Celebrate Earth Day

Today is April 22.  A day chosen to celebrate the earth worldwide – Earth Day.  Earth Day was founded in 1970, as a way to promote love and respect for the planet and help to bring awareness to environmental issues that we humans are creating. 

Wow, I didn’t realize that Earth Day was founded in 1970, until I did some research recently.  I think today is a good day to reflect on our environmental progress as a nation and as individuals. 

I know I do many things different in my life today, than I did in the 70’s, 80’s, and even the 90’s.  I’m certainly living more green.  I try to reduce the amount of waste I generate, reuse what I can, recycle, I don’t use chemicals on our property, I have quit using most of the harshes chemicals in my house for cleaning, I use my own bags at the grocery store – most of the time these days, and we have our own chickens for eggs and meat. 

I’m glad my habits have changed in ways that are better for the planet and the next generations that follow me – us.  But I’m still not doing enough, but I’m doing the best I can for now. 

I don’t want to get on a soap box.  I just want to bring some awareness to Earth Day, and invite you to think about Earth Day and invite you to participate in Earth Day.  There are lots of enjoyable things you can do for Earth Day.  Even it is as simple as taking a walk with family and/or friends today and appreciating the beauty and splendor of life.  This would we a great beginning and enjoyable way to spend the day. 

In fact, there is a whole movement (Picnic for the Planet) out there that is promoting Picnics on Earth Day.  People are having small to very large picnics everywhere.  What a great idea.  To learn more about this movement, check out Picnic for the Planet

Another interesting group out there is The Earth Day Network.  They are promoting A Billion Acts of Green.  Awesome!  There is lots of information on their web site.  I just found this link this morning, and it looks really interesting.  They have a link to a group called the “Women and the Green Economy” (WAGE™), which looks interesting, but I don’t know much about it. 

The Earth Day Network has lots of links to various projects and groups.  If you are interested in learning more about the Earth Day and living more Green, I think you may find something on this web that will interest you. 

There is even an Earth Day flag.  The first Earth Day flag was made from recycled items.  Here is a picture of the Earth Day flag:

Flag

I like that this flag promotes the awareness and well being of the Earth, since the Earth is our home and vital to all life here.  It is a universal symbol for all of us. 

The Earth Day Flay represents something that we all have in common and we all have an invested interested in – Our Planet, and it doesn’t matter who we, where we come from, what religion we follow, how rich or how poor we are, we can all come together on this issue of ensuring the health of this planet for ourselves and all the generations to come.  We can think of the Earth Day Flag as The Flag of the People. 

If you chose to do something today or this weekend in recognition of Earth Day, consider posting what you chose to do.  It is amazing the creative ways that people  come up with to celebrate Earth Day. 

Enjoy!

Related Links

Random Act Kindness Update

A good friend of mine, Mik Wright participate in a Random Act Kindness (RAK).  I just wanted to post a quick update regarding the RAK.

Mik makes awesome handmade shoes (thoseshoes.com) and he made a free pair for a woman who is doing work in Haiti’s.  Here is her comment to Mik:

Mik ~

I got my shoes! They arrived yesterday, the last
possible day before my trip to Haiti for another three
months. Thank you so much. I will and do pass on your
random act of kindness. You have helped in more
ways than you know. You see, every day that I am in Haiti
doing the work that I do, I will step lightly and in peace
with your spirit in my soul(s). Thanks for your support.

With happy feet and smiles galore,

~ Kelly

www.greatergoodhaiti.org

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally
transform one million realities.

-Maya Angelou

Wow!  I love the RAKs that folks come up with.  Keep passing them on and we’ll continue to make this great life better and better, with each RAK we do.

Enjoy!

A Birthday Adventure

I returned home yesterday from a week in the Caribbean.  It was a birthday gift from my youngest sister, Beth.  Beth had won a free cruise for two and she decided to take me on the cruise with her for my birthday.  What an amazing and generous gift.  For details regarding the contest, check out my blog post “7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise”.

When I returned home from the cruise on Sunday, there was a foot of snow on the ground.  This morning when I woke  up, it was raining down snow and we are expected to get another foot of snow.  Wow!

