Friday, September 28, 2007

Eulogy for Ripley

It is with deep sadness that I tell you about the death of Ripley, our 16 year old Pomeranian yesterday (Sept. 27th). An inoperable, benign tumor in her jaw finally got the best of her. She is survived in death by her mother, Fancy Dancer, 18 years old, and of course, Jer and me.

Ripley was large for a toy Pom, tipping the scales at 14 pounds. In contrast, her mother is barely 6 and ½ pounds. Food was her principal joy, making this tumor doubly troubling.

She had a waddle/swagger to her walk and an irascible nature at times, prompting me to give her the nickname of “Aint Bea” from the Andy Griffith Show. She was not above snapping at a grandson who ran too quickly in her general vicinity. They learned to give her a wide berth. She was the spinster aunt of our household.

Ripley came from Jer’s side of our blended family. After my 15 year old Schnauzer, Daisy Mae, died years ago, she attached herself to me. The last four years that I have been working from home, she was my constant and boon companion, moving from the Babynut office on the second floor, down to the basement to fill orders, back to the office and out to the mail box. She would also sit in the yard with me as I planted or weeded, barking at passersby who thought she was a puppy with her short summer “do”.

Over the last few weeks the tumor grew larger and the secondary infection that weeped through her fur got worse. Her joie de vivre lessened until at last even food held no allure. The Vet came late in the afternoon. Crystal drew two beautiful pictures. One is a portrait of Ripley with the words “We love you, Ripley”. That one was buried with her. The other picture was of me, Jer, Jordan, Crystal, Fancy and Ripley with the words ”We love you, Ripley. Thanks for being our friend.”

The grandkids left for home, and Jer, Fancy and I were in attendance as Ripley breathed her last breath. She is buried under the large wild rose bush near the front porch, where she will be joined by her mother in time. The second picture Crystal drew is hanging in the downstairs bathroom, where Ripley loved to sleep. No longer will growls be heard to surprise unwary users of that toilet.

Rest in Peace, Ripley.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Organic Cotton - Good for the Planet!

I sell organic cotton baby clothes and organic cotton maternity and nursing clothes on Babynut because I truly believe they are good for babies and mothers. Always in my mind the health of the baby was first and foremost. And then I started researching information about organic cotton for an artcile on my web site, Why Use Organic Cotton? I realized as I wrote that article that: not only is organically grown cotton good for baby's skin and mother's skin, organically grown cotton is good for planet Earth!

90 million acres are devoted to the production of cotton worldwide, consuming 25% of all pesticides used on our planet. Genetically modified seed accounts for 50% of the cotton grown in the United States. We can only speculate about the long-term consequences of genetic engineering. Petroleum based hydrocarbons (chemical fertilizers) are intensively applied to cotton crops to speed up and enhance the plant's growth cycle and productivity. The runoff of these chemicals pollutes our watershed and food chains.

Organically grown cotton is not treated with pesticides, herbicides or petroleum based fertilizers, nor does it use genetically engineered seed. In the United States, Egypt, India and other countries, farmers are raising cotton organically, without the use of costly, often ineffective and dangerous chemicals. They are courageously developing alternative sources of the world's favorite natural fiber.

So I have come to the conclusion that whenever I can possibly afford to do so, I will buy organic cotton sheets, towels, clothes, toys, etc. Because if I don't, the health of the planet is at stake.

Friday, September 14, 2007

For my son, Joe

Joe, you have always wanted to see how your middle name - Ananda - looked in Hindi. Well, here it is!