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Showing posts from July, 2011

Making Me Think

I'm almost ready to go back to the delightful days I spent in Minnesota and share with you the sights and insights of those days. My brain is being willful, though, and won't quite let me go there at the moment.

The famine half a world away still has my thoughts pinned down. The thoughts are ones that take some of my  self-created comfort away, even as they bring me a welcome kind of awakening.  I sent a donation to Unicef, and I feel very good about that. As I watched Rozanne Chorlton, Unicef representative in Somalia, I felt quite humbled. She has the face of the perfect mother or grandmother, benevolent and radiant. She stood among the masses of people, a tangerine colored scarf covering her head, and a bulletproof vest on her torso, telling the media how important it was to keep trying to reach even beyond the thousands of desperate people swarming around her in a refugee outpost.

I was humbled by the grief on the face of the father who had walked for four days to get food f…

Famine officially declared, News from Unicef

The U.N. has declared famine in parts of southern Somalia. This is the worst starvation seen in Africa in 20 years. Thousands of children have died. More than two million children are desperate for food – many have just days to live. Children 3 or 4 years old with bodies the size of 9 month old babies, wrinkled skin, sunken eyes. Unspeakable suffering borne by the most innocent and vulnerable among us. Children in Africa need your help RIGHT NOW.Please STOP... take out your card... and donate to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. You will save lives. Your gift will immediately be rushed to support UNICEF's relief efforts in the Horn of Africa. As dire the news – know that this is not a lost cause. UNICEF is in the midst of a massive mobilization. Late last week, UNICEF airlifted 5 metric tons of therapeutic food and emergency supplies to the region. More flights are leaving imminently. Hundreds of additional tons of food, clean water and medical supplies are on their way. It doesn't matter …

We can help the children of Somalia.

I have to take a moment to post yet another "plug" for Unicef.  As you may know, Somalia is now experiencing true famine. In tonight's news, there among the families on the brink of starvation were workers from Unicef.  This organization is constant, trustworthy and efficient. I can't see news like this and not do something, and I know that whatever money I send to Unicef will be well-used.  Please visit Unicefnow and consider making a donation to help with the famine in Somalia.  Even a donation of $5.00 can make a real difference.
Press releaseSituation in Horn of Africa set to get worse for millions of childrenNAIROBI, Kenya, 17 July 2011 – UNICEF has called for immediate expansion of assistance across the Horn of Africa’s drought-affected communities, to address the dire needs of more than two million children, of whom half a million are at imminent risk of dying. With no improvement in overall food secu…

Green in Its Glory

Back in Texas. And, even as I remember the cool breezes of the Land of Lakes, I learn that Minnesotans, too, are now under heat attack, with a heat index of 115 degrees. I'll tell you about the Cheeky Monkey, the Paper Patisserie, and the Last Chance Art Gallery in upcoming posts, but for now, let's just gaze on some glorious green from the North Country. Enjoy!

Summer by Any Other State

I could almost write, "Summer by any other name ..." because having traveled to Minnesota from Texas, what I see is so different from the summer I am accustomed to that I feel it needs another name. Most of my life, I have associated summer with shades of brown, with things baked crisp and dry, with having to be careful about time spent outdoors. We learned in childhood about salt pills, sunstroke, heat exhaustion.  Today, just outside of Minneapolis, as I write this post, I look out on a sea of green from an upstairs window. Marsh grass, cattails, young thin trees, tall, mature trees, each contributing its own tone of green to a satisfying visual symphony. As the light shifts through the daytime hours and into twilight, the greens shift their shades, as well, keeping time and staying in harmony with the hour.

It has been a long time since I have "felt" summer as a time of fruition rather than a time of perdition--of loss, absence, and the pressure of triple-digit…

A Prayer for My Country

There were no fireworks in my part of the world, due to extreme heat and fire danger. I watched a Capitol Fourth on PBS and was taken by the joy and happiness I saw in the thousands of Americans gathered near the Capitol and the various monuments to celebrate the birth of our nation.  Such sheer happiness on so many faces.  And I thought, if only the news had more of these happy faces, this great gathering of people all celebrating the gift that a good nation can be.  And this prayer is what came to my mind:


May we always sing "God Bless America," and always remember to ask that God bless every other nation in the world, as well.
May we feel honored to pay taxes--our tithes--to help a good nation become better, to strengthen its schools and nurture its children.
May we take the time to understand our history, its rights and its wrongs, so that we may help steer our country into the best future possible.
May we understand that we did …