Thursday, April 30, 2009

Boxerwood Nature Center & Woodland Garden

Last weekend we visited Boxerwood in Lexington, Virginia. It's 90 minutes from our home. For years I've had the brochure and directions in the "Fun" slot of my file bins. We scheduled several times to go with friends and also alone and for various reasons we didn't get there.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Boxerwood Woodland Gardens, Lexington, VA
It was a gorgeous day although a bit hot for April, but the woodland gardens were a refuge from the heat of the day. Upon arrival we met Hunter Mohring, the Property Steward. KB, the Garden Steward, was also working nearby and both were such a delight to encounter as we wandered into the area of the Nature Center. There's always an aura of peace and tranquility in woodland gardens, and we were already experiencing that as we approached.

After a bit of a chat about the history of the place, and with booklet and map in hand, we headed out to explore the various areas. Dr. Robert S. Munger was responsible for the creation of Boxerwood. In 1952 when he moved there with his wife the land was overgrown pasture so he began to landscape his new home and apparently never stopped. He had a particular interest in Dwarf Confiers, Dogwoods, Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Magnolias and Japanese Maples.

The colors of Spring were quite evident with the diversity of plants. Dr. Munger retired in 1977 to become full-time gardener at his home and died in 1988 with a great legacy to the land in his natural gardening style left behind. The plant inventory shows over 7,000 trees and shrubs that he added. His gardening philosophy was to let nature take its course. He believed in giving plants a good start in life and then setting them free to develop, mature, age, die and decay with little human intervention.

The thirty acre site contains six distinct habitats and fifteen acres of mature, naturalistically planted trees and shrubs, featuring both native and unusual plant specimens. There was a large meadow with the mountains at the horizon view behind them. The rain gardens, wetlands and pond were interesting and we enjoyed a few turtles that smiled back at us.

The woodlands included Great Oak, over 150 years old, is a symbol that represents the passing of time. Old trees cause us to ponder the importance of our own life choices. To think it came from a small acorn, just as we come from a small egg. We really enjoyed the natural setting, unmanicured and wild in areas. Our favorite kind of garden.

Randal was particularly interested in the NEWTS (Nature-Emulating Wastewater Treatment System) process, wanting to learn more about it and see the visual example provided. Plenty of signage was offered. The system represents new options for dealing with waste and if you're building a home on some land, it would be something to consider. Photos of the signage and parts of the process are in the Boxerwood photo album.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - EarthArt Festival, Boxerwood, Lexington, VA
We were blessed with attending on one of the days scheduled for the first EarthArt Festival at Boxerwood, which was a great treat. We discovered this was the passion of Hunter Mohring, whom we met as mentioned above.

The Hunter Mohring EarthArt Fund has been established because of Hunter’s passion for nature, the arts, education and Boxerwood. The setting was certainly perfect for Nature In Art.

View entire Boxerwood photo album. View in slideshow format with titles. This was my first SmugMug photo album. I love the website's ease of use and grade school level of instructions. Looking for a secure and dynamic place to put your photos? You won't believe the features at SmugMug. Get a Free 14-Day Trial.

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Do Pesticides Increase Birth Defects

New research shows that babies conceived in the spring and early summer have a higher risk for a wide range of birth defects, including Down syndrome, cleft palate, and spina bifida.

The reported increase in birth defects was modest, but it coincided with a similar spike in groundwater pesticide levels during the spring-early summer planting season.

These findings suggest that pesticide exposure may influence birth outcomes nationwide, researchers say.

“There appears to be a season of conception in which the risk of having a child with a birth defect is higher,” Indiana University School of Medicine neonatology professor Paul D. Winchester, MD, tells WebMD.

“This study does not prove that pesticides cause birth defects, but we set out to show that they did not and we were not reassured.”

In earlier studies, researchers have reported increases in birth defects, pregnancy complications, and miscarriages in babies born to farm workers with high levels of exposure to agricultural pesticides.

But the study is one of the first to suggest that indirect exposure to agricultural chemical may influence birth outcomes.

Winchester and colleagues compared data on pesticide levels in surface water between 1996 and 2002 to data on birth defects at the national level during the same period.

The researchers used the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA), which includes samples from 186 streams across the United States, representing 50% of the drinking water consumed in the country.

Statistics on birth defects were reported to the CDC by individual states.

The NAWQA analysis confirmed that concentrations of widely used pesticides in ground water were highest in the months of April through July during the period examined. Read the entire article.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wisdom From God

by Donna L. Watkins

As humans we like to have something with flesh on to share our burdens and our souls, but ultimately God is our best friend and one who can allow us to see the good of any circumstance. Friends and family can offer comfort, but only The Comforter can touch and heal the hurts and wounds of our lives.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Mantled Howler Monkey - La Selva Biological Station - Costa Rica

Sometimes we become dependent on others to do what only God can do. Not only do we set them up as our idols, but we have the loss of true wisdom and direction we can only find from fellowship with God. Often I hear people quote, "In a multitude of counselors there is safety," (Prov. 24:6) to defend their running from person to person to find answers to their current troubles. Surely we are to encourage one another, but only God can offer the hope that conquers all our fears ... and don't most of our troubles involve letting fear get a strong grip around our throats?

Christian friends are one of God's blessings, but we must keep God first. If we don't keep that balance sometimes God intervenes and we see the reality of human frailty when those we counted on can no longer stand. When God reduces your support, it's to give you a miraculous victory. It's to show how somebody who has lost everything can make a comeback through Christ. God helps to eliminate those who aren't fit for the battle. He also doesn't like to share the Glory.

Remember Gideon? God sends an angel to him and calls him a "mighty warrior." As Gideon looks about to see who the angel is talking to, he is told that God is going to use him to save Israel from the Midianites. He's so uncertain that he can possibly go through this trial and battle that he uses a fleece to ask God for a confirming sign. We don't always get signs but if we listen closely to our hearts we will be aware that within us is a knowing of what God wants and what we can do with our faith in Him.

Gideon finally stepped forth in faith and gathers the men for battle at Mount Gilead. God tells Gideon that 32,000 men are too many and tells Gideon to send home those who are fearful. That cut the warriors down to 10,000 which I'm sure wasn't giving Gideon any comfort, but before he can ponder that for long, God tells him there are still too many.

