Saturday, February 13, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 13, 2016

“Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for.”

Let’s say we put our wish out there to the Universe or Greater Power and believe it has been received and understood and that a process has begun in making it a reality for us. I believe that, perhaps in order for us to truly appreciate and value the end result, we may have lessons to learn beforehand. Now these lessons may not be easy for us and we may struggle to understand or comprehend what they could possibly teach us, but we need to trust that they are for our own good and will ensure that, when our wish is realized, we are in the right place mentally, physically and spiritually to truly appreciate it.


The End of Solitude

Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone. Today's young people seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to lack a sense of their own depths, and of the value of keeping them hidden. So we live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 12, 2016

“I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.”

Sometimes our dreams and aspirations seem so distant that we may feel we will never see them realized. However, at least we have a purpose in having something to aim for which, let’s face it, is better than having nothing to look forward to achieving in the future. Even if it feels as though we’ll never get there and perhaps wonder if it’s worth it, remember time never stands still so every single second, minute, hour and day that passes gets us just that bit closer to where we want to be. Never give up and remember the saying “All good things come to those who wait.”


Reclaiming the Lost Art of Walking

"There is something about the pace of walking and the pace of thinking that goes together. Walking requires a certain amount of attention but it leaves great parts of the time open to thinking. I do believe once you get the blood flowing through the brain it does start working more creatively," says Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking.  "Your senses are sharpened. As a writer, I also use it as a form of problem solving. I'm far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and 'thinking'." This BBC article explores and extols the forgotten virtues of walking.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Four Ways To Be In Love With Your Relationship In The Present Moment

We all know that Happily Ever After doesn’t always pan out. Tinderella and Prince don’t always ride off into the sunset, either, but that doesn’t mean it was a complete failure.

Many times people come into our lives for a moment of time to help us grow and expand; then their purpose is done.

Unfortunately we often get so caught up in obsessive planning for the future of “what if’s” and the “might be’s”, that we miss the magic of the moment. Which essentially is all that really exists.
What about this…Happily Ever Now.

Being present with your partner means dropping all of the wondering and worrying about whether this relationship will or will not last, and instead appreciating the fact that this person is actually here, now, standing right smack in front of us.

The art of being in love in the present moment, takes a bit of cultivation, a slowing down, and a bit of mindfulness.

Here are 4 powerful ways to get your relationship back to the here and now.

Pinch Yourself: Be grateful that in this moment you are together, notice who they are and how they contribute to your life. Take time to appreciate their strengths, their flaws, their attractive qualities, and their shortcomings.

Let it Happen: If you have just met, allow your love story to organically tell itself. Stop trying to force the relationship into the next level without enjoying the stage you are in together now.

Avoid Social Media: When you partner is trying to connect with you…limit your attention to social media. Leave the phone in the car during date night; shut the computer down when the sun goes down so that you can be present and available for some evening magic!

Be Authentic: Take time to authentically communicate with your partner about how you feel, especially when something is on your mind. Take a risk and allow yourself to be vulnerable by communicating without blame or judgment, your true needs and wants.
Happily Ever Now is quite a magical place to be. Simply be present and learn to relax about the future. Fairy tales can and do come true, but who wants to get to “The End” that fast anyway?

Dozens of Fun, Yet Frugal, Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and for many of us it means spending big bucks on dinners, flowers, and gifts. You may find yourself asking if this is really the best way to celebrate your love for one another. Good news! It doesn’t have to be. There are many fulfilling ways to celebrate the holiday of love that won’t drain your pocketbook, but still bring you and your sweetie a slice of happiness. Here are just a few ideas:

Romantic Movie Marathon: Create a cozy nook with some pillows, a couple of cozy blankets, your favorite sweets and snacks and a selection of the most romantic movies from every era, think Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Titanic, When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman. Make it a sleepover in front of the TV to go all out. You’ll fall in love all over again!

Go Dancing: There’s nothing sexier than dancing together, whether that’s in your living room or heading out to a local club where you can salsa or ballroom dance to your heart’s content. Never danced before? Many dance studios will give you a free introductory lesson.

