N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “environment

BIG DECISIONS…for Grandmother and Grandfather

If you are trying to make a family decision about the care of your elderly parents, THINK TWICE…MAYBE MORE than twice!!!   

It is not easy when elderly people are at home with the rest of the family, who are also at home.  Children are not in school; parents may be working from home and the stress goes on until life can go back to some normality.

What about the parent that you have loved so long and they have loved you?  If they are dealing with the beginnings of physical or mental decline, it may be that you are thinking, “What do we do?  I don’t know if I can give them proper care. I only want what is best.” for him/her/ or them. No one doubts the love between families, but this pandemic has changed family dynamics all together.

Not everyone has the built-in options of home health care professionals, but placing a family member in an assisted living care is also extremely expensive. For those who could afford such arrangements, is this truly the best answer. Think about it.  Because these facilities have a “no visitors” policy, it may be the last you would be able to see your Mom or Dad face to face..or they see you, for some time to come.  It may not only be a permanent separation, but a death sentence to those unable to cope with such loneliness. It is not unusual for the elderly to stop eating when depression sets in.

As we know, years ago and in many other countries, the elderly lived within the same house as the rest of the family. They had interaction, care and to die was not a lonely experience.  This blog does not intend to give you an answer to this difficult decision that perhaps you or a friend may be going through concerning your elderly loved ones, but it does give some food for thought.

Think what you would want for yourself as you continue to climb the AGING ladder.

____________________________

This is an informative article written by Sara Harrison in Wired.

IT TOOK SIX weeks, several long, frustrating phone calls, and a consultation with Apple Care before Laurie Jacobs got her 89-year-old father up and running on FaceTime. Jacobs, who is a geriatrician by training and is now the chair of the Department of Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, was worried about how her parents were coping during the pandemic. They live in a long-term care community, but they felt isolated and lonely. Over the phone, Jacobs couldn’t tell how her mother, who has some cognitive decline, was feeling or if she was walking comfortably. “The communication at a distance is very difficult,” she says. “You don’t always get the whole picture with an older adult on the telephone.”

And, like so many other Americans in quarantine, her parents were running out of things to do. “They seemed bored and somewhat depressed by the lack of stimulation, so further ways for them to interact was very important,” says Jacobs.

woman looking out the window

The Covid-19 pandemic presents a doubly complicated situation for older people:  Not only are they at higher risk of contracting the disease, and more likely to develop severe infections and die from it, but they are also the most likely to struggle with—and suffer from— the consequences of prevention strategies like social distancing. For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or severely reduced mobility, social-distancing guidelines can be impractical and nearly impossible to follow, making prevention and treatment even more complicated.

Seniors, especially those above age 80, have been hard hit by the virus. That’s in part because they often have comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, which make them more likely to be hospitalized. Doctors aren’t sure why those conditions make the effects of the virus worse, but both conditions are associated with greater expression of the ACE2 receptor, a protein on human cells that the coronavirus latches onto to start replicating.

Many older adults also have chronic, low-grade inflammation, a state called “inflammaging,” in which the body is unable to control the release of cytokines, small proteins that are supposed to help modulate the body’s immune response. This dysregulation could put seniors at great risk of “cytokine storms,” a condition reported in severe Covid-19 cases during which a patient’s immune system spins out of control and starts damaging healthy organs.

Seniors are also more vulnerable because of immunosenescence, a slow deterioration of the immune system that is a normal part of aging. When people are young, the immune system has a big reservoir of T-cells and B-cells ready to fight infections. These are called “naive cells,” meaning they haven’t encountered any bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens yet. When those naive cells encounter an infection, some of them learn to recognize that pathogen and become ready to fight it off if the body gets exposed to it again. “As we age, we lose that reservoir of T-cells and B-cells,” says Wayne McCormick, head of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington. “It’s hard for us to make new ones, although some people seem to retain that capacity better than others.” That means the person’s body may mount a less robust immune system response than it would have done when they were younger.

Immunosenescence also means that diseases present differently in seniors, which may make it difficult for their doctors or caretakers to recognize a Covid-19 infection. While many Covid-19 cases include fever, for example, in seniors the symptoms might also be due in part to dense living conditions, under staffing, and a lack of personal protective equipment. And recently, health authorities have realized that the virus is spreading rapidly in work communities where employees are housed in crowded conditions, share long commutes on shuttles, or cannot easily socially distance, like meat packing or farm work.

assisted living care

Whether they live in a long-term care facility, nursing home, or in a family home, many seniors have unique needs that make it impossible for them to socially distance. Some need help eating, washing, going to the bathroom, or moving around. “You can’t do that using Facetime,” says Eric Widera, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who specializes in geriatric and palliative medicine.

