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The December Solstice brings in the astronomical winter and summer seasons for the two hemispheres of our planet - The winter season for the Northern Hemisphere and the summer season for the Southern Hemisphere. On the day of a solstice, the Earth is at its maximum tilt, 23.5 degrees, either toward or away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere the date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year.

"The Peruvian Amazon is a magical and mysterious destination where you can enjoy a romantic getaway or an adventure without a parallel...... one of its most charming places and full of natural beauty is the beautiful Sandoval Lake. A perfect example where you can appreciate the different and numerous wildlife while you marvel at the dreamy landscapes” Read more

Now the mizzus was a sort of mail order bride.  I came out to the rainforests here in the 70’s, bought my 7 acres and my mule just before the interest rates went wild and discovered how few single ladies there were in the woods of the South End.

So I resorted to what our pioneer ancestors turned to … no,  not THAT … I wrote back to the Midwest for a wife.  I had a lady friend in Minnysota who was just fixing to graduate with her masters degree in librarying.  Librarying, I thought to myself, is even better’n school ma’arm.  She could teach some of the artists on the South End here how to read and write and then we could sit around the porch and discuss Nietzsche and Tolstoy, the events of the day.

Late spring of l981 I commenced to writing heart wrenching, bodice ripping, pulse pounding love letters.  I told my darling all about our little island, how it was a tropical paradise where our beautiful cottage nestled in the arms of million year old cedar trees and coconut palms and you could see the Olympic Mountains every night at sunset glowing like a fireplace and that old sun had nothing on the lovelight in my heart for her …

Course she didn’t have a chance….  Who could resist my literary charms?  And I’m sure she carried a picture of my irresistible self in a locket in her bosom, pining – PINING, ladies and gentlemen – for that day a letter would arrive from her Prince Charming, old lumber Jack himself, king of Camano, practically Paul Bunyan with a book of poems under his ax arm.

Well, I was surprised TOO she didn’t rush out to my waiting muscle bound arms.  So I wrote some more.  I wrote a dictionary worth.  Then I wrote an encyclopedia Britannica.  Spring turned to summer, summer turned to fall, fall became winter, my dreams turned to mush.  I run outa words.  ME!  With nothing left to say.  I was about to give up and become a Zen hermit priest.

But one day I got a letter saying she was coming OUT.   …  For a day or two, then going to Alaska to see her cousin.  Alaska?  Why on god’s green earth would she go to a godforsaken hellhole like that when she could have the whole South End paradise?

Course she was gonna see the cottage wasn’t a cottage – it was a shack.  Leaky roof, crooked floors, a ladder to the upstairs.  Alaska was gonna look REAL good.  And Prince Charming?  I was in serious trouble now.

But luck was on my side.  The day she flew in a storm took out a dozen trees to the South End and power was out when we pulled in the drive.  So I lit up the oil lamps and popped the champagne and boiled the crabs on the woodstove and I won’t tell you the details but let your romantic imagination run wild and you might have some small notion of why the mizzus is still the mizzus and why we both still celebrate the day she came out here and not our wedding anniversary and why the South End will always be a tropical paradise to at least a couple of us old lovebirds.

The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

It's not often that one stops to think about how infrastructure impacts the community. Yet, the outdoor spaces in which we find ourselves can have a significant impact on the way we approach life and can even impact how we interact with each other. Here's how.

Infrastructure can help promote societal interactions

The way a city or town is designed can help to promote societal interactions. Furthermore, the more architectural developments there are, the greater likelihood for people to be outdoors, which enhances the potential of relationships being formed organically, whether it be at the park, the library, community centers, etc.

Speaking of building relationships, one can also use the accessibility of public spaces to network for business purposes. For example, meeting with others at a convention center can help to boost potential prospects if you're looking to network. But suppose you're not that experienced at meet and greets or you feel that it's not your strong suit because you are naturally introverted, then be
sure to practice your pitch on friends and family first. Or, why not get networking tips from your most extroverted friend to help give you that extra confidence boost you need when meeting new people?

Infrastructure can help promote the public's wellbeing When there is the necessary infrastructure in place, people are often more willing to partake in outdoor activities that are good for their health. For example, when parks, subways, and other confined spaces are well lit, people feel safer engaging in healthier outdoor activities such as jogging or cycling to get more fit.

Lighting as a key design feature

As far as design features go, lighting comes out on top as a must-have, especially if it is a place that people use often. For example, parking garages should be one of the safest places there are because there tends to be a lot of traffic in and through here daily. Not only is lighting needed for walkways or stairways leading to parking garages for safety as well as visibility reasons, but these LED lights for parking areas and structures also help to boost visibility for drivers in underground parking spaces too.

Examples of design infrastructures that benefit the public

Housing infrastructure

Housing infrastructure that is accessible and financially affordable to all, no matter your income status, race, or background.

Transportation

There should be sufficient transportation routes in terms of accessible and convenient roads and highways, as well as a variety of public transportation that is available to the masses.

