Make Mothers Heart Sing-Help An Animal With Flowers For A Cause

sea shepherd flowers

Help Sea Shepherd save a whale

For Mothers Day Or Any Day-Flowers For A Cause

So, here we go again into one of the busiest flower buying times of the year, and with it comes the pocket lining of billions for the big, foreign, conglomerates who supply the flower buying outlets online and off, chain & grocery stores and every gas station and street corner you see.  These same conglomerates who continue to force our American farms out of business, fund foreign countries,  and ruin the environments around the globe with their practices. And the human side?  Sweat shop labor is not only in the clothing industry and not only in China.

 How about something better; why not do some good for something good instead.   If you have an animal adoring or tree hugging Mother or you...adore animals & trees;  I invite you to visit my Flowers For A Cause online section for some very unique flower arrangements I have created in honor of animals.   I donate all the profits (yes, I really do) back to the various organizations that help them. What better way to honor your Mother than with a one-of-a-kind flower creation of only American grown flowers that both makes a stand, keeps the $$ in America,  and benefits our animal kingdom?

 

A photo I took of an Eastern Wild Horse-Assateague Nat'l               Seashore Maryland

 

To benefit the American Wild                  Horse Preservation

 

As an artist and naturalist, I love what I do; but the reason I have done what I have with my business is a mission.  A mission of awareness to what is really happening in my industry, support our own country, and to give a voice to those living things that have none; with the hope some will heed it.  In today’s world I know it is really hard to think beyond your own issues, and I know there are many human tragedies and I know we all have a plate full-but there are some creatures out there that need our attention more than our own-immediately; because they are getting pushed under the rug all for profit.

As I have said many times…IF we are to consider humans the supreme beings on this planet then with that also comes the responsibility to take care of all those beings sharing this planet around us-from the trees to the elephants to the bees.  If we all were to do whatever we can no matter how small; collectively a difference could be made in the world with those voices heard; we would have a movement and maybe things just might be on the path to be righted.

 

Here I am visiting the Catskill Sanctuary                           and loving it.

 

To benefit the Catskill Farm                              Sanctuary

 

So please, if you are wanting to give Mother flowers next week, please check out my Flowers For A Cause first and see the designs I have created for any occasion and perfect for Mothers; from a charming Nantucket basket to save the whales for Sea Shepherd to a sunflower topiary to save our wild horses for the American Wild Horse Preservation.

And while you are at it, add a bar or 2 of the NY made, organic, Rescue Chocolates-where here too-every dime of profit goes to help dogs & cats in shelters, their advocacy, and foster programs.  Make your heart sing as these options don't cost you an extra cent-I give up my profits for you which.... is my heartsong.   Make your Mom proud-there’s no better gift than that.

And please...if you are reading this and not inclined to or cannot give flowers; it's ok you can visit the websites I benefit and just add your name on a petition and then do your Mother a good deed-my Mother always says 'deeds are the best'!  🙂  Then  share this to everyone you know anyway-lets get some eyes open and help a movement!

rescue greyhounds

2 lucky rescued greyhounds-the                                sweetest dogs alive 🙂

 

Our basket to benefit greyhound                       rescue...of course

  And those luscious chocolates...........
chocolates to help dog shelter

The raspberry hearts....

   

Making A Show for Our National Parks-The 100 Year Cenntenial

As the Duchess Fair kicks off, it is time for the competition, floral displays to beautify the Horticulture Barn.  With a theme this year of ‘passport to the world’ I knew immediately only one idea I would create.   My passport is and always will be to any of our National Parks; the most awe inspiring places in the world.  There is no need to travel around the world when we have these magnificent places right here in America.   From Acadia to Yosemite, each having it’s own magic to take your breath.   This year is the 100 year centennial and John Muir would be proud for all these precious areas that have been saved.   The National Park Service has a great promotion to ‘find your park’ and I hope you will.

