September 01, 2015
September has arrived, and autumn is well on its way. As the summer heat begins to fade, and the first hints of red and gold begin to appear, it’s a great time to relax and enjoy the mild weather. Next Monday, September 7, is Labor Day (US) or Labour Day (Canada), a day which honors the achievements of our workforce —a "yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our countr[ies].” (http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm) So, take a break, rest from your labor, and enjoy the respite.
Then, after your rest, take advantage of this time to plan ahead. September is an easy-going month, a month when Nature takes a break from anything extreme, and gives us sunshine and cool breezes. That makes this “calm” the perfect time to prepare for any “storms” which might be ahead. September is even considered “National Preparedness Month” in the US, a month to get ready, to get prepared for harsher weather and conditions that will be coming.
So, use this September to make sure that you —and your home— are ready.
August 01, 2015
Yes, it’s true. The creature that kills more human beings than any other on the face of the earth is summer’s most common pest. The blood-sucking fiends that plague your backyard barbecue are more than just a nuisance —they are dangerous. The humble mosquito is responsible for 725,000 deaths a year (600,000 of those are from the transmission of malaria). Sharks, who get such bad press that there is a whole week devoted to “Sharks are scary” TV programming (wasn’t Shark Week just a couple of weeks ago?)
So, how much do you know about Mosquitos, and, more importantly, how can you keep them away?
July 01, 2015
Water is foundational for life. We can’t live without it. Literally!
Indeed, the more of it we drink, the healthier we get. Why then do so many of us find ourselves drinking significantly less water than we should? Studies show that men should be drinking around 3 liters (13 cups) of fluids each day and women need about 2.2 liters (9 cups). If you’re not drinking nearly that much, read on for “Why" and “How” to drink more water...
June 01, 2015
It’s finally here. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, the kids are . . . well . . . out of school. They are out of school, but have not yet uttered the dread words, “I’m bored.” Ahhh. June, when summer is fresh and new and exciting. For students and schoolteachers (and anyone else who gets a nice long summer break), “June” sounds a lot like “Woohoo!”
For everyone who does not get a nice long summer break, here’s hoping that you’ve got some vacation days coming. Or you can take advantage of these looooooong summer days, and enjoy the glory of the great outdoors when your day’s work is ended. Because there is beauty waiting to be beheld! There is fun waiting to be had! There are fish waiting to be caught! (Actually, the fish are probably not waiting for that :)
May 04, 2015
Summer is almost upon us…temperatures are slowly rising throughout North America. Depending on where on this vast continent you reside, your summer might range from hot and dry (filled with watering restrictions and a fading green lawn) all the way to a tropical humidity and daily afternoon showers. And every imaginable scenario in between.
But we all have one thing in common. Water is essential to survival. No matter where you live, and really, no matter what the season. Without fresh water you will die in just a few days. Plain and simple, no sugar coating, and this single fact helps drive the point home: water equals life.
April 01, 2015
As we say “Goodbye” to March and a warm “Hello” to April, we welcome Spring in all its glory. And it IS glorious: the profusion of brightly hued blooms, the warm days and pleasant nights, the cool breezes and trill of bird-songs. Spring infuses the world with color. It reminds me of the moment when Dorothy opens the door of her sepia-toned, monochromatic home and steps into the lush, vibrant, Technicolor world of Oz for the first time. I feel like Dorothy when I walk out my front door and see a world reborn: trees that seemed dry and lifeless are green and budding, bulbs that had been lying dormant have raised their faces to the sun. Songbirds greet me every morning and the sun lingers a little longer every night.
See what I mean? Glorious.
March 01, 2015
March is finally here, and will hopefully be heralding warmer weather, blue skies and green grass, longer days and shorter nights —all the harbingers of spring.
It’s been a LONG winter this year, and many of us have experienced late-winter storms, the “Snowpocalypse” of 2015, power-outages, far too many school snow days, and temperatures well below any we are used to. February was COLD. Finger-numbing, teeth-chattering, record-breaking, so-frigid-it-hurts-to-breathe, miserably, mercilessly cold. And the cold has just lingered. And lingered. As I write these words, on the last day of February 2015, there is STILL snow on the ground outside. Even those who really enjoy cold, snowy weather seem to be ready to say goodbye to this winter.
February 01, 2015
February can be ice-cold, frigid and imposing, full of hazards and threats. February can also be heart-warming, affectionate and tender, full of love and romance.
February is National Heart Month in both the US and Canada (not surprising for the month of St. Valentine), the month in which we are reminded to focus on heart health. February is the month for which I can instantly recall the number of days without even going through the “30 days has September” chant in my head. February is the only month that actually gains a day every four years. For such a short month, February actually has a whole lot going on: sometimes good, sometimes bad, but usually memorable. . .
January 07, 2015
January 2015. New Years! The commencement, the kickoff, the grand opening. The time when everything seems fresh and new, clean and shiny, spotless and unspoiled, hopeful and exciting. The time that reminds us that we can have a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. We can close last year’s book, with its marred cover, scratched-out chapters, pages of regrets and unkept resolutions, and open a new book. A book so new that the binding cracks when you open it.
This book, with its clean white pages, could be your magnum opus. You can write a greater book this year, because of all you learned from last year’s book. You have learned and grown, and you know your characters so much better now. You can begin again. All of those words that you wish you had never written (or spoken) — they were part of the old book. Write better words this time.