Friday, August 22, 2008

irrigated wastewater used to water crops.......

Metropolitan Wastewater Ends Up In Urban Agriculture

Wastewater is most commonly used to produce vegetables and cereals (especially rice), according to this and other IWMI reports, raising concerns about health risks for consumers, particularly of vegetables that are consumed uncooked.
by Staff Writers
Stockholm, Sweden (SPX) Aug 18, 2008

As developing countries confront the first global food crisis since the 1970s as well as unprecedented water scarcity, a new 53-city survey conducted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) indicates that most of those studied (80 percent) are using untreated or partially treated wastewater for agriculture.

In over 70 percent of the cities studied, more than half of urban agricultural land is irrigated with wastewater that is either raw or diluted in streams.

The conclusions of the study, released at 2008 World Water Week in Stockholm, are based on data gathered from a diverse sample of developing country cities, chosen on the basis of factors such as water scarcity and income levels.

Local experts selected by an independent panel completed survey questionnaires, drawing on secondary data as well as interviews with local water management experts and detailed country studies.

"Irrigating with wastewater isn't a rare practice limited to a few of the poorest countries," said IWMI researcher Liqa Raschid-Sally and lead author of a report on survey results.

"It's a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20 million hectares across the developing world, especially in Asian countries, like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well." Wastewater is most commonly used to produce vegetables and cereals (especially rice), according to this and other IWMI reports, raising concerns about health risks for consumers, particularly of vegetables that are consumed uncooked.

But at the same time, wastewater agriculture contributes importantly to urban food supplies and helps provide a livelihood for the urban poor, especially women, and recent migrants from the countryside.

"The negative and positive implications of wastewater agriculture have only recently received attention," noted Colin Chartres, director general of IWMI, which is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

"This study offers the first comprehensive, cross-country analysis of the conditions that account for the practice and the difficult tradeoffs that arise from it."

Accra, Ghana's capital city (with an urban population of nearly 2 million), illustrates those tradeoffs particularly well. An estimated 200,000 of the city's inhabitants daily purchase vegetables produced on just 100 hectares of urban agricultural land irrigated with wastewater, says the IWMI report.

"That gives you an idea," remarked Raschid-Sally, "of the large potential of wastewater agriculture for both helping and hurting great numbers of urban consumers."

"And it isn't just affluent consumers of exotic vegetables whose welfare is at stake," she added. "Poor consumers of inexpensive street food also depend on urban agriculture." Moreover, in Asia, rice-based farming systems, irrigated mainly with wastewater, figure importantly in urban food production, Raschid-Sally explained.

Across regions, poor women benefit most from farming within and around urban areas, according to survey results. They play especially prominent roles in certain cities of Africa, Central Asia and Latin America, accounting for more than 70 percent of urban farmers. In many cities, they also dominate the wholesale and retail sale of vegetables, often making more money than their farming husbands.

Survey results on the forces driving wastewater use in urban agriculture suggest that it is not only widespread but practically inevitable.

As long as developing countries lack suitable transport for delivering large quantities of perishable produce to urban areas, vegetable production in urban agriculture will remain important. And in the face of water scarcity generally and a lack of access to clean water, urban farmers will have no alternative except to use diluted or untreated wastewater or polluted river water.

Consumers across the 53 cities said they would prefer to avoid wastewater produce. But most of the time, they have no way of knowing the origin of the products they buy.

Farmers too are aware that irrigating with wastewater may pose health risks both for themselves and the consumers of their produce, but they simply have little choice, since safe groundwater is seldom an accessible alternative, according to the IWMI report.

Few developing countries reported having official guidelines for the use of wastewater in agriculture. And even if they do, monitoring and enforcement rarely happen and may not be realistic, especially where irrigation with polluted water occurs on a large scale. As a result, though the practice may be theoretically forbidden or controlled, it is in fact "unofficially tolerated."

Under those conditions, the report asserts, extreme measures, like banning the use of polluted water, or even stricter water quality guidelines are of no avail. In fact, they could adversely affect urban consumers, farmers and others who depend on urban agriculture.

The report praises new guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which replace often unachievable water quality thresholds with more realistic health-based targets. As a result, countries lacking the means to treat wastewater adequately can still reduce health risks through low-cost interventions, such as the use of drip irrigation and correct washing of fresh produce.

