Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today is Rare Disease Day

rare disease day

The last day of February has been designated as World “Rare Disease Day” to call attention to the public health issues associated with rare diseases. The Project Charity — The Children’s Rare Disease Network has compiled some facts and figures about rare disease that we thought would be of interest. If you have other facts and figures not on our list, please send them to us. We are particularly interested in international facts on rare disease that do not seem to be available.

Please visit the Official Gallery page to see victims of rare disease.


* Approximately 7,000 rare disorders are known to exist and new ones are discovered each year

* Rare disease affects between 25-30 million people in the United States and approximately 30 million people in the European Union

* One in 10 Americans is living with a rare disease

* Children represent the vast majority of those afflicted with rare disease

* Approximately 80 percent of rare diseases are not acquired; they are inherited. They are caused by mutations or defects in genes

* In the United States, rare diseases are defined as those affecting 200,000 or fewer people or about 1 per 1,000

* Rare disease is often referred to as an “orphan” disease

* Orphan or rare diseases are often not pursued by the pharmaceutical industry because they provide little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent them and because there are not enough patients to make research cost-effective

* Research on rare diseases can often lead to advances in our understanding of common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other major health problems

* As a whole, rare diseases represent a large medical challenge. Combine this with the lack of financial incentives to treat or cure rare diseases, and a serious public health issue is created

* The US Orphan Drug Act (ODA) of 1983 has been one of the most successful pieces of health related legislation ever enacted in the United States. Through a system of tax credits, government grants, assistance for clinical research, as well as seven years marketing exclusivity, the Orphan Drug Act has resulted in hundreds of approved orphan medicines, treating over millions of patients worldwide. Similar legislation has been adopted in Japan, Australia and the UK

* The US Orphan Drug Act has also been a detriment to healthcare. Many drug companies have accepted the challenge to be primary providers of rare disease drugs. Because they have no regulation and control over cost of medicines or competition (they are allowed to sell it without competition for 7 years), they can charge astronomical amounts of money for yearly treatments resulting in an extremly profitable business. Insurance companies often do not help pay for many of these drugs for victims of rare diseases who are dependant on the drugs for survival.

So, as we can see, rare disease are not that rare and need just as much support as well known diseases, like Breast Cancer.

Take a small moment to to pray for victims and research advancements. Make a small donation, put names on a prayer roll or write words of encouragement to a family who is struggling. Here are a couple of children that could use some love:

Hannah was born in July 2008. After birth, she had an enlarged spleen, very low platelets, and an enlarged liver. After many months of tests to try and find a diagnosis, a skin biopsy has diagnosed her with Gaucher's Disease, Type 2 or 3, a very rare genetic metabolic lysosomal storage disease with neurological and physical involvement and a life-expectancy of 2 (type 2) 15 to 20 (type 3) years or so. Hannah's mother is trying to spread the word about Gaucher's Type 2/3 Disease and any support you can give would be much appreciated. Visit her blog to find out about her story.

baby mia heart transplant Critical Aortic Stenosis

Baby Mia was diagnosed while still in her mother's womb with a rare heart disease called Critical Aortic Stenosis. She has had multiple surgeries, a heart transplant and many other complications. The McDonalds have insurance but after heart operations, a heart transplant, plus all the doctor visits and a lifetime of medicine... it would financially destroy the best of us, so any donations would be so helpful (they also accept giveaway donations to help raise funds). Visit HERE to find out about this special family and how you can help.

baby cora paige playground fundraiser

Cora Paige was a beautiful 10 month old girl that shortly passed away after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer for only 3 weeks. Her parents are working to build a playground in her honor, to leave a legacy that will spread joy to other children. 100% of the proceeds of the sale of my Sugar Garland Necklace (shown below) will go directly to that fund, many other Etsy sellers have similar donations, search "Cora Paige" to find them. Read about it HERE. So far, $15,667.93 has been raised for this fund.

colorful vintage retro inspired kitsch multi layered  flower necklace

I know that there are SOOO many others out there, but these are the few I know of. Please take a moment to embrace your loved ones right now and enjoy them today in appreciation for the blessings we have in our families.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Verbal and Emotional Abuse. Recognizing Yourself as a Victim and How to Make it Stop.

