Thursday, December 30, 2010

Changes

Okay, so we've come to the end of another year. I'm sure your asking yourself how and what you are going to change in the coming year. Some things are easy to know. Like, I'm getting a son-in-law and adding a Missourian to my family in one fell swoop the first week of 2011.

Some friends that I gather with on a pretty regular bases have been talking about changes we want to make in our lives. Changes that will help grow us into more of what Jesus look like. Changes that will grow us into more purposeful people. Things like diving deep into being aware of the needs of our community and world, then doing something about those needs.

One of the things our family already does is sponsor two Compassion International kids in The Dominican Republic. Our middle daughter sponsors a little girl in Guatemala. All three of them are adorable. It's been fun to watch them grow up through their pictures and letters.

There is so much information on Compassion's website. You might not be interested in sponsoring a child, but I bet if you check out the kids that need one you will be hard pressed not to, anyway, there are many other ways to reach out and make a difference.

Disaster Relief
Child Survival Program
Leadership Development Program
AIDS Orphan
Malaria Intervention Fund
MicroFinance Giving
Global Food Crisis Fund
Highly Vulnerable Children's Fund
Medical Assistance Fund

If you're looking for changes to make in your life I suggest one or more of the above. You'll stretch yourself and help someone else out. Go read Matthew 25 if you need a little extra push.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grandmother names

I found out the other day that my kids were discussing what I needed to be called once I became a grandmother. Pretty sure that isn't going to happen anytime soon, but with the oldest daughter getting married soon it must have been on their minds.

I wanted my kids to call their grandmothers: Grandmother or Grandma
That's what we had called ours: Grandma Sapp and Grandma Killian
It worked for me and my siblings and cousins.

Our oldest daughter had other ideas. She insisted that one of her grandmothers be called Eyetsee.
She also called her best friend at the time Eyetsee.
It finally morphed into Icee and Hannah got called Hannah.
I like the uniqueness of Icee now, but it has to be explained a lot.

My mother chose to be called Grammy and it stuck. Plus you don't argue with my mom.

There is actually a site for choosing your Grandmother name. I was shocked, though I know not why. There are pictures of nativity scenes made out of frogs. Why should anything after that shock me?

I took a little quiz to find out which grandmother name is right for me. Not really sure I can trust it though. It said I was a sophisticated intellectual and that I have my own style that is impossible for others to imitate. If truth be told, I don't think there is anyone out there that wants to imitate my style. And I can hear my family laughing over the sophisticated intellectual part. Loudly. Hugh guffaws.

It said a good grandmother moniker for me would be Nana or Bebe. Bebe? Really? Isn't that a clothing store?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So this is Christmas

I have so many mixed feelings about this holiday. It's hard for me to just embrace it completely due to how it originated and the evolution it has gone through over the years.

Some people say that we celebrate on December 25th because we don't know the real date and I get that to a point. We have a cousin that's adopted. Her birthdate isn't known, so they celebrate her gotcha day as her birthday. But, December was chosen so the Christians would have an excuse to party like their nonbeliever friends were in their celebration of Saturnalia and Juvenalia. And the Christians did party. Raucously.

We can thank Washington Irving and Charles Dickens for many of the Christmas traditions that Americans consider holy. You can thank the Victorian Era for the idea of giving your children gifts for the holiday. If you read the story of the birth of Jesus from the actual Bible, you realize really quick that the church has woven together their own version of what happened and as usual, our version is not Biblical. What is sad is that many people who claim to be Christians would rather fight about keeping Christ in Christmas than follow what He taught.

I do know that the Son of God came to earth, shed His glory, and became human. That is a miracle, but it is a miracle that should be celebrated everyday. I'm as guilty as the next person for not doing that.

My favorite Christmas book is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It does a great job at pointing out, in a humorous way, how we screw up the story. This is my favorite part of the book.

They looked like the people you see on the six o'clock news - refugees, sent to wait in some strange ugly place, with all their boxes and sacks around them.

It suddenly occurred to me that this was just the way it must have been for the real Holy Family, stuck away in a barn by people who didn't much care what happened to them. They couldn't have been very neat and tidy either, but more like this Mary and Joseph (Imogene's veil was cockeyed as usual, and Ralph's hair stuck out all around his ears). Imogene had the baby doll but she wasn't carrying it the way she was supposed to, cradled in her arms. She had it slung up over her shoulder and before she put it in the manger she thumped it twice on the back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brownies for a crowd, or in this case, a wedding

I've been working on the reception food for the wedding. (I'm officially sick of truffles by the way and I need to make four more batches.)

I thought the bride had all the recipes picked out and I was waiting for her to get them to me. Then I found out that she wanted me to choose the recipes. So I've been researching.

(Very soon I will be officially sick of mini pies and cake balls.)

When this is all over I will have used 56 cage free eggs, 14 cups of butter, 10 1/2 cups of fair-trade cocoa, 28 cups of fair-trade sugar, 21 cups of white whole wheat flour, 14 teaspoons of salt and 21 teaspoons of vanilla. Just for the brownies.

(I'm thinking I will be officially sick of brownies in a few days.)

P.S.
I've got truffle making down to a science.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Needs and Wants

This time of year many people start thinking about the things they want.
My kids start getting pushed by their grandparents for Christmas lists.
We sat around my cousin's dining table yesterday going over the ads, looking at things we wanted and joked about if they were things we needed or wanted.

There are a lot of things I want, but in the scheme of everything else, there isn't anything I need.

I want a new stovetop. A wonderful gas 5 burner would be lovely. But, do I need it? Nope. Anytime I get grumpy about the one I have all it takes is a thought of the little house up in the mountains of China where Aaron, Stephie, Cassie and I stayed one weekend. They cooked our food on an open fire in their kitchen. That was their stovetop. That was also the only thing in their kitchen except for a table.

An oven with a door that really closed properly would also be lovely. But, do I need it? Nope. I know people that use old oil drums for their ovens. The majority of people in the world don't have ovens. My oven is a luxury.

The plumbing in our house is old and creaky. Comes from being in an older home and living on the ever shifting North Texas soil. I really don't think God ever intended house to be built on this stuff. Dealing with this plumbing can get really frustrating. Our guest bathroom makes me crazy if I let it. I would love to rip it all out and start over. But, you know what? I've got indoor plumbing. I don't have to walk to the neighborhood well or go to the creek to get my water. In another country we had to climb over two fences and squat over the openings in the floor while sharing the space with a pig. My indoor plumbing with clean running water is a luxury. Wanting better plumbing is a want, but it isn't a need.

I want a new camera. I've always loved photography, but I can't really pinpoint my motives for having one, so it is definitely a want, a luxury. I would probably waste a lot of time with it. I've got lots of friends that are fabulously talented photographers. I'll just enjoy their photos.