Current sanitation methods, though often inadequate, still offer entry points for introducing strategies to reduce health risks, according to the IWMI report.

Another option is to build on a wide range of innovative indigenous practices that can greatly reduce the health risks from wastewater agriculture. In Indonesia, Nepal, Ghana and Vietnam, for example, farmers store wastewater in ponds to allow suspended solids to settle out. Inadvertently, this practice also permits worm eggs to settle out, possibly reducing bacteria in the water.

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, farmers using water from a brewery build storage basins for wastewater and fill them only when they judge the quality of the wastewater to be acceptable (that is, not acidic), based on its appearance, odor and even taste.

"A key aim of IWMI research is to find feasible approaches whereby wastewater irrigation can continue strengthening food security and generating economic benefits but without major health risks for urban consumers and farmers," said Chartres.

Laundry soap product that grows on trees......

Revolutionary laundry soap product grows on trees, replaces laundry detergent with eco-friendly solution

by Mike Adams (see all articles by this author)

I've discovered an amazing new product that replaces commercial laundry detergents with a natural soap that literally grows on trees! This is a very big deal because the laundry room is one of the most toxic rooms in the home of a typical consumer. Commercial laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain alarmingly high levels of toxic chemicals well known to cause cancer, liver disorders, neurological disturbances and hormone disruption. I still haven't figured out why so many people actually wash their clothes in these dangerous chemicals and then wear them around all day, allowing the chemicals in the clothes to penetrate their skin and enter their bloodstream where they cause serious harm.

Even worse, all those toxic chemicals get flushed downstream where they contribute to the mass killing of fish and ocean ecosystems, including all the various life forms that depend on the fish (such as birds). We're offering a rediscovered natural product -- "Soap Nuts!" -- right now at www.BetterLifeGoods.com

What if there were a natural laundry soap that actually grew on trees and could replace commercial detergents for good?

It sounds too good to be true, but in fact, it's real. For the past two months, I've been washing all my own clothes with this simple, natural laundry soap that's been used in India for centuries, and I've never felt happier (or more environmentally conscious) about my laundry.

Here's the story about the natural laundry detergent that literally grows on trees. I'll reveal what it is, how it works, and how you can get some right now at www.BetterLifeGoods.com

The soap that grows on trees

Across the jungles of India and Indonesia, a surprisingly practical tree called sapindus mukorrosi grows a small fruit surrounded by a firm outer shell, much like a lychee or rambutan. This tree, also called the Chinese Soapberry Tree, is unique in the fact that it synthesizes its own natural soap-like saponins that coat the shell of the fruit. When the fruits ripen and fall from the tree, local families harvest the windfall, then remove the inner fruit from the outer shell. The shell is then dried in the sun, using absolutely no chemical processing or manufacturing processes. In fact, the whole process uses no fossil fuels either, except in the transportation of the product to the western world (which is efficiently accomplished by ship).

It is this outer shell -- rich in natural saponins which act as water surfactants -- that the native families in India have used for centuries to wash their own clothes. They toss 2-3 shells into a small burlap bag and work it in with their laundry (which is usually washed by hand, by the way). The soap nuts, as they're now called (even though they have no relation to actual nuts), absorb water and release their saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, reducing the surface tension of the water and freeing dirt, grime and oils from the clothing.

When the clothes are rinsed, the soap nut saponins are washed downstream where they remain harmless to the environment. No synthetic chemicals, no fragrance chemicals, no foaming agents or other toxins. Just nut shells grown by nature. (See the resources section at the end of this article to learn where you can buy these nuts in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and elsewhere...)

Soap nuts can replace all brand-name detergents

Even though these soap nuts have been used for hundreds of years in India and Indonesia, they're barely known in the western world where brand-name chemical detergents are heavily marketed to consumers through advertising, coupons and in-store displays. Packed in eye-catching boxes and scented with artificial fragrance chemicals, these synthetic detergents are literally scooped up by tens of millions of consumers who have no idea they're bathing their clothes in cancer-causing chemicals while destroying the environment by flushing dangerous chemicals downstream.

