nylon magazine reports La Belle Femme Journal and Camilla Belle, Dakota Fanning are showing what Quelle Belle really means in french: what a fox! Gabriella Cilmi says she loves the shoes La Belle Femme is highlighting. She wears Prada and struts her stiletto style.
HauteShopping - Join Marie Claire’s HauteShopping.com for exclusive deals and chic steals in fashion, accessories, and beauty. HauteShopping.com

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Whoop Whoop Giggle and Thoroughly Girly Sex

I no longer write this blog for women, concentrating on interior design, but what the he**  -  whoop whoop and enjoy!

I recently enjoyed a funny article by Kristen Chase, "Your Body Is A Wonderland," (the title sarcastically refers to John Mayer's incredibly sexy, sensual song, of the same name) about Kristen's post-baby, and awaiting-other-baby body. Reading her Motherhood Uncensored Blog and reader comments was hilariously fun (more so had they not been so d*mn true about gravity, stretch marks even body parts that you don't want to claim.) I recall a friend, in her late twenties, pointing to unfamiliar and only just found under-arm flab, (I'm laughing as I write this) said to me in astonishment, "Look At This!" Playing with it, flicking it with her two fingers, making it wobble-wobble-wobble, she wanted an answer, "What is this, and where did it come from?

To Kristen and other mommies, uum… well, it can be funny sometimes, sometimes inconvenient. I have to be careful, a body issue of mine is, when I sneeze not to pee. I've blamed it on my daughter for 28 years now.
Being narcissistic isn’t usually a female trait, if anything, we judge ourselves too harshly. We give and give to others. We knock ourselves constantly and few women that I know can really take a compliment. I think the shared stories of ‘guess what my body is doing now’ are a way of dealing with the change.
My generation's mothers and peers didn’t encourage us to think of our bodies preparing to enjoy being ‘cosmo girls,’ (although the 'cosmo girls' were certainly having more fun!). That was too ‘way out there,’ almost naughty, like boys looking at girly magazines.
But this is it, this is the thing. We need to get over it and on with it, we need to get fiesty and fired up - and yikes maybe we even need to get some fetishes - because I’ve got a secret for all of you. Men love women’s bodies - Men love YOUR bodies.

Secrets …..since we’re talking secrets…. I can tell you about my sex shop story. Ok, I was taken there by a girlfriend who blurted to me, as we opened the door of this never-before-entered phase of my life, “Relax. Enjoy this. Let's have fun being girls!" (“Relax,” I’m thinking, “I can’t even breathe and I may pee my pants! Do good girls go in here?”) It was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I learned how to ‘whoop, whoop,’ giggle, and be thoroughly girly about sex.

Sex Confessions - Marie Claire magazine recently ran an absolutely-right on article about things you hear (or wonder about) in a sex shop. An excerpt of Confessions of a Sex-Shop Sales Clerk follows: “ Ultimately, I became an ad hoc protector of women. Like the time a bearded book editor appeared. After gabbing about the erotic-lit industry, he explained a particularly ludicrous double-penetration scenario he imagined for his wife. He seemed to treat sex as an event strictly for his pleasure, which I found particularly egregious. I was sleep-deprived and blurted out, "Sir, what do your wife's feet look like?" He paused. Then stuttered. He had no idea. I suggested that for the next month, he spend a weekly hour in bed with his wife without using his penis. Two months later, a thank-you note appeared to "the tall saleswoman who taught my husband how to make love." 

Gerk Alert - Ladies.....Ladies...... Regarding having concerns about your body, you needn’t. For the same reason we ridicule men for being 'gerks' we need to credit them for this ...... and if you don't know this, its a big 'gerk-alert' for you. Men love your bodies in ways you just don't know. The two or three brain cells we credit them with include compatible amounts of testosterone (that wonderful sex hormone that stimulates development of men's sex organs and sexual thoughts) that makes our bodies - as they are - sexual wonderlands to them.

From this day on, USE this power. What you and I see as boobs that are unattractive (pancakes when we lay on our backs), are sexually provocative . . . ! I know - who would’a thought! It is hard to believe, but men love our bodies. While we are obsessing about things, there's a man around you that is totally loving looking at you. Hey, if there's a chance that you even remotely think you have a nice a**, show it. Men including our husbands hope for a peak of a ’shadow of a breast’ and try to stifle raging thoughts of you in a particular dress or skirt, which reveals your ‘assets in the below and between’ area. (I love this phrase, your 'Feminine Flower,' which is a sweet segue allowing me to delicately also say that those same men, would love to be able to enjoy your flower petals.) Frankly, ladies, you turn men on!

New Sheriff In Town - So, if you have little gremlins chasing around you at home, like Kristen Chase, there has got to be a ‘new sheriff in town’ around your home.

Relaxation / Pleasure Time - Figure out how to get some - you know - that special time that your husband cheerfully makes available to you, that is, once Mr. Wonderful (your husband, remember) gets your new agenda. He’ll start fending off the grabbing gremlins, when asked newfound sensual, soft-spoken voice, "Sweetest Man In The World, could you prepare me a bubble bath. In time, he’ll even light your favorite scented candle, and lay out a crisp white Turkish cotton terry robe, which you can replace later with a sweet looking negligee, in reward for his hog-tying and bed-nighting the children.

Maybe you'll need help getting your man started in this new adventure, and there may be a setback or two; but take ownership, you’re the new sheriff in town, your body turns your man on.

Chill about the old visions of you. In fact, warm it up and play with it. Enjoy your sexual being as it is today and even on those nights when you are tired and body-comatose, remember your body is a wonderland to your man. With time you‘ll enjoy moments of new energy from the natural consequences of the two of you together snarking moments of great sex.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Six Mood Busters By The Well Mom

Following is an article by Heather Cabot I originally read in Divine Caroline, and Heather graciously allowed me to reproduce it. You can read more about the very talented Heather Cabot below.

Six Bad Mood Busters

We all have down days. You know the ones when you wake up cranky and even if the sun is shining, you’re annoyed ... or maybe just feeling a little sad or unfocused. You could go on a shopping binge, blow off your workout, or spend your day snapping at everyone around you. But after I went through a little funk recently, I started thinking about how I could have turned it around. What if taped up on my bathroom mirror was a handy checklist of quick ways to boost my spirits? Little things I could incorporate into my busy routine. So I started thinking about some of the small stuff that really does give me a lift. None of the activities on my list require money or much time. I’m not a psychologist or a life coach. And of course, these ideas are no substitute for regular exercise (a natural mood booster), getting enough rest, and eating well, etc. But maybe they can give you another way to see things when you would rather crawl back in bed.

1. Get a change of scenery. - It works for small children, right? Ever notice how you can turn the most outrageous tantrum into a giggle fit just by leading your baby into another room and showing her a new toy? We can boost our own moods by doing the same. You don’t have to plan an expensive adventure to some exotic locale (although that helps, too). Sometimes getting a change of scenery in the tiniest, most mundane ways can alter perspective on much bigger things. Perhaps eating dinner at the table instead of the couch? Take a different route on your way to work or school. Stand up while you are talking on the phone instead of sitting at your desk. Shake up the little things and see how it can transform your view.

2. Listen to someone else’s story (for a change). - When we are feeling down about something, it can be hard to be a good listener. But many times, pausing to really hear about someone else’s life can do wonders for our own heads. Inspiration hits us when we least expect it. I recently had the chance to sit down with someone who now spends her days telling other people’s stories of triumph. You may remember Daryn Kagan, a CNN anchor for twelve years before her bosses unceremoniously informed her she no longer had a job with the cable network. Instead of staying home with the covers pulled over her head, she turned her energies into www.darynkagan.com, a webcast devoted to “good news.” Her focus on the art of the possible uncovers the victories of everyday people trying to make the world a better place. That’s a message all of us could use—especially when we’re feeling blah.

