Saturday, July 9, 2011

JOIN DRL IN HELPING PONGO THE ORANGUTAN

DRL had formed a Guardianship Team to help support one of the Orangutans at the Center for Great Apes in Wachula, Florida. Pongo is a shy, gentle giant who was the first ape to be cared for at the center. He was in bad shape, had no hair on his back and what hair he did have was matted and caked with feces. Now he's one of the most handsome, contented apes in the sanctuary. Because he spent so many years in a small cage indoors, he had never seen the sunshine or felt the rain. Now, whenever it rains, Pongo loves to sit outside with his face toward the sky to feel the raindrops coming down.



Our goal is to raise $2,000 for Pongo by his birthday on August 16th. You can contribute to the DRL Guardianship Team by visiting this link: https://bos.etapestry.com/fundraiser/CenterforGreatApes/pongo/donate.do


Please help us to provide for Pongo and the other apes at the Center for Great Apes! For more information on the center you can visit their website at
http://www.centerforgreatapes.org/

ON THIS DATE IN MUSIC HISTORY JULY 9

1879 - Composer Ottorino Respighi was born 1879.
1915 - Composer David Diamond was born.
1956 - Dick Clark made his debut as host of "Bandstand" on a Philadelphia TV station. The name of the show was changed to "American Bandstand" when it went to ABC-TV.
1958 - Johnny Cash signed with Columbia Records.
1972 - Paul McCartney appeared on stage for the first time since 1966 as his group, Wings, opened at Chateauvillon in the south of France.

1974 - Crosby, Stills, and Nash started their reunion tour in Seattle.
1977 - Elvis Costello quit his day job as a computer operator at a cosmetic factory.
1981 - The Jacksons began a 36 city tour.
1984 - The album "Ice Cream Castle" was released by The Time.
1991 - U.S. President George Bush presented a National Medal of Art to Roy Acuff.
1995 - The Grateful Dead gave their last concert with Jerry Garcia at Chicago's Soldier Field. Garcia died the next month of a heart attack.
1996 - Prince released the album "Chaos and Disorder."
1998 - Scott Weiland had an bench warrant issued for him when he missed his second court date stemming from drug possession charges.
1998 - MTV Networks Europe announced in London the launch of freeform music channel M2 Europe. It was the first TV station to be launched on the internet.
1998 - Robert "Waddy" Wachtel and his wife were arrested for investigation of possessing child pornography, allegedly found on his personal computer.
1998 - Janet Jackson set a gross revenue record of $875,000 at the MCI Center in Washington, DC. The previous record was set my Yanni on January 31, 1998, with $860,300.
1999 - Mary Chapin Carpenter canceled a concert at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts in Springfield, MO, at the last minute. She had to fly home to tend to a very sick Golden Retriever.
1999 - The state of Indiana renamed a 25-mile stretch of Interstate Route 65 as "Kenneth Babyface Edmonds Highway." The same day Babyface donated $50,000 to establish VH1's Save The Music campaign in the state.
2001 - The Backstreet Boys temporarily stopped their "Black & Blue World Tour 2001." The tour had to be put on hold because A.J. McLean entered a treatment center for depression and alcohol abuse. The tour resumed on August 24th.

MEET GRUB!

Marion Pellicano Ambrose
Grub is an adult chimpanzee at the Center for Great Apes
Born in Los Angeles at an animal trainer's compound, Grub was pulled from his chimpanzee mother and sold to a Florida tourist attraction when he was only a few months old. Now at his permanent home in the Center for Great Apes in  Wauchula, Florida, Grub is a happy and active adult chimpanzee.




Grub eagerly participates in all types of enrichment activities.  He likes to paint and gets very excited when he sees the staff with brushes and canvases.  Grub has created many beautiful paintings and concentrates very hard while he’s painting.  In 1996, he was featured on the NBC Today Show in a story about animals and art.
He also likes facemasks and learned years ago how to make a mask from pieces of paper or cardboard by tearing out two eyeholes.  When Grub particularly likes a volunteer or visitor, he’ll find a piece of cardboard in his enclosure, tear out a mask with eyeholes, and offer it to the visitor.  If no paper or cardboard is available, he’ll find a leaf to make his “mask-gift”!
As enrichment, Grub has learned many signs in American Sign Language and uses them appropriately.  Grub particularly likes dogs.  When the sanctuary's 9-year-old golden retriever was adopted, Grub was very excited to see him, ran over to the edge of the outdoor habitat near the dog, and signed "chase.”  He then ran back to get some primate chow biscuits and tossed them out to the very surprised dog.
Even though Grub is over 145 pounds and his fierce “displays” usually end with him throwing large barrels into the air, he can be extremely gentle.  He interacts daily with the handicapped juvenile chimpanzee, Knuckles.  Grub grooms and tickles Knuckles and seems to know that he’s special.  When Grub once stuck his finger in Knuckles’ mouth (in play)... and received a very hard bite from Knux, he ran screaming and holding his finger, but came right back to Knuckles and gently tickled him again.  If any of the other chimps had bitten his finger, he would very likely have retaliated!
Grub is only one of the many chimps and Orangutans at the Center for Great Apes in Wachula, FLorida. I visited the center on July 1st for a training to be able to work with these intelligent creatures. I look forward to sharing more about them and their stories with you at DRL.

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS JULY 9


Richard Roundtree 1942 - Actor
Dean Koontz 1945 - Author
Bon Scott (AC/DC) 1946 
O.J. Simpson 1947 - Football player, actor
Chris Cooper 1951 - Actor
John Tesh 1952 - Musician, television personality
David Ball 1953
Debbie Sledge 1954 - Musician (Sister Sledge)
Tom Hanks 1956 - Actor
Kelly McGillis 1957 - Actress
Jimmy Smits 1958 - Actor
Jim Kerr 1959 - Musician (Simple Minds)
Marc Almond 1959 - Musician (Soft Cell)
Courtney Love 1964 - Musician (Hole)
Frank Bello 1965 - Musician (Anthrax)
Scott Grimes 1971 - Actor
Enrique Murciano 1973 - Actor ("Without a Trace")
Fred Savage 1976 - Actor ("The Wonder Years")

Friday, July 8, 2011

WANNA LAUGH?!?!


If a firefighters business can go up in smoke, and a plumbers business can go down the drain, can a hooker get layed off?

Any woman that thinks the way to a mans heart is through his stomach is aiming just a little too high.

When a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $4.95 a minute.

3... 2... 1... LIFTOFF ...THE END OF AN ERA

GOD'S SPEED ATLANTIS
Barbara Ward-Finneran


In Cape Canaveral Florida this morning, NASA launched it's last ever space shuttle mission.  Four astronauts left the earth at 11:29 am in the Atlantis Shuttle for this final and unforgettable launch.

Although weather watchers were pessimistic, with a 70% chance of a scrub due to rain and clouds, a window of opportunity opened at just the right time.  There was a brief pause at 31 seconds in the countdown and about a  two minute hold before liftoff.  Hundreds of thousand lined the space coast to watch the 135th mission begin.  With my children, I was among these crowds.  I stood on a dock over the beautiful Intracoastal with my boys and friends to watch this historic moment.  Although the view was short lived due to the cloud cover - it is one I will never forget.  I hope my boys will always remember it too!

This is the end of an era.  Atlantis is making it 33 flight.  The mission named STS-135, is the end of 30 years of flight missions. The 135 missions have seen 355 astronauts representing 16 different countries enter space and take flight from the USA.  

Atlantis is expected to return home on the morning of July 20th, the 42nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong's historic walk on the moon.

It it emotional and bittersweet for our country but even more so for those of us who life on the space coast.  1,700 pink slips are expected to follow soon after Atlantis' landing later this month.  Many have already come before this... sadly, I fear there will be numerous more cuts to follow.  My family knows many who have already been effected by the lay-offs  from Kennedy Space Center.

What comes next for Brevard County Florida's Space Coast...?  Will the area be able to handle the loss of more jobs at NASA and trickle down effects? What comes next for NASA's space programs?  It is very sad to see one era end without the birth of the next in sight...

God bless the crew!
God's Speed Atlantis!
God Bless and America!

