Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Do You feel About Public Speaking?

Public Speaking
I enjoy public speaking, moreso when I am addressing children. I enjoy two-way communication, getting their input, and answering their questions. I have noticed that when I open a tell me about your pet session, or a Q&E session, the children open up, and really talk. Even rather shy children start talking, and sharing their stories, and asking questions. Of course, there are times when I have addressed audiences more advanced, from middle school, to teens, to senior citizens. I still enjoy it more when my audience is involved. It appears that they also get more enjoyment, even persons who at first were quite, and somewhat self conscience about speaking up in front of the group. When they can ask questions and share their thoughts, things get lively, and we all can have a good time sharing information and experiences. They tend to gain more and retain more of the information I am there to share, when they can interact, and don't just have to sit like bumps on a log, and listen to this total stranger. 

If speaking is all one-sided, your audience can get bored, and lose interest. I think it's important to include one's audience, so you can find out what's on their minds, and to be sure you have covered what's important to them, and that you haven't just been droning on, and left them in la-la land, wishing they were someplace else. If you are talking just to hear yourself, then you are missing the point of the whole mission. 

Teaching about miniature pigs as pets

Many of my sessions are related to pets, and their care, spay and neither, training, and how to know when you are ready to adopt a pet. We often discuss what kinds of pets people have, as well as how their pet lives, what they eat, etc. Often, young children love sharing things their pet does. After all, what may be old hat to me, or another adult, is a whole new experience to a young child. 

I have taken cats, dogs, potbellied pigs, and yes, even snakes with me to share with my audience.  These are especially appreciated by children, as well as many of their parents, who also came along to listen and be with their child during the assembly.
Rescued Chihuahua
Placed in her new home
by another rescuer.

I often share my own childhood times with children, as they only see me as I now am, and unless I can help them relate to me as I was as a child, they may just think this old lady is not in tune with them and their present experiences. 

This is a rescued little dog that was placed in her new home by a fellow rescuer in the Palm Springs area.

One of my two Banded California King Snakes
©2010 PK Hawk
I even took two pet Ball Pythons to share at a school assembly.  The students were allowed to line up and look at the snakes, up close, and even to touch them if they chose.  The snake on the right will be four years old on August 9th, 2011.  I took it and it's clutch-mate in as rescues the day they hatched.  A neighbor of a friend had taken in the mother snake when someone had captured her while she was full of eggs.  Rather than chance the female snake dying from her experience, she was sheltered and cared for, until the eggs were laid, and she was out of danger.  The eggs were put into an incubator to allow any fertile eggs to hatch.  The young snakes were not sold, but were given to people who were known to be responsible and who would take care of them.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Have You Ever Explored An Old Abandoned House or Other Building?

Old Abandoned Red Brick Building
Wow, old abandoned buildings can have either or both effects on people. Much of course would depend on how much history is already known about the place or building in question. 

When I was about seven years-old, my family lived briefly in an old wood-frame in southern Georgia. That place had been uninhabited for some time, as it was rather dusty, and really needed some serious cleaning and some TLC, as well. The house did have an owner, but since this was only a very small, unincorporated farming community, there really were not people beating a path to the door of the owner, seeking to rent or to buy the place. 

Old Abandoned Farm House
The water was drawn from a well on the screened-in back porch. It wasn't what most people think of today or maybe even then as what a well would look like. The framework was old wood, with a crossbeam hanging over the wells opening, and instead of a wooden bucket that you see in movies, or in old pictures, the "bucket" consisted of a piece of sheet metal pipe, that had a rope tied to it, and from there, it was on a wheel which had a handle for turning so as to bring the water up from the well. 

There was a sort of yard around the place which was overgrown with dead vegetation, as well as an open well, that only had a very old board over it, that anyone stepping on, might fall through, possibly drowning. The hole was hardly noticeable, and was not easily seen. I nearly stepped on the board myself. My mothers called and warned me just in time. 

The kitchen sink was without faucets, and only had a drain so the waste water could drain out and somewhat away from the house. That tube-shaped "bucket" must have been about two feet long, so it could hold enough water to make it worth your effort to draw it up at all. 

It only took a few days for my parents to discover they would have been better off to look elsewhere for a place to live, as we discovered there were wicked spirits attached to the place. 

One night, while my older sister was sleeping, she was awaken by what seemed to me our mother calling her name. When she answered, there was no reply. So, a little spooked, she turned on the bedroom light, and started down the hall to our parents bedroom. When she opened the door, both of our parents were sound asleep. Thinking that she must have been dreaming, she returned to her bed, and again, she heard Mom's voice calling her name again. This time, she was fully awake, and was now getting frightened. She called Mom again, only this time she called loud enough that Mom heard her, and came to see what she wanted. 

Very old cemetery and warn headstones
have many a story to tell about the people
who once lived and died there.
Vi asked Mom if she had indeed called her, and maybe gone back to sleep, to which Mom said with no uncertainty that she had definitely not called her, either time. Mom got Vi settled again in bed, and returned again to her room, and told Dad about what had just happened. They decided that they would wait to see if it happened again, just to be sure Vi wasn't imagining it. 
The following night, it happened again, but this time, Mom and Dad were still awake. Although they heard nothing calling Vi, they certainly did hear Vi answering the call, and when no one answered, they heard Vi call loudly for Mom, asking again if she had called her name. 

From studying the scriptures, we were aware that there are evil spirits that can try to fool people, or to frighten them, and since the situation would only be happening again, we moved as soon as my parents could find another place to live. 

Of course not every old building is "haunted" by spirits, but there are many that are. 

Exploring old homes and/or other buildings, can be fun as well as educational, and there are times, when one may even discover lost treasure, or relics of the past, which were left by persons who may have lived there or worked there many years ago.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nails Or No Nails, That Was The Question

Lovely Strong Nails

 If only I could recall the name. It was back in the early 1980s that I discovered a formula that one could apply to their fingernails, that really worked in developing strong fingernails. 

This product was easily available in Orange County, California when we lived there. I have always had weak nails that tear or break way too easily. Once I started using this product, I was actually able to turn screws with my fingernail. It was not, of course as tight as you would do using a screwdriver, but it was still pretty secure. 
When we moved to the Inland Empire, also in California in 1984, I was no longer able to find this product. It was something that obviously was absorbed into the nail, and since it was not waterproof, it needed to be applied three times a day, or after washing your hands. Still, it worked, and my nails actually grew longer, as well as stronger. 

Only recently, I have discovered a health, protein drink that really strengthens my nails. I have always been told that one should not overdo intake of protein, as it was too hard on one's kidneys. So, also hearing that a woman only needed about four ounces of meat, or other source of protein daily, and since I have chronic nephritis, I was usually cautious about eating too much of anything that contained protein. 

I still need to do more investigation on the subject, but so far, it seems that my body needs more protein that I was led to believe. Having lovely, strong fingernails is important, and is also a clue to one's overall health. Lovely hands and nails show off rings so nicely, too.

Take care of your hands and nails, and they will never look unattractive, or make you want to hide them.  Hands are more than tools to create and do chores.  They are also important to your general appearance as well.  If you don't take care of your nails, they will look ragged, develop hang nails, and just have an unkempt look to them.  No matter how well you dress, or fix your hair, if you hands and nails don't look well cared for, it detracts from everything else.
Nails that have grooves running lengthwise, can be a symptom that you may have a thyroid problem that needs to be taken care of.  Once, I asked my doctor about why I had developed lengthwise ridges in my fingernails, and he didn't know.  It took lots of Internet searching to find the answer.  Thinning hair is also a warning sign that your thyroid may not be functioning properly.

It is easier to recognize that when a woman's hair starts thinning, or her hairline recedes and/or begins to grow thinner, that there is an underlying health reason.  Possibly it has something to do with her body's ability to absorb nutrients from what she eats.  
If you don't get a satisfactory answer to your questions to your doctor, it's time to see a qualified, licensed, and certified nutritionist.  They can take hair samples which they will send out for analysis, which will check you for toxins, as well as many other things which can give a very good idea of your overall heath, and nutrition over a period of time, depending on the length of your hair.  They may also request a sample of pubic hair, as well, since that is hair that will likely be free of chemicals, such as things used to color or curl you hair.  They will also ask you the brand names of products such as deodorants, shampoos, etc. that you have used over the past several months. 

It's a worthwhile investment in your health, as well as your appearance, and your peace of mind.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Favorite Summer Beverages and Foods to go With Them

 You know what? I really don't think I actually have a favorite summer beverage. I like many beverages, when they are properly prepared. Though I seldom if ever add sweeteners, either natural or sugar-free to anything I drink, I do occasionally enjoy iced tea, prepared as it is in the Southern states of the USA, often just called sweet tea. I also enjoy lemonade, and not that stuff so often passed off as lemonade in many fast food establishments. I like homemade lemonade, made from lemons picked off the tree and squeezed immediately, and prepared in my own kitchen. I also enjoy a icy cold beer in the summer, as it is much more refreshing than most bottled sweet soft drinks, and is actually lower in calories, as well. 

I often mix a little sugar-free fruit juice in purified water, and make my own version of a healthful refresher, which also helps ward off the effects of our blazing hot summers, here is southern California, when it can occasionally hit temperatures as high as nearly 120 degrees. This is in the area known as the Inland Empire, and at an elevation of some 1,300 feet. So, usually we have low humidity, which also helps one withstand these temperatures. 

Occasionally, I also enjoy a drink known locally as a "Michelada," which consists of your favorite beer, combined with either some tomato juice, or clamato, along with some added juice of either lemon or lime juice. This is always served in a well chilled mug, with ice, and depending on your personal taste, with, or without a slated rim. 

©2010 PK Hawk

When it come to the regular breakfast choices, they serve everything from menudo, or posole, to already prepared scrambled eggs, with or without added onions and bell pepper, and plenty bacon, ham, breaded chicken, sausages, several types of potatoes, and lots more things to choose from. If you care to have a freshly prepared omelet instead of the already cooked eggs, they also have a table setup which has at least ten things to choose to have the cook add to your omelet, such as fresh mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, onions, chopped sausage, crumbled bacon, as well as shrimp, broccoli, and diced bell peppers. You can tell the chef what you want in your omelet, and he prepares it while you either stand and watch, or you can return to your table and they will bring it to you. 

There are so many dishes that go with these beverages, that it is really difficult to choose at times. For example, we have a local restaurant where they have a Champaign Sunday Brunch, which is served Buffet-Style. They always lots of fresh fruit and salad makings, which is delicious with the champaign, especially when fresh strawberries are in season. There is usually fresh melon of at least two varieties. They have to foresight to help people not overindulge, by limiting the champaign to two glasses. There is all the coffee one cares to drink, as well as great orange juice, too. 

Either way, it's a nice way to spend a summer Sunday morning, especially in the scorching hot summer. Of course in winter, it's also a nice way to spend a cold, or rainy mornings, too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Electric Motorcycles?

If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I mentioned that several people commented on the motorcycles that were being used by several officers involved in a heavily manned show of law enforcement in several areas here locally.

While nothing is being said about why so many officers from at least three branches of law enforcement, I have found out that those "space age" looking bikes being used are something new that may have only recently been added.

From what I heard, the bikes were very quite, and were black.  This makes me wonder if that is wise.  It is well known that black is a difficult color to see, which may be good for being a little more invisible, when it comes to catching the "bad guys," but it also makes them more difficult for drivers to see them on the road, in general.  Then, adding to that, the fact that these are electric, being very quite, similar to the Toyota Prius, really makes me wonder if they will be actually unsafe for the officers using these new cycles.  I recall that many people who have been involved in accidents with the Toyota Prius state that the car is too quiet, making it very difficult for people with hearing problems or the blind, to even know it is approaching.  In this case, I worry for the safety of the officers driving these new bikes.  I think we will be seeing more officers being severely injured and killed due to this combination of black and silent.

There are already many deadly accidents involving motorcycles, and that's with most of them making it easy to hear.  Just imagine yourself driving with your radio on in your vehicle, and something black and nearly silent coming up on your side, when you may make a lane change, or simply a slight adjustment in your own lane.  Most officers do maintain their position in the lane, unlike many  freeway bike drivers.  Still, I think this is a recipe for disaster.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unusual Law Enforcement Activity

Heavily Armed Law Enforcement
Without mentioning the exact location, I will tell you about some pretty odd activity which occurred locally on Tuesday, June 21, 2011.  I received a message on my answering device that said to call back as there was an emergency where this person lives.

When I called, I was told that their small neighborhood was full of law enforcement from the local police, the local sheriff's department, as well as the FBI.  They also said that there were squad cars all over their area, as well as helicopters, and even more law enforcement on several motorcycles, too.

This person also said that they, (law enforcement) were apparently chasing a couple of men, one of which seemed to be chasing the other one, yelling words to the effect that if he caught him he would,"shut him up." I know this area to have police activity from time to time, due to drug activity, as well as other more petty crimes, and there have also been more than one resident of the area found murdered, with the bodies being found off site, along another main road in the area.

We don't know
if the people being chased were even caught
While this informant is prone to getting a bit too excited about things sometimes, they are not a liar.  So, I knew something had to be going on there.   I telephoned friend who happens to work just down the road from where I got the first report.

They also said there were squad cars, with officers, as well as FBI, stationed about one hundred feet apart all up and down that road.  according to this person, there were lots of helicopters as well.  This person, also said that the motorcycles that were being driven by officers, who were dressed much different than we are used to seeing, and that the bikes  looked nothing like we all are accustomed to seeing, nor did they remotely look or sound like the usual motorcycles used by any law enforcement they had ever seen.  I was told by this person that the motorcycles looked like something out of a science fiction movie.  They were almost completely quite, as if they may actually have been electric, or have some special system which made them nearly silent.  I have personally known this person for more than twenty-five years, and they are known for being truthful.

I needed to make a run to my local auto parts store which is about three to four miles from all the activity, and along the way, I noticed an unusual amount of police and/or sheriff's cars here and there, as well.
Police Chase in Small Community
Most residents are quite, hard working people, but,
someone decided to lead authorities on a chase,
though the neighborhood, while temperatures
soared to more than 100 degrees
©2010 PK Hawk
 I inquired later in the evening of a few neighbors to see if they had heard anything about the goings on, and was told that yes, they had certainly heard about it, and that another local area, less than a mile from where I live, was also apparently covered pretty heavily with law enforcement and their vehicles. No one said anything about hearing sirens, either.  There was at least one other small section of the local area that was also getting a lot of attention, as it has always been known for having many unsavory characters who not only visit, but who also live there.

Yesterday, and today, I looked up all law activity in the area, as well as in the entire county, and there was not one word about it.

I telephoned the person who originally called me again, to let them know I could not find anything at all about the happening, which certainly was a show of force, the likes this area has probably never seen, nor will likely ever see again.  I was told that they called all of the local, Los Angeles area television stations to see if they had any further information about this happening.  They were told that they knew nothing about it, and showed nothing going on in this area which was reported as being newsworthy.

I do not know how many of you listen to late night talk radio, but I have heard people who call in from all across the country who say they have had similar things going on in their state.  Yet, nothing ever shows up in the news, or even online about what happened.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Friends In Childhood

Life in Los Alamitos, in about 1955

As a child, my family moved about every year or so, so I really never had one friend in particular from childhood. When we moved to Los Alamitos, California, I was about ten years old, and in grade school. A very nice girl lived around the corner from me, and we became good friends. Her name was Martha. She had blond hair, and was taller than I though a little younger than me. We lived in a tract of homes that ran alongside "Los Alamitos Naval Air Station," as it was then called. Then, there were actually military planes taking off and landing several times a day, with occasional crashes, with huge plumes of billowing, black smoke, and lots of sirens. 

Martha had apparently had some bad things go in in her young life, as her mother had died of Cancer, and her father was now remarried to another lady. Martha's step-mother was always nice to me, and I don't recall ever hearing Martha having anything negative to say about her, either. Martha had two older brothers, so her step-mother took on a lot marrying a man with three little kids. 

Martha had burn scars on both legs, as well as on her arms, from being burned when her nightgown caught fire while she was warming herself by a little space heater. We never talked about how old she was when her mother passed away, but she was seven when she got burned. Most days, we walked together to school, and we often played together after we had finished our homework, in the afternoon. Every now and then, we did our homework together. I don't think our parents ever did get to know each other, as our fathers were always working, and our "moms" busied themselves at home, when women were real housewives who cooked, cleaned, did laundry and ironed their families clothes. We even got after-school snacks that our moms actually made for us. 

Martha and I also rode bicycles together, and often just sat and talked about things girls our age usually talked about. I never spent the night at her house, nor did she sleep over at mine.

One thing I always enjoyed, was when the "Blue Angels" performed their aerobatics on base. We were only one street away from the fence to the base property, so whenever the Blue Angels were flying, we laid on the roof of our home, and watched the show. It was always exciting to see the then blue jets streaking over and doing loop-de-loops, and apparently only a couple of feet apart, too. I recall worrying that they would crash, and be killed. Fortunately, they never did, at least not in Los Alamitos. 

We were both good kids, and good students in school, too. So, we tended to not get involved with students who were trouble makers. 

About twenty-five later, I ran into Martha, while visiting an old friend who still lived in Los Alamitos. She had married a nice guy, and was still a decent person, herself. We lived a ways apart, and were busy raising our families, so we just sort of lost contact after that. I do still think about Martha, and wonder how she is doing, as we are both in our mid-sixties now, with several grandchildren who are now young adults. I wonder if Martha may also be a widow, and I hope she is doing well. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Home Sold at a Sixty-six Percent Loss

Lost about 66%
of what I paid in 2000
With the real estate market hopefully, bottoming out, I have finally sold my place, and am looking for something smaller, thereby simplifying my life and lessening the work needed to maintain my home and property.

At least it's done, or soon will be.  Escrow is scheduled to close on March 7th, and hopefully I will be moved by April 7th, that is unless the unforeseen were to happen, which I really don't think will happen.  I sold my home to a couple who are expecting their first child bought the place, and will probably be renting it out, after they remodel and do some upgrades.  He is in construction, so he will save a lot of money by doing most, if not all of the work himself.

I hope they are as nice as they appear to be, as my neighbors deserve only the best.
Here, I have had great neighbors, and it seems that for the most part, they care about each other, and are helpful and considerate towards each other.

I don't yet know exactly what I will be looking for, but it certainly needs to be smaller, with a smaller piece of property to care for, as well.  My pets will do fine in a smaller place, and they really don't need a fifth of an acre to get enough exercise, since they prefer being with me as opposed to being without me outside.  They do love me taking them for walks occasionally.  If I get a much smaller place, I should hope that I will be able to walk the dogs more regularly, and I can gain benefits from walking more, too.
Though I hope the real estate market has already bottomed out in California, I really think it will drop even more than it has already.
Lease Agreement

I know that many people are still losing their homes, and many are also leaving abandoned pets behind.  Pet rescuers as well as animal control are getting many more calls from people who have lost their home, begging for help in finding new homes for their dogs and cats, as well as horses, pet rabbits, potbellied pigs, etc.  There are many more people sharing living space, or renting out rooms in their homes, and more people looking for rooms to rent, than I have ever seen.  Many out of work young to middle-aged adult offspring are moving back in with their parents, as well.

One of many pets who were
either abandoned or turned in
to an animal shelter, due to
a family losing their home
More people who are being forced to rent a home are finding that rents are in most cases more than mortgage payments, as the "law of supply and demand" is making it more of a landlords' market, than one that favors the tenants.  Many people who previously owned their home,  are forced to either pay high deposits, or give up the family pet.

Another issue facing mortgage holders, who foreclosed on homes, find that in many cases, the house was gutted, and they will never be able to get enough for the property to even nearly cover the loss, or the amount they had loaned the persons who defaulted on the loan.  This has encouraged more people who are shopping for a home, to either buy a home which needs major repairs, or to just buy a new home instead, since the backs in most cases will not accept an offer which would be in line with the new selling price of repossessed homes.

In the case of my home, I paid cash for it in 2000, so at least no public money will go toward covering the loss which is being paid when government guaranteed loans go into default.  For that, I am grateful.  It is a real mess out there in the real estate market, as well as for those who would like to buy a home, or even a car, and are unable to do so, as many banks are not loaning money to many people who have good credit.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Do You Feel About People Requesting Donations Outside of Stores?

Donations Wanted For Everything
Does it get used for what you thing it does?
Many people have a table or booth setup outside of stores, such as Walmart, or maybe your supermarket, where they are either selling things such as Girl Scout Cookies, or perhaps youth selling candy for fund raisers for their local school or maybe their local baseball, softball, or soccer team.  Do you ever donate, or for that matter even give them a split-seconds attention?

Maybe there are people trying to get you to sign up for voting in an upcoming election. Many also want you to sign some petition.  Maybe they are telling you the truth about the petition and maybe they have some hatched-up story, just to get your signature on something not even related to what you are being told. After all, most of these signature gatherers are paid so much per signature they collect.

Many times, there are people from a local religious group inviting people to attend their church, or perhaps they are offering you religious literature.  Do you ever donate to any of these people, or listen to anything they may have to say?

Homeless Warming
By The Fire
Perhaps, there are some people from a veteran's group, or some homeless shelters, or youth groups, trying to raise money for camp for under privileged teens, to help redirect their attention from gangs, drugs, etc., or perhaps they are trying to raise funds for sending the handicapped children in your area to camp for a week.

Some people are truly homeless due to circumstances beyond their control, while others actually prefer life on the streets.  Others, are homeless because they are too lazy to look for work, or due to spending their money on drugs or alcohol.  I have actually met people from just about every category mentioned herein.
Recently, I occasioned to enter a local store, and as many of you already know, I am a senior citizen who is also handicapped, so I depend almost entirely on Social Security for my income.  It's already the third week of the month, so I really do need to budget my money as many of you also do.  I did need a few things, since I just relocated.  My kitchen faucet in the new place was no longer working properly, so I went to see if I could possible just get a replacement part for it, instead of having to replace the whole thing.  Also, as you probably already know, it is getting more and more difficult to get anything as far as replacement parts goes, as most places only offer you an entire faucet setup, or washers, and such.  I ended up finding an identical faucet, though there were no replacement parts carried that I really needed.
When I entered the store, there was a tall, slender black may asking for donations for the homeless.  I told him, that I was sorry, but I wasn't very far from being homeless myself.  Living on social security, and with rising prices of everything from gas to utilities, and groceries, and such, things were pretty tight for me, already.

When I exited the store, he asked me again.  I certainly think he remembered me, an older, gray-haired lady, who had just passed him only a few minuted before.  He was polite, but appeared to have a little attitude, so after I deposited my bag in my car, I went over to talk with him.

I explained that I almost never donate to anyone requesting donations, but that I do help individuals I know actually need help, such as a gentleman who is ill, recuperating from Cancer, and trying to eat as well and as healthy as he can on his limited income.  His mobility is a battery operated chair, and he has to ride the bus nearly all day to see his doctor who is in another city about forty miles away.

We talked for about fifteen minutes.  He was very polite, but I could see that within, he was angry about his circumstances. He said that he wanted to continue his education and get a job that he was interested in, such as pharmacy, or some related field.  He said that he felt, and maybe rightly so, that many people did not wish to donate because he was black.

However, many people who did donate, while I was standing there, certainly were not black.  Some were oriental, hispanic, as well as caucasian.  He apparently had done this for awhile, and said it helped to cover his room and board at the shelter.  Yet, he did not seem to be aware that many, if not most people just don't donate to anything.  Maybe they are concerned about the money not going for the stated purpose, or possibly, they either just don't care, or can't really stretch their money very far these days.  I have heard many people say they don't donate to things, because they just get tired of seeing these people outside places where they shop, and do not wish to encourage them.

A few people dropped very little into his glass fishbowl, or into his locked military-style steel box, and asked if they could have one of the pens that were on the table, imprinted with the name of the charity, which in this case, provides living facilities for homeless, ex-military.

I gave this young man my blog information, as well as one of my E-Mail addresses.  I do hope he contacts me, as I think I may actually have information which may help him have more hope for  his future.
Helping a neighbor
is a good thing
At the entrance to this shopping mall, there are some people, who seem to make asking for money their day's work.  I have seen several people there at different times of the day, who hold a sign that says the very same thing, and it appears to be the same sign, too.  This group is never in front of the stores though.  Stores, and shopping centers, usually require that anyone who sets up a table or booth for donations have a license, or verification that they are actually connected with a legal non-profit organization, so at least you have reason to believe they are at least a charitable organization.  They really does nothing to prove the money is used for what it is claimed to be used for, however.

How many people actually check out charities, to see what portion of their donations go to administrative costs, and how much actually goes to their "cause.?"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hindsight: Do You Regret Throwing Out Some Things? If So, What and Why?

