Category Archives: ecology

Hopes for the Future: Sunny Skies

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A 14th Century mystic poet named, “Hafiz” gives us this cheerful

message today:

“Even after all this time,

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens

with a Love like that.

It lights up the ‘Whole Sky.'”

 

Here is some ‘food for thought,’ in a much more serious tone:

“If we use our fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and

exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful

and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations. The

heat of the sun’s rays represents an immense amount of energy, vastly

in excess of water power.  The sun’s energy controlled to create lakes

and rivers is for motive, purpose and transformation of arid deserts

into fertile land.”

~Nikola Tesla, September 9, 1915

 

Solar energy became popular years ago, but a recent report mentioned

and gave ‘credit’ to President Jimmy Carter’s administration in forming

close relations with the D. O. E., which is the Department of Energy.

I follow Greenpeace and have been posting on this subject with updates,

from time to time.

 

There is an acronym for India’s governmental energy program. I may

have informed you of some of their solar home systems. The ‘newest’

fact I found was there are 150,000 families in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal,

Vietnam and South Africa actively participants of SELCO.

 

Solar solutions are followed by a “Solar Foundation” here in the United

States, where “so far, its operations include 13,000 plus megawatts of

cumulative solar energy.”  This amount  which the average layperson,

myself included, might think were rather ‘low’ in its numbers.

 

Interestingly enough, my instinct to guess this to be ‘not much to speak of,’

really has the capacity to serve 2.2 million American homes.

 

The Solar Foundation carries out a solar job census of solar workers, which

gave a remarkable number of 143,000 solar workers in the U.S. This has

increased in numbers since 2012 by 20%.

 

Pioneers in solar advocacy formed by two men named Daniel Yergin

and Neville Williams have been working to increase awareness on two

blogs.

They are a great ‘resource’ on the subject of solar power.

You may wish to check them out at:

http://danielyergin.com

http://sunpowerbook.com

 

Neville Williams’ first book was called, “Chasing the Sun.” President Bill

Clinton said of Williams’ book:

“I really loved your book. I made everyone in the Clinton Foundation

read it. It’s terrific.”

 

The late Sir Arthur C. Clarke said of  “Chasing the Sun:”

“A fascinating account of the author’s odyssey to promote solar

energy in the developing world.”

 

 

Here is something to be ‘proud’ about they tallied up the states which

have the best usage and most actively working with solar energy.

The Top 10 States in the U.S. are:

1. California                      6. Massachusetts

2. Arizona                         7. Hawaii

3. New Jersey                   8. Colorado

4. North Carolina              9. New York

5. Nevada                        10. New Mexico

 

Since President Obama came into office, there have been 550 new

major solar project. Sixteen of these have been permitted on federal

land with over 6,058 megawatts generating capacity. If you look back

at the total number given previously, this is about 50% of the solar power

presently available in the U.S. These are huge ‘strides’ or progress in

pursuing energy generated by the sun. This is in great part to realizing

the importance of other resources than gas or oil, thanks to collaboration

between both political parties.

 

The newest Neville Williams’ book is titled, “Sun Power:  How Energy

from the Sun Is Changing Lives Around the World Empowering America

and Saving the Planet.”

 

Quite a lofty goal which all of us around the world can appreciate.

 

The hope for the future is to have more common usage by people

everywhere. By becoming a leader in solar power, our country could

become a major catalyst for global, political and economic change.

 

This is one more quote to bring you smiles:

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet- –

Nobody taxes the sun yet.”

~Bonnie Raitt

 

 

 

Sunday World Topics of Interest

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When people question faiths, I am sometimes aghast. Families and traditions

are part of heritage from generations back. When someone asked me, of a

different faith, “Who ‘made up’ the idea of Palm Sunday?” I had to think back

upon all of my Bible readings and my childhood lessons.

 

Aha!  In, John 12:12-13

(New Testament, Bible):

“They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him (Jesus),

shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the

Lord – – the King of Israel!'”

 

No, this does not discuss or dictate a certain day to take palm

branches and walk through town, or in my family’s church’s case,

through church. It does mention this is a celebration and honoring

someone who we may have strong beliefs in.

 

I was especially proud then, to read that the church I attended with

my three children and my ex-husband, First Presbyterian, Delaware,

Ohio, is going to use “Eco-Palms.”

 

This is part of the Presbyterian Earth Care program joining with

the Presbyterian Hunger Project. These are branches which you

may feel are worth celebrating about. Usually palms are harvested

in rainforests where they make needed habitats for migrating birds.

 

Birds are one of my favorite part of the animal kingdom. The more

fronds or palm leaves taken and cut by the harvesters in the

rainforest, the more desperate a situation it becomes.

 

Eco-Palm harvesters, gather only quality palm fronds in a way that

allows the plants to keep growing. This program is considered a

community process and the way they are trained to promote saving

the plants and the homes of the rainforest birds, touched my heart.

 

The marketing program is what helps the Hunger Project, since it is

one where an agent is handling the sales and providing monies to

capture more of the profits to benefit the native population:  for shoes,

school uniforms, food and basic health care.

