Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pet Fund For Low-Income Families

The goal of the Pet Fund is to provide financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care.

Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or needed medical treatment. While agencies like Medicare provide low-income families with medical care for human children and adults, there are no agencies which provide help with the expense of animal medical care. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or surrender them to a local shelter because of the costs involved.

The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost.

Visit the site for many helpful resources.

Birds Love Cedars

For feeding and protecting the wildlife in your backyard, it's hard to beat Eastern Red Cedar (or another species in the genus Juniperus that is native to your area).

Eastern Red Cedars and other junipers are evergreen, and their dense branches provide excellent cover and protection from the elements year-round. A cluster of junipers can even be dense enough to shelter large animals like Mule Deer and Pronghorn antelopes.

Junipers can harbor hibernating bats and other small mammals in winter; nesting birds in spring and summer (Cooper's Hawks, Mountain Bluebirds, Northern Flickers, Lewis's Woodpeckers, and many others); and roosting owls at any time. Twenty-seven different bird species have been recorded as nesting, in open nests or cavities, in Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis).

In addition to cover, Juniperus species provide food. Many bird species, including the Cedar Waxwing -- which was named for this preferred food -- eat juniper berries or cones. Quail, grouse, turkeys, jays, woodpeckers, and thrushes are some of 90 bird species known to feed on Eastern Red Cedar. They are joined by rabbits, foxes, raccoons, mice, coyotes, and deer. Mule Deer, Elk, and Pronghorns browse on the foliage of Western Juniper.

The Juniper Hairstreak and several other species of hairstreak butterflies utilize junipers as host plants for their caterpillars.

In addition to junipers and, of course, oaks, there are many other good native North American trees for the wildlife habitat. Native pines provide cover for owls and chipmunks, sap for sapsuckers, nesting cavities for woodpeckers, and pine nuts for many birds and mammals. Native fruit and nut trees, including cherries (Prunus), walnuts (Juglans), dogwoods (Cornus), hackberries (Celtis), and others are all excellent and handsome choices.


Shoes Are Ruining Feet

Shoes are bad. I don’t just mean stiletto heels, or cowboy boots, or tottering espadrilles, or any of the other fairly obvious foot-torture devices into which we jam our feet. I mean all shoes.

Shoes hurt your feet. They change how you walk. In fact, your feet - your poor, tender, abused, ignored, maligned, misunderstood feet—are getting trounced in a war that’s been raging for roughly a thousand years: the battle of shoes versus feet.

Read the entire article.

Purchasing Green Power

Whether or not you can generate your own green power through solar panels, you can purchase green power in some areas of the country.

To find out if this is an option through your own utility company or one in your area, visit the EPA locator map.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Delighting In Life

by Donna L. Watkins

A very popular Scripture is Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - La Selva, Costa Rica - Mantled Howler Monkey

I've always wondered exactly what delight meant. You know the mental process: "Okay, sounds pretty easy. Now what does delight mean so I can do this and have the desires of my heart?"

According to the New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible this word "delight," (translated from the Hebrew word "anag" #6026) means:

"the obvious and most common translation of the word is "delight" ... some of the other meanings of this Hebrew word are: "to be soft or pliable... delicate (-ness)..."

If we look up "pliable" in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, this definition is given: "supple enough to bend freely or repeatedly without breaking." The root word of "pliable," "pliant" adds the term "yielding" to the definition.

So the segment "delight yourself in the Lord" expanded would mean to "delight (take joy in the Lord), doing good and being faithful, and remaining pliant and yielding in the Lord."

I often pick up a few books from the library to keep myself focused on right thinking. One of them was "Out Of The Blue ... Delight Comes Into Our Lives." In it I found some definitions of delight that might paint you a few word pictures of what the word means.

"Delight is high-level, high-quality happiness. It is that head-to-toe tingle we feel when something goes exceedingly well, that surge in the area of the heart when love and joy are flowing. It is a solid feeling of being permanently connected to our own good."

That last statement really made me ponder how well I treat myself. Too often women are so self-sacrificing and do not take time for themselves. Often after children are grown and gone, the pattern has been set and many tend to bury themselves away in some other project that is more important than the nurturing of themselves. "Being permanently connected to our own good." Hmm ... if you're "religious" your thought is that we are called to sacrifice, but life has a balance. The power of loving yourself is key to loving others and God commanded us to do both. (read The Power of Love)

Here's some examples of the feelings of delight from the book mentioned above:

"Delight is the fire of enthusiasm that turns work into play and challenges into pleasurable learning experiences ... loving one another without fear, laughing out loud ... singing in the shower, dancing in the street ... driving for hours over boring freeways and suddenly coming upon a beach with sunlight dancing over miles of glittering waves."

In the overall painting of life, delight is the sunrise and sunset. If you can manage to live in it the entire day as the sun shines all day, you will enlighten not only your own life but the lives of those around you. But first we have to believe in the importance of delighting ourselves.

We were created to fellowship and communicate to our Creator. When we make that connection we can accomplish incredible things and bring delight to our world. Delight is the overflow we are capable of when we connect with the true and living God of this universe.

When delight is allowed to flow (and too often we stop it because many people think if they allow themselves to feel too good, something bad will soon happen), we are filled with creative energy that allows us to master our circumstances and attract what is needed not only for ourselves but for others.

If you were asked what delights you, would you have an answer? Most do not. Many who have an answer have not made one step towards what they know will delight them. Conversations generally stay within the middle comfort zone. Not too depressing, and not too joyful. Don't you think the world would stop to watch with a puzzled look if you began jumping for joy? We are to rejoice for each other, but sometimes people can't stand to see somebody else delighting. Remember Michal, David's wife in 2 Samuel 6:16?

"Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart."

Our cat loves to chase her tail and it's a delight to watch her delighting in it. I have many delightful thoughts of our son as a baby. Babies delight in the smallest of things. Bright shiny objects make them giggle and smile. When they discover the wonder of their toes they coo with delight.

What delights you? Your first thoughts may not be what's deep inside where you've buried those kinds of thoughts. In your prayer time ask God to show you what will delight you and ask Him for help in seeking that delight. When you lighten up on yourself, you'll find that you can more fully delight in Him ... and then ... there comes the desires of your heart. Seems all tied together, doesn't it?

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Nest Watch - Fun Activity

NestWatch is a citizen-science project that teaches people how to properly monitor nests and collect data used to track nesting success of North American breeding birds. It has been designed for novices as well as experienced nest monitors and includes an interactive quiz for participants to become "certified" to monitor nests.

It's free to join and all materials needed to participate are available online. This includes downloadable data collection sheets, the NestWatch manual, protocol, code of conduct, discussion forums, and multimedia resources. All observations are submitted online where they are accessible through maps or downloaded as Excel or pdf files.

The development of this web site as well as the NestCams, has been quite an undertaking. Visit now and get involved. What a wonderful family project to monitor nests and make a difference for the birds.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Power of Love


For those types of people who are living and operating in unacceptable low levels of self-confidence and self-esteem - the first thing God the Father will do with you once you enter into a full surrender with Him is to start to show you who you really are in Him and the real treasure and beauty that you really are in His eyes.