Hindsight and Looking Forward
©2010 PK Hawk
Actually, having recently sold my home and relocated, and downsized, I had to get rid of many things I have had for years; things which meant a lot to me. I gave away many things which I knew would not fit into my new, smaller place. Some things, we just sat at the end of the driveway, and put a sign that simply said, "FREE." Most things were gone the very next time I looked out there, while some things were gone by morning the following day. 

There was actually a man who happened by when we were placing my entertainment center out, along with something else, I don't recall just now. He stopped, and quickly went home, and returned with his friend and a truck, to retrieve both items.

PK Hawk with Siberian Husky
 and  daughter Sara, with Doberman, two rescued dogs
Both blind or going blind
©2000 PK Hawk
He was so grateful, that he came back the following morning and worked more than half the day to help with other work we were doing on the property. That was very kind of him, and he really was a big help, too. All I know about him, is that his name is Dave.

Helping Rescued Piggy Settle In
I donated a lot of cages, pet carriers, and a double decker cat cage to other pet rescuers, and some things to foster homes for rescued dogs, cats and potbellied pigs.

Some things I certainly could have sold, but between time, and the needs of others, knowing many people can't afford some things they may need or use, I decided it would not only be faster, but maybe those things could help others in need.

                                                                               I also threw away many books, which really bothers me, but they were books that are plentiful in libraries for a dollar or two, and I really did not have the time or energy to transport them.

Moving things which one had accumulated over decades is a large, time-consuming process, and I, being a senior citizen, and disabled, just was not up to the task.

I am glad that I was able to supply some other rescuers with housing, and cages, as well as hog panels that will be put to good use for many rescued pet cats, dogs and pot bellied pigs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Have You Been Affected By Today's Economy?

Trailer Park Life For Some People
©2010 PK Hawk
With the cost of living heading skyward in the past few years, and even more with the last month or two, there has been a definite impact on the lifestyles of many people. 

It's no secret that the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the Great Depression of the early 1900s. Many people have stopped even looking for work, and have lost their homes, and self respect, as well. even people who were formally educated are being fired from the positions they once thought to be secure. 

Now the real work begins,
looking for a job.
Even youth who have college educations are in many cases unable to find work in their chosen field. High school students who would have once looked for work in fast food establishments, are fortunate indeed if they can find any work at all. Many retired people are now seriously looking for any work they can get, just to help fill the financial gap of their meager Social Security, and/or their retirement income. It's just no longer enough to cover living expenses. 

Many more adult children are returning to their parents home to live due to the loss of income and the raise in the cost of living. Other families and single people of varying ages are taken to renting a room or two in their home to help cover living expenses, as well as the cost of owning in a home, such as insurance, and property taxes, utilities, etc. 

Have you noticed how much groceries prices have risen over last year? Why, I have seen some prices increase by about thirty percent on many things within just the past month or so. 

Cost of food rises
Pet food is also going up like I have not seen before. Within the past month, I have seen some foods for dogs going up at least twenty-five percent. 

Thankfully, gasoline prices have at last dipped about fifteen to seventeen cents from the four dollars of some three weeks ago. Yet, everything else, from food to clothes, and rents have continued to rise. 

With the threat of crime rising, if for no other reason, than there are more people who no longer work, so they may not be able to provide the things their family or even things they themselves need to live, such as food and water, or clothes. Another reason the threat of crime looms over many parts of the country; that being that many more hardened criminals are being released from many prisons in the state of California, due to budget matters. There may also be such happening in other states, as well. 

Crime Concerns

According to the news of this morning, there is now a plan in the works to raise the sales taxes in California another quarter percent, making it in the range of 9.0% to 9.25 percent. They are also trying to raise the vehicle registration fees, as well. California already has the highest taxes in the United States, for the most part, and very close to the highest in many other categories. 

There are toll roads which were already paid for, that have been sold to the private sector, from what I understand are in some other country, and to use them, one has to pay per mile on a varying scale, depending on what time of the day one uses that road. 

Rents are getting higher than mortgage payments would be for the same place. More and more people are homeless, or living in tents and travel trailers and motor homes for lack of other options. 

Yet, there are some people who either have way too much money to worry about prices, or they are just turning a blind eye to things happening right in their face, and all around them. Some people I have spoken with simply don't want to know what is happening, so they don't listen to the news, or even talk about it. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Do You Feel About Cheating and Lying?

Crooked business or lawyer?
Cheating spouses, cheating students, tax cheats, cheating your employer, cheating businesses? When do you think it's OK to cheat? Who has cheated you out of something? Did you like it?
When a person cheats, even if they are never found out, they are the real loser. If you cheat on exams in school, or use someone elses work as your own, unless you are a sociopath, it will haunt you for the remainder of your life. 

If you cheat and lie to get a job, eventually it will become clear to your employer that things are no kosher, and that you lied at the very least. Misrepresenting your educational achievements will sooner or later become obvious, and you will possibly be investigated, and fired for lying on your employment application. 

