Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's in a Word?

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
but imagine the feminine she, shis and shim.

Don't You Love The English Language? :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - 'Going Green' Terminology

Familiarize Yourself with Going-Green-Terminology

Can you speak green? This going-green-terminology glossary will clarify some basic terms that are quite commonplace in the green-movement vocabulary.

It should also help to clear up the definitions of some rather strange terms that are becoming popular as well.

BIODIVERSITY - The range of living things in one area and how they are part of the ecosystem.

BIODEGRADABLE - Breaking down of materials with help from micoorganisms.

BIOACCUMULATION - How animals and plants secrete toxins in their tissues from their environment.

BLACKWATER - Containing feces and urine.

CARBON FOOTPRINT - The measure of greenhouse gas emitted by certain actions of humans or industries.

CARBON NEUTRAL - Or Carbon Neutrality - the term used to describe the actions of organizations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as each put in to it.

CARBON OFFSETS - Measures taken to make up for carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

CARBON TAX - A proposed tax charge on carbon dioxide emissions because of burning fossil fuels.

CARBON DIOXIDE - Greenhouse gas increasing global warming. Also known as CO2 - chemical abbreviation.

CLIMATE CHANGE - Rapid change in global climate because of human activities.

COMPOST - Breaking down of materials into dirt.

CFL - Replacement for traditional light-bulbs. - Compact Fluorescent Lamp

ECOSYSTEM - A self sufficient environment formed by biological and physical characteristics existing together and in one place.

EMISSION - Gases or exhausts produced by human activity.

One of the new going-green-terminology phrases that almost sounds a bit "scary" is becoming popular...

ENERGY VAMPIRES - Refers to electric appliances that continue to use energy after they are supposedly turned off.

FOSSIL FUELS - Deposits such as natural gas, coal and oil which has taken years to develop naturally from the environment.

FAIR TRADE - USA certification code that verifies that farmers have received a fair price for their products. They have received credit and are helped with assistance to their business on the road to being self-sufficient economically.

FREE RANGE - Way of farming which allow animals to roam freely and not be caged.

GLOBAL WARMING - Temperature increase in air and oceans because of human activity.

GREY WATER - Runoff from washers, sinks, tub etc., but has no sewage materials.

GREEN - Used in reference to being environmentally friendly.

GREEN TECHNOLOGY - Devoted to the conservation of energy, green building, soil health, smart electricity and more.

GREEN BUILDING - The practice of using eco-friendly building materials, and the designing of energy efficient homes and businesses. Relies on wind and solar power.

GREEN LIFESTYLE/LIVING - Consideration of life choices made which will have consequences on the environment.

GREENHOUSE GASES - Gases in our atmosphere contributing to global warming.

HERBICIDE - Chemicals that stop plants from growing or even kills them.

IPPC - Government Panel investigating impact, and solutions for the changing climate.

LANDFILL - A place to bury garbage, waste.

LED - Replacing the usual light-bulbs, known as Light Emitting Diode.

ORGANIC FOOD - No fertilizers, sewage, or pesticides are used

to grow plants.

PHANTOM LOAD - Same meaning as Energy Vampires.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE - Commonly referred to as the 3 r's of green living. The credo for going-green-terminology.

RECYCLE - Finding alternate uses for something instead of throwing it away as garbage.

REPURPOSE - Same meaning as "recycle."

RENEWABLE ENERGY - Alternate forms of electricity through natural resources such as wind and sun.

SOLAR ENERGY - Conversion of sun's rays to energy.

SUSTAINABILITY - "Living now" changes to make in order to preserve our resources for generations to come. Involves different methods of building, farming and finding new ways to produce electricity instead of using up resources that will run out.

VEGAN - Someone who will not eat products from animals or use material products from animals either.

WASTE STREAMS - Waste materials which come from various commercial, industrial or municipal sectors.

ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT - The goal of carbon neutrality, and the practice of carbon offsetting.

