Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

I am always watching what I eat - for health reasons and as part of my concerns as an environmentalist.

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to start out my day with something that would go down smooth with plenty of nutrients in it -- and a good taste.

I've mentioned before about getting fresh fruit from a local orchard - fresh-picked off the trees.

I usually eat fruit in the morning and I decided to make it into something drinkable.

So, after checking around, mostly on the Internet, for what the portions of different ingredients should be to make a good smoothie -- and some experimentation -- I have come up with the following recipe for a good-tasting healthy smoothie. I add in a bunch of stuff because they are healthy, but they are optional for just making a smoothie and they will be in parentheses ( ).


-- 1 cup chopped frozen fruit - your choice (mine now is frozen fresh-picked!)
-- 1 or 2 ice cubes - how much depends on how thick you want it
-- equivalent of 2-6 teaspons of non-calorie sweetner - I use the herb stevia, which is naturally sweet
-- splash of unsweetend fruit juice
-- 1/2 cup unsweetened organic soy milk - or any lowfat milk of your choice
(equivalent of 1 ice cube of frozen lowfat plain yogurt)
(splash of Aloe Vera Juice)
(1/2 packet of Emergen-C)
(1 serving of a protein shake)

Put all of the above in a blender - chop, blend and liquefy until everything frozen is liquefied.

I'll be honest -- depending on what I put in, in what amounts, it comes out different thickenesses each day, but boy is it delicious and it goes down so-o-o-o smooth and good!!

If you've got a blender, smoothies are easy to make, even if you are in a hurry. I always put in the 1/2 packet of Emergen-C, which insures some really good nutrients. So does the organic soy milk, the aloe vera juice and the protein shake - because my protein shake mix powder is full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (NSI Gluco-Power Shake available on

But do it like you want it!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

There are quite a variety of styles or methods of crochet.
A few years ago, I found out about a method of crochet that actually combines crocheting with weaving.
It is called CELTIC WOVEN CROCHET (as I have seen anyway).
Here is an example of a simple one motif piece in cotton yarn that is big enough to be a small hotpad, trivet or big coaster.
With Celtic Woven Crochet, you crochet two or even three pieces, then you layer them in a certain order and crochet the pieces together with a border.
In this piece, there are two pieces crocheted together with quite an elaborate border.
Here is the front, with has a center with 6 petals in ecru yarn:
Of course, to get the right effect, you must use different, contrasting colors of yarn.
The contrasting border which is crocheting the 2 pieces together is a twisted yarn made up of 3 strands of cotton crochet thread - one strand green, one strand yellow and one strand orange - with inverted loops.
I like this pattern - it is using just the basic crochet stitches to make something a bit different!!
Then I crocheted an edging in ecru yarn.
As the center is actually 2 pieces crocheted together, the back looks different:
The "back" looks like a 6-pointed ecru star with a smaller star in the green-yellow-orange yarn in the middle. This looks nice, too, but I prefer the "front".
You can do a number of motifs and crochet them together to make any number of things:
a placemat
a tablecloth
an afghan
a sweater.
I have even done these patterns in finer crochet thread making little coasters and then crocheting several motifs together to make a doily.
One time I did a motif in 3 colors and crocheted it inside a hoop to make a wall-hanging!!
These last things were either sold or given away years ago.
If you like graphic designs with contrasting colors, Celtic Woven Crochet is a fun way way to make some beautiful designs!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

All of us are concerned about drinking water that is healthy for us.

Drinking water that has toxins and/or chemicals or parasites in it can cause us health problems.

For years, many have thought that the answer was bottled water -- either mountain spring water or distilled water, but this involves the manufacturing and shipment of millions or billions of plastic bottles. This manufacturing and shipping of these bottles, even if they are recycled repeatedly many times, results in carbon emitting activities,which is not good for our environment or us - AND THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES!!

A much better solution, which I find very workable, is to have a water filter on my kitchen sink faucet which filters out much more I believe that the bottled waters have filtered out -- and use a reusable water bottle whenever you go out.

My current reusable water bottle is a metal one with a screw-on top, which I have found works much better than any plastic bottle I have ever had, even the reusable plastic bottles. In the summer, when I had it in my rolling backpack, it kept quite cool and it holds enough of the filtered water so that I always had some when I was thirsty -- and with the screw-on top, it doesn't leak!!!!

And knowing what my own water filter at home filters out, I have the peace of mind knowing that it is quite healthy water.

You see, I have seen the charts published about the bottled waters and I am doubtful that some of them are even healthy -- and may be less healthy than some tap waters, so I always worry about what is really in that bottle of water on the store shelf.

Also, you can find bottles with filters built on them. There is a variety of them on the Internet if you search.

