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What-atarian? (BLW Contributor)

PlantsNotPlastic

This is a brief compilation of the different things people call themselves with regard to dietary lifestyles, their true definitions (at least according to Wikipedia), and my thoughts on each.

To give a bit of background, my understanding of this list of lifestyles versus a list of diets is that diets are often popularized and advertised by a specific group or company (Atkins, Beach Body, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.) and more often than not are paired with specific food products or supplements, where a lifestyle change or lifestyle intervention has more to do with a lasting mentality around food that is not specific to a group or company and can be practiced regardless of who is selling you the food you eat.

In order from most to least animal product consumption:

CarnivoreDefinition – meaning ‘meat eater’ (Latin, caro meaning ‘meat’ or ‘flesh’ and vorare meaning ‘to devour’)…

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WE AT BE LIKE WATER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL PART OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE, SO WE WANTED TO REACH OUT TO OUR FRIENDS & FANS TO SAY WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT

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Artsy Fartsy – A Wooden Path in Autumn by Hans Anderson Brendekilde (We Love the Seasons!!!)

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Hans Christian Andersen Brendekilde (7 April 1857 in Brændekilde at Odense – 30 March 1942 in Jyllinge) was a Danish painter.

Brendekilde was trained stonemason’s apprentice, became models and later admitted to the Academy. Here he met L.A. Ring, who also came from the village environment. In his debut work from the village from 1882 was just the village environment theme. Later, he also social realism | social-realist works such as worn out from 1889, depicting a farm laborer who is collapsed on the field.

Brendekilde reached later that very idyllic rural life. As his images of the grandmother who looks at children playing in the garden.

HANS ANDERSON BRENDEKILDE A WOODED PATH IN AUTUMN 27×20 [KITCHEN]

Living Poor by MJ Writer (BLW Contributor)

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family w cousinsSome aunts, uncles and cousins in this photo with us.

I know how to live poor.  I know how to live poor and be happy.  No, I’m not poor, but I was raised poor.  Let me explain.

My parents had twelve children—a dozen—but I don’t know about cheaper by the dozen.  All biological, all healthy, all twelve.  Five girls and seven boys.  My twin brother and I were numbers eight and nine.

My family lived in California when I was born, and there Dad worked in the timber cutting Redwoods.  He served in the military, then we moved south and he started farming.  We lived in a small community where the older children hoed and picked cotton on land Dad rented to farm, and they also hired out to other farmers to work in the fields.  For two years the family worked at truck-patching on an island in the Mississippi River where we lived and where my twin and I started first grade in a one-room schoolhouse.  Then we returned to the small community until Dad bought a small piece of land in the hills.

We were poor, but we didn’t really know that we were poor.  Dad and Mom taught us to work hard, and they taught us to have a good attitude about it.  Those were some of the best lessons we learned from our parents. Dad had a great sense of humor and loved his family.  He always said that we could make work fun, and he showed us how to do it.  We sang, told stories, played jokes on one another, and supported and loved each other.

So back to being poor.  Mom was a stay-at-home mom, and worked harder than anyone, although she would never admit it.  She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman!  With the help of the family, she raised a large garden full of all kinds of vegetables and canned hundreds of quarts of food for the pantry.  We always said Mom could make something out of nothing, and when the pantry was low, she would whip up meals that were very simple but so delicious.

We sometimes raised our own beef, pork and chicken, and while we often ate meat-free meals, we loved the times we were able to spare a hog or beef to butcher, and when we had enough to spare, fried chicken made a wonderful Sunday dinner.  During the winter months Dad and the boys hunted, providing the family with venison, rabbit or squirrel.  We enjoyed healthy food with no preservatives!

Early in the spring before the garden was grown we would enjoy salads made from a variety of plants chosen carefully by Mom from the fields around the house.  The salad would consist of plants such as lamb’s quarter, dock, thistle, and wild onions.   This would be served with beans, seasoned boiled potatoes, and cornbread.  Yum!

Mom sewed most of the clothes her daughters wore, and even some shirts for her sons.  I remember her making my twin and me matching tops—a shirt for him and a blouse for me.  I’m not sure he was happy about it, but I thought it was pretty special!  She used whatever she could find for fabric, including recycled fabric from used clothing.  I have worn many dresses and blouses made from printed flour sacks.  Mom was a wonderful designer, and some of the best compliments I received was on a dress she designed and made.  No one had to know it was made from a flour sack.  We also wore lots of hand-me-downs, and the boys wore patched jeans before patched jeans were cool!

My family worked together, played together, and prayed together.  We grew up healthy and happy, and we loved and still love one another.  What wonderful memories I have!

I think my being poor is/was a matter of perception.  Did that mean we had no money?  If so, then we were pretty poor.  But we had food, clothing, and a roof over our heads.  We worked hard—all of us—and managed carefully what we had.  We might not have had nice things like so many others had, but when I look back, that seems immaterial.  And for the most part, we just didn’t think much about it.  We were secure, fed, and happy.  That was what was important.

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The Years Go By Like The Waters In Our Lovers Eyes (BLW Contributor)

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Stop.  Click on this song by Needtobreathe.  Wait a few seconds for the music to start playing…..

Now continue reading.

Its one of the most powerful sentiments and word of wisdom that has ever graced a human ear and blessed the trajectory of a lifetime:

“You Only Know What You Have, Once You’ve Lost It.”

In order for that wisdom to exist, someone had to go through heart ache.  Someone had to lose.  Someone had to feel foolish.  Eyes had to be open; eyes that were once blind.  Second chances exist and for this we are all grateful.  Nonetheless, they do not exist for all and for some, they have only known eternal short-coming; an inconsolable oust.

So let us learn from those that have come before us and have been kind of enough to lecture our very situation or circumstance.  Hold on to who you have; never let go of what you have and what it could be.  Before you know it, like stones under rushing waters, the years will have past; opportunities will have ceased; hearts will have fluttered for you or become bitter at your blunder.

Just be sure to take a step back every now and then.  Be grateful and appreciate; realize everyday that the love and joy around you is not of your devise, but in spite of it.  This song is by a great band that I will leave you with.  The purpose of including the link is not to name drop or click-bait.  Listen to the song.  The lyrics are included for your consideration.  Take another listen if you fancy, I know it will do some good.

“Why don’t we dance anymore
I’m not okay with that
Why don’t we laugh anymore
I’m not okay with that
The years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Why don’t we smile anymore
I’m not okay with that
Why don’t we dance slowly
I’m not okay with that
‘Cause the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone
Yeah, the years go by like stones under rushing water
We only know, we only know when it’s gone

Oh the years, go by, like the waters, in our lovers eyes

Oh the years, go by, like the waters, in our lovers eyes”

Needtobreathe

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Ninth Year (BLW Contributor)

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Think of a time when you felt safe, felt grounded, and felt happy. 

Imagine that place. 

Can you bring your olfactory sense back to the location? Can you see what it looks like before you? Perhaps you see it and walk within that realm when you dream. Or maybe it reappears every now and then when something strikes a memory chord in your brain.

I can still smell and feel parts of the interior walls of my elementary school. The smell of glue, the wet pavement outside on the playground, and the crisp air after snow has fallen and stillness unfolds.  These smells and the combined shine of the tile in the main hallway are emblazoned upon my memory. I can almost feel the painted brick wall on the outside of the gymnasium. If I close my eyes I can see the hallowed entryway of the leaded windows in the circular library with slivers of light darting across the gray carpeted floor. That smell of the books, dust, and a sense of comfort intertwined with one another can bring me back in an instant.

Walking into my school building four days ago, for the beginning of a new school year, I felt a rise of positive anticipation bubble up within me. There is something magical about watching all of the hopeful children of varying ages walk towards their next school year with fervent glee and nerves.

The twenty six individuals that entered our classroom on Tuesday all carried with them a sense of expectation, a sense of wonder, and an overwhelming sense of jitters.

Their day started off with a gift bag that was stapled together and laid upon their desks, with what they did not know was a plethora of supplies buried within each bag. A mentor colleague of mine taught me about this, “mystery bag,” game as a welcoming first day activity. Each year I have carried on the tradition with a new class.

As the day progressed the student’s nerves eased and my heart melted. I love watching students begin to unfold, ever so slowly they uncurl a tiny layer of themselves, their level of trust builds as they explore the beginning of friendship and community. The sense of innocence in their questioning and steadfast belief in, “doing the right thing, even when no one is watching,” is truly everything that adults strive to go back towards in time.

As an educator it is part of my job to teach about compassion, kindness, patience, and above all: love.  There is no curriculum that can encompass masterful lessons for these essential skills we need in life. It is merely a lesson in every interaction I have with a child, every question I answer, and the laughs that we share. I focus on sharing these ideals through the stories I select for students. They experience, read, and listen to these works of art every day. Children intrinsically desire to show kindness towards one another and I build upon this instinct to create a unique structure every year with a new community of people.

Going into this ninth year I felt a shift in myself as an educator. I realized my level of gratitude had been raised in the last few months. I felt grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for literature and life long learning every day with a new bundle of children. I felt hopeful about what my role could bring to the table in this year of growth for these students. I also felt a rise for my love of humanity, in which I dwell within as I walked through the doors, and down the halls, on the beginning of my ninth year.

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startwithsparkles

Think of a time when you felt safe, felt grounded, and felt happy.

Imagine that place.

Can you bring your olfactory sense back to the location? Can you see what it looks like before you? Perhaps you see it and walk within that realm when you dream. Or maybe it reappears every now and then when something strikes a memory chord in your brain.

I can still smell and feel parts of the interior walls of my elementary school. The smell of glue, the wet pavement outside on the playground, and the crisp air after snow has fallen and stillness unfolds.  These smells and the combined shine of the tile in the main hallway are emblazoned upon my memory. I can almost feel the painted brick wall on the outside of the gymnasium. If I close my eyes I can see the hallowed entryway of the leaded windows in the…

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Arsty Fartsy – Sean Yoro aka Hula (Women in Water Murals)

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Artist Sean Yoro (aka Hula), paints murals while floating on the waves, placing his works just above sea level. The murals, all portraits of women, have a hyperrealistic quality that appear as if each is existing just above the tide. Due to the works’ position above the water they reflect perfectly into the waves, the image extending out far from the painted surface.

Hula_01Hula_03

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The NYC-based artist paddles out to paint the murals, balancing his acrylic paint on his board all the while. Hula grew up on the island of Oahu, where he spent most of his days in the ocean. Although he grew up dabbling in graffiti, watercolor, and tattoo art, he didn’t take his work seriously until he began to paint the the human body when he was 21. Hula also uses cracked surfboards as a surface to paint his female portraits, more of which you can see on his Instagram, @the_hula. (via Street Art News)

Credit: This is Colossal 

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