Information from Carbon-Footprint

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Polar Bear - I come in Peace

I come in peace

Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay

The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the Polar bear wandered in.

It seems that the Polar Bear only needed to hug someone.

The Polar Bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

May you always have love to share, and friends that care.

Don't they look happy?


This was sent to me via e-mail. I thought it was worth sharing. The photos are wonderful and the message is simple for us humans.
Just accept each other as we are, drop any prejudgements and see what happens.
Usually, if we do this some amazing friendships develop.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Kitchen Appliances

Some of the following suggestions are really just a reminder that small changes in our daily habits can make a difference in energy consumption. These changes can reduce your utility bills and will also help the environment.

Use Your Refrigerator More Efficiently:

A typical home uses 600-1200 kwh per year for refrigeration and freezing. These habits, settings and maintenance tips can cut that by 100-200 kwh!

Keep your refrigerator filled to capacity, but don't overcrowd to the point where doors cannot be closed or air cannot circulate.

Do not put uncovered liquids in the refrigerator. The liquids give off vapors that add to the compressor workload.

Allow hot food to cool off before putting it in the refrigerator.

Think before you open: remove all ingredients for each meal at one time. The more you open the doors, the harder your fridge has to work to keep things cool.

Temperature: Keep your refrigerator at 37°- 40° F and your freezer at 5°F.

Try switching off the power-saver switch, if your refrigerator has one. If only a small amount of condensation appears, save energy and leave the switch off.

Vacuum the condenser coils (underneath or behind the unit) every three months or so.

Check the condition of door gaskets by placing a dollar bill against the frame and closing the door. If the bill can be pulled out with a very gentle tug, the door should be adjusted or the gasket replaced.

Use your range and oven more efficiently:

A typical home uses 200-700 kwh per year with its range/oven. Following these tips gets you in the low end of the "range."

No peeking! Develop the habit of "lids-on" cooking to allow lower temperature settings.

Rearrange oven shelves before turning your oven on, and don't peek at food in the oven! Every time you open the oven door, 25°-50°F is lost.

Begin cooking on highest heat until liquid begins to boil. Then lower the heat control settings and allow food to simmer until fully cooked.

Cook as much of the meal in the oven at one time as possible.

When preheating an oven for baking, time the preheat period carefully. Five to eight minutes should be sufficient. There is no need to preheat the oven for broiling or roasting.

Carefully measure water used for cooking to avoid having to heat more than is needed.

Include more stews, stir-frys, and other single-dish meals in your menus.

Only use pots and pans with flat bottoms on the stove.

Keep reflector pans beneath stovetop heating elements bright and clean.

Use the self-cleaning cycle only for major cleaning jobs. Start the cycle right after cooking while the oven is still hot, or wait until late in the evening when electricity usage is low.


Don't forget - together we can make a difference!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Reflection - A Father's Wisdom

A Reflection of You.

"A little boy and his father were walking on the mountains. 

Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, 
somewhere in the mountain: 

Curious, the little boy yells: "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

And then the boy screams to the mountain: "You're Stupid"

The voice answers: "You're Stupid"

Frustrated at the response, the boy screams: "I Hate You"

He receives the answer: "I Hate You"

He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"

The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."

The man screams: "You are a champion!"

The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but 
really this is LIFE.

It gives you back everything you 
say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create 
 more love in your heart.

If you want people 
to respect you, respect them. 

This relationship applies to everything, in all 
aspects of life. Life will give you back 
everything you have given to it. 

Your life is not a coincidence. 
It's a 'Reflection of You!'


To all of the fathers reading this reflection.
You know that the job of parenting never ends.
Our children are never too old to see us as role models and to receive our guidance.
May God always guide you in your role of a father.
I hope that you are honored and treated as royalty on this important day.

Happy Father's Day to you!

from peacesojourner

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Juneteenth - Freedom Day

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday honoring African-American heritage and commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas in 1865.

