Sunday, February 28, 2010

Newsletter - 3/1/10

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Hello Friends!

I'm sending this out a bit early since I'm leaving for a trip down south to warmer temperatures ... although the temps haven't been all that warm in North Florida ... it's warmer than here in Central VA.  I'm excited ... except for the fact that I leave my sweet hubby and kitty cat behind.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Rose of Sharon with Pollen-coated Bee
I'm picturing flowers, birds mating and nesting, and maybe even some bees before I return home.  I will be gone for a month.  Actually bees will be only in my dreams because I'm not going any further south than Gainesville, Florida.

This is a challenge for me, so I'm thrilled to have moved past the fear of such a long journey with these hands and wrists so bothered by rheumatoid arthritis.  Sometimes I feel like I can no longer be the real me while having to deal with this disease ...  but as long as I win on making the right choices with faith rather than fear ... I figure I'm doing alright :-)

The "real me" is always inside and if I keep looking at myself as God looks at me, I'll always come out on the winning side because His favor is forever with us.

I will miss my winter bird station that I've so enjoyed on our front porch while I work by the window ... but I won't miss seeing the snow.  I have the excitement of knowing I'll be with friends, family and business associates so a lot of joy is scheduled for March.

The birds are glad to know that somebody will still be here feeding them and changing the water in the warmed bird baths.

The deer and other wildlife have had a great challenge this year also and they look forward to all of our veggie scraps we toss out each day.  We can sustain life in so many ways if we share with the natural world.

I'll be sure to take photos along the way ... and you know I'll visit a nature area every chance I can get.

Here's my itinerary ... if anybody's in the areas I'll be passing through, let me know ... I'd love to have a cup of tea with you!

Florence, South Carolina
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Mobile, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Fayetteville, Georgia
Duluth, Georgia
Back to Charlottesville, Virginia

Email me if you're on my travel route :-)

Love and Hugs,

Post Topics Since Last Newsletter

The Root Of All Grief

Canine Winter Exercise

Monitor Wildlife and Warming

Gardening with Physical Limitations

Buying Guide for Plastics

Air and Surface Sanitizer for Health

Smell and Taste Deficiency in Cats

Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey

Thoughts on Tattoos

In Touch With God's Creation
by Donna L. Watkins

Students Happier with Plants

How Bad Is Monsanto?

Previous Popular Posts

Controlling The Internet

Why Birds Feet Don't Freeze

Checking Your Cat's Vital Signs

Healing and Prevention of Disease

Wilderness: Where We Meet Our Ancestors

Alternative Energy Resources

Targeted Weight Loss

Build Your Own Dog House

Tatoos For Christians?

Quick Links to The Herbs Place.

View Posts By Topic

All posts are archived by month/year and title at the bottom left side of this website.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Root Of All Grief

by Andrew Wommack

God created us to live our lives focused on Him. His purpose from the very beginning was that we should be “God-conscious,” not “self-conscious.” Until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were so unconscious of self, they did not even consider their own nakedness. But after their disobedience, they became fully aware of themselves and wanted to hide from God. Their focus had shifted from God to self.

Self-consciousness is just another way of saying self-centeredness, and self-centeredness really is the root of all grief. People grieve for a lot of reasons, but if they really took the time to analyze their grief, they would find that it is always the result of self being deprived of something it wants. So, the answer to dealing with grief can be found in dealing with self. If you can ever get a revelation of this truth, I guarantee you, it will set you free and change your life forever.

For example, there are times when there is a real financial crisis in someone’s life, but most of the time financial problems come from trying to live above one’s means, attempting to fulfill self-centered desires. If you were to look at your situation objectively, not as a typical Westerner but from a world point of view, you would find that at your poorest, you still have more than most of the people on the planet. It’s not that I am against prosperity. I’m not. But it’s important to have the right perspective. If you’re miserable or unhappy over the fact that you don’t have a bigger home, a newer car, or a wide-screen television, something is wrong. It’s our self-centeredness that turns a want into a need and then that need into a personal crisis, which causes us to grieve. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Canine Winter Exercise

Is your dog getting ants in his pants? If you are like most dog owners, the plunge of winter temperatures has dampened your enthusiasm for outdoor activity, causing angst for your cooped-up canine.

Many animal behavioral specialists reported that dogs that didn’t receive regular exercise during the winter became antsy and reactive in the spring and some developed unwanted behavioral patterns.

Additionally, it is not good for a dog’s health to be active in the summer and a couch-potato in the winter. For optimum mental and physical health, many veterinarians recommend that dogs receive 45 minutes to an hour of daily, consistent exercise and enrichment, broken up into shorter intervals.

Even if we want the best for our canine companions, winter presents challenges that make it difficult to keep up a regular exercise routine for our dogs.

If you are wondering how to keep your dog active, watch this video. In it, Dr. Sarah gives tips and advice from venturing outside to transforming your indoor space into a canine activity center. Most activities do not require fancy technology or major space overhauls – just some creativity and a sense of fun.

Monitor Wildlife and Warming

Phenology is the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, or phenophases, such as leafing and flowering of plants, maturation of agricultural crops, emergence of insects, and migration of birds.

Many of these events are sensitive to climatic variation and change, and are simple to observe and record. As an USA-NPN observer, you can help scientists identify and understand environmental trends so we can better adapt to climate change. USA National Phenology Network.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gardening with Physical Limitations

Gardeners with physical limitations often have to struggle to construct gardens they can easily tend. While there are many Web sites with information to help these gardeners, this new site brings all the information together under one roof.

Gardens for Every Body is published by the University of Missouri Agrability Project. It has seven subpages featuring information on container gardening, raised bed gardening, trellises, tools, pathways, health and safety, and special considerations. Each section not only gives useful information on the topic, but lists links to other helpful sites.

One of the best sections is the Tool Shed. You can find adaptive tools, ergonomic tools, and tools for watering, transporting, and sitting down. It’s a great site to help you get your garden organized so that it’s less a pain in the back, and more a pleasure to be in. Visit Now .

Enjoying a Sabbath Rest

Practical Strategies For Honoring The Sabbath
by Nancy Sleeth

Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance. - Wendell Berry, Foreword to Living the Sabbath by Norman Wirzba

How can you be more intentional about your Sabbath rest? Jesus says that it’s the spirit of the law, not the letter, that matters. Your Sabbath traditions can be negative—no shopping,no Internet cruising or emailing, no eating out. Or, they can be positive—reading a family book out loud, playing board games, going on a prayer walk.

Adapt a few of the suggestions below to create your own Sabbath rituals. Our family cleans the house together the day before the Sabbath. We’ve been doing this for years; it takes about 40 minutes for us to clear up clutter, dust, vacuum, scrub bathrooms, wash floors, and deep clean the kitchen. The reward is a relaxed home, with (almost!) everything in its place

To step fully into Sabbath time, take off your watch. Leave it in a drawer from sundown to sundown. Notice how many times you automatically look at your wrist to check the time; instead, use that glance as a prompt to thank God for the gift of rest, so necessary for the renewal of life.

We not only need to cease working; we need to cease worrying about not working. Try putting away anything that reminds you of work. Shut down the computer. Don’t answer email. Place your wallet, palm pilot, and unpaid bills in a drawer. Close the door to your home office. Reminders of chores left undone, calls that need to be returned, and long to-do lists will interfere with the full rest that God wants us to enjoy.

One of our favorite Sabbath rituals is to take a Sabbath walk. Observe and investigate. Enjoy watching the caterpillar nibble a leaf, marvel at the new buds that are forming, watch a gathering of birds peck for food in the ground. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Buying Guide for Plastics

Plastics are classified by their "resin identification code"—a number from #1 to #7 that represents a different type of resin. That number is usually imprinted on the bottom of your container; flip it upside down, and you'll see a recycling triangle with the number in the middle.

Read a quick breakdown of plastic resin types and what's the best plastic to buy.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Air and Surface Sanitizer for Health

Start Controlling What You Breathe
by Darlyn Britt

The Boomerang utilizes new-generation technology to sanitize the air and surfaces, killing or neutralizing harmful particles, microbes and gases.

Indoor air pollutants are plentiful, and many can be harmful to health. From hair spray to cleaning chemicals, from cigarette smoke to dander, these odors and particles present health challenges to many people—even those without an unusual respiratory intolerance. The Boomerang Air Sanitizer helps neutralize indoor air pollutants, sanitizing and freshening the air you breathe.

This amazing unit:
• Kills airborne microbes and neutralizes pollen and particulates, making the air you breathe cleaner and less harmful.
• Helps neutralize indoor odors of all types—pets, smoke, chemicals, ammonia, etc.
• Costs very little to operate (draws 14 watts of electricity).
• Meets new California guidelines for ozone emission (less than .05 ppm).
• Is only available from Nature’s Sunshine.

The Boomerang’s effectiveness comes from a patent-pending Silver+ Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO) cell. The cell contains nano-sized metals—silver, nickel and rhodium, and added copper and titanium—that react with photons from a high-grade ultraviolet (UV) light to create millions of redundant oxidizers or negative ions. Positively charged particles in the air (dust, bacteria, viruses, pollen, etc.) are attracted to negatively charged ions from the Boomerang. They collide and fall to the floor, ready for vacuuming. Negative ions actually neutralize airborne organisms on a cellular level so they can no longer replicate.

Researchers at West Texas A&M University found that Silver+ PCO technology purifies the air and sanitizes surfaces. They measured tremendous reductions in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on surfaces after using Boomerang technology. The study also measured a 75% reduction in fungus/mold, bacteria, viruses and aeroallergens (pollen) after just eight hours of use!

Additional studies showed that microbes exposed to Silver+ PCO technology over longer periods of time were almost completely eradicated. The unit sanitizes 2,000 square feet of open living space.

Place your Boomerang on a flat surface (counter, shelf ), or mount it on the wall. Then plug it in and forget about it!

The Boomerang:
• Requires no maintenance for up to three years!
• Is safe for pets, even exotic birds.
• Is lightweight and energy efficient; it draws only 15 watts of electricity.
• Features quiet operation—similar to a home computer in noise output.
• Is made in the U.S., using only the highest quality parts.

Start controlling what you breathe with Nature’s Sunshine’s Boomerang Air Sanitizer!  Get More Info

Where Can I Purchase The Boomerang?
Available online at The Herbs Place - Wholesale prices and fast shipping!

For herbs, supplements, and essential oils guaranteed for purity, shop The Herbs Place - wholesale prices & fast shipping from 4 warehousesWhat's On Sale Now?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smell & Taste Deficiency in Cats

Recently we went through an acute crisis with our kitty. She's 13 so she's considered an elderly cat. We were told by several people that elderly cats sometimes have decreased smelling and taste as they age. I'm one who doesn't think you have to have all the old-age issues if you learn more about the roots causes of them. We may be come deficient in nutrients because things are not working as well as they should, and those deficiencies create symptoms.

Loss of taste and small in humans is a possible zinc deficiency, so I decided to see if there was any correlation in felines. I discovered that zinc is one of the essential minerals that are supplemented in today's commercial diets for cats and dogs. But there are several factors that could affect absorption of zinc from the cat's diet.

Zinc is not considered to be highly absorbable. Studies show that between 5% and 40% of ingested zinc is actually absorbed. There are several factors that influence the absorption of zinc. One of them is genetics. Another is plant material. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is another and that was strongly considered as an issue for our Squeek. Read the entire article.

Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey

The Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus avunculus, found only in Vietnam, is one of the 25 most endangered species of primate in the world. It was believed extinct until its rediscovery in Na Hang District in Tuyen Quang Province in the early 1990s.

In May 2002, Fauna & Flora International discovered a vitally important population in a small patch of limestone forest known as Khau Ca in the buffer zone of Du Gia Nature Reserve in Ha Giang Province. In 2007, another population was discovered further north in the province.

The total known global population of this species is difficult to estimate but is believed to be about 200 individuals. Learn more about the conservation project and view the video of these cute monkeys.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thoughts on Tattoos

by Donna L. Watkins

After posting, Tattoos For Christians, an article from another website about whether tattoos have a spiritual meaning, I began receiving comments and emails.  I appreciate the feedback because there is rarely one side to a matter, but the bottom line for all Christians should always be to follow The Word rather than our own feelings.

I didn't think much about the topic after reading the article, but presented it as information; however, with the interesting comments that came in, I began studying it to see what I felt God's Word says about it.

The most referenced verse on this is Lev. 19:28 which says, "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord” (NKJV). The OT was written in Hebrew, so I like to go back to the original Hebrew word to know what was really being said since translations don't always give us the full meaning.

Strong's Concordance shows the Hebrew word as #7085 and defines it to mean: "an incision or gash + mark." Not very clear on that, but the word tatoo is used in other concordances. Strongs #7085.

I do know some people who have gone through great pain and expense to have them removed after becoming a Christian and they weren't involved with a church with rules on it.

Everybody should determine in their heart why they want a tatoo and to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in whether it is a witness to our faith ... or whether it limits our sphere of influence.

Sadly, most people have definite opinions on things and judge people much too easily. I heard somebody speak one time about the grunge wear that some young Christians dress in. That it doesn't matter to Jesus how one dresses, he is still loved by our Lord and it won't negate his salvation. I agree with that ... but the point to be made was that the attire would limit his realm of "influence" since there would be many who would judge him by his clothes before he had a chance to be a witness in word or deed.

In actuality, all Christians are judged more harshly because of being a Christian. Many people have been hurt by the church and Christians ... so our appearance has a lot to say about who we serve because sometimes it's only our appearance that gets to "speak" about who we are in Christ. If there's not a noticeable difference between a Christian and the rest of the world ... what is the attraction for somebody to want Christ?

If we have to sway to the ways of the world to witness, aren't they changing us more than we are changing them? When God rescued Israel from Egypt He gave them commands that would make their life easier and also keep their hearts connected with Him. Consider Leviticus:

When He rescued the twelve tribes of Israel from brutal slavery and led them out of Egypt, He commanded them, “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein you dwelt, shall you not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do: neither shall you walk in their ordinances” (Lev. 18:3). God demanded the Israelites not to defile themselves with the pagan practices and customs of surrounding nations (vs. 24-29). “Therefore shall you keep Mine ordinance, that you commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that you defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God” (vs. 30).

I studied the background of tatoos just now and there are many websites that give the history of them. If you consider where the "art" came from and when, how and why it was used, it doesn't lean toward any indication of Christianity ... and is often judged harshly. So why would we want to become "part of" something that even "might" ruin our witness for Christ? It's hard enough letting your Light shine without doing something that may offend many before you get to utter a word.

Interestingly there's been a Harris Poll on tattoos. This segment of the article is interesting if you consider it in terms of being more Christ-like:

How do tattoos make people feel?
Among Americans with tattoos, 34% said having a tattoo has made them feel sexier. Interestingly, more tattooed females (42%) feel this way than males (25%).

Additionally, those with tattoos said that having a tattoo has made them feel more rebellious (29%) while others said a tattoo makes them feel more attractive (26%). But tattoos apparently won't do much for your intelligence or your physique, as few Americans reported that tattoos make them feel more intelligent (5%), more healthy (4%), or more athletic (3%).

How do people without tattoos feel about those with them?
Many Americans who do not have tattoos said they think that people with tattoos are less attractive (42%), less sexy (36%) and less intelligent (31%). They also think that those with tattoos are more rebellious (57%). In contrast, only 29% of those with tattoos think they are more rebellious.

Like Paul says in I Cor. 10:23 that, ""Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive."

We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit resides in us to guide and direct and teach us in all things. It's that still small voice within that is the one to heed.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In Touch With God's Creation

by Donna L. Watkins

The future of God's Creation, and the humans that populate this planet, is in the hands of politicians and corporations / stockholders, but more than anybody else, it's in the hands of the current and future leaders of our churches and ordinary Christians.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Tufted Titmouse Bathing

It's possible that Christians are the only hope for our environmental crisis because we are the children of the Artist of it all.

What heritage have we been leaving future generations? Not only with the conditions in our own country, but how our choices affect the world. When we pass laws to prevent corporations from discharging poisonous chemicals into our waters and ecosystems, those corporations turn around and develop a base in another country that has no such laws or protections for their people.

When you choose a brand name for a purchase, do you care whether the company uses sweatshops (slave and child labor) in other countries to produce it? Do you care if the production of the item is killing the very people making it because environmental and safety controls are non-existent in many foreign factories? Some of these people are Christians, so when we do not consider these things, we are persecuting those of our own faith and family.

Why are Christians so out of touch with what Creation was meant to be to us? I believe it's because we are out of touch with God. We do many religious things and proclaim salvation, but do we have the close abiding moment-by-moment relationship that Christ says we can have when He is in us and we are in Him? Do we live as a branch grafted into The Vine?

There is no reverence for God or His Word or His Handiwork because we have sold out to wanting our own way. We buy things we do not need with credit cards (money we don't have) and most often it's just to impress people we really don't care about. The steel clouds of debt blanket our country and overshadow our lives with darkness.

We have a ton of stuff, but no peace or joy that surpasses understanding. We show no evidence that our inner lives are better off than the unsaved. When our minds begin to grasp the enormous issue of debt we have created, we want to say that God has not provided. How many of your purchases do you pray about? When you see something you want, do you talk to God about it? We do not restrain our desires or consider the future in these moments, but we accuse God when we reap the consequences of what we have sown. The law of the harvest (sowing and reaping) will occur like gravity. It's an established law. God doesn't have to be involved. We need to take responsibility for our own actions and choices.

How long ago did your Light stop shining? Have you ever lived in the Light? Many churches do not take Christ's command in Matthew 28:19 is: "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

Notice He says to make disciples. It doesn't say go around the world and save people. We are to be disciples. Salvation is a necessary step, but Christ focused on the only way we would be able to sustain a relationship with Him. So many churches focus on how many people were saved, but where are the numbers for how many are disciples of Christ?

When we value His Word and instructions and commands on spiritual living, we will be full of peace, joy and grace that pours into those around us. When we don't have that kind of relationship what do we have to offer a hurting world? We get so me-focused that relationships crumble and lives shatter. We need to go back to The Garden lifestyle of walking and talking with God throughout the day.

All things were created by Him and for Him (Genesis 1:16) so we should honor His work. The Garden was the first temple of worship. A temple being a place where we go to meet God. As those of you who enjoy nature know ... God is still very present in the gardens and forests and by the seas of our world.

What does debt have to do with Creation? It's the consumeristic lifestyles we have established that have ruined His Creation. Psalm 104 declares His glory within His Creation. Verse 24 says, "How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures." In His wisdom He made them all. Should we care when one of them goes extinct? The corporate world laughs at laws that protect wildlife and what He has created, as if nothing could possibly be more important than their personal desires.

Where do you stand on God's Creation? Do you believe His wisdom is greater than ours? His wisdom 'made them all' so should we use wisdom to protect them all? God can speak to us ways of doing things that will allow productivity and preservation of what He has made. Who is asking for that wisdom? God still speaks to man? George Washington Carver discovered 300 uses for the peanut. He also gave God credit for his wisdom. That wisdom is still available for the asking.

Related Article:
Destroying God's Art

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website:
© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

Students Happier with Plants

From Newsletter

It’s widely known that the presence of houseplants in rooms improves air quality, reduces eye irritation and stress, motivates employees, and even improves concentration. In one study, employees’ reaction time on computer tasks improved 12% with houseplants present. Now researchers have found that University students can benefit from having houseplants in the classroom as well.

Researchers from Texas State University and Texas A&M University analyzed three sets of two classes each -- about 385 students. One set of classes had no plants in their classroom, while the others had an assortment of tropical plants.

At the end of the semester, students filled out a survey. Although there was no difference in overall grades or academic performance, researchers found students in the classroom with houseplants evaluated the course higher in instructor’s enthusiasm and organization. They generally had more positive feelings about the class than those in plant-less room. The plants had the most impact in classrooms with no other natural elements.

For more information on this study, go to: Science Daily News

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

How Bad Is Monsanto?

From Mother Earth News

In 2006 Monsanto bought Delta and Pineland, a leading producer of cotton seed, so that it now controls a huge share of the cotton seed market. Monsanto’s genes are in about 95 percent of commercial soybeans and 80 percent of commercial corn, and people like the attorney generals of Iowa and Texas are concerned that Monsanto’s business practices violate federal antitrust laws that protect free competition. When it comes to licensing agreements, Monsanto is reportedly a big time bully.

Either or both accusations may prove to be true, and while I do care about these things, I also feel like I’m watching dangerous games being played by the mean kids at the other end of the playground. I can mind my own business, grow most of my own food using traditionally-bred organic seeds, and what Monsanto or Dow or Sygenta do shouldn’t be my problem.

But it is my problem. Monsanto is constantly adding new food plants to its ensemble of “Roundup Ready” varieties that resist herbicide damage, and Dow has soybeans that survive being sprayed with 2-4D. That’s my planet, my water we’re talking about. There is so much Bt corn pollen out there that no garden is safe from it, and rotting residue from Bt plants is messing with the life cycles of stream-dwelling insects. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Newsletter - 2/15/10

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Hello Friends!

I hope you are finding joy in the midst of winter. Here in Central Virginia we've had more snow than I've seen in 30 years. Weather patterns are certainly changing. I get my exercise keeping up with making sure the birds and wildlife have enough food.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Mourning Dove Snoozing in Snowstorm
Birds have different personalities. I've noticed that finches get real fussy about sharing their space when the snow's blowing. Normally finches gather in flocks, but maybe the fear of 'not enough' attacks and they expend more energy fighting others off than they get from the few seeds they can glean between the scuffles.

Two additional male cardinals entered our feeding grounds and the resident male cardinal spent lots of energy continually chasing off the other two males. I understand when it's mating season they're not going to allow any other suitors to entice their missy away ... but in a snowstorm, can't you just get down to eating and be nice?

We've had 20 species of birds one day so it was a delight to be providing food for so many. There were plenty of photo opportunities of the birds, even though taken through a window with snow drops on it was a bit more difficult than usual.

Most of the birds were busy about gathering their own meals allowing everybody else to do the same. The Northern Flicker enjoyed the suet feeder and then somehow seemed to know that there were seeds and corn buried under the snow on our concrete benches by the pond. I have been putting food on the benches this winter since we've had numerous snows.

So, Mr. Flicker flew over there and began digging in the snow with his long beak and then scattering seeds all around the bench so the Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows could enjoy them. I took a short video of the Northern Flicker.

The small birds couldn't dig that deep with their short beaks and little feet. I thought it was a very kind thing to do ... and he was well rewarded with a tummy full of seeds. Be sure you don't miss the post below about "Why Birds Feet Don't Freeze."

For those of you who have enjoyed the Butterfly Bench, that's been a treasure of mine from a friend who made it, it doesn't look too inviting in the snow. You'd get a wet fanny if you sat on it now. View Bench and Woods.

Randal has had plenty of exercise shoveling. He's found many muscles that haven't been used for awhile. What a great way to warm up when the power is off. We've lost power and telephone numerous times and during one cold night from 10 pm to 7 am we sure prayed for those who live in the cold, such as homeless people or others who have houses that just won't get warm. Some of our struggles make us even more grateful because they are such light afflictions compared to much of what the world struggles with daily.

Another thing I'm grateful for is YOU! :-)


Post Topics Since Last Newsletter

Controlling The Internet

Why Birds Feet Don't Freeze

Checking Your Cat's Vital Signs

Healing and Prevention of Disease

Wilderness: Where We Meet Our Ancestors

Alternative Energy Resources

Targeted Weight Loss

Build Your Own Dog House

Tatoos For Christians?

Previous Popular Posts

Burnout and Boundaries

Bamboozled by Bamboo Fabrics?

Winter's Garden Pondering

Destroying God's Art

Magnetic Monarchs

River Detects Pollution in Real Time

Growing Things In Winter

Secrets of Resilient People

Earth Ministry How-To

Therapy Dogs and Hospital Superbugs

Quick Links to The Herbs Place.

View Posts By Topic

All posts are archived by month/year and title at the bottom left side of this website.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Controlling The Internet

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you or somebody you know have a problem with what you allow yourself to view on the internet? Marriages are being impacted by what's available online. Debt is the #1 thing that will take down a marriage, but the internet is gaining ground on being #2.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Striped Skunk in Backyard
Not only is it WHAT is being viewed, but how MUCH it's being used. Rather than having family time, or couple talk time, we're looking at computer screens numbly clicking away from one place to the next like a zombie in programmed mode. For those with hurts and wounds, it's an easy place to develop superficial relationships that are non-threatening. It's another world to enter and leave the one you have behind. So many things to read, games to play, shopping to do, and TV shows to watch.

Do you need to set time limits on computer use for yourself or your family? It's very addicting. It won't be an easy thing to do, but it's a necessary thing to do. Nothing survives without being fed, and relationships won't make it without attention. Good marriages don't just happen, they're made by hard work and that takes time. Just as it does to be a good mom or dad. Good children don't just happen either. What is sown in will be the harvest you glean.

Like any addiction or thing that seems to have control over you, you will need accountability to beat it. Willpower is never enough because in our own strength we can accomplish little. There's a website that can help you do this. Yep! an internet tool to monitor your internet use. The recovery part of it is that when you register with you provide two email addresses of people who have agreed to be your accountability partners. Every two weeks all of you will get an email on what you've been viewing online.

This is a great program for guys who have a challenge on where they find themselves going when they get online. You may want to make one of your accountability partners your wife. The tighter you make the controls on this problem, the more results you will get and victory is more certain.

This isn't just for what's being viewed. You may have a problem with playing games or shopping too much. You can use this accountability tool for many facets of internet overuse. You're not alone with the problem. Read some of these related articles to get a bigger picture of the problem ... then get your accountability partners and get a life ... Offline!

Having online businesses has made it a challenge for Randal and me to schedule work time on the computer and then personal time for things we wanted to do.  The internet will take you into a time warp with far too many things to be done.  Decide individually and as a family how much time you want to allot to the computer and then set a timer.  You will need to ask God what needs to be done and what doesn't, but you'll discover a better relationships and more fun, especially outdoors!

Related Articles:
Statistics That Will Astound You
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)
The Social Implications of Internet Addiction

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of 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 to use is:

Why Birds Feet Don't Freeze

Job 12:7,9 - "But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you: and the birds of the air, and they will tell you: Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?"

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Song Sparrow on Winter Morning
Have you ever wondered why it is that ducks can spend all day in near-freezing water and it doesn’t seem to bother them?

For that matter, birds never seem to be bothered about cold feet. If we ran around in the ice and snow with bare feet, it wouldn’t be very long before we had a good case of frostbite. So why don’t birds need socks?

Birds have a network of arteries that take the blood down to their feet. These arteries are interwoven with the veins that return the blood from the feet. This network of arteries and veins is called a “wonder net.” The blood going down the arteries is hot at 106 degrees but the temperature of the blood returning in the veins may be as cool as 37 degrees as it leaves the foot. The warm blood reheats the cold blood coming from the foot before it enters the body.

The result is that the bird loses very little body heat, and the blood going into the foot never becomes dangerously cold in normal winter weather.

Source: Creation Moments

Checking Your Cat's Vital Signs

Knowing how to check for a cat pulse and knowing what the proper cat heart rate is important cat care topics. Veterinarians refer to cat heart rate and her temperature as cat care vital statistics. You can also amaze your friends with this bit of cat trivia.

The normal resting cat heart rate is 150 - 200 beats per minute (bpm). The normal human resting heart rate is 60-70 beats per minute. So the cat heart rate is nearly 2.5 times that of a humans.

The easiest place to check for your cat's pulse is the femoral artery in the groin area. Place your fingers on the inside of the hind leg and slide your hand upward until the back of your fingers touches the abdomen. Gently move your fingers back and forth on the inside of the hind leg until you feel the pulsing blood.

Count the number of pulses in 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. This will give you the beats per minute (bpm).

If the pulse is elevated, then you may be dealing with a nervous pet, an underlying metabolic disease, such as hyperthyroidism, or a primary heart problem.

If you have a rectal thermometer you can take your cat's temperature. A normal cat's temperature is 102 F (38.5 C). Get assistance holding your cat in order to take her temperature.

Taking your cat's temperature involves placing a rectal thermometer in their rectum. If your pet has a temperature of 103.5 F (39.5 C) or more, she has a fever. The thermometer should be almost clean when removed. Abnormalities are indicated by blood, diarrhea, or black, tarry stool on the thermometer or in the litter box.

If your cat's pulse is slow and weak or she is running a fever, then prepare your cat for a trip to the vet. How to take your cat's temperature,

Don't Let Your Cat Dehydrate
It is critical to get her attention if she has stopped drinking fluids as felines dehydrate very quickly. Look for other clues to her condition in the area like plants that may have been eaten or any poisonous products left out accidentally. Read article for instructions on Checking Your Cat's Pulse.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Healing and Prevention of Disease

Heart disease takes the lives of more Americans than any other disease. Luke 21:26 tells us in the last days, men's hearts will fail them because of fear.

In the April 2, 2001 issue of Time Magazine, there is an article listing over 4,000 different types of fear, including 'fear of man, fear of sermons, fear of mother-in-laws, fear of physicians, fear of drugs, fear of Satan, fear of being buried alive, fear of dying, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of darkness, fear of flying, etc...'

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:6, Fear not what man can do unto you, but put your trust in the Lord... Read the entire article.

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Wilderness: Where We Meet Our Ancestors

One thing that’s very clear from the current PBS series on our national parks is that the generations before us had a love for our wild places and had the good sense to preserve many of them. What’s also clear is that access to the wilderness is also access to significant aspects of physical and spiritual health.