Recreational spaces

There should also be ample recreational spaces for the public to enjoy the outdoors, such as parks and botanical gardens, and access to cultural places such as community and arts and culture centers. For instance, if you’re in the Washington area, then why not make a pit stop at Bellevue Downtown Park to take in its beautiful waterfall, picnic area, and playground for the kids? Or, if you’re a beach fan, what about the Meydenbauer Bay Park to have a glimpse of scenic beach views and hiking trails?

Ways to facilitate communication with one another

In today's digital world, there has to be provision for internet services and a sufficient signal when it comes to mobile, not forgetting utility poles when it comes to landlines and your computer.

Certainly, infrastructure plays an important role in how we go about our daily lives. So if you are choosing to move to a new town, it would be wise to look at the infrastructure in place there to determine if it is going to be easy and enjoyable to live there or not. Furthermore, safety should be a big consideration also; hence, why lighting plays such a critical role in the infrastructure of most major cities.

Comment below If you have something to say that you feel would benefit your community or browse Kudos 365 for other items that may be of interest to you

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To serve my country day by day
At any humble post I may;
To honor and respect her Flag,
To live the traits of which I brag;
To be American in deed
As well as in my printed creed.

To stand for truth and honest toil,
To till my little patch of soil
And keep in mind the debt I owe
To them who died that I might know
My country, prosperous and free,
And passed this heritage to me.

I must always in trouble’s hour
Be guided by the men in power;
For God and country I must live,
My best for God and country give;
No act of mine that men may scan
Must shame the name American.

To do my best and play my part,
American in mind and heart;
To serve the flag and bravely stand
To guard the glory of my land;
To be American in deed,
God grant me strength to keep this creed.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan when he was ten years old and he lived there the rest of his life. He worked for the Detroit Free Press for 64 years. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 12,000 poems. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. Of his poems he said, "I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them. "His popularity led NBC to produce a weekly 15-minute radio program, “Guest in Your Home,” which ran from 1931 to 1942.
The Globe editorialized his passing by quoting Philip Coldren, the late editorial page editor who wrote that the key to Guest’s greatness was “that among the thousands of Guest poems, ‘there has not been a single one that has promoted wickedness or meanness or anything else but kindness and gentleness and peace and hope" 

On July 4, 1776, a new nation was brought into the world, as the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence to announce the colonies' separation from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Congress had voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2 but did not actually complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence which was originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson in consultation with fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston and submitted to Congress on June 28th 1776.

When you start a new business, it’s important to branch out and integrate with your local community. Your friends and neighbors are not only potential customers but also collaborators and brand ambassadors. Here are some tips for forming a successful new business and connections.

Establishment

Before you head out and begin to shake hands, it’s important to get the fundamentals of your business right. If you’ve recently moved to the area, it’s important to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order - this means setting up your business structure, bank account, registering for taxes, securing web domains, applying for licenses & permits, calculating financial projections and, of course,
writing a solid business plan. Some of these are regional-specific (for example, business structure) meaning you’ll need to observe state regulations during proceedings.

A business plan is crucial for attracting investment in your business and for its long-term ambitions. You can use this document to structure, run and grow your business - detailing the company, its mission, competitors, structure, products, and financial requirements. There are plenty of resources online to help you nail down this important step.

Networking

Once you’re legal, the next step is to get the word out. It might fall outside of your comfort zone but going out and networking in person is still an important part of establishing yourself in the local community. A simple introduction goes a long way but it helps to go a step further. By giving a hand at community events, for example, you can contribute to a cause whilst developing a report with
potential business prospects. Or, by sharing your services, you’ll be getting the word out about your business and lending help to those who need it.

Almost as important as your physical presence is your digital one. Take the time to reach out and connect with those in your local community via social media on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin. You may find it helps to join some of the local groups and just engage in conversations/introduce yourself (although it helps not to make discussions so business-centric).

Marketing

Even with the word out, promoting your business takes precedence if you want to establish yourself in the minds of your local community. Marketing can help with this and encompasses everything from designing a standout logo to paying for advertisement. Often, it’s a good idea to start small with placements in local newspapers, free samples in other shops, sponsoring local events, or even hiring out nearby billboards. The key here is to get yourself as thoroughly involved as possible.

If you have the budget, you may also decide it makes sense to pay for online pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or with Google placements. Digital marketing is one of the most cost-efficient ways to promote your business and it can help you to expand your reach across the whole community and beyond. Especially in sparsely populated areas of the country, it can be difficult to get eyes on your product but with smartphones and social media, you can tactically place your brand in a digital space where it’s bound to be seen.

In business, having the locals on your side is an advantage that is difficult to measure. If anything goes wrong or if you need a helping hand, you can be sure that your neighbors have your back. Just make sure that whatever goodwill you receive is reciprocated.

Author: Linda Chase of AbleHire.org. Able Hire's Mission is "Helping people with disabilities build rewarding, successful careers."

Kudos 365  is the place to post about your local Community events and activities or to share your photography, art, or other expertise.

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This year marks the 23rd year that artists on Camano Island and Stanwood have invited the public into their studios and galleries to share their creativity and love of art and community. The studio tour has become the biggest tourist event on the Island, attributed to a growing artist community with nearly 100 members of the Camano Arts Association. Download the brochure 

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