I want a Wilton icing thingy-a-bob like Lacey has. But, I want it just because I think it is really cool and fun. Lacey uses hers all the time because baking and decorating is one of Lacey's gifts and how she blesses people. My motives aren't pure like that. So, I am trying to convince myself that I don't want one. I know I definitely don't need one. Not even sure I would use it all that often. It would be a waste of money for me to have one. Most of the people in the world can't even afford to buy one frosted cupcake.

Today more than a billion people in the world live and die in desperate poverty. They attempt to survive on less than a dollar per day. Close to two billion others live on less than two dollars per day. That's nearly half the world struggling today to find food, water, and shelter with the same amount of money I spend on french fries for lunch. David Platt in his book, Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream - Radical

Needs and wants. They're different.
Lots of things I want. Nothing I need.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

6 Can Soup with a sweet potato thrown in

Man, it's been a long time since I've been here. Hope I can remember how to do this.

The following recipe was inspired by my cousin, Beverly. Or, at least I think the 7 Can Soup recipe got passed into my family by Beverly. Anyway, I'm giving Beverly the credit. I'm sure cousins will be more than happy to it out if I am wrong.

This is what I did:

1 medium sweet potato, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can pinto beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
1 can diced fire roasted salsa style tomatoes
1 can white hominy
1 can yellow hominy

I threw it all in my crockpot and cooked it on high for about 5 hours or so.

I also made brown rice with a healthy dose of fresh cilantro, garlic powder, black pepper, and about a teaspoon of salt.

Not being a fan of sweet potatoes, I was unsure if I would really like it, but I did.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Death is final

Death is final and when I say that I mean the life here on earth is forever gone. It's permanent. As in forever more.

The only thing that keeps me from going insane is knowing that Grandmother is a beautiful soul in an earthly shell and the second the shell shuts down she will be with her Father. The one that she has loved and faithfully followed always. It will be beyond glorious, nothing our small minds can even begin to imagine. And she will be perfect and perfectly content.

Tonight, or I guess I should say this morning my tears have finally started flowing in a way that doesn't hint of a let up anytime soon. I've cried on and off since Friday morning, but quickly fended them off.

Not now.

Now I'm in pain thinking of the things that will never be again.
The really bland cookies she makes. Not sure what she does to them, but we eat them all up anyway.
Always being able to count on the ingredients for a Dr. Pepper Float to be on hand.
The best scrambled eggs in the world.
Hugs at the front door.
Her ability to talk for 30 minutes without having to stop to take a breath.
"Sit down here and talk to me" as she pats the couch cushion. And then not being able to get a word in edgewise.
Her way of pronouncing alcohol "alkeyhall" and tacos "tacas".
Her clothes hanging on the line.
Knowing that she starts her days praying for every single one of us.

In those ways death is very final. The day to day things. The things with skin on them. Those will be gone. Forever. And I don't like it one bit. That's where I am right now. Trying to come to grip with this final part. I hate it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jury Duty

Sitting at Jury Duty waiting to hear if I will be needed today. We've been here since 8:30 and now it is 9:50. One group has been called.

I'm trying to figure out how to lie down on these folding chairs and not look totally crazy.

Watching people try to get out of duty wasn't as much fun this time. There weren't many that tried and there was no drama. Darn. I miss the judge that asked a group of people to line up vertically. Vertically? Really? Can I please be on top? Wait, I'm scared of heights. Never mind. I would prefer to be crushed on the bottom.

According to CNN NikeTown in NYC has been closed down due to a bed bug infestation. The lady sitting next to me and I both started grimacing and scratching.

We got to watch the fun little video about how happy and proud we should be to have jury duty. It's very well done, but it didn't sway me. The fact is that I do not want the pressure of deciding if someone is guilty or not. I don't like conflict. I don't like making major decisions. I'm not crazy about making minor decisions. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to decide which black t-shirt I'm going to wear with my jeans.

Oh...that lady is dressed WAY to young for her age!

Do I believe in the jury system? Oh yes. I just don't want to be a part of it.

So, anyway, 74 people got called for actual duty. One of the courts that asked for jurors changed their mind. A cheer went up from those left over. I didn't cheer. I remembered the fun little video that told me I should be happy and proud to serve and pretended that it did sway me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I have a test tomorrow

Well, I'm in the hospital tonight. Not crazy about being here. But, I'm hoping the fun test I get to take tomorrow will answer some questions.

Like what in the heck had a hold of me Saturday? Whatever it was was worse than any child birthing I went through and let me tell you, those were doozies.

My test is nuclear. I wonder if I will glow.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A lesson I learned this morning

A lesson I learned this morning is to always double check the date on your jury summons before you write it on your calendar. That'll keep you from driving 30 minutes to a courthouse at an awful hour in the morning for no reason.

So, after learning the painful lesson the hard way I decided, due to bad traffic and a pounding headache, to drop in on my friends because I knew there would be coffee. They had kids that had to be gotten up and taken off to school. Someone would be up and coffee would be available.

Once again this morning I was wrong.

Charlie met me in the driveway and escorted me into the house. I walked into dead silence.

And then I made one step too many and Nia saw me. At least I think her name is Nia. Usually I just call her "Please Don't Eat Me". She went nuts barking and Charlie, the traitor, joined her.

I quickly sat down and played dead hoping she would take that as a sign of weakness and decide not to take a plug out of me. I looked up to see two extremely sleepy, confused people (I would say friends, but I don't know if they were thinking of me as a friend at that point) staring at me like I'm crazy. I am crazy. It was crazy. So their confusion made perfect sense to me.

Em immediately put water on to boil. She's seen me without sleep and little caffeine before. She knows how ugly it can be. Then, as the intelligent young lady she is, she went straight back to bed.

The coffee got French pressed. I inhaled it as I tried to apologize and explain my presence to the third person I woke up as he stumbled into the kitchen.

I had forgotten the kids don't physically go to school on Thursday. So, no one was up when I crashed in on their nice, calm, cozy little world. You would think that I would remember the Thursday thing, because two of my kids went to that school and I taught there once upon a time.

Then Nia, the same dog that threatened to tear me limb from limb earlier, curled up with me on the couch and we took a nap together.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bright lights

My cousin, Lezlee, is having another party over at her place. Lezlee is extremely gifted in repurposing. She blows me away. In fact, I'm just plain jealous of her talent.

Back to her party. People show how they've repurposed stuff in their blogs and link to her blog.

Not too long ago Lezlee posted a picture of her guest room with a fun birdcage she turned into a wall lamp.

I don't have any nifty birdcages around the place, but I do have something else that I made into a lamp. I had planned to make it a fish bowl, but realized that I would probably just kill the fish. I don't have a good reputation with fish. My family makes fun of my inability to keep fish alive. Every time I get a strong urge to get a fish I remind myself that I have a creek full of fish. It's also full of turtles and snakes, but I try not to think about the snakes. So here is a picture of my repurposed lamp.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mine Fields

Yesterday we had a training day out at Coventry.

One of our exercises was to walk our partner through a mine field with only our voice. The partner was blindfolded. I did NOT want to guide anyone. I don't think I'm a good guider. And when they called on me I begged them not to. Yeah, that worked.

So, they blindfolded my partner and I began to freak out a bit. I had chill bumps.

They added a twist. Everyone that wasn't on the mine field made noise. My partner had to concentrate on my voice and I had to stay close to her so she could hear my voice. And I had to stay calm.

I was doing okay until someone started twisting a plastic bottle. That's when I was ready to flatten someone! It was weird. They were putting my partner in danger and I was on the verge of taking them out, but I had to stay focused on her and remain steady.

The point of the exercise was to understand how many of our participants feel all the time. They are constantly bombarded with distractions because of how their brains function.

What got me was how inadequate I felt to guide and how protective I felt about my partner. I was wanting to yell at the person with the bottle that if they didn't stop making that awful noise I was going to hurt them. But, inside me I knew that probably wasn't a good idea.

One of the cool things about Coventry volunteers is that we all get that all of us are special needs in some way or the other. We all have situations or physical difficulties that make us function differently, that cloud our thinking sometimes. Now we get it a little bit more.

And, if you want to take it in a traditional spiritual direction: We have to concentrate on God's voice when we're walking through our mine fields. The great news for us is that He will always be at our elbow and He will always be calm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Missy

This is Missy. She left her family and friends last week after living a very fun and full life.

My kids, mainly Clay, were her sitters over the last few years.

Missy was a funny dog. Even after she had gone pretty blind she still knew exactly where to go and stand for her treat when she came in from doing her business outside.

And sometimes she was funny about doing her business outside. She didn't like to get her feet wet, so she would try to avoid the wet grass. Or she would pretend that she had done everything and want you to let her back inside. But, if you stood your ground, she would get to it so she could get back inside and get her treat. She liked her treats.

One of her favorite things to do was play hide and seek with Clay. Oh, she would make me laugh. She would hide under the coffee table which might have worked if it hadn't had a glass top.

There was the season she decided that she only wanted to sleep in the bathtub. Her mother had put something like a blanket in the tub and Missy jumped on it like a junebug and claimed it to be hers. She used it to scare us to death. We couldn't find her. She had completely buried herself under the blanket.

Missy was picky about her toys. Once she had a favorite, none other would do. There was the hamburger toy. Her parents tried to switch it once with an identical toy. Didn't work. She demanded her old one.

She was a sweet, sweet heart and dearly loved, but it was time for her to say good-bye. She had lived a very full and fun life.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Achile & Tetralogy of Fallot


Achile is an 8-year-old boy in Burkina Faso with a congenital heart defect known as tetralogy of Fallot. Because of Achile's heart condition, he has been in pain for five years and hasn't been able to attend school regularly and receive the full of benefit of sponsorships through Compassion International.

 Compassion International has provided medical care for Achile for the last two years at the National Teaching Hospital Yalgado Ouedraogo in Burkina Faso in western Africa. However, doctors there now believe his condition requires urgent heart surgery, which is not available in Burkina Faso.

Achile will be transported to a specialized hospital in India for a lifesaving operation that will cost an estimated $20,449.
Please donate here: http://compassion.com/Achile

Any funds raised in excess of the cost of Achile's surgery and transport will be rolled into Compassion's Medical Assistance Fund to aid children in need of medical help in the future.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Landon School Scandal has made my head explode

Okay, so I'm working on getting back in my groove. Not rut. Groove. They are different. I guess a groove can become a rut if you let it. Anyway...

My amazing friend, Lori, sent me the horrible info on the Landon School Scandal when I was up to my armpits in bands, managers, tour buses, speakers, no wi-fi, thunderstorms, ceiling leaks, and divas. And, no, the divas are not whom you think they would be.

So, the info has been bouncing around in the back of my brain and today I'm passing it on to you.

Reading about this made my head want to explode. I'm almost at a loss for words. I've typed a sentence over and over, but my mind keeps shattering.

This despicable attitude has been directed at girls that were supposedly their friends. How much worse must their attitudes be about people they have no connections with?

It makes me furious and it makes me realize how easily the idea of people being seen as property is birthed.

The fact the school tried to keep the scandal hush hush is very irritating. The Washington Post article states that just a few of the girl's families were contacted and three boys received in-school suspensions. In-school suspensions? Really? That's all? And, why weren't all the families warned that their daughters were being targeted in this way?

My heart hurts for the girls. It hurts because they didn't deserve this and the matter was swept under the rug, the boys slapped on the wrist. It hurts because there are girls in the world seeking attention and will do anything to get it. They are the perfect prey for predators like these boys.

My heart hurts for the families that believe the boys behavior is acceptable. That just look at it as "boys being boys" and don't see it for the sickness it really is. There are huge vacuums in these families. And they don't have a clue it is there.

My head has exploded and my heart hurts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Home again

These last two weeks have been insane. Colorado feels like it was a month ago. Oklahoma is a distant memory. Crossover taxed my body and my brain.

But, now I'm home. Sitting in my own bed with my husband passed out beside me.

Colorado was an exhausting delight, except for the rafting trip.
Falls Creek was an exhausting delight, except for the wi-fi being at the bottom of the hill (and not free) and the cell service being at the top of the hill. Made it hard to get business done.
Crossover was an exhausting delight, except for a few things that will not be named. I do want to say that Daphne and Kathy once again rocked hospitality and merch.

I feel completely out of the loop on so many things.
I've got to get back in my zone.
I've got to get all the weight I packed on off again.
Daphne made a spinach lasagna that was so good I almost cried.

I did get to share my convictions about slavery and Wal-Mart and Nestle and Mars with a few people and that felt good. Helped me feel I was in my real world.

Think its time to crash. I figured out that I've been driving or riding in a car for a total of 50 hours these past two weeks.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

But I didn't sign up for that!

So, for those that don't know, I'm in Colorado with the 2010 Seniors of LCA. They asked me to come with them. I think it's so they can make fun of me when I'm shivering to death on the side of a mountain above 10,000 feet. Maybe they just hate me. I'm not sure yet.

Tonight we found out that we have to be on the road by 6:50 AM. We were on the road this morning at 6:30 AM! I think they might just hate me.

AND we found out tonight some of the rapids we're doing tomorrow will be Level 5 with the water at 34F. Yeah, they must hate me.

Oh, we will be on the river for 6 HOURS! SIX HOURS! In 34F water. It is definite. They hate me.

The other female sponsor and I looked at each other and said we were sure we did NOT sign a waiver that said anything about Level 5 rapids and 6 hours of ice cold melted snow.

Even the guy sponsors were looking a little green around the gills. In fact, I'm pretty sure Chrasta's eyes just about popped out of his head a couple of times.

So, think about me tomorrow as I'm freezing and bouncing and holding on for dear life.

And then think about me while I'm up on a mountain at timberline freezing in my little tent due to the fact that a bunch of punk kids hate me.

Supposedly I will get to come back down the mountain to warmer weather Wednesday evening if that bunch of punk kids who hate me will shove my aching body into the van.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sitting down and talking with Chap Stique

My interview with Chap Stique is here. No, I do not call him that in real life. I think that would be just way too weird.

For those of you that aren't Chappy fans - the nickname comes from the fact that he is "addicted" to lip balm. I don't call him Chappy either.

And, once again, he is married.

This post led to the one about him being married.

Why did I feel the need to type all of the above? I have no idea.

I was very excited to find out he is involved with Blood:Water Mission and Free The Slaves.

Don't know if anyone's has noticed, but slavery and poverty really push my buttons.

So, I thank my friend for helping get the word out about two very heartbreaking issues and some ways people are trying to tackle the problems.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My cousin is having a party!

My cousin, Lezlee, is having a party over at her blog. She does a great job repurposing stuff into beautiful useful stuff. And she's asked others to show their stuff.

Okay, that's enough stuff.

So, the following are a few things that we've repurposed around here.

When my oldest was moving into a dorm room, we took cork trivets and turned them into tiny bulletin boards. Then she took another set and turned them into art.






















































Then, there's the cat I made awhile back. I like my cat a lot. It is the only kind of cat I can have. My husband and two of my kids are allergic to cats and my dogs would probably have heart attacks if a cat entered the scene.




Can you tell it's made with all found objects? That's a pop top thingy from a can for the mouth. The whiskers might be telephone wires. The Blue Jay feather is from our yard. The Texas rabies tag came from one of the dogs. A copper pipe forms the tail that is attached to an old Mexican vanilla bottle. I found a broken beer bottle in the park which became ears for the muchly abused baseball.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two graduations in one day

Here are the two punks that caused last Friday to be crazy, crazy. Okay, so maybe it isn't their fault that their graduations fell on the same day.

I asked Haley if she could ask Baylor to let her be the first to walk across, but she didn't think that would work. So, she was in the last school and one of the last to walk. YEA! Not.

The major storm that blew through Texas didn't help traffic on I-35. And the fact that we had to drive through Dallas during rush hour didn't help.

We barely pulled into the parking lot a tiny bit before 7 for Corinn's graduation. I would have been a bawling mass of blech if we had been late. Not only was Corinn walking, but also all my babies I taught as Freshmen.

I enjoyed President Garland's speech at the Baylor Commencement. Maybe I can find a copy to post. But, my mind went numb after the 285 thousand name was read before Haley's.

Scott's talk was excellent as always. Hearing him speak is always a joy. I'm glad the Seniors chose him for their speaker. And Mrs. Rice for Teacher of the Year. Both were great choices.

By the time we made it to Micah and Corinn's party my legs were rubber and my exhaustion complete. I told Debbie if she found me curled up somewhere in her house to not wake me up.

This is what one looks like after attending two graduations in two different cities two hours apart with storms, rush hour, and emotions thrown in.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quinoa Loaf with Tomatillos

I made the following last night. It is based on a recipe from the March/April 2010 issue of The Whole Deal. I don't like mushrooms, so I changed it a bit.

1 T olive oil
4 small tomatillos, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz (or so) can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c rolled oats
2 cups cooked Quinoa
1 cup frozen Green Peas or 1 can Green Peas, drained
1 t crushed Rosemary
1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan or casserole dish. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillos, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown around the edges. Put beans, oats, tomatillos, and 1/2 cup water in blender or food processor and blend until almost smooth. In a large bowl, combine bean mixture, quinoa, peas, rosemary, tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper to taste. Put in loaf pan/casserole dish. Bake until firm and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Slice and serve.

Four out of five people at my house gave it thumbs up. Clay said he wanted to spit it back onto his plate.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Don't Steal!

I was reading the March/April 2010 issue of Belle Armoire and came across this paragraph. It made me very sad. And mad.
"...reps from the big retailers cruise the aisles at trade shows, buying samples that they then send overseas to be copied. And it's not just artwear. Peggy mentions a well-known upscale-home catalog that regularly features pottery and ceramic pieces that are direct copies of the work of artists she knows personally."
It comes from an article on Peggy Russell by Rice Freeman-Zachery.

It all boils down to greed.

Don't steal an artist's creativity! It is one thing to be inspired, but to make direct copies for profit?! GRRRR!

By golly that makes me mad!

And, since the retailer reps are stealing in the first place, they probably aren't using ethical means to recreate what they've stolen.

And that makes me mad!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love Mercy - a book, a shop and a journey

While in Nashville this past weekend I paid a visit to McKay's (thank you Sarah Freeman) and found the book Love Mercy - A mother & Daughter's Journey from the American Dream to the Kingdom of God. It's a brand new book, just published in this here 2010.

The title caught my eye, because that's the name of my Etsy shop and then the author's name caught my eye, because she is one of my favorite authors. And since my daughter and I were in Nashville on a social justice trip it was a buy, buy, buy situation.

Lisa Samson and her daughter, Ty, wrote the book together about their trip to Swaziland and how it rocked their world.

Lisa and I have a lot in common.

She writes great fiction.
I like to read great fiction.

She and her husband wrote a great book, Justice in the Burbs.
I read Justice in the Burbs and recommend it to people all the time.

She was born in '64.
I was born in '63.

She has a child born in '89.
I have a child born in '89.

She and her daughter have been to Africa.
I've been to Africa with one of my daughters.

See! We're almost twins!

I'm only on Chapter 3, but I'm greatly appreciating this book. The writing styles are welcoming and honest. Can't wait to finish it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is Fezzik

As you can tell the fence isn't that much taller than him, but he hasn't figured that out yet.

He has figured out how to open one of the gates. Thankfully a lot of us were out in the backyard when he did it the first time.

There was a boy in the park and Fezzik was barking like crazy at him. He can't stand it when someone is out there.

All of a sudden he ran to the gate, stuck his nose to the bottom and shoved it open.

I almost had a heart attack. He took off after the kid at a full gallop, barking his head off.

Can you imagine looking up and having that charging at you whole hog?

Of course, the kid started running. I started yelling (or screeching) for him to not run.

And I couldn't believe it. The boy stood still! With THAT bearing down on him!

Fezzik didn't know what to do. He was so confused. The boy wasn't playing the game right.


I got to the kid and apologized profusely. He just smiled and said that Fezzik was a smart dog like his dog.

So glad he felt that way.

I'm still in shock he listened to me, a total stranger, and stood still. That took a lot of courage. I think I would have been looking for a big stick if something was coming at me like that.

And, he is right. Fezzik is a smart dog. And sneaky. And obnoxious. And smelly. And loving. Sometimes too loving. Obnoxiously loving. Ask Corinn's boyfriend, Micah. Fezzik loves Micah. A lot. Fezzik thinks they're bosom buddies. Micah's not so sure. Especially when Fezzik is at his smelliest.





