See entire July 6, 2011 newsletter

Given all the emails and Facebook posts I received about my last newsletter (asking for the GOOD sunscreens too), I should probably be writing about that. But I just can’t because I have to write about our family cabin burning down several weeks ago and about how it’s all connected for me/Mrs. Green. Prepare for some pretty personal sharing if you are so inclined to continue reading.

Let’s face it. There are no shortages of stories globally about disasters these days – we’ve got tsunamis, oil spills, flooding, tornados, earthquakes and closest to home for me – out of control forest fires. I don’t factually know if there are more or less than there have been historically. It just seems like more. What I do know is that when we got the phone call in early June that our family cabin was nothing but ashes – it gave me lots to think about. So…here are some deep albeit random thoughts to share about what has been sustaining us and some preliminary “take-aways.”

On the love and support: It really matters. The love of family and friends, people showing up on our door, people dropping off snacks, the cards, the emails, the phone messages – they all matter. I fully realized that no one died, but as wise people pointed out to me, it was a tragedy to us and there is a grieving process. Reach out to those you love even if they say they are fine. And consider reaching out to strangers who may have lost their primary dwellings. I can’t even imagine.

On stuff: Now that we are in the throes of making exhaustive lists for the insurance company, we realize that we had lots of “stuff” – and I mean lots of stuff. This is where the Mrs. Green part really comes around front and center. How much stuff is enough? Just listing the number of sweaters and shoes and glasses and sets of dishes and knick knacks and electronic devices in our SECOND home makes my head spin. And as I write this, there are millions of people without adequate food, shelter or clothing this very second. What we do in the re-build will truly be a measure of how much I have learned and grown. I want to take a stand, being given this new opportunity. Less for us, more for the planet.

On rebuilding: What I hope is that HGTV will get excited about helping us to rebuild our cabin green. We would love to be a message of hope and the coming together of a community after a huge disaster hit (the fire destroyed 950 square miles so far.) Greensburg, Kansas rebuilt their entire community green after the town was completely destroyed by a tornado and what an example they have been to the world. We would like to send the message to everyone struck by the recent disasters in our country and around the world to rebuild green. Green built is better built and this might be an opportunity for Mrs. Green to partner with HGTV to inspire others. Save energy, save water, and build with efficiency and sustainability in mind. To know better is to do better and we will do better.

On what’s left (on what sustains all of us): Here the tricky “I hope I can say it from deep down in my heart and get it right” part. Yes, I am sad. No, we will never have our cabin back that was built with hand hewn logs in 1950. Yes, I will miss some of the sentimental things that are gone forever like my Mom’s silver and her hope chest and the brass candle sticks my Dad made. And I can’t have back that memory book written in by all of our guests, and the memory drawer filled with artwork given to me by all the great kids who stayed at our place, or the nest my grandson built.

But here is what IS left, here is what I believe truly sustains us all. What’s left is the gratitude we feel for all the people who reached out when they heard and offered to help in any way they could. And we still have all the memories of time spent just “being” with family and friends; all of the laughter and giggles and silliness that seemed to be the order of the day; all of the memories of sitting on the porch, feeding the birds with Maddy, rolling in the snow with Liam, taking naps, family movies, lots of cooking and lots of eating; lots of elk rides that people suffered through to humor me. What is left is our community, our memories, the love, the laughter, the anticipation of rebuilding green and making more memories. We have our family and friends, we are not homeless, we are not hopeless and we know we are truly blessed. That, my friends, is a great definition of sustainability.

Reach out and touch someone who might need you – even lend a hand to a stranger. They won’t be a stranger for long.

Gardening Tips for Your Reading Pleasure!
Here’s a GREAT new item, from the Sea of Green. YOU asked for more info about gardening and your wish is our command! Enjoy! Sea of Green is one of our proud partners and will be a regular feature in Mrs. Green’s newsletter.

Keep your garden pest free with organic based sprays! Neem or Rosemary based oils can be applied through foliar feeding once or twice a week, creating a protective layer that will keep pests such as spider mites out of your garden. Talk to a Sea Of Green sales rep today to find a solution that is right for you!

Our first show was AWESOME and fun and wonderful. It was a live broadcast on July 2nd at 12:00 PM Arizona Time. Our first guest was Deron Beal, founder of Freecycle. Deron started Freecycle by sending emails out to about 30-40 friends or so, inviting them to come by his place and take whatever they wanted – for free. They are now a global organization made up over almost 9 million members. Deron was full of great information. He was fun and a perfect first guest. We had listeners from five countries and callers from the USA, Puerto Rico, and Argentina! Be sure to find us this week on your computer, iPhone, Droid or Blackberry.

A warm, sincere, HUGE thanks to everyone on the Mrs. Green team who made it all possible – Cindy, Kelly, Bonnie, Amy, Lynn, Katelyn, Dr. Dave, the guys at the Moia Group and always and forever – Mr. Green!