Sunday, March 31, 2013

String Gardens

The art of  Fedor Van der Valk

And if you would like to try your hand at making one of these spheres of horticultural uniqueness, Click Here! for directions.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Wound Closing Goo

Joe Landolina, along with Isaac Miller, have concocted a gel that could clot severe bleeding and help heal wounds. The 'miracle gel', called Veti-Gel, is an artificial version (plant derived) of an 'extracellular matrix' which makes up the connective tissue that helps hold bodies together.  
Veti-Gel was initially intended for veterinary use but the inventors' hope is that one day the gel will be manufactured for human use. Landolina has applied for a patent and is beginning the FDA approval process.

How it works:

  • A Body recognizes the matrix produced by Veti-Gel 
  • The matrix meshes into the wound's surface and instantly starts to form a seal over the wound
  • The gel then activates the body's coagulation system to form a stronger clot
  • The gel can easily be removed after bleeding has stopped or it can be sprayed with a protective coat that acts and feels like skin-keeping the gel in place will heal the tissue faster

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Free Library

I ran across an article about "Little Free Libraries" in the newspaper recently and just had to share this wonderful idea! 

Todd Bol has a dream - to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide, to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations, and to build 2,510 Libraries - as many as Andrew Carnegie - and maybe even surpass that number. His vision became the "Little Free Library" project.

Lovely small houses have been erected worldwide. Each little library is given a number and an official sign and then stocked with a variety of books. Readers are encouraged to leave a book for every book that they take. People are encouraged to leave a message inside the books which they trade. What better way to meet people and share a love of reading? 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bough Houses

The Art of Rob Heard's Bough Houses

{do check out the link above to see the amazing life size play houses and play equipment which Rob Heard has created!}

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Year to Get High

Now what are you thinking? 

Hubby and I have chosen a theme for this year's mountain excursions. Last year we visited cemeteries, many of which were located in old Colorado mining towns. So I guess one could say that last year's theme was "Visiting Spirits".
This year is the "Year to Get High".

We have plans to tackle at least two 14'ers (mountain peaks with an elevation over 14,000 ft.) and numerous mountain passes that can only be gotten over with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Sounds like fun! No telling what grand adventures may take place. And I'm sure a few cemeteries will be visited along the way.

Now really! What WERE you thinking?!?

But that's not all. Last week, I wrote about soon attending school. I have pondered going back to school since moving back to Colorado. It's been exceptionally hard to get hired for a job without a college degree  Even if you have 'experience running out the wazoo'. I didn't relish the thought of 4-5 years of hard intensive work only to graduate with a degree and then be passed over for a job because of my age. I'm not exactly a Spring-Chicken any more! So....
An opportunity arose for me to become certified (in a short amount of time) in an up and coming area of commerce in the State of Colorado. The growing and sales of Cannabis. (The voters of Colorado legalized Cannabis in the November 2012 election) I am getting my Master Indoor Grower's Certification, which will allow me to either work as a budtender in a cannabis shop or I could work in an indoor grow facility. A group of entrepreneurs have founded THC University, located in Denver, Colorado. The founders of THCU are currently working with the State of Colorado so that the school may become a state recognized occupational school.

The legalization of Cannabis also applies to Hemp. There are several farmers in the Front Range area who are already making plans to produce this versatile, 'tamer' version of the Cannabis plant. Hemp and its products can be made into oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, and fuel. It also has a very low THC content.
I am looking forward to this opportunity. I'll be able to work with plants which I truly love doing. I'm still planning on doing some festivals and shows throughout the summer. A creative person can't stop creating!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Airline Uses Cooking Oil as Fuel

Could airports of the future stop smelling like fuel exhaust and start smelling like french fries and fried catfish? Maybe.

A Trans-Atlantic flight for KLM Airlines is being powered partially by used cooking oil. Once a week, a flight from New York to Amsterdam (and back) is using bio-fuel consisting of 25% cooking oil and 75% jet fuel. These flights have been taking place since September 2011.

The cooking oil comes from Louisiana. Waste oil left over from frying Cajun Food is processed to remove impurities at a plant near Baton Rouge, LA. The oil is then shipped to New York. A similar system is in place in Holland. 

While this bio-fuel cuts carbon emissions by up to 80%, it does come at a price. The bio-fuel costs almost $10 a gallon. Roughly 3x the cost of aviation fuel. Would you pay more for an airline ticket to help save Mother Earth?

Read More Here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cat Tales ~ Tree Rats

When We moved to this place of many houses, this Urban Wildwoods, Mommy told Us Kitties about these creatures called, "Tree Rats". She said that the "Tree Rats" would be seen the most during the winter when they raid the bird feeders.

And Mommy was right. Me has spent most of the winter watching the "Tree Rats" eat sunflower seeds from the bird feeders.

