Hello it’s Weekend Meanderings time with Elizabeth and Juliet. Before I can have our regular happy weekend chat, I have talk about this week’s heartbreaking shooting in Texas.
Ending Gun Violence
If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my rant here that went along with this very truthful quote.
This calls bullshit on the ridiculous narrative Republicans and the NRA give as reasons for gun violence in this nation. It’s never guns, oh no it’s mental health epidemic and poor family values and violent video games. Yes those things are an issue, but every other nation in the world has these too- AND NO MASSACRES, no school shootings, not daily deaths by guns in the hundreds!
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out guns are why we alone as a nation have these horrors and are told we must live with??! Other nations have common sense gun laws and their citizens don’t have to worry about dying in the grocery store or have their child come home in body bag.
America has more than 400 million guns more than any other nation in the world and that is one third of all the guns on the planet. Just think about that for a moment. We are less than 5% of the world’s population.
What we need to stop gun violence
First we need leaders to call for change and people to vote for gun control candidates and that seems to be Democrats. So far I have yet to know a Republican calling for ANY gun reform. Correct me if I am wrong.
Universal background checks across all states in one nationwide database maintained by law and all gun sales and interactions must be reported.
All automatic war weapons must go away for private citizens. Yep that’s the AR-15.
Nationwide red flag laws that prevent dangerous people from buying weapons.
Online gun sales and gun shows need to go.
You must prove you can own a gun responsibly and pass a series of safety tests and checks, and have a damn waiting period and get recommendations by two others ( done in many countries), that you can be trusted to own a gun.
Make ammunition hared to get and trackable. Ammunition is not covered by the second amendment bullshit either.
We need to untether the nation to ‘Second Amendment’ an old antiquated piece of legislation that the gun lobby uses to get more guns into the hands of everyone. We need to re-educate our nation to see how this amendment was used for fear mongering by the NRA.
We must outlaw the marketing of guns to young children, men in particular, just as we did with cigarettes. Read this article in our Mercury News on a new California law being crafted to stop this. Do you know there are actually manufacturers making guns for small children that look like AR-15s? It’s a real company located in Utah and called Wee Tactical and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a more evil thing. We can and must stop this garbage.
How we can help
Help by donating to people who are for gun reform and get in touch with your senators. If that seems too daunting, Everytown for Gun Safety will send letter for you to your senator asking them to take action on Gun violence on this link. You only need to fill out your email and name and address so they know you are a constituent. Get informed and find out where every single candidate on your ballot stands on gun reform, then vote accordingly.
Everytown is the largest grassroots group working to end violence in the United States with over 7– chapters and 8 million people. It’s a network of citizens that include a students, mayors, and a survivors network. They work to help elect candidates that want gun reform, help craft stronger laws, hold elected official accountable, change how America thinks about gun violence, and register voters. I have given many times to this great organization and done marches. Right now Mike Bloomberg is tripling all donations through May 31, so your donation can have a bigger impact. You can donate here and help volunteer and attend events or join a chapter here.
Beto O’Rourke is currently running for the Texas governor against Greg Abbott who is one of the worst offenders in enabling gun violence. I plan on donating to Beto, who is one of the few who has stood up to Abbott to call out the false claims that guns are making us safer. He is a great one to donate to here or to help his campaign you can even text people from your home from another number ( my friend has done this and she says it’s not bad and a way you can give an hour or less a day helping.)
The Brady Campaign has the best list of who is getting NRA money and a button to Tweet them here.
Excellent places to give and help end gun violence:
Giffords Center to Fight Gun Violence
Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence
Now to the rest of my post..
Why not picnic this Memorial Day weekend?
With the sadness of the world this week, it’s nice to get out of the house and be in nature. It’s healing and I can’t recommend a hike, walk, or bike ride, and picnic enough. It’s a break from the usual Memorial Day BBQ too. I recently found this cute picnic hamper at Homegoods and it inspired me to pull a little picnic together. ( I also found these cute burlap flags on wooden sticks 4 for $14 at Pottery Barn here.)
By the way Pottery Barn has some darling table looks now for Memorial and July Fourth here. I particularly love the bunting they have. ( Truthfully I’m not feeling so patriotic this weekend.)
Back to the picnic… Max and I usually run by our local market and grab hummus, crackers, some fruit and a few cheeses. Sometimes the best lunches are just PB&J sandwiches and leftovers in the frig. To be honest, it’s a small effort, but it feels special having it outdoors, in nature and away from phones, etc.
