Saturday, June 25, 2022

Summer: let it begin

 







Summer's here, right?  Well, enjoy!  Have a little fun!

Summer's here?  If you're reading this and you live below the equator, you'll think I'm nuts.  I'm living above the equator, however, so actually I'm not nuts.  At least not about this matter.  It's really summer now, here at least.

How do I know that it's really summer?  First, the green leaves bedecking every deciduous tree in the neighborhood.  I observe them (both limbs and leaves) carefully on my walks (well, okay. . .I don't count every leaf.  I admit that.  I just eyeball the tree and say, "gosh, lots of leaves there!")    

Also, I see flowers!  Perennials, like roses.  Annuals, like pansies.  There blooming now, and beautifully.

Finally, the sun shines in our east-facing kitchen window very early in the morning.  My weather report tells me it occurred at 5:24 a.m. today.  Since I got up sleep at 5:00 a.m. today (really true, I'm not joshing you) I could/I did observe the sunrise.  It was the earliest in this calendar year.

What else?  Oh, I forgot the high temperature.  These next two days we, here in Western Oregon, U.S.A., will see high temperatures in the high 80- and mid 90-degree zone for the next two days.  That's why I walked before breakfast today.  Warm days sounds great, I suppose, but at ground level it raises the risk of forest fire, especially considering that the heat wave is accompanied by relatively high winds.

Well, lay back, grab a tasty drink of refrigerator-cooled water, let in the cool night air, keep out the hot daytime air.  That's about it for me, I think.  Hope you enjoy the beach if that's on your plan.

One other thing:  support the Build Back Better Bill.  Vote for future generations  

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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Two Suggestions for Fathers Day, June 2022

 Father's Day June 19, 2022:  respecting, enabling.

Why am I excited about Father's Day?   A question you're asking yourself?

Father's Day celebration (scheduled for 2022) requires some thought.  Why get excited about it?




For one thing, most of us had really great fathers.  They loved (me the kid/us the kids), they gave us a load of their genes, they provided examples of tender care, they exercised some good-willed punishment when necessary (in some cases at least--maybe not your case.  I wouldn't know about that.)  Maybe they financed our education?  Mine certainly helped a lot with that.  They played with us:  how to throw a ball, hit a ball, or hike in the wilderness?

Dads are great.

In my case, my Dad provided an example for me about concern for the poor.  He regularly volunteered at the Rescue Mission, located on Pacific Avenue Tacoma, Washington.  He took me with him.  I observed what it meant to reach out to help the poor.

Dads are great.  That's why we remember them with an annual national holiday.

Now I'm a dad.  I appreciate the greetings I receive from my kids and grandkids.  Family ties are important channels for helping the kid forming a value system.

In 2022, it happens that the Poor Peoples' March on Washington, D.C., the capitol of the United States, occurs on June 18, one day before Father's Day.  I can't help but think, thanks to my own dad's example, that there's a link between the goings-on on June 18 (the March) and June 19 (Father's Day.)  There's much that fathers can do in regard to the gap between rich and poor in the United States.

At its very simplest level, fathers can drive the family past the stretches on urban streets in which the poorest are housed in tents and duffel bags.  Fathers can take their kids to churches that seek to help the impoverished (my church, for example, allows poor people to pitch tents on the church lawn, use a church restroom.)  Many religious organizations, church denominations and congregations are supportive the Poor Peoples Campaign of 2022.  Visit https://www.poorpeoplesampaign.org/June18.)  

Summing up:  father's day 2022 can be celebrated in creative ways.  Just as our dads were creative, so can we use the day and the entire year for helping less fortunate human beings and preserving the environment.  

Fathers, let's go for it.




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Friday, June 3, 2022

Helping Kids to Grow Greener

This is a crucial time of year.  In many areas, children and young people are or will be out of school for long vacation periods.  School vacations offer a time of doing things with and for your kids.

Also, it's an out-of-doors time.  In Southern Hemisphere, it might be time for walking or for skiing.  In Northern Hemisphere, it's a time for out-of-door family or friendship gruop activities.  

Grandparents, parents, adult friends and teachers can pitch in to help young people learn skills that normally aren't taught in school.

Example one:  climb a mountain.  Here in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., that might mean Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, or another of the many mountain hiking opportunities.  The goal of such a trip might be how to read a map and follow it, how to avoid fearing high terrain, how to ford a stream.

Example two: learn to swim.  A grand-daughter of mine learned to swim in a heated pool.  She became a great swimmer, engaged in some swimming races, and then learned to lifeguard.  After a couple of years lifeguarding in her home town she went to college.  When summer vacation came, she moved back from campus to her parents' home and worked in a life-guarding job.


                               

In a rural setting, kids could learn how to farm:  how to milk a cow or even, as in the above photo from Sierra Leone, how to raise edible fish in a pond.  These are just ideas.  Use your imagination and rely on your opportunities.