Fruit of His Labor by dzaet

"Verbal abuse is damaging to the spirit. It takes the joy and vitality out of life. It distorts reality." -Paula Evans

This is a topic that has touched me recently and so I have been doing research on the effects of verbal and emotional abuse and more importantly, how to recognize yourself as a victim. It is often more damaging in the longrun than physical abuse on the victim. Because I am not a professional, I have put together information from experts in this field along with various resources for help.

"Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are real."

"Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need." -

When lack of respect/support, abandonment, indirect/direct insults, "joking", ignoring/contributing to financial problems (financial abuse), economic dominance/financial control, insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards,), sabotaging your work, stealing from you/taking your money, blame, excuses, control, intimidation, humilation, belittling... are prevalent on a weekly and consitant basis, domestic abuse may be the basis of your relationship. (financial abuse info at bottom of post).

When your spirit starts to wither away, you are losing your self-esteem/confidence, you start to feel numb or helpless, you avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner, feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner and you begin to question your worth or sanity, and especially when it starts to effect other aspects of your life (home, housework, family, business, personality ie. outgoing woman becomes withdrawn...) you need help to figure out the underlying cause. For common questions answered by expert, Patricia Evans (author of the book and the lists below), please visit HERE. For another excellent resource with symptoms, dangers and how to get help, please visit The Domestic Abuse Helpine.

Often times, women will tell themselves "if only he would just hit me, or do something REALLY bad, then I will leave!", however, without setting your boundaries and knowing your breaking point, being conditioned and brainwashed (and perhaps told) that you are "going crazy" or just "too sensitive" are warning signs. Often times, the abuser is seen by those on the outside as a "good guy".

The book "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum, is an excellent book that touches on many many topics and will help you decipher if you truly are worrying too much in a happy and healthy relationship, if your relationship is salvagable or if it is dangerous to your body and/or spirit and you need to leave.

Below, I have compiled a list of surveys and text from the book The Verbally Abusive Relationship; How to Recognize It and How to Respond by Patricia Evans, a valued expert in this field. I strongly recommend this book if you feel you could be in an abusive relationship, or if you know someone who is. If you are a victim, this book will also give you insight on dealing with the abuser and recovery. Of the 40 women researched and interviewed for this book, only 4 of them stayed with the abuser and the average lifespan of the marriage was 16 years.

List "of the Primary Consequences of verbal abuse, which the partner/victim may experience":

1. A distrust of her spontaneity.
2. A loss of enthusiasm.
3. A prepared, on-gaurd state.
4. An uncertainty about how she is coming across.
5. A concern that something is wrong with her.
6. An inclination to soul searching and reviewing incidents with the hope of determining what went wrong.
7. A loss of self-confidence.
8. A growing self doubt.
9. An internalized "critical voice".
10. A concern that she isn't happier than she ought to be.
11. An anxiety of fear of being crazy.
12. A sense that time is passing and she's missing something.
13. A desire not to be the way she is- "too sensitive," etc...
14. A hesitancy to accept her perceptions.
15. A reluctance to come to conclusions.
16. A desire to escape or run away.
17. A belief that what she does best may be what she does worst.
18. A tendency to live in the future- "Everything will be great/better when/after..."
19. A distrust of future and other relationships.
20. A pit in her stomach.

