Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Think(ing) Green Thursday



Think(ing) Green Thursday is hosted by Michelle. Please check out her wonderful posts.

I have posted before a little about the effects that our actions on land can have on animal life deep in the ocean. Carbon pollution, which means greenhouse gases that are produced by heating and cooling our houses, running our factories, driving our cars and raising our food, causes the acidification of the waters.

I am happy to say that finally, attention is being paid to this situation, brought to the attention of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, by the Center for Ocean Solutions, comprised of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Stanford University, and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

You may be interested in a video called Acid Test, narrated by Sigourney Weaver. View it when you have a few minutes extra time.



My source is the Sea Notes blog.

It's Her Birthday

Just want to say Happy Birthday to my oldest. Love you, Darlin'. Wish you could be here. I'd bake you a cake! don't celebrate too hard.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Community Food Bank of NJ


DONATE A TRUCK

In the South Jersey area.

Beginning in January 2010, food pantries and other agencies that receive USDA/TEFAP and State Funded Purchasing Program commodities must have a closed truck to transport food orders. Many partner agencies use open trucks and do not have the resources to meet this requirement.


To donate closed trucks, trucks with caps, or vans, contact:
Karen Meredith, Program Director 609-383-8843, extension 106 -
or email KMeredith at njfoodbank.org


I'm sure it could mean a tax deduction for you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anonymous Comments

Just for the record, I have been receiving a tremendous number of anonymous and other weird comments lately, some porno. This is why I never publish comments without my prior approval. They are easy to delete if they come to me first, so of course that's what I do immediately, without even reading them myself. They never reach my readers. It's a total waste of time for whoever sends them.

If anyone is commenting anonymously because they don't have a website - sorry about that, but it won't be read.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Holiday in Review

Christmas at my house was a very quiet one. Rita was here all day with me. Joe and Jan stopped in during the afternoon. We talked with both Ruth and Kitty on the phone. It was a very nice day, in touch with all of our loved ones.



Here is a photo of Rita, and one of her favorite gifts - a Santa statue from Joe and Jan.









Here I am, and one of my favorites - a flameless candle from Lisa.







And of course, here are some from California. They start with Mike's birthday, which falls on the first day of winter. He's taking in a deep breath in order to blow out the candles.








Then there is their tree. Looks as if Santa had already arrived when this was taken.








And Isaac, trying on a Santa hat.







Then one of his favorite gifts - a crane. Some kind of heavy construction about to go on here.


What is not shown here is his big gift from Mommy and Daddy, which was a remote control aquatic car that looks like a manta ray.









After much of the initial excitement was over, their family spent some time at Asilomar Beach, exploring tide pools.




Here is the beach boy.











And here are he and his dad, doing their thing.











I think I could thoroughly enjoy spending Christmas Day at Asilomar.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kwanzaa


We have reached the beginning of the celebration of Kwanzaa - "A celebration of Family, Community and Culture". December 26th until January 1st.

This is a relatively new celebration to most of us. You can learn more about it at the official Kwanzaa site, which is very interesting reading.

Shadow Shot Sunday


Tracy brings us Shadow Shot Sunday each week. I hope that she and all of you had or are having the happiest of holidays.

As you may have heard, the eastern coast of the U.S. had quite a storm last week. Here in our part of Cape May County we were pretty lucky. Not nearly so bad as some. In my town we only got about 4 or 5 inches of snow, but very high winds. My shadows today are of the morning after.

What could this be?


Oh yes, the newspaper delivery. The wind moved it across the lawn.



This was the scene out my front door. How come the plow always piles the snow in such a way that the mailman can't deliver unless someone gets out there and shovels? At least, this time around, it wasn't too terrible.



And then, a few days later when I decided to take the car out, my daughter cleaned off what was left of the snow. She left some on top, and as I waited for her to come out of the drug store, melting snow trickled down the windshield, and made interesting lines of shadow on the dash and reflections in the glass.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are You Done Yet?

I wonder how many of you are all done shopping and preparing. Or how many are last minute people. Does the house smell of Christmas cookies?

Rita has had a few vacation days, and has come over on each one to bring in my mail for me and anything else that is necessary. Today she even shoveled a little snow from my back door and down the ramp. The sun has been shining brightly, and it looks as if the car is almost cleared off, so it is entirely possible that I might actually get out of the house some time soon.



The other night, Lisa brought me a beautiful white poinsettia, sprayed in gold. And today my landlord came by with a huge red one. He is the best landlord ever! And so thoughtful.


Rita will be here for Christmas Day, and I'm sure Joe will come by too. The other two will call, or I will call them. I will see Lisa either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It is a quiet day around here. And immediately after, I'm sure there will be lots of pictures to view on Flickr - maybe a few short videos too. Kitty has posted just a little recently, after a very long hiatus. Maybe she'll even do a post on Isaac's Christmas. That would be fun

I doubt you will hear from me again until at least the day after - well, except for wishes.

