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More High Notes From Audubon August 5, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Nature, Sustainable Living.
4 comments

Yesterday, I shared Susan Cosier’s post on tying the bands of holy matrimony through a donation of trees to the re-forestration efforts in Indonesia:

With This Tree, I Thee Wed

Today, I’d like to share a few more High Notes from Audubon’s Field Notes:

* Numbers Game [Dirt Track] ~ fun facts about Dirt (e.g., 1 tablespoon of soil has more organisms in it than there are people on Earth).

* Gaining an Edge ~ when your razor loses its edge, pop it in Save-A-Blade and sharpen it rather than replacing it.  Cost:  $14.99 after rebate.

* Species Protection ~ the Center for Biological Diversity has enlisted 4,000 volunteers to distribute 100,000 endangered species themed condoms since unsustainable human growth is the cause of sprawl, climate change, resource depletion, and species extinction.

* Shroom Boom ~ Eban Bayer’s 3 year old company, Evocative, is putting mushroom roots to good use . . . as a biodegradable, chemical free product that could replace Styrofoam.

To read full articles on these Note Worthy events:  Field Notes, Audubon, May-June 2010

For information on 5,548 North American species, visit:  Audubon Field Guides ~ you can even search by zip code for birds and animals in your area, and listen to the sounds they make!

The Unhappy Face of Happy Meals August 5, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People, Sustainable Living.
4 comments

Grumpy gusMcDonald’s has reached a new low in its Happy Meal give-a-ways.

For pre-school boys:  eight Marvel comic action figures.

One, The Human Torch, is a man engulfed in flames.

Another, The Thing, menacingly roars “IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!” at the press of a button.

For pre-school girls:  cutesy animals that, bizarrely, come with hand bags!

If you would like to discourage McDonald’s from giving away sad, sexist, and blatantly consumeristic JUNK with its Happy Meals:

Send an e-mail to Jim Skinner, McDonald’s C.E.O.

To read the whole article:  Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

An Empty Nest August 5, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Magick & Mystery, Nature, People.
5 comments

For the past few weeks, a family of Anhingas resided in a large nest across the lagoon from our villa.

We watched the parents build the nest.

We watched as the parents waited for the eggs to hatch.

We watched three chicks emerge ~ at first, seeing only heads peeping over the edge of the nest, chirping in hunger until mom or dad appeared on the horizon, then crying in frenzied anticipation.

We watched the chicks grow from white balls of fluff, to birds with wings not yet mature enough to take flight.

This morning, I noticed that the birds had gone out on a limb, literally. 

The bough bent under their collective weight, until one by one, they took flight.

We hope they’ll soar.

For another type of empty nest:  When Your Last Starts Their Firsts

For more information on Anhingas, visit Audubon Guides: Anhingas

Hearts of Gold August 5, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Magick & Mystery, People, Sustainable Living.
14 comments

I read some awesome news this morning:

Hearts of Gold:  Forty Billionaires Pledge to Give Bulk of Wealth To Charity

While I recommend reading the entire article, here are a few highlights:

Famed investor Warren Buffett today announced the names of 40 of America’s wealthiest families and individuals who have signed on to the Giving Pledge, a charitable project that targets billionaires to pledge to donate the bulk of their wealth:

“At its core, the Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important conversations about their wealth and how it will be used. We’re delighted that so many people are doing just that — and that so many have decided to not only take this pledge but also to commit to sums far greater than the 50% minimum level.”

The Giving Pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. It does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations.

At an annual event, those who take the pledge will come together to share ideas and learn from each other.

See full article from DailyFinance:  Hearts of Gold (by Carrie Coolidge)

Related story:  Billionaire Recruits to the $600 Billion Challenge

What a fine example being set by these individuals!  Kudos!!! 

If you click on the Giving Pledge link, you can see those who’ve already signed up.  In addition to Warren Buffett, the list includes Bill & Melinda Gates (co-founders of the Giving Pledge), Ted Turner, George Lucas, David Rockefeller, and other notables. 

Notably absent from the list . . . the two Richest Women in the World:

Alice & Christy Walton (of WalMart fame and fortune) 

Why am I not surprised?

         * * * * *

Now, here’s Neil, singing a favorite Golden Oldie of millions . . . Heart of Gold:

Success in life is more than racking up dollars in your bank account . . . it’s about being the best YOU that YOU can be.  

Joy is sharing the best parts of yourself with the world.

Related blog:  Benediction of Billionaires:  Transformation Ho!

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Ll August 5, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
4 comments

Laughter

He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh. ~ The Koran

We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh. ~ William James

Look for the laughter.

Read more, learn more, laugh more, love more.

Life is good, but life is short. Bad things happen, laugh when you can. ~ Pam Partain

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~ Victor Hugo

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~ Victor Borge

Letting Go

When we release our attachments, we open our hearts to the world, and see the path unfolding before us.

When we hang on to our opinions and judgments, there is no room for anything else. ~ Lama Surya Das

You must empty yourself of the past, in order to receive the present. ~ Zen Parable

Letting go is the path to freedom. ~ Lama Surya Das

When we relinquish, or renounce, the extraneous, we are left with the essential, which cannot be lost.  ~ Lama Surya Das

When we stop clinging to ego attachments, we lighten our load and learn who we truly are. ~ Lama Surya Das

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

When we let go of all attachments and expectations, we see through the roles, veils, and masks that obscure the Spirit within. 

When we choose to just be, our authentic presence is revealed.

Life

Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing well those you hold. ~ Josh Billings

Life’s perfection lies in its imperfection.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

Life is fun ~ feel its pulse.

Life is a Journey, not a Destination. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take risks.  

I would rather be a failure at something I love to do, than a success at something I don’t. ~ George Burns

Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing. ~ Helen Keller

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

Life is a glorious journey ~ ours to shape into something truly wonderful. 

If we’re too focused on reaching the destination, we miss all the lovely detours along the way.

Life is rolling along . . . and gathering speed. 

You’ll miss half the trip if you have your eyes glued to the rear-view mirror.

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. ~ George Santayana

Life is a series of bizarre twists and turns.  Enjoy the ride.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Listen

You have greater impact on others by the way you listen, than by the way you talk. ~ James R. Fisher, Jr.

Listening to your heart, finding out who you are, is not simple.  It takes time for the chatter to quiet down.  In the silence of “not doing” we begin to know what we feel. If we listen and hear what is being offered, anything in life can be our guide.  Listen. ~ Poster

Listen to the still, small voice within.

The first duty of love is to listen.

Live

Live each day the best way you know how. ~ Vince Beall

Live the calm, fearless, and selflessly loving life that arises when you know your spirit.

Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.  ~ Irish Proverb

People living deeply have no fear of death. ~ Anais Nin

Look Within

Turn the spotlight inward. ~ Gandhi

Look deep ~ the answers lie within.

Meditate on the still, silent spaces in your mind.

In stillness lies truth.

What lies before us, and what lies behind us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~ Attributed to both Ralph Waldo Emerson & Oliver Wendell Holmes

Know thyself ~ Inscription, Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece

To thine own self be true. ~ Shakespeare

Love

This is my commandment, that you love one another. ~ Jesus, in John 15:12

What if seekers need only ask:  How well do I love?

Do small things with great love. ~ Mother Teresa

Love is all we need. ~ John Lennon

The first duty of love is to listen.

Love grows within.  You are the garden.  Nurture yourself.