Happy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie


No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie:

Adapted from “32 vegan recipes perfect for Thanksgiving”  Use organic ingredients for this healthy pie.

Walnut/Date Crust:    Process in a food processor:  9 coarsely cut seeded dates (add a few dates at a time) with 2 cups walnuts.  Press mixture into a glass pie plate.  Freeze until ready to add filling.

Pumpkin Filling:

2 cups cashews soaked over night and then drained

1 can pumpkin

½ cup coconut oil

¼ to ½ cup agave or maple syrup (to taste)

juice of ½ lemon

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

Process all together in a food processor and place on walnut/date crust.  Refrigerate several hours before serving. Make a day ahead for the best flavor.  Garnish with your favorite fruit. Keep refrigerated.003

November on Lake Superior

Yogi Berra on November: “It’s getting late earlier”


Strong winds dominate, as winds and waves pound the lake’s sandstone cliffs.  The sun sets at 4:28pm and sunny days are few.

The eagle white pine
The eagle white pine

2 adult eagle have a favorite pine tree in front of our house where they perch to watch the beautiful lake. The chickadees, nuthatches, gold finch and squirrels are gorging for the months ahead. I scatter milkweed, aster, hyssop, vervain and cone flower seeds as I dream of the pollinators we will see in the summer.

A large young buck walks the road and I tell him to go hide in the woods because it is hunting season.  Later, three hunters jump out of their truck and shoot rifles from the road near signs prohibiting firearm shooting.  In the direction of their shots live 2 houses of children. They are grouse hunting and the sheriff tells us that grouse hunters can shoot from the middle of gravel roads, but what about those of us who live here and desire safe peaceful outdoor time? Yes, we can live together, but all need to follow the rules, and respect everyone’s outdoor space.


Precycle This Holiday Season


“How much waste are you purchasing”  Minnesota Pollution Control

Plastic bottles and plastic bags litter our oceans, lakes, streams, and our countryside.  This is a serious worldwide problem.  What are some ways we can generate less plastic litter and less landfill trash?

 On America Recycle’s Day I am posting my tips to precycle.  When you precycle you make wise purchases that lead to less waste.

Below are my suggestions to encourage precycling, and you might be surprised to find you are already be doing the precycle drill.026

First, always bring your reusable bags shopping, and resist all plastic bags.

Second, choose products that use minimal packaging, and packaging that can be recycled.  Many corporations are making an effort to reduce packaging and offer packaging that can be recycled.  Be sure you recycle as much packaging as possible.

Third, carry your own reuseable water bottle.  The number of plastic bottles I see in008 the trash is shameful!

Always choose glass over plastic
Always choose glass over plastic

Always choose glass products over plastic.  Glass products can be reused, they don’t have the harmful chemicals of plastic and they can be made into new glass bottles.

Fifth, Bulk purchases allow you to get just the amount you need, and I fill my reusable containers with bulk items.  Nuts, spices, oatmeal, tea, grains, beans and laundry soap are great bulk items.  Whole Foods and coops have recyclable/compostable brown paper bags for bulk items.  Placing your bulk items in a “one use” plastic bag negates the environmental advantage of bulk purchases.   010

Sixth, use washable reusable cloth bags for produce purchases instead of plastic bags, and avoid products on styrofoam trays wrapped in plastic film.

Finally, always use cardboard egg cartons. They can be composed or cut up and used as mulch around plants.  They can also be reused/refilled at some stores.

015Recycle everything possible, and return all plastic bags to locations that collect and recycle them.

Please share your tips for precycling




http://earth911.com/art-entertainment/plastic-free-life/2  Interview with Beth Terry

The Ocean Reacts to A Warming Climate


Looking at this above chart, it is not surprising there are super storms on our oceans. Tens of Thousands are paying for the price of carbon with the loss of lives, homes, and destruction of their world.

I am grieving for the people of the Philippines.  What a horrific storm for this Pacific island to withstand. As Typhoon Haiyan was destroying the Philippines, individuals in Minnesota were meeting to plan how to adapt to our changed Minnesota climate. Is it possible for the Philippines, Hawaii, Florida or other ocean locations to adapt to super storms like this?  It seems impossible to adapt to a winds of 195 miles an hour or mountains of water washing over the land.  Without a doubt the warming and rising oceans played into this disaster.  Residents reported, “Surges of water as high as the trees.”  Can humans continue to inhabit land with the threat  of such devastation?  Yes, they are paying for the cost of carbon pollution with their health, their lives, and the loss of their world as they know it as they become climate refugees.



I thought the extreme weather event I experienced in 2012 was frightening when thunderstorms kept rolling across Duluth and northern Wisconsin for 2 days and 3 nights.  The heavy rain, thunder and lightning just wouldn’t stop!  Today I am happy to be land-locked.

Please contact the Philippine Red Cross, Team Rubicon, or UNICEF to donate and find out about other ways to help.


While this storm was pounding and destroying life on the islands of the Pacific, Minnesota leaders were meeting to discuss how to adapt to Minnesota’s changed and changing climate. How are we going to adapt and prepare for climate change?  The average temperatures on earth continue to rise.  2013 will be the 37th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average.  These rising temperatures allow the air to hold more water, More water in the air creates more of these extreme weather events.  In Minnesota we have droughts alternating with floods.

Below is a must read op-ed by Mark Seely of the University of Minnesota about Minnesota’s changed climate.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/230905781.html  Climate Changed, by Mark Seely




Everything is Interconnected

970832_10153091136195497_1060532036_nClimate Change in the News1391694_590095197723795_1697668544_n

Everything is interconnected.  Pollution in China affects weather and ocean levels everywhere else on earth.

A year ago was the Super Storm Sandy,  and climate change just won’t go away!  Sandy was the 2nd most expensive storm ever for the United States! Because of the rising oceans, the damage of these storms will just continue to increase.  But this was not the only extreme weather event in the past year –   floods, drought and many forest fires also added expense to tax payers and the cost of insurance. And most important the loss of human lives. It is a reality that we are all paying for extreme weather. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/hurricane-sandy-impact-infographic_n_4171243.html

This is from meteorologist, Paul Douglas in the Startribune on 11-3-13 :

It is a fact that the growing season in Minnesota is 2 weeks longer than it was just a few years ago.  “It is what we don’t know that makes scientists nervous. The unknown unknowns.  The Arctic is warmer than any time in the last 120,000 years – the Pacific Ocean is warming faster than any time in the last 10,000 years. Everything is connected, How will this impact us?  Great question.  Climate volatility is favoring all-weather now.”

In Alaska, October also has set records for warmth and rain instead of snow:


Some scientists are worried that climate change is going to affect our food supply in the future:


And yes, pollution is harmful to us all: