Friday, November 29, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It warmed-up enough to snow!

Okay, I'm totally bogged down in work (yeah!), but I had to post this so you could see, yes, it does get warm enough in Minnesota to snow.

This is outside my office window.  Each night just before sunset, I'll get a House Sparrow "lodger."

I hope I'll have a nesting pair this spring.

More soon (-ish, sorta)...

Note to any climate deniers out there who accidentally wandered onto this blog: 

Minnesota used to get a lot of snow in the Winter, blanketing the plants in a protective layer, killing off tons of pests, and in general storing-up water that in the spring helps replenish our deep aquifer. Now it's either too warm, too cold, or too dry to snow. We have frequent and extended droughts, wells going dry, infestations of bugs and weeds that otherwise wouldn't survive if the climate wasn't changing, and a whole host of nasty. I "get" that you don't "get" that global warming can cause unusual cold, as well as unusual heat. I'm sure there are a great many things you don't "get."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

13-Greetings Coming!

While I get my act together to craft my annual chatter-blitz...

This year's WzW communal gifts go to...

Regenerative Leadership Institute

Permaculture is the extension of the art of biomimicry - a sustainable living and design science rooted in observation of nature; permaculture is to sustainability what math is to physics.  Nature has long solved many of the environmental and social problems we're facing today, but we just have not been paying much attention. 

The Regenerative Leadership Institute is seeking to film one of their in-person trainings and develop an inexpensive online permaculture design course, teaching principles of sustainable living and permaculture design at a fraction of the cost of in-person trainings.  Even better, they'll be making a lot of the course content available completely free.

Kiva Micro Loans
A loan of $2,525 helps Oyunchimeg to purchase a large amount of recyclable materials from households and sell them to recycling companies.
A loan of $25,000 helps Segun to buy and sell Barefoot Power's solar lighting products.

Looking for that perfect gift?...  Kiva Cards ... How many gifts have the potential to change lives?

Finding gifts can be difficult, but Kiva Cards are an easy choice. Kiva Cards introduce your friends and family to Kiva, giving them the opportunity to choose borrowers to support. When their loans are repaid, they can use those funds again and again to make even more loans on Kiva. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Awwwwwwwwe.... Toooo Cuuuuute.....

There are — FIVE — little bunnies in this tiny burrow. About a week after taking this shot they had all "grown-up" and moved out.

Need MORE cute?

Friday, May 20, 2011

WOW where did the time go?

Soooo much has happened in the past year...

I can tell from the flood of concerned mails that you all totally missed seeing my "Happy/Merry Chanukkwanzasolstimas" mail this year. ;-p "Yeah okay smartypants, so what's up Wendy?"

Well, after 15-years of being in one place I'm finally on the move again.

My phone number will stay the same, and is now living in a saucy new iPhone. My "shipping" address and "work" address though will be changing.

If you're sending boxes, drop me a note so I can tell you where I am at that moment. Now that I'm overcoming the inertia, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Newton's First Law — If you recall from high school physics.

As I clean-out 15-years of accumulated projects, treasures and art in anticipation of the move, I've donated TONs to various local charities. This spring, if you can, I highly suggest doing the same. In these tight economic times, charities are hurting for donations, and people are more willing than ever to shop second hand to make ever tighter budgets go further. If you need something too, think second hand first!

I also suggest bringing back the good ol' tag sale (yard sale, garage sale). Maybe organize a weekend with your neighbors to generate more traffic! Get out and meet your neighbors too!

Here's one in action...


In anticipation of the "what the heck have you been up to all year" question — client work, plus clearing out 15-years of stuff has taken-up much of 4th quarter 2010, and 1st quarter 2011. The rest of my days, trying to move higher eduction in a more sustainable direction. Feel free to start calling me Doña Quijote.

Give me a call, it's been too long, and I'd love to hear your voice. OR, I just saw you yesterday and I miss you already.


BTW: want to see what hell is like?...

