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Wow, that is a mouthful for the title of this blog post…but, it is what it says it is.  The National Association of Letter Carriers have committed themselves once again to their annual food drive.   They do this to help combat hunger.  In the last two years in the United States, more than 50 million people have found themselves living in homes that don’t have enough food.  This is outrageous, we can all do something to help.  No one should go hungry in a country that supplies other nations with food from our surplus produce that farmers work so hard to grow.

You may say, I am only one person…what can i do?  You can support the National Association of Letter Carriers help stamp out hunger by leaving a bag at your mail box, on Saturday May 14, 2011, with non-perishable food items.  That is only 2 days from now.   Make sure that the items you are donating are not out of date or in danger of expiring any time soon.   Don’t have a lot to give; give what you can.  If you are blessed enough to have the means to give…give generously; we all have a responsibility to share our blessings with others.

Support businesses and organizations that sponsor the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.  This is an amazing grass roots program that blesses your local food banks.  All the food collected by your local mail carrier stays in your local area.  The people you help may be your own friends, family or neighbors. With the economy being so challenging in recent years more people are affected by not having enough to eat.  The numbers of children in homes without enough food is rising.  The elderly are having a harder time making ends meet.  Young wage earners are finding themselves without steady income to support their families sufficiently.   Natural disasters have hurt many families and those people still need to eat.  Churches can’t do it all…they need our help to provide food for those who are struggling with hunger!  Won’t you help?

Would you like to learn more?  Visit their website here:  Stamp Out Hunger and if you happen to have a Facebook account or a Twitter account…then Like them or Follow them to lend your support.  Spread the work online and off.  Tell others about the food drive…encourage others to donate.

Remember to thank your mail carrier.  They are dedicated to helping people stamp out hunger in your community.   Do you know someone who has had to use food from a food pantry or food bank?  Tell them about my friend Connie who heads up a website that teaches people how to eat healthier with the food that they bring into their homes through SNAP, food pantries, commodities, and farmer’s markets.  She does this in a way to help people stretch their budgets and to encourage the people who visit her website to form a community to share tips and ideas with one another.  Her site isn’t just for food stamp users…but for anyone on a tight budget who wants and needs to eat well.  Food Stamp Cooking Club

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If you are a person who looks to use and purchase products that help to promote the idea of organic farming practices and the idea of sustainability; then I would like to introduce you to Peppermint Jim and his products.

I first met Peppermint Jim back a couple of years ago in person in Michigan.  He’s had an impact in Michigan where he helped to save his family’s heritage mint farm from foreclosure.  He did this through hard work, and with the help of loyal customers.  Jim believes in using organic farming practices that help build up the soil and protect it from poor farming practices that harm the earth with dangerous chemicals and destructive, or careless techniques that don’t look beyond the season’s current harvest.

I have to say that I was impressed with the man’s knowledge not only of those issues; but also, the intensive passion he shares for mint farming and for supporting struggling independent producers who are trying to make a living in a very competitive world.  He’s done this by not compromising his faith or his belief in doing things in such a way as to honor God’s creation.  He does his best to educate others and to provide products that promote health and well-being for the consumer as well as the environment.

In fact, Jim supports Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Greens World Care to encourage green practices in communities and businesses.  The Tucson Arizona community is familiar with this way of thinking and it is a great place to connect with like- minded people.

In the May edition of Guideposts magazine you will find an article on Peppermint Jim and the story of his legacy from the role that his family’s heritage mint farm played in his professional growth; to the place that he is in now and, the direction that his experiences are leading him to, in the future.  Don’t miss it…get the May 2011 edition of Guidepost’s magazine to learn more about Peppermint Jim and his life partner, wife Lilian and the role that their mint based business will play in the forward thinking communities who are wise to a greener and more sustainable world.

Jim has taken his knowledge, passion and purpose to Arizona and is introducing community members and loyal customers to his new line of products.  His commitment to sustainability is contagious and he educates others to this way of farming.  He is an encouragement to other farmers and independent producers of consumer goods; to do what they know is right and to have an opportunity to provide a living for themselves by bringing products to the marketplace that envelope all that they believe in.

