Category Archives: Animal Issues

Worcester news you can use … and more!πŸ˜‰

First!😘

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HATE HAS NO HOME HERE! WORCESTER COUNTY PROJECT

Hate Has No Home Here Worcester County promotes just and inclusive communities to be safe places where everyone is welcome and valued.

All are invited to our Sign Sale

SATURDAY AUGUST 5πŸ’™
10 AM – NOON❀
HOLDEN TOWN HALL LAWN 🎡
1196 MAIN ST.

PROCLAIM THAT YOUR COMMUNITY IS JUST, INCLUSIVE AND WELCOMES ALL!πŸ’š

JOIN US for SIGN SALE/DISTRIBUTION
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Lawn Sign: $6 each, 2 for $10.πŸ˜ƒ

Posters: $2 eachπŸ˜„

Cash & Checks accepted🎁

FREE SIGNS TO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

Sponsored by the Holden Democratic Town Committee.

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All Central Africans and Friends are invited to attend …

The Annual Gathering of ACAR

The Association of Central African Republic Families Living in the USA and Canada

July 29 and 30

At Worcester State University

***To attend, you must RSVP by calling Desire at (774) 386‐4225 to reserve your room

Saint Cyr Dimanche
Undergraduate Student
Castle Senator of Brandeis Student Union
at Brandeis University
Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Alumni
Students Rising Above Class of 2015
mailto:sdimanche@brandeis.edu

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Guess who!πŸ˜‰

Family Health Center of Worcester
26 Queen Street …

… presents The 2017 Neighborhood Health Fair

FREE TO ALL!

Friday, August 11

11 a.m. β€” 3 p.m.

Featuring the Boston Red Sox Showcase!

Come celebrate health and wellness with friends, neighbors and community organizations!

Games!🌺

Raffles!🌻

Prizes!😘

Healthy snacks!❀

Family-friendly fun for all ages!🎡

Join us for this FREE event at 26 Queen St. – West Parking Lot (near King St. entrance)

Parking is limited. Please consider using public transportation or walking to the health fair.

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KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER

Adcare Family and Friends Informational and Support Programs

Free to all!

Family and Friends Informational Program AdCare Worcester Outpatient 95 Lincoln Street

4th Wednesday of the Month at 6 PM

Family and Friends Support Group at AdCare Hospital – every Thursday at 6:30 PM

Family and Friends Informational Program at AdCare Outpatient Worcester
4th Wednesday of the Month at 6 PM*
2017* January 25 February 22 March 22 April 26 May 24 June 28 July 26 August 23 September 27 October 25 November 22 December 27

AdCare’s complimentary Family Programs are designed to educate loved ones about substance use and provide support for family members. Family Programs are open to anyone concerned with the substance use of a family member or friend.

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Save the Date!

Toxic Stress and its Impact on Youth:
Creating Healthy Environments to Foster Social and Emotional Learning

Please Join Us for a Presentation
by Joel Ristuccia Lesley University and the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative

Monday, September 18

8 am to 10 am🐣

Worcester Technical High School
Skyline Drive, Worcester

THIS EVENT IS FREEπŸ’™πŸ’™

This event is in being held in conjunction with WorcesterHEARS (Healthy Environments and Resilience in Schools), a joint project between The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, the Worcester Public Schools, the Worcester Education Collaborative, and other partners.

Joe is a dynamic and informative speaker whose presentation will be most interesting to youth workers and others with an interest in the lives of young people.

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From our Green Hill neighbors …

JOIN US FOR OUR 5TH ANNUAL
COMMUNITY PICNIC!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 5

1 pm – 4 pm

(RAIN date: August 6 at the same time)

Grant Square Park, corner of Windsor and
Northampton Street, off Lincoln Street

FREE FOOD, FUN FOR KIDS, MUSIC, RAFFLES
AGENCY TABLES, FIRE TRUCK and WPD HORSES

INFO: debrabolz@charter.net and winifred.octave@yahoo.com

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And FYI …

From the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester: Our kids need your help this summer! … and … BIG, FUN, FAMILY-FRIENDLY art in Elm Park! … Vox videos!❀ … a tune … and more!🍎

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Dear Friend,

Our summer program is off to a great start, and there are still five weeks to go!

During this critical out-of-school period, we strive to provide our kids with plenty of field trips so they are able to explore areas outside our Club.

We need your help: Sponsoring one of our field trips means providing our kids with learning experiences that will help their social and academic growth, and will open their eyes to endless possibilities.

In addition, we are offering a new opportunity for our teens this summer: Driver’s Ed. The in-class course is FREE for our teens (must be at least 16 years old) and is an essential tool in their growing independence.

We still, however, need to raise $600 per teen so they can receive the road lessons to complete their license test.

Many of our members can’t afford the road lesson fee, but need their license in order to gain after school employment so they can help provide for themselves and their families. 80% of our youth live at or below the poverty line, making life experiences such as field trips and driver’s ed out of their financial reach.

If you’re interested in sponsoring one of these crucial summer programs, please feel free to contact us at your convenience … lhamilton@bgcworcester.org.

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Boys & Girls Club of Worcester: The Golf Classic!

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Dear Friends,

You’re invited to an exciting new event benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester: The Golf Classic presented by The Pullman Brothers Family Foundation and the Worcester Police Department!

The tournament is taking place on Thursday, August 17, at Wachusett Country Club.

Registration opens at 8 a.m., and shotgun starts at 9 a.m.

Proceeds from this event will go towards our outdoor recreation program.

We are incredibly appreciative of these two great organizations for hosting their golf tournament in honor of our Club and kids. Our outdoor recreation programs are growing by the day thanks to the support of our friends.

In Partnership,

Liz Hamilton, Executive Director

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VISIT ELM PARK!πŸ’š

This summer VISIT ELM PARK to enjoy the ART! Sculptures abound in this magical, mystical urban paradise! (Can you tell we love Elm Park?!πŸ’™)

A teaser!! … So many more BIG, touchable, fun sculptures for you to Find in Elm Park!🌻🌻🌻

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pics: R.T.

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Go, Edith Morgan, go!!

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🍎FYI:

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Visit Unique Finds for … UniqueπŸ’šπŸ’š FindsπŸ’šπŸ’š

Unique Finds Antique and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St.

Open Mon – Sat, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Rose’s Unique Finds Christmas Elvis purse hangin’ around at her shack! Just so she can look at it and smile! Thx for the 🎁, Sue and Ron!πŸ’

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FRIDAY – JULY 21πŸ“Congressman McGovern Kicks Off Summer Meals🍌🍎 Tour for Low-Income Students in Central and Western Mass

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pics: J.C.

This Friday, July 21, Congressman Jim McGovern is kicking off his fourth annual Summer Food Rocks Tour to highlight USDA’s national Summer Food Service Program and how it helps ensure that low-income students in Massachusetts do not go hungry during the summer months when school is out of session.

This Friday’s tour includes visits to schools and summer meals sites in Worcester, Leominster, Athol and Greenfield.

As part of Congressman McGovern’s fourth annual tour, this Friday he will lead roundtable discussions with state and local leaders to talk about how the summer food program helps communities in need and visit summer meals sites across the region.

Leaders joining Congressman McGovern’s tour include:

Β· State Senator Mike Moore (Worcester)
Β· State Rep. Natalie Higgins (Leominster)
Β· State Rep. Jim O’Day (Worcester) … Rob Leshin, Director of the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs MA ESE
Β· Ellen Nylen, Food Service Director for Webster Public Schools
Β· Siobhan O’Riordan and Eddie Ortega, USDA Northeast Regional Office
Β· Irene Sedlacko, Special Nutrition Programs Coordinator at MA ESE

The USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

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This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.

Friday’s tour:

8:50 AM – 9:20 AM in LEOMINSTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern and local school and community leaders
WHAT: Congressman Assists With Breakfast Service to Students
WHERE: Spanish American Center, 24 State Street, Leominster

10 AM – 11 AM in ATHOL

WHO: Rep. McGovern; Heather Bialecki-Canning, Executive Director for North Quabbin Community Coalition; Lisa Damon, Western Mass Director for Mass Farm to School; …
WHAT: Congressman Hosts Roundtable on Improving Summer Meals Access for Rural Communities
WHERE: Athol Community Elementary School, 1064 Pleasant Street, Athol

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM in GREENFIELD

WHO: Congressman McGovern; State Rep. Paul Mark and local school and community leaders
WHAT: Congressman Assists With Lunch Service to Students
WHERE: Oaks Court, 1 Elm Terrace, Greenfield

2 PM – 2:30 PM in WORCESTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern and local school and community leaders.

