Friday, March 30, 2007

Walk It Out For The World

Through the alternative health network, I recently was made aware of a new campaign from Lime.

Walkout "Live The Change"
is a dynamic project with a BIG goal of 24,900 miles OR one lap around the world. I just checked their website, and they ONLY have 23, 441 more miles to go to meet their goal, and all they need are your feet to accomplish this goal! If you desire to help them, you can also share your Walkout Video and walking photos, and they'll publish them. This website is a great way to motivate yourself to help others AS you are helping yourself by getting out and walking your way to better health. You can meet other walkers online, share tips, read articles, and contribute.

Once the goal is reached, they (and ya'll) will have:

  • Reduced 20,772 lbs of CO2 emissions from car use
  • Burned 2,490,000 calories
  • Walked 498,000 minutes

This is equivalent to planting 488 trees or taking 1 SUV off the road!

It's common knowledge that one doesn't need to run to get the rewards of exercise. Simple walking will do the trick. Check out this data:

Environmental reasons:

· Reducing just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

· The cost of operating a car for one year is approximately $5,170. The cost of operating a bicycle for a year is only $120. Walking is free!

A balanced mind:

· Duke University Medical Center found that a brisk 30-minute walk or jog around a track three times a week was just as effective as antidepressant medication in relieving the symptoms of major depression in middle-aged and elderly people.

· A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last year showed that older women who walked regularly were less likely to develop memory loss and other declines in mental function than women who were less active. Those who walked 18 miles or more per week fared best.

Health reasons:

· A recent Harvard study shows that walking at a moderate pace (3 mph) for up to 3 hours a week—or 30 minutes a day—can cut the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40%.

· The Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who walk in their 30s and 40s can greatly reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Once again, their link is Lime Walkout!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Alternative Cat Food Ideas

With all the news about the pet food recall, I decided to do some internet research about what the alternatives are. But before making any decisions about what to do or buy, I consulted with Anela and suggested she fetch her own food for there are plentiful opportunities around our home for fresh food she could easily catch herself. After all, she IS a cat who is known to be a predatory, hunting species.

This suggestion to become self-sufficient and independent didn't go over too big with Anela, as she is a spoiled, lazy cat who long ago trained us as her loving, attentive housekeeping staff. So it was back to the computer to search for alternative food, and I discovered a lot which I will share with you today. Here are three links for alternatives:



Read the FAQ on Vegan Cats as this is very informative.

Article on Alternatives to Cat Food

Anela's not a bit worried about the changes. She continues to sleep soundly as us, her loyal staff, worry and shop. And such is life chez Anela.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Life Lessons Learned Through Scrapbooking

Every now and then I discover a new blog which blows me away with it's design, content, quality, and beauty. Such a blog is Lessons from the Scrapbook Page

Created by author Tasra Dawson, this blog is an extension of her gorgeous website and book "Real Women Scrap." I just finished watching her blog video entry of March 21st titled , " A Simple Strategy to Help You Organize Your Life" where Tasra gives clear steps to help you organize your life so that it reflects your true commitments and priorities.

I took notes as I watched her excellent video on the subject of organizing your life. Here's what I jotted down from Tasra's suggestions, and I highly recommend you watch the short video, as what I write below are simply the cliff notes. If any of my blog readers are anything like me with their plates overflowing with 'things to do' lists, you will surely benefit. Besides the suggestions she offers on her video is my commentary of what I do....and don't do...and need to do!

1. Keep records of your activities. (Check...I do this!)
2. Make a list of priorities. (I've done this one.)
3. Perhaps make some hard choices and changes. (This is what I need to do.)
4. Crop, "cut the fat", spend 30 minutes alone deciding what can go. (For sure!)
5. Get input from others. (I haven't done this.)
6. Analyze and strategize a new daily schedule. I love this Tasra quote,
"Show up for yourself every day." ( This is an important reminder for me because I so often forget about me!)
7. Live a life which reflects your truth, commitments, and priorities. (Yes!)

Even though I've never gotten into scrapbooking with friends as a weekly social event or taken any scrapbook classes, I have made scrapbooks and visited scrapbook stores. I sometimes incorporate scrapbook items from the stores to add to my mixed media art such as the photo above of my recent art titled "Oakridge Cousin Moves to Maui". I know scrapbooking as a hobby is growing with events like scrapbook cruises and scrapbook contests, etc. If I were to get into serious scrapbooking, some other activity in my life would have to be deleted as there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day as it is.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How Anela Got Her Groove Back

Anela has become a VERY HAPPY cat this week, and here's why: I moved her most favorite rug in the whole wide world to her most favorite spot! This morning she didn't even want to move from this rug for breakfast, and that's saying something! I shall share with you why I moved her favorite rug back to her favorite place. It happened like this:

Last week I had another one of my wake-up calls, and I suddenly realized I hadn't re-arranged the placement of items, furniture, etc. for this year's prospering and auspicious 2007 Feng-Shui! Horrified that I had let this important yearly shifting pass me by (my alibi is I've been very busy, and I'm sticking to this story!), I immediately began the shifting and placing of rugs, colors, pillows, items, furniture, paintings, etc. So I moved all of the 'red' colors out of the center of our home and moved the metal in. If you would like a more thorough exposition of the kind of feng shui I practice, here is an excellent site which explains everything and also has great easy-to-understand articles: Red Lotus Letter

Thus, it came about that I moved our fine wool double dragon reddish toned carpet back from one area into Anela's favorite spot in the South near the double door and conveniently close to her cat door as well. This carpet was purchased in Kathmandu, Nepal at a Tibetan refugee carpet making facility which we visited in 1998. These lovely Tibetan women sang as they worked with nimble fingers and wove wool and silk materials into gorgeous, thick carpets. The ambience was vibrant and alive. In other words, very good juju was woven into these carpets. You could also purchase carpets there at a fraction of the price you would pay back in the United States. And so we ended up purchasing this beautiful double dragon carpet. The moment we brought it home, Anela adopted it as OUR APOLOGY GIFT for abandoning her for a long period of time while we traveled. This carpet has been shifted around all over our home through the years depending upon the yearly feng-shui. in 2006 Anela didn't like the placement, and so she was unhappy. My guess is that 2007 is going to be a very good year for all of us in our family because I've heard it said that if your cat is happy & content, then the family will also be happy and prosper.

Here's another fun cat link for you cat lovers: New research from the University of Prague reveals that parasites from cats make women friendly and men jerks. I swear I don't make this stuff up. Read about it here.

Regarding yesterday's post about the recall, more brands have been added. Check out the new updated list here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Calling All Angels--Spread News About Pet Food Recall

I spoke with a friend yesterday on the phone who is the owner of four dogs who are the love of her life. She lives alone and is rather reclusive. Somehow the news of the recall of the dog food (and cat food) that has been making so much news lately had passed her by, and I was the first one to inform her about this shocking news and tell her to go check what brand of dog food she had in her cupboard.

After getting off the phone with her, I thought I'll post about this dog and cat food recall and ask whoever is reading this information to pass it on--perhaps you too have a friend who doesn't watch television, listen to the radio, or read the internet news. Maybe you will help them save their beloved pets before they feed them toxic food.

For those of us who are information junkies, we often take it for granted that everyone else is like us. However, there are many people (and I know lots of them!) who don't want to view the negative images on the television, so they don't even have a television in their home. They don't like to sit in front of computers for very long because they're sensitive to the energies and feel unwell after a short period of time, and they don't listen to the radio. Word-of-mouth is their main source of information.

So if you have a friend or family member like this with pets, please pass this information on! If they don't have a computer or don't answer their phone, print out the articles with phone numbers, etc. and walk/drive this information to them. Be an angel for someone, and pass it on!

Here are the links to several articles:

60 Million Containers of Pet Food Recalled

Kansas Plant Linked to Massive Pet Food Recall

Click Here at Pet Connection To Report A Sick Pet

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cats on Tuesday

Lately Anela has found a new favorite resting place near one of our bookshelves. And on this very bookshelf is one of my favorite cat books, a gift from my friend Basha. The title of this book is "Cats With Attitude" by Nicole Hollander. This book is a collection of two volumes from Hollander's other humor cat books: "Everything Here Is Mine", and "My Cat's Not Fat, He's Just Big-Boned". If you want a good belly laugh, I suggest this book! Even though I've read it from cover to cover many a time, I still pick it up when I need to put a smile back on my face.

Anela's life has been uneventful of late, so there's not much new to report about her lazy lifestyle--zero cat fights, zero drama, zero challenges, and zero disruption to her feeding schedule. My partner often expresses his wish to have the life of our cat. The worst that ever happens to her is when the stores run out of her favorite cat treats, and she has to cope with her less favorite treats!

Here's some interesting links about cats I chanced upon you might find interesting:

How would you like to have a revolutionary waterproof GPS cellphone for your cat? Your cat will never get lost again. Click here for the story.

