Make One Change for Planet Earth

IMG_4662Tomorrow is Earth Day. A day set aside to mark the anniversary of what’s considered the birth of the modern environmental movement which began in 1970 when groups fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife came together as they recognized they shared common values.

In 1970,  Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, those in cities as well as rural areas, labor unions and business interests came together for a common goal which resulted in the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act.

So glad Ocala’s finally embraced recycling.

By 1990 Earth Day went global with over 140 countries recognizing the need to address environmental issues and led to significant recycling efforts.

While there are still many who make changes to protect Earth’s resources, unfortunately, many businesses, lobbyists, and politicians now work to dismantle the positive work from the past 44 years.

With the 45th anniversary of Earth Day one year away, it’s a good time to commit to making one change this year for the health of Earth. There are so many options:

  • Increase recycling efforts
  • Carpool
  • Plant a tree
  • ALWAYS use reusable bags at the grocery instead of plastic
  • Stop drinking bottled water
  • Eat less meat
  • Turn up the AC a degree or two this summer and turn down the heat in the winter
  • Buy less of everything


No more bottled water!
No more bottled water!

I know this is a huge waste of resources as well as money, and how can I continue this practice and then complain about the companies pumping water from the aquifer? I still don’t want to drink the water from the tap, but I’m investing in a water purifier instead of buying the bottled stuff.

What will you do?

Make one change for planet Earth!





Print Pictures

IMG_4391Boxes of photos with thousands of prints line the shelves of a closet with more photos in albums and drawers. It can be overwhelming to go through so many pictures trying to locate ones from a particular event or time period. It’s time to weed out those blurry pictures, duplicates, and ones that are not meaningful, and then I’ll need to determine a more effective way of organizing and labeling so they can be enjoyed instead of stored.

As much as I dread the thought of undertaking the picture organization task, I’m glad we have photographs from not only our years as a couple, but ones from our childhood, and even earlier pictures of our parents, grandparents, and early generations. Pictures in Easter outfits with bonnets and white gloves, pictures around the Christmas tree, pictures of birthdays, vacations, sporting events, friends, family, and other special occasions.

I’ve never taken so many pictures as since I got a phone with a camera. No worry about forgetting the camera, needing more film or flashbulbs, and it’s always charged so it’s always picture time. Photos of everyday events fill my camera roll and photo stream. Today it shows 780 photos saved on my phone, and that’s just the ones on the phone. In the past year, I’ve taken over 5000 pictures. No subject is too mundane.

I love digital photography. Since there’s no cost associated with bad pictures I can just shoot away sure to get a few good shots and then I can save on the computer, no more boxes or drawers full of the extra prints. However, there’s a big problem with this system. Technology changes and if some of these photos aren’t printed, we risk losing them.

This has happened with pictures taken in the past. Boxes of slides can no longer be viewed so we’ve lost our record of those memories.

Videos stored on VHS and 8mm tapes cannot be enjoyed now that we don’t own the devices needed to show them. Of course, we can take these tapes to be digitized so we can watch them again, but in what format should they be converted? Will this be a process that needs to occur every decade to keep these images?

There’s something to be said for old-fashioned prints, not dependent on technology. You can enjoy them for a lifetime and they can be passed on to the generations that follow.


Take pictures. Save them on your phone, camera, computer, or other storage devices. Make them into slide shows to show others and enjoy, but don’t stop there. Please print, label, and organize a representative selection of pictures EVERY year. You’ll be glad you did!






Give the Gift of Time

The best gifts I’ve received have been those of spending time with friends or family. Two years ago for Christmas, I received a card from your Dad inviting me to spend every Wednesday evening with him for 2012 and Date Night officially began.

I changed my availability to students from 8:00-8:00 to reflect that my day ends at 5:00 and he cleared his calendar on Wednesdays so he’s home by 5:00 ready to spend the rest of the evening together.

It only took 32 years to start date night, but worth the wait!

Date Night doesn’t require an event, only time together. There’s always food, we’ve tried many different restaurants, and most weeks we go somewhere or do something: watch a movie, see a play, go for a bike ride, sit on the porch and watch the sunset, and every December…Christmas shop; but most of all it’s time for just the two of us.

Our yearly family weekend is special for the same reason. I receive the gift of your time which always guarantees the weekend will be perfect.

Unfortunately we spend too much time thinking about gifts we can purchase for others. Instead of shopping, we need to think about giving the gift of time. Make a phone call. Invite friends for dinner. Go for a walk. There’s nothing like sharing your time with those you care about.

Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time,” is like saying, “I don’t want to.”

~Lao Tzu

Give the gift of time.




Do Something Unexpected

All creative people want to do the unexpected.
Hedy Lamarr

Reliable, predictable, dependable, well-planned, organized, a real “steady Eddie”. Words that describe me and qualities I’ve tried to encourage you to develop.

So it may come as a surprise that today I’m encouraging you to do something unexpected, but since that’s what we did by flying to New York instead of hosting a weekend of Thanksgiving feasting and fun this year, I want to encourage you to step out of your dependable, predictable life occasionally and do the unexpected.

I don’t want to eliminate our family Thanksgiving traditions; however, spending the weekend in New York City proved refreshing, exciting, and at times unpredictable – of course, riding the subway is always unpredictable!

You travel with the hope that something unexpected will happen. It has to do with enjoying being lost and figuring it out and the satisfaction. I always get a little disappointed when I know too well where I’m going, or when I’ve lived in a place so long that there’s no chance I could possibly get lost.
Andrew Bird

And not only did this unexpected get-away reinvigorate us, it also proved Thanksgiving stills happens without our participation. I’m proud to say all three of my daughters have prepared a full Thanksgiving meal. Well done!

There will be no unexpected Thanksgiving trip in 2014. I hope family will make plans to join us on November 27, 2014 for a traditional turkey dinner and plan to stay Friday for round two with games, fun, and a ham feast. Of course, if you decide to do something unexpected next year and can’t make it, I’ll understand!