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Showing posts from June, 2009

#26 way to change the world

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This one is a little bit different...but the concept is very simple.
Pick 3 independently owned local businesses you couldn't live without in your town.

Shop there and spend $50/month.

Save your local economy by investing your money in your local economy.

#25 way to change the world

I am late with last week's charitable effort. So I'll just post TWO this week. One now and one Friday/Saturday. OK? OK.

I was walking through the mall last weekend when this bracelet caught my eye. Mr. Umholtz, JB Robinson Jewelers, kindly took it out of the case and let me try it on. He didn't have much more information than what was on the card...With the purchase of the Green Bracelet, $20 or more goes back to Africa to support educational programs where diamonds are a natural resource.

I was intrigued so I looked it up online and found the maker of the bracelet is the Simmons Jewelry Company...the company of the hip-hop celebrity Russell Simmons and model(?) Kimora Lee Simmons (I'll be honest...I only recognize her from Celebrity Baby Blog). And the bracelet is the first in their "Green Initiative," benefitting the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.).

Here is a little article about the effort to boost economic development in Africa and provide "conflict …

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Last Sunday, after literally telling everyone to "get out of my space," I was able to do a little sewing. Seams sewn. Zippers repaired. Buttons replaced. The front of a new dress pattern pinned to fabric...upside down. oops!
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I need a serger. Like NEED a serger. Yes, I'm thirteen and figure if I keep begging I will, one day, actually get a serger.
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Not much to note around here. Got a cheap window air conditioner for the boys' room and fashioned a redneck-style window installation. I'm just hoping it doesn't slip out of the window and fall down the two stories to the ground below. Not that I doubt my husband's redneck capabilities or anything, but I think I will rope off a "do not walk here" zone...just to be safe.
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I need a better paying job. I'm just saying.
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H…

Gone

My boss's son just died. I never met him and yet I'm terribly saddened by the news of his passing. Though this does bring up a whole host of unresolved feelings for me, that sadness is eclipsed by the sadness I feel for them...the family.

I'm sad that it was sudden and there was no chance for his family to say goodbye.

I'm sad that his three-year-old daughter will grow up to not know her father.

I'm sad that his wife is left alone in this life to take care of their daughter.

I'm sad for the road of grief I know my boss and his wife will now have to travel.

I'm sad that they know this road well, having already buried on son.

My heart wants to make it all go away...make it all better for everyone. But my head knows there is nothing that can be done.

Rest in peace, JJS. Please, if you can, watch over your family from wherever you are. I know they're going to miss you terribly.

Remember to tell those you love how important they are to you. Because sometimes you…

Welcome to the world Baby Cooper!

My friend Heather had her baby boy this morning! He weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and measured 20" long. Congratulations to the whole family!

Welcome to the world Baby Loralai

Heather's little girl is here!

Born early on Thursday, June 11 at 3:57pm, she weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces and was 18 inches long. She is currently in the NICU, so her brother hasn't been allowed to see her just yet. Heather is doing well enough to Facebook, so that's good. :o)

I hate to leave it at that, but I want to let Heather tell her own story.

Congratulations to the entire family!

#24 way to change the world

Jewish World Watch, in association with Solar Cookers International, the Dutch NGO KoZon Foundation, and the Chadian NGO Tchad Solaire, has successfully realized the The Solar Cooker Project in Chadian refugee camps Iridimi and Touloum.
Jewish World Watch is committed to protecting refugee women and girls from rape and other egregious forms of violence. Women and girls who have fled the genocide in Darfur, a region of Sudan, are particularly vulnerable to rape while performing the critical task of collecting firewood for cooking. Our mission is to reduce the frequency of these heinous crimes by providing women in refugee camps with an alternative cooking option: the solar cooker. Solar cookers enable women to remain within the relative safety of the camp by reducing their dependency on wood.

The Solar Cooker Project not only serves to protect women, but also provides them with income opportunities through manufacturing solar cookers, training others to use the cookers, and making carry…

Sleepover in the hood

Sam's cub scout leader is a very nice lady (D) and I normally really like her. So I'm a bit astonished right now at what just happened. Let me back up a bit in this story first...

D called me last week to tell me that the boys' final tiger cub project had been scheduled for today at 10am. Steve is in the middle of the bad time of year for work with government deadlines looming. I had scheduled a seminar in Cleveland that my office had paid nearly $400 for. It just wasn't going to be possible for us to take Sam to the designated location for this final project and he would be unable to earn the patch necessary to move onto the Wolf level.

