31 May 2016 Heavy rains in Texas and drawing as a tool to calm myself in times of bad weather…”Don’t Worry!”

Good evening to you.  Least it is here and because of the weather we are having I am using tools in my mental health toolkit to help me get through it! We have electricity (it did flicker a couple hours ago) so I will take advantage of that!

As you can see by these pictures, Lake Wygant ak.a “lake temporary” has returned to our  backyard.  The pace of the rainfall has slowed as I write and the water is flowing out to the drains so I’m keeping my cool about it as best as I can.  With all the flooding and deaths from it down South in the Houston area, I am grateful to still have a clear view of my back door step!

For those of you in our area of the country who are going through similar or worse , especially in Houston, with this weather,  my prayers go out to you.  Remember, since there is nothing you can do to calm the storms outside of yourself, focus on calming the storm within yourself!   What can you pull out of your mental health toolkit to soothe yourself?   Peace within, peace without.  Much love to you!  Thank you for visiting me.

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28 May 2016 Remembering Memorial Day, Girl with the Pear Earring (film), Mulberry Child (PBS special) and Intergenerational Trauma

Hello and Happy Saturday of this Memorial Day Weekend.

I get kind of offended when people say “Happy Memorial Day” to me, especially as a 16 year, now retired, Air Force veteran.  It tells me they do not know or have chosen to forget why the holiday exists in the first place.  There is NOTHING happy about it! Yes, it means well deserved time off of work.  For many overworked and underpaid Americans that is a reason to celebrate, I get that.  Sadly though,  many people get so wrapped up in that aspect of the holiday they all but forget the reason.  Kyle and I plan to make our annual trek to our local cemetary to pay our respects to those who gave their lives for the “why” I abhor so much. War is an abomination to me and since WWII, most wars even happening at all seem to be exercises in futility. Perpetual War for the delusion of Perpetual Peace.

My respects to all those who have served their countries in the role of “peace keepers.”  Some day may be we’ll actually see the full realization of why we raised our hands,  put on uniforms and in many cases used lethal weapons against our brothers and sisters human.  We will see justice for all our comrades who gave (and are still giving) life and limb to do their part to manifest lasting world peace.

Yesterday was an outing day for Kyle and I.  We had our long overdue eye appointment and both of us only required a few minor adjustments!  YAY!  I want to thank Dr. Wise and the staff of the Burleson TX Vision City (http://www.visioncityburleson.com/) for being so caring, so professional and so kind to us and all who walk through their doors.  We are very grateful they are our eye care professionals!  We “see” (yes, pun intended) Dr. Wise he and his staff are fantastic! I got to watch one of his staff members, Michelle, helping an elderly man with some troublesome paint that got on his glasses.  She put some of her elbow grease into removing the pesky paint and adjusting his frames so he didn’t need to buy new ones.  I could tell by watching him, I couldn’t see her face but heard her voice, that she put this man at ease and he was so happy.  He asked her what he owed her and she said, “Just a smile!”

Funny, this phrase would show in in the movie, Girl With the Pearl Earring we would watch later in the evening!  Hmmmm!  A smile is often my currency of choice for the things I do for others too!

Watching Scarlett Johansson as Griet in this film was a feast for my eyes — like watching a painting come to life.  Nearly every scene could have been a painting unto itself!  The story was predictable but I didn’t care – my eyes and my ears were so happy lol.  The music for this film was lovely too.  This film could have been a silent film because there really wasn’t much dialogue used or even needed.  The caliber of the acting talent of the entire cast made this possible.  The director gave the cast the space between the film and the script to put on the finest exhibition of their talents of expression without words.  Hence the “painting come to life” feel of the film I think!  I know this couldn’t have been a simple film to construct but the nature of it was and I want to see more of this type of film.  I’m weary of special effects and gadgets overshadowing the cast of films.  I’ve seen many fantastic films consisting of only a small cast, few sets/costumes and minimal special effects.  I wonder if simplicity I’m describing is why people are returning to the joy of live theater performances?  Anyhew…If you haven’t seen it and love art I highly recommend it.

Girl With a Pearl Earring – Official Trailer

http://www.essentialvermeer.com/catalogue/girl_with_a_pearl_earring.html#.V0men-TmqUk – interesting page that has 9 hot spot focus points with details about the painting by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

This morning we turned the channel to our local PBS channel KERA DFW and had the priviledge of watching the Mulberry Child and ohhh I cried!  It affected me much like one of my favorite books, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  The often painful relationships that can exist between mothers and daughters in the midst of cultural clashes.  Jian Ping’s story comes from the era of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and is an exemplary example for you of the intergenerational trauma
topic I’ve written and talked about in a few of my posts here:

https://saymber.com/2016/04/21/21-april-2016-intergenerational-trauma-and-the-blood-that-remembers-it/
https://saymber.com/2015/03/04/4-march-2015-intergenerational-and-historical-trauma-and-forgiveness/
https://saymber.com/2015/06/26/26-june-2015-the-voices-of-our-ancestors-dhyani-ywahoo-popeular-science-and-some-of-my-recent-wire-jewelry/

http://www.mulberrychild.com/ – Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China by Jian Ping

Mulberry Child is the heart-wrenching true story of a childhood in Communist China.

Jian Ping is the daughter of a senior government official in the rural northeast of the country, growing up at a time of famine and political upheaval in the 1960s. Jian Ping’s innocent childhood comes to an abrupt end when the Cultural Revolution-a power struggle within the ruling party-engulfs the country like a wildfire. Jian Ping’s father, Hou Kai, is falsely accused of treason-he is detained, beaten, and publicly shamed. Her mother Gu Wenxiu, a top administrator of a middle school, is paraded in public and imprisoned by the Revolution Committee and the Red Guards-both driving forces of the Cultural Revolution. She is forbidden to see her children and pressured to divorce her husband. The family is pushed to a breaking point when they are forced to live in a mud house without heating, water, or a toilet. Facing abuse and deprivation, Jian Ping’s family stands steadfastly together, from her aging grandmother Nainai, a frail woman with bound feet, to her parents and siblings. The traumatic impact of their experiences shape the course of their lives forever.

Based on her own memories, as well as interviews and exhaustive research, Mulberry Child is a sprawling family saga and an inspiring tale of resilience and determination, a coming of age story told through the eyes of an innocent child. Mulberry Child allows us an insider’s look into a closed-off world and is written with compassion in honest and intimate language.

http://www.pbs.org/program/mulberry-child/ – you can watch the full film here

That’s it from here for now.  I send my love and hugs to you through the wires!

26 May 2016 Sorting yourself out in times of darkness – Mother Nature is my therapist

Hello there!  It’s a rumbly, misty and gray morning here as I write.  I’ve just been outside with my therapist as I have felt a real disturbance in the force the past couple of days.  The past couple of days I’ve had a real sense of sadness and as always, it could be any number of reasons why.  Something just as simple as there hasn’t been much sunlight for several days now and that is depressing!  I don’t know specifically the source of my sorrows but have been hearing that sound like I do sometimes before I find something out about someone or something.  Is it spiritual or just my ears getting older lol.   Human beings and our body functions, hormones, chemicals, sensitivities, reactions, emotions……all that stuff makes the whole job extremely complicated doesn’t it?!  Least it does for me.

Anyhew…so on the dog walk Kyle and I agreed that I needed to get myself back to self….a little off.   After we got back from the walk I went out back as I mentioned and got myself sorted out.  I am a sensitive person, some call it being an Empath, some call it being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and others might just say I am one crayon short of a whole box….whatever.  Being the sort of person I am makes that being human job I mentioned even more complicated.  It is hard sometimes for me to determine if what I’m feeling physically, emotionally and even spiritually is “mine” or belongs to someone else close to me.  Most of the people that I let into my life have a lot of shite they are going through right now and because I care about them, their shite can warp my perception of what my own shite is.  Hope that makes sense.  In a nutshell:  “O.k. God, what is mine and what isn’t?! Please help me sort this out.”

So my prayers with my brand new plants, Kyle’s brother Cole’s plants and just all the nature surrounding me was to expel what is troubling me, and asked for what  “isn’t mine” to be taken out of me and restore me to self.    Restore me to the peaceful, happy, joyful and loving self I really like to be….restore me to balance.  I felt the words that came and later the mournful song with no words in the breath of the trees….in the lightning and in the thunder that followed.  As I sat in this state of being, I could see flashes of lightning in my minds eye and when I opened my eyes it was real.  At this point I went inside.  I feel so much better now…..I feel “sorted.”

The truth is “things are doing things” right now in our world at an escalating pace and being as sensitive and “awake” as I am makes seeing these things toxic at times.  Almost daily I am facing that duplicity of human nature I’ve been talking about.  The dichotomy of either staying “awake” or forcing myself to go back to sleep and just not caring anymore what happens to the lives of those I share this planet with.   This morning I considered, for the umpteenth time, deactivating my Facebook account and just not even getting on my computer – unplugging myself almost completely.

Sadly, I know even that won’t stop the discomfort I am experiencing.

We are all connected and when any one of us suffers, at some level, we all do….consciously or subconsciously (not sleeping or waking up a lot in the night for example).  Kind of the Donnie Darko effect.  You know something is wrong or a light has gone out in the world but you can’t pinpoint it…it just is this  mysterious “hole” in our existence.

My hope for you is if you are in a weird space now too,  that you will find a personal, positive and loving way to get yourself “sorted” out.

Much love from my Universe to yours!

24 May 2016 Watching old game shows – a snapshot to the past and an escape from daily news

Hello there!  Hope your well in the time and space this finds you.  I’m up early again….sigh….and I bought whole bean coffee instead of ground.  What that means is I am grinding coffee beans in a grinder meant for nuts and that doesn’t work very well LOL!  My coffee is currently the consistency of tea LOL.  When Kyle gets up he will be making a trip to get us ground coffee or finding me a proper grinder!  Lesson?  PAY ATTENTION to what we are buying….literally….read the feckin label before dropping something in the shopping cart.

I could babble today about so many things.  Most of them pretty negative too.  I have been reading headlines about big company mergers that are concerning, my government blaming Saudi Arabia for 9/11 and encouraging victims to sue them, more minority vs cop related shootings, all the ways voting is being f’d with……omg it’s just on and on.  I decided against it because I want you to be able to come here and get a break from all that and for a selfish reason – I get sick when I “ingest” too much shitty news.  I know this about myself and I just keep going back for more!  It’s a lot like what I’m having to relearn with the Lucky Charms “thing”  my body and I are going through right now.

If I’m going to “eat” bad stuff (whatever it is),  I’m making a conscious decision to be miserable afterwards!  If I suffer,  I chose to suffer.

I’m guessing the only way I could truly free myself from “news sludge” would be to get rid of every tech device we have and that’s not going to happen so working on free will it is!

Anyhew – last night Kyle had one of the many obscure free channels we get with our antenna on called Buzzr tv.  They play reruns of old game shows all day and it’s amusing for us older farts to get a time-warp back to those times and amusing for the young who get to watch older people get excited about seeing stuff from “when they were younger.”  The one we caught part of was called Press Your Luck.  I actually recognized a lot of the brands of the prizes they were giving away.  It’s amazing to see how far kitchen technology has come from even just 1983!   Hotpoint was the brand we saw last night and after doing a search – they are still around!

Hotpoint Fridge ad from 1980's

Hotpoint Fridge ad from 1980’s – I grew up with a red appliances – one of my Mom’s favorite colors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzzr

Press Your Luck Episode #35 – Dave/Jon/Robin

After I got beyond the reminiscing,  I got to thinking.  Scary right?  “I’m tinking, I’m tinking”!  What happened to the game contestants after the show?  Wouldn’t that be interesting to find some of these people, if they are still alive of course, and find out what happened on the Florida trip they won?  Where did they go in their brand new car?  What did they cook after they got their complete Hot Point kitchen?  How did just being on a game show affect the rest of their lives?  I can only imagine how big a deal it would be to be on a show like that and especially if you were a big winner.

There is a documentary in there somewhere LOL.

Hope you have a good rest of the day and I send you love and hugs from my Universe to Yours!

 

 

 

 

23 May 2016 Freedom and the consequences of choosing to eat too much manufactured food

Good day to you – hope this finds you well and if you’re not, I hope your day gets better!

We are up early this morning….my little ecosystem is not very happy with me this morning and has been letting me know!  I told you yesterday  I would eat the Lucky Charms (as well as other similar category foods) and I would enjoy it and then I would regret it.  We had Chinese food the other night after a very long hiatus and same thing happened.  We timed it and the food we ordered kept hunger at bay for a little more than an hour and we had the massive shites afterwards.

It seems like there are certain types of food that are just not meant for over consumption or even consumption at all and my body seems to be trying to tell me that….yet again.

The problem we are running into is finding ANYTHING we can eat without uncomfortable physical consequences afterwards.  It seems like whether or not we eat “organic, healthy and nutritious” food we get sick and have digestive problems of one kind or another.  Is this by design?  I wonder.

What is the common element to most, if not all the foods Kyle and I eat?  They are manufactured and processed by someone else!  We have been too lazy to grow our own food, can’t afford to raise our own food animals and lately I haven’t been cooking or baking as much as I used to (here’s irony for you – I haven’t felt well enough to do it!).  With something as simple as being too lazy, sick or tired to bake my own bread like I was for so long,  we noticed negative health changes….BUT….the insidious thing is we aren’t sure it’s JUST the bread!

We used to be able to pin-point more accurately what was causing our stomachs to get upset and now days we can’t….it could be the water, the air, getting exposed to someone or something with a virus or it could be any number of other things we’ve had to eat or drink.  Remember in the old courts they had food tasters for royalty so if someone was trying to poison the king or queen they could find out beforehand?  A taster wouldn’t help shite nowadays….unless of course from day one of their existence they never ate processed food so their tongue palettes remained intact.   Our palettes are so coated with gook (stuff like corn syrup) – most of us can’t taste our food or even tell if it is good anymore!

I could be wrong, pretty sure I’m not because of the nature of most “business”, but to me there seems to be an escalation of the not so hidden war that’s always been present in the food industry.  I suspect, I don’t have proof but suspect,  there is a lot more intentional (mole) corporate sabotage going on and if not that, the organic food companies are sabotaging themselves with both poor hygiene and a case of the mass manufacturing disease.  It seems like the more we are relying on mass production to process the food our animals and we eat, the sicker we are getting.   I’m not an expert, but from my own experience with cooking and baking, if you don’t maintain and clean the devices you use to make food on a regular basis (which includes yourself)  your going to get people sick.

From Dune House of Harkonnen by Frank Herbert and Kevin J Anderson

From Dune House of Harkonnen by Frank Herbert and Kevin J Anderson

Todays title is about Freedom and Consequences and choosing what you eat and living with what happens to you after your choice fits in there nicely doesn’t it? !

Kyle and I as food consumers have the Freedom to choose what food we buy and eat and based on those choices, we will pay for those choices if they end up being bad for us.  It seems the choices facing people like Kyle and I may include more gardening but even then will we feel better?  Would the fruits of our own labor help us with so many assaults of poison from above and below the soil?  I just don’t know anymore but the freedom of what we choose to do still remains….choose your poison well right?!

Link says PINEAPPLES I'm staying where it is safe and warm!

Link says PINEAPPLES I’m staying where it is safe and warm! (the lump on Kyles side of the bed is Link! LOL)

 

22 May 2016 40th Birthday party for our friend Billy

Morning all, hope this finds you well today.  I am not feeling well again today and it could be any number of things causing it so I’m going to stay low-key today.  It’s a muggy, gray day and seems like a good day to rest.  Kyle was bringing in an air filter he bought at the grocery store….a tick was on it!  OMG!  Ninja Ticks!  Ninja Ticks weren’t the only thing he brought home….he’s been listening to me and my craving for Lucky Charms for quite some time now and finally decided to learn me a lesson.  I will eat the Lucky Charms, regret eating the Lucky Charms and be cured for another 5 years! In a show of solidarity, he bought himself Fruity Pebbles LOL!

Kyle decided to learn us a less on about cereal

Kyle decided to learn us a less on about cereal

Yesterday we helped our friend Billy officially turn 40.  He and his wife Erin live in Oklahoma and came down for the weekend to celebrate, his actual birthday was the 14th.  It was really nice to get caught up with Billy and Erin and spend some time with his family and close friends.   I could tell Billy was feeling very loved and grateful after all of it quieted down – turning 40 is definitely one of those “lifestones.”   His Mom had been planning this thing since the beginning of the year.  As a joke she sent him a birthday card on the 14th of every month since January!!!  You know, in case he forgot he was going to be 40 this year!  LOL!  Billy definitely gets his mischief and fun genes from his Momma.  She’s amazing and we just love her.

It was shortly after we moved here in November of 2009 that we met Billy when he was smoking by his Mom and Dad’s mailbox.  We stopped to talk with him and have been friends with him and later Erin ever since!  Video games bring people together more than just in-game!  Kyle and Billy are like peas and carrots when it comes to video games and I know if they lived closer to us there would probably be a lot of game nights!  We all agreed while talking this visit that if you want to make world peace — talk to the gamers!  We play games with people all over the world and have a great time and if we don’t you just don’t play with them again….block/ignore create new character LOL!

I was happy to get to know his sister Melody a little better – oh she’s a riot!  I told her she should try stand-up with how easily humor comes to her.  I also encouraged her to start a blog here on WordPress as she had considered writing a book but had tabled the idea.  I hope she will share herself with the world — I told her it’s great therapy.  Even if only one person reads the blog, and EVEN if that one person is just you….mission accomplished!  I’ll let you know if she does – you’d just love her.

One story she told me in particular I told her I had to put in my blog today because it was hilarious!  This was after the groups of us had kind of split up and the folks in the garage were having gun/hunting talk and we were inside at the kitchen table having the not that into guns or hunting talk.   The kitchen group could see hunting being useful for feeding the hungry – wild boar and culling overpopulation of deer but none of us actually hunt.   Well Melody shared that she had recently been banned from her husband Stephen’s Deer stand.  Apparently the last time she went with him she ate potato chips too loudly, talked too much and fell asleep LOL!  As she was telling us this I could just see that scene from How I Met Your Mother with Lily’s loud chewing:

Here are pictures from the special day:

Hope you have a great day and know you are loved and absolutely one of a kind precious!  No matter what our differences and the probably 7 billion plus one ways we can find to annoy each other about stupid and unimportant things….we are family and I love my family.  Each day is another chance to learn tolerance, patience, compassion, the willingness to learn and  understanding for those who aren’t like me.  Each day is also the chance to share my experience, strength and hope with those I find who ARE like me!  YOU ARE AWESOME SAUCE!

 

 

21 May 2016 My Happy, Alvarado Animal Shelter benefit, frenemies NRA and Trump, tree sleep study and nutrition label makeover

Good morning you!  Hope this finds you doing well today, thanks for coming by to visit whether on purpose or a typo in your search engine of choice lol.  Glad you are here.

My "Happy" :-)

My “Happy” 🙂

Well this morning had a great start.  We went to the first pancake benefit hosted by city animal shelter at the Applebee’s restaurant in Burleson. What a great idea to raise money for the shelter!  We really enjoyed it and as always it was good to see Janelle (our amazing ACO) with her family and her awesome right-hand woman Casey.  This particular Applebee’s (http://restaurants.applebees.com/tx/burleson/1115-n-burleson-blvd.html) does this type of thing fairly regularly for shelters, sports teams and other charities.  They provided the food and the space and Janelle, Casey and their volunteers did the food service and busing of tables.  I was thrilled to hear they sold all 100 original tickets and even more this morning PLUS raffle tickets.  Janelle said they would like to do it at least once a year – it’s a lot of work to organize and actually carry out such an event.  Thank you so much to everyone involved and I pray this helps with everything you need to keep things going at the shelter.  If you are considering adding a dog or cat to your family, please consider your local shelters first!  Also — PLEASE spay and neuter your pets if you are not a licensed and or professional breeder.

https://www.facebook.com/alvarado.shelter/

https://www.facebook.com/NoKill-Rural-Texas

http://www.cityofalvarado.org/index.asp?SEC=837A919D-9503-413D-9B35-A04B484F1E20&Type=B_BASIC