3. Help a stranger. - Hold the door for someone. Offer to carry a heavy package or box. Give directions when asked. A little kindness goes a long way. You’ll immediately feel happier when you take a minute to assist another human being—even in the smallest way.

4. Call a friend. - When my girlfriends and I have time to call each other, we attempt to fit in a conversation between naptime and conference calls. It can be hard to feel connected when you are just about to start ranting and the baby wakes up from her nap. Kids display this amazing sixth sense for figuring out the exact time to interrupt Mommy when she is just about to finally talk to another adult about what’s bugging her today. But ... my point is, even if we never get to finish the whole discussion, I always feel better after a brief “Hi/Bye.” And you know what? So will your friend on the other end of the line.

5. Clean out a drawer. - Anyone who has either worked with me or lived with me knows that I have a really hard time letting go of stuff. Everything has sentimental value. But as a mom of twin toddlers, with a home growing more cramped by the day thanks to all of their stuff, I am trying really hard to streamline. The best advice anyone gave me is to start small. So take a few minutes and trash the old receipts and broken CD covers taking up space. Clearing out a single drawer, shelf or even your email inbox really does make you feel lighter.

6. Eat something decadent. - I’m not talking about scarfing down a package of Oreos. When we’re feeling low, it’s too easy to self-medicate with food. I say, eat something terribly rich but do so in a purposeful way. Take a moment to actually enjoy it and let go of the guilt. For me, it’s all about dark chocolate. Oh—heck, anything chocolate. But it really does taste better when I actually sit down to eat it.

This article was first published in CarolineDivine June, 2008. To read Heather's profile in CarolineDivine, click here. A little about Heather Cabot: I'm a former ABC News anchor and correspondent who took a detour from the fast-paced world of network news to the nuttiness of being a full-time mom to my infant twins. Along the way, I decided to combine my love of reporting and writing with my new role managing motherhood and launched a new weekly ezine called The Well Mom. The Well Mom is a space to empower fellow moms to take better care of themselves in mind, body and spirit. I've learned that I can only be the best caregiver I can be when I take care of myself. Not an easy thing to do when you are chasing around two very busy toddlers! But I aspire to find time for renewal and rejuvenation each day. And I decided that I wanted to find out how other women are doing it and what the experts have to say about ways to fit in a breather. I invite you to sign up for our free weekly tip sheet and check out the site. I also write a weekly Well Mom column for www.huffingtonpost.com and serve as Web Life Editor for Yahoo! For more information, please visit thewellmom.com

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Jaded" By Kristen Chase of Motherhood Uncensored

I myself had only one kid, she was perfect, she was easy. Here, Kristen Chase from her blog Motherhood Uncensored talks about being jaded since her first kid, Quinlan, was so perfect and son, Drew is ......... ummmm ......... well, he ain't easy. Oh, and she shares about her 'huz' learning about the experience also. God bless em' all.

Enjoy Kristen's story, "Jaded."

"Do you think he's delayed or something?" my husband asked me after having to put Drew in time out for the third time in 30 minutes yesterday.

"Um, I think he's just a two-year-old boy on crack," I replied. "I'm not sure that warrants early intervention."

Nonetheless, Drew is quite a challenging child, particularly compared to Quinlan, and to say he was a shock to our parenting systems is an understatement.

Try taser gun to the testicles.

If we were able to take a step back from his constant motion, chattering mouth, and complete bull in china shop approach to life, we'd see a fairly typical and not that difficult two year old kid. But it just so happens that he has to follow our consummate rule following, easy to occupy and generally compliant oldest which makes him look like a little blonde rabid monkey.

And thanks to her, we've been jaded.

All the bad parenting habits we formed with Quinlan, like asking "Okay?" at the end of every directive or providing absolutely no warnings or transitions between activities are coming back to bite us in the ass.

And hard.