D graciously invited Sam over to her house for the entire day. We could drop him off in the morning and she would watch him until I got back to town at about 5:30. At about 5:30, she called to tell me that it would be ok if Sam stayed until the scheduled picnic this evening...she would bring him and we could meet them there. Oh, and Tim …

Where is your line in the sand?

Politics?
Religion?
Circumcision?

What's the one belief you won't compromise on?

I'm facing a personal ethical challenge and it's making me re-evaluate who I am and what I believe in. I'm going to be self-indulgent here and put it all into words. I don't expect any magical relief will come from putting it out here...but just maybe...I don't know...

I became a member of the Board of Directors of my local Animal Protective League back in February. The organization is experiencing some growing pains and I've been trying to help get them back on course (read = they're transitioning from "the way we've always done things" to "the right way.") . They haven't been following their corporate directives except in the most generalized ways (read = they still have an animal shelter, but all established business practices have ceased). Procedural things have just fallen by the wayside and nobody has bothered to address the resulting substa…

#23 way to change the world

Maybe I'm getting older and nostalgia is settling in my bones, but I think childhood summer vacation is something we should work to achieve for everyone.
Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.

Whether its a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities.

We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.

Right now, any gift you make to The Fresh Air Fund will be matched dollar for dollar by a group of generous donors. If you can give $25, that means $50 for inner-city children. $50 becomes $100!

But you must make your donation by June 30th to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Fresh Air Fund

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Bring on summertime! First grade is over! The boy got all A's and Satisfactory's. He's still got that checkmark indicating he needs improvement controlling his talking. Wonder where he got that particular trait...
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Nothing against Relay for Life or anything, but one of their wayward yard signs cost me $85 in van repair. That does not make me likely to make a donation this year.
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Still can't help but wonder why some babies live and some don't.
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I never get tired of hearing elected officials swear at me. Yeah, it's no wonder I have a potty mouth and my kid has a potty mouth (Did I tell you he dropped the f-bomb at dinner with my parents last week? I'm just SO proud).
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I love baking pumpkin bread...it makes my house smell so yummy.
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Zip the foste…

Zip the foster dog

Sunday, May 31: Collected Zip. This was a trick, since she's deathly afraid of the leash. So I put some canned dog food in a bowl about halfway back into a travel crate. As she was eating, half in the crate, I gently petted her for a bit and then slid my hand down to her tail and gently lifted her backside into the crate. Closed the door and voila. Not really voila. She was shaking so bad I thought she was going to shake the door right off the crate. But there was NO growling. I kept talking to her as I carried her out of that shelter...promising her life was going to get better.

I let her sleep in the travel crate Sunday night since she really didn't seem to want to come out of there.

Monday, June 1: Monday morning and I was headed off to work for the day so I couldn't leave Zip in the travel crate. I sat on the floor with the travel crate door open and just talked to her. Eventually, she ventured out...so slowly...her whole body shaking. When she was clear of the travel cr…

Why couldn't they just leave the shirt at school?

The teacher sent home a note saying that they were going to be decorating special t-shirts for their field trip.

"Please have the t-shirt to school by Wednesday May 20th."

May 19th, I call Steve on his way home from work to have him stop to buy a plain white t-shirt.

May 20th, Sam comes home from school and announces that he "doesn't need the t-shirt until next week."

May 27th, Sam's class decorates t-shirts.

May 29th, Sam's class cleans out their desks.

May 31st, I dig through Sam's book bag and sort things to save what needs saved for scrapbooks. What do I find? A plain white t-shirt.

Me: Uh...Sam? (holding up the t-shirt)

Sam: Oh...I forgot.

Me: Didn't you decorate t-shirts already?

Sam: Yeah, I guess I must've forgotten I had that in there.

Me: So what did YOU decorate?

Sam: Mrs. C. had an extra, so I decorated that.

Me: While this was in your bag the whole entire time?

Sam: Sorry mommy.

June 1st, Mrs. A., the assistant teacher in the class, approac…

Wonderful people

I have this ongoing environmental case involving a schizophrenic man in his late 50s/early 60s. He's a collector. He wanders around town and collects whatever catches his eye, certain that there must be something with some value in his collection. He takes it all to his property and dumps it...to deal with "later." Later never comes and eventually the junk piles get so high that the neighbors call to complain and the Health Department steps in. The neighbors are exasperated with this man and, for their own reasons, never offer to help.

As often happens with those with mental illness, this case cycles with his compliance with his medication regimen. The first court case was filed in 2002 and has been back to court several times since. And this man knows enough to know that he "will get in trouble" if he doesn't stop collecting stuff. But he can't seem to help himself.

Earlier this month, I was forced to file again on this case. The man has successfully av…