Thursday, August 25, 2011

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Lawn Care and Gardening.

Remember the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair

LAWN-CARE & GARDENING: Because of the high cost of gasoline and people feeling the drastic affects of the economy, many families are electing to stay at home during vacation time. This is a good time to concentrate more time on your gardens. As an avid gardener I find working outside to be good for the mind, body and spirit. It is good exercise and gives me peace of mind as I tend to Mother Nature’s gifts to us.

When you plan your garden try to use plants and flowers that are native to your area because they are already adapted to the soil and water conditions, you won't have to use as much fertilizer and water to get them to grow. Also, try to select drought-tolerant plants. Together, these varieties can help you limit the amount of watering you’ll do this summer. For more information and lists of regional plants, go to

Don’t forget to support the local farmers and buy local gardening products if you can. Plants sold in large chain stores are not tended by loving hands and have usually been neglected. Go to a local nursery where the plants did not travel thousands of miles in trucks to get to you.

No Pesticide Pest Prevention - Interplant flowers and herbs for a chemical free organic garden that reduces insects.

THE MINT FAMILY: helps to keep the bugs away with a pleasant, yet bug reducing aroma.GARLIC: offends Japanese beetles, vegetable weevils and spider mites. CELERY: deters the white moth that lays the eggs that become caterpillars, and then eat your cabbage and broccoli.MARIGOLDS: with their strong scent, are a great deterrent to damaging pests. Plant marigold near vegetables like tomatoes, and bugs will go elsewhere. NASTURTIUMS: repel whiteflies and squash bugs and will protect your sage from the whiteflies if you plant some nearby. NICOTINA: is also known as flowering tobacco and is useful in keeping the pests away from not the garden, but the gardener. These plants repel mosquitoes.

In addition, some of the herbs and flowers that deter the pests will also encourage the beneficial insects that plants need to thrive and pollinate. Your garden will have a pleasing, natural look.

There’s no need to resort to commercial herbicides to get rid of weeds awakened by warmer weather. Squirt them with lemon juice or vinegar, or scald them with boiling water. (The toughest ones may need two applications.)

One way to reduce the amount of water you give to your lawn is to adjust your lawnmower to cut grass no shorter than three inches. Taller grass encourages deeper roots and shades the soil to reduce moisture loss.

It’s best to water your lawn or garden before 8 a.m. Doing so at midday sacrifices as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation. Watering at night can promote mold and disease. Avoid watering on windy days, and break your watering into short segments. Try for one inch of water (including rainfall) per week in the growing season. Lawns absorb water better in three ten-minute spells than in one half-hour stretch. Use an empty tuna can to track volume.

A manual reel mower saves your share of the fuel Americans consume each year in cutting their lawns. It provides a little workout every time you use it, and reduces neighborhood noise pollution as well.

Fifty-four million Americans mow their lawns each weekend. They use 800 million gallons of gasoline annually, producing 5 percent of the nation’s air pollution. With your reel mower, you can keep 80 pounds of CO2 out of the air each year.

If you follow some of these suggestions you will be helping to reduce gas consumption, conserve water, and prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment while improving the quality of life for yourself and the community.

Don’t forget, together we can make a difference.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Reflection - Lighten Up a Little - Smile :-)

Humor is very valuable in Christian communication because it breaks down barriers and most importantly, because we have a biblical mandate to use humor!

God's Bumper Stickers

Psalm 126:2

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.

And the other nations said, "What amazing things the LORD has done for them."


Don't take life so seriously - smile a little :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Detox your body, home, community

DeTox your body, DeTox your home, and DeTox the Economy:

- Many of today’s consumer products – from cleaning supplies, to children’s pajamas to lipstick – contain toxic chemical additives that simply aren’t necessary. Research online (for example, before you buy to be sure you’re not inadvertently introducing toxics into your home and body. Then tell your friends about toxics in consumer products.

