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Welcome! Our blog focuses on environmental conservation, education, green living & wildlife rescue! We have put together links to resources, books and information to help you and your children learn more about these topics. Please feel free to comment on any items posted. Rate or review us on NetworkedBlogs (Facebook app) & Blogged. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter and other sites listed on this page. There's a banner & widget if you would like to include us on your webpage. All we ask is that you please keep any comments here G-rated for the kids!

NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kalamazoo River Oil Spill - Press Release for Circle D Wildlife Refuge

GreenSpot-On has been following the coverage on the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill in Michigan.  We have been in contact with the Circle D Animal Refuge which has already taken in some of the wildlife that has been affected by this environmental disaster.  The following press release was sent to me by Damon Talbot, PR for Circle D Animal Refuge.  For more information on how you can get involved please see the previous posts on GreenSpot-On.

Khrysania @ GreenSpot-On

The Press Release:


13500 E U Ave

Vicksburg, MI 49097

Press Release

Contact: Damon Talbot; PR


Phone: (231) 903-2629

9 A.M. EDT, July 29, 2010


VICKSBURG, MI, JULY 29TH, 2010: With the ongoing animal rescue effort being coordinated by the State of Michigan and Enbridge Oil, Circle D Wildlife Refuge is transitioning to act as a rehabilitation center for animals who have been cleaned, but may have long term health risks.

The staff of Circle D Wildlife Refuge were some of the first to respond and help contaminated animals in Calhoun County. During the first few hours they were able to rescue several ducks, geese, and a muskrat.

As the situation progresses there will be a need for volunteers, and donations to help with this response. Circle D Wildlife Refuge has worked with many types of animals in the past and is ready to meet this challenge.

For further information, to schedule an interview, or for media visits to the facility please contact email us at:


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HELP SAVE MICHIGAN WILDLIFE - Updated 7-28-2010 at 2:15pm

In efforts to try and help various animals that will be/are affected by this oil leak in Michigan, they are in desperate need of supplies. If you know any businesses or anyone that would be willing to donate that would be great! Circle D Wildlife Refuge is in need of rubber gloves and aprons, dawn dish soap,etc. Cash donations would probably be great also - so they can get food supplies that they will need for the animals.

As I have said in the past, these rehabbers work on their personal time and are not paid and the supplies that we get, these are out-of-pocket expenses or by donations. For more information you can look below for Circle D Wildlife Refuge's information or check with Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Animal/Wildlife Rescue facebook page.

Contact information for Circle D Wildlife refuge:

Circle D Wildlife Refuge
13500 East U Ave.
Vicksburg, MI  49097
Phone #:  Pam Decuypere at (269) 365-5349  Please Do Not call the phone number unless you have wildlife that needs help, they need their only phone line free to field calls about animals.  They would prefer you to contact them by e-mail if you can.
A message on the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Animal/Wildlife Rescue facebook page stated:  "If you are willing to answer phones on a regular basis, clean birds, or care for other animals, please send me your contact information at While I will begin calling folks from the spreadsheet list, this is in no way connected to the large scale cleanup efforts that require training. This is only to help out the small, animal refuge to prepare for the influx of animals, volunteers, media, etc. that will be coming in droves soon. I will contact you soon to get more information on how you can help".

I'll find out if there is a website or donation page for them ASAP!

Items needed by Circle D Wildlife Refuge:
- Rags or towels
- Dawn dish soap
- Rubber aprons
- Rubber gloves
- Buckets
- Vegetable oil
- Respirators
- Cash donations so they can feed the animals they are getting along with getting other supplies! 
They were also looking for volunteers!  It may take a while for them to get back to you by phone as they are very busy right now!

Remember, the best way people can help is by donating at this time.

Focus Wildlife is currently responding to the "Marshall Leak Incident."  To sign up with wildlife officials or to report oil-covered wildlife, call 800-306-6837.  Focus Wildlife Website:


Here is yet another place you can donate items to (As posted on Facebook):

"Senator Nofs has helped to facilitate a donation collection center to help the wildlife. Donations are being accepted at Crossroads Church and Ministries. Details are available here on specific times and what items are needed:;

Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions, 269-274-3220.

More information on volunteer training will be forthcoming. A volunteer seminar will take place sometime in the afternoon on Friday with authorities.

