Together with SaveThe Manatees Club, 4Ocean works to remove trash from the aquatic habitats of the gentle manatee and support public awareness of their plight, sponsoring research, and advocating for strong protection measures globally.
The future wellbeing of our planet is dependent on our caring for it today. Our grandchildren and all of the natural creatures who inhabit the planet will inherit what we leave for them and they deserve the best that we can do for. They are deserve a sustainable future and we must support them. I always remember the March of Dimes effort which was led by children with their dimes. Their "insignificant" dimes helped to eradicate one of the most destructive human illnesses - polio. Our world and future will similarly be saved by millions of small efforts by each of us to clean up where we can and by supporting the big efforts of organizations like 4Ocean in their cleanup.
I am always amazed and pleased at how much my grandchildren know about and care about the world they live in and the future of that world. I asked my soon to be 11 years old granddaughter what she wanted for her birthday and she said something that thrilled me. She said, "Mimi I want a bracelet to save the oceans and the dolphins". The bracelet is from 4Ocean, a nonprofit whose mission is to clean the oceans of trash and save the creatures that live there and depend on it (we actually all depend on it). They promise to clean one pound of trash out of the oceans for every bracelet that is sold. The one dolphin bracelet was not very expensive so I asked my granddaughter what other animals she would like to help and she suggested the manatees and the polar bears. So I bought three bracelets that benefitted three different creatures. What I particularly like is that 4Ocean is partnering with other organizations who have a similar mission for each creature so that they can achieve more together than they can by themselves.
Dolphin populations are dwindling thanks to threats like ocean plastic and entanglement. These intelligent creatures are also routinely harrassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world for plunder and profit. 4Ocean partners with Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project to help raise awareness of the plight of dolphins and to clean up and protect their ocean home.
For the polar bears, 4Ocean partners with Polar Fund International and Carbonfund.org. The purpose is to create a more sustainable future by combatting habitat degradation for polar bears and to protect our planet from the destruction of global warming.
My personal feeling is that we should adopt pets from the shelters, instead of buying those very expensive ones from breeders. All pets desire and need love but the shelter pets particularly so. Every day, more than 4000 dogs and cats are killed in shelters across the U.S. Some might be unable to be adopted because of injuries, etc. but many simply do not have homes to go to. They need the love and companionship that they are missing because of abandonment, abuse or simply by starting out their lives all alone. They are so ready to give back with all the love that they have inside. My little Nunzio was surrendered to a no kill shelter near us and I adopted him as a senior pet. He was estimated to be eight years old at the time of adoption and that was three years ago so he is definitely a senior citizen. But he is active and alert and still enjoys his walks, car rides and visits with children in the neighborhood.
The shelter that Nunzio (Nunzi) came from hosted a "Petwalk" to raise awareness of homeless pets and to earn money for shelter care for their rescues. Nunzi and I decided to enter the walk. It was most informal - we just showed up with a contribution to do what we could in a very beautiful setting - our lovely San Diego Botanic Garden. Since I am a supporter of both the shelter and the garden it was easy to commit to the cause. We joined the walk at 8 a.m. and were met by a wonderful array of dog citizens, most of them looking like mutts of some sort - big, midsize and little and they all received each other graciously - with a sniff and a wag. Nunzi does that well.
It was a hilly 5K winding through the garden and we walked as far as was comfortable for my little man. Then Nunzi decided to take a rest on a bench to watch the other dogs go by. We made our statement for a good cause and went home satisfied that we had "done our part". By the way his shirt says "There's a New Boss in Town" and he certainly thinks he is!
As we dance our way into 2019, let's celebrate the wonderful world that we live in. This is my New Year's Resolution for myself and all of my fellow friends of the earth. Let's make a promise to be kinder to the environment that we rely on and to remember to think of and speak for the creatures who can't speak for themselves...to protect endangered species (and those that are not deemed endangered - yet) from trophy hunting and from man's unnecessary, destructive ways,
Yes, I am an environmentalist and an animal lover and this is my editorial statement as we head in to the new year. We can do more in the new year to provide a better world for us all. Let's keep the dirty fossil fuels in the ground, promote clean and renewable energy sources, protect our pollinators and all bird life from pesticides and pollution, promote sustainability of native plants and animals, and work to protect the climate: the woodlands, the oceans, the wild lands and the freshwater rivers, lake and streams that all species need to survive.
None of us can do it all but, if each one of us makes a new year's resolution to do just a little the world will be a better place for us all to live in and enjoy.
Thank you from Lae Lae, the earth fairy and me, Laurenn
Lae Lae sends you greetings and wishes for peace in the holiday season....peace in your personal life, your home life, your community, country and the world. She sends a message of peace for all the children, animals, birds and marine life of the world as she and they forge their new world. Nothing could be better or more needed than a message of peace for the one earth that we all share.
Making seed bombs is a fun way for children to create a beautiful wildflower home for our pollinators. Our pollinators, principally the bees, birds and butterflies are suffering from our world's overdevelopment and from the fertilizers and pesticides that are being used in commercial landscaping projects. But children can play a role in bringing the pollinators back by providing a beautiful home for them and a beautiful landscape for us to all enjoy as well. This can be a big garden where there is plenty of space or a small "pocket" garden in an urban setting where there is very little space. It's very easy and fun!
All children love getting their hands messy by playing in the dirt. Making seed bombs is a great way to do that. To make a seed bomb, all you need to provide is a pail of dirt, a bucket of water and a packet of wildflower seeds. Let the child dig in the dirt and come up with a fist full of dirt. Then wet the dirt with just enough water to make the dirt stick together when formed into a small ball. Have the child take a pinch of wildflower seeds and push them into the dirt and then form the dirt into a ball around them. After a seed bomb is formed, put it aside in a protected location in the sun to dry and harden into a ball that the child can throw to scatter the seeds. The child can make as many seed bombs as he or she wants to make. In a few days when the ball is hard, it's ready to throw. Watch and in a short time the seeds will begin to sprout and become the beginning of a wildflower garden. This can be done in the spring or fall in the warmer climates. Be sure and pick flowers that are appropriate for your area and garden spot. There are wildflowers for both sunny and shady locations.
Photo on the left: making a seed bomb. Photo on the right: seedlings sprouting from the seed bomb.
I just returned from my home in Sedona, Arizona, one of my favorite places to visit. Sedona, is not only beautiful and unusual in its landscape, but it is filled with special energies from the vortexes or intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy, also known as ley lines. Earth's ley lines can intersect in different ways, creating different types of energy vortexes. The three most common are magnetic (feminine or yin energy), electrical (masculine or yang energy) and balanced (a mixture of electrical and magnetic, both yin and yang). It suffices to say that their presence infuses the Sedona area with a special feeling which can also be found in other places around the world such as in Peru, India and Australia, and others which share the same energies from the earth. To some this may sound hokey, but there is a lot of scientific proof to these vortexes of magnetic energy across our planet. Usually they are found near volcanoes, monolithic rock formations, and the poles, places where the Earth’s ley lines or magnetic lines are found to criss cross or gather their energy. Sedona certainly qualifies with its giant red monolithic rocks. More information about these vortexes and the special places where they can be found is on the Internet. Enjoy looking them up and perhaps visiting them.
What I particularly love about Sedona is the quiet and peaceful atmosphere and friendly people that I find there. People seem to come to Sedona for a variety of reasons, sightseeing and relaxation to "get away"; hiking and biking and other forms of outdoor recreation, spiritual renewal or spiritual searching and the arts, whether to buy or just to enjoy. No one seems to be going anywhere in any great hurry and all seem to have time to give you a happy smile and a warm hello. I wish that everyone was like the happy folks of Sedona, Arizona. The late Senator John McCain lived in the peaceful countryside outside of Sedona and I can understand why it was so beloved by him.
Lest you think that Sedona is just for adults, that is not the case. There are parks throughout, the beautiful Oak Creek to wade and swim in and two nearby wildlife parks complete with petting zoos to enjoy. The Grand Canyon is just up the road and Williams, Arizona on it's rim is home to the Grand Canyon Railroad and wild west shows for the kids. We took my grandchildren there and they loved the adventure. So there is something for everyone. Sedona is in the heart of the Northern Arizona "play land".
