October 31, 2008
Our state’s new tax incentives, recently introduced by Maria Cantwell which you can read about here, http://www.komonews.com/news/local/33429934.html insure that Washington State is now going to become stronger in the development and suppport of Alternative Energy sources, like wind power, solar, electric cars, biofuel, etc.. I’m excited at the what this will mean to the future our our state, and the country. We are so close to some grand new revolutions in alternative energery, I am looking forward to the day when it is not “alternative”but rather the new revolutionary way of living!
I also noted with interest that Puget Sound Energy which is a local utility company in Washington state that operates two wind farms, recently gave a gift of $150,000 to Washington State University to help launch the first ever college level class in renewable energy. The class will cover the ecological impacts of wind, solar, biomass, & fuel cell power generation. It will also cover design & construction of these type of systems.
A further note, the Port of Longview has become a top importer of the turbines, towers and other components for electricity generating wind farms. They are being imported from Denmark & Germany. Wind energy shipments now account for more than a quarter of the Ports revenue. The Port’s main revenue used to be from log exporting, so I am glad to see this change happening also. It’s a great exciting time for our country, and I glad to see we are finally gaining momentum.
October 28, 2008
What is sustainable agriculture? People ask me this all the time.. A simplified answer is…
Sustainable agriculture is a way of growing food that is healthy and does not harm the environment, respects workers, is humane to animals, and provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports farming communities. Characteristics of this type of agriculture usually involve conservation & preservation. People often wonder what the difference between sustainable and organic agriculture is, and when is organic not sustainable?
Organic & sustainable agriculture both strive to preserve the land for generations to come and have many similarities. The main difference between the two methods is that organic food production has to be certified yearly by an independent third party certifier who is approved by the US Department of Agriculture. Sustainable food has no independent certification process and it is more a philosophy & a way of life that must rely on the word of the farmer and his practices
The issue can be confusing, for example, even though organic is certified, some of the practices are not considered sustainable. I think it is more important to know where our food comes from, and that we learn to celebrate our meals rather than just eat!
I am feeling so nostalgic about the end of the gardening season. I am going to miss the sun warmed tomatoes, the fresh herbs, squah & lettuce that have provided me with nourishment over the past year. Some of it has been preserved, I was packaging my rosemary, oregano and spearmint yesterday to get me through the long winter season.
Organic is good, and sustainability is good. Which is better? I guess it really boils down to what we are able to do, and how much passion we can muster! In my opinion, being passionate about something is better than taking no action at all!
October 24, 2008
This is the psychopsis orchid, see how you could mistake it for a spider..it’s quite a large bloom also. This is the potential parent of the one below called dancing lady.
The Dancing Lady
I also have this wonderful looking one too..see why they are addicting, they are such interesting blooms!
I will be doing an exotic flower wrap with orchids tomorrow for a photo shoot for a commercial. I’ll have to see if I can get a copy of the commercial after it’s finished.
October 23, 2008
So I guess that being an artistic person and a designer, I like change, so for those of you who are used to seeing pink…it’s okay..it’s still me! :>) This is my new fall theme, and I am so into collecting orchids right now, I had to use my orchid picture for the header. ” Joe ” my orchid guy ( that is his real name ) has been feeding my addiction lately by sharing some incredible new orchid varieties with me. I am struggling to learn the care requirements and names and species of them all. He came in this week to check out my last weeks purchases, one had dropped all of it’s buds, so I was disappointed. When I asked Joe to look at it..he calmly said ” it died from drowning! ” It just served as a reminder to me that even though I know not to overwater, I forgot and left it sit inside another pot, that held the water, which wicked it up through the roots and made it far to wet. Fortunately for me, he comes by my store weekly, so he saved my baby orchid. He reminded me once again that the real problem with orchids is too much water.
I have customers call me all the time, asking if I am sure that it can survive on such little water, and it’s true, less water is the key to survival, unless of course you get some new special variety, that needs water twice a week?? I’m not kidding, that’s what makes orchids so interesting, there is so much to learn.
One of the new plants that I just purchased, has a little history behind it, Joe was telling me that breeders believe that it might be the parent orchid called psychopsis of the dancing lady oncidium ( we call it a yellow popcorn orchid ). It looks a little like a dancing lady, but maybe two to three times the size, and it just gets 1 bloom on the end of the long spike which lasts for a very long time, it will eventually drop the one bloom and then another bloom will pop out at the very end of the spike. He says you never cut the spike back on this particular variety, since its new blooms come from the end of the spike. It’s flower looks like a giant spider, rather scary looking in a way. I actually thought it was a spider, when I found a dropped bloom on the carpet. I can’t even remember the name right now, but I’ll post it and a picture when the next bloom comes out. I also added a new one that has a chocolate fragrance. I love it! I’ll try to get some photos and varieties listed soon. In the meantime, check out this fabulous site that has some amazing slideshows of orchids. http://www.orchidworks2.com/default2.asp
October 21, 2008
This is interesting to think about, particularly since it is on a global scale. It’s not just how much water it takes to produce something, but how much a company or a country or an industry uses, and also how much ground water things use, water from soil, etc.. It seems like it will be a good tool for helping us first to become aware of our consumption and then work on new plans for conservation. It’s a pretty unique idea, I will be watching to see what becomes of the information this research group provides. You can read the article from Science Daily here, www.sciencedaily.com and there is also a website which has more information on the subject. www.waterfootprint.org which is really fascination to study & think about!
I am particularly interested in water conservation because my industry uses so much water. I’ve discussed it before, it bothers me to buy flowers produced in a country that does not have enough drinking water for their people or water for food crops, which I believe should be the first priority before business. I know it is a tough call because business is what drives development and provides jobs, but at the expense of the people, I have to say it bothers me, it just feels wrong.
October 17, 2008
Einstein wisdom which I love to ponder….
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.
If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Imagination encircles the world
Strange is our situation here on Earth.
Guess that is enough pondering for one evening.. :>)
October 17, 2008
- Will you know who your wedding photographer is? Look to create a special relationship with your photographer. The more comfortable you are with him/her, the better your images will be. Are they willing to spend time with you before the wedding so that you get to know each other? Do they include an engagement session with your wedding plan?
- Make sure your photographer is a “people person”. Can they work well with all types of people under the pressure of a wedding?
- Is your photographer flexible? If things aren’t going according to plan on your wedding day, how will they react? Will they go out of their way to help get things back on track?
- Comparing pricing between photographers is like comparing apples and oranges. It just can’t be done. The more important question is will your photographer provide you the images and finished products you want at a reasonable price that meets your budget? In addition, will you have a choice of your finished products vs. having the photographer deciding for you what you need in a pre-set package?
- Does your photographer offer a wide range of products and services that you are interested in, such as canvas portraits, digital and traditional albums, high quality prints, CD’s/DVD’s, or Memories presentations?
- What is your vision for your wedding images? Do you want more formal pictures, more photo-journalistic candid images, or a mixture of both? Is your photographer willing to provide you exactly what you want?
- How does your photographer plan for your wedding? Do they try to plan out the day as well as they can, or do they just wing it as the day unfolds? Will they attend your rehearsal to meet your family and wedding party, scout out the best locations for portrait and wedding photography, and develop a plan for shooting your wedding?
- Will your photographer bring a second photographer or an assistant to the wedding? Will they be operating a second camera or just helping with equipment?
- Does your photographer offer the ability for friends and relatives to order images online via the web?
- Finally, would you be willing to refer your photographer to your best friends and relatives? If not, why are you choosing them? Feel free to ask us the answer to these questions. We think you’ll like our answers!
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