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3 Out of 4 Bottles of Honey Contain Toxic chemicals

I was reading some of the most recent scientific information about honey bees and the news is not good. It’s not good for us as honey consumers or people that desire to have a clean food source but the news is even worse for the bees. What I read is that 75% of all the honey is contaminated with pesticides! Sorry I did not mean to yell that but wtf; 75% of all the honey in the world is contaminated with pesticides. This is a catastrophe! Didn’t you know that 1 in 3 bites of the food we eat either directly, or indirectly reliant upon pollination by pollinators (That means Honey bees!).

beehives, field, yellow, plants, flowers, brown, honeybee, The news may not be that drastic for us, the people that like to eat honey. You don’t have to run home to throw away all your honey. While the pesticides were detectable, they were well below the threshold concentrations that would cause harm to humans.  But you will not have any of that great sweet tasting honey if you don’t have any honey bees.

So, you’re safe- for now.

White, honey, girl, blonde, blue, eyes, pale, tanktop,

I say it that way because the levels detected in 48% of the samples were at unsafe levels for honey bees. We are losing honey bees worldwide (see previous post in our blog). The nectar and pollen bees consume in the spring, summer, and fall are contaminated with these pesticides. The bees make honey from the nectar they collect as their winter food source. The pesticides are concentrated in the honey, the only source of food to keep the honey bees alive until spring arrives. Chronic, long term exposure to pesticides causes well documented problems for the bees.

“According to research, two pesticides commonly used by farmers today could affect bees brains. The two pesticides namely, neonicotinoids and coumaphos target bees brains, thus making it a slow learner and make the it forget floral scents. They also found that, the combination effect of these two pesticides, were far greater than individual effect. Bees that were exposed to combined insecticides, were slow to learn or sometimes completely forgot important associations between their ability to nectar and floral scent.

Hiveandhoneyapiary.com

                                Author Unknown”

How can we help the bees? Should you insist on only getting pesticide free honey? Should you start a boycott of the companies that supply pesticides? Should you kick your neighbor when you see him spraying to kill the ants around his picnic table. I wish I had the answer; unfortunately, to get the pesticides out of the honey will require regulatory action to limit or ban source chemicals.

The sources of the pesticide contamination are well know and the effects (i.e lower birth rates, mutations, weakened immune system and death) on the bees have been know for years. I will link you to an article from 2010 that lists the different types of pesticides and it gives very thorough discussion of the impact of the listed pesticides on bees.  It also highlights the fact that this issue has been known about for some time, but our government has chosen not to address the dangers of these pesticides through restriction of use or outright banning, nor have they attempted to educate consumers of the unintended negative impact these chemicals can have.

Harmful pesticides to pollinators This article

This problem does not just affect the United States of America but it is worldwide. With 75% of all honey samples showing pesticides in them and 86% of the samples from North America tested positive for at least one Neonicotinoid.

These shocking and scary statistics came from an extensive and well documented article published in Science Magazine and a shorter article in The Scientist, both released last week. They warrant reading, as they discuss how these pesticides negatively affect bees and why we should care. Here is an excerpt from the Science article:

“Bees rely on nectar and pollen sources for their survival. Nectar is transformed into honey and stored in the hive for daily adult consumption and is essential for winter survival. A mature colony can be populated by up to 60,000 adult bees and therefore needs vast amounts of food. “

Organophosphate pesticides, such as Naled and Chlorpyrifos, have been shown to cause damage to the bees as well.  In 2016, South Carolina accidently killed millions of bees when they sprayed Naled to control mosquitoes. While Naled poses the immediate problem of mass deaths due to acute poisoning by a neurotoxin, Chlorpyrifos poses an indirect danger to the bees. Even very small amounts have been shown to “dumb down” bees, by interfering with their memory and affecting the mental development of larvae and young bees. In this way, it causes a slow and steady decline in bee populations, by causing the bees to starve to death, as well as causing them to forget where their hive is. Sadly, earlier this year, The US EPA chose to reverse an Obama era order that was to go into effect banning Chlorpyrifos, against that agencies own findings.