List of typical characteristeics of an emotional and verbal abuser, in which they may have few, many or all and can be difficult to recognize, in no particular order:

 1. irritable
2. likely to blame his mate for his outbursts
3. unpredicatble (you never know what will anger him)
4. angry
5. intense
6. unaccepting of his mate's feelings and views
7. unexpressive of warmth and empathy
8. controlling
9. silent and uncommunicative in private or, frequently demanding and argumentative
10. a "nice guy" to others
11. competitive towards his partner
12. sullen
13. jealous
14. quick with come-backs or put downs
15. critical
16. manipulative
17. explosive
18. hostile
19. unexpressive of his feelings
Here is a survey with examples from the book, where it reccomends if more than 2 things apply to you, you are in an abusive relationship:

1. He seems irritated or angry with you several times a week or more although you hadn't meant to upset him. You are suprised each time. (He say's he's not mad when you ask him what he's mad about, or he tells you in some way that it's your fault).
2. When you feel hurt and try to discuss your upset feelings with him, you don't feel as if the issue has been fully resolved, so you don't feel happy and relieved, nor do you have a feeling you've "kissed and made up".
3. You frequently feel perplexed and frustrated by his responses because you can't get him to understand your intentions.
4. You are upset not so much about concrete issues- how much you spend time together, where to go on vacation...- as about the communication in the relationship: what he thinks you said and what you heard him say.
5. You sometimes wonder "what is wrong with me? I shouldn't feel so bad".
6. He rarely seems to want to share his thoughts or plans with you.
7. He seems to take the opposite view from you on almost everything you mention, and his view is not qualified by "I think" or "I believe" or "I feel"- as if his view is right and yours is wrong.
8. You sometimes wonder if he percieves you as a seperate person.
9. You can't recall saying to him "cut it out!" or "stop it!"
10. He is either angry or has "no idea of what you're talking about" when you try to discuss an issue with him.
11. He doesn't "remember" arguments that have effected you.
12. You may be so absorbed in raising a family or developing a career that you ignore the problems in the realationship thinking nothing is perfect anyway.
13. You do not have the self-esteem or confidence which demands that you always be treated with courtesy and dignity.
14. You believe your mate is rational in his behaviour toward you, so that he has "some reason" for what he says.
15. The abuser's behavior is alternately abusive and non-abusive, so that the partner is never sure whether or not the relationship is working. You are quick to forget unhappy feelings during the "up" times.
16. You may believe that if your mate provides for you, he really loves you.
17. You may believe there is something wrong with you.
18. You may never have considered the question "am I being verbally abused?"

This list is for teaching recognition of how the abuse makes you feel "crazy" is in the following checklist:

1. Feeling temporarily thrown off balance and momentarily to right oneself.
2. Feeling lost, not knowing where to turn, searching aimlessly.
3. Being caught off gaurd.
4. Feeling disconnected, confused, disoriented.
5. Feeling off-balance, as if the rug has been pulled from under one's feet.
6. Receiving double messages but somehow unable or fearful to ask for clarification (or asking for clarification but not getting it.)
7. Feeling generally "bugged" by the simple presence of the person.
8. To discover that one was mistaken in one's evaluation of where one stood or what it was all about.
9. Feeling totally unprepared for a broken promise or unfulfilled expectation.
10. Experiencing the shattering of an important "dream".
11. Where one assums goodwill, ill will seems to prevail.
12. One feels pushed around, not in control of one's own direction.
13. Unable to get off redundantly spinning circles of thoughts.
14. What seemed clear becomes muddled.
15. An uneasy, weird feeling of emptiness.
16. A strong wish to get away, yet feeling unable to move, as if frozen.
17. One is befuddled, not able to attack the problem.
18. Feeling vaguely suspicious that something is wrong.
19. Feeling that one's subjective world has become chaotic.

"Verbal Abuse Disguised as Jokes" pg 85

"Abuse disguised as a joke is a category of verbal abuse in which all of the women I interviewed experianced. It takes a quick mind to come up with ways of disparaging the partner either crassly or with wit and style. This kind of abuse is not done in jest. It cuts to the quick, touches the most sensitive areas, and the leaves the abuser with a look of triumph. The abuse never seems funny because it isn't funny.

Disparaging comments disquised as jokes often refer to the feminine nature of the partner, to her intellectual abilities, or to her competency.