Yet for older adults living in their homes, social distancing can cause isolation and loneliness. Most of the places people would go to socialize—senior centers, libraries, churches, temples, or synagogues—are closed. Families are discouraged from visiting. “We’re worried it’s going to cause a wave of true loneliness,” says Widera, which can lead to serious health problems including worse cognitive function, higher blood pressure and heart disease.

While older adults are the most likely to catch Covid-19, they also may be less likely to benefit from a vaccine.  Because seniors don’t raise the same immune response that younger adults and children do, they generally don’t respond as well to vaccines. They also aren’t always included in clinical trials. “If you look at the last many decades of research, the vast majority of randomized control trials do not include older adults. And if they do, they don’t include frail older adults, who are at risk for this,” says Widera. “That’s one of our worries: That we’ll be looking at potential treatments, vaccines, but not actually testing it on the people who are at the most risk of developing this disease.”

older man praying

For people with dementia or other kinds of cognitive decline, things get even more complicated. Widera points out that people with dementia may not remember they need to wash their hands more often or refrain from touching their face. And dementia patients often wander. In communal living or care facilities, they might walk in and out of other patients’ rooms, down the hall, or into common living areas, all of which increase the likelihood of catching and transmitting the disease. Diagnosing Covid-19 in those patients could be even harder, too. “People with cognitive impairment may not be able to report their symptoms very well,” says McCormick. “Even if they had a cough an hour ago, they may not remember that they did.”

man coughing

Patients with dementia also have unique challenges if they end up in the hospital. Covid-19 symptoms can worsen their confusion and delirium, as can being in an unfamiliar setting like a hospital room. These patients may be terrified when they’re separated from their family or their usual caregivers and are being tended to by staff covered head-to-toe in protective gowns and masks. With nurses trying to limit patient interactions to reduce the need for this protective gear, patients are often isolated for much of the day.

Martine Sanon, a professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says that usually they encourage family members to be part of the care team and to help orient and comfort their loved ones, but with limited protective equipment, and with fears about spreading the virus, those options aren’t available. “The families have been tremendously wonderful,” she says, often using FaceTime to play favorite music in the background or to call patients by a familiar nickname. “That does help.”

At Hackensack University Medical Center, Jacobs says usually they try to use non-pharmacological methods to help soothe distressed and confused patients. “The way we manage that usually in the hospital is basically staff sitting with a patient, reorienting them, using music, using touch,” she says. But with Covid-19, it’s too dangerous to have someone sit with a contagious patient all day. Instead, the hospital now relies on medication to calm patients down.

While mortality rates are higher for older adults with Covid-19, many do survive. What recovery looks like for them is more complicated. “That’s the other shoe to drop,” says William Greenough of Johns Hopkins. Older adults are likely to be weaker and to recover more slowly after a hospitalization, he says. With so many hospital gyms, rehab, and physical therapy facilities closed, that’s going to make their progress even more difficult.

None of these issues—loneliness, immunosenescence, difficulty recovering from hospital stays—are new problems, and none are unique to the virus. But the novel coronavirus exacerbates the many challenges older patients already face. “Covid-19 intensifies and complicates everything,” says Greenough.

_____________________________

Besides all the upset for the average family during this Pandemic, the saddest part, as described in this article, are those who have spent their entire lives raising and loving families…their children, grandchildren and other family members.
Yesterday, I called a man who is in his 90’s at a Veteran’s Hospital in VA to be certain he got some books I sent him.  I asked, “How’s your family? Do you hear from your son?” He answered, “They are so busy, you know.” 
man sees himself in the mirror
Think about all the meals that Grandma made for the family in your life time!  Think about the Grandfather who taught you to fish! Thinks about the trips planned and enjoyed together…and so much more.
Senior couple sitting on a bench
Think about how you have watched them slowly become older, but still having fun! They don’t deserve to have their last days being sad and lonely.
elderly kiss
Ben Franklin said, “Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.” 
More and more, the people in their younger years of 50-80 are making plans for themselves.  If they have a nest-egg/and or affordable insurance, they will decide exactly how they will spend the last years of their lives.  This takes a great deal of pressure off the decision making of their family because they have already put it down in writing…with wills,  exact funeral plans and living wills about hospital visits.  They don’t want to wait for the children to make decisions for them. If your elderly parents have good mental ability, suggest that they go this route for it is highly recommended.
You ask yourself, “Where did the time go?”  Now, too many are isolated with no recourse because plans weren’t made and there was a fear of thinking about death and dying.
  Do whatever you can to make a bright spot in their days. 
If you are so lucky to have a parent with you at home, cherish these moments…even the difficult moments.  You will not have them forever…nor will they have you. 
If your loved one is already in a nursing home or assisted living, call them regularly, sent them cards, books or drawings from the grandchildren…so they know that you still care.
showing grandma the baby
REMEMBER, SOMEDAY YOU WILL BE MUCH OLDER!
As you pray, God will give you guidance.