So, I have made the pledge to Break the Bottled Water Habit.

See the badge here on my blog.

Through the website,, you can get a lot of information about reusable water bottles, even some with their own filters -- and they have links to information about water filters for your home.

I would say that drinking healthy water is very important -- don't assume that bottled water is healthy -- get a water filter that you know filters out chemicals and toxins and use your own reusable water bottle -- for your own peace of mind!!!!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

Doing crafts is something I enjoy doing a lot.

I've been doing them since I was a little girl.

Making the set of Oak Leaves in fall colors was a lot of fun - especially when they were done and I could see how beautiful they were in the DMC Pearl Cotton I made them in!!

Each leaf, though based on the same charted design, came out a little different.

These particular colors of thread can only be found in DMC Pearl Cotton:

color 51 - yellows, golds and reds
color 922 - light copper
color 90 - yellows, golds and oranges
color 111 - browns and golds.


The colors are part of what makes it so fun!!.

These FALL OAK LEAVES are in my etsy shop:

You can also find some of the threads in my crochet shop:


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

In an earlier post, I mentioned "Biodiversity Offsets".

Well, there are also "Carbon Offsets" --this is where to offset something you do in your life that puts a lot of carbon in the atmosphere (like take a long airline flight which puts a lot of carbon in the atmosphere and adds to greenhouse gases), you make a donation to something to offset that that is supposed to remove the carbon from the atmosphere.

The question is -- is this working and how can you make sure your carbon offset donation will actually do that - offset the carbon?

Well, The Nature Conservancy has some help on this!!

An article on their website answers some key questions on this issue and gives some good advice on how to make sure you are donating to something that will really be a carbon offset.

They have a huge website, so here is the direct link to the article:

Good reading - I was glad I found it!! Bill Stanley has some very useful information!

I think carbon offsets are really good things and can be really important.

Speaking of which -- Plant A Billion Trees in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil could use some more donations. Once those trees are planted and as long as they take hold -- I believe they are there to stay!!

Here's to the trees!!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Commenting on 2 National Public Lands - Giant Sequoia National Monument and Yosemite National Park

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items
RSS Designs Wearable - Internet Shop of Wearable Items
RSS Crochet Thread Plus - Internet Shop of Crochet Thread

Our public lands at all levels -- local, state, federal -- are managed through legal, government planning processes resulting in planning documents, sometimes called Management Plans -- and are very often very complex and complicated -- especially for the average public person who visits these public lands.

Fortunately, we have quite an extensive public lands system in the United States -- including in my home state of California.

In my blog here, I have written about my feelings about protecting ecosystems.

Us humans need to learn to live on this planet and protect it - and the only way to do this is with current scientific analysis to dertermine what the ecosystems on this planet can handle in terms of impact -- and how much protection and restoration they may need to be healthy lands/waters.

Many people have written about this - Aldo Leopold, John Muir, David Brower, Loren Eisley, Thoreau - as well as the spriritual and personal benefit us humans get just from experiencing wilderness areas and other areas of healthy lands.

Right now, within the last 30 days, I have read 2 different websites, downloaded documents, made comments on two nationally recognized public lands:

1. The Giant Sequoia National Monument
2. Yosemite National Park Tuolumne River Meadows Planning.

I commented on both within a comment period.

But the websites are still there - you can still get on mailing lists - and you can read the information for yourself if you would like to.

For the Giant Sequoia National Monument, I would like to give you 2 web addresses:
B. - this is for actually reading documents, including the Presidential Proclamation and Science Advisory Board Advisories and making comments online!!

For Yosemite National Park and the planning process going on regarding Tuolumne River Meadows, go to: -- then click on Management (lefthand menu), then click on Park Planning (lefthand menu), then find the 2008 Tuolumne Planning Workbook and comment form.

These are both planning processes going on for popular national public lands that have gone on for years and will be continuing with more comment periods.

Contribute to the public lands you are interested in -- they are public lands and you can make comments as a public person on how you think they should be run!!

Also, I would like to give credit and thanks to John Buckley and his staff at the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) in Twain Harte, CA (just west of the northern part of Yosemite National Park) for their coverage in an excellent newsletter of what is going on with Yosemite National Park and the different planning and ecological issues. You can see what they are doing in that area of the Sierra Nevada at their website: Their phone number is (209) 586-7440. I have known of this center for years and I think they are making a valuable contribution to environmental activities, education and ecological restoration in their area!!

Also, keep in mind that the whole Sierra Nevada is a Biodiversity Hotspot of global significance - and Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument are ecosystems within it and are ecologically globally significant themselves. So whatever you do to help protect these parks/ecosystems, it should help the whole planet. (My references on this come from Conservation International,