 

In addition, a portion of the profits is set aside for providing

scholarships, paying teachers and helping elderly members.

This truly is, ‘Cause for Jubilation’ in the highest form.

 

 

Timothy Merrill gives us his perspective on

always having to Wait in,

 

“The Waiting Game

Life involves lots of waiting. We wait in groups, in lines, in cars.

We wait for packages, for the bus, for the sun to rise.

We wait in doctor’s offices, at the post office, at the DMV

(waiting for license or plates renewals.)

Waiting implies we’re at someone else’s mercy.

 

It is also usually linked to Hope.

 

Perhaps that is why Paul Tillich called ‘waiting’ a “metaphor for

faith.”

 

Why would a person wait if there weren’t the firm belief that the

object of one’s wait will eventually materialize?

 

Waiting can be enervating, which is why in the Bible,

Isaiah 40:31 these words are so promising:

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

 

Yet, waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.

 

That is why Jesus, when talking about waiting, also talked about

working – – “Work for the night is coming.”

 

Sometimes it is less tiring to work than it is to wait.

 

There’s a lot of waiting during Lent.

You’re waiting for a payoff.

You’re waiting for the Resurrection.

You’re waiting for spiritual growth.

And then you realize this isn’t waiting at all.

It’s Life.

It’s Joy.

It’s Opportunity.

It’s Blessing.”

 

Like John Mayer said but may have expressed more

deeply, “That’s why we’re waiting on the World to change.”

 

 

This one focuses on the enjoyable custom shared at work,

in communities or family gatherings. . .

 

“A Potluck of People”

(Taken from March’s “Spire” church bulletin)

 

“At many gatherings for potluck dinners which are meals largely

unplanned, when people bring food to share, usually the main

dishes, salads and desserts somehow balance out.  The fun is in

the variety and mixing together on a plate and the surprise factor

of what is brought to share and contribute to the Potluck.

 

Groups of peoples, churches, communities, families and workplaces

are all “potlucks” of a sort, too. When groups assemble, each person

contributes something unique and sometimes unexpected. When all

is mixed together, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

 

A beautiful balance often results:

One is a good singer; the other writes well.

Some are strong leaders; others dependable team members.

Some are traditional; others innovative.

Combined together, it’s ‘delicious.’

 

Potlucks are sometimes called covered-dish dinners or meals.

But don’t keep your gifts ‘covered.’

Share them because you are a valued part of the whole.”

(Author Unknown)

 

We used to call our country a “melting pot,” which describes how we

were going to blend together.

 

I like to think of the World full of diverse cultures, faiths, histories

of countries as part of a “Human Masterpiece.”

(reocochran, 3/15)

 

When I speak of Lent, Jesus, God, the Bible and verses from it, it

is meant to describe and share the belief system I emerged from.

But any time you see a parallel of your faith with mine, I hope you

will feel free to explain how the theme or subject can be applied in

your family, your church or your culture.

 

Bridging gaps is my goal and focus, when I post something about

faith. I hope you never feel excluded or isolated, since this is not

what expressing my belief system wishes me to do.

 

“Be still, my heart”

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Stop, breathe and exhale! I am almost ‘breathless’ in anticipation…

for the new Pierce Brosnan movie to come out: “The November Man.”

I can say that he is happily married, so I won’t try to be too silly about

my ‘crush’ on him. I never would dream of trying to take away a happily

married man.  Nor could I! Since his wife Keely Shaye Smith is simply

gorgeous!

She has been his wife for over 13 years, the mother of his two younger

daughters. They live on a tropical island in Hawaii. Their life style is

what he considers a calm, simple life. He claims that he and his family

are content to just bask in the sun, swim, boat and lead their ‘out of

the limelight’ life.

I believe him. He and his wife are rarely seen, except during Academy

Award shows and other special events.

They don’t seem like ‘party-goers.’ It makes him even more special

to me! Also, additionally positive about this couple, Keely and Pierce,

is that they are environmentalists, supporting many causes for the

natural world.

 

Oh, and that expression, Be still, my heart!” comes from a shortening

of a phrase, in some resources. The original one was, “Oh, be still,

my beating heart.” This was from Victorian days, where a person

may be describing or thinking of someone who took their breath

away or made them, “swoon.” It also can be traced back as early as

when Virgil in 1697:

“When from the Goal they start,

The youthful Charioteers with beating heart,

Rush to the race.”

Sting (the musician) wrote a song, “Be Still My Beating Heart,” and

gives Shakespeare credit, but not sure of the source. One source,

gives a passage from “The Tempest.”

 

I don’t talk about my birthday very often, and don’t mention it on

my blog, as in ‘today is my birthday (it’s not!)’ But this man, Pierce,

who has my Scorpio birth month’s name in the title of his next movie,

is simply, extraordinary.

Since he hit the scene of television, on “Remington Steele,” he has

been in my vision and dreams. No offense, ex-boyfriends and

ex-husbands!

I would like to share some facts that I have acquired from a few

sources. No, I have not been stalking him!

