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Archive for the ‘Passion’ Category

Well, it seems as though a hobby of mine and some friends has turned into a labor of love.  We started making some gifts and accessories at the sewing machine for an upcoming craft show and it has turned into something over and above; as people have been viewing our crafts and then…requesting things of their own.  To continue reading: Write Where You Are

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Mother Connie

 

I have to say that entering the fray in Babble’s Top 100 Food Mom Bloggers started out simply as a way of honoring my friend Mother Connie.  It has since become more about honoring her AND getting people aware of the impact she is making in the lives of the people who visit her Food Stamps Cooking Club Blog.  You see, Connie has always been about helping people be healthy (she teaches ways to eat healthier while on a tight budget) but she also truly loves connecting with people and encouraging them.

Her blog is one of community.  The people who visit there aren’t simply people who get their groceries from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-food stamps)…even though that is the name of the blog.  It is also written for, and contributed to by, people who receive WIC  (Women, Infants, and Children), Angel Food Ministries, Commodities, Farmer’s Market coupons or groceries from local food pantries.  Connie encourages people to participate with their cooking tips, shopping or marketing tips, health information and to ask questions that she or her readers may have an answer to.

All of this is done with the intention of helping people to stretch their food dollars and to shop, prepare and serve the healthiest meals that they can to their families.  Connie not only accomplishes this…she has been an inspiration to many.  For all of those reasons…I ask you to go here to Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers and nominate her.  All you have to do is find her on page 1 or 2 and click on the “like” button to vote for her.   Thanks a lot.  Oh, and go visit her blog…and leave her a comment; she loves comments…tell her Write Where You Are sent you!

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Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
Continue reading here:  Write Where You Are

 

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     Christina Raines is the young woman who had recently moved in with her fiance, Drew Peterson.  Drew Peterson, if you will remember, is the former police officer who has been a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife and also was under suspicion in the death of his third wife.   Drew did an interview, with Martin Bashir of ABC’s news program Nightline, that aired on Thursday night.  Drew and Christina viewed the interview together, at which point…she allegedly called him a liar, broke up with him and moved out. 

     Everyone has been concerned for her safety and that of the well-being of her children, that moved in with her and Drew.  By moving out…she may have very well saved her life and her sanity from living in a fishbowl.  To listen to Drew tell it; he is addicted to new romances…what kind of a relationship can survive that, long term?  No woman wants to think she is just a number standing in line; to enjoy her turn at the romance department…only to be replaced by someone younger and more exciting; if real life gets in the way of the newness of their romance.

       I saw part of that interview, Drew comes across as trying to be very charismatic and at the same time…condescending.  He appears to like the attention of the public and he appears to like the fact that people fear/and are fascinated by him.   He made comments alluding to the fact that “young women are drawn” to him.  They seek him out he said and, even sometimes flirt with him or sit on his lap.  He tells the interviewer that he likes the attention of the young women…he likes falling in love.  Drew also said that when his relationships start to lose their excitement…that is when he is drawn to other women.  His relationships/marriages have failed in the past because of this.

       Christina’s father, Ernie Raines has been trying to enlist the help of the local police department, trying to make sure that his daughter and grandchildren are ok.  He made no secret of the fact that he does not trust Drew Peterson.  I think that many people can understand and support those feelings.  Ernie helped Christina move out…Drew did not want to let him in the house and Ernie had to once again call the police.  Good job Ernie for being persistant; if you feel your children are in danger…you do what you have to-to protect them.

     You have to wonder about the emotional well-being of Drew’s younger children that he had with Staci…his wife that is missing.  How must it be for them to be growing up in a home that is constantly watched and a place that must be under alot of stress because of that suspicion.  Not to mention…those children have been deprived of their mother…for whatever reason she is missing…they have suffered a great loss.

        In watching the interview, I felt repulsed listening to him go on and on about how much he enjoys the attentions of the young women that he meets and has met in the past (in bars).  It comes across to me as a young, immature male teen bragging on his conquests.  It all appears as a game…one that matches his wit and his ability to con those around him.  He was an undercover police officer for a 5 year period and  he allegedly made statements, in the past, about how he loved to see the faces of the people who were arrested once they found out that he was a police officer who conned them with his disquises.  The interview felt to me, like it was just another con job that floated his boat…one that tested his ability to still fool those that he wishes, with whatever story he chooses to tell.

