Rockford Area Girl Scouts Earn Polar Girl Award

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

These Rockford area Girl Scouts earned their Polar Girl Award on January 31 and February 1. All 16 girls spent the night outside in tents – in two feet of snow with overnight low temperature of 12 degrees. They were joined by 11 adults, with seven adults choosing to sleep outside too. Everyone enjoyed snowshoe hiking and trying creative ways to cook over a fire, even learning how to use their cell phones to start the fire. They also brought along their local paper, The Rockford Squire. Some of those attending were: Stephanie Barton, Sarah Barton, Jennifer Bell, Kathleen Bell, Abigail Beuregard, Nicki Bouwkamp, Yvonne Bouwkamp, Jessica Dickinson, Bev Dickinson, M. Ek, Sarah Ek, H. Fedorchuk, Jill Fitzhugh, C. Fisher, Kaitlynn, Kimmel, Maria Kimmel, Amanda Perry, Susan Perry, K. Savara, Julie Savara, Kayleigh Scherzer, Porta Schut, Alayna Surdock, Lynn Surdock, Rachel Turner, Jane Turner, Amanda Zeboor, Amy Zeboor.

Pets and Winter – Let’s Keep Them Safe Out There

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by SAM HYER Pets need more than just a fur coat to keep warm and safe in winter. Cold weather has safety and health concerns for both people and pets. As a responsible owner, it is important to pay attention to your pet’s well-being during the cold Michigan winter. The American Kennel Club® and I, offer the following advice to help you and your pet survive the long, cold winter. Provide plenty of fresh water – Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, and snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water. Provide plenty of food – Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperatures regulated, so additional calories are necessary. Dogs that are kept indoors with the family, and get less exercise during winter months, may actually gain weight, so keep an eye on his diet. Keep your dog’s paws dry – Rinse your dog’s feet and dry them completely after a walk. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking. Groom your dog regularly – Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Towel or blow-dry your dog if he gets wet from rain or snow. When you towel your pet be sure to blot, not rub, as that can lead to severe matting. Comb out your pet more often in the winter to keep the skin healthy. Keep your dog warm, dry, and away from drafts – Adequate shelter is a necessity. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold. Place blankets and pads on floors in these areas. Watch out for the following winter hazards: Cold – Don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time. Wind/chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings, and dogs are susceptible to frostbite on their ears, tails, and feet. Ice and snow – Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog outside. Your pup could slip or jump in a frozen lake, river, or pond and get seriously injured. Snow can muffle scents, and your dog can […]

California Girl Returns to Rockford to Visit Family and Enjoy the Snow

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

Earlier this month, Brittany Fels had the pleasure of visiting her grandmother, Ruthe Graves of Rockford. Brittany just graduated from California State University, San Marcos with her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She decided to visit her grandmother before she started her new job back in California. Brittany used to come to Rockford every summer when she was younger, but before this trip, it had been about six years since she last visited. Brittany and her grandmother drove through downtown Rockford several times and stopped at her favorite coffee shop, Frenz, quite a few times as well. The weather here was very different than what Brittany is used to in California. Being a California girl, she doesn’t see much snow, and hardly ever gets to go sledding! ? On her last day here, she took her mom’s old plastic sled and went down the small hill in her grandmothers’s front yard a few times. She loved ?it, and her grandma got a few good pictures of her enjoying herself.

Ray of Hope in Depths of Winter

January 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

by PASTOR MIKE CONKLIN Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church Here we are, in the middle of a January that will not have the traditional (I think it’s traditional) January thaw. I heard that this is the first time in 24 years that this has happened. I like January thaws. They give us a ray of hope in the deepest part of winter, an indicator that it will not always be cold, snowy and all brown and white. The days seemed more profoundly dismal to me because, as you might guess, I am not a winter sports person. Golf balls simply disappear in four feet of snow. And yet it hasn’t all been darkness, gloom and cold. There were days, deeply cold days, that were marked by bright, clear, blue skies and bright sunshine all day long. It was all that I needed to clear the cobwebs and make the day “right.” In truth, that is all that we really need in those winter times in our lives, too – just a ray of hope in the winter’s chill. The world and the society we live in is often marked by confusion, restlessness, unease and despair. Yet all it takes is a ray of hope in the midst of it, and our world is transformed. We often feel like the character in John Updike’s Pigeon Feathers: “He detested the apparatus of piety. Fusty churches, creaking hymns, ugly Sunday-school teachers and their stupid leaflets – he hated everything about them, but the promise they held out.” In the depths of this winter, with unemployment at record highs, with people struggling just to make it through the cold times, with the world in turmoil, we find that we are a people captured by more than a ray of hope. There is a sunburst of promise and hope in the fact that God has put us here, in this place, at this time – together. As faith communities, we are too often divided along denomination and cultural lines that have more meaning for us than they do for God. But in God’s economy and God’s geography, we are bound together by a common hope, a ray of sunshine in the dark winter: “So faith, hope and love abide, these three,” […]