How to Make a Terrarium

Terrariums have become the hottest trend in gardening in recent years. A terranium is basically a glass container filled with soil, moss and other plants to create a mini-ecosystem or garden. They are super easy to take care of and require minimal maintenance. As well, they don’t require a lot of light or water. They are perfect for any indoor environment! You can buy them at specialty stores or farmers markets, but of course, it’s a way more fun to make ...

10 Uses for Chamomile Flowers

Chamomile is a fragrant, daisy-like flower with many uses! The use of chamomile as a medicinal herb dates back to the ancient Egyptian days. It has an intoxicating apple fragrant that is sure to delight the senses! The German Camomile is one of the most popular flowering herbs in the world-most famous for its tea! This yellow and white flower is known to have healing properties, such as relieving stress and promoting relaxation. Here are some of the ways you can ...

Floriade 2013: Australia’s Celebration of Spring

While everyone else in the world is getting ready for Autumn, Australia is celebrating Spring with Floriade. Floriade, which is Latin for “design with flowers” is a month long flower festival that takes place in Australia from mid-September to early October. This annual festival is held at the Canberra Commonwealth Park with a different theme each year. The festival, which showcases a million flowers in bloom, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Numerous, beautiful gardens with spring-flowering bulbs, such ...

What are Biennial Flowers?

Spring is here, which means we will  be spending a lot more time at the local garden center or nursery. One of the best parts about gardening is choosing which flowers to grow. There are so many varieties to choose from with most flowers falling into two main categories: annuals and perennials. But there is actually another, lesser known type of flower called the biennial. What are Biennial Flowers? A biennial is a type of flowering plant that takes two years to ...

New Flower Varieties 2012 – My Top Picks

It’s that time of the year again when my mind starts digging in the dirt, splitting plants & planning my garden changes for spring. The snow is all gone, it’s starting to warm up and even though it’s only the beginning of May my well settled plants are sprouting up already. A welcome sight compared to this time last year when there was still 2 feet of snow covering my flower beds! So I have started my hunt for New Flower ...

Memories: The Longest Walk…

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Memories: The Longest Walk... May you always walk in sunshine... What’s the longest you’ve ever walked in a single day? Throughout our lives, we are on a steady journey, taking a long walk to meet ourselves. We take one step after the other until we get there ...

Standing Still

Thanks this week go to Sarah Ann Hall for her photograph entitled “Aqueduct” and to the wordsmith Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers. Genre: Romantic fiction Word Count: 100 Standing Still …in the distance, the spectacular Pont du Gard, a reminder of the Romans’ talent for engineering, built centuries ago to carry water from the springs at Uzes to the Roman garrison in Nimes. I switch off my voice recorder. It’s early morning and hot, what am I doing here?  I should have ignored Sally’s advice to ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky…

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky… View from a plane when clouds meet sky Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky… A double rainbow outside a store... Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky… View from my window seat on the ground. For this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge on Sky, I am choosing a few pictures and perhaps ...

6-year Old Inspires All Wanna-be Bike Riders...

This is a great video by a group of talented musicians called the Gregory Brothers who "songify" all kinds of news videos and home videos posted on YouTube. In this video, they transform a cute snippet of a random home movie into a catchy inspirational tune. Enjoy... And here is the original home video....

Life Personified

A friend recently commented on my habit of personifying things. At first I wasn’t sure what he meant so I looked it up on dictionary.com: “per·son·i·fi·ca·tio [per-son-uh-fi-key-shuh n] noun, the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions.” He was right. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I think I do it because life has become so big and scary that humanizing things brings life down to my level. Living in a world where, amongst ...

Facing my fear and failure (again)…

My two biggest fears in life are the fear of failure and of disappointing people – I think many people can relate to those. But both of those fears combined into a queasy ache in my stomach yesterday as I walked into the local WeightWatchers office where I used to weigh-in and lost 35 lbs. TWICE over the past three years. Needless to say, I re-gained most of that lost weight because I got lazy with the program – thinking I had ...

My Guest Post for Jon Acuff: 6 Things Not to Tithe

Side Hugging with Jon Acuff I’m honored to be guest posting for my friend Jon Acuff today. Jon is a best-selling author of three books, he’s working on his fourth right now and he’s a highly-sought speaker. I’ve met Jon a few times at various conferences where he’s spoken [see photo insert]. Additionally, he has one of the most popular, satirical blogs on the Internet and it’s humbling to share his platform. Here’s an excerpt from today’s guest post titled 6 Things Not to Tithe For ...

Weekly WeightWatcher Whatssup....

It's Wednesday, so here's my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in update.  Due to travel and unavoidable scheduling conflicts, I missed weigh-in for the past two weeks. So I wasn't really sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale during lunch break today.... I'm pleased to report that I was down - 2.4 lbs. for a total loss to date of -33.6 lbs. since I rejoined the plan this past December. The common sense theme of today's meeting was "me first." As selfish as that sounds ...

Awesome Wedding Proposal

Here is one of the most memorable and unexpected marriage proposals I've ever seen. It's only a minute long and worth every second. To tee it up, the guy is named Josh and he has invited a bunch of friends for a seemingly delightful gathering atop a four-story building. The rest is "cruel" magic.... Question: How did you propose or how were you proposed to?

7 Questions With an Author: Knox McCoy

This is my weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is an incredibly funny blogger/satirist named Knox McCoy, on his Twitter account he's a self-proclaimed "....retired rodeo clown...and hater of all things Malfoy and mathmatical..." - I don't know about all that, but I do know that he's got mad writing chops. One other thing I know for sure, Knox McCoy is his real ...