In contrast, when Germany experienced a massive bee loss in 2008 that was determined to be due to the Neonicotinoid Clothianidin, Clothianidin, as well as other neonicotinoids, were banned in Germany. The EU imposed a temporary ban on the three most widely used Neonicotinoids on certain crops in 2013. There are EU proposals for a complete ban on the use of Neonicotinoids, with the only exception being for plants grown entirely in greenhouses. The proposed ban is to be voted on this year.

In the United States, the EPA is currently working on risk assessments for 5 out of the 7 Neonicotinoid pesticides that are used pesticide formulations, with preliminary assessments to be completed in 2018. We can only hope our government is responsive to the hazards these pesticides pose to pollinators, and therefore to us. Unfortunately, after seeing how Chlorpyrifos was handled by the EPA last year, chemical companies are likely to win again over bees and people.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Educate yourself.
  2. Do not buy or use products that contain these hazardous chemicals. Here is a listing of products that contain neonicotinoids. This link provides names of common organophosphate pesticides.
  3. Contact your lawmakers. Let them know what you think, and let them know this is an issue, that as a voter, you are concerned about. The use of these hazardous chemicals needs to restricted or banned.
  4. Contact Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and other store chains that sell and/or use these dangerous pesticides. Let them know that you will spend your money at stores that ban the sale or use of these products.
  5. And finally, don’t get discouraged or distracted, and give up.  This is really important, and you are the voice for the bees.

The Eyes That Stalked Us

Black, yellow, gold, glowing, corn, maze, night, spooky, person, flashlight, walking, standing, glow, stars, blue, October,

The night was frigid and our breath came out as soft white wisps that faded into the darkness. The last flashlight was on its last legs, as the light flickered and occasionally faded. I would periodically give it a smack and the light would kick back up. I remember my friend muttering how I should stop abusing it because it wouldn’t change our predicament. We were lost- late at night. Lost late at night, in a corn maze, after most of the people had left. We looked about, silently hoping the owner of the corn field would come through the towering stalks, but our wishes did not come true.

Our clothes didn’t hinder the bone chilling cold from nipping at us and sting our skin as we walked. As the temperature dropped so did our sense of reasoning. We would argue and bicker about the direction, the cold, the light, even the trail mix. Finally, we separated. We could no longer stand each other’s company as the moments drawled on. I was on my own finally and looking about. I thought I had the benefit of the situation what with having my failing flashlight. It was something at least. The others would be stuck merely wishing for the moon or starlight. But neither came out that night. Everything was black and cold.

The sound of my own footfalls echoed about the maze so far as I could hear; it seemed eternal. Like the soft crunching would be my only companion until I was found in the morning -if that were to happen. I was weary and freezing. I longed for the warmth of my house, the comfort of my bed. There was still the hope that if I kept moving, I could find freedom. Find that and return to my car and go home. The others would regret the argument. I was right, I had the light, and I would be the one going home soon. Or so, I hoped. But, these were my friends. Even if I was mad now, I wanted them to be safe. I called out each of their names. The silence and the darkness was the only answer I got.

Suddenly a rustling in the corn caught my ear and I turned to the noise, hoping for one of my friends or maybe the farmer… but there was nothing aside from the shifting and bustling within the corn. I called out again and there was nothing. Then I spoke a simple “Hello’.

Some wretched and unearthly ghoulish sound resonated from the corn and I didn’t even think about it. I let out my own terrified shrill and ran. My feet moved even when I couldn’t feel them any more. My breath was short and labored, as I bolted through the winding trails and walls of corn. Then I heard it.  Yelling in the distance. Yelling and shouting. My name ran through the night air. People were searching for me! I was so happy. But that momentary glee did not last as the disturbance from within the stalks of food closed in on me. Once again I took off and made for the voices, urging them to continue calling for me. The light from my flashlight had failed completely by now, and I just tossed it aside and made haste. Maybe I was faster without the stupid flashlight, or maybe the creature was distracted by the object I did away with. I didn’t know, nor did I care. I was safer than I was before. My name rattled on through the soft and crippling wind, but I wasn’t detoured. My friends weren’t far.