Whatever your plans and wherever you find yourselves, I wish you joy and love and peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My 2010 Calendar

I am so excited!


Yesterday's mail brought me the calendar that I won in Lily Hydrangea's give-away. Twelve beautiful examples of her photographic talent! If you haven't seen it yet, go to Long Island Daily Photo to have a look.



I lived on Long Island for twenty-one years, which is what first attracted me to this blog. When I discovered that she was from Farmingdale, which is near to my old home in Massapequa Park, I was hooked. Her photos are almost all scenes from places very familiar to me. They are full of color and humor and beauty.

Thank you so much, Diane! I will enjoy it every day of 2010, I know.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2nd Day After the Storm

I'm still trapped inside. It doesn't really matter. I have no plans to try to go anywhere. Too cold and much too slippery for me.


I had thrown salt on the front steps early on, so when it stopped I was able to push most of it off the steps. It always worries me that a delivery man or someone else will take a fall trying to reach my door. But my days of shoveling or even sweeping are long past.

This morning my son showed up to clear my walk, and more importantly to me, the space in front of the mailbox so the mailman can reach it. The plow always manages to pile that space high. Joe had already spent part of the morning replacing his own mailbox. He said all the boxes along his street had been taken down by the county plows. I told him after he shoveled me out that he should build me a snowman, but somehow that idea did not appeal to him. He did agree to take a package to the Post Office for me. My oldest daughter's birthday is the 30th. (She tells me they have 26 inches of snow and 5 foot drifts.)



My brave little snowman decoration still seems to be smiling.

Lisa

As we near the end of the year, we become reflective about our lives and events and sometimes our friends.

Lisa, aka The Villas Girl, is a very special person.

I met her fifteen years ago when she came to work in the Planning and Zoning Office, where I had been working for some time. It was the first time I had anyone working with me there, except for the Department Head. The Township was growing fast. It was no longer the sleepy, semi-rural town it once was. Land development was booming.

From the start, Lisa and I worked well together. She was a fast learner and never hesitated to take on anything new. She had good common sense and good instincts. Her attitude toward the members of the public who appeared at our office window all day long was friendly and helpful - a refreshing change from that of many civil servants who seem to feel the public is made up of fools whose presence is just to annoy the workers. Lisa generally greets people with a smile and asks, "How are you doing today?", with genuine interest. An amazing number of contractors, farmers, realtors, etc. would tell us when their business was done, that they wanted to thank us for not treating them as they were treated in other municipalities. Lisa and I both took pride in that.

Despite our differing backgrounds, Lisa and I found many interests in common, similar attitudes toward people and work related situations, and we continued to get along very well.

Nine years ago (Can it really be that long?) I retired. I sold my house and moved to a much smaller one. I was very pleased to find that my new home is on the street where Lisa lives. It was on what was at that time a quiet little block, with most houses standing vacant all winter, owned by "summer people". It was good to have a friend living nearby.

Lisa is much younger than I. I have come to think of her as another daughter. We share a love of nature and enjoy exploring nature trails and sites together, and share an interest in photography. I delight in her talent with a camera. She has become a truly fine photographer. But she doesn't like having her own picture shown. (She is there, at the end of the path.)

We talk almost every day, which means much to me, since half of my family lives far away, and most of my old friends are no longer living. And I love hearing all the news from the Township offices - good and bad. She calls me sometimes to rant about some new situation there - political or personal - and I enjoy hearing that too, since I know the personalities involved and understand what she is dealing with. They were once my problems.

As I grow older and my health has deteriorated, Lisa has been so helpful and concerned. She has "rescued" me often when I have been in need of it, or have done something stupid (like locking my keys in my car).

I have seldom known anyone so honest and loyal, hard-working and conscientious as Lisa. Nor as loving. She is a natural care-giver. She has looked after her family and friends with great devotion, and expends the same devotion on her pets. And me. I love the girl.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday


Thanks to Tracy of Hey Harriet for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday for us.

We hadn't had any snow here yet when I posted this, but the night before it was scheduled to publish, we got several inches. - But it had been cold and windy. I have this little guy outside, and the other morning I found him face down (along with the plant stand he is standing on) after a night of wild wind and rain. But he came up smiling. Good thing he was tied to the stand, or he would have been about a block away in the middle of the street.





This published at 6:am on Saturday morning. The snow had been falling since before 1:am, and will probably continue all day, according to TV. Well, at least we should have some pretty snow shadows for next week.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Those College Kids

Kids! Don't you just love 'em? Really! Their idealism, their enthusiasm!

According to Lowdown (published by Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer), for the past ten years there has been a movement of students all over the country who really manage to get things done. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) found out that many of the items that they and their families and friends were buying, such as caps and sweatshirts with university logos and names, were being manufactured in sweatshops in China, Haiti, Central America, etc. Companies like Nike, Reebok and Russell Athletic sign exclusive agreements with the schools, and then contract the work elsewhere.

