Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Help Free Tony The Tiger

Tony the tiger is a Siberian/Bengal tiger held in captivity, for ten years, by a cruel owner and showed on display at Louisiana truck stop. This is such a sad story. People have been fighting for years to have this tiger moved to the Big Cat Rescue, a big cat sanctuary, in Tampa, Florida. The owner has also fought hard, to keep his tiger living in horrible conditions and to keep making money off of him. The tiger's main living area is an outdoor concrete cage, visible to the public and people driving by on the freeway, where he is breathing in toxic car fumes and surrounded by loud traffic noise. He has no room to run or swim and leads a stressful, unhappy life. The poor creature is being exploited by it's owner, Michael Sandlin, as a roadside attraction for people to come and shop at his truck stop. It's sickening the way this beautiful animal is being treated, like as if he is a commodity to be capitalized on and not a living creature that needs to be protected and cared for properly. Tigers need space and freedom to roam. It is cruel and abusive to keep this magnificent animal locked up in a small cage. Watch this video by Big Cat Rescue. For more information visit Free Tony the Tiger.

On Dec. 14, 2010 Michael Sandlin's yearly permit to keep Tony was yet again approved by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. But the fight is not over. To find ways to help, click here.

To do my part I am going to send a letter to Avaaz to ask for their help in petitioning the American government to free Tony. They are an organization that gets millions of people all over the world, to sign petitions for important causes. Let's hope we can get their help on this one too.

*Correction I have just sent this letter to Avaaz:

"To whom it may concern,

I am writing on behalf of Tony, a Siberian/Bengal tiger, held in captivity at a truck stop in Louisiana for the past 10 years. His living conditions are deplorable and he is inhumanely being exploited by his owner as an exhibit to make money. He is on public display, in a small concrete cage, beside a freeway where he breathes in toxic truck exhaust and hears loud traffic noise 24/7. He needs your help to raise awareness and have a petition made to fight for him. The Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida has offered to take him and provide him with a good home where he can run and live in proper living conditions and be treated with the respect he deserves. But his owner refuses to do the right thing. For more information about his plight visit http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tonys-story/ . Also I have just posted on my blog about this and have said that I am going to ask for your help in this matter http://enviromommy.blogspot.com/ . I have signed many of your petitions and I believe that you are the one organization that can really help Tony, because thus far nothing anyone else has done has worked. This needs a global campaign. Please help."

Let's hope it works!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

10 Songs I Am Loving Right Now

Here is another fun favorites list. It's not my all time favorites, because that would be too hard, but it's the 10 songs that I am really loving right now and can't stop listening to. Feel free to leave me a comment of your faves, I love hearing about new music or thinking about songs I haven't thought of in awhile. Here it goes, in no particular order.

Esthero - Black Mermaid

Adele - Someone Like You

Lightning Dust - Highway

Emiliana Torrini - Sunny Road

Spree Wilson - Don't Pass Me By, Featuring Esthero

Lightning Dust - Never Seen

Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Kate Earl - Nobody

Adele - Tired

PS - Earth Hour was great last night, we turned off all of the lights and lit candles and made up ghost stories. It was my hubby, my kids, my niece and nephew, my mom in law and myself and it was a blast. It was so cute 'cause each kid took turns making up their own ghost stories and all the stories were great. We also played games and just hung out as a family, with no TV or computer or video game distractions, and they loved it. It made me think that we should do this kind of thing more often. Maybe we should do our own family Earth Hour once a month, just for the fun of it.

