Photos of Sandy

Hi Readers!

a crew i worked with doing ripouts and demo on homes

I’m back in Western New York now.  And while I have so many stories to tell about what I’ve seen and experienced down state in the hardhit areas of Hurricane-Superstorm Sandy – I’m also super busy with work and real life.   I know I’ll carve out some time to publish some well-worded stories about my time there.  And I’d also love to report on the everyday heroics I witnessed, the amazing people I met, and I want to express to others around the nation and world just how serious the situation is there.

It’s BAD.

So much work is yet to be done.  So much help is still greatly needed.

taking a quick break one day in staten island

 

push it real good – going uphill with a cart full of supplies to be delivered to homes

 

I’m going to run for now.  But should you be interested in checking out my photos from Staten Island and Long Beach, I’ll post the links to the public albums.

Staten Island Facebook Album

Long Beach Facebook Album

Thanks for reading – and please keep the folks of NY and NJ in your hearts and prayers.  They need all the love and assistance we can muster.

XOXO, HHR

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How I Got My Green Groove Back

OR: Some Happy Hippie Habits I Still Have

On Sunday I posted a rather woe-is-me piece about how I’ve lost my eco-friendly “religion” as of late (I’ve been a slacker, I’ve been in a new place – and I haven’t been adhering to my usual routine of kind-to-our-plantet practice).

It’s true.  I’ve shopped at Walmart, we’re going through roll after roll of paper towels around here, I’m drinking Keurig coffee and so on… It’s embarrassing.  Happy HIPPIE Rose is my blog after all, this is a place where I post about loving the earth and being green and all that jazz.  I’m a self-proclaimed hippie and if I expect people to trust my advice or try out my tips, there’s a certain point to which I need to practice what I preach!

And really, I usually do.  I’m blaming it on our move and all the commotion of living our of a hotel, visiting family for a week, and now moving in with my cousin and acclimating to his routines and what not.  I won’t re-hash it all – go read the post for yourself if you want to revel in my failure.

(I’m also being pretty overdramatic.)

I know I’m super far from a failure right now.  As was pointed out in the comments on Sunday, it’s not a terribly huge crime I’ve committed here.  It’s life, it happens.  My intention was actually never to lament, but rather to come clean and then take it from there.  So Sunday I ‘fessed up.  Now, we’ll be moving forward.

After be-smudging my good hippie name, I did make the self-defensive claim that not everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.  There are, actually, plenty of things I’ve kept up with and am doing now that are mighty green.

Today, lemme brag on those! 

I love the earth, I am a legit hippie.  There are easy, fun, money-saving ways to run a home and live your life that are kinder to the earth than some of the typical American practices.  Especially when it comes to chores, I love to keep a tidy home in crunchy fashion – using hippie cleaning methods.

duck face all in the rubber gloves, after a crazy night of chores – i was sweating so hard from cleaning!

For one, rags – not paper towels.

rags are reusable and that’s rad

Paper towels are pricey.  And they’re wasteful.  Landfills are clogged with paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins.  If I must buy some kind of paper product (that’s a disposable version of something that totally exists in reusable form), I at least go for the recycled materials version.  Depending on what the use of the paper item was, when you’re done with it you may be able to recycle it – so keep that aspect in mind if the paper-made route is one you must go.

But really, rags love messes.  Rags are the best!  They work better than paper towel, and you just wash them.  It’s nice.  I get so annoyed at the paper towel commercials that equate rags to smearing bacteria all over your home.  UGH.  Common sense goes a real long way.  If you’ve just used a rag to wipe up some raw chicken goo, how abouts you retire that one to the dirty laundry hamper and not rub it on the counter until it’s been properly laundered.

It’s home cleaning 101.  It’s how people have been tidying up for years, centuries!  It’s not rocket science.  I’ll elaborate more on a paper towel based rant some other day, because I feel like I could go on and on about all of the anti-rag marketing and propaganda out there that’s just so bunk.

Use rags.  Wash them. Apply common sense.

You know what really helps the cleaning process?  A solution that’s antibacterial.  Like say, white distilled vinegar (WDV).  WDV is amazing.  It kills germs, it cleans up all kinds of messes, stains, spills, grease, gunk, and more.  Yeah, it smells strong at the time of use – but as it dries it is 100% odorless, colorless, and unnoticeable.

vinegar is heaven’s nectar. it does everything!

I use WDV everywhere.  Dishes, laundry, surfaces, mopping solution, the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room.  Anything that can be cleaned, I involve WDV somehow.

Remember my old Tide Challenge?

our current laundry room set-up. tide + wdv = a cheaper, better way to do every single load!

(I bought a big jug of liquid Tide, very pricey and wonderful smelling laundry detergent – and as an experiment, I diluted it with WDV for every load of laundry to see how far I could stretch a bottle).  Here’s the premise of the challenge, a midway update post, and finally – the results post.

Check those out to read all about the magical laundry powers of WDV.  Detergent, microbe killer, disinfectant, funk eliminator, fabric softener… it does it all.  And in its wake it leaves clean-smelling, lovely, soft clothes.

Speaking of reusable rags and WDV, let’s talk about mopping.

If you so much as own a Swiffer, I don’t even know if we can be friends.  Swiffers are so so so so bad.  They’re evil!  They create so much waste, and why?  For what?  It’s lazy and ridic.  You can get a mop with the exact same function as a Swiffer (the spray with the little pad on a stick that you use instead of the old school rope mop or the sponge and squeegee kind) that – get this – uses a reusable pad on the bottom.