If the partner says, "I didn't think that was funny", the abuser may, for example, discount her experiance by angrily saying, "You just don't have a sense of humor!" or "You just can't take a joke!" or he may accuse her antogonism by angrily saying, "You're just trying to start an argument." "You're too sensitive"" You don't know what you're talking about". "You're making a big deal out of nothing" "You twist everything around" "You read too much into my words" "You're looking for a fight". These statements themselves are abusive. (the last five examples I included are taken from the 'Discounting' as a form of abuse and is called "one of the most destructive forms of verbal abuse" by the author. Discounting is when the abuser 'discounts', denies and distorts the partner's perception of abuse and is therefore, one of the most insidious forms of verbal abuse.

It may be obvious to the reader that the abuser's responses do not demonstrate good will or an interest in the relationship. Unfortunately, the partner is usually not that clear about it. Since the abuser responds with anger, the partner may believe she did "take it wrong" and that is what he is angry about, or (as some partners of abusers do) she may wonder if there is something wrong with her sense of humor. The brainwashing effects of verbal abuse cannot be overemphasized... An abuser may also startle or frighten his partner, after which he will laugh as if it were a joke."

The 14 categories of verbal abuse touched on in this book are:

1. Withholding
2. Countering (arguing against her thoughts/veiws/perception and experiance, making you second guess yourself)
3. Discounting
4. Verbal Abuse Disgused as Jokes
5. Blocking and Diverting the real problem (changing the subject)
6. Accusing and Blaming
7. Judging and Criticizing
8. Trivializing (making something seem insignificant)
9. Undermining (witholding support, erodes confidence and determination, sabotaging)
10. Threatening
11. Name Calling
12. Forgetting (involved denial and covert manipulation, forgetting promises...)
13. Ordering and Demanding (You're not wearing that, Get me the remote now, You can't leave...)
14. Denial (I never said that, you're making that up, you're crazy, you get upset about nothing, I don't know where you got that)

An In Depth Look at Financial Abuse
What Is Financial or Economic Abuse?

"Financial and economic abuse is a form of domestic violence in which the abuser uses money as a means of controlling his or her partner. Financial and economic abuse is only one tactic that an abuser may use to gain power and dominance over his or her victim.

An abuser may deny his or her partner money. One way this is accomplished may be by forbidding a partner to be employed. This makes the non-working partner dependent upon the abuser for money. There are some economically abused women who are forced to beg their partner for everyday necessities such as diapers (for children), food and/or health care. If an abuser does permit his or her partner to work, he or she may be required to hand over their paycheck each week to their abuser.

Many times an abuser will give money to his or her partner. However, it may not be sufficient enough to meet the needs of the individual. Any monies that are given to a partner by an abuser will generally have to be accounted for and proof will have to be shown of all purchases.

Many financial and economic abusers will put all of the family bills in their victim’s name. At the same time, the abuser will not allow his or her partner to see bank records, bills or credit records. Many financial and economic abusers are not good with money and he or she will end up destroying the credit of their partners.

Some economic abusers who require their partners to do illegal acts for money. There are also abusers who will use any money brought in for children through welfare, child support checks, or monetary gifts on themselves.

Some financial abusers who refuse to work, putting the burden upon their partners to keep the household running. However, money that is brought in by the working victim is mishandled and squandered by the abuser. Then, the victim is berated if bills fall behind."


If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or calling 1-800-779-7233 (SAFE).  Here is another resource on how to help someone who is being abused. Also, it can be hard to understand WHY they choose to stay, the article "Why don't they just leave? at the bottom of the above link can provide some insight.  Remember, there is ALWAYS a way out with qualified people and often times, friends and family are willing to help. Just think, if the abuse hasn't changed now no matter how hard you try to better or explain yourself, will it go on like this forever? No one deserves to be treated and devalued in these demeaning ways. Much love and peace to anyone who is dealing with this extremely serious, devastating and often misunderstood and downplayed issue.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretty Little Things

vintage jeweled bottle

I have been loving little bottles for a while. I love to gather little vases together and seperate up flowers and have them all in a row, sort of like this from Snippet and Ink (daily wedding idea boards).

