Sunday, December 5, 2010

Looney Tunes and Us





If I had to equate my children, and also myself, to the cartoon character that best fits our personality, I would say that I am most assuredly Wiley Coyote. YES, it is true - - I am a genius. Nope, not making that up, or bragging about myself. It is a bonafide and verifiable fact that I, Jude Stringfellow, have an extremely high I.Q. For all that is worth, I still burn dinner from time to time, have had trouble paying bills, still can't figure out where the placenta comes from, but let me tell you - - when I get an idea in my head to make something, do something, or be something it will be done! I may get blown up, fall off a cliff, or be set back with instructions, but I will see my project through to the bitter end. Enough about me. Let's talk about my kids.

Reuben: Reuben is my man-child, my boy, my heart. He is a big, strong, energetic, bouncing-off-the-walls kind of guy, but he's also a guy whose always thinking. He's always got something on his mind, always got something going on, and he's not easily distracted. He's friendly, gregarious even, and above all he's fair. He thinks a bit too much at times, and that can be a problem; he doesn't always account for the little pleasures in life because of it. He's a romantic kind of guy, a traditional man, a man of high integrity, and he always enjoys a good gathering. The boy has to be the leader wherever he goes, but understands his place in the line-up on the field and in the military. Reuben, because of his size, voice, outrageous mind-set, and vivid imaginaton is best characterized as Bugs Bunny. I was going to pick Foghorn Leghorn, but to be honest wtih you, Foghorn is a bit lazy, and that's something Reuben never learned to be. He's the rabbit!

Laura: As much as Laura wishes she was Bugs, her demeanor is nothing like his. Bugs is up at the crack of dawn, Laura stays up til then. She is clever, sly, and creative, but she is also stubborn, moody, and likes to be alone. Laura could and would wrestle with a sumo but she'd run from a bee. She sees children and walks the othe way - - she sees kitties and puppies and chases them down. She loves animals of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and breeds, as long as they leave her alone in the morning and let her sleep late...and I mean late. She doesn't clean as well as she should, but gets mad at herself and then takes control of the chaos. Laura is a born sportswoman, a natural at riding, and she loves the outdoors. She is a talented singer, a gifted writer, genius perhaps, but keeps it under wraps. She carries a big gun (her weapon being her hands and feet) but keeps it under control until it is ultimately necessary - - she is alluring, and makes a good point when she argues. Laura is Marvin the Martian.

Caity: Please. Caity is the Chicken Hawk. There's no reason to lead up to it. There's no reason to explain it. She's just compact, quick, clever, determined, mean and nasty, and always going to get it her way. If someone argues with her, gets in her way, or otherwise tries to stop her - - she beats them over the head with a 2x4 plank of wood until they're unconscious, she drags them to the barn and then swings them by their feet, heaving them over into th pasture. It's really very clear cut. Caity has always been, and she will always be the Chicken Hawk. Now, that's not always a bad thing - OK it is, but that's the way it is, and I can't do much about it other than to stay out of the barn. I love this kid. I do try to appease her when I can, the consequences are just too severe....like an explosion you can't contain, you just watch and go "Ohhhhh, ahhhhhhh".

That's about it, yep. My family and the Looney Tunes. Makes me wonder which Disney characters we'd be. I'll think about it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Going Green

You can't go a day it seems without hearing term "going green" or without someone reminding us that we should be greener. I get that. I understand the concept of recycling, not using plastic bags, cutting down on the paper usage and of course I understand the reasoning behind unplugging cell chargers when they aren't in use. God only knows how much money and energy we all save when we work together and work smarter to save and conserve.

I have to tell you, I laughed just a little a couple of years ago when singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow suggested that we begin cutting down (severely) on the amount of toilet paper we use - - someone said she wanted the average butt to be cleaned using only 4 squares at a time. Not that I don't think some people's usage is extreme but I don't even want to think about cutting that that far. I may do it this next time just to see if I can - - but be sure I'm really close to the shower too. I don't know, maybe after a good trip to the toilet we could just take a few steps and hop into the shower for a second. Isn't that the whole idea behind bidets?

A time and place for everything. I say you know exactly what you need and you should only use that much. It's a strong position I'm taking. It's basically saying that we are instinctively capable of knowing when too much is too much. If I'm right, that would require us all to use more self control, something not all of us, including myself, is all that willing to do. What if, just say for example, that we didn't really need caffeine. No, seriously, what if that were true, and I had to face giving up coffee? To hell with that. Now, what I can do, is to be green as I can about it. I can use the type of coffee maker that doesn't use a paper filter. I can use a reusable cup to drink it from, I can even turn the used grounds back into the ground, and make for a happier planet....but I can' be caffeine free. I tried it, it sucked.

Looking around the house I found about 10 things I could do to save the planet faster, more effectively. I'm sharing my favorites with you. 1. Rather than using plastic bags for trash bags, we can use those new really expensive bags that are made of paper or biodegradable plastic/blends that go back into the earth. 2. I use a Brita filter now!! YEA. 3. I bathe at least one dog after I take my bath, to save water. I have 5 dogs so they rotate. 4. I don't buy take out from places that use plastic containers and yes, I bitch about them to their corporate offices! 5. I reuse my paper towels, which makes me a conservative person and a good Scottish woman! 6. I want to throw all my trash into recycle bins, but no one picks it up! At least my heart and my head are green, right?

Well there's more, there's so much more we could do. I think about it all the time when I'm driving and I see the trash on the side of the road, or the fences lined with debris - - WHO throws things out their windows now? I remember being a kid and seeing the Native Amercian Indian in the commercials with the tears running down his face as he stood in a polluted field or stream. BRING HIM BACK!! For a while we were doing all we could to help ducks and other birds by cutting through our 6-packs, but I'm not a soda or beer drinker, I don't have 6-rings to cut through. I would! I would tell the world to do the same, but for Pete's sake...don't litter.

I guess I've been a conservationist all my life. I don't remember ever being over the top wasteful with water, paper, energy, heat, gasoline. I walked everywhere I could if it was under a couple of miles, that is until I got older and the world became more dangerous, but when I was a kid I walked 5-10 miles a day without an issue. My parents knew I'd be home. Wow -- looking back, I know I wasn't rich growing up, but I had a good training program. Thanks Mom. (Oh, I'd say thanks Dad, but it was MOM who popped him in the head for throwing things out the window!) LOL He learned...right along with me.

Going green is essential to the survival of our planet, and it's not an option. Try to think of 5 or 6 ways you can stop polluting, wasting, or over-using. It must be done, and it just might be fun to try to make a good change in your life. Come to think of it, I keep my temperature inside the house at 69-70 all year round. If the AC doesn't need to come on it doesn't come on. If the heat doesn't need to be on, it doesn't come on. Wait a minute before changing the thermostat....can you put on a sweater or take one off? Just a thought...a happy, sharing, caring, giving, loving thought.