"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Brother Bill

A few of the people who read me here, know me in real life; most do not. For those of you who don't...this is my brother Bill. He was a few years older then me but much more accomplished. He was a National Merit Scholar, an Honor graduate at Vanderbilt, a husband, a father. He died by his own hand in 2005. In September, all of Bill's family and friends, will walk in his memory, to support the American Foundation for Suicide Support. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among males and the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24. The THIRD leading cause. Over 90 percent of suicide victims are either depressed or abusers of alcohol. Won't you please help by clicking on the link below, and making a small donation ....all proceeds go to educate people on depression and suicide prevention. Hopefully the loss of one person will help save the life of another. And if you know someone who is at risk...watch for the signs. Pay attention to symptoms and don't feel like its no big deal or that someone else will intervene. And if you know someone who might be interested in helping, please pass this link on to them. Awareness is the key to turning around those statistics !!
To make a donation or for information: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&eventID=658&participantID=6807

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Goes the Green?

Well, at my house, we are about 3 months into our "go green" transformation. If you read the earlier post, http://pats-dryrun.blogspot.com/2008/06/going-green.html then you know I have taken an, albeit too late, but obsessive interest in our environment and its inevitable demise. I recognize that we each can do a lot to better the future of our earth. And I also recognize that it isn't a situation where one should feel that they can not make an impact. The biggest contribution, in addition to making changes ourselves, is to educate others, especially our children. Our kids are much more aware then their parents about recycling, our carbon footprints, and the circle of effects of our oil usage. I have to do things in baby steps if I want to succeed. So my the changes I made, were that we would take part in our city's recycling program, switch from paper napkins to cloth, switch to recyclable grocery bags, and quit buying water in plastic bottles. The recycling we have easily melded into. The first few times were a bit of a mess. We found that even though the website states they take glass, they actually do not. So they weren't real fond of the beer bottles that we left as an environmental contribution. I still don't get the "no glass" thing but they take everything else, limiting plastics to 1 and 2. The switch from paper to cloth napkins was totally an unnoticed change. I need to buy a few more, but otherwise; painless! The grocery bag switch was also easy. I just have to find a way to remember to take them with me into the store. But the water thing has been hard. I quit buying plastic bottles of water and I do miss them. There is something embedded in my brain that makes me think the bottled water tastes better. It even works when I fill a saved bottle up with tap water and chill it. So I have to work on that notion. I have a Brita pitcher, but the filters eat you up at about $6 a piece. I am ready to add a few more changes...the one I need to do the most is to cut out or at least cut way back on paper towel usage. I go through a lot on a daily basis. I am not sure what an easy replacement would be. It seems if you use dish towels, they will always be damp and having to be replaced with a dry one. I guess though, that they won't take more room in the washing machine. I think this will be on my new list of changes to add at my house. And I am also going to try my moms old habit, which I used to think was disgusting, of re-using plastic bags...like sandwich bags. I used to scoff at her drying bag which she used to stick upside down over the kitchen faucet to dry. Now they make a rack that goes in your dishwasher to wash those same bags. Who knew...besides Mom !!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whats This????

In my garage, I have an old, small chest of drawers that sits right outside my kitchen door. It has been a handy place for dropping gardening gloves, pruning shears, tiles that I have dug up out of the ground...anything I would normally lose out in the yard. You can see all these things laying on the top. Wait, never mind, that is a hatchet, not pruners .You can also see in the picture that I keep garbage bags and a weeder stuck in the top drawer..thus it stands open pretty much all of the time.

But look what else is inside the top drawer...a new birds nest. A little male and female chickadee are building a new nest; in the nice cool (relatively) and shady garage. I do wonder why birds would be starting a new nest now...do they lay eggs this late in the season? Or are they just after a little love nest? This afternoon when I pulled my car in the garage, they were sitting together side by side on the edge of the open drawer. I wish I could have grabbed my camera, but they hopped off long enough for me to pass through the door. I guess this drawer will stay open awhile longer!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not Much To Say

For some reason, I have very little to say right now. Everything in my life is just...plugging along. I don't seem to have any negative issues, but then nothing just screams unbounding ecstasy either. I spent a lot of work this summer on my container vegetable "garden". I planted an heirloom variety as well as Better Boy and a compact bush variety. I also planted sweet peppers. Don't ever put heirloom varieties in your garden. I didn't seem to pay any attention at the time to the fact that those plants are not disease and wilt resistant. So after it grew to be about 6 feet tall, it then proceeded to drop every flower at the stem...some kind of wilt fungussy disease. Which soon spread to my other plants. On top of that , the plants all have a dose of blossom end rot. From reading up that seems to come from inconsistent watering and a lack of calcium. Seems if I had known I could have added lime. I wish I had chopped the heirloom tomato plant down a little sooner. For all the trouble, this picture is literally the fruits of my labor ....There are a few more green tomatoes, but they seem to be very slow to ripen. May have to have fried green ones soon. And so it goes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Fun

Just a few days ago I woke up to this every morning....it takes me almost as long as my vacation was to get "back to the real world".
We had a wonderful trip and lots of fun with family; most of whom I only see once a year at this family reunion. We have been getting together at the beach every year since we were children; now we all have children , some of whom will soon be parents themselves. There are 2 "moms" of the bunch, both in their 80's, 7 cousins (including myself), and we have a total of 17 kids. Various spouse were thrown in for good measure.

We took turns cooking for the crowd and on my night I cooked this.

And after we ate, we watched this. No TV.......