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Fred Phelps is an ass.  A hateful, vile, waste of space.  There, that’s as angry as I’ll be getting…hopefully.  Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church lunatics (mostly relatives of his) are planning on coming to San Diego within the week to spew forth their despicable ramblings, and thankfully San Diego folks are not going to let it take place without responding.  Mind you, PEACEFUL responses, without engaging these imbeciles who have the audacity to even protest at funerals of military men and women.   (Yes, I will be practicing restraint.  Practice, practice, practice…) Read the rest of this entry »

I found this delightful tit-for-tat while catching up on email today.  (And yes, in order to maintain these valued friendships I will NOT use their names…for now…bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha… ;)) Love you, L** and K********!

Hi K******** et al,

I’m sitting here getting ready for a colonoscopy tomorrow morning and didn’t think anything could make me smile .. but the Door Frame and Pet Tax Form got me feeling good for at least a few moments, so thank you thank you.

L**

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L**,

Glad to hear you aren’t feeling so poopy! I’d hate to waste such a funny form. I’m just passing things along the chute I think all you might enjoy.

Sorry :D, I couldn’t help it! I know colonoscopies are icky – although it’s the prep more than anything so tonight you feel much worse than you will tomorrow.

Remember, this too shall pass! Sorry, gotta run!

Meanly,
K********

I’m coming out of blog hibernation (yikes, over 4 months!) to see if any of you reading this have a negative memory from childhood which still burns as vividly in your mind as if it happened just yesterday?  Ever wish someone had done something about it or had let you know things would be okay?  If so (or even if not), PLEASE take the time to follow the links I’ve included and DO SOMETHING about this most atrocious story I just heard about this morning.  I honestly could NOT believe there was a chance ANY of it could be true–but it is.  Instead of going into all of the details myself, the story/video link takes you to an in-depth interview with Harry Smith (CBS news) and the mother of Alex,  the kindergartner who was “voted out” by 14 of his 16 classmates.

I do have to say that as an aunt to two nephews I could NOT love more (one of which has been dealing with emotional/behavioral issues for most of his young life–at one time having been considered to have Asperger Syndrome such as little Alex is being tested for), and as someone who is still hoping to one day complete her teaching credential (two more classes ;)), it disgusts/shocks/saddens me to see such a ridiculous and cruel event be inflicted on such a young child, especially by a teacher who is entrusted to care for, educate, and nurture our children.  Not only will it more than likely have a long-lasting effect on Alex, but it sends the most intolerant of messages to the classmates involved that they do not need to understand and embrace the differences amongst us, and can instead simply “vote” someone out of their surroundings.  If we are teaching this to kindergarten children, imagine how they will think they can deal with those they don’t care for as they get older?  Don’t like that person because of their sexual orientation, religious affiliation, skin color, then “vote” them out.  And trust me, folks, “voting” will NOT be the way they handle it; violence will be.  Sigh.

I hope you’ll all take the 6 minutes needed to watch this video (if anyone finds it on YouTube, please let me know so I can post it here…thanks!), then also please, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to click the photo of Alex and send a card to the address listed to let him know he IS uniquely special, beautiful, and loved just the way he is–we ALL are!  Feel free to re-post this blog or to contact me regarding how to add the links/photo to your blog or email, and by all means do all you can to get the word out about this situation and the card campaign. 

Thank you for your time. 🙂

PS I hope to get back to a “somewhat” regular routine of blogging again.  Goodness knows there’s enough going on in the world today which I definitely have opinions about! 😉 

I don’t really have a lot of time for blogging right now, what with still “sort of” living between two counties and working full-time (add to that the car breaking down continuously, my poochie’s diabetes giving us grief with not wanting to regulate, and my computer still not being hooked up and functional), BUT I did want to spread a little love today and wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Southern California fires are striking closer to home (I took these pictures today), and sadly it seems that arsonists are now playing a part in some of the newer ones. It also appears that the Southwest Riverside County area (speaking of Temecula/Murrieta), along with the the northeastern most section of North San Diego County (speaking of Fallbrook/De Luz) are getting short shrift in the local media. As some are saying, it’s too far north to usually garner attention in the San Diego media, and too far south to do the same with the Los Angeles area media…sigh.

