Archive for May, 2011

Two Lessons from Chickens

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

By day (and many nights), I am the CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Wasabi Media Group.  However, in my spare time I am a chicken farmer.  Having had chickens at my home during my childhood, I gladly embraced the idea when my husband suggested it a few years ago.  We raised a group of chickens for egg-laying purposes until their productivity waned.  This spring we have begun raising our second group of chickens.

The chicks arrive only days old.  Tiny and fluffy, they peep quietly and enjoy the heat of the lamp above their pen.  For approximately the first month, they need to stay indoors while they become fully feathered and the outdoor nighttime temperatures increase.  During this time, the chicks are the center of attention with family and friends.  These chicks are a great instrument for teaching children how to care for small animals; the kids learn to be gentle, to monitor the animals’ environment, and to respect the animals’ needs.

In addition to being a teaching tool for children, they are a great reminder of what we need and what we want.  The chicks have few requirements: food, water, heat.  As long as the heat lamp is turned on and they have access to starter feed and fresh water, they are content.  However, even chicks have wants.  A small bug flew into their pen the other night, and it was quite the excitement.  All twelve of the chicks vied to be the one who would catch this snack.

Among the articles published at WMG this week, we cover these topics throughout the channels.  For ideas on a pet that could round out your family and give your children an opportunity to learn how to care for a living creature, check out this article.  When it is time to do some shopping, consider what your wants and needs really are through some insight here.

Or, you could buy a dozen chicks and discover these lessons in your own home.

 

Spring = Eco-Consciousness?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

With a break in the seemingly nonstop presence of rain, I was able to spend some time outdoors working on flower beds without getting drenched this past Saturday.  Relocating and adding new plants always feels good.  It makes the yard look nicer and gives me pause to consider the environment.  How can we care for our yard in the most beneficial way? We recycle the water from our dehumidifier in our basement and have compost bins in the backyard.  Even the weeds that we pull from our flower and garden beds are recycled as snacks for our chickens.

As I thought about what else we could do as a family to care for the planet, it occurred to me that I tend to think more of the environment in spring.  Although we continue to recycle items, minimize electricity usage, and partake in other eco-friendly activities throughout all seasons, it does seem that spring is when I spend more time considering other options.  Maybe it is the new growth (and elimination of snow), but this time of year seems to be most inspiring.

If you’re like me and are considering new ways to care for Earth, there are some excellent ideas at our eco-friendly publication, Be Green Info.  Some recent ideas of note are ways to make your community more eco-conscious and cleaning ideas that are less harmful.  Both of these articles offer suggestions that are not only beneficial but quite simple to try.

As you enjoy the new colors and growth of spring, don’t forget to care for the planet that provides this beauty.

The Unchosen One?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Last Friday, I spent the evening at the theatre watching Hairspray.  This show has a great formula for entertaining the audience:  catchy music, entertaining dance moves, humorous lines, and a compelling theme.  Another reason I like this musical is that its protagonist isn’t typical; she has an eccentric dad, her family isn’t wealthy, she has a weight issue.  The atypical nature of the protagonist makes her all the more real, just like the rest of us she has her issues but wages her battle with the goal of winning.

The unlikely winner, or “unchosen one”, makes for a great story that is seen across categories.  How many romance novels are sold in which the less than perfect woman wins the love of the dashing leading man?  What about all the movies made that tell the story of the ne’er do well who manages to turn his life around and succeed?  It seems that many of want the underdog to win.

These stories echo throughout daily events.  Just last weekend, there were several the occurred in the world of sports.  In NASCAR, a driver earned his first win in a Sprint Cup Series race.  At the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, a horse with 20-1 odds became the winner.  These are just two of a handful of sporting stories in which the less favored participant wins.

Congratulations to all of those unchosen ones!  You make the events worth watching.

Fitness Not Fads

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Spring is well under way, which means that summer is just around the corner.  As the temperature rises, shirtsleeves switch from long to short to sleeveless, and bottoms go from full-length to capri to shorts.  For many people, the thought of donning less apparel is frightening after a winter of eating hearty meals and engaging in less activity.  What is one to do?

Unfortunately, many people turn to fad diets, miracle foods, or pound shedding devices.  For most of these products, the only thing they will help you to lose is money.  This week, one of our columnists highlighted an energy drink that claims to help with weight loss.  Read her article to learn why this drink won’t help with weight control in the long-term.  Another columnist reviewed a variety of new gadgets, the most interesting of which is supposed to help with firming the abs and thighs.  See why this gadget is deemed useless by our writer.

So, if gadgets, pills, and drinks won’t help, what will?  How about a healthy diet and an exercise routine?  To find the best exercise routine for you, check out our fitness site, My Fitness Tunes.  Whether you want a cardio workout, strength training regimen, or tips on improving your walk, they’re all there.

Summer may be right around the corner.  Get ready to embrace it in a healthy way.

Inspire. Inform. Engage.