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM MAYA ANGELOU

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

A friend sent me an email that I wanted to share. After reading it, I hope you will be as  inspired by this great lady as I was!
In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting..' Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day.....like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou said this:
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance..'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back...'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn...'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

It seems to me that we have a lot to learn from poet and sage, Maya Angelou!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE IT! EVERYDAY!

Barbara Ward-Finneran
What enables us to go from what we are today to who we want to be tomorrow?
All the options that exist in today's tech savvy and fast moving world along with all the decisions and choices open to us each moment don’t necessarily give you a sum of happiness and optimism at the end of the day.  How has the simplicity of that beautiful aspiration been lost along the way? Multitudes of options seemingly make life overwhelming, not easier.  Wouldn’t it seem like many choices would make life easier.  Rather the opposite is at times blindingly apparent.  With choice comes responsibility.  UGH!  Therein lies the problem.  Do you become trapped in not choosing rather then risk the wrong one?  
Although not easy to admit out loud, or in this case, write and read typed out, I’ve been making choices by default.  By spinning my wheels. YUCK!  I despise that - yet I have been lost in a cycle of it.  By not keeping your eyes on the prize and focusing on the outcomes you desire, you let life happen to you, instead of creating the life you crave and deserve.  I know better.  I do better.  So, WHY?  Why am I, why have I been floundering in a pool of potential?  
I’ve been putting in some time soul searching for that "AH-HA answer".  It’s not a black and white issue, so there isn’t a simple answer, but a spectrum of shades and tints to investigate.  Layers to peel away, acknowledge, and feel before you can escape the torture of life in the gray and once again look through those technicolor glasses.  I know I have those glasses!  Hell, I usually blind people when I put ‘em on. They have been just out of reach - like that lip gloss that you know is in the black hole of your purse.  Reach in feel around, pull stuff out, you know it’s 'freaking' in there.  Yet there is no getting your hands on it till later when you can get somewhere and do the “great purse dump” in a safe place with decent lighting.  
Seems my mind and heart have needed a “great purse dump”.  Yet like when looking for that lip gloss, sometimes you choose to forget about it, rather then finish the task of searching for it, or finding the time, energy, and place needed for the “dump”.  You use (choose the safety of) the chap stick that you have pulled out ten times instead or just go without.  


WANNA LAUGH?!?!

Tony Walker
My wife & I were fighting the other day. As we were fighting she started packing.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
She said, "I'm moving to Vegas! I'm going to become an escort & charge $500 a night!"
With that I started packing too.
"Where are YOU going?" She asked.
I replied, "I'm going to Vegas too. I wanna see how you'll survive on $1000 a year."

Then I asked her, "I bet you can't wait for me to die so you can spit on my grave."
My wife said, "No way. I don't like standing in long lines!"

STICKY SWEET

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

Patty B

Chocolate has calories. Diet soda has none. That means that chocolate and diet soda cancel each other out.

Chocolate eaten at a concert: wrapper music.

Eat chocolate when you have insomnia. it won't help you sleep, but it'll make being awake more fun.


Time Served for Casey Anthony:

Sentenced to 4 years, the maximum sentence allowed by law, with time served Casey will walk out of the Orange County Jail in 6 DAYS!
On July 13, 2011 Casey will be a free woman!
Casey will still face a civil case  filed by Zanaida Gonzalas and handled by John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan Law Firm,with a deposition scheduled for July 19th .

The civil case goes to trial in October.

THESE DREAMS.....


Dawn Boyle
I have the craziest dreams. Since being pregnant with my oldest daughter in 2000-2001 I have had the most vivid and sometimes disturbing dreams. I have woken up with sweats. I have woken up by my own screams. I have had dreams with a specific former boyfriend that are so real, I wake up with the feeling that I am with him again. Last night in particular. We were high school sweethearts. We had so much happen to us in the short time (4 years) we were together is my sub-conscience telling me something? Why do I dream about someone that I decided to walk away from all the time?

As per Dream Prophesy....
"More times than not, when you dream about an ex (girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife), it isn’t really THEM that your dream represents.  Usually (though not always, of course) it’s the period of time that your mind is revisiting – your ex just happens to be there.  In the same way that our AWAKE mind revisits the past, through memories, sometimes our ASLEEP mind does the same.

