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"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King ... Daily Inspirational Quotes

April 30, 2007


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From the Inside Out...
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"CARPE DIEM" is a phrase from a poem by Horace, the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. One interpretation of this phrase is — to make the most of current opportunities because life is short and time is fleeting. It is commonly translated "seize the day", though a more accurate translation might be "pluck the day". This idea was popular in 16th and 17th-Century English poetry, as in Robert Herrick's Make Much of Time, which begins: "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may." It's interesting to note that the following Chinese couplet from the Tang Dynasty strikingly resembles Herrick's line: "Pluck the flower when it has blossomed; don't wait until there are no flowers with only branches to break." Even NBA superstar Kobe Bryant's change to Number 24 (24 hours in a day, 24 minutes in an NBA half, 24 seconds on the shot clock) includes a new logo featuring his initials, the number and those very wise words: "Carpe Diem".

Chelle Thompson
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

... you can SAVE THE DAY for
fortunate people all over the world!

From the Inside Out

Vincent Van Gogh —"Old Woman of Arles" — 1888
Vincent Van Gogh —"Old Woman of Arles"
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health.

And now this little old Scottish lady, with seemingly nothing left to give to the world, is the author of this simple, yet eloquent, poem that is traveling the world by Internet. Goes to show that we all leave "SOME footprints in time".....

A Crabby Old Woman

What do you see, nurses ….. What do you see?
What are you thinking ….. When you’re looking at me?
A crabby old woman ….. Not very wise?
Uncertain of habit ….. With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food ….. And makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice ….. “I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice ….. The things that you do,
And forever is losing ….. A stocking or shoe?

Who, resisting or not ….. Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ….. The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?? ….. Is that what you see??
Then open your eyes, nurse ….. You’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am ….. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding ….. As I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten ….. With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters ….. Who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen ….. With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now ….. A lover she’ll meet.
A bride soon at twenty ….. My heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows ….. That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now ….. I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide ….. And a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty ….. My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ….. With ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons ….. Have grown and are gone,
But my man’s beside me …..To see I don’t mourn
At fifty once more ….. Babies play round my knee,
Again we know children ….. My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ….. My husband is dead,
I look at the future ….. I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing …..Young of their own ,
And I think of the years ….. And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old woman ….. And nature is cruel;
Tis jest to make old age ….. Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles ….. Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone ….. Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass ….. A young girl still dwells,
And now and again ….. My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys ….. I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living ….. Life over again.

I think of the years ….. All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact ….. That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ….. Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman ….. Look closer …. see, ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person whom you might unthinkingly brush aside without remembering that there's young soul that still lives within them ... for we will all, one day, be there, too!

~ Author Unknown
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The latest US news indicates that melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and pesticides, has been found in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate and corn gluten imported from China. One positive result of this pet food recall is that it's prompting pet owners to call veterinarians when their pets get sick — and now instead of problems from the tainted food, owners and their vets are finding all sorts of other maladies. Doctors say they are seeing more cases of hypothyroidism, bladder disease, bladder stones, liver disease and even diabetes that have no connection to the recall. Another great side effect here is that people are finally becoming motivated to feed their pets natural foods instead of lower quality brands that are cheaper because they use fillers.

**The most up-to-date product information can be found with the American Veterinarian Medical Association's AVMA PET FOOD RECALL LIST and the FDA's UPDATED NOTICES of recalls and market withdrawals are regularly posted as a service to consumers.

You can get specific wheat gluten information from Menu Foods (CAT Products), Menu Foods (DOG Products) and Purina PetCare (Mighty Dog and Alpo) — plus Del Monte and Sunshine Mills. Please note that brands like Iams, Eukanuba, and Hills Prescription Diet — which were all affected by the recall — are NOT healthy nor natural foods. Even a pet food company that prides itself on using "human-grade" ingredients, The Blue Buffalo Company said some of its Spa Select Kitten dry food contained rice protein concentrate that was contaminated with melamine. This same tainted rice protein went into products from Natural Balance Pet Foods, Doctors Foster & Smith Adult Lite Dog and Cat, Lick Your Chops Lamb, Rice & Egg Cat, SmartPak Adult Lite Dog Food and, most recently, several of Diamond Pet Foods Canned Products. In addition, there been a recall of A.B Bully Stick puppy and dog chews from American Bullie because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

DIET IS THE FOUNDATION OF HEALTH Feeding a very high quality food is the best thing you can do for your dog or cat’s health. Grain byproducts are inexpensive fillers and inferior sources of nutrition which have been used for decades. They may make the food less expensive and good tasting, but in the case of pet foods, you truly get what you pay for. For complete information on choosing a top-quality pet food please see What You Should Know About Your Pet’s Food. Following is a summary of the basic fundamentals of natural pet care:

1. Freshness The more fresh and less processed the food, the better. As with human food, the more pet food is processed, the more nutrients are lost.
2. Meat — Dogs and cats are natural carnivores, so it is important that the main source of protein in their diet is meat. Grains are inferior sources of protein and cats especially do not tolerate grains well. Diets with higher grain and carbohydrate content can lead to weight gain and other potential health problems.
3. Vegetables & Fruits — Vegetables and fruits contain beneficial vitamins and antioxidants and should be included in the diet as well -- to a greater extent for dogs than for cats. Cats are almost exclusively carnivores, so this portion should be smaller for them.
4. Variety — It is a good idea to feed your pet different types of food, either through rotation or mixing them together. Try different brands and/or different flavors of the same brand. Feeding your pet the same dry food all the time would be like you eating only corn flakes - sure you could survive, but it wouldn't be very healthful or enjoyable. Every meal does not need to be perfectly balanced. Feeding a variety of healthy meals will create balance over the course of the week.
5. Supplements — Most healthy food contains additional ingredients to add vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. However, even the best fresh raw foods diet for our dogs and cats can be lacking in some essential vitamins and minerals. This is why a basic vitamin and mineral supplement is a good investment for most of our pet companions.
6. Digestive Enzymes — Every dog or cat that is eating a processed food (anything other than raw or lightly cooked) diet should receive digestive enzymes with every meal. This will not only improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients, but it may also help protect against the development of allergies and immune disorders. Improving digestion and utilization of nutrients can help to prevent and eliminate a host of diet related problems such as eating stools, body odor, excessive shedding, flatulence and itchy skin.
7. Essential Fatty Acids — Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary for proper formation of cell membranes, are precursors for prostaglandins (hormones involved in pain regulation among other things), aid in proper cardiovascular function and nourish the skin and coat as well as the lining of the digestive tract. The best source of omega 3 fatty acids for most animals is cold water fish oils like salmon oil or cold water fish blends. Animals do not necessarily convert the fatty acids in plant oils very efficiently, such as those in found in flax, to the form most readily utilized by the animal’s system.

Here's a "Quick Guide to Natural Pet Food" ranked according to nutritional value. Raw food is the best, followed by dehydrated and freeze dried, then canned and rolls, then dry kibble. Of course your budget is a factor, because the better quality the food, the more expensive it tends to be. This guide shows safe and healthy brands which are available at ... these same natural food manufacturers are available elsewhere, of course, on the Internet and in quality pet supply stores in most cities. The important thing to note is that these specific companies produce the types of food that your pet will thrive on ... AND if you already feed these natural products to your pet, you do not need to concern yourself over the recall.

PET FOOD RECALL — Get AVMA Consolidated Product List Here Check Here For FDA Notices: Stop feeding recalled pet food to your pet and return it to the store where you purchased it for a refund. If you cannot return the pet food immediately, store it in a secure place where pets and children cannot get to it. The recalled pet foods are causing kidney failure in dogs and cats. Signs of kidney failure include: Increased water consumption / Increased urination / Nausea and vomiting / Weight loss / Constipation / Lethargy and low energy / Loss of appetite. The recent recall involving DRY cat food might have a worse effect because cats have a greater sensitivity to chemicals and do not digest grains well. The digestion of grains creates more waste products for the animal’s system to process than it is naturally accustomed to, placing a constant stress on the organ systems.

Kidney (Renal) Failure — If your dog or cat is diagnosed with kidney failure, please read Diet Suggestions for Kidney Problems. The kidneys function is to filter out and excrete toxins from the body through the urine. One of the first signs of kidney failure is an increase in thirst and urination. This is why: A healthy kidney can concentrate toxins into a smaller amount of liquid to be urinated away. When the kidneys are damaged and become less able to concentrate the urine, more fluid is used by the body. As the kidneys become less efficient and the disease progresses, other signs of kidney failure begin to emerge such as weight loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, low energy / fatigue, and poor appetite.

