Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘earth’

YA At Its Best

41w-kjfxSrL._UY250_Charla Visits Earth by Dianne Astle
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

Charla Visits Earth is a wonderful short story that is almost believable, if it weren’t for the dragon and mermaid, and for all we know maybe they’re real too. Just having returned from a trip to Vancouver, it was the perfect time to read this tale by Ms. Astle, as it takes place in the same region of Canada, and includes places I visited.

Ben is a student at Fairhaven boarding school, a private school whose principal, Miss Templeton, is also the Earth’s Watcher, though only a few students are aware of such. Ben is one of those who knows, because of a previous visit he made to another world where he met Charla, a mermaid. It is quite an adventure when Charla turns up on earth to see Ben and wants to explore the city and see what life is like on this planet.

“Everywhere Charla looked there were things she never, in her wildest dreams, imagined, and humans came in so many different colors and shapes, and wore such a wild variety of clothes. It made her own world seem so plain and ordinary and drab. Mer all had the same color hair, the same dark eyes, and they dressed alike.”

This story is an off-shoot from the author’s novel Ben the Dragon. I haven’t yet read her other stories, but after reading Charla Visits Earth surely will. Her writing is to the point, descriptive, and endearing.

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Women Standing For Love

Women Standing For Love Special Gathering April 8th

485951_151952658289242_198347506_nWOMEN STANDING FOR LOVE SPECIAL GATHERING MONDAY APRIL 8TH 7:15-9:30

Please join us for our 3rd Gathering for Women Standing For Love. The time has come where we as Women gather together: We share… We listen… We support… We inspire each other so we may bring forth the Vision in our Hearts to restore balance and harmony on Earth.

Only by gathering together as One in support and collaboration for the same Cause, can we finally create the world we all know is possible – A world where we all live in harmony within ourselves, with each other and with our beautiful planet Earth. By each of us bringing our ‘Peace’ of the puzzle, we can make it happen and create ‘The MasterPeace.’

As long as we stay isolated and overwhelmed, compare and compete, we perpetuate the old paradigm that does not work.

If you want to make a difference in the world, and realize that we all need each other to make it happen, here is an opportunity to connect with other Women Standing For Love. You are not alone anymore. Together we can do it.

At this Gathering I will share the 2nd Pillar of Women Standing For Love: We must actively create a Circle of our Heart’s Vision or actively join an existing Circle in resonance with our Heart’s Vision to build a solid foundation before we bring our Vision to the world. Then we will start putting it to practice by connecting in smaller groups with similar Resonance and Vision so we can get to know each other and start the Creation process.

You are warmly welcome! We all need you. We all need each other.

Where: Pacific Cultural Center, 1307 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cost: $10 (Lack of funds? Contact me)
For more information: http://www.womenstandingforlove.com and
http://www.facebook.com/WomenStandingForLove
Contact: listentoyourheart@lillarose.com
Please share this with other Women. Thank you.
Pernilla Lillarose

In Your Own Backyard

The Five Stages of Garden-Talk
by Meredith Greene
March 13, 2013

Read this and other stories at GardenGreene.

A surprising number of folks in my nearer social circles do not know much about gardening. Certainly, they can browse the colorful annuals on display at the large home store and likewise can stick them in the sunny spots twice a year whilst waving at passing neighbors. Most can even pull a weed or two as well as set a mean schedule on the automated sprinklers but, somehow, the simplest aspects of organic vegetable and herb gardening elude them.

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In calling on neighbors, and speaking with extended family members over the years, I’ve come to predict the various expressions that ensue when the conversation invariably shifts to growing food. These facial indications rather line up like the five stages of grief, but instead of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance I see Surprised, Confused, Mildly Interested, Incredulous and Overwhelmed. Getting food out of your own backyard is considered by many to be just too darn complicated.

One of my children usually let the ‘cat’ out of the bag in playing with the smaller versions of the other adults in the room. Some time during the course of the visit a child runs over, their faces alight and eyes shining, tugging at the arm/dress/leg of their owner and say something akin to:

“They grow strawberries in their backyard! And tomatoes! They get to pick them and eat them! Can we grow those, too?”

“From the mouths of babes,” I murmur, watching as the parent’s face slides into the first stage.

“How can you possibly find the time to garden?” Surprised then asks of me.

Now, when I was younger–upon being asked this question–I used to launch into a succinct and factual spiel outlining the amount of time that the average American spends in front of television set every day. I would then point out that it was a better use of time to turn over compost and chase after hordes of insidious snails with pale clouds of ditomacheous earth. Oddly, this set of facts seemed to inspire little but denial, anger and depression. Now, I simply focus my argument on Money.

“Do you go to the gym?” I ask. Confused nods in the affirmative, an answer more often than not a complete fabrication. “Did you know,” I continue, “that a couple of hours of vigorous gardening is comparable to spending the same amount of time at the gym?” No, they didn’t know that, but it sounds pretty good. Confused is quickly replaced with Mildly Interested as I go on to list just how much money my family saves over a given winter season by not having to buy my fresh herbs at the store. ($300-$400)

“That is a big savings,” Incredulous returns. “But it ‘s such a lot of work. How do I even get started?”

