Monday, February 10, 2014

My top five

My family and I went up skiing this past weekend. We had a great time but then on the way back we got stuck in the most horrendous traffic. It took us eight hours to get from Beaver Creek to Denver! 

During the drive, I had a lot of time to think. We started talking about all the issues that I am constantly posting about on Facebook. I came up with my top five environmental issues that are keeping me up at night. 

Trans Pacific Partnership

The secrecy of this trade agreement has me very worried. The TPP as it's know is a trade agreement between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 

The following sentence describing the treaty doesn't sit well with me, "The treaty has 29 chapters, dealing with everything from financial services to telecommunications to sanitary standards for food." Wait a minute! Allowing other governments into our domestic policies and food standards is not something I'd like to sign up for.

It is our job to be informed about this trade agreement and get to a point where we accept it because it makes sense to us or reject it because it is not in our favor. Either way, having it remain a secret is not a good sign!

Genetically Modified Ingredients

Of course, this is one of my biggest concerns so it was going to make my top 5. While in the mountains this weekend, everywhere I looked, I saw genetically modified foods. We stopped for hot chocolate and s'mores at one point during our ski day. Normally, I don't allow my kids any of that stuff but honestly there was no avoiding it. My boys were hungry and cold so we had to stop. 

I thought about all the people in that restaurant. So if they were or were not informed about genetically modified ingredients, their choices were the same. Only GM foods were available to them. When did we get here and how is this acceptable to everyone?


I don't even know how to describe this one because I am still in the process of learning about it. Some sites say that the radiation will reach the coast of California and it will be very dangerous. Others claim that you can swim of the coast of Fukushima and eat fish from the Pacific. The jury is still out. I need to learn more. 

Clean drinking water

Again, I am in the process of learning the effects of adding fluoride to our drinking water. Is it safe? Is it necessary? What are the side effects? What else is being added to the water? and why? 

Atrazine has found it's way into our drinking water. Look it up and get horrified! It's just not acceptable. 

Clean Energy

Keystone XL and fracking is what we came up with here.  Why can't we focus our efforts on creating clean energy? We are a country of geniuses yet we are constantly damaging our environment. Can't we find a better way that is more in harmony with the Earth?

It doesn't stop here ...

I am of course failing to mention the petition I just signed for Subway to remove Azodicarbonamide from their bread or the one I signed to maintain net neutrality (can you imagine that?!). I am not mentioning all the chemicals found in every day soaps, shampoos and toothpaste or the chlorine in baby wipes or the harmful ingredients in detergents ... the list is endless. 

Sometimes I get so discouraged by all these things that we are facing and I just find it hopeless. However, giving up is not who I am so I am constantly trying to raise awareness. 

Help in any way you can

Please go to my Facebook page Earth Aware and start signing some petitions. I hope these posts and petitions are making a difference!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Peyton Manning ... Enough Said!

Peyton Manning ... need I say more! What an incredible man. I would have loved to have him crown his amazing season with a Super Bowl win but at this point I could care less about that. 

This is a man of incredible character and as a Denver resident, I could not be more proud of how he carries himself through his wins and losses. Maybe the reason we don't get so carried away with it all is because he doesn't seem to get carried away. This is a season where he broke so many records, some that were his own, yet you never saw him waver from the stand up man that he is. Win or lose, Peyton Manning is a winner.

Richard Sherman said it best in a tweet, "Peyton is the Classiest person/player I have ever met! I could learn so much from him! Thank you for being a great Competitor and person." 

Incredible Role Model

I have two boys, ages ten and eight, who love every sport out there but especially football. Mothers, like myself, love having a quarterback like Peyton Manning playing the game as a role model for our boys.

We say things to our kids like, "Did Peyton Manning give up after his neck injury or did he go out there and try his best and ultimately win the AFC championship and take his team to the Super Bowl?" or we'll say, "What a great guy Peyton Manning is. Although he is super disappointed with that loss, he acknowledged his teammates as being a great football team and working hard to get to this point." 
Character is key

I am reading an amazing book called "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character" by Paul Tough. I am only about a third of the way through but it has made me think a lot about what I am teaching my kids and what is truly important as far as academics go. 

What I have thought about the most is how to develop character in my children. How to make sure that when the going gets somewhat tough, they can rise to the challenge and not give up as easily as they'd like to?

Grit, what an amazingly descriptive word. How do I develop grit in my sons and daughter? How do I enable them to succeed in a world that will definitely present challenges to them. 

Maybe Peyton's parents could offer some advice.

I'll bet they are proud! 

I think it's safe to say that most parents would love to see their child succeed at their job and Manning has definitely done that. However, I would venture to guess that his parents are probably most proud of the man he is. 

I certainly would rather see my son be a role model to all regardless of the outcome. I believe that is the definition of a winner.

Peyton Manning, keep up the great work! I am certainly looking forward to all the great things you will do next season! 

Thoughts you'd like to share

I'd love to hear from you. You may leave a comment below, email me to or find me on Facebook by becoming a fan of

Go Broncos!