This is due west of Temecula/Murrieta and probably the De Luz/Rosa fire. The plateau to the right is part of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.

THANKFULLY the North County Times/Californian has bucked the trend of San Diego/Los Angeles media disregarding our area, and instead has done a FABULOUS job, with their reporters: Lauri Lockwood, Brian Eckhouse, Pete Zanko, John Hunneman (hope I’m not missing anyone!) taking turns staying up throughout Tuesday night(10/22/07) to post fire and evacuation information in the comments section of the North County Times story “Fire breaks out west of Temecula.” This truly was the ONLY “real time” and practical information (other than the Riverside County Fire Department site whose info was fairly static after the initial report) worried residents could get on the new “Rosa” fire, which broke out at Via Santa Rosa and Rancho California Road, west of Temecula, at approximately 11PM on Monday, 10/22/07. Readers could post information from their various locations, which helped others getting a better grasp of the constantly-changing situation. The reporters gave updates from the California Department of Forestry and also posted scanner information. The story and comments are continuing as of this posting, nearly 24 hours later! Thank you SO MUCH, North County Times/Californian!!

Poomacha/Palomar fire going south on I-15, just before the Winchester exit.

Poomacha/Palomar fire from the Winchester/15 intersection.

So I ventured out today after having spent the majority of yesterday indoors, and I have to say that seeing three different fires from a vantage point high atop a nearby hill in northern Murrieta (where I took most of these pictures) was a major dose of reality. As we all know, seeing something like the SoCal fires on TV NEVER comes close to capturing the intensity and shocking reality of seeing it in person. While I was many miles from any of the fires it was truly bizarre and jarring to see the actual smoke and crazy skies in person that I’d only been hearing about and seeing on television. I could see the immense cloud of smoke from what I believe to be the Poomacha/Palomar fire (Hwy 76/Pauma Valley in San Diego County) south of Temecula/Murrieta, along with seeing the smaller but equally frightening plume of smoke coming from what I believe to be the De Luz/Rosa fire (west of Temecula), and further north smoke from what I believe is the Running Springs fire in San Bernardino County. Three fires within view; disturbing and sad to see.

I believe this is the Poomacha/Palomar fire on the Hwy 76 corridor in Pauma Valley (San Diego County), south of Temecula/Murrieta (Southwest Riverside County).

Around 9PM this evening my poochie, Rudy, and I took a drive down the 15 (which was now open, but had been closed for a good chunk of yesterday and today), something, by the way I wouldn’t have done if there was ANY chance it would hinder any type of rescue efforts, but the fires had moved away and the I-15 was open and pretty deserted. I could see the red glow of the Poomacha/Palomar fire as I was heading south on the 15 from Murrieta, and as I got closer to Hwy 79 I could actually see the flames, but as I ventured south on the 15 closer to the Border Patrol check-point (for non-locals, there is a Border Patrol check point NOT at the US border…confusing, yes? ;)) you couldn’t see the fire at all. Moving a bit further south you could suddenly smell the smoke; something which had surprisingly been missing from the Murrieta/Temecula area over the past days since the high winds had been keeping it from us. I have to say I suddenly questioned what the heck I was doing driving down the freeway which had had the fire jump across it earlier, but realized it wouldn’t have been reopened if it wasn’t safe, and there was just something gnawing at me to see and experience the reality of what had been happening to my neighboring areas (without interfering with any rescue efforts or evacuations). I especially questioned not only my sudden trip down the freeway, but why the freeway was open when I came across a bright red glow which turned out to be a pretty decent sized fire flare-up about 100 feet from the freeway, just south of the Mission exit. No fire trucks were around, but there was some sort of police/sheriff/CHP car standing guard. Unfortunately there were also folks who for some reason felt the need to pull off the side of the freeway to gawk. Driving down the freeway and checking things out is one thing, but to risk the safety of anyone in your car or those in passing cars by pulling off the freeway is just nuts. Hopefully no one will be injured, and the flare-up will be knocked down soon.

Have to say it was great to see Nessy Burgers (locals know what I’m talking about ;)) still standing just off the 15 at the 76, since there were reports about nearby Pala Resort having suffered damage. In a way I’m glad I was around the area at night because I’m sure it would have been much more gut-wrenching to have seen places that are part of my history in this area, charred and damaged in the bright light of day. Although considering the heavy smoke that was still hanging around I wonder when the area will actually have a clear day again.

Short video I took from a Murrieta hilltop the afternoon of 10/23/07 of the Poomacha/Palomar and De Luz/Rosa fires. (The plateau to the right is part of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.)

View from a similar Murrieta hilltop the morning of 10/24/07 showing the overwhelming smoke filling the skies from the Poomacha/Palomar and De Luz/Rosa fires.

10/27/07 view of Poomacha fire from same area hilltop.

I would ask that those of you reading this blog entry, whether you’re a local just trying to keep up on the latest happenings in our area or former local concerned about your past stomping grounds, please continue to keep everyone involved in these horrific fires in your thoughts (1 in 6 San Diegans are currently evacuated!), and know that this is not something that will be “done” once the fires are finally out, but something that we will all be in for the long haul, helping our neighbors rebuild, renew, and recapture their lives. Be safe everyone!

Previous related blog entry: Southern California fires/resources (updated links/info)/Larry Himmel videos

Anyone who has spent much time on this blog knows that music of all sorts is vital to my everyday existence, and that live concerts with all of their energy, talent, electricity and excitement, are what gives my life that jolt we all need. So when the following video by Sarah Connor and Naturally 7 (extremely talented performers I’m afraid I had never heard of before) was sent to me today it was almost as if they had tapped into my brain and put into words and music a huge portion of what music means to me and how it affects my life.

The timing of being introduced to these performers, this beautiful song, and the great images in the video, is also a bit of kismet since the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster due to one of my best friends suddenly losing his best friend. It goes without saying that putting any energy into writing a blog has been the furthest thing from my mind, but this video just touched something in me and made me want to share it with everyone. While nothing short of love, support, and time, can even begin to chip away at the incredible pain and emptiness from such a tragic and heartbreaking loss, I really do feel that music can play an important role in the healing process, and this video seems to speak directly to that notion. And to my dear friend Jackson, if you happen to read this, babe, let me say again that I am ALWAYS here for you and that I love you. (((J)))

“Music is the Key” Sarah Connor and Naturally 7

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketToday, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day, so I thought I’d post a little information from the Human Rights Campaign web site. For those who have yet to come out, know that there is support out there, sometimes where you’d least expect it. And for those of you like myself, who have “come out” as straight supporters of GLBT rights, keep your voices strong. This is an issue of common sense, common decency, compassion, and most of all love.

T.R. Knight PSA for GLAAD

From the Human Rights Campaign web site:

About Coming Out as a Straight Supporter (from the HRC web site)

A straight ally is someone who is not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) but personally advocates for GLBT equal rights and fair treatment. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful advocates for the GLBT movement. These allies have proven invaluable personally and politically, and are increasingly important in the fight for GLBT equality. Indeed, their voices often have been heard while those of GLBT people have been ignored.

Coming out as a straight ally may be an extremely challenging experience, but many find that it is unexpectedly rewarding. Some may think that advocating on behalf of GLBT equality is solely the responsibility of those who are affected by the inequality.

But as straight ally Caleb Baker has put it: “U.S. Representative John Lewis once said that the next great movement in America would be the gay rights movement. His words make me remember there are white people fighting for black people’s rights in the civil rights movement. There are men fighting for women’s rights in the feminist movement. I would be greatly ashamed if there were no straight people fighting for gay rights in our movement.” (GLSEN’s Students and GSA’s Yearbook)

Like GLBT people, straight allies will find that coming out is not a one-time event, but rather a lifelong journey.

Opinion polls show that people who know someone who is gay or lesbian are more likely to support equal rights for all gay and lesbian people. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the same is true for people who know someone who is bisexual or transgender.