WHAT: Congressman Assists with Lunch Service to Students

WHERE: Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, 65 Tainter St., Worcester

3 PM – 4 PM in WORCESTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern and local school and community leaders.

WHAT: Congressman Hosts Roundtable on Helping Summer Meals Programs Reach Teen Students

WHERE: Shine (Vernon Hill) Pool, 184 Providence St., Worcester

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pic: R.T.

4:10 PM – 5 PM in WORCESTER

WHO: Congressman McGovern and local school and community leaders.
WHAT: Congressman Assists With Meal Service to Students
WHERE: Shine (Vernon Hill) Pool, 184 Providence St., Worcester

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Go, Jim, go!!πŸ’›

Congressman McGovern: GOP Budget Hurts Millions of Working Families with Cuts to Hunger Programs

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Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Nutrition Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at today’s hearing entitled, The Next Farm Bill: Pathways to Success for SNAP Households.

Congressman McGovern criticized House Republicans for their budget’s $10 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of families put food on the table every year.

β€œI know it’s become convenient for some to look at SNAP as an ATM machine to pay for other things, but SNAP is a vital, important program that millions of families rely on to put food on the table. And it’s not a particularly generous benefit. The average benefit is about $1.40 per person per meal. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that. That’s why many SNAP recipients end up at food banks at the end of the month.

β€œYes, we need to figure out ways to help get people to be secure and have a job. We’re all for work. But understand one thing – 67 percent of the people on this program are not expected to work or cannot work. They’re children. They’re senior citizens. They’re people who are disabled.

β€œOf those who can work, a majority work. And let’s get that on the record. I’m tired of the perception that everyone on SNAP is lazy or doesn’t want to work. The fact is, the majority of them that are able to, do work. If we’re talking about how we can help transition people who can work into the workforce, we need to understand that you don’t do it by cutting the program by $10 billion. When we talk about things like β€˜the cliff,’ it’s not just SNAP. It includes things like housing, it includes daycare.

β€œBeing poor in this country is hard work. And I would like to think that we would recognize that. And this budget that was unveiled today, does not. And by the way, not only are there cuts in SNAP, we see cuts in things like Pell grants. You want children of SNAP families to be able to have a future? One thing you don’t do is cut their education benefits.

β€œIf this is the budget and this is what we’re going to see in the Farm Bill, a cut of $10 billion, then I predict right here and now that we will not have a Farm Bill. And I will certainly do everything I can to kill a Farm Bill that has a $10 billion cut in it.”

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

β€œThis is our 23rd hearing on SNAP. And I just read the Republican budget, where there is a proposal out there for a $10 billion cut in SNAP. Ten billion dollars.

β€œIn the last Farm Bill, there were savings of $104 billion and $92 billion came from SNAP. I know it’s become convenient for some to look at SNAP as an ATM machine to pay for other things, but SNAP is a vital, important program that millions of families rely on to put food on the table. And it’s not a particularly generous benefit.

β€œThe average benefit is about $1.40 per person per meal. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee for that. That’s why many SNAP recipients end up at food banks at the end of the month.

β€œYes, we need to figure out ways to help get people to be secure and have a job. We’re all for work. But understand one thing – 67 percent of the people on this program are not expected to work or cannot work. They’re children. They’re senior citizens. They’re people who are disabled.

β€œOf those who can work, a majority work. And let’s get that on the record. I’m tired of the perception that everyone on SNAP is lazy or doesn’t want to work. The fact is, the majority of them that are able to, do work. The question is, why do they earn such low wages? Why does work pay so little in this country?

β€œOf those who are not working, who we believe are able to work, we need to explore this population. This able-bodied adults without dependents policy – where if you don’t have a job within three months, or you don’t have a work training program, you lose your benefits for three years. Well, that population is complicated. And I’ve come to understand that in that population, there are the chronically homeless, the people who can’t read, we include kids who are aging out of foster care, we have people with undiagnosed mental illnesses, and now a lot of veterans are falling into that category.

β€œI’d like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record an article that appeared in the Washington Post, on May 22, that talks about one Navy veteran who was thrown off the benefit because he couldn’t get work within the prescribed period of time, who was living off of squirrels that he was skinning and eating. That was his only source of food because he lost his SNAP benefit.

β€œI point this out because, if we’re talking about how we can help transition people who can work into the workforce, we need to understand that you don’t do it by cutting the program by 10 billion dollars. When we talk about things like “the cliff,” it’s not just SNAP. It includes things like housing, it includes daycare, it includes a lot of things that are not part of what this committee has jurisdiction over.

β€œThe perception in Washington about SNAP and about those who receive the benefit does not reflect the reality. And yeah, we can find people that abuse the program, I’m sure. And I’m sure we can find people that ought to be in a job and are not, but the vast majority of people in this program, I think, would prefer not to be. Being poor in this country is hard work. And I would like to think that we would recognize that. And this budget that was unveiled today, does not. And by the way, not only are there cuts in SNAP, we see cuts in things like Pell grants. You want children of SNAP families to be able to have a future? One thing you don’t do is cut their education benefits.

β€œI appreciate the chair’s indulgence, but I am really angry at this budget. I will just say one final thing. If this is the budget and this is what we’re going to see in the Farm Bill, a cut of 10 billion dollars – I think that may even be a floor, not a ceiling – then I predict right here and now that we will not have a Farm Bill. And I will certainly do everything I can to kill a Farm Bill that has a 10 billion dollar cut in it.”

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FYI…

When “cute” is condescending

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The wheels are always turning in Cece’s feline brain. She’s definitely brighter than Jett … pics: R.T.

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… whom Rose loves the most!

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Then there’s Lilac❀ …

By Ingrid Newkirk

Every morning, a crow with just one foot comes to visit my office in Washington, D.C. I hear her cawing nearby β€” I know she’s a “she” because she had a very noisy baby last year β€” and I call out to her.

She lands on my windowsill, and I put out her breakfast. She loves blueberries but hates falafel β€” which I learned after she spat it out onto a man walking beneath the window. Crows occasionally eat baby squirrels, so sometimes, I pretend that I’m giving her a baby squirrel, but it’s actually a warm, soft bean burrito. She probably thinks the red stuff inside is stomach contents, but it’s really just beans and tomato sauce.

One day, someone saw “my” crow eating her breakfast and said, “Aw, she is so cute!”

How often do we perceive animals as “cute,” no matter what they are doing, instead of reflecting on their experience?

After all, here’s this one-footed crow somehow surviving, avoiding electrical wires and traffic and mean people in our concrete city. She’s scavenging to feed herself and her demanding offspring. She arrives soaked to the skin in winter storms when it’s freezing outside, and even in high winds, she has to cling to branches and fire escapes with one foot. If she injures her other foot, she’s a goner! She is doing so many impressive things that I couldn’t possibly do. She is a whole, adult individual, with a disability and enormous challenges, yet we often infantilize such stunningly clever beings, giggle at them and think of them as just “cute.” It’s like calling a starving refugee “cute.”

Usually, whatever animals do, it is thoughtful and clever, not just cute.

When a small dog who has no opposable thumbs, none of our advantages, tries to drag a child’s plastic swimming pool into the house, it’s impressive. You can see the video online. The dog’s name is Gus. He is working on this project because he wants the pool in the house. Using various strategies and never saying never, he succeeds. That’s problem-solving.

When a jumping spider goes to another spider’s web and taps it in order the lure the second spider (who thinks she’s caught a fly) closer, is that “cute”? Not to the second spider, who gets eaten. It’s intelligent. There’s evidence that jumping spiders learn this behavior and that they work out exactly which types of taps will trick the other spider and which won’t.

And when octopuses figure out how to use discarded coconut shells as shelter, aren’t they being not just cute but also clever? For them, it’s a matter of survival.

There are so many jaw-dropping examples of animal ingenuity:

Squirrels dig up and rebury their food if they suspect that another squirrel has watched them stash it.

Pigs have temperature preferences and can learn through trial and error how to turn on the heat in a cold barn if given the chance.

Rabbitfish, like geese, take turns standing guard so that others can eat in safety.

Prairie dogs talk to one another about predators and get specific β€” giving details about size, shape, color and speed.

Chickens will forgo a treat in order to get a larger reward later.

Cats, who rarely meow to communicate with each other, invent a whole language of meows specifically to communicate with humans.

Pigeons, who remember human faces and recognize people who are nice to them, stay together for life, and both parents share equally in nesting duties.

While we send probes into space to search for intelligent life forms, we are often oblivious to the ones all around us, right here on Earth β€” both on land and in the sea. But if we wish to call ourselves “thinking animals,” it’s time to move past “cute” when considering other animals and on to words indicative of empathy and respect.

We’re on a Chef Joey “roll” … lovin’ this Chef Joey Sunday morning bread pudding muffin recipe … and … Just 4 you!

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Have you tried this Chef Joey recipe yet?