Instead of those pre-soaked Swiffer pads that cost a fortune, are chock full of chemicals, clog up your garbage can, and eventually our whole planent with all of those dirty pads – just use a mop with a washing fluid chamber that squirts out a little stream of cleaner and houses a cloth pad on the bottom that you simply wash and reuse.

I used to have a Lipman spray mop back in Hawaii, with reusable cloth pads.  I liked it just fine. When we arrived in Western New York, I needed a new mop, though. (The Lipman worked just fine, it was packed up and it’s in the Pacific Ocean on a ship somewhere, with the rest of our belongings).

me, going nuts, with my awesome new mop

Totally coincidental to my viewership of Celebrity Apprentice (really, I didn’t realize it was the same mop from the show until just now as I was looking it up online and saw Lou Ferrigno pics), I am now the proud and ecstatic owner of the O-Ceder ProMist spray mop.

i love celeb apprentice, but did not love lou. he was actually super annoying. but, he’s repping my new mop, so i gotta give him credit for that. i love this mop!

It caught my eye because it was the cheapest one of its kind in the store.  And boy oh boy am I so glad I took this baby home!

There’s a microfiber pad that easily sticks to the bottom, I bought a secondary pad for a few dollars – so if one’s in the wash, I can still mop it up.   And in the RARE case that a mess deems you must mop with something disposable, they do sell paper pads that fit as well (but don’t do that, just wash the reusable ones).

I LOVE THIS MOP!

best mop ever

It’s great.  It’s so sturdy, the head pivots so nicely.  It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s so eco-friendly.  I fill up the cleaning fluid tank with a simple mix of WDV and water.  WDV is the perfect mopping solution, you know.  It kills the germs, it cleans, the floor will sparkle and shine – withOUT the stick left behind from Lysol or whatever other chemical mopping stuff you use.  And yes, it smells wacky… but as soon as it dries there is no scent.  None!

look at the shine on that floor – nice!

machine washable. very very easy.

Okay, I think you get my point about the cleaning.  It’s so easy to do, y’all.  Being green is not hard, it’s not always expensive or scary.  I know that when you’re in the grocery store and you see the free range organic food, it costs more than the hormone-filled antibiotic-ridden regular version.  The monetary commitment to an eco-friendly life can seem daunting. But that’s only for certain types of green living.

For most of the things I do around the home, I actually save money.  

WDV is way cheaper than any fancy cleaning product you can buy.  Samesies with baking soda (another awesome cleaning agent that works miracles).  Buying something once, like a rag or a towel and then being able to re-wash it and use it for a really long time is epically cheaper than going through disposable stuffs.

You get the idea?  I hope.

Now.  I know I mentioned food.  So there’s a couple more things I’ll sling into this post.

We feed our dog fancy food.  As in, organic doggie food.  I don’t believe in making him eat that corn-filled, horse meat, food colored, toxic fake garbage that’s all fillers and no nutrients.  We were so blessed at the ole MCBH Commissary, because they carried Organix brand dog food and it only cost a dollar more than the typical on-the-shelf doggie food crap.

Specialty dog foods can be very pricey and you may have to go out of your way to get your hands on them.  I understand that’s not feasible for everyone.  But check this out… Purina has a new label of food out, and although it’s pricier than the typical bag of Beneful, it’s still very affordable.  No corn, no fillers, no super duper garbage – and it’s made by Purina (my cousin works there, as does my Uncle Bobby, we love Purina around here).

jj’s new food, yummy!

JJ loves it!  He eats it right up, and we’re able to easily find it in the dog food section of our local grocers.   It’s called “One Beyond” and the commercials are super cute too (they always advertise for it on Hulu, I’ve noticed).

And finally.  I know in Sunday’s post I lamented about drinking coffee from the Keurig.  The uber-wasteful single cup coffee dispensary that makes you a solo cup of joe, out of a single disposable plastic-y cup.  Oy, the waste.  So much garbage, so much packaging.  It’s convenient and lovely and delicious – yes.  But the hippie in me just feels like such a heel.

So, I went old school and busted out the regular coffee pot.

i can make coffee the regular way

It’s a lot less wasteful, as long as we drink all that we end up making.  Coffee itself is such a slippery slope of hippiedom anyways… from fair trade, to poor work practices and shady farming, etc.  So I won’t get into that side of the bean in this post.  I’ll just tackle my end, the making and drinking side of the story.  And yes, I’m still imbibing in the Keurig-made stuff (it’s what we have in the house), but I’m not exclusively drinking Keurig and I intend to make my way back to the good ole brewing pot.

So there you have it!

Yeah, I’m not as super duper green green green as I had it when we were in Hawaii.  I’ve slipped a bit, I’ve let some things slide.  I’ve had to make accommodations and adjustments because of moving.

It is what it is.

But I’m turning it around.  And hey!  Even on my worst days, I was still maintaining some very clutch eco-kindly habits.  Some is better than none, every little bit really does help.

So as I continue to get my green groove back, I’ll keep y’all in the loop.  The tips and tricks I learn, I’ll pass on.  Because let’s be real, I didn’t invent this stuff – not by a long shot – other hippies taught me, and thus I want to teach you.  And if you have some good tidbits, tell me!  Shoot me an email or let me know right here (happyhippierose@gmail.com).

I’m always looking to build up my repertoire of hippie living.  So go out, get some WDV and a spray mop and clean with kindness.  Happy Housekeeping, y’all!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that are not my own:
Lou Ferrigno with the mop
O-Cedar ProMist mop collage

Losing My Religion

“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.”  Great R.E.M. jam, right?  It’s totally how I feel today.

Friends of faith, calm down!  I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity.  My love of Jesus is as intact as ever.  It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back.  I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back.  He always does, so why worry now?

love this!

Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control?  Not happening.  We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.

What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.

Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.

I’ve been SO BAD.

Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible.  My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day.  (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).

be still my beating heart

It gets worse…  Much worse.

Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.

(Hi Rose).

Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.

i’ve been here, and i’ve spent money. oy.

I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years.  I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).

what do all these products have in common? check the brand. sigh.

It still gets WORSE.

I’ve used paper towels.  Lots of them.

the devil’s mess vessel

(I’m basically in tears at this point.  Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).

I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig.  Oh how I swore I never would.  But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it.  It’s delicious.  I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.

the set-up here at nick’s. it’s sinfully wasteful… and yet sinfully delicious.

look out landfills, mama’s thirsty!

And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents.  A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there.  SIGH.

oh the shame. i should have to turn in my friendship bracelets and bandanna. am i even a hippie anymore?

I mean, I have excuses – sure.  I’ve been a guest in the homes of others.  I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple.  I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless.  Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I know I’m being hard on myself.  But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.

Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected.  I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).

So I’ve been bad and I know it. 

Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”).  We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.

I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc.  And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot.  Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable.  All that packaging! Ugh.  (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).

And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years.  Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii.  And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.

I like to practice what I preach.   I sure try to anyways.  We all slip up, yes.  I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.

As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure.  But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power.  Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes.  By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.

I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.

Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years.  The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive.  Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.

Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are?  That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags.  They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go.  Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on.  Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper.  Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar?  Blessedly affordable.

oh wdv, our love affair will never ever end!

My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.

But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.  

So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart.  I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence.  My eco-religion is a little lost right now.

I’m not all evil these days, though.  I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove.   The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable.  But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine.  I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.

It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.

I had to confess, get it off my chest.  But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on.  While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much.  What’s the point?

I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step.  So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred.  I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of.  There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).

And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money.  You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet.  But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.

For today though, the confession feels nice.  It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.

As always, thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that aren’t mine:
Trust God image (it’s actually a teeshirt you can order, rad!)
Dunkin Donuts pic
Walmart storefront pic

12 things everybody ought to know about artificial food coloring, a guestpost by rebecca from die, food dye!

Today I am so honored and excited to introduce everyone to a lovely and talented guest blogger:  Rebecca from Die, Food Dye! has so graciously written up this super helpful, informative list about food dyes and additives, providing us all with info that is so needed to know.  And just in time for the holidays, she’s suggested some places where dye-free gifts may be purchased. 

So please give a warm, happyhippierose welcome to Rebecca and today’s post:

….

12 Things Everybody Ought To Know About Artificial Food Coloring

Food coloring tested on animals has shown some scary results, and yet the FDA continues to approve their use in foods, drinks, medications, and personal care products.  It should be the other way around – instead of approving chemicals until they are proven unsafe, the FDA should protect our food system from additives until these chemicals are proven safe.

Hind sight is 20/20 for sure – Since we discovered our daughter’s food coloring sensitivity (and mine),  I’ve learned so much about food additives and the “Big Food” industry.  Their bottom line seems to be in direct conflict with Americans’ health, especially the most vulnerable among us.  And they’re using us as their guinea pigs.

Next time you go grocery shopping, bring your values with you, and think about this –

  • Artificial food coloring used to be made from coal tar;  Now it’s made of petroleum, propylene glycol (anti-freeze), carcinogenic contaminants such as benzene, and parabens.
  • Food coloring has been linked to mood swings, headaches, rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, bed wetting, sleep disturbances, aggression, eczema, cradle cap, ear infections, chromosomal damage, diabetes, obesity, and cancers.  Some scientists believe it has implications in fertility, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.  If you’re a parent, or trying to conceive, avoid food dyes.
  • Not everyone is affected by synthetic food coloring, and not all dyes affect people the same way.  For instance, some people are allergic to red dyes, but blue dyes do not bother them.  Some have a very different reaction to yellows than to reds.  Also, varying combinations of dyes have differing affects on the same person.
  • The affects of food coloring can start minutes or hours after ingestion, and can last for 2-3 days.
  • Petroleum food dyes are found in sports drinks, coffee creamer, marshmallows, canned vegetables, canned fruits, maraschino cherries, spice mixes, toothpaste, mouthwash, jellies, chips, crackers, juice, fruit chewy snacks, cereal snack bars, pastries like Pop Tarts and doughnuts, soft drinks, pudding & sugar-free pudding, gum, condiments, ice cream, yogurt, hot chocolate mix, sausages, farmed fish, pickles, breads, sauces, vitamins, medications, candy, cereals, gelatin, cosmetics, and some crafting kits.  You can check ingredients in cosmetics and personal care items here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep.
  • In the US, synthetic food dyes must be individually listed by name on food labels, and will appear as a color name followed by a number.  Examples are Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Green 3, Blue 1, and Blue 2.  These may be listed in other countries with an “E” followed by a series of numbers.
  • Red and yellow dyes are used in pet foods such as cat treats, chew hides, sausages, “cookies”, “smoothies”, and gourmet pet “candies”.  These do not add any nutritive value to Fluffy’s and Fifi’s diets, and may be causing their hot spots, rashes, paw-biting, vomiting, fatigue, reproductive problems, and loss of appetite.
  • Be aware during special celebrations…Synthetic food coloring is added to some beers (not just on St. Paddy’s day!), liquors in brightly colored cocktails, cake, pie crusts, ice cream, popcicles, baking supplies, candy, chocolates, cookies, sprinkles, chips, lemonade, powdered drink mixes, juices, tea, mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, temporary tattoos, face paints, and spray tans
  • You can make your own natural food coloring.  Some natural sources of dyes are fruits and vegetables, annatto, carmine, beet juice, elderberry juice, chlorophyll, paprika, turmeric, red cabbage, saffron, and hibiscus flowers.  Some people have allergic reactions to annatto and carmine, so use caution when adding them to your diet.
  • Other countries either use natural food colorings, or place a warning about hyperactivity on the front of synthetically-dyed product labels.  In fact, some large American companies already sell dye-free versions of popular products in other countries.
  • You can order naturally-colored holiday candies such as candy canes, caramels, chocolate assortments, and lollipops at www.NaturalCandyStore.com and www.IndieCandy.com.  These two retailers are having daily holiday specials right now, are active on Twitter and Facebook, and can usually ship to the US by the holiday if you order by this weekend (check their sites for specifics).  You can also find plenty of dye-free seasonal goodies at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