Friday, 25 March 2011

My All Time Favorite Movie Scenes

Okay, I've been reading a lot of enviro and political stuff lately and sometimes it really gets me down (on a side note - I was told when I took Enviromental Studies in college that sometimes you can start to feel depressed when faced with all of the horrible stuff happening to the planet, and it's true. I think that's why many people choose to ignore the issues and stay ignorant, so that they don't have to know and feel bad about what is going on around them). So I've decided to write about something fun. I have a friend who does a lot of movie reviews and she has inspired me to write a little movie review of my own. Or, not really a review, more like a favorite scene list. So here it goes, in no particular order:

Tank Girl - Sand Shower Scene

Watch it here

Dirty Dancing - Learning To Dance (on the log, in the field and in the water) Scene

 Watch it here

Bourne Identity - First Kiss Scene

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Escape From Cannibal Island Scene

Romeo & Juliet - First Meet Scene

Ever After - Just Breath Scene

(This was the only good quality clip with the scene in it, it goes from 1:31-1:37)

Hackers - Under Water Ending Scene

Moulin Rouge - Roxanne Tango Scene

I am sure I could go on but I won't, for now...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Vancouver Named Top Climate Change Fighter In Canada

Vancouver was named the top climate change fighter in Canada by the World Wildlife Fund. Check out the info in this article.

Photo Credit 

Monday, 21 March 2011

Will You Participate In Earth Hour?

Join the cause to fight climate change. Last year over a billion people, in 128 countries, around the world took part and it was the largest voluntary action ever witnessed. This year lets make it even bigger. On Saturday March 26 at 8:30pm (your local time) turn off your lights for one hour. Have a nice candle lit dinner or play board games or tell stories or play hide and go seek with your kids. There are lots of fun things to do in the dark. Participate in Earth Hour and show your support for our planet. Let your voice be heard, stand up and take action on climate change.

For more information visit the WWF Earth Hour website.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Going West - Cool Animation

This is so creative, check it out.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Living The Zero Waste Life

Here is a family in California who are living a zero waste lifestyle, the Johnsons. They buy everything in bulk and bring all of their own bags and containers when shopping, so as to have no packaging to throw away. They compost and make their own cleaning products and they follow the 4Rs, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and "Recycle only as a last resort." I commend them for their hard work and will be trying to incorporate some of their tips to reduce my waste output. Check out this video about their zero waste home. And also check out their blog, The Zero Waste Home, that has tips and details of how they do it. 

Photo Credit

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Do You Get PVCs?

I bet many of you don't know what that means. Some of you may be saying isn't that a type of plastic? The kind of PVCs I mean are Premature Ventricular Complexes, which are a type of heart palpitation that many people get once in awhile and most people don't feel. It's basically when your heart has an extra beat. For those that don't feel them it isn't too much of a bother (unless they are caused by some "underlying heart condition"). For those that do feel them it can feel awful, like as if you are having a heart attack. I started getting them about 10 years ago and they were very few and far between. When I first felt one I was very confused because I didn't know what was happening. I was just sitting on the couch watching TV and then boom out of nowhere my heart had a big thump/gush kind of feeling. It was so weird. It was almost like my heart was going to fall out of my chest. I had a few more of those in the following days and decided to see my doctor. She had me do a holter test, where they hook you up to a little portable machine, with electrodes attached to various places all over your chest, and you wear it for 24 hours. During that time you write a little diary of everything you did and at precisely what time, so that they can look at your heart activity. Anyways nothing showed up and my doctor said that it was probably nothing, and that women can have heart palpitations from time to time, and not to worry. So I didn't worry, because really I had so few that it wasn't too bothersome. 

Fast forward to last year and they started coming more often. I was having 10 or more of these episodes a day. So again I went to a doctor and had another holter monitor test done. At every time that I charted one of these episodes (those ones that feel like my heart isn't working properly and that something is wrong with it, like my heart is dropping out of my chest or I am having a heart attack) they noted a PVC. I had probably 8 that day. The doctor said it was fine and that they were just PVCs and not to worry. She was nice enough to explain them to me and how they worked and that some people feel them and others don't, but really not to worry. 

So now I know what they are, these strange things that happen to me, that make me feel dizzy, and lightheaded, and really out of sorts, and are actually kind of scary. I certainly don't like them, but if I only have them once in a while they are manageable. And really they come and go. I go whole weeks without them sometimes, and sometimes I have a bunch one day, and none the next. 

