Friday, April 30, 2010
This beautiful 11 year old spoke at the NaturVet assembly and I just have to share her story with you!
It seems that when she was 9 years old, she liked to volunteer at her local Humane Society. It was during one of those shifts that she met and fell in love with Gracie, a husky mix.
Beautiful aren't they?
Well, the reason Gracie was there in the first place was because of her little leg...
So Lauren asked her parents to adopt Gracie. Since they already had 2 other big dogs, they told her 'no.'
Well, Lauren kept volunteering, visiting Gracie and "working on" her parents...
FINALLY, 3 months later, her parents agreed and Gracie came home to live with her new family!
Gracie can hop along on her 3 good legs, but they built her a little cart for long walks.
That was 2 years ago and now the two come talk to groups to remind them that handicaps are not bad things and to please adopt dogs from the humane society or rescue groups!
It is estimated that 8 million animals are in shelters and rescues in the US awaiting a home. Sadly, 6 million animals - dogs, cats, goats, reptiles, horses and birds - never do find a home and are put to death each year. These numbers are overwhelming and honestly, hard to imagine. What an one person really do to help, especially when feeling overwhelmed by so many animals in need? "Saving just one pet won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that one pet."
Thursday, April 29, 2010
One of the charities I support with volunteer time and photography is the NaturVet Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that is helping to save the lives of homeless pets.
They are on a mission to do this by teaching compassion, proper care and love for animals while supporting alternative No-Kill Shelters.
They are so supportive of this that a percentage of ALL NaturVet® product sales are donated to supporting Pet Rescue Groups and their efforts.
So when they asked if I would document a school assembly they were hosting to teach children the value of humane society rescue - I jumped at the chance- and headed back to school!
They also invited along some animal friends like this parrot (all rescued.)
The kids were so excited to meet and learn about all the animals!
This doggy was rescued from the Humane Society in Riverside, CA -- she talked about the importance of spaying and neutering.
um...when I say SHE, I mean the owner, not the doggy. The doggy just smiled.
The children met dogs, a parrot, a monkey, a lizard and a ferret...
The NaturVet® Foundation's goals are to:
- Support and raise funds for No-Kill Rescue Groups & Humane Society branches
- Raise Funds for the addition of more local based Humane Society facilities
- Teach children and the general public the value of caring for animals and spaying and neutering them.
To learn more about this wonderful organization click HERE
"My job, my mission, the reason I`ve been put on this planet, is to save wildlife." Steve Irwin
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Book club time!
This month Nancy chose "The Zookeeper's Wife."
This non-fiction book tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds.
Using Antonina's diaries, other contemporary sources and her own research in Poland, Ackerman takes us into the Warsaw ghetto and the 1943 Jewish uprising and also describes the Poles' revolt against the Nazi occupiers in 1944.
Ackerman's writing is powerful, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area: "...the sky broke open and whistling fire hurtled down, cages exploded, moats rained upward, iron bars squealed as they wrenched apart."
There was a lot to discuss and compare - so it was a great book for a club to read!~
But then it was time for our lunch! Of course keeping in theme with the book!
We started off with salad.
And then moved on to the most delicious Polish Sausage Split Pea Soup!
And of course a wonderful Polish dessert, Mazurka, and a nice cup of coffee to finish.
Friends and a good meal - what else could you possibly want?
"There were 380,000 Jews in Warsaw on the eve of World War II. Most did not survive the Holocaust. The director of the Warsaw Zoo and his wife were responsible for saving about 300. Why then write about them? Can 300 mean anything when hundreds of thousands died? Certainly any such act of wartime courage is worth recording, but Jan and Antonina Zabinski’s work was distinctive. The Nazis dehumanized the Jews; the Zabinskis hid them in animal cages. The Nazis behaved like beasts; the zookeepers, who were experienced with dangerous animals, threw them off the scent with subterfuge and lies. The Zabinskis’ effort was not just merciful, it was human in the deepest sense of the word." New York Times Book Review
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
As we were zipping around Palm Springs, with camera in hand, I had to detour over to check out the mascot of this car repair shop!
Very sad to pull up and realize it was out of business! Boo hoo!
Thankfully though, they left their magnificent 50 foot tall spider to guard the lot.
Amazing isn't it?
Since I was out of the car admiring the spider, I happened to look around and noticed the lot was in fact a GALLERY of magnificent art!
From the front gate....
To tree stumps (finished to look like a palm tree with rebar)
A flowery windmill...
A cactus made from pipe strung with barbed wire...
And even fence supports made over into desert plants!
And of course this artist had to remake his mailbox so it could also handle AIR MAIL!