Until now, there have been few options for eco-conscious consumers. While an increasing number of eco-friendly manufactured laundry products now exist in the marketplace (such as Seventh Generation and Biokleen brands), no natural laundry product has appeared in the western world that is 100% manufactured directly by nature. And many of the so-called "natural" laundry products are still made with fragrance chemicals, anyway.

When I first saw these soap nuts, I got really excited about the possibility of publicizing an eco-friendly solution that could replace all the manufactured laundry products currently being bought by consumers. So I decided to financially support the Bodhi Soap Nuts company by buying a large number of her soap nut products and stocking them in our Phoenix fulfillment center. They're now available for you to purchase (at a very reasonable price, by the way) at www.BetterLifeGoods.com

When you purchase these soap nuts and put them to use, you're not only protecting your health and the environment, you're also supporting the families in India and Indonesia that sustainably harvest these nuts as a way of life. Remember how I'm always urging us all to "vote with our dollars?" This is the perfect opportunity to do so. Vote against the chemical laundry companies and vote FOR natural, tree-grown laundry products by switching to soap nuts!

This is the "miracle" laundry product made by Mother Nature that I've been looking for. It's made by a tree, with absolutely nothing added or taken away (except the fruit, of course). It's natural through and through. No other laundry product even comes close.

Bodhi Soap Nuts replace both laundry detergent and fabric softener, by the way. They leave your clothes clean, unscented and feeling cozy soft. It's the first laundry product I've ever found that I was truly happy with. This is what I'm now washing all my clothes with.

But do the soap nuts really work?

Of course, any skeptical consumer would be asking one question right now: "Do these soap nuts really work?"

I was skeptical, too, that a soap nut grown by a tree in India could really replace my high-tech eco-friendly laundry soap made in America. So I bought a box of Bodhi Soap Nuts and tried them myself. I took 3 soap nuts and dropped them into the small cotton bag that comes in each box of Bodhi Soap Nuts, then I tossed them into my laundry and avoided using any other detergents or laundry products. I set the temperature on warm and gave it a normal wash cycle, then I hit the start button and walked away.

An hour later, I returned and examined the finished load. They sure smelled clean. But the real test would come from wearing them during a workout, so I took them outside to dry them in the sun (since we have such great sunlight here in Arizona, I often use it for drying clothes). After a few hours of blazing desert sunlight, the clothes were completely dry. I suited up with a pair of workout pants and an A shirt, then headed to the gym for an intense workout designed to produce lots of sweat.

The short version of this story is that the clothes were really, truly clean and they smelled just fine, even after an hour of sweat-inducing cardiovascular activity. (It also helps that I don't drink dairy products, which makes people stink, but that's another story...) My workout clothes seemed just as clean to me as any other load of laundry I washed in various eco-friendly laundry products!

Over the next few days, I continued washing more loads with the soap nuts. Every load came out clean, yet unscented (just the way I like it). I washed grimy socks, workout pants, hiking shorts and sweaty underwear, and everything was cleaned to my satisfaction. In other words, Bodhi Soap Nuts really clean your clothes just as good as commercial soap products! I remain convinced that these tree-grown soap nuts are just as good as any other soap products on the market.

One thing I did learn in all this, however, was that you probably shouldn't wash bedsheets with these soap nuts. What happened? In my wash, the small cotton bag holding the soap nuts got wrapped up in the sheet, and the soap nuts soaked the sheet with a slight soap nut color (sort of rust colored). This color came out in the next wash, because it's not a permanent stain or anything, but it taught me that for the soap nuts to be really effective, they needed to be able to circulate freely in the laundry and not get caught in a large bedsheet.

Aside from the bedsheet incident, everything else came out of the wash sqeaky clean!

How soap nuts clean your laundry

The process by which soap nuts clean your clothes is naturally quite simple. The soap nut shell contains a natural saponin that works as a surfactant, making your water "wetter" and allowing it to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, working away the dirt and grime that makes clothes dirty. The surfactant then holds on to the dirt, keeping it in suspension in the water until it's drained away, taking the dirt with it.

What's left is a load of clean clothes and nothing else! That's the way laundry should be. Much like clean water, clean laundry should NOT contain toxic chemical residues. In fact, it's more important to consider what laundry products do NOT contain than to look at what they do contain.