The contemplation of the natural world and its relationship to the spiritual has historically taken place in wilderness settings. A significant aspect of wilderness is that it is one of the few places where we can connect emotionally and spiritually through shared values with those who have gone before: where we can relearn the lessons our ancestors learned. Read the entire article

Alternative Energy Resources

This information is provided by The organizations and websites are not necessarily endorsed by us since we've not viewed every single resource here.
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a nonprofit organization that conducts research on technology, operations, and the environment for the global electric power sector.
Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Web site includes a page of information about renewable energy as well as current research.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit group promoting energy efficiency.
Web site of the American Solar Energy Society, an organization advancing solar energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable technology initiatives in the United States.
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade association representing wind power industries, utilities, and consultants.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy program with tips on making homes more energy efficient as well as providing information on new energy technologies.
Energy Star Program provides information on energy-saving appliances, including online calculators and model guides. Produced by EPA and DOE., an online directory of solar energy system installers.
ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, is an international association of local governments committed to sustainable development.
International Solar Energy Society (ISES) supports and promotes solar technology and education worldwide.
Green California is the stateĆ¢€™s Web site focusing on California's energy- and emission reduction initiatives.
Web site of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a nonpartisan organization promoting responsible energy use in the Southeast United States.
Wireless and battery-less radio sensors that use a tenth of the energy of standard radio controllers.
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy and information on federal tax credits.
Online energy-efficiency store.

Source: - Blessed Earth is an educational nonprofit that inspires and equips faith communities to become better stewards of the earth. Through outreach to churches, campuses and media we build bridges that promote measurable environmental change and meaningful spiritual growth.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Targeted Weight Loss

Safe, natural dietary supplements can help you achieve results by boosting metabolism, blocking some dietary carbohydrates from being digested, increasing your body’s ability to burn fat and helping you expend more calories.

Dieter's Cleanse helps the body remove toxins and waste from the colon, which can affect nutrient absorption and weight loss. The best way to start a weight-loss program!

MetaboMax® Plus - a new twist on an old favorite

MetaboMax Plus is formulated with ingredients that help increase thermogenesis and metabolic fat burn as part of a program that includes healthy diet and exercise.

Key ingredients capsicum and green tea extract help to decrease body fat. Bitter orange fruit, yerba mate and guarana stimulate metabolism with synephrine and natural caffeine. Ginger is added for its metabolic-boosting effect, and chickweed has been an integral component of our Fat Grabbers® formula for decades. Guggulipid herb contains guggulsterones, which help maintain cholesterol levels already within the normal range and decrease circulatory fat deposits. Guggulsterones may also help reduce fat stores due to their thyroid stimulating activity.

This effective blend:
• May help boost calorie expenditure
• Helps promote fat burning (lipolysis)
• Increases metabolism (thermogenesis)
• Boosts energy levels
• Provides antioxidants (EGCG from green tea)
• May have beneficial effects on already normal-range cholesterol levels
• Helps with the uptake of amino acids into muscle (synephrine)

Note: Yerba mate and guarana provide natural sources of caffeine (20 mg per capsule).

MetaboMax Free - weight-loss support without the caffeine

This formula was developed in tandem with MetaboMax Plus for those who desire a weight management boost without caffeine. MetaboMax Free contains capsicum, green tea extract, bitter orange fruit, ginger, chickweed and guggulipid.

MetaboStart® Plus - five different ways to help manage weight

MetaboStart Plus was formulated to boost metabolism, reduce fat stores and help feed lean muscle, an important part of weight management.

Each box contains 14 days’ worth of supplements designed to:
• increase thermogenesis/fat burning
• decrease fat deposits
• boost metabolism and energy
• help prevent calories from starchy foods from reaching the bloodstream
• help build lean muscle mass
• help prevent the digestion of some dietary fat and cholesterol

MetaboStart Plus is composed of 7-Keto™, Fat Grabbers, Carbo Grabbers®, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and MetaboMax Plus. These product formulas are conveniently packaged for life on the go.

7-Keto can help increase the body’s resting metabolic rate. It also stimulates increased production of T3, a thyroid hormone essential to metabolism.

Fat Grabbers traps some fat molecules and dietary cholesterol, eliminating them through the intestinal system.

Carbo Grabbers partially blocks the digestion of dietary starches, reducing the amount of carbs that are converted to calories. It also contains chromium to help maintain blood sugar levels.

CLA helps sustain lean muscle mass and enhance fat burning. It may help support cholesterol levels.

MetaboMax Plus helps increase thermogenesis and metabolic fat burning.

Carbo Grabbers® with Chromium - now with extra help for blood sugar sensitivity

Carbo Grabbers contains an amylase inhibitor derived from northern white kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), which naturally and safely interferes with the digestion of starchy carbohydrates.

This interference means undigested starches can be carried through the intestinal tract where the body can eliminate them, helping to reduce the calories available to your body. This makes avoiding carbohydrates—a common practice among some dieters—a thing of the past!

Now we’ve added 18 mcg of patented, food-bound chromium per serving. The trace mineral chromium helps transport glucose from the blood into the cells. The liver also uses chromium to manufacture important nutrients. Chromium may have a positive effect on blood fat levels. With the addition of chromium, Carbo Grabbers provides help in maintaining blood sugar levels.

