“When you look into their eyes, you know somebody is home.” -John Jett, PhD., former Seaworld trainer featured in the movie Blackfish.
Do you have trouble believing what you don’t see with your own eyes or experience for yourself? Me too. It’s not that I don’t believe stories that other people tell me, but there is something inside that just doesn’t fully accept it until I know it to be true.
The experience of being with a whale or dolphin, so close that you look eyes to eye, is transforming. It’s almost as if you saw an alien in your backyard, alone, by yourself. It connected with you, the two of you have ‘a moment’ and then it disappears. You are left bewildered. Did that just happen to me? Perhaps you don’t tell anyone for fear they will think that you are crazy. Then you meet someone else who also saw this other being. He or she also felt the same way and was left changed as well. In time you find others and they validate your experience. Yet no one can truly explain it.
When I asked someone else who had this experience, “What it is about seeing into the eye of a cetacean (scientific term for dolphins & whales)?”
She said, “They look inside of you and touch your soul.”
I could not explain it better. Personally, I have found the experience so humbling that I wonder if we really are the most intelligent species on planet earth.
Intrigued? Like my Facebook page, I will be posting actual human-cetacean stories this week. Have you engaged with a cetacean? I hope you will share your story.
My debut novel, I Know You’re There, includes a true story of a human-humpback whale encounter. You can pick it up at most book retail sites.
Photo credit: Copyright: Jay Sergeant, 2010. Visit her website: www.http://www.jojoandjay.com
For those of us who now seem to live in Siberia, spring can’t get here soon enough. The calendar says it’s just seventeen days away, but looking out the window we know there’s no way daffodils are going to spring through the mountains of snow out there. Before you pull a Jimmy Buffett, and shoot two holes in your freezer, why not try some of these spring appetizers?
1. Go buy yourself some cut tulips, arrange them in a simple vase or mason jar and put them where you will most enjoy them; your desk, kitchen table or living area.
2. Get dreaded appointments out of the way. Dental, yearly preventive health check up, mammograms, taxes-think spring/summer/ fall. Do you want to be sitting in these offices once mother-nature turns the thermometer up?
3. Print your favorite photos. Have you noticed that in this digital era, you lose or can’t look at precious pictures because the technology to access them changes so rapidly? Make a ‘favorite photo’ folder on your computer and start putting your favorites in there. Then go online and have them printed at your favorite photo store. You can even make albums. Maybe buy a cheery frame or repurpose one with an outdated photo.
4. Shift your home theme into spring! You don’t need to spend a lot. Sometimes just a flowery candle in the bathroom, new pillows on the couch, or purging the winter clothes that you never wore this season.
5. Gather gardening ideas. Make a list of the vegetables you want to grow this year. Get some gardening books from the library for inspiration. Start a pinterest board for your outdoor landscape. When I’m not writing, I’m running the Garden Shop at Naturescapes. I specialize in container gardens. Check out the container garden board I’ve started.
6. Isn’t it special when someone remembers you on your birthday? Write down all the special people in your life and add their birthdays to your calendar. Take your list and visit the local card store. Pick out cards for them now and store them in a folder. Get a pack of stamps and put them in there. Maybe even address the envelopes now.
It’s easy to get dragged into the blahs after the thrill of the first snowfall has turned into a grey heap streamed with yellow streaks. Just remember, this too will melt. And when it does, you’ll be ready to seize the sunshine!
Please feel free to add your ideas below. :)
Enjoy gardening? Check out my novels, where I include snippets of my passion with horticulture.
I’m often told my strength is descriptive writing. Sometimes, however, words get in the way. Too much chatter. Even I know when to take a seat and let another work of art speak for itself. So, I share with you photos from today’s southern snowstorm. May you enjoy them in pristine quiet the same way they were taken.
The sun rises bright and dazzling, filled with promise, just as we do the day we are born. Beings of light-with potential and purpose.
As the day goes along, do we allow clouds to get in our way, storms to overtake us? Or do we radiate our best and shine through?
When the day ends, do we set quietly unnoticed? Or do we blazon shades of color so arresting that people stop to notice all our glory?
How do you prefer your food cooked? Crispy fried, sautéed in freshly chopped garlic and olive oil? Or are you a fan of a lower fat option like baking? And how about plastic, how do you like that prepared? You don’t eat plastic? You may not now or think youre not, but it sure looks like we are heading in that direction fast.
New reports by are alarming. The growing rate of plastic pollution in our seas is growing exponentially. About eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world's oceans each year, say scientists. During a recent trip to one of the most highly rated beaches in the world, Grace Bay on Providenciales, the message hit home-plastic was there too. So much so, someone took it upon himself or herself to create this garbage statue along the beach. How many different types of plastic can you spot in these images?
No matter where we live, we all share the same ocean resource.
I get it. This problem does seem insurmountable. How can I make a positive dent in this situation? The answer for most of us: one plastic step at a time. Simple solutions:
*Bring your own reusable bags shopping
*Remember pyrex dishware? Mason jars? Use these took store food and drink.
*Taking a walk in your neighborhood or along a beach? Bring a paperbag along and collect trash as you go, recycle it. It’s an eye opening experience. You’ll know what local fast food joints are in your neighborhood, I assure you.
