Archive for April, 2009

Blogging for World Hunger

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Today is an unusual day in the blogosphere. Bloggers all over the world are uniting to bring attention to world hunger and to ask readers to help. I write this blog mostly for my own entertainment, and hopefully if you read it, it entertains you, too. But I’m thrilled to have a chance to use what I write to help others.

Like most people, I worry about hunger in the world. I wish I could do something to change it. And I feel helpless. The problem is so large, and I do well to feed my family. What can I do about it? Money sent to organizations mostly gets used for their overhead expenses. When food aid actually does reach some countries, it gets confiscated for their armies. How can you know that help is getting to those who need it so desperately?

Still, I feel that I have to do something. Once, when my daughter was an infant, I had tried to feed her before leaving my mom’s house to drive home, a trip of about twenty minutes. She was fussy and wouldn’t eat. Five minutes after we left, she began to cry and suck on her fists, demanding her dinner. The pacifier didn’t help. Talking didn’t distract her. Her brother patted her head but she yelled louder. I knew I’d be home soon if she could just wait, but her wails began to sound pitiful and desperate, and my heart was breaking. Finally I could stand it no longer and I pulled the car into a parking lot, took her from her seat and nursed her until she was happy enough to finish the drive home. I cried the entire time, because she had sounded so needy, and suddenly I was overwhelmed with knowledge of how a third world mother feels when her baby cries and she has nothing to feed it. When she’s gone so long without food herself that her body no longer provides even a little milk. When she has to listen to her child crying out in pain and there is nothing she can do to stop it. I could stop my daughter’s cries. Even if I had kept driving, she’d have only been hungry for a few more minutes. I was unable to endure even those few minutes. What if I’d had nothing to give her? What if that third world mother was me?

I don’t know how to solve the problem of hunger in the world, but I think if each of us tried to help one family, progress could be made. We can’t always know that we’ve chosen the right charity, but that’s no excuse to do nothing. One group I really like is Heifer International (www.heifer.org .). The organization, which provides domestic animals to families, does more than feed people. It’s the “teach a man to fish” idea in practice. The animals provide meat for families, but they also provide labor, fertilizer, and offspring to perpetuate the gift. A family with a cow can make cheese or sell milk and butter. A family who receives chickens can sell eggs, those with sheep can spin wool. The gift can provide food, a living, and dignity for the family who receives it, along with the joy of giving as they pass along offspring to their neighbors.

I’m not saying that everyone should jump on the Heifer International band wagon, though it’s a pretty good one. There are many organizations and charities out there that do more than just ship bags of rice around the world. It only takes a minute to google them, see if what they do fits your needs, and to start doing something instead of making excuses for what you can’t do. At least we can try.

World Events; A Summary

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Sometimes I think I should blog about world events, so as to be relevant and timely. The trouble is, I don’t really care much about world events. If I did, I’d go live in the world instead of this tiny little corner of Ohio. I don’t watch the news on TV. I read the headlines in the paper and on Yahoo and if something seems interesting and not too scary I might read a little more. Mostly, though, I get my world events from Reader’s Digest.

Here is what I’ve gleaned about world events in the last couple of weeks. The pirates are not in the Caribbean, they’re in the Indian Ocean, except Johnny Depp, who may return to the Caribbean without Orlando Bloom. Or not. There’s a war in the middle east. I could have just guessed on that one. We’re in a recession, or maybe a depression, but in any case, the economy is the worst it’s been since the last time it was this bad. There is flooding in the mid-west (oh, wait, I could have guessed on that one, too.) Global warming is going to get us, and we had a colder than normal winter. The price of natural gas is down. I had a good joke for that but my mother doesn’t allow potty humor.

Lots of people died unexpectedly. Some celebrities did stupid stuff. GM might go bankrupt, and they don’t have Lee Iaccoca to make commercials that win our trust. Our first lady is as fashionable as the first lady of France, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg is getting lonely without another woman to join her in the ladies room at the Supreme Court. And the biggest news of the week? The presidential kids got a new dog. Presidential Dogs are always big news.

 Reading over my list, I notice that the news is just about the same as it was in the year I graduated from high school (and no, I’m not going to tell you what year that was. It’s also the same as the news in whatever year YOU graduated from high school.) Change the name of the celebrity, move the war over a country or two, and insert the correct natural disaster, you’ve got a newscast.

