Monday, April 29, 2013

Cat Tales ~ Pet Food Stamps

Mommy was reading the Sunday paper yesterday when she found an article that she HAD to read to me! It was about a program that has been started to help out-of-work or low income people feed the four-footed members of their family. 

Pet Food Stamps is a New York based non-profit that helps pet owners with food for their pets. And We all know how important Us furry kids are to people. Especially when Our Humans are going though tough times. We are able to give the love and companionship that is often missing from so many people's lives.

There are over 50 million Americans who currently receive Food Stamp assistance and many of those people have cats or dogs. All too often the cherished family pet must be surrendered to a shelter because the money is not there to buy pet food.

The Pet Food Stamp program, thanks to the generosity of contributors and patrons, is able  to eliminate that heart-wrenching decision by making sure pet owners are given free monthly home delivery of all necessary food supplies to maintain the health and vitality of their pets.

Please visit the website to learn more, apply for food stamps or make a donation. And if you know of someone who may need help, please refer them to the website.  Click Here!

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

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Festival of Faerie

Last year was the inaugural year for the Festival of Faerie in Lafayette, Colorado. It was so much fun to see and interact with the Fae Folk! And I am pleased to announce that this year should be even better! I am helping with the organization of the Festival this year. I'm super stoked to be able to put to use the skills I gleaned from my years of work with The International Rice Festival.
This year's event will take place on June 22, 2013. I am planning on being a vendor again this year. And there are still a few vendor spots available. If interested, send an email to

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Hidden Magnetic Portals

Stargates, Wormholes, and Portals to another Universe have long been the subject of science fiction and fantasy stories. But as science makes great leaps in discovering and understanding the unknown, these stories may become reality.
A wormhole/portal is a hypothetical feature that would provide a shortcut through space/time between two points. 
NASA has discovered portals tens of thousands of kilometers from Earth. While most of them are short-lived, some are vast and sustained. NASA Scientists found that these portals open and close dozens of times each day. As far as the scientists can determine, these portals aid in the transfer of tons of magnetically charged particles that flow from the Sun toward the Earth - causing geomagnetic storms and the Borealis lights. Essentially the portals aid in the transfer of the magnetic field from the Sun to the Earth.
In 2014 the U.S. space agency will launch a new mission called Magnetospheric Multi-scale Mission. This mission will launch four spacecraft which will circle the Earth and then study these portals.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The (Lost) Art of Listening

Do we really LISTEN any more? Do we listen to each other? Do we listen to ourselves? 
As children we are always being told to "Listen Up", "Listen Here!" or ask "Are You Listening". 

Listening is something I have been working on with Granddaughter #1. She is prone to asking questions and not waiting for an answer. I swear she loves to hear the sound of her own voice.
I keep trying to impress upon my Granddaughter just how important listening is. Being a good listener enables her to learn in school, to be aware of the environment around her, to be a good friend.

Our ancestors many, many years ago had to be good listeners. Listening allowed them to hear the sound of their next meal, should they be out hunting. Listening kept them safe from approaching enemies or dangerous animals. 
Listening warned them of approaching storms. Family history and traditions were passed along through spoken tales and stories.
But as Man has evolved and the world has become polluted with man-made noises, I feel this very important trait has begun to be 'de-programmed'  out of our psyche. 

The World has become a noisy place. Traffic, television, radio. We are bombarded by noise  on a daily basis. Is this why we don't listen anymore? Too much noise? We 'tune out' the noise and withdraw into ourselves, seeking our 'quiet and calm' spot. 

 Over the course of an average day, a person will encounter many people. And depending on your profession, you may have to have more than a casual conversation with these people you encounter. But do you only go through the motions or do you really 'converse' with these people? Do you listen to what the person has to say and give a well thought out answer?

You might be amazed at what you discover should you just choose to listen. The lovely song of a finch on a beautiful Spring day. Children's giggly laughter. Listening gives us something to laugh at, something to smile about. Listening gives us reason to slow down and enjoy some of Life's small pleasures. 

So, I have taken my Granddaughter outside and gotten her to listen to the sounds of Nature. It has helped her to pause for a moment and take in what's around her. She is slowly becoming a better listener. Learning to quiet the sound on the inside so that she might hear what's happening on the outside.
Now if only she'd listen when she's told to clean her room.....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Art of Adams 12 School District

The following pictures are examples (and mere drops in the bucket) of the fine works which were displayed at the Adams 12 School District Art Show held in Thornton, Colorado

Leah Campbell, grade 7
Monarch Garden, paper sculpture
First Place
Olivia Elliott, grade 2
Salvador Dali Inspired Birds, tempura paint
Miranda Shoop, grade 7
Tatum Rusovick, grade 8
Tiger, charcoal drawing
Anthony Le, grade 12
Surrealism, Alternative Photography
Macayla Cross, grade 12
Trapped, Digital Imaging
Janaya C., grade 3
African Mask, seeds & natural grass
Dakota Storms, grade 11
Favorite Holiday, drawing

Friday, April 19, 2013

Paradise Found

It's interesting how the Universe leads us to where we need to be. 
Hubby and I were headed out to explore an area in the mountains southwest of Denver. We dropped over Kenosha Pass into South Park (yes,there really is a South Park) when we encountered a ground blizzard (blowing snow). We decided that wasn't something we wanted to contend with - neither at that current moment in time nor at any time in the future - so we headed east to explore some uncharted territory. We ended up on the back side of Pikes Peak. 

