Thursday, May 22, 2008

Principles In Practice.

Go green by making your own household cleaners.

Raiding the Pantry to Add Sparkle and Shine

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

NO MORE MYSTERY Danielle Hughes, center, holds a party at her brokerage firm to make cleaning products because she thinks store-bought ones triggered her asthma and eczema.

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Published: May 22, 2008

“MICHELLE, would you like to head up the creamy soft-scrub team?”

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Lars Klove for The New York Times

With that call to arms, the women in Laura Gosa’s kitchen in Jersey City fell to, blending the ingredients spread out on her counters like so many blasts from Grandma’s preindustrial past: baking soda, borax, Castile soap, lemon oil, vinegar, glycerin and other staples of the all-natural armamentarium.

These women weren’t interested in buying green products....(more)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother's Day wrap up!

Dearest Joy Warriors & Apron String Revolutionaries;

The MAU Mother's Day stories and photographs keep rolling in! Thousands of mothers acting up gathered in cities and hamlets across the nation to celebrate the day in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe: advocating for the world's children. We've gone public with press aplenty, witnesses to the powerful force that is mother leadership! And in a year when many events partnered with 1Sky on their collective Mother's Day Action, it's no surprise that the weather played a large role in the festivities. Here are a few reports:

From Teresa in Snohomish, WA: Our Mother's Day Gathering for Peace was a huge success! We had well over 125 people and it didn't rain! Our tradition is to have a girl/woman from every decade read a portion of the Mother's Day Proclamation by stepping up onto a tree stump. We even had our spry, mid-70s grandmother step proudly up on the stump!

From Kate in Northern Michigan: A great group of area women came together to celebrate and collaborate during our annual Northern Michigan MAU Mother's Day event. This year, we focused on a simple recipe for success with our theme, "Just Add Water." We honored five local women who have been passionate advocates for our lakes and rivers, and were fortunate enough to hear their inspiring stories of activism. Our bazaar brought in $8,000 -- a fantastic kick off toward our $14,000 goal to bring a PlayPump well system to a village in Tanzania.

From Paige in Nashville: Gale force winds (up to 30 miles per hour) radically altered our plans for our 3rd Annual Peace Parade. Two trees fell while we were at the park to set up. Mother Nature was to be respected and lived with in all her wonder. We opted to go out for coffee instead of setting up, then gathered for our parade and cake and a spirited reading of the proclamation. We had a surprisingly large crowd, given the weather. It was wild and great and we went from one stilt walker last year to two this year. We nearly blew away. But didn't.

From Juliana in Boulder: Mother's Day began the week before in Boulder with Girlcotts celebrating local fair trade stores, a performance of (M)other and Janna on TV! Then on Sunday, the Raging Grannies led a parade of stilt-walkers and strollers to gather for music, kids activities, cake and a thousand fair trade roses from Transfair/USA. Eight other organizations joined MAU in the celebration; talking with participants and hearing the eloquent words of MAU Co-founder Erica Shafroth and Jen Parsons. The entire crowd enjoyed stirring music from Danea Shanti and Ancestral Voices, including a troop of belly dancers! A festival atmosphere prevailed, culminating in an hour-long interview with Dr. Daddio!

From Kate in Bend, OR: I am very inspired and unbelievably satisfied: we had a splendid Reclaiming Mother's Day event. Our first annual MAU celebration of Julia Ward Howe's original vision started off with gusts of wind, snow and chilly temps. No matter though: families still came to picnic, play and participate in the movement.

David in Oklahoma City: In the midst of a rainy month we were blessed with an absolutely beautiful sunny afternoon and had a crowd of 75-100 people -- women, men and children -- who enjoyed being on the grass and even under a large shade tree, so everyone stayed comfortable. [We had] a wonderful speech by State Senator Connie Johnson, whose birthday it also happened to be. Our two elementary-school essay contest winners read what they had written on the subject, "I Want To Live In a World In Which . . . " and they each received $40 in gift certificates for their efforts.

Laura in Austin, TX: Adorned in colorful tutus, feathers, and flowers, Austin mamas marched across the pedestrian bridge, which spans our beautiful Town Lake, declaring, "There ain't no power like the power of the mama, and the power of the mama don't stop!"

Cheers to mamas, papas, mini-MAUs and all who answered Julia's call to "Arise!"

Yours for the JOYFUL revolution,
The Mavens at MAU Central

P.S. MAU Central gives a huge shout out to Paige for all the encouragement, support and guidance she dispatched along the planning route to Reclaiming Mother's Day. On June 1 MAU Central will say goodbye to Paige as Outreach Coordinator, sending love and blessings to her next adventure. On behalf of all MAUs who have been touched by her spirit, we thank Paige for her incredible leadership, passion, exuberance and her wonderful laugh! We hope to hear it often in the years to come...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Barack Obama sits down with BlogHer....

In breaking news over the weekend, presidential candidate Barack Obama is the first and only of all invited candidates to sit down on camera to answer policy questions from BlogHer, a growing force of women / mama power on the internet.

Northern Michigan MAUs purchase Play Pump.

From Kate & Copland, Northern Michigan MAU community organizers:

We did it!

Congratulations MAU supporters! Thanks to your dedication to the health and welfare of the world's children, we can celebrate reaching our $14,000 goal to purchase an entire PlayPump well system for a village in South Africa. Thanks to the compassion of our community, we are able to give 2,500 people safe water, and as a result, we are helping girls get the most valuable gift-- an opportunity for education (because they will no longer need to spend a large portion of their day traveling to gather water).

We are so grateful to our volunteers and everyone who attended the tea or donated to the PlayPumps initiative. Remember to check our website for updates, information and other good stuff from Mothers Acting Up: (you can also subscribe to our blog, and will get email notification when we update it)!

In spirited partnership,
Kate and Copland