Nutri-Burn® - two types of protein for lean muscle mass

Protein helps build and repair muscle tissue. Increasing lean muscle mass leads to increases in the resting metabolic rate, or the rate that your body burns fuel for energy. Nutri-Burn protein drink mix supplies pure whey and calcium caseinate protein for a powerful, muscle-building, meal replacement supplement.

• Promotes lean muscle mass and fat-burning.
• Provides 25 grams of protein per serving.
• Helps boost energy levels.
• Provides 60 percent or more of the Daily Value of 14 essential vitamins and minerals.
• Goes down easily with improved chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Key ingredients in Nutri-Burn include a protein matrix, CLA, fructo-oligosaccharides, l-carnitine, proteolytic plant enzyme blend and green tea extract. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals to support metabolism. The protein matrix and CLA enhance lean muscle mass while other ingredients help boost energy levels and increase lypolysis.

Nutri-Burn’s patented whey protein matrix undergoes extreme filtration to remove all impurities. The result is premium-quality, lactose-free whey protein. Additionally, Nutri-Burn contains plant enzymes that help break down protein.

Nutri-Burn contains an optimal blend of protein from whey and calcium caseinate. Whey protein provides essential amino acids and has the highest biological value of any protein supplement. It releases quickly into the body and is best for fast, efficient muscle building and repair. Ideally, you should consume whey protein within 45 minutes of exercise. Calcium caseinate protein offers a sustained release of amino acids and may help curb appetite for a longer period of time.

Nutri-Burn also contains one gram of prebiotic fiber (scFOS) per serving to help support gut health.

Nature's Cortisol Formula helps to support the adrenal glands and maintain cortisol levels. This product may help the body manage stress, which can affect metabolism.

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Build Your Own Dog House


My design for our new pal, Chase, incorporates a porch and extended “saltbox” roof attached to the basic doghouse design.

The basic house is simple to build, and if you want to add extras, as I did, you’ll see that the underlying structure is easy to adapt.

Design Basics
Size the house to fit the dog: It’s tempting to make a really roomy doghouse, but your dog won’t appreciate it. During cold months, your dog’s body heat keeps him or her warm. If the house is too big, the dog can’t generate enough heat to warm it. How big should a doghouse be? There’s no exact formula, but a good rule of thumb is to build it so your full-grown dog can walk in, turn around inside and stretch out completely.

Vent it well: In hot weather, good airflow will keep your dog from overheating. And in damp weather or cold weather, when the dog’s moist breath is steaming up the house, proper ventilation prevents mold from forming. Vents in the peaks of the roof will do the job as long as you leave the doorway open or just loosely cover it with a flap so there’s an adequate updraft.

Build it off the ground: This keeps the dog out of contact with damp soil. It also prevents the wood from rotting and extends the life of the doghouse.

Make it safe from the elements: Be sure water, wind and rain can’t enter. Generally, this means overhangs for doorways and vents, and tight seams everywhere.

Use dog-friendly materials: Anything that comes into contact with your pet must be safe for animals. That means you’ll make the floor, frame and walls from untreated softwood and plywood, rather than pressure-treated wood.

Customize to suit: Once the basics were covered, I looked at ways to improve on my previous design. First, I added a sheltered porch so our new dog could stay out of the sun and rain. I moved the doorway from the gable end to the porch side, for easy access. (I made the door pup-size for now. It can be enlarged later.) I also added insulation under the floor (to keep out cold in winter) and under the roof (to reduce heat in summer and retain it in winter). Finally, and this was a big improvement, I added a large clean-out door at the back of the house so I could easily tidy up inside. The result is a house with the flavor of a New England saltbox home. It’s based on the following basic design. Continue the article here.

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Tattoos For Christians?

Do Tattoos Have a Spiritual Meaning?
From Creation Moments

Leviticus 19:28: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD."

The Old Testament explicitly forbids God's people from getting tattooed. It might be argued that believers in God have refused to get tattooed because they view the body as the Holy Spirit's temple. But research conducted in 1999 is beginning to suggest that there is more to the issue.

Dr. William Cardasis, a Michigan criminal psychiatrist, sees a possible link between criminal behavior and tattoos. In his study of 55 patients at a maximum security hospital, Dr. Cardasis found statistical links between sociopathic behavior and the tendency to wear tattoos. He found that patients with tattoos were much more likely to have no regard for the rights of others, behave impulsively and lie and steal with no remorse.

Another study of cadavers in New York City showed that the bodies of teen drug addicts had twice the number of tattoos compared to the general population.

One tattoo artist told the press that he refuses to tattoo the face, neck or hands. He pointed out that some people consider tattoos in these places to be "serial killer territory."

Dr. Cardasis adds that simply having a tattoo doesn't mean one is a criminal – that depends on what the tattoo means to the person wearing it.

Getting a tattoo is a permanent commitment to the symbol represented by the tattoo. Believers should have a permanent commitment only to Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for making my body the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

References: "What do tattoos say about the soul?" The Toronto Star, 12/26/99, p.J6.

Another Resource of Research (shared by a friend after reading this post):
The Dark Side of Tatoos

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