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A couple of reminders…

Cyndi Lauper on The View discussing True Colors Tour 2007

Cyndi Lauper on The View singing “True Colors”

rudy-peeking-web.jpg

No, not any of those other Rudys…MY Rudy, my poochie, my goofball, and the being that cracks me up each day. Yes, I am one of those folks that celebrates her dog’s birthday (bite your tongue, Jackson!), albeit one that was created based on the best judgment of shelter workers since Rudy was adopted from a Humane Society in SoCal. So approximately two years before I adopted Rudy on July 14th, 2002, my crazy, recently diagnosed with diabetes boy was born.

Happy Birthday Rudy, and thanks for all the happiness you bring to me and to everyone who meets you. 🙂 (And yes, Rudy can read. ;))

rudy-b-day.jpg

(***ADDED 7/12/07: Looks like Michael may WILL be on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight on MSNBC at 8PM EST, with a replay 4 hours later.***)

Have to say that anticipating a television show is not something I’ve done in a long time (okay, I was curious about The Sopranos finale ;)), but waiting for the promised “Unedited Part II” of Michael Moore and Wolf Blitzer’s firework-laced gabfest on The Situation Room definitely had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I’ll include both videos here (even though Part I was included in this blog posting) since seeing them one right after the other keeps the continuity of Michael’s outrage much more so than the 24 hour time lapse given to us courtesy of CNN.

A huge thank you to those who take the time to upload these videos to YouTube so the rest of us can view them! 🙂

Part I-CNN Gets Blitzed by Michael Moore

Part II-Michael Moore/Wolf Blitzer

And speaking of CNN, when are they going to catch a clue that Larry King’s time has come and gone–long ago? It was truly painful to watch him attempt to have anything to do with the serious debate that Dr. Gupta and Michael should have been having on their differences regarding where health care system facts came from. I felt Dr. Gupta was attempting to have some sort of dialogue with Michael, but Larry kept trying to play referee when one wasn’t really needed. It seemed that the majority of times when Michael was attempting to set the record straight and explain where/why/how SiCKO came up with facts for the film, his turn to talk was cut short. It would be nice to see CNN actually allow Dr. Gupta and Michael the opportunity Larry King “claims” they will to actually have a serious and much-needed hour of (hopefully non-Larry King interrupted!) discourse on this crucial topic.

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 1 of 3

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 2 of 3

Larry King Live/Michael Moore & Dr. Gupta-Part 3 of 3

 

Here is Keith Olbermann’s take on the Michael-vs-Wolf/CNN episode, with input from Rachel Maddow. I would include the video here, but the page is taking a long time to load due to all the other videos. And here is one I would NOT bother to include since Joe Scarborough is showing what a moron he can be (I’ve actually agreed with him on a few–very few-occasions) by attacking Michael’s weight issue instead of discussing the important arguments Michael brings up. Way to deal with the topic at hand, Joe.

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I haven’t touched base with the pet food recall story in a bit so thought I’d check into what the latest news has been. The head of China’s version of our FDA was executed yesterday for his part in the horrific “lethally tainted products” fiasco from which people and pets around the world have been suffering. An owner who truly believes her pet died from tainted food, albeit 10 months prior to the initial Menu Foods pet food recall, is denied her claim by Nutro Products, Inc. And while this Opinion posting on USA Today barely mentions the pet food recall, it does a good job of enlightening the reader on how it is that so many tainted products have come to the USA from China (such as the Thomas the Tank Engine toys), and that consumers MUST continue to put pressure on our own government in order to have them place equal pressure on China.

As an aunt to two Thomas the Tank Engine-addicted nephews, I wanted to do my part to pass along information regarding the recent recall of 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine trains and accessory parts due to high levels of lead paint. The warning from officials is to TAKE THESE TOYS AWAY FROM CHILDREN IMMEDIATELY, so please following the links I’m including and check the products you have at home against those being recalled. Here is the RC2 official press release (the company which manufactures the recalled products), a detailed list of images of items being recalled, and I’ll include the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission official press release below.I just have to say that considering the never ending melamine-tainted pet food recall, along with the diethylene glycol-laced cough syrup and toothpaste fiasco, why am I NOT surprised that these recalled Thomas the Tank Engine items were manufactured in China?! Argh!