Celebrated on June 19, the term is a combination of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 36 states.

The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations, and since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas History

Though President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas. Texas was resistant to the Emancipation Proclamation, and though slavery was very prevalent in East Texas, it was not as common in the Western areas of Texas, particularly the Hill Country, where most German-Americans were opposed to the practice.

Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived inGalveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, Granger read the following declaration:

‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.’

On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, the newly freed slaves held large public celebrations and so the tradition was started to celebrate future Juneteenth activities.

Here, in Buffalo, NY the celebration of Juneteenth is held for two days every June. This year it is today and tomorrow (June 16th and 17th). It starts with a colorful, joyful parade. Thousands of people attend the event in MLK Park, which has music, plenty of good food, vendors selling African jewelry and clothing. There are booths from many local agencies such as the NAACP, Urban League, Health Services. The tradition is an important part of local history and enjoyed by all that attend.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flag Day - June 14, 2012

There are a few variations on the history of Flag Day in the United States. Here is the version that is taught here in Buffalo NY.

Sarah Hinson was born in Buffalo on February 25, 1841, the daughter of Squire and Mrs. George Hinson. Sarah was educated in the Buffalo School System, and at a private finishing school.

She began teaching in Buffalo When she was 23, in 1864, Miss Hinson transferred to School 31 on Emslie Street where she spent nearly fifty years, thirty as a teacher before becoming the school principal.

Ms. Hinson began Flag Day exercises, by teaching the children to salute the Flag and repeat the Pledge of Allegiance, to instill in her pupils a proper respect for the nation's flag. She held the first ceremony in 1891 on June 14 because that was the date, in 1777, that the Continental Congress replaced the British symbols of the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one for each state.

The following year, other teachers and other schools did the same, and over the years, the idea caught on around the Country.

In 1910, Miss Hinson resigned as principal and was the first woman appointed to the Board of School Examiners, the forerunner to the present Buffalo School Board.

She served on the Board until 1916. She continued to work as a member of the Teacher's Association and as chairman of its Fellowship committee. In this capacity, Miss Hinson would visit teachers, in their homes when there was sickness or death until she died on March 20, 1926 at age of 85.

Her grave at Forest Lawn Buffalo is marked with a flagpole flying the American Flag.

Many people in the United States honor this day by displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of the event on June 14, 1916. However, Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, when President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.

The American flag, also nicknamed as “Old Glory” or “star-spangled banner”, has changed designs over the centuries. It consists of 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars. Each of the 50 stars represent the 50 states in the United States and the 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies that became the first states in the Union.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Remembering Medgar Evers - d. June 12, 1963

On this date 49 years ago, Medgar Evers was murdered in Mississippi. He was very active in the Civil Rights movement and was the NAACP Field Officer in Mississippi.

I am an active Life Member of the NAACP and despite rumors to the contrary this group is still very active in the United States. Please take a few minutes to read about Medgar Evers and understand why he was so important to this country and why it is still important that we still be vigilant about matters of injustice that happen every day.


Medgar Evers was a native of Decatur, Mississippi, attending school there until being inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943. Despite fighting for his country at the Battle of Normandy, he soon found that his skin color gave him no freedom when he and five friends were forced away at gunpoint from voting in a local election. Despite his resentment over such treatment, Medgar enrolled at Alcorn State University, majoring in business administration. While at the school, he stayed busy by competing on the school's football and track teams, also competing on the debate team, performing in the school choir and serving as president of the junior class.

Involvement in the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), a civil rights and pro self-help organization, gave him crucial training in activism. He helped to organize the boycott of service stations that denied blacks use of their restrooms. The boycotters distributed bumper stickers with the slogan "Don't Buy Gas Where You Can't Use the Restroom."