BREAD PUDDING MUFFINS

Photos and recipe by Chef Joey

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Here is a fast Funday Sunday treat for you and your friends/family!

Basic bread pudding recipe:

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… for every cup of cubed bread you need one egg, beaten.

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The joy of this is you can make small batches!

Each cup of bread needs 1/2 cup of milk to soften it. For example, if you have 2 cups of bread (any kind), place in bowl and add 1 cup of milk. Four cups of bread calls for 2 cups of milk, etc …

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For each cup, use 1 egg.

When you have your final tally:

Whip the eggs, add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 tbsp of sugar per cup of mix.

For example, 4 cups of bread mix calls for 8 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla to be added.

Whip it all up; mix with the eggs.

When it is all mixed, portion into cup cake tins …

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… and bake at 375 F for 15 to 20 minutes!

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Enjoy!❀
β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•β˜•

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A few days ago: Rose walkin’ with her mutts … pic: R.T.

Rose likes this vegan dish from PETA.ORG! Try it!

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Stuffed Heart-Shaped❀ Vegan Spinach-and-Cashew Ravioli

1 1/2 cups semolina flour

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry or all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup finely diced onion

1/2 cup finely chopped raw cashews

1/2 cup spinach

Mix the flour and 1 teaspoonful of salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 tablespoonful of olive oil and the water.

Add to the flour and mix until fully combined (add water as needed).

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the cashews, spinach and remaining salt and cook until the spinach is fully wilted and no water remains, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place the dough on a floured cutting board and roll out to form a flat, even rectangular shape.

Cut the dough in half, forming two squares of the same size.

Spoon the filling onto one half of the dough in small mounds about 2 inches apart.

Place the other half of the dough on top and cut around the filling using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Press firmly with a fork around the edges of the ravioli.

Boil for about 8 minutes and serve with your favorite pasta sauce!

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Common Ground Flyer 2017(1)

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CROSSROADS: A Healthy Relationships Group for Boys

To engage, educate, and empower BOYS (ages 14 – 18) as they navigate adolescence and begin to establish more independence.

Group topics will include:

Nurturing & reinforcing positive identity

Building relationships that include safe boundaries & positive connection

Understanding healthy sexual development

When: Wednesdays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. starting August 16

Where: 81 Plantation St.

Rolling Admission: members are accepted throughout the group

For more information contact: Kristen Birch at 508-849-5600 x 408

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Like we said, we can’t help ourselves!!

https://nyti.ms/2uiEjT4

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Great idea!

Bringing in the new

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Edith and her hubby, Guy!❀ pics: R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Something new is here: it’s obvious, in the greening of everything around us, and it’s obvious in the great perfume in the air. My lilies of the valley, all huddled up beside the house, are in full bloom and putting out great waves of wonderful perfume … . And after the often dreary days of winter, we are all enjoying longer daylight and warmer daytimes.

Spring came in with a real bang: rain, of course, but also record-breaking heat for a short time, giving us a preview of summer.

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And the plants got the message and came on full tilt, so that in just a few days my yard was filled with ferns, Solomon’s Seal, May Apples and, of course, the lilies of the valley.

Before I had a chance to plant the bulbs, I had carefully started indoors. Everything was filled in with perennials and the ever-invasive wisteria vinlaes quickly curled around the porch rails, and atwisted their tendrils round everything, reaching out for every support they could find. Even my anciaent rhododendron put out so much new growth I was amazed. The lawn too took off, and after a battle to get it started, we mowed it, only to see it grow right back and needing another β€œhaircut” almost immediately!

I think this year, we will adopt a more β€œlazy” style of gardening, letting nature have its way a lot more. It looks as though it will be a more lush summer. And as we get older, we prefer to enjoy what is, rather than to be eternally changing everything.

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On our small Worcester lot here, we have a nice selection of herbs that keeps coming up every year: the chives are crowding each other out, they are so plentiful; the onions too are growing happily without my care; and the small strawberry plant I put in two years ago has sent its tendrils all around and its progeny are blossoming profusely!

If I can reach the berries when they ripen before the squirrels and the birds get them, I can make a strawberry-rhubarb compote soon.

The battle to compete with the voracious squirrels is one price we pay for living so close to Green hill Park: while there are other β€œvisitors” here, the squirrels seem to be the most aggressive, digging up buried acorns and other treasures and gnawing through whatever can be reached. We had a complete media blackout last week because they had chewed through the cable connection from our house to the street, leaving us for three days without cable, phone and Internet – a reminder of how very dependent we are on those connections!