Pierce is over 60, he looks like 45 or 46, tops. His birthday is May 16,

1953. He is a wee bit older, by only 2 years, than I am. He is a Taurus,

which is compatible with my sign. How do I know? Well, there was a

period of time, where he was a widower with three boys. I was a

single mother with two girls and a boy, at around the same time.

Back to some of his childhood experiences. Pierce admits to being

teased as a child. He was raised by a single mother who took him

from his birthplace. He was born and lived a short time, along the

River Boyne, in Ireland. His father left his mother and him when

Pierce was only 2 years old. It was tough on his mother, since the

Catholic Church ‘shamed her’ due to her divorce. She chose to move

to where her parents lived, in England.

Once there, Pierce was called all the mean words for Irish immigrants,

“Mick, “Paddy” and later, “Irish.” If you can find a photograph of him

while a young child, you will see a sweet boy who was a little more

husky than his present lean self, displays now. His mother was taking

nursing classes, quite busy and unable to afford child care. So, she

chose to leave him full time with his grandparents.

Pierce’s first love was for drawing and painting. He loves art still and

continues to practice painting in the back yard of his island home. He

wanted to be a graphic artist, his dream and ‘escape’ from some of the

name-calling and torments of his childhood.

Once Pierce entered high school, he was drawn to the drama department,

where the theatre students embraced him. It was such a wonderful, new

experience. A ‘change’ from being an ‘outsider,’ helping him to become

more confident. He left ‘comprehensive school at age 16, ‘ still seeking

education in the field of commercial illustrations.’ Once he determined

there were other options, he did change his interests back to what he had

followed in high school. Pierce studied acting at the London Drama Centre

for three years after his stint with drawing.

Interestingly enough, in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, (8/10/14),

mentioned his first movie he ever saw was James Bond’s “Goldfinger.”

It was a thrill for him to see the character of ‘007’ played by Sean Connery.

It also was a fortuitous, possibly foreshadowing, event of his life.

Pierce had his ‘first call’ after drama school for the movie, “The Long Blue

Friday.”

Try-outs for the casting of this movie, meant they suggested for the male

leading role to bring a bathing suit. He jokingly says in his interview, that

he showed up in a Speedo and got the part. He played a killer/assassin and

this role made an impact on the studios.

Another interesting fact is that his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was in a

Bond movie, with Roger Moore cast as ‘007.’ They had three sons together,

along with her daughter. They shared acting as one of their interests, as well

as their desire to keep their personal lives out of the tabloids. Unfortunately,

Cassandra developed cancer, dying at the age of 43.  Another sad event in his

life years later, his close step-daughter, who he had raised with Cassandra,

died also of  cancer, at age 42. It was hard on Pierce, reliving the tragedy of

the loss of his wife and then, later someone he considered to be, his oldest

daughter.

It took many years for Pierce to get through the stages of grief. I think this

is why he seem devoted and grateful for his present wife, Keely and their

serene family life.

As part of a spy agency, with the assisting role that Stephanie Zimbalist

played, Pierce Brosnan came into our homes, as”Remington Steele.” The

television series lasted from April, 1982 until October, 1987. This was a

form of escapism, since my first child was born in 1980 and my last one

was in 1985. Television, once the children were asleep, kept me engrossed

in the interesting plot twists and guest stars.

Pierce became a popular name and more familiar to all audiences. This

role of being the suave and debonair spy, led directly to his being cast

as ‘007’ in his first role as James Bond. Along the way, he was cast as

a thief, in the remake of “The Thomas Crowne Affair.” The original

characters were played by Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

One of the many humble comments that Pierce Brosnan mentions in

CBS Sunday television interview was that he is ‘grateful’ and is filled

with ‘gratitude’ for his wife and family, his mother, grandparents and

being cast as the famous character that Ian Fleming created. He was

in four popular James Bond movies.

He also mentioned that his life has been ‘easier, more relaxed’ since

he met Keelley. He has acting in his ‘blood,’ always thinking about

the next movie, whether he may produce or direct it, too. A man of

many talents, who has still the quiet presence of a kind man.

The most ‘fun’ movie I ever saw Pierce Brosnan in was “Mama Mia!”

I enjoyed the singing, the way the plot twists went, with Meryl Streep

playing a woman who could potentially have three prospects for

her daughter’s father. The daughter invites, without informing her

mother, all three of the men to her wedding!

Which man of three is her father? I’ll never tell!

It has ABBA music throughout, lots of atmosphere on a beautiful

Greek island, with the sweet voice of Amanda Seyfried. There is also

the British actor, Colin Firth, as one of the potential fathers. The

third possible choice is played by Stellan Skarsgard. Seeing Pierce

Brosnan belt out, “S.O.S” with Meryl Streep filled me with an

inexplicable joy.

Pierce mentioned in the CBS interview, that his two younger

daughters got ‘sick’ of him singing it everywhere he went, trying

to practice while listening to his Ipod with ear buds in. If you

just want to enjoy a carefree, musical movie, this will be one of

your favorites, trust me on this!

Another lighter movie that Pierce made was, “Mrs. Doubtfire,”

with Sally Fields and Robin Williams; now 22 years ago. He

has posted recently and spoken about who he considered the

great and close friend’s death. I enjoyed seeing Pierce Brosnan

“lose” in the movie, to Robin Williams, in the battle for Love.