Ever hear of the trendy new cat called a Toyger? Click here for the story.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amazing Grace--A Must See Movie!

Art courtesy of Josephine Wall

Yesterday our family went to see a new film, "Amazing Grace" at the Maui Mall cinema complex. None of us knew anything about this film. Amazing Grace has long been one of my favorite hymns as well a favorite of my partner's deceased Mother. I guess you could say it was a divine blessing that we were rewarded with such a great film because we chose this film based on our tight time schedule and the name.

My partner has this 'thing'--he doesn't like to read a review or know anything about a movie going into one. I, on the other hand, like to know what I'm getting into. He's more the risk taker, and I'm more the researcher. However, because of the aforementioned 'timing' thing, I hadn't checked out any reviews on the movie, so I went in blind as a bat like him. My daughter had only a certain amount of time to view a movie with us before heading off to another event, so we decided to go for it.

And what a tremendous movie it was! We all loved it! Here's the story how the hymn Amazing Grace was created. This powerful hymn was written by John Newton (played by the great actor Albert Finney) after a religious conversion. Newton had been a former slave ship captain, and he had witnessed first hand the barbaric atrocity of the slave trade which was happening in the 1800's and in which England and France participated. William Wilberforce (Ioann Gruffudd) heard John speak, and he was so moved by this sermon that for the next twenty years of his life, he lobbied the English Parliament to end England's participation in the slave trade.

Although Wilberforce was born into the life of privilege and was the son of a wealthy merchant family, he had a conscience and a strong humanitarian streak. (I reflect upon John Robbins, the Baskin-Robbins heir, of our time who has also become an activist and advocate for change.) Wilberforce wished to spend his life in the ministry, but forces, friends, destiny, and the need for a being with charisma and stamina pushed him to become the one to lead and embody the impassioned idealist advocate.

Directed by Michael Apted, this period film speaks about powerful principled political action and demonstrates how a small group can change the course of history. This film renewed my hope. Heaven knows, we all need hope and faith now at this critical juncture, and we need films like this to remind us of our conscience. We need to ignite our remembrance that we stand on the shoulders of brave men and women who tirelessly worked and risked so that others (including animals!) wouldn't be mistreated or harmed. I am invigorated with the ending of the film and reminded that even though the "the wheels of justice grind slow, they grind exceeding fine."

I highly recommend this film!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cats on Tuesday

I have a famous friend in Canada who has dedicated her life to rescuing animals, giving them food, shelter, and eventually homes if she can find them a good one. If she can't place them, she continues feeding them, and some of them are lucky enough to move in with her to her overflowing home menagerie. With the funds donated to her nonprofit foundation, she performs miracles. Her animal stories and adventures enthrall me when she shares them with me as I'm also an ardent, passionate animal lover. Since she has such a kind heart, animals (even wild, crazed) instinctively know this, and they communicate with her in ways she intuitively understands.

When we traveled together many years ago, she would rise before dawn to fetch water for the goats tethered at the main square in Kathmandu, Nepal. And if she saw an animal chained to a fence, we would stop by the roadside, and she would make sure the animal had water. Sometimes she would knock on the door of peasant homes, and communicate through mime about the need of an animal. I observed the respect people had for her, and little children would run away from the skirts of their mommies in Tibet to pay her the tribute of the namaste hand gesture. Little children and animals recognize a great being in their midst.

She and I agree we prefer the company of animals to humans (certainly, not all!) because of their honesty and non-judgmental & unconditional loving nature.

We all have the capacity to understand and communicate with animals, but for some people, it takes practice to learn what an animal is communicating. The really good animal communicators are people I hold in the highest regard--which leads me today to a quote by a famous animal communicator about cats. I share this quote with you because I FEEL this to be truth. I resonate with this precious wisdom from Amelia Kinkade's website--and it's why I allow my cat Anela her freedom to run outside and live it up!

"22) Should cats be allowed to go outside?

If you live in a neighborhood where traffic or coyotes are a danger, you will have to make an educated decision based on the perils of your environment. However, I am a big advocate that cats simply must have grass under their feet, wind in their face, trees to climb, sunshine on their fur, butterflies to investigate, stars to navigate their evening adventures, and moonlight reflected in their eyes. There is not only an energetic interchange between felines and other living things and felines and the chi (life-force) of plants, but there is a magnetic healing effect emanating from the earth itself that maintains a cat’s health. This is no less true of humans. We need to have the earth under our feet to maintain our equilibrium. Living in these toxic wood and concrete oversized shoe-boxes (houses) is doing nothing for our well-being. Of course, I’d prefer to see cats locked in spacious homes if their only alternative is cages at the shelter or worse yet, death row at the pound, but a more perfect world is a world where cats can roam free and act like cats, not doorstops. If you can’t accommodate a yard for your cat, even a balcony with flowers and an herb garden would be much appreciated."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hearts Can Fly

My partner and I had dinner last evening with friends, and afterwards they showed a movie which is probably THE MOST HEARTWARMING MOVIE I'VE SEEN IN A LONG, LONG TIME! The true story is incredibly touching. For everyone who favors stories of redemption, transformation, animals, interspecies communication, and love, you couldn't find a better movie with all of these elements.

The name of this movie is "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill". It's a film about Mark Bittner's experiences with a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco, California. There's a surprise HAPPY ending which I won't ruin for you, but if you're needing a pick-me-up (as I was yesterday!), this is the movie!

Here are links to more about this story and award winning movie:

Mark Bittner

Wild Parrots Film

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I Threw A Party and No One Came

There's nothing quite like throwing a party and having no one show up from the Ultimate Blog Party family!! It is disheartening and perplexing, especially since I've offered a prize to one of the winners and left comments on other participating blogs! Maybe I don't fit exactly into the mode of a "Good Mommy Blog"? Ouch!

Oh well...moving on-- putting aside my food, drink, and offerings-- and enjoying the day with my loving, supportive family.

But NOT before I write on the subject of Rejection! You might even say that Rejection is a mini-death! And since life and death are two of the subjects I've written about on this blog (hence the title of this blog) and intend to explore in even more posts, what could be a more perfect occasion to write about life, death, and rejection?! Rejection is similar to death in that people don't like to admit they've been rejected--it's one of the 'taboo' subjects like death.

Why do people reject others? Is it because others have a different religion, skin color, beauty, talent, or social position? Is envy, jealousy, novelty, fear, and prejudice often the motivation for rejection? You bet! In any event, it is a great consolation to know GREAT & successful performers, artists, writers, scientists, and achievers were once rejected by their peers and critics, but they didn't let the rejections slow them down for long. In spite of rejections, the Great Ones persisted in spite of rejections! And many didn't achieve their success and fame until after they (and their critics) were long gone!

Here are some quotes about rejection which rally my spirit when I feel the sting of rejection:

"Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down. "
Lance Armstrong

"I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat. "
Sylvester Stallone (This is a good one to remember while playing the song, "Eye of the Tiger"!)

"I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours - so enjoy the view."
Michael York

"I submit all my plays to the National Theatre for rejection. To assure myself I am seeing clearly."
Howard Barker

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Friday, March 02, 2007

It's Party Time for 5 Minutes For Moms

Photo: Charles Pfeil

Some of you may have noticed the Ultimate Blog Party invitation on my sidebar for 5 Minutes For Mom, is the day the party begins! The party will last for One Week! There are prizes galore...bloggers to meet and greet....and fun to be had! So join in and party with us!

Click here to see all the cool prizes! I'm contributing a prize too!

One of the reasons for this party (besides giving away great gifts) is to get to know other bloggers. Thus, during this week, I'll be visiting others, and hopefully they'll be visiting me. Every day I plan to put up a fun link for my visitors. If you're in a funky mood, depressed, or grumpy mood, click on the link below and feel your SMILE return! Basha (yes, I mean YOU!)--I imagine you're going to LOVE this generator. Watch yourself--don't become addicted, ok????

Here is today's Way TOO CUTE LINK:

Random Kitten Generator

A little bit about me:

I'm a Mom who lives on Maui, Hawaii.

I wear many hats: Reverend, non-profit founder, blogger of 10 main blogs and a few small ones, published author, and publisher among other things!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

We're Never Too Old To Play

Artwork Courtesy of Josephine Wall

Play Library blog states it's a blog about "two mommies chatting about kid's toys, games, books, and just fun stuff to do." Even though I'm what would be considered an 'older' mommy, I still enjoy checking out 'Mommy' blogs for they have many interesting articles and products I'm interested in. Once a Mommy, always a Mommy! It's the most rewarding occupation ever created.

For instance, the most recent posting at Play Library is an article written by Hsien-Hsien Lei titled "Playing With Ice Cream." This nifty looking blue ball is a way for children and adults to make home made ice cream! How much fun! You don't need to be a child to enjoy this ingenious product. However, it would help to have a friend to play catch with to create the ice cream! So if your inner child needs a pick-me-up, check out this posting and take into consideration our inner child never grows up.

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