The Bible says that God the Father is no respecter of persons. What this means is that every single one of us is on an equal footing with God. What this means is that God loves each and everyone of us equally and unconditionally - which includes you!

The Holy Spirit will really help you out in this area if you are open to receiving His help. He will show you who you really are in Christ, that you are not a nobody - that you are a somebody, and that God cares for you and loves you just as much as He loves and cares for anyone else on this earth.

Really study and chew on the wording of the verses I will now list. The two key words in these verses are the words "as yourself."

In other words, God wants you to love yourself to the same degree and with the same intensity as you would love anyone else. God is not excluding you from this equation - He is including you. This is why He is specifically using the words "as yourself" in each one of these verses. Here they are:

1. "This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:38)

2. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF." (Galatians 5:14)

3. "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF: I am the Lord." (Leviticus 19:18)

I personally believe that you really cannot begin to love other people in the way that God would really like if you can't learn to first love yourself. This is why God is specifically using the words to love others as you would love yourself - with all of these words being in the same sentence.

Read the entire article.

Scheduling Your Pet's Social Life

Does your dog have a social life most single people would envy? Or is your furry friend in need of a dating service to find more compatible playmates?

The rapid spread of off-leash dog parks and the increase in the, shall we say, "spoil factor" among pet owners has opened up a whole new world of social interaction for dogs and their guardians. Recently a friend was checking her calendar before setting aside some time to meet and it went something like this:

Tuesday: Ralph and Kiki - 4:00 - Dog Park
Wednesday: Lucky and Mona - 5:30 - Beach
Thursday: Nunu - walk/lunch
Friday: Mark - 6:00 Dinner (Aha! A human!)
Saturday: 10:00 - "The Gang" - Dog Park

Her calendar had more play-dates in it for her dog than for herself! Even her lunch date on Thursday included a dog! What? Your dog hasn't had a play date?

Check here for an off-leash park near you and get socializing: U.S. Dog Park Directory or Dog Fun Directory

And speaking of "meeting up" with pals, how is YOUR social life? Are you waiting to find like-minded friends who will love your four-legged family as much as you do? Wait no longer! Check out Date My Pet or Animal Attraction.

Here you can find animal lovers like yourself looking for everything from friendship and play dates for their pets, to love and a commitment to cherish all four-legged family members in a "blended" family forever.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What Is RSS or Feeds?

The internet environment is always changing and one of the things that's been changing is that email is not very reliable. With spam filters dumping much of the mail that goes through, many people are spending as much time checking their "spam" and "bulk" folders as they do their inbox.

Since this blog's newsletter goes out to 8,000 subscribers, I hear a lot about what isn't getting through. Sometimes my email doesn't get through to my husband who's on the same server.

Most people would like a simpler way. That's why the trend towards feeds is becoming very popular, but if you're like me, not really into the techie stuff, you don't understand what it's all about. Good news! You don't need to understand it all, but you can still have the convenience of reading what you'd like to read.

Many subscribers have told me they don't have a clue what RSS is or feeds or what they mean. So I thought I'd provide this 2-step process that I took to keep it simple and get going on feeds. I hope it helps you as much as it did me. It's been great going to one website (Google Reader) to view the articles (feeds) I'm interested in.

What is RSS? A simple answer is what I like and this site has one.

I chose Google Reader to get my feeds and then I put the link on my toolbar favorites bar on the browser so I could quickly choose what I wanted to read from my file folders at Google Reader. They've got detailed instructions on how to get feeds.

Once you sign up, you can click on the link below to subscribe to this feed. You'll then see a number of previous posts. Easy as 1-2-3, right?

Subscribe To Feed

You can also click "Add Subscription" on Google Reader and put this in the box:

Friday, April 25, 2008

In The Dark

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in A Healing Moment

Have you ever experienced a sorrow so devastating that you felt you were enveloped by heavy, thick, dark clouds? A dreadful darkness that makes God's perfect love seem gone forever, with His grace to bear all things cast into a sea of despair and hopelessness?

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Muscovy Duck at Duke Gardens
Life includes these seasons. Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything. We have sunshine and rain, but in it all we must trust in the justice of God and in His perfect plan for our lives. Darkness was on the face of the deep when God created our world. When Jesus died the world was dark.

Hebrews 6:19 says that we have hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. God is grounded and will never drift from His perfect plan for your life. He is unchangeable and all powerful.

When the disciples were at sea and the storm came over the ship while Jesus slept, they thought that the storm signified that Jesus had forgotten about them and that He didn't care about them, but that was not true. God does not sleep and He never forgets us.

God is always telling us that He is working, even in our darkness. Even when it seems there is no hope left. This is the time to trust. Not when things are going well. These are the times the Devil will come and whisper to you that God has forgotten you, that He doesn't care. Your heart wants to cry like Gideon, "If the Lord is with us, why has all of this happened to us?" (Judges 6:13)

Difficult times are designed to bring us closer to God, but in a world where we are told that life should be what we want it to be, we struggle with trust and faith and belief. We must remember that we are not of this world. Its principles and systems will never sustain our soul or spirits -- only our Creator will.

God's Word will still the stormy seas of your life. As Jesus spoke to the storm and sea to comfort His disciples, He will speak to your storm if you will let Him. Stay in His Word and listen for He can calm your heart and soul no matter what the seas of life look like around you. There is Word enough to dispel your fears and sorrow if you will continue to stand in it.

"With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures." A.W. Tozer

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Dangers of Microwave Ovens

Microwaves are a feature in nearly every American home. Yet their dangers are well documented. You can do your own home experiment to understand the hazards of microwaving. Plant seeds in two pots. Water one pot with microwaved water and the other pot with regular tap water. The seeds that received microwaved water won't sprout. If microwaved water can stop plants from growing, then imagine what microwaved food is doing to your body.

A Swiss study led by biologist and food scientist Dr. Hans Hertel identified the effects of microwaved food. For eight weeks, eight people lived in a controlled environment and intermittently ate raw foods, conventionally cooked foods and microwaved foods. Blood samples were tested after each meal. The microwaved food caused significant changes in blood chemistry.

In Russia, microwave ovens were banned in 1976 because of their negative effect on health and wellbeing.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

There's More To Bottled Water

Bottled water corporations are changing the very way people think about water. Corporations like Coke, Nestlé and Pepsi are manufacturing demand for an essential resource that flows directly from our taps. What's more many bottled water brands actually come from the same source as public tap water though these brands are sold back to the public at thousands of times the cost.

Plastic bottles also require massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport. Billions of these bottles wind up in landfills every year.

When bottled water marketing convinces one in five people that the only place to get drinking water is from a bottle, it threatens the political will to adequately fund our public water systems.

You can help reverse this trend - take action today to support efforts to reduce the social and environmental impacts of bottled water and to prioritize public water systems!

