Worm: Local gifts, napping bugs and touting Quincy
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thirteen local families with a total of 39 kids had a merrier Christmas this year due to efforts of one local group.
On Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23), the Wenatchee Valley branch of the Forgotten Children’s Fund distributed toys and other gifts to families identified by FCF advocates through area schools, churches and civic organizations. They gave some of the gifts away during a get-together at Comfort Suites in North Wenatchee, and the rest directly through home visits later in the day.
“The giving is geared toward those who need it the most,” said coordinator Rachel Mathena-Darlington, who joined that day with other FCF volunteers to dress like elves for the gift-giving mission. “The joy we see in the children’s faces … well, it’s just wonderful.”
Many local businesses and organizations donate money or merchandise to the annual FCF effort, said Mathena-Darlington. The donations help pay for the toys and gifts which are chosen from a present-filled warehouse at FCF’s Seattle office.
FCF has distributed gifts in the Wenatchee Valley since 2004 and for the last two years specifically in Wenatchee. The larger organization, headquartered in Puget Sound, has helped thousands of families since it began in 1976.
“The generosity of this valley is simply amazing,” she said. “We’re impressed by it every year.”
For more on the local FCF and its gift-giving efforts, see a video at web.photodex.com/view/pkwbm28 or visit the group’s Facebook page.
O Silent Mites: Have you been bitten by the Christmas bug?
No, really. Have you literally been bitten by the Christmas bug?
The state Department of Natural Resources, always festive, reminded us in mid-December that the average live Christmas tree might contain, oh, 20,000 to 25,000 insects, mites and spiders. They’ve crawled under the bark and bored into the wood to hibernate in cold weather.
And there they nap. Well, at least until the tree warms up in your cozy, toasty living room, the perfect warm environment for fooling the buggers into thinking it’s springtime. Aiiiiieeeeee!
Don’t be alarmed. According to a fun article at the Science Daily website, the bugs prepare for hibernation by draining themselves of body fluids to keep from freezing solid. Awakened for the holidays, they usually dry up and die when they can’t immediately find a good, stiff holiday drink. But don’t we all? Actually, the bugs thirst for a long drink of water.
That’s not to say some of bugs don’t survive. One insect scientist suggests shaking the tree before you dispose of it, just to see if any spiders or moths tumble out. Other buglets too tiny to notice would be bark lice and mites. When desiccated, mites can pose problems for some allergy sufferers, so use caution when sniffing your fir. If you indeed sniff your fir.
Check out the “Bugs in the Christmas Tree” article at sciencedaily.com.
Bradshaw tackles Quincy: The city of Quincy got some slick promotion last month from an online video series called “Today in America with Terry Bradshaw.” Yep, the same Terry Bradshaw who’s the football guy.
OK, it doesn’t look like Bradshaw actually visited Quincy, but he does do the voice-over for the five-minute video that touts the town’s ag industry (potatoes, apples), food processors (Lamb Weston), data centers (Microsoft, Yahoo), shipping possibilities (trains, trucks), wineries (Jones of Washington), rec opportunities (Crescent Bar, Gorge Amphitheater) and even the new Amway ingredient-processing plant that’s now under construction.
Quincy has “small-town charm and big-city opportunities,” said Bradshaw, a theme echoed in interviews with Mayor Jim Hemberry, Port of Quincy President Curt Morris and Microsoft data center director Kevin Williams.
“Today in America” features scores of short videos on all kinds of topics, including business, technology, health, education, travel and home and family. See the Quincy video at http://ow.ly/gpnfY.
This week’s Worm was compiled by reporter and blogger Mike Irwin. Got a tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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