Fast forward again to three days ago. I started getting a lot of them, like 5-10 a minute for many hours, I had been told by my doctor that if you suddenly get lots of them that you should go to the hospital. So I did. While at the hospital my left arm started to go all numb and tingly too, which was also scary because isn't that another sign of a heart attack? They hooked me up to some machines and did a few tests, took some blood and sent me home soon after. Said it was those PVCs again. 

Fine, but how can I feel like this? If my heart feels like it's not working right and it feels like there is a problem, why is it lying to me? And why is it progressively getting worse? I've read on some threads, out there on the internet, of many others feeling this way and considering this to be a major nuisance (it's even hard to drive when it happens), but everyone says the same thing, unless there is an "underlying heart condition" they are not a cause for concern. So how do you know if there is any "underlying heart condition"? No one seems to want to check into it further. Not my family doctor, and not the people at the hospital. Do I demand to see a cardiologist? How can they tell by a few small tests, for such a short period of time, that it is nothing? 

Has this ever happened to you? 

For more information about PVCs, check this link.

PS I really don't want to sound like a complainer. I know there are more horrible things going on in the world right now. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Bachelor - The Final Rose - Review

I have to say congratulations to Brad and Emily, I hope they have a wonderful life together. I hope they make it through the rough patch and come out of the process a stronger couple. Their engagement was really touching and emotional and I hope they can hang on to that love. It's been really funny reviewing this show (my guilty pleasure), because I've never done this kind of thing before, but I enjoyed it.

It's always a bittersweet ending when the show is over. I am so happy for Emily, but soooo sad for Chantal. I really liked her, I liked her spunk and zest for life. She has great energy and she carried herself through this difficult process with integrity. I knew Brad was going to pick Emily, but I kept rooting for Chantal in my mind because I liked her so much. Not that I didn't like Emily, because Emily is so sweet, and adorable and kindhearted. But I just felt something more for Chantal, it was an understanding. It's like I knew what she was feeling, falling for someone so hard, and the spark seemed so real, and then not having that love returned. As women I think most of us have been there, I know I have (along time ago, in my early 20s when I was searching for that someone special, and it seemed to take forever to find him). Chantal was so relate-able that I had to root for her, she reminded me of myself. I was surprised to hear, during the After The Final Rose show, that she is already seeing someone new. Good for her, but hopefully she is really over Brad enough to be in a new relationship, because she didn't quite look that way. I'm sure it was all very fresh seeing him again and now that she has closure, hopefully she can move on and really be happy. Good luck to her.

One thing I especially liked about the After The Final Rose show was seeing the couples that stayed together. I think my favorite couple is Ali and Roberto. I loved their season, it was so romantic, and Roberto is such an amazing guy. Ali is very lucky to have found him! All of the couples' advice to Brad and Emily was great and as a fan it's always nice to get an update. So I am glad that this season is over and I can have my Monday nights back. Until May anyways, when Ashley will be the new Bachelorette.

Photo Credit

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice - Amazing Video Footage

 Wow this is so fascinating and beautiful! Polar Bears filmed by super high tech spy cameras. Check out these videos from the BBC movie, Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice, by filmmaker John Downer. 

For more info about the movie and how it was filmed check out John Downer's website.

Photo Credit

Saturday, 12 March 2011

A Biggest Loser Quote, Is My New Mantra

I watch The Biggest Loser and every week and I find it so inspiring. These people that are so down and lost, get given an amazing chance to find themselves again. Their battle on the show is not just about weight loss, it's about changing their lives for the better, about living, really living, again. They need to find the things that are holding them back and realize what's pushing them down and break the cycle, or some of them won't make it. It's life or death really. Continuing to lead the lives they have led, eating the way they have and not exercising at all, would certainly lead them into an early grave. That's why it's so inspiring, because you watch them figure it out. They go through the process of dramatic change, right before your eyes. And it makes you, the viewer, feel like you are not the only one battling hardships and challenges and if they can do it so can you.

