Get there safely

Denver International Airport Sign, Terminal C, 2011
This sign surprised me and got me thinking about planning for the unexpected.

Along with Baggage Claim and Gate listings, I would expect to see Ground Transportation, Taxi/Shuttles/Transit. I would expect to get directions to the Restrooms, First Aid/Medic, even Police or Emergency stations. But I would not expect Tornado Shelter as a 1-line option on these signs. 

Since tornadoes aren't part of my basic weather consciousness, seeing a "tornado shelter" called-out next to the usual suspects teased my anxiety, rather than prompt my sense of preparedness.

It left me wanting a follow-up on the topic so that I could learn about incidences and specifics of tornadoes in Denver, and parse the level of risk associated with a trip through Denver International.



Blog Action Day 2011: Clagett Farm, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Since 2007, Blog Action Day has focused bloggers around the world to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change and poverty. This year Blog Action Day is focused on the topic of food.
(This photo via absentmindedprof on Flickr)
Yesterday we traveled out to Clagett Farm, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's working farm and education center, for a day of service.

Clagett Farm is a 285-acre historic tobacco farm 12 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and six miles west of Maryland’s Patuxent River (just outside Upper Marlboro, MD). A living model of environmentally sustainable farming practices, the farm's landscape is covered with 20 acres of organic vegetables, clover, and grass pastures for beef cattle, as well as 60 acres of forest.

Our chores included removing hundreds of yards of drip tape from a crop field and disposing it; harvesting the last remaining green, yellow, and purple beans; and weeding 200+ native tree and shrub nursery pots.  The work was moderately intense - the heavy-weeding especially -- but all three tasks were good for  mixed ages looking to explore farming life through physical work.

Yesterday's service also reminded me that the range of choices we have when it comes to food in America is astounding when compared to so many other countries or regions.  We can lose sight of our advantages while working hard to improve the problems surrounding mass production, food safety, urban food advocacy and malnutrition. 

Choosing to eat life-supporting foods and feeling gratitude for that food is a habit, and a single visit to a farm will not instill this habit in our hearts and minds.  But my belief is that a day of hard work on a farm can contribute to the ongoing dialog we have at home. Plus, it's fun.

The kids are tomorrow's growers, buyers, parents and advocates. They need to taste the differences for themselves. It's a simple path, but not one that is always easy to follow.

Coco's weekly meal plan: Kid tested!


Visual health safari - Chinatown, San Francisco

Yesterday morning I took a long walk around San Franscisco, looking for new examples of health messages.  At the end of my route, as I walked back toward my hotel in Union Square, I meandered along Washington Street. From there I was swept up into a busy Sunday morning in Chinatown.  

First look: Colorful, aromatic, busy, ancient environment
One of the coolest things I checked out was this busy Apothecary.  Don't miss the shot of the Chinese doctor in the back of the shop. Too bad my iPhone couldn't capture the earthy aroma of the herbs... 

Herbalists mix tonics for clients waiting with prescriptions.

Hundreds of herbs are stored in the small drawers behind the counter.
Each herb is carefully weighed.

The doctor consults with patients out in the open, in back. $12 for a consultation.


Walking the Walk

It's been more than a year since I've posted.  This year has been tremendous.
  • It was a year for listening.
  • A year for witnessing.
  • A year for loss.
  • A year for compromise.
  • A year for very hard work.
  • A year to love.
Ted Eytan, MD (who accuses me weekly of hoarding what he views are Tweet-worthy thoughts) is someone everyone should get to know.  We love to laugh together and I like to share my whip-smartz on him from time to time. But he's been mad and wants to out more of my thoughts and takes on the world.  Someday he'll perceive the introvert in me and realize that my quietitude (I like that new word!) is less about hoarding than it is about feasting on the brilliance of those around me.

From time to time I did hold back, it's true. But it was merely a measure of self-preservation as the momentum of thoughts and ideas accelerated beyond capacity for me.

Throughout this year of listening, I've realized that there is often little to add to a conversation when it really takes flight, as much of our Health 2.0 convos have. We seeded them, they started to take off. It was amazing and I found that listening with an active mind was as delightful as joining the conversation most times. Have you ever played loud music when no one is home? It's a pure indulgence.

Ted's passion and work, the very way he walks the walk has been more than inspiring listening for me this year. And his signature social ease continues to be put to good use: I am nothing short of amazed by the amount of GOOD he, Holly Potter and Danielle Cass have accomplished at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health this year.

But there's another voice that's lifted this year. It's an advocate who approaches every speaking event as if she's a child jumping into a playground's fresh new sand box equipped with a couple of cool water features she's been given permission to try out.  I'm talking about Regina, of course.  She's archetypal; a wonderful balance of Mary and Martha, but someone who also possesses more than a dose of Wonder Woman's metal cuffs. (She loves Buffy, though.)  Either way, don't mess with her.

But, LISTEN to her. Listen to Regina's heart song...  The Holliday call is distinctive, like jazz. Soothing, like lullabies. BIG, like opera. And all her song ever asks of us is this: Respond. Share.  Play.

This year tested my strength and I came away knowing that I can accomplish a lot. Along the way I outgrew sharing my own story to a certain extent.  I put it into redevelopment :-) and moved into a my story is your story, and your story is my story kind of space that opens up a world more expansive and friendly.  There's a lot to cover here.

I'll continue to spot talent, to facilitate the spread of certain ideas, to clap and cheer for my team as we evolve.  We're here, we're there, we're here. It's a pleasure, really.  The connections to be made...and more.