Lots of Summer Vegetables Available

I wish there was a Farmer’s Market close to my house. I don’t know of any except the one downtown, and I hate to drive downtown. I end up spending an extra $10 in gas to go all the way downtown and an extra $10 to the trip for paid parking. So the cost of fresh vegetables is already $20 before I even pick out the first one.

The last time I went to the Farmer’s Market, the price of vegetables was not any cheaper than what I can buy at Kroger grocery stores. I’m not sure there is much advantage to shopping at Nashville’s Farmer’s Market other than you are supporting local farmers and local businesses rather than a big grocery store chain like Kroger and whatever farms they decide at a corporate level to buy from.

There is a little place on the side of the road that sells fresh vegetables and fresh flowers on Lebanon Road. I don’t usually take Lebanon Road to go anywhere, but when I know I am going that way, I usually stop and buy a few things. I went by there yesterday and found lots of summer vegetables. They are a little cheaper than Kroger and the owner tells me that all the produce is grown locally. So I don’t mind supporting this guy and his wife.

I tried to grow some tomato plants on my patio, but they did not produce much. The tomatoes are so small and colored funny that I ended up throwing them out. It was nice to find a fresh picked, field grown tomato at the vegetable stand. One slice of their tomato covers the entire piece of bread! So I enjoyed a fabulous tomato and mayo sandwich last night. And I’ll have another one tonight for dinner, with a couple pieces of bacon and some lettuce on top.

Be Careful What You Share

dont put it on FB

Sometimes it seems like Facebook has been around forever. I use it every day and I love to keep up with family and friends. Facebook makes me feel closer to the ones I love and I have met some new friends, too.

Smart people will use Facebook like the tool it was meant to be and should be careful about what they share. You never know who is reading what your share and what they will do with that information.

The Year to Volunteer

This year I want to do something to give back to the community. I would like to volunteer for a local organization and help people. It’s been on my mind quite a while, and I think this is a good time to get up off the couch and do it.

I can see myself helping children or women who need job skills or someone to help them get through hard times. Just not sick people or an organization that hounds you for money all the time. I can teach kids to read, I can teach English to Spanish speaking children or women, or I can give a ride to job interviews or something that would help a single mom. Even babysitting. Does anyone have a suggestion of what organization I should contact?

Veterans Parade Tomorrow

There was a news item about road closures tomorrow for a Veteran’s Day parade. I was surprised that they are actually having a parade. This area just does not seem to be in the spirit of many parades. They do have a short Christmas parade downtown, but it seems that whatever day they pick for the Christmas parade is guaranteed to be bad weather on that date. I wonder if they will have good weather tomorrow and I hope they have a good turnout to honor our Veterans.

Road Crew

There was a small crew of men walking along the edge of the road this afternoon. They were carrying large canvas bags slung over one shoulder and a long pole to spear trash from the side of the road. As I passed the men walking, I noticed a large truck parked on the side up ahead. There was a man standing on the rear bumper and he had a shotgun or a rifle in his arms. That startled me. I don’t usually see anyone with a gun around here. Obviously, he was guarding prisoners on a work detail. That was the first I’d seen such a thing around here. It was a little disturbing to know that a dozen convicts are walking down my street and just one man was assigned to shoot anyone trying to run off. But at least the trash got picked up – no one else around here seems to care about it.

Litter Control

I wonder why some streets and neighborhoods always seem to be clean and orderly – and others always seem to have trash scattered along the side of the road, piles of trash alongside the houses and old broken down cars left in the yards, driveways or streets? Is it really a function of the neighborhood and the standards of the people who live there? Or is there more to it than that?

My neighborhood is always spotless and yet I never see a clean up crew walking down the street picking up litter. That’s probably because there is not any litter left in the street in the first place. I know that I have to pick up an empty can or stray piece of paper from along the edge of the street every once in a while. If I see it there – even across the street by my neighbor’s property, I’ll pick up the litter and dispose of it. That only takes a minute and I don’t mind doing my part to keep the neighborhood looking nice.

Seven Organizations for Emergency Preparedness

The terror attacks of 9/11 were responsible for a major shift in how Americans looked at emergencies. Though the terror attacks were a manmade emergency, the shift in focus also applied to other emergencies, such as natural disasters. The result has been increased emergency preparedness and response agencies and employees, as well as increased planning in how to handle emergencies when they arise. Following are eight organizations in the US designed to handle emergency preparedness and response.

  1. FEMA- The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the federal government’s primary agency designed to respond to emergencies. FEMA takes the lead in responding with personnel and with funds whenever disaster strikes. FEMA will respond to both natural disasters, like hurricanes, manmade disasters like oil spills, and to terrorist acts. FEMA sends rescue personnel as well as emergency managers to help during disasters. FEMA also provides resources to help Americans be more prepared in the event of a disaster.
  2. American Red Cross – The Red Cross has been in place since 1881. It is a non-profit agency that has grown into the country’s premier provider of volunteer emergency and disaster preparedness and relief. They are most widely known for providing blood, but actually provide a wide variety of disaster relief services.
  3. The Salvation Army – The Salvation Army has provided many types of relief to the poor over the years. Their services during times of disaster include mobile feeding stations, temporary shelter, medical assistance and missing persons services.
  4. Samaritan’s Purse – Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization that provides help in areas of war, poverty, disaster and disease. While they have many ongoing programs, they are always on call for disaster aid.
  5. State Emergency Management Agencies – In addition to FEMA, each state in the US operates their own emergency management agency. Most states are able to manage smaller emergencies without the intervention of FEMA.
  6. National Emergency Response Team – the NERT is designed to meet the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing during disasters. They operate through mobile units that can be rapidly deployed to disaster areas.
  7. Christian and Jewish Relief Agencies – Rather than a single organization, these are a group of organizations sponsored by churches throughout the US to respond during times of disaster. They include the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Organization, the International Orthodox Christian Charities, Lutheran Disaster Response, Catholic Charities, USA, Baptist World Aid, International Association of Jewish Vocational Services, Nazarene Disaster Response and Mennonite Disaster Service. These organizations work independently of each other as well as together to help meet the needs of disaster victims throughout the world.

Though there are many disaster relief organizations in the US and throughout the world, it can still often be difficult to meet all the needs of disaster victims in the aftermath of a tragedy. Sometimes the physical restrictions on getting supplies to affected areas can cause delays as can the difficulties in reaching affected areas because of damage. But, the organizations on this list, as well as others, make tremendous efforts to help disaster victims as quickly and comprehensively as possible under extraordinary circumstances.

Phyllis T. Zerkle enjoys blogging in order to help students find the information they need about online homeland security degrees.

Cultural Mixing Pot

There is one place in this city where you can go and see the biggest diversity of cultures all in one place. Do you know where that would be? There are probably a lot og good guesses, but the place I am talking about is Sam’s Club – the warehouse shopping store.

I was in Sam’s club with my friend, Pacaras, last night. I never heard so many different foreign languages being spoken in the aisles before. It seems like I was the only English speaking customer in the whole store last night. Not that it is bad – just remarkable to discover that in this white bread city. Even Pacaras noticed it and mentioned it while we were on our way across the parking lot.

Reduce Trash

Our neighborhood has two different companies service our area for trash collection. They are private companies that send out monthly bills. If you don’t pay these people, you have to carry your trash to the landfill, which is about 20 minutes from my house. The amount I would spend in gas alone is more than what I have to pay the trash company.

I decided to try to reduce the amount of trash that I put at the curb. If you have any tips on reducing and reusing household items, I’d love to read them as comments here. Thanks!