Contact Information

Animal Control
602 S. Parkway
817-239-4401 (main)
817-556-6060 (after hours)
817-790-0910 For additional assistance (Police Department)
———————————————————————————-

We found a tick on our bed last night after the dogs went out……it was dying as we regularly treat our dogs with flea and tick ointment BUT!  It’s like just saying the word “flea” and you start to itch.  I was a bit offputted LOL!  With the wet, warm and now hot and humid we are experiencing in Texas….it’s mosquito, tick and other biting insect “baking” time.  Make sure to take care of your pets – you will also be taking care of you!  We suspect Spot got one on her from our bandstand that has space underneath where “critters” have been known to live.  We put up fencing to block her from going up there and are planning on getting some more to block other areas in the yard she and Link like to wander that we know are flea, tick and mosquito havens.  We have two senior indoor cats that do not get regular flea and tick treatments we are trying to avoid getting exposed.   We may end up having to start treating them again if it gets real bad, but with them both being 17 years old, we are trying to limit the toxins we expose them to.  Damned if we do, damned if we don’t scenario isn’t it?!

I’m not going to belabor a point but did you see the NRA has endorsed Donald Trump earlier than it normally does?  Hmmmmm…..guess keep your friends close and your frenemies closer.   I “get” that strategy.  Kyle and I were thinking as far as chess pieces on the board,  the NRA is like the Bishop…..sneeeeaaaaky.   When I wrote about Kyle and I just joking about this strategy yesterday I didn’t quite expect to see it become a headline!

http://nypost.com/2016/05/21/nra-endorses-former-foe-trump/ (excerpt)

Donald Trump accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association on Friday — and then predicted Hillary Clinton will “abolish the Second Amendment” if she is elected.

A couple interesting articles this morning – do trees sleep and they have revised the food nutrition labels here in the US.  To see more published information on the life of trees makes me happy so had to share that with you.  As far as the new labels, funny I still don’t see the one thing I wanted out of the new labels and that is if a food has GMO ingredients in it!  GRRRRR!  If your proud of your product and it’s safe — Label it, PROVE it!   We’ll get there eventually…..I hope.

Much love, hugs and all my best to you today.   Remember:  YOU ARE AWESOME SAUCE!


Ft Worth Botanical Gardens

Ft Worth Botanical Gardens

Trees droop and sleep like humans in day-night cycles, says new research

Posted by: News  May 21, 2016 in Science

Trees droop and sleep? Trees have been seen to go to sleep and relax their branches for certain periods of time.

Experts from Austria, Finland and Hungary are employing laser scanners to calculate the day-night rhythms of trees. As strange as it may seem, trees do go to sleep and need periodic rest time.

Researchers have been studying the day and night cycle in plants for a long time: Linnaeus observed that flowers in a dark cellar continued to open and close, and Darwin recorded the overnight movement of plant leaves and stalks and called it “sleep”. But even to this day, such studies have only been done with small plants grown in pots, and nobody knew whether trees sleep as well. Now, a team of researchers from Austria, Finland and Hungary measured the sleep movement of fully grown trees using a time series of laser scanning point clouds consisting of millions of points each.

Trees droop their branches at night

“Our results show that the whole tree droops during night which can be seen as position change in leaves and branches”, says Eetu Puttonen (Finnish Geospatial Research Institute), “The changes are not too large, only up to 10 cm for trees with a height of about 5 meters, but they were systematic and well within the accuracy of our instruments.”

To rule out effects of weather and location, the experiment was done twice with two different trees. The first tree was surveyed in Finland and the other in Austria. Both tests were done close to solar equinox, under calm conditions with no wind or condensation. The leaves and branches were shown to droop gradually, with the lowest position reached a couple of hours before sunrise. In the morning, the trees returned to their original position within a few hours. It is not yet clear whether they were “woken up” by the sun or by their own internal rhythm.

“On molecular level, the scientific field of chronobiology is well developed, and especially the genetic background of the daily periodicity of plants has been studied extensively”, explains András Zlinszky (Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences). “Plant movement is always closely connected with the water balance of individual cells, which is affected by the availability of light through photosynthesis. But changes in the shape of the plant are difficult to document even for small herbs as classical photography uses visible light that interferes with the sleep movement.”

With a laser scanner, plant disturbance is minimal. The scanners use infrared light, which is reflected by the leaves. Individual points on a plant are only illuminated for fractions of a second. With this laser scanning technique, a full-sized tree can be automatically mapped within minutes with sub-centimeter resolution.

“We believe that laser scanning point clouds will allow us to develop a deeper understanding ofplant sleep patterns and to extend our measurement scope from individual plants to larger areas, like orchards or forest plots,” says Norbert Pfeifer (TU Wien).

“The next step will be collecting tree point clouds repeatedly and comparing the results to water use measurements during day and night”, says Eetu Puttonen. “This will give us a better understanding of the trees’ daily tree water use and their influence on the local or regional climate.”

Agencies/Canadajournal

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/changes-to-food-nutrition-labels_us_573f3fe0e4b045cc9a70d4ee (excerpt)

the revised food nutrition labels (US)

the revised food nutrition labels (US)

4 Major Changes Are Coming To Food Nutrition Labels

Here’s what you need to know.

