Archive for July 31, 2019

Grow an Environmentalist

Because today’s children seldom get out of the city, when they grow up, not many choose environmental careers, resulting in fewer people to care for our planet. Help reverse the trend and have family fun doing it. Plant a garden with your kids. Watch it grow. Enjoy the colors, smells, and textures. If you grow vegetables, cook them together to enjoy at a family meal. Or take the family on walks. Many cities boast of several beautiful easy-walk trails where you can share nature’s sounds, sights, and smells. Probably, there are parks nearby, too, for picnics or just experiencing the wonders around you.  While on your outings, pick up trash you see and explain to the kids that, even if we didn’t cause it, we should show respect for our lovely surroundings.  That night your children should be tired enough to sleep soundly—and dream happy dreams of butterflies and forests.

The Poetry of Poop

You may have seen this in the news. I liked it because I’m a responsible dog owner, picking up her “gifts” as we walk. More than that, though, I applaud the man’s response. He doesn’t yell and scream or knock on people’s doors to fight them. He doesn’t even allow himself to ruin his (and others’) day by holding in ill feelings. He just does something that gets the message across with a bit of humor and in a non-destructive way that just washes away.

Watch the video and get details at Phoenix man on poop crusade makes chalk messages, circles poop left on sidewalk.

I Could Have Lost My Son

I was very shaken. I’ve seen news of mass shootings in various cities. I’ve prayed for the victims and their families and felt a lump in my heart for them. But this was different.  My son and his girlfriend decided at the last minute not to go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. If they had gone, they would be there when the shooter killed three people, including a 6-year-old, and injured a dozen others. Life is such a precious gift, one we must make an effort to protect from the rampant violence in our country. Each of us must put pressure on our lawmakers to make fair and equitable laws that address issues of mental health, gun safety, responsible gun ownership.  In our own lives, we must confront violence in any form we encounter—bullying, domestic violence, road rage, animal cruelty, taunts on social media—because those things perpetuate the culture of violence that is killing our loved ones and our souls.

A Book Worth Reading

An intriguing  book to make you think:The Confession, by John Grisham. I admit that the death penalty has always made me queasy, and this book tells me why. It’s the story of a group of people trying to save an innocent man on Death Row in the final hours of his life. Among those groups is the admitted killer, who can take the authorities to where he buried the body, if they’ll let him. But Texas (and other states) are tough on crime, and they had their man. His confession, hand-fed to him by the detectives interrogating him over a prolonged period of time, proves his guilt. What’s a governor and DA with promising careers to do, give in to bleeding heart defense attorneys and biased family members? And what should a minister do when the admittedly guilty man shows up on his doorstep and confesses? 

Grisham puts his characters into difficult positions, making them choose between what’s right and what’s comfortable or even legal. They are forced to make moral and practical decisions.  And we, the readers, are pulled into those decisions, agonizing with the characters. Whichever side of the capital punishment issue you’re on, this book is a worthwhile read.

A Lesson in Parenting

Today’s Thursday Thought offers a good way to ensure that our children grow into being better adults.

The Benefits of Being Alone

Not talking about being lonely, just being alone. There’s a big difference. What with being plugged into our electronic devices, finding parties to go to, hustling about in groups at work or crowds getting to/from work, taking care of family, we don’t have a lot of time alone, by ourselves. Yet, being alone is good for us. It aids creativity, production, happiness, outlook, a chance to do what you want to do, and even sociability.

Sound impossible? Read Leigh Weingus’ Huffington Post article Alone time’ is really good for you. In fact, read it all by yourself, with nobody else around.

Improve Efficiency and Communication

At most meetings today, cell phones are in people’s hands or on the table in front of them. A few companies (and our last President) had a great idea. That is, a person must put his name on a sticky note and attach it to his phone—then leave it outside the room.  Now there’s a small thing that can really count when it comes to meeting-efficiency by fostering clear, undivided attention and communication!

Health Warning–Sunscreen Dangers

We wear sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun. Trouble is, much of the stuff is bad in itself. Some chemicals in it can irritate the skin or cause skin allergies, especially those with ingredients that let the sunscreen sink deeper into the skin so it stays on longer. And we can’t help but inhale some of the spray we put on (not good for the lungs). We know our bodies are taking in these chemicals because tests detect them in our urine, blood, and even breast milk.

The FDA is considering regulations to minimize sunscreen hazards. Eventually sunscreens will be safer. Meanwhile, why not consider alternatives? For example, Zinc oxide and titanium oxide stay on the skin’s surface and aren’t absorbed into the body. Or use an organic, non-toxic product made from natural ingredients. Of course, you can also wear a hat and protective clothing and stay in the shade. But the waves are sooooo inviting….

Whatever you do, be aware and avoid those harmful sunscreens. It’s a good practice for you AND keeps those harmful chemicals from polluting the Earth.

Worth Taking Care of

“Earthrise,” taken on Christmas Eve 1968 from aboard Apollo 8, by astronaut William Anders, who responded to fellow astronaut Frank Borman’s comment about a picture, grabbed a camera, and took this breathtaking photo. It shows our home planet just appearing over the moon’s horizon.

Beautiful sight, isn’t it? And worth taking care of.

Reagan Wisdom

I admit, I wasn’t overjoyed with Ronald Reagan as the governor of my state, and I disagreed with some of his Presidential policies. Often, though, he made good sense, as in today’s Thursday Thought quote.