If we’re going through a stressful time in our lives and seem to have more on our proverbial plate than we ever asked for – our mind will take us to a “simpler time” – if an ex happens to be there, it isn’t necessarily a compliment to them.  They just happened to be in the picture at the time."

So basically if I rely on this interpretation it seems that all I am dreaming about is a less stressful time. When I was younger and carefree. But who decided that was the correct meaning? It seems from my search on this matter that scientists really have no concrete theory on why we dream or what they mean. Some believe that keeping a dream journal can help you. They say you need to not only journal the dream, but the feelings you are dealing with in real life at the time of the dream. A stressful time creates different patterns in your dreams.

As for me, I ran out and got a journal to keep on my nightstand. I plan on logging my remembered dreams to see if there is anything there that my sub-conscience is trying to tell me. I have a few friends that have very strong feelings on their dreams and what they mean. I wonder what they would say about me and my dream....what do you think? What are your dreams saying to you?

CASEY RECEIVES HER SENTENCE

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Judge Belvin Perry has sentenced Casey Anthony to 4 years in prison and $4,000 in fines.

Judge Perry will also impose court costs.  Penalties include 1 year for each count, $1,000 fine on each count, consecutive sentence and credit for time served. The court will calculate how much time Casey has already served and it will be announced sometime this morning. The defense has 30 days to appeal the sentence. The Defense is arguing that all 4 offences were actually one single act.

In the meantime, crowds formed outside the courthouse protesting the decision of the jury. Signs reading "Boycot books and movies by Casey Anthony","No  justice for Caylee" and others referring to Casey's "Belle Vida" are being carried by some of the crowd.

Heavy security is in effect around the Orange County Court house. Armed officers and Deputys are stationed all around the exits. Throngs of media stand in wait to attemt to see any of the key players as they emerge from the courthouse.

A hearing was set for August 25th to decide on the restitution part of the case. Jose Baez informed the court that Casey is indigent and will require public assistance in the event of an appeal.

CASEY ANTHONY:THE SENTENCING

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Casey holds hands with Jose Biaz while verdict is read.


The whole state of Florida, in fact, most of the country, waits to learn today if Casey Anthony will be freed to walk out of the Orange County Jail after three years of living behind bars. Judge Belvin Perry will start sentencing proceedings at 9am.
Another topic expected to be discussed by Judge Perry is the conditions under which Casey might be forced to pay back the huge amount of money the state was forced to dole out for her defense.  Many speculate that Casey will be offered a great deal of money for her story to be made into a book or possibly a movie. New figures released Wednesday show Casey Anthony's defense has billed the Justice Administrative Commission $133,905.57. The total costs paid out so far with public funds is $93,917.49. An additional $11,708.61 in billings will not be paid, and $28,279.47 remains unpaid at this time.
 It has been reported that others involved with the case have been approached to appear on TV, give interviews, or provide information regarding the case.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Jennifer Ford, Juror #3

“Juror No. 3, a Largo woman named Jennifer Ford, agreed to talk to ABC without compensation, the network said. In an article on the network's website, Ford explained the verdicts left her and other jurors "sick to our stomachs."
"I did not say she was innocent," Ford, a 32-year-old nursing student, reportedly told ABC. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."
Ford did not immediately return calls from the Orlando Sentinel.
Early Wednesday, Perry shredded the notes jurors took in court, according to an affidavit placed in Anthony's court file.
A representative for Juror No. 6 reached out seeking money, according to two national news organizations. The juror won't do anything without compensation, a source with one organization said. A publicist identified by online reports as representing Juror No. 6 also did not return a call from a reporter.”
It was later reported that while Jennifer Ford received no financial compensation for speaking to ABC, she and her family were given a Disney vacation in exchange for her interview.

George and Cindy Anthony leave court after verdict is read.



The question now arises, where will Casey go once she is released? After accusing both parents of lying, George and Lee of molesting her, and George of trying to cover up Caylee’s death, it seems unlikely Casey would be warmly welcomed back home.  As a matter of fact, neither George nor Cindy showed any reaction when the verdict was read. Neither did they attempt to visit or speak to Casey afterwards.


