Saturday, November 29, 2008

World Aids Day

Monday, December 1st, is World Aids Day. I am very happy to say that the coffee mega giant is also now involved. They have partnered with Bono and Product Red to donate to the Aids in Africa fund.

Even though it is only 5 cents per holiday beverage, as the commercial says, there are a whole bunch of coffee shops and lots of people buying coffee! It all adds up.

I have always been very proactive in the Aids movement, you know this if you have read my blog in the past, and I own several of the tee shirts that are made there that also are Product Red and benefit the effort. We can wear them at work to continue to promote the movement.

Even if you are not a fan of the coffee mega giant I would urge you to go and buy one of the three holiday beverages that are supporting this effort.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

.....But the Cupboard was Bare.

"Some 691,000 children went hungry in America sometime in 2007, while close to one in eight Americans struggled to feed themselves adequately even before this year’s sharp economic downturn, the Agriculture Department reported Monday."

According to this article, at MSNBC, that is nearly 700,000 children. With the economic climate the way it is, more people losing their can it get any better?

  • The families with the highest rates of food insecurity were headed by single mothers (30.2 percent), black households (22.2 percent), Hispanic households (20.1 percent), and households with incomes below the official poverty line (37.7 percent).
  • States with families reporting the highest prevalence of food insecurity during 2005-2007 were Mississippi (17.4 percent), New Mexico (15 percent), Texas (14.8 percent) and Arkansas (14.4 percent).
  • The highest growth in food insecurity over the last 9 years came in Alaska and Iowa, both of which saw a 3.7 percent increase in families who struggled to eat adequately or had substantial food disruptions.
Having been on food stamps at one time in my life I know that there are those that take advantage, but there are those who are really in need. There may be those families that might make just $50 dollars over the limit that is considered eligible. That is sad. It is hard to take that extra few bucks and even be able to buy food when you have to think about a place to live and utilities too!

With the cost of food continuing to go up I can not even imagine how some people will manage this craziness. I spend less money and find it far less stressful when John is out of the country traveling because I have far less food to buy. When Max goes in to the Navy it will be even less costly for me. I can not imagine how families with more than one child are able to do it.

When I go the store, these days, I can see the price changes from week to week. You have to really plan and pick and choose what you buy and where you shop. People can complain all they want about Wal*Mart, but aside from the "bag your own" place I shop, it is the only other place to go with cheaper prices. The two big name grocery stores are so expensive! I can not even believe that I used to shop at them! Even their "off brands" or no name store brands are still higher than where I shop now.

I know the pressure that I used to feel to feed my kid and have food in the house, I have great empathy for those trying to do the same in these tough economic times. It is bad enough to be hungry yourself, but it is even more stressful when you feel that you can not provide enough for you kids and they have to see empty cupboards or miss meals.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making Progress

I was thrilled to read this article and to learn that there are still many out there who are actively working on a cure for AIDS. It seems that there is still much more work and research to be done, but the patient has been free of the disease now for 20 months. That seems promising!

The patient was being treated for leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant. He had been living with AIDS for at least a decade. It is something that can give renewed hope to many others living with this disease. Just knowing that there are still doctors and scientists out there who are trying things to eradicate this terrible disease.

Having watched as my best friend lost his battle with it in 1995 I am always a bit sad that there are so many new drug cocktails etc. that might have been able to save his life, but came a few years too late.

I still try to support any of the AIDS organizations or other groups that support the research etc. Bono and The Gap are big supporters of the RED movement. Gap sells RED tee shirts that are made in Africa and half the proceeds from every shirt go to AIDS for Africa. Bono also recently spoke at the coffee mega giants seminar in New Orleans and it seems that we too we will be buying in to the RED movement and coming out with some product that will benefit the AIDS movement. I am very happy about that.

There is also a bracelet that can be purchased from Broadway Cares/Actors Equity for AIDS. Mine is silver with a small ribbon and on the underside of the bracelet it says,"Until there's a cure". I wear it almost daily.

I know that there are many other things going on in the world, but this is an issue that is very close to my heart and I would ask that we all try to remember and maybe make a small donation or buy a tee shirt or a small red ribbon.

Yes, many are now living long and productive lives with the disease, but wouldn't it be nice if it could be just a memory, a thing of the past.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Well, I finally got to see "Religulous". A few friends from work and I drove to a nearby city and had dinner as well. All I can say was the smartest and funniest film that I have seen in some time! I enjoyed it much more than any of Michael Moore's films. There were so many laugh out loud moments. There really was some good interviews and much food for thought. We have talked about seeing it a second time, so that we might go with others who have expressed an interest in seeing it. Because there is so much material, and you are laughing often, that I think I would like to see it a second time so that I can digest more of the material. I know there were things that I missed.

If you were even toying with the idea of going, or just have questions about tenets of any religion, I would suggest that you go and see this film. It is also not very long and I thought that it was over way too quickly!! The go out and have dinner, some wine and a discussion.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Night Hi-Jinx & Ringing the Bell

I have not ever seen an election year that was this unusual. Living in a college town you tend to see many things, but I even remarked to many people, who also noticed this same situation, that I had never seen things like this. All day long it was like a Mardi Gras. People were out and about at all hours and there was an air of celebration and excitement.

We were terribly busy at the coffee mega giant, due to the free coffee for voters, and so I had to wait and vote after work around four. I did not mind because this was the first presidential election for Max to vote and I wanted us to be able to go together. A very exciting moment in both of our lives! We were so busy at work, great to see SO many people who had voted. Thousands came through! For eight solid hours all I did all day was make drinks! I had nearly lost my voice from calling out drinks. Here it is Thursday and I am still hoarse.

Max and I walked to our polling place and did not have more than a five minute wait. He was excited to get his "I Voted" sticker and promptly placed it on the exterior of his mylar Kool-Aid wallet as a memento/reminder.

Then it was time to go to the Election Night party with my friends. We were all so excited to begin watching the returns around eight we finally turned on the TV. Good food and wine were, as always, the accompaniment. Some delicious Fontinella cheese and red zinfandel as well as various Cajun crab dips, spreads, breads and veggies.

As I drove through town, on my way to the party, there were people everywhere! Walking the streets, hanging out on the corner with a Obama cut-out with a tee shirt on it that said,"Vote Obama". I had never seen so many people out on a Tuesday night, let alone an election night, just hanging out. There really was an excitement in the air that you could feel!

We ate and drank and watched many differing channels trying to find one that had the local issues as well as national. Cheering loudly as Ohio was called for Obama!

My friend lives in a very old church. It is in a very, very small little community and sits on a large plot of land complete with parking lot. The owner had put in fake walls and a drop ceiling to make it have rooms. My friend actually has one of the original pews in his office which is in the front area of the old church. Well, the bell in the tower still rings and he will usually ring it on New Years Eve. Well, as soon as McCain gave his concession speech we all got goose bumps and then after Obama was announced and accepted we rang the bell. All of us gathered in the hallway as he pulled the rope and we listened to the bell toll out a new beginning and hopefully better times ahead for our country as well as our place in the world.