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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring, a time of rebirth turns violent

I, like so many, await a spring that brings with it the smells and colorful delights, the gentle (and not so gentle) rains promise after a long dark winter.

rebirth after winters slumber

This been an April to remember, as far as severe weather is concerned. We've had six major severe weather events just recently, some lasting multiple days. Some still traveling across country as I write. An early start to the tornado season showing the destructive, deadly side of spring.

Yesterday, Wednesday April 27 2011 dozens of tornadoes spawned by an intense super-cell thunderstorm system wiped out entire neighborhoods. Some as small as a cluster of homes and cities, as large as Tuscaloosa,AL and across a wide swath of the South, killing over 250 and counting, and punishing at least 6 states.

First responders and firefighters are busy combing the remains of houses and neighborhoods pulverized by the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak in four decades. At least 300 people were killed across six states – more than two-thirds of them in Alabama, where large cities wear the up to a mile-wide ugly burrows the twisters left behind. The wrath left from the tempest scared by destruction, power outages, homelessness and death.

Gov. Bentley of Alabama, said forecasters did a good job alerting people, but there's only so much they can do to help people prepare. Most residents had 24 minutes warning, but the enormous size and severity of the tornadoes proved beyond escape and comprehension. That warning gave many residents enough time to hunker down, but not enough for them to safely leave the area. 

   I live in a rural area where we do not have an early alarm system that can be heard. Unless we are glued to the television or radio, that would be the only alert we would have for a brief signal to head for cover under ground if possible.

We have had several tornadoes, micro-bursts and lightning strikes since we moved into this home. Only one, a lightning strike that hit a tree directly behind our house and bounced onto our roof, were we alerted, seconds before it happened. Luckily the long rain storm before the lighting hit, kept our house from going up in flames. But it did wipe out every electronic item we had and more. Home owners insurance helped reimburse us for some of the major things. It left behind a huge mess and took a long time to get back to some normalcy. I had photos I was going to post to show a bit of one storm, but I decided against posting them.     
   It is just not comparable...

I can not compare any of the storms we have weathered to what all of those suffering from this recent onslaught by nature. My heart aches for all of you that have lost family, friends and possessions. Things can be replaced, but the precious life of a friend, neighbor or loved one can never be substituted.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you. If I could I would open my door to all in need, or enclose you in a comforting embrace just to show, you are not alone.

There are ways we can help our fellow neighbors and friends. These are two of trusted sites I use for monetary help. I hope we can all rebuild together.

  The American Red Cross has opened dozens of emergency shelters for families affected by the severe storms. You can donate online  (credit card) or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. To quickly contribute $10, you can text "REDCROSS" to 90999. The Red Cross website allows you to choose where you want your donation to go.

  The Salvation Army  has deployed mobile feeding units to tornado-affected communities to provide meals to people in need. You can designate your online donation  by going to "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak" relief. Funds can also be given over the phone by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or texting "GIVE" to 80888 (for a $10 donation).

Until next time,
Blessings and comfort.

Thinking of a future close-by, where we all can start healing,
rebuilding and believe in our neighbors out stretched hand.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lessons from the Easter Bunny

easter egg characters goofy funny line image

All I need to know,
I learned from the Easter Bunny!

chocolate candy in colorful foil easter eggs image

To show your true colors, 
you have to come out of your shell.

 The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
 Good things come in small packages.
colorful wild hares funny easter image

Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.

There's no such thing as too much candy.
bunnies in basket happy easter greeting image
All work and no play can make you a basket case.

The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

big carrot image

Walk softly and carry a big carrot. 
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

May the joy of the season fill your heart with goodness.

easter bunny W tulips hugs image

Happy Easter !

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Freebies, Go Green!!

Here is a list of fun and free things I found to share 
 with you this Earth Day 2011!

  • Free Caribou Coffee© – Caribou Coffee is offering a free cup of coffee when you bring in a reusable cup. Offer is valid from 5:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. at all locations. Caribou Coffee is offering .50 off any drink everyday when ever you bring in a reusable cup.   
  • Free Starbucks© Coffee or Tea – Participating Starbucks locations in Canada and across the United States are giving away free coffee on Earth Day.  Just bring in your reusable mug and get a free cup of coffee or tea - brewed, hot or iced.  And just in case you don’t happen to own a reusable mug, you can still get a deal - your beverage will be 20 percent off.   
  • Earth Day Freebies at Whole Foods© – Whole Foods© is offering several giveaways in honor of Earth Day and Easter. Bring a reusable cup for a free coffee and check out the Whole Foods store nearest you to find out what specific goodies or workshops are available in your neck of the woods. Be sure to check out the earth-friendly activities for children too.
  • Free Earth Day Workshops at Home Depot© - Home Depot© is offering several workshops in honor of Earth Day.  On Saturday, April 23, Home Depot© is offering an Earth Day/Easter Planter Basket workshop from 9 – 12:00 for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.  At 1:00, an Eco-Friendly Gardening Workshop will take place. Please call your local Home Depot© to see if they are participating.
  • Lowe's© Earth Day Million Tree Giveaway – Lowe’s© has been gearing up for Earth Day all week long.  In honor of Earth Day, the Home Improvement giant is giving away one million trees.  Visit your local Lowe’s© on April 23 to get your free tree sapling, while supplies last. Please call your local Lowe's© to see if they are participating and for any other offers they may have planned.
  • Stop by Origins© and trade in any current skin-care product bottle or container (empty or even with some leftovers!) from any brand to get a free full-size cleanser!(Earth Day only) 
For any of these freebies Please call ahead to the location you plan on going to, to make sure there is still items left or that they are participating in the promotion.

