The Car Insurance Experiment


Photo by Eat Pomegranate Photography


Car Free for a Month

Deciding to go carless usually is not a very common thing to do in Michigan. That whole unpredictable weather situation was also something to consider. Still, I decided to live car-free for four whole weeks, which then turned into nine weeks of adventure and realization.

As it was, I had a trip scheduled for a few weeks during Christmas break, so the decision to halt my car insurance was a little easier to make. I learned that my insurance company would put a hold on my car insurance for a period of time, and then restore it when I decided to reinstate it. All it took was a simple, “Hi Janet, could you take the insurance off my car starting in December?” She happily responded with, “Sure thing, but we will keep the ‘storage’ coverage active (i.e. if a tree falls on it, or that tornado rips through town). Call us when you want it back on.” Simple. But then, the realization that now it was illegal to drive my car hit me.

Continue reading


Educate. TEDxLansing And CCFF April 13, 2012

Educators. We regulate the stealing of ignorance. We damn good, too. But you can’t be any geek off the street*. Gotta be handy with the learnin’. You know what I mean? Earn your keep…

You know you’ve felt it. That moment when something in your brain just clicks. You get goosebumps, you’re flooded with adrenalin, and you just can’t keep the smile off your face. If you haven’t felt that? Go learn something. Right now. YouTube will do. Anything. What are you interested in? What don’t you know? Because you know there’s something you don’t know. Go learn it, then come back here and tell me how it felt. If you said, “Dude, it was lame and I didn’t feel anything,” I’ll know you’re lying. Or that you searched for something you’re not passionate about. Because, really, that’s what learning is about. Passion. And, as you’ll read in the article that follows, Kleenex.

Continue reading


Loving, Living and Leaving Lansing: Week 1

Dearest Lansing Collective readers,

I’m equally sad and excited to announce my impending departure. I have been loving and living in Lansing since August 2010 and in this brief time, I have been blessed to be in a city beaming with genuine and committed residents.

I’ve accepted a job offer and am relocating to Austin, Texas. That’s right, I’m heading down South, where everything is bigger, but not necessarily better than Lansing.

From the time I accepted this new opportunity, every moment has been one of gratitude and reflection. I wish that during all points in my life I could say I have felt truly grateful, but self-imposed busyness can get in the way, and I’ll be the first to admit that I allow myself to forget all the amazing people and things I experience in life.

Continue reading


Everybody Eats!

I am a foodie.

If you know me in person, you probably recognize that. And if you are a blog reader who has read any of my past posts, you most likely have picked up on that as well.

I was not always a foodie, however. I grew up on a diet of meat and potatoes, refusing to try anything green, spicy or ethnic. Seriously, as a kid, eating a taco was a very big deal. It really was not until six or seven years ago that I began experimenting with my taste palate and discovered my love for Indian food, sushi, spinach, mushrooms and various produce.

Then, four years ago, after much research and thought, I decided to go vegetarian, which forced me to look into new protein sources; thus opening my eyes to the world of beans, tofu, tempeh and nuts! I had to find a new way to make a “go-to” meal upon arriving home from a ten to twelve hour day of organizing (this time period was during my Union organizing days!) that replaced my frozen chicken breast on the George Foreman grill with something else just as protein-rich and filling. I would peruse various cookbooks, complete online recipe searches, and wander the aisles of Horrock’s looking for new items to try and new ways to combine some of my favorite foods to create a meal with extraordinary flavors- meals that would not only fuel my body but bring enjoyment while eating. I started to host dinner parties to test out some of my new culinary creations and began to appreciate the dishes I ordered at restaurants more than I had when I was ordering the standard cheeseburger at the nearby chain. Continue reading


All we need is self-love.

It has officially been one week since my return to Lansing from a much needed week of vacation in Santa Barbara, California. After a week of catching up in the office, jumping into a social calendar filled with holiday parties, celebrating friends’ birthdays and trying to get back into a routine, I am able to say that I am still feeling the inner peace, happiness and sense of calm that a week ocean-side brought me. Now, before you start thinking “who does this woman think she is, coming back from fun in the sun to brag about her happiness?!”, hear me out.

I want to talk about self-care and the importance of finding time for the practice in our daily routine, not just on vacation. Continue reading