You can see Peppermint Jim’s line of pure mint oils, body care products, farming tools, his handmade candies and goodies as well as his soil rejuvenator which feeds plants from seedling to bloom/harvest.  You can find out more about what’s good for you and your family at Peppermint Jim

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I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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It is sad but true, bath salts have a genuine use for the body interested in health and wellness; but, bath salts are now being misused as a drug to achieve some sort of a high.  Bath salts are generally used as a body soak and exfoliant.  When used in this way, true bath salts (typically epsom salts mixed with fragrance beads and water softening agents) are a balm to achy muscles and dry skin. These are not dangerous!

However, there are products being labeled as “bath salts” that are powders packed in small tea bag sized envelopes and advertised as legal substitutions; merely to make money.  They are  being sold on the shelves of convience stores, truck stops and head shops all around the country; as well as online.  They are marketed as bath salts, when those who produce these products know full well that they are not being used for that purpose.

Those who produce, market or sell these items should be held accountable for those who have had their lives destroyed by their products. Their intended use is for individuals who are looking for a drug induced high.  Business selling them should be forced to removed them from their stores in my opinion.  In fact, some states & communities are banning their sales…but, we need to increase awareness of this issue; before the use of these products becomes more widespread. Continue reading: Write Where You Are

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Have you ever met an individual that is so rare and special that you could compare them to a valuable gem?  Let me tell you about such a person, Jessica Angelique, who has a passionate mission in life to shine a light on life changing non for profit organizations.  Jessica has had an interesting life full of ups and downs and because of that she has dedicated her life to making the world a better place.  Her heart has been drawn to organizations that help build people up and educate them; which allows them to positively impact the world for the better.  She is in need of help to continue to expand her ability to impact the world by educating them through a wonderful opportunity called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Pepsi is offering up an opportunity to win a $250,000 grant to those who win the most votes in their category.  Jessica Angelique is the creator and executive director of Definitive Voices.   She is also an author who has written of her life’s journey; navigating through the challenging foster care system into a positive, purpose filled adulthood.   She uses her voice to empower people and organizations to be aware and proactive in their communities to build up those in need.

Through Definitive Voices Jessica uses social media to shine a light on individuals and organizations that are doing their best to help people improve the world through education, awareness, and hands on action that is changing the lives of those they encounter.  Jessica needs your help by getting you to go to this link and vote for her Definitive Voices so that she can expand her ability to positively impact the lives of others.  It only takes a couple of seconds once you register and sign in using an active email and a Pepsi password.  Here is the link to cast your vote daily until the 28th of February: http://www.refresheverything.com/definitivevoices(more…)

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       I’ve added a new post to my new blog here: http://www.writewhereyouareblog.com/?p=2497 on internet marketing or affiliate marketing.  I have moved my blog site to http://www.writewhereyouareblog.com .

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     I got to thinking this past week about a strange set of circumstances.  My husband, Jeff Wellman and his partners, Dixie Brown & Paul Counts, launched an internet marketing product and the response was so over the top that I was a bit perplexed.  I mean…people were calling to say thank you for the customer service, people  were amazed that he (the product owner), answered his own phone, people being shocked that he even put his own (real) phone number on the product page.  

        One caller was so taken aback that he laughed and said he had something all prepared to leave on a voice mail…and, when the phone was answered by the product owner…he didn’t know what to say; now that is kind of funny!   The whole response, to this old fashioned way of doing business, was wonderful in an amazing sort of way…it got me thinking; are we so deprived of good customer service that when we experience it, we are flustered enough that we feel we must acknowledge it?  🙂  (more…)

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     Well, just so you know…there is breaking news, Google’s gmail isnt working at the moment for some of it’s users…dont panic…it isnt you if you are not a technical person.  I always panic when something technical isnt working…because i think it is my lack of tech skills; however, this time, gmail developed a problem with their gmail about 1:30 Pacific time today.   Google says they arent sure what the problem is but they are aware it and they are working on it.   Many people use their gmail account for business purposes so the impact of the failure is being felt.  I became aware of the gmail breakdown from my twitter account! 

