Good News Report – Boys Save Bridge Jumper

There’s way too much bad news in the world today…why not focus on the good instead? Here’s a recent story that will make you feel better about life. πŸ™‚

Hero schoolchildren who saved man trying to jump off bridge over A10 in Waltham Cross set for national awards

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Three young boys in Britain are being honored with national awards for saving a man’s life. As the article reports, “Devonte Cafferkey, 13, and Sammy Farah, 14, rushed to grab a man sitting with a rope around his neck on the edge of an A10 overpass in Waltham Cross on September 21 last year. Friend Shawn Young, who was 12 at the time, called for help.” The kids held onto the man, who no doubt weighed much more than them, preventing him from killing himself. Eventually several adults arrived and took over.

The boys are receiving Special Achievement awards at the Broxbourne Youth Awards, which celebrate achievements by young people.

I’m glad the kids are being recognized for their bravery and selflessness. We need more of this kind of compassion in the world! πŸ™‚ Good work Devonte, Sammy, and Shawn!

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January 2018 Review

The first month of 2018 is complete, and I thought I would look back on some of the accomplishments and things to be grateful for!

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Steps for Pet Health Challenge

I love using Walk for a Dog, an app that lets you log your walks to help animal charities. They had a special challenge in Dec-Jan, where you needed to complete 10 walks to qualify your favorite charity for a $1000 prize. Normally 10 walks would be super easy, but in the middle of winter it’s super cold and windy outside! But I made sure to watch the weather and take a walk on the tolerable days, and my dog Chester and I completed the challenge. πŸ™‚

When the challenge was done, WoofTrax reported that “In 60 days, challenge participantsΒ walked 176,000 times, totaling 1/4 million miles. That is equivalent to walking around the earth 10 times!” Wow! Next up is the Walk and Win Spring challenge.

Online Sales

My online store was booming in January! The Christmas rush is extended for me because of the upcoming Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day holidays, so I was spending a lot of time sewing. In total, I completed 52 orders this month, with about 15% of them having multiple items! I’m so grateful for the wonderful customers who support my small business. πŸ™‚

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Trying New Things

I want to get in the habit of trying new things in life. In January, I tried 2 new foods – almond milk and dried seaweed snacks (thumbs up on the milk, thumbs down on the seaweed). I purchased some stainless steel straws, which I’ll be using from now on to save waste. I also tried a local restaurant in my city for the first time.

Recycling

One of my Resolutions for 2018 is to get serious with recycling. I saved up all of the family’s recyclables in January, and made a trip to the drop-off center an the end of the month. We managed to fill up 3 totes with recyclables, and sent them off to a new life! I plan to do this for the rest of 2018 and beyond. πŸ™‚

 

Youtube

Youtubers got some big news in January: they’re upping the requirements to be a “real” youtuber to 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time. If you’re not in the know, those are pretty harsh requirements for us little folks! But instead of letting it get me down, it’s lit a fire under my butt. πŸ˜‰ During January I got 5 videos done: Productivity, Sleep, Small Business, Youtube, and Self Esteem, which the the most content I’ve made in a single month so far!

I’m going to continue to build my channel and fill it with lots of uplifting videos. πŸ™‚

 

That’s my list for January. Hopefully February will be just as busy!

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Small YouTuber Army, Unite!

On January 16th, YouTube sent out an email to lots of small channels, announcing some big changes to the monetization rules for the platform. Currently, you qualify for membership in the Youtube Partner Program as soon as you get 10,000 lifetime views on yourΒ  channel. On February 20th, 2018, the requirements will be upped to 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of total watch time over the last year. Ouch!

Needless to say, a lot of small ‘tubers are upset about the changes! Not only will small channels stop earning money from ad revenue, we will lose some useful features like end cards and custom thumbnails.

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It’s a sad situation, but so far the response has been pretty incredible! Small youtubers have banded together to support each other and do our best to get everyone to the new requirements. On Twitter, the tag #SmallYoutuberArmy is trending, and people are making threads where users can check out new channels and subscribe to other small creators. It’s great to see everyone coming together and helping each other!

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Whether you have your own channel on Youtube or not, let’s all do our best to support small ‘tubers by watching their videos, subscribing to their channels, and giving thumbs up on videos you like. πŸ™‚ Check out hashtags like #smallyoutuberarmy and #smallyoutubercommunity to find cool new channels. The new requirements are a challenge, but every challenge is really an opportunity to stand up and succeed!

We can do this! πŸ™‚

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Handmade Christmas!

My family has recently started a tradition where we draw names for Christmas presents. We agree on a price point, then draw names from a hat and give a gift or two to the person we receive. This year, we decided to try a handmade Christmas – everyone’s gift must be made from scratch with their own hands! We agreed that it could be anything, as long as it was handmade.

I was really curious to see what the gifts would be, because most of my family members aren’t super crafty and I didn’t know what they would come up with. The results were way better than I ever expected!

My gift was an egg holder from my father. I keep chickens as a hobby, so I always have a supply of fresh eggs in the kitchen. He found some old weathered barn wood and turned it into a cool rustic egg display! πŸ˜€

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My gift to Brother #2 were these felt ornaments; one has Mercy’s rez symbol from Overwatch, with her motto “Heroes Never Die” hand-stitched on the back. The other is the Rebellion symbol from Star Wars, with “May the Force Be With You” on the back. I was glad I pulled his name, so I could make something fun and geeky. πŸ˜‰

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One of my sisters was just married over the summer, and she gave her bouquet to my other sister to keep. Sister #2 surprised her by making this awesome picture box displayΒ  in celebration of their wedding.