I envision a day when healthy foods will be the “norm”, and cheaper than processed “food.”  A small shift in consumer preference is enough to make big food manufacturers take notice.  Send tweets to manufacturers asking them when they’ll ditch the dyes.  Share this information with friends, doctors, parents, grandparents, teachers, restauranteurs, school officials, store owners, and lawmakers.  Vote with your dollars…and let your voice be heard!

For more information, check out studies referenced by the Feingold Association  (www.feingold.org) and the Center For Science In The Public Interest (www.cspinet.org).  For help adjusting to life without food coloring, visit my blog at www.DieFoodDye.com.  Follow @DieFoodDye on Twitter, and interact with other dye-sensitive folks on the DFD Facebook fan page.

…..

Thank you so much, Rebecca!!  There is always so much to learn, it’s great to get these applicable tips to help sort out the action plan.  It’s easy to know about wanting to do something, but hard to know where and how to start.   Now, I feel so motivated to keep fighting the good fight against dye.  

Do you react to food dye? How? Leave me a comment to discuss! I personally have a strong reaction to artificial dyes, Red 40 being the worst of the worst.  This is an issue that gets me so heated up, so quick! 

Please, check out a couple other great ones from Rebecca’s blog… 

As always, thanks for reading!  I’ll be back tomorrow with some super easy DIY crafts/decor ideas.  xoxo, hhr

not just for inmates and foreign kids: it’s good to give, part one!

It’s Good To Give. Part 1

So I know I’ve already posted about a couple of the venues for holiday giving that we’ve participated in this year (we, as in Duggs and myself) – holiday gift bags for local lady inmates, and making some amazing shoebox care packs for Operation Christmas Child.

But our holiday giving this year isn’t just for inmates or kids in faraway lands!  We’re getting into other forms of giving, some that impact our communities.

Here what’s we’re doing… and how you can do so in your very own land:

Holiday Cards

Who doesn’t love a sweet cheerful card?  I know it can seem weird to send out an anonymous card, but for someone in a tough spot, a random act of kindness can mean such a big deal.  Really!

I think it may already be too late… but just in case it’s not, you can send a card to a Wounded Warrior at Walter Reed Hospital:

Holiday Mail For Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Now, the rep I spoke with on Friday said that it was basically the last day to have cards/mail post marked that could get to an injured service member in time for Christmas… but hey, it didn’t sound like a hard deadline.  And what’s the worst that could happen?  It gets there a couple days late?  I say go for it, but I am a bit of a rule-bender.

I’ve been making these cute Christmas tree cards at home:

easy and cute, just write the message on the back

I’m checking in with the VA hospital out here today just to make sure, but I plan on bringing in the cards to them.  You can also make some easy “happy holidays” cards with paper snowflakes and blue markers, or Hanukkah cards with Stars of David and some gold glitter for gelt.  Easy-peasy, yeah? I’m planning a seasonal craft blog later this week, and then I’ll give the step by step how-to.

I really wanted to send cards to anonymous wives/spouses/caretakers of Wounded Warriors this year.  But .. I got on the idea too late.  I haven’t been able to find a program that has anything like that in place, now.  The good people at Operation Homefront have emailed with me about possibly gearing something up for next year.  How awesome would that be?!?!

Make some cards.  Buy some.  It doesn’t matter.  And take a few minutes to write a friendly message and then bring them to people who could use a smile: your local hospital, your local old folks home, the local businesses you support and enjoy; maybe it’s not a stranger, but someone you know who could use a smile? Cards are so easy and so nice. Bonus points for using recycled materials.

Toys for Tots

The United States Marine Corps Reserves run the annual drive to collect toys and stuffed animals every year.  This year, my friend Becky (who is one of the most generous people I know!!) sent me some toys to donate at a local Toys For Tots drop-off out here.

(also: Hallmark channel is airing some sort of Parade tonight that goes to benefit Toys for Tots, so tune into that too!  That sounds fun.)

But like I said, my friend Becky sent me a box of toys to give out.  So Duggs and I decided to chip in our own toys, and bring them all together to the drop off.  The one at our bank is due by this afternoon, so either before or after our big doctor’s appt run for the day, we’ll be going by there.

toys, that will go to tots! thank you becky!!

It’s easy to find your own local drop off, and really… toys don’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to drop off half a dozen Leap Pads to make a difference (and if you did, could you please give me the location and time of your drop-off?  haha, I kid.. I kid…).  A little goes a long way, think of how great it feels to just make one child smile.  Aww.  That warms your heart, admit it.

Hawaii Food Bank

The good people at Hawaii Food Bank make sure that hungry families are fed.  This is so amazing and important.  We will be giving food to their drive for this year.  I love picking out some of my personal faves to share with others.  Like those Annie’s Organic Pasta Stars.  I always donate those!