05/20/2016 03:18 pm ET
The U.S. Food And Drug Administration has redesigned nutrition labels on food packages to show the amount of added sugar in a product.

It’s the first redesign in nutrition labels in over 20 years, notes the FDA. Most food manufacturers will have to comply with the redesign by July 2018, but those who sell less than $10 million in products a year have until 2019 to get with the new program.

Michelle Obama helped announce the changes, saying, “You will no longer need a microscope, a calculator or a degree in nutrition to figure out whether the food you are buying is actually good for our kids.”

The change is a milestone for nutrition and obesity advocates, who pointed out that the old labels had no information that helps eaters know if they’re abiding by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ recommendation to eat no more than 10 percent of total calories from added sugars (about 50 grams of added sugar a day for folks on a 2,000 calorie diet).

 

 

19 May 2016 Rainy day farewells to a friend

Hello,  how are you today?

We have gentle rains this morning and the backyard is a vibrant green…..so beautiful.  The dogs didn’t think so AT ALL but I got them out for business….standing in the rain with them for support LOL.  Link didn’t seem to appreciate my showing of solidarity and I’ll probably find one of his turds in the hall later.  Ungrateful and onry little git that he can be….part of why we love him so.  Personality plus!  Both of our dogs are like that.

Ronald Ray Pedde

Ronald Ray Pedde

On the 16th I mentioned feeling very mixed up, sad, relieved, grateful but I didn’t feel I could share why out of respect for the Pedde and White families.  I wanted to wait to say anything here until they were ready and wanted people to know.

What I knew of Ron came through the mail via wonderful letters from his wife and my friend Lesley (my Mom and Les have been friends for like 50 years now?!)…..letters filled with love and family (their grandson Colin especially), favorite foods, travel (they got to kiss the Blarney stone!), laughter, celebrations, triumphs, wood-working projects, sorrows and disappointments.   When Ron was initially diagnosed, we even did some long distance healing work whether he knew it or not!   I was so proud when Lesley mentioned he had opened up to the possible benefits of chakra healing.  My kind of  spiritual/holistic healing stuff was WAY out of his comfort zone so reading that was such a big deal to me!

When Dad called me Monday night to tell me Ron was gone I wasn’t surprised and found myself more angry than sad.  I almost wore a path through our back lawn all the way to the soil pacing and ranting….I won’t share details (between God and me) but let’s just say there were a lot of f-words and other expletives regarding cancer medicine and Western medicine in general until I calmed down!  As I’ve said many times, I love my human therapist dearly,  but Mother Nature is the best and the only one who can get me truly back to a “love” space when I get so upset.

After several minutes of this, I came to the realization I can’t change anything about what happened to Ron but I could change how I felt inside about it now.  So the next day I decided to make pendants out of the shells Mom had brought to me from Ron’s daughter Shannon and grandson Colin.  They were thinking of me and my orgonite and how may be I could use them in a batch.  Since I no longer make epoxy based orgonite because I don’t want to contribute to toxic substances in the environment, I made pendants for all of them with the shells!  WE are orgonite!  Ron was a craftsman of the highest order….I thought it was a fitting way to honor him.

Sea Shells can remind us of immortality.  Long after the living creature has left the shell, the beauty they have made during their lifetime is a timeless treasure. 

Here is Ron’s obituary and I think it’s plain to see he really worked hard during the course of his life to make a positive difference in this world!  He lead by example which is one of my core values.  Kyle and I send love, hugs and prayers to our friends down South as they travel forward from this shared snippet of Horrific history (a phrase I’ve come up with to describe things like what Ron and Les went through with cancer).  We have all  experienced variations of Horrific history and it is what we do now with these horrors of the past that will define our futures.

Ronald Ray Pedde August 8, 1946 – May 16, 2016

Ronald Ray Pedde, age 69, died Monday, May 16 2016 in his home in Cibolo, Texas from esophageal cancer.

Ron is survived by his mother, Mary (Walter); his wife of 48 years, Lesley (Smith); his son Ron and his wife Linda (Bishop); his daughter Shannon White, her husband Jon and their son Colin; his sister Janet Griebel; and many extended family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his Father Eric.

Ron was born in Freeman, South Dakota on August 8, 1946. After graduating from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving honorably as a Machinist Mate aboard the USS Alcor from 1964 to 1967.

Following his service in the Navy, Ron attended South Dakota State University and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering.
Professionally, Ron worked in many different roles for the State of Texas in the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, including as the Director of the Remediation Division and as the Director of Water Permits and Resource Management. Most recently, Ron worked as a Senior Project Engineer at J.D. Consulting, SAIC, and as a Principal at L&R Environmental Engineering, a consulting engineering company formed with his wife, Lesley.

A dedicated public servant, Ron served the City of Cibolo in a number of capacities, including advisory roles on numerous city committees and as a city councilman for District 1 from 2007 to 2014. While in service to the City of Cibolo, Ron’s special interests were parks and water resources.

A memorial gathering and celebration of his life will be held at Schertz Funeral Home at 2217 FM3009, Schertz, Texas on Thursday May 19th, 2016 from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ron’s name to the City of Cibolo Community Gardens or the MD Anderson Cancer Center at https://gifts.mdanderson.org.