God now separates the remaining men by having Gideon observe how the men drink water from a stream. Gideon is to use only those who drink by scooping the water into their hands first rather than drinking directly from the stream. In the end a group of only 300 remains. Gideon is encouraged by God when he overhears two Midianites discussing a dream, so Gideon returns to the camp with obvious wisdom and creativity from the Lord. When we listen up, we gain amazing insight.

Gideon gave each of his men a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch inside. He then divided the group into three companies and marched on the enemy camp. The account is an amazing victory which was gained because Gideon chose faith over fear and sought to obey God's will. Here's the Bible's account of the battle:

"Watch me," he told them. "Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, 'For the Lord and for Gideon.' " The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, "A sword for the Lord and Gideon!" While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. (Judges 7:17-22, NIV Bible)

Ultimately the men never fought. What an amazing thing faith can accomplish. God's Word gives us many stories to build our faith and many promises that come from being faith full. God will never leave you empty if you block out a segment of time for Him. We can't learn faith by being on the run. In the end, I believe it takes less time to spend hours with God than to try to live life depending on others to give us direction or to bounce about trying every idea that comes to mind. Wisdom is available if we stop, sit and seek.

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Free Birding Excursion When You Travel

If you enjoy birding at home, when you travel you surely take along your binoculars and/or camera hoping to see something new at your travel destination. Unless you spend a lot of time online trying to determine where to find the birds, you won't have a clue where to look ... unless!

You contact somebody before to schedule a birding expedition with a local who has volunteered to show you the neighborhood. It's free because they have a passion to share their love of birds with others. There are volunteers around the world. Get more information and join in at the Birding Pal website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sports Drinks May Damage Teeth

Sports drinks may boost your energy, but they can also weaken your teeth, a new study shows.

The popular energy drinks sipped by many athletes to increase stamina contain levels of acid that can cause tooth erosion, hypersensitivity, and staining, according to the findings of New York University dental researchers.

The beverages also can cause excessive tooth wear and may damage underlying bone-like material, causing teeth to soften and weaken, the researchers say. The drinks may also possibly trigger conditions leading to severe tooth damage and loss.

The findings are being presented at the International Association for Dental Research in Miami.

"This is the first time that the citric acid in sports drinks has been linked to erosive tooth wear," says Mark Wolff, DDS, professor and chairman of the department of cardiology and comprehensive care at New York University College of Dentistry.

He says people who use sports energy drinks for energy should not brush their teeth immediately after drinking the beverages. Softened enamel, he says, is highly susceptible to the abrasive properties of toothpaste.

To prevent tooth erosion, Wolff says:

* Drink sports drinks in moderation.
* Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow softened enamel to reharden.
* If you drink a lot of sports drinks, ask your dentist if you should use an acid-neutralizing remineralizing toothpaste to help reharden soft enamel.

Read the entire article.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Laser Gun Kills Millions of Mosquitoes

Scientists in the U.S. are developing a laser gun that could kill millions of mosquitoes in minutes.

The WHO has reported that around half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. The laser, which has been dubbed a "weapon of mosquito destruction" fires at mosquitoes once it detects the audio frequency created by the beating of its wings. The laser beam then destroys the mosquito, burning it on the spot.

Developed by some of the astrophysicists involved in what was known as the "Star Wars" anti-missile programs during the Cold War, the project is meant to prevent the spread of malaria.

Lead scientist on the project, Dr. Jordin Kare, told CNN that the laser would be able to sweep an area and "toast millions of mosquitoes in a few minutes."

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people from the bites of female mosquitoes.

It is particularly prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and kills an African child every 30 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

There are an estimated 300 million acute cases of malaria each year globally, resulting in more than one million deaths, the WHO reports.

Responding to questions about any potential harm the laser could pose to the eco-system, Kare said: "There is no such thing as a good mosquito, there's nothing that feeds exclusively on them. No one would miss mosquitoes," he said.

"In any case," he added. "The laser is able to distinguish between mosquitoes that go after people and those that aren't dangerous. What remains to be seen is how precise we can get." Read the entire article.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seasonal Allergies

I've had allergies since I was born and when I was in school I used the OTC antihistamine products that put me to sleep on the desk. So, it was being sent to the principle's office for sleeping, or carry a wad of tissues around. I'm so used to the sniffles that it seems normal ... but in Spring it's bad enough that it gets my attention and I take my herbal antihistamine that doesn't make me drowsy: HistaBlock

Respiratory allergies are a major health problem for many people worldwide. Epidemiologic data indicate that the incidence of allergies is continuing to rise.1 Experts estimate that allergic rhinitis affects 20% of all adults and 40 % of children in the U.S.2 Allergic rhinitis is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed work/school due to chronic illness.2 Approximately 16.7 million physician office visits per year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.2,3

Allergies are due to an overreaction of the immune system to environmental substances. Respiratory allergies can be caused by almost any airborne particle, but the most common triggers are animal dander, feathers, fabrics, dust, molds and pollen.4 Allergic rhinitis caused by a reaction to plant pollen is also known as hay fever.4

When an allergen enters the respiratory system of susceptible individuals, it triggers an allergic response. Cells called mast cells (a type of white blood cell) release histamine, which sets off a series of events that cause swelling and inflammation.5 In allergic rhinitis, the resulting symptoms include mucus production, sneezing, congestion, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.

Allergic rhinitis can affect individuals throughout the year but is particularly prevalent during the spring season (from late May to the end of June) and is referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Respiratory allergies can occur in conjunction with, and contribute to the development of, other conditions. These include asthma and sinusitis.

Nature’s Sunshine offers HistaBlock and a variety of other products that are commonly recommended to support the respiratory system as it battles seasonal allergies.

1. The UCB Institute of Allergy. Epidemiology. 2009.
2. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergy Statistics. 1996-2009.
3. CDC. National Center for Health Statistics: Fast Stats A-Z, Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, no. 13. 1999. Web:
4. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus: Allergic Rhinitis. 1997-2009.
5. The Internet Encyclopedia of Science. Histamine. 2009.

Leaning In

by Donna L. Watkins

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn't grow weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those whose hope is in the Lord, shall renew their strength. They will mount up on wings like eagles, they will walk and not be weary. They will run and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

That's one of the Scripture cards I meditate on while bouncing on my rebounder. I love to think of God as the Creator since it reminds me that all the beauty He placed on this planet for us is a signature of who He is. There are so many nature illustrations used in the Bible and there's so much that nature can teach us about life and about the attributes of our God.

