Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mothers and Daughters

This is Lydia. Her mom sent me this picture wearing one of Rubi J's organic custom screenprinted t-shirts. Dana was kind of upset with her little girl for not being so enthusiastic about the "photo shoot". I loved it; for several reasons. Lydia is adorable no matter her mood; and it reminded me how quick our little ones become their own person. It doesn't take long before we mothers lose total control.
Remember what much fun it was to dress our little girls? Just like playtime when we were little girls ourselves.  O.K. When you were little girls. I was raised with all boys. I was unaware I was even a girl until 10 or 11; but, I heard you talk on the playground about the fun of dressing up your dolls.

Mothers seem to have visions about how their little girls should look. All usually goes well until "Princess" finds her own voice. And then; apparently, her voice is the only one that matters.

I've seen it over and over again. The athletic mother with a daughter insisting on ruffles and lace only. The beauty queen that can't get her girl out of blue jeans. Oh, the humanity!!!

My advice to all you young mothers out there. Get your licks in while you can. I know my friend, Kandi, has the right idea. She's having a great time with her girls before they "beg to differ". She wanted a little "bling" for her daughter, Avery.

Now was the time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A very Personal and Sad Story.

O.K. This story might not be that sad to you, but it's breaking my heart.

My tale starts out terrific. Ron and I will be observing our 45th year of marriage this fall and for Christmas our gift to our daughter and her family was to join us in Hawaii to celebrate this February (the darkest part of Iowa's winter).  Sounds great, doesn't it? And it has been. I've been ordering new clothes for Ron and me. Perfect; everything was on sale this past fall.

Then; disaster struck.  I would need a bathing suit. Oh Oh.

No problem, says daughter Stef. "The new ones pull you all in." Here's a little info for you; they pull in "young" skin; they push "old" skin out and over. Not going to work. Back to the internet. The only suits I found acceptable were only available in 3X's. I'm a 8. Eight with some problems.  Stef said it can't be that bad; but she didn't see what I saw.

Here's the problem;  about 10 ten years ago Ron and I were in Tel Aviv, on the mederterrian. It was one of the most exquisite places we have ever been. Yet; my most vivid memory was the old people on the beach, in their speedos and bikinis. I'm not talking about "old" people like "I can't believe you have grandchildren". I'm talking about "I left my teeth by my walker" old. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. That's the story I related most when I returned home; even demonstrating their shuffle across the sand. 

Stef convinced me to try one of her old suits; which I did. My dog couldn't even look at me. I felt as if I should apologize; just didn't know to whom.

Anyway, that's the end of my "sad" story. I'll be wearing one of Stef's hand me downs. I'm now back on the web, looking for an awesome coverup to transport me from my hotel room to the beach. I do not want to become a "tourist attraction".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Snow Leopard

Photo by Aaron Logan [ source
Did you know there are two different snow leopards in our world? There is the beautiful big cat of Central Asia. Secondly, most Apple computer users know the Snow Leopard as the newest Mac Operating System. I'm not worried about Apple's future. They seemed to be very secure. The living Snow Leopard, however, is endangered. For more information go to
Look at this glorious animal. That it could be lost in the wild forever is heartbreaking.

The Snow Leopard comes on one of the Animal Tails girl's long sleeved t-shirts. It's our current "Special" at Here's what the hang tag says:

"I love to roam in the high, wide open and very cold snowy mountains of Central Asia. But you will have to look hard to spot me as my coat is perfect for camouflaging me in the snowy rocky terrain. My stunning extra long tail provides extra balance as I leap gracefully from one mountainous point to another, it also works beautifully as a very stylish scarf to keep my nose warm on really cold nights! My large paws are like snowshoes, to help me walk on snow.

My beauty has been the reason we are so endangered, people keep hunting us to put our furry coats on cat walks! Despite a worldwide ban on hunting, we now find traditional medicine makers are after us for our bones, and on top of all that, our habitat is now under threat from domestic herds, things are really getting very tricky for me, but I am too shy to make much of a scene about it."

I hope some people searching for answers about their Mac's OS will stumble across some websites informing about these Snow Leopards' plight.

Monday, January 18, 2010

BPA (Revisited)

I wrote the following blog last September 11, 2009:

Are baby bottles safe?

We’ve all seen civil and criminal trials on TV, whether fictional or real. Each opposing team will call their expert witnesses. These witnesses are no “men/women off the street”. They are highly qualified individuals with a zillion letters after their names. Yet, given the same data, they arrive at totally different conclusions. Who are we suppose to believe?

So, in our daily lives, who do we believe what is safe or harmful?

I decided to do a little research of my own on the safety of Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA. I’ve been reading reports all week. BPA is either totally, totally safe or one drop will turn your child into a mutant. Clear on that? OK, let’s get in a little deeper.

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical produced in large quantities in our society. It’s used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. The polycarbonate plastics are used in food packaging, water and infant bottles and medical devices among other products. Containers will usually have the symbol “7” or “PC” on it. The epoxy resins are used to coat metal products like food cans. It’s the use in baby bottles that has created the most controversy.

In my quest for answers, I first researched where and who any report was generated. Once this is known, it’s fairly simple to guess what conclusions will be reached.

The report I found to have the least bias was issued by the National Toxicology Program, a division of the National Institute of Health. The website for this and other reports is

In short, they found Some Concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infant and children at current human exposures to BPA. On a scale on 1 to 5, Some Concern is a 3.