Think Outside The Bottle
Fertilizes and Medications In Bottled Water

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pick Up That Dream And Dust It Off

by Donna L. Watkins

One of my recent morning devotions (in The Word For You Today) was based on Psalm 37:7, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Let me share it with you:

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Mourning Dove at Pond
The old saying, "You can't always have what you want," isn't necessarily true. When you "delight yourself in the Lord ... He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4). But usually He makes you wait.

There are things you can't have today that you'll be able to have in the future. So it doesn't make sense to drive yourself crazy and put your life on hold struggling to accomplish something now, that'll be easy when the time is right.

God allows certain things to take place in our lives to teach us important principles like:

a) developing new skills and ways of thinking
b) showing grace and controlling our responses
c) maintaining our faith when times get touch

When you spend time in God's waiting room, He's developing qualities in you that simply can't be developed any other way. When He's finished you'll come out stronger and wiser. So don't let the enemy rattle you or engineer circumstances that put you into overdrive. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."

I certainly wish I could say I've been patient, but the little patience I have has only come after many years of being in overdrive trying to make things happen. There's a balance between "putting your hand to the plow" and waiting patiently. When you have a desire or dream, it's sometimes hard to see where the line crosses over.

As years passed I became more patient, more knowing that it would happen in God's time, and in that way of thinking, it increased my faith and belief that it would happen. Having 19 days with God in the jungle was incredibly sweet and in that stillness I knew that it was almost time to move forward.

In my soul, I'm sure in many ways I had given up, focusing on contentment, although my spirit knew there was more purpose in my life than that. In the jungle God encouraged me to have faith, to believe and to know that it will happen. How many times did Jesus say, "Only believe?" And He also said that He could do nothing because of unbelief. How we think really affects our journey in life.

I remember a familiar quote, "If you think it will happen it will, if you think it won't, it won't. Either way you will be correct." Interesting.

It wasn't easy to step out and look again for "that place." Disappointment doesn't produce good feelings. And the devil will tell you all the wrong things.

But where do you think dreams come from? Continue nurturing your dream, keep hoping and believing and stand in faith that it will come to pass. Look for it, but don't put a timetable on it. Only God can run the time schedule and it's all based on you becoming more like Him in the process. Ask what the next step is. He may not reveal the entire plan, but he'll give you the next step always if you're listening.

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." But keep the excitement alive in your soul!

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription.
Link URL:

Medical Records On Cell Phone

New software technology allows cell phone and PDA users to download their medical records, making them quickly accessible in case of emergency. The new software, to be available in a year, can even display animated 3D scans. Read more.

Calming Pets With Herbs

When your pet suffers from stress or anxiety, you can calm him with herbs. Herbs which we call "nervine herbs" will help to build and feed the nervous system for an animal ... the same as they do for a child who's got too much energy.

Chamomile is one that is well known. It's a good bedtime herb for humans and can be used to calm a nervous animal. This herb is part of an herbal combination called Stress-J which has been used for hyperactive children.

Valerian Root has had a lot of research and we've had quite a few customers using it for pets. One that always comes to mind is a Rottweiler that lived in a house that had a home business. When the customers would come to pick up orders, the dog loved to be the greeter - and stand up in honor of the guest, which was not well accepted by the customers.

The owners began giving him Valerian Root in capsules and after a week he could get some benefit out of the obedience training he had taken. His nervous system was able to obey. The funny part was that he loved his pills. Whenever the owners would go to take their herbs, the sound of the capsules brought him running to beg for Valerian. I would've loved to have had a video of this!

Remember also that a pet usually picks up the "energy" of his environment. If you're stressed, you might want to try some of these ideas yourself.

Signs Of Dental Problems In Pets

1. Change in eating habit - teeth may be sore or loose
2. Pawing at face - possible mouth pain
3. Depression - bacteria can overwhelm the body and make your pet lethargic
4. Mouth odor
5. Redness or bleeding along the gum lines
6. Dark or yellow teeth - may mean bacteria is in the bloodstream.

Prevention Tips:
Set up a schedule to brush your pet's teeth. Be gentle and know that some cats won't like it very much. The earlier you start, the better chance you have at success.

Have a vet check your pet's teeth and gums during any visit.

Use a pet toothbrush, not a scraping utensil.

Use antioxidant herbs or nutrients to prevent degenerative problems.

Feed your pet a natural and balanced diet. A good diet will prevent many health problems. We recommend Life's Abundance.

If you already have a case of gum problems, consider CoQ10 which has proven success rate with humans and pets.

For more information on dental health, read this blog post: Dr. Pitcairn on Dental Problems in Pets

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peppermint - Mosquitoes, Malaria, West Nile, Heartworm & More

Thanks to Robin Sockness at Bandit's Buddies for alerting me to this news item!

An extract of a common herb is being touted as a cheap alternative to existing pesticides in the war against mosquito-borne disease.

Peppermint oil is recommended by fans of alternative medicine to ease symptoms like indigestion, nausea and even to treat colds and flu, reports New Scientist magazine.

However, research by malaria experts suggest that the herb extract can not only repel adult mosquitoes, but kill their larvae before they even hatch. That would prevent heartworm issues for pets, which is totally better than natural heartworm programs.

Some experts say that peppermint oil could become a low-cost and more environmentally sensitive solution to eradicate the insects that carry potentially dangerous diseases such as malaria, filariasis, dengue fever and West Nile virus.  (Read the article on this topic.)

While other manufacturers may be tempted to sell oil of cornmint or menthol as peppermint oil, you get only pure, unadulterated peppermint oil with Nature’s Sunshine. A little goes a long way.

For in-depth and personal help with a heartworm problem you may be having now, be sure to contact Bandit's Buddies for detailed information.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weary Of Well-Doing

by Donna L. Watkins

While caring for her husband for 13 years, a friend also had the opportunity to care for her father in his last years. He passed on recently in her arms.

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Male Hooded Mergenser
Weary from the daily tasks, she finds her strength in prayer and meditation on God's Word. But some days ... well, you know how they are. You just get too weary of the well-doing to put your faith in gear.

Any caretaker role is hard. I often think it would be grand to have enough money to provide people with a good living to do the caretaking so the relative could focus only on the relationship and having fun. I often wish I were a millionaire to make life easier for many people, but then I wonder if I would be robbing them of some of their blessings and rewards. So much that we do not understand about life and living.

The rheumatoid arthritis gives me weary days but I remind myself to focus on the Isaiah 40:28-31 which I have memorized so I can close my eyes and glory in the wonder of who God is and then picture myself as strong and mighty as an eagle. Dipping down to the water and grabbing a fish like it was a leaf.

We must take as firm a grasp on the depth and breadth of God's love for us and know He provides strength when we reach out and need it. Maybe we just don't feel like we deserve it at the time. I find myself self-talking against the very faith that I am trying to garner from The Word. Too often I am too weary to think, but if I open myself to the Holy Spirit, He will lend me a hand to climb out.

Satan wants us to crawl into a big black hole, curse God and die! But we shall NOT! :-)

Don't do it alone. Share your weakness with somebody else, pray for each other, and heal day by day. We take on too much and think we need to handle it alone. We don't want to "bother anybody" but God created and designed us to fit together and to pray for each other. Don't live outside the will of God by going it alone.

