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Blog

A seasonal cure for homelessness

It is that time of the year. Ok, let me stop for a moment before I convulse with joy. I feel especially blessed to not only have a job, but a job that lets me enjoy it and the people I work with. I come home to an apartment that makes me feel safe and secure. I am thrilled that I have been able to spend quality time with my daughter and other loving relatives this...
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Feeding Illinois birds is a no-no

Since last speaking with you I mustered up an army of 48 people to help clean up 55th and 57th Street beaches in Chicago for Adopt A Beach Day.  Although we all felt we were doing something wonderful, we found ourselves clearing away trash that should not have been on the beaches. Crap like condoms, baby diapers, tampons, and other stuff were thrown in bushes and trees and found under rocks...
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Growing season was about sharing

I made several mistakes this planting season. Duh.Let’s start with: - listening to everybody but the pros and my gut;- planting tomatoes too close together even though I knew to plant two feet apart;- planting cucumbers too close together (after awhile they become one property);- planting too few onions, too soon, too close together;- Not buying a heat lamp; (even though the beets and jalapeno...
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I must admit I am pretty proud of my little vegetable garden. After several months of tilling, watering, pulling weeds, pruning and tying and lacing, I am ready for a rest - except I can’t rest. Now I have to get my produce to the market, in this case – my friends, who are eagerly waiting to crunch down on cucumbers, tear apart some basil, parsley, oregano and tarragon and bite into some...
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Now they want to get rid of clean water

I don't know about you, but I have been working my butt off trying to make sure that beaches in Chicago are free of contaminants and litter. Why am I doing this? Because I want to not only swim in Lake Michigan, I want to be able to at least believe the water won't kill me if accidentally swallowed. This week, Congress is debating proposals that would strip the federal Clean Water Act of its...
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Taking a time out

Have you ever visited a place that was so tranquil, so beautiful or so nurturing that you had to claim it as your own spot, only to find others already claimed it for the same reasons?The Osaka Japanese Garden in Chicago's Jackson Park is just such a place. Last week I was feeling unbelievably stressed out due to budget cuts at work, everything climbing but my my...
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The supply and demand for organic foods

I recently found out why organic costs so much more than regular food. Last weekend I worked my flat butt off getting the weeds out of my garden. Those suckers did not want to leave. I think there were more weeds than dirt.  I know there were more weeds than vegetables. After grueling in the sun for over two hours pulling those critters, I now consider myself a farmhand. Talk about...
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Community gardening is the neighborly way to go

I am slightly disappointed in some of my vegetables, specifically the jalapeño peppers and beets. They have not grown an inch…literally. It was recently brought to my attention (as in hindsight) not to fret too much as the seeds might have been too old to sow. Never thought about that aspect.Planting my vegetable garden has kind of taken on a life of its own. Neighbors now talk with me at the...
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Obesity is our fault

Okay – this is how I see it. Ronald McDonald is getting all the scapegoat crap slung at him because we-the-parents are blaming him for shoving fat inducing, high cholesterol producing, and Type II diabetes potential food down our kid’s throats?I mean, c’mon. Where are the parents in all this? You’re going to tell me that parents, all of a sudden, just learned how to read labels on food...
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