 


MASKS and PATRIOTISM

Renfro SocksThere is an interesting story about a sock company, Renfro Sock Corporation of Mt. Airy, N.C, that is just down the mountain from where we lived part-time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.   As we took the narrow road that snaked down the mountain from Virginia into North Carolina, we often noticed their building near one of our favorite “mom and pop’s” eating places. Renfro, it turns out, is now producing masks by the thousands!

Our hats are off to this company and others that are helping out people in need during this pandemic.   As people cover their faces, the Coronavirus will be slowed down considerably.

“Renfro Corp., a sock manufacturer based in Mount Airy,  North Carolina has produced a mask to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Around 60,000 masks will be provided at no cost to low-income residents through faith-based organizations in and around Winston-Salem.” (from

 

Walt Unks Journal Renfro socks to mask2

Andrew Viator wears Renfro Mask

Owner of a company in N.C., Andrew Viator, wears a Renfro Mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHORT VIDEO ON RENFRO  Turn up sound:

As seen in this video, Renfro’s emphasis on MADE IN AMERICA, is most important if we are to have the medicines and equipment needed without dependence upon other countries.  We have the know-how, so let’s do it!

Boyer Writes is taking a deep breath from blogging/listening to continuous news coverage and will relax the next few days. Hopefully, you will do the same, but we would like to share one more thing with you before signing off.

Companies, like Renfro, are patriotic and family oriented.  We found, while living in this area that patriotism is strong in the Blue Ridge.  Renfro is reaching out to the community.  People in America pull together. 

Those who left the mountains to serve our country were patriots as well.  It is our privilege to share with you a musical story from the mountains that may have been typical of many in the N.C. and VA areas in the Blue Ridge.  (Home Free – Go Rest High On That Mountain  – Vince Gill )

 

Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge by N.W. Boyer

 

 

 

 


MUSIC for You in a World of Over-Hype

Sometimes it is important to just take a deep breath and listen to something beautiful because the world is too filled with noise…and hype!   I like the definition of “hype” which is:

“…to promote or publicize intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.

Today we move away from the HYPE and into peace. Listen to something beautiful…which probably means turning off the TV…or at least for a while.

This outstanding photography and peaceful music is for you!  Enjoy!

Boyer Writes

“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

 

Video  Turn on sound


Tribute to the SALT of the EARTH

This blog is a solemn tribute to the HARD WORKERS of our country, who produce the foods that are so readily available in our markets.  When all seems lost from weather or any action that hurts the bottom line…they keep the faith and instead of giving up…they continue to know that the fields they look upon are God’s field…and  HE CAN INTERVENE.

 

Everytime we go to buy groceries, think about those past and present who worked fields and NEVER GAVE UP…even in the hardest of times.  Shelton portrays the heartache of those who felt there was no hope.  Thank God for those who kept the faith and came through with God’s help.

Video  Turn up sound:

 


Relaxing Music for Your Pleasure

If you are working, sleeping, reading a book, or doing something special, I highly suggest you turn off your phones, TVs with all the bad news, and relax with the video below. Less stress may even lengthen your life.

This morning, I went out and looked at my sunflowers with tiny bees (or insects..hard to say) enjoying their breakfast. God’s world of nature is totally relaxing.  I thought you might like to see a picture…enlarged for viewing details.

Sun Flower clup with bees best

Many of the pictures shown in the video below, with the beautiful music, are of Fall leaves.  For all of us here in Florida and elsewhere in the country…and the world that have sweltered through the summer, a breath of Fall air would be a wonderful relief.

God’s blessings to all of you.  from Boyer Writes

Video of relaxing music:


Life is not always fair….FIGHT BACK with God’s Help

The troubles we encounter sometimes bring us to wonder if there is any way out. Life, in many cases, is not fair.   Standing our ground; never giving up hope, and sometimes just plain fighting back is the only way.thinking it through

I recently saw the video below and it reminded me of this fact.  In this case, a baby elephant had been separated from its mother and was attacked by a large number of lions.   It is breath-taking to watch.   He is a tough little guy and the odds certainly are against him.  Nature is harsh and relentless.  Survival is not always possible in nature, but within the animal and in man there is the God-given spirit to fight off the offender and not only survive, but to live…truly live another day.