 So there you have it. All the news that’s fit to make fun of. And that’s the way it is on this day in April, 2009. Goodnight, and may the good news be yours.

A Crocus Blooms

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Sometimes God’s planning just amazes me. Sometimes when it seems that winter will last an eternity, a crocus blooms.

 God knows that we need crocus. In life as in nature, there are times that are dark and cold, and when they go on too long we are in danger of despair. Just as we can’t change the weather, we sometimes can’t change the cold and gray days in our lives. Wishing the winter over doesn’t make it go away.

 But now and then, God sends flowers to remind us that better weather is on the way. A phone call from a friend, a song, a funny e-mail. God says He has plans to give us a future and a hope. At just the right time, a crocus blooms, and we are reminded that spring will come, sooner than we think.

More Spring Cleaning

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

More spring cleaning-I just finished cleaning out my bathroom drawers. I know I should clean them out more often, but once a year is about as often as I get around to it. It’s amazing the things that accumulate in one short year, most of which don’t belong in the bathroom.

I found an entire toolbox full of hammers (more than one,) screwdrivers, wire cutters and nails. In the same category (things that belong in the garage) I found paint stirring sticks, electrical outlet boxes, and a light fixture.

There were seven empty boxes. Largish ones, from contact solution, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, etc. Why not just throw the box away when you take out the contents? Seems like an easy solution. But maybe we’re keeping them in case there’s a cardboard shortage.

I found five earrings, none of them matching. There were Mardi Gras beads, plastic cause bracelets (LIVE STRONG!) and an Easter hair bow from my older daughter’s third Easter. Maybe it’ll match what she’s wearing this year?

Three bottles of aspirin, all half empty. A shishkabab skewer? Birthday cards. A CD case with no CD. Where does this stuff come from? Why do people bring odd things into the bathroom and stash them in the drawers? Everyone in the house denies doing this. Is it Aliens? Maybe the cat has learned to open the drawers? Why is there a ball from the pool table in there?

If I knew how this happened, I could make it stop and my house would always be clean. But cleaning wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

A Mission From Grandma

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I’m not that much of a traditional woman. I’m what most of my older female relatives would probably call slovenly when it comes to keeping my house tidy and clean. But I was taught to clean by my grandmother, and she taught me right. So even if the day to day things go by the wayside, when spring arrives, I have to do it. Spring cleaning is ingrained, and a good bit of the house will get clean before I get tired of cleaning.

Between kids and work (and updating my Facebook status) I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted cleaning time, so I try to tackle small things ahead of the big Spring Break Cleaning Project. So this year my first foray into cleanliness and order was my closet. It’s a big walk-in closet with double racks and plenty of floor space, every inch of which was covered in stuff. Shoes, clothes, shopping bags, books and hangers all had a party and passed out on the floor of my closet six months ago, and no one ever sent them home.

I spent an entire afternoon sorting clothes, ruthlessly tossing shapeless t-shirts and pants that never fit right to begin with. I put the shoes in the shoe bag, the purses on hooks, the hangers on the closet rod. I carried armloads of books to the shelves and tossed a bag full of trash. I swept and dusted and straightened and sorted in a spring-cleaning zone, while everything else took a backseat for once. I got so carried away I even cleaned the dresser drawers.

I’m finally finished, and the closet is the neatest, cleanest place in my house, for now. But look out, House! It’s spring and I’m on a mission from my grandma!

I’m On Twitter! Now What?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I’m trying to understand Twitter.  I enjoy thinking that I’m technologically somewhat more knowledgeable than many women my age, and twitter has interested me since I heard about it a while back.  But as a working mom with a non-self-cleaning house, I haven’t found time to explore it until now.  Okay, I was busy updating my Facebook status.

When I heard about Twitter, I was intrigued.  You say whatever you want in a very small number of characters, and complete strangers eagerly follow your thoughts.  How cool is that?  I thought it would be like releasing haiku into cyberspace.  I was eager to try it.

Then I read some tweets.  “Drinking coffee–it’s good.”  “Going to the movies.”  “Feeding the baby.”  While this information may be useful and even interesting to those acquainted with the tweeter, why would random strangers care?  I decided all the followers must be men.  Women are too busy for that.

But now I have a twitter account, and I’ll be telling anyone who cares that I’m having a bad hair day or that I’m too lazy to cook so I”m buying $5 pizza for dinner.  Welcome to my life!