Steve Sachs
Office of Senator Mike Nofs"

WHAT: Community Animal/Wildlife Rescue Donation Drop Off Site
LARGE COLLETION TENT LOCATED IN NE CORNER OF PARKING LOT . 717 US Highway 27, Marshall, MI 49068 (1/2 mile S of I-94, exit 110, on west side of road)
WHEN: Today (12:00p.m.-9:00p.m.), then open daily from 9:00a.m.-9:00p.m. until further notice.
- LINENS: non-elastic, non-fitted
- Sheets and Large Towels
- Pillow Cases
- Cardboard Boxes (Medium-Large)
- Small Whiteboards
- Duct Tape
- Firewood (Small-Medium)

Items will be transported by officials to the secure animal care center. For more information, please contact Steve Sachs at 269-274-3220.
More information to come!

Oil Disaster in Michigan

Dear GreenSpot-On Readers,

I wanted to talk to you about something very important.  As some of you in Michigan or even in the nation may have heard, on late Sunday, July 25, 2010 a pipeline malfunctioned (which is being investigated by the EPA and the National Transportation Safety Board) near the border of Marshall and Fredonia townships in Calhoun County, Michigan. The oil then leaked into Talmadge Creek, which flows northwest into the Kalamazoo River.
According to the Battle Creek Enquirer:  "After the oil leak was detected, the pipeline pumps were shut down and the valves upstream and downstream from the leak were closed, according to a press release from Houston-based Enbridge and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management."

The spill has already went past booms set up by workers in Marshall township and is now flowing into the Kalamazoo River in Kalamazoo County.  So far it is estimated that about 877,000 gallons (Or according to other news reports around 20,000 barrels) of oil had spilled into the creek leading to the Kalamazoo River according to estimates from Enbridge Energy Partners.  A meterologist speaking with the news agency WZZM 13 from the National Weather Service has also said that the spill could reach Lake Michigan by Sunday, depending on a few variables having to do with the flow rate.

There have been warnings and advisories set against swimming and fishing in the area and there is a worry about Benzine being in the air.  There are also families that have been evacuated (Last I heard it was at least 20 homes) due to the potential health hazard.  According to other sources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) have told hopeful volunteers to stay away from the area as they are trying to get respirators for workers near the spill.  As for wildlife rescues I had heard from another source that the DNR are looking into having trained and licensed wildlife rescuers help with the wildlife and that it is too dangerous for an untrained and unlicensed person to handle distressed wildlife.  There have alrady been injuries to reported at Wood TV8 in West Michigan by these distressed animals to humans who had hoped to do some good.  Please let the trained professionals and licensed wildlife rescuers do the work, if you want to help ask the Michigan DNRE what you can do.  To sign up with wildlife officials or to report oil-covered wildlife, call 800-306-6837.

I promise that as soon as I find a reputable place that is taking donations I will let you know.  Already, I have talked with a couple licensed rescuers (Including GreenSpot-On's very own JRouse) who are possibly going to be allowed to volunteer for clean-up, so if I hear any news on how people can assist them or the effort I will let you all know!  Though I did find this today: 

"BATTLE CREEK (The Enquirer) -- The Circle D Wildlife Refuge has rescued 12 geese, a muskrat and a swan from the Kalamazoo River, said refuge spokeswoman Pam Decuypere. The Vicksburg group is working to help capture and clean wildlife hurt by the oil spill, she said. The refuge is looking for volunteers today to help clean the birds, monetary donations, and donations of buckets, vegetable oil, dish soap and rags, Decuypere said. If you want to help, show up at 13500 East U Ave. in Vicksburg, or call Decuypere at (269) 365-5349"

Meanwhile I am looking for a couple of photo's to post of this disaster in my home state to show you before and after photo's and what it is doing to the environment and the wildlife.  If anyone from this area has new photo's and will give permission to post them please contact me!

Please see the links and video below for more information and the sources for my information.

MI DNRE Website:  Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Huffington Post:  Michigan Oil spill among the Largest in Midwest History: Kalamazoo Spill Soaks Wildlife
The latest story from the Battle Creek Enquirer:  Granholm criticizes company as oil heads west
Battle Creek Enquirer story:  Eager Volunteers told to Wait 
The Battle Creek Enquirer has posted a Map showing the spill.
WZZM 13:  Oil Spill could reach Lake Michigan by Sunday
Wood TV8 Latest story:  Oil Spill Spreading toward Battle Creek 
Wood TV 8 video:  DNRE: Leave animal cleaning to pros

Thanks for thinking of the families, wildlife, environment and our state as we deal with this disaster.

Khrysania @ GreenSpot-On

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A work day poem

I didn't want to go to work,
My life was feeling a little too berserk.
Cleaning fire pits and picking up trash,
Can really be a big old pain in my ass.

But I really must go,
they aren't going to clean themselves, you know.
So I will make the best of it,
Because I am a tough little chit.

I grab my shovel and rake,
along with my pail I do take.
And there as I work a Stellar Jay flies by,
While a chipmunk is running up high.

