Piggy Bank Goes Wee Wee Wee, All the Way to Plane Crash

July 11, 2011 at 5:12 am | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig Gift Ideas | 1 Comment
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Piggybank maker proudly showcasing his wares

Last weekend on the way to Sausalito for what turned out to be quite the adventure across the bay, I happened by a stand of piggy banks amongst the artisan street vendors across from the SF ferry building. After chatting with the bank maker, I bought one. Granted, it was my boyfriend Chris’s birthday, not mine, so buying myself a lil something did feel a bit…gauche, but the surprises I had in store for the birthday boy kept would-be pangs of guilt from emerging. And well, you know how it is. This little piggy bank really spoke to me:)

My new piggy bank

The bank was handmade by JONOVAN, sort of a grown-up version of paper mache, with thoughtfully placed funny pages decorating the outer shell of my new coin collector. And as a cute little touch, each JONOVAN bank comes with a (lucky?) penny in it.

If you want one of your own, simply email Don3Jon@aol.com or call 415-863-9384.

So what’s this you read about a plane crash? Well, after my spontaneous purchase, we hopped a ferry to Sausalito where a vintage 1908 tugboat awaited us. Part of the birthday surprise was that we would be bunking on a posh little tugboat overnight, after cruising Richardson Bay with captain David for a champagne sunset cruise.

Chris and I in front of the little tugboat that could

What I didn’t plan on was witnessing a small plane crash before our very eyes, or helping David and Chris pluck the plane pilot out of the cold bay as his airplane sunk, or having my photo of the plane end up on ABC. You can watch the whole story as told through pictures here.

What is the moral of this story? I have no idea. But I have a new piggy bank and my boyfriend got to feel like a hero on his birthday. All in all, a happy ending.

A Pig Stand-in Covers for Birthday Girl

June 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig Gift Ideas | Leave a comment
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Global Exchange staff with banana bread and pigs

I turned 41 a few Thursdays ago. I work for a human rights organization called Global Exchange on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays so on my birthday, I was elsewhere. Well, in my absence, my co-workers celebrated my birthday, sans moi.

They huddled around homemade banana bread with a candle on it (and bourbon, my fave, in it!) and used a little pig they borrowed from my desk to stand in for me (plus a pig pitcher also grabbed from my desk.) A video of the occasion showed up on my Facebook page that very same day, with the description “Global Exchange sings Happy Birthday Tex, featuring a candle-blowing pig (or two) in the role of Tex Dworkin.”

The mastermind behind this thoughtful act was my good pal Bergen. I’ve worked (and drank) with him on and off for years. What a peach. The next Monday I came into work and saw the email he sent out that started this plan into motion:

OK, so I just learned Tex isn’t here on Thursdays, but it IS her birthday, and she IS maybe my favorite person I’ve ever worked on a really, really hard project with (we built the gx online store together when we were kids)… SO……

I made banana bread with Jim Beam sauce and am putting birthday candles on it and am going to blow them out myself in the front of the office while drinking too much coffee. I have no idea if it tastes any good, but come’n’get it!
Love you Tex!
– in your absence, Bergen

I’m sharing this with you because it was such a thoughtful act, I felt I needed to tell someone. Thoughtful acts can really make someone’s day. On May 19th, my co-workers made mine. Thanks GXers, you’re all a bunch of peaches. Juicy, sweet peaches.

2010 Pig Lovers Gift Guide

December 16, 2010 at 4:10 am | Posted in Pig Gift Ideas | 3 Comments
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Do YOU know someone (besides me) who loves pigs? There are more of us than you might think. If you do and you haven’t gotten them a holiday gift yet, then terrific, you’ve come to the right place.

I guess since I created the first Pig Gift Guide last year, I can call this the 2nd Annual Pig Lovers Gift Guide. (Sounds so official, right?!)