The cruise ship we were on was called the “Freedom of the Seas” and the cruise line was RoyalCaribbean.  Our ports of call were:
  • Port Canaveral, Florida
  • CocoCay, Bahamas
  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
  • Philipsburg, St. Maarten
  • Port Canaveral, Florida

The Freedom of the Seas (FS) was like a small floating city.  It had restaurants, a spa, a sports center, swimming pools, hot tubs, putt putt golf, a game room, arcade (video games), theaters, a skating rink, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop, shopping stores, beautiful lounges, a library, an online room for internet access, a casino, a bingo room, a coffee house, night clubs and pretty lounges, art gallery, etc..

The FS had 14 decks and there was artwork  every where you looked.  The theme of the artwork was “The Elements” – Fire, Air/Wind, Water, Earth. The artwork pieces that were chosen to  express this theme were beautiful and unique.  I really love this theme.

There were also quotes that were posted around the ship that expressed the Elements theme.  I should have written a few of these down, but I didn’t.  I was so caught up in the moment and enjoying myself, that the thought didn’t occur to me, until now.

Spa Date

Beth treated me to a massage at the spa.  It was my first professional massage.  It was heavenly.

They massaged our backs, feet, hands, scalp, and face.  It felt so good and I felt so good for several days afterwards.  It was the next best thing to good _ _ _ (you can fill in the blanks).

Beth and I left the Spa with huge smiles on our faces.

Saint Thomas Island Tour

Beth arranged an Island tour for us.  The tour was on Saint Thomas Island.  It was an interesting ride.  They drove on the left side of the road, and the roads were pretty narrow and full of traffic, but I soon started to relax.

We were driven up to the top of the mountain where we could take some pictures and where we could check out the tourist shops that were conveniently located at these stops.  But that was ok.  We saw some interesting stuff and some of the people were entertaining.  Like the man who had a donkey named Monica Lewinsky.  You could get your picture made with the donkey for a small donation.

The Islands were full of lots of tours stores.  Everything from cheap trinkets and clothing to fine liquore and jewelry.   Some of the Island stores preferred only cash and the ones we visited, accepted US currency.

Most stores were Duty Free, but remember that there is a limit on of the amount of Duty Free items you can bring back into the states, then you are hit with the duty for items over your limit.

Exploration through Snorkeling on Saint Martin Island

Beth also setup a Snorkeling trip/adventure.  I have never been snorkeling.  I was really excited about the snorkeling.

The water was pretty rough the day we went out, but I still really enjoyed myself.

I was a little nervous about only breathing through my mouth, but I was surprised by easy this was for me and relieved.

I got to see some fish, strange looking corral that looked like a human brain, black spiny sea urchins and white sea urchin, starfish, and ship wreck.

I actually got to hold a white sea urchin on the palm of my hand.  It moved around and I said to our tour guide, that it moved and he said “that is what alive things do” and smiled at me.

I also got to hold a star fish.  The star fish wrapped its self around my hand and wrist.  It felt strange, but good.  I really liked the star fish.

Cruise Ship Events

The food was endless on the cruise ship and very good.  We had so much to choose from, and of course I ate far more than I should, but I enjoyed every bit of it.

There was also lots of beer, wine, and liquor.  It wasn’t free or cheap, but we couldn’t resist having some on our cruise.

There was good entertainment on the ship.  We saw an ice Skating show, a Comedy show, live music – Motown style, play Bingo, Play a funny quiz game, saw a Magic show, and watched Aerial Acrobat that was performed by a couple and their show was so beautiful and graceful.  I loved it.

Beth won at Bingo (100.00 or so) and she won at the Casino.  We played the quarters game and Beth won about 30.00 dollars.  She was lucky on the ship.

Canon Camera Lost

My sister, Beth lost her point and shoot Canon Camera.  It had all her pictures from our  week long cruise we took.  She thinks she lost it in the Orlando, FL airport – Delta Terminal, but she isn’t sure.

Now, she isn’t happy about loosing her camera, but what she is most sad about, is that all her pictures are gone.

If you find a Canon Camera, if you could at least return the memory card from it with Beth’s pictures, that would be great.  How will you know it is her camera?  Check out my youtube slideshow below and if you see similar pictures, then you found Beth’s camera.  Just email me and we’ll take things from there.  I know it is a huge long shot, but no harm in trying.

Update on the camera:  Someone actually found Beth’s camera and turned it in.  The photos were still in the camera.  Awesome!

In Summary

I had an amazing and fun trip with my sister.  It was a trip of a life for me.  All the places we visited and all the things we did were great, but the best part of the trip was that I got to spend it with my sister and share many laughs with her.  She was a great traveling companion.  Not everybody travels well, but Sissy Beth does.

It was the best birthday ever!

I’m so grateful for this wonderful and generous gift.  Thanks Beth.

I also want to thank my family for their generous gifts and support. It wouldn’t of been the same with out it.

Thanks Danny for your understanding, love, and support.

Love you family.

To see a slideshow of pictures from our cruise, check out the below youtube video:

 

Enjoy!

Leaving on a 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise

I’m getting so excited.  I leave for Caribbean Cruise tomorrow with my little sister, Beth.  Beth entered a cooking contest for a chef position on a cruise ship.  She did great.  They choose her as one of the 6 finalist. She didn’t win the contest, but she won a 7 night cruise for two and she invited me to go on the cruise with her.  Wow!  How awesome.  Here is an online article about Beth and the cruise: http://wheatoncollege.edu/quarterly/2010/12/03/newsmaker-beth-littlejohn-03/.

This is the first time I have taken a cruise or even ventured outside our country.  I’m so excited.

My birthday is tomorrow and my sister wanted me to have a special birthday adventure.  What a generous gift.  This is already the best birthday ever.  Thanks sis.

Stay tuned for future blog post and pictures.  I’ll be gone for a week in the Caribbean, so be patience and give me a couple of weeks to get things posted.

Enjoy the day!

KayAndBeth

Left to Right – Beth, Kay

Related Links:

The Invisibles

They are the nameless

They have no culture

They belong to no group

They are treated with in-difference

They are the Invisibles

 

They have a deep desire to belong to a group

They want a name, a culture

They want to feel accepted

They want to be claimed by a group

They want to belong

 

What have we created with the nameless in this modern world

How unkind are we or are we

What has lead us to this time where so many nameless exist

What were our ancestors thinking or were they

Is this a better fate for the  nameless, to live invisible in a very visible society

Is this a blessing in disguise

 

How do we create a time and place of belonging, of acceptance for everyone, especially for the nameless

Can we only create this time and place of acceptance in our dreams

    Yes..  Our dreams…..  they will give birth to all new things

        A new group, a new culture

        where the nameless will be members 

This new group will be known as the true Human Beings

The Invisibles

    What a gift they give to the world…….. 

Author – Kay LittleJohn – July 2010

 

GrandfatherMoon3Med

A Winter Day

It has been a while since I have made a blog post.  I started working outside the house back in July at the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville.  I’m doing computer work for UT (SharePoint web sites).  I’m enjoying the work I’m doing there, and I like the work environment.  It is a long commute back and forth, but the commute has actually given me time to listen to some audio books.  I’m really enjoying listening to audio books.

UT has recently cut my hours in half, so I’m just working part time now.  As much as I could use full time work, I’m trying to make the best of my free time and remain grateful for what work I have.

SnowPondMed

We have had an early winter this year that has been filled with lots of snow and cold weather.  I’m more of a warm weather person, so I find winters to be hard, especially cold ones.

This morning I was standing by our woodstove trying to warm up and I noticed our Dogwood tree and Polk Berry bushes full of song birds.  The song birds have almost picked the Dogwood tree bear of it’s bright red berries and the Polk Berry bushes aren’t far behind, and will soon be bear.

SnowtreeI had been feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t gotten around to clearing the Polk Berry bushes away and placing them in my composting pile or clearing the dead plants from my raised bed.  I have been so busy working, that what free time I had, I was busy doing all the other mundane things that are required of us, so that we can get by in this life.

Standing by the woodstove this morning warming up, I watched the song birds in the Dogwood tree and Polk Berry bushes and I can’t remember seeing so many song birds in my yard during the winter.  It was wonderful seeing all the different song birds.  I even saw a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker woodpecker (we had to dig out our bird book, because we had never seen on before).  What a beautiful bird.

As I was watching the birds, it occurred to me what a gift it was for the song birds and woodpecker, that I hadn’t clear away the Polk Berries bushes.  This is how the birds make their living in the winter.  We all need to make a living and to eat, as my Dad would say.