Each life is different and we don't understand anything really ... but this life is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity ... so just keep looking forward!

I'm praying you will have renewed strength and focus on Him and not the tasks. Sometimes we want more done than God expects us to do and that really drains us. Be watchful! Be realistic and don't get down on yourself. Life in the U.S. is too high-geared. Just because you live here doesn't mean you need to join the rat race.

Lemon Skin Tonic - People and Pets

Although this information is for pets, it's a good recipe for people also.

To effectively control mange and overall skin conditions, thinly slice a whole lemon, including the peel. Add it directly to one pint (2 cups) of near-boiling water, and let it steep overnight. The next day, sponge the solution onto your pet's skin, and let it dry. The best way to apply to the skin, is to brush backwards and apply behind the brush. You may use this tonic daily if needed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bat Die-Off Great Concern

The news hasn't ended on the bee die-off which affects so many of our crops, and now there's great concern about bats. The bat loss implications for agriculture are enormous.

This massive bat die-off in the United States is threatening and nobody knows why yet. The epicenter of this is New York, but reports of die-offs are coming in from as far away as Texas.

Reports began trickling in last year. The loss of bats has cascaded this winter to the point where researchers are expressing fear that an extinction is underway.

The spread of severe communicable diseases could be devastating. Bats are the world's greatest insect eaters. A small brown bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in an hour.

The cause is unknown, but it's thought to be the result of a fungus, but this is only a symptom of an underlying problem, as yet unknown. Theories include virus and bacterial infections since many bats have been found with pneumonia, but it's a secondary symptom, like the fungus.

A more likely cause is the increased use of pesticides introduced to stop West Nile Virus. Bats are sensitive to the same toxins used to kill insects, just as we humans are.

The Little Brown Bat has sustained the largest number of deaths.

It could be that the bats are starving from lack of insects since they have been found flying about during the day which would indicate they were working overtime for a food supply.

This would be the worst possible cause since the ultimate effect of all pesticides has been the development of pesticide-resistant insects. If the bats disappear because of starvation, then eventually, when the insects have become resistant, there will be nothing to control them.

Pesticides are also linked as a possibile reason for the bee die-off.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Clinical Trials: African Traditional Medicine

Described as a hotspot of botanical diversity, there are more than 20,000 indigenous plant species in South Africa. Several thousand of them are used by traditional healers every day in that country for treating a range of problems from the common cold to serious diseases such as AIDS.

South Africa is home to more than 200,000 traditional healers who care for more than 27 million people.

How safe and effective these treatments are will be the focus of The International Center for Indigenous Phytotherapy Studies (TICIPS), a collaborative research effort between the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

TICIPS will present the very first opportunity for medical doctors, scientists and traditional healers to internationally cooperate as equal partners in exploring indigenous African phytotherapies for diseases with the aim of bringing health and healing to all.

Read the entire article.

Choosing An Older Pet For A New Pet

Sure, puppies, kittens and other young animals are adorable. But just like their human counterparts, these babies require an extensive commitment of time and energy from their guardians. For many Americans, busy schedules and work commitments prevent them from being able to provide the kind of round-the-clock care that younger animals require.

Read the entire article.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Storms of Life

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in A Healing Moment 2003

Are you waiting for something to happen? Does most of your life revolve around that desire for your life? Do you lose what today could have been by always looking ahead to what you want it to be?
© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Bridge at Duke Gardens
I've been living in my future for many years. Dreams are good. They motivate us and allow us to keep our creative minds alive, but they are not to be LIFE to us. Life is to be in this moment. This year I discovered how much of my life has been lived for the future.

I've dreamed of having some forested land with a home built in the middle of it for many years. We moved to Virginia three years ago this month to make it happen. It took me a year and a half to find the land and then we began the process to build. Weather and "normal" building delays kept the project standing still for weeks at a time, but with the help of our conservation contractor we knew we were getting a quality built home and that we would save the trees close to the house as we wanted them.

Then the world fell in. Through a process of glitches, bleeps and lost communication, we lost a bunch of our forest which included about 80' of trees behind the screened porch which was to be my living space for writing and worshiping God. The entire purpose of building to keep the forest close was destroyed in less than one day.

Not only did I have to let go of that dream at the end of May, but I had to continue to build the house that I had designed to the inch, so that we could sell it to somebody else. My only hope has been that I at least have built somebody else's dream. God has a wonderful way of using bad in our lives for our own good and the good of others, so I'm sure my hopes will come true whether I "see" them or not.

I had named it "Faith Heritage Hill" because it was to be our last home and be passed as a heritage to our only son, Benjamin. Faith would build it because it was faith that led me to believe it could happen and faith was certainly needed for the many obstacles of the building process. It would be worth it all in my mind because I would be able to glorify God there and write of His Love for us that is so evident in His Creation all around us. The name certainly took a paradigm shift in defining what it meant!

The house is almost complete after almost a year-long journey to get it done and it's up for sale. "My" home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My life of the future that is now quickly become a part of my past.

Sometimes we think if we become involved in spiritual things and obey God, that we will have instant success. Our dreams for success are not God's purpose for us. We tend to look at the desired end. What we call the process to that end, God calls the end.

Do you understand? The end is the process for God. The process is the life we live in Him. His purpose is for us to depend on Him and His power in our lives. If we can be in the middle of turmoil and bad circumstances with calm peace and joy, that is the purpose.

We tend to think the purpose is getting out of the bad circumstances and into our dreams. God trains us in the now. His purpose for your life is in this minute, not in the future. God wants you to see that just as Peter walked on the water to Jesus, that you can walk over the chaos of your life right now. Over the storms of destruction and despair. You can walk on top of them to Jesus.

Those sorrows and sufferings with our lives are actually the waves that we can walk on. God is wanting to build our faith and has greater purposes than our dreams at times. I still believe in my dream, but I got ahead of God in its timing. For now, He wants me in the midst of people rather than trees.

Oswald Chambers states:

" It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to UNLEARN something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child."

We must learn to interpret the storms of life with the Light of God in ourselves. Unless we can look at the blackest night, with waves rolling up around us, with the assurance of His Light shining and taking us through, we have yet to truly know Him.

Consider it all joy, brethren. Paul taught by example and like him we can get through the storms of our life by walking on the water above them! God never gives us more than we can handle. We have to take up our sword with courage and rise above the battles, or we have to call God a liar!

Which will it be for you today? Let's walk on water to Jesus!

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Who Owns Your Health Test Records?

Such a vexing question cuts to the core of personal liberty and freedom of information. Now, researchers have introduced the notion of ownership of medical information and they present a basic research model for the adoption of personal health records. Read more.

Losing Sleep Because Cat Wakes You?

Does your cat constantly wake you at night by either playing on the bed, waking you to be fed, or wanting cuddle time when all you want is sleep?

Many people with sleeping disorders have problems going back to sleep after being awakened by a cat. There is no need to suffer from cat-related sleep deprivation. Try one or more of these suggestions at to get a full night's sleep.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What Stools Will Tell

Can you believe that you can tell a lot about your health just by looking at your stool. Have you ever heard of the ISWA? (International Stool Watchers Association) You won't find it on the internet. It's a "secret organization."

