Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You'll get worms...

Warning: This post is not for queasy stomachs, clean freaks, or for anyone who thinks highly of me. It's kind of earthy.

One of my mom's favorite sayings was, "You'll get worms!"

If she was right, I got worms when I was a kid. I got them from raw hamburger, chewing my toenails, and eating boogers. I got worms when I snitched the unwashed raw potato. Hot dogs straight from the package? While frozen? You guessed it. Worms.

I was amazed when I finally saw tapeworms in a museum. I was scared. Worms. They were realllllllly loooong. I had already written off toenails and boogers by then, but I still had a thing for food in it's precooked state. Until I saw the worm tube.

I didn't get worms the time I climbed up on the counter and ate the 'candy for moms only' that was kept on the top shelf. You guessed it. I got a lot of birth control pills. And a trip to the doctor.

I also didn't get worms the time I drank bleach. I got to throw up. Or drink milk. I can't remember now. But I definitely did not get worms.

Do steel marbles cause worms? You'll have to wait that out. I know I did.

Steve's favorite food is raw cookie dough. He calls cookies 'Ruined Cookie Dough'. He has taught the girls to love raw cookie dough too.

They're all gonna get worms. I heard it from an expert.

Here is some other advice. I'm pretty sure there is nothing about worms, though.

This is Anita Renfroe
and you can see more of her at her website.

Stuff Update

It may help to read this first.

It's been a month-ish since I wrote that, and I am accountable for my words.

We got rid of a piece of furniture that I had planned to paint. Two unpainted years in the basement means that it was just stuff, and it is gone.

We got rid of a few boxes of more stuff, and some stuff that the girls used to play with. They are teenagers now, so we don't need little girl stuff. Even if it's cute.

Confession. Some of the stuff that we bagged up for the thrift store is still in the house.

17% Again

You can read a discussion about The 17% Solution
at Has a Charity Ever Turned You Off?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Portrait / Self Portrait

Yesterday, El got her ponytail cut off. After that, she went to a Bat Mitzvah. I was excited because that's two reasons to take pictures.

This is El's 2nd time to give a ponytail to Locks of Love, and Mo gave one last fall. Gives a new meaning to LOL.

Mo learned a couple of new Photoshop tricks this week, and made her self portrait.

I saw the first crocus Thursday. When Mo came home from school, she had this one in her hair.

Spring is so inspiring!


Update 9/20/08
I keep getting hits from Germany and France on this post from a search in Google Images. Since I can't read German or French and I have no idea why these photos keep getting hit, I removed the photos today.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

17% Update

I received a prompt reply from the charitable organization. They have removed me from their mailing list. It takes about six weeks for the removal process, even though the adding process was much faster than that.

I also got another piece of mail from them this week, and with it came the honor of tossing more of my donation in the trash myself.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The 17% Solution

I read something interesting this morning when I should have been getting ready for church, Let the Rich Man Go. It was the inspiration for the following, and it was also the first time I commented on someone's blog. I think it's a blog. I found it because I subscribed to some RSS feeds and there was a link there to this blog...article...thingy. I'm learning. And since the whole commenting thing is new to me, be nice.

Here is my 17% worth.

I sent an e-mail last night asking to be removed from a well known charitable organization's mailing list while offering a suggestion to them.

We started a new tradition at Christmas time a couple of years ago with El,Mo. We give them a certain amount of money to give to whomever they choose, instead of buying each other lots of stuff. We still give gifts, just cheaper ones. And fewer. El chose _____ this past year. I made an online donation. We didn't get the 'free' gift that went with the donation, because that would actually mean a lower net donation would go to the organization. And more stuff. I liked it that we could opt out of the 'free' gift as I made the donation. El was fine with that after I explained it, but she did kind of want the 'free' gift...

Since then, we have received at least two mailings requesting another donation. Here is my problem with that practice. We were not on their mailing list before the donation, and as far as I am concerned, it was probably a one time thing. When I give $__, I want that amount to go to the cause. Their latest mailing informs that in 2006, "83% of all gifts and donations to _____ goes directly to our vital programs". The pie chart shows that 83% was Program Related Expenses, while the smaller piece of the pie went to Administrative and Fundraising Expenses. That may just be a fabulous percentage; I don't know because I haven't compared them with others.

The fact remains that if 17% of my donation is for Administrative and Fundraising Expenses, that is either salaries, free gifts, mailings, advertising or other operating expenses that I haven't considered. How much of 17% is for mailings? Probably not much, but I don't want to receive the mailings. Valuable resources are being wasted.

__% of 17% of my donation is being thrown in the trash.

Here was my suggestion. Let people opt out of mailings when they make a donation, just like they can opt out of the 'free' gift. I'm calling it The 17% Solution. Maybe you know of an organization that needs to hear about it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Conversation on a Napkin and a Conversation in the Car

Last Saturday El,Mo and I went to the Girls of Grace National Simulcast at our church. El had asked me on Friday afternoon if I would go with her. Before I made time to reserve tickets, I had a phone call offering me three free tickets. I love those surprises! Mo had voiced earlier that she really wasn't into it because she didn't like the idea of watching a live event on a screen. In the age of Podcasts and YouTube, her reasoning mystified me but I decided not to pressure her. I remember having a few teenage opinions myself, and looking back, many of them were just based on feelings and perceptions exaggerated by hormone surges. Ummm, I guess not much has changed there! Anyway, after the phone call, Mo decided to go along with us.

I could say a lot of good things that came from spending a day watching a screen with lots of females (and maybe I will list some later), but I am only going to talk about one of them right now.

First, I must confess. I was passing notes with my friend instead of listening. Not all day, just at the beginning. She wrote me a note on a napkin, and I am going to keep it. I'm going to tuck it away in the Bible that I don't carry around, along with the other notes that came to me just when I needed them. Why is it so special? She wrote something really nice about Mo. I think Mo is pretty awesome (most of the time), but my friend said she is a 'fine girl', and she 'is very special to _______' and 'I treasure their friendship'. Passing notes is fun!

I hope my friend doesn't mind that I told Mo what her friend _______'s mom said about her.

Thursday night Mo and I were in the car talking about To Kill a Mockingbird. She read it in her English class, and they watched the movie. She thinks she is the only one in her class that had ever seen it, and I made some joke about being the only mom who makes their kids watch old movies. She said that a lot of the kids she knows would tell their parents to get lost, or worse, since most kids don't really respect their parents.

Whoa. I'm thinking, "Here is one of those rare and powerful parenting moments....don't blow it....." Well, not consciously, but I did realize that it was a moment.

I said, "Thanks for not being like that!"

She said, "Thanks for teaching me to not be that way and for not allowing me to be that way!"

And I said, "You could be that way right now if you chose to. Thanks for choosing not to be that way."

I really do believe that she has come to the age that she could just throw away all that we have taught her. It was risky, I guess, to point it out to her. But like many other things, I would rather have our kids come to grips with temptation while under our roof than protecting them from all the world's evils and leaving them unprepared when they are on their own.

Mo is a fine girl. I'm glad my friend was willing to write such precious words on a worthless napkin, and I pray that Mo will continue to write it on her precious life story.