I went to the antique mall again (with kids in tow, poor guys) and I came home with bunches of buttons, brooches, lace and bottles (all vintage!) I decided to make my own collection of jeweled bottles. I think they are lovely and so trinkety. Perfect for ladies that love baubles and jewelry, but maybe can't wear it because of metal allergies, kids that pull on jewelry or they just don't wear jewels due to hard jobs or personal preference.

vintage bottle shabby chic perfume bottle jose cuervo raven

I think these little bottles would look perfect on a windowsill or vanity holding some German glass glitter, little buttons, tiny seashells, love notes...

Only two jeweled bottles are in my shop now, but more are on there way! These jeweled, beaded hoop earrings of mine capture the beauty of these bottles as well.

rhinestone jeweled beaded ethnic hoop earrings

Also, I know these designs are Christmas-y, but they don't have to be! The placing and style of the frames can be used in lots of different styles of homes, with any variety of styles and color, perfect year round!

bright christmas frame wall

And these oh-so-cute felt trees don't have to be for Christmas. Think of what you can do with an Easter tree. Or, even make it out of a rich chocolate damask pattern, matching grosgrain ribbon and turquoise buttons for a chic effect, OR ooo, how about white and creame fabrics and lace, with vintage rhinestone brooches and a little bit of feather boa. The style is limitless!

Idea of frames/trees courtesy of Danielle Thompson, Etsy shopTiny Bazaar /Kitschy Digitals and tutorial found HERE!! Check out her gorgeous blog, full of colorful whimsy, Blythe and amazingly sweet graphics! I am absolutely loving her chocolate mustache and mushroom treats post HERE!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I am doing an Easter Egg swap and so I was browsing Google Images getting some inspiration, when I happened upon Ulla Benulla's blog. THIS and THIS is from last year, but the eggs are gorgeous! I will be visiting her blog more often! I know my eggs will not be as nearly as exceptional with the theatre aspect, but the eye candy is just too much not to post!

hankercheif hanging vase craft tutorial shabby chic

I also saw on her blog these adorable hankercheif vases by the amazing lalalaurie of Etsy (go check out her shop)! Tutorial on making the vases are on the Once Wed blog HERE! She also has a super cute Fabric Boutineer tutorial HERE! They would look great on your man and little boys for Easter. The Once Wed blog is gorgeous, even if you are not planning a wedding, still plenty of lovliness and ideas. I especially love the succulent setting idea (ps I am going to do it!) and the pretty pink cakes photos!

Here is a treasury my Cathedral earrings were featured in this week, thanks for putting together a lovely list, DCH Studios!!

Now, after all of the prettiness, we need a dose of hilarity, as usual. So, a while back, I found this post on My Blahg of an old, vintage children's book, "I'm Glad I'm a Boy, I'm Glad I'm a Girl" by Whitney Darrow Jr. in 1970. It is cute, and sweet, and OH SO EXTREMELY SEXIST (but the point of the author, as he was a satirist, I don't think a lot of people got that)!!! I mean, at the beginning, I'm like, "oh, that's funny" but by the end I'm thinking "Holy Carp!?". It sells for about $300 used. Enjoy, or not, your choice (click on the images to zoom b/c the captions are the best). (Now, I am going to be doing my housewife duty to make this scrumptious Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese dish that I saw on the Racheal Ray today, my hubby will be so impressed!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Orange you Glad...

Look at this pretty picture of creamy vintage supplies... aren't you just itching to see what will become of them? Stay tuned for a new twist to my shop with these. (ps, don't forget to sign up for the giveaway in the post below this one!)

My little rocking horse brooch form my Little Lovables shop was featured in a treasury this week, thanks to gloi locks and body! I love orange, one of my favorite colors and I love how she put all of these pieces together.

