Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neighboring Canine Pals


This is a snapshot of my neighbor’s dogs. I watched them this weekend and they have become very good canine pals of mine. They can never take my Hannah Lilly’s place of course but they have great personalities and are mostly obedient considering I am not their human pack leader.  Buddy is the Sheepdog and Aiden is the Spaniel.

I should pay my neighbor a fee for the weight I am sure the spaniel helped me to walk off this weekend trying not to lose him as he kept up a steady and very fast clip on all of our walks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Electronic Cigarettes Pose Cancer Risk

Smoking is a hard habit to break. Many people ask their doctor to prescribe a medication to help them stop smoking or they may use a variety of OTC products for help in quitting smoking. Although the E-Cigarette looked promising especially to the many smokers wanting to stop smoking while avoiding withdrawal symptoms recently targeted in a large-scale media blitz by the makers of the E-Cigarette. The FDA warns that these electronic cigarettes (that mimic the feel and brain stimulation of real tobacco cigarettes) are themselves dangerous because they contain cancer-causing chemicals and advise consumers not to use them. Read more about this warning about the E-Cigarette.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Little Biblical Humor

His mama carried the family bible to church every Sunday. She would read the bible to herself in the afternoons he often observed, and on many occasions, she read him a story from the bible before helping him to say his prayers and tucking him into bed. One day Billy decided to see for himself why mama was so fond of the bible. Looking through the pages quickly with a very concentrated look on his face, a pressed dry leaf falls out from between the two pages where someone had placed it long ago. Billy picked up the leaf and ran to find his mama to show her what he had just found. He shouted excitedly as he ran into the kitchen where his mama was preparing lunch, “Mama! Mama!” Look what I found! ”

“What did you find honey?” his mama asked him. Billy replied, “I think it is Adams underwear.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is a Hurried Life a Fulfilled Life?

A reader sent this to me. Thanks Joe.

Musician playing violin in a Washington DC
Metro Station on a cold January morning
in 2007.

He played six Bach pieces for about 60 minutes. During that time approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After:

3 minutes

A middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes
A three year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.
45 minutes
The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.
1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
This is a real story. The
Washington Post, as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities, arranged the entire scenario. Playing incognito, no one knew the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days prior to this, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the tickets averaged $100 per seat.
The questions raised:
In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty; do we stop to appreciate it;
do we recognize talent in such an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ....... How many other things are we missing?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Do Americans Need to Check Their Priorities?

Someone sent me an email today containing a letter purportedly composed by a soldier. I have decided to post it here because I believe it raises some valid points about the people that many Americans choose to give priority to while many times ignoring the significant and selfless contributions of other people like the brave souls in our military services. Below is the message I received in its entirety. You may draw your own conclusions as to whether you think the message expressed in this letter has some validity to it or not.


> I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael
> Jackson . As we all know, Jackson died the other day. He was an
> entertainer who performed for decades. He made millions, he spent
> millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many
> people. I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and
> I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn't the point
> of my rant.
> Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their
> minds with grief. When a man dies whose only contribution to the
> country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to
> flock to a memorial in Hollywood , and even Congress sees the need to
> hold a "moment of silence" for his passing?
> Am I missing something here? ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he's a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades? What
> about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom? All those
> Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war,
> still raised their 2 hands and swore to defend the Constitution and the
> United States of America . Where is there moment of silence? Where
> are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over
> them because they made the ultimate sacrifice? Why is it when a
> Soldier dies, there are more people saying "good riddance," and "thank
> God for IEDs?" When did this country become so calloused to the
> sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off
> their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a "Pop
> Icon?"
> I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS
> for Michael Jackson, they need to hold a moment of silence for every
> service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan . They need to PUBLICLY
> recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people
> can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE,
> those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for
> them. But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have
> been so many willing to make that sacrifice. After all, we will never
> make millions of dollars. We will never star in movies, or write hit
> songs that the world will listen too. We only shed our blood, sweat
> and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.
> Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it. Feel free to pass
> this along if you want.
> Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is
> serving in the military;
> "So that others may live..."
> Only two people have ever effectively given their lives for you.
> Jesus Christ and The American G.I.
> One died for your sins, the other died to give you freedom.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don’t Become A Feast for Mosquitoes

Many regions around the country experienced above-average amounts of rainfall during the month of June. This trend is continuing into July in many areas. All this extra rain has resulted in mosquitoes breeding at 3 to 4 times their normal rate. If you have spent any time outdoors lately, you have undoubtedly noticed that there are a lot more mosquitoes buzzing around this year than in recent years. These buggers are carriers of the West Nile Virus and have insatiable appetites for feeding on the blood of humans and animals. Even if the mosquitoes that bite you and your family do not transmit disease, the intense itching caused by their bites can be very uncomfortable.

