I don’t know about everyone else, but reading the news makes me tired these days.

Downright bone weary, frankly, because it’s so much of "the more things change, the more things stay the same." Which just is not exactly a bliss-inducing thought, now is it?

So I thought I’d look around for something a little more unusual to share this morning.

Behold! Some actual good news:

— Starting with something that Millineryman passed along to me. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared August 23-29 Community Garden Week, and there was this tidbit in the announcement:

There are thousands of community gardens nationwide including ‘The People’s Garden’ at USDA Headquarters on the National Mall. Earlier this year, Vilsack broke ground on ‘The People’s Garden’ – a vegetable garden on USDA property that recently was expanded to include sustainable landscaping for the entire grounds. Since May 21, USDA has harvested and donated more than 170 pounds of produce to the DC Central Kitchen. The DC Central Kitchen offers job training in culinary and food service skills to DC’s homeless.

Now that’s some leadership in action. You can get more information about the "People’s Garden" initiative here.

— Speaking of gardens, how is the one at the White House doing? Turns out, the lead issue wasn’t as bad as it was initially blown up to be, and their tomato harvest is enviable. They’ve had a few harvest parties with Bancroft Elementary School students. And the WH has been bringing in sports figures and others to talk about healthy diet and physical fitness to connect those dots for kids. And word is, there is some thought being given to a possible farmer’s market outside the White House as well, to bring fresh produce into DC and give a boost to local farmers as well. Love it.

— Speaking of the Obamas, you have to love parents with a nerdy streak, that get excited when their child knows the difference between igneous and metamorphic rocks.

— Morgantown, WV? Still one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. WV gets a lot of crap from the media, so its nice to see a good story about us for a change.

— The number of families needing free or reduced cost school meals is expected to rise to a 41-year high. The good news about this? School starts soon, and all those kids will be eligible to get breakfast and lunch every school day soon. For those kids, that’s some incredibly good news. If you have it to spare, why not consider a donation to a local soup kitchen, shelter, or family in need?

There has to be more good news out there in all of your communities as well. Take a little time to share a smile with the rest of us. Pull up a chair…

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com