Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Poetry Challenge Give-away!

I decided to have a Poetry Challenge and give the winner a gift from my shop! After you read my poem, you'll know that I'm not a pro, but I'm passionate about the subject of my rhyme, which is my pet pekingese dog, Gizzy. Please note that this is not an entry, just my way of getting you inspired: My Boy, Gizzy! Some like it hot… My boy does not! His coat is dense and furry He sleeps a lot, but don’t you worry he’s soon charged and ready to play Tug-o-war is his game and Miss Piggy‘s the prey. He gives you a run for your money. Watch out, honey, he’s very funny! Only you fellas beware Don’t you walk through that door lest you dare getting your pant legs pulled from here to there…I know it’s not fair! I tell him, he’s the only boy for me. He’s one of a kind, rare and unique, a very special Peke. There’ll never be another Gizzy No, Siree! Here are the simple 1-2-3 RULES: 1) Compose your own, original poem containing anywhere from 4 to 26 lines about a subject you feel passionate about (to make this fair, only one poem per person or under the same name) 2) Submit your poem in the comments section (here) in this blog 3) Deadline to enter is June 16th, 2009! (my Birthday) After all entries have been received, I will ask people to vote. I will post a link on Twitter, Flickr, Squidoo, BLIP, the Etsy Community and my two Etsy teams, namely the Etsy Hookers Street team and the Etsy Honey Bee Helpers team, plus all my family and friends in my address books in my e-mails. I'll also see if I can solicit some votes from my Yahoo groups! The person with the highest number of votes will win the contest. If it's a tie, we'll draw a number! Winner will be announced on the following weekend, June 23rd, 2009. NOTE: If only one person enters, then that person gets the prize! The winner can chose from one of the following: * An item (or items) from my existing inventory in my Etsy shop for a combined total of $15 or less with FREE standard shipping. If your selected item(s) total less than $15, then that's your prize. * or a $15 credit towards any item over $15 so that you will pay the difference and I will pay the standard shipping. * or a $15 Gift Certificate (with free standard shipping) for you to use as you will, including transferring it to another person, in which case I will need the details from you, please! (If for some reason, I end up having to close my Etsy shop, all bets are off and I will not honor the gift certificate.) My shop on Etsy is: Honey Bee Crochet by SturmDM I used to have another shop that was called: 365 Days of Christmas but I had to close that one because apparently someone has trade marketed that name for her business back in 1999. Here is the convo I received: by mrsclaus365days profile shop contact Listing: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26544977 Dear Friend, I found your site on Esty, and your work is lovely. Unfortunately, I trade marked the name 365 Days of Christmas back in 1999, so you will have to change your name on this site. Please contact me back. Thanks, Barbara Jancovic www.365daysofchristmas.com Good luck and let the creative juices flow!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

El Camino del Rey Hiking Trail in Spain

I love this YouTube video where you take a virtual hike on the El Camino del Rey hiking trail in Spain. I wanted to share it with anyone who has not seen it before. Buckle up and get ready to be impressed. It's an eye-opener! (no coffee required) HINT: If you want to see it full-screen, you can click on this link for YouTube and select the full-screen option there. To see the complete video screen (larger, but not completely full-screen) right click with your mouse on the video below and chose: "Show All" which will give you all the features of the video so that you can then select "full- screen" located to the right of the volume symbol. To get back here, just hit the "Esc" key. ...you might find yourself wanting to lean to the right, like I did!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What is this Critter?