I wrote about this picnic idea last year, which includes a cold pasta salad and baguette sandwiches with pink lady apples and it links to some other blogger’s picnic ideas too.
I have The Picnic book and I love it! So many fun ideas to try and pretty illustrations, good recipes and inventive ways to use the picnic theme in entertaining. This book is a keeper and one of my go-tos for inspiration every summer!
I like to make the picnic pretty with a nice blanket or throw, cloth napkins, real silverware, plates and glasses. I just use older ones so if they break it’s not the end of the world. It’s also a lot greener. I just wrap it all up after in the blanket and wash up at home.
Some of our favorites to include in a picnic..
World Market Sparkling Strawberry Basil French Soda , Rosemary Crackers, or an artisan salami, or this vegan fig salami, Tony’s Chocolonely Dark Sea Salt Bar which is fantastic with clementines or oranges (especially in winter) or apricots. Packing in a few home made cookies or a blondie bar is nice.
I was unable to find my picnic basket online at Homegoods, but you may be able to in store. There is also this picnic basket by Studio McGee here at Target. Just having a basket ready to go is going to motivate you to do it! This could be cute storage when you’re not using it too.
What’s Gaby Cooking’s 55 Recipes for Memorial Day & Summer
Gaby is a California girl and one of my favorite chefs and her cookbook and Instagram is loaded with delicious and easy recipes that always are a hit in my house. Right now she has 55 Recipes for Memorial Day on her site. If you are entertaining at home this list is a great resource and one to keep on hand for all summer long. Each idea is linked to one of her recipes like this lovely Summer Charcuterie Board...
Lunch at Elizabeth’s Villa
The highlight of my week was a lunch at lovely Contessa’s home with a few other pals Heidi and Juliet. I call it a villa because but it really looks like one inside and outside! If you follow her blog, you know she lives a special existence, surrounded by beauty and antiques and sweet pets.
Don’t you love her dress? It’s by Daughter’s of India.
It was a warm day and we didn’t want Elizabeth to cook, so my Make Mine a Spritzer pal Juliet brought sandwiches, Heidi our artist friend brought a wonderful salad with citrus and avocado and Elizabeth made a pretty pavlova. I was not allowed to bring anything… So I think I will host next time! Below a few photos of her lovely yard and the girls.. We had another birthday cake for Heidi as Elizabeth missed her other celebration in the city. I’ll share more tomorrow on my Instagram story!
If you are intrigued, one of my most popular blogs is Elizabeth (aka Contessa) as my subject on Californians at Home, which you can read and see more of her unique home here.
College kid’s room refresh
I’m so excited to have Griffin back from college in Utah and as predicted the house looks like a bomb hit it with all his things, and he’s had bunch of friends here, but I’m kind of loving it.
Right before he came home, his room was looking a bit sad and sparse and I’ve kind of ignored it since he’s been away, so I thought it would be fun to spiff it up and also make a little collage on the wall for him. He’s planning on ordering a new desk too, which I will share later. I found a few pieces of art here and there at Homegoods and used a nature theme as he’s our outdoor hiking, backpacking, camping guy. I also had an original piece of art from my friend Heidi (the blue palm trees), and an older beach print. I added a snake plant in a basket to fill in the blank wall a bit too. It was kind of fun and when he got home he said he loved it. I was relieved..as you never know with this age!
Non-Toxic Garden Pest Sprays
I mentioned on last week’s gardening post that I use a homemade spray for garden pests. A few asked how I do it. You can make these so easily with a empty spray bottle. I do one cup of white vinegar to three cups of water and a small squirt of gentle dish soap like Dawn. Shake well and spray directly on the plant.
The British Homes & Gardens has this same recipe and a few more to try on this post. They say you can add a sprig of Rosemary or lemon peel to counteract the strong vinegar smell if you are using this indoors.
It’s so nice to use organic in the yard and you’ll see a lot more frogs and salamanders and other good guys that eat bugs, but are harmed by regular fertilizers and garden sprays for weeds!
Well that’s my meanderings for this week now please go see what thoughts and ideas my friends Elizabeth and Juliet have for you..
PINECONES AND ACORNS
MAKE MINE A SPRITZER
Wishing you all a peaceful weekend and thanks for listening,
If you missed last week’s blog there were tips on starting a tomato garden, a great desk chair for back support, a hike and lunch spot near Stanford University, an inspiring front house makeover and a great white jean. You can catch that post here.
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