NaBloPoMo Post #29: Shopping with a Purpose


November 29th, 2009

If you have someone on your holiday gift list but you have no idea what they want or need consider buying something in their name, like water or a goat or a flock of chickens or a micro-loan. Here’s a list of places to get you started.

charity:water Give clean water.
Oxfam America Give animals, training for mid-wives, soap, blankets, seeds and much more.
Heifer International Give goats, sheep, water buffalo, ducks, knitting baskets, rabbits, milk cows, etc.
Samaritan’s Purse Help buy a plane ticket for a child needing surgery. Buy hot meals. Provide clothing and shoes. Help build schools and hospitals.
PlumpyNut A peanutbutter type paste that is being used to save children from malnurishment.
Doctors Without Borders Doctors and Nurses who volunteer their time in areas of the world where medical care is difficult to come by.
AHOPE Sponsor an orphan in Ethiopia who is HIV+

Or, if you don’t want to just give someone a card stating you donated money in their name, consider purchasing gifts from a store that gives back.

Ten Thousand Villages Great gifts from around the world. Ten Thousand Villages is part of the fair trade organization so you know that what you buy is hand made and the artist is getting a fair price for their work.

Fistula Foundation
Beautiful jewelry and scarves. Supports hospitals treating women with fistula – a complication from childbirth that can leave a woman incontinent, which usually means she is shunned from her family/support system. (P.S. check out the movie Walk to Beautiful for more information on this).
Amharic Kids Jewelry made in Ethiopia by women who are HIV+. The money made from the sales helps support these women.
Water4Christmas T-shirts, waterbottles, etc. 100% of the money goes to charity:water. You can also check out the Water4Christmas etsy shop for handmade items. Again, 100% of the money goes to charity:water.
Orphans No More You’ll have to e-mail the Matts to see if there are any left. The bracelets and ornaments were all made by the nannies in Uganda who are currently caring for their son while they wait to bring him home. The money will go towards their adoption costs and back to the orphanage he is currently staying in.
Beads For Life Handmade paper beads by bead makers in Uganda. I ordered a bag of loose beads for myself and they are amazing.
Kazuri Handmade beads from Kenya.

I’ll add more to the list as I find them. If you have any organizations, feel free to add them.

Happy New Year!


September 13th, 2008

Enkutatash (The Ethiopian New Year) is celebrated this weekend. It’s now 2001 in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar which is 8 years behind our Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind from September 11 until January 8. The Julian calendar has 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days (or 6 days in a leap year).

Enkutatash means “queen of jewels”. When the Queen of Sheba returned from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, the chiefs welcomed her back be replenishing her treasury with jewels. Today when Enkutatash is celebrated there is dancing and singing as the rainy season comes to an end and all of Ethiopia is green again.

People celebrate with feasts, dancing, exchanging New Year’s greetings, cards and bouquets of flowers.

What they don’t write on the Mother’s Day cards.


May 9th, 2008

I had always thought Mother’s Day was a Hallmark Holiday. Right up there with Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, & Love Day. But it’s not.

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation (sometimes referred to as the Mother’s Day Proclamation of Peace) as a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Mother’s Day Proclamation was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States.

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

According to NPR

Anna Jarvis is credited with starting the holiday in the United States, in honor of her own mother, also named Anna Jarvis. She later bemoaned the commercialization of Mother’s Day and worked to end its observance.

Back from Kansas


November 25th, 2007

We’re back from Kansas. We woke up around 4:30 this morning, left at 5 and got home just a little after 5. The trip home was pretty uneventful, except for the part when Lexi threw up in her carseat. And of course it happened just outside of Kansas City which meant 8 hours of traveling with that lovely aroma. Her carseat now smells like bleach.

Kansas was fun. I’m sure Kevin will be posting stories and pictures soon. He’s in the process of downloading his camera and I think he said he took over 300 pictures. He also scanned a whole bunch of his Grandma’s old family photos so I’m sure those will be up on flickr as well.

I always go to Kansas with the mindset that there is nothing to do. (And if you know where we were, there really isn’t that much around.) But every time we go we run out of time to do everything. We rolled into town around 6 pm on Wednesday, ate dinner and then opened Christmas presents with Kevin’s parents, Grandparents and his brother’s family. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with everyone – aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…-. Thursday night we hung out, Kevin scanned pictures, ate more turkey. Friday we went to Uncle Junior’s house to visit and went out to dinner. Saturday we went to Kevin’s Grandparents’ house for lunch and to see more family. By the time I realized it, “nothing to do” had turned into “time to go home.”

New Year’s Resolutions


January 2nd, 2006

This year, we celebrated New Year’s by spending the day/night at home. Kevin cleaned out his office and rearranged it and I made a big long “to do” list and got all but 4 things done on the list. We finished everything around 11:30 at night, watched a couple of episodes of The Simpsons and went to bed. I figured that this year I would make another resolution that probably would not be kept so this year I made it easy on myself. My resolution was to not make anymore resolutions. So far, I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping it.

A Tip for Valentine’s Day


January 20th, 2005

If you are planning on going out to a resturant for Valentine’s Day, make sure you get your reservations in early. The White Castle on the corner of University and Lexington is now taking reservations for Valentine’s Day.

Happy New Year


January 1st, 2005

Happy New Year! We celebrated New Year’s Eve by watching Star Wars. I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I have to finish grad school so I figure that’s a big enough goal.
Do you make resolutions? What’s your goal this year?

We’re Back


January 1st, 2005

Well, we’re back from everywhere. The wedding was fun. Very small and simple, but it was still fun to hang out at Jo and Gabe’s house, see family, have an early Christmas and all that jazz. The best part of the weekend was I got to wear a cape. When I get a picture of it, I’ll post it. It was very cool. It was a huge floor length black velvet cape with a hood. I felt like one of the Elves.

Our trip to Kansas was great. Since I didn’t have to head straight back to work this year, we were able to stay longer than we normally do which made the drive a little more managable. Christmas was very fun, Everyone except for 2 people made it to Christmas dinner so there was a houseful – which is my favorite part of Christmas – a huge house full of people.

We went to see The Incredibles (again) with Kevin’s dad. That’s a great movie. If you haven’t seen it yet – go. Go now.

We met Linus the Chihuahua who was very cute despite his need for an attitude adjustment.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve been spending my time helping walk dogs at the kennel in the mornings, taking a nap in the afternoon, cleaning things I haven’t had time to clean in forever (like my office), and wearing pajamas as much as possible.

It’s going to be rough going back to work on Tuesday.

How have you been spending your Christmas vacation?

Happy 4th of July


July 6th, 2004

Here’s a fun link if you missed out on the fireworks fun.

(Thanks to Steve K. for posting the link and StevieVan for sending it his way.)