Most animals do not show signs of kidney failure until about 70% - 75% of kidney function has been lost. In order to diagnose kidney failure and determine the extent of the disease, a blood test and urinalysis is needed. Always contact your veterinarian promptly if your animal shows signs of illness. For more information about kidney disease please see Dealing with Kidney Failure. If you have fed your dog or cat any of the recalled foods, it is wise to have your pets tested. If the test results come back without signs of kidney failure and you are still concerned, we recommend using a detoxifier such as Newton Homeopathics Detoxifier, Animals Apawthecary Detox Blend or Only Natural Pet Blood & System Herbal Formula, and possibly a kidney tonic remedy such as Renal Essential for Dogs or Renal Essentials for Cats or the Chinese Herbal Formula Six Flavor Tea Pills.

HOW TO PICK SAFE PET FOOD Read the ingredient labels! For dog food find the AAFCO stamp (Association of American Feed Control Officials). In addition, the pet food — can or bag — should have an expiration date and it should have a phone number and/or Web site, so you can call the company and ask questions. Avoid these controversial preservatives: BHA and BHT – common ingredients in floor cleaners and paint products, Ethoxyquine and Propylene glycol. Avoid generic-label or store-label brands — This food is probably from bulk suppliers. Don't pick products that have unidentified meat or bone meal. It's got to specify the protein (i.e. chicken, turkey, salmon).

HOME-MADE DIETS — says that making homemade foods ... requires knowledge, motivation and additional financial resources, as well as careful and consistent attention to recipe detail to insure a balanced intake of nutrients. There are six simple questions you should ask when assessing the nutritional adequacy of a particular homemade diet — (1) Are all five food groups included in the recipe? (2) What is the source of carbohydrates? (3) What kind of protein is included? (4) Are adequate calcium and other minerals present? (5) Is the protein source lean or fatty? (6) Are micronutrients properly balanced?

The best recommendation to pet owners wanting to make their own pet food is to be sure a recipe has been properly formulated and to get regular veterinary checkups for your pet. Two of the most highly vet-recommended cookbooks are: Reigning Cats & Dogs: Good Nutrition Healthy Happy Animals written by Pat McKay and Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Dr. Donald Strombeck. Here are two pet cookbooks available in downloadable eBook format: PAMPER YOUR CAT- 100 Recipes for Your Feline Friend and PAMPER YOUR DOG- 130 Recipes for Your Canine Friend.

~Carefully Compiled From
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Far Horizons


Autumn in Arashiyama
Autumn colors in Arashiyama, Japan
Learn More Here

Arashiyama, to the west of Kyoto, is sometimes dismissed in Western guidebooks with a brief paragraph suggesting "other attractions". However, this incredible area is well worth a visit. From Kyoto Station to Arashiyama, take the JR Sagano Line to Saga-Arashiyama JR Station (about 15 minutes), then walk 5 minutes and you'll be right in the center of beautiful Arashiyama. There are plenty of food vendors (yatai) ... have some yakiimo (baked sweet potato) while you're there! A short walk from the Saga-Arashiyama Station is a magnificent Bamboo Forest. The path wanders through towering bamboo to Nonomiya Shrine and Okochi Sanso (a traditional house, previously occupied by a Japanese silent screen legend). There is something sacred about the sounds of a bamboo forest and the radiant greenness that permeates the complexion and demeanor of everyone under its canopy of dancing rustling leaves. The bamboo is said to grow up to a foot a day and many are several inches in diameter. Ingenious craftsmen bind, weave and ply chopsticks, baskets, vases, toys, cutlery, etc. from this versatile material. The well known Togetsukyo Bridge, arched over the Oi River and viewed against Mount Arashiyama, was originally built in the 9th century by the priest, Dosho. The name "Togetsukyo" means Moon Crossing and is derived from what the Emperor Kameyama said it was as if the bridge was the moon crossing over the sky on a clear night. The current bridge dates back to 1934 and is contrasted with pink of cherry blossoms in spring, lush greenery in summer, and colored leaves in autumn. The bridge and forested Arashiyama reflecting on the surface of the Oi River retain a picture of traditional Japan and makes you feel as if you have traveled back to ancient times.