        I say to Ernie Raines…enjoy your relationship with your daughter…spend time listening to her.  I hope that she is able to heal her heart and realize just how much better off she is away from the media circus that she was living in with her relationship with Drew Peterson.   At the same time, she might want to spend a little time in counseling trying to discover what it was about that relationship that made her feel like she was making a good decision for her future and that of her children.  Best of luck!  Women…where there is smoke there is fire…you can’t change a person that you are attracted to…you cant “fix” their problems…you can’t be all things to one person…and you can’t live with the shadow of missing wives, alleged murders, infidelities, and controlling behaviors; and live happily ever-after!

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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     For those who have not heard the news story this past week; a man by the name of Bruce Pardo dressed up as Santa and went on a shooting rampage directed at his ex-wife and her family.  He was aware that they held an annual Christmas party.  He had been planning this for quite some time.   About a week or so before the shootings took place…Bruce Pardo and his estranged wife,  Sylvia, were officially divorced after 2 years of marriage.  This man who dressed up as Santa, needed help.   If he had gotten it…maybe this tragedy would not have happened.

        It sounds as if  the Pardo’s marriage was one of deceipt.  Mr. Pardo had not disclosed to his wife that he had a child from a previous relationship that he did not see, nor did he help support.  It seems that when this child was a toddler in Mr. Pardo’s care; the child ended up in a pool and almost drowned.  The young child is now around the age of 7 ; but, Bruce Pardo kept this child a secret from his wife.  She discovered that the child existed by going through tax papers and finding out that he claimed the child as a dependent.  He denied the situation and Sylvia called her mother in law who confirmed that a child did in fact exist and was disabled.   She filed for divorce…he did not want it.

       It seems that during this time…Bruce also lost his job and then was ordered, by the court, to pay support to his soon to be ex-wife.  By all appearances…Bruce did his best to follow through on the court’s dissolution of his marriage….yet, all along he planned his revenge on the woman who divorced him and those who were closest to her and helped her to leave him. 

        Bruce rented two vehicles and he had things planned out.  He had an extra large Santa suit made up for him.  It seems that at the annual party, Santa always showed up.  He went to the home with a gift in his hand…when the door was opened by a young 8 year old girl…he opened fire, shooting her in the face.  He then went about shooting and looking for specific people.  After he shot the people he went looking for…he then used a homemade device to set the home on fire; inadvertantly causing himself 3rd degree burns when part of the Santa suit melted into his skin from the incendiary device he used to start the fire.

         People in the home had tried to hide and some were able to flee.  A sister of Sylvia’s escaped to a neighbors with the young 8 year old girl who was shot in the face.  She was able to call 911.  After starting the fire, Bruce Pardo shot out street lights…allegedly to help further his escape. 

         People are speculating that he had plans to shoot his own mother who was planning on attending the Christmas party, at her ex-daughter in laws parents home.  She felt ill that evening and was not able to attend.  Bruce blamed his mother for siding with Sylvia in the divorce.    Also allegedly a possible victim of violence was the divorce lawyer who represented Sylvia.  One of the rental vehicles was sitting near the lawyers home. 

        It appears that Bruce changed his plans after he was burned.  It is thought that he was in great pain.  He allegedly had purchased a plane ticket for Illinois to go there and cross the state line into Iowa to see a friend.  He also had about 17,ooo.oo dollars plastic wrapped to his body.   Instead of implementing those plans…he drove approximately 30-40 miles to his brothers home and broke in and shot himself dead.

         What is hard to understand is; didn’t anyone who knew him or had occasion to spend time with him, during the weeks preceding the violence, see his mental breakdown?  Was he so good at hiding his wrath that he was able to misleed the people in his life?  Or did he isolate himself a this time?

         Those familiar with the divorce situation say that he seemed almost eager to have it over with.  The neighbors say that he was friendly and even wished them a Merry Christmas after telling them he was attending a Christmas party. 

          People who knew him said he was a friendly guy.  They are shocked.  And yet, a close friend of Sylvia allegedly said that Sylvia said he changed almost immediately after the marriage.  He became secretive.  Others say that Bruce had a secret guilt about the child that was gravely injured on his watch.  The mother of the child allegedly says that he was involved when the child was in the hospital; but then…he didn’t visit nor did he support the child.  In fact, he kept the child a secret from many…including his new wife.

         The thing is…people who struggle with mental health issues dont always get the help that they need.  Bruce Pardo needed that kind of help to cope with the feelings that he had from the tragedy that happened to his child.  He needed support and counseling to heal up from the guilt that he most likely felt after the child was injured.  He needed to have pre-marital counseling to help him break the news of this part of his life to his intended wife. 