DIY Gifts: A wonderful way to make your V-day gift extra special is to do this homemade. Does he have a favorite football team? Bake him a batch of football shaped cookies decorated in his team’s colors. Try enlarging a photo of you two and buy a frame at local craft store (or make your own). There are so many options from DIY personalized pottery to beer making, your sweetheart will appreciate the effort you put in to make your gift truly personal.

Relive Your First Date: Whether your first date was a long time ago or just a couple of years, try and recreate your first date from the very beginning. Did he pick you up? If so, have him pick you up for your date even if it’s at your shared home. Did you attend a high school basketball game together? See if you can catch one together at the local high school (they’re either free or only cost a couple of bucks). If your first date was a movie, catch a matinee together (they’re cheaper than evening movies)–or rent the movie you saw together. Maybe you went roller skating? That’s right, pay for your skate rentals and go have a laugh like you haven’t had in awhile. Just don’t break anything!

Winter Romance: Go sledding, skating, snow tubing, snow shoeing, ice fishing, or simply go on a snow hike or build a snowman together. The point is you’re together and enjoying some outdoor fun. Cap it off with cups of hot cocoa and a game of scrabble in front of the fireplace.
Eat Out at Home: Make your favorite meal together and decorate your dining room as if you’re in a high end restaurant, complete with white table cloth and napkins– and deck out the place in a plethora of candles. Throw on some Frank Sinatra and no 5-star restaurant could compete. A fun twist on this is to come up with a dinner theme (Italian, French, etc.), adapt the menu, wine served, music, accordingly.

Host an Indoor Picnic: For most people Valentine’s Day brings cold weather so an outdoor picnic is not an option. But you can have a little Valentine’s picnic indoors instead for a fun twist. Make a yummy picnic-type lunch or dinner complete with picnic basket, blanket and wine, of course. Have a fireplace? Even better! No matter what it will make for an interesting and inexpensive date and you won’t get any bug bites.

Create Your Own City Tour by Car: Drop the kids off at grandma’s house, grab a Starbuck’s and bring along your favorite or romantic music. Then treat yourselves to a little tour of your city. Drive by historical sights, visit your favorite neighborhoods, find homes you both love and swing by your childhood home or the spot of your first date, if possible. If you have Sirius radio or old CDs you can play your favorite shared songs from different times in your relationship. Cap off the night with a trip to the ice cream shop or grab a dessert to share a favorite restaurant.

Enjoy a Night of Your City’s Freebies: Most cities offer a multitude of free fun that you may not even know about. Do a little research and plan to tap into a few of them. Enjoy a carefree and inexpensive evening of karaoke, darts, pool or trivia night at your local pub. Challenge each other at Monopoly at a board game cafe, check out a free improv night of up and coming talent, take a free yoga class, go to a local jazz club or find a movie or concert in the park.

Cheap Couple Activities: There are so many fun activities people want to try but never seem to have or make the time for. This Valentine’s Day just might be the perfect time! Think mini golf, geocaching, bumper cars, painting pottery, indoor rock climbing, paintball, kite flying, ferry rides, wine tastings at a winery, indoor swimming, sand castle building, or video games at an arcade. The possibilities are endless–and if you’ve been together a while, it will be good for your relationship to break out of the “same old” routine and enjoy each other in a different environment from the local restaurant or bar hangout.

Game On: A little healthy competition is good for any couple. Make V-day a game night. Think Jenga, Scrabble (add in a V-day twist by only allowing sexy or romantic words), the Newlywed game. This is also a great option for a double date.

Celebrate with Your Kids: Whether by choice or default, you may end up spending Valentine’s Day with your kids so make the most of it. Make dinner at home or order heart shaped pizzas. Encourage your kids to dress-up, wear an apron and pretend to be the waitstaff at the “Chez Family” restaurant. Let them pour water in glasses, take orders and bring your food to the table. They’ll have a blast and be entertained while you and your partner get to sit back and let the kids take care of you. If you can swing it, have them do the dishes.