I actually love to donate high quality food.  Just because one is having a tough time financially doesn’t mean one wants to be unhealthy.

But that’s nit-picky.

In all earnestness, I suggest finding your local food bank and making an edible donation today!

Can you tell that I like to give things, rather than money?  I do like to work with charities where I can make or buy items to give.  I can be picky about charities to donate to, and so giving a tangible item is nice.  It feels controlled.

But some forms of giving just go the farthest when you make a monetary gift.

Doggies!

I plan to give some cash money to our local Humane Society, the Hawaiian Humane Society (note, NOT the national one, that’s a different beast altogether, ya feel me?).  I can’t even click on the Humane Society’s webpage without getting all misty-eyed.

Another great one is Hawaii Dog Foundation, where our very own JJ came from.

Is there a local shelter or rescue in your area that needs soem support?  (I mean, what animal rescue doesn’t need financial aid, overpopulation and crappy owners have made un-homed pets a crisis in our country).

And So On…

I’m thinking that’s about it for this year.   But ya never know!  I’m such a tenderhearted sucker, I end up always trying to give, give, give to everyone.

If you’re stumped on a gift for someone, you can always give a donation to a cause of their liking in that someone’s name.  Or you can choose a cause of my liking, and then I can barrage you with thank you emails!

It really is better to give than to receive.

I do so want everyone to enjoy whatever presents they hopefully get this year, but please, don’t scrimp on the giving either.  I know it’s hard times, I know it is.  But when times are tough, we just have to dig deeper.

You can do it!

So… Where are you giving to this year?  What are your charitable holiday plans? 

Tell me all about them, and maybe others reading will want to join in with you too.

As always, thanks for reading everyone!  Happy Giving!

xoxo, hhr

the health history of happy hippie rose

My Health History, Well A Brief Summary Anyways.  Consider this Part One of two, the “two” is going to be the update post about what’s going on now, okay?

Here goes nothing… and I’m sure I’ll forget something.  (If I do, someone let me know, will ya?)

Growing up as a kid and teen, it seemed like I was never sick.  I remember an occaisional fever, and the time we all got the chickenpox (my mom and all her friends had us all get it at the same time by rubbing us all over my friend Mary when she cropped a pox, clever thinking!).  But never “sick.”   I swam and ran track in high school, I was a beach lifeguard.  I was really healthy, athletic, I was fine.  (What a blessing!!!!).

My sophomore year of college, 2002, started off with an emergency appendectomy which lead to the diagnosis of “Crohn’s Disease” and it was all downhill from there. When they did they appy they realized my needless organ was fine, but that my small intestines was inflamed and horrendous, misdiagnosed as appendicitis, and thus the Crohn’s Diagnosis.

Immediately I started treatment for Crohn’s Disease, which was fun, let me tell you.  I took steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflamm meds, and immunosuppressants.  Tons of meds.  I was “sick.”  The meds for the Crohn’s didn’t work, things got dramatically worse, and in the spring of 2003 I has a major surgery losing a couple feet of small bowel and a snippet of colon.

2003: the prednisone made my face huge. woah.

not to be totally porn... but you can kinda see my scar that runs from hip to hip from the bowel resection. What a doozy!

In 2004 I battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which was actually acquired as a result of medications I was on to treat the Crohn’s disease.  All of the immunosuppressants done broke my immune system.

I did chemo (went bald, yes!) and radiation.  They also sliced me open a couple times to take out some lymph nodes, put a portacath in there.  At one point they hacked into my bone marrow (thank God the cancer hadn’t spread to there) and they did oodles of biopsies, fun times.

sasha's on the left, i'm on the right. i know this is terrible pic quality, but i hardly have any pics from back then!

Here I am on a news story about harvesting eggs.  Yeah, I had my eggs harvested before I started chemo (because of the chance I’d go infertile).   Check me out, I’m about four minutes into the video clip:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=617776n&tag=mncol;lst;8

The Sorority I was in raised money for my treatment.  The entire Greek system at my school did, really.

the school paper (UNF's "The SPinnaker) did a story on my cancer and on all the fundraising that went down. it was just amazing the love i was shown.

a close-up of the photo from the paper article, that pic is from right before i started chemo.

It was an intense time… coming from a Stage III Diagnosis and back to health all in one year.  But it was also formative, powerful, inspiring.  Clearly it changed me, and I think much for the better.  I had an AMAZING support system.  My doctors and cancer team was all at the Mayo Clinic, and they were pretty serious (duh).  My family was incredible.  Driving up to Jacksonville to take turns going to treatments and appointments with me.  The guy I was dating at the time was a lifesaver, literally, as well as all of my friends.  It was just incredible the literal physical love that embraced me.  Strangers and people I was close with all teamed up to save my life.  It’s such a hard thing to put into mere words.  Thank you, is as close as I can get.  Thank you for my life everyone. 

My overall ability to appreciate life increased tenfold – at least.  Ever since I’ve been happier, kinder, more grateful.  My faith is God was solidified (my testimony of God coming to me in those days is pretty awesome) and my trust in humanity restored.   As hokey and bullcrap as it sounds, I’m grateful for having had cancer.  It changes your perspective on everything and after having gone through it, everything is better.

