Lovely Blog Award II

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The Dewey Hop blog has been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award for the second time in 8 months! I am honored to accept this award and humbled by all the attention the blog is getting. To be nominated twice in 8 months is a great privilege. Dewey Hop would not be so successful without the wonderful online readers, so I thank each and every one of you for helping to make Dewey Hop a great online presence and for bringing positive attention to the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester, Indiana.

I would especially like to thank fellow blogger Cale who writes the blog diariesofascatterbrain.wordpress.com for nominating Dewey Hop. Cale was being extremely kind and said, “I wanted to nominate you because you have one of the most interesting blogs, and are very engaged with your audience.”

The Rules for this award are as follows:

  1.  Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  2.  Post about the award. Share 7 facts about yourself
  3.  Nominate, AT MOST, 15 people
  4. 5. Tell your nominees the good news!

Random facts about me:

  1. Education: I have Bachelor of Science degrees in both Elementary Education with an Interrelated Special Education add-on and Psychology.  I was almost done completing a Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist when I was forced to drop out of school by a family emergency.
  2. I serve as a Special Power of Attorney to a missionary family in the Phillipines.
  3. There are 4 very spoiled critters that live at my house (not counting the Mr.): A Border Collie, 2 Jack Russels, and 1 calico cat with a checkerboard face.
  4. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers; I’m the 7th and youngest.
  5. My favorite kind of food is Mexican.
  6. I love to cook and often cook for other people.
  7. The most requested of my talents is saying, “That’s despicable!” just like Daffy Duck.

Nominations:

  1. Doctor Jonathan at allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com
  2. Kelley at kellysdiy.wordpress.com
  3. Dolly at koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com
  4. Noel with Pointing Telescopes at snbradywriter.wordpress.com
  5. Melinda at purpleslobinrecover.wordpress.com

I am aware some of you have been nominated by other people in the past, but all of your blogs are unique and interesting and worthy of multiple nominations! Plus, I’ve never nominated you and you all deserve the attention! Please do not feel obligated to participate if you do not want to.

Thanks again to my nominator, Cale, whose escapades I really enjoy reading at diariesofascatterbrain.wordpress.com!

 

 

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Toxins

toxic-free-zone

These days most of us are at least aware that organic foods are safer than processed foods. The concern about foods that are processed is that there are various chemicals being added which are not safe for human consumption. For instance the fresh fruits and vegetables that you buy at the grocery store are teeming with all sorts of pesticides and bacteria. You would never go buy a pesticide with the intention of eating it. Yet when you eat nonorganic fruits and vegetables right out of the produce department the result is the same although you aren’t intentionally poisoning yourself. For this reason organic fruits and vegetables are a better choice although some of them pick up various pesticides and bacteria from polluted soil. Organic fruits and vegetables are safer because the risk of accidental poisoning from pesticides is greatly reduced (Organic fruits and vegetables should still be washed before consumption). Most people would avoid putting pesticides and other harmful chemicals in their bodies if they were aware of their existence.

Unfortunately eating contaminated food isn’t the only way harmful chemicals can enter your body.

toxicchem-preview

Toxic chemicals can enter your body through everyday exposure to common things. You may inhale chemicals just by breathing air. Our water supply is no longer completely safe and has been shown to harbor many harmful things ranging from bacteria to harmful metals. The food you eat can become contaminated by soil which is contaminated with bacteria and pesticides. Household and personal care products can expose your body to harmful chemicals through your skin,

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your respiratory system,

smoke-death  are-you-breathing-toxic-fumes-from-your-candles_

your eyes,

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and your mouth.

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Once these chemicals make it into your body, your organs have to work extra hard to try to filter them back out. Many harmful toxins are flushed out through your digestive system with the aid of the liver, kidneys, appendix (if you still have one), and  gall bladder (if you still have one). The human body must work harder than ever to filter out harmful toxins because we are now bombarded with more toxins than ever before.

by-the-numbers

Because our bodies are having a much harder time of filtering out harmful toxins, we are experiencing all sorts of allergies, diseases, neurological disorders, and behavior problems as a result. We must begin to make some changes in our environment, the foods we eat, and the products we use if we want to claim overall better health. No one is immune from exposure to harmful chemicals, plasticisers, and metals. Human beings are suffering from something called Toxic Overload. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be fatal and there’s plenty to be done to reduce our toxic load.