What Bodhi Soap Nuts do NOT contain include:

• Foaming chemicals that fool consumers into thinking their clothes are cleaner because there are "suds" in the wash. TRUTH: Suds have nothing to do with cleaning. They are chemical additives used to create the illusion of cleaning action. (Silly consumers actually expect suds, so the manufacturers add them in.)

• Fragrance chemicals that make laundry "smell" clean. Most commercial laundry products use toxic, synthetic fragrance chemicals that are, in fact, well known to promote cancer and liver disorders. Laundry products are not really regulated by any single government agency, and there is currently no law banning the use of known cancer-causing chemicals in laundry products (much like with cosmetics).

• Filler ingredients. Nearly all commercial laundry products are made with at least 50% filler ingredients to "bulk them up" and make them appear to deliver more value for the price. Consumers are mostly just buying the illusion of detergent, made mostly with filler.

You won't find filler or toxic chemicals in Bodhi Soap Nuts. Just pure, natural saponins grown by a tree and engineered by nature. In my opinion, that's where more of our products should ultimately come from. Wouldn't it be great if shampoo also grew on trees?

Actually, it does.

More than just laundry soap

The natural saponins found in Bodhi Soap Nuts are universal cleaning agents. Sure, they work great in the laundry, but did you know they are also traditionally used to clean skin and hair? In fact, the soap nut saponins work on everything from pets and children to washing fruits and vegetables. In ancient India, jewelers even used the soap to shine their precious metals and stones, giving them a beautiful natural luster.

By the way, all children's clothes should be washed in these soap nuts to avoid exposing infants and children to the toxic chemicals found in commercial laundry products. And while you're at it, why not save yourself from that exposure, too, by washing your own clothes with nature's laundry soap?

Using Bodhi Soap Nuts, you can make your own ultra-pure multipurpose cleaner.

Here's the recipe:

Simmer 1 cup of soap nuts in 4 cups of water on your stove, then allow the liquid to cool. Mash the soap nuts by hand (squish them around to get out all the saponins), then drain the resulting liquid through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Voila! You've got a concentrated cleaner made by nature! Use it around the kitchen, in the shower, washing the dog... it's all good. You can even use it to wash your dishes.

Remember: This natural soap isn't going to foam up like phoney cleaning products made by chemical companies, and it sure doesn't smell like fragrance chemicals. So don't expect it to look or smell like the products you might have been using. However, soap nuts get things really clean. The soap works so well that it's actually being studied right now as a way to decontaminate soils from exposure to toxic chemicals. How's that for a natural solution? Nature's soap can save the planet from man's soap.

The bottom line: Nature's replacement for manufactured soap products

Overall, I'm incredibly delighted to have discovered Bodhi Soap Nuts. They're nature's gift to the world, and we would all be smart to stop buying manufactured laundry detergents and switch to natural laundry soaps that grow on trees. It's good for your health, your family and your environment. Plus, it ends the cycle of monetary support for manipulative consumer product companies that poison the world with their harmful chemicals products. All those brightly-colored laundry detergent boxes lining the shelves of your local grocery store are, indeed, quite poisonous to both you and the planet.

How much do soap nuts cost? The price of using these soap nuts in your laundry is well under fifty cents a load (U.S.), making it quite comparable to other eco-friendly laundry products. It's not as cheap as dumping foaming chemicals into your laundry, but then again, if you're the kind of person reading this website, you're probably far more concerned about saving your health than saving a quarter on a load of toxic laundry. Isn't it good to know that you can protect your health and protect the planet as the same time?

Washing your clothes doesn't have to be bad for the environment. There's a new option now in the western world: Soap nuts!

Where to get your soap nuts: U.S., Canada, U.K. and more

Our e-commerce site www.BetterLifeGoods.com is now shipping these soap nuts throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Orders are also accepted from other countries, but we urge consumers to carefully consider the fuel resources needed to ship such items internationally. If you live in Australia, New Zealand or anywhere near Asia, we encourage you to find a regional source for these soap nuts to avoid redundant international shipping. Here are a few sources we know of right now:

U.S. and Canada: www.BetterLifeGoods.com (that's our e-commerce site)

UK & Ireland sources for Soapods, another brand of a similar product: http://www.soapods.com/stockists.html

FDA, irradiation of spinach, lettuce and more......