Sometimes we get off course on who God is. Things go wrong and human nature wants to blame somebody ... and often, we blame God. Most of the time it's our own choices that are making life miserable. Sometimes, we don't set boundaries in our lives and relationships. Then we want God to fix it all. He's already given us the ability and the power, but we have to apply it to our lives. Self-control is becoming a lost art.

When times are dark, we tend to drift away from the Lord, when we need to lean and press in. One thing for certain is when we don't trust His head, we can always trust His heart. His desire toward us is love. Consider this:

"My Father takes great delight in me and quiets me with His love and rejoices over me with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

"How precious are your thoughts of me, O God! How great is the sum of them." Psalm 139:17

Write those down and feed on them. Your brain gets hungry for such thoughts and your soul requires them daily. Don't drift from the only sure anchor you've got. Lean in and He will wrap His arms around you.

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Green Home Makeover Is Healthy

How about a trained and certified Eco-Consultant who will IMPLEMENT proven “green” solutions in your home NOW. Lead your family to a healthier, safer, more sustainable lifestyle and save money too by reducing your use of energy.

Would you spend a few hundred dollars to save a few thousand dollars while making the healthiest possible home for your family AND having a positive impact on the environment? Even in tough times, most people answer YES to this question! offers a Green Home Makeover that generally takes from 60-90 minutes. When your local Green Irene Eco-Consultant walks through your home with our Green Home Makeover Checklist, he or she will point out immediate changes you can make at no cost while customizing a set of recommendations on how you can save energy and water, reduce your use of harmful chemicals in your home and yard, improve indoor air quality and reduce your waste.

The $133 Water Conservation Kit (for a 2-bathroom home) can save you over $4,200 in the next seven years while reducing your family's Carbon Footprint. Get more info on the makeover and Find a local consultant.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Never Give Pets People Food and Other Myths

When pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton advised a reader of his syndicated newspaper column that cats were known to be jealous of babies and would smother them by lying on them, cat lovers arched their backs and hissed. As Dr. Brazelton demonstrated, many long-disproven myths about pets still have legs. asked some pet experts to give us the lowdown on what’s true and what’s not when it comes to dog and cat behavior and care. Read the entire article.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Understanding Medical Words

Would you like to understand more of what you read when researching information on a medical issue? We're never too old to learn and adding new words to your vocabulary is said to keep Alzheimer's at bay.

Check out the new Understanding Medical Words tutorial from the National Library of Medicine. This tutorial teaches you about medical words. You'll learn about how to put together parts of medical words. You'll also find quizzes to see what you've learned. Visit now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peaceful Mind

by Donna L. Watkins

Our world seems to be spinning faster and faster and the old phrase, "stop the world I want to get off" rings more true in our ears than ever before. It's a loud, busy and very noisy world. Too many voices. Too much information. Too much input. How do we process it all and live peacefully within it?

Just as the Lord's Prayer tells us to ask for our "daily bread," we must find our daily peace in our quiet time with the Lord each day. Being still and knowing He is God will prepare you for the onslaught of decisions, troubles and trials that come your way within each 24 hours.

We won't find a quiet place amidst our day unless we create one. And for those who are naturally geared to high energy and movement, this is even more of a challenge, but even more necessary. Our body, soul and spirit need rest and stillness. Our bodies were never made for fast lifestyles. Do you ever remember reading anything about Jesus rushing about? He withdrew to quiet places (Luke 5:16) and if He needed this time each day, how much more do we?

One thing we need to do in our daily time with God is to ask Him to bring our sins to mind so we can confess and ask for forgiveness. Letting the "garbage" of our life pile up does nothing for our health. We can't offer forgiveness and peace to others unless we process through our own.

This time and process will restore emotional and physical energy and give you His wisdom on handling the events of life. We certainly can easily exhaust our own options. We need something greater than ourselves. Consider Psalm 32:3-5:

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD " -
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Take time to rest and refresh. We live the day better when we begin it with our Lord and Comforter. We sleep better when we end it with thoughts and meditations of His Word.

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Celebrate With A Compost Warming Party

This couple short on compost materials after making a move, hatched a perfect plan to acquire masses of good organic matter, and have fun while doing it.

They morphed their house warming party into a compost warming, and boy was it fun. Invitations were sent and word was spread they wanted rotting matter, and lots of it.

They offered prizes for the most useful, the most unusual, and the largest quantity of materials. The rest of the party may be a bit wild for my taste, but the idea is great! Read the entire article.

Going Water Neutral At Home

You know about going carbon neutral ... but what about WATER neutral?

The idea is gaining ground with companies looking to reduce their consumption of water, including Coca Cola, whose chairman has pledged to eventually balance out all of the water used in its products and manufacturing processes through conservation elsewhere.

What about being water neutral in our own homes? Learn how you can take steps to a water-neutral home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

House Bill Gives FDA Power Over Tobacco

The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the advertising and sale of tobacco products in the United States.

The bill would give the FDA the authority to require the posting of larger warning labels on tobacco products.

The measure passed by a vote of 298-112. Only eight Democrats voted against the bill; a majority of Republicans opposed it.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which now moves to the Senate for further consideration, would allow the FDA to restrict the marketing of tobacco and ban candy-flavored cigarettes. It would also allow the agency to regulate nicotine and other ingredient levels, as well as force greater disclosure of the contents of tobacco products.

Among other things, it would give the FDA the authority to require the posting of larger warning labels on cigarette cartons and other tobacco products. Tobacco companies could be barred from running ads implying, critics say, that "mild" or "low-tar" cigarettes are less harmful.

"This legislation is a major victory for those of us who prize the health of this nation over the profits of tobacco companies," J. Randall Curtis, the incoming head of the American Thoracic Society, said in a written statement. Read the entire article.

Dogs, Not Chimps, Most Like Humans

Chimpanzees share many of our genes, but dogs have lived with us for so long and undergone so much domestication that they are now serving as a model for understanding human social behavior, according to a new paper.

Cooperation, attachment to people, understanding human verbal and non-verbal communications, and the ability to imitate are just a handful of the social behaviors we share with dogs. They might even think like us at times too, according to the paper, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Advances in the Study of Behavior.

While there is no evidence to support that dogs and humans co-evolved their laundry list of shared behaviors over the past 10,000 to 20,000 years, the researchers believe adapting to the same living conditions during this period may have resulted in the similarities. Read the entire article.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow The Quest For Longevity

Does a tiny island in the Aegean Sea hold new clues for a longer, happier, and healthier life?

The island is the next destination for a Blue Zones™ Longevity Quest — the international search to identify areas of the world, dubbed "Blue Zones," which have the highest concentration of healthy centenarians.

The Quest, sponsored by AARP, includes a nine-person team of demographers, medical experts, writers, and videographers. And they’re taking you along, at least virtually.

From April 20 through May 1, you’ll help direct the team members. Your daily vote will determine where they go, what they do, and whom they meet. Each night they’ll report back with written accounts, photographs, and videos.

Find out about other Blue Zones around the world.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Depression and Anger Linked to Heart Disease

The Scriptures surely have plenty to say about anger and depression is sometimes defined as anger turned inward. Consider these words:

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath - Psalm 37:8

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense - Proverbs 19:11

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice - Ephesians 4:26

Surely God knows these human bodies cannot take the toll of anger extended or held within. This isn't news to those who understand the link between mind, body and spirit, but medical research is now seeing it also. There have been two studies published in March 2009 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Here's an excerpt from an online article:

Highlights from the studies include:

* Depression and heart disease: Sudden cardiac death may be more than twice as common among women with symptoms of major depression than women who aren't depressed. This finding comes from a study of more than 63,000 U.S. female nurses followed from 1992 to 2004. The nurses had no history of heart disease when the study started. The study also linked sudden cardiac death to antidepressant use, but it's not clear if that's related to the drugs or the depression.

* Anger/hostility and heart disease: Chronically angry or hostile adults with no history of heart disease may be 19% more likely than their peers to develop heart disease. And angry or hostile heart disease patients may be 24% more likely than other heart disease patients to have a poor prognosis. These findings came from reviewers who pooled data from 44 studies conducted in America, Europe, Asia, and Australia between 1983 and 2006.

The reports don't prove that depression, anger, or hostility caused heart disease. But the findings held regardless of other heart disease risk factors, suggesting a stubborn link among those traits.

It's a connection that doctors and patients need to take seriously and talk about, heart experts tell WebMD.

"There is clearly a link between depression, anger, anxiety, stress, and outcomes in heart disease," says Philip Binkley, Wilson professor of medicine at The Ohio State University's division of cardiovascular medicine.

Read the entire article at

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hot Tea Linked to Throat Cancer

People who drink their tea piping hot run a higher risk of throat cancer than counterparts who prefer a cooler cuppa, according to an investigation published Friday by the British Medical Journal.

Cancer of the oesophagus is linked especially to smoking and alcohol abuse but hot beverages have also been considered a risk factor, possibly because of damage to throat tissue.

Interested in finding out more, Iranian researchers went to Golestan province, which has one of the highest rates of oesophageal cancer in the world.

Inhabitants there sip large quantities of hot black tea -- typically drinking more than a liter (1.8 pints) per day per person -- but also have a low incidence of tobacco and alcohol use.

A team led by Reza Malekzadeh of the Digestive Disease Research Center at Tehran University of Medical Sciences looked at 300 people who had been diagnosed with a throat tumor and a matched group of 571 healthy people who lived in the same area. Read the entire article.

Update On Die-Off Of Honeybees

Nature's number one pollinating machine appears to be breaking down and no one knows for sure why. But it's not just pretty gardens that are at stake; one third of the average diet relies on honeybees.

Upcoming laboratory and field tests, coupled with a survey of beekeepers this spring, may help provide the key to scientists' search for the cause of widespread die-offs among honeybee colonies in the United States.

The problem, says one expert in the field, may be a combination of pesticides and pathogens. "We don't have our smoking gun. ... [but] we're getting closer," said Dewey Caron, an entomologist who recently retired from the University of Delaware.

While hives may lose 10 percent of their population during an ordinary winter, in recent years those losses have shot above 30 percent.

In the U.K., government finally accepted there's a problem, however, are still not ready for any real recognition that pesticides could be a contributory factor. At The Co-operative, a private business, there are more than three million members and they hope to educate and empower them to be ambassadors for a project called Plan Bee.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Development Of A Bird Egg

Have you ever wondered about the process of development for a bird's egg? Audubon presents this information by author Jesse Greenspan.

In the week leading up to the laying of a chicken egg, a yolk forms in a mother bird's ovary. It then drops into the oviduct, where it is fertilized by stored sperm.

Next albumen, or egg white, is deposited around the yolk. The shell forms within the following 24 hours, after which the mother pushes the egg out and into the nest.

Chickens have a 21-day incubation period. On day 6 the embryo's heart has been beating for four days; on day 12 beginning bones and feathers are apparent; on day 18 claws and bones look more fully developed, and the embryo is nearly ready to poke its beak into the small air space and inflate its lungs for the first time. On day 21 the chick cracks through the shell with its egg tooth.

Incubation is similar among all bird species, but the length of time varies. Some small songbirds complete their embryonic development in as few as 11 days, while the wandering albatross can take as long as 81 days .

Visit Audubon's magazine site .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Headache Pain Alternatives

When a headache hits you want instant relief, but before you grab the over-the-counter pain reliever, remember these drugs can do much more harm than a headache. Frequent use of NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can result in gastrointestinal upset, peptic ulcers, and intestinal bleeding.

Look for safer natural relief. First, find out what triggers the pain.

Stress and lack of sleep can bring on a tension headache. Allergies and sudden weather changes can cause screaming sinus issues. Migraines can come from some suspect foods, alcohol, or hormonal changes.

Along with avoiding your triggers, consider the following five (5) supplements to ease your aching head.

More info on these supplements:
Fish Oil

God's Provision For The Economy

by Donna L. Watkins

David wrote, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread" (Ps. 37:25). Has God ever failed you?

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Mantled Howler Monkey Saying Grace Over Meal, Costa Rica

That question will cause many of us pushing the Play button of the video images we have on when God has failed us. In our limited knowledge and view of the 'big picture' we often feel like God has forsaken us, but we are not looking in the right places for wisdom and discernment on events.

Joel 2:26 says, "You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your god, who has worked wonders for you." Why bother trying to figure it all out? Too often we're so busy working on our own solutions, that we don't have enough knee time in prayer to the One who has all of the answers. We get ourselves in such a tizzy trying to make it all just the way we want it, that we don't take our inheritance of provision seriously.

God tells us to "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Ps. 37:3-5).

Does that sound like what you do in the midst of troubles? It's sure not my first response, but it's what we are given as directions for life in our Owner's Manual, the Bible. Trust in God. Why is that so hard for humans? It's so intangible in a world so full of self-confident and "you can make-it-happen" mentalities.

We are told not to be anxious, to walk in faith and fellowship with the Master of the universe. Jesus told us not to worry about what to eat, drink and wear because God knows ALL that we need. Our business is to be to "seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness" and all of the basics and more will be given to us.

He's Jehovah Jireh! Abraham trusted and knew God as Jehovah Jireh, which means "God will provide." He was about to sacrifice his son and yet he knew that God would provide. He told his servants that he and his son would return. Faith. Trust. Not tangible solutions. But in a world that has been full of tangible illusions on what will make life good, happy and successful ..... well, I guess it's just time to give the intangible a try.

God will never let us down. We can't expect Him to take orders from us if and when it's not going to be good for us, so we don't always get what we think we want. Neither do our children. We know not all requests can be fulfilled because we have more wisdom and understanding of the bigger picture than our children do.

God is the ultimate parent, knowing all and seeing all. He's one we can trust. So .... when will you begin? Is life awful enough for you to give up and open up to the One who loves you more than you could love anybody in this world? In a down economy, we often come to the end of our own ideas and have to look to somebody wiser. Take the steps back to the Bible. It's not confusing and complicated, but you need to invest time in it, just like you invest time in all the other "solutions" you tried.

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
-- Hebrews 4:12

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
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CF Light Bulb Issues - People and Pets

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are packaged with promises of energy savings that have prompted the federal government to dictate their use, but consumers of the new technology are finding the product doesn't always live up to the promise.

The federal government's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 phases out Thomas Edison's incandescent bulbs in favor of the newer CFLs beginning in 2012 and culminates in a total ban on the older technology by 2014.

Advocates say the new bulbs, though they cost more initially, save over the long haul by using up to 75 percent less energy and lasting years longer than incandescent bulbs.

Consumers, however, have found cause for complaint in both faulty bulbs and unexpected side-effects – including problems with pets and serious safety concerns – that may cancel out the bulbs' benefits. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do You Know A Clutterer?

There are no quick fixes to stop cluttering, but this website below has decluttering programs to help chronically disorganized clutterers. The basis is to change emotional behavior before organizing techniques can help you get decluttered and stay uncluttered. That is why traditional organizing methods don't work.

Clutterless Recovery Groups are not professional organizers or psychiatric professionals. Their philosophy complements the work of counselors and organizers. The focus is to teach clutterers how to declutter their emotions. There's a spiritual aspect to it also.

Are you a clutterer? What's the basis of your cluttering lifestyle. Find out more and take the quiz.

EPA Moving Away From Animal Testing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reducing its reliance on animal testing to assess human risk of chemical toxicity and will instead focus more heavily on the tools made possible by advances in molecular biology, genomics and computational modeling.

The move is part of the EPA's effort to find better, cheaper and faster ways to screen thousands of chemicals for human risk, including the ways in which toxicity occurs, the impact of long-term exposure to various chemicals, and how chemicals effect genetic variations of the population.

"Right now, there isn't enough capacity to test all the chemicals we want information on," Robert Kavlock, director of EPA's computational toxicology program, told Wednesday.

The agency asked its various departments about high-priority chemicals for which they'd most want information. After compiling the list of nearly 10,000 chemicals and consulting the public literature, the EPA discovered it didn't know whether two-thirds of the chemicals on this list caused cancer in animals; for 90 percent of the chemicals, it didn't know their effects on reproduction.

The "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Strategic Plan for Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals," (PDF) released today, will also enable the agency to study how toxicity impacts children. Read the entire article.

Monday, April 13, 2009

All About Diabetes

A Common Sense Approach to Strengthening the Pancreas
by James D. Jenks, H.M.D.

The Medical Sciences are trying so hard to understand diabetes. The simple fact is diabetes is unknown in countries where people can't afford to overeat. Solutions to the human health may best be investigated in our kitchen and not in labs with rats as this does seem to be with whom the scientific mind prefers to work.

Diabetic symptoms are simple and everyday. Classic symptoms are excessive thirst and urination, excessive hunger but weight loss despite increased food consumption. General weakness, skin disorders, including boils and vaginal infections, blurred vision, tingling, leg cramps, impotence and dry mouth are frequent complaints.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition where the excess sugar in the urine also dehydrates the body causing acids to build up in the body. Ketoacidosis can be life threatening if allowed to progress to a coma state. Other chronic complications are coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and blindness.

Our medical sciences have been pumping animal insulin into all diabetics for some time. In 1980, the ADA said about 40% of known diabetics were misdiagnosed. With the new 'fat' understanding of Type II, we can see that in five of the six diabetics or as high as ten of eleven, the lack of insulin is not the problem. The side effects of insulin are serious and the possible iatrogenic disease fatalities here are staggering.

A National Health Magazine, written by M.D's, recently reported on several diabetics who decreased their insulin requirements with diet and exercise. Now, even the M.D.'s have the door open. So, let's step into a program, which helps the body renew itself and regenerate the organs.

There are four major considerations for the person with diabetic tendencies or symptoms. Read the entire article.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Too Busy To Pray?

Don't you think this is a bit far for the power of technology to roam?

Now you can have the "power" of the internet do it for you. You even get to choose your religion of choice. Here's the information describing this service on the Information Age Prayer website:

Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.

At Information Age Prayer we think our service should be used like a prayer supplement, to extend and strengthen a subscriber's connection with God. Traditional prayer is an integral part of this connection and should never be forgone, even after signing up.

There's always something to surprise us in this "world."

Live and Let Live

by Donna L. Watkins

I remember that phrase growing up. It seems my Daddy would say it in response to somebody talking about what somebody else was doing. His philosophy was that we have enough to concern ourselves with in living our own life; why spend time and energy messing with somebody else's business.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Take A Bow - Chickens, Costa Rica
I guess I interpret that in my life with the Bible's mandate to "judge not, lest I be judged accordingly," but I also live by the mandate of the title of this blog post and the thoughts contained within:

Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live
From The Good

By choosing our lifestyle carefully, we are in effect helping many other people around the world who have it a lot less fortunate than we do. Buying organic cotton clothes and bedding keeps pesticides and other toxins off farm worker’s bodies. Choosing to use biodegradable soaps and cleaners prevents our oceans and rivers from becoming toxic waste dumps.

Giving money to charity instead of splurging on yourself once in a while enables a kid in some far away land to get a textbook. In almost everything we do, there is an effect on someone else in the world. Just being wise to this fact can separate you from the herd.