The day I was diagnosed I pulled into Publix after leaving the hospital to grab a couple things to eat.  I was feeling pretty sorry for myself after leaving the hospital, knowing I had cancer.   I pulled into the parking spot and I’ll never forget what happened next… the spot next to me was occupied by a van.  I saw a mom get out of the driver’s side door and walk around to the other side… and a special door slid open: it was a wheelchair ramp.  Out came a child, maybe four or five years old in an electronic wheelchair.  I have no idea what illness that child had, but I just remember seeing scrawny, twisted legs… and a HUGE smile.  The mother talked to her kid as the wheelchair lowered down, using big smiles and a happy tone, clapping once the chair made contact with the ground.  These two people were so happy.   This child who would probably never walk was smiling, and here I was: 20 years old and getting sick now.  I’d had an untouched childhood, full of running around and doing “normal” kid stuff…  (now seriously, don’t anyone get all politcally correct on me for my retelling of the anecdote.   I’m not saying this child wasn’t normal or that I’m special because I’ve never been in a wheelchair…. that’s NOT the point, okay?).   I saw this child who would never run a lap or be on the swim team in the same easy way I had experienced.  I had about nineteen years of flawless health, and so many many people don’t even get half that.  Nineteen years!  (I got cancer when I was twenty, but I started getting sick when I was nineteen).  From that moment on I decided never to ever feel sorry for myself.  In the grand scheme of things: I have had everything to be grateful for and not a thing to feel sorry about.

Anyways… I could ramble on and on about my cancer experience…  chemo sucked, radiation was worse.  One night a sorority sister of mine cried because she had gotten a bad haircut.  We were all going to a concert together, and we met at a frirend’s house first to eat dinner.  This one girl, A, came into the house just in tears.  She’d gotten what she considered a bad haircut.  A cried, huge tears rolling down her face.  And I just sat there, bald and gobsmacked.  She really had the audacity to cry about a bad ‘do while I was sitting there bald?  At the time her insensitivity made me mad.  I remember being pretty annoyed.  Looking back it just gives me broader perspective.  Next time you think your mop looks ugly, just be grateful you even have a mop!

a wig and hat catalogue the ACS sent me, along with some other cancer info

my completion of treatment center from mayo clinic's rad dept - for the last several years i've been celebrating my cancerversarry as dec 5th - but son of a gun, that thing says the 3rd! shoots!

In 2006 I had an inguinal hernia which needed surgical repair; it was done openly (as opposed to lap surgery) and I had some mesh put in there.  They used the same scar as my bowel resection and just extended it.   In 2008 I had some skin cancers cut out, they were Melanoma, which is annoying because I can’t say “cancer-free since 2004.”  Ugh!

Backtracking for a minute… In 2007 (after a crazy series of events and symptoms) I was diagnosed with porphyria. Porphyria is a blood disease that has a whole variety of symptoms – for me the most notable is GI problems.  Tummy aches, digestion problems, nerve cell death in my GI tract, they can all be blamed on the Porphyria.  My doctors actually think now that I don’t even really have Crohn’s Disease, that it was the Porphyria all along.  Even though I was officially diagnosed with this genetic blood disease in ’07, I’m just now learning about it.  But that’s a post all on it’s own.

In 2009 they cut me open to get out scar tissue that had grown in me from all the times they had cut me open before.  “Lysis of Adhesions.”  The irony never ends.

I’m the “sick girl.”  I guess.  It’s weird.  As sick as I am, I’m also not really sick.  The most I’ve ever spent in the hospital was a couple weeks.  I have both arms, both legs, I can walk and talk.  I can even run more days than not.  I’m honestly okay, and I enjoy a fabulous quality of life.  I’ve never spent a minute feeling sorry for myself.

When I moved out to Hawaii I had never felt better.  Duggs and I quit smoking (I know, a cancer survivor who smoked = as ungrateful as it gets, I KNOW).  I got back in shape.  The only med I was taking was my thyroid pill (when I had radiation for the cancer they lasered my thyroid to death,  oopsies!).

2010: the best I've ever felt!

As I was feeling so awesome and healthy, we decided to strike while the iron was hot, and we conceived.   We found out we were pregnant right before Halloween and I would have been due ’round the 4th of July.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or felt better in my life. Honestly.  It was the best.

I miscarried around Christmas.  It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced. Matthew was deployed and in Afghan when it all happened.  On December 17, 2010 I had a regular appointment, when I got there they couldn’t find a heartbeat.  They gave me some meds and sent me home to take care of business on my own.  I bled for almost a month; starting cytotec on December 19th and not passing the “products of conception” (my precious baby-to-be) until fifteen days later.  (If I could go back in time I would have done the D&C a million times out of a million times.  Cytotec should be illegal).

I’m so glad those sad times are over.  I don’t know what else to say about all of that except that if you’re blessed enough to have a baby yourself, give them a little smooch for me, will ya?  I know I’ll be a Mom someday, when God’s timing for me is better.

So I’ll end my “brief health history” there, and pick up Part Two with my 2011 Health Round-up in a post all it’s own.

I thank God for my health every day.  Despite everything that I’ve been through, I consider myself to be blessed beyond measure and more fortunate than 99.9999% of people on this earth will ever be.  I’ve had great care, good doctors, nice hospitals, and excellent treatment the whole time through.   Too many people who are sick can’t say the same.

Thank You God, for the health I have today and always.  Please bless every doctor, nurse, tech, and friend who’s laid a hand on me, cared for me, thought good thoughts for me, and been there.  Please bless them all.  I pray that you continue to bless me with a healthy body, heart, and mind now so that I may keep growing and bettering myself to do good things and help others.  I want to be healthy enough to pay it forward and take care of those who are sick.  For all those seeking better health and comfort, I pray.  Thank you God for your endless love and mercy.  Amen. 

does your bathroom abuse bunnies?

How Cruelty-Free Are Your Cosmetics? 