As always, everything I do is complicated.  Nothing good is ever easy my grandfather would say-he was right.  Whenever I see something easily put together I am not impressed.  Easy is ok-but complicated is great.  My first component idea was to recreate the National Park Service sign seen in every park;  and not a carnation thing but yet with all the detail made in natural leaves, twig, and moss. Yes, a nightmare of time.  I started with a picture.. then graphed it.. and then copied it meticulously with ‘gifts from nature’.

NatParkgridstart

6 hours later I was searching in the yard for the 2 perfect branches to nail into a sign bracket.   From there the display was all clear in my mind.   Moms life size wolf, my precious white birch stump & logs, my old hiking boots (which I hiked through Yellowstone with), my backpack from Glacier, and moss, moss, and more moss.

my natparksign

A turtle here and a butterfly there, a found Montana  antler, and feathers from Muir Woods In CA  Easy peasy when you already love what you are recreating.  Which is why I always tell my students, ‘create your passion’as the design will come to you naturally.

Fairdisplay2

Fairdisplay1

Of course what better way to celebrate than with an arrangement of American grown flowers.  No South American or African flowers & goods here!

Fairdisplayflowers

butterflynatpark

Fernarrangement

fairdisplaybackpack

FYI-Bear grass grows wild everywhere in Glacier-hence why I stuffed my backpack with it.  Adding a vintage postage card finished it off.

I hope you all will get the chance to #FindYourPark in your lifetime as they are an unspoiled environment  just as Mother Nature intended.   There is a peace in this nature because we are nature.  The moss is our grandmother and the trees are our brothers.

"And that the sun shines Is beautiful as long as it is wild." John Muir

NatParklogo2

Go find your park-and help save it

Lynn 🙂

"

Love A Tree Day-The Decorah Bald Eagles-Gazillion Reason 10 Of Why To Love Trees

For the past 2 spring times I wake up to birds chirping and twigs rustling.  At first I thought I was dreaming but I soon realized it was coming from as usual...Lynn's lightbox*.  I found out I was listening to the Decorah Eagle Project  in Iowa, the  idea of the Raptor Resource Project.  In 2007, they climbed 80 ft up a cottonwood tree near the Decorah Fish Hatchery to a bald eagle nest installing webcams to document the lives of Mom & Dad eagle and their family.

decorah eagles

In my thinking it is a no brainer why the smart eagles are there-the aroma must be yum to them.  You should hear how loud the chirping gets when M & D fly in with breakfast; and you would not believe how 'wild' the menu is.  We never know.  The nest is huge-bigger even than my bed.  It measures 6 ft across and weighs 1 1/2 tons!  Can you imagine..and can you imagine the tree that supports it.  I love that tree  🙂 Lynn & I are going to build one at the shop to show everyone just how cool these birds are-and how big their bed is! (on the ground and not weighing a ton of course)

You know...sometimes Mom eagle will look right at one of the cams almost as if she knows they are being watched.  We kinda turn away feeling a little guilty-almost like we are spying on a private family and then turn it off.  But we realize that this private look maybe will inspire others to see nature and how we must protect it-and more important, how we are not the only families on this planet.

So I say paws up to trees today May 16-Love A Tree Day; because they are so important to all creatures and especially to us because let's not forget...without them we couldn't breathe on earth

Love A tree day graphic

Watch the live cam here  and when you next send flowers if you love birds and want to help them; maybe check out  our Flowers For A Cause  first....yup we designed a special arrangement to benefit our own local Raptor Center.

Happy Love A Tree Day-and please go hug your favorite tree -they like knowing they are loved too.

Treehugger Willow :))

*Willows calls computers-lightboxes :0 Lynn

Lend Your Voice to New York State Animal Cruelty & Puppy Mill Bills

Today I peeked up to wake Lynn to remind her about the important things she had to do online today.

Willow the famous greyhound You see, no matter what celebrity or fame I now have, and no matter how many photos, emails, or appearance I make on behalf of the store and our causes…I am still classified as an animal governed under the Agriculture & Markets in the state of NY.  Classified as such an “animal”, I unfortunately have few to zero rights and laws to protect me… even with Lynn by my side to help me.