UPDATES:

  • 9/27/07: More items recalled today!
  • 6/19/07:  Here’s a GREAT article (“As More Toys Are Recalled, Trail Ends In China“) from the New York Times stating that ALL 24 of the recalled toys this year were manufactured in China, with issues from lead paint to kerosene! You do need to sign up for a free online subscription to read the NY Times article…so worth it, though!***)

 

NEWS from CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2007
Release #07-212
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 725-4407
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

RC2 Corp. Recalls Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Products: Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys

Units: About 1.5 million

Importer/Distributor: RC2 Corp., of Oak Brook, Ill.

Hazard: Surface paints on the recalled products contain lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None.

Description: The recall involves wooden vehicles, buildings and other train set components for young children listed in the chart below. The front of the packaging has the logo “Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway” on the upper left-hand corner. A manufacturing code may be located on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover. Toys marked with codes containing “WJ” or “AZ” are not included in this recall.

Recalled Product Name
Red James Engine & Red James’ # 5 Coal Tender
Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James’ #5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender
James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors #5 Coal Tender
Red Skarloey Engine
Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach
Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck
Red Musical Caboose
Red Sodor Line Caboose
Red Coal Car labeled “2006 Day Out With Thomas” on the Side
Red Baggage Car
Red Holiday Caboose
Red “Sodor Mail” Car
Red Fire Brigade Truck
Red Fire Brigade Train
Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
Red Coal Car
Yellow Box Car
Red Stop Sign
Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign
Yellow “Sodor Cargo Company” Cargo Piece
Smelting Yard
Ice Cream Factory

Sold at: Toy stores and various retailers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should take the recalled toys away from young children immediately and contact RC2 Corp. for a replacement toy.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact RC2 Corp. toll-free at (866) 725-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. CT Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at recalls.rc2.com

Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC’s web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.asp. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

I have amazing friends. Friends I can’t imagine being without. Friends who help keep me sane. (Which isn’t always an easy task. 😉) Friends who have been with me through countless years, some through just a few months. But if you become a friend of mine (and I’m not talking about those “friendly acquaintances” we all have, but a friend that actually knows the real me and STILL hangs around), and we have created that “bond”, then the amount of time we’ve known each other really doesn’t matter.

I’d like to think that I am a good friend, and that my friends know I’d be there for them in a heartbeat, just as I know they would be for me (and boy, have they ever been there for me through some crazy times!). I do know that I have a tendency to go overboard (if it’s possible) when a friend is hurting, and unfortunately that’s the case for a dear buddy right now, hence this post.

While rereading some of my friend’s writing I was struck all over again with the beauty of his words in the following line.

The truth is, when I think about Park Slope or its autumn leaves, or its crisp air that smells of antique stone, I feel not only nostalgia but a tremor in my heart that reminds me of just how vital I am to certain individuals’ peace of mind.

I hope that while he’s going through this rough time in his life, he remembers that he IS vital to peace of mind for more individuals than he probably imagines.

So out of my frustration with not being able to wave a magic wand and make everything alright, I feel the need to go to “The Mushy Zone” and post a video of a song I’ve always loved, along with a great quote from Thoreau. Call me a dork, a softie, a goof, whatever, but both items really sum up the pretty simple ideas of what constitutes true friendship for me. I hope you all have friends you feel the same way about, too. And to my dear bud, you are much stronger than you realize…LYB.

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” ~Henry David Thoreau

“You’ve Got a Friend”-James Taylor Tribute (with Carole King)

Surprise the heck out of folks and spread a little random love today! 🙂

Global Love Day web site

 

I realize tomorrow is about as far from Halloween as you can get, BUT I’m sure you have something orange you could wear Tuesday, April 10th, to show your support for ASPCA Day. Please read the information below and take part. Hey, if the blog can “Go Orange for Animals” for the day, I’m sure you can do something, too! The animals and I thank you.

With permission from the ASPCA web site:

Ways to Go Orange for Animals

On April 10th 2007, the ASPCA will be celebrating ‘ASPCA Day’ and encouraging animal lovers nationwide to ‘Go Orange for Animals’. In our hometown of New York City, many Big Apple buildings will be lighting up in orange—the official ASPCA color—on our birthday, April 10th. Other big cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and Philadelphia, will be going orange, too.

