same two recipes twice: A Veggie Loaf and a Veggie Cutlets with gravy.

I’m doing this partially in order to provide my family with tasty food on Thanksgiving, but mostly because I just miss hearty food supplemented with a vegetable, sometimes, and beans and/or pasta doesn’t always do it for me. I'm not experimenting with the Tofurkey because that's my friend Chuck's territory.

I found the recipes at, and since I really hate most tofu-based meat replacements, and I really loved these recipes, I decided I ought to share them. I don’t know how long the link will work, as they’re special Thanksgiving recipes, but if it breaks, go to and look up holiday/Thanksgiving recipes.

The two I like are Thanksgiving Meatloaf and Marc’s Cutlets -- and note, something like fifty other people also gave them five stars... And I'm sure I don't need to tell you these hardcore vegan/vegetarian types are generally pretty damned stingy with the stars. Both recipes are really well flavored...

My special notes for anybody who actually decides to lift one of these recipes:
Veggie Cutlets: a) you eventually turn the marinade into a gravy GreenDaddy is a huge fan of, and which will allow us to finally have gravy on Thanksgiving; b)I pressed, then froze, then thawed the tofu before marinating; c) I dipped the marinated chunks in egg to make the breading stick better, added chopped almonds to the breading to make it more glamorous, and cooked it in the oven instead of on the stove. GreenDaddy likes the baked, which are crunchier; I like the fried, which are fattier, but still crunchy.

Meat Loaf: I didn't try, but think you could use the old tofurkey-collander method to make this shaped like a dead and plucked turkey. I also accidentally purreed the onions on my first round of making it, and I think it made the recipe better, it wasn't at all crumbly like the second round was.

So there you have it. And if anybody out there can point me to any other types of tofu recipes...please do!

Catalogue of Thanksgivings...

The first Thanksgivings I remember were celebrated in the house I grew up in, which was attached to my dad’s bar, the Three Legged Dog Saloon. He invited anybody without family to join – that usually meant men working on the oil rigs, women who had crushes on my dad, ‘barmaids’, and a few Utes who lived on the reservation the bar was in and were regulars. People crowded around a table filled with generic Thanksgiving fare that my father always made himself: turkey, potatoes, beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pies. Lot’s of wine, too, but that was store bought. I was usually the only child, but I relished that role. Everybody was extra kind to me because of it, especially on this day when everybody missed the vestiges of real families and a little girl fed their nostalgia as much as the food and the tradition did.

After that, there were Thanksgivings I spent in Salt Lake City, which I never enjoyed as much because they were formal and lacked the chaos I associated with the day. And then there was the college Thanksgiving I forgot about until seven or eight at night, when my friend Nick Jackson and I went to a convenience store and bought a couple turkey pot pies (only in Minnesota do convenience stores carry pot pies). It felt hip and I was impressed with our ingenuity.

In New York City I cooked my first bird in a fast-cook method, because I didn’t realize how long it took to thaw a turkey. My college friends Wi Sorenson and Eric Heaton refused to eat it because, though I found it tantalizingly juicy, they were convinced it was raw and might kill them. I was congenially distressed.

In Houston, I spent a few Thanksgivings with the same friends, usually at the Wolfes’ fabulous abode. About sixteen close friends from the writing program all smoked up before dinner, and we ate Steve’s incredible food, and passed out all over his house, our sleep sound as Rip Van Winkle’s (which was appropriate as Van Winkle himself was a creation of one of our friends’ great, great, great, etc. granfather.).

When that group broke up, I hosted several at my little blue house. These events were like my fathers’, filled with people I knew, but usually not very well. We drank wine and argued and flirted and had a good time. Finally, I became a vegetarian again, as I had been in college. My first vegetarian Thanksgiving was actually a vegan one, which I spent at my friend Chuck’s. We awaited Janice Blue, host of Pacifica’s Go Vegan Texas, like she was the Easter Bunny, and when she arrived with her Textured Soy Protein Turkey, the countless sweet potato, corn, and barley dishes immediately appeared not only less oppressive, but ordained.

By then I was dating GreenDaddy, and my mom joined our first Thanksgiving together – it was the first Thanksgiving I’d spent with a family member since I was 18. My friend Kate was going to bring a turkey, but she was very stressed, and for the only time in the history of my knowing her, she bailed on bringing it over late on in the game --the night before Thanksgiving. My mom needed a turkey and was worried it would never thaw in time…but luckily, Houston isn’t Myton, Utah, and not all turkeys are frozen. We went to Whole Foods, picked one up, and cooked it with our friend Jenny’s help. Mom came the following year, but the year after that she was too sick; and now she’s coming again this year.