Instead of Evicting City Farmers From His New Land, Owner Sows Amazing Goodwill

Even though they had been using land that didn’t belong to them, a handful of elderly urban farmers must have been cultivating a crop of goodwill –because they harvested a gift of 8 acres of new land.

Real estate developer Bob Clark of Clayco, Inc., whenever he drove by on the highway, had always been fascinated to see the urban farmers work a stretch of land near the airport in St. Louis, Missouri. When his company bought the land out from under them, Clark found a way they could keep farming.

The men, mostly in their seventies, always knew they’d have to give up the land.
About two dozen construction and factory workers had been growing beans, tomatoes, okra, and other crops there for 35 years. What started as an amusement, turned into a money saving source of nutrition for their families as they retired.

The Airport Authority, which owned the land until 2006, had let them stay, and even gave them water for their crops because they kept tidy the nine acres — saving the airport about $60,000 in mowing costs every year.

When the airport sold the land to become part of a massive real estate development, the farmers were ready to pack away their plows. That’s when Clark stepped in with other plans.

Rare Wildflower Superbloom Paints Death Valley in Brilliant Color (VIDEO)

Death Valley is coming alive with a rare, once in a decade, “superbloom” — where millions of wildflowers burst into full color all at once.

Park Ranger Alan Van Valkenburg calls it “beyond all your expectations.”

He’s lived in Death Valley National Park for 25 years and says flowers are almost always blooming somewhere in the park. But superblooms are rare and brief when they do happen.

Millions of seeds may lie buried in the park’s soil for years, adding up for a massive crop of wildflowers. When the weather conditions are just right, they all begin to sprout at the same time, spreading across the gray and brown desert in waves of brilliant colors.

The Park Service believes it’s happening right now and Van Valkenburg calls it a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for visitors to see a superbloom.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 11, 2016

“Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth “You owe me!” Look what happens with a love like that…it lights the whole sky.”

Love should be unselfish shouldn’t it? When we love someone totally, with all our heart, our very being, we think of them and their best interests before ourselves. Totally unselfishly! In that way we too are like the Sun because we give our love freely, willingly, without a thought for what we will get in return. It is enough for us to know that we are capable of giving so much because, in our eyes, the focus of our love is deserving of it and the gifting gives us joy too. Their happiness is our happiness and this love lights up the whole sky and indeed the whole world for us.


Indiana Jones Meets Florence Nightingale

"One night I was driving home from a sales conference and I went blind -- I later learned it was stress blindness. I managed to pull over to the hard shoulder of the motorway. All the while I was thinking, 'My life is over; I will never see my kids again'. I promised myself then that if my sight came back, I would find my purpose. I was very lucky, and my sight did return...And then I started to work out what I really wanted to do with my life." Meet Linda Cruse, the woman who has been described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Florence Nightingale, and who is uplifting communities all across the globe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Scientists Develop IQ Test for Dogs

How smart is your dog? Researchers have created a test to answer that question.

In a study published in February in the journal Intelligence, scientists Rosalind Arden and Mark Adam tested the intelligence of 68 border collies from working farms in Wales. They found that, like humans, dogs that did well on one test tended to do well on others. It’s the first time that this similarity between human and canine intelligence has been demonstrated, and suggests the test can also be used to accurately gauge dog smarts in the future. The researchers also noted that the more quickly a dog responded to prompts in a test, the more accurate the dog’s responses tended to be. 

These finding are “consistent with the prediction made by the many experts in the ‘dog world’—trainers, veterinarians, members of dog societies, and farmers—who were consulted in the early stages of this study,” the authors write. “Those experts said that in their experience some dogs were more likely to catch on, learn and solve problems more quickly than others,” which the study confirmed.

The paper argues that a better measure of smarts in “other species will constitute a major advance in understanding the evolution of intelligence.” Particularly since dogs don’t engage in human behaviors like drinking and smoking and aren’t generally affected by socio-economic factors in the same way as humans (all of which can affect IQ), they represent a good model for understanding the link between genetics and intelligence, the researchers note.