So, read the report and make you own decisions. My thoughts. When it comes to our children, some concern is enough. It’s also enough for some manufacturers. We are starting to see labels stating “BPA-Free”.

This is what I love about living in this society of ours. We always have the right to question.
So now, an update.
According to the Washington Post, CBS News and other news agencies, the Food and Drug Administration is reversing itself. Instead of stating BPA is not harmful, there is "some concern". It has based its earlier statements totally on studies made by the chemical industry. It will be conducting their own tests.
Hey. Shouldn't they be doing that all along? Oh, well; let's look ahead. This means more serious studies will be made. It has already been documented that 90% of the population has BPA in their urine. BPA is a synthetic estrogen; just what we need to supply growing babies and children.
Grass roots movements do work. You see more and more baby bottles being advertised as "BPA Free". There's always a better way; and we will find it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ring-tailed Lemur

What do you think: "Way too cute" or "Far too spooky"? I'm going with the cute vote.

The Ring-tailed Lemur organic girls' t-shirt is a favorite at Rubi J's. A lot of little girls have had stuffed lemur toys.

But, sorry to say, they are endangered. Man is continuing to remove their habitat.

Hear the Lemur's story on their hang tag that comes with each shirt.

"Lemur, means "ghost" in Madagascar, probably because we look rather spooky. We're really sociable, hanging out in groups of about 30 swinging from trees, partying and looking for food.

Our tails look so special because they have a lot of uses, we raise them high in the air like flags to tell each other "follow me!" when we show off for our females, we rub our tails with a stinky perfume which we secrete from glands in our wrists, it's our equivalent to aftershave. Once soaked with it, we raise our tails over our heads and point them at each other, flinging the perfume around to show who makes more scents. The stinkiest one wins the lady!

Deforestation for human inhabitation is seriously threatening our survival."

Huh. Interesting way to attact the female.  We human girls don't usually learn about the guys' stinking ways til after the ceremony.

Check out the Ring-tailed Lemur tee at It's our current "Special of the Day".

Friday, January 8, 2010

Organic Living (cont.)

After my first blog about organic living, meaning to live harmoniously with the earth, I would like to add more thoughts.

First, the weather in the Midwest has been brutal.  We can't find any more space to put the snow. The sub-zero temperatures are trying, to say the least. We can't think of anything to talk about except the weather. It's affecting my cheery outlook. What to do????

I know. Turn to the one and only cure: Black gospel music. If you have not try this alternative medicine; let me reassure you, it's safe. It can be taken with any medication. I swear. You will begin to feel your blood flow again, your mind soaring, happiness is within you.

It doesn't matter what, if any, religion you are, the power of black gospel music will heal.

I discovered this music when we lived in Louisana in the 70's. I listened to it on the radio every Sunday morning. It wasn't the arrangements, the production or even the song itself. It was the purity of the feeling of joy and being able to express it. How I wish I had that talent.

My favorite album I own is Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers. If you are old enough, you will remember Sam Cooke as a pop artist in the 50' and 60's. Before that, he was a gospel singer. Totally awesome!

I've told my family I want his song "Any Day Now" to be played at my funeral (along with Boys II Men's "It's too hard to say goodby"); which hopefully won't be for a long time.

Go to YouTube and find out for yourself. You will become a believer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Perfect weather.

It's currently -20 F. One of the forecast for high temperatures this week is -2 degrees F (that's right the high for the day).

We will have at least 6 more days of this frigid weather including another 6-7 inches of snow on top of the 25" we had in December.

What a perfect time to pick up that book you received for Christmas and travel to another time and place.

How lucky are we!!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Seamese Crocodile and more.

Our "Special of the Day" .  The boys' favorite. 30% off at

"There I was peacefully lumbering across my local river bank in Thailand, when I bump into a bunch of crazed scientists with a camera, behaving like I was some Hollywod star at the Oscars. Turns out it was the Wildlife Conservation Society looking for tigers, when I stepped into the frame.
Apparently they thought I was completely extinct in Thailand. I have a few relatives that live in the wild in Cambodia but apart from that we are farmed to make hand bags. Imagine living your life in captivity and finishing up as a hand bag.
I might look fierge on this this shirt but in fact I'm a big softy and only eat fish, and will only attack you if you attack me."

That's the hang tag on the Seamese Crocodile Organic T-Shirt. In 1992 this fresh water crocodile was thought to be extinct in the wild. Now, through conservation groups, they have a new beginning.

Although, not the cutest, cuddling creature; they are important to the region ecosystem; they have a chance. There are good, good people working to save them. 

When I was researching the Seamese Crocodile, I made a remarkable discovery. A discovery that may have changed my life.

I discovered the Fauna and Flora International organization. I can't believe I have never heard of them before now.  Wow!!! Let me inform you.

Fauna & Flora International is the oldest international conservation organization in the world. Founded in 1903 (that's right, 1903), it has one of most remarkable contributions to saving the natural world I have ever researched.  They don't just throw dollars at the situations, they solve. 

They work with underdeveloped countries to partner communities in showing ways of making conservation economically viable.  They demostrate how to become part of the solution and strive.

It has reinforced my belief that there are much more good  people on this earth than bad or misinformed. 

Do yourself a favor and go to