          Sylvia needed a husband who could share this past with her.  She needed him to seek marriage counseling when their marriage appeared to flounder shortly after it began.  She needed some indication that the man she married was deeply disturbed and capable of such violence.  She needed protection from the man that she fell in love with. 

          Experts will tell you that people who are in a state of flux…or life changes are often the most vulnerable for domestic violence.  This is a dangerous time when emotions are raw and assets or custody rights are at stake.  Passions are running high.  It should almost  be mandatory to have to have some sort of counseling to help people through the maze of emotion and legal wrangling that takes place.

          I can’t help but to think of those that lost their lives and those who were left behind to deal with the aftermath.  God help them.  The things that they saw and heard will live with them for a very long time.  And what about those who weren’t there; but, were directly affected such as Bruce Pardo’s mother or his brother.  What about them?  People need to pray for all of them.  They are not responsible for his actions…and yet, they are directly affected by them as much as Sylvia’s family and friends.  His brother…can you imagine…how will he ever be able to go back into his home?  He has to wonder…why did his brother come there to commit suicide?   His mother…she was obviously friendly with Sylvia and her family; how will she relate to the surviving members?  They are all hurting…will they be able to help support one another or will it be too painful for them to see each other?

          So many questions and so few answers.  The thing is…unfortunately…people who are depressed or going through trauma often don’t think past the moment, about the long term effects of their actions.  It is the survivors that are left to cope with both the questions and the answers.

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      Wow… I just watched a clip from The View today in which Barbara Walters talks about an interview she did with Paula Abdul on her radio show.  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6425460

       In the chat fest in the beginning of the show Barbara refers to that interview when she says that Paula has dropped a few explosive bombs about American Idol producers, Fox television, as well as,  Simon Cowell.

         As many of you know, there was an unfortunate young woman who was allegedly obsessed with Paula Adbul who died in front of Paula’s home…allegedly a suicide.  This young woman, Paula Goodspeed, has been supposedly sending letters and trying to make contact with Paula Abdul for something like 17 years, through her fan club. 

         Abdul claims in the radio interview with Barbara Walters that the producers of American Idol knew of this young woman’s obsession and still they allowed her to audition for the three Idol judges.  That audition  appears to have caused much harm; because of the rejection  Paula Goodspeed felt that she was publically humiliated.  Does a show like this carry a  legal and moral responsibility to pre-screen contestants; to make sure that they can handle the criticism that they face on the show?  I think they should.

          Paula Abdul says that she begged the producers and Simon not to allow Ms. Goodspeed to audition…but, against her wishes they allowed her to audition, possibly more than once.  It put her in a terrible position; Paula says that the producers and Simon wished to see her squirm. 

          At some point, Ms. Goodspeed followed Paula Abdul to her home address.  There were other incidents that took place there before the actual suicide took place.  Paula was not home when the suicide took place.  She now has her home for sale i hear; she says she has not slept there since it happened.

         Paula also says that she has lost endorsements and business opportunities because of the public’s perception that she is drunk or stoned on medications; because of the way that she is portrayed on the show.  She says, part of, that is caused by Simon who says crazy things in Paula’s ear piece while she is trying to communicate her “judgement”.   She says, something to the effect, that this is a distraction; and, Simon tries to make her laugh when she is trying to graciously speak to the contestants.

         If these things are true, and she can prove them…i see this turning into a major big, legal deal.  Obviously, Paula is upset about the whole nightmare of the suicide of Paula Goodspeed.  After all, a life was lost and if it is true that it was because of manipulations behind the scenes of the show…then shame on those involved.   There are more important things than ratings of a television show!

         When asked why Paula was still on the show…she apparently, simply said that she is under contract.  Paula also allegedly says that Simon could have at anytime corrected himself and retracted the statements that he has made.  She is under contract for another year; even though, this year there is a fourth judge being brought onto the show.  Just last week, Randy Jackson was on television shows saying not to believe everything people hear about this year’s American Idol.  

           What does this mean?  Is there a mystery here behind the scenes?  Does Paula want out of her contract?  Did this suicide impress on anyone the importance of the impact of the hurtful words that are said to contestants who don’t measure up to the judges expectations?  Is the show going to be legally liable in the young woman’s death?   I wonder, do you anyone feels guilty who was involved in that episode involving young Paula Goodspeed?

          Does this controversy mean that Paula will no longer associate herself with the show after her contract expires?  Time will tell.  I suspect that we have not heard the last of this drama.  What do you think is going on?  Is it alright to do “anything” to get ratings…or, should networks, producers, and the like be held responsible when things go wrong?

* See related story here: https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/american-idol-judge-idolized/

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