Like last year, this guide focuses on presents with purpose…green gifts, handmade treasures, fair trade piggies. That sort of thing. No mass-produced pig gifts made in China here. Finding those is like finding….hay in a hay stack. You don’t need a gift guide for that.

Instead of wasting your money on cheapo products made in China of unsustainable materials, here are 3 Shopping Tips to pig shop with heart:

  • Grab an antique pig treasure from your local vintage shop.
  • Search the Fair Trade Federation’s list of business members who sell all sorts of socially responsible crafts
  • Visit Etsy and type in pig and pages upon pages of handmade, unique products pop up.

The bottom line: it’s not hard to shop with your conscience.

Oh, one more thing before we get to the Gift Guide. Bernie Sanders makes the point that buying mass produced products made in China is harmful to our economy, and thus American families. The Independent from Vermont grabbed people’s attention with his comment about China being our 51st state, a revelation he came to while holiday shopping with his wife.

I wonder what Bernie would say about uncommongoods.com, the Online Store whose tagline boasts “find anything but ordinary.” I visited their site while researching for this gift guide. When I entered “pig” a bunch of items that turned up were made, you guessed it, IN CHINA! Uncommon? I don’t think so. And a bit ironic given their tagline.

But I don’t mean to single them out. They do offer many responsibly-made products as well, including the pig weather vane below created by Pennsylvania artists Ben and Kate Gatski. And I’ll credit them this: at least they have the decency to list where most of their products are made. Now that IS uncommon.

So without further adieu….

Your 2010 Pig Lovers Gift Guide!

(Click on product picture to get to Where to Buy. If you get an error message, it is probably SOLD OUT. Or it just changed links.)

 

Piggy Potholders. Fair Trade + Practical = Perfect! http://www.globalexchangestore.org $9.95

Pig Weather Vane. Give someone more direction in their life. http://www.uncommongoods.com $160

Donate to Pigs Peace Sanctuary. In your pig lover's name. http://www.pigspeace.org Price: You choose

Terra Cotta Pig Dish. Fair Trade and made to serve. http://www.tenthousandvillages.com $16

3 Little Pigs Finger Puppet Set. Act the story out with kids. Or without kids. Whatever. http://www.lucuma.com $19.50

Piggy Bank. Saving can be fun. I swear! http://www.worldofgood.ebay.com $18.75

Pig Paper Clips. Keep it together folks. http://www.goodgiftsnaturally.com $17

 

Three Pigs Recycled Record Comb. It used to rock. Now it accessorizes. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tresijas $20

Humane Farming Association Greeting Cards. HFA rulz and so do their cards. http://www.hfa.org $10

Flying Pig Art Piece. I guess you could call it an extremely large paper weight. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Middleburg $58

 

Global Exchange Potholders

http://www.globalexchangestore.org/Pig-Potholders-p/thgp751p.htm

$9.95 Fair Trade + Practical = Perfect!

Donation to Pigs Peace Sanctuary

http://pigspeace.org/main/donate.html

Price: Your choice. Donate in someone’s name.

Ten Thousand Villages Pig Terra Cotta Dish

http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/terra-cotta-pig-dish

$16 Fair Trade and there to serve

Lucuma 3 Little Pigs Finger Puppet Set

http://www.lucuma.com/craft_gallery/p_USP303R.asp

$19.50 Act the story out with kids. Or without kids. Whatever.

Crossroads Trade Piggy Bank:

http://worldofgood.ebay.com/Fair-Trade-India-Piggy-Bank-Leather-Pig-Crossroads/230394685786/item

$18.75 Saving can be fun.

Three Pigs Recycled Record Comb

http://www.etsy.com/listing/24365051/three-pigs-recycled-record-comb?ref=sr_gallery_16&ga_search_query=pig+green&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title&filter%5B0%5D=handmade

$20 It used to rock. Now it accessorizes.

Pig Weather Vane

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/weather-vanes

$160 Give someone more direction in their life.