To evaluate the animals’ intelligence, they gave them a number of tests, which included such tasks as choosing which of two plates had a larger portion of food and navigating a maze-like entryway to figure out how best to reach a treat hidden behind a barrier.

Cancer Took His Wife. Now He's CEO Of One Of The Most Audacious Cancer Startups In Years

Jeff Huber, who helped lead the development of Google’s ad software and its iconic maps application will be the chief executive of Grail, a startup that raised $100 million last month to create a blood test to detect cancer early, when it is treatable.

His reasons are scientific, but also personal. On November 10, Huber’s wife Laura, died of colon cancer. She left behind two children, ages 12 and 14. “That’s a big part of why I’m taking this up,” Huber says.

Before Laura became sick, Huber was already turning his focus toward biology. He missed the energy of his early days at Google GOOGL +2.09%, the early days of ads, of Google Apps, of Google Maps. Rather than jumping back into building a big system at Google, it felt to him that biology was going through a “phase change,” like the transition from analog to digital. The ability to get huge amounts of data–like DNA sequence–would allow researchers to understand complex biological systems. And he had the expertise to help with that revolution.

He joined the board of directors at Illumina ILMN +2.44%, the company that has pushed forward dramatic increase in scientists’ ability to read DNA code. He focused his own projects on life science.
Then cancer crept up on Laura. She was 46, super-healthy, super-fit and full of energy. She had no family history of cancer. She felt her energy ebb, he says, and at first the doctor just told her she was going through menopause. But the diagnosis didn’t seem to fit, and they decided on more tests. And endoscopy and colonoscopy were expected to turn up irritable bowel syndrome, or perhaps, at worst, Crohn’s disease, the inflammatory bowel disorder.

Instead, they found a two-centimeter colorectal cancer tumor. Still, the news seemed good. The tumor was small, and the chances that surgery would cure her seemed high. But before performing surgery, doctors did a standard test: they gave her a bit of radioactive glucose. Cancer loves glucose, the body’s main form of sugar, and as a result the radioactive form makes tumors light up on a PET scan. Laura had cancer in her liver, throughout her abdomen, through her chest, and all they way up to her neck.
They attacked the cancer with every drug they could, all sorts of chemotherapy and, toward the end, new drugs that boost the immune system. “By the time she was diagnosed, by the time she was in treatment, the cancer had spread extensively, was attacking other systems in the body, had evolved further and it was just too aggressive,” Huber says. Laura died three months ago today.

As his family had its personal battle with cancer, Huber had been watching a new idea for fighting the disease take root from his board seat at Illumina. The company had been looking for new uses for its DNA sequencing machines, and its scientists thought that they had found clues that they could detect cancer early with a blood test.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 10, 2016

“When life puts you in tough situations don’t say “Why me?” just say “Try me!”

There are times when all of us are faced with difficult situations and I guess we have two choices. We can either, feel sorry for ourselves and go into total “poor me” mode, or we can “man…or woman up” and think of ways to resolve whatever it is. Perhaps the tough situations presented to us are life’s way of testing us, just to see how we cope and hopefully overcome our difficulties. It would then be to our credit to adopt a brave, confident outlook and deal with them.


What If Schools Taught Kindness?

"The school environment can be very stressful; in addition to any issues they bring from home, many students struggle to make friends and perform well in class. Being excluded, ignored, or teased is very painful for a young child, and we thought it could be impactful to teach empathy and compassion. When other kids are suffering-- like that boy who split his chin-- can we understand how they might be feeling? Kindness bridges those gaps and helps build a sense of connection among the students, the teachers, and even the parents. Learning to strengthen their attention and regulate their emotions are foundational skills that could benefit kids in school and throughout their whole lives."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ten Do-It-Yourself Valentine’s Day Card Ideas

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and stores all across the United States have stocked their shelves with pink and red cards, chocolates, flowers and teddy bears. Whoever your Valentine is this year—whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, best friend, mom or dad—below are some creative homemade Valentine’s Day card ideas that are sure to impress.

