Friday, April 30, 2010

My box of tissues are soaked!

My dog & me, well we just laid on the bed and cuddled listening to birds rejoice.  Reminding me how much I love the stolen songs of the Mocking bird.

That was the day that the lights went out in our small part of Florida.  Our small grid of nineteen where electricity was lost in the wee hours of the night.

So here I am now sitting, using natural light from a window hearing the raindrops, a plane flying nearby, cars passing by the house and Hobo, forever cleaning his adorable self.  Oh, and writing this letter with pen on paper.

I am reminded that the ice on door of the refrigerator does not work without electricity, nor does the telephone.  Which leads to an entire other list of realities.  Here is a tip for all: we have an old fashioned orange telephone, the cord actually prevents you from walking around, almost everyone I could call to chat with this morning is programmed into the cordless, that does not work in a power outage.  Ok, two duhs!  However, when in need ... keep on in a drawer and tell all of your family members where it is.  You never know when you or a neighbor may need it during a time such as this.

Of course, there is my cell phone.  However, it is in the car and its raining.  And, I'd have to get out of my night clothes.  I just thought of something. I really cannot remember what it was like before technology permitted us to screen our calls, and the answering machine before we decided whether to answer the call or not...could you just let it ring?

Have you ever heard the saying, "If you want to hear God laugh just tell Him your plans"?


As it turns out, I realize the peace of sitting in one place, in my quiet home, listening to the world outside, and within my head.


Oh the tissues?  I had moved some items out of my car to make room for traveling buddies.  My small trash basket, a shirt to return, and my box of tissues... left outside with the intention of returning it all to its rightful place.

I see the sun, an awesome opportunity to get dressed and get to photographing.  After all, I have been complaining to myself the need , without seeming to have the time due to allowed distractions.

It is another perfect day...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tibetan Monk Workshop & Performance - Van Wezel - April 2010 - Sarasota, Florida

In the wake of the 1959 Tibetan uprising, a Tibetan diaspora has made Tibetan Buddhism more widely accessible to the rest of the world. It has since spread to many Western countries, where the tradition has gained popularity. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The number of its adherents is estimated to be between ten and twenty million.
On Wednesday April 21st, my awesome friend Judy Levine did a very informative presentation on Buddhism and the Tibetan Monks. Eight years ago, she and a friend traveled to Tibet, Nepal, and surrounding countries. They were able to visit many Buddhist monasteries and other buildings in Tibet, Nepal, India, and Indonesia. Judy included many of the photos she took during that month-long visit.

At the same time, the visiting Monk's were spending eight hours a day, over a period of five days constructing a sand Mandala.  The creation of a sand mandala requires many hours and days to complete. Each mandala contains many symbols that must be perfectly reproduced each time the mandala is created. When finished, the monks gather in a colorful ceremony, chanting in deep tones as they sweep their mandala into a jar and empty it into a nearby body of water as a blessing. This action also symbolizes symbolizes the cycle of life.

During the evening of April 23 at this same venue, following dinner with friends, the Tibetan Monks performed for a packed audience, teaching us through this performance, about their culture, history, ceremonies, and so much more.  Their colorful garments memorized, while the guttural throat singing captivated.

Wikipedia:  Also known as overtone singing, also known as overtone chanting, or harmonic singing, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips to produce a melody.

The partials (fundamental and overtones) of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx.[1] This resonant tuning allows the singer to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and a selected overtone), while in effect still generating a single fundamental frequency with his/her vocal folds.

After the performance, everyone was invited to see the Tibetan Monks hold the special ceremony and then they deconstructed the manadala. The sand was placed in small ziplock type of plastic bags and given to participants as a blessing.  What was left was carried to our local bay, an open, flowing body of water to be dispersed. The mandala represents life and its impermanent nature.

This was such a special experience for my husband and myself.  There are so many things that remain with me, such as one of the Monks in particular who had the gift of throat singing, the community mandala for which I was a participant, the lenght of the horns, and the ceremony of giving the sand back to the earth via moving water.

