Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Has Sprung. Springtime Hazards Threaten Your Kid's and Pet's Lives. Carport Sunshades Finished.

When Does Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Begin?

"See chart below to see when seasons begin for 2011 and 2012—namely, the spring equinox, the summer solstice, the fall equinox, and the winter solstice.

The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

  • At the start of spring—the vernal equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • At the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting shorter.
  • Fall begins at the autumnal equinox. Day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • The start of winter begins with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer."

Seasons of 2011:

March 20, 7:21 P.M. EDT

June 21, 1:16 P.M. EDT

September 23, 5:05 A.M. EDT

December 22, 12:30 A.M. EST

Seasons of 2012:

March 20, 1:14 A.M. EDT

June 20, 7:09 P.M. EDT

September 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT

December 21, 6:12 A.M. EST                                 Credit: NASA




Tips for keeping children safe: CSI459Kid

"Spring clean safely this season with these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tips for Spring Cleaning

  • Choose nontoxic products for your spring cleaning. For example, vinegar and water is an inexpensive and effective window cleaning solution.
  • Time to move the furniture? Place cribs, playpens and other furniture away from the window and accessible drapery cords. Children can climb up on furniture and fall out of the window or get strangled in the cords.
  • Make sure window guards/bars are secure, and know how to open the window in case of fire. Screens do no prevent window falls.
  • Test all your smoke alarms to ensure they are working. Change the batteries at least once every year. Most smoke alarms also need "spring cleaning" maintenance - check your manual.
  • Develop and practice a family fire escape plan in case of emergency.
  • Consider installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
  • Make sure small parts, plastic bags, small toys, balloons or any other choking hazards are out of reach of young children, particularly those less than 36 months of age.
  • Check your home for recalled and banned children's products. To find out about recalled products, go here
  • Keep traffic areas free of clutter, toys and rugs in order to avoid tripping with your child in your arms.
  • Doors that lead to the basement should have a self-latching lock to prevent children from falling down the stairs.
  • Post the Poison Help Line number (1-800-222-1222) and your pediatrician's number on all phones.

The full article here:


Protecting Children from Predators

Crucial information for your family about the threat our children face in today’s society.

Free DVD Offer


Much more at:



Six Tips to Help You and Your Pet Sail into Spring

"This winter has been a beast in many areas of the country.

Like me, I’m sure most of you are looking forward eagerly to the warmer temps and sunny days of spring. I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin again, and my first hike of the season with my pack.

But while it’s still nippy outside, before balmy weather arrives, it’s a good idea for all of us to refresh our memories on the hazards of springtime that can pose a threat to the health and safety of four-legged family members.

  1. Block the exits. Many cats sustain injuries or run away never to be seen again (Please read this) after falling out an unscreened window or one with a loosely fitting screen. Be sure all your windows have secure, sturdy screens before you open up your house on the first warm day of spring.

    You should also make sure screen doors are in good shape and close securely so your pet can’t wander outside by himself, and to prevent stray pets or local wildlife from finding their way into your home.

  2. Cleaning solutions and home improvement products. If you are planning a thorough spring cleaning of your home, be aware that almost all commercial cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can make your dog or cat very sick, or worse. Follow label directions carefully and use these products safely. Better yet, make your own non-toxic spring cleaning kit.

    If you’re also planning to do touch-ups around your home, remember the majority of paints and refinishing products can be toxic if ingested by your pet, and can also cause severe skin irritation and burning. To stay on the safe side, I recommend you confine your pet away from the cleaning or renovating activity while you’re using chemicals and tools of any kind.

  3. How does your garden grow? If you use fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides or herbicides on your lawn or in your garden, be aware many of these products are poisonous to pets. Any chemical capable of eliminating pests also has the potential to be fatal for your pet. Keep your companion animals a safe distance from any product intended to kill living things, even weeds.

    Also, there are many popular, colorful springtime plants that are poisonous to pets.

  4. Springtime sneezing and itching. Some pets suffer from allergies in the spring just like people do. If your dog or cat seems to have seasonal allergies, make an appointment with your holistic veterinarian to discuss the severity of the condition, treatment options and preventive measures.

    Another allergic reaction you’ll want to prevent in your pet is flea allergy dermatitis. The spring and summer months bring pests like fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitoes. Now you can protect your pet with a safe, non-toxic flea and tick repellant I recently introduced called Natural Flea and Tick Defense.

  5. Beware the Easter Bunny. Easter celebrations pose a number of dangerous temptations to the family pet. Easter lilies can be fatal if ingested by your dog or cat. Chocolate in any form is toxic to pets, and brightly colored candy wrappers and Easter basket grass and trimmings can cause digestive upsets – even obstruction of the GI tract.

    It’s also not a good idea to add an Easter-themed pet like a rabbit to the family simply because it’s that time of year and the bunny is adorable. The decision to acquire a pet should be conscious and well thought-out rather than impulsive.  Moreover, while bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!

  6. Keep your pet safe away from home. Warm weather means many pets will be outdoors more, whether just catching some rays on the patio, going for hikes and car rides, or even traveling on vacation with you. Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag with a secure collar so if you are separated, he can be returned to you. Also keep a photograph of your pet with you to assist with identification in case he is lost.

    When traveling in the car with your pet, make sure he’s secured in a crate or a seatbelt harness. As much as some dogs love to ride with their heads out the window, it isn’t a good idea. Debris and even bugs can fly into your pet’s eyes or ears, and it’s not uncommon for unrestrained dogs to tumble out the windows of moving vehicles.

    Kitties should always be in a crate to prevent them from trying to escape or wedging themselves under a seat or worse, the brake pedal."                 From:


Buckle Up!
While every pet parent knows dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse!   Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.

Home Improvement 101
Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.

More at:


Even more tips at:





In this lovely weather, Jay and I finished the right side carport shade.


Ray was worried that his flowers and plants wouldn't get enough sunlight, but these R-panels are a translucent white, so it is a diffused light that comes in there, so it isn't dark. I wish I had this on my screen porch roof.

Ray did some spot painting and caulking on the cargo trailer, and helped me clean up the lumber pile.



I know it will last longer than the reed blinds that we have had up there in the past.


Not that we are expecting one anytime soon, but we even got all the hurricane clips screwed on it today.

No comments: