Join Me – Who’s Your Mama Podcast!

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 8.49.16 AM

Obviously, this blog has been silent for a little while…I’ve been enjoying being a mama to my wild-thing son, made a BIG move with wild-thing and hubs (and the pets!) back to Maine for an awesome job working for the Farmers’ Almanac, and to be closer to family…and in the last handful of months have FINALLY felt like I’m finding my groove – in parenthood, but also in life!

And I wanted to make a big announcement here, for all my Green(ish) Life followers – please follow me with my newest creative venture: My podcast – Who’s Your Mama – just released it’s third episode on iTunes (with many more episodes waiting in the wings, to be released on a biweekly schedule, on Mondays)!

Who’s Your Mama is an interview format show where I “gather pearls of wisdom from ladies who are conquering the challenge of maintaining a creative identity while raising a family.” Besides being a labor of love, the podcast is 100% inspired by how I have been struggling since my son was born with maintaining my creative/autonomous identity and through connecting with others, have realized that I’m NOT the only mama feeling this, that I’m actually NOT a selfish asshole. So, I’m hoping that these pearls of wisdom will be a light in the dark for other mamas feeling the same way – you ARE still an awesome individual – rock on, mamas!

I also wanted to announce here as a “call for entries” of sorts – if you know (or, if you ARE) a mama who is making time for what makes her soul sing, I would be honored to have you on the show: yourmamapodcast [at] gmail [dot] com

Links –
The website: http://whosyourmamapodcast.com/
iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/…/whos-your-mama-podc…/id1073137912 (Please subscribe and leave a glowing review – I’m sure the trolls are a’comin’!)

And please also like/follow me on fb and twitter so that I look cool:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whosyourmamapodcast/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wympodcast

The End of An Era

Just a quick note that I have decided to switch gears with my blogging. F that S was originally started as an alt-career blog that documented my life as I aimed for a new career, experienced a major move and many (mostly amazing) life changes along the way. In starting a new chapter in my life, I felt it was appropriate to transition to a new blog that focuses more on my life as it is now (and where it goes from here).

Thank you to all my readers! I’m sure I didn’t get to 500 posts and a little over 315,000 hits for nothing. I truly hope you will join me on my new journey – Introducing A Green(ish) Life

Thanksgiving Break

I’m taking a break from blogging for the holiday. Wishing everyone an enjoyable Thanksgiving!
Vintage postcard from The Spooky Vegan

Inspiration Station: Natural Shadowboxes

I recently came across the shadowbox artwork of Simone LeBlanc over at the House+Home section of Terrain. While I could never dream of selling any of my lil’ shadowboxes for close to $300 each (whoa!), LeBlanc’s work offered me some inspiration nonetheless:

Inspired by stars in the night sky, an abstract galaxy of polished agate captures the strength of celestial sights.

Continue reading

Big (Green) Deal: TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

Originally written for the Watertown Daily Times by Amanda Taylor, who covered TILT’s (Com)Post-Halloween event at Zenda Farm Preserve over the weekend.

Christopher A. Nevala, 7, smashes leftover Halloween pumpkins with a mallet during the (Com)Post Halloween event at Zenda Farms in Clayton on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Amanda Morrison for the Watertown Daily Times.

TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

CLAYTON — Creating a manageable compost heap is not as difficult as many may believe.

“It’s quite simple and should not be intimidating to anyone,” Corinne M. Mockler said.

Ms. Mockler is the coordinator of education and outreach for the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The group organized a (Com)post Halloween on Saturday to educate children and their families on maintaining a compost heap.

“A lot of families have gardens, but we’re not sure how much kids are involved in the gardening or if they are aware of the fact that anything can be composted,” Ms. Mockler said.

People were invited to bring their leftover pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns to Zenda Farms at 38973 Zenda Road and smash them up in a wooden box with a shovel. The pumpkin pieces were combined with old leaves to create compost that will be used in the spring on TILT’s Community Garden.

“Who can resist? You get rid of grass, old jack-o’-lanterns and kids get to go around and smash stuff,” she said.

Continue reading

New Design Sponge Series: Sound Garden

Angela alerted me to yet another wonderful new sub-column from Design*Sponge: “Sound Garden” by Sarah B. Essentially, florist extraordinaire Sarah B. takes her favorite album covers and translates them into beautiful floral arrangements:

Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”

Continue reading

Who Needs a Drink?

Depending on which way the cookie crumbled for you last night with the election, you could either use a drink in celebration or in sorrow. This article from Green America suggests that you make it organic!