Isn’t that the case with difficult situations?   We just have to “tough” them out.  Solutions are not always easy.   To find a solution may be through our own searching or through the help of others…but there usually is an answer to the heart-ache or trial that besets us.  Whatever yours may be, don’t give up. Remember, there is usually someone wanting to help you by lending a hand.

helping hand

In our video, the 14 lions attack an elephant from behind…climbing on the elephants back…trying to bring him down. You may notice that the elephant had a strategy.  He led the lions into the water…chasing them back…dropping back into a safer area…and continuing this fight time and time again. Toward the end of the film, the elephant’s strategy has worked, but he returns to the same place of danger. We are left fearful that he will be attacked again. Perhaps one thing we know is that if we are moving away from the dangerous things in our lives and then return again to the same place, it may not be the smartest move.  I’ll have to tell you that it was reported that in the end he was reunited with his elephant family.

The lions attack from behind and hang on, hoping to wear the elephant down. Isn’t it the case when life’s troubles attack?  They often come from behind when we are not expecting them.  As they hang on, we are made weary or even in some cases become sick from the anxiety.   Troubles may be something of our own makings, such as a wrong decision or even drug or alcohol abuse. Then again, it may be family or work difficulties.

The “fight back” is not revenge or plans to get even, but one that will get the “monkey off the back”…(or the lion in the elephant’s case)  and to find peace and rest. Some things you can’t change for they are out of your hands. If this is your situation, stop beating yourself up about the matter.   God knows far better than you how to change something that you can’t.  Therefore, seek Him out in your thoughts and prayers.  Put your life in His hands.

Video:


Peaceful Music for Relaxing

man sitting by treeHere is a wonderful piece of relaxing music for you to enjoy.  Enough said.

Blessings to all my readers!


Where is your Path Leading You?

Was your path filled with a crowd today?  Sometimes it is good to find a quieter, better path to bring thoughts into a quiet place of the soul.  Try it!  Make a new path for yourself, wherever it is taking you.  Look around you.  The world is filled with beauty that so many do not take the time to soak into the spirit.  Distractions and worries cloud the heart, mind and life is less than it can be.  Find a new path to enjoy as the busy season approaches us.  You are in control.  Make it your time to reach out and really see…yes, really see…the glories of God.

peaceful person

Video to help you in your thoughts today.   Click and then enlarge to full screen for best viewing.    (by Tim Janis)


Peace for the Soul

peaceful person

Sometimes all we want or need is quiet…rest…and PEACE.     In today’s world, there is no real peace unless we actively look for it.   We have to make a peaceful place to be quiet, wherever that might be.   Therefore, I ask you to find that place and remember the promise given and the beauty of the world through the music that is shared with you now.      Rest…my friend….rest.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:7)

Click Video  (Turn on sound…and relax)

 


God’s Glory…for your Pleasure

Caras Lonut73jpg

Photo by Caras Lonut

Music and Nature are a perfect combination for your listening pleasure.  May you make time to contemplate on both.   The road of life may seem long, but actually it is quite short…so enjoy it and be glad.

 “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 
 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”   (Psalm 96: 11&12)

 

VIDEO  (turn up sound)  by Mark Knopfler


It’s SPRING! The Eagles Know

Eaglesl at Washington

While much of the nation has been piled with snow, the eagles have weathered it all until their little ones could be hatched.  Here is the great event from the live cam above Washington, D.C.

God’s world is so amazing. We give thanks for all its glory.  Welcome to our world, little eagles…for you make it a better place!

Video Credit:  Turn up sound   Cheryl Loheit. © 2018 American Eagle Foundation

 

The live cam link 


Feeling Sorry for Yourself? Consider the People of the World

We know that we in the West can’t solve all the world’s problems.  Nor can we be the “Policemen” of the world.  We have problems of our own to solve.  Nevertheless, it is not a bad idea to consider what the ordinary people of the world go through when there are such things as ethnic cleansing and unstable governments as well as years of war.

children in Afghanistan 2

Internally displaced Afghan children stand outside their shelter. The number of internally displaced Afghans rose to 1.2 million people in 2015. (Newsweek)

We complain that our Congress “can’t get things done” in a timely manner.  We worry about the future, but nothing can compare to the PRESENT distresses that many in the world are going through. That is why I titled this….”Feeling sorry for yourself?”  I also want to highlight the women who are mothers, sisters, and wives around the world.