But we can’t forget the most important participants of all. Without the support of animal lovers like you, we wouldn’t still be the oldest humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Please join us in celebrating the work that we do and the animals that we serve by ‘Going Orange for Animals’ on April 10th.

To get you started, we’ve provided the following ideas on how you can ‘Go Orange’ in your city, town, classroom or community for animals on April 10. Whether you organize a pet parade in your community, petition to get your town hall to light up orange, or decorate your office door with an orange bow, we thank you.

GO ORANGE! GLOW ORANGE! SHOW ORANGE FOR ANIMALS!

LIGHTEN UP
OK, so you don’t have a tower like the one on the Empire State Building on top of your house, but you can still let the world know that animal lovers live in your home. Purchase orange string or rope lights, available online and at hardware and specialty lighting and novelty stores, and wrap your house, terrace, trees, lamppost, porch steps, mailbox…even the family swing set. Start small by replacing your porch light or driveway light with an orange bulb, and see where that takes you.

SIGN LANGUAGE
Let our posters do the talking. You can download our specially designed ASPCA Day posters and use them to inspire others to show their orange colors for animals on April 10. Download Now: Dog Poster | Cat Poster

HOW ‘GLOW’ CAN YOU GO?
Get that orange GLOW by wearing and handing out orange glow sticks and glow jewelry. How about a glow light party or parade in your town? (Glow sticks and glow jewelry can be found online or purchased at party supply stores.)

TIE ONE (OR TWO!) ON
Be a wrap star when you decorate with orange bows. They’ll look great wherever you put them—on trees, over your office door, hanging from your dashboard, on your pooch…and so on and so on.

PLAY DRESS-UP
Open your closet and get out those bright orange pants, shirts, ties, shoelaces and socks that you don’t wear because you don’t think they match anything. Fear not—you’ll be majorly en vogue on April 10, we promise. If you suffer from a dearth of citrus-colored clothing, simply visit the online ASPCA Store.

ON THE MOVE
Plan a dog walk in your town where dogs and their humans go orange! For the organizationally challenged, walking through town with your friends (both furry and human) is just as good, but do be sure you’re all wearing something orange.

TAKE A BIG GULP
Mix up some batches of orangeade or orange Kool-Aid and have a sale to benefit your local humane organization or animal shelter. There’s a reason this is the quintessential kid’s fundraising activity—it’s inexpensive, and it works!

SWEET TREATS
Organize an orange bake sale for animals. Make orange cupcakes, orange cookies, orange-frosted cakes or animal shaped cats and dogs wearing orange frosted collars. (P.S. Remember, a little food coloring goes a long way!)

Bake orange cookies or cupcakes for your friends, co-workers, classmates, etc. You could also convince your local bakery to do this, and donate some of the proceeds to your local animal shelter or animal welfare group.

ESPECIALLY FOR TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS
Organize a Wear Orange For Animals Day on Tuesday, April 10, and give out orange animal cookies or cupcakes. Use this day as an opportunity to educate your students or library clients about how and why the humane movement began in the United States, and why it is important to be kind to those who cannot speak for themselves.

Have your students read Black Beauty and other humane children’s books. You can also work with your students or local theater group to present a play or speech about kindness to animals, or a brief history of the ASPCA. For more ideas, our ASPCA Humane Education department has prepared lesson plans and a list of ASPCA-approved books about animals and animal welfare, which you can find at ASPCAEducation.org.

LET IT SHINE
Ask your town hall and local officials to help you ‘Go Orange for Animals’ in your neighborhood to help raise awareness about kindness and compassion. Remind your representatives that kindness to animals means kinder citizens—who are more compassionate to each other.

SEEK SHELTER
Coordinate an ASPCA Day event with your local animal shelter or animal welfare group, and be sure to alert your local media. Wrap your shelter in an orange glow and hold an awareness event or fundraiser on or near April 10. To find a shelter or rescue group near you, visit our shelter database.

CONSTRUCTION WORK
Know of a cool building in your town or city that would look great lit up orange? Find out who the management company is and ask them to join in with New York City’s tower buildings and the many buildings that will be lighting up orange on April 10. As an added incentive, let them know that their building could receive great coverage if they light up for animals; good idea to alert the media first.