Only a few extreme environmentalists want anyone to go live in a cave, eat only wheat grass, and read by candlelight only. Most of us are not that type of “green.”

I just want everyone to be able to live comfortably and mindfully, within their means, while having a minimal negative affect on the rest of the people on the planet. No matter how far away they are or what they do for a living, they are still people. And we all share the earth together, regardless of age, creed, sex, or the size of our wallets.

If we all do our best to keep in mind the other 6 billion people on the planet every time we shop or make lifestyle changes, we will all be better off. And there is nothing wrong with that at all.

It's certainly a great reinforcement for saying "no" when we want to "buy things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like." (Quote by Mary Ellen Edmunds) In this economy frugal is becoming popular and that forces us into more simple-minded concepts. We get more creative on reusing things we have and find solutions on fix-it projects with ideas that we never knew lay within us.

I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country so frugal was bred in regardless of how much money you had. The idea was in being a good steward; in not wasting resources at your disposal. The world hasn't operated on those principles for a long time. Maybe with the bad aspects of the economy, we will find much good in our lives and lifestyles and relationships as we process through it.

If you need some community support or answers to some of your own questions, visit The Frugal to search for topics or join the forum to ask your own question. Most likely you'll find what you need in a search. There's over 16,000 members and the website has compiled a lot of data in the 11 years it's been online.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stress Solving Secrets

Strategies to Help You Prosper in Difficult Times
by Steven H. Horne, RH (AHG)

Stress! We all experience it from time to time in our life. Perhaps you, like many others in this country, are feeling some stress because of the economy. If you are, I’d say you’re pretty normal. Just listening to news reports of lost jobs, home foreclosures and reduced sales is enough to cause feelings of anxiety in just about anyone, including me. But, stressful events aren’t the real problem. It’s how we react to stressful events that determines whether we will grow from them or develop chronic worry, anxiety, fear and the physical illness that accompanies it.

Learning how to handle stress is typically called stress “management.” The implication is that we can never avoid stressful experiences. However, we can learn tools that help us to deal with (or “manage”) them.

I’ve learned stress management skills because I need them to help me through my own “tough times,” which have included three divorces, the deaths of both of my parents and two of my children, and a bankruptcy. Many people going through these types of stressful experiences become bitter, angry, withdrawn, depressed and hardened. They also typically develop serious chronic illness because of this stress. In contrast, I’ve been able to remain a generally optimistic, happy and healthy person.

Read the entire article. If you read about any products of interest to you, find wholesale prices at The Herbs Place.

Dealing With Annoying Animals

From Cheryl Falkenburry, Animal Behavior Coach

I’m sick and tired of people allowing their dogs to bark incessantly and animals that roam and poop in my yard — including cats. Is there anything I can do to get the neighbors to control their animals? I work hard to keep my animals under control, and it’s so inconsiderate that they don’t do the same.

Everyone has different ideas of how to take care of their animals. Some feel that dogs and cats should be free to roam like animals do in the wild in order to keep them happy. Some like to leave animals outside for a warning system if someone approaches. Although, I can understand this thought process, it is difficult to keep animals safe when they are left to roam or kept outside all the time. They do not understand boundary lines unless they are taught and supervised. There are wild animals, cars, and diseases that can harm animals who are allowed to roam.

Dogs kept tied up or kept in a fence all day begin to bark at everything out of boredom, soon the barks are ignored taking away the effectiveness of a warning system. It is much more responsible to keep animals at home and supervised.

Cats should be kept indoors to keep them from catching serious diseases like Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). If people are concerned that their cat will not be happy indoors, they can build an enclosed cat run where cats can go outside in a safe environment.

As far as barking dogs, a bored dog is a loud dog. As much as I love animals, I don’t like to hear them barking incessantly either. It’s difficult to think or sleep with all the noise. People should be considerate of their neighbors even if they live in a rural area.

Some barking is to be expected. Dogs bark when they play, they bark when someone approaches, and they bark at deer running by. I personally like to have my dogs bark a little to warn me that something needs my attention. I also enjoy watching dogs happily playing and barking with joy. However, uncontrollable barking is annoying. Dogs should have an “off” switch to their barking—such as a “Quiet” or “Enough” command. Unfortunately when a dog is left outside all the time, there is no human there to give the command.

For those of you who have a barking Bowser next door, you may want to give your neighbor a gift basket with interactive toys for the dog (Kongs and Bustercubes) and a copy of my Barking Bowser article found on my website. (If you don’t have Internet access, call me and I’ll send you a copy.) This is a nice way to give a hint that perhaps they need to work on their barking issue.

If cats are relieving themselves in your garden, you can get some motion sensor sprayers (Sscat is one brand for cats) to put around and make your garden less attractive. Tin foil under the bushes also helps as cats don’t like to walk on the crunchy foil.

The bottom-line is everyone should be responsible for their own animal. Even if you live in an area where there are no leash laws and barking dogs are exempt from noise ordinances, take the time to pay attention to what your animals are doing.

Is it possible they are being a nuisance to someone else? Is there something you can do about it to be a good neighbor and a responsible animal guardian? When we make animals a part of our family and teach them to be responsible canine and feline community members, everyone is happy — the neighbors, the family, and most important — the animals.

Cheryl Falkenburry, Animal Behavior Coach, helps make sense of mind-boggling animal behavior. Visit her website for other behavior tips. Set up a private session to work directly on your pet's problem.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New U.S. Health Report

The Associated Press reported last week that America spends much more on health care than the healthiest countries do, yet lags 23% behind other leading nations like Canada, Japan, Germany, the U.K. and France, and as much as 46% behind emerging powers like China, Brazil and India.

These conclusions were drawn by the Business Roundtable, a forum of CEOs of major corporations who sponsored the study to analyze the cost-benefit disparity on health care delivery worldwide. By their observations, the $2.4 trillion dollars a year and the almost $2,000 spent per capita on health care in the United States in 2006 was more than twice the rate of any other major country.

The research project examined each nation’s health care costs and statistics on life expectancy, mortality and morbidity, and physiological findings like cholesterol levels and blood pressure readings. “What’s important is that we measure and compare actual value – not just how much we spend on health care, but the performance we get back in return,” said H. Edward Hanway, CEO of CIGNA. “That’s what this study does, and the results are quite eye-opening." Read the entire article.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Call To A Simpler Life

By Senior Pastor Tri Robinson

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but one morning I woke up with the realization that I was tired. It wasn’t the kind of tired like I hadn’t had enough sleep – it was bone weary tired. Somehow life had gotten away from me. For the past few years I had been giving it my all, yet not accomplishing half of what I set out to do. In many areas of my life I felt I was spinning my wheels. All that I had been doing was important; sitting on various boards, building a wonderful growing church in Boise, constructing a mountain cabin with my family, and working on a country home with my wife Nancy.

