Posted by Wendy | Posted in Me | Posted on 05-09-2013

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I would consider myself a generous person and so, most of the time, I tip. The thing is – I think it’s getting out of hand. Last night, I went to one of those self-serve frozen yogurt places and there was a tip jar. What exactly am I tipping you for?

I got the cup. I filled the cup with an excellent swirl of frozen yogurt (I learned from the best). I put on the toppings. I put the cup on the scale. The only thing the worker did was put a spoon in my cup and work the cash register, which in this case required an exchange of cash. They didn’t even do math – the register did!

So when I saw the tip jar as I got my change back, I was outraged! Seriously?! Am I tipping you to watch how awesome I am at making my fro-yo exactly the way I want it? Am I tipping you for putting the spoon in my cup? Or was it how you watched me enter, get what I want, skip the undecided and get out in under ten minutes?

I don’t get it. Like lawsuits, tipping is getting frivolous.

What do I know?


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G | Posted on 24-10-2012

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“I guess I thought I had You figured out. I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about how You were mighty to save. Those were only empty words on a page…What do I know of Holy?”

I heard these lyrics this morning and was taken aback. What do I know of Holy? Do I have God all figured out? Do I take the time to listen? Or am I putting words in His mouth? Would I recognize God if he was here, today, right now? Or do I have a vision of who, when and what He’s supposed to be? What do I really know of Holy?

Full Lyrics:
I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life “its” name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

Song by Addison Road
Songwriters: Allison L Rogers, Jennifer Ann Simmons

Being Right


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Me, Uncategorized, quotes | Posted on 09-04-2012

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Recently, I heard a co-worker share about an argument that they had with their teen. They shared that they finally got their point across. They, the parent, were right but that it was a hollow victory. It was hollow because that person recalled how many times their parent had been right and how little love there is in being right.

Then last night I heard this quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “I’d much rather be happy than right any day.”

It made me think – would I rather be happy than right? More precisely, would I rather show love than be right?

My Non-Plastic Journey – Day 5


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Environmental, Me | Posted on 24-08-2009

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So it’s been over a week since My Non-Plastic Journey ended and I have yet to post the conclusion. I have to admit, I’ve had a hard time concluding. The thing is, day 5 (official end of my non-plastic week, hey she did it?) was pretty aggravating. Let me recap:

  • 7pm on Day 4 I’m starting Day 5 with a non-plastic shower. I wash up using a bar of soap that is carefully wrapped in wax paper. I then condition my hair using apple-cider vinegar.1 Needless to say I and the upstairs stink like vinegar. Dave and the cats are offended by the smell.

    Cranky level: Low.

  • 6am I wake up the next morning and still smell like vinegar albeit not as strong. Maybe my fruity hair product will cover it up? I then fry my egg in butter. Not necessarily a bad thing but I wasn’t able to use my plastic-bottled ketchup. For those of you who don’t know, it’s my favorite condiment.
  • OK so it’s 6:30am and I’m doing alright. That is until I pack my lunch. Since I work for a food company I’m not allowed to have glass in my lunch bag.2 That means I’m forced to use paper bags to pack my sandwich, blueberries and other food items. I’m annoyed to have two constraints on my lunch.
  • 7:00am All my hair product comes in plastic containers. So not only can I not cover up the vinegar smell with Fructis, I’m also left feeling a bit insecure about my flat and not-put-together hair.

    Cranky level: Moderate.

  • 7:15am I made coffee and thought I had stainless steel travel mugs. Oh I do have stainless steel containers but they have plastic inside – ARGH! I’m left with bringing my coffee to work in our at-home ceramic mugs.
  • 8:00am Can you imagine what happened next? Yup the coffee splashed all over my center console while I was driving to work.

    Cranky level: High.

  • 8:30am While everyone is asking me about my weekend I can only think of the stinky shower I took the night before. Mondays suck already. Why did I have to make this one worse by doing this non-plastic thing?
  • 12pm I need some salt for my lunch so I go for the paper salt packets instead of the plastic salt shaker. Is that really better?
  • 12:15pm My co-worker points out that the binder clip3 I am using has plastic on it. Argh! Can’t I get away from this stuff?

    Cranky level: High.

  • 3pm Time for the afternoon snack and it’s crushed blueberries. Apparently the paper bag doesn’t offer protection for the blueberries. O well, it’s still edible.

    Cranky level: Low.

  • 5pm Absolute elation as I drive home and realize I’m going to shower this smell away with all of my plastic bottles!

    Cranky level: Non-existent.

As I re-read the events of the day I don’t know that I can capture the emotion of how I was feeling. I can only describe it as a day when all the little things don’t go exactly right and annoy you little by little.

It’s really hard to escape plastic.  I suppose that’s where my trouble forming a conclusion occurs. Is plastic so bad?

To Emily’s point, is it really better to throw away all of our current plastic items in exchange for non-plastic, doesn’t that just add to our current problem?

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, when it comes to the environment it doesn’t seem to be black and white.

1 I know you think I’m crazy but I got the idea from another blogger who was also doing a week without plastic. She was my inspiration for this whole thing.She was also the motivation to count a week as five days.
2For a thorough discussion on the topic, see Day 1.
3I later learn that the clip is made of spring steel.  Score!

Non-Plastic Journey – Is my Retainer Plastic?


