Childrens' Books

So this is a book that was given to me by my loving godparents in 1981. Unlike my 6 month old, $100 Banana Republic sweater, this 26 year old book has no rips, its color has lasted and it maintains its' structural integrity. Amazing... isn't it?

This book was written and illustrated by Japanese-American born illustrator Gyo Fujikawa. I would like to claim that I'm an avid collector of Fujikawa's work, but I would be lying. The fact that I am not should not discredit this post. Please- no judging!

I do have a point... I am clumsily getting to it:
While I was searching for illustrations of Fujikawa's books, I stumbled upon a great blog called Design Mom . She has amazing childrens' book recommendations (in fact, she does a "book of the week" thingy). So for those of you looking for new fun books for your kiddos... go check it out!

So there- I was going to post about how great oatmeal is (specially when made with pears, cranberries and maple syrup) but I chose to write something semi-informational.
Does this legitimize the next hour which will be spent vegging out in front of the t.v, eating pumpkin pie?
Yes it does my friends.


Solar Decathlon

100 % Solar Powered house.... who knew they could be so cute?!?

Université de Montréal, Mtl, Qc

So the news last night was a good starting point for today's post. My local PBS affiliate (have I mentioned that I heart PBS?) aired a story on the 2007 Solar Decathlon.

What is the Solar Decathlon you ask?

It's a worldwide competition where universities present their working model of a completely self-sustainable, solar powered house. The houses are judged on their engineering and innovation as well as on their aesthetics and "livability". Oh yeah, and each house has to produce enough energy to charge an electric car!!

While the winning house presented by the Technische Universitat Darmstadt (Germany)
came at the hefty price tag of $600 000 USD , University of Illinois's entry cost $160 000 USD and was built from commonly available materials such as simple cedar panels. They won the Market Viability section of the competition.

All this to say, if we can build a fully solar powered house for about the same price as a "conventional" house, why aren't we all building our own homes?


20 minutes... really?

So it seems my blogging career is already doomed- I can't even figure out how to add new links.
20 painstaking minutes of ctrl+c and ctrl+v and NOTHING.
Still the stupid Edit Me.
By god, if it's the last thing I do... I will link to interesting and cool sites.


So here's a little golden nugget I've discovered.

Imagine not needing money. Not for bills - there are none. Not for food - you grow or make it all yourself. Not for transport - you have a bike.

Disillusioned with their lives, Linda Cockburn and Trevor Wittmer decide this is how to break the cycle of too much work and too little time for doing the things that are important, like spending time with their son, Caleb.

Their idea of living sustainably on a suburban block is simple and perfect. By drawing all their power from the sun, harvesting their water from the rain and growing enough produce to give them variety, they can do something positive for the environment and for themselves

For six months they take it to the extreme - and come up against a drought, an onslaught of fruit fly, and the demands of an unruly goat called Possum. But they also become fitter, healthier and happier, and delight in the simple pleasures of being reconnected with nature.

That's the press release from their website.

So can anyone spell J-E-A-L-O-U-S?
Living off the grid is one of my many, many, many ideas I fantasize about. I mean, who doesn't want to be completely self-sustainable? Live from the earth knowing that you can provide for yourself under ANY circumstance; teach the kiddos myself about the wonderful world that surrounds us (yes, yes also about fractions, music and geography), and of course, family riding lessons in the early morning.... I'm smiling just thinking about it.
Unfortunately, my mothers' pessimistic streak has polluted my once naive and idealistic spirit. I'm scared of getting lonely, forgetting how much I love the almond croissant/latte duo and ultimately resenting my loving family for keeping me from my deserved life of hipness and wealth (don't ask...that's the design student talking... not the mama)
All of this is très normal, non?

Back to the Cockburns...

Sure they live in Australia... but can't one accomplish something similar in bitter cold Quebec? Maybe we won't be able to grow the avocado trees and the kiwi bushes... but surely we can live on turnips and beets for a few months?
Maybe we need to relocate... I've heard Portland is quite nice?

All this to say... check the book out!
Although I haven't read it, I will praise it as if I had.

Blogging Take 2

So my blogging attempt last year was lame. I admit it. Totally lame.
It's a new year now, there's a new baby on the way and I'm determined (ok- maybe not wholeheartedly) to stick to this.
Who knows, maybe someone will discover my little blog and offer me a book deal.
I realize it would be an empty book... but still.
Let me dream people, let me dream.