As a Regional Director, I had been overseeing nearly a hundred churches in nine states. I was traveling across the country and around the world teaching seminars and encouraging and training church leaders. I was also a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a son to people that I deeply loved and cared about. I was juggling what felt like a hundred balls, not wanting any of them to fall. And suddenly, I was tired.

That morning as I looked out my front window at the distant snow covered mountain I realized something had to give. My life had become too complex, too busy and basically out of control. I realized the things that truly gave me joy, and the things I really wanted to invest my life in, were being pushed aside for dozens of good things. Honestly, they weren’t just good things, they were things that I had felt privileged to be a part of. It became very clear as I sat there pondering all of this; it was time to re-evaluate, re-organize and re-focus. Read the entire article.

Animal Engineering

Move over, common sense. Here comes FDA with their latest display of bad judgment.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a final guidance on regulating genetically engineered (GE) animals – which pretty much gives producers the go-ahead to make them a reality. The process is already being laid out – companies will have to apply to FDA as if GE animals were new animal drugs before being allowed to put the livestock on the market.

So where’s the nonsensical part? There’s the fact that the long-term health effects for both the animals themselves and the humans who consume them are still largely unknown. And that the agency is considering approving transgenic animals without requiring them to be labeled. But it goes even further, believe it or not. Read the entire article.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Near-sighted - Not Enough Outdoor Time

You could have poor eyesight because you didn't spend enough time outdoors as a child. That's the conclusion of a series of studies on myopia.

Myopia is the technical name for short-sightedness – a defect in vision that comes about when your eyes can't focus light from distant objects correctly onto the back of your retina, the light-sensitive part of the back of the eye. You can focus on close objects clearly, but distant objects are blurred.

Fifty years ago the condition was unusual. But it's increasingly common; around the world there are 1.6 billion people with myopia and this is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2020.

The global jump in myopia cases is thought to be result of more and more children growing up in environments where they don't see objects far away, and the eye doesn't learn to focus on distant objects as it develops.

It's most common in apartment-dwelling societies where children watch TV and play computer games rather than playing outdoors. In Asian cities like Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, between 30 and 50 per cent of 12-year-old children have some degree of short-sightedness. In the USA, 20 per cent of kids this age are myopic.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bring Green To Workplace - Energy Star Challenge

Energy Star, through its newest promotion, “Bring Your Green to Work,” is challenging all employees to reduce energy use at their jobs. Their website offers employees the chance to register themselves and their company for the challenge. Check it out and take the challenge.

A complete office greening program, The Green Office Handbook is a one-stop resource for workplaces looking to green their offices and cut costs at the same time. Checklists show you exactly what to do to green your office, and templates allow you to track your results and communicate improvements to colleagues and senior management.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting A Healthy Bowel

Few people understand what healthy elimination is supposed to be like, so they don’t realize that they’re actually constipated. Most people think that going once a day and passing hard, round stools is normal. Well, it may be common, but it isn’t healthy.

So, people need to be educated about healthy stools, and as the saying goes, “It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.” So get ready to be educated.

This article by Steven Horne includes these topics:

What Does a Healthy Stool Like?

Cleansing Tool #1: Water — It Washes You Inside, too.

Cleansing Tool #2: Fiber — It Keeps Your Intestines Running Smoothly

Cleansing Tool #3: Enzymes — Breaking Down Both Food and Toxins

Cleansing Tool #4: Cleansing Herbs — The “Soap” That Washes Your Insides Clean

Cleansing Tool #5: Herbal Laxatives — When You Need That Little Extra “Push”

Read the entire article.

Products mentioned in the article are available at wholesale prices at The Herbs Place. Related Article: Stools Can Reveal A Lot About Your Health .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thought Attacks

There is certainly enough research out there to validate the effects the mind has on our mental and physical health. How do we ever get well or have peace of mind unless we control what we think and believe?

From The Word For You Today

Nineteen-year-old Liu Shih-Kun was an esteemed concert pianist in China till the Cultural Revolution banned all things of Western influence. Refusing to renounce his beloved music, Liu was deemed an enemy of the people, beaten and imprisoned.

There he languished in a tiny cell with no books, no paper, and even worse - nopiano. Six years later, for propaganda reasons, he was asked to play in Beijing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. After yeas without an instrument to practice on, he performed brilliantly. And eighteen months later when he was finally released, he again played flawlessly.

That Liu survived is remarkable; that his hands continued to move as if they'd never stopped playing is amazing. His secret? Stripped of everything musical, for seven and a half years, Liu disciplined himself to shut out negative thoughts and practice hour after hour on an imaginary piano.

A well respected counselor say, "We don't realize the extent to which our own thinking contributes to our mental anguish. The earlier you stop 'thought attacks' the easier it is to regroup and get back on track.

Now, while the concept is simple, it's not easy to implement. Once you start paying attention you'll probably discover you have a lot more 'thought attacks' than you can possibly imagine."

Police shout "Freeze!" when they want to stop a suspect and protect themselves. And you can freeze out harmful thinking by capturing every thought and making it "obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). Paul says, "This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with .... spiritual forces" (Eph. 6:12).

Your thoughts have power. To win over them, you must submit to Christ and control what you allow your mind to dwell on.

Most of us have this verse memorized but application is where the work comes in. Sometimes it's also a change of mindset ... a paradigm shift in being able to truly "see' something. For me with this verse it was a book I read by Jill Bolte Taylor. Jill is a brain scientist and had a massive stroke and through eight years of recovery learned a lot more about the brain and life. The book lays out the anatomical and physiological ability to make "take every thought captive" a real possibility in my life.

Seeing how God created us to be able to fulfill this command makes all the difference in being able to do so. Read more about Jill.

Doves Have Multiple Broods

From Birds and Blooms

One year, a dove built a nest atop one of the tools in my shed. I avoided using it until I watched the bird’s brood take flight. A week later, however, the nest was full again. This happened four times! Do doves share nests, or did all these hatchlings come from the same bird?

All species of doves have a rapid turnaround on broods. A friend of mind once observed a mourning dove’s nesting habits near the building where he worked. He counted five broods in the same nest during a single summer. Like yours, the five broods were probably produced by the same pair.

Get more birdwatching answers at Birds and Blooms, Glad You Asked! section of their website. Learn more about Mourning Doves at Birds and Blooms.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why Flu Hits Hard In Winter

Why the flu strikes hard during the winter but nearly vanishes in the summer has baffled epidemiologists for decades.

Now a new study may have the answer: Influenza germs last longer and pass from person to person more effectively in lower absolute humidity — i.e., when it's cold outside and the air is dryer.

Absolute humidity is a measurement of the total amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature. Relative humidity, a percentage, is the ratio between the water vapor present and the air's saturation point, a figure that changes with the temperature. Read the entire article.

My favorite product for avoiding the flu or knocking it out is Silver Shield.

Introducing New Puppy To Current Pets

Introducing a puppy to the existing pets in a household is accomplished positively if the established house-pet is acknowledged before the puppy is acknowledged.

1. Before bringing puppy home, feed your established pet a partial meal.

2. When you bring the puppy home, bring your pet outside to greet the puppy. If you have a particularly dominant-type pet, arrange this meeting a block or so from your home.

3. Walk the pet with the puppy (however well you can get the puppy to walk!) and let the existing pet sniff the puppy all he wants. Stay outside for forty-five minutes to an hour.

4. Take the pet and puppy into the house and just walk around the house for ten to fifteen minutes, letting everyone get adjusted to a new body in the house.

5. Feed the established pet another partial meal and let puppy watch.

6. Feed the established pet again, and this time put a bowl down for puppy. If the other pet comes to the puppy’s bowl, tell him “No.” Whenever you feed your animals, feed the older ones first, but make them respect the puppy’s bowl.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Filtering Allergens Out Of The Home

For allergy and asthma sufferers, springtime allergens are a particular nuisance, and many fear that these particles may infiltrate their indoor air via air ducts, requiring that they buy pricey air purifiers or employ air-duct-cleaning services, which can cost up to $1,000.

Fortunately, there are other, less expensive and more effective ways to remove allergens. Here's a few links to help you decide:

Ventilating, Vacuuming and Filtering Out Allergens
Types of Air Cleaners and Filters
How To Evaluate Allergy Filters

Thursday, April 2, 2009

God Sings Over You

by Donna L. Watkins

Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount that we are not to worry about food and clothing ... that God would provide for us as He provides for the rest of Creation.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Broad-billed Motmot, Costa Rica
Consider this from Creation Moments:

The tropical looking flower Virginia Meadow Beauty offers some rare tricks for those who would pollinate it. A honeybee can poke around the flower all day and never get any pollen from the gaudy pink flowers. In fact, researchers report that honeybees don't seem to know what to do with the flowers. Rather, the Virginia Meadow Beauty is pollinated by bumblebees, not honeybees.

The pollen of a newly opened pink flower is good only for that day. But the flowers stay open for several days. It signals the bumblebees that the pollen in old flowers are not good by changing colors. Yet, the spent flowers are serving one more purpose. Researchers report that large displays, even if mostly spent flowers, attract more bumblebees than small displays of all fresh flowers.

How is it that the bumblebee can get the pollen and the honeybees can't? They just buzz. And when a bumblebee buzzes, the flower ejects its pollen at 30 times the force of gravity – a force greater than any astronaut must endure!

It's not that the bumblebee gets the pollen because it is larger than a honeybee; no, even bumblebees no larger than the honeybee's head can get the pollen. It's the frequency of buzzing.

The Lord has abundantly provided for the flowers and the bees. How much more will He provide for us? I am memorizing two verses right now that relate to how much we mean to God. Maybe you would like to join me.

Scripture memory affirms who we are and can change our belief system around, which will change our relationships and health and outlook on life. It's all about belief in who we are.

Ponder this:

"My Father takes great delight in me and quiets me with His love and rejoices over me with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

"How precious are your thoughts of me, O God! How great is the sum of them." Psalm 139:17

Meditate on those for awhile and you'll feel all gooey inside and outside you'll be smiling and shining. God loves you so much, he sings over us. Find a quiet spot and listen to His songs.

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
The link URL is:

Green Fertilizer Buying Guide

An organic lawn or garden starts with healthy soil. Learn how to shop for natural fertilizers that promote growth of beneficial bacteria, earthworms, and fungi before you start spring planting.

The best fertilizer for your lawn and garden is homemade compost, made from food scraps, lawn clippings and fall leaves. If you still need store-bought products, here are a few tips.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Human Anatomy Website

My neighbor, Ken Bushell, sent me a link to this anatomy website that is very cool. It needs a software download (PC and MAC available), but if you are interested in cool graphics and real medical information, it's worth a try. It's 3D human anatomy. You can rotate and examine all parts of the body at will and Ken's son, Ian, who is a doctor, says it looks and smells much better than the real thing, wishing he had it while in medical school.

Here's some info from the website about it:

The Visible Body Features

* Complete, fully interactive, 3D human anatomy model
* Detailed models of all body systems
* Dynamic search capability
* Easy-to-use, 3D controls
* Seamless compatibility with all the most popular web browsers

Argosy's Visible Body is the most comprehensive human anatomy visualization tool available today. This entirely Web-delivered application offers an unparalleled understanding of human anatomy. The Visible Body includes 3D models of over 1,700
anatomical structures, including all major organs and systems of the human body. Visit Visible Body.

Exercise Ideas For Cats

Indoor cats, especially those who are the sole companion animal in a home, tend not to get adequate exercise. So what can you do to ensure this necessary component of your cat’s life? Here are just a handful of easy exercise tips:

Use a laser pointer and shine the light all around the room. Be careful not to point the beam directly in the eyes.

Purchase a cat-toy fishing pole and attach something fun to tantalize your cat to begin an exciting chase throughout the house.

Walk or run up and down stairs, dragging a thick rope for your kitty to try and catch (this will get both of your hearts pumping).

Make your cat work for his or her food. Instead of putting a meal on one plate, put small amounts of food on several plates throughout the house. This will require your cat to get some much needed exercise in order to eat.

When you first begin an exercise program with your cat, start with only five minutes of activity, and then subsequently add an extra minute or two to the routine. Any of these activities, in combination with a healthy diet that’s low in carbohydrates, will help your cat shed some unwanted pounds.

Source: Healthy Pet Newsletter, a free monthly newsletter for pets.

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