Now, these two rotten creatures were saying, "We had nothing to do with this! See, we didn't go chasing after the boy! We're the goods ones!"

HA! None of us are fooled. We all know you just didn't move fast enough this time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Texas - The Confused State


This is what Texas weather was like last weekend.






Friday














Sunday













Monday


I kid you not.

Upcycled t-shirt becomes ruffles for a blah skirt

I've been working on a little project and finished it yesterday. It's tied to my crazy shopping post.

This is what has emerged:


















It began with a denim skirt that I've had a million years or so. Not sure if I got it at Goodwill or if it was a hand-me-down. It was very plain. So...
I took an Archie comic book from the 70's and scanned a couple of the pages, flipped the images and made iron-on transfers. Then I hand stitched around the images. I didn't really care if the comics were readable. I like the worn look they have. There is also no rhyme or reason in the order I put them on. If you tried to read the story you would get confused.













I placed comic panels on the down the front and three panels on the left bottom part of the skirt.
Yes, I'm wearing TOMS. I love my TOMS.

Now, the skirt has a front slit that wasn't too high, but it was awkward to sit in. It just seemed if I wasn't on constant watch it would gap in very annoying ways. Or, at least, annoying for me. Maybe the men around me really liked the slit. Anyway, this is what I did:














I upcycled a red Pine Cove Ranch t-shirt that had seen better days by cutting a panel and hand stitching six ruffles onto it. Then I hand stitched the panel into the skirt.








The dentist recognized it as the project I was working on last week when Callie had her visit and a lady in the waiting room really liked it. Callie explained to both of them that the ruffles were made out of an old t-shirt.






And that fuzzy thing below the ruffles. That's not my hairy leg, that's Dog Henry, not to be confused with Nephew Henry. Nephew Henry, not to be confused with Dog Henry, is going through a "I will NOT use the big potty!" phase. His parents are THRILLED!

It was a fun project. I only stabbed myself a few times. Twice in the lip. I know, it doesn't make any sense. It would have been faster and safer to do it all on the machine, but I like hand stitching and I can do it anywhere. On the train, in my living room, at the dentist, at a meeting, at my mom's, etc...You get the picture.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Philip Andre has been adopted


This is Philip Andre. As you can tell he has lived a hard life. In the past he has been a boxer, actor, and a screenwriter.















Etched into his face are lines left by extreme living and taking punches.
















Underneath is a heart of gold. Well, maybe not a heart of gold, but a heart, none the less.
















Philip Andre has been adopted and now lives in Louisiana. His adoption fees are being donated to Faceless International.

To learn who inspired the birth of Philip Andre, click here.

These are so my children!


This picture does a good job summing up the craziness of my kids. And this is only two of them.







Can you imagine what it's like when all five are around?


With color, without color, it shows they're pretty much nuts.









Wonder where they get it from?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Real Hope for Haiti Dress Party

My cousin, Jodi, decided to host a dress making party for Real Hope for Haiti. It was a great success. People donated fabric, sewing machines, and time.

You can read about it here. My mom is in one of the pictures. She isn't the sleeping baby. That's my adorable third cousin and Jodi's adorable daughter.

I think Jodi should come to Plano so we can have a dress party here. What do you think?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pecan Muffin Squares

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pecan Muffin Squares

They're in squares because I don't like dealing with muffin tins or papers.

9 X 13 pan

Mix together the following:

2 cups organic white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup fair trade organic sucanat
1 T Ener-G egg replacer
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Add:

1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups almond milk

Mix well.

Add:

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 9 X 13 pan. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until center bounces back when pushed gently or a knife stuck into center comes out clean.

Variations:
Substitute your favorite oil, milk, fruit, or nuts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sadie Suzanne - easy going kind of girl



Meet Sadie Suzanne. She's an easy going kind of girl. She likes things plain and simple, like her. Sadie Suzanne sees things a little differently than most dolls.

Maybe that's because her eyes are so unique.













They were crafted just for her at Coventry. No eyes like them anywhere else.












The folks at Coventry view things through a lens of love and I think it rubbed off on Sadie.


She tells me she was hand-stitched with a lot of love, helping the person doing the stitching work off some stress while trying to be creative.

Sadie Suzanne says when she is adopted all of the proceeds will go to Faceless International. That's a group of people with a lot of love.

So, if you are looking for a easy going kind of girl to love, Sadie Suzanne might be just the doll for you.

I'm not crazy about shopping

I'm not really crazy about shopping, like at the mall. It's not something I consider fun. (Flea Markets and thrift stores, that's a whole 'nother story.) Haven't always felt this way. In the past I had no problem spending hours in a mall. I'm not really even sure when the change took place. Maybe it was around the time I starting realizing I didn't need all that much, nor did my kids. Maybe it was around the time I starting realizing where clothes were made. Maybe it was around the time I started realizing that much of the stuff I was admiring was being made by people forced to work in horrible, dangerous conditions. Not really sure. It's probably a combination of a lot of things.

My friend and I were talking the other day about her struggle to find a baby gift she knew came from an honorable company. She was going to start researching companies for her future purchases. Shaun Groves wrote a few years ago about searching for blue jeans that were fair trade and organic. That made me search. There are good companies out there who are honorable in their business practices. It costs more to buy from them sometimes, but I would rather spend more money, than wear or use something made by a slave or an abused person. Or, simply go without.

Anyone who knows me in real life can tell you I'm not a fashionista. Most of the time I really don't care. Now, I usually know how to dress appropriately for a situation or I call a friend and ask for help. A lot of times I like to be different in some little way, which gets an eyebrow raised now and then. I went through a boring time in my life where I played it safe and was constantly freaked out about what I was going to wear. Not so much anymore. Some years ago I decided to have some fun, which is where the not caring comes in.

I'm getting more and more into altering pieces of clothing to have more of a "me" style. I get a hoot out of repurposing pieces and upcycling stuff. It helps my creative side. I love to hand stitch things. It helps me with stress. And it works nicely with my dislike of shopping.

So, all that to say that I'm going on a little adventure where I'm going to try to not make any purchases without knowing if the supply chain is pure and I'm going to be getting less stressful by creating a lot of my own stuff. Don't how it will all turn out or how I will record it. Since only a couple of people read this, maybe they will throw some ideas my way.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My dad's in Haiti

My dad flew to Haiti today. I'm so proud of him. He will be there for a week with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

It's one of those things where I'm very happy that he is physically able to go, but I'm sad that there is such a horrible need. Haiti was in terrible condition before the earthquake. I've watched the videos and seen the pictures of the devastation and I know they really just catch a glimpse of the nightmare with which the Haitians are dealing.

In the last few years my parents have been volunteering in disaster relief. My mom spent extremely long hours in Galveston and Tyler making sure people got fed. Dad made a trip to Iowa to help out after the flood there. They've made other trips too, plus had hours and hours of training.

