Sunday, May 24, 2009

Be Big

I entered this contest yesterday. You should too. You don't have to be a kid either. Scholastic is encouraging everyone to Be Big and think creatively about how we can help our communities. Go for it! You have until June 26. Wonder what I suggested? Just ask.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Delightfully Macabre

My latest weekend passion is researching fabric designs either online (today) or at my local JoAnn Fabric store. Blame the fascination on my attempt to combine quilting with my love of design.

I was struck by this fabric called ‘vida de los muertos’ by Alexander Henry and had a hard time picturing how one would use it. Thankfully, the folks at J & O Fabrics had suggestions for this “delightfully macabre imagining of the daily routine of skeletons.” How about Hawaiian shirts, bags, crafts or an outfit for Rover? And then, I found a link to the bib pictured here.

Maybe one day you will see fabric by yours truly.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Feeling Picky

Having delayed getting my Illinois driver's license since returning to the state, I finally read Illinois Rules of the Road. I guess we have a shortage of proofreaders.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Missing Montana

I have never been to Montana. I have it in my head to go to Montana. This longing is nothing new as it goes back several years, fueled perhaps by too many years living in towns and cities.

As a young girl, I grew up living in the country—rural Alabama to be precise. My dad bought 20 acres and built a house on the land after he got out of the Air Force. From the age of five until 18 when I went away to college, I lived there, roaming the woods unto my self for the most part. I was an only child, close to my grandpa and grandma, who took care of me while my mom went off to her breadwinner job at Maxwell Air Force Base in nearby Montgomery. My dad never seemed to be able to make a go at much we judge success by—the War left him wounded without the visible signs. He never was the same says an aunt.

So, with rose-colored glasses, I look back on a sometimes lonely childhood. But it is what molded me and I appreciate quiet, nature, and time for reflection. Maybe that is what draws me to Montana. I think if Montana is anywhere as pretty as the pictures, I might find what I seek.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning

Reuters reports farmers fear pigs might get “swine” flu from people. I must admit that headline made me laugh, but then upon reading further, I realized maybe I shouldn’t have. One Kansas hog farmer said he was banning visitors from his farm and anyone needing to be near the porkers had to submit to a sort of swine security clearance. A Purdue University veterinarian said, “Pigs get flu just like people get flu.” And an Iowa pork producer added, “It's a real issue. If the pigs get it, there isn’t much we can do. Water, aspirin, and bed rest, that’s all we’ve got.”

Last weekend when cable reporters were all over this story like hogs after slop (not that I think the media are swine), I dismissed the hubbub as more mass hysteria, whopped up by media with too much airtime on their hands. Could I have been wrong?

Here in the far reaches of Chicagoland, officials closed Batavia High School and a middle school on Thursday after suspected cases of H1N1 were discovered. The Batavia Park District canceled all programs and gatherings through Sunday for children, and suburban papers reported business at some Mexican restaurants was way off.

Over-hype or not, it’s too early to say. However, the economic consequences are real and there are sick folks out there. I’ve avoided the regular flu all season and just when I think the danger of that has passed, up pops the swine kind. As Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say, “It just goes to show you, Jane . . . it’s always something. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.”

Friday, May 01, 2009

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Put this on your calendar, America: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is coming up. HSP, where I work, gets food from the Stamp Out Hunger Drive, which happens on Saturday, May 9. Food from this drive largely fuels our Feed the Kids summer nutrition program.

Lots of food pantries need your help. Simply leave your donation next to your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up if your local office is participating. Call yours to see. Sadly, some are not. If that’s the case, Google food pantry and the name of your town and then take your donation to a local agency who needs it. Feeding America has a pantry locator too.

What should you donate? Peanut butter and jelly (our shelves are pretty bare), hearty soups, pasta, pancake mix requiring no eggs, syrup, cereal, tuna, coffee (we never get enough of this), mayonnaise, ketchup, canned tomatoes, canola oil, oatmeal, juice (V-8 is my favorite), crackers, Ensure, and low-sodium or sugarless products.

No glass or expired products. That’s really all you need to know. Except . . . there are so many in our country who really do need food. I talk to people everyday looking for help. Shouldn’t be this way. Not in America. Go forth and donate.