If you are for any reason feeling down, consider what is happening each night when you go to sleep in a warm bed.  Consider also those who have no food when you cook a delicious meal.  Think about the children who had no voice in coming into this world or where they would be born.  If you have a husband who cares for you, kisses you “goodnight” and treats you with respect, think about the women who are under great restraints and persecuted through cultural beliefs.

When you sit down with friends to watch football, have a drink and put your feet up to relax…consider that mud is not under your couch or chair as it may be for those who are fleeing their countries.  Is all this to make you feel guilty….NO…just THANKFUL… that you have freedoms to do and be what you want to be and where there are no wars at your doorstep.

Say your prayers for those who are the persecuted.  We know a loving God cares for them…that He can help them through their crisis times.   God does not promise that it will be easy going when men, or women, with evil intents, carve out brutal paths for their people to take.  He did ask us to humble ourselves and to seek Him.   So much of human suffering is made by mankind and by government leaders.

Afgan woman Time Magazine

Disfigured woman Time Magazine photo

Our heavenly Father won’t force goodness in the minds of the wicked who would persecute the innocent, intimidate their women or harm innocent children.  Dictators and Government Officials are decision makers, who through greed and power, often care little for the needs of their people.  It has always been that way and will be…until the day of the coming of Jesus Christ.    That will be when every knee will bow and everyone will become accountable for all that has been said and done to those around us.

In Afghanistan, there is a resurgence of the madrassa, which is, in this case, a fundamentalist Muslim religious school for young girls.  They are taught only religious beliefs and rarely math, science or literature.  The building program for these schools is said to be wide-spread, with thousands of female students. One may think there is nothing wrong with teaching the young the religion of the region and praise the fact that girls are attending schools, but there is also the concern by some Muslims that this teaching is indoctrination that their more moderate practice of the faith is not according to the Koran…as well as being anti-West.  To learn more about this Madrassa teaching, read this article:   Madrassa

I recently found online an award-winning photojournalist named Paula Bronstein. Paula has spent time in dangerous and interesting places around the world.  Her years in Afghanistan have given her the ability to talk to the women of the area, whereas her male photojournalists did not have that access.

Here is a video that will shed some light on the history of the living conditions as well as cultural rules that are forced upon women in many parts of the world.   Perhaps there will be a change in the future, but change is often difficult… especially in war times and with certain cultures.

Paula Bronstein

Paula Bronstein, Photojournalist

VIDEO   Turn up sound   (taken from u-tube,  Paula Bronstein)

 


The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

blue ridge Overview Best

The Blue Ridge Mountains, steeped in history and hard working people, is a special place.  It is our privilege to live here part of the year and in doing so, we have seen the beauties of the land and its people.   My recent book, Old Timers of the Blue Ridge and More, is a collection of stories behind generations of families who have worked the land and farmed the fields.  The fog rolls in over the mountains from North Carolina into Virginia.  It is a silent mist that cools the summers and brings the breeze that is felt daily.

Below is a video that I have produced with many of the photographs that I have taken of these wonderful mountains in the years that we have been here.  I hope the sights and peaceful sounds will fill your day with God’s love and joy.

Even now, in early August,  the fields are ready for a summer harvest and the corn is growing high.  The peach juice drips down the chin with every bite.  The aroma of peach pie baking in the oven is in the air.peaches 2017.JPG

The migrant workers, along with the farm owners, work late into the night to harvest and package the produce, moving it on to our groceries far down the mountain.   The rumble of the tractors and the rhythm of the trucks pass our house as they move on to the Painter warehouse, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway,  to be processed.

Take the winding road down the mountain until you find acres and acres of apples, peaches and more at the Harold Orchards in Ararat, Virginia.   They have been farming this orchard for generations.  H.C. told me that without the workers who come in from Mexico, his business would go under.  Many of these workers come year after year to bring in the harvest.

It is our privilege to honor these hard-working farmers who produce the crops of corn, cabbage, broccoli, apples, peaches and much more.  Without them or the workers they hire, our grocery stores would be dependent on foreign providers.

Thank you, Gentlemen.    You are the best!

VIDEO:   BLUE RIDGE:   Photographed and produced by N.W. Boyer  (All rights reserved).

Turn on sound.

 

credits: music “On Golden Pond”

 

 


The Words of the Mouth vs Peace in the Heart

 We must pull back and rest our souls.