I have been working on a custom order that requires some painting. It is just one, small tiny egg shaped bead, needing just a bit of paint, speckles and varnish. Is that so hard? I have had to paint/repaint/strip/paint/repaint/strip... several times now, b.c the 3 yr old keeps climbing up the counters and sabotaging my projects.

This is a lovely 1 foot or so spray of paint on the carpet in the middle of our living room. No amount of scrubbing could get that up. So, what did I do? I got on my hands and knees (for about 3 hours) and painstakingly CUT the paint out of the carpet. I made my rounds around the room trimming out other paint, magic marker, play dough, food coloring, and other splotches of child's play that has rendered it's niche as part of our family decor. This method works well, but until someone creates a carpet mower, you will have a splitting headache, aching knees and back, carpal tunnel, tunnel vision and very very dull shears.

Well, I can tell you that some spots in our carpet are a little bald now, but at least the color matches for once.

living room space modern color red green blue decorate
click on photo for zoom view

I am really in the nesting mood right now. I just want to throw my taupe/beige/sage floral couches and sage curtains over the banister and start fresh (reupholstering would be wiser, but I don't sew)... I would love some sofas with thick, hardy, dark colored (cordorouy) fabric that can withstand Spagetti-o hands, playdough smudges, my dog's long claws. I would love to accent with red, aqua, yellow, white and black next time around, put up a lot of art prints from some of my favorite artists... Perhaps something like these (from HERE), and Country Living.

Speaking of my dog... dear old David gave Jackie a not so beautiful shave down. But, when we start to sneeze, the hair has to come off... along with her nipple! Yes, that's right, he sheared into one of the poor dear's little nips. It bled a little, looked really nasty, but overall, she has been fine. David gave her the famous "lion tail"- fortunately for her, he only did one puff this time. Here she is, in her bald glory, our little noodle chup chup...

dog black lab haircut

By the way, here are some phrases that make my skin crawl that seem to be repeated over and over again lately online... "skin crawl" (did you see that coming?), "to boot", "that said,...", "I know, right?"... yes, please strike these from your vocab, please!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Giveaway Today and Lovely Displays!

navy blue crochet girl toddler child flower beanie

I am starting off the week with a giveaway. Today's cute little gift is from my Aunt Cindy. She is a professional seamstress, and she has even worked on ballets, theatre productions and movie sets (the most recent being High School Musical 3) and she is an expert at period costuming. She has a couple of Etsy shops, Twigs Boutique, hip and trendy clothes for kids and Twirls Boutique, tutus, and other girly things.

This navy blue crochet beanie has a detachable cream flower that can also be worn alone as a clip. It can fit a toddler, on up (it even fits me, though I have a little head!) To be considered for the giveaway, please check out one of her shops and link to your favorite item and why.

If you purchase an item you will get 2 chances to win! Just link back with the item after you purchased it for the extra entry.

Also, I have found some cute Valentine printable freebies for you to enjoy (don't forget to click of the images for a zoom view).

The first is HERE at the wonderful Fanciful Twist (wonderful shop and blog. And the second is here... I for the LIFE of me can't remember where I got this, so PLEASE if you remember or it is you, let me know so I can give a credit!

valentine print pdf free bookcard gift

And wow, I found this uncredited image the other day of a little boutique, and I just had to post it, b/c it is gorgeous and inspiring! As a stylist, I always wanted to own a salon, that offered smoothies, salads and other goodies with a computer bar and pool table and of course, an activity room for weekly classes like yoga, karate, art, and other things, similar to the vision that Noelle Spa has created. However, knowing how difficult and stressful (though rewarding) running a high end salon would be, I would love to settle for a sweet boutique... one day. Here are some inspirational spaces.

And look at this space! Brown Eyes Blue is a salon/upscale boutique, read about it HERE.