Believe it or not, this is a popular search engine topic so you should know you may have friends in the ISWA.

All jesting aside, your stools can give you a lot of information. If you don't have food before you and don't have a weak stomach, read more.

Be sure to bookmark this article so you'll have it when you've got something to "review." :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cut Your Energy Bill

Summer not only brings higher temperatures, it brings higher energy bills. Here are a few smart ways to conserve energy and save money:

• Unplug coffeepots and chargers for electronic devices such as cell phones and MP3 players. They can add 5% to your energy bill.

• Install Energy Star appliances to save as much as $400 per year. You can also receive tax incentives and rebates.

• Buy a flat-screen computer monitor- they use up to one-third of the electricity of conventional screens. (But don't trash your old monitor. Recycle it at Staples!)

• Stay cool this summer by installing a programmable thermostat—it will feel great when you're at home and save money when you're not.

More tips

Sunscreens Increase Rate of Skin Cancer

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a new study showing that nearly all Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone, a widely-used sunscreen ingredient. This chemical so far has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage, as well as low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy.

Identified so far are 588 sunscreens, 172 facial moisturizers, 111 lip balms, and 81 different types of lipstick contain oxybenzone. Tests show that many of these so-called sunscreens offer inadequate protection from the sun.

They also found that sunlight also causes oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals that may be linked to cell damage, which is the exact opposite reason many women mistakenly use the sunscreen.

Interestingly, as sunscreen sales have risen, so has the rate of skin cancers. Read the entire article.

The only sunscreen I've been able to use without my face itching or getting red has been Natria Sunscreen SPF30. I've used Natria lip balm and moisturizer also.

Cloned Animals OK For Human Consumption

The FDA's food safety chief Dr. Stephen Sundlof said that they "found nothing in the food that could potentially be hazardous. The food in every respect is indistinguishable from food from any other animal."

The Associated Press reports that two companies have already produced over 600 cloned animals for U.S. breeders. Read the entire article.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Beaver Trouble

Anybody with some water nearby would consider beavers an invasion to their habitat, but they are part of the "system" so to speak. Here's an account from Hilton Pond in the piedmont area of South Carolina that noticed evidence of beaver and how they are handling it.

Several years ago -- to be exact, it was 9 March 2005 -- we were taking one of our usual evening strolls around Hilton Pond Center, surveying the trees for early spring migrant birds and noting what wildflowers were coming into bloom. We eventually got to a spot on the pond edge ... We expected to observe whirligig beetles on the water surface but instead saw something that stopped us dead in our tracks: Two long, thin, pale-colored sticks forming a "T" in the shallows

Although we'd never seen this phenomenon on our property, we knew immediately from the exposed end of the closest stick ... that what we were looking at was our first local encounter with an animal with ability to do some real damage to our little 11-acre nature sanctuary, an animal with incredibly sharp incisors and a penchant for using them, an animal that could gnaw down woody vegetation overnight and decimate trees around Hilton Pond.

We speak here, of course, of a semi-aquatic mammal that has been making a comeback in surprising places -- none other than nature's energetic engineer, Castor canadensis, the American Beaver.

Read the entire article.

Remember Who You Are

From Weekly Devotional by Sylvia Gunter

A lot of days don't you feel like Simba in The Lion King? Simba's evil uncle (the enemy) has led him to believe that he's alone in the world, he has failed in such a way that he can never be forgiven, and he no longer has a purpose or identity. Simba believes that he has to live out his days in the jungle as a failure. One night as he sits next to a lake, he hears his father's voice say, 'Remember who you are.'

Suddenly Simba sees a reflection in the water of who he truly is, a strong, courageous lion who is the rightful heir to the kingdom. He receives his true identity and takes off to fulfill his destiny of restoring life to the kingdom.

Our loving Father gave us hundreds of Scriptures of who we are in Christ. Over and over he is saying through the Word, 'Remember who you are. You are a reflection of me.' Take some time to gaze into the Living Water and see the reflection of who you are.

You are Abba's child.
Gal. 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'
He is Abba, Father.
Rom. 8:15 You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'

You are on the winning side.
Col. 2:15 Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
He is the victorious warrior.
Exo. 15:3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

You are crowned with love and compassion.
Psalm 103:4 ... who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion...
He is a glorious crown.
Isa. 28:5 The Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown.

You are rich in his grace.
2 Cor. 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor...
He is God of all grace.
1 Peter 5:10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ... will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

You are free from condemnation.

Rom. 8:1 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...
Jesus is the friend of sinners.
Mat. 11:19 The Son of Man [is] a friend of tax collectors and 'sinners.'

You are heard.
Is. 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
He is God who hears.
Ex. 22:27 When he cries out to me, I will hear...

You are seen by God.
Ps. 33:13-14 The LORD looks... he sees all the sons of men. He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth.
He is God who sees (Elroi).
Gen. 16:13 You are the God who sees me...

You are prayed for.
John 17:20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
He is your intercessor.
Heb. 7:25 He always lives to intercede for them

You are filled with joy.
John 17:13 ... that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
He heals the brokenhearted.
Ps. 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Your hope is fixed.
Rom. 15:4,13 ... so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Jesus is your hope.
1 Tim. 1:1 ... of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope...

You are satisfied.
Isa. 58:11 The Lord ... will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land.
He is satisfaction.
Ps. 107:9 He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

You are not afraid.

Ps. 27:1 The LORD is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?
The LORD is your light and your salvation.
Ps. 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?

You have authority to overcome.

Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to ... overcome all the power of the enemy.
He has all authority.
Matt. 28:18 All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

You are a tree planted by streams of water.
Jer. 17:8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
He is the Living Water.
John 7:37-39 Whoever believes in me... streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit...

Remember who you are ...

because of who your Father is!

Find more devotions by Sylvia Gunter or sign-up for her weekly devotional.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Best Window Cleaner

Around Earth Day 1990, every newspaper in the country (or so it seemed) offered recipes for non-toxic cleaning with the basics we all have in our kitchen cupboards, and the recipe for windows was invariably just plain vinegar and water with the option of drying the windows with old newspapers.

People by the thousands tried this and swore off cleaning with homemade recipes for good because the formula left streaks on their windows.

Unfortunately, the commercial products they had used for so many years had left a wax buildup and vinegar alone wouldn't do the job of removing the residue. Adding dab of dish soap to the vinegar and water would have removed the buildup.

The Best Window Cleaner
Make a great all-purpose window cleaner by combining 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent, and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Combine in a spray bottle. Shake to blend.

Get other great tips at Green Living.

Alternative Body Deodorants

The longest-lasting approach to body odor is to cleanse from within. Many folks who have done cleansing on a regular basis will tell you that they no longer need deodorants. I'm not a regular user myself after having done a lot of cleansing.

My favorite cleanses are Tiao He Cleanse and Clean Start. Of course cleansing benefits health in many ways, not just to reduce body odor.