The Intersection of Indifference and Forgiveness

I recently saw the Oscar-award winning movie “The Fighter” which starred Mark Wahlberg as boxer Mickey Ward and Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund, Ward’s brother who was a former boxing phenom turned washed-up-crack addict. It was a great, inspiring adaptation regarding Ward’s true life story, his relationship with his brother, their dysfunctional family and redemption. However, Bale’s haunting portrayal of an addict and the subsequent denial of all wrongdoing reminded me of an individual in my life who had similar problems.  There was a timewhen this individual and ...

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Charles Redfern - The Alternative Mainstream
May 14, 2012, 10:52 am

Dear Environmentalists: Learn to play the game

Learn from these two pals…

A question for the eco-friendly: Can we see those outreached hands? They’re there, waiting for us, just beyond the fog of our prim, finger-wagging islands. Surveys show that three out of four U.S. voters favor regulating carbon dioxide emissions; some conservatives are reminding their kin of the word, “conserve”; and faith leaders are framing climate change as a moral issue: the first chapters in Genesis call us to nurture the Earth, not destroy it.

Can we schmooze and trade business cards and crack jokes and slap backs and form partnerships? Or will we keep alienating potential collaborators with a brand of green fundamentalism that anathematizes hunters, fishermen, Bible-believers and meat-and-potatoes lovers, driving them into the fold of the Rev. Jack Hibbs, pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, Calif.: “Environmentalism is nothing more than a pagan worship system”?

I saw the outreached hands during the week of April 22 at a conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care. Matthew Sleeth, an evangelical physician and co-founder of Blessed Earth, spoke during the Sunday service at the National Cathedral, where representatives from several prominent seminaries signed a “stewardship alliance” pledging ecological education. We then walked through the rain to an award lunch for writer and activist Wendell Berry. Author Bill McKibben and NASA scientist James Hanson gave plenary remarks on Monday at nearby Saint Sophia, with breakout sessions offering perspectives from Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalians, Baptists, Jews, as well as scientists and policy makers — and there was Mitch Hescox, CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network, freely announcing his GOP affiliation, and Retired Brigadier General Steven Anderson, who organized logistics for General David Petraeus in Afghanistan and saw the military harm of oil-dependence. Anderson echoed his Feb. 3 statements before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, where he praised our chief executive for not approving the Keystone Pipeline: “Frankly, as a political conservative and as a long-time registered Republican, I don’t often agree with President Obama, but on this matter he absolutely got it right. I strongly oppose the Keystone XL pipeline because it will degrade our national security.” The pipeline would only deepen our nation’s addiction to oil and intensify CO2 emissions.

Is the fog clearing? Do we see the hands? They stretched again during a Tuesday march and again on Thursday during an EEN-sponsored day of prayer. It was a microcosm of what must happen to battle climate change. It’s time to crawl off our islands and buddy-up with people who say their rosaries, salute the flag and bowl.

But I wonder. Do we even know we’re unlikable? People can count the hairs in our up-turned noses — and it’s a turn-off. One example is PZ Myers, a University of Minnesota biologist who cogently argues for the reality of climate change on his blog, Pharynglia, then ruins it with its subtitle: “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.” Please remember, Dr. Myers, that 40 percent of all Americans go to church and many more respect religion. You’ve just bolstered Hibbs. And do a fly-over above the former Soviet Union and China. “Godless” leaders like Joseph Stalin and Mao ZeDung did not exactly rig the landscape for a Sierra Club brochure.

Another is Van Jones, author of “The Green Collar Economy,” in which he successfully reasoned against oil domination: green businesses will create more jobs. Then … the nose hairs, the disdain, the turn-off: Jones devotes pages on the superiority of Native American spirituality to Christianity’s alleged environmental hostility. Read Saint Basil the Great, Van. The venerated fourth-century church father said this: “A single plant, a blade of grass or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made.” Throw in quotes from Saint Francis of Assisi as well as countless others.

Listen in on the chatter from the prim fog. You’d swear there’s agreement with a warped syllogism: 1) Religious people launched the Spanish Inquisition; 2) the individual before me is religious; 3), therefore, this innocent-looking homemaker personally authorized persecution and murder. And there’s the salvos on Galileo at the mere mention of Roman Catholicism. It was a nasty business, to be sure, but that was a long time ago stuff’s happened since then. The Church has become a powerful ally. Remember the pope’s appeal to the recent Durban conference on climate change: “I hope that all members of the international community can agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, keeping in mind the needs of the poorest populations and of future generations.”

Will we see the hands? Or will we wander through the prim fog that engulfed the environmental movement at around the turn of the 20th century, when two of its founders — the mystical John Muir and the utilitarian Gifford Pinchot — refused to speak to one another after the latter supported sheep grazing in forest preserves. Both gave much from their own enclaves. They could have given more if they shook hands despite their disagreements on important issues, such as the Hetch Hetchy dam project.

We do not have luxury to wallow in their mistake today. Too much is at stake. It’s time to lower our noses and team-up. And who knows? We may become pals with a VFW member and have a blast at a hockey game.

Charles Redfern - The Alternative Mainstream

Charles Redfern - The Alternative Mainstream

Exploring a multi-dimensional world with a multi-dimensional Gospel. The Alternative Mainstream offers commentary on culture, religion, and poltics from the "new evangelical" viewpoint: God cares about social and environmental justice as well as the family -- and Jesus cannot be stuffed into any American political party.

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