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click the gem to go to my shop
click the gem to go to my shop

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leave the World a Better Place

Inspring words from Lord Baden-Powell, the Founder of Boy Scouts in his
Last message to scouts

by Robert Baden-Powell
(These messages were found amongst Baden-Powell's papers after his death, in an enveloped addressed "to the Boy Scouts", inside another envelope containing other documents marked "In the event of my death", that always carried with him in his travels. )
Dear Scouts - If you have ever seen the play "Peter Pan" you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.
Remember, it is the last time you will ever hear from me, so think it over.
I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.
I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn't come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. "Be Prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy- stick to your Scout Promise always when you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you to do it.

Your friend,

Robert Baden-Powell
22 February 1857 (1857-02-22) – 8 January 1941 (1941-01-09) (aged 83)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Great Loss...A Sad Heart

It is with a saddened heart that I announce the passing of G.W. Updike. G. W. was a Scouter for 53 years. He received the Eagle Scout rank in 1963 and was the 2008 Eagle Scout Class Honoree. In 2003, he was recognized by the Council and was awarded the Silver Beaver. He was very active in the Sand Lake District, and was also on the Training Committee for Trainers’ Development Conference and EDGE, Wood Badge staff, Eagle Week staff, International Committee, Jamboree Committee and 2005 Jamboree Scoutmaster. He was a member of Pack and Troop 6, for which he served many positions. He was a role model of honor.

He leaves behind a wife and 8 children.

G.W. was a Den Leader with my husband when we were in Cub Scouts and we crossed over to Boy Scouts with him and his son, James March of last year. He was a dear friend and we will miss him greatly.

Godfrey Waddell Updike, Jr 1946-2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Organic Gardening – Easy Ways To Get Started Today

Organic Gardening – Easy Ways To Get Started Today

Growing your own herbs, vegetables, greens and fruit can be both incredibly rewarding and delicious. However, many gardeners rely on pesticides, herbicides and fungicides not to mention chemical fertilizers to help their garden grow. That’s not only unnecessary, it’s also unhealthy. All those nutritious veggies pack a much healthier punch if they’re sans harmful chemicals.

Step #1 Prepare your soil. Because your soil is the foundation of your garden, it is important to make sure it’s full of the right nutrients to feed your garden. Mix in organic material like compost or humus and consider having your soil tested. The proper soil conditions can make the difference between a sparse crop and award winning vegetables.

Step #2 Choose your crop. The second step to build an organic garden is to choose your crop. What are you going to grow in your garden? Initially, in addition to what you’re going to grow, you’ll want to decide if you want to purchase plants or start your garden from seeds. If you start early enough you can use seeds. If not, you can purchase organic plants from your local nursery.

Regardless of what you choose, seeds or plants, make sure they’re grown without chemicals.

Step #3 Organize your garden. Did you know some plants naturally protect other plants from disease and pests? It’s true. Marigolds for example, drive bugs away and if you plant them around the perimeter of your garden, they’ll help protect your herbs, greens and veggies.

Before transferring your plants into your garden, mark where you’re going to plant them. Make sure there is plenty of room between plants so they have room to grow and thrive. A tiny tomato plant can grow several feet high and several feet wide. Leave room.

Step #4 Natural pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. It’s been said that home gardeners generally use more chemicals on their gardens than farmers do. That’s a lot of chemicals! Interestingly enough, mild detergent and water protect many plants from harmful pests. Hot pepper sprays also work to fend off pests. And natural predators like frogs and ladybugs can keep your garden healthy and full.

Step #5 Maintenance. Watering and weeding are all you have in store for you until it’s time to harvest. Take care to not over water. Soil should be moist but not soaking. Weed on a regular basis to make sure your plants have all the nutrients and room in the soil they need to grow.

Organic gardening isn’t difficult when you start with a healthy foundation. Before you dive in and start a garden large enough to feed an army, choose a few plants you know your family will eat. Grow those successfully and next year you can grow a bigger garden.

about the picture: Cherry tomatoes are packed with quercetin which assists in fighting many ailments including cardiovascular illness, allergies, eye diseases and cancers and best of all, they are easy to grow. You can even grow them in containers.

Upcycle vs. Recycle

Aluminum can be recycled over and over and over but did you ever think of upcycling  it?

Recycling tears down to the raw materials and recreates. Upcycling takes what it

is and makes it better, no downcycling involved.

For instance, if you cut up a coke can and make it a piece of art that is upcycling... if
you take that can to your local recycler, they mash it up, tear it down, melt it, combine
it with other aluminum ... things... and then make something new.