Medgar applied to the then-segregated University of Mississippi Law School in February 1954. When his application was rejected, he became the focus of an NAACP campaign to desegregate the school; in December of that year he became the NAACP's first field officer in Mississippi.
After moving to Jackson, he was involved in a boycott campaign against white merchants and was instrumental in eventually desegregating the University of Mississippi when that institution was finally forced to enroll James Meredith in 1962.

In the weeks leading up to his death, Medgar found himself the target of a number of threats. He held public investigations into the murder of Emmett Till, and a local television station granted him time for a short speech, his first in Mississippi, where he outlined the goals of the Jackson movement. Following the speech, threats on his life increased.

On June 12, 1963, he pulled into his driveway after returning from an integration meeting where he had conferred with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP
T-shirts that stated, "Jim Crow Must Go", Megar was struck in the back with a bullet that ricocheted into his home. He staggered 30 feet before collapsing, dying at the local hospital 50 minutes later. He was murdered just hours after President John F. Kennedy's speech on national television in support of civil rights.

Mourned nationally, Medgar was buried on June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery and received full military honors in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 people, the largest funeral at Arlington since John Foster Dulles. The past chairman of the American Veterans Committee, Mickey Levine, said at the services, "No soldier in this field has fought more courageously, more heroically than Medgar Evers."

On June 23 1963, Byron De La Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and member of the White Citizens' Council and Ku Klux Klan, was arrested for Medgar’s murder.

All-white juries twice that year deadlocked on De La Beckwith's guilt, allowing him to escape justice. Matthew Jones and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers paid tribute to Evers in the haunting "Ballad of Medgar Evers."

Evers' legacy has been kept alive in a variety of ways. In 1970, Medgar Evers College was established in Brooklyn, NY as part of the City University of New York. In 1983, a made-for-television movie, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story starring Howard Rollins, Jr. was aired, celebrating the life and career of Medgar Evers, and on June 28, 1992, he was immortalized in Jackson with a statue.

In 1994, thirty years after the two previous trials had failed to reach a verdict, Beckwith was again brought to trial based on new evidence concerning statements he made to others. During the trial, the body of Evers was exhumed from his grave for autopsy, and found to be in a surprisingly excellent state of preservation as a result of embalming. Beckwith was convicted on February 5, 1994, after living as a free man for three decades after the murder. Beckwith appealed unsuccessfully, and died in prison in January of 2001.

Before his body was reburied, owing to his excellent state of preservation, a new funeral was staged for Evers. This permitted his children, who were toddlers when he was assassinated and had very little memory of him, to have a chance to see him. The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi tells the story of the 1994 trial, in which a District Attorney's office prosecutor, Robert Delaughter, successfully retried the case, and won.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Reflection - A Pit Bull's Unfailing Love

A Pit Bull Who Provided Lessons in Loyalty and Unfailing Love

Published: March 28, 2007

Foxy the loyal pit bull.
In the pecking order of man and beast, there was no lower rung than the one shared by Randy Vargas and Foxy on the streets of Hoboken.

He was 46 and homeless, regular work like that fondly remembered machine-shop job long in the past. She was a member of dogdom’s least-fashionable demographic, a 10-year-old brindled pit bull, compact as a pickup truck, ears askew, two-tone face, white neck, the rest an arbitrary mix of light and dark.

And yet in this city increasingly defined by creatures who drew the long straw — winners in real estate and on Wall Street, sleek goldens, pampered Yorkies, fashionable puggles and doodles — there was something transcendent in their bond.

Maybe in a world of opaque relationships, theirs was a lesson in clarity like a parable from the Bible. He had rescued her back when she was homeless and abused, a scared runty thing living with homeless men who had no use for her. She in turn gave him purpose and companionship and love.

Maybe it was how the relationship brought out the best in both. It brought him to life and into the world, as much a part of Hoboken street life as any young comer with his black Lab. And it made her a creature of eternal sweetness, unfailingly friendly to people and animals, tail wagging at the merest glance, a pit bull in name but not metaphor.

