Tuesday, May 26, 2009

U Made My Day

We all know how addictive it is to do good deeds and random acts of kindness for strangers. A coffee customer and the owner of a coffee shop where frequent RAKs occur have teamed up to trying to get 1,000 acts of kindness done in 30 days.

They're hoping it will catch on and spread like wildfire. And, as you know, spreading change is what we're all about here!

Check out the news story and also the web site that evolved from this idea. Now go out and do something nice for someone!

Monday, May 18, 2009

It Must Be Save the Animals Day!

I recently watched this story from ABC News and loved it. A banker stood all day beneath a balcony trying to talk down some baby ducklings who were stuck. What a guy.

Coincidentally, I got this email from a friend of mine today:
We were over at the new acreage and discovered this tiny little guy lying in the grass right next to the concrete hanger pad. Normally, you're not supposed to bother a baby deer because his mama taught him to hold real still and will be back for him as long as you don't get your scent all over the baby. But this poor baby was obviously an orphan. You could tell he had been lying in the same spot for a long time and he was covered with ticks. Deer mommies do a great job of keeping ticks off their babies. And he was so weak he could barely lift his little head.

So after many phone calls to Fish & Game and other agencies, we finally found a wildlife rehabilitator in a town about 1-1/2 hours away. We bought a baby bottle and formula at the store and managed to get several swallows of formula down his little throat. Within minutes of hydration he started feeling a little better and had enough energy to kick his little feet and cry. He was quite a handful at this point and we determined that 1-1/2 hours in the car with him was not going to be fun. So we decided to fly him over!

The flight was less than 15 minutes and he settled down contentedly in a big blanket for the ride. The wildlife rehabilitator met us at the airport and will nurse him back to health and then take him to a wildlife refuge. She described some of the many rescues she's helped with over the years but said this was definately the first rescue baby to get an airplane ride.

Have you done anything for an animal today? (I'm catsitting!)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Great Sunflower Project

My dad was a beekeeper, so I have a fondness for bees. I've always thought it was a shame that they are highly misunderstood and feared for being such gentle, industrious creatures.

Bees are highly important to our ecosystem and they are frequently threatened by sicknesses and pests in their hives and also more aggressive varieties of bees. It's urgent and important that we all become educated about the value bees add to our world and how much trouble we'd be in without them.

I ran across this wonderful project called The Great Sunflower Project. The goal of the project is to gather data on bees that might be helpful to scientists and environmentalists. They will send out free seeds to anyone who wants to participate in the project. All you need to do is sign up, plant a particular type of sunflower and, once per week, track how long it takes five bees to find your flower. Simple and fun!

Do you think you can help? Head on over and check it out if you think you can spare a little time. Who knows what your bee-tracking will do for the world. Count a bee, save a species!

(Incidentally, this is a GREAT project to do with kids!)

[photo credit: thai jasmine]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lemon Lady

Hanna Rion said, "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."

I think The Lemon Lady would disagree. Probably she would say the greatest gift of the garden is that it enables you to give generously to others.

Anna's basic philosophy is simple. First, it's the strong belief that no one should go hungry (and we can all agree to that) and second, why not plant an extra row in your garden for hungry people and then take all that produce to a local food bank?

I'm not sure how it is in larger areas, but in my rural area the food banks don't keep fresh foods -- just boxed, bottled, jarred and canned. Summer is a great time when the bounty of our gardens are overflowing -- this is a time when it's easy to be generous.

Are you keeping a garden this year? Why not start by planting a row for the hungry. Then go check out Anna's blog and see how far you can take it. Can you top her 4,500 pounds of harvested produce for the hungry? Can you try? Because just trying means you're doing more than if you did nothing.

What about starting a community garden in your town or neighborhood? What are the benefits there? Share the labor, share the love, share the bounty.

At our place we're doing "double duty". I wanted my kids to understand about how vegetables grow, where they come from, and how to take care of them. Combined with this we also learn how to save money by growing our own food, and how to share our "wealth" with others by giving extra produce to my mom and her friends who are on fixed incomes.

We're not saving the world, but we ARE making a difference. Do you have any grand plans for this fertile spring and summer?