Humane Farming Association Greeting Cards

http://www.hfa.org/marketplace.html

$10 This organization rocks and so do their cards.

Pig Paper Clips

https://www.goodgiftsnaturally.com/index.php/default/pig-twirl-office-organizers.html

$17 Keep it together folks.

Farm Country Patchwork Pillow

http://www.etsy.com/listing/51597364/farm-country-patchwork-pillow?ref=sr_gallery_17&ga_search_query=pig+quilt&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade

$39

Pig Art

http://www.etsy.com/listing/58819026/flying-piggy-fabric-when-pigs-fly?ref=sr_gallery_35&ga_search_query=flying+pig&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=2&order=&includes[0]=tags&includes[1]=title&filter[0]=handmade

$58 It’s art. And it’s sooo cute. So there!

Woman Threatens to Shave Head to Save Pigs

May 25, 2010 at 6:32 am | Posted in Pig News, Pig Rescue Organizations, Pigs with Other Animals, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Pigs Peace Volunteer Donna with a pig friend

Forget bake sales and silent auctions, raffles and gala events. When it comes to non-profit fundraising, one animal activist has a different strategy; baldness.

Pig rescue organization volunteer Donna Gonder is offering to shave her head to raise funds for Pigs Peace Sanctuary, a non-profit safe haven for abandoned and abused pigs in Stanwood, WA. The rules are simple;

  • If Donna reaches her fundraising goal of $180,000, she will shave her entire head. First snip goes to whoever donates the most.
  • If Donna raises $20,000, an anonymous donor has agreed to match it with another $20k
  • If you donate $10,000+ Donna will let YOU shave her head. Pigs Peace reps assured me that if they receive more than one $10,000+ donation, they’ll happily seek out other heads to shave. (Um, not it.)

What would a pig rescue organization do with $180,000 dollars? I’ll get to that, but first, you may be wondering why there’s a need for a pig rescue organization. Because despite being blessed with the gift of common sense, many humans still believe there is such a thing as a full grown pig the size of a teacup. So they buy these “magic” pigs and abandon them once the reality of size sets in. Animal shelters won’t accept the unwanted pigs so voila..pig rescue organizations to the rescue!

Here are five quick facts about Pigs Peace Sanctuary:

  1. This organization really has its you-know-what together. Scratch that. That’s opinion, not fact.
  2. Pigs Peace Founder Judy

    Judy Woods (pictured left) founded Pigs Peace Sanctuary back in 1994, and they’ve been providing medicine, nutrition and care to its pigs ever since.

  3. You may find Judy’s son Nathan working at the Sanctuary; he comes across (in their documentary) as a compassionate vegetarian animal lover and a great son. Oh, AND he’s cute. What’s not to like?!
  4. Pigs Peace Sanctuary doesn’t just cater to pigs; they also cater to other abused animals including horses, dogs, llamas, cats and sheep.
  5. The sanctuary offers the public an opportunity to visit and learn about animals, farming, and the foods we eat. I’m glad someone is teaching our next generation about where their food comes from. (I met a 5 year old once who tried to convince me that there was in fact a fruit roll-up tree. Scary stuff.)

If this isn’t enough to impress you, then watch one of the Pigs Peace videos to see for yourself. There’s a 30 minute documentary and some shorter videos as well.

So about that $180,000. Pigs Peace Sanctuary will use the money to purchase more land for pigs to roam free, plus fund a new education center where people can learn about animals. Additional land would enable the sanctuary to hold fundraising events on site without disturbing the animals or wasting money on outside venue costs. As Donna explains, every single penny that comes in is used for the animals and educating the public on how wonderful these creatures really are.

If Pigs Peace Sanctuary had a dollar for every idiot who buys a cute tiny piglet thinking it would stay that way, perhaps they wouldn’t need creative fundraisers like Donna.