FDA Unleashes Mass Irradiation of Spinach, Lettuce and Other Vegetables

by Mike Adams (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) The FDA has announced that beginning today, spinach and lettuce sold across the United States may now be secretly irradiated before it reaches grocery store shelves. What's "secret" about it? The FDA previously decided that irradiation warning stickers would not be required on any food items because it would be "too confusing to consumers." (The word IRRADIATION apparently has too many letters to be understood to food buyers.) Thus, irradiated foods will not be labeled as such, and consumers are going to be left in the dark about all this (except for those who actually eat the irradiated food, in which case they will glow in the dark).

The FDA, of course, insists that the levels of irradiation used to kill e.coli will have no effect whatsoever on the nutritional value of the food. This astonishing statement comes from an agency that doesn't believe food has any nutritional value in the first place, so lowering the value to zero by destroying all the phytonutrients does not, in the opinion of the FDA, alter its nutritional value at all. Thus, destroying all the anti-cancer nutrients in a head of broccoli merely brings that broccoli into "compliance" as a non-functional food, according to the FDA.

Radiation, of course, destroys delicate phytochemicals in plants -- the very phytochemicals protecting consumers against cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammation and other diseases. Microwaving broccoli, for example, destroys up to 98% of its anti-cancer nutrients. (The FDA has not yet acknowledged this scientific fact, either.) In a similar way, irradiating food destroys much of its nutritional content, including vitamins, carotenoids, anthocyanins and other delicate protective nutrients that are right now providing the last, desperate nutritional defense against the American diet of meat, milk, fried foods and processed junk.

Irradiating fresh produce will leave the U.S. population is a state of extreme deficiency in protective plant-based nutrients.

Does the FDA plan to destroy the health of the U.S. population?

Many people suspect that's what the FDA really wants. A nutritionally-deficient, disease-ridden population would mean a windfall of profits for the FDA's buddies in Big Pharma -- the folks who sell patented medications at monopoly prices. With the food supply destroyed by radiation, ordinary people would have virtually no remaining sources of protective phytonutrients!

In promoting this food radiation policy, the FDA has accomplished what all the terrorists in the world could not: The mass irradiation of the U.S. food supply -- much like setting off a dirty bomb over the nation's farms (but with less radiation). This destruction of the nutritional value of the food supply is a far greater threat to the health of the U.S. population than any terrorist event, including 9/11. And yet it is being done by our own people, TO our own people, by a lawless agency that answers to no one. FDA officials are not voted into office by the People; they are appointed by politicians. They answer to no one, they refuse to follow federal law, and they operate as tyrants over a quarter of the U.S. economy.

And now they have taken it upon themselves to destroy the national food supply.

We should be more than just alarmed -- we should be outraged! The FDA has committed an act of war against the People. With this decision, the FDA has firmly positioned itself as an enemy of the People, and a bringer of death and disease to the nation. Why are our elected representatives in Washington allowing this madness?

Think about this: If the FDA has its way:

• All your food will be irradiated, pasteurized or killed
• All your children will be vaccinated
• All your medicine will be based on pharmaceuticals
• All your free speech about health will be suppressed
• All informative labeling on food and supplements will be outlawed
• Growing and selling non-irradiated garden vegetables will become a crime!

Today it's spinach and lettuce; tomorrow it's all fresh produce

Don't think the FDA will stop with spinach and lettuce, either. They're already talking about irradiating tomatoes, peppers and onions. Before long, radiation could become mandatory for ALL fresh produce, and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are supposed to contain health-protecting nutrients will be transformed into sterile, inert plant mass with no health benefits at all. (Brilliant scam, huh?)

This is by design. I believe the FDA wants the American public to be sickened and diseased. Why else would they ban Free Speech about healing foods like cherries, broccoli and garlic? Why would they outlaw the selling of herbs and nutritional supplements that claim to treat and prevent disease? The FDA wants you to be sick, enslaved and medicated, and irradiating the food supply is the quickest way to accomplish that.

He who controls the food controls the People.

He who destroys the food can profit from the People's sickness.

The FDA's crimes against humanity

In pushing this radiation agenda, the FDA is committing a crime against humanity -- a nutritional atrocity that violates fundamental human rights. And yet the FDA's top decision makers continue to operate with zero oversight and zero accountability. They make decisions in a corporate-sponsored vacuum, absent any input from reasonable, health-conscious consumers or scientists. And because they have been granted tyrannical powers by Congress, the FDA operates above the law.