If you ever want to see a unique plot and interesting character,

check out Pierce Brosnan in the film, “The Tailor of Panama.” He

is a tailor who is asked to be a British spy, based on the novel by

John Le Carre. The other actors in this movie, Jamie Lee Curtis

and Geoffrey Rush are fascinating in their roles. I have watched

this film more than once, high praise indeed!

Coming Soon! . . .

“The November Man.”

Is it your kind of movie?

Will you watch it at the movie theater, rent it or skip it?

Green Choices for a Better World

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One summer morning of my 16th year, after eating a delicious large breakfast

with my Aunt Marie, she said we had a ‘chore to do.’ We were in my Aunt

Dot’s kitchen in Rockport, Massachusetts.

I put some beat up tennis shoes, raggedy jeans shorts and a dark t-shirt

on. Aunt Marie wore a red bandana over her golden hair, with a blue pair

of, what we called then, “pedal pushers” on and a red light weight blouse

on.

We stashed, in the ‘boot’ of  Aunt Marie’s little red, sports car, paper bags

of recyclables, a large box of technical equipment, that had a few television

parts and cords thrown in.

On the way to the area of the city dump, Aunt Marie explained about

composting and recycling. She also told me something I had never

thought about and here is the ‘gist’ of her lesson:

“Out on this Eastern seaboard, we have limited space, we’re very concerned

about the Atlantic Ocean, mercury’s effect on our fish, gas and oil discharges

from fishing and recreational boats. We want to make sure we all have a

clean place to live and swim in.” (This was 1971.)

We were heading up a great hill, to where there were various sizes of sheds,

dumpsters and piles of discarded items. This was my introduction, seeing

this process in ‘full swing,’ to thinking more about environment and ecology!

My Aunt Marie had me grab the box, while she took two armfuls of paper bags,

and we headed towards the designated areas. Technical equipment, including

cords, cables, computer screens and ‘motherboards’ were in a large shed.

If one wanted to ‘shop’ in amongst the discarded equipment, you were not

going to be prevented. They actually encouraged recycling and re-using.

We then took the glass bottles to an area, with a lot of shelves, and a woman

sitting in front of a small table with an old calculator figured out our pennies

earned and gave us money for the soda bottles ‘returned.’ The glass jars that

were from spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise, and other condiments did not receive

monetary payment, but I already became aware that recycling these would

preserve the local environment.

Over forty years ago, when Bay (Village) High School held fundraisers

for different clubs, associations and team sports, we would collect bottles,

cans and newspapers. I have a photograph of myself, with a felt pink hat,

resembling Annie Hall or some other cultural style leader, so I thought!

I am wearing a ‘maxi”length beige coat, and am in front of the truck Science

Club would rent. We were piling newspapers, magazines and other paper

products. I am with some of my good ‘geek’ friends. Although, not included

in the yearbook photograph, we girls are laughing at the ‘boys’ who were

pawing through the “Playboy” and “Esquire” magazine donations.

We were equally aware of the environment and the financial value of this

monthly fundraiser. Unlike I am as an adult, who is reluctant to volunteer,

I was always in the midst of such functions. As a member of Science Club,

Thespians, Publication staff and Marching Band, along with the certain times

of year, (as a Girl Scout), we sold donuts in the Autumn and cookies in the

Spring, I volunteered. Although only in the photos of Science Club in my high

school yearbook, was I featured.

When I think back on those times, I felt involved and essential in many

ways. I also found out, over time and conversations, this was more rare

than not, from my friends who I met in later years.

I wonder, do you remember being involved in ecological, environmental

volunteering or fundraising during your school years?

It is a pleasure to feature some local and global “Green Choices” available

recently, here in Central Ohio.

It is not as “helpful” as volunteering, but it feels good to share that we

are still in this together, trying to make ecologically ‘correct’ choices!

The founder of a local skin care company, “Juicy for Sure,”  Valerie

Dupree, talked recently. She was suggesting trying products that are

free of chemicals, such as paraben and phthalates. (Not sure what this

is, but I rechecked spelling twice!) Her company features body care

products made from natural sources. They are unscented and stored in

glass containers. A reminder given, those stored in plastic packages are

more likely or are believed to create chemical ‘contamination.’ The

natural skin care company, recently added a new men’s lotions line.

They claim many of their products “leave no greasy ‘after-feel.'” There

was a Worthington, “Green on the Green” function that my youngest

daughter attended, believing that what she puts into her body and onto

her body, directly affects her outbreaks of eczema and inflammation of

rheumatoid arthritis.

You may also purchase “Gardener’s Lotion” and a sweetly scented

body lotion, “Dew Drop.” My youngest daughter is not involved in this

business and would not purchase any scented products. Look for these

products and more online, at Juicy for Sure. Their skin care line promises

“artisan crafted,” “eco- conscious” products while feeling “luxurious.”

Solar panels have been considered great conduits to natural forces for

quite some time now. There is a local Central Ohio, Columbus-based

company who won a recent award for being one of the top 3 National

winners in the “Green Homes” category. The quarterly “People and Planet

Awards” find eco-conscious companies and hand out different categories

of awards. The name of this national nonprofit, sustainability organization

is “Green America.”

Kevin Eigel, who is the President of “Ecohouse” will use the $5000 award

to help fund a solar installation for a co-op building called, “Third Hand.”

Ecohouse. com is one that I am proud to list as nearby. I wish I could build

a home having Kevin’s company install solar panels on my roof.

My Dad was very interested in having solar panels on their retirement

cottage in Vermilion, Ohio, believing in both the wind and sun as being

important natural contributors of energy. I have to admit, they did not

complete this project.

Soybeans in Iowa were recently researched in a study found in “Food

Chemistry” journal. The foods we ingest are very important to know

more about, as our society and world has changed the processes. The

study tested soybeans grown from seeds that were genetically modified

(GM) to be resistant to the herbicide, Round Up.

Thirty-one different Iowa farms were participants in this study. The

results found that GM soybeans contained significantly higher levels

of  the toxin, glyphosate. This is one of the main chemicals found in

Round Up.

Of course, this is the reason to ‘buy local,’ as often as possible, from

farmers who use natural ways to grow their soybeans.

I am learning more about being aware of non-GMO soybeans and other

vegetables.

Organic foods are the best ones to put into our bodies. Also, they have

found there are higher levels of good ingredients in naturally grown

soybeans, higher levels of protein and zinc, along with lowered levels

of saturated fats.

Global recognition is my final thrust in this going green article. There is

an international rise in sun-generated power in the United States, Italy,

Germany, China and Japan.

They were named as countries producing more than “10 gigawatts of solar

products” to promote a greener economy.

In India, villages are switching to solar power, also. Their environmental

‘watch group’ is called, “Earth Hour.”

IKEA, Scandanavian produced furniture) has sold over $10,000 worth of

solar panels to 17 British outlets. England is aware of the reason for using

solar energy to generate warmth and heat.

Peru is also starting to install solar panels in a National Photovoltaic

Household Electrification program. This began last July, 2013. (Boy, I

had to check the spelling three times on that mouthful of words!)

The conclusion of this varied report that included personal experiences,

research on soybeans, solar panels and local companies that have been

shown to incorporate natural products is to encourage more awareness

in your area of the world.

There are so many parts of our lives that we ignore or procrastinate

in. I recycle paper, glass, cardboard and plastics. At work, our

boxes get put on a cardboard line, which compacts them into

flat smashed ‘boxes’ that get picked up by a recycling company.

Our discarded plastic goes in another location, where it is collected

and corded together with its compaction process, too.

What kind of changes are you already making to help make your area

of the world a better place?

I am interested in any new ‘green’ products, natural foods that have

more nutrition that you would recommend, and any other suggestions.

What are some changes that you have made to become more involved?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Leader in Her “Field”

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Alice Waters has been advocating for natural farming and gardening,

since the seventies. She has been best known for her support of local,

organically grown food choices. She is considered the “Mother of the

Farm-to-Table Movement.” Her vision includes having children become

part of gardening projects and creating sustainable garden school

programs for schools.

Alice Waters is responsible for the opening of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse

back in 1971. She was considered avante garde then, with a vision and

a mission!

Alice has put into action another equally valuable program while

supporting her beliefs. I was excited to learn something new about

this innovative woman’s spreading a healthy message in wider and

more expanded ways. Reaching out to schools and city children is

a great move right now.

Thousands of United States’ classrooms have become part of Alice

Water’s “Edible Schoolyard Project.” Students, ranging from younger

ages, in elementary schools and beyond, are learning how to grow

and cook ‘real’ food. I do realize that there are a lot of ‘country kids’

who have known this all along!

Alice’s goal is to ‘plant the seed’ of healthy and wholesome living

in this next generation. She believes that this is such a worthy

cause to ‘fight for.’ I just wanted to help her along and champion

her cause!

I had just written about our local Delaware Community Market’s

plot of land, where last year children in gardening gloves and

work aprons dug into the dirt and planted seeds and seedlings.

Their goal had been to “grow a pizza garden.” I hoped by passing

this idea on, it would become a way for families and communities

to connect children. Making the chores of weeding and gardening

more fun as a team with a goal in mind. Especially if their focus

was on the finished food items.

I had suggested for Cinco de Mayo, to start a “Taco Garden.”

While sitting in the doctor’s office today, I saw March, 2014’s copy

of “Prevention” Magazine with information about Alice Waters. This

is yet another resource on this subject to introduce to some who may

have not heard of her. I enjoy all the delicious and nutritious

recipes that are ‘good for you,’ every time I get a chance to read

this magazine.

The “Postscript” for the magazine has a photo of Alice Waters and

the article is entitled, “A New Harvest.” Tall green plants, with

sunflowers and trees behind her, with her smiling profile captured

my attention.

To find out more, please check out Alice Water’s website:

http://edibleshoolyard.org

Hope the weather won’t be too chilly in your neighborhood, that you

may get out to take a lovely hike and enjoy some Spring flowers!

