Sanity saving measures

[This post has been updated to reflect the urgency of action on climate.]


We have a moral obligation to protect our children from climate change by swiftly transitioning form fossil fuels to locally generated renewable energy. Here are some of the organizations that are working to make the needed change.

Environmental Voter Project – contribute to this non-partisan effort to get voters who consider the environment to be their 1st or 2nd priority to vote.  Turns out they don’t. – grassroots organizers for climate action.
NRDC – Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice – lawyers for Earth, Center for Biological Diversity (species + habitat preservation), Green Energy Consumers Alliance – group buy-in for an electric car program + other clean energy solutions, Mothers Out Front – my work – moms for a livable climate, NPCA National Parks Conservation Association – the parks are already facing a long list of necessary but unfunded repairs and it’s about to get worse, The Nature Conservancy – restores/preserves ecologically valuable places worldwide.
If anyone in government or the utility sector tells you it’s impossible to have clean electricity at competitive rates, they don’t know about Green Mountain Power, a utility in Vermont which is providing its customers with excellent service, at competitive rates, and as of this writing, their electricity mix is 90% carbon-free.
There are also many, many other people and organizations that are buildling the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Find them and amplify their voice by adding yours.

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies for a crowd

(dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, vegan)

Do you ever wish you could make some cookies for a fundraiser and still have leftover for home?  I often double recipes to achieve this end and this recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies lends itself particularly well to baking for a crowd.  Omit the walnuts for school fundraisers.

I find molasses and pumpkin to be an irresistible flavor together, which is why I altered this Post Punk Kitchen recipe to have even more molasses.


2 tbsp flax seeds
6 tbsp water

2 cups whole wheat (or whole wheat pastry) flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted through a mesh strainer
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2/3 to 1 cup unprocessed sugar* (1 cup for school fundraisers, 2/3 cups for home consumption)
2/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin or roasted pumpkin, pureed without skin or seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional, omit for schools)


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 baking sheets, either greased or with a parchment or Silpat liner.

In a small bowl, mix together the flax seed with water and let stand.  This will thicken substantially over time.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla until very well combined. Fold in the flax seed mixture. Fold the wet ingredients into the wet. Fold in the walnuts, if using.

The dough will be quite thick.  Use one tablespoon to scoop and one to help the dough slide off onto greased cookie sheets, 12 cookies to a sheet for a total of 24.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350.

* Sucanat, coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice.  My preference has always been for the first two – they give an excellent flavor.

Frozen again

No doubt every parent is looking forward to another version of the Disney animated movie Frozen, with yet another really catchy song that we will all be singing (and moaning about) for years to come.  What will the new movie be about?  Disney only knows. And maybe a few snoops.

Here is my take on what it SHOULD be about.  Fair disclaimer here: I know exactly nothing about the new movie, nor have I read any leaks about the plot if there are any.  This is my imagination only.

Here goes.

Elsa and Anna live happily in Arendelle, with Elsa trying to teach Anna some things about running a kingdom in case Elsa has to go away for a little while.  Anna completely ignores her as she is more interested in starting a shelter for orphaned reindeer.

Grand Pabbie appears in Elsa’s dream and tells her “It’s time.”  She knows just what to do. The Trolls take her through the mountains to a hidden far away place which is a training camp for people with amazing abilities.  There are lots of people there – some young, some old – and the trolls run the whole thing, trying to teach everyone how to control and use their power.

Elsa meets a young man, let’s call him Gustav.  He has wind power.  He can move air and objects and they play with their powers together.  It’s a lot of fun to be at camp!

Elsa returns to find that Anna hasn’t been keeping up with kingdom related duties – after all, all that is kind of boring.  Elsa gives Anna a lecture about supporting each other and working together.

Some months go by.  No word from Gustav.  🙁

Elsa gets word that the Norse king, Farmadan, is attacking Arendelle from the north in an effort to gain passage to the Fjords.  Else and Anna, along with lots of ministers, try to figure out what to do, after which Elsa decides that she will go and battle the king’s army herself.

She arrives at the battle field, knowing really nothing about warfare, builds an army out of fierce looking Marshmallows and attacks the next day.  Her efforts are in vain, though, as a strong and powerful wind blows apart her creations as fast as she can make them.  She spends the day battling the king and his army and the magical wind force.

By night time, everything settles, she is exhausted and seriously regretting not taking anyone with her – or say, an army.  Sure enough, just in time to save her sister, Anna arrives with, ahem, Christophe and, well, an army.  Of course, Sven and Olaf come, too.

They send Olaf on a reconnaissance mission but all he finds is a guy blowing wind while walking around in the forest.   Elsa immediately recognizes Gustav, and her heart is broken as she realizes that he is the nephew of the fierce Norse king who’s been fighting her all day.

Anna and Christoph concoct a plan to have a frozen replica of Elsa appear to Gustav to see if she can trick him into coming to their camp so that the real Elsa can talk him out of helping the evil uncle.  The plan works, and Gustav is horrified to learn that he’s been helping fight his beloved.  Love is in the air and everyone goes home happy, except Gustav who goes to Arendell to be the ambassador for his uncle, and, ahem, kiss Elsa.