I've battled with my weight too in the past few years (7 to be exact, since the birth of my first child). Not to the the extent that I'd need to go on a show like that, but I certainly would love to go to a facility like Fitness Ridge! That would be so great, just working out all day and having your meals made for you and having someone to teach you good recipes, tailored to your body type. Having a great trainer teach you all the exercises that would be right for you, it would all be a dream come true. But who has the money for that? So what does a "regular joe" have to do? Eat right and exercise. Right? Easier said than done, sometimes. I've had many excuses and I think the biggest ones are, "I'm too busy,"  'I'm too tired," " I don't feel like being on a diet right now" and "I don't need to change anything, I'm fine the way I am." Which are all cop outs of course, but I've said them to myself thousands of times. The funny thing is I used to be tiny. Before kids I could fit into a size 2 (mind you I'm only 5'1"), but now I'm not even close to my old body. As the years have gone by I've been adding a good five to ten pounds, which is really starting to add up.

So here is my inspiration (after that long rant, sorry). I watched episode 9 last week and something one of the contestants said really made me think. It's funny that I've seen all of the seasons, and it's taken this long for something that was said to really hit home with me, but better late than never, right. It's even taken a week and a half of me thinking about it and applying it to my daily life that I've realized that it's really stuck (and I feel good about it). The contestants had just come back from being at home for two weeks, and some did well, while others did not. During the weight in, Hannah (who did really well) said "I've spent the past 15 years sabotaging myself, and going home, and saying no, which in turn was saying yes to myself, felt really great." I thought really hard about that, because it really struck me. I guess for me, dieting has always seemed like you are depriving yourself of things that you want. It feels negative, but if you look at it the way Hannah said, it's actually positive. You may be saying no to the foods that aren't good for you, but you are actually allowing yourself to do something right and positive for yourself. You are saying yes to you! I want to say yes to me. I want to say yes to looking and feeling good! I don't want to be tired and not have any energy for my kids. I don't want to go shopping for new clothes and not buy anything, because I don't feel good in anything I try on. I am tired of saying no to the life and body I want. What is more important? That desert, or having a good life? So here I go, I am saying no to fattening foods that aren't good for me and I am "SAYING YES TO MYSELF!"  There is my new mantra, wish me luck.  : )

(Oh, and thank you Hannah Curlee, of The Biggest Loser, for giving it to me!)

Photo Credit

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Balloon House, From The Movie Up, Comes To Life

What a cool experiment! The National Geographic made it happen. 

Check it out:

And see more great pictures here too:


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Bachelor - Episode 10, The Women Tell All - Review

Usually, I don't really like watching the "Women Tell All" episode (though I always do), but this time was different. I saw the need for it. I've always thought of it as an excuse to drag the show out, and keep you hanging on for one more week, but it made sense to me for this particular season. A lot of women had issues they really needed to work out and get closure on. For instance with Ashely H, she, like I suspected, unintentionally sabotaged her relationship with Brad. She was too scared to become vulnerable, and she let the situation of the show damage the view she had of her relationship with him. Instead of trusting him, and their feelings for each other, she let her fears get in the way. You could see her doing it repeatedly. It's unfortunate because she really regrets it now. But at least she got to say she was sorry and give him a proper hug good bye. Hopefully she'll move on and learn from her mistakes. On a side note, I didn't know what to think of her as a brunette. I really liked her with blonde hair. Some people look great as blondes and she is one of them. Nevertheless, I do understand her wanting the change, I used to do that after the end of major relationships too. It would always feel so empowering to make a drastic change in your appearance, just by changing your hair colour. I think it helps you feel better about yourself and enables the moving on phase. So good luck to her, she deserves to find true love.