"The creation of a sand Mandala requires many hours and days to complete. Each Mandala contains many symbols that must be perfectly reproduced each time the Mandala is created. When finished, the monks gather in a colorful ceremony, chanting in deep tones as they sweep their Mandala into a jar and empty it into a nearby body of water as a blessing. This action also symbolizes the cycle of life."


 Tibet, you will learn how to be happy and live a life full of contentment without a complaint. Just pass a smile to a Tibetan who is looking at you and believe us you will get an even bigger smile in return. This is the way they are much warm, caring and full of hospitality towards their guests for whom they will go out of the way to help. To learn the simple courtesies of life and to acclimatize moral values there is no other place better than Tibet where one can learn the best of it. They seem like a new breed of humans, happy the way they are, totally unperturbed by outside world. Come to Tibet and get to know these wonderful people, from whom we can still learn a lot about life.

 The Drepung Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet in 1416 by Chojey Tashi Palden. It had four departments, of which Loseling, or "The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind," was the largest, housing more than three quarters of Drepung's ten to fifteen thousand monks. Drepung Loseling was especially close to the Dalai Lama incarnations; the Second Dalai Lama made his residence here in 1494, and subsequent incarnations maintained this link.

 After the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the forced closure and horrid destruction of its 6,500 monasteries, some 250 monks from Loseling managed to escape the holocaust and rebuild their institution in Karnataka State, South India. The traditional training program was thus preserved. Over the years many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery, thus helping to preserve their traditional culture. The number of monks presently in the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500.

In 1991, as a result of The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours, the monks were invited to establish a seat in North America. Thus Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. A non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion and a center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, Drepung Loseling provides a sanctuary for nurturing inner peace, community understanding, and global healing. In 1998 Drepung Loseling and its North American seat established academic affiliation with Emory University with the objective of promoting transcultural understanding and scholarly interchange. This historic affiliation between two major institutions of learning was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 12, 1998.

In addition to its academic and spiritual programs, Drepung Loseling is committed to helping preserve the endangered Tibetan culture, which today leads a fragile existence in the exiled refugee communities in India and Nepal. In conjunction with Richard Gere Productions, it coordinates The Mystical Arts of Tibet World Tours and oversees the Drepung Loseling Educational Fund, a sponsorship program for the adoption of monks in training at Drepung Loseling Monastery.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Received the following in an email from a close friend:

Over the weekend, the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target (also available at many other big box retailers) to use in their garden. It was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog (Calypso) decided the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk . Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's web site, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.

Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that "It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it."

*Snopes site gives the following information: *

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks.

Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Speaking of Eco-Friendly and Earth Day ...

A friend sent me a link

Thought it was pretty cool, and they had many things that I would like.
I ordered several products and they were very quickly received in this box...
read the printing in the square while you are here.

Opening the box, it hit me that these were out of place in the overall
picture of the concept behind this business.

So, I sent an inquiry to the company and soon received the following

Thank you for your inquiry. Our packing peanuts are made from corn and

potato starch and dissolve in water. If there is anything else we can assist you with,please let us know. Have a great day !!

Thank You,
Deb Strong
Customer Care

Interested, Blondie Love and I (see nose on left?) decided to see what happens
when the "peanuts" were introduced to water?

The "green" in me smiled!

Take a peek, and maybe give your support!

P.S. There is that one small plastic label tie that I would like to see disappear too!

Friday Funny

Apparently no one considered the sun when designing this wall!

Anyone want to take a guess where this wall is located?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fusion Art Jewelry Does First Solo Show!

And unfortunately it was "almost" a total bust! 

If you only take into consideration the lack of visitors, due to lack of advertising and signage, and when they had us vendors in relation to the fun area of the day.  Additional, the one sign in the entrance said "Festival", no mention of Arts or Crafts.

Otherwise, I got a deposit on a custom bracelet that will be a total of $38, with word that the customer wants me to post a pair of earrings in my shop for her so she can purchase via PayPal. 

Cost of show:  $25 

Experience:  Priceless

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday's Tip...

13 Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of , you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive orwalk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs;and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Wasp And Hornet Spray

A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection... Thought this was interesting and might be of use.

On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out."

Maybe even save a life.

Please share this with all the people in your life.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Etsybloggers April 23, 2010 Blog Carnival

Hosted by our Fearless Leader and EtsyBloggers Mama Blogger, 1st I say Happy Birthday!!! 