It is not subject to any laws whatsoever; not even the U.S. Constitution which is supposed to protect the People's right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (as stated in the Declaration of Independence).

The mass irradiation of the food supply is a violation of the "Life" part of that phrase, wouldn't you agree? If we can no longer buy nourishing foods with their nutrients intact, then we are all doomed to degenerative disease and death... but not before paying out our life savings to doctors, drug companies and hospitals. That's the evil genius of the food irradiation plot: It kills you slowly, at just the right pace to drain your bank account before you expire from malnutrition.

I truly believe this irradiation of the food supply is the beginning of the end of America. No nation can survive the destruction of its food supply. The FDA is dooming America to a slow, painful, medicated death. In a generation, this nation will be lost, destroyed from within by short-sighted tyrants who violated nature and left the People to rot.

What you can do right now to fight this latest transgression by the FDA

For starters, you can:

1) Grow your own food. A little gardening is good. Grow whatever you can, even if it's just a few kitchen herbs.

2) Buy your food at farmer's markets, coops and CSAs. See http://www.localharvest.org/csa

3) Ask your grocery store if they are buying irradiated spinach. If they don't know, demand they find out!

4) Raise hell with your Senators and Congresspeople, demanding they pass new laws protecting consumers from the FDA and its plot to destroy the nutritional value of the food supply.

Also, listen to two podcasts I've posted on this topic. The first was recorded several months ago, where I publicly predicted the FDA would do exactly what we're seeing right now. Listen to that podcast here: http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Podcas...

The second podcast was just posted today. I recorded it right before writing this article. It goes into much greater detail about the FDA's plot to destroy the health of the U.S. population. You can listen to that here: http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Podcas...

Finally, don't stand for this food supply madness! Raise your voice. Write your local paper, call your representatives in Washington and tell them you strongly oppose the irradiation of the food supply. Teach people about phytonutrients. And stay tuned to NaturalNews as we continue to cover this important story.

The FDA has gone mad. Criminally mad. It is an agency that will literally kill you if given the chance, and it is up to all of us to stop this madness before we lose our health, our children and our very nation.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The BIRDS......in my neighbors' trees!

they are so LOUD ...flying in to roost every night around 7:45 PM!!
video

Monday, Monday.......

Well Friday the garage sale actually went pretty well I thought.  What did not sell we loaded up into our cars and took to Good Will and donated it though some of the things sort of bothered me to donate.  In fact...I did keep a couple of things and gave away a few ....to someone I know who would appreciate them and love them or needed them.  Yeah I am weird.  I had a wonderful old glass punch bowl set...only used ONCE I think....maybe not at all.  I have hung onto that forever....thinking it would be great for get togethers.. a party..something.  BUT how often does anyone get out or use a punch bowl set anymore?  I like it...but never used it even at my own get togethers.  SO I donated it to Good Will.  I will have to pop in and see how much some of this stuff is going to sell for...if it is still there.  BUT things like that sort of make me "sad" which is weird...and I have no idea why.

P1110972

P1110973

Noah and I have hit up the local county fair twice already.  Today will be the THIRD time we have gone.  We have really enjoyed it...and getting the week pass is the way to go if you are going to go a lot which is what I did this year! The weather has been gorgeous for the fair too!

I have been in another state......hit up some antique malls and candle shops...and spent time visiting with my grandmother and sisters. 

I have realized there are certain things I cannot have in my house as food or I will eat it until it is gone.  ONE is ice cream.  There are no exceptions to this ....as I have tried many....thinking even frozen YOGURT or sherbet I would be able to RATION out.  Well...I can't.  SO I am better off just not having it around me. 

Otherwise....the weather has been gorgeous.  We have had a lot of nice days and nights....it reminds me very much of early fall which I love!  I hear crickets at night now and the locusts during the day....signs that fall is only a few weeks off....where soon we will hear the high school band practicing in the evenings outside and the football games will be starting.

Well...I need to shower and get ready to hit the fairgrounds again today!  I recorded some snippets of the birds in my neighbor's trees I will post later.  They are SOOOOO LOUD!