My wonderful sister-in-law has recently gone back to school to get a teaching certificate in English. As a result, she is reading lots of books for class and then passing them along to family members, like me. Most recently she gave me the book Having Faith by Sandra Steingraber. I think it's good for everyone to read, but as a mother and a scientist I was both impressed by her research and frightened by how we are killing the earth and ourselves.
Even before reading the book, I have been buying more and more organic foods and opting for locally grown when possible. Mostly, I always thought about organic food from the perspective of the direct health benefits for me and my family. However, this book made me see it from the perspective of supporting farming and manufacturing practices that reduce pesticides and other chemicals in our environment for more long-term benefit for all living things. It also made me think a lot about my parents, who not only talked about saving the environment 30 years before "going green" became the rage, but also quietly backed up their beliefs with behavior. The amazing thing is that they made the effort to live "green" even though we were extremely poor. And they did it in big ways, like discontinuing use of chemical pesticides on the crops of our farm. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such wonderful role models!
Now, to the actual crafting. I really need to make some progress on the shawl for my niece. I meant to get it done for her birthday last December, but it looks like it will be a year late. What's the problem? I keep making mistakes. The pattern really isn't all that hard, but I kept trying to do it a little at time here and there and it goes better if I give it more attention. It is the Sweet Pea Shawl from The Happy Hooker. Below is an old photo, that if you look closely has a mistake in it (the fans don't line up correctly on rows 2 and 3). Sadly, I haven't gotten much farther than this because I've ripped back to this point at least twice.