1) 4/23 is my birthday!! Tell us your birthday and what astrological sign you are. Do you ever read/follow your horoscope?

2) Tell us about someone's memorable birthday. Yours, a friend's, a child's, a pet's, a family member's, etc.

We are not much on birthday's around here.  Heck, my 50th was last month and nothing happened ... at all?  Well, I guess I got older, but that was it.  Though I will say to those of you up and coming youngin's, 50 is awesome and I'm looking forward to more...

In saying that, I choose #1.  Having a semi-avid interest in astrology I sometimes do read my horoscope.  It is always right.  Now go figure.  How can that be for "all" of us Leo's?  Guessing the generalized horoscope is in some form telling the basics for the day, and not exactly by all of the elements such as the stars, time of day you were born, what state, etc...

Well folks, do you think you can guess my sign?

 Free 2010 Leo Forecast :
You love to travel. You are likely to be very emotional and a bit unstable at times. You have a very keen imagination, but you should try to be more open and less self centred.

The conjunction of jupiter and neptune in your birth chart indicates that you will make money with ease, but may spend excessively. You are a bit emotional, but are very religious by nature. You also have artistic and poetic qualities.

They will soon be able to rise above any depression they may have. Wherever they are they spread love & warmth. They love children. They are interested in sports speculation & music.

Nope, not interested in sports speculation ....

RAT: 51% (6 favorable and 6 unfavorable months)As ingenious as the Rat can be financially, the Tiger year does not bode well for any risky ventures. The Tiger's hallmark is leaping before looking, so you should be vigilant so as not to get caught up in clever but uncertain schemes. Things will not always be what they appear this year, and that is especially true in money matters. It is not to say you should make no investments or major purchases this year; however, due diligence erring on the side of caution and conservatism could avert serious losses.

There will be times you think 2010 is a good year and others when you will wonder if the opposite is true. On a positive note, the Metal year produces good fortune for you. The Tiger, on the other hand, is a big cat, and not exactly a friend to the Rat. Two important keys to your success are to be nimble and not to pick fights you have a chance of losing. The Tiger has claws, and defeat is not likely to be pretty. There will be plenty of action this year, which should suit you just fine. Scale back your endeavors in the first six months of the year and make your most concerted efforts during the next six good months. This formula should leave your life's balance sheet in the black at year's end.


The Rat is likely to experience at least one major change in career path or professional role this year. The best strategy is to cultivate flexibility. If changes are not of your choosing, you'll be best positioned to take advantage of new opportunities by relinquishing some control and being your most adaptable self. Your independent nature could be a disadvantage if you don't pay close attention to developments in your field. It is a good time to monitor game-changing trends. The Rat is known for tenacity and resourcefulness, traits that will serve you well. If you are willing to adjust your plans accordingly, this Tiger year could tangibly improve your career prospects in the second half.


Loving family relationships are featured prominently in this Tiger year. The Rat may be called upon to provide support to an older relative, thus enhancing a close, and mutually rewarding bond. You shouldn't hesitate to call on family first for assistance or advice. Attend as many events and gatherings of the most important people in your life as possible, or better yet, plan some yourself. In fact, it is advisable to go out of your way to create the environment for happy, memorable occasions to be enjoyed. Romance is not to be neglected either. Proactively expanding your social circle and interests will connect you with one or more exciting new love prospects.


Relaxation will be valuable to your health this year. The Rat has a tendency to never fully unwind, even when participating in so-called leisure activities. This tendency will be even more exaggerated by the Tiger, so your overall well-being will depend on you making a real effort to find true outlets for stress. Some of your hobbies could be unwitting sources of pressure anxiety. Try some non-competitive physical endeavors and practice those that make you feel balanced and at peace instead of simply posing a new set of standards for achievement.


As ingenious as the Rat can be financially, the Tiger year does not bode well for any risky ventures. The Tiger's hallmark is leaping before looking, so you should be vigilant so as not to get caught up in clever but uncertain schemes. Things will not always be what they appear this year, and that is especially true in money matters. It is not to say you should make no investments or major purchases this year; however, due diligence erring on the side of caution and conservatism could avert serious losses.