Here's an example at

and at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chief Seattle

"This we know... the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth. All things are connected, like the blood which connects one family. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it. Whatever... he does to the web, he does to himself." - Chief Seattle, 1854

Duwamish and Suquamish Chief Seattle bust.

Washington, 1912

Statuet portrait by Artist James A. Wehn.

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  Get out there and plant something!

Lizard Chow ?

We have an outdoor cat. Like many cats, she is a nibbler. Quite often there are remnants of cat chow left in her bowl.  Frequently, I step outside to see stray cats and even birds eating from her bowl. This morning was different though......   I stepped out today to see 3 little Florida garden lizards eating from her bowl! Darned if I couldn't get my camera fast enough to catch that shot. Of course, they had scattered by the time I got back with it.                 This one decided to tell me how offended he was at my interrupting his breakfast! I didn't realize I was serving up lizard chow.                                             It was hilarious!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grandmother's sewing box

I use to play for hours with the buttons in Grandmother Lois' tin. She had quite the collection.
Her sewing box was also a place of fascination for me.
She had some really cute pin cushions.
I found a great tut for making them here

You could go all out and really bead them up, buy some fancy pins and make a lovely Mother's Day gift for the special Moms you know.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Navigating the Social Media Landscape

Navigating the Social Media Landscape can seem overwhelming! After all, there are so many sites now and more being developed all the time. How can we know which are best and where we should be in this cyber world?
CMO put together this awesome chart that gives an easy to read detailed "Good, Bad and Ugly" run down on the features, benefits and issues with each site.

Good to know stuff whether your purposes are personal or business.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Eye Yoga?

 I don't know about you but with all the work I do on my computer, bead work, reading, etc., etc., eye strain becomes a problem for me.

 I came across a great article about "Eye Yoga"
and decide to give it a try.

 It seemed kind of strange at first but relaxing at the same time.

Worth a try.............

I got Published !!!!

WaHoo! I got published in the New Copper Wire Jewelers Magazine ! Scroll down to the bottom of my blog to view the magazine. I'm on page 17. What an honor it is to have been included with such fine artsists!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Florida Highwaymen Artists

The Florida Highwaymen Artists were the beginning of Florida's contemporary art tradition, and are credited for the beginning of the "Indian River School" art movement. They developed their own individual techniques and captured waterscapes, backcountry marshes, and inlets the way they were before recent tourism developments. From the beginning, there were people who collected Florida Highwayman art and paintings. However only in recent years has the recognition of their skill and their story caused their paintings to skyrocket in value. In 2004, twenty-six individuals were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame as "Florida Highwaymen."

Who were they?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cedar Key - a wonderful visit

Just got back from a family camp out with my son's boy scout troop. We camped at

Cedar Key....a wonderful place just about an hour west of Gainesville.

A sleepy fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico with oodles of history and scenery. They have purposefully tried to keep it somewhat undeveloped and preserve it's history. An amazing estuary filled with birds and sea life, and the biggest horse shoe crabs I have ever seen in my life (apparently it's mating season and they were every where). The large white pelican (pictured here) were everywhere too. They will be gone soon as they migrate north.

They have 2 big festivals every year in Cedar Key...April 24-25 is their arts and crafts festival and in October they have a large seafood festival.

We also purposely took the scenic route on the drive and saw the lovely town of Inverness and several others too.

If you've never been to Cedar Key, it is worth the trip!!

Just the get away I needed....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Straw Bale Gardening?

I have been a fan of raised bed gardening for many years, but came across this new approach using straw bales
Perri Jackson of  Shaktipaj - Simply Amazing
If you haven't seen Perri Jackson's amazing wire wrapped designs and tutorials,
you have really missed out! Go check her out at
design by Perri Jackson

Check out her blog too at
Daily encouragement

Not too long ago, I susbcribed to a daily devotional from Dennis and Barbara Rainey called
A Moment Together for Couples. It has been truely inspirational for me and my husband.
There have been a number of times now when I realized God was speaking directly to me
through the words of the daily message.
Check it out at WTLN - Moments Together for Couples

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Even though much around it looks quite dead, this beautiful little Australian violet blooms in my courtyard garden. The bloom is barely one inch wide and stands on a stem about 4 inches tall looking like a lovely woman with her hair blowing back in the breeze. Most of my herbs did fairly well in the extended winter we had this year even with several freezes. That's what I love about rosemary, epsecially. It takes all the extremes Florida can throw at it and still does well.
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