The landscape varies from arid desert, to rolling prairies to highland forests and, at approximately 4500' elevation, the climate is temperate throughout the year. It does have four seasons however, although none extreme. It is a place that is, or should be on everyone's bucket list and I invite you to come visit.
I haven't written in a while because I have been traveling. Two of the trips that I have enjoyed the most this summer and fall have been train trips, one up the coast of California and Oregon and on to Seattle earlier this summer and the latest through the magnificent Canadian Rockies of Alberta and British Columbia this fall.
For the trip to Canada, we flew into Calgary and then we drove to Banff and on up to Jasper where we boarded the two day train through the Rockies to Vancouver. I live by the coast of our beautiful country in the United States but I must admit I am a mountain person in my heart. I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee and am alway drawn to the beauty and majesty of the mountains. And I love train travel...I feel that I get a closer view of what I am passing in a more relaxed state - not fighting the traffic or roadways that are getting more congested every day. As an environmentalist, I wish that we utilized train travel more. Worldwide, road vehicles account for about 71% of transport CO2 emissions, with railway users making up less than 1.8%, compared to 12.3% for aviation and 14.3% for shipping.... And trains are fun!
On our Canadian trip, we were on a scenic, double deck train where we were treated to panoramic views through the glass domed cars. I am not sure how they do it but, on both of my train trips we were treated to the best food and service imaginable. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the trip. It was a marvelous adventure and I highly recommend it.
Scenes of the Canadian Rockies
I am someone who never stops but when I watch Shelly, I do slow down to enjoy him with his little body shuffling as he moves slowly but deliberately through the grass. It is relaxing and I am sure that it is good for my blood pressure which tends to elevate to higher readings. Perhaps watching this gentle little creature of the animal kingdom slowly leading his simple, uncluttered life is a form of meditation for me....and a reminder to slow down myself.
Last night my little Tinker passed over the "Rainbow Bridge" in my arms. I have had a flood or emotions and memories since then and it is hard for me to post this blog as his personality is still very fresh in my mind. Small dogs usually live longer than bigger dogs and, even with Tinker's rough beginning, he probably lived 14 - 15 years. He was with me for 13 of those years ...so he was really a senior citizen in dog years.
When I adopted him at the shelter, he had been found after a car accident and he only had one eye as the other had to be removed. He since lost the eyesight almost completely in his remaining eye due to a cataract. The shelter asked me if I would consider adopting a dog with just one, at that time, good eye. I picked him up and when he crossed his paws around my arm I was hooked. I said yes ... and we have been together since then. We have been through a lot and have seen two other little buddies pass on; but through it all, he has still been my baby. We have moved and we have traveled. We have watched grandchildren grow up all around him. They have pulled him and hugged him and taken him for walks and he has seemed to love it all. I even had Tinker blog on this site about all pets, but particularly dogs, and the importance of taking care of them.
What do I say about Tinker? He was a goofy little dog who made me laugh, sitting in my flower pots and climbing on his doghouse. He was far from perfect but he was sweet, totally non-agressive and very playful (particularly when he was younger). And he was devoted. He was just happy to be included.
In my children's book My New Puppy there is a section about our bond with pets. It is incredibly strong. An animal's devotion and companionship is good for your emotional and physical health and there is documented proof that a pet's love can relieve stress, lower blood pressure and help the body heal. We, in turn; owe them the best to take care of them and give them our love in return.
Tinker leaves behind a companion named Nunzi and, although he will never replace Tinker, he is wonderful too. I will consciously try to spend more time with him now. He knows that Tinker is gone (he is a little quiet and subdued and he doesn't want to go to places where he and Tinker used to stay), even though he doesn't know what happened to his buddy.
There are several prose works about The Rainbow Bridge, where our pets wait for us after death. We will meet at the Rainbow Bridge to pass over into Paradise. As my daughter said when I told her that I was sad about Tinker's passing "He's a happy, young dog again and is your Guardian Angel Dog now." I will keep that thought in mind and love his memory and enjoy the remaining little man that I still have.
Below: Tinker at home, Tinker hiking in Sedona, AZ; Tinker climbing in the flower pot; Tinker walking with my granddaughter