Photo from Green Earth Cafe & Bakery

Organic Beer and Wine

If you consume alcoholic beverages, try organic beer or wine. They’re better for your health and the planet, and they taste good, too.

Historian Gregg Smith writes that fermented beverages have been nourishing body and enlivening spirit since the very dawn of civilization, dating at least as far back as when the ancient Mesopotamians began storing away “liquid bread” for later use. If you already consume alcoholic drinks, consider buying organic beer or wine for your social engagements and celebrations. There’s a growing number of refreshing offerings from the vine, the grain, and the orchard that contribute to restoring the environment, empowering workers, and protecting your health. Not only are organic beer and wine better for your body, but you may find they taste better than their non-organic counterparts, too.

Why Go Organic?

Choosing organic beverages means that the grapes, barley, hops, apples, and other ingredients used to make your fermented refreshment are spared the application of toxic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. These unhealthy chemical inputs pollute our water, air, and soil. Researchers at Cornell University estimate that at least 67 million birds die each year from pesticides sprayed on US fields. The number of fish killed is conservatively estimated at six to 14 million. And, many pesticides are toxic to humans, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Not only does chemically intensive farming devastate ecosystems and harm human populations, it also contributes to the crisis in family-owned farms. The US lost an estimated 650,000 family farms in the last decade. Organic farming, on the other hand, is proving to be small-farmer friendly-most organic farms are less than 100 acres.

Chemical-free organic drinks often taste better, too. Just ask Andrew Myers, dining room manager at Washington, DC’s Restaurant Nora, America’s first certified organic restaurant. “I recommend organic wines and beers to our customers because of their excellent quality, not just because it’s the right thing to do,” says Myers.

Continue reading

I Still <3 NY

It’s been a tough week for NY. Luckily, the worst most of our Brooklyn and Manhattan friends experienced were power outages, and our Staten Island and Jersey Shore family live on high ground. Facebook was a great way for me to double-check on everyone and to keep updated on what wasn’t being reported by the news. But for every horrifying photo of entire Queens neighborhoods being wiped out by fire or subway stations flooded to the ceiling, there were photos like this, of neighbors helping neighbors:

from The Guardian

It’s that “we’re in this together” spirit that I particularly miss about living in the metro area. While a normal day in the City sees locals speed-walking and elbowing past each other, when disaster (or major inconvenience) strikes, suddenly everyone’s family. I lived in Brooklyn from 2000-2010, so obviously the event that remains most prevalent in my memory is 9-11. I was a sophomore in college and had literally just flown back from my grandfather’s funeral in Florida, so watching the towers fall from a rooftop in Brooklyn was almost more than I could handle. I still can’t look at photos/video from that day without feeling ill. I do remember some scattered instances of looting, but for the most part there was a sense of brotherhood. I don’t think I heard a discouraging word for at least a week.

Continue reading

The Secret Rights of Plants

Oohoohoo! This is the kind of article an oft-guilt-tripped meat-eater like myself DREAMS of coming across, courtesy of NPR:

Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve

October 26, 2012

According to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants such as chili peppers may be able to “hear” other plants.

If proposals calling for rights for animals are on the table, why not rights for other living things? Plants, for instance.

After all, plants can sometimes exhibit humanlike behavior. And we’re not just talking about the butterwort-flytrap hybrid in The Little Shop of Horrors. Some plants respond well to music. Some “smell” other plants. Still others seem to shrink away when touched.

Plants display remedial types of memory and possess “anoetic consciousness” — the ability of an organism to sense and to react to stimulation — writes Daniel Chamovitz in his 2012 book, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses.

And, according to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants (such as chili peppers) may be able to “hear” other plants (such as sweet fennel). “We know that plants recognize what is growing next to them,” Gagliano says in the University of Western Australia’s University News. “There is chemical communication between them. Plants can warn other plants of a predator by releasing a chemical, and the warned plants can release chemicals to make themselves unpalatable to the predator.”

She says, “I think we might realize that plants are more sensitive than we think.”

Sensitive enough to deserve rights? Some people think so.

Continue reading

Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up, Sandy

It’s a windy day in the North Country.

This is exactly how I look right now

In preparation for the impending doom of Hurricane Sandy, Butch and I managed to lazily pick up a couple of cans of soup and half-fill the tub with some water. Oh, and I did some emergency clothes-shopping in Watertown on Sunday after dropping off my shrines for next week’s art show. But seriously, based on our existing wood stove and survivalist neighbors, we didn’t work ourselves into too much of a tissy. I don’t mean to sound blasé about the “hurricane to end all hurricanes” but we’re smack dab in the middle of underground bunker country.

