Colors of Life

Have you ever REALLY paid attention to the colors that surround you in your every day life? When we truly slow down and notice it is pretty amazing how much color is in the world. I know you may be thinking, “Color? Whatever!” but seriously, take a look…

Laughter…It’s a beautiful thing!

Laughter! We are born with it. It is as natural as breathing and it is healing. Healing? Yes! Just try being still and listening. When you hear laughter, from a stranger or a loved one, you can’t help but smile. The sound of, and the act of, laughing relieves stress and gives joy.

$1.2 million Given By Woman To Help Pets In Need

In Carter County, Tennessee an incredibly generous woman by the name of Glenda Taylor DeLawder loved animals so much that she left $1.2 million to the pets and animals in her local area upon her death.


DeLawder, who passed away in November 2015, was described in her obituary as an “avid animal lover,” and her actions prove that to be an accurate description.

The gift of $1.2 million was announced on Christmas Day 2016 on the Carter County government website. Mayor Leon Humphrey wrote on the government website, “Mrs. DeLawder’s family asked me to share with you that she loved her cats and dogs so very much and wanted her love and care of them to be her everlasting gift.” He continued to explain that Mrs. DeLawder asked that the money be used exclusively to help care for Carter County’s cats and dogs.

For one part of the gift, the administrators of her estate bestowed $540,000 to the Elizabethton Carter County Animal Shelter to expand the dog and cat holding areas and to buy a van to transport pets to off-site adoption events and to take them to spay and neuter clinics. Construction was set to begin on the shelter expansion in early January 2017 and the van is scheduled to arrive by March 1.

Mayor Humphrey wrote. “I think Mrs. DeLawder would be very pleased that her gift will be able to provide for future cats and dogs at the shelter for as long as the shelter exists.”


I, as a fellow animal lover, thank Mrs. DeLawder for her gift to the needy animals. Her gift is a gift that not only touches the animals and helps them have better lives but her story of freely giving and loving the animals touches and inspires so many others.

Not many of us have $1 million dollars that we can donate but there are things that we can do.

  1. Rescue an animal from your local Humane Shelter or Animal Rescue group instead of purchasing one from a dealer.
  2. Volunteer your time to give snuggles, take dogs on walks, play with the cats, clean up cages. Most animal shelters are grossly understaffed and their loving workers welcome the loving hands of volunteers that help them. Not to mention it gives the animals the affection and socialization that they need.
  3. Find out what supplies they are running short on and donate them. Most places need food and cleaning supplies donated regularly. If you can only afford one bag of food to donate then donate one bag of food. That one bag is as appreciated as ten bags. Be sure to contact the shelter, or group, ahead of time and find out what type of food they feed their animals.
  4. ALWAYS spay and neuter your pets.
  5. Donate money to a Spay/Neuter clinic to help pay for procedures that others can not pay for OR if you know of someone who can’t afford the procedure for their pet offer to pay for the procedure for them, or even split the bill. It is  healthier for the pet and it stops the suffering of puppies and kittens that can’t be taken care of or are unwanted.

These are only 5 tips as to what you can do to help the animals in your area but there is so much more. If you are an animal lover get involved and do what you can to make a difference in the lives of the animals in your area.

All an animal needs is to be given a chance to find their forever home and be given unconditional love and affection…and a nice bowl of kibble.





That’s Brilliant!

Have you even seen something that made you think, “That’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?” Well, I have! Check out the following solutions to problems that you didn’t even know needed solving!

Cherry Blossoms Galore!

Who doesn’t love the sight of Cherry Trees in bloom? How about the sight of 8000 Cherry Trees in bloom all at once?

The beautiful pink blossoms act as a crown, of sorts, atop these trees and appear to create a magical canopy for the millions of tourists who visit every spring to walk among the lush landscape that they provide.

In the Eastern Japanese town of Kawazuk spring comes early. The small town, located on the Izu peninsula and just 2 hours, by train, from Tokyo, is famous for their 8000 cherry blossom trees that bloom early every year. The blossoms, known as sakura in Japanese, typically bloom in late March or early April, but Kawazu’s trees belong to a unique variety that flowers in February before the other varieties.


The fragrant blossoms, which usually bloom every February in Kawazu, bloom well ahead of the other Cherry trees throughout Japan.


The beautiful blossoms appear to create a magical canopy for the millions of tourists who visit every spring to walk among the lush landscape that they provide.


Cherry blossoms are highly symbolic and culturally significant in Japan representing the acceptance of karma and destiny, but the eventual welcoming of death.


A small locomotive train takes passengers on a journey through fragrant aromas and gradient shades of pink.



The colorful path that the blooming trees create make a beautiful areal image.


Local birds can be seen feeding on the sweet nectar of the blooms.


Cherry blossoms appear often in Japanese art, and have become an identifying image of the country itself.


At night, the trees are illuminated, and their reflections dance along the waters of the Izu peninsula.





A Village in Ruins

Rio de Janeiro, a city that was full of hope before the 2016 summer Olympics, has had their hopes and dreams dashed and is now in greater despair than ever. The millions of dollars spent on constructing the Olympic Village and Facilities appears to have been lost forever instead of recouped and doubled as hoped during the games. The gamble has thrown Rio even further into debt and poverty.

Not only was it a huge waste of much needed money for a struggling economy, and society, but it was a gross waste of resources as well.  Did you know that the Olympic Golf Course, which cost over 20 million dollars to build, was built on a nature preserve? Now that the damage has been done, the habitats of animals destroyed, the golf course is run down and neglected because they can not afford the upkeep. In fact, the state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a “financial calamity” and is several months behind in paying teachers and public employees partially due to the debt of building the Olympic Park.

The Olympic games ended only 6 months ago but in a series of eerie and depressing photos released last week the 2016 Summer Olympic venues in Rio are shown as filthy, deserted and falling apart. The vandalism alone has destroyed much.

The Olympic Venue in Rio seemed to be doomed from the very beginning with multiple problems plaguing the building of the Village. A village that now sits as a ghost town of sorts instead of bringing in money through tourism.


The Olympic Venue sitting like a ghost town abandoned and neglected. Don’t you think that there should be plans before the building process  begins as to what to do with such a place after the Olympic Games leave? There should always be a plan in place to continue to use the venue to benefit, and bring money, into the area.


Beautiful translucent tapestries created by Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao, fall from the exterior of the aquatics center as a combination of mud, rainwater and dead insects have contributed to the rust color of the water in a practice pool.


The world famous Maracana Stadium, which is said to be Rio’s crown jewel has fallen into a state of abandonment and has been closed to tourists due to a dispute between the stadium operators, the Rio state government, and Olympic organizers over $1m in unpaid electricity bills and management of the venue.


In 6 short months the stadium has brown sod and has suffered greatly from vandalism.


Seats have needlessly been pried from the stands of the Maracana Stadium and thrown in a huge pile.


Another scene from inside the once beautiful Olympic stadium.


The Media Center was recently demolished and is now a health hazard. Why would they build it only to destroy it 6 months later?


The demolition of the Media Center left a tremendous amount of trash.


The multi-million dollar Olympic golf course that was built on a nature reserve. It is now a strong possibility that this too will be abandoned as it costs nearly $100,000 a month to take care of.