I am hoping to have a grand time touring among the artists, crafts-

persons and artisans with their displays and booths tomorrow at the

Delaware Arts Festival. I enjoyed my walk to the library, noting all

the Ohio Wesleyan Alumni filling the local restaurants and walking

about town. Wonder if there are many who were rowdy and remember a

wilder time?

Maybe in the seventies, while Alice Waters was ‘preaching’ about

subjects that only hippies who lived on communes and people who

lived on farms were interested in. She was bandying around words

like, “ecological,” “natural fertilizer,” and “sustainable.”

I have mentioned to a few of my friends who complain about all the

rain and wind, expecting to see the 30 degree mark possibly along

with the Full Moon tonight:

“Come on! It is Spring until June 21st, expect incredible weather

changes!”

On the other hand, I hope that all the ones who have had drought out

West with fires, too much rain or tornadoes, and other truly dangerous

weather conditions, through it all…

You have been safe and sound.

Odds and Ends

Standard

Like the ends of fabric bolt rolls and the end of a great movie,

I hope to bring you some smiles on this Sunny Monday. There will

be one possible frown ‘producer’ but it is more of a question of

values and appropriate behavior guidelines.

At the Cincinnati Zoo, a new baby giraffe arrived, on May 2, 2014!

Her name was voted on and received 32% votes to become, “Nasha.”

She is adorable, awkward and of course, gangly-looking! I want to

go see her and her family.

When I picked up my youngest daughter from the Columbus Airport, it

was on Mother’s Day morning. She treated me to a breakfast/brunch

at a place on the East side of town, called The Angry Baker. It is

located on Oak Street.

Today, I was answering my coworkers and friends who inquired,

“What did you do on Mother’s Day?” by saying that I went with her

to brunch at a little quaint and unique place.

We sat out in the sunshine, with a few clouds intermittently

covering the sun, for over an hour chatting and catching up.

Her adventures with her ‘new’ family and seeing the sights of

St. Louis were very cool. When a few coworkers stopped to ask

what I ordered there to eat, I told them that I had spotted

and decided my ‘dessert’ first which helped me to choose my

main meal. I saw in the refrigerated display case a triple

layered white torte with what they were calling “Green Tea

and Coconut” icing. In between the three layers was vanilla

cream. Yummy!

I had ordered an asparagus and leek quiche and a ‘field

greens’ salad with raspberry vinaigrette. They asked what

else sounded or looked good, I responded,

“I would like to try next time I get treated to breakfast,

the French toast sandwich with Swiss cheese and ham or bacon

in between.

It was served like a ‘fork and knife’ sandwich, with a small

pitcher of maple syrup. Had I eaten that, I would have probably

not eaten the dessert. Which was as scrumptious, as it had

appeared!

As I passed through my day, I also, inquired into others’

family or individual activities over the weekend. There were

a lot of family cookouts and visits to restaurants, along

with some buffets of home-cooked meals mentioned. I was so

happy, that almost no one ‘reported’ a challenging Mother’s

Day! Even the fathers and sons were pleased with their days.

I heard from a single man who is friends with Anna, that she

requested they go out for a Chinese meal for her Mother’s Day.

I was rather surprised that I had 2 people admit they didn’t

know or asked,

“What is quiche?”

One guessed it was a type of fish and the other guessed a

type of cheese. Interesting who they were, too.

A very important message was given on my CBS This Morning

Show, today (May 12, 2014).

I was sure that this was “News” but once I researched this

subject, it has been an ecological concern and has been around

since 2012 and in 2013. I found headlines from those years,

that this was endangering the Great Lakes!

Have you heard of the Los Angeles scientific study into women’s

(and some men’s) personal care products that include micro-beads

or micro-exfoliates in their ingredients?

I had not heard about this one, until today!

Apparently, it has become scientific research that is being taken

more seriously recently. Actions and results are finally being

taken by major companies.

The products that include these beads are facial scrubs and

body washes. I have also purchased, once or twice, a Bath and

Body Works’ hand sanitizer that had little blue beads in it. I

liked the ‘grit’ and also the way it made my hands feel.

Well, hate to tell you this, especially if you are quite attached

to any cleansing products or cosmetics which include these beads…

They are not good for the environment!

Especially, fish!

And then, fish eaters!

The micro-beads absorb fertilizer and other unnatural by-products

that are in the water system. They tend to ‘grow’ in size, due

to the absorption of these dangerous elements.

They attract fish’s attention.

They consume these, which can be dangerous for us to consume.

Since we are the next ones in the food chain. They can also kill

the fish!

The deadly elements in the water supply have been able to be

measured, viewed and studied under a microscope. It can be lethal,

in so many ways.

One company, ‘stepping up to the plate,’ is Johnson and Johnson,

who have promised to slowly phase these cosmetic and cleansing

products out by 50%, by Christmas. Due to the severity of the

situation reported, I am recommending my friends and fellow bloggers

to go ahead and find another product to use, since this is already

pretty controversial.

My youngest daughter has already started using a ‘Green’ and more

ecologically sound product.

My last “Odds” is not really a positive one, so I will try to think

of something funny to close today’s post. Here is a ‘rant.’