I know, every “homesteader” has this Pinned already

I mean, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see my neighbor, Robin, kill (re-kill?) a zombie with her bare hands. She is a lady you want on your side.

Continue reading

Item! My Artwork to Appear in 64th Annual North Country Arts Council’s Fall Show

Having gone to art school and having a wonderful group of legitimate artist friends, I’ve attended my share of openings and shows (FYI – art show = free food). I’m an artistic person myself, but I tend to make more craft-related things, mostly shrines. And while I’ve made them for friends and family before (usually based on a personal interest of theirs), I’ve only occasionally thought about whether my work would be of interest to random people. I do remember going to last year’s NCAC Fall Art Show, noticing that there was a real lack of mixed media pieces, and vaguely thinking that I should submit mine when the show came around again. Then I received an email from NCAC reminding me that they were accepting artwork submissions for their fall show and I thought “what the heck.” Well, the jury liked what they saw – I’m in!

Here are the 5 pieces that will be on display (and for sale, hint hint):

Continue reading

Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 8 – Measuring Sustainability Ethics and Culture

Drum roll, please: I completed Coursera’s Intro to Sustainability! It’s safe to say I’m pretty pleased with myself, especially considering that I didn’t have to take the course, and most definitely didn’t have to finish it. Sure, doing a little weekly summary here on the blog added a level of accountability to the whole thing, but considering the majority of my “readers” are people I don’t personally know, I could have easily just dropped out and never mentioned the course again. Oh, and I started doing better and better on the quizzes as the course went on – whether this was because I stopped caring how well I did, or whether I did better as cumulative knowledge grew…who knows! But I am glad for what I learned in the process.

Continue reading

GRE(v)EN(ts): (Com)Post-Halloween November 10th with TILT


(Com)Post-Halloween is based on an annual event my Permaculture teacher, Claudia Joseph, hosts at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. This will be my first time hosting it through TILT and in this community, but based on what I’ve heard so far, the buzz is abuzz and I should expect a good turnout. I mean, kids get to smash pumpkins into pulp and parents get rid of the rotting Jack-o-lanterns from their front porches – everybody wins!


Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 7 – Environmental Economics and Policy

This second-to-last week of the course seemed a bit like a space filler, with basic, repetitive info that could have been combined with other weeks, past and future. Regardless, it made for a simple workload of homework! In short, I learned the different types of policies that are used toward reducing negative environmental impacts, and how those policies are influenced and how they succeed(ed) or fail(ed). It’s generally agreed that the best policies come about when governments, experts, industries and companies weigh all the costs and benefits before making decisions/enforcing mandates and regulations. And these costs and benefits need to include not only those in the monetary category, but social and environmental categories as well.

Continue reading

Inspiration Station: DIY Plant Hangers from Design Sponge

I’m currently rooting a bunch of houseplants for a friend (seriously, don’t buy a spider plant ever – you probably know someone who could root you a small army of spiders), and am realizing I should re-pot a few of my own. While I love a good vintage macrame hanger (they somehow work with my house decor), I do like modern versions as well. Then this morning I happened upon these two incredible DIY plant hanger projects from the genius minds at Design Sponge:

Leather Plant Hanger

Tiered Hanging Pots

Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 6 – Agriculture & Water

This week’s focus on water and agriculture piqued my interest in the class once again. While I already had a basic understanding of how much excess farmland is used solely to grow crops for feeding livestock, I hadn’t actually given much thought to how that would affect food prices (spoiler alert: they go up!). Another lecture focused on how the Green Revolution resulted in increases in fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide use, irrigation and monoculture. Despite the detriments to the environment, all of the above increased yield (a good thing, considering how much the population has grown). Unfortunately, at this point we have become so dependent on Green Revolution techniques that we cannot go back to the “old ways” and continue to feed everyone at the current population rate (and with that numbers constantly rising….).

In fact farmers will have to us 45% more water in 2030, which we’re unlikely to have on hand (based on current availability and increased threat of drought due to climate change). There’s always the possibility of improvements in technology that will continue to increase our yield, despite using the same (or less than the current) amount of land and water – these technological advances are what have helped us in the past. Of course, these advances cost money, which will again cause food prices to go up. So, no matter what happens, food will continue to get more expensive (and may lean more and more towards the GMO-variety). All the more reason to grow your own!

An especially interesting concept in week 6 was the idea of embedded, or virtual, water.