Some people think that what they are doing is crazy, helping people they don't even know. Some people make nasty comments about the people they are reaching out to, because they don't feel the victims deserve help. I say they are being the hands and feet of Christ. They are living out Micah 6:8 and Matthew 25.

My parents and I don't agree on a lot of things. We have different views about many things. There are some subjects that are best to be avoided. But, this is something we do agree on. If you can go and help, then go. If you have the means to go, then go. The small, little world you leave to go minister to someone else will still be there when you get back. It might be a little different when you get back. You will be a whole lot different. But, for the better.

To find out ways you can help in Haiti see any of the below:
RHFH Rescue Center
Compassion International
World Vision
Hands and Feet

These two involve family members. The sewing project is by my cousin, Jodi. Lovely, easy idea. The other one, for Red Cross, has my son in it.

Sewing Day

hitRECord & Red Cross

Friday, February 26, 2010

Switchfoot's Jon Foreman joins "Help Haiti Live"

SWITCHFOOT’S JON FOREMAN JOINS ‘HELP HAITI LIVE’

Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Big Kenny and More to Perform Live in Nashville to Raise Funds for Compassion International’s Continued Relief Efforts

NASHVILLE, TN…2/24/10…Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman hasannounced he will join the all-star cast of musicians gathering for “Help Haiti Live,” in Nashville on February 27th, 2010 to benefit Compassion International’s Haiti disaster relief fund. The concert is sponsored by Gaylord Entertainment Company and will be streamed live at HelpHaitiLive.com.

With extraordinary need still existing in the devastated country, Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Big Kenny, Mat Kearney, Jars of Clay, Jon Foreman, Brandon Heath, NEEDTOBREATHE, Dave Barnes, and Matt Wertz will participate in a concert at Nashville’s famed and Gaylord-owned Ryman Auditorium. Produced to inspire live concert and on-line audiences to financially support the relief work of Compassion International in Haiti, all talent and production fees have been donated, along with streaming services (Livestream.com), allowing proceeds to go toward Compassion’s disaster relief fund (more details below). Gibson Guitars has donated a guitar to be signed by the evening’s performers and auctioned off, with bids starting today at HelpHaitiLive.com/auction. For artist and venue information please click here.

Tickets range in price from $25-75 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations, as well as through The Ryman box office: 800-745-3000 or Ryman.com.

Event details include:

Nashville/Ryman Auditorium, 7:30pm cst:
Host: Big Kenny (plus performance)
Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
Jars of Clay
Mat Kearney
Jon Foreman
Brandon Heath
Dave Barnes
NEEDTOBREATHE

All net proceeds from HelpHaitiLive.com will go to Compassion International’s Haiti disaster relief fund. All money raised in response to the Haiti earthquake will be used immediately to re-equip Compassion’s local support structure and to provide for the immediate needs of Compassion-assisted children and families.

Compassion has been meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Haitians for more than forty years and will continue to serve them
in this time of extreme need. Already Compassion International has supplied more than 15,000 families with clean water, food, blankets, temporary shelter, medical supplies and counseling. Donations will lay bricks, feed, educate, clothe, heal and rebuild Haiti for many months to come.

Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from
poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1 million children in
26 of the world’s poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works holistically through
local churches to address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children, enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating “four stars” for eight consecutive years.

“Help Haiti Live” is owned by Compassion International and will be produced by Shaun Groves and Synergy Production Group. Synergy Production Group creates and produces live events that connect audiences with brands or causes. Offering turn-key event solutions, strategic content development, creative design, audio, video and lighting production, talent procurement and complete program management, Synergy Production Group is based in Franklin, TN (www.synergyprg.com).

Gaylord Entertainment Company has taken an active and immediate role in supporting earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. In addition
to its involvement in the Help Haiti Live concert event, Gaylord is providing direct aid to family members of employees who live in Haiti through its STAR Assistance Program. The company also provided financial support to the American Red Cross’s relief efforts and is currently working with Harvest Time International in Florida as well as the Salvation Army to transport thousands of pounds of food, clothing, and household goods donated by its STARS (employees) to the hardest-hit areas of the island nation.

###

FOR MORE INFORMATION/PRESS CONTACT:
the media collective
velvet kelm, christina garvin, courtney hyder, errine garnett
615.591-7989
velvet@themcollective.com
christina@themcollective.com
courtney@themcollective.com
errine@themcollective.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

All star cast of musicians to gather for "Help Haiti Live" on February 27

This whole post came from Shaun Groves' blog. It was easier to copy his than to dig through his long email with all the same information in it, put it into readable form and then pass it out into the world. He always does a better job anyway. I even took his headline. Now...how do I get to LA in a few days?

Help Haiti Live logoALL STAR CAST OF MUSICIANS TO GATHER

FOR ‘HELP HAITI LIVE’ ON FEBRUARY 27TH

Alison Krauss & Union Station (featuring Jerry Douglas), Amy Grant, Big Kenny and More to Perform Live in Los Angeles and Nashville to Raise Funds for Compassion International’s Continued Relief Efforts

NASHVILLE, TN…2/15/10…One month following the 7.1 earthquake that struck Haiti, an all-star cast of musicians is gathering for “Help Haiti Live,” a two-city ticketed concert event taking place on February 27th, 2010 to benefit Compassion International’s Haiti disaster relief fund. The concerts are sponsored by Gaylord Entertainment Company and will be streamed live at HelpHaitiLive.com.

With extraordinary need still existing in the devastated country, Alison Krauss & Union Station (featuring Jerry Douglas), Amy Grant, Big Kenny, Mat Kearney, Jars of Clay, Rebecca St. James, NEEDTOBREATHE, Brandon Heath, and a to-be-announced special headliner will participate in two concert events, live from Los Angeles at the historic Wiltern Theater and at Nashville’s famed and Gaylord-owned Ryman Auditorium. Produced to inspire live concert and on-line audiences to financially support the relief work of Compassion International in Haiti, all talent and production fees have been donated, along with streaming services (Livestream.com), allowing proceeds to go toward Compassion’s disaster relief fund (more details below).

“This cause has been something our employees have taken very close to heart in recent weeks, and they’re thrilled for Gaylord to be involved in such an inspiring event. We’re also proud to support the generous efforts of all the artists who are donating their time and talent to make this concert a success,” said Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO of Gaylord Entertainment Company.

Tickets for each event will range in price from $25-75 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations beginning Monday, February 15th, as well as through The Ryman box office: 800-745-3000 or ryman.com, and through Live Nation for The Wiltern at http://www.livenation.com/venue/the-wiltern-tickets

Nashville/Ryman Auditorium, 7:30pm cst:
Host: Big Kenny (plus performance)
Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
Jars of Clay
Mat Kearney
Dave Barnes
Matt Wertz
Brandon Heath

Los Angeles/Wiltern Theater, 7:30pm pst:
Francis Chan
Special Guest headliner
Amy Grant
Leann Rimes
Rebecca St. James
NEEDTOBREATHE

All net proceeds from HelpHaitiLive.com will go to Compassion International’s Haiti disaster relief fund. All money raised in response to the Haiti earthquake will be used immediately to re-equip Compassion’s local support structure and to provide for the immediate needs of Compassion-assisted children and families.