I had a nice time with my girlfriend, going to a place we had

eaten my ‘birthday meal,’ called Horsey Hall. On Friday, they were

having a nice arts and crafts sale, with antique items also for sale.

These were displayed in a large barn and a smaller gardening shed.

It was quite nice and had many reasonably priced items. I ended up

buying some homemade candy that tastes just like a “Heath” or “Skor”

bar. She bought some peanut butter fudge.

We saw Morgan Treni, my favorite local musician, sat on a bench and

drank coffee, while listening to her wonderful voice. I have written

about her, before this.

I am going to ask a question, if someone is just asking an open-ended

“Why…” question is it okay to ‘rail’ on the subject a bit? I mean,

if someone asks you for your opinion, you are allowed to voice it,

right?

I was with a close (over 20 years long friendship) good friend

who asked,

“Why, when we believe in our country in the Bill of Rights and

Freedom of Speech, do we crack down on people who are saying what

they believe?”

She went on to mention the newest two young builders and participants

in a HG-TV project, the twins, David and Jason Benham whose new show

was almost ready to air, called, “Flip It Forward.”

Although the two brothers had been scrutinized for their father’s

very outspoken opinions, they had said they would not reveal their

religious beliefs on air. They felt that their positions on gays,

abortion, divorce would not be an ‘issue.’ The producers had asked

about this before they had begun their project. Also, their family

does not like the fact there is a Muslim mosque at Ground Zero,

(9/11/2001’s tribute to those of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds

who died on that day.)

My friend thought this should not be a ‘problem’ while they were

buying old houses, fixing them up and reselling them. The builders

felt they were helping teach others to ‘flip houses,’ along with

ones who were poor or on a fixed income.

Apparently the source of the controversy is from incidents and

an interview that occurred in 2012. One was at an abortion clinic

and another was where their father had said that “Jesus doesn’t

like Muslims.”

While being interviewed, one of the twins was more outspoken

on the subjects of anti-homosexuals and anti-divorce comments.

My thoughts reflect that of a comment of someone that writes on

an entertainment and news blog. To me they make sense,

“Why rub LGBT employees of HG-TV and possible viewers the wrong

way with having these guys be the center of an upcoming show?”

Mainly, my thought about my friend’s comment is this:

“If you choose to be in front of the media, get your paycheck

from the media and your viewers are the world, you owe it to the

ones paying you, to keep your opinions to yourself!”

It is not a question of ‘Freedom of Speech,’ to me but one of

making good choices. In my opinion, you have to realize that the

ones who are not accepting others, really are a ‘problem.’

Even if you are a Christian, it is not your place to ‘judge others.’

No one has that right, I believe.

Seriously, espousing these beliefs, as this Benham family did, in the

recent past of 2012, had to surface and come under the scrutiny of

the employers and possible viewers eventually.

By saying what they were saying, it was only one short step

away from bigotry. It is not cool, it is not acceptable and I

would have cancelled their show, too!

My Dad and Mom used to use the terminology of ‘slippery slope.’

When they thought that someone said a disparaging or prejudiced

comment, if they did not respond or react to the negative words,

they felt that it was a ‘slippery slope’ to becoming ‘just as

bad as the ignorant ones, who were saying those things!’

On this same subject, Sunday evening while turning to my Arts

and Entertainment Channel (A & E) to watch, “Turn,” the

Revolutionary War show, I caught the ‘tail end’ of “Duck Dynasty.”

I really feel like ‘boycotting’ A & E, which you may remember

I was upset about the leader of the Robertson’s Clan, Phil…

How many months ago?

The story I wrote was called, “The Cost of Silence,” written on

January 22, 2014.

“Good ole Phil” is back on the show, folks! The network gave him a

‘slap on the wrist’ for his horrible comments in an interview. It

was a short hiatus, like serving in ‘detention hall,’ where he was

not allowed to be on the show.

Like it was okay to say what he did to “GQ” magazine, while on

A & E’s payroll.

What a shame!

For my ‘funny’ ending that I promised here are two things to get

you smiling.

First, have you ever imagined how a baby giraffe was conceived?

Second, my Mom and I talked for an hour from 11 p.m. until 12,

midnight, leading into Mother’s Day. She knew that I had had a

splendid picnic with all 3 kids and 6 grandkids on this past Wed.

Also, I had written two letters and sent two Mother’s Day cards

to remind her of my Sunday plans. She had joked over Easter that

I wasn’t her mother, but I did tell her I would have liked to be

two places at one time!

I had told her, I was going to spend my Mother’s Day picking my

youngest daughter up from the airport.

My youngest brother and his wife are at a Reading Convention

in New Orleans, which they were pleased to attend. (It means

neither one has to put on their Doctorate robes and hand out

any diplomas at their respective universities they teach at.)

When I asked Mom if she remembered I wasn’t coming this

weekend she responded,

“You wrote it on my bulletin board and my calendar, what

chances did I have to forget?”

When I asked Mom if she minded just ‘hanging out and having

dinner’ with my middle brother, the artist, she cracked me up:

“What other choices do I have?”