Basic idea:  Growing Green, morally and financially, on planet earth, our home.

The main idea is:  a stronger sense of self, leading to a better understanding of the world through adventure.  What a summertime gift!  


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Saturday, May 21, 2022

THREE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES

Welcome friend, and thanks for visiting "Growing Green" blog spot today.

 We all love animals:  our pets, our livestock, our favorite wild animals.  (My favorite wild animals are the deer and the monkeys.)

First thing to note:  May 20 each year is "Endangered Species Day."  This day is devoted to questions about how to protect endangered species.  That's an issue for all to take seriously.

At-risk species is a worldwide phenomenon.  In Africa, the Ethiopian World is at risk.  In the North Pacific Ocean, sea otters are at risk.  (Hard for me to get my head around that.  As a North Pacific guy since my birth, I've enjoyed watching sea otters--at the zoo, actually, and not in the ocean.  They're delightful and should be protected.  People in every continent and every nation are aware of animal species at risk.

Second thing to be aware of:  Why are so many entire species at risk?  Here are some factors:  habitat loss, poaching, land development, and overhunting.  

Third:  what's being done to protect endangered species?  First, some organizations prioritize protection as a goal.  Second, support existing wildlife protection laws and support stricter laws.



                                                            A wildlife-friendly habitat


I'm suggesting that wildlife protection be a life-theme for each and every human being.  Let's team together to see what can be done.

Further reading:  I recommend the Wikipedia article, "Endangered Species."  Fine article in my opinion.  

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

DID YOU KNOW THIS? AMERICANS PAY HIGHEST PRICE IN WORLD FOR PRESCRIPTION MEDS

Friends, welcome to the Growing Green weekend post.  

According to the American Assocation of Retired Persons (AARP Bulletin, May 2022) people are skipping doses or not refilling prescriptions in order to avoid high cost of medicines.

Not all Americans are pushed to such extremes, thankfully.  In my own case, I am able to purchase prescribed medications at prices I can afford due to my Medicare insurance.  I'm so very grateful for that.  My age-mates include people who can't afford such insurance, and they are affected because they have to pay the entire cost.  Those who are pushed to such extremes should be provided a way back to affordable, appropriate medical and medicinal help.


Doctor and patients in West Africa

According to the AARP source cited above Americans--neither Africans, nor Europeans, nor Asians, as one might expect--pay the highest prices in the world for prescription medications.  

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation last December 2021 that would initiate prescription drug reform.  The Senate has not passed the legislation yet.  

If you're concerned for the Americans who can't afford their meds., now would be the time to write to the senators representing your state. Ask them to support legislation to initiate prescription drug reform, approved, by the House of Representatives in December 2021. They will know what you're writing about.  Ask for prompt passage.   


Thank you for reading.  If you wish to respond, click "Post."   I'm trying to provide a "Growing Green" post every weekend.  You're welcome to return weekly.  My broad themes include economic growth with environmental, justice and neighbor love values--local and global. 



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Friday, May 6, 2022

HOMELESSNESS. . .TWO MODELS OF PRIVATE HELP that YOU MIGHT WISH TO FOLLOW

 It is really tough to park downtown to go shopping and then walk from your parking garage on past homeless people on the way from your car to the  door of the merchant.  The homeless people aren't necessarily asking you to help them, and you don't know what you could do to help them.  

It's very refreshing to find examples of help for the homeless.  In article this past week in "The Tacoma News Tribune" stands out because it tells the story of a United Methodist congregation in Spanaway, Washington, a suburb of the city of Tacoma.  The congregation has found a way to help the homeless. Here's the link:  https://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article260913467.html.  

At Portland, Oregon's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, homeless persons are welcome to tent on the Cathedral lawn and to use a designated restroom.  The homeless are given an opportunity to talk and be heard.  

Again, in Tacoma, Washington, the Associated Ministries organization assists various homeless ministries in the city by assisting to coordinate their efforts.  www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/shelter/wa_associated-ministries-coordinated-entry 

Astonishingly, homelessness is growing in America.  Judy Woodruff reports:  htps://https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/whats-behind-rising-homelessness-in-america  

 I ask you to read the reports you can access via the links printed above.  Ask yourself if the problem is being addressed in your town, your area.  Do a search, online or otherwise, to find out.  If you find such a program, I invite you consider contributing time or money to an organization that is aware of the homeless and seeking to support it as a volunteer or with a financial gift.    

Thanks for reading this special post.  Let's work together to help the homeless regain shelter and food.



  






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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Congratulations at the time of Eid al-Fitr

 Special greetings to Muslim friends, especially in Sierra Leone as well as elsewhere in Africa and in the U.S.

Good for you! You did it! You fasted a month and now you can celebrate.  

Trusting that the year ahead will be good for you!



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