I used to be like you.  I bought my shampoo and soap from my neighborhood super wal-mart or other megagrocer.  Dove, Secret, Suave, etc. – I shopped based on price, smells, or the promises made in high budget advertising.    It just seemed like a simple, obvious thing to do.  No big deal, just buy whatever you like, right?  In my mind and heart, I’d always been an animal lover.  If and when “animal testing” came up in conversation, I’d get ill just thinking about it.  But somehow that visceral connection was lost when I went a-shopping, and I never thought about rabbits getting shampoo squirted in their eyes as I grabbed whatevs off the shelf.   I just didn’t think about it. 

i used to just grab whatever was cheap and easy and go for it.

now i know better and i always look for the cruelty-free logo to make sure i'm buying something that is safe for my little sweet animal friends

During my early 20’s I was doing a lot of self-discovery.  I found my political voice, learned how I really felt about the world.  I actively chose not to live an unexamined life: I don’t want to just go through the motions of living, autopilot style.  I am a person who examines the world around me, gets the most out of life, and uses my mellon as I’m saying and doing (or at least I try to make that effort, ya know?).

In learning to ask questions, open my eyes, and identify where I draw the lines between right and wrong… I realized that animal testing is not something I’m okay with.   I can get so fresh and so clean, or do my eyes up without killing, hurting, maiming helpless small animals.  I didn’t become a vegan or cut red meat out of my lifestyle.  I still take medications that have pointlessly been tested on animals (different argument for a different day)… but choosing which bathroom supplies I buy is an active decision that I can make; I use my consumer power to stand up for something I believe in.  By purposefully choosing to own and use only products that are cruelty-free I put my money where my mouth is.

It’s more of an awareness/mentality shift than an entire lifestyle change, ya know? I’m still washing my hair and wearing make up, I’m just conscious of what products I use to do so.

In the past three and a half years I’ve done a lot of learning.  Some cruelty-free products can be more expensive than your mainstream brands.  Often cruelty-free companies go hand in hand with using organic ingredients or are produced by smaller, mom and pop kind of entities.  I’ve used some hippie-dippy stuff that was lackluster at best: gooey deodorants, shampoos that won’t lather.   Back in 2008 when I started this journey, finding safe items in mainstream stores was hard.  I’d have to speciality shop around, and keep trial and erroring different goods.  The issue has come a long way though, and now many stores carry the brands I trust, making this commitment easier than ever.    I’ve also found lines of products I love, and I feel like I’m taking my stand whilst maintaining convenience.

So, are you ready?  Interested in learning more?  Want to make the change?

Why Cruelty-Free? What’s the Big Deal? 

Animal testing is so icky.  It’s still legal in the USA (which is crazy), although the FDA does encourage that companies seek the most humane methods possible to prove the safety of their products.  That’s cool.  But encouragement ain’t the law, we need to take it further. Here’s the FDA’s stance:  http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm

Google “vivisection.”  Go on, do it.  Open a new tab and give it a google.

Did you do it?  Do you already know about vivisection?  Vivisection is the scientific experimentation of LIVE subjects.   When applied to the cosmetic world, the rampant use of needless vivisection is disgusting.  Millions of small animals are tortured alive in the name of science, under the guise of proving product safety.   When you google the term a lot of graphic images pop up:  so gut-wrenching nasty, huh?

DoSomething.org gives some fun facts about animal testing, explaining that millions of small animals are subjected to cruel and painful tests each year in the USA:  http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-animal-testing

Here’s a great youtube video, chock full of vom-inducing graphic images, and heart twisting stats to help paint the picture of what cosmetic animal testing is really all about.  Warning, VERY graphic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSwR70Xtaug

Animal testing isn’t making our world safe one eye shadow at a time: it’s performing redundant and unnecessary tests that can be easily managed in other, harmless ways.  The body of data we already have is sufficient for creating safe products made of ingredients that are safe for human consumption or use.  Here’s a page that debunks some myths about animal testing, very informative: http://www.leapingbunny.org/myths.php

Third party testing is something that also must be taken into consideration.  Many products will say “final product not tested on animals.”  That’s neat, but that’s not fighting the whole issue.  Ingredients are being tested on furry critters.  The problem is that many ingredients have already been tested on animals, and that can’t be un-done.  We don’t have a time machine.  But certified “cruelty-free” products don’t currently test on animals or use new animal testing to develop a product.  They buy ingredients that aren’t currently tested on animals.  So while the sad past can’t be taken back and information obtained from those experiments is used: new testing is not needed or condoned.  We can build off the body of knowledge we already have without subjecting more animals to torture.

Make The Switch

Making the actual switch is easy-peasy.  Like I said, it’s not a lifestyle change.  There aren’t any habits I’m greatly altering, it’s just the specific products I use.  I still brush my teeth, apply deodorant and what not – I just am careful about what I toss in the buggy when I’m shopping.   I use my consumer power constructively.

Dont like reading?  Or are you dying to see my mug and hear my voice?  I made a little video to accompany this blog, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVUGzkyGek

a screenshot of my super sweet video. go click the youtube link and watch me!! yeah, the pooch is in the background. bonus! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVUGzkyGek

Here’s a like-minded fella’ giving his point of view, Wayne Goss (makeup artist) on animal testing in relation to cosmetics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd0g4shOXSI&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Here’s an easy-to-use list that can help you identify cruelty-free products: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.asp

And here are some other good resources:

Out at the store and not sure what should buy?  There’s an app for that!  I just got it today, actually.   http://www.peta.org/features/Stephanie-Pratt-iphone-app.aspx

the "bnb" app is right next to "angry birds" - yay iphone!

so easy to use, tres cool

 What am I using? 

Yay! The fun part.  I love reviewing products and spreading the word about something I really love to use.

