Party Girl!

Pink cake

Birthday Cake

Anna was invited to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday. There was food and cake and presents, like all birthday parties, but there was also a fun photo booth set up by Smile Station Photography. All the girls had there pictures taken. No surprise—Anna went first.

Anna and plush dog with sunglasses

Movie stars!

Anna and plush dog

What a sweet puppy

Anna and plush dog

Strike a pose!

Anna and plush dog

Add a smile

Anna and plush dog

Too cute!

Saving Water

A seagull at Nye Beach

A seagull at Nye Beach (© 2014 by Anna Ozab)

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. She earned her Love Water Badge last month and now she’s working on her Save Water badge. To earn it, she read about how all animals (including people) depend on water, and how scarce and valuable a resource it is. Then she had to come up with a Save Water project that would help at least some of the creatures who depend on water.

Her inspiration was a simple question in her WOW Book. “How Do You Carry Water?” (Wonders of Water, p 52)

When you camp or hike, do you carry bottled water or do you use a canteen? Canteens and other containers that you can use again and again are better for the planet than plastic bottles of water. Why? Because plastic bottles are thrown away after one use and they often don’t get recycled. Some end up floating in the ocean, where they harm sea life!

That last sentence stuck with her.

Anna scoops up a plastic bottle

Photo: Julia Ozab

She’d scooped plastic bottles at the Sea and Me Exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium last month, and she’d learned just how dangerous plastic bottles can me to marine animals. She wanted to do something to make a difference and protect those sea creatures.

So she started collecting deposit bottles and cans. Luckily for us we live in a state where water bottles can be redeemed for deposit, and we have a brand new BottleDrop Center just down the street.

Anna started with the case of water bottles we brought with us to the coast. She then collected a bag from her grandmother and two more bags from Julia’s employer. Last weekend, we took them all to our local BottleDrop and turned them in.

Redeeming a bottle

Photo: Julia Ozab

We walked out the door with over $14 dollars in cash. Combined with a small contribution Anna made from her coast trip money we have a total of $16.60.

Where is that money going? I’ll tell you next week when I discuss the third part of Anna’s WOW journey—her Share Water project.

In the meantime, you can help. We’re already asking our friends in town to chip in bottles, but no matter where you are you can help Anna “Save Water” too. Just take a pledge to recycle plastic water bottles. If you live in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, or Vermont, you can redeem water bottles for deposit. If not, you can still recycle them. Every bottle recycled is one less bottle that might wind up in the ocean.

Anna’s “Save Water” Pledge:

Note: beyond sending you a thank-you email, I will not share your email with anyone or bother you ever again.

Bloggerhood Etc. 8/18/14

Lit candle

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

I usually try to make these weekly roundups a mix of deep, thought-provoking posts, and lighter, funnier pieces. And then weeks come along that are so filled with heartbreak that there’s nothing I can do but weep with those who are grieving. Last week was one of those weeks.

First, a cross-section of voices on the continuing tragedy of Ferguson and the regression of Civil Rights in our country.

Why We’ve Got to Go There” by Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem.

Five Minute Friday: Tell (And Cry to Listen)” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

First They Came for the Black people, and I Did Not Speak Out” by Matt Stauffer.

In Which I Have a Few Things to Tell You About Ferguson” by Sarah Bessey.

When Ferguson is Across the Street” by Shawn Smucker.

Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police” by Mia McKenzie at Black Girl Dangerous.

Racial Bias, Police Brutality, and the Dangerous Act of Being Black” by Kristen Howerton at Rage Against the Minivan.

Ferguson and Healing our Nation” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Black People Are Not Ignoring Black on Black Crime” by Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.

The New Racism: This is How the Civil Rights Movement Ends” by Jason Zengerie at New Republic.

Second, two bloggers share their own experiences with depression in the wake of Robin Williams’ death.

What Will it Take to Become a Church for the Depressed?” by Chris Morton at Growth and Mission.

Depression is Not a Joke” by Lorne Jaffe at Raising Sienna.

Third, a Prayer for Those Fleeing Violence and Oppression in Iraq, in Their Own Language.

May God our Father watch over them, and over all who are in danger.

Amen.

When a Photo Tells a Tragic Story

Two black kids hold "don't shoot" signs.

Photo via Anne Helen Petersen and MotherJones.com

I saw this image yesterday on Facebook and it left me speechless. I’ve not been able to find out who took it—even after a Google image search—but whoever the photographer was, he or she has captured the danger that African American children face every day.

This isn’t just Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, it’s America. And those of us who by the accidental privilege of our skin color don’t live the life these kids must face need to see them. We can’t shut our eyes any longer.

A new day has hopefully dawned in Ferguson, a new page in the story captured in this photo on Twitter this morning.

https://twitter.com/JamilSmith/status/500052815835070466

But how long until it happens again? Other black men have died violent deaths this week. We don’t know their names, or their circumstances, but we know that families and communities are morning them.

And in this way, all of America is Ferguson.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

Tag, I’m It!

Metal "tag" sculpture

Photo via Google Image Search

I have been tagged in my first blog tour post. This is where a blogger comes up with a set of questions, answers them, and then asks three more people to answer the same questions.

I did one of these via email fifteen years ago. It was longer (20 questions) and both more trivial and more personal at the same time (as the Internet always is). Since then, these same “question posts” have run rampant on that bastion of personal triviality called Facebook.

So normally I would ignore such a thing. But this one is about “writing and the writing life,” which is a little less personal and a lot less trivial. My friend and colleague Natalie Trust tagged me, so I’m answering the same four questions that she answered on her blog.

Check out the questions and my answers—and find out which three writers I tagged—at DavidOzab.com!

Image

In Memoriam

1-800-273-8255

Bloggerhood Etc. 8/11/14

Exit 152. Bucksnort, 1 Mile

Photo: Spencer Hall/SB Nation

It’s been an eventful week here—and not in a good way. But now that the drama has settled and life is returning to normal, it’s time to get caught up. So here’s some of the best from around the blogosphere from the last two weeks in an extra-large edition of Bloggerhood Etc. …

Best List.Staff Picks: Worst Highways in America” by Spencer Hall and the SB Nation staff.

Best Demand.I Want My Christianity Back—Without the Ugly Baggage” by Mark Sandlin at Time.com.

Best Realization.Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed” by David Cain at Films for Action.

Best Correction.They Call Us the ‘Nones,’ but We’re So Much More” by Courtney E. Martin at On Being with Krista Tippet.

Most Empowering.Geared Up For Robotics” by Haley Hanson at Huff Post Impact.

Best Dad Post.Hunting Live Dinos” by Don Jackson at Daddy Newbie.

Worst Examples.The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops” by Daniel Burke at CNN Belief Blog.

Best Review of a Bad Product.SPAM” by Spilly at SB Nation.

Best Devotional.His Glory Appears” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Comic.Outbreak” by xkcd.

The outbreak started with Patient Zero …

Outbreak (Panel 1)

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