Can anybody tell me the name of that little, adorable critter? It's so cute, I can't stand it...I want one! I had two suggestions, a baby opossum or a baby tarsier and both descriptions didn't fit...and I know it's not a baby sugar glider...any other guesses?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wooo Hooo, the Bees are back!!!

video I'm going to start and end with a bee video that I took right outside my apartment today. We have several Popcorn Trees and when they bloom, they smell like the finest jasmine or tuberose, such a sweet sensational scent that is so irresistible, I wish that I were a bee...or at least had some perfume that smelled like it. I stayed mostly indoors last week, because it rained a lot for the better part of the week. Today is the first chance I got to see what's new outside. This dangerous looking insect looked like a wasp to me, but it didn't have those long dangly legs (so that I could tell)...but, I didn't stick around very long. I found my first Gardenia, another flower that I'm absolutely in love with. Gizzy sriking a photogenic pose in front of the solitary blossom. My potted Peace Lily seems to be very happy sitting outside having had a few good drinks of rain water. The pink Gernium survived the winter. I had a red and white one on either side, but they didn't make it. Look at the Crape Myrtle...it's covered with bees too. We have many of those bushes growing on the property in white and pink. They have such lovely, honey scented blossoms. I had difficulity zooming in on the bees because they were all way too quick for me and my inadequate camera. I saw this one with its big, round golden-yellow pollen sacs. I will continue to try capturing a better picture later. I'm so excited about seeing and hearing all these bees that I just had to show you. It wasn't since the Azaleas bloomed earlier this year, that I saw this much activity, only then I noticed a majority of bumble bees in the Azalea bushes. But this seems to be Honey Bee Haven. Fantastic! I'm so pleased. I can just imagine all that dancing going on back at the hive. I wish I were there to watch. video Here's my other video that I promised you. Even if I couldn't get a close up, surely you are able to see all the bees darting around and hopefully also hear the buzzing sound up in the tree. And that's the buzz from my corner of the world.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stuff: a 3-Step Program!

Ever wonder why we have so much stuff? ...where does it all come from and why is there a never ending supply of it? Every time I move or pack up for one reason or another, I throw away things or give them away, because suddenly they're not important anymore because I don't feel like lugging it all around with me. I want to start out fresh with a nice, clean uncluttered environment, only to find myself filling it up again...and I don't even have young children to blame it on! Amazing! Here's an eye-opening movie that explains in simple steps the evolution of stuff and how stuff works! (It's kind of long, so you can just listen to it while you do something else.) This is a serious look at how Stuff happens! 1. Physical explanation for stuff: The Story of Stuff (with Annie Leonard) The folowing clip is a Classic! You have got to look at this! It's very funny! 2. Psychological explanation for stuff: 3. Practical Solution for Stuff

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Count your Blessings!

I hope this will serve as a little reminder to be thankful for what we have and help put things into perspective: DID YOU KNOW? that... * If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world; * If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy; (...and if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.) * If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day; * If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 700 million people in the world; * If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world; * If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare; * If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're unique to all those in doubt and despair; * If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all. How's that for feeling blessed?

Friday, May 22, 2009

We Remember You! - Memorial Day 2009

The true reason for Memorial Day is oftentimes forgotten as families indulge themselves with an extra day at the beach or a barbecue with friends. But President Barack Obama is hoping to change that this year with the National Moment of Remembrance, which he hopes will become a new American tradition. At 3 p.m. Monday, Americans everywhere are asked to stop what we are doing and reflect on the sacrifices made for the freedoms that we now enjoy. In Flanders field the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. ~Major John McCrae, May 1915.~ Miss Moina Belle Michael, an American War Secretary with the YMCA and herself a writer of verse, on Nov. 9, 1918, the Saturday before the Armistice was signed, read Col. John McCrae’s poem "In Flanders Fields" and it made such a impression on her, that she wrote this poem in reply to it: Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew, We caught the torch you threw, And holding high we kept The faith with those who died. We cherish too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valour led. It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders’ fields. And now the torch and poppy red Wear in honour of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught In Flanders’ fields. Written by Miss Moina Belle Michael Please, allow me to share with you pictures of 20 American Cemeteries in Europe (including Flanders Field) where our fallen Soldiers lie (in numbers): 1) Aisne-Marne, France (2,289) 2) Ardennes, Belgium (5,329) 3) Brittany, France (4,410) 4) Brookwood, England (468) 5) Cambridge, England (3,812) 6) Epinal, France (5,525) 7) Flanders Field, Belgium (368) 8) Florence, Italy (4,402) 9) Henri-Chapelle, Belgium (7,992) 10) Lorraine, France (10,489) 11) Luxembourg, Luxembourg (5,076) 12) Meuse-Argonne, France (14,246) 13) Netherlands, Netherlands (8,301) 14) Normandy, France (9,387) 15) Oise-Aisne, France (6,012) 16) Rhone, France (861) 17) Sicily, Italy (7,861) 18) Somme, France (1,844) 19) St. Mihiel, France (4,153) 20) Suresnes, France (1,541) ...YOU DO THE MATH! As you know, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. "Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day! Read the notes and lyrics to this old timey song called Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping by clicking the link.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Environmental Defense: Climate 411