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Read more Edith in this issue of CECELIA!

Impeach President Donald Rump!

Text + pics by Rosalie Tirella

Rump roast for dinner every night, America, courtesy of our President Donald Trump – the biggest horse’s ass to ever lumber through the oval office! And now we learn something truly damning and prison-worthy: Donald Trump Jr. meets with the enemy – a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin – during the presidential campaign to get dirt on his dad’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Why? Because they wanna win – the Trump baboons AND Vladimir Putin. Putin, prez of Russia, wants his brutal world view IN – spread all over the planet like a sloppy shit sandwich. He wants the American/Western European/Democracy-embracing world view OUT. Putin wants more raw power, a larger Russia, autocratic rule … fortifications – not more free places! And he will kill anyone – journalists, dissenting Russian oligarchs, etc – who stands in his way. He has made bumbling Trump a pawn in his lethal games.

If this were CLINTON, she’d be in shackles – or at least impeached. This is what needs to happen to Trump.

WAKE UP, REPUBLICANS!

WAKE UP, AMERICA!

Sanctions, strong words, hitting where it hurts most – this is what America must do to Russia to keep Putin from compromising more American elections. To quote from a Woody Gutherie song (Woody’s birthday is coming up – July 14❀): “This land is your land …

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… this land is my land!” Β  Rose

IT AIN’T VLADMIR PUTIN’S LAND!

Β 

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P.S. … Saw my fave flower people in Green Island today. … More flowers! Fewer Trump gaffes, lies, excuses and evasions, pussy-grabs … love-sick looks thrown at Putin!

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Obesity shouldn’t be the new normal!πŸ”πŸ—πŸ¦!

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Rose today! She lost 30+ pounds by cutting ALL meat out of her diet – go vegetarian! – and working hard for her biz and around her apartment! Get moving!!πŸ˜„ pic: R.T.

By Heather Moore

Population growth has taken on a whole new meaning: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that nearly a third of the world’s population is overweight and that about 10 percent is obese. A global group of researchers crunched the numbers and found that obesity contributed to 4 million deaths, primarily from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer, in 2015 alone.

To put it another way, a recent Vox article estimates that obesity now kills more people than do terror attacks, traffic accidents and Alzheimer’s disease combined. Experts predict that it could also someday account for more cancer deaths than smoking.

That is, unless more people go vegan.

Obesity and obesity-related diseases can largely be attributed to the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods. That’s partly why the population of the U.S., where oversized burgers, chicken nuggets and cheese-laden pizzas reign supreme, has an ever-growing girth. According to the study, which spanned 195 countries, America has the most obese adults, at 79.4 million, and the highest percentage of obese children and young adults. So much for treading lightly on the planet.

Hopefully, these findings will prompt more Americans to eat healthy vegan foods. Researchers have pointed out that our eating habits are the primary problem, not our inactivity. It certainly won’t kill us to move a little more, but we really need to eat a lot less.

Obesity has become the new normal in America, and it’s causing a health-care crisis. Despite what many people want to believe, there is no such thing as “fat but fit.” Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. found that overweight people are much more likely to suffer from heart attacks or strokesβ€”even if they’re “metabolically healthy,” meaning that their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in the “safe” range.

Double chin up, though! Two new studies show that people can lose weight just by eating plant-based foods. One study of diabetic patients, conducted by researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., suggests that by eating almost exclusively vegan foods, people can lose twice as much weight as those who follow the typical low-calorie diets recommended for diabetics.

After six months, participants who ate almost all vegan foods had also boosted their metabolism and reduced the amount of fat around their muscles, which is significant for those with diabetes.

Another study, carried out by researchers at Spain’s University of Navarra, found that people who eat plant-based foods can almost halve their risk of becoming obese compared with those who eat animal-derived foods.

The study participants β€” 16,000 healthy adults, who were tracked for an average of 10 years β€” completed food questionnaires and were scored on the types of food that they ate. Points were awarded to those who ate vegetables, fruits, grains and other plant-based foods and subtracted from those who ate meat, dairy, eggs and other animal-derived foods. Participants who ate the most plant-based foods were the least likely to become obese.

The results of these studies aren’t exactly surprising. Vegan foods tend to be low in fat and calories and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help boost metabolism, so you can burn more calories, making it easier both to shed pounds and to maintain a healthy weight.

So if your heft is weighing heavily on your mind, try this tasty, simple solution: Go vegan!