So if you spent any time in Hoboken the odds are pretty good you would have seen the two of them, sleeping in front of SS. Peter and Paul Parish Center, visiting the Hoboken Animal Hospital, walking down the street — the dog keeping perfect pace with him, dressed in winter in raffish layers of sweatshirts and T-shirts plucked from the St. Mary’s Hospital Thrift Store, she keeping perfect pace with him.

Cheryl Lamoreaux remembered seeing Mr. Vargas resting on a condo’s shaded concrete steps on a sweltering August weekend day, flat on his back with Foxy in the same position one step below. It was the perfect image of man and dog, she said, and added, “This really was a dog with a deep soul.”

Everyone who knew them said the same thing: Mr. Vargas cared for the dog better than for himself.

“If it was the dead of winter, the dog would get all the blankets, he’d get the sidewalk with nothing on it,” said Robin Murphy, a groomer at the Hoboken Animal Hospital. “If it was raining, he’d put the umbrella up for the dog before he’d put it up for himself.”
But there’s not much margin for error at the bottom rung. Once this winter, he was arrested, accused of making threatening remarks to women. The case was dismissed, and friends say it should never have gone that far. But Ms. Murphy had to rescue Foxy from the pound in Newark, where she could have been euthanized.

It all ended so fast, people still can’t explain it. Aside from a dog run, she had seldom been seen off the leash, but on the morning of March 19 in the park, she was. She saw a dog she knew across Hudson Street, dashed across to say hello and was hit by a white pickup that stopped briefly and then sped off.

He held the dog, blood spurting from her mouth, and waved at passing cars, but none stopped. So he carried her 60 pounds, feeling the broken bones in his hand, as far as he could, then put her down and ran to the animal hospital for help. But it was too late.

People come by every day, some fighting back tears, to leave donations, more than $900 so far. Some come from people who knew them, most from people who felt like they did. Alone they might have been invisible. Together, they were impossible to miss.

In different ways, they’re still around. Her picture is in some store windows, wearing a gray sweatshirt with a red T-shirt under it, gazing to the right like a sentry, a wondrous study in essence of dog with a touch of human thrown in. Since the accident Mr. Vargas has had good days and bad ones, sometimes being up and around, sometimes, like the other day, looking groggy and defeated under his red comforter on the street. “I feel,” he told a friend, “like I have a hole in my soul.”

At the animal hospital they’re buying a pendant to hold some of her ashes that he can wear around his neck. Friends check on him regularly, bring him food, talk of finally getting him a place to live. There’s talk of getting him a new dog when he’s ready, which surely isn’t now.
“It’s like most relationships,” he said from under the red blanket. “You have to wait for the right time.”

I read this article some time ago and was touched by the story -
hope you like it.


Friday, June 8, 2012

What Became of the Girl in the Photo?

June 8, 1972 - If you saw this photo in Newsweek Magazine on that date
you have never forgotten it.
Have you ever wondered what became of the naked girl in the photo taken during the Vietnam War, by Nick Ut?

Her clothes had been burnt off by the napalm flames that had engulfed her.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the photo.

Her name is Kim Phuc. The good news is that she survived the traumatic burns over her body.

Her life has not been easy. She has suffered pain ever since the napalm explosion. She later managed to escape to Canada, get married and have two children.

Kim Phuc has also established an organization to help children of war, called the 'Kim Phuc Foundation International' which she formed as a way to promote peace and forgiveness.

She finally found happiness and freedom after years of pain and suffering. She later met a pilot who coordinated the air strike on her village - she forgave him!

Dates of the Vietnam War: 1959 -- April 30, 1975

Bless the little children who are the innocents in the big peoples war games.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month

June is designated as National Fruit and Vegetable Month.


If this is a new idea to you and your family here are some ideas on how to start a diet of increased vegetables and fruits.

• Keep a food diary for a week, and note down what you eat every day.

• Buy local fresh fruit and vegetables - unpackaged, and organic whenever you can. Wash thoroughly before eating.