Healthy Breakfast

Standard

My girlfriend likes to eat oatmeal and a cup of yogurt for her

breakfast. My youngest daughter enjoys an egg, from a farmer

who uses only natural farming, with no added fertilizer or

other unhealthy ways to produce the chicken that lays the egg.

So, every step of the egg’s progress from the chicken to the

buyer, is considered healthy. She adds some seasonal fruits and

has been adding no gluten in her ‘diet,’ trying this to see if

her arthritis will stop flaring up. So far, so good. My brother

who had quadruple by-pass surgery on his heart, makes omelets

with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes. He has been trying

less gluten on his ‘menus,’ too. Then, there is my oldest daughter

who thinks those caffeine shots that give you energy, a donut,

cookie or other sweet food item with a cup of flavored coffee is

an acceptable way to head off to her third shift job!

My good guy friend, Bill, will tell you he used to be a frequent

customer of Waffle House, Denny’s and Bob Evans. He used to say,

“I don’t feel ‘normal’ without tons of sugar and coffee!”

Granted, until my late forties, when I had my cholesterol ‘scare’

that headed me towards a better diet and weight range, I was one

of those caffeine and sugar (with no dietary nutrition whatsoever)

people, too.

I have discovered a great cereal brand and am hoping to be helpful,

healthy conscious and informative today!

I was wandering around our local grocery store but not the Delaware

Community Market. I came across the Healthy Foods aisle, with soy

and almond milks in sealed boxes, nuts that have not been introduced

to salt, unless it is ‘sea salt,’and in the cereal aisle, big boxes

of cereal that had such nice, simple artwork seemingly ‘silk-screened’

onto them. These outdoors scenes are very modern and pretty, I would

like them on a t-shirt. They may be ‘downloaded’ as a free screensaver

on your computer. (A fact listed on the cereal box.)

I am a big fan of “Frosted Mini Wheats” or “Shredded Wheat,” so I was

searching for a healthier choice for my Breakfast of Champion: Me!

I found decorated with green and brown mountains and a cool blue lake

on the box labeled: “Mom’s Best” Cereal brand.

This happened to be on sale for the low price of $1.99.

Mom’s Best catchy little logo says, “Simple Goodness.”

I will proceed to give you the list of the nutrients that

sounded quite healthy and in big letter and numbers in the

front corner of the box, “44 grams of whole grains.” Wow!

I had never seen quite as high # of grains in just one

cup of cereal!

Here are some more facts about the cereal of my choice,

“Sweetened Wheat-Fuls:”

Calories= 210 without milk.

Total Fat= 1 gram which is just 2% of daily recommended amount.

0% Saturated Fat, 0% Transfat, 0 % Monosaturated fat, 0.5 grams of

Poly-unsaturated fat.

Cholesterol= 0%

Sodium= 10 mg. which is considered 5% of daily allowance for salt.

Potassium= 180 mg. which is also 5% of the daily allowance.

Carbohydrates totaled 45 grams= 15% of daily recommended amount.

Dietary fiber= 6 grams. I consider whole wheat bread as my ‘standard’

and usually try to get 3-4 grams, so this isn’t too bad. Higher than

most other cereals.

There were only negligible amounts of other vitamins and minerals,

with the only high ones being Phosphorus (15%), Magnesium (10%),

Zinc (10%) and Copper being 10%. Thiamine was 8%, Iron was 10%,

Niacin was 15% and Vitamin B6 was 8%.

What I enjoyed finding out about the cereal was that it tasted good

and did not have too much Sugar! (11 grams).

Since 2006, Mom’s Best Cereals has purchased more than 14 million

kilowatts hours of renewable wind energy.

The company practices a huge amount of recycling, with the most

notable plant being in North Carolina. This amazing plant claims

to have recycled 99% of any refuse or extra bi-products in 2011.

Company-wide, the number is still high at 96% recycled.

Between 2006 and 2011, the Utah plant reduced their amount of

water usage, needed to produce each one pound of cereal by this

fantastic amount: 26 million gallons of water!

So, while interpreting this data, I found that it was over that

five year period, producing every box of one pound of cereal,

saved the total usage of that huge amount of water!

Interpreted this into a ‘picture of the amount of water saved’

is: Picture 62 football fields covered with one foot of water

on them all!

If you wish to explore this cereal more, look up Mom’s Best Cereals

and there is a great cereal that I introduced to my grandkids that

is very similar to Honey Flavored Cheerios. (No nuts, for those who

have children with nut allergies.)

I had fun in the past, looking up those old time cereals, which you

may like to be nostalgic and see my post on those.

Otherwise, some of my readers may have other natural breakfast choices

that will make us hungry and possibly make ‘breakfast for dinner!’

I like to make whole wheat pancakes and waffles, along with using my

whole wheat bread to make French Toast. I love real butter, honey or

maple syrup on these. My grandkids sometimes ‘opt’ for strawberry

or raspberry preserves, from the Delaware Community Marker or the

Farmer’s Market, which is on Wed. evenings and Sat. morns, coming

soon!

Hope you will share something you like to eat for breakfast…

I promise not to ‘judge’ you!