As I was driving home the other day, the passenger's seat piled high with bags of rice noodles, soy and fish sauce, coconut milk, and other goodies from my quarterly trip to the Asian supermarket (stocking up for light summer Thai soups & curries!), I began reflecting on the peculiar pleasure that comes from shopping.

We all know it's fun to shop - heck, some even call it "retail therapy" it feels so good! Sure, there are some people who go overboard with it - even becoming "addicted" to shopping. (And I'm not making light of that at all - it can be a very dangerous problem that can get people into a lot of financial trouble.) And in some cases there are deeper psychological issues at work. But in general, we all just like to shop!

So why is that, exactly? What is it about spending money or buying "stuff" that gives us that little jolt, or "rush" if you will, of satisfaction?

Sometimes it can seem like the world is too large (and messed up) for one person to ever really make a difference. War, famine, poverty, natural disasters - how are we really supposed to change anything - and should we even try?

The media bombards us with more bad news daily, until we start to feel like we don't even want to hear about the world's problems anymore - it's all too much to deal with.

But what if things really aren't as bad as we think? What if, instead of getting worse, going downhill, going "to hell in a handbasket," things are actually getting better? And what if it's up to each one of us, as individuals, innovators, thinkers, and doers, to make a difference each and every day, that adds up to a new and better world in the long run?

This is the subject of a really interesting book I'm currently reading, called "Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think."

While there are many parts of the book that I don't agree with (particularly on the topics of food and medicine, where the book seems to be leading in the direction of more automation, less personal attention, and more artificial foods made in a lab - ummm...yuck), there is no denying that a lot of progress is being made in a number of areas which can potentially solve many of the world's problems.

Cancer quiz
As you might expect, I'm subscribed to a LOT of health newsletters. Not only so I can keep abreast of the latest in natural health news (and bring it to you), but I also have a great (almost insatiable) love of learning, and I know there is always more out there for me to learn - especially when it comes to the growing field of natural health!

Lately, I kept seeing emails promoting this "cancer quiz" over and over. At first I just deleted them, thinking it was some sort of scammy promotion. But eventually, curiosity got the better of me, and I checked it out - especially since one of the senders is someone whose materials I normally really like and trust.

It turns out that it is actually being sponsored by a really cool organization called "Quest for the Cures," and their cancer-related website and informational video, The Truth About Cancer, which provides all sorts of interesting information and resources about cancer, the search for a cure, and natural cancer treatments that show potential.

Spring gardenIt already looks like a garden...
though a weedy one.
It's been a while since my last homesteading update, so I thought I'd do a quick one today - not much to share so far, as spring has been dragging its feet....  We started off March in the 70's and everything went nuts, and then for the past few weeks it has been a lot cooler - so cool, in fact, that last night it snowed (hopefully the last snow of the season!) - and we woke up this morning to a dusting of white on the green, green grass.

I had meant to get my potatoes planted this weekend, but as the lows this week are predicted to be in the 20's again, I'm waiting another week just to be safe. Nonetheless, the garden already is looking beautiful (though I may be a bit biased!  :-) 

I picked up some organic potting soil today, and indoor seed planting will be underway this week, despite the chilly temps outdoors. I'm so excited to get things growing!

Here are some springtime pics from around the homestead. The daffodils have been beautiful, with even more blooming than last year, but unfortunately it seems a wascally wabbit has discovered the tulips, and eaten the buds and stalks all the way to the ground - along with many of the leaves off my strawberry plants!