*Be conscious on your purchases. Do you really need to buy that plastic toy? Instead of buying ‘things’ maybe buy ‘experience’ gifts-tickets to a movie.
*Going plant shopping? Put a tarp or old blanket in your trunk so you don’t have to ask for a plastic sheet.
*Skip the straw or use a reusable steel straw.
*Share with others that you a trying to reduce your plastic consumption. You’ll inspire many, I promise.
Share your idea below and you’ll be entered to win a reusable crow bag by Eric & Christopher. Winner will be selected on the first day of Spring, March 20th!
Susan Allison-Dean’s novels include issues affecting the ocean and its inhabitants. To learn more about plastics effects on us, whales, dolphins and other marine-life, follow her Facebook page.
#Plastic #PlasticPollution #Oceans #MarineLife #Health
The news of winter and snow drama abounds. So imagine my surprise when I hear “huoh-huoh-huoh” coming from the lake as I walk the dog, bundled in my coat, gloves and scarf-not another soul in sight. The familiar high pitch call coming from seagulls gliding over a coveted post instantly makes me feel warm and smell salty air. The sun feels decadent, I long to let my feet sink into sand.
We are two hours away from the coast, so their presence is unexpected. A funny memory of a seagull tearing apart a neighboring beach bum’s potato chip bag makes me smile. These birds seem to get more brazen each time I venture to the shore.
It won’t be long now. Six months until summer. Unless, of course, I plan an escape!
Susan is the author of two books, both featuring a trip to the Caribbean.
Flip through the channels on your television and you will find a plethora of reality shows each trying to find the best in creative talent: Shark Tank, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, The X Factor, Cake Boss, So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, need I go on? So where’s the reality show for books?
It’s called Book It! Maybe you could come up with a cleverer name, but here is the vision. Book industry leaders-traditional publishers, Amazon, literary agents, maybe even someone like Hugh Howey, who advocates for independent publishing, battle it out in front of an audience for the best reads. Authors pitch their book in front of the panel. The panel can ask the author questions. The viewing audience can tweet if they would read the said book. The tweets would be tabulated live so the panel can gauge the reading publics interest. Then the panel tries to woo the author they are interested in to sign a contract.
Finally, readers get a chance to see what actually goes on behind the closed doors of publication and have a voice in what is published. Authors get a chance to query all the publishing options at once. Publishers and agents get an opportunity to sign best-sellers. And best of all? The art and joy of reading, as well as literacy, is promoted. More stories are told. How about it, Mark Burnett?
#RealityTV #AmReading #BookWorm #BookClub
It’s every mother’s worst nightmare. Enjoying an average day in the outdoors, four- year-old Lolita was brutally torn away from her mother by a gang right in front of her entire family. There was no amber alert forty-four years ago-but that wouldn’t matter, because we know and have always known where Lolita is.
Today Lolita and her mother are still alive, but separated by miles. Moms and Dads take their children to see Lolita perform. Lolita lives alone, cramped in a tiny tank. See for yourself in this video:
If Lolita were in her natural home, this is what her life would look like. She most likely would have stayed connected with her family for her whole life. She most likely would have mated and increased her population.
Lolita's Natural Home
On Saturday, January 17, a #MarchForLolita will occur. Most of us who would like to see her released to a sea pen in her ocean home, where her mother still resides, won’t be able to get to the march in Miami, Florida. We can, however, show our support in a number of ways:
1. Sign this petition: Link
2. Do not buy a ticket to a whale/dolphin show for entertainment.
3. Watch the movies Blackfish and The Cove if you have not already. Encourage schools and PTA’s to show the movies to students and parents.
Imagine the hope freeing Lolita would bring. Hope for the girls kidnapped in Africa and forced into marriage by Boko Haram. Hope for a world filled with respect and compassion for others. Hope that future generations will have magnificent wildlife, like killer whales, on the planet earth.
Help Spread The Word: Share this message with your friends via the Facebook and Twitter Links below.
Susan Allison-Dean includes her passion for whales and dolphins in her novels. She joins the millions of others who speak for cetaceans(Dolphins & Whales).
Snow is slathered on the rooftops like icing on a Cinnabon-thick and creamy in some areas, sparse or non-existent in others. A lone bird, its feathers puffed, pecks at the ground, at what I wonder? The worms are surely hibernating. A sign of life comes from the stream of smoke wafting from a neighbor’s chimney.
The sun shines as bright as always but is now stingy with its heat. Deciduous trees once lush green and fanning us with a soothing breeze, now skeletons of bark. Evergreens stand staunch, clenched as I do when I first hit the below freezing air outdoors-clenching every muscle hoping to preserve precious body heat. White clouds wander in the soft blue sky as they always do.
Welcomed silence surrounds me accept for the hum of the refrigerator and the intermittent crackling in the baseboard heat. No school buses screaming by, no dog walkers chatting, not even the thud of the Sunday morning paper hitting the driveway-that replaced long ago with a thin box plugged in to the wall.
And so it is in the suburbs of New York City. Mother Nature’s moment to meditate it seems.
Susan Allison-Dean incorporates her love of nature in her novels. 'I Know You're There' & 'By The Sound Of The Crow' are available on most online book retail stores.
Susan's Novels Are Available on