In her spring post  {click and read} you read about her trip for all us “animals” (so undignified a term ugh. You are beings, and so are we!) to the state legislature to lobby for more humane laws in NY and to fight against the influx of puppy mills hoping to now camp here from PA.

Wildlife is in peril across the world, from our wolves to our wild horses to our elephants and whales.  Lynn and I do what we can by donating a percent of all our sales to them and.. with our Flowers For A Cause you know you can send flowers and support your favorites.

Well my friends, you may think your paws are tied but the way to start is right  in your home state wherever you are. These bills are up for vote in NY right now and if you have any love for your own family beings, then this is the time to show it.  Visit right now the Humane Society links I put below to see the rights we don’t have, and how you can make a difference.  Don’t be scared-you don’t need money, just your name or paw saying you love us and want us protected…and you won’t get on a blacklist either.

We need your help and protection now….Please use your right to speak because we have no rights and... we cannot .

Humane society of NY

The Consolidated Animal Crimes Bill (A.775a/S.1776)

Puppy Mill Crackdown  A.740a/S.3753a

Any comments for me-leave them below; and thanks ever so much for being my friend,

Willow

Lobbying For The Humane Society In Albany

I happily closed the store today in honor of the Humane Society’s Lobby Day in Albany. This was a totally volunteer event for any who would make the effort to travel to Albany and  lobby on behalf of animal welfare.  There are so many people out there that have a care for our fellow creatures but are unsure of how to help, but the most powerful way is ironically not just a donation but, to go face to face with our local and state legislators.

Hunane Society Lobbying

Myself and fellow lobbyist Gwen

 I know there are 1000’s of issues from education to taxes needing attention; but animals are our fellow living creatures that are being treated terribly for big business on an hourly basis-and they need a priority.  We have to think outside ourselves beyond money, and try to be the people our pets think we are.  Yes, it takes an effort, yes it takes some time, but in person is the single most influential way to get the issues heard.  When constituents tell their local politicians that they are not happy-they listen.  It may take awhile but with consistency, they get the message that as their local supporter-this is what you support.  You are the one who put them in office, and they want to keep you feeling that way.

Look at all the animal lovers!

Look at all the animal lovers!

 There are so many animal welfare issues from inhumane treatment to poaching that it is difficult, but I ask you to choose which is your sore spot and go with it. I ask you to please take a moment and really think about which is more important …to take a half day from work or the thought of an abused animal out there getting no help or retribution-every  working day.  Or maybe a family of Yorkshire terriers kept in a 3 ft. cage at a puppy mill their entire lives while you go to the beach.  I feel it is an obvious with no option.

 We all know something in some area of animal cruelty and we need to stop pushing it to the side and “not thinking about it because we cannot handle it”; but yet how the animals are handling it. Humans are at the top of the natural world, and that privilege  comes with the responsibility to care and watch over those creatures under us.  Contact your local politician, sign a petition, make a phone call-if the tables were turned the animals would do it for us.  I know my Willow would do anything to save me as I would her.  It’s just the way it is.

                           Here the bills we were supporting today-and there are 100’s more waiting:

