#BringBackOurGirls, Day 164

#BringBackOurGirls, Day 164

Here we sit at day 164, and we did not #BringBackOurGirls.

There have been a few promising developments in the past few days though.

First- one of the Chibok girls has escaped or been released from her captivity.  Details are not available on how she has gained her freedom, but her physical and mental status is not good. There are reports that she has been tortured and is in shock. Clearly, this was to be expected from a person taken from terrorists. I feel such happiness to see that one girl is free, but of course we won’t be happy until they are all free.

We can also deduce that even with her freedom, her mental anguish is going to continue the rest of her life. She is going to need a lot of support to deal with her feelings and to process this horror that she has been through. I don’t know what kind of resources are available to her, but I hope she can be helped through this.

*I have just read that the girl is pregnant. * We know this was not of her choice.


 

The second development that makes me feel hopeful, is that the leader of the terror group has allegedly been killed. No, I am not happy that a person is dead, but it does open the opportunity to possibly get the girls freed in the chaos that certainly is occurring now.

Will it happen? I don’t know. We need to be hopeful though. There is reportedly some negotiating going on to free the girls but no results that we can see at this point.

With all the other news in the world this week, it is easy to forget the girls. There are others that have tried to keep the story alive- BBC actually did a short report on the hashtag campaign yesterday.  A few other stories have popped up over the week since there were the developments I noted.

There is still hope. We still care. Do your part- write to your representatives, donate money to the educational fund for girls if you have the means. Keep rolling the hashtag, and don’t listen to the naysayers that say it doesn’t matter.

It is something we can do until we #BringBackOurGirls.

Let’s Cure Childhood Cancer Together


 


Let’s Cure Childhood Cancer Together


September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and zulily is doing their part to help find a cure.

Through September 30thtogether with zulily we can help fund the Ben Towne Foundation, a nonprofit public charity that is working to accelerate the pace of new breakthrough research.

Doctors at the Ben Towne Childhood Cancer Center for Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute have been working on an immunotherapy treatment that could make cancer treatment as we know it a thing of the past—within our lifetime. They are developing a treatment that uses a child’s own immune system to fight cancer, eliminating the need for chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Within 20 years, this cure could become the new normal. 

Together we can help the reality of finding a cure go from ‘if’ to ‘when’.Visit zulily to donate to the Ben Towne Foundation, and to read more about the lives that this potential cure has already touched, and the doctors working so hard to make this miracle real.

 

100% of all donations will be used to support the research at the BTCCCR. 

#BringBackOurGirls, Month 5

#BringBackOurGirls, Month 5

So the news on Twitter today is that we are at month 5.

#BringBackOurGirls, Month 5

I was very pleased that Huffington Post did a wrap up article this week, and a good one too.

BOKO HARAM CHIBOK

Image is from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/14/nigeria-girls-kidnapped-5-months_n_5791622.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/14/nigeria-girls-kidnapped-5-months_n_5791622.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

 

They talk about what has happened, with a brief discussion about why in each case.

What I see, is that the only reason anything has happened at all to help the girls is public pressure. The country of Nigeria is having so many issues that they are just breaking down with the stress. The country is under attack in so many ways that it is really no wonder that the girls are still out there.

Their army is falling apart, under-prepared. They have ebola. They have terrorists everywhere. It seems this is a real opportunity for someone to step in and help.

This is not about a civil war or differing sides. I think if you asked any Nigerian if they would appreciate help to rescue the girls, they would say yes. Help, and then go.

It would be a new approach for us of course, but why not? I can see why the Nigerian government might be hesitant to have the US help though.. we have a hard time letting go sometimes. Maybe they feel ashamed or concerned about it. Maybe they said no.. I suspect we will never know what goes on behind the scenes.

But here the girls sit.. 5 months later. We cannot even imagine what this is like for them. For their families..

People want to continue to demean the hashtag promotion of this story. But let’s face it, without it, how many of you would even read this? How many would even know what it is about? Probably not many.

I will continue these posts. I will continue the hashtag campaign. I will write letters and publish tweets, and facebook posts and whatever else I can.

I have a voice, and I will use it to try to help to #BringBackOurGirls.

Hurricane Odile

Hurricane Odile

Well kids, looks like Phoenix is about to get slammed with yet another hurricane.. what? This is the desert people!

We have already had double our average rainfall for the year. We are not even through the monsoon season yet.. and of course we usually get rain in November and December.. so what are we in for? Hurricane Odile that is what.