A walk back from the bridge and through an area crammed with teahouses and shops will bring you to Tenryuji Temple. Tenryu-ji is listed as the foremost of the Five Great Temples of Kyoto (Kyoto Gozan). This temple was established when Ashikaga Takauji, the first shogun (general) of the Muromachi shogunate, transformed the detached palace of Kameyama into a zen temple in order to console the spirit of Emperor Godaigo. This emperor had passed away in the same Yoshino area in 1339, with a deep mortification due to his lack of success in political conflicts. Appointed as a founder of the temple by Takauji, a dignitary Buddhist priest named Muso Kokushi created the temple's garden. The Sougen-ike teien is designed in a "borrowed landscape" style to represent nearby Mt. Arashiyama and Mt. Kameyama. The garden was named a Special National Scenic Place among "borrowed landscape" style gardens and was also listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994.

If you're lucky enough to be in the Arashiyama area between July 1 and September 15, at least one evening should be spent on the Oi River, drifting in a wooden boat and watching men fishing with trained cormorants, or seabirds. Ukai is a traditional Japanese fishing method, dating back to the Heian period (794-1185), in which long boats are rowed out on a river at night, and cormorants are used to catch fish attracted to fires and drumming sounds produced by the fishermen. The cormorants swim in the water and are held on leashes which prevent them from swallowing the fish. The boats and clothing of the fisherman are all traditional, and with the fires flickering and the cormorants diving, Ukai makes for a truly unforgettable and magical experience.

Japanese Cormorant Fishing
"Ukai" traditional Japanese cormorant fishing

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Can one person slow global warming? Actually, yes! People often feel individually helpless to affect
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paths to cut carbon emissions. Here is Time Magazine's guide to some of the planet's best ideas:

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LISTEN to Your eMail and Webpages
CFS-Technologies Speakonia is a FREE Text-To-Speech graphical User-Interface Program which uses the Microsoft ® Speech Technology. This easy-to-use graphical user interface is similar to Notepad. So how does Speakonia read aloud any given text with just one mouse click?

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"Life is about inner development first and foremost. My trials and challenges have been almost unbearable. The loss of our daughter to cancer at age seven and my husband's cancer death in December, 2004, brought lessons I would not have chosen to learn. Walking in the light becomes easier as you go. Giving no thought for what lies ahead, you put one foot in front of the other, watching the path unfold."

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Laughing It Off "You're Outter Here, Young Man!"

My son came home from school one day, with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough, to put me in my place...

"Guess what I learned in Civics Two, that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today, the 'Children's Bill of Rights.'
It says I need not clean my room, don't have to cut my hair.
No one can tell me what to think, or speak, or what to wear.

"I have freedom from religion, and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head, and I sure don't have to pray.
I can wear earrings if I want, and pierce my tongue and nose.
I can read and watch just what I like, get tattoos from head to toe

"And if you ever spank me, I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges, with the marks on my behind.
Don't you ever touch me, my body's only for my use,
Not for your hugs and kisses, that's just more child abuse.

"Don't preach about your morals, like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control, and it's illegal too!
Mom, I have these children's right, so you can't influence me,
Or I'll call Children's Services Division, better known as C.S.D."

Of course my first instinct was to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson made me think a little more.
I mulled it over carefully, I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face, he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping at the local Goodwill Store.
I told him, "Pick out all you want, there's shirts & pants galore.
I've called and checked with C.S.D. who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes instead of those Nike Airs.

"I've canceled that appointment to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned so I'll decide what's best."
I said "No time to stop and eat, or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn to make your own sack lunch.
Just save the raging appetite, and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions, a favorite dish of mine."
He asked "Can I please rent a movie, to watch on my VCR?"
"Sorry, but I sold your TV, for new tires on my car.
I also rented out your room, you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires just a roof over your head.

"Your clothing won't be trendy now, I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get, will buy me something neat.
I'm selling off your jet ski, dirt-bike and roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights' ... it's in effect today!

~Contributed by Diane who lives in New South Wales, Australia
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