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From Sea to Shining Sea

July 2019. This month, North Americans will be celebrating the birth of their country, their identity as a people and as a nation. From Winnipeg to Washington, D.C., from Calgary to Corpus Christi, from Toronto to Tallahassee, we will watch fireworks and watch parades, we will sing and laugh and make merry. And EAT. Whether your celebration will include barbecue and watermelon, or haddock and butter tarts, there will certainly be some good eats. Join the celebration!

Summer Weather Safety

Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21 here in the Northern Hemisphere (the summer solstice is the day when the sun reaches its highest elevation, making it the longest day of the year), but summer weather often jumps the gun. 

May 31 was National Heat Awareness Day, and the summer heat certainly seems to have settled in and made itself at home here in the waning days of spring.It is crucial to know the dangers of summer weather, and be prepared. Here are some helpful tips:

 

Drinking Water Week

Did you know that May 5-11 is Drinking Water WeekA week to celebrate WATER! May 5 kicks off this year’s Drinking Water Week with an invitation to “Protect the Source." "The American Water Works Association and the water community across North America will celebrate Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role drinking water plays in our daily lives, and how we can take personal responsibility in caring for our tap water and protecting it at its source. “When we get to know our local drinking water sources, we come to understand that it is our duty as consumers and community stewards to protect and preserve them,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “Drinking Water Week provides a great opportunity to learn the various ways in which we can each protect our source water so it’s available for future generations.”  AWWA

 

The glory of GARDENING

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.  —Alfred Austin

April is National Garden Month, and it's a great time to get your hands dirty. "Every April, communities, organizations, and individuals nationwide celebrate gardening during National Garden Month. Gardeners know, and research confirms, that nurturing plants is good for us: attitudes toward health and nutrition improve, kids perform better at school, and community spirit grows. Join the celebration and help to make America a greener, healthier, more livable place!" -National Garden Month

Fix a Leak Week

Mark your calendars, folks: March 18-24 is the EPA's eleventh annual Fix a Leak WeekHousehold leaks can waste more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water each year. Yes, 1 TRILLION—That's a one with 12 zeros behind it (1,000,000,000,000). Those drippy faucets and leaking toilets are more than an annoyance; they cost you lots of money, and they waste LOTS of water. So, this March, hunt down those drips! Chase those leaks!

Winter Weather Woes

This winter has brought more winter weather woes than usual, as the polar vortex has hit North America, bringing with it record-breaking cold. The past week has seen the coldest weather in a generation. Schools have been called off, businesses are closed, flights are cancelled, the US Postal Service has suspended service in some states, and thousands of homes have been without power. Chicago has been colder than Mt. Everest base camp. The U.S. Midwest has had lower temperatures than the South Pole. This is dangerously cold. 

A new dawn, a new day, a New Year

January. 2019.

A brand new year, a brand new day — clean and shiny, spotless and gleaming, hopeful and exciting. Untouched and unspoiled, like a present that has just been unwrapped. A time to look back on (and learn from) the mistakes of the previous year, and look forward with hope and resolution to the new days ahead. And as we celebrate, and hope, and resolve, and plan, we do so along with people all over the world, and down through the ages. In fact, people have been celebrating the beginning of the new year for over 4,000 years. So, who first celebrated New Year's Day? Why do we celebrate on Jan 1? 

We make a life by what we GIVE.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

The holidays are fast approaching, with all that this joyful season brings: carols and eggnog, parties and mistletoe, glitter and tinsel and twinkly lights, hearth and home and friends and family. And GIVING. As we think about the good gifts we hope to give this holiday season, we are reminded to give of our time, our resources, our abilities. Not just this month, but every month. It can make such a difference in someone's life.

Here are some people who are making a difference . . . 

 

Weather this Winter Well

The holidays are fast approaching, and with them, wintry weather.  Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can really take a toll on a home, causing expensive damages and high utility bills. Winterizing your home can help prevent unexpected surprises, such as busted pipes, and will help with energy costs. A few simple tips to winterizing your home can help make sure that your holiday feasts with friends and family are warm and cozy. 

Here are some tips to help you weather this winter well . . . 

 

Leaves are falling . . . Autumn is calling.

Autumn is heralded by the exhilaration of falling temperatures and the dazzling hues of falling leaves. The air is cool and the colors are warm. October glories in the grandeur of oranges, yellows, and reds.  Nature puts on a theatrical extravaganza, and we have the privilege of watching the show every single day. This is an incredible time to grab a sweater and enjoy the majesty of the outdoors. Visit a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard and revel in the bounty of the season. Take a hike and bask in the beauty of the changing colors. Or simply go outside and savor the splendor that’s right there in your front yard. Find a nice seat and enjoy the fresh, invigorating breeze, or get busy working on your garden and your lawn.  

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