Cinderella Window Display from HERE ps, go search Flickr for "Cinderella Display" and you will find some gorgeous images! This display reminds me of my college days. Our laundry room had a huge box for donation/junk clothing, and we always thrifted from there since they never collected the clothes. We once found a horrid vintage wedding dress and we hung it on our living room wall, to threaten the boys that came by I suppose to not mess with us!
cinderella window display

Girly Chic Boutique in Indianapolis image HERE

Former boutique from Posie Gets Cozy

One last thing. I love to share treats, but my recipes/photos of such are not so nice. The treats we made this week were S'mores, by roasting the marshmallows on fork tines over a hot oven burner, not so fancy (but oh so yummy). So I am going to share these yummy Chocolate Orange desserts from April's Flowers, recipe found HERE!
chocolate orange peels treat dessert

Friday, February 6, 2009

Roughing It

wood dolls paint your own gemmielou
Wood doll family -check her shop for paint your own kits by gemmie lou

This week has been a little bit rough. My grandmother passed away, which is fine. She lived a very long life and has been suffering a bit from dementia and a weakened body. I have not seen her since my father's funeral about 6 years ago, boy she was a hoot. My great uncle was kidding around, trying to make us smile at the funeral and told everyone to show some leg for the family photo, and she lifted up her skirt and flashed some skin! She has been a widow for almost 30 years. Her husband, son (my dad) died of the same disease and her daughter also has the same disease. Leukemia. Her death wasn't so rough on me emotionally though. We have all been prepared for it and are happy that her body will be renewed and her spirit reunited with her ancestors.

My grandma, Myrtice with Jimmy Carter when she worked at the Moultrie, Georgia newspaper.

This week has been rough because of decisions. Lots and lots of decisions to make this week. Deciding to take a moral stand, deciding to sever relationships or play the bad guy, when you are really trying to be the good guy...

animal abuse bunny rabbit noses caged
Bunny Noses print by planBshop

adopt animal dog pet puppy mill
Don't Shop, Adopt pin my The Dog Coat Lady

One tiny example, I was shipping a package and I see a man stuffing a scared looking pit bull in the trunk of his car (pits get stolen A LOT around here). After much deliberation, I called the police. I knew the guy saw me, and I tried to be discreet, but don't know how successful I was. Puppy mills (read about the bust this week HERE), crooked cops (6th paragraph down) that have effected innocent people, and other stories of abuse, poverty, neglect, war, death, babies and financial crisis have gotten me down a bit.

vintage bible passage bookmark collage
Bible passage Bookmark by My Treasured Creations

A lot of challenges we face have little to do with monetary/concrete/physical things, but the kind of mental battles you know you have to decide on that may hurt or help a person, and hoping it will help them but knowing it will hurt them too.

love one another lds mormon world
Love One Another print by persimmon and pink

One thing I heard the other day, was a tv pastor type (which I don't usually listen to by the way!) was talking about how we get down on ourselves when we see others suffering. He said, "no matter how sick we make ourselves, it won't help them. No matter how poor we make ourselves, we won't help them". He went on to talk about how we shouldn't feel guilty about what we have (well, unless you are rich from dishonesty of course!) because others are suffering, but we can still find ways to help others.

love fairy angel art
Fairy Love Angel by bonne singer

I think, that weeks like this, I reflect back and am so grateful for what blessings I do have. Also, it seems that I find ways in which I could improve. Perhaps I haven't been turning to the Lord for help and seeking for guidance in the scriptures as much as I should have. I haven't been nurturing my testimony like I need to. But, soon it will be another week. Things will soon pass, hopefully for the better. Next week, may or may not be just as rough, but I will try to remember the things I can do to remain uplifted no matter the challenges.

Here is a quick little feature, since today's theme seems to be a bit on the religious side. I browsed through countless pages of religious art on Etsy, and got sad because so much of it was anti and kitch, so I went with these cute boards and baby Jesus pictures instead! TikaKids makes cute activity magnetic boards and crayon totes that are perfect for keeping your little ones entertained at church/doctor offices/car rides. She offers both religious and not religious themed puzzle magnets for her boards.

baby jesus children nativiy painting
For Unto Us a Child is Born by KotterKreations

baby jesus aceo pencil sketch
Baby Jesus ACEO by Katerina Art
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