 

 

18 May 2016 The Universe’s principle of economics, The Prestige (2006 film) and discovery of new form of light…..will there be “intelligence” in those particles?

Hello all and hope this finds you well today!  This quote really spoke to me last night as I press further through the House of Harkonnen book:

No matter how much I don't want to accept the possibility of such a thing, the longer I live the more I believe what this quote says is true.

No matter how much I don’t want to accept the possibility of such a thing, the longer I live the more I believe what this quote says is true.

Our evening Netflix movie was The Prestige and I absolutely loved it.  Many stars I enjoy seeing were in it and one in particular gave me the pleasure of a “twofer” — David Bowie as Tesla!  YES!  I won’t ruin the plot for you if you haven’t seen it.  If you like magic, period pieces, mystery, science, professional rivalry gone waaaay wrong…..see it!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 – IMDB link to more about the Prestige to include movie trailer

stars: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo and here is a “twofer” for me – David Bowie as Tesla!

(Pictured) David Bowie a Nikola Tesla in the movie The Prestige

(Pictured) David Bowie a Nikola Tesla in the movie The Prestige

I was happy to see this in the headlines this morning…..everyone is finally catching up.

http://phys.org/news/2016-05-physicists.html

Physicists discover a new form of light

May 17, 2016 by Thomas Deane

Physicists from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics and the CRANN Institute, Trinity College, have discovered a new form of light, which will impact our understanding of the fundamental nature of light.

One of the measurable characteristics of a beam of light is known as angular momentum. Until now, it was thought that in all forms of light the angular momentum would be a multiple of Planck’s constant (the physical constant that sets the scale of quantum effects).

Now, recent PhD graduate Kyle Ballantine and Professor Paul Eastham, both from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics, along with Professor John Donegan from CRANN, have demonstrated a new form of light where the angular momentum of each photon (a particle of visible light) takes only half of this value. This difference, though small, is profound. These results were recently published in the online journal Science Advances.

Commenting on their work, Assistant Professor Paul Eastham said: “We’re interested in finding out how we can change the way light behaves, and how that could be useful. What I think is so exciting about this result is that even this fundamental property of light, that physicists have always thought was fixed, can be changed.”

Professor John Donegan said: “My research focuses on nanophotonics, which is the study of the behaviour of light on the nanometer scale. A beam of light is characterised by its colour or wavelength and a less familiar quantity known as angular momentum. Angular momentum measures how much something is rotating. For a beam of light, although travelling in a straight line it can also be rotating around its own axis. So when light from the mirror hits your eye in the morning, every photon twists your eye a little, one way or another.”

“Our discovery will have real impacts for the study of light waves in areas such as secure optical communications.”

Professor Stefano Sanvito, Director of CRANN, said: “The topic of light has always been one of interest to physicists, while also being documented as one of the areas of physics that is best understood. This discovery is a breakthrough for the world of physics and science alike. I am delighted to once again see CRANN and Physics in Trinity producing fundamental scientific research that challenges our understanding of light.”

To make this discovery, the team involved used an effect discovered in the same institution almost 200 years before. In the 1830s, mathematician William Rowan Hamilton and physicist Humphrey Lloyd found that, upon passing through certain crystals, a ray of light became a hollow cylinder. The team used this phenomenon to generate beams of light with a screw-like structure.

Analysing these beams within the theory of quantum mechanics they predicted that the angular momentum of the photon would be half-integer, and devised an experiment to test their prediction. Using a specially constructed device they were able to measure the flow of angular momentum in a beam of light. They were also able, for the first time, to measure the variations in this flow caused by quantum effects. The experiments revealed a tiny shift, one-half of Planck’s constant, in the angular momentum of each photon.

Theoretical physicists since the 1980s have speculated how quantum mechanics works for particles that are free to move in only two of the three dimensions of space. They discovered that this would enable strange new possibilities, including particles whose quantum numbers were fractions of those expected. This work shows, for the first time, that these speculations can be realised with light.

Explore further: Researchers use beams of polarized light to carve intricate patterns on disks

More information: K. E. Ballantine et al. There are many ways to spin a photon: Half-quantization of a total optical angular momentum, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501748

I venture to guess that as they progress in their studies, they will find intelligence in the particles.  I was just talking to Kyle this morning about how I was noticing more light particles in the normal “pixils” I see outside and now inside too.  When I meditate outside I imagine those particles to be a connection with those in the spirit realm.  Kind of like how it looked when Mike Teavee in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was beamed via particles from one side of the room to the other.   May be my vision is going to shit or there is something more to it.  After my next eye doctor visit I’ll know for sure!

Mike Teavee in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory being transported as particles

Mike Teavee in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory being transported as particles

I send much love and hugs from my Universe to yours!

17 May 2016 Taking Time Out in the Concrete Jungle of Shanghai with Endless Light and Love and Retreet amazing Dallas based non-profit

Hello all, I hope this finds you well.

