...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


the world is in our hands

Earth day should in context be every single day of our lives. Ya know, celebrating its beauty, conserving its resources ... and feeling what Noah is feeling in this very picture with the earth pillow over his head.

We've been making small transitions to a greener life-style since moving into our first home 6 years ago. The extra space in the kitchen allowed us to store bins for sorting recyclables. And since watching Inconvenient Truth, I have been unplugging the toaster after each use - which is now only mildly annoying in the mornings.

Our Earth Day celebration started with a long bike ride to the library where we found a handful of books on preserving our earth. During the kids' nap times, a bird had flown down our chimney and trapped itself in our skylight. It gave up and flew to lower ground - the breakfast room where I have real branches draped over the windows. How perfect. Aaron was able to free the bird and afterwards declared, "today is Earth day - the day the Patenaudes opened their home to wildlife." While I got a chuckle out of this - both Ava and I got "eeeewwwww" goose bumps.

We spent the afternoon at a nursery in search of small trees and seeds to grow our own wild flowers and herbs. The kids were amused by the forest-like greenery surrounding them and the rich texture of leaves that tickled their finger tops.

Before going to bed, Ava and I read The Earth and I by Frank Asch. Ava noticed a dead fish laying in a bank of junk and said "fish is sad" - and I agreed, explaining what happens when people throw garbage into the rivers. "The fish get sick - but see, this boy cleaned out the garbage, and planted flowers around the river - and all the fish are happy again."

I spent a lot of time thinking about the "earth" today and how everything goes around in full circle. So when Aaron wanted to buy weed killer at Home Depot today - I protested - proudly.

Green Resources:
1) Going green and becoming more eco-conscious seems to be trendy in Dallas as with all new things in this southern metropolis. In fact, I stumbled upon a unique high-end eco-boutique by the yummy name, Strada Verde [which translates to "Green Street" in Italian] in downtown McKinney. The owner Diljit Binning approached me with a personal tour of her lines. Maybe she thought I was a reporter since I was holding a notepad [I just got out of a client presentation located off the square]. Evenso, I was smitten with her British accent and products of eco-fashion. Purses made out of upholstery from vintage cars, shoes made out of recycled plastic, bamboo cotton tees and rugs made out of flour bags.. many items handmade by "local artists." Their opening night was tonight in fact - and I'm sure it was a stunning event.

2) Go Online. More and more are popping up, but sites I found full of good ideas include:
WFAA Project Green I Dallas Green Zine I TreeHugger

3) Things to do today: Don't run water more than you have to; run full dishwasher loads only; switch to energy-efficient bulbs [don't like the ugly fluorescent color like me? swap them out in rooms and fixtures you don't use often - like the guest bath; recycle - it's soo easy its ridiculous; and finally re-use - think about how you can give things you are about the throw away new life [I use cans of formula to store my craft utensils, empty plastic food containers, like yogurt, as tupperware, and plastic grocery bags as trash bags.]


  1. I love this blog entry! I actually thought of you last night as Dave and I watched "The 11th Hour" in celebrating awareness and honoring Earth Week (which I'm so glad it's now a whole week instead of one day, and I'm with you, it should be EVERYDAY). It's a very powerful movie with incredible insight from environmentalists, world leaders, scientists, etc. So I thought of you guys and I'm so proud in the fact that you and Aaron are raising your children to respect the earth and to be in harmony with nature! It just brings tears to my eyes, tears of joy to know that Ava and Noah are amoung the generation that will directly see these changes in the way we do things as humans and they will have the power to make changes for the better in the world!

    And you gave me a wonderful gift idea for Cameron, her birthday is today, party on Sat. I'm going to go out and get "The Earth and I". So thank you for being an inspiration!

    Much love,

  2. Yesterday was fun... and you brought up some good points. When i was at the counter in the Library, the employee commented on all the 'Earth' books we were getting. She asked if we were celebrating and I explained that we were getting an early start with the kids. When she asked how old they were and I responded with 11 months and 2 years, she said she was impressed. (Good idea Zarlacht!) Apparently, nobody else that day had taken the initiative to do the same thing... at least at that library branch.

    It’s just too bad that we wait for a day like this to come along before we celebrate it.

    As far as the weed killer goes.... I might still have to sneak out and get some late at night after you doze off. Our driveway is almost as green as our lawn!

  3. No weed killer!

    Corb - So glad you like the book idea. I hope you find it - you will love the colorful illustrations. And Cameron will love the story of her being friends with nature around her. Ava read it again today - by herself. And when she came to the page with the overturned fish, she said out loud while I was in the other room, "Mom - fish is upset."

    Yesterday, it was "sad" - now "upset"? I guess she really got it when I explained the consequences of throwing garbage in the water. I'd be "upset" too.

    Speaking of water and our fish, there's a National Geographic special on PBS [ch. 13] tonight at 8pm called Strange Days on Planet Earth: Dangerous Catch; Dirty Secrets. Sounds mysterious doesn't it? The caption says it's about the consequences of overfishing - hmmm... I didn't think that was possible. Edward Norton narrates! Let me know if you catch this on tonight! xoxo

  4. Hello,
    Just came across your blog.
    It's wonderful!
    I am one of the owners of STRADA VERDE..green eco store in McKinney.
    The tour I gave you I give to all customers. We pride ourselves for the personal attention to all customers. Thank you for visiting and come back soon!

  5. Hello Diljit!
    There is something so profound in karma. You don't really believe in these things until moments like this: I thought of you this morning, and Strada Verde, and wondered how the new business was going in McKinney....

    I was day dreaming of the shop I hope to open one day, and how it still feels like a monumental puzzle:
    Can we afford it?
    How much would we need to get started?
    How do I find a location to open up shop?
    Is my niche strong enough?
    Do I have enough to sustain the business?
    How the heck do I get started?

    All of these questions and a gazillion more - inhibit me from ever putting pencil to paper. But today I came across a website about a store in Brooklyn very much like I had wanted to open.

    And like the weather, grew gloomily thinking about it. Then I remembered your shop and how proud I was of your initiative to bring something so dreamy to reality. And then I felt hope again...

    AND THEN I got this comment from YOU today on my blog!

    Karma... oh yes, is a beautiful thing.

    Perhaps I should take this as a window of opportunity [that I would have ordinarily dismissed]... and ask... that if you have a moment or two, would you mind taking me under your wing and sharing your motivation for starting a business, what to do first... and what do you think of my idea... if you are interested, please email me!

  6. HELLO,
    This is DILJIT from stradaverde the store in McKinney.
    I have just started a blog..feel free to comment or paste your comment from your site to mine.
    the store is also on the web you may shop at www.stradaverde.com
    see you soon.


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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