Daily use of 1 T. Liquid Chlorophyll in water will begin to remove body odor from within after a couple of weeks of use.

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup of distilled water. Use in spray bottle for ease of use.

1/4 teaspoon Lavender Oil to one cup of warm distilled water. Use in spray bottle for ease of use.

Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Apply with a blusher brush which can be kept in the container. My husband used this one for many years till my blusher brush frizzed and then he switched to another.

There's also the spray option which some folks like better and for that we mention Nature's Fresh.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Avoiding Polluted and Endangered Fish

Several decades ago a fish-centric diet was considered to be not only healthy but also environmentally friendly. But today those of us who eat a lot of fish may not be doing ourselves or the environment any favor. The two major concerns are overfishing and pollution.

Pollution from industrial, agricultural and other everyday activities like electricity generation and automobile driving has also taken a serious toll on the health of the remaining fish species. Scientists routinely find unsafe levels of mercury, PCBs, dioxins, pesticides and other harsh toxins in the fat, internal organs and even muscle tissue of many different kinds of fish. These contaminants are then passed on up the food chain to our dinner plates.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stormy Troubles

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in "A Healing Moment"

How do you weather the storms of life? All of us can surely make a long list of them. Sometimes I call them classrooms of life and wonder what I could do different this time to get a passing grade. I know the thought behind this is that if I can figure out how to weather this storm “correctly” I won’t have to have so many troubles in life. Not so!

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Sunflower at Bluebird Cove
Chuck Swindoll writes: “Somebody needs to address the other side of Christian life if for no other reason than to uphold reality. We need to be told that difficulty and pressure are par-for-the-course. No amount of Biblical input, deeper life conferences, or super-victory seminars will exempt you from struggle. God promises no bubble of protection.”

That’s obvious when you read about what the Apostle Paul went through. We are also told that we are to “share in Christ’s sufferings.” He died to give us eternal life and to redeem us from our sins so that we don’t have to take the punishment for them. That doesn’t mean that this time on Earth in a fallen world will be blissful. That time is to come - it’s our promise of the future that we now have in Christ.

Look back ... it’s those stormy times of life that has produced the character in us that allows others to see a bit of Christ in us. What we do have is a promise that God will take us through those times if we rely on him. That may not seem like much, but there are a lot of suicides each year and many people “losing it” mentally because they have not taken what Christ has offered us.

It’s when the bottom falls out of life that true character is forged and Christ-likeness is produced within us. Our flimsy theology is then tested and exchanged for a true set of convictions that enable us to handle things rather than trying to flee from them. That choice is always available to us.

How can we choose anything but Christ in our storms. What good does it do to too Him aside? Does it make us feel like we have control when we feel as if He doesn’t since things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to? God is God! We cannot understand the infinite things of the world with our finite minds.

Elisabeth Elliot had that choice to make as a missionary with her husband, Jim, in Ecuador. After only a little over two years of marriage and ten months after having her first child, Jim and fellow missionaries were speared and hacked to death by the tribe of Indians they had chosen for their mission field. Jim was 28 years old. They had both been called to Ecuador as missionaries and married there.

Elisabeth says, “God is God. That was the stunning lesson of that most stunning event of my life. Jim’s death required me to deny God or believe Him, to trust Him or to renounce Him. If we believe that God is God, our faith is not a deduction from the facts around us. It is not inferred from the happy way things work. Faith is a gift from God, and we must respond to Hm with a decision: The God of the universe has spoken, we believe what He says, and we will obey. We must make a decision that we will hold in the face of all opposition and apparent contradiction. The powers of hell can never prevail against the soul that takes its stand on God and on His Word. This kind of faith overcomes the world.”

Bottom line? God is God! We do not have to understand. We must trust Him in ALL circumstances, take our pain to Him, He will comfort us. He is not the author of our storms, the devil takes that roll, but He will only allow what is good for us if we love Him and trust Him. (Romans 8:28) Remember the ‘if’ clause. Choose God! He will take you up and over the storms.

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Non-Poisonous Ant Repellant

Put 4 oz. water in a cup-size sprayer bottle. Add the following essential oils and shake before each use. Keep area being invaded by ants sprayed 3-4 times a day until they go elsewhere.

10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops Peppermint Oil
7 drops Clove Oil

Our choice for a pure and effective product is Nature's Sunshine essential oils.

Read about the research on Peppermint Oil relating to insects, mosquitoes, malaria, West Nile virus and more.

Vinegar Helps Diabetics

Two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal even as part of a vinaigrette salad dressing—will dramatically reduce the spike in blood concentrations of insulin and glucose that come after a meal.

In the study, vinegar cut the blood-glucose rise in the first hour after a meal by about half.

Read the entire article.

Excessive Meowing and Crying

© 2008 Christina Bethke - Fancy
You can see by the sweet face of this cat named, Fancy, that she would not present one cat hair of trouble for anybody, but some cats can drive you willy with their excessive vocalization: loud meowing or crying, sometimes accompanied by other attention-seeking behavior.

Because causes for both of these behaviors can be either physical or emotional, or both, you need to do some homework on possible causes before punishing your cat for excessive crying and meowing, or other attention seeking behavior.

Read this article to learn some of the activities that are related to or mistaken for attention-seeking behavior.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Time Banks For Gardening and More

Everybody's got a skill or talent and if we all share, we can bank our time and glean payment by accessing another person's skills for work we need done. It's the same concept as a babysitting club. Somebody's job would be to administrate the plan by keeping track of the hours submitted by each member and notifying members of what they have accrued (maybe with a monthly email?).

This is great for neighborhoods, church groups, women's groups, homeschoolers, and any other group of people. There is even TimeBanking software to make things run smoother. Get more information at TimeBanks USA.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Make Your Own Antimicrobial Spray

I've been making my countertop and bathroom sprays for many years. Now there are many recipes for homemade cleaners and that's an exciting thing!

People are now more aware of the dangers of cleaning supplies and the Make Cleaning Products Safe Campaign gives us a way to participate in encouraging the manufacturers to inform the public what is in their cleaners.

The post on Toxic Dryer Sheets & Cleaning Supplies makes us well aware of the dangers of these toxic products so it's nice to see more natural ones coming into the marketplace. However, I still enjoy making my own for pennies. Here's a favorite recipe added to a quart sprayer of water:

20 drops Lavender Fine Essential Oil
20 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

There's a long list of Uses For Tee Tree Oil. It goes with us on trips in our First Aid car kit also.

Defending Kids Against Disease

As a parent, you sometimes feel like you are preparing your child for battle when you send him or her off to school each morning. Germs, greasy school lunches, gym class, and English and Math are but a few of the obstacles that face your child each day.

As a health-conscious parent, you're concerned about your child's well-being and performance at school. You can play an active role in protecting and nurturing your son or daughter at school without showing up there yourself. Nature's Sunshine offers key products to help boost your child's lines of defense.

Read the entire article.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Unique Woodland Nature Home

© Photo copyright belongs to
The design and details of this house are delightful and inspiring. It was built by the owner and his father-in-law with some help from people passing by or visiting friends.