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       Twitter is quickly becoming a way of life for many businesses and folks.  Anytime twitter shows a fail whale…(the symbol a person sees when trying to access Twitter and its service is unavailable) people quickly bemoan the fact that they can’t get on.   🙂  The fail whale doesn’t usually last long…I’ve only seen it a few times; briefly, when it was over capacity with Twitter users.  Twitter is a mini social site that is quickly becoming a large social media site; the idea is to answer in 140 characters or less the question, ” What are you doing?”.   Often, I hear other users say that they quickly become “addicted” to Twitter.   The service has spawned a bunch of books on Twitter etiquette….rules or no rules use.   Reasons for using Twitter is as varied as the number of people you ask…everyone has their own reasons for using it.  Relationships are built online…everyone has equal access to other users…both famous and non-famous users.   The latest controvery of this company which has been in business for approximately 3 years is…should they charge a fee for their services?

         So far, the Twitter service is free.  There is some discussion about whether businesses may be charged to use Twitter in the future.    People are still discovering Twitter and all that it can do.  Many people of course, use Twitter as a social networking service for their personal communication; others, are trying to find ways to use it to brand their businesses.

          Twitter has been uber successful in their goals of creating a mini social networking site.   At the end of 2008, Twitter rejected a bid for purchase by Facebook of $500 million.  To me, that means that they view their value as well over that $500 million; and it means to me that Facebook considers it a huge competitor.  Still, to stay competitive with Facebook as well as other large entities…Twitter will need to make money to stay alive and growing.

           Businesses have to make money somewhere to stay in business and pay their own employees.  Do they raise funds by putting advertising on their service, by charging for upgraded services for business accounts, or maybe charge a membership fee?  What do you think?  Do you use Twitter?  What are your thoughts on this subject?

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Today is the day of the Caylee Anthony memorial.  This ceremony brings to light so many layers of human emotion that it takes a while to sort out how a person really feels.  This whole sad story has been in the news for quite some time now and it will be a staple in the news for a much longer period of time.  Isn’t that ok?  I mean…doesn’t a life have value far and beyond a momentary clip in the obituary section of the newspaper when that life was stolen from it’s owner?

I was annoyed this morning as I viewed my twitter feed.  There was a person who was bemoaning the fact that they were anticipating another day when the news of Orlando would be overshadowed by more news about the Anthony family; as they hold the memorial service for Caylee.  At first, i was very put out by their 140 character statement on Twitter.  Then i stopped and thought about it…I guess to some degree i can understand that there is much going on in that area that is good and newsworthy as well.  The Orlando has much positive news to report as well as this terribly sad news…so i decided to ignore the momentary bluntness of that person’s comment.

I dont live in the area which is probably a good thing.  I would most likely want to be at that service for the beautiful child Caylee; just as a sign of respect for her as an innocent life that was taken.  It is amazing the  connection that some people have to this young child, myself included.  She has touched so many lives just because of how she lived and died.  It is unfair how she passed.  It is heartbreaking that her body can’t even be at her memorial.  It is unspeakable what was done to her.  So many questions about who, what , where, when and why; but not for today.

Today is about remembering her and sharing her short life with those who were/are close to her.  Their hearts are sad and grieving.  Those who have been touched in an emotional way who did not know her will also be sad.  But that two year old life deserves to have the good and happy memories talked about and shared.  She is more than a victim.  She was a real, live breathing child who played, sang, danced and learned.

Please, reporters, media, mourners and observers…don’t focus on things that don’t matter today.  Don’t harrass the family, dont speculate, dont focus on negativity or superficial things.  Remember Caylee and remember that she had a life before she became the victim of her killer; dont turn this into a media event , or a free for all.  She had friends, relatives, neighbors and people who cared about her and loved her; let’s show some respect and support.  Don’t sully her memorial service with all the ugliness…let her have some dignity!

As a side note: I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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