MIND YOUR (LOCAL) BUSINESS
Have your local pet store or tack shop go orange, and ask them to offer special promotions or discounts on April 10, with some proceeds going toward local animal welfare efforts.

Encourage your local bookstore to go orange by promoting and displaying humane literature for kids and adults. Local students and teachers could create the display, too. Visit ASPCAEducation.org for a list of top animal-themed titles.

GROW ORANGE
Got a green thumb? Plant an orange garden for animals. Ask your local garden center what orange flowering plants work best in your area, and do some creative landscaping. Trim your shrubs into animal shapes, and decorate them in orange bows or lights.

No garden? Try window boxes or flower pots, but do let people (and the media) know that your orange garden is all for and all about animals. (Be careful though, as some plants can be toxic to animals and wildlife. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at to find out which ones.)

GIVE A HOMELESS ANIMAL A SECOND CHANCE
Sponsor an advertisement in your local paper for an animal from your local shelter who needs a home. You can even ask to feature a photo of the animal wearing an orange bow—either real or graphically created. Make sure the ad says that you sponsored that animal for ASPCA Day, and encourage others to do the same.

Got any more ideas? Cool! And please remember, BE CREATIVE but BE CAREFUL, and always BE KIND!

For more information about ASPCA Day, please email melissat@aspca.org.

Considering all the hate and/or stupidity that we are surrounded with of late (Don Imus, Michael Richards, the disaster in Iraq, and so on…), I thought we might all be in need of a break, a little love, and some major oohing and ahhing. (And yes, I realize sea otters holding “hands” is mostly for safety, but it’s adorable nonetheless!) Enjoy!

–Okay, just because I’ve got that silly “Muskrat Love” song (made famous by Captain and Tennille) on my mind after posting the entry above a bit ago, I HAD to go in search of a “Muskrat Love” video. The one below was the best I could find. And for those of you who actually lived through the 70’s, you MUST check out this list. Talk about feeling old and crazy right now; I actually had 14 of those albums! 😉

Yes, I realize most of you have no clue who Jackson is (am quite sure he’d say that it’s your loss ;)), BUT since I do adore the boy and it IS his birthday today (will be nice and NOT say how old since he’s having ‘issues’ with it…you can pay me later, Jackson!), I feel the need to post a couple videos of his obsession (Placebo…more to the point, Brian Molko ;)), since I posted some of mine yesterday. (And yes, that WAS the longest run-on sentence ever. ;))

 

Much love and HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to you, my betch. 😉

(And here’s hoping the “Lucy Syndrome” doesn’t occur today!)

 

From your fave CD

My pick

Hilarious interview

Happy Hallmark Day everyone! Okay, was that a tad cynical? 😉 As someone who isn’t involved with anyone right now, it’s not a day that’s really high on my list, BUT I am all about spreading some love and happiness, so figured I’d do so with this video which I ADORE! If you haven’t heard about the Free Hugs Campaign, check out the videos first, expect the warm fuzzies to overtake you, then head over to either Juan Mann’s website or his MySpace page and get involved. Hey, getting involved can mean just hugging the person (or pet :)) next to you. It’s a start, right?

Slight cynicism about this day aside, Happy Day of Love to all of you, and especially to my family, my poochie, and my good buds! 😉

So it’s been one month of blogging and I have to say it’s been quite the experience. Still haven’t become accustomed to the fact that people I don’t know are reading what I feel like blabbing about. But based on the blog hits (and the fact that my own visits to the blog aren’t counted ;)) you ARE reading. Okay, truth be told, you may not be reading but you ARE at least showing up over here. Hey, it’s a start, right? I’ll save any Sally Fields “You like me. You really, really like me.” speeches until more time has passed and more proof has been shown. (But I hope you do like me…you really, really do like me! ;))

It’s amazing how much can happen in one month of your life, or in the lives of your friends. Near misses with cars which make you realize who/what is important in life, love being wrenched from your heart and soul then amazingly and surprisingly presenting itself in a much better and more committed form, babies entering this world and family members leaving it, good test results and sad health news, the ebb and flow of life. I wonder what life will bring all of us in this coming month. Guess we’ll see.

Sniffin’ out the info

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