Just as I continued through I found my friends gathered at the edge of the corn maze with worried glances. I was in tears as I saw them. They were panicked too. I didn’t ask, I simply assumed we all had encountered our share of the creature within the maze. I don’t think any of us wanted to speak of it again. Especially with how that wretched creature ended our adventure.

I don’t know why I did this; maybe curiosity or wanting closure, but I looked back. I turned my eyes to the corn maze and looked to a set of soul piercing eyes that burned into me and my friends. Not just one set… there were dozens of these eyes that bore into all of us. Our bodies locked up with fear as we peered into the eyes of the creatures that could have been our end. We stared as the creature’s eyes carved themselves into our minds for the rest of our days. It wasn’t until the worse had happened had we finally came to and made for our vehicles.

A hand as cold as death itself shot out from the corn an gripped me by the jacket and trying to pull me in. The hand was decrepit and repulsive with sores and cracks all over. This single hand seemed to have the same strength as five men as my friends grabbed me and worked hard to pull me from the corn field. All I could do was scream and cry as the shrill of a banshee seemed to rip through the darkness once again, right before I fell into my group of heroes.

Amazingly enough, that was the last of it all. But the effects would haunt me forever. This night would haunt all of us. We made for our cars and returned home. Never had we spoke of the event, nor the creature, nor the eyes. Nothing was to be repeated. We didn’t want to remember it, didn’t want to accept that it was real. But I know, as we all went to our homes and curled up to sleep… those eyes watched us. Those eyes would always watch us.

Liked the story? Well, we hope so; and no, this is not real. But it sounded like quite the adventure right? Well, consider making your own adventure this October and find a local corn maze to venture though. We have a handful of options for you to look into for your night of fright or just Fall fun with the family.

  1.   Kruger’s Farm Market                                                                       17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, OR 97231
  2.   Bella Organic Farm                                                                            16205 NW Gillihan Rd, Portland, OR 97231
  3.   Fazio Farms Corn Maze                                                                     9028 NE 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97211
  4.   Bi-Zi Farms                                                                                           9504 NE 119th St, Vancouver, WA 98662
  5.   Liepold Farms | Pumpkin Patch                                                      14480 SE Richey Rd, Boring, OR 97009

There are also hayrides, pick-your-own-pumpkin, food, and often live music. So, head on down one of these or one you know and love and share your adventure with us if you like.

orange, pumpkins, red, barn, blue, sky, white windows, roof, green, grass, yellow, flowers fire twirling, makeup, spooky, Halloween, green, yellow, corn, pink, blue, tents, people, kids, teens, line

Get Your Head in the Game With the Kiss of an Angel: Here Lies the Secret

Just imagine…

The glamorous way they shine and how good they look when you get dolled up from a night out or for a date. Glossy lips that are soft and supple, healthy, and irresistible. The luxurious feel of lip products gliding across the flawlessly smooth surface of your lips.


That’s the fantasy.

The reality for many of us? Not so perfect. For many of us, it is more like…

Dull lips that are rough or lined. Lip products that show off every flaw and highlight every imperfection.

Or worse yet; you have a bad case of chapped lips, with the icky flaky skin that goes with it. Perhaps even the occasional splitting that can very painful and makes talking a struggle.

Did you know you can make the fantasy your new reality? Try using our new product – More Bees Lip Scrub. It comes in four yummy flavors such as: vanilla, lemongrass, cherry, and lavender. Plus is easy to use; simply rub a small amount across your lips, let it sit for a moment to help condition the skin of your lips, then wipe or rinse.

Or even lick it off.; our lip scrubs are completely all natural, and made from food grade ingredients. So treat yourself to something nice and give yourself the lips of your dreams.

Updates for Our 2017 Posts

Here are a few updates from some of our previous posts:

  • Auvi the cat has been having a blast on her handcrafted cat condo. It got finished a little while ago but the little girl took to her new toy so well, we was all over it before we finished reassembling it after getting it to its new home. After talking with her human we have learned that she really does love this kitty condo that was designed with her in mind. She sun bathes, sleeps, and plays there. Just look at the pictures and see for yourself.

feline, fluffy, Russian, siberian, small, gray, lavender calico, gold eyes, green, orange, black, kitty condo, cat tree, platform, blue, tunnel. scatching post, claws, tail, ears, fur, carpet, beige, blanket, brown, sliding glass door, sheet rock, feathers, feline, fluffy, Russian, siberian, small, gray, lavender calico, gold eyes, green, orange, black, kitty condo, cat tree, platform, blue, tunnel. scatching post, claws, tail, ears, fur, carpet, beige, red, candy cane, white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow this link to see the original post: https://morebees.com/1544-2/

 

  • Rains and snows have brought some much need relief to some areas of the west. It has helped firefighters contain the blazes, reduced their sizes, and has pulled smoke and ash from the air, making it a little easier to breath.

The smell of smoke is still very noticeable, and you can still see plumes of smoke where the Eagle Creek fire is burning in the Gorge, but the Eagle Creek fire is over 60% contained. That’s good news!

 

Unfortunately, rains bring the new danger of flash flooding and mudslides in areas that have had vegetation stripped away by fire. Many firefighters have been sent to other areas in need.

Follow this link to see the original post: https://morebees.com/storm-on-2-fronts-flames-in-the-west-hurricanes-in-the-south/

 

  • Ever wonder how the chickens are doing? Well, Vegan Kid as purchased harnesses and leashes for all of them, and walks them in the neighborhood several times a week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We still haven’t entirely covered the run, so we have to take care to lock them in the coop at night so that the racoons don’t get them. We hope to finish the run this weekend.

Lastly, we’ve all been waiting excitedly for eggs to appear. Well; last night, Angel finally delivered!

Follow this link to see the original post: https://morebees.com/who-knew-chickens-could-make-good-pets/

 

 

Finally, not an update, but a heartfelt thought. Our hearts, wishes, and hopes go out to all the people who find themselves in difficult times. We hope that news updates from around the country and the world bring good news for all the people affected.

(Picture??)

Air of Death in Houston; Air-Force Kills Millions… of Bees

Naled kills mosquitoes. It’s very effective at it; and when sprayed from planes, it can easily reach areas that fumigation trucks cannot.

An Air Force Reserve aircrew flying a C-130 Hercules performs aerial spraying of mosquitoes June 15, 2013, over Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station, S.C.

Houston still has lots of standing water left from Hurricane Harvey. The standing water also makes the perfect conditions for breeding Mosquitoes. Said unlikable vermin are thick on the ground in Texas right now. Mosquitoes that can carry West Nile, Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue. Because of this; the US Air Force -at the request of local authorities- plans to aerially spray over 600,000 acres in Harris County, TX (the County in which Houston is located) today.

Naled is an neurotoxin that interferes with an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase that is essential to both humans and insects. It kills mosquitoes… And bees. Also kills  many other beneficial insects. South Carolina killed millions of bees last year when they sprayed Naled to control the mosquito population there. Aerial spraying poses the greatest risk to honey bees; hive owners are encouraged to cover or moves hives and provide a clean source of food following spraying. Localities are encouraged to spray before 6:30am and after 8:30pm in order to minimize risks to honeybees.

Failure to notify beekeepers, spraying at inappropriate times, or spraying on particularly warm nights (when bees may crowd the entrance of hives in a phenomena known as bearding) can cause catastrophic results, as seen in Dorchester County, North Carolina when Nelad was sprayed over large areas in an attempt to control the spread of the Zika virus. Hive owners who were aware of the spraying took precautions to protect their hives, though they did not all prove successful. Those owners who did not receive notification, along with many who did, suffered complete losses of their bees. One bee farm alone lost over 2.5 million bees.

One can only imagine that wild bees and other beneficial insects were killed in even greater numbers.

The use of Naled is not a series of isolated instances. Naled is used routinely across the country, with local health departments spraying roughly 16 million acres with the insecticide each year. Additionally, after disasters like hurricanes and flooding, it is often the first choice to curb mosquitoes and the illness they carry.

Fears are real on both sides. Don’t spray and risk illness that can cause lasting damage or death to people. Or spray and risk killing pollinators who help pollinate our food and plants, as well as other beneficial insects, many of which are already struggling to survive.

The problem is that decisions like this happen all the time. People always end up making the discussion as to whether we exterminate, kill, or massacre the bees. The problem is the bees never have a spokesman or a voice. The worldwide population of bees is declining and without the honeybee we lose the best and only pollinator that we have for our industrial agriculture. One out of every three bites of food people eat comes because a honey bee pollinated that plant.

It’s infuriating to see them not consider the other option; trade these aerial sprays for using BTI which kills mosquito larvae. The bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis (BTI) is  non-toxic to other insects, animals, and people- so the risk does seem much, right? But this bacteria helps kill larvae of gnats, mosquitoes, and blackflies. Wouldn’t helping control those insects populations be nice? Wouldn’t helping to save the bees be awesome? Not only now but in the future? Naled is so dangerous to the bees and we have this alternative and safer procedure just sitting around- just maddening! We should stop this nonsense and remember- we lose the bees and a lot of commercial and personal farms will suffer massive losses, and many people will start to go hungry. These hard workers need our help before it is too late. The bees drop in numbers all the time -all over the world- and many won’t notice until the food industry begins to falter. Let’s reconsider our methods before we lose what we take for granted.

Storm on 2 Fronts: Flames in the West – Hurricanes in the South

 

A blanket of suffocating and dangerous fog pollutes the sky of the west. Embers rise and ashes fall. A different and hazardous rain plagues millions of people in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana.

Everywhere I look, I see images. Local and regional news, Facebook, Instagram, even national news shows are giving the fires a mention every now and again. I don’t know if what I say, or if any pictures I post, will be worth the read.  What else can I tell you that hasn’t been said?

Will you even care? I mean, with Harvey and Irma, millions have been/are/will soon be impacted in a few short hours or days. Who really needs to care about a fire that’s probably in the middle of a sparsely inhabited place? Sure, wildfires are a shame, but they only affect a relatively small percentage of the US people, right? That’s what a lot of people will think, even if they aren’t willing to say it.

But they’re wrong. I just have to think about my sister and her oldest daughter to know that. Isn’t it a shame these fires are causing destruction of large tracts of forest (which is terrible in and of itself)? Is it not sad for the loss of hundreds or even thousands of homes (Which is also a terrible loss)? Combined, these numbers become even more compelling. But if even that idea doesn’t move you, then consider the fact that these fires are hurting the health of people, slowly but surely, some of whom live hundreds of miles away..

We just got back from visiting relatives in Montana. My sister and her oldest daughter spent almost 3 hours at the pharmacy, trying to get a refill for an inhaler after hours on a recent Friday. “You don’t have any more refills. You need a doctor’s OK for more.” The pharmacist said. They tried contacting the after hour number for their provider, and were told they had to wait until Monday. They didn’t know what to do.  Going all weekend without an inhaler was out of the question.  My niece has asthma, and the smoke has it in overdrive, and the smoke has been heavy in the air of Montana for months. But; it’s not just Daphne. In the end, my sister had to fill her own prescription early, just so she could give it to her daughter to use for the weekend.  My sister and my mom can’t breath either. They’ve all been going through inhalers like candy.

And it’s not just in Montana. The poor air quality is affecting millions of people right now across several states!

So, when you say your prayers for the people in the path of Harvey and Irma, save a few of them for the West.

While the South is being battered by unimaginable amounts of rain and wind; being left under inches or even feet of water. Other parts of the country are trapped under thick blankets of smoke; with ash raining down, unable to breath. Forests are in flames and people are being evacuated due to possible fire danger. National treasures and historic sites are being destroyed and it is affecting Millions of people. People who are losing their homes whilst other’s have lost their lives. People who have to live with the stress of not knowing which way the fire will turn, or where the next one will be. At this time there are over 50 active wildfires in the US right now. By clicking on the map at this link, you can see where they are and know this map is being constantly updated.  This link gives an air quality map.