 

At our house we have been pretty lucky… knocks on wood… we haven’t lost power, and only had a few leaky windows which were not a big deal.

We got one window caulked up and it held.. the other window still has a leak, but we need to look into it more since he leak does not appear to be near the frame. That is bad news probably.. could be somewhere we can’t get to easily.

So- anyway- Odile has already torn up Cabo and every place in its path. We are seeing cloudy skies already this morning and there is a 50% chance of rain. It increases to 80% by Wednesday. Lucky us!

Normally I would be happy to see the rain, but when it comes down so hard and so fast, it runs right off and takes everything with it. All it has down for us was create TONS of weeds in our yard. And they are mean weeds.. hard to kill, hard to even pull. It is amazing.

I am trying to make sure we are stocked up on everything we might need.. batteries, propane.. you never know when power will go out. Best to be ready!

So- if you all notice that the posts are not coming this week, you will know we lost power.. lol… at least it won’t be terribly hot during the storm.. just humid as all get out..it is already humid today!

Five Things for Frugal Friday

Five Things for Frugal Friday

So this week I have come to the place where I have not had any freelance work in several weeks. I make a very very small amount on my blogs and reviews, and this will not be sufficient to pay the bills.

We have already cut tons from our budget.

I am looking for a job, this could take a long time.

I am actively trying to solicit more freelance work.

But we need to do more. In this vein, I have been brainstorming ways to not spend money on things we need.

Here are the things I am trying this week:

1. Using coconut oil for oral care

I have coconut oil that I have been using for some skin concerns. I am doing oil pulling, and really like it a lot. I decided to try to go toothpaste-free while I experiment.

2. Making my own dishwasher detergent

I am running out of the detergent I bought or got free for review. Long ago I purchased materials to make this, so I am digging it out and whipping it up

3. Digging deep into the cupboards

For some reason we have a lot of canned and frozen stuff we buy and don’t eat promptly. We are going to remedy this. New recipes will hopefully entice the toddler as well.

4. More ebay and Thredup

This is not so much saving money, but attempting to make some. I have way too many baby and toddler clothes and the consignment store has been ultra picky. I need to unload to make room for the “winter” clothes that some very nice cousin gave us last year. We are in that size now!

I ordered the Thredup bag, and will be sending some clothes off to them, hoping for some return. (by the way if you want to sign up and send a bag in, I get a credit, so go ahead and sign up)

I will turn those credits into anything the toddler will need coming up.

5. Making my own deodorant

I am out of my last tube of sample stuff and Dove. I have been experimenting with a mix of coconut oil and dusting powder that I already made. That powder has arrowroot powder and cornstarch. My first attempt was pretty good, but I had some rose flowers and lavender in the powder and that is less than comfy under my arms.. the de-stink factor IS working though, so I need to get a good recipe that I can get into a stick. That should be fun.

These are a few small things to do, but things that I would be spending money on this week, or soon, so I thought they were good places to start.

So- what kind of things are YOU doing to save money?

#BringBackOurGirls, Day 151

#BringBackOurGirls, Day 151

Image is from http://rhythms.org/article/forgotten/

Image is from http://rhythms.org/article/forgotten/

Day 151 seems to bring as little hope as all the days and weeks before it. I scoured the online news websites,  as usual, and there was nothing to see in any mainstream reporting.

No surprise, today is a big day for other news, and rightfully so I suppose. We mourn 9/11. We lost so much that day- as a country and as individuals. Those families directly affected will not be getting their girls or boys back, ever.

The news I did see, leaves me with more questions than anything. The terrorists are attempting to strike a deal to return their “people” to them in exchange for 30 of the kidnapped girls according to this article.

They want 18 bad guys to swap for 30 girls. Apparently, the Nigerian government was under the impression that they were negotiating for the return of all the girls, but the terrorists were changing their minds, or never intending that in the first place. Hard to say. I would have a very hard time trusting them for anything at all.. but it is tantalizing to think that 30 could return.

Negotiating with terrorists sets us all up for such a slippery slope. It just will encourage them to do similar acts of terror to gain whatever it is that they are looking for. But I am sure the families would love to see their daughters home, who wouldn’t?

Whatever comes next, I think everyone can agree that this has gone on for too long already. The status of the girls is unknown. Their conditions are sure to be dismal. And the terrorists just keep terrorizing.

However, ever week I will be here. Reporting a tidbit or two that I find. Trying to keep hope alive for them. Trying to keep the hashtag rolling, in case anyone is still listening.