One last cool news item for celebrating Mother Earth :

Students at Thurgood Marshall Academy, as well as Savoy Elementary School got excited about the new line of stamps that USPS revealed – and that doesn’t happen often. These stamps aren’t your average American flag or spring flower stamps: these new Forever stamps are Go Green stamps that offer suggestions for reducing your environmental footprint. With advice like “ride a bike” and “adjust the thermostat,” these stamps are a wonderful reminder that “going green” can be pretty simple.
The First date of Issue dedication took place at these two schools for the effort the students at the two schools took working hard to make their schools more sustainable plus helped build and plant the largest green garden in the Washington, DC, public school system. They also worked hard to make it grow and be plentiful. 

Thanks to USPS, the teachers at Thurgood Marshall and Savoy Elementary, and all the students that take the stamps suggestions to heart, proving that without a young generation that cares about having a green school, we can’t hope for other generations to care about having green homes or green workplaces.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day beginings

   At the height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States 1960's, student protests was the normal order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. In 1962 Gaylord Nelson , then Governor of Wisconsin, uncovered the seed of an idea which sparked a regrowth of earthly life. By 1969 this was further inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it could force environmental protection into the national political arena.

After much thought and discussion, Earth Day was formed by Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, on April 22, 1970.  The first Earth Day was an attempt to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. This knowledge has brought about a better understanding of the affect we have on our planet, and calling us to take action to make positive environmental changes in our community.

  Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
"It was a gamble," Gaylord Nelson sited, "but it worked." That seed has continued to grow and nurture Mother Earth.

   The first Earth Day was attended by 20 million Americans nationwide,from college campuses to town halls, and giant teach-ins were organized in New York City and Philadelphia, the latter event turning into a seven-day event known as Earth Week. Earth Day was originally focused on the United States but was promoted as an international event in 1990. Today, Earth Day is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 175 countries making it one of the most-attended organizational activities ever created, even being called “the largest secular holiday in the world” by EDN

  This small attempt to start something of this scale on the national level brought millions of people to band together in their neighborhoods, starting grassroots campaigns to help revolutionize the way we handled waste, recycling, power consumption, and conservation in general. That event set a powerful precedent for the rest of the world, hopefully to continue to help keep Mother Earth healthy for generations.

      Senator Gaylord Nelson 
      over looking the St. Croix river

In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, for his role as Earth Day founder. Senator Nelson chose April 22 as the date, in order to encourage maximum participation on college campuses around the US. The day normally does not fall during exams and does not conflict with spring breaks. It also rarely interferes with religious holidays such as Passover or Easter, this year being a rare exception. In 2009, the United Nations designated the same date, April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.

Happy Earth Day, Mother Earth!

 How are you celebrating Earth Day?

images found on Earth Day and G.Nelson internet sources

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A few Bad Eggs ...

There are always at least a couple 
  that have to make trouble...

be careful what you wish for!

Wishing you find only good and / or
 chocolate eggs during your hunt this year!

 maxine© easter bonnet crabby road© Hallmark© greeting image
Maxine always has good advice
Hallmark Greetings©

I am keeping good thoughts and sending prayers for all my online friends who are battling with the wicked weather tearing and twisting through the countryside this spring. Stay safe.

  until next time ...


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where do Easter Eggs come from?

easter egg divider

Did you ever wonder where Easter eggs really come from?
I have a few ideas, 
it is up to you to decide if they are fact or fiction.

I think this is when it was discovered that the eggs were hard boiled!

Truth or fable?? 
Where do you think Easter eggs come from?

  until next time ...

images found on various free web sites.
 if you believe these are yours and need them removed or attribution please contact me.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring cleaning in the garden

  Before the April showers I have been ducking between raindrops and storms to start the annual "pick up sticks" campaign that keeps us busy in our yard and garden.
I snapped a few messy before garden shots to share this week. Not nearly as messy nor as many sticks and branches to pick up thanks to hubby's hard work last summer, 
 but enough never the less...

spring cleaning life
garden bed along our winding driveway 
still buried in leaves that fell 
long after hubby's blowing and burning last fall

bed before spring rain
garden bed that is part of the wall that hold back the hill 
between the house and garage

crinkled dried dead hosta
dried dead hosta leftovers 
( after playing with a few photo effects)

One of hubby's favorite parts of yard work
  includes his burning pit. 
Here is his first official burn of the season.
Now we both have the lingering scent of smoked sausage☺. 

spring fire embers
a reminder of this pit from winter appearing 

More Wordless/Wordful Wednesday links 
  to discover in the linky below.
This week I am also linking up for your enjoyment to

Have you started outdoor spring cleaning yet?

primrose on garden hoe       
until next time ...