- Do you ever use hair dye to change your hair color? Take a look at the ingredients before you put it on your head. Every pore in your head will be absorbing the chemicals into your brain. The same goes for body deodorant. Check out the ingredients before you smear it under your armpits. Soap and water is effective to remove body odor, also, a little baby powder will give you a sweet smell of freshness :-)

- The European Union has adopted strong policies that require toxics to be removed from many products. So, while our electronic gadgets and cosmetics have toxics in them, people in Europe can buy the same things toxic-free. Let’s demand the same thing here. Getting the toxics out of production at the source is the best way to ensure they don’t get into any home and body.

- Unplug (the TV and internet) and Plug In (the community). The average person in the United States watches T.V. over 4 hours a day. Four hours per day filled with messages about stuff we should buy. That is four hours a day that could be spent with family, friends and in our community.

- On-line activism is a good start, but spending time in face-to-face civic or community activities strengthens the community and many studies show that a stronger community is a source of social and logistical support, greater security and happiness. Volunteer for activities at your place of worship, it is guaranteed that there is a mission or project that would benefit from your personal gifts. Sign up to help in a local political campaign - a great way to meet new people.

- Park your car and walk. Make exercise part of your daily routine. Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, your health, and your wallet.

- It is possible that I may have mentioned some of these things before but it bears repeating if it helps us to change. Just changing one thing at a time will help the environment and our personal lives.

Let me know how you are doing with the 4 R’s. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair.

Don’t forget, together we can make a difference.


About the photo - I was out walking and the Robin was looking at me directly and communicating in the sweetest tones. Of course I had to snap his photo :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hiroshima, Aug 6, 1945 and Aug 9, 1945, Nagasaki

Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945, Nagasaki-
Totals: 105,000 killed and 94,000 injured

As many know, the atomic bomb has been used only twice in warfare. The first was at Hiroshima, Japan. A uranium bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" (despite weighing in at over four and a half tons) was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945. The Aioi Bridge, one of 81 bridges connecting the seven-branched delta of the Ota River, was the target; ground zero was set at 1,980 feet. At 8:15 a.m. , the bomb was dropped from the Enola Gay. It missed by only 800 feet. At 8:16 a.m. , in an instant, 66,000 people were killed and 69,000 injured by a 10-kiloton atomic explosion.

The area of total vaporization from the atomic bomb blast measured one half mile in diameter; total destruction one mile in diameter; severe blast damage as much as two miles in diameter. Within a diameter of two and a half miles, everything flammable burned. The remaining area of the blast zone was riddled with serious blazes that stretched out to the final edge at a little over three miles in diameter.

Meanwhile in the United States a cartoonist sends a grim message -
I wonder if this was considered amusing at the time.

The New York Times reports to the nation



On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki fell to the same treatment. This time a Plutonium bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped on the city. Though "Fat Man" missed its target by over a mile and a half, it still leveled nearly half the city. In a split second, Nagasaki's population dropped from 422,000 to 383,000. More than 39,000 dead - over 25,000 people were injured.
Japan offered to surrender on August 10, 1945.

Statue in the Hiroshima Peace Park

The Monument to the Mobilized Students remembers nearly 7,000
Hiroshima school students who died in the atomic bomb blast.
They were 'mobilized' to demolish wooden buildings for firebreaks,
to produce food and to work in factories for the war effort.
The statue represents the Goddess of Peace with eight doves.
Thousands of paper cranes are left here by visitors seeking a world
in which children can live without fear of nuclear weapons.
The sign reading 'Peace' is made of folded paper cranes
glued onto a board.


NOTE: Physicists who have studied these two atomic explosions estimate that the bombs utilized only 1/10th of 1 percent of their respective explosive capabilities.


To remember the past is
to commit oneself to the future.

To remember Hiroshima is
to abhor nuclear war.

To remember Hiroshima is
to commit oneself to peace.

- Pope John Paul II 1981

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Reflection - The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

The courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.


The serenity prayer is not actually in the bible, but rather was originally written by
theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1943.

The words have special meaning to those who are often “looking for peace” at a time of turmoil, despair, or uncertainty in their lives. This prayer has become closely associated with 12 Step programs, offering strength and calm in pursuit of a more stable life.

Perseverance and successes aren’t born out of good times. They come out of the trials that we experience.

1 Peter 4:12 says “. . .don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”

photos by peacesojourner