 
  • A.1769a/S.1711a, which would prohibit the possession, sale, offering for sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins in New York, introduced by Assembly member Alan Maisel, D-Brooklyn and Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo.  Sharks are a menacing creature to most, but they are a vital part of the ecosystem keeping it in balance and their numbers are dropping so fast that they will soon only be a memory.  They are tossed back in the water after the fins are sliced off-perishing because they can’t swim. New York City has one of the highest consumption rates of shark fin in the country.
  • A.775a/S.1776, the Consolidated Animal Crimes Bill, which would modernize and improve New York’s anti-cruelty statues, introduced by Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan and Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Massapequa. Right now if you call a police officer about an animal abuse, they can basically do nothing as animals are governed as farm animals that are considered even less by Agriculture & Markets. If your precious dog is terrorized and hurt by a neighbor, right now they basically get little more than a hand slap.  The laws in effect are outdated and near 100 yrs old; we need new & stronger laws and we need enforceable penalties, and we need them now.
  • A.1656, which would prohibit gestation crates for breeding pigs and veal crates for calves, which virtually immobilize the animals for their entire lives and prevent them from turning around, also introduced by Assembly member Rosenthal.  I would guess that 80% of the population does not know the horrific conditions on factory farms.  These animals live so cramped their entire lives with little to no room for movement-all for tender meat and money.  The shrink wrapped meat at the grocery comes to your table with a horrific past and it is an atrocity to the morals of our society.
  • A.3767, which would regulate the sale, possession and transportation of feral pigs, introduced by Assembly member Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan.  Wild pigs and hogs are bred and brought into NY for trophy hunt outings, an inhumane hobby in itself;  but they are an invasive animal species now proliferating the forests and farms; devastating the environment and food crops promoting this radical hunting.  It is not the animals fault, they are bred for this odd sport and highly intelligent enough to figure escape routes from the enclosures-which drops them with no place to go except in our laps.
  • A.1655a, which would create better housing and sanitary conditions for dogs raised and kept in high volume breeding facilities, otherwise known as puppy mills, introduced by Assembly member Rosenthal .Puppy mills are hidden compounds that crate purebreds for perpetual breeding.  They live in deplorable conditions in tiny cages with their puppies getting minimal care and never let out, thus developing both permanent  physical and behavioral issues.   These are the same dogs purchased online, in pet shops and big box pet stores and often advocated by the AKC.

As always, I ask you to please educate yourselves on what is going on within our animal world and take any action you can muster, no matter how small.  If you love horses-look into their slaughter issue.  If you adore elephants-google their poaching situation.   If you identify with whales & dolphins watch Whale Wars on Animal Planet and get motivated.  Money talks, so look for purchases that are animal friendly and cruelty free, or that give a percentage to your certain sore spot like Brooklyn’s Rescue Chocolate that supports shelter dogs, or my Flowers For A Cause  with flower designs that I donate part of the sale to a specific  benefit.  Any small act will make a difference and when compounded by many, it is huge.  You or I alone cannot save the world, but together we most definitely can because there truly is power in numbers-I saw that today.

Our basket to benefit greyhound rescue...of course

On of our designs to benefit greyhound rescue...of course

I thank the Humane Society and prompt you to visit the site

Earth Hour 2013 And Me

Yay,  it’s Earth Hour this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. If you have been in the pillows and haven’t heard of this well it’s about time you did.  It all started 9 years ago in Sydney Australia  and  now it is a global event every year in over 7000 cities in 152 countries.  Seriously.

 It is a pack like thing to me-where everyone gets together for one goal-turn the lights off for just one hour to show your concern for the environment.  It’s a movement so you need to jump on board and join the pack.    Check out this video and then go to EarthHour.org for all the pack particulars.

Natural world

BTW-The World Wildlife fund has a very cool challenge.  It’s called “I will if you will” meaning what will you do to help the planet-and if I Willow do it-will you?  Hmm, I have pondered over what exactly would be something apropos...and I have it.

I will request that Lynn refill my abc bones  (already been chewed) instead buying a new one. Brilliant right?  Sometimes I amaze my green self.  J  Just think, the fillings are endless-peanut butter, can food, yogurt, or….ice cream!  Organic of course.  Think how many abc bones we would save, and how many animals, and how many trips to the store, and how much $$$.  It beyond me to add it all up-but I know it would be a ton.

So…if I can do it…you can do it.  Turn your lights off and cuddle up with your fav pack member for an hour or, at the veerrrry least -turn your darn lightboxes off  **

Side note from Lynn  lightboxes are computers and televisions to Willow; she’s so smart-she’s got a clue.

Be green and make the world happy!