Let me take just a few minutes of your time to touch on some subjects that have been preying on my mind, like Drinking Water in Plastic Bottles and Eating Fish for Health, just to mention a couple, because that's basically what the majority of the population does. On the Environmental Defense Fund (.org) website you can really learn something regarding drinking water. The article states that: "It's ironic! In many parts of the world, there is no clean drinking water. Here in the U.S., pure, drinkable water flows out of every tap, and yet Americans buy a staggering amount of bottled water. We pay big bucks for it, too - over $15 billion a year. Worse of all, the bottles are overflowing our landfills, and contribute to global warming..." When I walk around Lake Irma, I can see all the litter in the water comprised of styrofoam cups, aluminum cans and plastic drinking water bottles. I wonder if all that plastic offsets the supposed health benefits of drinking bottled water? (and we all should know by now how dangerous plastics are.) Feel free to read more below: Bottles, Bottles, Everywhere... In his article, R. Hoskins writes, PLASTIC: The most important thing to understand is that there is no such thing as "away" when it comes to plastics. When people say "Oh, just throw it away", where precisely is "away"? Just because it's no longer in our home, in our work place or in our car does not mean its "away." It just means we no longer have to look at it on a daily basis and it's somewhere else on this planet. Out of sight out of mind, and not our problem! Well, remember we've only had plastic since the 1950's and it is anticipated that it lasts for at least 400 years, a lot of scientists now estimate that age at more like 1000. Meaning it's all still here, and this amount is growing at an alarming rate. Fifteen billion pounds (7 billion kilograms) of plastic are produced annually in the U.S., but only 1 billion pounds (.5 billion kilograms) are recycled, according to Adventure Ecology. A lot of the bottles that aren't re-purposed end up floating out to sea. The Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, where ocean currents shepherd much of this debris, is twice the size of Texas. It is difficult to estimate how many sea animals die annually from plastics, but it is estimated that approximately 30,000 marine animals lose their lives from plastics annually. The Albatross seems especially hard hit, as is evidenced in a video on this website: Plastic Facts Page I was unable to embed the actual video here, so I'm giving you this link to an eight minute jaw dropping, eye popping talk explaining how our mass consumption and "Throwaway Living" impacts our world. You will be amazed: Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic (click here) I know how many people love to eat fish, but as of late, I have drastically reduced my consumption of fish for obvious reasons: Mercury and PCBs. For your perusal, here's a Seafood Selector to find some ECO-best fish to eat: Find a Fish This is probably the most I have written on my blog thus far, but I feel very strongly about working together to help save our planet and it's inhabitants, and that includes us. All we have to do is make small changes on a daily basis, be a little more aware, maybe use a little less, don't litter in nature and find ways to recycle or upcycle to keep stuff out of the landfills a little longer...you know, baby steps! ...and if Dr. Seuss were still alive today, he'd say the four words we all dread to hear: "I told you so!" and point to the words in his book called The Lorax, where he wrote: “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (Excerpts from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Magnolias and other flowers

I want to take you on a botanical walk through my neighborhood and show you some of the flowers, plants (and a couple of critters) that I saw while taking Gizzy around Lake Irma today. We'll start and end with Magnolias, since they're blooming everywhere now. I took a peek at the Pears that bloomed so early this year (in February) that I worried about their blossoms' survival during the frost, but alas! There will be pears this fall. A nosey, little squirrel pouncing around - there are so many here; it's unbelievable! Star Jasmine around someone's mailbox. It's not as plentiful as in California, but whenever I see it, I stick my nose in the bush (hoping nothing will sting me.) When I reached the little lake, I encountered a friend who took a photo of me in my necessary "armour" and frankly, I'd feel safe working with bees in this get-up. I'm totally covered and additionally sprayed my clothes with insect repellent for the mosquitoes. We have seen an increase of 7,333 % (percent) in our bug population this year, according to the South Health District, who has issued a Mosquito Emergency. Well, as you can see, I'm prepared! Some pretty, little wildflowers covering the ground. Red flower spikes growing next to a tree Interesting blossoms on a Mimosa tree Close-up of the blossom Tree covered with Spanish Moss (my friend calls it spider webs) Did you know? Spanish moss is not a parasitic plant like the Mistletoe! It does not feed of the tree, but rather the air and the particles thereof...just in case you were concerned for the tree ;-) Don't know the name of this bush, but the blossoms remind me a little of Lilacs, but they are more delicate and smell sweet as honey. The bees like it too. I just refer to it as Georgia Lilacs, even though I'm sure it's not so. I this plant. I always thought it was Lemon Verbena, but when I looked it up, it doesn't look like this and now I don't know what it is. When you run your hand through the foliage of this plant, you end up smelling like lemons - and that's why I thought it was a Lemon Verbena, but apparently it's not. This is a big bush, but look at the leaves: don't they look just like an Oak? This is the cutest little house on the corner. They have such pretty garden decorations and usually go all out for Christmas, Easter and 4th of July. This little statute looks so endearing to me. Most Amaryllis flowers have all finished blooming, but this red one is hanging on, in spite of the heat. A pretty, red Oleander flower. The freeways are lined with (usually) white Oleander in California, here they are not as abundant. Lake Irma is less than one mile around. I think it's about 1.5 miles to walk from my house, around the lake, and home again. Standing on the little bridge, called Chadwick Boardwalk, I saw some kind of Heron or Egret stalking a frog or a fish for lunch. Sorry, guys, my zoom lens is not very strong. Heading towards the other side of the bridge One more look at the sparkling water Having reached the other side, we take our ceremonial water break and sit to soak up God's beauty. We'll spend some quiet time bonding, before I pull out his Snoopy brush... Aaaahhhh....that feels soooooo gooooood! Today is a peek-a-boo day, one time sunny, then the sky darkens and it looks like it might rain...very interesting! We sat there for a little while longer, enjoying the view and listening to the 'Glockenspiel' of the nearby belltower that plays a familiar church hymn every hour on the hour. On my way home, I saw another Oleander bush, only this one had a lot less foliage than the red one. Instead, it was covered with many pink flowers. Gizzy patiently waiting for me as I walk back down the driveway from taking the photos. Further down the road and up the hill, I saw a row of Daylilies, in yellow burgundy and orange Here's an eager Hydrangea...most of the flowers are not ready yet! A delicate vine climbing up a mailbox. (I was told it's a Clematis) The other day, there were two flowers on it: one burgundy and this pale lavender one. They complemented each other since the other flower was the color of this one's inside stripes and the burgundy one had pale lavender stripes. Little white wildflowers cover the ground on various lots Lovely red Heirloom Roses grow in dense clusters around the base of this tree Past the old barn where Sally, the horse, used to live. Apparently she went over the Rainbow Bridge, even though noone actually said it. A little bird bobbing on the fence, probably looking for food. The wild Blackberries are developing nicely. Looks like there will be a good harvest, providing the birds don't beat me to them. I saw this red Robin hopping in the grass next to a white mushroom at the grounds of my apartment complex. As promised, some more Magnolia flowers, because obviously it's their time of year!