Oh, how the days have rolled one unto the other! Happily so! Around August 3rd last year, I blogged for the first time, a bit nervously, for I knew nothing about Blogville. Simply put, I began this blog because my grown nieces are more interested in Crate 'n Barrel (er, themselves) than our family's history. They don't know about my blog. When the time is right, I'll tell them.
One of the reasons I was a bit nervous about posting my Louisiana stories was, What if no one's interested? Then, I could see my nieces rolling their eyes, oh, bore, bore. But this didn't happen. Thanks to you, I'm really enthused about the day when I say to The Girls, Hey, if others enjoy our family's history, you might, too.
For new Followers, Kittie is a nickname my grandmother gave me years ago. Howard is, of course, fake. I had just completed Philippa Gregory's book about Katherine Howard, the last of Henry VII's beheaded wives and thought Kittie Howard worked. Hence, the name of my blog, The Block, where bloggers can end up for sticking their necks out. Yep, I've got one of those dry senses of humor. I also love to laugh until the tears fall!
Anyway, what I have learned from blogging is that Blogville is a community filled with heart!
When my blog reached 85 Followers, I began receiving encouraging e-mails about reaching 100 Followers and how much fun the milestone would be. I watched in amazement (with my hub beaming from ear to ear) as the numbers climbed. Much closer to the Milestone, I began to think of how to celebrate. Several months earlier, when I passed on awards generously given to me, I had also thought to have a contest and give out a couple of bookstore coupons.
However, Leezra at http://skitzoleezra.blogspot.com/ commented that she was surrounded by blessings and how about a donation to an animal shelter instead? Followers concurred.
So, to Thank You, all 106 of you, for enriching my life, this morning I made a $106.00 donation to P.A.W.S. or the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society at 9596 Highway 23 South; Belle Chase, Louisiana 70037.
Many shelters need donations. I selected a Louisiana shelter because Leezra, who is from Louisiana, had the idea; Plaquemines Parish is a significant part of the area you see on TV in danger from the horrible oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, and because my great-great grandfather Stilly died during a best two-out-of-three poker tournament in one of the bayous there. (I blogged earlier how someone shot Stilly dead after he'd won the first round. Without Crime Scene Bayou in the 1800s, no one knows who did the deed!)
This morning I spoke with Mary Ann (504.392.1601), a lovely lady who works at P.A.W.S. She reminded me that shelters are being inundated with unwanted kittens who desperately need homes. I've also learned that, without any neutering, two cats will eventually produce 740,000 cats in seven years! Thanks to your interest in my Louisiana stories, Blogville's heart sprinkles a bit of love to P.A.W.S. and a helping hand.
However, I don't have to tell you I'm saddened by the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Plying the Gulf for seafood is often a generational profession within Louisiana's lower parishes (counties). These fishermen possess a love for the wetlands and Gulf waters that travels beyond words or money. A way of life is endangered that is beyond measurable impact.
I am also angered that the probable lack of regulation created a disaster of Biblical proportions. The possible damage to Louisiana's outer islands is immeasurable. For example, many migrating birds from South and Central America MUST rest on these islands before continuing their journeys. If not, they fall into the Gulf of Mexico and drown. (Actually, this began to happen prior to an oil slick that could only make matters worse.)
We in the United States have got to get tougher with legislation that better regulates industry that feeds off Nature. BP made $38 BILLION dollars last year. Yet BP didn't want to pay $500,000.00 for a special shut-off valve above the ordinary. Didn't have to, actually. The United States is the only country in the world that doesn't make this valve mandatory for drilling in our waters. But, make no mistake about it, BP's probably not the only company without the valve. That's how greed works, spend as little as possible to make as much as possible. And, then there's dear old Halliburton, Dick Cheney's true love, that did the bottom pipe work where the methane is thought to have begun. Ohhhh, but I'm fed up with greed!
But you've heard the news. You're aware the oil slick could travel the Gulf's arc, leaving decades of environmental and economic destruction in its path, from Texas to Florida. And this slick could travel around Florida's peninsula, around the hook, and up to New England's beaches. What a nightmare!
It takes more than a donation, though, to help Mother Nature. We all have to work together to protect our planet. So, beyond the donation, I want to recognize those blogs that focus on Nature, in her many glorious forms. Allison from http://adventuresofthecautionarytale.blogspot.com/ gave me the idea when she graciously listed The Block in a linkage project. For blogs run on love that links to others.
A big shout-out to Talli Roland at http://talliroland.blogspot.com/for being my 100th Follower and a note to fellow bloggers that Talli is a debut novelist. Her book, The Hating Game, will be published in 2011. Prior to writing novels, Talli wrote travel guides for London and Paris (two of my favorite cities.) If you're an aspiring writer, please check out her blog!