Chipotle to Invest Up to $10 Million to Help Suppliers Grow Safer Food

Chipotle will spend up to $10 million on an initiative to help its smaller suppliers produce safer meat and vegetables, company founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells said.

Ells made the announcement during Chipotle's companywide meeting Monday morning, parts of which were broadcast on live video streaming service Periscope.

The money will be used to provide help with education and the implementation of Chipotle's new food safety standards, he said. Those new standards include DNA testing on all ingredients before they are shipped to restaurants.

"It's important for us to support small and medium-sized farmers whenever we can. However, it may be difficult for some of our small suppliers to meet our new food safety standards," Ells said.

Chipotle restaurants nationwide were closed until 3 p.m. in local time zones for the meeting, where executives talked to staff about food safety outbreaks, including cases of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus that have hit Chipotle in the last several months. Stores typically open at 11 a.m.

Chipotle offered a coupon for a free burrito, bowl, salad or tacos to those who went for lunch on Monday when the restaurants were closed.

Daily Inspirational Quote - February 9, 2016

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

My wonderful Scottish Grannie had a favorite saying, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” It’s my mantra for life. I am such a great believer in always asking for what you want, because if you never ask, how will you know if you would have got it? If you know what I mean? Usually, when we put our request “out there” we consign it to the ether and, if nothing happens in the following five minutes, (for us impatient souls), we tend to push it to the back of our minds as day to day matters take over. I believe that every time we remember our wish it gives it a little push nearer to becoming reality.


The Anatomy of Gratitude

Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk, teacher and author, speaks with Krista Tippett about gratitude -- a practice increasingly recognized as a key to human well-being. An early pioneer, along with Thomas Merton, of dialogue between Christian and Buddhist monastics, he sees mysticism as the birthright of every human being. And his anatomy of gratitude is full-blooded, reality-based, and redeeming.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Using Tarot for Love and Romance

by Barbara Moore

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Valentine's Day is approaching, so naturally our minds turn to love, romance, and fun. Using tarot for love is not unique; in fact, love is probably the most asked about topic in readings (closely followed by questions about money/career). Finding spreads for almost any aspect of love is as easy as typing "tarot spreads love" into Google. Traditional readings are a tried and true method of using the cards to get advice about relationships, but there are other ways of using the cards...

Astrology: Meeting the Challenge of Relationships

by Noel Tyl

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Sooner or later, every one of us becomes aware that we cannot exist alone. It is hostile to the human condition: we can't procreate, we can't really know ourselves; we can't get on with life without the cooperation of others. Indeed, no person is an island.

We are taught and groomed to marry; to do otherwise is off the path. There must be something wrong with that person who is not in a relationship. It's no wonder that astrologers see clients continuously who have intense concerns and questions about relationship, that state of living deemed mandatory by society but for which little specific instruction is given for fulfillment. It is extremely difficult to relate to another, to live happily ever. In days past (but still practiced in some cultures), marriages were arranged. People were put into relationship to fulfill societal and family benefits. The marriage unit was more important than the individual growing into his or her potential.

Candle Rites to Brighten Your Relationships

by Janina Renée

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

In Ghana, they say, “It is better to bring luck than to be handsome.” In America, we don’t often think about bringing luck to our friends and loved ones; however, something we can do to spread blessings and good feelings is treat them to simple rituals. My book, By Candlelight: Rites for Celebration, Blessing & Prayer, is concerned not just with the ways candle lighting provides reassurance and spiritual connection for solitary practitioners, but also how candle rites can be performed to benefit other people—often in front of other people. For example, if you get together with a certain group of friends, you can create memories by bringing out a candle—perhaps some whimsical novelty candle—and lighting it as you say the Rite for Friendship and Fellowship,

"… for good times past,
and good times to be.
Let its festive illumination
light up our celebration
of good times shared."

People enjoy it when you take the initiative and perform a ritual for them, because it’s a genuine luxury. They especially appreciate it ...