There are three keys to protecting yourself and family from mosquitoes looking for a feast. The first key is to eliminate areas of standing water in your yard and near your home’s foundation. Fill-in holes you find in your yard and around your homes foundation. Look for other things like overturned trashcan lids and containers, and large cracks in concrete that can collect rainwater and provide mosquitoes with the perfect spot for breeding hordes of mosquito babies, and fix them to ward off a mosquito population explosion.

The second key is to use mosquito and insect repellent to keep bugs from bugging you. You should read the instructions provided with whatever product you decide to use to ensure its safe use. Experts recommend using personal repellent products that contain ingredients such as DEET, eucalyptus, lemon oil, and Picaridin as the best repelling protection from mosquitoes and other insects. There are also many different mosquito/insect repelling products to choose from for your yard to help protect you and your family from biting insects so that you can enjoy outdoor activities. Mosquitoes and other insects dislike the scent of lavender. For a natural repellent use 1 part oil of lavender to 3 parts water in a quart-sized spray bottle and spray on yourself, family members and even your pets to keep insects at bay. Repeat applications frequently.

The color of your clothing is the third key to preventing mosquitoes from making a feast out of you. Darker clothing is a magnate for mosquitoes so you should wear lighter colored clothing to help repel them when you are outdoors. It is also advisable, although not the most comfortable of ideas in hot summer temperatures to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outside, and especially when you are in tall grassy or wooded areas. This can protect you from ticks as well, which carry Lyme disease.

Prime biting time for mosquitoes is from dusk to dawn. The very best protection from them is to stay indoors during these hours whenever possible. Hoping you and yours have a wonderful and safe summer and that the tips illustrated above will help protect you and your family from the insurgence of the abundant numbers of mosquitoes we have this year.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Someone special sent me this funny animal video on July 4th. that I am just now getting around to posting. Thanks for this funny video of animal thievery- Joe!!!

You can view the video here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July 2009


As we celebrate our nation’s independence and the freedoms we enjoys as Americans let’s pause, remember, and say thanks to those brave men and women past and present who selflessly make great sacrifices in the pursuit to keep freedom alive.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Safety Recall Alert: Inflatable Baby Floats

The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that Aqua Leisure Industries is voluntarily recalling 14 of its baby inflatable floating baby seats models constituting nearly 4 million baby floats sold nationwide. The leg straps, which are supposed to keep babies and toddlers in place, can break, allowing children to slide through into the water. With so many families planning to be poolside or heading to the beach this weekend, parents and caregivers should discontinue the use of these aqua baby floats. Read this full CNN article on this safety recall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Protecting Your Pets this 4th of July

Do not let the celebration of our nation’s Independence and its various festivities including fireworks displays become a tragedy for your family by the loss of a beloved pet. Scores of dogs and other pets die each year because of the dangers this holiday can present to pets. Accidents with fireworks being set off near pets and panicked pets being hit and killed by running into the path of moving vehicles, are two of the primary causes for the loss of many pet lives each summer. Pets startled by fireworks and other holiday activities that stray away from home, become lost and end up in shelters, are subject to euthanasia if their owners do not claim them within 7-10 days in many shelters, also claims the lives of many family pets each year. Protect your pet from the dangers this holiday poses to them with these tips.

  • Whenever possible the safest place for your pets is indoors when fireworks displays and other loud activities are taking place.
  • Providing “white noise” to help hide the noises of the holiday like turning on a fan, radio, or TV can help to keep your pet calm.
  • Close window shades so that pets cannot see fireworks in the sky or people passing by and become agitated by those sights.
  • Supply outdoor pets with a protected area for them to be in while various 4th of July celebrations are under way. make sure that they are securely confined to the area you have chosen. Panicked dogs can easily break free from chains and tie-out stakes when frightened.
  • Do not light fireworks anywhere near your pet or where they could fall on and severely injure your pet. Children should always be supervised while using sparklers and other small fireworks, but especially when you also have outdoor pets.
  • Avoid the temptation to feed your pets the fixings from your holiday meals as these can sicken your
  • Are you planning to head to the lake or beach with your dog this Fourth of July? Watch them closely around the water to prevent their drowning. Even dogs who are skilled swimmers can become tired and unable to reach the shore. Also, keep suntan lotions and sunscreens, insect repellents, and other products that smell good to pets but are very dangerous to them when ingested away from your pet. Do not forget to bring a water dish along to keep pets hydrated while out in the sun and heat. Be aware that blacktops and other concrete surfaces can burn the sensitive undersides of pet paws, so avoid walking your pet over these wherever possible

I wish you, your family, your pets, and pets everywhere, a safe and glorious Fourth of July 2009.

Prayer Request

Asking readers to lift up prayers of health for my Aunt Joyce, who I just found out spent the night in the hospital due to chest pains. I know my prayers are that she is okay and can go home today or in the next few days.

FDA Recall Updates

You can get updates on new product recalls issued by the FDA and even get them sent to you via email.  The Food and Drug Administration also provides many useful resources to help consumers keep their families and pets safe.  You can visit the FDA website using this link.