So please, remember -there are others in need of prayers and wishes here in the West. All these fires pose such a great threat to all; young and old, and even disrupt the function of their communities. With Harvey and Irma raining down remember there are flames in the West; both destroying homes and lives.

The Best Mistake Ever

When we pulled off the road and onto the wide strip of gravel, we had been driving for almost 18 hours.  It was dark and cold, and 3am. Two other cars were there, with foggy windows. We weren’t the only ones sleeping in the car. It wasn’t the plan, but there was a mixup with our room reservation in Dillon, Montana.  

In retrospect, it was one of the best things to happen.  

 

By the time the sun started coming up, there was over a dozen cars.  And the numbers grew over the next several hours, as people finessed their cars between others, and we went two and three cars deep on that strip of gravel, until they spilled out and onto the edges of the road.  People set up chairs, and got out telescopes and cameras where they could. They milled around talking, and getting to know each other.

It was one of the best things to happen, because in a wide spot on the side of a little nothing road several miles outside Rexburg, Idaho, magic happened, as witnessed by people from across the country, and around the world. Utah, California, New Jersey, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon…. Canada, Spain, France, the Netherlands, China, Japan….

 

We all milled around for hours, waiting, and watching, sharing stories of where we were from, and our past experiences with total eclipses.

 

Most of us had our eclipse glasses. We shared with those who didn’t. People who had set up expensive viewing equipment with protective lenses let complete strangers take a look. Those with fancy cameras promised to upload incredible images for people they had never met before. Why? Because we all belonged to the peculiar band of humanity that is probably already planning the next total eclipse we will see.

When we asked our kids and the friend they brought along for the trip what the best part was of our trip was, the eclipse was at the top of their lists, and that’s saying alot, since we also visited with family, and went to Yellowstone park.

 

Take my word for it, if you saw 93%, or even 97%, you didn’t see anything. Sure, you felt the temperature cool.  Maybe even a pick up in the wind, and a slight dimming of the light. You might have even seen the birds flying, and heard the dogs barking. But you didn’t experience the collective hush that fell over the crowd in the last few moments, then the cheering of the crowd as totality was reached, and glasses and filters were set aside for a over two minutes.

And you didn’t meet people from around the world chasing the magic.

 

Singed Miracles

 

The story of Richard Brixey

Recently I finished a book so inspiring to me, I had to share it.  The book was written by Laura Brixie, my friend’s wife.  I’m humbled and inspired by the story, because I know the man it’s written about.  I have always looked up to and admired Richard Brixey and counted him as a friend.  But I never knew the personal challenges Richard faced and overcame only a few short years before I met him, until I read his wife’s book, Singed Miracles.

This book tells the story of a tragic event, the support of his wife and the community they are a part of and in addition is a celebration of Richard’s indomitable spirit and his driving determination. It details how he recovered from this accident that left him without his left arm and three toes and how he returned to his life as it was before the accident.  This included him returning to a very physically and mentally demanding job. Something many people thought would not be possible and he excelled at the work and helping his co-workers as a peer counselor.

Ron Lilienthal (left) and Richard Brixey (right)

Work is where I first met Richard and because of the complexity or the work there is a three month training process. I did not work with Richard at first as I was learning other parts of our plant but I eventually got to work with Richard and to be train by Richard on specific processes.  Our job can at times be physically demanding, opening and closing valves and gates that are taller than we are and that can be holding back thousands of gallons of water…Yet, Richard could do it all.  I never viewed him as handicapped, because he never viewed himself as such. He’s just as capable, if not more so,

So when I discovered what he went through, I was humbled.  I wanted others to have a chance to hear about Richard’s story, so I recently interviewed Richard and his wife.  Excerpts from the interview are below. I hope you enjoy it.

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If you enjoyed the interview, please pick up a copy of the book. You can buy through our online store or at one of our booths. Check out our calendar of events to find one that is close to you.  It can be found at the following locations.

