WHAT’S THIS BLOG ABOUT?

That’s a reasonable question.  Actually, I’ll be using this space often–every day except Sunday–for two purposes:

1) I hope to provide thoughts, quotes, ideas, and observations about the world around us, calling attention to little and big injustices and what we can do about them or highlighting something I found inspirational, funny, or curious.  Some of my posts will be very serious, some will be a sideways glance at something that grabbed my interest.  Some will be on topics that you have suggested (keep those suggestions coming!).  Maybe a random thought will glide through the space between my ears and I’ll pass that on here.

2) Occasionally I’ll tell you when and where I’ll be giving a talk or book-signing, or I’ll pass on comments people have made to me about their experiences with putting ideas from  my books into practice.

Two features will be recurring every week One is Thoughtful Thursday, when I’ll pass on a quote I found particularly thought-provoking.  Sometimes I’ll add  a very sort comment; other times I’ll let the quote speak for itself. It will often be accompanied by an illustrative picture or graphic.  The other is a weekly (on Saturdays) Earth-Friendly Tip, presenting a simple yet effective step we can take to help protect the Earth and all life on it, including humans. Each suggestion will be a small action for an individual or family to take, and many will also save you money.

I hope to establish some dialog with you via my Blog.  Maybe you disagree with one of my blog posts or with something you read on the “Critical Reviews” or “Readers’ Comments” page.  Or your group tried my Study Guide for Small Things Count! and you want to tell me how it went.  Let me know.  Or tell me about something funny, disastrous, inspiring, or frustrating that happened when you tried one of my suggestions.  Make a “small things” suggestion of your own.  Or simply start a discussion on something you would like to talk about.  Whatever the topic, let’s meet on the Blog page and talk.

Did You Know This About Our Previous Presidents?

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I offer you some fun facts about a bunch of Presidents.  Maybe you can work some of them into cocktail-party conversation.  These are a few of the ones you’ll find at Presidents Day Trivia: Facts About The 45 US Presidents.  I just thought we needed to lighten up for a day on the men who have occupied that esteemed Oval Office.

  • Warren G. Harding had feet sized 14.
  • Martin Van Buren is the one who popularized the use of the term “OK.”
  • Lincoln’s national historical park has a building with 56 steps, one meant for each year he lived before being assassinated.
  • During the Civil War, Rutherford B. Hayes was wounded four times in battle.
  • James Buchanan is the only president to not have a wife while in office. Grover Cleveland started at the White House single but later got married in office.

Stop Dangerous Flare-Ups

You’ve seen them, either in person or on TV–bursts of smoke and flame from oil and gas stacks.  This process of “flaring” burns off wasted…wait for it…METHANE.  Yes, they put hazardous,  health-endangering methane into the air people breathe.

But doesn’t the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management oversee this to protect us?  Yes and no.  Soon possibly mainly no.  Because that Department has proposed weakening what protections currently exist.  Leaving the way open to more flaring, which means more methane into our air to poison it and increase the threat to life.

Read more about this and sign the petition to the Secretary of the Interior to urge him to oppose this proposal.

Heads Up–Be Aware!

Events of this week–and of many other previous weeks with similar events–make it imperative that all of us stay alert for signs of mental illness and report them when we see them.  Tell the person’s family, physician, clergy person, teacher, principal, police…anyone in a position to intervene before it’s too late.  Think of it this way: there are likely others who, like you, have noticed the signs but questioned your own judgment and so did nothing.  We learn after, for example, each school shooting that people had noticed.  What if they had said something?

The following is directly from Warning Signs of Mental Illness, an article by the American Psychiatric Association.

Signs & Symptoms

If several of the following are occurring, it may useful to follow up with a mental health professional.

  • Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
  • Drop in functioning — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
  • Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
  • Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
  • Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
  • Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Unusual behavior – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
  • Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
  • Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness. But if a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.

People and Threads

We often don’t know what’s going on with people we encounter in the course of our day.  So today’s Thursday Thought quote is good to keep in mind.

Maybe Our Lent Should Be Changed

Many people observe Lent.  It’s a great shot in the rump for our weight-control, which is what many of us use it for.  We give up sweets and snacks, hoping to reduce our body-weight.  This year, let’s concentrate on reducing a different kind of weight in our world, the damaging heaviness of violence, shown in unkindness, hostility, cruelty, disrespect, and selfishness.  The Institute for Peace and Justice has developed a “Pledge of Nonviolence” we can adopt as an individual, family, or group of any sort.  With it, we promise to 1) respect self and others, 2) communicate better, 3) listen, 4) forgive, 5) respect nature, 6) play creatively, and 7) be courageous. All are perfect Lenten activities.  Then, when people ask that old question, “What did you give up for Lent?” you can answer, “I gave up being a cause of violence in my world.”

 

Put Your Heart into this Valentine Trivia

I don’t feel like being serious today, so how about a little Valentine Trivia to get you in the mood for tomorrow? (Answers are at the bottom.)

1–It is said that St. Valentine fell in love with whom? a) his jailer’s daughter, b) his neighbor’s daughter, c) his teacher

2–During the Roaring 20s, what were valentines shaped like?  a)violets, b) musical notes, c) apples, d) tomatoes

3–How many Valentine cards are exchanged each year?  a) million, b) 1 5 million, c) 1 billion, d) 2 billion

4–Who created the first heart-shaped box of Valentine chocolates?  a) Richard Cadbury, b) Rudolph Lindt, c) Mary See

5–Who buys the most flowers on Valentines Day?  a) teens, b) men, c) women, d) bosses

6–How many people buy their pets a gift on Valentine’s Day?  a) 3 million, b) 5 million, c) 7 million, d) 9 million

7–After cards, what is the most popular Valentine’s Day gift?  a) flowers, b) candy, c) jewelry, d) romantic dinner

8–What was the first company to manufacturer valentines?  a) Hallmark, b) Norcross, c) Greenway, d) American Greetings

9–What does the word “valentine” mean?  a) love, b) romance, c) strong, d) betrothal

10–Who brought the first valentine to America?  a) the Puritans, b) the Quakers, c) the French, d) the Pilgrims

ANSWERS: 1 A – 2 D – 3 C – 4 A – 5 B – 6 D – 7 A – 8 C – 9 C – 10  A

❤  Happy Valentine’s Day anyway!  ❤

 

Thank you, Mom

In this short video, the thank you goes out to moms who love their kids who will be viewed by many people as “different” — moms who assures their kids that “things will get easier.”  May it be so.

Free Helpful App

Here’s a free app that tells you about products that are safe, green, healthy, and socially responsible:  GoodGuide.  Download it from itunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goodguide/id294447660?mt=8

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

Homeless Kids Packed into a Stadium

Here’s a fact about homeless kids that shocked and deeply saddened me.  The last line tells a vital truth.

Goodall Identifies Danger

Jane Goodall gives us today’s Thursday Thought.  She has seen so much concern and apathy that I think she knows what she’s talking about.