Sure, many people must be buying fake diplomas online, or they wouldn't be selling so many. It's really no different than using a fake passport, or driver license. It's still fake, even if no one finds out. 

What do you expect your friends and relatives and/or your children will think of you when they finally find out that your whole life has been a compilation of lies, even to them? Will they feel they can respect and trust you again? 

Lying in court is perjury, and is punishable with jail time. Lying to law enforcement is also punishable by law. But, self-respect and sleeping well at night, and looking at your face in the mirror is important, or should be, to you and those close to you. 

If you believe the Bible is the Word of GOD, then take notice that it goes against GOD's law to lie and cheat. It even refers to people who sold goods using cheating scales as being detestable. In the Bible book of John, chapter 8, and verse 44, it states that Satan the Devil is a "liar and the father of the lie," because "the truth is not in him." 

One of My Favorite Things To Do: Photography

Man WIth His Harley Overlooking the Valley
With Snow on Distant Mountains
©2010 PK Hawk

I really enjoy photographing nature in it's many forms. I like taking pictures of animals of all kinds, scenery of changing seasons, as well as of my family pets. 

I also enjoy doing commercial photography. When I create a web site for a client how has a restaurant, I do my own photography for the most part, which I can attest is of actual food served in their restaurant. 

If the client has animals, such as horses in need of adoption, I prefer taking my own shots, so I know it's an actual photo of the animal being offered. If it's for a pet groomer, I like to take the photos of pets I know for sure they groomed. 

I also enjoy taking photos of scenes around the nearby lake, as well as the birds as they fly in and alight on the water, or land in the nearby trees. I also like to get photos of people as they stroll along the beach, or just go fishing. It's all natural and relaxed. It allows my mind to wander, and take in the scenery, too. 

Are your young offspring really ready for life in the real world, without leaning on you for everything? Do they know how to shop for real food, and how to cook it from scratch? Can they manage a back account without becoming overdrawn?

One of the rare non-Apple laptops seen in an otherwise cool park full of cool people

I think many, if not most of today's youth have missed out on learning what life is all about. They are so accustomed to getting all the newest toys and the latest electronic gizmos, that they don't seem to understand the reality of living and working, saving for things they may want or need. They take if for granted that mom and dad will provide for them just about anything their little heart desires.

Today's youth don't seem to understand the word "NO," should even be in their parent's vocabulary.

Many of the youth of today, don't even know how to cook a meal. Their life consists of "fast food," or something prepared from a box of artificial additives and artificially colored and preserved toxic, fake food, and they as well as many in the medical community wonder why there are so many obese and early diabetic people walking around the country today.

There needs to be more attention paid to proper preparation of real food from scratch, and more attention to learning to read labels on foods on grocery store shelves. They don't necessarily have to plan on becoming a "chef," but they should learn how to shop for healthy, fresh and "real foods,' that were not genetically modified to resist weed killers, and produce more than the natural amount of natural pesticides.

They also should have to take a course on working for their money, and learning how to manage the money they earn, whether by really earning money through working a limited amount of time, or doing something to earn stage money, and have to plan on how the money will be spent, and how they will pay their pretend bills and buy the food they will prepare and eat.

They also need to learn about the realities of reproduction, and raising a family that has a real mother and father living together in the same house and actually are able to live without help from the state or federal government to lean on, while they order out pizza and KFC, etc.

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Stealing from a store is a direct cause for many rising prices, which costs everyone in the long run.

hi, you are my public defender for a shoplifting case

This has happened several times over the years. If I have no doubt that the person was really stealing, I alert the store manager, or at least someone who has some authority in the store.

If I see something that appears to be stealing while on the street, I report suspicious activity, or a suspicious person to the proper authorities.

Don't think that just because you raise your children not to steal, that they will be squeaky clean. I know a woman who did her level best to teach her offspring not to take anything that isn't theirs, and to pay for everything they get. Yet, she failed to take into consideration what kind of friends they had, assuming that just because she grew up knowing all types of people, from Mafia to alcoholics, to druggies, and she was always honest, that her children would follow her lead.

Her eldest son, when in his early teens, stole from a local store, and was caught. She not only had to pay the fine, since he was still a minor, but she was also terribly embarrassed, but had to make sure that her son never again entered that store, as he had been banned from ever again entering the establishment. It took many years for him to straighten out. Thankfully, he finally grew into a decent person, and is now father to two wonderful kids, and step father to two more.

Her younger son, though a straight arrow, and a promising athlete whose goal was to play pro baseball, was arrested and faced with a felony, just because he was with someone, who was a minor, who took something at gunpoint. My friend's son happened to be the driver of his own car, and the young "friend" who was with him asked him to stop at the home of this person's friend, who had "something of his, that he wanted back."

Not suspecting anything wrong, he waited in the car while the younger late teenaged boy went inside, and returned to the car with the item. They drove off, only to be stopped a few minutes later by the local law enforcement. Both were arrested, but while the guilty party was released to his parents, and only faced probation, the innocent party spent six months in jail, for a crime he knew nothing about. He was shocked to see the kid even had a gun. Yet, since he was no longer a minor, and the car was his, he had the book thrown at him.