Animals are not the only ones who stand to gain if volunteer Donna reaches her fundraising goal. If she shaves her head, Donna plans to donate her hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

I don’t have a lot of blog readers (yet), so if you are in the minority and reading this, please consider donating as much as you can to help Pigs Peace Sanctuary buy land. Get to know them better by visiting their website. You’ll find profiles of the sanctuary pigs with photos and stories of how each one was found. Plus they do a great job of showcasing what it’s like to live (and visit) there.

Here’s how to donate if you know George Clooney:

Do you know George Clooney? He lost his beloved 18 year old pet pig Max back in 2006. (RIP Max.)  I assume George is loaded, and clearly he has good taste in pets, so I’m thinking he might be willing to donate to Pigs Peace Sanctuary in Max’s name (there’s a ‘donate in honor of a loved one‘ feature on the Pigs Peace website), so if you know George, do me a favor and pass this post on to him.

Here’s how to donate if you don’t know George Clooney or if you ARE George Clooney:

  1. Log onto http://pigspeace.org/main/donate.html
  2. Choose your donation amount and method (Check or Paypal)
  3. Write “head shaving” in the donation notes OR email atumnnn@gmail.com  a heads up (no pun intended) so they can keep track of all head shaving related donations

For questions or to help with this fundraising project, email pigheadedgirl@gmail.com or call (206) 289-0957.

Popular Blog Dogster Becomes Hogster?!

April 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Pig News, Pigs with Other Animals, Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Photo credit: Funnyanimalsite.com

So there’s gullible and then there’s what I am. What’s beyond gullible? Stupid? I don’t usually engage in public displays of self deprecation. I leave that to professionals like Conen O’Brian who do it for laughs. But in this case, I’m calling myself out. Here’s why:

About a month ago a friend forwarded me a blog post announcing that the popular dog lovers blog Dogster was switching formats completely. Instead of covering content that’s “up-to-dog about everything canine” they decided to re-focus their attention from dogs to hogs. Here’s an excerpt:

Dogsters, sit down. I have an announcement that might surprise some of you. Dogster will soon undergo a major change. Because of the growing popularity of pigs, Dogster is shifting direction and becoming Hogster.

Growing popularity of pigs.” Made sense to me!

I pride myself on being both a dog AND hog lover. (Exhibit A: I named my new puppy Wilbur.)

Wilbur the Puppy

But between the two, pigs are the clear underdogs, er, underhogs. So I was delighted by Dogster’s announcement. It’s about time pigs got the attention they deserved, I thought.

I shared the news with friends and loved ones, completely convinced of its authenticity and credibility. Next I planned to do a blog post about this exciting change to share with my small but dedicated readership. After re-reading the post I made my way to the Comments section:

Ha ha! Good one! Happy April Fool’s Day, everybody!

Nice try guys – but WE were not fooled. Happy April Fools day to you too!

You almost had me!!!

Almost had me, nice try, happy what day? It finally dawned on me; I had been had. 30+ commenters managed to figure out that this was just a roust. But me? My mother has repeatedly assured me that I do in fact have a very high I.Q. At that moment, I begged to differ.

To my defense, I read the blog announcement after April Fool’s Day, and didn’t think to check the date. But I’ll be the first to admit, that’s no excuse. If life is a competition, then let me graciously accept my loss by congratulating writer Maria Goodavage who penned (er, keyed?) the original post Dogster Becoming Hogster.  Whoever you are, wherever you are, you got me. You win.

Moving on, I searched for the silver lining in this dark cloud, and here’s what I found:  I didn’t publish a post about this exciting announcement before coming to my senses.(Consider yourself spared:) And who knows, perhaps this is just life’s way of telling us that someone SHOULD launch a hog blog for pig fans to network, share and learn. I can see it now. Hogster, up-to-hog about everything porcine. Any takers?