Here it gets a little tricky. Too much pushing and the average consumer will balk and return to safer subjects, such as waxing poetic on how their favorite washed-up celebrity weathered Trump’s Board room the previous night. Too much information up front and they’ll leap to the Overwhelmed stage too quickly. Too many dire predictions about rising food costs and the Environment and they’ll tune you out AND lump you in with some odd group they heard about on the news that anoint themselves with carrots and say they can raise goats that defecate copper bullion.

Nostalgia has proven to be the most powerful argument of all. Most folks harbor—way back in the warm recesses of their memory—lingering scents, sights and tastes of fresh produce partaken of as a child. It might be the ripe, red raspberries they picked in a grandmother’s arbor. It may be that luscious purple plum that they bit into one hot summer day. It may be a cool clump of sweet, green grapes that can be recalled, even now, with frank fondness. That same wide-eyed wonder, that propelled their offspring to run over and inquire of our garden, still lives on in them even if they are currently unaware of it. It is a useful tool to help lever the conversation away from the precarious Edge of Unconcern and back into the Realm of Feasibility, and is relatively easy to make contact with.

I show them pictures. (see blog header)

“These are some of the tomatoes we harvested last year,” I say, sliding one full-color image after another over the screen.

“Omigawd! Those look delicious!”

“We get about two-hundred pounds every season, all without pesticides.”

“Are those artichokes?!”

“Yep. They were especially good picked young, pared and sauteed with garlic and olive oil.”

“And you still have time to write books?” This question is best answered with a small shrug and a half-smile.

“My kids help me out a lot, but I like the exercise. These are the strawberries…”

“Wow… look at those! I bet that’s nice to have just out your back door.”

“Not as nice as this basil,” I tell them, going to the next picture.

From there the questions tend to get more sincere. Once folks realize that you can actually raise food on a city lot without having to spent a fortune–or work on it 24/7–they find that other hobbies don’t really cut it. Most parents already wonder how they can encourage their kids to get outside a bit more and move around, and when my oldest daughter walks over and launches into a short monolog on the how one can induce thriving vermiculture with an old plastic tub and leftover coffee grounds, they’re sold.

“Families have been growing food together for millenniums,” I conclude. “It’s a proven method of keeping active, and–as my grandfather used to tell us–’if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’” My grandfather had a rock garden in the high desert–and a cement patio for a back yard–but some information can be safely omitted.

Read entire story and more at GardenGreene.

Meredith Greene is an author, book reviewer and freelance writer.

Pristine Amazon Threatened

Dear Friends,

There is one area of the Ecuadorian Amazon that is so pristine that the whole ecosystem has been preserved and even jaguars roam free! But the government is now threatening to go in and drill for oil.

4074_Jaguar-In-Amazon-Rainforest_3_200x100

The local indigenous people have been resisting, but they are afraid that oil companies will break up the community with bribes. When they heard that people across the world might stand with them and make a stink to save their land, they were thrilled. The president of Ecuador claims to stand for indigenous rights and the environment, but he has just come up with a new plan to bring oil speculators in to 4 million hectares of jungle. If we can say ‘wait a minute, you’re supposed to be the green president who says no one can buy Ecuador’, we could expose him for turning his back on his commitments just as he is fighting for re-election.

He doesn’t want a PR nightmare right now. If we get a million of us to help this one community defend their ancestral land and challenge the president openly to keep to his word, we could start a media storm that would make him reconsider the whole plan. Sign the petition now and tell everyone — let’s help save this beautiful forest:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/oil_in_the_amazon_8/?bMPbqab&v=21318

After Texaco and other oil companies polluted Ecuadorian waters and irreversibly devastated precious ecosystems, Correa led his country to be the world’s first nation to recognize the rights of “Mother Earth” in its constitution. He announced Ecuador was not for sale, and in Yasuni National Park promoted an innovative initiative where other governments pay Ecuador to keep oil in the ground to protect the rainforest rather than destroy it. But now he’s on the verge of selling out.

Shockingly, the Sani Isla Kichwa land is partly in Yasuni National Park. But even more shocking is Correa’s bigger plan — in days government officials begin a world tour to offer foreign investors the right to drill across 4 million hectares of forest (an area larger than the Netherlands!) Ecuador, as any country, may argue it has the right to profit from its natural resources, but the constitution itself says it must respect indigenous rights and its amazing forests, which bring millions in tourist dollars every year.

Right now, Correa is in a tough fight to win a second term as president. It’s the perfect time to make him honour his environmental promises and make this green constitution come to life. Sign now to stand with the Kichwa people and save their forest:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/oil_in_the_amazon_8/?bMPbqab&v=21318

Our community has fought year after year to protect the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia, and won many victories standing in solidarity with indigenous communities. Now it’s Ecuador’s turn — let’s respond to this urgent call for action and save their forest.