• Raw is best, but cooked is fine too. Fruit and vegetables in takeaways and ready meals do count, but beware of the way they've been cooked.

• Frozen fruit and vegetables are fine and have as many nutrients as fresh.

• Canned fruit and vegetables are also good. Choose them with little or no added salt or sugar. Go for vegetables canned in water and fruit canned in natural juice, not syrup.

• Dried fruit like apricots or prunes.

• Dried or canned pulses like beans, chickpeas, and lentils. High in fiber, but not as good as fresh vegetables for minerals and vitamins

Fruit and vegetables:

You need a minimum of five servings a day of fresh fruit and vegetables, seven portions are better and nine are better still. Go for a mix of colors and be inventive - you can add fresh fruit and vegetables to every meal with a bit of planning. Add to breakfast cereal, use as snacks, have a salad with every meal, have several veggie meals a week, add to soups and stews, add raw vegetables to salads.

If you are wondering just what is a serving size - to help you decide, take a look at these lists.


• Asparagus, canned 7 spears
• Asparagus, fresh 5 spears
• Avocado Half
• Baby sweetcorn 6
• Baked beans 3 tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Broad beans 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Broccoli 2 large florets
• Brussels sprouts 8
• Cabbage 3 heaped tbsp shredded, (1/2 cup)
• Carrots 1 large
• Celery 3 sticks
• Cherry tomatoes 7
• Curly kale 4 tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Eggplant One-third of a large one
• French beans 4 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Mixed salad Cereal bowl full (1 cup)
• Mushrooms, button 14
• Onion 1 medium
• Parsnip 1 large
• Peas, fresh, frozen or canned 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Potatoes Never count towards your daily vegetable servings, in any form
• Pulses, cooked: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils etc 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Salad leaves, lettuce etc Cereal bowl full (1 cup)
• Scallions 8
• Snowpeas Handful
• Spinach, cooked 2 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Spring onions 8
• Sugarsnap peas Handful
• Sweetcorn, fresh, frozen or canned 3 heaped tbsp (1/2 cup)
• Tomato 1 medium
• Vegetable soup 1 serving of fresh or canned soup (look for salt free)
• Vegetable sticks Handful of mixed - celery, pepper, carrot etc
• Zucchini Half a large one

• Apple, dried 4 rings
• Apple, fresh 1 medium
• Apricots, dried 3 whole
• Banana 1 medium
• Blackberries Handful
• Blueberries ½ cup
• Clementines 2
• Cherries, fresh 14
• Dried fruits, mixed 1 tbsp (1/4 cup)
• Figs, fresh 2
• Fruit juice 250ml (1 cup) glass
• Fruit salad, fresh or canned 3 heaped tbsp, (1/2 cup)
• Kiwi 2
• Grapefruit Half
• Grapes Handful
• Lychees, fresh or canned 6
• Mango 2 slices
• Melon 1 large slice
• Passion fruit 6
• Peach, canned 2 halves
• Peach, fresh 1 medium
• Pear 1 medium
• Pineapple, canned 2 rings
• Pineapple, fresh 1 large slice
• Plums 2 medium
• Prunes, canned 6
• Nectarine 1 medium
• Raisins 1 tbsp (1/4 cup)
• Raspberries 2 handfuls
• Rhubarb, cooked 2 heaped tbsp (1/3 cup)
• Satsumas 2
• Strawberries 7

Buy at your local farmer's markets - your fruits and vegetables will be fresher and they do not have to be transported from far away places thus helping to clean the environment.


Members of Bloggers Unite have committed to talking about
this very important subject this month in oder to encourage people to eat fruit
and vegetables and to buy local. This will help your health and the economy.
Why not give it a try?


Monday, June 4, 2012

Strawberry Moon in June

I took this photo last night in Buffalo - peacesojourner

The Strawberry Moon in June

One of the most dramatic sights in the night sky and an inspiration for poets, artists, and lovers, full moons captivate us like nothing else.

