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Posts Tagged ‘event’

postheadericon Total Solar Eclipse – Sunday Selections

Today’s Sunday Selection is not about inspiration, but about safely enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime event here in the US. Tomorrow’s total solar eclipse has a large portion of the population in an uproar of excited anticipation.


If you’re late to the game or unprepared, we have a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Total Solar Eclipse Safety at Red Barn Blue Skies


Don’t make any last minute plans to travel if possible. The roads and highways, especially leading into the Eclipse’s *path of totality, have been congested if not blocked for days.


If you haven’t already made reservations or are in place to view the eclipse, it will be safer to stay put. Camping sites and hotel rooms have been booked up for months if not over a year. Some people have been planning vacations around the total solar eclipse for several years.

Safety Glasses and Filters

Don’t try to view the total solar eclipse without using proper safety glasses. Be sure the glasses are CE and ISO rated for safety. Also, check them for scratches or any damage. You could permanently damage your eyes to the point of blindness if you don’t follow safety guidelines.


Don’t try to use binoculars, telescopes, or camera lenses. They are not a filter and will magnify the damage being done to your eyes – and you won’t even feel it! Welder’s masks or glasses are also not rated or designed for an eclipse.

There are other options for safely viewing the eclipse:

~   Watch it on TV or on the internet. NASA has a fantastic site to view it:

~   Make a pinhole projector. has a great how-to article. It also explains a few other ways to view the eclipse without actually looking at it.

~   Purchase and install a solar filter made specifically for your camera or binoculars. Never view the eclipse without the proper filter in place on your device.

Chandler Ready for the Total Solar Eclipse at Red Barn Blue Skies

Children and Pets

Pets and children are naturally curious. If they see adults looking up into the sky and pointing, they’re going to look up too. It is best to keep your pets inside during the eclipse.


If your kids must be outside with you during the eclipse, be sure they have properly-fitted glasses with the correct ratings. Make sure they keep them on for the entire duration and don’t let them remove them. This is critical as their eyesight could be forever damaged.

Don’t be surprised to feel the temperature drop before, during, and after the total solar eclipse. You might not see a massive change in the actual light leading up to the actual eclipse, but your skin will start feeling the difference. It could be up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit or more in areas under the path of totality.

*Path of Totality is a 70-mile wide swath that cuts across the country through fourteen states (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennesee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina). Along this path the full and total eclipse that lasts over two minutes will be viewable.  

So have you ever experienced an eclipse? Are you making plans for this historic total solar eclipse of 2017?

Total Solar Eclipse

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Red Barn Blue Skies

postheadericon Celebrate Earth Day with Thoughtful Acts of Green

Learn what you can do to celebrate Earth Day 2017 on April 22nd by creating your own Thoughtful Acts of Green. Earth Day 2017


Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 by about 20 million Americans. Those numbers have reached into the billions now with several hundred countries participating in the annual celebration of our planet.


We try to do something positive for Earth Day around here every year. My first time posting about it was for my 2009 Earth Day Pledge. One of our projects this year involves turning all of our feed bags into shopping totes. It’s a true recycle/reuse/repurpose task that benefits us and our family and friends. (I’m hoping to do a tutorial with pictures soon.)


What are Thoughtful Acts of Green?

Thoughtful Acts of Green are those actions you can take to help improve our planet. Recycling, replacing plastic bags with reusable shopping totes, conserving water and resources, and many other conservation methods are all considered green actions.


From the smallest thing such as planting a few bee-friendly flowers to larger actions like cleaning up your local streams and rivers – everything you do can have a positive impact.


Some of the things you might consider to help your world be a better place:

  • Educate yourself and others about the environment
  • Plant a tree or twelve..
  • Plant wildflowers for yourself and future generations – check out these Earth Day seed bomb bags
  • Join local conservation efforts
  • Learn about bees and beekeeping
  • Recycle/Reuse/Repurpose – whatever you can
  • Teach children the importance of recycling
  • Volunteer to help turn your city green
  • Learn what you can do to help endangered species
  • Take THIS QUIZ to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint


Get outside this Earth Day and create your own Thoughtful Acts of Green to make this a better world for us all.

postheadericon Bluer Skies, Cleaner Air, and Greener Pastures

Spring Fever has hit us in a much, much different way this year and it all has to do with bluer skies and such. It has been more of an ending to our “winter of discontent” and a beginning to a whole new chapter in our lives. Hubby and I have been plotting and pondering a move for several years now and we are pulling the trigger on it, finally! This will soon become a regular view for us:

Lake Coeur D'Alene bluer skies at Red Barn Blue Skies

Bluer Skies

Hubby and I were born in California and grew up here. We were both also privileged to have spent time elsewhere in our great US of A. He served in the military in Alaska and I lived in Ohio for many years.

Because I worked for an airline I was able to see a lot of our country, both from the air and due to my inherited  love of road trips (inherited from Mom, definitely NOT Dad). Before hubby and I met, we had each returned to California to be near our families and friends again, but found that it wasn’t the same place or atmosphere we had left.

We had seen that green grass on the other side of the fence(s) and wanted to be there!

Bluer Skies at Red Barn Blue Skies Idaho

Cleaner Air

While we’ve talked extensively about different places we’d visited over the years, it wasn’t until we lost my beloved uncle that we found THE DESTINATION.

After a long life in Orange County, he and my aunt had unexpectedly and quickly, moved to Idaho when they retired. We all laughed and gave them 3 months before they’d be back – my aunt had always complained about any temperature below 70 degrees. How wrong we were!

They became firmly entrenched in their new home and community and you couldn’t have budged them with a crowbar.  Even with the unexpected loss of my uncle, my aunt is transplanted and will remain so. Imagine our surprise (as well as hers, I think) to find that she thrives in the wide range of temperatures.

Coeur D'Alene Lake from Arrowpoint Resort. with bluer skies

I fell in love with Idaho when I took my Dad up there for my uncle’s funeral. The super clean air, slower pace and sheer beauty was overwhelming. Hubby had to stay home to work and take care of the animals and ranch in general.

A second, unexpected trip came about a year later when my sister and I took a road trip to visit my aunt. Each time I came home, my discontent grew. Hubby put up with my moping around and complaining about using my inhaler as soon as my plane had landed back in our heavily polluted valley.

Bluer Skies Greener Pastures Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies

Greener Pastures

It wasn’t until last month that the Hubster finally got to understand and feel the pull of the great North for himself. He was in desperate need of a vacation and we had a nice little unexpected windfall land in our laps.

We put together a sight-seeing trek that took us from Portland, Oregon to the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho area. We rented a car at PDX (Portland’s awesome airport) and spent the next five days cruising through Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hubby admitted that he now understands why I was so miserable coming back to California after each trip up north.

So what this all leads up to is the fact that we have had our bid accepted on a home in Idaho and will be making the move in the next few months to the land of bluer skies, cleaner air, and greener pastures. We can’t wait for this new chapter of our lives to begin.

Boise Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies Bluer Skies