Toxic Free by Debra Lynn Dadd is a wonderful, quick read book that skillfully explains the issue of toxins and what we can do about them.

toxic-free

Debra Lynn Dadd explains that toxins are poisons that our bodies collect and store. Toxins can be linked to every illness there is, according to Dadd. The author helps us identify toxins in our homes, our environments, and our own bodies. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my own home is well on the way to being toxic free. However, I also identified several areas that can be improved in my own home to further limit exposure to toxins. For example, I had no idea that formaldehyde use was so wide spread. If you’ve ever had new carpet installed, bought furniture with scotch guard, or have applied scotch guard yourself to any item there is formaldehyde in your home. Formaldehyde is sprayed on the majority of the new clothes you see in stores (this gives that shiny new appearance and adds a bit of stiffness). Formaldehyde is on the sheets you sleep on (and can cause insomnia). Your skin can absorb all of that formaldehyde and store it in your body for years, slowly building the toxins in your body. To prevent this, choose natural fiber (no synthetics) clothing as much as possible and switch to cotton sheets (also a natural material). If you absolutely must wear synthetic clothing (it may be a required uniform for your job for instance) at least wash (with natural soaps) all new items before wearing them. You will instantly reduce your toxic exposure and you’ll sleep better too! Formaldehyde is also a primary ingredient in most lipsticks (sorry ladies!). You run the risk of absorbing or swallowing formaldehyde while wearing lipstick. You may also pass the formaldehyde off to other people by kissing while wearing lipstick. To prevent this, either do not wear lipstick or wear a lipstick made from natural ingredients. There are many, many more examples of simple steps in this book that we can take in order to be and live toxic free. These steps also lead to better health. Debra claims she has lived toxic free for over 30 years. Her health drastically improved as a result. I highly recommend this book for everyone. Debra has her own website with tons of information at http://www.debralynndadd.com/ .

In Toxic Free, Debra Dadd explains signal words for the products we use in and around our homes. Until I read this section, I didn’t actually realize there was such a big distinction between words like “caution” and “warning.” Basically Debra has put label signals into 4 categories:

  1. Highly toxic          Signal Words: DANGER, POISON
  2. Moderately toxic Signal Word: WARNING
  3. Slightly toxic         Signal Word: CAUTION
  4. Non Toxic              Signal Word: not needed

With each category Debra lists how the toxin may be harmful. Symptoms could range from none to death depending upon the category and the amount of poisoning. The author says that she uses mostly nontoxic products but does use a few with the word CAUTION on them.

Because I can’t list all the wonderful information in Toxic Free in just one post, I was looking for somewhat of a summary of this issue and came across the You Tube presentation below. I am not promoting any one product, but this presentation happens to be sponsored by Nature’s Pearl Products. The actual presentation is about 42 minutes long, but there is a good 20-30 minutes of wonderful information before the products are promoted and I think this would be a 20-30 minutes well spent just to get familiar with the subject. The presenter talks about Toxic Overload, health problems created by toxins, and some of the actual poisons in everyday products–which you can then verify for yourselves with the products you personally use.

 

Our food is poisoning us. In Diet for a Dead Planet: How the Food Industry is Killing Us by Christopher D. Cook, the author discusses why it’s in the FDA’s best interest to promote poor eating habits. Human health is valued less by the FDA than the profit margin.

We have a whole economic system built around food which makes solving the problem of detoxifying our food quite complicated. Big business is shutting down family farms and essentially assuming control of our food supply “from farm gate to dinner plate.” Organic farmers have a very difficult time of getting their produce to grocery store shelves due to mind boggling FDA rules and regulations–all designed to protect big business. This problem is so vast that many compare FDA investigations on small businesses and farms to Mafia intimidation. Those souls brave enough to testify against the FDA often go to the extreme measures of testifying anonymously with hooded garments and using voice altering technology while others are still afraid to testify even in this manner. The FDA has deep pockets and is a force to be reckoned with. The FDA can and has destroyed many farming families through bullying and intimidation.

diet-for-a-dead-planet

Diet for a Dead Planet is an older book but still has very interesting and very important information and history to share. Manufacturers will continue to make processed foods, foods loaded with toxins, and food-like products as long as we continue to buy them. One of the most effective ways we have to force change is to vote with our dollars and buy only solidly nutritious foods. Buy organic foods as much as possible or grow your own produce in your own garden or containers. If you can’t grow your own produce and your grocery store still has limited selections for organics, try buying local in area farmer’s markets or directly from local farms (this may be limited by FDA restrictions).  If all else fails, you can now buy organic foods on the internet. However there has been some strong research to suggest that you should eat food from local sources whenever possible to take advantage of health benefits.