How is this done one may ask?    Because no one can do it for us, we have to find a way to limit what we see and hear, especially through the internet,  from those who would deliberately harm our peace of heart and spread their evil thoughts.

Example:  The  hateful messages sent over the internet concerning Senator John McCain’s diagnosed brain cancer…and those attributing it to God’s wrath for McCain’s political views.  How insane!

God does not bring illness or evil to the people of the world that He sent His Only Son to die for.  We have natural causes for illness…whether it is the environment, disease, genetics, or things about which we know nothing.  We must put our entire lives in God’s hands and do our best to correct, through medicine and prayer, what we can of human sufferings.

Years ago so many died of the black plague and other diseases.   Thankfully God has given us the intelligence to research for cures still unknown. We at Boyer Writes wish Senator McCain the blessings and peace of God.

( Shown above is McCain when he was released after 5 years as a prisoner of war and Senator McCain today. )

Those physical afflictions, not caused by natural causes,  would be wars or individual decisions that bring pain, not only to the body, but to the spirit and soul. These are caused by human beings, which usually starts with the words that come from the mouth or hatred in the heart.

For all the good technology give us and the ability it gives every human being  to spread quickly words of evil or encouragement, we may once again be reminded of what one of the greatest geniuses of our time had to say.  Human kindness and interaction is one of our most important qualities.

Albert Einstein quote on technology.

 

The Holy Scriptures remind us of this in 1st Peter 3:9.  “ Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

 

crown of thorns and cross

Video:

Miserere Mei Deus (Allegri) – King’s College Choir, Cambridge


Photographing God’s Creation

 

 

Ever think to photograph some neat, formation of the simplest of things?   Ask someone to guess what it is…and then share with them that it is only the foam in the bottom of your blueberry shake.  To their surprise, an abstract is born…and it was fun creating it as I did with my morning drink.   Our imagination can create many things, but only God and His wonderful nature can create the beauty shown below. It’s summer and the flowers are showing what they have waited all winter to display…their beauty and elegance. 

Today I share with you my photographs taken of flowers from the deck of my home and one of God’s creatures that strolled through my yard. She looked very surprised to see me, but quickly went on her way. Morning deer sm2.jpg

As I looked out over the flowers, the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and Virginia stay true their name… for they are a true -blue ridge.  Blue Ridge

 Look around you today.  See all the wonderful things God has made and rejoice.

VIDEO Turn on sound

 

 


The Corner Stone of America and a Farmer’s Heart

farm fieldsMany of us have seen Shark Tank, the program where investors interview a person who believes that they have invented something great for the market and the economy.   Perhaps this particular program, that I’m sharing with my readers today, will not only share a great idea for all tree farmers  but the heart of one man who cares about the hard working people of the world.   He wants to produce and  afford his product…but also wants the farmer to be able to afford it.

(Below:  Florida Orange Trees, Apple Trees, Pecan Trees)

When my husband and I were at our house in VA during the Fall and harvest season, we were greatly impressed with the long…long…hours that the farmers and their workers spent all day and late into the night getting their products to market.  Their trucks, laden down with cabbage, pumpkins, broccoli, apples, and much more rolled endlessly down the road.  Time was at an essence.  If they had survived the weather, they now had to be certain the crops did not rot in the fields.   Many of these people went back generations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.   Farming is what they know and that hard work has its rewards.    Farmers are also concerned about droughts, pests, hurricanes and freezes.  Their bottom line is greatly effected by all of these as well as their expense for fertilizers, power, equipment and water to grow their trees and plants.

Now, I am happy to share with you Arcadia, Florida farmer, Johnny Georges’ request for help from the Shark Tank investors to share his water conservation invention, the Tree T-Pee.   (and his new partner from Shark Tank, John Paul DeJoria)

Johnny is especially interested in this to be available to the farmers  who grow trees of every kind. This is an emotional request that clearly shows his love for the  environment, hard-working people and his Father who taught him “Nobody owes you nothing. Life is what you make it.”  

Turn on your sound.

 

 


Small Town Christmas USA

Nestled in the center of Florida, USA, is a tiny town called Howey in the Hills.  Yes, there are actually hills here, as the center of the state has beautiful rolling hills that visitors to the state rarely see.   There is much more to Florida than theme parks.