Pikes Peak
There was something about the region that felt like home. And sure enough! We found it. 
Our little slice Paradise.   
It had all the makings of an enchanted forest. 
Interesting rock formations.

Gnarly Trees.

Natural Bonsai Trees.

More Gnarly Trees. Covered in Moss.

And incredible views from the top of the ridge.

I can imagine what adventures await us here!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Plants Call for Help

We've all seen a caterpillar munching away on the leaves of a vegetable plant. And maybe some of you have seen a wasp laying eggs on the caterpillar that is munching away on the vegetable plant. But do you know how that wasp found that particular caterpillar?
When a caterpillar starts munching away on a vegetable plant, that plant will emit volatile compounds into the air hoping to attract a wasp (parasitoid) that will lay its eggs in the offensive caterpillar, leading to the demise of the caterpillar.
A study conducted at Wagenigen University in the Netherlands discovered which scents attract these parasitoids.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hunting Paradise

We have been keeping an eye on the housing market in Colorado for quite some time, long before we moved back. We knew that once the house in Arkansas sold, we would want to find a place to call our own. But this time, 'home' was to be a piece of property with no house. We would build our own home.

I spent a lot of time on the web searching realty sites, looking at maps, researching various locales and subdivisions. Then came the countless weekend drives to the prospective pieces of property to see how suitable they would be.

Mule Deer
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
We got to see a lot of nice countryside not to mention the wildlife! But quite often we encountered horrible weather - usually ground blizzards! - on our property hunts!

Ground blizzard in South Park~roads were a skating rink!
That should've been my first clue on what area of Colorado we were, and were not!, to look in for our little slice of paradise. After a few of these encounters, we finally caught on and didn't go back to the places where we encountered rough weather and did explore further the areas that blessed us with dry roads, nice scenery, and friendly people.
Stay tuned for Friday's post.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Late Speaking Children

I wrote two weeks ago about the challenge we had with grand-daughter #1 and her excess energy (read about it here!). Well, grand-daughter #2 presented us with another unique challenge. The inability to speak. At the age of 3 1/2 when little Bri came to live with us, she could say very few words. Many members of the  family (in-law side) were so quick to label her as 'slow' or 'mentally challenged'. But Grandma knew better! Little Bri was smart as a whip and she and I had a sort of unspoken communication link between us. I encouraged my daughter to get her tested for practically everything - hearing, speech capability, everything. After test upon test, it was determined that she had not developed her ability to talk. (DUH! I could have told them that! But at least we knew what wasn't the problem) Bri was then enrolled in preschool where she met with a speech therapist twice a week. This therapist was awesome! Within three months Bri was speaking - not clearly but she was saying words. And now a year later she is making up for lost time and treating us to lovely tales of wonder and songs of beauty.

Not long after Bri started her speech therapy, Hubby ran across a book at a thrift store entitled, Late Talking Children by Thomas Sowell. This book answered so many questions we had about Bri! Because the lack of words was not her only unique trait - Bri was also an extremely finicky eater, she ADORED music, she's borderline OCD, her problem solving skills were far above the other children and she didn't know a stranger. Her world was filled with rainbow colored trees, peace signs and imaginative animals.
In his book, Thomas Sowell writes of his own personal experiences with a late talking son. And the subsequent formation of a group of more than 50 parents with late-speaking children. The studies conducted by Sowell (in coordination with a Dr. Stephen Camarata - a scientist and researcher who specializes in speech and language development) showed that most of these children have normal intelligence and some even have above normal IQ's. It is Sowell and Camarata's belief that some children speak later in life because other parts of the child's brain develop before the part of the brain that controls language and speech. Albert Einstein is a prime example of a child who was a late talker who had extraordinary intelligence.
With much patience and perseverance, little Bri now has a broader range of food "likes" and her OCD is not nearly so "O" or "C". We still listen to a lot of music and she is still quite the extrovert when it comes to social  interaction. Bri still has a wider and more advanced understanding of many things compared to her siblings and her world is still filled with rainbows and imaginative animals. I have great faith that Bri will grow up to be extraordinary in whatever she attempts!
(No Grandma bias there!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weird Wednesday ~ Does Dirt Makes You Smarter?

Research conducted at The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York has shown that a bacterium in the soil not only lowers depression and anxiety but can also make a person smarter!
Mammals exposed to Mycobacterium vaccae showed stimulated growth of some neurons in the brain that resulted in increased levels of serotonin and decreased anxiety. This exposure also improved the ability to figure out problems and to do so with less anxiety.
Could school learning environments which incorporate the outdoors and the bacterium M. vaccae improve the ability to learn by decreasing anxiety? These types of environments could also help our society to recover from  
** "nature deficit disorder" **
The health benefits of gardening and other outdoor activities are endless.
So go ahead! Go outside and get dirty!

**nature deficit disorder is a term used by author Richard Louv**

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Spellbound Forest

The Spellbound Forest is an outdoor story telling experience. Four English Fairy Tales are told through theatrical performance, music, visual art and dance in an  enchanting outdoor setting. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Endangered Ink

extInked art

100 endangered flora, fauna, and fungi species were tattooed on volunteers in the UK. Here are some of the results.