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Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Il/ Payroll Tax Cut/ Turn on the Tap/ Oxfam/ Charities for the Holidays/

J Darroll Hall/Connie J Jasperson/ Alison DeLuca/ Elaine Gannon/ S. M. Swartz/ Ceri Clark/ Rachel Tsoumbakos/ Marilyn Rucker Norrod/Danielle Raver/ Kathleen Barker/ Gary Hoover/ Johanna Garth/ Dean Frank Lappi/ Patty Sarro/ Fantasy Island Book Publishing/ Lisa Zhang Wharton/ Joan Hazel/Nicole Antonia Carson/ Jake Henzel/Shaun Allan/ Lili Tufel/Krista K Hatch/ Brianna Lee Mckenzie/ Kim Jong Il/ Payroll Tax Cut/ Turn on the Tap/ Oxfam/ Charities for the Holidays/
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by alisondeluca in Uncategorized

Kim Jong Il led his nation through a devastating famine while frustrating the U.S. and other global powers with an on-again, off-again approach to talks on giving up nuclear arms in return for energy and other assistance. Kim was one of the last remnants of a Cold War-era that ended years earlier in most other countries.

His death was announced Monday by state television two days after he died. North Korea’s news agency reported that he had died at 8:30 a.m. Saturday after having a heart attack on a train, adding that he had been treated for cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases for a long time. He was 69.

House Republicans will vote down a two-month payroll tax bill approved by the Senate this weekend, saying Monday that short-term solutions create instability for the economy and push the problem of a negotiating a longer deal into next year.

“Americans are tired of short-term fixes. Democrats and Republicans agreed that a payroll tax cut needs to be extended for a full year. The House passed a bill to do just that,” said House Speaker John Boehner.

Boehner said the House will vote to disagree with the Senate-backed bill approved Saturday and take their own legislation to conference with Senate negotiators through the regular order of business.

But Senate Democrats say Saturday’s vote was expected to be the last one of the year, and they have no plans to return to Washington before the next session in January. They add that they considered the Senate bill a bipartisan compromise. It passed 89-10.

For 884 million people, having no access to a safe water supply is a daily reality. Every year 1.4 million children die from diarrhoeal diseases – diseases transmitted through contaminated water and poor hygiene practices. Every day more than 3,800 children die from a diarrhoeal disease; that means one child dies every 20 seconds.

Unsafe water sources that people are forced to use every day are killing thousands.

Samaritan’s Purse Canada is attacking this travesty instals BioSand Water Filters in homes throughout the developing world. These simple household water filters effectively remove up to 99 per cent of all water-borne pathogens, along with particulate matter. The result is water that is safe to drink, cook and clean with.

Samaritan’s Purse Canada has provided more than 142,000 families around with the world with safe water through the BioSand Water Filter and another 2,000 filters are installed each month, along with essential health and hygiene training. It is our goal to have installed filters in 155,000 homes, schools, and hospitals by December of 2011 giving safe water to over one million people.

How You Can Help
Canadians can Turn on the Tap to clean water for a family at an average worldwide cost of only $100, providing a family with the filter, vital health and hygiene education and filter maintenance. Donate now to Turn on the Tap

Oxfam’s programs address the structural causes of poverty and related injustice and work primarily through local accountable organizations, seeking to enhance their effectiveness. We aim to help people directly where local capacity is insufficient or inappropriate for Oxfam’s purposes, and to assist in the development of structures which directly benefit people facing the realities of poverty and injustice.

Oxfam believes that poverty and powerlessness are avoidable and can be eliminated by human action and political will. The right to a sustainable livelihood, and the right and capacity to participate in societies and make positive changes to people’s lives are basic human needs and rights which can be met. Oxfam believes that peace and substantial arms reduction are essential conditions for development and that inequalities can be significantly reduced both between rich and poor nations and within nations.

FIBP has two collections out to support the charities listed above. The first is The Story Tellers’ Anthology, which donates all proceeds to Turn on the Tap. Each collection only costs 99 cents, and the anthology includes loads of stories, in assorted genres.

Christmas O’Clock is an anthology of two book and two stories, both geared for kids at Christmastime. All proceeds of Christmas O’Clock go to Oxfam to help children and families in an international effort. This collection also costs 99 cents.

You can read more about these two charity offerings and discover other great books here:


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Tags: Kim Jong Il/ Payroll Tax Cut/ Turn on the Tap/ Oxfam/ Charities for the Holidays/

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Johanna Garth/Gretchen Rubin/Losing Beauty/The Happiness Project/Fantasy island Book Publishing

Johanna Garth/Gretchen Rubin/Losing Beauty/The Happiness Project/Fantasy island Book Publishing

It was the morning of the big Girl Scout meeting and I was a little worried my smile and the world smiles with you approach might fall short. I decided to call in the big guns, or more precisely the 'pretend I'm on Prozac' approach where (as I imagine it) problems, big and small, are no problem at all.
The girls arrived and crowded around my kitchen table to prepare their shopping lists. When I told them they'd be doing their shopping by themselves they had lots of questions:

"Can we stop and get the free cookie?"

"Should we buy organic ingredients?"

"Do we each get our own shopping cart?"

My answer in Prozac-inspired style: "Good questions! I think you should come to your own consensus." A consensus was quickly reached about the free cookie (no surprises there) but there was a little more discussion about the second two issues.

At the grocery store, my fellow sister leader and I had the pleasure of watching the girls trail up and down the aisles from the front of the store. It was surprisingly amusing to watch them search for taco seasoning in the cookie aisle. After 45 minutes they had collected their ten ingredients, calculated the cost (discovering in the process that organic costs more) and we checked out and headed home.

The girls went to work. Milk was spilled. Eggs were cracked, sometimes in the bowl and sometimes on the counter. My kitchen floor developed a coating of cocoa powder and flour that combined with the few chunks of hamburger meat that had flipped out of the pan.

"Ewwww," said the girls. "That's disgusting."

"Yes," I agreed, still on my pretend Prozac. "Someone should probably clean it up before you step in it. It'll be really gross if it gets on your socks."

They stared at me blankly for a moment. Then one of them grabbed the cleaning spray and another grabbed the paper towels.

Onions were chopped. Tears were shed. The decision was made to wear goggles to protect from onion fumes. The jury is still out on whether it was effective.

My husband ventured in from outside where he was hanging Christmas lights just in time to witness one Girl Scout wielding my Sabatier cleaver over the head of another Girl Scout.

"Umm, honey, do you think they should use those knives?!?"

I could see the panic in his eyes but I held on tight to my pretend Prozac zen. "Girls, remember, those knives can cut through bone," I said and calmly took a sip of tea.

After several hours we all sat down, happily unmaimed, to a delicious lunch of tacos, cornbread and chocolate pudding cake. We were a little behind schedule, but hey, timing IS one of the hardest things to get right in cooking. As for me, dare I say it? I had FUN! Smile and the world smiles with you. Fake it 'til you make it. Or maybe, just pretend you're on Prozac and the zen will follow!

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