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Month: August 2015

Gratitude Monday: Conquering the Grumbles

What goes down, must come back up. This is the steepest.

Whew!  I’m so happy last week is in the review mirror.  Deadlines converging and fluid schedule is wonderful in so many ways.  And overwhelming in others.

CoCo got up in a grumpy mood.  She complained all the way to work. Maybe a little gratitude?

“You know, I heard on The Talk last week, that starting the day with gratitude makes you happier and healthier. Let’s each name three things.”


Photo Friday: Barber Shop

My good friend and hairstylist, Renée, and I went for a bike ride Monday. We happened upon a barbershop.  Renée wants to contact the owner and maybe offer to give veterans free haircuts.  The owner of  Dairy Dream, right next door curled her lips in disdain. “Sure I know the owner. His father would turn over in his grave, if he knew what goes on over there.” What the what? I took these photos through the window. “He sells guns outta there.” Renée got freaked out about all the clutter and filth.  My mind went in another direction.  The old…

TBT: Live Story-telling

Last Saturday, I read this story at a local music festival.  Telling or reading a story is so different from writing it and waiting for a response. It was the second year for me at the festival. Last year, I got to know the real definition of stage fright. You know when people say they are so nervous might pee their pants? Yeah. No exaggeration. I was that scared.  This year, I was much less nervous.  People laughed in all the right places. I think I like this story-telling gig.  I just might do it again. I published my reading…

STEM Tuesday: A 4-H Veterinarian

A rabbit the size of a cocker spaniel

August is County Fair month.  I mean to go every year. With all that intention, it’s been a long time.  This year I went.  4-H nostalgia washed over me. The cows, the pigs, the rabbits.  The cookies, the pies, the veggies. This week, I’m interviewing two blue ribbon exhibitors for newspaper feature articles.  The 11-year-old scone baker, started 4-H when she was six!

Maybe all that nostalgia is my eyes stopped  National Geographic’s Why Animals Make Us Better People.”  Dr. Pol is a 73-year-old veterinarian and star of The Incredible Dr. Pol television show. He grew up in the Netherlands, but lives in rural Michigan.  Hey, that’s where I grew up.

Throw Back Thursday: First Day of School

Even if the long shadows of August didn’t remind me of the first day of school, the posts on Facebook do not let me forget.  Really? It’s time for school to start again? It seems like summer barely got rolling.  As my grandma said, I’m glad I have a good memory, because back when she told me this, I had one foot into my 20s.  Now I know what she means. I hope you will jump on board and take a bus ride down memory lane with me and re-experience my first day of school. Please skip on over to Once A…

Becki and Renée: Two Women with Style

becki Utley - 1Style is more than the way a woman looks or the clothes she wears.  It’s more than the way she carries herself.  It’s about who she is.  A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to sit down with Becki Utley, and extraordinary woman.  She’s got style.

I found Becki almost by accident. Her Facebook Page popped up by some algorithm in the system. What a great idea, I thought.  People post “ISO” (in search of) what they need, and others post what they have to give away.

It all started when Utley needed things to help a friend. She tried Freecycle, but items got snatched up so fast, it seemed pointless to Becki. She decided to take matters into her own hands, so she started a Facebook page. Now she and Renée administer their Page together.

Becki began “rehoming” her baby clothes and furniture when she decided four children were enough for her. That was a little over two years ago; when she still lived in the affordable housing.  Now, she and her friend, Renée average 30 to 40 hours a week picking up, sorting, washing, and distributing clothes, furniture, and supplies to those in need. Renée has five children. The women also provide resource referrals for people who need assistance.

They have one rule:  Nothing gets re-sold. It’s all free.

STEM Tuesday: Waste Not, Want Not

Good Golly! I had no idea we wasted so much food! $165 billion/year; 20 pound/person.

This video will take about 1o minutes of your time.  Even the first 3 minutes will make and point, and make you laugh.  I bet you’ll enjoy the whole thing.  I did.


I remember when Mom looked watched the grocery store for blackened bananas to go on sale: perfect for banana bread.  She got windfall apples to make applesauce.  Cider came from blemished apples.  We joked that wormy apples made protein-rich cider.

For our part, we try not to waste food.  I can’t remember the last time I had to dump an unrecognizable leftover because of the blue fuzz. We eat leftovers. What we don’t eat fresh, we cook, preserve or freeze. This time of year is a bit stressful with all the veggies ripening at once.  We  use bones for soup stock. We can also donate to the local food pantry.  We also put fruit and veggie scraps in a compost bin for next year’s garden.

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