Every month Earth's moon goes through its phases, waning and waxing in its constant transformation from new moon to full moon and back again. Full moons occur every 29.5 days or so as the moon moves to the side of Earth directly opposite the sun, reflecting the sun's rays off its full face and appearing as a brilliant, perfectly circular disk.

Since ancient times, humans have used the movement of the moon to keep track of the passing year and set schedules for hunting, planting, and harvesting.

Since the moon plays a large part in the lives of agricultural communities, they named the moon in each month for a significant event or activity in that month.
During the times of the early colonists , they named the moon in June, the Rose Moon. Since roses generally bloom in June.

The Neo Pagan name for the June moon is the Planting Moon.
The name Srawberry Moon was universal to every Algonquin tribe and was called that because Strawberries are ready to be picked and eaten at that time.

Full Moon is always an opportune time of the month for cleansing rituals to take place. The light the full moon offers illuminates those things that are interfering with our spiritual advancements. Once we have become enlightened to ways that are blocking us, the easier it is to let go. The full moon is the time for releasing or purging the things in our lives that no longer serve us such as addictions to food, drugs, or sex, relinquishing suffering involved in hurtful relationships, discharging physical and emotional pains, etc.

For some reason the June moon is also a time when many people choose to get married. I would guess because it is at a time in the year when the flowers are in bloom and most of us are filled with happiness.

So, eyes upward tonight and enjoy the beautiful sight that
Mother Nature gives us.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remembering Markus who died June 1, 2004

A tribute to Markus J. Johnson of Springfield, Massachusetts

He was an Army Pfc and on June 1, 2004 he died while serving in the
Al Anbar Province of Iraq when an Avenger rolled over.
He was 20 years old

He was awarded seven medals, including the Bronze Star
and the Purple Heart

Brig. Gen. Bo Temple presents Sandra L. Thomas, the mother of Army Pvt. Markus J. Johnson, a flag and her son's medals during Markus Johnson's funeral at the Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery in Agawam, June 12 2004. Beside Thomas are Markus Johnson's stepfather Lawrence Thomas, Jr., and aunt Katherine Johnson

Siblings Laura Thomas, left, Craig L. Johnson, Nathan L. Johnson
and Dwayne A. Johnson share a laugh as they remember their
brother, Army
Pfc Markus J. Johnson, during his funeral.

Military pallbearers carry the casket of Army Pvt. Markus J. Johnson
from Symphony Hall after the funeral

Tribute to a fallen warrior

Markus' parents and brother Nathan at a memorial event
on the first anniversary of his death.


I would like to introduce you to Markus J. Johnson.

I was living in Massachusetts when I first met Markus. He was a young child and his aunt Kathy was a good friend of mine. She usually had Markus and his brothers with her when we would meet. His mother was in poor health and was confined to a wheelchair so he spent a lot of time with his aunt.

He was full of energy, asked a thousand questions and had a great sense of humor.
When he got older he made the decision to join the Army so that he could help his mother financially and like many of our young citizens Markus dreamed of pursuing a college education when he was discharged from the military.

Markus holds the distinction of being Springfield's first resident to sacrifice his life in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the country's War on Terrorism. He was assigned to the 3rd Air Defense Artillery, 1st Infantry Division of the Army, based in Kitzingen, Germany and was 20 when he was deployed to Iraq.

Markus’ death was a shock to his family and friends and to the entire community. He was well known at the local Martin Luther King Community Center which he attended during his childhood and teen years. Hundreds attended his funeral.

I wanted to introduce you to Markus because his story is so typical of many of the young men and women who have died in the Iraq War. They wanted to help their families financially, pursue a higher education and to be of service to their country.

Markus’ mother and father have both died since the time of his death. His siblings have undergone the pain of losing their parents and their brother in the past eight years.

I remember Markus with fond affection and we all miss him very much.
We are proud of him and will never forget him.