So, many questions remain at the end of this infamous trial. What will be Casey’s sentence? Who will “sell” their stories? And most importantly, will there ever be justice for little Caylee Anthony?  
We may never know what really happened
to little Caylee Marie Anthony

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SOUL FOOD

Barbara Ward-Finneran
Never settle for a spark when your soul yearns for a roaring fire. 

Find your passions. Intertwined with goals and dreams.  
Feed them and you unlock all your endless potential.  

Follow your passions.  For without them, is there purpose?  

Be alive in them. 
Let them drive you.
Allow them to be the wings that give your spirit flight. 

Only then...  can all the rest follow!

Keep the promises that you make to yourself!

Photo Courtesy of Barbara Ward-Finneran and Drawn 2 Design, LLC
©  All Rights Reserved

WANNA LAUGH?!?!?! One Liners...



The longest sentence known to man: "I do."

Crime doesn't pay... Does that mean my job is a crime?

Do you ever notice that when you're driving, anyone going slower than you is an idiot and everyone driving faster than you is a maniac?

I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.

EPIC MOVIES....LONG GONE?

Tony Walker

For this year's 4th of July Weekend I spent the holiday in bed due to a stomach virus so I either slept, watched the Met/Yankee games, or watched the marathon of Rocky movies on cable TV. Watching Rocky got me thinking.

If you are in your 40's this will make sense to you.
Remember when Rocky 3 & 4 came out?
Remember when Empire Strikes Back & Return Of The Jedi came out?
Remember when Batman with Michael Keaton & Jack Nicholson came out?
These weren't just movies. These were events. Major cultural events back then.
So here's my problem. I can't recall a single movie in the past 20 years that had everyone talking before the movie came out.

Remember Batman? People were buzzing! The Batman emblem was everywhere!! Grandmother's were wearing T-shirts with the bat on it!!

Am I wrong? Is the excitement gone for a 40 something once problems of the real world have ruined us? Are there any movies today that have had the affect on today's kids like those movies had on us? Or has the quality of movies gone to the crapper? I personally believe that when someone like DeNiro has to make a third Fockers movie that the quality of movies have gone down the crapper but I'd love it if someone changed my mind on that.

Sure there have been some big movies lately... Avatar comes to mind. But the premiere of that movie wasn't a happening like the movies I mentioned.

Tell us what you think...

WICKED TRIAL OUTCOME


Dawn Boyle
Sickened by the outcome of the Anthony trail and the jury finding her "NOT GUILTY" of the murder of her little girl, I am starting to think there is a pattern. Do we blow these people up, such as OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson or Robert Blake to make their celebrity status enough that we are blinded by their obvious guilt?

I get the reasonable doubt. I understand that the proof has to be provided by the prosecution but how do these people walk? I guarantee if it were you or I on that side of the law we would fry like a egg.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

PORCH LIGHTS ON FOR CAYLEE MARIE

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Porch lights on for Caylee Marie Anthony



Time
Today , July 5, 2011 at 9:00pm - Tomorrow at 6:00am

Location
all over the world


      NO SPECIFIC TIME ZONE, WHENEVER IT'S 9PM IN YOUR AREA.

    LET'S SHOW THE WORLD THAT WE WILL NOT FORSAKE CAYLEE MARIE!

EATERY IS OPEN - TEX MEX DIP




 

Ingredients
1 cup White or Brown Rice
1 lb browned ground beef
1 can chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 lb prepared cheese, cut into cubes, divided
1 bag crushed tortilla chips


Directions
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare rice according to package directions; set aside. Brown ground beef. Mix in cooked rice, beans and tomatoes with green chilies. Cover baking dish bottom with chips. Layer half of the cheese over the chips. Top with rice mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream and green onions, if desired.

NO PAIN NO GAIN

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Patty B
If exercise is so much fun, why is it called "working out?"
If you eat pizza in the forest and no one sees you, do the calories till count?
Drinking lots of water is suppose to help you lose weight. You'll burn fat just running to the bathroom all day long.

