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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
  • read all shaktoids!
    August 30, 2011
    Solar Powering a Light Bottle

    If this isn’t the coolest thing since sliced bread…

    See for yourself!

    Add some solar power to the top of a water bottle and voilà, you have yourself a lantern. FastSolar technology allows for up to 8 hours of light time and the one liter bottle could also double as a waterproof container for your wallet or cellphone.


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    August 29, 2011
    Helping After the Hurricane

    After the nation was transfixed this past weekend watching to see where Hurricane Irene came ashore and watching as friends from North Carolina to Washington, DC to New York to New Hampshire and Vermont braced for the strong winds and heavy rain, we now breathe a sigh of relief that it is over. There were several deaths associated with the hurricane and a lot of flooding.

    So what can you do to help those who were affected by the storm?   According to the Modest, requests for help generally come in two forms:

    First, there are those persons who, on a shoestring budget, had no choice but to go out and buy supplies that they would not normally have needed to purchase – everything from extra food to generators – and, as a result, will have difficulty paying a regular bill next month.  Secondly, we have applications from people whose homes and cars were damaged by the storm and who now much pay insurance deductibles in order to complete necessary repairs.

    If you wish to donate, follow through to this link to learn more.  It’s a good organization that does good things for good people.

    Photo by Edwin Martinez.

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    August 26, 2011
    Stressed Kids Riding Bikes

    Personally I think it would be a blast to sit in a cart or basket or carrier and have someone ride me around on their bicycle.  But I never thought of it the way John Bear describes how to murder your children the green way,

    But, please, don’t put your young children in danger in the following ways:

    One, mesh covered carts that attach to the back of your bicycle. Your kid is going to die.

    Two, a bicycle that attaches to the back of yours. Your kid is going to die.

    Three, a seat attached to your bicycle. Your kid—well, you get the point.

    I guess that could be dangerous!

    Photo by Russ Teaches.

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    August 25, 2011
    The Breastfeeding Challenge

    When my own children were first born, I gave up too quickly on breastfeeding.  With my oldest we only lasted a week.  With my youngest – who was two weeks past her due date and who was born two pounds lighter because she was not getting adequate nutrition – we went immediately to formula to feed the starving child.

    This is why I have a great deal of admiration for women who stick to their breastfeeding regimen.  Secrets of Mommyhood talks about her own experiences,

    My milk supply dipped and at the same time, my little man decided he didn’t want to nurse because he was in pain from teething.  I tried everything I could to boost my milk supply; multiple herbal supplements, oatmeal, lactation cookies, etc.  It didn’t really seem to help much, but I kept trying.  I was determined not to give up.

    Bless her heart.  And kudos for her hard work!

    Photo by sabian maggy.

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    August 24, 2011
    Wordless Wednesday: Eating Sand

    Photo by fabio.

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    August 23, 2011
    Ultimately It is THEIR Life

    When you raise children, they become so much of your focus for years that it becomes hard to let them go.  While I know I risk writing the stereotypical post about empty nest syndrome, one has simply to reflect upon how often you visit your own parents.

    Michelle Kaufman of family become what you are wrote about how our children are ultimately not our own.  In fact, she takes the concept of letting go one step further.  Our children are not ours, they belong to God.

    At Tim’s funeral I remember his parents standing on the stage speaking of their dearly loved son.  I remember thinking how strong they seemed standing there together.  But most importantly I remember them talking about how children are gifts from God.  That they are not ours.  Our children are on loan to us for as long as God wills it.  It’s been about 18 years now since that tragic day, but those words have stayed with me…

    Giving your child the freedom to live their life how they choose is one thing.  Giving your child up forever is another.  I can’t imagine the pain the parents must feel, but do hope they find comfort.

    Photo by EuroMagic.

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    August 20, 2011
    New Solar Power Design Discovered by 13 Year Old

    Traditional flat-shaped solar panels may be a thing of the past thanks to an incredible leap of logic by a 13-year old New Yorker.  Walking through the woods, he noticed the shape of limbs growing from trees and made the connection to the spiral Fibonacci sequence. From Gizmodo,

    That trees were using this pattern to gather more light. So he did an experiment. Using the same number of solar cells, he built two working models. One was a traditional, flat array will all of the panels on a single plane. The other used the Fibonacci Sequence to create the same spiraled pattern he observed in the trees.

    Aidan Dwyer discovered the tree design solar panels made 20 percent more electricity and collected 2 1/2 more hours of sunlight during the day.  During the dark month of December, the tree design collected 50 percent more electricity.  Aidan’s report with the American Museum of Natural History can be found here.

    Congratulations to the young man on his amazing discovery!

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    August 18, 2011
    Scout Camp Always Fun

    I’ve gone to Girl Scout camp at least twice a year for the last 12 years or so.  But my youngest is a junior in high school, so her interest in camping is quickly diminishing.  I miss sitting by the fire with marshmallows on sticks. Or throwing a handful of coffee creamer or sugar into the fire and making a wish while it ignites in magnificent sparkles. Archery. Team building.  Swimming. Horseback riding.

    Reading “That Guy’s” weekend plan on Something You May Not Know About Me brings back those happy camping memories,

    The scouts will be helping with a trap-shooting contest, scoring and supporting the trap shooters who make substantial donations to the Quivira Council. Sunday, the boys will get their turn to shoot the course. Flint Oak is one of only three Five Star hunting preserves in the world, and it’s right here, in Kansas! Quite an adventure for the boys, and a pretty good time for the dads, as well.

    My daughters are probably excited knowing that when/if they ever have kids, they’ll have a grandmother willing to jump in and volunteer to help with camping trips and other scouting activities!

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    August 17, 2011
    Wordless Wednesday: Baby Blue Eyes

    Photo by Erica Breetoe.

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    August 15, 2011
    Guilty of Unfriending the Annoying

    I find facebook refreshing in being able to make my opinion known, to taking a stand.  When people keep posting links about how much the president makes, how much Congress makes, and how much every day people make, UNFRIEND.   Let’s start a friendship ring?  UNFRIEND.  8 1/2 :(  ??  UNFRIEND!

    I have empowered myself to just say no.  To not let those who constantly annoy me take up my valuable computer time with witless repeats of ridiculous posts.  Others feel that facebook opens up a new frontier in social awkwardness.  From the Jackie Blog – or Twist365,

    In a world where the weight of a cell phone text or an email is so heavy that people expect a response immediately, Facebook was the one place I could still go if I wanted to socialize at a relaxed pace.

    Facebook relaxation is now dead to me.

    When I log on, I have updates that need tended to.  I have people commenting on pictures or saying hello or writing on my wall to ask me to hang out that same day.

    Just UNFRIEND them.  Do it.

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