We care. #BringBackOurGirls

Isolation of a New Mom, Part II

IMG_0077

Isolation of a New Mom, Part II

So I recently wrote a post lamenting my feeling of isolation as a new mom. As I reflect on that post, I wonder what advice I would give myself if I could go back in time to try to prevent this sort of quandary.

I have really not come up with any answers.

 

 

Blame

I really want to blame the people I interact with. Blame them for not offering to help when I wasn’t sleeping for months on end. I really want to blame them for not dropping off little packages of food for us to eat so I wouldn’t have to worry about that for a day.  I wanted them to offer to come and just sit with me for an hour to make me feel like a human being.. I know there are people out there that do this for their friends, and not one ever did it for me.

So you may wonder if I was that kind of friend to anyone else? Well, most of these friends as I said, had older kids. Their days of child rearing are over.. so I would not have done that for them.

Certainly they have had other needs. Was I a good friend then? There were some situations I could have done better with. Yes. Certainly. But as I look back- I think of helping people move from one home to another. I think of parties we had at our home. I think of people we gave rides to when they needed them. Nothing big. No, but if help was ever in need, I would like to think that I would have responded and did.

Certainly MANY of these folks have had kids and know what it is like. Seeing me post day in and day out about my exhaustion and frustration certainly must have been some clue of my need.

I can blame all I want, but in the end, did I ask for help? No.  I suppose I was just too overwhelmed mentally and not in the mindset to even consider it. Looking back though, I wonder if anyone would have even responded? At this point, I am thinking no.

So I find myself here.

What could I have done better?

I suppose the best and easiest answer was to make more effort to find friends with similar situations sooner.. to interact more with the moms that I met at the Birth Center we had the baby at. It was my best option really.. but I think unless I had had more help to keep me from being exhausted at home, I never would have been able to support the time required to maintain those relationships.

The other answer was to pay someone to help me. I needed more help than my partner could give most days. He was working A LOT to keep us in the green. He would take care of the baby while I showered or even just went to the bathroom alone. But it was not the time off I needed to maintain any kind of friendship. That route would have required that I go back to work or risk not having money to stay home. Not really practical for the goals we had set.

So really, I have no answers on this.

Family doesn’t come around much. Most family is plane rides away. So most people don’t have that network of caring aunties and such to come help out.

Unless the child is in school, you don’t have that network.

Unless you are working, you don’t have that network.

The isolation of a new mom is such a western phenomena. We have kids, we stay in our homes and we just don’t have the community that other countries seem to have (or so I read.)

What are your thoughts on this? Did you experience the isolation of a new mom?

Rain, Rain, Rain in Phoenix!

Rain, Rain, Rain in Phoenix!

I am sure you have seen all the news out of Phoenix this week. We have gotten an insane amount of rain in the last 2 days. We are coming off of recovering from another big storm a few weeks ago.

I have lived in Phoenix for 20 years now and this rain is like I have never seen. Of course the storm yesterday gave us record breaking rain. Some areas had almost 7 inches of rain in a few hours.

LIVE  12 News weather coverage

This is the screen shot yesterday morning from 12 news in Phoenix.

That isn’t much rain…

If you live someplace moist, maybe that isn’t a big deal for you. But for US- that is an entire year’s worth of rain in a very short period of time.

It just runs off.

It pools and takes mud and dirt and anything in its path along with it!

There are videos that show how a WALL of water just suddenly comes your way.. all you can do is try to get out of the way. Then the water just keeps rising, long after the rain stops.

This is the case in Mesa this morning- last night I was reading that people were being evacuated even though it hadn’t rained in like 10 hours, the canals were still rising and the homes were flooding. Then last night we got more rain. I am sure those houses are flooded.

It is odd in some cases- homes that are not even located in a so-called flood zone were flooded. Bummer for them, as I suspect their insurance is not going to cover their damages.

So dear readers- how did we fare?

Well, we are extremely fortunate- no issues here, minus a little leak in a bathroom window. We thought we caulked it up after the last storm- in fact we did have issues with 2 windows last time- but just the one this time. More caulk is needed.. I don’t think it will be a big deal to repair.

It is kind of annoying though- I replaced that window less than 10 years ago because the old one leaked.. and here we are again. That side of the house just gets the sun and there is no overhang, so I think the stucco is just falling off.. it is odd.

Anyway, we are fine. Others are not so lucky. I certainly hope the rain is over for awhile so we can dry out!