Hello October. Well here we are coming to the end of another year. Aside from the Halloween preparations, I start reviewing what I need to get done when completing this year. It seems like I blinked after June and here we are.
October birthdays get our unique birthstone of Opals. Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage. The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”
Among the ancients, opal was a symbol of fidelity and assurance, and in later history it became associated with religious emotional prayer. It was believed to have a strong therapeutic value for diseases of the eye, and when worn as an amulet, it would make the wearer immune from disease as well as increase the powers of the eyes and the mind. Furthermore, many believed that to the extent the colors of red and green were seen, the wearer would also enjoy the therapeutic powers of those stones: the power to stop bleeding from the ruby or the power to cure diseases from the emerald.
There are many chances to bring awareness this month. All are worthy of the attention so choose one closest to your heart or show out for more than one. Let your choice shine and help as it is needed.
Trick or Treat
Fun costume parties and the ever popular past times of haunted houses and of course Trick or Treat. This month is sure to be extremely busy. For lots of us the mayhem will also include the county fair.
August 22 is Be An Angel Day. Established in 1993 by Jaune Howard Feldman, the day encourages people to be angels to those in need.
In many religions, angels are supernatural spirits that are thought to be responsible for protecting humans.
Are you an Angel? This day reminds us that even though we can’t be actual angels, we can create the kindness they are known for. Showing kindness and goodness to our fellow human beings is not hard – all we need to do is to stop thinking about ourselves for a while, and to think about how we can make the world a nicer and kinder place.
How to Celebrate?
- Be kind to others. Do something to help a stranger.
- Commit Random acts of kindness, without any expectations of reciprocation, do one today and everyday. For example, give up your seat on the bus or train, pay for the coffee the person behind you at the coffee shop, or leave a small gift in your neighbor’s mailbox.
- Do something that will bring a smile to someones face.
- If you know of someone who is going through a difficult time, give them your support and let them know that you are there for them. Help them out in their difficult times.
- If someone is being an angel to you, thank them, and let them know that their kindness appreciated.
In today’s world we have the opportunity to be anything, be kind!
The person you make smile today may need it far more than you know.
If you decide to give to a charity there are a lot of choices out there. I try to give to charities who spend more on the people they help than administration and CEO’s. Here are a listing of my favorites.
The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever and however we can. When you give locally, you ensure that the people in your community get the help they need.
An alumni from school started her own non-profit for Hurricane Micheal Recovery in Bay County. Way to go Rachel!
- Reduce the number of animals put down every year in the Florida Panhandle (more than 12,000)
- Spay or neuter as many animals as possible (especially feral cats)
- Educate the public about the importance of spay and neuter
- Help rehome animals in need
Animal Allies Florida was founded in December 2010 to help animals in our community. Many of us have been doing this work for years on our own, out of our own pockets. By creating Animal Allies , we can apply for grants, fundraise and join programs that support our efforts. We can combine forces, share knowledge, and support each other, instead of trudging along on our own. Originally called Emerald Coast Animal Allies or ECAA for short, we changed our name in 2015 because many people though ECAA meant Escambia County Animal Shelter. Although we support the county animal shelter’s efforts to become no kill, we don’t wish to be associated with them because we ARE NO KILL meaning no healthy animal is put down.
Whatever you choose, know that you are making a real difference in someone’s life. Sometimes the biggest gift you can give another is to simply be there and listen. Each of us makes an impact in the lives we touch. I always compare it to touching the surface of a pond. Those ripples will be felt by others, I try to make my ripples count. I hope this inspires you to get involved, give, and simply be kind in a world that so often is not. Together all those positive ripples add up and shape our world.
It’s summer, and this time of year we all like to spend time in the great outdoors. With the sun shining high, we vibrate with anticipation to get outdoors. Be it camping, hiking, backyard bbq, the pool or the beach, please remember, with the warmer temperatures, to drink plenty of water, use protection from the harmful effects of the sun, and avoid the possibly deadly consequences of heat and/or sun stroke.
- The daily recommended amount of water is 8 – 16 oz glasses a day. That increases dramatically the longer you play in the sun. As you sweat, that fluid must be replaced. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and energy drinks won’t do the job. In fact, some can do more harm than good. They provide sugary, empty calories without the electrolytes that fuel your boby. Cocktails and beer deplete your fluids, making you even more dehydrated. Pure waters, sparkling waters, and sports drinks, help to replace the electrolytes your bodies needs. Make sure you drink at least half again as much as you normally would while having your fun in the sun. Get a great recipe here.
- Wear protective clothing. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With the heat of the summer most of are thinking about how little we can wear to stay cool. Things like sunglasses that block uv rays protect your eyes. A large brim hat protects the top of your head from sunburn. It also provides shade to your face, neck and sometimes shoulders.
- Adequate sunscreen will help block the damaging effects of the sun. Children especially need to wear sunblock. I’m a redhead, so I learned about the damaging effects of the sun at a young age. I don’t tan. I go from extremely pale to lobster red in a very short amount of time. Like babies, I have to use a sunscreen with spf 40 or higher. I blister easily and you can easily see where I did damage in my younger days trying to keep up with my friends who tan. Take it from me, the worst places to sunburn are under your hair, and the backs of your knees.