WANNA LAUGH?!?!?!


A man comes to his doctor and tells him that his wife hasn't had sex with him for 6 months. The doctor tells the man to bring his wife in so he can talk to her. So the wife comes into the doctors office and the doc asks her what's wrong, and why doesn't she want to have sex with her husband anymore.

The wife tells him, "For the past 6 months, every morning I take a cab to work. I don't have any money so the cab driver asks me, 'So are you going to pay today or what?' so I take a 'or what'. When I get to work I'm late so the boss asks me, 'So are we going to write this down in the book or what?' so I take a 'or what'.
Back home again I take the cab and again I don't have any money so the cab driver asks me again, 'So are you going to pay this time or what?' so again I take a 'or what'. So you see doc when I get home I'm all tired out, and I don't want it any more."

The doctor thinks for a second and then turns to the wife and says, "So are we going to tell your husband or what?"

CASEY ANTHONY VERDICT JUST IN...

CASEY ANTHONY NOT GUILTY!

Of any counts related to murder or abuse of Caylee.
First Degree Murder - NOT GUILTY!
Manslaughter - NOT GUILTY!
Child Abuse and Neglect - NOT GUILTY!

Convicted GUILTY of various counts of providing false information to police officers. 
Sentencing will be Thursday.  
Speculation is that with time served she could walk out of jail in the very near future.  

HE SAID....

Tony Walker
There are so many things I am bad at when it comes to pleasing the opposite sex. My ex wife would probably say I am bad at most things. Hell, my current wife might say the same!!

Well for this week's He Said I am just going to talk about one thing that I am really bad at.
Knowing the kind of a sex a woman wants.
Let me explain...

Have you ever been with a lover where you felt like hanging from the rafters, getting out every thing you have that vibrates, make some animal noises, & wanted to ignore every boundary you've ever had?
Have you ever been with a lover where you felt like lighting candles, putting on some Marvin Gaye, kissed for hours, & made slow passionate love?

This is what I am talking about. I never seem to figure out what a woman is up for.
Oh sure... sometimes you walk into a room, a house, whatever, & you know she's up for a romantic, lovemaking night. I'm not talking about those nights.

There are the nights she agreed for the first time ever to go to a strip club & now she's feeling dirty... in a good way. I'm not talking about those nights.
I'm talking about the nights where you're just not sure. The spur of the moment nights.
Whenever I'm in a romantic mood, she's not.
Whenever I feel like going ape, she's not.

Ladies please explain this to me.

What gets you in the mood for crazy sex? Is it something like going to a strip club or to a rock concert?
What gets you in the mood for making love? Is it something like an anniversary or birthday?
Is it better to play it by ear?
Tell us what you think. Tell us if you've been in this situation & how you handled it.

A MAGICAL VACATION, WITHOUT MICKEY?

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

The weather is warming, the skies are brighter and bluer, and the palm trees are swaying in the tropical breezes!  Yes, it’s summer! This is the time when we all run to the beach to swim and bake in the sun. We look out at the crystal blue waves capped with white foam and feel our muscles relax and our worries fade away. But I’ve discovered something even better; something both relaxing and at the same time, invigorating. This is an adventure that will introduce you to something even more colorful and stunningly beautiful! I’ve discovered Snorkeling! Picture yourself floating over the reef gazing down at the multi colored coral and fish of every shape and size. It’s a whole new world of life beneath those waves and snorkeling gives you the chance to be a part of it.