For the first time in years, we’ll have Thanksgiving at the Wolfe’s again. So the Houston Thanksgivings come full circle. And actually, a good chunk of the original Wolfe Thanksgiving participants will be at this years’ event. And my mom will be here, so I’m excited. Steve and Diana will have a turkey, Chuck will bring Tofurkey, and I will bring some foods derivitave of the Americas…Amyrynth stuffing, probably, and I’ll also bring either vegy loaf or vegy cutlets.

And it’s BabyG’s first Thanksgiving. She had a mild bout of Scarlet Fever and had to take Amoxicillan, and since then has refused most food outside of breast milk, so she’ll be vegetarian this year…though she’s about the size of a big turkey.

Thanksgiving is a holiday I’ve spent with so many people, many of whom I no longer am in contact with, and many of whom I still see daily. I like that. I like that my father modeled it as a night of community and that I continue to celebrate it in this way. That’s about as profound as I feel like being, and after over a week of no posts, I feel like owe more to the blogging world. But I just wanted to say I like Thanksgiving, and I am happy to have a little baby girl and a fabulous husband to celebrate the next couple dozen or so with.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Pasta Recipe and the Wagon

Last night, for the first time in months, I concocted my standard pasta dish -- a core recipe I goof around with about every time I make, depending on the attributes of my pantry, but that turns out "good" about 90% of the time.

  1. You boil shredded kale or collards with penne noodles -- or you mostly boil the noodles, then add spinach about thirty seconds before you take the noodles out
  2. Meanwhile, you saute 6 garlic cloves and a hot red pepper in about 1/3 c. oil, along with any other vegetables you'd like to star, and usually whole walnut pieces.
  3. You add a little marinara works out okay, if you're pressed, because of all your other additions. Even plain Pomi (boxed tomatoes) sauce, or chopped tomatoes, works. If you use about 1/3 c of oil in the sauteeing, use about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Or use less oil and more sauce. Let it all cook until you have the noodles & greens drained.
  4. Then mix in sauce w/noodles & greens. Add about two tomatoes diced fairly largely, and fresh Parmesan. Salt it. It's very tasty.
  5. Sometimes I puree lots of nuts & basil & add that when I am combining the sauce & noodles & greens. Or I add nuts and shredded parsley. I often add carrots to the saute, or a leek, whatever vegetable looks handy. Last night I added shredded yam to the boiling water (which neither added nor detracted, so was sort of pointless).

I generally make this about once every couple weeks, maybe a little more frequently. It is always spicy and comforting.

Last night GreenDaddy said, "Wow! I just thought you were going to use bottled sauce on spaghetti." As if I were Queen Ragu©

So since I've made this non-bottled-sauce thing for years I thought: "Since when have I ever done that?" And then I thought a minute more and remembered how demented my comprehensive exams made our eating habits...for at least three months, we had broken all major rules of food:

We ate out almost every day, and ordered in a pizza once a week, at least.

When we almost bankrupted ourselves accomplishing the former, I bought lots of frozen dinners -- "natural" -- but, what does that MEAN?, right?

One night, GreenDaddy asked what I wanted do for dinner, with the cringe he had recently developed specifically for that question. By this point, the word "frozen" put tears into his eyes, and stressed as I was, I took pity and found some pasta in a cabinet. We had no store-bought sauce -- I never buy that shit, right? -- and no Pomi or garlic or peppers or carrots or nuts or basil.

But I recalled that during my white trash past, we often dumped a can of cream of mushroom soup over pasta and called it fabulous. So I dumped a can of Organic Wolfgang Puck Mushroom Soup over the pasta.

Campbell's soups always have the benefit of tasting like something salty but not exactly repulsive. They recall, at least for me, the tastes of childhood. So even if they help you make something foul tasting in concept -- like Tuna Casserole or spaghetti with fake sauce -- it's a fondness-inducing sort of foul taste you're creating.

Not so with the Wolfgang Puck organic cream of mushroom.

So that next day I went out and bought four bottles of tomato sauce and GreenDaddy went out and bought three. And we ate bottled tomato sauce on spaghetti one night, and frozen dinners the next, for about three weeks straight.

[[Okay....This blogpost is interrupted, officially. Something just busted into the attic. A critter. How do I get it out without going up there???}}

[back to the blogpost]

So one thing the comps have made me, you're noticing, is long in getting to a point. But I do have one.

After all these years of conscious eating and serious choices, just how did our 'greenness' go poof so completely in a matter of months? And it wasn't just the food. On the few occasions I cooked, I didn't even take the scraps to the compost, because GreenDaddy is too harried to turn the soil, and I'm scared of it. And I haven't made all BabyG's baby food -- she's eaten lots of organic, pre-made baby food. And a couple weeks ago somebody stole the kitchen recycling bin, so I stopped recycling some kitcheny things.

Which isn't to say I'm not on track now. But how easily did we, the people with a website called Green Parenting, fall into Greyish Parenting! I just read Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony and a running theme is: "It isn't easy."

And that's such a bummer. Especially when you really, really believe you ought to be green.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Thawing of My Jello Brains: Halloween

Saturday I spent making our Halloween costumes, and then went to our friend Kate’s fabulous Halloween party, where BabyG fell asleep and we stayed later than we expected. I even got to return, after putting BabyG to bed at home, because we’d swiped Nicole’s purse on accident. I got to stay up till one or two talking with Kate and Nicole, the last of the partiers.

On Halloween itself, I completely didn't know it was Halloween. I thought it was Wednesday, not Tuesday. All night long I was convinced the School District had announced kids had to go out a day earlier. Don't ask me why I came to this conclusion: I just saw kids dressed up in a grocery store and decided it was the wrong day. When trick-or-treaters came, I gave them candy, but I still thought it was October 30th. I said to 13 year old next-door-neighbor-boy, in a tone of voice suggesting that he was on my side and thought Halloween should be celebrated on the 31st: "But you're having your party tomorrow, right?"

"This would be my party," he said, mortified, rolling his eyes the way 13 year-old-boys with loopy neighbors are apt to do. But me? I thought, "How sweet, Ben's getting moody and sulky for no reason at all." But still didn't think it was Halloween. Not until I got online, and I saw the date, did it occur to me.

BabyG was in bed by the time I realized she should've been wearing the Itsy Bitsy Spider outfit I made her. At Kate's, she was the spider, and I made GreenDaddy into a water spout, and I was the sun and the rain. These were the first costumes I ever put any real thought into…and the itsy bitsy spider was the first Martha Stewart ‘recipe’ I ever followed. It was a no-sew costume, which I mistakenly thought meant simple and not-time consuming.

I used tools I’d forgotten about: a razor, wire, duct tape, a glue gun, and cardboard. It was very relaxing and all-consuming, much to Raj’s chagrin, as he had a paper to write. He put off all his work until my comps were over, and then I spent my first “freeday” and his first “workday” slacking.

But making BabyG’s costume was a little bit of a coup for me. It’s definitely one of the things I’ve done in order to undo my own Halloween experiences growing up. I never had the cool parent-help-made costumes. I was always made out of whatever was laying around the house after the Halloween party at my dad's bar. One year my dad made me into a cone head…a Saturday Night Live skit based costume my dad had worn the year before. Another year I was half witch, half Snoopy, because my dad found green paint and we had a witch’s hat from one of the barmaids, and somebody picked up a plastic Snoopy mask at the grocery store. But the most memorable year was when I was eight or nine and I trick or treated wearing my step-mother’s fur coat, wearing dog ears, and told people I was a stray.

So I felt very hefty and supreme spending an afternoon constructing a costume for BabyG that looked like somebody (new to crafts) cared. Which isn’t really fair to my parents, because there is something to be said for the on-the-spot-creativity Halloween evoked in my family…on the spot thinking is probably one of the best traits I inherited from my dad, at least.

And of course, if you asked BabyG about it, she’d tell you she didn’t really like wearing spider legs. Luckily, her annoyance at the legs only enhanced her costume. Her pal Cosmo had a Superman outfit comfy enough to sleep in. I saw the question in her eyes: Couldn’t mommy have just found me some Wonder Woman Underoos?

Alas, dear BabyG, Momma couldn’t have. You will probably work hard to let your kids trick or treat in whatever get-up they can muster…but for the next few years, at least, I’m going to have to impress myself with my sloppy, well-meant craft-making, at your expense. When you’re old enough to vocalize, I promise to use the glue gun according to your specifications.

Digression for my Thawing Brain

Obviously everybody in the world is dying to know what I did with my first free moments after having taken my PhD comprehensive exams…which I won’t know if I passed until my graders tell the English department. IT COULD BE YEARS. But probably will only be days…

Because of Netflix, GreenDaddy and I watched The Bicycle Thief. It had a cute little boy in it. (But if my wife sold our linens to buy me a bike, and if the bike was stolen, and if without the bike my family would starve, I would not drag my son through the streets of Rome, looking for a bike that looks like all the others. I might try to get a loan or get help, and if after a few hours of that nothing gave, I would, first thing, enlist my cute son to help me steal some well-off-looking person’s bike and not even feel bad. Not because I want to teach him not to like rich people, but because I want to teach him how I like my family not to die of hunger. If I felt a little bad about it, after I started earning the big bucks as a bike messenger, I would take him to donate a bike to somebody else who might starve without it...because, dear me, I am a dirty, if you ever find out the grizzlybirds at Greenparenting are starving and need something you have, better look out...)