Ravaged, Energy and Demands

November has passed and with it some of the stress. Here, in Australia, we were bombarded by fire. All up the Eastern seaboard, already ravaged by drought, the land when up in flames. Where I live was okay – just. We had fires to the north, west and south and still they burn. Today is windy, and embers can still find us; trees that are still burning inside can flare up, or fall, sending the sparks high into the air.

It has been a worrying time, and will continue to be throughout the summer. The energy expended by the fire-fighters has been tremendous – with volunteers helping with supplies and stock feed for burnt out paddocks that have left animals starving, let alone the myriads of Australian wildlife that perished. I might add that worry and stress of the community has left little ability to focus on every day living, and many people have succumbed to shock and despair. So many lost everything as the fire tore through the land, consuming everything in its path – including their homes.

Now we are all looking at the aftermath and demanding to know how this could have happened. All our national parks and swathes of bush-land have been decimated. Was this climate change? Yes – partly. Was this government changing funding for the fire service? Yes – partly. Was it the inability to do controlled burning during the winter months? Yes – partly. And finally was it through some thoughtless act of arson in some cases? Yes- partly.

We can sit and blame everyone else for the horrors of this last month – but it is time to take responsibility for our planet and our own lifestyle choices. We must adapt and begin to understand that this planet isn’t an infinite entity. We need to do some things to protect our future here – one thing that springs to mind is the need for less population. And hand in glove with this goes the greed for money, possessions and power.

How do we change the inherent idiocy of the human race?

Have you got any suggestions?

Remedies, Eight and Dolls

meprofileSummer in Australia – beach days and hot sun. Also sunburn, mosquito bites and dehydration.

The first can be avoided by wearing long sleeves and smearing ourselves with sunscreen – there’s plenty on the market, but be warned – not all of them are good for your skin nor are overly efficient. However – you’ve done the wrong thing and come home with red painful skin. What do you do?

The first thing is to cool down. Stand under a cool shower to take the burn out of it. Is there anything you can put on your skin to help healing, and hopefully to stop blistering?

Growing Aloe Vera in your garden is a really good idea.Aloe-Vera If you are burnt, either by the sun or any other type accident, you can cut a leaf and pop it into the fridge. When it is cold, squeeze out the gel and apply it to your skin. aloe_vera_gelCooling and healing in one easy application. A lovely remedy right at your back door! It will also soothe the sting of a wasp or bee as well as being a great face mask to smooth and feed your skin. Wow! Several remedies in one plant!

One of the things that I do, (if you’ve read any of my other posts you will already know this), is write children’s books. When I was a youngster, I only had a few toys, a couple of dolls, a blackboard to draw on, and lots of books. I always preferred my books. That’s why I write now.

I try to help parents who read these books to their children, by giving them some insights to help and guide their little ones.

For example – ‘Angus Ant and the Acrobats’ talks about friendships and exercise, as well as letting your child know that they are special in their own way.

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Dorothy Dog and the Dangerous Dragonfly‘ explains the dangers of going out without approval and that home is often the best place to be.

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There are eight more available in the series, with more to come.

 

 

A friend of mine in the USA has a lovely picture book that she has recently launched. I’ll let her tell you about it in her own words:-

Do you have a picky eater in your family? Are mealtimes a battle?

I can completely relate. My daughter was super picky as a child and when she was about to be school-aged, I wanted to figure out something she could take for lunch. She liked peanut butter, she liked jelly, and she liked bread so I thought, naively, that she would like a PB&J sandwich. Oh my goodness, did we have a standoff?

Sound familiar?

Don’t despair. Determine which battles you want to pick and be patient. Here’s my story…

My newest picture book, Franky the Finicky Flamingo, was inspired not only by my child’s pickiness but my own. I know that’s not a very “grown up” kind of thing to admit but alas I am picky. Most of it is due to texture issues but some of it is actually due to unnamedtaste. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a much pickier eater when I was a child. So, I’ve outgrown a lot of it. And if you have a picky eater, I believe they’re going to grow out it as well.

When I was in Elementary School, I didn’t eat the school lunches so my Mom packed me exactly what I wanted every single day and that was a cold hot dog. Not the healthiest food, but I was happy. Somewhere around Middle School, I started eating school lunches. I know she was relieved.