"Beauty is in the heart of the beholder." H.G. Wells
Monday, April 26, 2010
Well, course all that sightseeing and photography was makin' me hungry!
Fortunately, my mom knew JUST where we should go!
Tyler’s is a tiny spot in downtown Palm Springs – former haunt of Sinatra, Bob Hope, Carey Grant and Sonny Bono. A hit with locals and tourists alike, there is a line for seats from before they open at 11 am until they close at 4 PM.
The tiny building (once a bus depot) barely fits a grill and a few counter seats - so most folks head for the outside garden seating area.
The 7-ounce patty is seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper. If you want, American cheese drips down the sides of the patty, which is covered in the sweetest grilled onions you will ever taste. The bun is a pillow of white, soft bread, griddled on the inside. The bun holds together admirably despite the juiciness of the burger and onions.
And to wash that down I suggest you order an "Arnold Palmer."
Ever heard of that? It's half lemonade and half unsweetened iced tea - and it's TO DIE FOR!
"BEST BURGERS IN THE WORLD BAR NONE: I grew up in Philly and lived in New York and then L.A. and San Francisco over the next 30 years. I've eaten hamburgers from coast to coast and no burger I ever ate was as delicious, fresh, tender and tasty as Tyler's. Everything is prepared fresh that day including fresh ground high quality beef, fabuloso, heavenly rich and creamy cole slaw and potato salad. No left over grease for their fries. FRESH, FRESH, FRESH and delicious. And, YES, the service is slow, but if you're looking for fast....go to McDonald's. If you want the very best of the best and don't mind the wait for high quality burgers and all the fresh sides, then TYLER'S is the place you've been looking for. And they put out fresh cold water for pets." Reviewer about Tyler's
Sunday, April 25, 2010
When we finished admiring the windmills, we headed into the town of Palm Springs.
The town is hip and trendy with 354 days of sunshine and winter temperatures in the 70's. (Course the summers are in the 100's, but let's focus on the positive, shall we?)
This was Sonny Bono's congressional district; memorials honor the singer and politician.
The Plaza Theatre is world famous for the Palm Springs Follies.
They bill themselves as: "Broadway-caliber celebration of the music, dance, and comedy of the 40s, 50s, and 60s with a cast old enough to have lived it! Venerated guest stars and international vaudeville acts join the Follies' world-renowned line of Long-Legged Lovelies and Follies Gentlemen, all ranging in age from 56 to 86."
(Yep -- dancing girls that are 86 years old!)
Palm Springs is "The Hip, Cool and Fun" place to get married as well.....
"Rich in history and blessed with gorgeous weather, Palm Springs is a preferred destination of travelers from all over the world. Nestled at the base of the Mount San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs is known for its crystal blue skies, year-round sunshine, stunning landscape, palm tree lined streets and starry nights." City of Palm Springs
Saturday, April 24, 2010
When driving to Palm Springs, California, there is a very distinct landmark that raises a few questions and turns a few heads.
A wind farm!
San Gorgonio Pass is one of the windiest areas in the world and is home to 3,500 electricity-producing wind turbines.
Pretty amazing, don't you think?
These wind turbines produce enough electricity to meet the needs of 100,000 typical homes!
WITH CLEAN ENERGY: No smog, No acid rain, no global warming, No miner's underground, No oil rigs exploding......
YAY for wind power!
And plus they are amazing to watch!
So are you ready to put one in your yard?
Before you sign up, let me tell you that the largest of these windmills stands 150 feet tall and has blades half the length of a football field. (How would that look in your backyard?)
The compartments at the top weigh 45,000 pounds and are about the size of a 18 wheeler's trailer!
Yessiree-- it's mighty big!
Wind energy will be one of the most important, widely applied of the renewable energy forms during the next several decades. There are substantial challenges to be met, but all appear solvable. Successful research and development will potentially result in generation from wind energy of about 10% of the electricity used in the United States.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Well, remember all those GORGEOUS desert wildflowers I showed you just a few short weeks ago? HERE?
Well, they're gone.
Hasta La Vista, Baby...
As soon as the weather warms up, the little puddles dry up.
The flowers start to wilt and then dry up....
And the earth goes barren....
Lucky I took you out to see the wildflowers in time huh?
But, don't worry--- they'll be back next year.
(Do you see now why we drove 2 hours to see them?)
In the meantime, I'll leave you to contemplate what we're going to investigate tomorrow:
There is no real definition of a desert. A region that receives less than 10 inches of rain per year is the most-used definition. Additionally, despite Hollywood renditions, deserts do not have to be hot places. Antarctica is considered a desert, even though it is the coldest place on the planet.