Next I am going to talk about the dreaded Michelle. I have to say, I did feel bad for her, somewhat. I don't know how much I believe all of her excuses for her behavior, but at least she wasn't up there saying that she did nothing wrong. She was visibly shaken and crying real tears. Were they tears for the sake of regaining positive opinions of her? I don't know, but I really do believe that she missed her daughter and was acting kind of crazy because of it. Did the editing and stress of the show make her actions and opinions seem more glaring? A lot of the other women seemed to say that they genuinely liked her during the show and were more mad at her after seeing all of the horrible things she said during interviews. I really do think that she had the wrong kind of attitude. Going into a show like that and saying "I don't want to make friends" is pretty silly. How are you going to function in that kind of a situation, if you have no one to talk to and be friends with? And does that give you the right to be back stabbing and manipulative? There are ways of going about things where you don't have to be mean and put people down to get ahead. It's called having integrity. She could have done it much more tastefully and would not have had such of a negative reaction. But maybe the show needed to have a bad girl for the season and they added more of her negative comments and less of others to make her look more villainous. She did seem to feel bad and maybe she's learned a lesson for it. Who knows, but if I were one of her friends from the show, it would take quite a while for her to win my friendship back, but maybe it could happen.

Onto Brad. He seemed very happy with his selection, and even called her his "significant other." I was trying to gauge his reaction when Chris Harrison said each of the two ladies names, to see if he had any telling facial reactions to them. I even re-winded it (I love my DVR) and played it over a few times to really see, but it was quite hard to tell. The only thing I could say about doing that, is I saw him have a slight eye flinch or wince (though very slight) when Chris said Chantal and he had a little corner smile when Chris said Emily. It could mean nothing of course, but maybe it means he picked Emily. I am still rooting for Chantal though. I love Emily and he probably does too, but watching those clips of him and Chantal together, made me want him to pick her so badly! Still, he probably picked Emily. Either way it will be bittersweet to watch it all, because one amazing woman will be brokenhearted and the other will be over the moon and so happy to have her love returned. On the other hand, as a good friend said to me, the one who doesn't get picked will probably be the next Bachelorette. 

I can't wait for next Monday night!

Photo Credit

Monday, 7 March 2011

This Is Not Harperland, This is Canada!!!

 The current governing party of Canada has issued a directive, that references to "Government of Canada" should be replaced by "Harper Government," in federal communications. This is not acceptable. Canada does not belong to Stephen Harper, it belongs to the Canadian people!  Canada is a democracy not a dictatorship. Harper should be ashamed of himself for pulling a stunt like this. This is an ignorant, selfish and tyrannical act of self promotion. Check out these articles and sign the petition if you don't agree with Harper's latest scam.



Saturday, 5 March 2011

What Does Your Birthday Mean To You?

Well, another year older and how do I feel? No different, really. But I have to say, at the ripe middle age of 35, I still like birthdays. I don't know how many people feel that way at my age, but I don't think many do. I know most adults think birthdays are for kids, and certainly they are to some degree. I know I like to make a big deal about my kids special days, because that's it, they are special. When else do you get to celebrate you? When else do you have your friends and family showering you with well wishes and special attention? In the grown up world, where everyone is so busy and no one has time to do many get-togethers, where family life and work takes precedent, it's hard to find time to get all of your friends together in one room. It's hard to see certain friends even every few months never mind get them all together without some special occasion. So that is always what I like to do for my birthday, use it for an excuse to see all of my friends. I love getting everyone together and going for dinner or dancing (really the dancing is something we all used to do back in day, but I still like to do it every once in a while. You're never to old to get your groove on, no matter how everyone stares!). It may not be about celebrating the day of my birth or about turning a year older, my birthday is about friends and family and spending time to catch up and socialize. As a stay at home mom, socializing is something I don't get to do very often, but it's something I crave. So my birthday is that day, my big socializing day. It's my birthday and I'll celebrate if I want to.