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Environmental, Me | Posted on 12-08-2009

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The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: On this site I found out that my retainer is made of acrylic. More specifically, an acrylic resin. An acrylic resin is a polymer derived from the monomer acrylic acid. Acrylic is clear plastic that resembles glass with superior physical properties (it doesn’t shatter as easily).

This question also answered another question – Is a resin a polymer? Yup.

- Wise Geek
- Wikipedia – Acrylic Resin
- Wikipedia – Thermoplastic

Non-Plastic Journey – What Is Styrofoam?


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Environmental | Posted on 11-08-2009

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On my Non-Plastic Journey I came up with quite a few questions. This next few posts will address those questions. The first: What is Styrofoam?

STYROFOAM is a trademark of the Dow Chemical Company. It differs from the generic term styrofoam. Dow’s  STYROFOAM is a closed cell, extruded polystyrene that resists moisture. It is most often used in insulating, building products. So when we  Americans refer to our coffee cups as styrofoam we’re actually referring to the non-trademarked version of expanded polystyrene.

That leads to my next question: what is polystyrene? Polystyrene is a polymer. A polymer is similar to a brick wall in that a it is made up of individual bricks. These individual bricks are called monomers. So polystyrene is many “bricks” of styrene. According to Wikipedia, it’s one of the most widely use plastics and is a by-product of petroleum. You may know it as #6. The #6 refers to the recycling symbol on the bottom of objects made with this type of plastic.

So, basically, the styrofoam cooler that Dave & I brought to the beach this Saturday was indeed a form of plastic. Interesting.

My Non-Plastic Journey – Day 4


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Environmental, Me | Posted on 10-08-2009

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Today I woke up and began to make a list of all the plastic things I touched while being on this non-plastic journey. Why am I using plastic? Well, oftentimes I use the item and then realize it’s plastic. Hindsight is 20-20.

  • Alarm clock
  • Hand soap – After realizing I was using this plastic item, I’ve switched to bar soap.
  • Pen – I have an all metal pen. I’ll make the switch.
  • Laptop
  • Retainer & case – The case is definitely a form of plastic but is the retainer?
  • Toothbrush – I could use my finger.
  • Toothpaste
  • Eye gel
  • Medicine bottle – Sorry folks. I need to take my meds.
  • Cap on aluminum water bottle – Even non-plastic items have plastic?! My glass Tupperware-esque dishes have plastic lids?! My metal water bottle has a plastic lid?! I can’t win!
  • Vitamin bottle – Does it count if I take the vitamins from the plastic bottle and put them in a paper bag? No? I didn’t think so.
  • Deodorant – I have an aluminum can but it has a plastic lid. Once again a non-plastic object with a plastic accessory!
  • Eyeliner lid – Wood pencil with plastic cap.  See Deodorant.
  • Palm Pre
  • Pizza tray – In NJ you usually get yelled at when your pizza is ready. When you hear “slice!” you go back to the counter and retrieve your pizza on a paper plate. Yesterday the pizza guy brought our slices to us…on a plastic tray.
  • Straw – I caved and sipped Dave’s soda. I could have taken the lid and straw off but was too lazy.
  • Ziploc bags – Contained current food.
  • Cutting board – Sorry peeps. I could have went out and purchased another cutting board (which I plan to do in the near future) but for now it’s what I have.
  • Knife & pot handles – See cutting board.
  • Scrubby brush to do dishes – I could have used a dish rag but sorta zoned out at the sink.
  • Salt shaker top – Again with the plastic accessory.
  • Bags – At the farmer’s market I picked out some fruit in nice carboard-y containers…which the farmer promptly poured in to a plastic bag. I didn’t have paper bag alternatives with me so I didn’t say anything.

This list made me realize a few things: (1) It’s hard to find a completely non-plastic item. (2) Living a non-plastic life is a matter of preparation. All of the items on the list above could be substituted with non-plastic devices after a bit of investigation on the Internet. (3) If I want to make non-plastic a reality, I need to make an investment to substitute my current items. (4) This is turning out to be harder than I thought.

My Non-Plastic Journey – Day 3


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Environmental, Me | Posted on 09-08-2009

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On Day 3 I found myself sleeping at a friend’s house, hitting the beach and then going to a BBQ before heading home.

- Ice in the cooler. I offered to put the ice directly in the cooler. Dave & the friend said to use a Ziploc bag. Dave wound up loading the Ziploc full of ice. It felt like cheating but I rationalized it to myself: I did offer to put the ice directly in the cooler and that was totally a viable option.
- I drank from a Dave’s plastic Gatorade bottle when I was thirsty on the beach.
- When buying our sandwiches and goodies for the beach, Dave requested the plastic bag. I sat by and watched (I still had the no-lidded coffee cup in my hands).

- Coffee without lid – cool. Coffee without stirrer – not so cool. The end of the cup tasted like creamer. It was promptly ditched.
- Sandwiches in wax paper, score!
- Snack for the beach – Goldfish, paper bag with aluminum insert, woohoo!
- Paper plates at the BBQ! And who needed utensils for guacamole & chips?
- Beer in a glass bottle, score!

So there are my pitfalls and triumphs.

As a result of this impulsive journey, I’m asking myself (& Dave) a lot of questions. Is Styrofoam a type of plastic? How is a composite different than a polymer? I hope to answer a few of these questions in the days ahead. For now, I’m off to figure out how to make hair shampoo from household ingredients.