Continue reading

A Short Note on Internet Courtesy

Over the past few days, I’ve been getting multiple, extremely negative rants from an anonymous (how convenient) commenter on a blog post I wrote a while ago promoting a dear friend’s photo project. From what I gathered, the ranter didn’t agree with her project and felt that a random blog (mine) was the proper forum for airing abusive grievances and attempting to start a flame war with me (while patting themselves on the back for their own photographic successes).

While I think the internet is a wonderful tool for connecting with people, it has also unfortunately become disconnecting in the way people think it’s ok to treat each other from behind the veil of the computer screen. These are human beings on the other end. People with hopes and dreams, troubles and triumphs, but most importantly – feelings. If you are posting something that is so vile that you can’t even assign your real name to it, you may need to step back and assess whether it’s something that needs to be said at all. And if you can’t be adult enough to make that decision, I have every right to censor your comments from my blog. Just like I have every right to say what I want on it. That’s what makes it MY blog.

And on another note, if you have a legitimate disagreement with something I post on here, something that is my own opinion, then feel free to comment on those posts. It has happened before and I have responded to it maturely. I welcome a difference in opinion, actually. But to go into hysterics over a post that is simply me talking about a friend’s project – well you must realize that you’re barking up the wrong tree. For example, if you were strongly offended by an exhibit in a museum, the logical place to complain would be with the museum’s management office (or the artists themselves, if that is an option). But if you were to overhear a stranger at a bar randomly talking about that exhibit, you wouldn’t march over to them and start screaming about how awful the artwork was or start demanding that THEY somehow explain what the artist meant by it, now would you?

In short, be mature, be accountable. And especially, don’t be an asshole.

Inspiration Station: Magnified Food Photography


Below are images from “Terra Cibus: food photographed with a scanning electron microscope by Caren Alpert” via Colossal.

Terra Cibus: Food Photographed with A Scanning Electron Microscope by Caren Alpert macro food
terra cibus no.3 / celery Leaf (85x magnification)

San Francisco-based fine art and commercial photographer Caren Alpert combines her loves for photography, food, and art in these gorgeous photos taken with an electron microscope. Alpert captures the microscopic, almost other-worldly surfaces of common foods such as Oreo cookies, shrimp, leaves, and candy, turning what might normally be a scientific endeavor into fine art. As amazing as the images look here I’ve linked each through to the high resolution version on her website so you can see them in greater detail. Alpert has upcoming shows at Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery starting October 2, as well as a show called The Beauty + Biology of our Food at the Citigroup Center starting November 2. She also has limited edition prints for sale and you can find out more by contacting her here.

Terra Cibus: Food Photographed with A Scanning Electron Microscope by Caren Alpert macro food
terra cibus no.32 / shrimp tail (230x magnification)

Terra Cibus: Food Photographed with A Scanning Electron Microscope by Caren Alpert macro food
terra cibus no.23 / purple onion (230x magnification)

Terra Cibus: Food Photographed with A Scanning Electron Microscope by Caren Alpert macro food
terra cibus no.6 / red licorice (20x Magnification)


Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 5 – Energy

Week 5 was all about energy, both non-renewable (fossil fuels) and renewable (hydro, wind, solar, biofuel, etc) and what we can rely on as a society in the future.

In short, the problem with fossil fuels is that they not only come from finite sources, but negatively affect the atmosphere with harmful CO2 emissions. Not to mention that the instability of the areas where oil comes from jacks the prices up, which makes it economically feasible for oil companies to drill in places that are difficult to get at (oil sands, offshore drilling, etc). Same with natural gas and hydrofracking. While these methods will produce more reserves (therefore extending the time until we run out of oil), it really only delays the inevitable and keeps us dependent on an unsustainable resource.

And while an option like nuclear power produces less CO2 with energy production that can be scaled up manually, there are very real concerns of security and danger of contamination (NIMBY). Enter well-known renewable energy sources, and there are limitations there as well.

Continue reading

Green 101: Upcoming Permaculture/Sustainability Classes

I haven’t listed classes in a while, but there’s always something going on in the world of Permaculture! To see previous classes I’ve posted, click here.

Nutritious Delicious! Cooking Seminar – Wild Game and Pasture-Raised Meats: A Savory Natural Meat Cooking Seminar

Tuesday, October 2, evening workshop times TBA
Part of a series of six seminars covering both basic and advanced culinary skills.  Held roughly every other month on a topic related to the season, these sessions are designed to assist those interested in eating “lower on the food chain”, more in keeping with the freshness of the season — and more economically as well!

Continue reading