We find ourselves scrambling on an almost daily basis, trying desperately to not raise our voices and provide him with consistency and structure.

I'm not completely convinced that he's that much more difficult than the average 2-year-old (I've seen many a tot in my days as a teacher and therapist), but rather that we're already accustomed to dealing with angel child and therefore we look like we've never had a kid.

He breaks down instantly when not given his way or "the big one" - which is any whole piece of anything - God forbid you give him half a carrot.

He requires constant redirection and supervision, as to avoid peas up the nose, chocolate milk in his sister's eye, and what we're calling "The Christmas Miracle" - when he pulled down the entire Christmas tree while my husband was on the shitter and did not hurt himself or the baby who was sitting right next to it.

And we end up holding him down in time out naughty "zone" since we can't exactly figure out how to keep him in one actually spot.

Don't even get me started with the whole biting thing. Good god almighty.

So, the huz and I are working together to come up with a game plan. We remind each other to be patient and loving with him, even when we want to pick him up by his ankles and shake him.

And if that doesn't work, we plop ourselves in front of the television and watch Super Nanny. Because when we're feeling like complete and total failures, it's nice to know there are people out there that are waaaaaaaaaay way worse.

Some of the comments from Kristen's readers from her Motherhood Uncensored Blog are just as priceless.

I have one kid that we called with love, THE CHAINSAW. It was like she ran like a CHAINSAW, one speed, all day from the time her eyes opened until she went to bed. My other daughter was a breeze as a toddler and smaller kid.At age ten, the whole thing changed. The Chainsaw morphed into a bright and curious delightful tween. The easy toddler turned into a Catholic school girl out of a Billy Joel song. So it's kind of good news, bad news.
Posted by:
Michelle Lamar January 23, 2009 at 12:49 AM

I've always been a fan of car seat time outs. Strap em in - safe, sane and wiggle proof.
Posted by: Alison
January 16, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Our TWIN boys were born 4 years after our perfect and advanced daughter. I was certain something was terribly wrong with them for the longest time. They are now 6 and I am about 90% sure it is just that boys are "different"! Posted by: katie January 14, 2009 at 09:01 PM

Yeah, I was dealt a son for the first and only. Being a girl, an only child as well, I wasn't ever really aware how a young boy behaves. Haha. All of our friends say he's a well behaved child, just excitable. I'm guessing that's what you've got too. We followed SuperNanny's lead and used the 2 warnings and then naughty chair for 2 minutes (increase with their age). No talking to them. When they talk they get more time. Then we explain why he was put there to him and then he apologizes (usually requiring to be prompted). another way is to anticipate what causes the freakouts. turning the tv off, playtime over, food, bed, bath. I say hey K, in 10 minutes tv time is over and it's bath time. After bath time is time for bed. That way he isn't suprised and has time to process the whole idea. Versus you walking in the room and turning some show he was into off and saying get in the bath now. I mean, shoot, I like to have forewarning too = ) Posted by: lori January 13, 2009 at 03:11 PM

You know those places where you can take your border collie out to chase sheep for a couple hours so they can run off steam? Maybe you could do something like that with Drew. But not sheep - they are too big for a 2 year old. Maybe a giant pen of hamsters.
Posted by:
Suebob January 13, 2009 at 02:54 PM

My daughter used to roll around on the kitchen floor screaming and pulling gobs of hair out exorcist-style. Boy am I glad that's over ~ http://blackswanpapers.blogspot.com/
Posted by:
cynthia January 13, 2009 at 02:05 PM

Our families are really similar. I have a 5 month old, a demon two year old (born 6/6/06, of course) and a really compliant, sweet 6 year old. I have to remind my husband, and myself, all the time that El Diablo is just as sweet as our first, when the others aren't around which is, well, almost never. Posted by: Carrie January 13, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Do It For Our Families - Women In Construction Trades

We Do It For Our Families

So Melina or "ShyeShye" (her AOL 'alter ego') who writes the "Chatter Page," a communication for the organization Sisters In The Building Trades, contacted me recently about my artwork, I did some for her and a couple pieces are shown here.