I can honestly say that vegetables are just not my thing. I found out as an adult that I actually prefer my vegetables raw. Part of that is definitely texture, I don’t like mushy vegetables but the other more surprising thing is taste. I find vegetables in the raw are much tastier than after they have been cooked. I have even been told they are better for you. So, who’s picky now? Am I right? LOL

The other types of food that I really don’t like are citrus fruits. They have those strings in them. I choke on them. Still to this day! And I don’t like orange juice with pulp in it. Other fruits are all good though. What about you—do you have any foods you don’t like?

One time I heard a story about a set of twins that were separated at birth. One Mom said their child was a difficult eater because they wouldn’t eat anything unless she put ketchup on it. The other Mom said her child was the easiest child to feed because she would eat anything as long as she put ketchup on it. Maybe it’s all in perspective.

I just want to challenge you today as you think about your child’s picky eating–what battle do you want to pick?

And just maybe Franky the Finicky Flamingo might help encourage your picky eater to try new foods. You can check it out today at myBook.to/FrankyFranky Promo 1 with reviews

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Author – Wanda Luthman

Roll, Easy and Daisies.

 This year, summer has been really hot. (I live in Australia) We had 42°C last week – three days in a row. I feel for the other side of the world where the snow was thick and the temperatures extremely cold. Is it global warming, or a wobble in our Earth’s axis that might be to blame? Whatever the reason – everyone – please keep safe.hot

The promise of more hot weather to come, has meant that cooking is off the menu – if you know what I mean! Salads are the way to go. Cold drinks are important to keep you hydrated. Water is the best option – so make it easy on yourself and have some water always at hand.

Flavouring the water with fresh fruit is always a treat and gives variety and a sweet burst of energy – you don’t need added sugar to achieve it.

Try crushed, fresh strawberries, or slices of lemon, lime or orange – or a combination of all three – with a little passion-fruit added for zing! and of course, add a little ice if you wish.water

When it comes time to eat, add a small dash of protein, a nice refreshing salad, and a fresh roll.

To make a salad, good quality ingredients are always the best. They can be anything you like to put together, from potatoes, eggs,capsicum and mayonnaise, to cold pasta or rice with a sprinkle of corn, peas, cooked bread, prawns and cold, crispy bacon with a herb, garlic and olive oil dressing. A green salad can include lettuce, beetroot leaves, baby spinach, diced cucumber, sliced carrots, halved or sliced tomatoes, or any raw vegetable you desire, with a lemon juice, olive oil  red wine vinegar and salt dressing. Play with the combinations!

You can even make home-made rolls that are fresher than bought ones – and much tastier. Knowing the ingredients also means you are not ingesting anything chemical that may or may not be in commercial mixes.

Bread Rolls:-

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If you must go out – remember to cover up, use sun screen and wear a hat. Australia has a summer-running promotion with advertisements on the television – Slip, slap, slop (Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some sunscreen).sunscreen

After all – the Australian sun (gosh – that’s the same sun you get, too!) can burn and there is a high incidence of sun cancers in this country. Skin cancer and melanomas are deadly! We don’t want you pushing up daisies anytime in the near future if you can help it!daisies

Remember to be careful in the snow, too. There are people who are suffering there, just as much as in our heat. Be kind, don’t be judgmental – and care for your selves and your fellow man. Go out of your way to help another person. If we all did that, the world would be a better place.

With Kindness

Maureen

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Maureen Larter

P.S. – a lovely story about Australia, health and the weather is ‘Cassie Crocodile catches a cold’Cassiefront – ( getBook.at/CCCCe ) written by me and illustrated by Annie Gabriel. www.facebook.com/AnnieGabrielArt

Annie Gabriel is an illustrator, textile artist and book artist, who comes from a background of art and primary education. From ab early age, she was constantly drawing and painting. One of her first inspirations was a book called ‘The Little Brown Mouse”. The little girl in the story painted her friend, the mouse, and so Annie began painting mice, too. As they say – the rest is history!

Annie

Annie Gabriel

These days, Annie makes ‘one-off’ books for her grandchildren, and teaches them about art when they visit. Inspiration can strike at any time, and any place, and the stories from Maureen Larter are always a pleasure to create.