Let me introduce you to Howey.  It has one blinking light, a caring and protective police force, one small library, a doctor’s office, post office, a convenience store with gas and a market with a deli,  and two beauty salons.  An active Community church holds a live nativity scene each year, often with farm animals.  Recently our 101 year old resident turned his work of art landscaping into the new town’s Blevins Patriot Park.  Visitors often come there to salute those who have served in our country’s military.

night-time-at-howey-christmas

The people are friendly and stop to chat as they walk their dogs along the lake front.   Gorgeous sunrises are seen early in the morning  across beautiful Little Lake Harris. The moss sways gently in the oak trees and the birds arrive each winter from the north to share the trees and lake with the resident birds…like the Sandhill Cranes that roam around the yards. sandhill-crane-1size-sm

This town is in Lake County, Florida  that gives good fire and rescue service. A brand-new grocery is just across the bridge and several up-scale restaurants at a conference center and a golf course is a short distance from the one stop light.   Crime rate is extremely low. A modern school for special needs students is just down the road from the lake.    Who would not want to live here?  If it ever snowed (which it doesn’t) one could sled down our hills right into the lake.  Which might not be a good idea for alligators can occasionally be seen.   Boaters fish and once in a while a pontoon airplane lands and takes off.

Each year Howey in the Hills has a Christmas parade. There are activities for all ages and at night lighted boats sail along the lake shore.  Small towns close to Howey send their high school bands and color guards to join the festivities along the lake. Eat your heart out if you are sitting in snow and ice. (Notice the school twirlers aren’t wearing snow suits). howey-parade-twirlers How many towns have Llamas dressed for Christmas in their parades?  These gentle creatures come to show off every year.

howey-parade-llamas1

Since most of our readers will not be here for this Christmas, we would like to share the spirit of Christmas from our little town with you.     God’s blessings on this wonderful time of year.

howey-christmas-parade-2014-006

Slide show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We cannot forget our Santa Claus who brings up the end of the parade.

Video of Santa at Howey Christmas Parade (Turn on sound)


A Touch of Autumn in Japan

mount-fuji-fall

If you have never traveled to Japan, you will enjoy this overview of the city and country life.  At the end of the video are some steps in Tokyo that my husband and I climbed and listened to a piano concert by a very young girl, who could hardly reach the floor with her feet.  The students of Japan have a great emphasis on learning some form of music.  The high school that I visited has a whole wing of baby grand pianos and the students were practicing.  I learned another impressive thing about the Japanese education.  Two young men were sweeping the halls and scrubbing the floor outside their classroom.  I asked if they were being punished for something.  The reply was, “Oh no, they are taking turns in having pride for their school.”

The calmness of Japan and its beauty is something we will not forget.  Take a ride on the bullet train, walk the streets, and enjoy nature at its best.


Pumpkins and Fall

It is a bright, sunny day in Virginia and the tractors are moving slowly by our home loaded with pumpkins for the market.   Yes, it is almost Fall…and one can feel it in the air.  Soon the leaves will begin to radiate their yellow, orange and gold.  The little yellow finches have long flown away where their tiny bodies will not feel the cold to come.  The mountain people have canned their fresh fruits and vegetables for those long winter months.   The sky is blue…blue…blue…for the rain has driven away the mist and fog.  It is soon going to be Fall.  The little bears that we saw walking down the road are finding their place to hibernate and the coats on the deer that cross the Blue Ridge Parkway are changing from a gold to a spotted grey…winter coats provided by Mother Nature. As I was writing this, a tractor drove by with people loaded on it… going to the pumpkin patch.  Yes, everyone is enjoying a new season. getting-a-ride-2sm

A few years ago, Bill and I flew to Japan in the Fall.  The red of the Japanese maples was beyond belief as they glimmered against Mt. Fuji.  It was  a time we will always remember.  This is why I’d like to share these beautiful scenes of Japan.   Wherever one is in the world, if Fall is part of your seasons….enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!  You are blessed of God to witness the cycle of life.


Water, Food, Finances, Technology, Aggression…in common?

world 2The world has become a small place. Each person…each country…is intertwined with the other.   As we face a new year, we are concerned about where the world may be headed.  No one wants to hear “gloom and doom”.  Most would like for the good things of life to continue…yes, continue….on and on without much thought to what we, the human race, may be bringing upon ourselves.  Is this a reality to what we have become…even with all our advantages and inventions?

The video that I am sharing on this blog faces serious questions that all must consider.  Several men, with varied backgrounds of expertise, met to discuss  the threats to societies around the world…and our own American life in particular.

A thoughtful debate and discussion was on these subjects:

*Financial instability

*Water and oil depletion

*Hostile Technology such as AI (Artificial intelligence)

*Terrorist Aggression

The world may be in our hands more than we know.

world

DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THE TITLE ON THIS VIDEO.  I personally think it is miss-titled, because by the end of the video each man believes that we can make changes that will help save the future.  It is also my belief that my readers, who take the time to watch and listen carefully, will find these men, who are experts in their respective fields, of great interest.   If nothing more, they present us with great food for thought.