Thankfully, his employer saved his job for him, as he knew that this young man was not guilty of any wrongdoing. He had a Public Defender, who convinced him that it in his best interest to take the punishment, than to fight the charges. When he was finally released, he still had a job, and was even made manager of the place he worked.

He is now married, and has two children, who are really great little kids, and he and his wife are good parents.

I have known my friend for about twenty-six years, and watched her kids all grow up, so I know them all very well.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Settling In At New Place Near The Lake

Early Morning Fishing?
©2011 PK Hawk
Since I sold my home I have finally discovered that living in a smaller place allows me more time to spend walking my dogs, and actually enjoying the scenery lakeside.  Take this morning for example.  I walked the dogs down to the lakeshore, and they really enjoyed the chance to gather all the different smells of other dogs as well as jack rabbits and cottontails that frequent the area closer to the lake.  There are also several varieties of cranes that show up early in the morning as well.

This morning, we appear to be really into "June gloom." It was about 7:00 AM before I finally managed to get out and about, taking Snow Bear, Sequoia Dawn, and Peanut for their morning walk.  They could hardly wait for me to gather their leashes and take them to the waters edge.  I have been having problems with my neck and back problems for the past couple of weeks, so I have missed a few days walking the dogs, and they have really missed that.
Tall Crane Along The Shoreline
©2011 PK Hawk

There are several sizes of cranes, some white and others that are shades of gray, as well as terns and some other birds which I will have to find the names of.

I had the opportunity to take nearly fifty photos this morning, sitting on a large boulder some distance from the birds so that I would not frighten them away.

There were a few people on the water early, too. One photo I got from a distance was of someone in a motorboat with a rather powerful motor.  Once they got to an area that allowed for more speed, they suddenly took off, with spray shooting up behind their boat.  Another smaller boat, which you see above, had a couple of people who appeared to be fishing not far offshore.
Happy Boaters
©2011 PK Hawk

The low-hanging clouds hugged the hills and mountains in the area, and even homes on nearby hillsides looked rather gloomy, since no sun was shining through.  As I write this entry, it's nearly 3:00 PM, and there is still precious little sunshine today.  This week, it is supposed to stay this way, with heavy hanging clouds, and not too much actual visible sunshine.
Low Hanging June Gloom Clouds on the Mountains
©2011 PK Hawk
Even with the gloomy appearance, I was able to sleep under just one thin blanket, and even had some windows open all night, to allow fresh air to gently freshen my cozy abode.

Sequoia and Peanut still crawled under the covers, with Peanut cuddling behind my knees, and Sequoia nearer my chest.  Snow Bear had decided it was more comfortable sleeping on the floor, and even wandered into the kitchen to sleep on the cooler, uncarpeted area there.

A funny thing happened while I was out taking my photos this morning.  Recently, I discovered some new doggy treats at our local PetSmart.  These were made of duck, and were a type of jerky treat.  I have been giving the dogs one or two pieces in the morning and another piece in the afternoon.  Well, it seems that I accidentally left the bag too close to the edge of the kitchen counter, and "Buddy Cat" apparently knocked it onto the kitchen floor.

So Innocent.  Snow Bear Sleeping It Off
©2011 PK Hawk

When I got back home, the bag was nearly empty.  It just had to be Snow Bear that ate about eighty percent of what was left in the bag, as it was really packed full of wonderful smelling duck jerky when I left it there, probably last evening.  There were fewer than fifteen pieces there when I got home.  I'm still trying to figure out how those dogs managed to eat their usual breakfast after eating all that jerky.  They drank nearly all the water in their water dish, too.

Needless to say, they are all crashed out today, snoozing happily with full tummies.

One day I took Snow Bear out to the lakeshore by herself, and just let her loose so she could explore without having Sequoia and Peanut tagging along.  She really enjoyed herself, too.  I find it odd that after having about a fifth of an acre to run in for years, that the dogs seem so much happier in the smaller place, with a smaller yard. Of course I do take them walking as often as I can, daily when I can.  They act like kids in a candy store.  The neighbors seem to really like them, too. Most of the dogs in the neighborhood seem to get along well, and some are very small, while others are large dogs.
Buddy Cat
©2011 PK Hawk

Buddy the cat is curious about the outside, as he has always been.  I have not allowed him to run loose before.  I don't allow my cats to just run loose anyway, as it can be a danger to them, as well as to other animals, and I don't want my pets to be a nuisance to my neighbors, either.  I plan on building a large run in the yard for Buddy, so he can go out in the daytime when he chooses, without being injured or killed. He has no clue what's out there.  There is a dog across the way that is half Great Dane and half German Shepherd, and weighs about 135 pounds.  He is very gentle, but whose to say what could happen if my cat were to invade his private territory?

I still have things to move from my old place which I have been unable to get out so the new owner can get in and do the remodeling and changing of appliances that he planned.

Today, I thought I would be able to get the final moving finished, but I'm still having trouble doing much just now.  I got to the Chiropractor, for an adjustment, but I was such a mess, I don't think it all stayed in place.