- Avoid the most dangerous times of the day. The suns rays are the most dangerous for anyone between the hours of 10am and 3pm. If you’re heading for some fun in the sun, you’re get less direct sun before 10am or after 3pm. It’s best to avoid doing yard work or gardening during these peak sun times. If you must perform these activities during these times take care to protect yourself and know the warning signs of things like heatstroke.
- Don’t be deceived by shade. I would give my mother the excuse of our pool being in the shade, to get out of wearing sunscreen. Trust me when I tell you, shade from a tree or other porous material will not protect you from the sun. You still need sunscreen!
- Water reflects the suns rays. We’ve all seen people in movies who use those reflective panels to direct the rays. Like most, I thought, hey, I’m under the water, it will help protect me from the suns rays. While water does help diffuse the suns rays, it also reflects it back. So, if you wear the hat in the water, it’s directing those rays right back onto your shaded face and shoulders. Same rules here, make sure you wear the sunscreen. That tan is great when you’re young, but, as you age, that damaged skin begins to look like leather. The potential of developing skin cancer from those areas is also very high. The bandages and/or scars after having cancers removed from a place like your face are not attractive later. Indeed, if not caught, it can become something much worse than skin cancer.
- Back to the fun. You celebrate family and holidays with a backyard bbq. Again, heavy hydration, will keep you healthier and cooler. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun, on a patio, a porch, a pavillion, or in the house. Not only does taking such a break provide a temporary resbite, from the sun and heat, but keeps you from the overheating, that leads to sun stroke or heat stroke.
Stay safe and enjoy the summer fun and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. I would love to hear how you spend your summer time. Drop us a comment letting us know. Don’t forget to like and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.
Okay thought this would be a good time to review the basics as we once again face possible storms. Most items gathered here are for almost all natural disasters Mother Nature throws our way. All household members should know what to do in case of any kind of emergency, Get a plan for Hurricanes, Tornado, Fire, Flooding, Earthquake, some even recommend for home invasion and terror attacks. We also have a nuclear power facility and chemical plant near by so keeping current on local news is a must.
For Hurricanes we use both our local news tv and radio, as well as alerts from our counties Emergency Management. The Alerts for sevalerts like severe storms, flash flooding, Amber, and security, Active shooters, Police chase or fatal crashes on roadways. They come direct to our phones so at home, or on the go, we get the information to keep our family safe.
Click the link to see both an explanation of why and when we worry as well as a great list of items to include in your kit. We rotate the food items out to the pantry throughout the year and always have stock of what we might need. We are adding new things like solar chargers for cell phones and tablets, new flood blocking water dams, new medical devices and recently added the new super bright led flash lights that are super tough and the batteries last much longer than the old incandesenct style.
After the devestation caused by Hurricane Micheal it is important to prepare.
Keeping this ready the whole year through for us means if there is any major storm headed our way our only preperations include filling our water tanks, gasoline in vehicles and for generator, and get medication refills if needed. Get cash and a quick easy trip to buy any last minute needs, wash any dirty laundry, and make sure the house is clean so Mother Nature can bring it on! For earthquakes see below.
Many of these supplies work for a lot of emergency situations. Earthquake, hurricane, tornado, and even flooding.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others keep us connected. They are valuable tools to stay in touch. I love my Facebook account! With schools back in session I cherish the photos of all the children embarking on their new adventures for another school year. Family and friends alike enjoy the progressive photos from one year to another. So by all means shutterbug away. There are more photos taken today than at any point in our history. The only Question is what do with them?
As parents, you take extraordinary measures to insure their safety. In today’s world that can be quite a challenge. it seems like the news is full of traumatic events and a significant portion of these stories showcase children both the good and the bad. More bad than good I’m sorry to say. Abuse, neglect, cruelty, mistakes, as well as kidnapping, murder and a variety of others make headlines around the country both here and abroad. As these feature on even our local evening news and our media feeds I thought this would be a good time to review the tips to keep your precious ones off the news and out of the statistics.
Never give personal information.
It’s the first day of school and we like to proudly show off our accomplishments. Never post your child’s name, school, teacher, or classroom. The same goes for bus information. Give to trusted family or friends directly. What you post to a family member, friend or frustrated adult can be seen on social media by people you defiantly do not want around your children.
Turn off Geotags in phones, tablets and devices.
Funny name, big consequences. Did you know that funny tag is your exact GPS location? Nefarious individuals can use this information to find your home, and even your child’s window. Every photo uploaded with these tags will create a trail of bread crumbs accessible through social media outlets of every place you go. Some also give a location history of where you have been with your phone.
Use a special password.
A special password between children and parents can alert a child to seek help. Imagine an adult approaches your child near their school. They say you parent was in an accident and sent them to pick them up. Scary right? Your child should ask for the special password. If the adult does not know it your child should immediately notify a teacher, administrator, or law enforcement officer. It’s better to have a small delay while it’s checked out, than a missing poster.
Remember to have fun while making sure both you and your child stay safe.
Do you have a safety tip? Share them in the comment section below.
Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane. I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer. First off the media likes to fuel hystaria! Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes. Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms. At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations. National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns. A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine. With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party. I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe. Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.
It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help. You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home. Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice. My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably. The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies.
Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you. Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip. Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied. Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas. Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.
24 hour light stick
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold
I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder) contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all. Insurance documents both policy and deeds. Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers. Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again. Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go. I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…
Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!