God’s Handiwork….rest from today’s news

God’s Handiwork!   Sit back…forget the news for the day and refresh your mind to what beautiful things are on the earth.

Compliments of National Geographic:

VIDEO:   This moves very quickly.  Be ready to pause if you’d like to see something for a longer time. Turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.


The Real Florida…and Florida Cracker Culture..

I live in Florida, USA.   Most people who travel here are looking to visit the theme parks like Disney or Universal Studios.   These are not the real Florida.  The real Florida has a wonderful history.  There are thousands of acres that are being preserved by the ranchers who still own the land.

The video below is worth seeing if you want to understand something about the history the  present day men, women, and children of the real Florida.

It is a land of horses, brought here by the Spanish in the 1500’s.  The horses drive the cows…some of special breeds from India.  Dogs help with the round-up…and 4th and 5th generation children ride the range with the grandparents.

The environment is vast, wild, peaceful and filled with wild-life of all kinds: turkey, hogs, eagles, alligators and more.   This is the real Florida.    History has shown that the men who worked the miles of Florida from coast to coast were sturdy, rugged individuals.  We must not forget the women who shared this land with them.  They had their babies here with nothing more than a mid-wife and prayer that they would survive.   These people were often referred to as Florida Crackers .   They were also the Florida cowboys.  Yes, before the wild-west cowboys, the Florida cowboys were here!

What were the Florida Crackers? (see video below)

  • Crackers were self-reliant, simple and tough (mostly Scots Irish) immigrants who settled the backwoods of Florida.
  • Came to Florida by the promise of independent living and cheap land e for raising cattle
  •  Crackers battled everyone from the Seminole Indians and the British army
  •  They also battled malaria from mosquitoes and wild animals.
  • Living among the palmetto and scrub, they survived on turtles, possum, frogs, grits, cornbread and greens and whatever else they could catch.
  • Historians will tell you that “cracker” originally meant “a braggart.” Some use the term today to describe country folk or someone who was born in Florida.
  • The word “cracker” actually came from the sound of a whip made when rounding cattle.

What was the Florida Cracker House?

  • wood-frame construction, an elevated first floor,
  • a large attached front porch, a revealed fireplace, horizontal wood siding in both the exterior and interior,
  • A wrap around porch with an overhang was key to beating the sun outdoors.  The windows usually had netting or shutters to keep out bugs and other creatures
  • Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground.
  • Crackers often built their homes of cypress wood, which  has inherent anti-rot and anti-insect properties.

 

VIDEO OF THE REAL FLORIDA (Longer version video)


BOYER WRITES ushers in SUMMER with a little FLAIR

For this Sunday, Boyer Writes thought you may need a little break from “heavy” reading to just simply enjoying  a little jazz and the beauty of SUMMER!   ENJOY and HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Making Something Out of Nothing….Almost

flipFlops

Creativity is an amazing thing!   I have little patience with those who sit around whining that they have no way to support themselves …when we have a brain and in many cases  good, strong backs.

Take for instance these  pictures by  Ben Curtis and the story about the people in Nairobi, Kenya who have collected  flip-flops that have washed up on the beach and made beautiful toys out of them.

A Flip Flop Giraffe

A Flip Flop Giraffe

flipflopProcess Julie Church started a company that recycles and cleans the beaches where the Indian Ocean’s currents have moved these dirty pieces of rubber.  People now have jobs and are using their creative talents.

Cleaning the Flip Flops

Cleaning the Flip Flops People of the area now have jobs as artisans or workers to recycle these shoes that were littering and ruining the environment.

No need to paint these toys for the colors are built into the rubber.  Just use a keen eye to construct them in the right way and then cut or sculpt the toy.  Imagination is the key!

flipflop MakerKenya

Jackson Mbatha uses a knife to carve part of the neck of a large giraffe. His creations would be award-winning in any art show.flipFlopGiraffMaker

 Hats off to the people of Kenya who find that ingenuity, personal pride and creativity are gifts…that they are using wisely.

 To be able to make something out of almost nothing.…especially something quite beautiful, reminds me that this is exactly what God, our Heavenly Father, did when He created the universe.

 Keep up the good work, people of Kenya…our planet will thank you!

More ingenuity….by men of Kenya.    If you don’t have a musical instrument…just make one!    (See video)