A Gray Squirrel gets mad we are in her space,
And throws pine cones at Isabellas little face.
A chickadee is hopping down a nearby pine,
Gee, I am really glad this job is mine!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have I lost my mind?

Photo form GreenIrene

I would like to start off saying that I would really like feedback from this post, actually I would like it to be interactive even, because this is something that I am really curious about.  I have been reading lately about how our food affects our carbon footprint.  I recently had the need to look up locavore is what brought this up I think, and a locavore is a person who tries to eat all of their food from local sources, to help reduce their carbon footprint.  They probably have other reasons too, I don't know, but that is the biggy.
In this research I found out that the best way to reduce your food CF (carbon footprint from here on out) is to not eat meat as it creates the most gases, etc when being produced.  Well, pshaw, is what my family would say to that!  There is absolutely no way you are getting my carnivorous crew to not eat meat!  So, how does a greenie like me, cut my food CF?  (Just a funny side note here, spell check doesn't like locavore and greenie, but accepts pshaw, what's up with that?)
We do our own hunting, but that meat really does not last as long as you'd think.  And the grocery store meat, well don't even get me started...I buy it when I absolutely have to, but I am very particular and only buy stuff that is on sale and that I know where it has come from, hopefully.
But on to how I have lost my mind.  Yesterday a truck drove in my driveway and I bought a crapload of meat off of it.  I know, I can't believe I did it either.  Tom just about killed me.  I have never done such a crazy thing. 
The company is Pacific Prime and I don't know what the hell happened to my brain while the guy was here, but actually it all worked out okay.  I got a good deal, but Tom got us an even better deal.  See, I had asked and read and looked, but you know how the big bad biker is, if not every label says "Made IN America" he won't touch it.  He called the guy back and left a message for him to come and pick up his chinese tasting meat, since the guarantee was only good for taste.  God the man slays me!
During that time we made some calls and did more research.  It was exactly as I thought.  You pretty much never know where your meat is coming from.  If it is labeled, you best hope it is labeled correctly.  King Soopers gets most of their beef from US, Mexico and Canada the old man was horrified to find out, and pretty much every single package I have ever brought home is labeled US.  I don't think I get that lucky, even the butcher on the phone joked about the box in the back saying US but having a different product in it, it was being reused.
The meat from Pacific Prime on the other hand is all labeled correctly from each place, is very high quality meat and above all, is all natural with no extra crap in it like I would get at the stores.  The other thing is that it is simple stuff too, easy to defrost and prepare a very healthy meal for the family.  Especially now that Tom got all that money off I will be feeding the family for at least the same price.
So back to my food CF.  I am wondering if that is what was in the back of my mind when I lost it yesterday with this salesman, that I normally would have chased off the ranch.  Although some of these meats, specifically the seafood are imported, the majority of the food is US we found out after going rounds with the company.  So my question is this, does a company like this, one that brings things to your door, help you reduce your overall CF?  I have to keep in mind the packaging, and yes there is quite a bit of it, but none of those styrofoam trays and yucky pads; just recyclable boxes and the plastic the meat is flash frozen in.  
But, the big thing for me is that this will cut my trips to the store drastically.  With working at the food pantry, we will fill in with fruits and veggies and breads there; Lord knows there is plenty to go around.  Tom can pop into Costco for milk and cheese and we are pretty much good to go.  Therefore, you have taken one F350 truck off the road for at least one hour of driving for five trips let's say.  That's quite a little impact, I'd think.
Now not everybody lives as far away from the grocery store as I do, etc., but I am curious to know your thoughts.
So weigh in on this subject folks.  Have you chased these people off before?  What about your food CF?  Where do you get your all natural meat from?  Does anybody have a good Colorado source they'd love to share?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garden Pizza

There's a certain pleasure in picking ingredients from a kitchen garden, no matter how small. It feels so satisfying to go outside and find basil and oregano, maybe onion, and (some seasons) even spinach. This year I didn't get much spinach; something small and furry found its way into the greens and ate it. I bought my spinach from the Farmers' Market instead. My tomatoes aren't ready yet, so this particular pizza had sauce from a jar.

When food comes out of the backyard garden or from a local producer, the cook knows what really goes into it. Organic, pure, additives or not - harvesting (or buying from the grower) and cooking from scratch increases control over food quality.

Enough philosophy already. Here's a quick ingredient list: a bit shy on specifics because I make my pizza on the fly with little or no measuring, but still useful if you want to try it yourself.

Crust: I buy mine as a mix. If you can make your own, I envy your talent!
Sauce: Less is more! Choose a basic marinara sauce and spice it up to your own taste. I've used as little as half a cup on a 12 inch pizza.