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Brother #1’s gift to sister #2 was this adorable bird house made from a coconut, complete with “Welcome to the Nut House” sign. XD I’m really proud of my brother, because despite being the least crafty out of everyone, he pulled off a very cute and creative gift!

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My brother-in-law blew everyone away with his gift to my stepmother – this amazing handmade cedar box! The whole thing is done by hand, including the detailed lid. That’s some real woodworking talent there!

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My stepmother made this cool Scrabble memento for my sister-in-law. It has their names, and words like “husband”, “wife”, “forever”, and “family”. Very clever!

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Sister #1 and her husband have recently started watching Game of Thrones, so my sister-in-law made this paper cut-out family crest for them. They also have chickens and love to give away the eggs, so she made the family symbol a hen. I think this is so cool! XD *starts humming GoT theme*

 

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Sister #2 made Brother #1 this cool wooden tool caddy. He’s always working on stuff and has a ton of tools, so this is perfect for him! It has jelly jars filled with nails and screws and other small findings.

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And finally, Brother #2’s gift to our dad, also made with paper cut outs! Our father loves Star Trek, so he made a framed picture of the Enterprise zooming past Earth. So cool!

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We had a great time opening our gifts! Sister #1 started crying when she saw her wedding memento box, which started everyone else getting teary-eyed, lol.

I’m glad we decided to make handmade gifts this year, and I recommend the idea to anyone who wants to try a unique spin on Christmas! πŸ˜€

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The day Jupiter saved our butts!

I’ve always been fascinated with outer space, and lately I’ve been watching YouTube videos about comets and asteroids, and how they may have affected life on Earth through the eons. Almost everyone knows about the most famous impact, the meteor that slammed into the Yucatan and ended the reign of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But objects have been pelting our planet for a long time.

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Back in the mid 90s, when I was just finishing high school, I remember hearing about a comet called Shoemaker-Levy 9. At the time I was busy with worrying about my GPA and applying to college, so I didn’t pay much attention. Sure, comet passing by, cool, but I have stuff to do!

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A couple of decades later, I encountered some discussions of this particular comet in some videos. In July 1994, Shoemaker-Levy 9, which was discovered by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy, zoomed into our solar system, broke apart into 21 pieces, and crashed into Jupiter. The explosions caused by the impacts, which were observed and photographed by NASA, were astounding – each explosion was literally LARGER THAN PLANET EARTH.

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Which means if any of the comet fragments had hit our planet, we wouldn’t be here now. Seriously. Earth would have been completely obliterated, leaving nothing but dust and vapor. YIKES.

The reason they didn’t hit us was because of the influence of Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, and its gravity is so strong that most comets and asteroids that fly through the solar system are pulled off course. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of instances through Earth’s history when deadly objects that could have hit us were pulled away or deflected instead. Shoemaker-Levy was just one recent example.

So, in other words, Jupiter saved our butts from total annihilation in 1994. And probably many other times too!

So the next time you look up into the sky, give a word of thanks for the largest planet in our solar system. Because of Jupiter’s protective influence, we still have a beautiful, vibrant planet to call home!

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Serendipity!

I had something very cool happen today! πŸ˜€

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serendipity, those handy coincidences that happen to bring us exactly what we need. Positivity and a high vibration can help the universe hear what you need and send it to you at exactly the right time. I experienced this earlier today!

My elderly aunt is moving, and I’ve been helping her sort her belongings and pack them up. We needed large cardboard boxes, so I headed to the local recycle dropoff in the hopes of finding a box or two in good enough shape to use. When I got there, I discovered that pickup had happened the previous day…the bins were completely empty! This is a somewhat rural location, so it can take a long time for the bins to fill up. I got ready to leave empty-handed, but as I was walking to my car, a man drove up in a truck. Guess what was in the bed of the truck?

Of course, lots of clean, sturdy cardboard boxes! Turns out he had just moved as well, and was dropping off the containers he no longer needed. He helped me load the flattened boxes into my car, and I had a dozen or so perfect moving boxes. The guy was super nice too!

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This was a fun example of serendipity. I came looking for boxes at the worst possible time, but the universe made sure I got them anyway. Thank you, Universe, and thank you Truck Guy!

I hope to see these coincidences more and more. Positivity is the key! πŸ™‚


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A Tribute to Sunflowers

Over the summer I planted a small patch of sunflowers in my yard. I started them by sprouting a handful of sunflower seeds from the birdseed that I keep in my bird feeder, then transferred the seedlings to a fresh patch of dirt near my fence where they would get sunlight almost all day. Most of them grew big and strong, and the largest three had huge flowers as big as a tea saucer! (I nicknamed them Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal, after the dragons on Game of Thrones.)

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I love sunflowers for lots of reasons. I love that a small plain little seed can grow into such a big, tall, impressive plant. I love the huge, bright yellow flowers that brighten up a summer garden and feed the honeybees. And I love that they produce hundreds of nutritious and tasty seeds.

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Sunflowers are a great example of the abundance of the universe! One seed produces a plant with flowers that provide lots of nectar and pollen for insects, as well as food and shelter for other bugs in the leaves and stems. When the flower is done, it matures into a seed-head with hundreds of new seeds that can either produce an entire crop of new plants, or they can provide a valuable and nutritious food source for birds and other animals. I love watching wild birds picking seeds from the dried flower, knowing that the food the sunflower provides will give them energy for the long journey south, or fatten them up to survive the coming winter. All this life-giving abundance from one tiny seed!

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Even after the seeds are all gone, the plants themselves provide food for my chickens. The gobble up the leaves, and love to pick at the heads for anything the songbirds might have missed. Sunflowers give joy and life at every stage in their lives.

I plan to plant even more sunflowers next year, hopefully all along the length of my fence!

What are your favorite summer plants?


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