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Archive for April, 2009

postheadericon My Earth Day 2009 Pledge

I want to share my Earth Day 2009 pledge with all of you. It’s important to put it out there and hold one’s self accountable.

On this Earth Day, let’s think about how we can make a difference in our environment. I am talking about our own “personal” environments. Many people immediately visualize the great outdoors and wilderness when the word “environment” is used. Here are a few of the relevant definitions from Wikipedia’s dictionary: (#1 is what I am referring to here)

    1. The surroundings of & influences on a particular item of interest (or particular person?)
    2. The natural world or ecosystem
    3. A particular political or social setting, arena or condition


I feel that each person or family can make a huge difference just by taking small steps. There is a wealth of information out there to help us make our “personal environment” a much better place to be in. Imagine if all of us start improving our individual spaces, it can & will domino into improving the health and well-being of the #2 definition above: The natural world & ecosystem!


My Earth Day 2009 Pledge

I found a great site from the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency that has a list of items that you can pledge to do in your own life that can have a big impact. My pledge is listed below:

To help protect the environment, I pledge to:

    • Use less water! Take showers instead of baths, fix leaks, and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. And buy efficient fixtures by looking for the WaterSense label.



    • Reduce, reuse, recycle! Try to find products with less packaging, take reusable bags on shopping trips, creatively reuse other products, and recycle what’s left. The new shopping totes that fit into the cart are a great way to cut down on bags while making your trip easier.


    • Use chemicals safely! Read pesticide labels carefully. Lock up pesticides, paints, and cleaners where kids can’t reach them.


  • Spread the word! Teach others where you work or go to school. Share online by commenting on our blog, or sharing your photos and videos. Encourage people to Pick 5 for the Environment!

Pledged Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009.
Make your own pledge by visiting

I encourage everyone to do what they can on this Earth Day to make our “environments” better places to grow & thrive in!

My Earth Day 2009 Pledge at Red Barn Blue Skies

postheadericon Porkchop – Critter Corner

Today’s star of the Critter Corner here at Red Barn Blue Skies is my one and only Porkchop. Enjoy!

I had promised an introduction to my little punky Porkchop and am finally getting around to it (mostly because I’m sitting in the cool living room this afternoon waiting for the sun to go down before going back outside to the garden..also because he is sitting on my lap at the moment, helping me with the laptop.)

Porkchop love of my life black cat at Red Barn Blue Skies

Porkchop (aka Punkers, Punkydoodles, Porklet, etc.) is my 3-legged, blind in 1 eye baby. My vet calls him my little trauma kitty because he also has flea allergy dermatitis and a penchant for fighting with another of my cats, Badger (when he isn’t snuggling with him).

At the same time, he is the biggest baby and gets very upset when he can’t wallow around in my lap and drool. He is such a charmer, he greets me at the door when I come in, usually with one of his toys. He loves several of the toys that I have made him, especially those with our catnip. It drives him nuts!! It’s like kitty crack.

I have plans to put these kitty toys and our catnip on our site for sale in the very near future. Porkchop wants to share his favorites with the feline world.

Punkers is a cuddler and sleeps on top of me (or even the hubby at times) every night. Which brings to mind his latest nickname – Chunkapunk. When we had him neutered his weight tripled (at least). It’s funny, because he is the most active & spastic cat we have. He gets to cruising up and down the tiled hallway at full speed in his little, lopsided galloping gait! Porkchop

Porkchop’s only clue that he isn’t the same as the other furfaces is the fact that he can’t leap to the top of the kitty tree in a single bound! Hubby made him a custom one so he can reach the top and rule from his perch near the ceiling anyway. And even though he is one of the smallest (except in poundage) of the critters in our home, Punky definitely rules!

I am a huge supporter and firm believer in spaying and neutering your pets. We have a huge pet overpopulation problem that needs to be addressed. Our local organization is the Friends of Madera Animal Shelter. They have a lot of great programs, some of which are low or no-cost.

Please click here for more information on national programs:  SPAY-USA – a program of the North Shore Animal League

postheadericon Tea, I must have Tea….

Planting and life in the garden has been keeping myself and the hubby really busy these last few weeks. Spring has sprung around here & we’re outside until dark or after just about every night. I am almost ready to launch our etsy store and start offering several of our herb-based products on our website. It is amazing the amount of time involved trying to get a website up and running that is actually easy to use and get around. Details, details….

Most evenings I enjoy a cup of tea to help unwind & decide on the next day’s TO-DO list. I LOVE tea and I really like to experiment and try different blends. I was so surprised and thrilled to have my name drawn as a winner of a Tea Sampler from Sarah at Herbs from the Labyrinth. My prize included 15 of her different hand-blended teas that have such awesome names as Moontime Tea, Lover’s Tea, Spring in My Step, FemininiTea, Dandy Lion Tea, Hush-A-Bye, Strong As Nails, SereniTea, SmarTea, DigestiviTea, Nursing Mother Tea, Endo-Liver Tea, Love Your Liver Tea, and Mid-Summer Tea. I’m finding that so far my favorite is the Lover’s Tea – YUM.. (photo below is from her website)

If you haven’t heard about this fun & very knowledgeable group of herbal enthusiasts/entrepreneurs, you must check out their weekly contest that is running through May. Each week, each of the 10 blogs holds a drawing for a wonderful item made by one of the other participants. I believe this week’s prize is being offered by Aquarian Bath. Go check it out and have fun exploring some really neat blogs & websites. You may get lucky like I did & have a wonderful new product to try and enjoy.

Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti’s Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
Aquarian Bath
The Rosemary House
Natures Gift
Torchsong Studio
The Essential Herbal
Garden Chick
SunRose Aromatics