Patty shows me a hidden school of Parrot Fish
I recently got the chance to spend a morning snorkeling in Key Largo.  My friends and I took a charter boat out to the White Banks Dry Rocks Reef. The water was like turquoise colored liquid crystal. Dark shadowy areas indicated the areas of coral where we would find an abundance of sea life to observe. As I drifted over these areas I was totally enchanted with the variety of species of both fish and coral.  I was extremely fortunate to have my good friend Patty with me. She teaches Marine Biology in high school and worked at Sea World for several years. She made the experience so much richer and more gratifying by pointing out things I might have missed, like a school of parrot fish hiding in a crevice of coral. She also explained about all the different species and taught me to identify several on my own. I felt almost like a Marine Biologist myself after we climbed back aboard the boat!
Our hour and a half snorkeling felt more like fifteen minutes! Before we knew it, the Captain was blowing the siren calling us back to the boat. I could have spent several more hours viewing the wonders of the reefs!
Christ of the Abyss
If you’re wondering what you and your family can do this summer that is not too expensive, lots of fun, educational and absolutely memorable, try snorkeling the Florida Reefs!  Besides the beautiful sea life, there are shipwrecks and other amazing things to see, like the Statue of Christ of the Abyss. This famous bronze statue rises so close to the water's surface that it can be easily viewed by snorkelers as well as divers. The statue is nestled between the coral formations of Key Largo Dry Rocks reef in just 25 feet of water. Key Largo is a popular tourist destination and calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World" because the living coral reef a few miles offshore attracts thousands of scuba divers , snorkelers and sport-fishing enthusiasts.
But Key Largo is only one desirable destination. We've got the only living coral reef in North America and it goes from north of Key Largo, down the entire chain of Keys, and out beyond Key West to the Dry Tortugas. It's why Florida Keys snorkeling is a must-do while on vacation. Boats throughout the Keys take visitors out to the reef for half day snorkeling trips. Some outfitters combine a morning or afternoon of snorkeling with lunch or snacks and beverages, while others work in kayaking and watersports as well. So if you’re planning a trip to see Mickey or Harry Potter this year or simply coming to enjoy the tropical breezes and pristine beaches, consider taking a trip a little further south to snorkel in the Florida Keys!

The color and variety of the Florida Coral Reefs


HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Monday, July 4, 2011

JURORS DELIBERATE OVER CASEY'S FATE

Marion Pellicano Ambrose
The jury for the Casey Anthony murder trial is in deliberation. This morning, closing arguments ended with the prosecution presenting Casey  as a pathological liar who diverted attention away from herself by claiming her dead daughter, Caylee, had been kidnapped.
State Prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick played portions of jailhouse tapes of Casey Anthony lying about her daughter being kidnapped by a fictional nanny and the 911 call made by Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, to report Caylee missing, further showing Casey’s lies despite the anguish it caused her parents.
"When you use your common sense, you can listen and hear that there's nothing that's wrong with Casey Anthony that can't be explained using two words: pathological liar," Burdick said.
"At the end of this case, all you really have to do is ask yourself the simple question, 'Whose life was better without Caylee?'" Burdick said.
The prosecution ended by showing a picture of a “party girl” Casey  and the tattoo that read "Bella Vita," Italian for the beautiful life, all while Caylee was supposedly missing.
Earlier,Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, showed jurors images of the skull and skeletal remains of Caylee. He reminded them of the state’s claim that pieces of duct tape on the remains were placed on Caylee before she died.
“We believe the evidence in the case supports the scenario that Casey Anthony chloroformed Caylee so that she would not suffer, placed duct tape over her nose and mouth…and then disposed of her body," Ashton said.
"Any way you slice it...Casey Anthony is guilty of murder in the first degree in this case," Ashton concluded
According to ABC News, Judge Belvin Perry instructed jurors how to proceed in their deliberations. He gave jurors the option of finding her guilty of a lesser crime such as second degree murder, manslaughter or third degree felony murder. Those crimes do not carry a death sentence.
Along with the first degree murder charge, Anthony faces charges of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four charges of lying to law enforcement.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!


"Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.   Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

MUSIC HISTORY JULY 3

1854 - Composer Leos Janacek was born.

1879 - Composer Philippe Gaubert was born.

1941 - Cab Calloway and his orchestra recorded the standard, "St. James Infirmary."

1969 - Brian Jones (formerly of the Rolling Stones) was found dead in his swimming pool at his Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, England, home.

1971 - Jim Morrison (Doors) died in Paris at age 27.

1975 - Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night) was arrested for cocaine possession.

1995 - Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) pled innocent to drug charges.

2000 - Dawn Boyle and Greg Kostakis danced to Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC at their wedding.

2002 - Sony/ATV Publishing announced it would buy a country music catalog from Gaylord Entertainment for $157 million.

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