Friday, January 2, 2015

A Beautiful Idea - Sponsor a Child

 My husband Rick and I have been sponsoring Paola, through Children International (CI) for 5 months now, and it has been such a positive experience for us that we decided to sponsor a second child, Luis.

I chose this organization because it had one of the lower sponsorship fees ($28/month) and we felt we could afford this amount. I also liked the fact that CI is a secular, not a religious organization – I believe that a person's spiritual beliefs are very personal, and would not want our sponsored children to have an organization's religion forced upon them in order to receive benefits.

I appreciate the fact that CI encourages letters between the child and the sponsor, and makes it very easy for the Sponsor to write a letter "online" and attach photos if desired. CI then prints out my letter and photos and delivers them to our child! It is such a thrill to receive a letter from Paola or Luis, and feel our "heart connection" across the miles. CI also encourages visits between the child and Sponsor, and we hope to visit our sponsored kids in Mexico in the next year or two.

It's important to me that an organization provide not just a "handout" but a "hand up" to a child in poverty. CI has Community Centers in each of the areas it serves, which allow it to provide many services to the kids, including nutritional, medical, dental and educational programs. As the children grow up, CI offers an array of programs for youth/teens to help them break the cycle of poverty, and to become leaders in their community:

A program CI offers that benefits me personally is a social networking site for sponsors called “My Social Center”, which allows us (the Sponsors) to communicate with each other, sharing letters and photos from our sponsored kids, asking questions of each other, encouraging each other, and meeting new friends, who share our values, care and concern for children and their families over the world.

Choosing to sponsor a child through Children International is one of the best decisions I have ever made - I am happy and proud to be part of their wonderful work!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Can Cattle Save the World?

This visually stunning, short video (12 minutes) shows how grazing animals in a unique way can improve their health, restore a grassland, help plants pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in soil, improve the watershed and help the environment (a win-win situation for everyone!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Freaks of the Garden Plant Sale Video

This is the most fun video I've seen in a long time – it's about a plant sale in Idaho at Peaceful Belly Farm – watch it and see if you don't agree!

(For some reason, it loads on my computer at the end of the video, so you just need to "back it up" to the beginning – enjoy!)

This shows the making of this video -

It's such a great example of how a little creativity creates a lot of fun and some great publicity (the video went "viral" on the Internet)!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saving the Bees

I'm so happy that I have become acquainted with the concept of Permaculture within the past year!  

Now when I look at virtually any "problem" in the world including pollution, global warming, famine, injustice, etc. and consider how the practice of working with Mother Nature can help solve this issue, it gives me greater peace of mind.

Take, for instance, Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees – I have learned that there are multiple stress stresses on honeybees these days, due to the way commercial honeybee keepers manage their hives. Pesticides are merely "the last straw" for these little creatures in their efforts to survive and thrive.

This series of podcasts and videos by Paul Wheaton and Jacqueline Freeman clearly shows that healthy bees can, and are being nurtured by organic and permaculture methods:

Jacqueline Freeman is the author of an upcoming book "Bees, the OTHER Way".  She points out the different strategies that conventional bee keepers can use to help save their hives from colony collapse disorder.

Here is a short, interesting video about this:

and 4 in-depth audio podcasts:  (Click on this hyperlink, then scroll down to the appropriate podcast)

# 284  Reverence for Bees #1
# 285  Reverence for Bees #2
# 286  Reverence for Bees #3
# 287  Reverence for Bees #4

And a really sweet video on how to create a beautiful "watering station" for honeybees and other beneficial insects: 

Once we get little bit more organized here at our new home, I plan to set up a bee watering station right here! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

We Moved – to Pismo Beach, California!

Wow! The past few months have flown by, since December when Rick's dad "passed on" and left Rick his rental home in Pismo Beach.  January, February and March were spent getting ready for the move, and on April 1 we set off from Waldport, with our van, truck, and U-Haul trailer packed to the brim and our three dogs happily anticipating a "family outing/road trip".

Three days on the road, with one night spent in San Jose at Rick's dad's home and visiting with Rick's brother Mike, and we rolled into the warm, picturesque beach town of Pismo beach and to our new home!

Rick enjoying the panoramic view from the living room, including the Pismo pier, the beach, and the surf conditions!

A partial View from Our Living Room

Rick and the dogs enjoying "the good life" on our new sofas

Tiffany and I in front of an awesome jade plant in our backyard

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Favorite Story about "Life"

This is such a great teaching story, which I try to keep in mind before judging something "good" or "bad" in my life:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Permaculture!

I'm still very excited with the concept of permaculture - as Geoff Lawton, one of the leaders of the permaculture movement, says "you can solve all the problems of the world with a garden".

I discovered his videos which are fascinating and very inspiring.  

Here is a video tour of the permaculture farm that he manages – it's paradise!

He also offers a series of free videos that introduce the concepts of permaculture that he teaches in his courses:

You can find them at

You might need to enter your first name and email address to access the series of free videos, but I find it well worth it – he definitely doesn't spam you or anything.... Just sends you a glorious new free video every week!