Miss Piggy & Kermit Longest Celebrity Romance

March 17, 2010 at 12:41 am | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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According to ROFLRAZZI blog, Kermit and Miss Piggy are officially the longest lived celebrity couple. Not bad considering over half of marriages end in divorce in the U.S.

In other news, my best friend Scotty J, accomplished rock poster artist, just did a screen-printed poster for the Muppet Movie showing at renowned San Francisco movie house The Red Vic. The poster kicks ass. My first instinct was to buy the whole lot of posters and wallpaper my entire cottage with them, but instead, I’m going to do the mature thing and have one framed, then place it prominently on my living room wall.

Check it out; you can purchase your very own from Scotty J’s website, while they last. (He only printed 100, and each one is signed and numbered.)

Have you seen the wedding of Kermit and Miss Piggy? What a hoot:

How Well Do My Friends and Family Follow Directions?

March 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig Gift Ideas | 4 Comments
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In 2009 I created my first Online Pig Gift Guide. It was a joy to put together, because it helped me absorb the sensational pig finds, without actually having to own them, thus keeping the chaos of clutter at bay. An excerpt from the guide stipulated:

Despite constantly reminding friends and loved ones that I am not actively seeking to add to my overly abundant pig collection, I receive numerous pig related gifts each holiday. The caveat I’ve placed on receiving pig gifts is this: if it has a practical use or is a vintage find with lots of character, I’m willing to make exceptions:)

So did friends and family adhere to the aforementioned ground rules? As my pig blog readership grows (to a whopping 10 people and counting) I figured you, my loyal readers, deserved to know. So here goes:

During the 2009 holiday season I received the following items from friends and family:

  1. 1 Pig Hat, wool with fleece lining (that’s me above sporting it; I can relate to The Christmas Story scene when the kid wears the bunny suit)
  2. 1 Pig Steamer that fits on top of pots to let steam out (through the 2 pig nostrils, of course)
  3. Porkchops (they’re punny chopsticks with pigs on them)
  4. A pig t-shirt (extra points for organic cotton and local artist-designed)
  5. Pig Cutting Board (made of a sustainable wood = a definite plus)
  6. A Vintage Pig Figurine (love it!)
  7. A farmer pig decorative item from a local second-hand shop (2nd hand shop items=cool, less crap being added to the world)
  8. A pig ice-cream scooper (my second one, shhh!)
  9. A pig umbrella (garners much attention on the streets of San Francisco)
  10. Reusable pig shopping tote bag (I use this bag almost every day when I go to the produce market)
  11. Book The Whole Hog: Exploring the Extraordinary Potential of Pigs by Lyall Watson. This was actually his last published book, according to Wikipedia. R.I.P. Lyall!

Did these gifts meet the criteria set forth in the original blog post? You be the judge.

Do you see now why I have more pigs in my life than I know what to do with? I’m almost 40. That’s 40 birthdays, 40 holidays, and 40 National Pig Days x 11 pig gifts. You do the math.

The word gluttonous comes to mind. Pigs are not gluttonous, G-d no. I’m talking about myself. One definition of gluttonous: greedy; insatiable.

Ahhh, yes. Insatiable. That is the word I would use to describe my pig habit. No quantity of socially responsible-made pig products and vintage finds will fill me up. It’s an appetite that never goes away.


Happy Thankspigging

November 26, 2009 at 7:18 am | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig Gift Ideas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s Thankspigging time, and I’m giving thanks for 4 things that made me smile this year. Oh, and I promise, no more puns.

1) I love Queen + I love the Muppets = I LOVE this video!          

2009 Fair Trade Calendar

2) This year I volunteered to help put together the first annual Fair Trade calendar. 100% of proceeds benefit the Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade Resource Network, two great organizations working hard to promote Fair Trade and educate consumers about the importance of ethical shopping. Thousands of copies are now on sale nationwide.

The best part? Since I dedicated so much of my own time to this project, I felt justified in sneaking my favorite holiday in; National Pig Day March 1st. (It’s also my Mom’s birthday.)