Compassion has been meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Haitians for more than forty years and will continue to serve them in this time of extreme need. Already Compassion International has supplied more than 15,000 families with clean water, food, blankets, temporary shelter, medical supplies and counseling. Donations will lay bricks, feed, educate, clothe, heal and rebuild Haiti for many months to come.

Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1 million children in 26 of the world’s poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works holistically through local churches to address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children, enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating “four stars” for eight consecutive years.

Help Haiti Live” is owned by Compassion International and will be produced by Shaun Groves and Synergy Production Group.

Synergy Production Group creates and produces live events that connect audiences with brands or causes. Offering turn-key event solutions, strategic content development, creative design, audio, video and lighting production, talent procurement and complete program management, Synergy Production Group is based in Franklin, TN (www.synergyprg.com).

Gaylord Entertainment Company has taken an active and immediate role in supporting earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. In addition to its involvement in the Help Haiti Live concert event, Gaylord is providing direct aid to family members of employees who live in Haiti through its STAR Assistance Program. The company also provided financial support to the American Red Cross’s relief efforts and is currently working with Harvest Time International in Florida as well as the Salvation Army to transport thousands of pounds of food, clothing, and household goods donated by its STARS (employees) to the hardest-hit areas of the island nation

ARTIST & VENUE information:

About Alison Krauss and Union Station: Multiple Grammy winning artist Alison Krauss and Union Station are excited to a couple of years, and are currently in the studio working on a new album–their first band album since 2004’s “Lonely Runs Both Ways.” This is one of only a few appearances that the band will make this year. (www.alisonkrauss.com/site.php)

About Amy Grant: Amy Grant’s career spans over 25 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality, and philanthropist. Grant has sold more than 30 million albums and won six GRAMMY® Awards in multiple categories, beginning with the platinum selling Age to Age in 1982. She also has six #1 hits, including “Baby, Baby,” and “Every Heartbeat” and is one of only two Christian artists to be awarded a star on the legendary Walk of Fame in Hollywood.(www.amygrant.com)

About BIG KENNY: As one half of the super duo Big & Rich, “Big Kenny” Alphin sold in excess of five million albums, opened sold-out stadium tours for Kenny Chesney, hit the amphitheaters with Tim McGraw, graced the covers of Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Country Weekly and was featured in such magazines as Rolling Stone, People and many others. Also an accomplished songwriter, Big Kenny was named the BMI Songwriter of the Year in 2005, and has written several top 10 hits for artists such as Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, and Jason Aldean. Now, the Culpeper, Virginia, native is celebrating the release of his latest solo effort, The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy, (November 2009). (www.bigkennytv.com)

About Jars of Clay: Jars of Clay launched its breakout career with the multi-format hit “Flood” in 1995. Since then, it’s amassed more than six million in career sales (5 Gold, 2 Platinum and 1 double Platinum certification), 3 GRAMMY Awards (from 8 nominations), an American Music Award nod, 17 No. 1 radio hits, and numerous film credits and BMI honors for songwriting and performing. Compelled to make a difference with needs to around the world, the band founded Blood:Water Mission in early 2002. Blood:water mission empowers communities to work together against the Water & HIV/AIDS crises in Africa. (www.jarsofclay.com and www.bloodwatermission.com).

About Mat Kearney: After spending five years traveling the country establishing himself as a new artist supporting his first release, Nothing Left To Lose, Mat Kearney dug his roots into his new hometown of Nashville, TN, and cultivated the tracks for City of Black & White, released in May 2009 on Aware/Columbia Records. He opened up the writing process to friends and to the community of musicians in Nashville, and crafted hit songs such as “Closer To Love,” “Here We Go,” and “Lifeline.” Kearney was a VH1 You Oughta Know Artist, headlined the first VH1 You Oughta Know Tour, and his video for the single “Nothing Left To Lose” tied the record for the most weeks in rotation (45) on VH1. His songs have received prominent television licensing on popular shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Friday Night Lights, Army Wives and more. (www.matkearney.com)

About Rebecca St. James: Australian born Rebecca St. James is both a Grammy Award winner and multiple Dove Award recipient, who can count her lead acting role in the November ‘09 film release Sarah’s Choice, among her most recent career highlights. She has received RIAA certified gold album awards—for her ground-breaking album God and her Grammy Award winning project Pray, certified gold in 2006 and has had seventeen Top 10 singles–nine of which have reached the #1 spot on the charts to date. In addition to music, Rebecca is a best selling author, with more than a half dozen books to her credit—including Wait For Me (Thomas Nelson) which has sold more than 100,000 units, Pure(Hachette/Faithwords)which reached Top 10 on the CBA Bestseller List in February 2009 and her latest book, Loved (Hachette/Faithwords)(www.rebeccastjames.com).

About Brandon Heath: Emmy-Award winning, GRAMMY and American Music Award nominated, Brandon Heath holds multiple Dove Awards including the Male Vocalist and Song of the Year (2009) categories. Heath released his sophomore album, What If We (8/2008), yielding two No.1 singles, “Wait and See”, and the blockbuster “Give Me Your Eyes” which was selected by NASA this week as the wake-up song for the orbiting Endeavour shuttle crew on Feb. 8. The album’s third single “Love Never Fails” moves into Top 20 at Billboard’s AC Monitored radio chart this week. Heath’s 2006 debut, Don’t Get Comfortable, produced the radio No.1 hit, “I’m Not Who I Was,” which contributed to his New Artist of the Year Dove Award win. Heath has been covered by The New York Times and “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” (www.brandonheath.net)

About NEEDTOBREATHE: Formed in 1999, South Carolina based rock band NEEDTOBREATHE made a name for themselves with constant touring. Upon signing to Atlantic, the band released its debut album, “DAYLIGHT” and toured harder than ever following the album’s 2006 release. The band returned the following year with “THE HEAT,” which reached #2 on Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers” chart thanks in part to their top 10 Triple A hit single “More Time” and its inclusion in the movie “P.S. I Love You.” NEEDTOBREATHE recently announced their “Won’t Turn Back Tour” beginning Mar. 3 which celebrates their third album, “THE OUTSIDERS,” released last summer to universal critical acclaim and a top 20 debut on the Billboard Top 200. The “Won’t Turn Back Tour” follows last year’s successful headline tour which included sold-out shows in virtually every market visited. NEEDTOBREATHE has also been invited to play Bonnaroo 2010 this coming summer. (www.needtobreathe.net)