What a story to tell your children and grandchildren. It only took them four months to build and the cost was less than $6000 (or 3000 pounds). It's in Wales.

Read more and get specific details with plans and construction info.

10 Nature Quotes

"In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busily sawing off the limb on which it is perched." -- Paul Ehrlich, 1973

"Extinction proves our arrogance, but actions prove our love." -- Scott Boven, 2002

"If indeed thy heart were right, then would every creature be to thee a mirror of life, and a book of holy doctrine." -- Thomas Kempis (c.1380-1471)

"Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech." -- Aldo Leopold (1886-1948)

"There is no philosophy with a shadow of realism about it, save a philosophy based upon Nature." -- Donal Culross Peattie (1898-1964)

"No poem, no painting, no work of man's hand or brain is as marvelous a thing as the least of the species of living beings that inhabit the Earth. Each one... is a miracle as far beyond our comprehension as the stars. We cannot make them, we cannot understand how they were made. To destroy one... to wipe out a whole species... for all eternity, is to do so colossal a thing that the mind falters at the thought. Yet we have done it again and again, thoughtlessly, needlessly, wantonly, cruelly... many of the species that we have destroyed -- or are now destroying -- were among the noblest and most beautiful." -- Herbert Ravenel Sass (1884-1958)

"Conservation is a way of living and an attitude that humanity must adopt if it wants to live decently and permanently on Earth." -- Paul Bigelow Sears

"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated." -- Sutra-Kritanga Sutra 1:11:33

" has never been man's gift to make wildernesses. But he can make deserts, and has." -- Wallace Stegner

"More than half our wetlands are gone; in some states the figure is as high as 80 percent. Tallgrass prairies once covered 142 million acres in a green belt across the heart of North America. Today, as a functioning ecosystem, they are essentially extinct. And, about a tenth of our old-growth forests survive. As all of these unique habitats have dwindled, so too have the species that depend on them. I believe it's important to understand that people -- you and I -- have a direct interest in the extinction crisis. You can argue about who is responsible, but you can't ignore the effect that it will have on your lives and the lives of your children. To put it bluntly, the spiraling loss of species is an indicator that the natural world upon which we depend is in serious trouble." -- John Sawhill (1935-2000)

Used with permission from

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Urgent Pet News On Vaccines

Robin Sockness at Bandit's Buddies attended a continuing education seminar on Saturday, March 29 by R.D. Schultz, Ph.D. who is the Professor and Chair at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

The highlighted topics discussed were from his scientific paper entitled "Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats."

The most important thing to point out in this material is that Americans are over-vaccinating their animals.

Most of the vaccines immune the pet for life (easily checked with titers) and therefore if we continue to give vaccines every year, we only work to suppress the immune system and risk disease.

There is a long list of severe reactions to vaccines which includes: vaccine injection site sarcomas, anaphylaxix, arthritis, polyarthritis, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune mediated thrombocytemia, thyroiditis, myocarditis, post vaccination encephalitis or polyneuritis, seizures, congential anomalies, embryonic/fetal demise

Reactions can be within minutes, months or years. Sarcomas can show up 6-7 years later. It is foolish to believe that vaccines and pesticides don’t cause adverse reactions and immune deficiency diseases.

Any dog who has had a seizure, should never be vaccinated again and pregnant dogs or cats should not be vaccinated.

Read more details and be informed for your pet's health and life depends on it. Begin at the bottom of the page if you want the information in the order it was posted.

Helmet Help For Alzheimers

A helmet that looks like it came from a sci-fi flick may offer real help to Alzheimer's sufferers. The helmet bathes the wearer with infra-red light and only needs to be worn for ten minutes each day.

Dr Dougal says, "Currently all you can do with dementia is to slow down the rate of decay - this new process will not only stop that rate of decay but partially reverse it."

Low level infra-red red is thought to stimulate the growth of cells of all types of tissue and encourage their repair. It is able to penetrate the skin and even get through the skull.

Read the entire article.

Sublingual Relief For Allergy To Bee Stings

A new research study found that placing drops of honeybee venom under the tongue can significantly reduce reactions in people allergic to bee stings. This procedure is known as sublingual immunotherapy. Participants in the study were gradually given larger doses of bee venom over a six week period.

The participants were then stung by a real honeybee. The reactions to the stings were much smaller than they would have been. The median diameter of the sting wheals in patients given sublingual immunotherapy dropped from about 8 to 3 inches.

Read the entire article.

West Nile Virus Could Have Lifelong Effects

A new study on West Nile Virus finds that 1 out of every 150 people infected suffer from severe neurological disease. Of those about 40% have serious symptoms that they may deal with for the rest of their lives.

The finding comes from five years of data on 108 Houston-area residents who came down with severe West Nile disease after infection with the mosquito-borne virus.

A year after their West Nile virus infection, 60% of these patients still had serious symptoms. Five years later, 42% had not fully recovered - and weren't getting any better.

These lasting symptoms included fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, difficulty walking, memory loss, and personality change.

Read the entire article.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rat Language

From Creation Moments

It was once thought that language was a relatively late development in the evolution of man. Language among the lower animals was dismissed as a fantasy. So when the Bible speaks of the whole creation praising God, these same people said that this was just a figurative expression. Now modern science has shown that many creatures do have a language of their own - language which, we point out, can also be used to praise the Creator.

The human ear can detect sounds between 20 and 20,000 vibrations per second. Many creatures that we once thought were silent are busy communicating in sounds well above this range of frequencies and we just don’t hear them.

Scientists have cataloged many of the calls of Norway rats who communicate at 70,000 vibrations per second and conclude that they have the richest vocabulary of calls with specific meanings. Young rat pups screech a distress call that reaches the same volume as a jackhammer yet we are not able to hear it.

There is an advantage for these small rodents having such a high-pitched language. Even though many predators, like cats, can easily hear these frequencies, the loudest call does not travel far enough to give away the location of the nest.

Language is a gift from our Creator; therefore it is only fitting that the entire creation has language with which to praise Him!

References: “Rat Chat,” Science 83

Visit Creation Moments.

Know Your Cats

Years ago, most cat lovers pretty much took our cats for granted. The Internet has changed all that. There's no excuse for anyone with access to a computer to remain in the Dark Ages where our favorite pets are concerned. How far have you come on learning more about your cats? Take this Feline Knowledge Quiz to find out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

God Given Self Esteem

by Donna L. Watkins

Can you look in the mirror and say, "Thanks for doing a great job, Lord! I know you love me and I love me too." It's not a prideful thing to enjoy who God made you to be and to discover that your uniqueness is truly grand.

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins
If you can't give yourself a feeling of worth, you'll spend your life seeking to find it from others ... who will not be able to satisfy your longing for acceptance. You'll end up resentful and empty because you'll give up things that you don't think you deserve because of the way you are thinking about yourself.

People who don't believe in themselves are always trying to please somebody else, hoping they'll get their sense of worth from their appreciation. If you've been on that track, you already know it doesn't go anywhere.

God wants to give you self-worth based on Him. He calls you the apple of His eye. There is no one like you. And you were made to glorify Him, not to hide your head while you wander around trying to find somebody that will tell you that you're beautiful. God already said it. If you don't believe it, nobody else will see it.

You have no competition in being you. When you are secure in who you are with what God says about you, you will never be envious of somebody else again. Appreciate your own uniqueness and the role you have in this universe. God doesn't have anybody to replace you in His Kingdom, so it's time to realize how important you are.

When others see your confidence, they will want to be in harmony with you. You train others how to treat you based on how you treat yourself. Meditate on what God says in Isaiah 43:4: "You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you."

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Get Rid Of Energy Vampires

There are all sorts of devices that people forget and leave constantly on which drain as much energy as a light bulb left constantly lit. They work slowly like a dripping faucet.

Find these energy vampires and shut them down.

Make Cleaning Products Safe Campaign

Companies should provide full disclosure of ingredients on cleaning products and remove hazardous chemicals. Tens of thousands of chemicals are used in American industry, placed in products, and released to our environment, with virtually no information on the potential consequences for human health and little oversight by the government.

No legal requirements exist for ingredient labeling on household cleaning products. Sign the petition asking companies to make cleaning products safe!

More than 100 people, from Florida to Hawaii, have already pledged to host green cleaning parties. Be part of the nationwide movement to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in your home.

Starting on the first day of spring, people across the country will host parties to teach friends and family how to make their own “green cleaners” from ingredients they know are safe and non-toxic. Learn more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poll: Anniversary of Pet Recall

It's great that the largest recall ever has continued in the news along with a focus on many other recalls since the loss of thousands of pets.

Now a year later there's still a lot going on online to keep the public active and involved to prevent this kind of atrocity again. Fanny Syufy of shows these links in a recent blog.

Are pet foods and treats made in China safe for my pet to eat?
A year after pet food recall, still buyer beware
A year after Menu Foods scandal, pet food off the radar of regulators
Food safety system near "breaking point": FDA
Teen's illness stirs pet food debate
Last Years Pet Food Recall

Franny posted a poll on her blog and the results are encouraging that not all pet owners and consumers have become complacent on this issue.

The poll question asked: "A year after the pet food recalls, have you regained your trust in the pet food industry?"

At 340 votes, 155 readers (45%) voted SOMEWHAT, but not entirely.
More hopeful was that 152 readers (44%) voted NO.

Add your answer on the poll and view current poll results.

Menu Foods, whose contaminated product led to the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats in North America, has agreed to settle lawsuits with pet owners in the United States and Canada. Read that story here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Despair vs. Hope

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in "A Healing Moment"

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Sasanqua Camellia - Maiden's Blush

In our many troubles we often lose faith that God is still providing for us. God does not forget us. He who feeds the sparrows will always furnish our needs also. Our doubts and despair can get in the way of that provision though.

In Numbers 14 the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites He had been providing for. These people had seen many miracles and yet they were complaining. The Bible calls it rebellion. The torment and slavery that they had prayed for so long to be freed from now looked appealing to them. They were wishing they had died back in Egypt rather than where they were.

Grumbling can bring death. It brings our body, soul and spirit downward and that makes it hard to be in good health. 3 John 1:2 states, "Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." To me, that says that our soul has a lot to do with our prosperity, whether it be finances or health.

Sometimes I tell the Lord that I know I am acting like a spoiled child that is never satisfied. I get an idea of something I want and exactly how I want it and when God doesn't make it happen, I want to pout. I'm normally a grateful person but I can get pretty grumpy sometimes when things don't go my way. Maybe you can relate?

2 Kings 5 tells of a man named Naaman who had his own idea of how God would heal him and when it didn't go that way, he went away in a rage.

We get too wrapped up in what we want and we listen to the Enemy's whisperings in our ears instead of standing on the promises of God and walking in faith that He will fulfill them in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.

We must not discredit our Father with our anxiety. We are to trust and remind ourselves, every minute if necessary, that "He cares for me." (I Peter 5:7) Remember: "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." (Psalm 56:3)

What we think and speak about our lives has a great deal to do with how our lives go. Those Israelites got what they continually spoke. Since then Jesus has died for our sins and we can come to God through Him to seek forgiveness for our murmuring. Seek righteousness and focus on today only. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Be patient! God has not forgotten you. Take the weapons of your faith and stand with armor and shield against those whisperings (many of which come through the media of our day). Do not despair. God does care and His eyes are on you. Our afflictions are for our good and for training for righteousness. We just see the side of the tapestry of our lives that has all the strings, knots and loops. God is weaving a magnificent thing within your life. Hold one!

The blackest night will give way to a beautiful sunrise. Don't keep the dark around you by murmuring. Throw off the heavy blankets of discouragement and renew your mind in the mist of Truth. Stay in the Word and He will send you refreshment daily.

On the pages of every trial there is a Light shining. The words that hurt you, the cruelty you experienced, your financial situation, the health problem that causes pain and loss of abilities --- they are all known to Him and they can be gone. We worry too much that our present situation will be our permanent situation. That is without hope and promise. If you believe that, regardless of what the "professionals" say, you have left behind the realm of God that nobody can understand or provide scientific evidence of.

If you are trusting Him to take you to eternity in Heaven, you can trust Him with the situation before you!

Stay in the Word and ask Him for Light for today! This quote is particularly inspiring for me. I hope it is a blessing for you also.

"Abraham believed God and said to his eyes, "Stand back!" and to the laws of nature, "Hold your peace!" and to an unbelieving heart, "Silence, you lying tempter!" He simply believed God. " --- Joseph Parker

Copyright and Reprint Information
All photos remain the property of Donna L. Watkins and may not be republished without written permission. You may forward or use this copyrighted article on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2000-2007 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription. Link URL:

Bathe Pet Without Water

Sometimes it's too chilly for a bath or you may have a dog or cat that doesn't like to be bathed. Spa Scents Bath Fresh Mist with pure plant botanicals is an easy-to-use spray with a moisture-activated odor-fighter that safely absorbs and neutralizes odors. It gives your pet a fresh "just bathed" look and feel.

The formula is designed to detangle and nourish the coat, leaving it soft with a delicate fresh fragrance. It's not a cover-up. It actually neutralizes odors. Makes life a little simpler for you and your pet. Get more info on Spa Scents Bath Fresh Mist.

Ladybugs vs. Mexican Bean Beetles

Spring! Ladybugs are now emerging from their overwintering spot. When warmer temperatures arrive, ladybugs begin to awake and emerge from hibernation. They try to escape the confines of the home, which can be very difficult. The variation in temperatures confuses the ladybug. Sometimes they emerge into the home rather than outside. Once outside, ladybugs will search for food and begin to mate.

They are avid aphid eaters and also will eat the eggs of other insects. Don't get them confused with the Mexican Bean Beetle (Epilachna varivestis) and the Squash Beetle (Epilachna borealis), which are not beneficial insects.

Read more about Ladybug benefits.
See the difference between Ladybugs and Mexican Bean and Squash Beetles.

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