Purz and Catnip Dreams .......Gomez

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Babylon Floral

The Floral Art of Arthur Williams  of  Babylon Floral
(there are two separate links above)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life "March-es" On

new iris growth
Spring is just around the corner. My iris are sending up new growth. The peony has gorgeous burgundy shoots popping out and the mint is greening up under its winter mulch of leaves. Before we know it, the fruit trees will be in bloom.
We've had a mild winter here in this part of Colorado. The majority of our snow (and there hasn't been that much!) has arrived, and melted, just in the past few weeks. And unless we get frequent Spring rains, the coming Summer will be another dry one! Many cities are already speaking of extreme water conservation measures. I think I need to brush up on how to do a 'rain dance' !

new peony shoots
February was a rough month for us. We were all stricken with the norovirus flu. One at a time. This flu was not to be taken lightly! It laid Hubby up for a week. I wasn't affected as seriously as everyone else. For which I am very thankful. I do believe that my daily serving of yogurt made all the difference between me being the nurse or the patient.
Life has settled into a somewhat comfortable, but albeit shallow, rut. Hubby and I have adjusted to living with four small children (our Grands). And our daughter is adjusting well to life as a single mother. Should a problem arise, we all jump in to tackle it. Our first challenge was our oldest Grand-daughter, who is ADD. Not being a fan of medication, we did a lot of research and with a change in diet - more protein, less processed - and some behavior modification, we were able to 'calm down' some of her 'unbridled energy'.

Front Yard blanketed with February snow
Hubby and I are still searching for our bit of Colorado heaven. And I do believe we are getting closer with every piece of property we look at. Soon. Very soon.
I am still working on a craft show list to post in my sidebar. I have been working on a few artsy projects despite all the interruptions. But not enough 'ART" to satisfy my urges. So I think I will double my efforts on unleashing those creative juices. Especially because I'll be starting school next month and my time may be limited.

December wreath covered with February snow
But stay tuned for next week's post on school and the theme for this summer's weekend excursions!

Oh, I forgot to tell you....there is a new grandbaby on the way! The lovely couple who got married last July (Click here to read about them!) are expecting a baby at the end of September. 

Before I leave you, I'd like to ask all my readers to keep a Blogging Friend, Robin Larkspur, in your thoughts and prayers. Her husband is currently in the hospital recovering from surgery and he is having a tough time of it. They both can use your healing thoughts and energy.

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Water from Thin Air

The above pictured billboard is located in Lima, Peru and produces about 26 gallons - 100 liters - of water a day from nothing more than humidity, a basic filtration system and gravity. The billboard produced 9,50 liters - 2,500 gallons - in just three months. 
The billboard uses an inverse osmosis filtration system. There are five devices responsible for generating up to 20 liters of water. The water is then transported through small ducts to a central holding tank at the billboard's base where a water faucet is located.

But the billboard is not self-sufficient. It requires electricity to power the five devices in the osmosis system. Would solar collectors possibly resolve this?
And can you imagine what these could do to help out (humid) areas of the world that are in desperate need of potable water?
To Read More, Click Here!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Caffeine improves the memories....

of Bees! 

In laboratory tests, bees were more apt to remember the location of  flowers which had low concentrations of caffeine in their nectar. The caffeine acted as a memory stimulant in the bees. 
This 'drugging of the Bee' is beneficial to the plant - causing it to bear more fruit and seeds. Plants which produce caffeine laced nectar are coffee plants and citrus plants.

To Read More, Click Here!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Woodmen of the World ~ Pt. 2

When the Woodmen of the World organization first came into being, it was not limited to just the United States. The organization could also be found in Canada. Though it's members were concentrated mainly along the Eastern section of the country.

At the time of the organization's birth, the Victorian Rustic Movement was at its peak. This era gave birth to the idea of cemeteries as a place for families to picnic and enjoy the out-of-doors. Cemeteries were now planned 'subdivisions' incorporating trees, flowers, benches, and nicer looking gravestones. Tree stump grave markers were now becoming popular in these new 'resting spots'.

Victorian era Gravestone - Georgetown Cemetery
W.O.W.  adopted the tree stump design for the headstones that were included with the life insurance policy which was purchased by a member. A fitting memorial to a member of the organization. 
W.O.W. designed a four to five foot tall monument, sometimes with branches and sometimes without, for adults and a stacked log design for children.  Sometimes branches were 'broken' off the monuments as family members died. 

This mother and her two children were killed in an avalanche - Central City Masonic Cemetery
The headstones would include depictions of W.O.W. relics - a maul and wedge, an axe, a dove holding an olive branch, or ivy vines and the inscription, "Here rests a Woodmen of the World". The word "rests" was used because Woodmen do not lie. 

A copy of the W.O.W. design would be sent to the local stone carver in the hometown of the deceased member. The gravestones were usually carved from limestone, but specimens of native rock were sometimes used. Quite often the local stone carver would incorporate his own designs onto the tree stump. Thus creating slight differences of pattern. 

When a W.O.W. member died, the local lodge would have a 'remembrance ceremony'.The members would march to the cemetery where the headstone would be unveiled and dedicated.

An important part in the early years of W.O.W. was the creed, "no Woodmen shall rest in an unmarked grave." And even though the tombstones were discontinued in the 1920's due to the cost, W.O.W. still follows that creed.