About Dave Barnes: Mississippi-bred, Nashville Based Dave Barnes is not only known for his soulful pop tunes, but also for his comedic story-telling abilities, as can be seen in numerous, frequently-viewed posts on YouTube. Armed with an acoustic guitar, clean-cut good looks and a knack for catchy hooks, Dave Barnes can do it all. (www.davebarnes.com

About Matt Wertz: Over the past 9 years, Nashville resident Matt Wertz has built an incredible story as an independent musician. With four records to his credit and sales of over 75,000, Matt has seen his career grow tremendously through constant touring, commercial radio airplay and having his songs featured in numerous television shows and films. In addition to music, Matt is also passionate about community needs around the world. In 2005, Matt helped launch an organization called the Mocha Club, who’s vision is to provide funding for releif and development projects in Africa. Mocha Club’s five main project areas are: Clean water, Education, Child Mothers, Orphan Care, Healthcare. (www.mattwertz.com)

About the Ryman Auditorium: A National Historic Landmark, the Ryman Auditorium was built as a church in 1892, served as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74, and was completely renovated in 1994. The Ryman is open as a museum during the day and at night continues its more-than-100-year music tradition by offering the best in live entertainment. The Ryman Auditorium is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that owns and operates Gaylord Hotels and the Grand Ole Opry. (www.ryman.com)

About the Wiltern Theater: The Wiltern Theatre first opened its doors to the action picture crowds on October 7th, 1931. Recognized by the City of Los Angeles as a Historic Cultural Monument, this Art Deco Landmark was refurbished and restored to its creative brilliance in 1985, under the bearing of Bill Graham Presents. Following a famous history of performances and actions, a $1.5 million facelift led to the Grand Re-Opening on October 15, 2002.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My quirky little store

I would love to have a quirky little store. I think I really would. There's a few things that keep me from opening a quirky little store. I have no business skills or knowledge and I have no money with which to open a store. And, I really think those are valid reasons not to have one.

But, if I had one I would want it to have French flea market finds, because I love France and I love flea markets. Put the two together = extra special.

Also, I would want it to have lots of handmade, re-purposed items like the ones my cousins make. Gorgeous stuff! Quirky, chippy, usable, well-worn = LOVE IT!

And folk art. I'm crazy about folk art. Stick me some place full of folk art and I start drooling. Like Yard Dog or House of Blues.

I wouldn't want to have a store just to have a store. The drive behind my store would be to fight slavery and to support the organizations that have homes for the people rescued from the horrors of slavery. Those rescued need huge amounts of support to get on their feet and be safe from getting drug back into slavery. The brave souls providing this physical and emotional support need support.

The store's purpose would be to support organizations that have real, practical, smart programs to end extreme poverty and slavery. So it would be stocked with fair trade items like coffee, chocolate, clothing, jewelry, art, etc...

But, like I said, I don't have the skills or money to make my quirky little store a reality. So, what I can do is tell you about some of the organizations my quirky little store would support.

Love146
Faceless International
Polaris Project
International Justice Mission
Free The Slaves
Trade As One
Not For Sale
Abolish Slavery Coalition

Kay Warren said in a piece for start> that she used to be a nice person, but she didn't feel nice now that she knew of the horrors of AIDS sufferers. She became "seriously disturbed" by their pain. She couldn't be quiet. And I knew exactly what she was talking about.

That's how I feel about slavery. I come across as fanatical at times. I can't stop talking about it. It hangs on me. It hurts my heart. Sometimes people think I'm joking about my passion for fair trade coffee, chocolate, sugar and clothing. Nope, I'm not. I'm serious as a heart attack. I don't want to knowingly participate in the slave industry or abuse those in extreme poverty. When I ask where those t-shirts are manufactured and if they are legit, I'm dead serious.

So, if it seems I spend a lot of time talking about slavery or it seems like I'm staring at you extra hard when I'm discussing it with you, that's because I am.

Wow, that got serious.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What are your purchases supporting?

This question and answer is from a post by Becky Garrison as part of the God's Politics blog. It is in two parts and contains interviews with Shannon Hopkins and Alissa Moore.

How do you encourage people to move from being consumers of fair trade and organic products to becoming advocates for social justice change?

SHANNON: Addressing consumption is the place to start. Slowing down and thinking about what you are buying. Do you really need it? Where did it come from? Realize that every dollar you spend supports someone, somewhere. What are your purchases supporting? Justice? Equality? Fairness? Peace? Or is it creating a bigger divide between rich and poor?



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Amos Ivey makes it to his forever home

Seems like we've been praying for this homecoming forever. It finally happened. You can learn the complete story at Aaron's blog and Jamie's blog.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I get twitchy about slavery

Some people know I get a little twitchy about modern-day slavery. I get twitchy when people talk about pre-Civil War slavery and try to justify it. Slavery, all around makes me twitchy. It makes me grit my teeth and squint my eyes and twitch.

I never really thought much about modern-day slavery until I saw it with my own eyes. It made me want to throw up. I will never get those images out of my head.

Sometimes I get overcome by urges to make something with my hands. Usually it happens when I'm stressed. There is something about pouring myself into creating that calms me. Most of the time whatever it is that is asking me to make it gets completely hand sewn. I like the folk artsy look of hand sewn items and I feel more connected with the item. And, some of the time, I've screwed up a knob here or there on the machine and can't use it.

What in the heck does that have to do with slavery? Well, I decided to put some of the quirky dolls on Etsy. Since I make them with mostly recycled, found objects all of the adoption fees go to Faceless International.

Faceless International aims to defend the plight of exploited people worldwide who have gone faceless and unknown for far too long. We exist to raise awareness about social issues happening throughout the global community. We provide first hand experience and education through trips around the world and solution-based opportunities through regional resources.
Each doll has a story that they tell me as I'm making them. Sometimes a picture or person inspires their beginning or helps it develop as we move along.

Each are very simple and unique. I'm pretty sure I couldn't make two alike if I wanted to.

Some are safe for young children. Some are not.

All are perfect for people with weird tastes and/or personalities. That is why I love them.

My shop is called lovemercy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fast Soup

1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can hominy
1 can vegetable broth
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
teaspoon salt
1/4 t or so pepper
couple of shakes garlic powder
fresh cilantro

Heat through. Put over brown rice seasoned with garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Top with your favorite cheese.

Easy peesy!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kathy Griffin

There's an email list that I'm on. Recently someone sent out a chain email about all the horrible things Kathy had said and how they would never again watch anything she is on. And, of course, people started responding. They called Kathy a female dog. They made fun of her looks. They trashed her completely and totally. This was done by people who claim very loudly to be Christians.

All I could think was that God loves her equally as much as He loves them.

Kathy isn't a Christian. She doesn't claim to be. So, why should anyone be surprised when she doesn't speak as they think a Christian should speak?

The bashing has bothered me for days. And, in the past, I would have responded to the hateful emails, but I learned the hard way that pointing out a different response or suggesting a different view is not tolerated. So, I'm venting on here.

John 13:34-35

Why stay on the list? Every now and then beauty does come through.