Daily Inspirational Quote – February 8, 2016

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Attitude is wonderful isn’t it? If we have a good attitude we are positive, ready to enjoy and cope with whatever the day presents us with, the people we encounter, the situations we find ourselves in. Like a cloak of invincibility we wear with confidence. However, a bad attitude on the other hand, tends to repel people, show us in a bad light, and generally work against us in getting what we want. Our attitude is what most people meeting us, perhaps for the first time, notice and react to. Much, much better to have a good attitude than the alternative, don’t you think?


"Our emotional life maps our incompleteness, philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote in her luminous letter of advice to the young. A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. Anger, indeed, is one of the emotions we judge most harshly in others, as well as in ourselves and yet understanding anger is central to mapping out the landscape of our interior lives." Here the English poet and philosopher David Whyte explores the themes of anger, forgiveness and the true nature of maturity.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Highly Radioactive Leak Found At N.Y. Nuclear Plant

There has been a history of groundwater contamination at Indian Point; Gov. Cuomo says "latest failure" is "unacceptable".

BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for an investigation after an apparent overflow at the Indian Point nuclear power plant spilled highly radioactive water into an underground monitoring well, but nuclear regulators said the public isn't at risk.

Officials at Indian Point in Buchanan reported on Friday that water contaminated by tritium leaked into the groundwater under the facility.

The contamination has remained contained to the site, said Cuomo, who ordered the state's environmental conservation and health departments to investigate.

"Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat," Cuomo said Saturday in a statement, according to CBS New York. "This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable and I have directed Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health."

Sally The Long-Lived Orangutan Dead At 48

DENVER - Sally, an orangutan at the Denver Zoo, died on Sunday. She was 48 years old.

CBS Denver reports that Sally, a Sumatran orangutan, lived at the Denver Zoo for nearly 20 years.
She had a history of fibroid growths in her abdomen that caused her great discomfort and constipation. Zoo keepers had watched a significant decline in her condition in the past few weeks. Since they were unable to treat her further, the zoo's animal care and veterinary teams decided to euthanize her on Sunday.

The median life span of a Sumatran orangutans in zoos is 28.2 years.

"Sally was the matriarch of our great apes and was a cherished member of our Zoo family for two decades," says Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Care Hollie Colahan in a statement. "Unfortunately, she had a condition that was causing her pain that she just couldn't heal from and we never want an animal to suffer. She will be missed terribly."

99-Year-Old Woman Wakes Up To Exotic Animal On Her Chest

MIAMI -- A 99-year-old woman in Miami-Dade woke up to quite the surprise on Tuesday -- an exotic animal sleeping on her chest.

CBS Miami reports that the animal is usually found in the rain forests of Central and South America, but somehow made its way into a southwest Miami-Dade home.

The animal is a kinkajou, which looks like a monkey, but is actually in the raccoon family.

"The lady is sound asleep and she feels something on her chest and she slowly wakes up, and realizes that there's an animal curled up sleeping on her chest," said veterinarian Don Harris to CBS Miami. "I don't know, I guess her first impression was it might be a cat, but when they both got a look at each other, they both freaked out. The lady screamed, the kinkajou went into her attic."

Daily Inspirational Quote – February 7, 2016

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.”

Very true. If we don’t love ourselves and don’t value what makes and shapes us and our beliefs, then why should anybody else? Like a little pot plant where we are the seed, the root, the stem growing upwards, we are nourished in the earth (love) surrounding us so we push upwards, growing and striving towards the light. Our self-love continues to nourish and encourage us so we sprout leaves and branches representing the people, the situations, the choices we make, in life. This all stemmed from, and also only became possible, by the nourishment of earth/love for ourselves. How powerful are we?


Waging Life in a War Zone

"From the stones of the destruction we will build plant basins to grow flowers." It started with one man's efforts to beautify his home with paint and flowers, but the initiative spread as neighbors came forward to spread the beauty. Using salvaged and recycled material, with some funding from a local and U.S. nonprofit, the densely populated neighborhood of al-Zaitoun in Gaza City, Palestine, is awash in color, murals, and flowers, bringing some much-needed comfort to an area besieged with war and destruction.