I am somewhat familiar with jobs in the building industry. Yes, these jobs are hard work; but, ladies, they're not too hard. Of course it has always been a male dominated field (I think the percentage of women in the industry is something bizarrely low like 3%).

These jobs pay very well.

Elevator constructors can earn as high as $50/hour plus excellent benefits.

Ladies - check this out - these jobs are unique as candidates enter through an apprenticeship program where they learn a trade through on-the-job training supplemented by classroom instruction at state-of-the-art training facilities. Typically, most instruction and training is performed by journeymen with years of experience in the given trade. Comprehensive training in any apprenticeship is usually provided through the union and the expense may be covered through your union dues. Is that cool or what?

Organizations like Sisters in the Building Trade (which covers both U.S. and Canada):

* promote success for women who are already in the trade through education, leadership and mentorship
* build the leadership and advocacy skills of women working in the building, construction, mechanical and utility trades
* and finally look to our girls' futures. They believe that when you change the world of one girl, she changes the world around her. They seek to encourage girls to consider a field which she may not have otherwise considered an option! They think that it's important to show a broad range of careers in science and tech to girls.

Just like all trades, plumbers and electricians get paid according to their qualifications, union status, work setting and other factors. A plumber salary will of course be higher for an experienced business owner than for an apprentice plumber who is just starting out.
So, just like we women have always done (we do whatever we have to do for our families), work in the construction industry is suggested as an option, especially during this economic crisis. Our economy is seeing less and less manufacturing jobs, but service jobs continue to increase.
So, any of you gals who are looking to get into a trade, contact the union hall of choice and find out when the next hiring is. Good luck and go kick a**.

Helpful Websites For Those With Interest in Jobs In The Building Industry:
Sisters In The Building Trades
National Association Women In Construction
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Union Of Elevator Constructors
Helmets To Hardhats - Helmets to Hardhats connects Veterans into promising careers in construction.
United Brotherhood Of Carpenters and Joiners of America
The United Association Of Journeymen and Apprentices Of The Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of The United States and Canada
Sheet Metal Workers International Association
International Brotherhood Of Teamsters
Finishing Contractors Association

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winner Of December 'Going Green Revolution Contest'

What did they do?
What do they get?
How do I get it?
So many questions ...... I know! Rest assured, I'll answer them all.

About The Green Revolution Contest: I made a vow to myself when I went green (no car) that in little everyday ways I would encourage others to go green also. Viola! The Green Revolution Contest!

So, for December, the Contest prize
was $100 Gift Certificate To Sarahjoys Shop

What did a winner have to do? Contestants sent emails to PatriciaLynne12@aol.com saying how they are trying to go green and then they are automatically entered in The Revolution Green Giveaway Contest! Contestants could send as many emails as they like that include green efforts and each email was an entry for the contest. The Girardin family was randomly selected from all of the entries received. Woo-hoo!
Our next contest has a valentine theme, but it is still about going green - look for this contest announcement very soon!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rockford Woman Magazine Highlights Me & Caroline - WOW!

ROCKFORD WOMAN MAGAZINE (To read this article at Rockford Woman Magazine, click here.)