3) Despite some pretty serious close calls this year, my dog Henry is alive at 15. Here he is resting comfortably on my homemade pig & cow quilt given to me by KCBS anchorwoman Rebecca Corral.

Henry rests comfortably on pig quilt.

4) I bought a certain someone his first piggy bank this year. Welcome to the world, Henry Shaw Gelbach!

Happy Thankspigging everyone!!!

Pig Gift Guide 2009

November 22, 2009 at 1:06 am | Posted in Pig Gift Ideas, Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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It’s holiday shopping season, in case you haven’t noticed. Below are some pig-themed gift suggestions to help you serve the needs of your swine loving pals.

In lieu of collecting these pig finds myself, I’m hoping that sharing them with you will help purge my need to actually own them.

Friends and family, please note: This is not my holiday wish list. Those who don’t know me, here’s the deal: Despite constantly reminding friends and loved ones that I am not actively seeking to add to my overly abundant pig collection, I receive numerous pig related gifts each holiday. I’m sure you fellow pig collectors can relate.

The caveat I’ve placed on receiving pig gifts is this: if it has a practical use (like the hand-blown glass pig vase my friend Laird hand delivered to me last week) or is a vintage find with lots of character, I’m willing to make exceptions:)

Side note: I realize that my caveat is rarely adhered to, as reflected in the glutinous assembly of pig tchotchkes in the creaks and crevices of my too-small cottage.

Check out these unique pig gifts, and if you find others, share them in the comments field. I’m sure my 5 blog readers will appreciate the recommendation:)

Pig earphones. Talk about practical! http://www.spoonsisters.com $12.95

Set of Mini Pig Notecards. Say what? http://www.etsy.com $3.25 for 5

Fair Trade crocheted pig. Designed and handmade by a Mom in Thailand. http://www.globalexchangestore.org $18.50

Fair Trade Piggy Bank. Pottery crafted by artisans in Chili. http://www.tenthousandvillages.com $16.00

Pig Pals Infant Outfit. Profits go to Pig Pals Sanctuary, a non-profit dedicated to the long term care of pigs. http://www.cafepress.com/pigpals $11.99

Organic cotton stuffed pig toy. Hand-sewn fabric scraps, filled with recycled fiber & eco-friendly dyed. http://www.kidbean.com $15.00

Veg Starter Kit. Encourage friends and family to Go Veg. http://www.farmusa.org FREE!

Flying Pig Art Sculptor. Made of recycled parts by artist Fred Conlon. http://www.snappyturtletrading.com $165.99

Vegetable-based Pig Soap. These “Trois Petite Cochons” come in a handmade gift box. http://www.uncommongoods.com Set of three $20.

The Humane Farming Association T-shirt. A great organization to support! www. hfa.org $12.00

 

Set of Mini Pig Notecards. Say what? http://www.etsy.com $3.25 for 5

My Green Eyed Pig

August 22, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Posted in My Pig Collection, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
In the morning with my Green Eyed Pig

In the morning with my Green Eyed Pig

Check out the newest addition to my pig collection. It’s a handmade crocheted pig I found on Etsy. It’s really well made and full of character. The maker? Marie Segares, Proprietress of The Underground Crafter. She’s been crocheting for 25 years!

Marie is a Craft Yarn Council of America Certified Crochet Instructor and Certified Crochet Teacher.  She specializes in teaching individual and small group crochet classes for beginner and intermediate students.  So if you’re in the New York City area and want to learn how to crochet, well, you know where to look!

In addition to teaching, Marie makes handmade items like my green eyed pig and sells them on Etsy. She also does special orders on commission.

I’m a huge fan of handmade items, and it’s always nice to find people making a living doing what they love. Go Marie! If you or anyone you know is a handmade entrepreneur, check out my other blog DoGoodBiz.com, a place for fans of socially responsible business to learn and get inspired.

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