When I first dived into the cruelty-free world I used a lot of Kiss My Face products.  Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, and Tom’s of Maine are probably my top three go-to companies.  All of them are becoming accessible to the masses, I see them in every drug store and super market.  Awesome!  The Kiss My Face body washes and hand soaps are my fave.  I don’t really care for any Burt’s Bees or Kiss My Face hair care products, though.  For that I use the Say Yes To… brand (Say Yes To Carrots = my shampoo/conditioner of choice!).

here's my shower line up

nature's gate chamomile shampoo

That Nature’s Gate shampoo isn’t the best shampoo ever, NGL.   But, it’s an epic body wash.  My husband goes crazy for the smell, it’s delicious really.  I get a huge lather on my loofah and I just love to use it all over myself, just not on my hair.  That’s okay though.

i am so in love with these two - my hair has never been healthier or happier!

organic oils have so many uses!

my oil vial next to one of my many aveda products. i love aveda, so great.

Sunflower oil is so very moisturizing – I love it!  I use it in combination with the Castor oil as part of my face cleansing regime: The Oil Cleansing Method.   (I’ll make a post about that in a bit, it’s a whole ‘nother topic).  I use the Sunflower oil as a general skin moisturizer.   It’s so softening and light.  Good stuff right there!

when i'm not using oil - this is what i use on my face. amazing wipes!!

Yes To Cucumbers is my favorite product (as in other than the oil cleansing method) to use on my face.  They have a facewash that I use, as well as these wipes.

bought this on a whim, can't imagine living without it

best deodorant i've ever used, i promise!

So Kiss My Face makes a deo, and I’ve tried it before.  It says somethingerother about “active enzymes” on it, so I gacve it a whirl.  For me, and whatever my body makes my pits do, it was not a good choice.  By nature, I don’t really have stinky sweaty pits.  I actually don’t even wear deo most days, and no one notices at all.  I’m just not really stinky.  Unless I work out or something, then it’s on and I sweat like a crazy person.  Or go to the dentist: I’m terrified of the dentist and I break out in the craziest sweat ever.  Buckets.  Anyways… here’s my point: not all natural deodorants have worked for me.  I didn’t care for the kind with the “active enzymes.”  But the Tom’s Apricot stuff pictured above = wonderful.  I lurve it!

When it comes to makeup – ALL I use is M.A.C.  It’s the best quality anyways, it has the awesomest variety of colors, coverage types, etc.  The stuff you buy lasts and withstands travel, being in my lil makeup pouch and getting tossed around in my giant purse, and sitting in the car when I accidentally leave it there.  And it’s just the best, and they do NOT test on lil animals at all.  So rad!

the only makeup i use

best lip balm of all time

body shop's body butters = excellent. the smell of the mango flavor is so delectable i try and eat my own arms after applying, maybe.

welcome to my purse... i must make out a lot.

Brands I love and trust:

  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Burt’s Bees
  • Kiss My Face
  • Say Yes To…
  • M.A.C.
  • Aveda
  • eos – Evolution of Smooth
  • Lush
  • Body Shop
  • OPI
  • Clinique
  • Earth Nature Essentials
If you really took the time to read all of this, maybe clicked a couple of the links I’ve tossed out there, and possibly considered making sure your next cosmetic purchase is a cruelty-free one, THANK YOU.   I know I’m long-winded and all over the place; my zaniness is a reflection of my passion though and this is a topic I feel most passionately about.  Your time and thoughtfulness are much appreciated.

let’s save public broadcasting!

Can you even imagine a world without NPR? Without PBS?

this is how sad we are even imagining a world without public broadcasting. SO SAD.

Go here, and help fight the good fight to keep public broadcasting adequately funded: http://www.170millionamericans.org/

And if you think that public broadcasting is dumb or not worth it, let me implore you to give some fine programming a whirl.  In the car, you need to listen to NPR.  Its free, and has no commercials.  You’ll love it.

I love NPR, and not just for the news (which is totes great).  But I love the shows.

This American Life is my fav radio show ever.  I also enjoy The State We’re In, Talk of the Nation, and that cooking one that’s always on Saturday when I’m driving to yoga?  Its something about a table… The Splendid Table (I had to google the legit name), I love that show too.  (They’re always cooking delicious things and making me hungry on my way to the gym).  Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me is fun.  I could go on.

And PBS?  Did you not see Colonial House?  That was one of the dopest reality shows ever.  Nova? Epic. All the time. The multi-part documentary Jazz?  So incredible.  If you have Netflix, you’ve probably watching multiple PBS programs without even realizing it.

WE NEED PUBLIC BROADCASTING.

So really quick… Just go here and do your thing, sign a petition and send some emails to your reps: http://www.170millionamericans.org/

Check out the lovely email one of my reps here in Hawaii emailed me today:

Dear Mrs. Duggan:

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). I noted your concerns regarding the elimination of federal funding for public broadcasting in H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, which was passed in the House of Representatives on February 19, 2011, by a vote of 235 to 189.

The CPB is the largest single source of funding for public television and radio programming. CPB radio programs are distributed primarily through stations such as National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International (PRI), and other producers or distributors of public radio programs.

I have long been supportive of CPB and its mission to provide high quality, educational programming, and I believe that CPB continues to provide some of the healthiest and most valuable programming available for our keiki and community.

As Congress considers budget priorities and appropriations for FY 2011 and 2012, rest assured I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure adequate funding is provided for the CPB. Mahalo again for contacting me.

Aloha pumehana,

DANIEL K. AKAKA

U.S. Senator

Damn! He’s not playing.  And neither am I.  Public broadcasting is a seriously vital component of our free lives, and our devotion to free, public, ongoing, accessible, and important education.

THANKS!!