A journey begins with one step

Newcomer vows to get around town without a car
By Kelly Epperson

The latest green girl in town has a big heart and big plans. Patricia Loya moved from Orange County, Calif., to Rockford in October and wanted to start fresh with a downsized — and green — lifestyle. An accident totaled her car right before the move. “Why replace it?” Loya said. “I wanted to go green. This will literally be a step in the right direction.”
Living downtown in the William Brown Loft apartments, Loya is just two blocks from the main bus terminal. In nicer weather, her gorgeous, shiny red Schwinn bicycle that she has named Caroline gets her around town.Loya’s first experience with the public-transit system left her slightly baffled. “The bus schedule is thick and not the easiest to decipher,” she said. “And a main transfer point near a large retailer has no bench, no shelter to protect from the weather. There were 40 people waiting for the bus with nowhere to sit. Tired kids and moms with bags of groceries need a place to sit that isn’t the street curb.”
Loya is a doer. She immediately contacted the transit authority, and the retailer. She is working now with the marketing director of the bus system to form a co-op of residents to make using public transportation in Rockford easier.
This entrepreneurial spirit is another way to make life greener. A former interior designer, Loya now is the writer, editor and artist of several online magazines. She also sells her artwork in collaboration with her daughter at cafepress.com/sarahjoy. Working from home is the ultimate green option. No commute means on the nastiest of winter days, she can stay put and not have to worry about the bus or a bike.
The online shop started after her daughter, Sarahjoy, entered drug addiction recovery. Loya’s artwork of encouragement and humor for her daughter evolved into a product line. There also are many uplifting products for everyone, including La Vert Sachet (the green bag), a canvas tote bag with that wording on one side and a whimsical collage of her artwork on the other.
Being green means helping others go green and making it fun and easy to do so. That is Loya’s energy. “The gas issue is going to have more people thinking about moving into cities, so they can drive less. Living in the city and getting involved in the community is what it’s all about,” Loya said. After being in town only a few weeks, she started volunteering at the soup kitchen at the Jubilee Center, a part of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 412 N. Church St., and posted a note in her building asking others to join her.
City life. It’s green, and so much more.

Reprint From Rockford Woman
This article was written by Kelly Epperson. The following article, "Look At My Butt," is Kelly's and you can also read another story in my blog which is from her book, "When Life Stinks, It's Time To Wash The Gym Clothes," about Princess Diana by clicking here. You can go to Kelly's website of the same name When Life Stinks, It's Time To Wash The Gym Clothes here.

Kelly Epperson Says, "Look At My Butt"

They’re everywhere. I thought it was a passing fad, but this fashion statement is sticking around. Teenage girls wear sweat pants with words emblazoned across the rear end. No matter the word, “Cute,” “UCLA,” or “Pinch Me,” the real message is “look at my butt.”

I shake my head with envy. Do it while you can, girls.

My fashion consultants, my boys, tell me I could wear sweats like that. “BIG” or “WIDE LOAD” tickle their fancy. They think “Danger: Hazardous Gas” would be hilarious. I think “Made You Look” would be clever.

As women age, more words fit on the gluteus maximus. The classic, “Does this make my butt look fat?” could be popular. Depending upon my mood, I’d wear “Yeah, baby, I still got it,” or “Thanks! No one has checked out my butt since 8th grade.”

Mother-daughter sweats could become a trend. Daughter butt: CHEER. Mom butt: “Would you believe this butt used to fit into a cheerleader skirt?” Mess with minds by stating “Objects in sweat pants are smaller than they appear.” Just for fun, print in vertical letters: Cheek 2 Cheek.

Certain communities are banning billboards so I predict derriere advertising will be common in the future. Young girls can make bucks renting their rumps to Nike with a big swoosh on the tush. Your daughter could earn cash for college by plastering Heineken on her heinie. The Army could attract more recruits with “Be all you can be” brandished on All-American behinds.

It’s bumper stickers, plain and simple. My more mature bumper could work for Jell-o.™ See it wiggle; see it jiggle. Plastic surgeons could drum up business for lipo suction: 1-800-SUCK-FAT. Fitness clubs could do a dual campaign. Tight buns wear “Gold’s Gym.” Doughy buns wear “Gold’s Gym? Is that next to the donut shop?” Sort of the opposite of the old public service ad, “this is your brain/this is your brain on drugs.” This is your butt at Gold’s; this is your butt if you don’t go to Gold’s.

Certain songwriters think bigger is better regarding the backside. Their lyrics could result in size appropriate butt wear slogans. Small: “Bootylicious.” Medium: “I like big butts, and I cannot lie.” Large: “Fat bottom girls, you make the rockin’ world go round.”