Honestly, I’m very mixed up inside this morning – relieved, grateful, and just very sad but I am not at liberty to share why just yet.  The post I am about to share with you is from our friend Mark at his Endless Light and Love blog.  I have to thank you Mark for bringing light to my dimmed heart space this morning!  I read this post and was smiling and crying at the same time….divine timing from one soul traveler to another.   I knew you had the “eyes” to “see” Mother under all that concrete 🙂  I’m so proud of you for finding such a GORGEOUS place to lose those shoes and socks!  Readers I highly recommend you go the actual blog because he has posted amazing pictures of green space he found in Shanghai in which to meditate, ground and restore himself .  I also highly recommend trying what he did out for yourself…lose the shoes and socks and find a patch of earth!

Taking Time Out in the Concrete Jungle of Shanghai

Taking Time Out in the Concrete Jungle of Shanghai
inspiringyourspirit
6h ago
love

My Dear Friends,

One of my dear blogging friends Saymber said to me a few days ago, and I quote “.it’s important to stay grounded in these things. I would suggest a nice bit of time outside without shoes and socks and maybe some of your favorite music”. I replied that  its not so easy living in a concrete jungle with 28,000,000 (that’s 28 million) other souls, but I agreed with her that what she was saying was so true and i really needed to get myself grounded, take my shoes and socks off and re-connect with Mother Earth, so today, I did it:) And I feel fantastic:) I took a walk to my closest Buddhist temple for some we deserved meditation and prayers and on the way back I spent some quality time reconnecting, standing amongst the trees, observing the gentle breeze in the leaves, listening to the birds and totally clearing my mind.

Mother nature is so beautiful and she will share her beauty with you whenever you need it, she can be found on the corner of a busy street, under a shady tree set in the concrete walkway, or even in a simple window box of flowers, all we need to do is ‘Open our Eyes’:)

Blessings Saymber, and thank you Mother Earth for bringing me home today,

Namaste, with Love

Always

Mark

This morning we caught some of the news and it was good news!  We found out about a non-profit based in Dallas called Retreet.  These folks are currently helping the town of Rowlett TX in it’s recovery after a devastating tornado in April 2012.  Retreet’s mission is to go into towns like this and they focus on one thing — TREES!  Yes!  The founder, Grady McGahan, a bicycle enthusiast, came up with this idea and it is mind-blowing wonderful to me!  Oftentimes during a recovery, resources are focused on the human structures and not the natural ones.  After a storm we are always seeing majestic old trees toppled over and most times, due to lack of resources, they do not get replanted.

Here is some more about Retreet.  Kyle and I are planning on adding them to our list of places we donate to annually for Christmas!

 

Retreet founder Grady McGahan

Retreet founder Grady McGahan

http://www.retreet.org/

Retreet Logo

Retreet Logo

Retreet is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retreet/

http://www.retreet.org/why/

Trees are essential to human life. Their environmental, psychological, social, and economic value to our communities is inestimable. When an urban forest is decimated by disaster, a professional, coordinated response is needed. That being said, planting trees is a practical, effective, and unique way for volunteers to help a community rebuild.

Trees provide us with oxygen, food, shelter, medicine, and tools. They also increase property values, promote health, conserve energy, mitigate storm damage, and save water. ⍟ Given these numerous benefits, it is unfortunate that mature trees take the longest to replace of everything lost when disaster strikes. Many survivors recognize the need to replace trees early into the rebuilding process and badly want for that to occur, but do not have time, resources, and expertise to attend to that need.

Studies have shown that a healthy urban forest greatly reduces anxiety among urban dwellers. ⍟ Certainly, most disaster survivors experience elevated stress levels when faced with the destruction of their homes and the enormity of the rebuilding process. Through their presence and efforts, volunteers generate much-needed relief, cheer, and hope.

Replanting trees also helps prevent future disasters. Previously forested areas that have been burned become prone to flash floods. Coastal regions that have been hit by hurricanes become susceptible to erosion. Blanketing such communities with new trees provides a barricade from even more damage.

Tree planting is an enjoyable and physically engaging activity, and proper planting techniques are easily taught. That newfound knowledge will last a lifetime and will encourage volunteers to become greater stewards of the environment. On site, the impact each volunteer makes will last for generations to come.

The bicycle is one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Riding one not only leads to increased health, physical fitness, and mental well-being but also benefits the local community. Most importantly, it’s just plain fun!

The presence of bicycles on the street does not produce extra noise, traffic, or pollution, but rather lowers stress, reduces congestion, and decreases our effect on the environment. Cycling is an efficient method of transportation that allows people to interact with their surrounding environment.

Our open group rides grant us the ability to connect to local cyclists and help advocate for cycling within their community. A low-impact aerobic exercise, cycling is accessible to people of all ages.

The worldwide cycling community is growing. Certainly, there are far more people who ride bicycles than plant trees on a regular basis. Our organization recognizes that cyclists are inherently predisposed to the concept of our mission. They enjoy riding bicycles through forests and down avenues, not around parking lots. Cyclists understand the importance of trees within the landscape and are physically capable of helping us replant them in communities rebuilding in the wake of disaster.

The demographics that make up the cycling community are diverse. Members of this community are always interested in meeting others who ride, and of attributing meaning to riding their bike beyond the pure enjoyment of doing so. There is no other subculture more suited to becoming RETREETers.

Grady’s group is one of the only non-profits in the US that does this!