Now the fun. Go to the garden or the farmers' market and get --
onion (you choose the type)
garlic (to taste)
-and anything else that appeals to you when it's on top of a pizza, including a wonderful mozzarella cheese.

I cut up the herbs and sprinkle them on top of the sauce. Onion and garlic and peppers (optional) can be next. Spinach: simply cut off the stems and set the leaves, whole, on top of the herbs, etc. Then choose a good mozzarella (I bought mine from a local cheese shop that stocks fresh cheeses from local dairies). Grate cheese over the top of the pizza. Tempting though it might be, don't overload it. Let the flavors come through.

Bake according to the package directions for the crust. Dine! Enjoy!

The pizza? Delicious.
Growing and picking the ingredients? Very satisfying.
Having direct control over the quality of the food my family eats? Priceless.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Milestone at Royal Ranch

One year, could it really be?  One year ago today was The Beginning of Royal Ranch Green from the "Bottom" Up, aptly named, I suppose.  It really is quite fitting that it happened to be on a Tuesday, and let alone the 13th.  I had to look it up, but I knew the anniversary was coming up and was pleasantly surprised about those two facts.  Tuesday because it would fall on a day where I do double duty and write for Green Spot-On too; and the 13th because that was Grandma's favorite number.  Her birthday was August 13th so I'm assuming she was a little partial to it.
What to do on such a milestone?  I mean, it's not like my birthday or something.  I don't see any gifts coming my way... damn!  But I do feel like celebrating.  This really has been a blast for me, getting to know my readers, but better yet, getting to know how my blog affects my readers.  Not only do I share funny stories about things that happen on this crazy piece of heaven on earth, but I have tried to share some things that hopefully make a difference in a persons life.
Maybe in just a little teensy way, admit it.  Okay I admit it, blogging reminds me constantly to stay true to the course that I have chosen, you know the environmentally friendly one.  Recently a friend of ours was making these huge bear traps (don't worry, they are only for decoration) and I encouraged him to use recycled material.  He came roaring in the driveway the other day to tell us that his product is now 85% recycled (thanks to me, he added) and he has already sold one!
Or maybe I have helped you deal with a health issue, because Lord knows, I've had my share.  Hopefully I help you deal with them with dignity and humor, because sometimes that's the only way to go.  But above everything else, I hope mostly I brought a smile to your lips each and every time you saw that there was a post.  I also hope you have learned by now that I am a total rebel at heart, as a matter of fact, many times my own rebellion is my worst enemy, so I thought it quite appropriate that I close this milestone post with a hillbilly "Rebel Girl" song from Miranda Lambert:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bringing the outside in

He picked a black-eyed Susan from a neighbor's yard.

I picked up a bouquet at the Farmers' Market.

And finally, we picked a color for our bedroom walls.
To see the rest of the story, go to Compost Happens.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Green living through dentistry?

I just got done e-mailing my dentist.  We've been chatting back and forth all weekend.  Now, my situation is a little atypical, but the dedication of this woman is amazing!  She is a student at The University of Colorado Denver Dental School, and for Green Spot-On readers please catch up with this story here.  My journey with this school started clear back in February and has been a great one.
Now, what does all of this have to do with green living?  A lot.  I have found that this is a great way for me to do community service, save money and that the school is on the cutting edge of technology which includes green practices.  When I say community service, I really feel as if I am helping these kids when I go in there.  I have the attitude that I am forming the minds of the future dentists of the world and what better way than to be totally open and honest and give them feedback and to help them learn?
It was really interesting this last Wednesday when I was in there, the student had the instructor come over, and the teacher asked why my hygiene area was still blank.  My student said she had felt awkward about asking that, so that is one of the things her and I have been e-mailing back and forth about.  Brainstorming ways of finding out true tests of ones personal hygiene without embarrassing them.  I said maybe she could ask the patient to grade themselves and then she could ask why they gave themselves that grade.
My neighbor, Mr. P. has even gone after asking me about it, and calls and updates me each time.  He is so proud of all of the work that he has gotten done there, it is almost funny.  Most of his dental work was done many years ago in Germany and is now needing to be replaced.  He is proud to tell me that for the thousands of dollars that his regular dentist was going to charge him, his total is at about $330!
Now, as I said in my first post about the dental school, it has to be a proper fit.  Meaning you must be able to devote quite a bit of time to your student.  I don't think I've ever gotten out of there in under three hours.  Mind you, I have gotten a lot done in three hours, but when you include a 1.5 hour drive each way, you're talking all day for each appointment.  But for me, it is worth it.