“If you don’t use it, you lose it” does not apply to butts. If you don’t use it, you get a whole lot more of it. Sit on it and it will grow. My butt used to be a separate entity from my legs. Over time, they have merged into a new flesh I call the “bleg,” the combined area of drooping butt into upper leg.

I need a butt bra to lift and separate my butt from my leg, giving me back the fanny of my youth. Bleg be gone. Then I’ll wear words across the seat of my pants: “The butt stops here.”

"Look At My Butt" is an excerpt from Kelly Epperson's book, "When Life Stinks, It's Time To Wash The Gym Clothes," which can be ordered by clicking here.

Ms. Epperson is a Columnist, Ghostwriter/Freelance Writer and Speaker and Owner/Driver of a Smart Car.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Winner Of November 'Going Green Contest' Writes A Thank You

Letter From Winner Of November 'Going Green Contest'

I’M HONORED … it’s a great bag … I’ve put it in the car (replacing one of those not very attractive and certainly not ecological, but filled the need bag the day I forgot my bags at home).

Thanks much!

Janet L. Herbert
Special Projects &
Environmental Policy Coordinator
Rockford Park District
401 South Main Street, Rockford, IL 61101
Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to!

Click here for December contest info.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Artist, Birthday Party Face Painter and Mentor of Future Artists

It was Paige's sixth birthday and I offered to do face painting. It is always fun for me, the kids like it and as an artist, that just so rocks!
We sang two songs to Paige, one, the typical "Happy Birthday Song," and the other, "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth," so very appropriate just a couple weeks before Christmas.
My gift for Paige? Paint, paint brushes, a book on painting and paper. My wish for Paige: that she paint her world beautiful. Happy Birthday, Paige!

Somebody Should Do Something

Somebody should do something about the homeless. Somebody should do something about the hungry. Somebody turned out to be me.

I reconsidered church this year. I understand from the news that reconsidering church (or, being PC, reconsidering your spiritual side) is an phenomenon, during harsh economic times we tend to return to our religious upbringings. It turns out, I'm doing just that.

I wasn't sure that was the case with me and needed to ponder it. Yes, I'd had some personal and economic losses. A divorce I didn't want. Serious financial setbacks. A move from my family home, a move from the State I love, California (because it was no longer affordable for me). Loss of family and friends. Loss of my car when someone ran a red light. Ghack. No car!

We've also probably all heard the adage, one of the best ways to help yourself in a time of loss is to help others. I've said it myself.

Learning the soup kitchen needed volunteers on a specific date and place, I was able to be there because of my church. Learning that I was being asked to give to others, not of what I didn't have, but from what I did have - do you have extra cans of food in your pantry, give a few of those to your local food pantry - you don't have to go out and buy. I learned this in church.

Learning of a woman who has suffered a series of illnesses and losses and who was in need of help, I learned in church. She needed people to help her rid her house of 'too much stuff acquired during years of battling cancer and a life and family out of control'. The church had helped arrange for a dumpster and looking for volunteers to help take the boxes she'd packed and stuff out to the dumpster. I can do this. I tell her I can help carry boxes. But, I CAN BE THERE, I tell her - if she desires - after all the boxes are gone to help her organize her life and put things in some sort of beautiful order (I am an interior designer). This woman is overly comforted with people who care. She cries and tells us it feels like maybe she'll really get her life 'back'. I can do this because of my church. I can do something, I can be a somebody, doing something.

The church thing worked for me. Being in that church building - that spiritual place - offered me a system to connect with those in need, offering me a way to be a somebody doing something. It became a complete circle of comfort, fulfilling that adage that during difficult times, it helps to help others.

Sometimes finding volunteer opportunities where you can do something is a bit overwhelming; here are some suggestions, for you to be a somebody doing something. Click on any of the following for more information:

* Animal Shelters

* Environmental Organizations

* Food Banks

* Political Campaigns

* Ronald McDonald House

* Senior Citizens Centers