Your fav green greyhound,

Willow

Cesar Millan Helps Us Dogs Celebrate The Fourth

I just looove Cesar- he understands me.  Every morning we watch him, and I think to myself, "he so has a clue" why doesn't everyone in the world get it?  In fact at my whining :), Lynn & I are asking for your thoughts on the designing of another arrangement for our Flowers For A Cause shopping to benefit his foundation.  Yay!

Our guy Cesar and friends*

So...I love the reason for the Fourth of July- freedom {see my blog post from last year down below-just keep pawing}, but all the loud pomp & circumstance humans carry on with is just too much for me and my friends.  We don't get the rush you seem to from these things-we personally think you are daft. The excitement starts the day before from what I can feel, and it builds up to about dark on July 4th and then bang out of nowhere the most awful loudness!  I don't think there is anything I dislike in the world except these fireworks-oh, and thunderstorms.

The fun escapes us*

I know all my friends feel exactly the same so we have a video from Cesar that we hope you all will watch.  He explains our fears and why, and how to help.  And...the best part?  It is with a cousin of mine in Spain named Amigo.   A different coloring, but you can see the resemblance I'm sure.  Just like humans are different colors-so are we-but still all related.  🙂

Help from Cesar for July 4th .....graciously provided by Cesar to enlighten us all- without the fireworks!

Happy Freedom,

Willow xo

**photos courtesy of Cesarsway.com

Sea Shepherd Society & The Seed: A Vegan Experience

While keeping up with two of our favorite benefits-Sea Shepherd of Whale Wars fame and our local Catskill Farm Sanctuary, I came across an event they will be set up (and speaking)  at in New York City on Fathers Day weekend.

 The Seed: A Vegan Experience   says it is "two days of vegan exploration await you. Nourish your taste buds on scrumptious plant-based food from New York’s famed vegan restaurants – the best in the world! Get inspired by world-renowned speakers, champion athletes, and top chefs. Provoke new thoughts withaward-winning films and their directors. Discover the vast market of cruelty-free products and services. And much more. The Seed invites the vegan-curious, vegan-skeptical, and vegan choir to explore what veganism has to offer today. You’ll gain understanding of the endless benefits of a compassionate, healthful, and earth-conscious existence of the vegan lifestyle."

 How cool does this look!  We will be going of course and will bring back all sort of new ideas for you I am sure.

Now...regarding the Sea Shepherd Society

I am not happy.  Captain Paul Watson of  the Sea Shepherd Society is being held under house arrest in Germany for possible extradition to Costa Rica for his campaign against shark finning.  Another atrocity of the sea world that he bravely and tirelessly fought a decade ago.  Until his release we will be upping the donation of our Sea Shepherd arrangements to 50%.  Please consider this design in our Flowers For A Cause when shopping on our site to send flowers.

Benefit bouquet with bits of the ocean

   A caption of the plea from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society site.  Visit them and read about this absurdity.  Please add your voice..like he does!
Lynn

Treasures And Flowers

As an artist and naturalist, I love what I do; but the reason I have done what I have with my business is a mission.  A mission of awareness to give a voice to those living things that have none; and the hope some will hear it.  In today’s world I know it is really hard to think beyond your own issues, and we all have a plate full- but there are some out there that need our attention more than our own.    Our wild horses are one of those issues.