.... It's less hot and quite a bit damper than I imagined. But, no wind, so for a sailor, it IS hell.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy/Merry Chanuksolstikwanzamas


The Obamafy Photo Booth plugin emulates a popular poster by Shepard Fairey. Obmafy PhotoBooth plugin by Dubi Kaufmann. The little X-mas touches, are all Wj.

Welcome to WendyZworld's Blogalicious Year-end Chatter...

Once again my honey and I are spending the holidays alone together. Quietly, peacefully, restfully.

It's been a crazy year for me as you all know (if not, it's all here in Blogalicious Splendor...). My second book on sustainable design is out (see blog posts from earlier this year), and I'm reintroducing myself to my long patient clients.

With all the writing I do (books, lessons for the classes I teach, presentations, my regular column in Package Design Magazine, other invited columns, and countless emails), plus the enormity of the tasks ahead of those of us working in sustainable design (okay man, now we're listening — so make with the solutions already...) I'm feeling oddly quiet. Like a miner looking at a mountain side handed a teaspoon to dig with.

Other than the few days I took off for my 50th this year, I can't remember the last weekend I could call my own. Everyday is Monday in my world. This is an observation, not a complaint. For those of us on the frontline of pushing for real change, the time has never been better to make that happen. I would venture to say there isn't a one of us willing to take time off until this effort is completely mainstreamed. I'm thinking sometime in 2030 maybe?

If you had told me when I was in college in the late 70s, that as a designer I'd have the opportunity to help redesign EVERYTHING, but get it right this time, I'd have thought you were crazy.

But the time is here, and I'm going for it. Sleep is overrated anyway. Maybe when I retire...


This year's featured Holiday Effort...

As I considered my options my thoughts touched on many things, but zeroed in on: empowering women in areas where women have few opportunities; and the power of design to affect positive change (the focus of my two books currently out,

Then I remembered a project a fellow design group was working on, getting LifeStraw's (a portable personal water filter, into the hands of as many people living without clean water as they could. More than just an incredibly cool design, lack of safe local water means the long hard task of hauling water in underdeveloped countries falls on those in the community whose time is considered of least value, women and young girls, leaving no time for school, training, or any chance of pursuing opportunities to improve their lot.

With all of this in mind, I've purchased LifeStraws as my "gifts" for friends and family, to be distributed in developing countries as part of the ongoing effort to help make safe water a little more accessible, and the lives of those families these filters will reach a little better.

It's these connections — one person helping another — that creates real change. Here's a great story about a nine-year-old who did just that...

I hope this Holiday season, if you're not active in change already, you'll find your own effort to give your time, talents, and energy to. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and complain about how screwed-up the world is — but it's way way way more fun to get-up and make change happen.

"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."
~ Anon.

Ciao for now...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Underwater Wendy

For my 50th, I've had one wish for the past 20 years -- to become a certified Scuba Diver. This week in Florida, my honey Mark made that happen, and we took the plunge together. It's really been a great adventure for us both. And I'm super lucky to have a partner that not only doesn't mind getting very very very wet, but actively looks for excuses to do that.
I love that in a man.
Underwater Wendy, being wet...

HUGE thanks too go out to my very dear (but considerably drier), NYC Mark for totally surprising me with a really hot little underwater digital camera (12.1 mp YyyyyyUMmmY!). We were joking a while ago that I'd have to crack out my vintage Nikonos IVa for the trip. ("Gee Wendy, when was the last time you shot film?" we laughed.) Anyway, HUGE thanks. The gesture was like the cherry on top of an already yummy birthday.

Underwater Mark, gliding along...

Our instructor Brian is the specter looming
in the background on the right.

To read about where we were diving go to...
Rainbow River State Park

To read about the place we got our training, go to...

Big thanks too go out to our instructor Brian (equal parts dry humor, patience, and serious-business instruction -- what's not to like?), owner Joyce (my mermaid sister in a past life I'm sure), and the very professional crew at Narcosis Scuba. They all really helped make it a fabulous Fiftieth!

Tomorrow we stop at the Dahli Museum on our way to the airport. So I thought I'd toss in a little underwater Dahli to close-out this post...