USAS used sit-ins and rallies and any other way they could to bring pressure on the schools to stop this. They have succeeded with more than 170 school administrations, making them create and fund a Workers Rights Consortium to check on compliance with a code of conduct.

At one point, it was discovered that Russell Athletics had shut down a factory in Honduras because the workers dared to unionize. A campaign on campuses all over the country, picketing games, contacting Congress, persuaded about 100 universities to suspend licensing agreements with Russell Athletics. They even went to Warren Buffet, owner of Fruit of the Loom, which owns Russell. In November, Russell agreed to open a new unionized factory, rehiring 1,200 workers, and not fight unionization of other Honduras factories.

A bunch of kids with a social conscience can accomplish anything. The older generation might learn something from them. If we stopped sitting around complaining instead of getting up and doing something, we might have a lot less to complain about.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

iLoveMountains.org

This is part of an email that I received today:


Dear Barbara,

Dumping mine waste into a valley fill on Kayford Mountain, WV - by Austin Hall of Appalachian Voices

Dumping mine waste into a valley fill on Kayford Mountain, WV

When the Bush Administration proposed gutting the "Stream Buffer Zone Rule" -- a regulation that has prevented surface mining within 100 feet of our nation's streams for decades -- people like you responded in force. More than 75,000 comments were submitted to the Bush Administration, asking that the regulation be left intact.

The Bush administration overrode public opinion, however, and gutted the rule anyway -- handing a parting gift to Big Coal before it left office.

Now, we urgently need the Obama administration to reverse this rule and protect our nation's streams from being buried by mining waste from mountaintop removal coal mining.

Unfortunately, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclaimation, and Enforcement has proposed waiting until 2011 to begin making changes to the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.

Waiting an entire year is unacceptable -- we are losing streams in Appalachia every day. Waiting another year means that many more miles of Appalachian streams -- the headwaters of streams that provide the drinking water supplies of many eastern cities -- will be forever buried.

The Office of Surface Mining, Reclaimation, and Enforcement is accepting comments until December 30th on its proposal to delay addressing Stream Buffer Zone Rule changes for another year. Can you take just a moment today, and tell them that waiting a year is unacceptable?

Click here to submit your comments today.


There is not a lot more time to submit your comment. This is an issue vital to the health and safety of so many people, and to out environment. Please click on the link and let your voice be heard.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Think(ing) Green Thursday



Michelle is once again hosting Think(ing) Green Thursday for us. Thanks to her for her dedication and her wonderful posts.


Are you familiar with All Green Things? It's a great site, offering all kinds of good things. (Incidentally, they have gift cards.)


It also offers a blog. When I went there today, I found another great idea and another great site: PaperlessPost.com.


I must admit, I still feel that there is nothing like a handwritten thank you note or sympathy note. But for most of our every day needs, the Paperless Post offers another way to conserve when it comes to stationery needs, with personalized invitations and announcements and greeting cards. Have you mailed your holiday cards yet or do you still have last minute ones to send?


Sign up is free, quick and easy. Cost to email your friends is less than postage.

Take a look. I do believe you will be pleased with what you see.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Many Santas?

How many Santas live at your house? I can't even tell you how many live at mine. I have recently got rid of a few. I sent my grandson a few of the Santa ornaments that have hung on my tree for years. Since I am not putting up a tree any more, I felt he would enjoy them more than anyone. I still have those below, plus probably a dozen more.


The first are pictures of my son, back in 1981. They are a little fuzzy. They have been copied several times.




.














Then there is a picture of the Father Christmas known in Eastern Europe. When my daughter was teaching in Hungary for a year, she photographed him talking to some of the children.









This one by the lighthouse was a gift I received several years ago.










I bought a couple of these little guys after moving to Cape May County in 1978.






A few years back, one of the hotels in Cape May City had this fellow sitting on their front steps.






I painted this one. He's appeared on my blog a couple of times.







Santa left this one in my stocking one year. He winds up and walks.





This is one that I sent to Isaac. He's made of wood, and when you pull the string below, he moves his arms and legs.






Kitty brought me this one, made of tin, some years ago.






I have forgotten where this guy came from.






Kitty has given me several. I think this is my favorite from her.





Santas do come in all colors of course.











My son made this one, who sits on a shelf, dangling his little bells. My daughter-in-law painted it.












If I have one favorite of all, it's probably this one, stringing Christmas lights.









There used to be a lovely Christmas shop in Cape May, where I found this and the one above.








Another whose origins I do not remember.






The same is true of this.





Santa left me his likeness in a plane because he knows I love to fly.I usually find a plane in my stocking.






A very fat fellow who has been around 40 years or so, and is showing his age.






This Santa is from Webshots.com, and I use him for a screen saver.


Every day I seem to turn up another one - or two, or three. I love them all.

Can you tell, I had nothing much to do today. So I played with some of my Santas.