Fellow blogger Doctor Jonathan is very concerned about our lifestyle and food choices. I have followed Doctor Jonathan for awhile now and his blog, All About Healthy Choices, is well worth reading at https://allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com/ . Please be sure to stop by  this very informative blog to check it out and say hello. Because it’s best that Doctor Jonathan speaks for himself,  we have collaborated on this post. (He has added several comments in red.) In addition to eating as many organic foods as possible, Doctor Jonathan suggests that food be eaten in the following order:

  1. Large amounts of vegetables and salads (6-9 servings of mixed PLAIN vegetables. If a sauce is needed, salsa or salsa mixed with plain greek yogurt works well. A second option could be garlic powder {not garlic salt} and a DRIZZLING of olive oil)
  2. Meat (6-8oz) with minimal sauces and gravy (if additional meat is eaten additional gravy/sauces can be used once the first 6-8 ounces have been consumed)
  3. A SMALL handful of Nuts if available (this will provide a HEALTHY source of fat and will satiate hunger)
  4. Bread (if bread is desired, only include it in the meal AFTER having completely eaten the above sources of food.) DO NOT USE BREAD to soak up sauces. You can use small amounts of butter.
  5. Anything else

Along with the above, Doctor Jonathan recommends drinking 12-14 oz of water BEFORE AND AFTER your meals. This is important to expand the stomach to reduce food cravings while satisfying necessary water consumption. (For a sedentary person, a good formula to start with is 1/2 your body weight (calculated in pounds) consumed in ounces. EX. 200lb sedentary person should drink 100oz. of water daily.

My husband and I have been participating in the above plan and it is working! My husband, who struggles with weight, recently lost 5 lbs. That may not sound like a lot, but considering any weight loss has been hard for him this is amazing. We haven’t been trying this for all that long a period of time. Also, another miraculous thing that happened was that my husband (who claims to not like vegetables) actually asked me to buy more vegetables! Doctor Jonathan is better at explaining all of this, but he says that by eating this way that hormones in the body basically reset themselves and then you won’t really want to eat a lot of junk food.

There are many interesting movies which do a nice job of teaching us about toxins and our toxic food supply. I highly recommend that you watch these:

 

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food-incfast-food-nation

There are many, many more movies along these lines, but the 4 DVDs above will give you a broad understanding of how our environment and food is being affected.

Have you or anyone you know had problems with Toxic Overload? Do you know anyone who has a food related disease?

Accident and Survival Stories

Joint UCT Diver Training
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nicholas S. Tenorio/Released)

Today Boston Harbor is a beautiful body of water with a lot of human activity.

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There is also a lot of wildlife activity in and around the waters of Boston Harbor.

Snowy Owl
Juvenile female Snowy Owl sitting on a snow covered hill.

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whale

jellyfish

There are many other beautiful images of both human and wildlife activity in and around the Harbor that I encourage you to look up on the internet.

Unfortunately Boston Harbor hasn’t been without its share of problems. The library read through continues in the 360’s (Social Problems & Social Services) and Boston Harbor had certainly become a “social problem!” At one point, Boston Harbor was the dirtiest body of water in the United States. It was literally filthy with human waste. The area sewage plant, at Deer Island, was run down and certainly not environmentally friendly. Raw sewage from the Boston area (an approximate 50 mile radius) was dumped into the Harbor making it unfit for humans or wildlife. Wildlife either died from the toxic environment or fled for safer shores. Conditions were unsanitary for humans to say the least. Used condoms and tampon covers that had been flushed down toilets floated in the waters and washed up on the shore.  The water had become so dark and mucky on the bottom that it was called Black Mayonaise.

Around 1982 a jogger was jogging along Boston Harbor and after his run literally found all sorts of human waste on his shoes. He had had enough and filed a lawsuit to force a clean up of the area. Because of this lawsuit, Boston Harbor was eventually cleaned up and became the beautiful place it is today. Although a successful project, this was no easy task to accomplish.

Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey is the true story of the clean up efforts that transformed Boston Harbor.

trapped-under-the-sea

In this book, our heroes are commercial divers. Commercial divers are basically construction industry workers who work under water. The divers perform incredible construction miracles underwater. In this case, engineers came up with a never before attempted plan which commercial divers were responsible for building.

diver-construction

While there were renovations and upgrades to the sewage treatment plant on Deer Island, most of the harbor clean up changes and construction were to happen underwater.

deer-island-improvements

Better initial filtering of raw sewage was implemented.When toilets in the Boston area are flushed, the waste travels to the Deer Island facility through a series of pipes. Once it arrives at the headworks it is sent through pumping stations which start a series of treatments:

deer-island-sewage-treatment

The point at which the waste was sent being sent (before treatment) into the harbor was what caused much of the initial problems with contamination in Boston Harbor.

After upgrades to the Deer Island Treatment Plant, an unparalleled engineering plan began to take shape. The plan was to build an under water tunnel based on gravity which would start at  Deer Island and go approximately 400′ straight down into Boston Harbor. The wastewater is  released (treated and clean) and travels roughly 10 miles through a horizontal tunnel where it then is pushed through a series of risers and released out into Massachusetts Bay via under water diffuser heads. Solid waste is separated from the waste water and never enters the tunnel. The solid waste is treated and turned into sludge at Deer Island before being sent to processing factories where the sludge is turned into pellet fertilizer and sold commercially. During the process, methane gas is separated from the solid waste and routed back to the Deer Island facility where it is cleverly turned into electricity to run the facility. Because the waste water had been decontaminated and cleaned before being routed out to sea,  there is virtually no adverse affects to wildlife or humans. This system went a long way towards cleaning up Boston Harbor.

underwater-tunnel-construction

There are other underwater tunnels, but what makes this one unique is its 10 mile length and that it is the world’s largest dead end tunnel. The tunnel is an engineering miracle.

Trapped Under the Sea not only tells the story and history of the tunnel construction, it seeks to point out the services most of us take for granted come at great cost. It is a story about ingenuity and bravery of the people who create and build engineering marvels.

Unfortunately in Trapped Under the Sea  commercial divers are also the victims of corporate buck passing and denial of responsibility for mind blowing safety violations. All told, 5 people died during the many years of construction. Two died due to actual construction site accidents at Deer Island, one person died during an inspection of the tunnel, and two divers died due to inadequate equipment malfunction. When the two divers died in the tunnel, three others barely made it out alive. The three who made it out alive all developed PTSD . The story in Trapped Under the Sea could keep psychological experts busy for a very long time studying group dynamics.

These events set off a fight for justice for the two dead divers and the three living, but psychologically injured, divers. The whole process of seeking justice was mind boggling. Was this a criminal case? If so, how does one prosecute a criminal case when the crime scene is 400′ below sea level and 10 miles out under the sea? The actual crime scene couldn’t be examined. Was this a murder investigation, manslaughter, or just an unfortunate accident? These are just a few questions that had investigators reeling.

I found Trapped Under the Sea to be a very interesting story which I would recommend. It seems to have all the makings of a great movie as well.There is action adventure, suspense, drama, heroes, a little romance and a whole lot more.

There are many other true accident and survival stories available in the 360’s section of the Fulton County Public Library. I checked out several of them with equally unique and interesting stories. I’m not able in this post to go into all of these other stories. This time I will just show some of the other books and give a general idea of what they are about:

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Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar is the story of a mining accident in Chile. Although it’s been my practice to review American social problems, this one is a little different since the US got involved in the rescue of 33 trapped miners.

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The 33 is a DVD based on Deep Down DarkThis DVD does a nice job of getting all of the story’s  major details into the movie.

A couple other books are Coming Back Alive by Spike Walker and Survive! by Peter Deleo.

coming-back-alive  survive

My original idea for this post was to read about accident and survival stories in differing locations such as underwater, underground, on land, air, and sea. However, there is no way that I could accomplish all of that in one post. Therefore I encourage you to read some (or all) of these books for yourself. If you are someone that enjoys some action adventure and suspense these would be a good choice for you.  These are all the types of books that would make great movies (if they don’t already have a movie!).

Have you ever been to Boston Harbor? Did you know about the tunnel? Have you ever been a participant in a search and rescue operation (as either a rescuer or a victim)?