So now I have a request.  Please visit Sandra's blog, Joey and Aleetha, "We're all about family and fabric, love and laughter, and handmade super coolness.  That's how we rock."

Featured EtsyBlogger April 2010

Our very own..Our one and only... Pam! 

Proprietor of Magdalene Jewels and Magdalene Knits

So in love with Pam's/Mag's talent, and the sweetness of her tiny crocheted creations ... it makes me think "way" into the future of baby grands...

I just had to get these little red MaryJane's into this feature.  They caught my eye, and make me want to hold the little feets that would be in them while I gaze into the eye's of the newborn...

Moving on with Ms. Mag's talent, we now visit Magdalene Jewels

Ms. Mag's (to her Etsybloggers Teammates) has the heart of an angel, the history of a hippie, is the Nanna to a new Grand, and is so very multi-talented it is difficult to take it all in.  However, please be sure to peruse her shops, and know that when she is not being creative for her online shops, she is the costume designer/make-up artist for a local theater group; and has also done some acting in some of their plays.

From her blog: "Life is too short to wake up with regrets.  Love the people who treat you right.  Forget about the ones who don't.  Believe everything happens for a reason.  If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.  If it changes your life, let it.  Nobody said life would be easy.  They just promised it would be worth it."

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Friday Funny

Another problem caused by deforestation:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

It is a bit hard to see with this photograph that I took today ... in red ... "PROTECT WILDLIFE CRUSH CUP BEFORE DISPOSAL" 

Of all of the containers of yogurt that we've eaten in this household over the years, this small print was totally unknown to us.  As we have curbside recycling pick up this does not necessarily apply to us, however I thought that is was well worth sharing, especially if all of your trash goes to a landfill/dump!

This was going to be my tip for the day, however when searching google regarding this particular yogurt, I found this:

Food Additives ( < click here for article)
Beetle Mania

If you like Yoplait strawberry yogurt, Tropicana grapefruit, orange-strawberry juice, or Hershey's Good & Plenty candies, chances are you will be sucking on the red coloring extracted from the female cochineal beetle and her eggs. These insects live on cactus plants in Peru and the Canary Islands.

According to the best-selling book by Eric Schlosser, Chew on This, the female bug feeds on cactus pads, and color from the cactus gathers in her body. The bugs are collected, dried, and ground into a coloring additive. It takes 70,000 of the insects to make a pound of carmine dye, as it is known. The Food & Drug Administration doesn't require that this cochineal be identified in the ingredients. Manufacturers simply identify it as an "artificial color."

Needless to say, I will no longer find it necessary to worry over disposal of this product, or a few others!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Funny

Five tips for a woman....

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on! And doesn't lie to you.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thought this was an interesting way to save money: Change the font!

MILWAUKEE – Here's a way you might save $20 this year: Change the font in the documents you print.

Because different fonts require different amounts of ink to print, you could be buying new printer cartridges less often if you wrote in, say, Century Gothic rather than Arial. Schools and businesses could save thousands of dollars with font changes.

Data on the subject from, a Dutch company that evaluates printer attributes, persuaded the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to make a switch. Diane Blohowiak, coordinator of information-technology user support, has asked faculty and staff to use Century Gothic for all printed documents. The school also plans to change its e-mail system so it uses Century Gothic.

"The feedback we've gotten so far has been positive," she said. "Century Gothic is very readable."

The school of 6,500 students spends about $100,000 per year on ink and toner cartridges. Although students and staff can change the default font to something more ink-intensive, Blohowiak said the university expects to save $5,000 to $10,000 per year with the font switch.

When tested popular fonts for their ink-friendly ways, Century Gothic and Times New Roman topped the list. Calibri, Verdana, Arial and Sans Serif were next, followed by Trebuchet, Tahoma and Franklin Gothic Medium. Century Gothic uses about 30 percent less ink than Arial.

The amount of ink a font drains is mainly driven by the thickness of its lines. A font with "narrow" or "light" in its name is usually better than its "bold" or "black" counterpart, said Thom Brown, an ink researcher at Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's top maker of printers.

For more on this subject By DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press Writer Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer, click here.