Who Knew Chickens Could Make Good Pets?

What do you get when a vegan kid brings home a baby chick?
A new pet.

And what do you get when the vegan kid has an over indulgent father?
Two more chicks, so the first one doesn’t get lonely.
(‘What? They’re social!’ That’s what I was told by my husband, who was told by our child.)

Of course, this all led to a very stinky bedroom which necessitated the building of a coop in the back yard. We’re still working on the run, so they can go outside unattended. What can I say, our youngest is a helicopter pet owner…  What’s it like to have pet chickens?

A few minutes ago, I had a conversation with my child that sounded like this:
“Is Charlie going to the farmers market on Saturday?”
“Yes”
“Can Lilly go too?”
“No”
“Why not?”
“She’s a chicken.”
“So. Charlie gets to go.”
“Yeah. He’s a dog.”
“That’s not fair!”

Seriously though, the chickens are so loving it’s funny. Angel likes to crawl into people’s laps to be petted, and Lilly likes to climb up onto shoulders and nuzzle in their hair.

Who knew they would be like that?

Our kid did. That’s who.

My Summer to Theirs; 4 Decades of Change

Remember Your Summer Vacation?

When I look at my teenagers and how they have spent their summer, I get nostalgic. And a little sad over the things that aren’t common anymore. And excited about all the new things in the world.

Who remembers summers like this:

There were only 3 TV stations (unless your parents were willing to spring for cable, if it was even available in your area), no VCR’s, DVD’s, DVR’s or digital devices. You spent your days roaming outside, when you weren’t inside playing board games, D&D, or hanging out. Watching a movie meant going to a theater. Shopping often entailed walking to the mall or store first. Talking to your friends usually occured while you were in the same room with them, and involved no electronic devices. The phone was attached to the wall with a cord, and your parents yelled at you if you hogged it. Affordable cameras for the masses meant a point and shoot disposable camera that needed to be dropped off for a week to be developed, so you had to wait to see if any of the pictures you took were any good. Everybody wore a watch, and knew how to read it. Commodore 64 computers, Atari game system, and VCR’s were so new that you may have seen commercials on TV, but not actually used one.

So what happened between then and now, to change the landscape of American life forever?

1979: Large numbers of Atari home systems hit the market. They were used primarily as a plugin game cartridge system.

1982: The ever increasingly affordable Commodore 64 personal computer hits the market.  Other systems existed, but were not as affordable. The Commodore was primarily used as a game playing system, and made use of floppy disks (when floppy disks really were floppy.).  Price wars between Atari and Commodore caused prices to drop ridiculously low, making both increasingly affordable.

1984: Apple introduces the first personal computer that isn’t operated using a computer language. Instead it used icons, mouse clicks, and dragging and dropping, much as personal computer operating systems do now. This made the Apple computers easily usable by people who had no knowledge of programming languages.While these computers were not cheap, they helped lead to Windows, which became standard on non-Apple/non-Mac personal computers, and these computers were much more affordable.

 

1985: First version of Windows hits the market. It was suspiciously reminiscent of using an Apple computer.

1991: The World Wide Web (as in www) debuts, as does Google, putting a wide range of information at our fingertips.

Early 1990’s: Cell phones become common, making us accessible, any time, any place.

Late 1990’s:  Large numbers of people begin making use of the personal email providers that are hitting the market.

1997: Amazon.com went public (Books, and products at your fingertips, changing the way we live our lives.)

Early 2010’s: Smart phones become commonplace. More than phones, these are like mini-personal computers that you can fit in a pocket or purse.

I know some of these items were technically available at earlier dates than listed. The dates listed are for when the items were affordable to most families, user friendly enough for the average user, and produced in large enough quantities to be used by large numbers of families across America.

My kids have never known a world without DVRs, Netflix, email, texting, smartphones, online gaming, Instagram, Google, laptops and tablets – things that would have blown me away as a child or teenager.  I’m not sure who had summer vacation better.  Me or them. What do you think?