With hope and determination,

Alex, Pedro, Alice, Laura, Marie, Ricken, Taylor, Morgan and all the Avaaz team

Adopt A Dolphin

Dear Gabriel,

dolphin_adoptionDolphins, like humans, use calls to communicate and stay together.

But if blasted constantly by seismic testing for oil, it’s easy for babies and mothers to get separated.

Adopt a dolphin»

Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. A mother and baby will use calls to communicate, just like humans.

They also form tight bonds with each other, seeming to grieve for lost family members.

Those emotional bonds are too often ripped apart. Seismic testing for oil drilling can send noise blasts hundreds of miles, every 10 seconds for weeks, which harm dolphins and drown out their voices.

With one simple act – adopting a dolphin – you can play a big role in saving baby dolphins from that deafening noise.

Oceana’s comprehensive campaign to stop seismic testing in the Atlantic and implement stronger international bycatch rules is pushing us closer to a day when these gentle, smart creatures are safe.

Adopting a dolphin with the Dolphin Gift Pack Adoption means getting:

• A cozy stuffed dolphin for you or your loved one
• Personalized adoption certificate
• Dolphin cookie cutter
• Seasonal cookie recipe

We’ll do the gift wrapping for you for just $5!

Each adoption helps fund our work around the world – from protecting sea turtles and whales from drowning in fishing nets, to keeping oil drilling out of the Arctic, to stopping seismic blasts from harming dolphins.

Cross some gifts off your list with animal adoptions from Oceana.

If you’re interested in adopting a different ocean animal, browse our online adoption center to see all of our great selections.

For dolphins and all other ocean creatures,
Emily Fisher
Oceana

Arms Around Antarctic

Dear Friends,

Antarctic waters are home to almost 10,000 species including many of the world’s great whales. But industrial fishing fleets, roaming ever further, threaten their survival. Amazingly we now have a chance to save them by getting governments to create the world’s largest network of marine protected areas there.

In days, 25 countries will meet behind closed doors to decide the fate of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. Most of them want to save it, but Korea and Russia are leading an effort to scupper the deal for the sake of their own fishing interests. If enough of us raise our voices now, we can break open this meeting, isolate the wreckers, get behind the champions and help create a vital refuge before it’s too late.

The whales and penguins can’t speak for themselves, so the outcome is up to us. Once 750,000 people have signed, Avaaz will flood the talks with hard-hitting billboard ads to cause a stir and convey our message to key delegates. Sign the petition to save the Antarctic Ocean:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_southern_ocean_1/?bMPbqab&v=18723

An incredible myriad of animals live in these remote waters, many found nowhere else on Earth. Orcas, blue whales, leopard seals, Emperor and Adelie penguins, Antarctic petrels — they are threatened like never before by a cruel mix of rapidly advancing fishing technology and climate change. Massive protected zones in the Southern Ocean is the only way to guarantee their survival.

For the last 20 years mining and oil drilling have been banned in the Antarctic. And CCAMLR, the 25 member governing body that regulates the ocean in this region, has already committed in principle to creating these marine protected areas. But the two plans being negotiated — one to protect part of the fragile Ross Sea and one for East Antarctica — are at risk of dilution or delay. Let’s make sure that disagreement doesn’t destroy our dream of saving Antarctica’s ocean… and our planet.

A small group of negotiators now holds the future of this ocean in their hands. They won’t put the planet before profits – unless they know we’re paying attention! Let’s unleash a massive surge of global pressure right now. Click the link below to sign and then share the petition with everyone!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_southern_ocean_1/?bMPbqab&v=18723

We know we can win on oceans. Our community has already helped establish the two largest marine reserves in the world. Let’s throw our arms around the Antarctic Ocean now and save it before it’s too late.

With hope,

Alex, Luis, Lisa, Ricken, Laura, Emma, Jooyea and the whole Avaaz team

Environmental Warrior

From Nation of Change and Yes! Magazine
by Madeline Ostrander

The Biggest Fight of Our Time

As one of the best-known writers on the world’s most dire environmental problem, climate change, Bill McKibben has long walked the razor’s edge between hope and fear. In 2010, he published Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, a sobering account of what climate change has already unleashed—the ways in which the places we live, the water, weather, seasons, ecosystems, and oceans are changing irrevocably. McKibben also founded 350.org, one of history’s largest and most ambitious political movements, uniting people around the world to fight climate change.

In this interview, YES! got personal with McKibben: Where does he find hope? What role does faith play for McKibben, a longtime Methodist Sunday school teacher? How does small-town Vermont, where the writer now lives, shape his ideas and activism? And what’s the best advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of what McKibben calls “the biggest fight of our time”—the fight to save the planet?

Madeline Ostrander interviewed Bill McKibben for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions for a just and sustainable world. Madeline is senior editor at YES!

Go to Nation of Change or Yes! Magazine to watch video.

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