Next year I’ll will try and remember to leave my Polk Berry bushes standing with their berries on them, so the songs have a way to make a living and they have plenty to eat.

We can learn a lot from nature, if we slow down enough to observe what is going on around us.  I’m grateful I did this morning.  It was a good reminder to remember how important it is to live in balance with all of life.

Enjoy!

DogwoodMed

A Thanksgiving Holiday with a Few Bad Apples

We had a nice and simple Thanksgiving this year.  We had spent some time with good friends.  Our son was sick, so we brought him some medicine and a plate of food to help nurse him back to good health.  Our daughter was else celebrating Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving day was coming to a close, we were feeling good, relaxed, and grateful for our lives.

The next day, Danny and I were sitting on our couch talking about going to town to purchase a phone for our house, since our cordless phones had died a few days ago.  As we were discussing what we should look at getting, we suddenly heard this loud sound we didn’t know what it was and our dog started barking like crazy.

We went out on our front porch, and we saw two young men running down the road that runs in front of our house.  We knew these young men.  They live on our road and in our little community here on Paint Creek.

We looked over to the right side of our porch and we were struggling with what our eyes were showing us.  The truck that these young men had been driving had crashed into our camper and total the camper and they totaled their truck.

I turned back to the young men running down our road and called to them.  I asked them if they were ok.  One of the young men yelled out that someone had run him off the road, but he was ok.  They didn’t stop, they just kept running down the road.  They live about a half a mile down the road from us.  I figured they were running home (and they were – which we find out shortly).

Camper1

I went back into our house and called 911 and reported the accident, called my son, and one of our neighbors.  Then I grabbed my camera and headed over to our camper, and joined Danny.

Danny and I were stunned at what we saw and were so surprise that these young men were able to walk away from this accident with out being badly hurt or badly hurting anyone else.

Then, a white car pulled up and a young woman got out of the car, along with the two young men who had been driving the truck.  They started walking over to the truck and Danny stopped then and had them wait on the other side of the road.  He told them that there were full propane tanks on our camper and he was nervous about them blowing and the law (local police) was on their way and he don’t want to disturbed the scene of the accident.

These young people started telling us several different versions of what they said happened.  We didn’t say much, other than trying to get one of the to sit down, because he was complaining of his back being hurt.  We told him should sit and wait for the law and the ambulance to arrive.

The law, the local fire department (I’m so glad give to their fund raising drive every year, these guys are great and so helpful), a ambulance, and a wrecker showed up.

The police officer in charged, spoke with everyone involved and a few witness to try and sort things out.  The police officer arresting the young man who was driving the truck, and the other young man that was in the truck was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries (I couldn’t see visible injuries, so I’m not sure what they were).

The young man who was driving, we were told doesn’t have any insurance, and he was driving his girlfriend truck (the young woman who showed in the white car).

We are really happy that no one was badly injured, especially any innocent by standers.  Since we live in a rural community, a lot of my neighbors, walk on our road (including me), ride bikes, ride 4-wheelers, and horses on our road.  We have a lot of kids who like to walk and ride their bikes on this ride.  Thank goodness there wasn’t anyone out on the road when this happened.

Our road is not a major road or highway.  Our road is just for our community and it dead ends at the top of our mountain.  There is one road – Green Mountain Road, that branches off our road.  It is a gravel road that will take you toward Greeneville, but this isn’t a major road either.

We had purchased our camper over the summer and it was an older used camper, but it was in really good shape. Danny had spent the late summer and the fall working on getting the camper in tip top shape for traveling.  We were planning on using this camper next year for traveling to art shows, which is how Danny makes his living.  We didn’t have insurance on it, because we had it parked and weren’t planning on using it until next spring.

These two young men are always in and out of trouble.  They have created turmoil that ripples through out our little community.  Most of the folks that live in our community here are good folks that are just trying hard to make a good, but simple living and live in the best way that they know how.

Hopefully balance will be restore to our little community.  Despite what happened yesterday, we still have a lot to be grateful for.  We have a loving family, good friends and neighbors (for the most part), we live in such a beautiful place, and we have our health.

We will remember this Thanksgiving as a Thanksgiving with a few bad apples..

Camper2