Eastern Wild Horse- Assateague Nat'l Seashore Maryland

In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, granting federal protection to America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West”.  America’s wild horse population has dwindled to fewer than 33,000 when in the 1800’s it was over 2 million. There are now more wild horses in government holding pens than remain in the wild, with many of the remaining herds managed at population levels that do not guarantee their long-term survival. And still, the round-ups continue. *    They are penned under the control of the Bureau of Land Management until sold and sent to slaughter. We are taking one of our last, few, national treasures to sell the meat to foreign countries, and all for money.  I fear history repeating what happened to our magnificent buffalo.  I don’t understand this obsession to control Nature.  To me, capitalism is at its worse when it involves unsuspecting animals as they cannot speak up and have a say for themselves.   What are they thinking?  What would they say to us? On  May 30 the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that prevents horse slaughter in the U.S.  It prohibits funding inspections for horse slaughter plants in the U.S.; and without them the meat cannot be sold.  However, the bill comes to the full House for vote this week-most likely this Wednesday June 15; and there are many in and out of government trying to repeal this; those who see only money. I do what I can, and so can you.  It doesn’t have to be about money unless you want it to be.  The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign has a quick and easy, composed, letter that you can add your name to.  They will also give you the name of your local representative and telephone number with a quick script to call in.  Donations are of course always welcome but it is your voice that is really needed. If  you have a horse lover graduating or with a birthday or for no reason at all; I have also put up a flower arrangement in my Flowers For A Cause to benefit the AWHPC.  If we all were to do whatever we can no matter how small; collectively a difference can be made in the world with those voices heard; and maybe things just might be righted. Your thoughts? I welcome your comments and ideas and will forward them to the proper ears. Click here to visit AWHPC   Click here to our benefit arrangement *courtesy of the The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign –AWHPC.  Dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots efforts are supported by a coalition of over forty organizations.

Crates for Me and Turkeys

As a professional, racing greyhound (or rather a now happy “reposing” greyhound), I had a different upbringing than most of my friends.  As a puppy I quickly saw that most of my days would be spent in a carrier and a crate.  Kennel to track and back again. I of course wasn’t aware that this was not the normal life of all animals; I thought everyone lived like that!   Who knew?  So when Lynn told me about the animals raised for our food, I immediately identified. Crates,crates, and more crates.   Being the Thanksgiving holiday affair is coming; I started wondering about turkeys…

I went to our “Flowers For A Cause” in the Eco Shop because I knew we had an arrangement benefitting the Farm Sanctuary in upstate NY.  I thought this just was like a retirement home for grandparent cows and chickens that grew too old to graze and peck-kind of like a happy, rest home.   I am really not into farms and farm things being a racer from West Palm Beach;  so Iwondered- where do the farm animals there come from, and why are they being rescued?  And what about these turkeys?

Seems the 46 million turkeys served every November for these Thanksgiving affairs have had a similar life to me- but alot worse.  They live in a warehouse in crates only 3 ft. square their entire life; sort of like I did-but with no racing!  I thought farm animals ran free in fields in the sunshine and fresh air-isn’t that what we all think?  You know; like that happy cow television commercial?  I love that one.  At least I got out to run a few minutes on the track every day-they never do!  And then I read they over feed them so they get really, really fat and then they can’t stand up… and then they go a little crazy. Geez, I would too.

I felt really guilty for thinking of my early life compared to theirs so I decided to try to help.  Well, the Farm Sanctuary is doing something really cool through November 25 by having an “Adopt-A-Turkey Project”  where you can sponsor  a turkey and you will receive a certificate to proudly show your friends.  Since 1986 they’ve rescued and educated on how all farm animals are really raised-and all for us.   After reading about them- I really don’t think I can eat turkey again (or any cow or chicken or pig) unless Lynn assures me they are truly from a free roaming farm (it will say free range on the package) because if I do…hmmm then in my mind it seems to mean I am ok with how they live and are treated.  I may just go vegetarian to a gorilla diet!  So, I am going on board for my first ever Thanksgiving turkey adoption because I know how lucky I was to be rescued and get a family of my own-I’m  going to pay it forward.    I am choosing Daphne-because she reminds me of myself -a little bit thin, and a lotta bit lovable.

     DAPHNE

 

 It’s kinda like the dog racing; if people knew how we greys really spent our lives to entertain everyone; I just know humans would speak out for us.

Lynn made a sign that says   “ I strive to be the person my dog thinks I am”

                                                                                                                                                   So visit their site-I know you will speak out too. *watch for our upcoming greyhound benefit at the store-I will let you know when.    xo Willow