Photo Credit

Thursday, 3 March 2011

What Should A 4 Year Old Know?

This particular link is especially relevant to me because I am a parent of  a 4 yr old. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of what needs to be done and where we need to go. I was so stressed this morning, trying not to be late for everything, that I got frustrated with my kids. I don't like that. I don't want to be a stressed out mom, always in a hurry, not taking time to play and go at the kids' pace. Parents often forget that their kids are people, who have their own thoughts and feeling and wants. They often don't want to rush out the door to go to the doctor's appointment, or rush to get to school. They like to go slow and they really don't need the stress of hurry, hurry, hurry. I rushed so much this morning for a meeting with my older child's psychiatrist, school therapist and key worker, only to be the first person there and everyone else was more late then me. I didn't need to stress out, I didn't need to get frustrated with my kids because they didn't hurry the way I wanted them to. It's me, and my worries about looking bad for being late, that puts those pressures on them and they don't need that. They have plenty of time when they are adults to worry about that kind of stuff. This article is a great reminder of what kids really need. Check it out:


 These are my monkeys at an Easter egg hunt at our local community center last year. They had lots of fun  : )

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

SNL - Feline Culinary Creations

This skit is hilarious! I love Saturday Night Live! Check it out here:


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Bachelor - Episode 9 Review

Well, here I go again, giving a review of one of my favorite shows, The Bachelor, corny I know, but I can't help myself. This seemed like a really emotional episode to me. You could practically feel the emotion emanating from the TV screen. I'll start with Brad and Chantal. Their fantasy date seemed perfect and their chemistry just flowed so well, I love them together. And their date was so adventurous and fun and romantic too. I would love a safari date like that! Seeing all of those beautiful creatures so close in front of you, but they are in their natural habitat, not in some cage in a zoo. Awesome, and I think the best part of the date (though the safari is hard to top) was the tree house "fantasy suite." To be outside like that, all night long, sleeping under the stars, so romantic!! It's like camping in style, but you don't have to pitch a tent and you are high up in a tree with a view and an awesome bed to sleep in. Incredible! I also really liked how Chantal described being in love with Brad, how she felt like he made her want to be a better person for him, and to give her self unselfishly. I believe true love makes you feel that way. I am totally rooting for her... But...

Yes, there is a but coming up. As much as I love Emily, and she is such a sweetheart, I couldn't really see them ending up together... until now. I just didn't see as much of a spark there. You could tell he was attracted to her and he admired her. But I was wondering, where is the passion and the strong emotional connection? I didn't see it before... but I saw it tonight. The way Brad was talking about Emily's daughter and being a family with them and you could see the tears in both of their eyes, I felt it too. Their connection seemed so much more solid tonight, and he seemed so happy. Also he told her he loved her, that's a pretty big tip off! He didn't tell Chantal that, when she told him she loved him. So there's the but, I am rooting for Chantal, but he may now have a stronger connection with Emily. And I'm sure if he ends up with her he will be happy, she is a wonderful woman and a really great and kind person. But I'll feel so bad for Chantal, because their chemistry is real and the spark is there, but maybe it's not enough. Who knows, we'll find out in two weeks I guess.

Oh, I should probably talk a little about Ashley too. I never really saw much there between her and Brad. And all the confusion and miscommunication they had going on was so silly. If you can't communicate, then what do you really have? Nothing really. I do feel bad for her, of course, but when she said she was so surprised (about being sent home), I thought why? Didn't she see this coming? I mean, the other girls were telling him they love him and want to be with him and have a future with him, and she didn't say any of that. She didn't really talk about any kind of future with him at all. So it's no big surprise that he sent her home. I do hope she finds true love eventually, when she figures out what she really wants and is a little more settled.

So next week is The Women Tell All, my least favorite part of the show frankly, but I'll watch it. It'll be interesting to see if Michelle is still all witchy, or if maybe she regrets the way she was acting on the show (probably not). We'll see.

Photo Credit