Archive for March 31, 2018

Too Many Eggs and Bunnies

Have left-over Easter baskets, grass, or plastic (ug!) eggs?  Here’s a solution: stash them away for next year. That cute bunny suit that won’t fit Junior next year? Donate it now before it’s ruined.  Candy nobody will eat?  Compost it.

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

Seeds of Peace

Because of the significance of the season--notably Good Friday today, beginning of Passover tonight, Easter Sunday in two days–I’d like us all to think about peace.

PEACE is God’s loving gift to us.  All He asks is that we accept it together.  All of us, from all faiths.  One way is through “The Peace Seeds.”  These 12 prayers were prayed in  Assisi on the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace.  They are Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Bahai’, Shinto, Native African, Native American, Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian.  They may refer to the Life Force in different ways, but all call on it to help us attain the peace our Father wishes for us.

Let each prayer touch you deeply, where your longing for peace lives. Feel the unity of the world is in its craving for peace.  Then call upon God using each prayer.  You may want to change the references you aren’t comfortable with: “Vedic Law” in the Hindu to “Holy Law” or “Buddhahood” to “Your Will.” Remember: God wants not mere words from us but a unified desire to accept His gift.

You’ll find the Peace Seed Prayers at http://chaplaincyinstitute.org/library/blessings-and-prayers/interfaith-prayers-for-peace.

Culture and Contempt, Chavez Style

This Saturday is Caesar Chavez Day in California, Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, and Nebraska.  It celebrates the legacy of an American farm-worker who led his fellow  workers toward claiming their civil  rights.  Along with Dolores Huerta, he started the United Farm Workers.  This day was established as one in which we focus on doing service for the community.  In today’s Thursday Thought quote, he  reminds us of an important fact that should be everyone’s mindset.

“Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” — Cesar Chavez

 

Guilt-Free Chocolate

What is the first secular thing that comes to mind with the word “Easter”?  Chocolate, of  course.  Chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies…gobs of chocolate that make our minds twitch with guilty pleasure.

How about guilt-free chocolate?  The pounds may stay, but not regrets about how that yummy stuff got to us.  The same with coffee, tea, rice, sugar, juice, honey, wine, flowers, crafts–all sorts of things that often reach our homes through the mistreatment of people in other countries.  Many, often young children, work under harsh conditions to support their families.  But it’s the only work available.  The FAIR-TRADE MOVEMENT aims to change this, to provide employment, fair wages, decent conditions, and money that goes back into their communities for health and education.  This is not “free trade,” which is political, among nations, but “fair trade,” valuing the well-being of people.

Participate by buying products on-line (Google “Fair Trade”) or at Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Cost Plus, Peet’s, Starbucks, and elsewhere.  Watch for the “Fair Trade” symbol on packages.  Ask the manager.  Make your interest known.  Then, maybe just one more nibble wouldn’t hurt….

You are the Target

Scammers are always attacking us.  I wish they’d  get a real life, but apparently enough of us are taken in that they’re making a bundle of money.

I just read an AAPR article on scammers–how they draw us in by personalizing their pitch.  I thought you might  be interested in reading it.  It gives good information that may protect you or a loved one, especially that senior citizen you care so much for and who is in the age group most targeted by scammers.

It’s called “You are the Target”  and can be found at this AARP webpage.

Russian Trolls: What They Do and What We Should Do Personally

This is the best explanation I’ve seen about how Russian trolls got into our social media and heads, not to elect Trump but to do something more insidious and dangerous to our country–disrupt our democracy.  I’m sorry that the sound doesn’t work, but you can read the words the speaker is saying.

How Russian trolls operate

Russian meddling is the biggest attack on our democracy since 9-11. Here's how it works and what we can do about it.

Posted by act.tv on Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring–Get to Work!

Spring started this past Tuesday.  You know what that means: soon the itch to clean will appear as a rash on your psyche. This year, do your Spring cleaning the Earth-friendly way.  First, choose your cleaning products.  Avoid toxic ones that are corrosive, harmful to your skin, or flammable.  Buy those with labels that say they’re eco-friendly or biodegradable.  Or ask me to send you directions for some homemade cleaners and make them yourself. Next, reuse some of your trash.  Bits of old clothing make good rags; other items might help people directly or indirectly via local thrift shops.  What’s left over, recycle…like batteries and light bulbs at Lowes, paint at Kelly-Moore and home-improvement stores, metal at a local recycler, and electronics at often-held school fund-raisers.  And, of course, use your imagination to reuse: pieces of broken plates make colorful ground-cover and an unwanted picture frame can be turned into an earring-holder.  In short, think Pinterest, not garbage can.  And have some fun in the process, because that enthusiasm to clean will fade quickly.

Privacy and the Smoking Gun

I was so anxious to give you the information about Facebook yesterday, that I  forgot to post a “Thursday Thought” quote.  So I’ll do it today.  I think this one is appropriate:

“Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.” — Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO

Facebook: Protect Yourself

Not everyone has this information yet, so please excuse me if you already do.  It’s something that all Facebook users need to know.

You have more apps on to your Facebook account than you think. Companies have attached these through friends’ posts you’ve read or responded to, a game you play on FB, or a quiz you’ve taken on FB.  They use these apps to gather personal information about you–essentially your likes and dislikes, political leanings, religious beliefs, social status, and anything else  about who you are as a person.  Then they target you with ads and messages slanted  to get you to believe in something, vote a certain way, etc.

Go now to FB and delete all the apps you don’t want, need, or recognize.  (I just did and deleted 15 and kept 5.  Note: I never do games or quizzes, so I don’t know where they came from).  It’s easy. 1) Sign in to FB and go to  Settings (upper right of your profile). Click on Apps on the left side.  2) Look through all the apps, find the ones you want to get rid of, click the X next to them, then click on Delete.

If you have a whole bunch of these things it will take awhile, and the data they’ve gathered about you stays forever with the gatherer, but you’ll protect your privacy from future apps you don’t sign up for.

I plan to check my apps often, maybe  monthly, just in case.

Why Books

I like books.  Real, lick-a-finger-and-turn-a-page books.  Most people I know prefer their hand-held device with words that appear thanks to cyber-space.  Why my preference?  Maybe this explains it.

 

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