Operation Christmas Child



Each year our little community at Simpson United Methodist Church fills shoe boxes with surprises for children in need of a smile.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. Donations of shoe boxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies for children who do not receive gifts, children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.

The program started in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Dave and Jill Cooke has expanded and since then has delivered gift-filled shoe boxes to over 135 million children in more than 150 countries and territories.

Some fun things I found this year?  A fluffy puppy purse with for some lucky girl (I wanted to keep it for myself and secretly named it Henry), and fold up back packs with about 30 different smiley face emoji decorations, purple for girls and blue for boys.

Letter to Donald Trump



Dear President-Elect Trump:

Congratulations!  You are now our president and possibly the most powerful person on the planet.

Your responsibility as a role model for people around the world, especially our young people and children, is immense.

You are a compelling leader.  The world finds you fascinating.  You have a once-in-a-lifetime and unique opportunity to influence billions of people.

We are all watching you with hope.

Who are you?

My wish list for inspiring the world to be a better place:

  • Inspiration
  • Empathy
  • Optimism
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Courtesy
  • Respect
  • Passion

Good luck in the next four years.




Nasty is the New Brilliant. Nasty Mom and Homemade Dog Food!



Our Mom is Nasty Brilliant in the best way you can imagine.

She makes about one-half of our food from scratch, the rest is high quality kibble.

Here is a free range chicken she put in the pressure cooker for 1.5 hours until the bones were soft enough to break with her fingers, this way we can get the bones and the marrow with her not worrying about choking or bone splinters.

Sometimes we get grass fed beef or wild caught salmon.  This batch she added some canned mackerel for stinkiness 🙂


Then she adds blended veggies and fruits (here is a organic spinach mix with organic carrots, organic apples and organic frozen strawberries).

Often we get the fruit of the season.  We loved peach season that just passed, yummy!

Finally she adds some cooked grains like oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and some other ancient grains which she rotates.

Nasty is the New Brilliant and our Nasty Brilliant Mom is totally cool.  We intend “Nasty” as a compliment because our Nasty Brilliant Mom is just a tough, feisty and determined cook! (And we eat better than she does every day!)



Denver woman who needed more than 30 gallons of blood meets the donors who saved her life

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Joyce Gottesfeld, MD, center, hugs Cassidy Smith during a Bonfils Blood Center banquet at Seawell Ballroom in Denver Performing Arts Complex, August 18, 2016. Gottesfeld delivered Cassidy's daughter, at DenverÕs St. Joseph Hospital in 2012, and help save her life. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 18: Joyce Gottesfeld, MD, center, hugs Cassidy Smith during a Bonfils Blood Center banquet at Seawell Ballroom in Denver Performing Arts Complex, August 18, 2016. Gottesfeld delivered Cassidy’s daughter, at Denver’s St. Joseph Hospital in 2012, and helped save her life. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

My first blood donation was a trip to a Bonfils Blood Center with my Dad and I never looked back.  Donating platelets and blood regularly for 40 years made me a pro and the staff at my center always warmly recognized me and knew little bits about my life.

This heart warming story is about a woman who received over 270 units of whole blood and blood products collected from more than 300 people.  A celebration was arranged so she could meet some of those wonderful donor.   Read her story here.

I was recently contacted by Bonfils who needed a donation of blood, I am somewhat rare at A+.  With a heavy heart I told them about my breast cancer diagnosis and that I would not be able to donate.  They asked me to keep in touch.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please consider donating blood or platelets to help those battling breast cancer.

I hope I am able to become cancer free long enough to donate again before I reach the age limit!


Paw-ternity Leave

The new trend in the UK?  “Paw-ternity leave” offered by some employers.  Time off for owners to take their new pet to the vet, training or just spend time with that new family member.

A few hours and as much as several weeks paid time off.  Just like parental leave.

My employers understand my pets are my children.  They allow me to take time off for pet emergencies and for vet appointments.  Yikes, I am itching for a new puppy, wonder if I can get some paw-ternity leave……

Read more here:  Workers given time off work to look after their new PETS to help them ‘settle in’

Kombucha and Beer on Tap!


Kombucha, a lovely fermented beverage touted to have many health benefits. Usually found in glass bottles at your local health food store.  Now you can get this beverage on tap in some establishments.  This is a Happy Leaf cranberry lavender Kombucha on tap at Atomic Cowboy in Denver, Colorado.

If you like Kombucha in the bottle you have to try it on tap.  Atomic Cowboy also has a serious variety of biscuits.  Biscuit sandwiches, example The Cordon Bleu for $10.50, Buttermilk fried chicken, ham, cheddar cheese & honey butter. Biscuit plates, example Biscuit French Toast for $7.95. Comes with syrup & honey butter. Add compote of the day $2.00.

We tried their pizza, yum.  You can order a whole pie or by the slice, either way with your choice of toppings.  An excellent thin crust pizza.

Not into Kombucha?  They have rotating taps and rotating wines, mixed drinks and just about any scotch, bourbon, whisky or other you can think of.


My Friend PJ

PJ, proud member of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad
PJ, proud member of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad

My friend PJ needs your help.  PJ is a certified therapy dog.  She is a volunteer with the Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS for short), see here for more information DIA CATS Squad.  She is also a volunteer working with people recovering from strokes and brain injuries.

She recently tore her crutiate ligament and needs surgery to repair this injury to continue her therapy work.

Please check out her Go Fund Me page here PJ Go Fund Me page and if you can help any donation would be appreciated.  $1.00 or $2.00 or any amount you can donate will help PJ continue her volunteer work.

PJ is a rescue dog and this is part of what she does to show her appreciation for being rescued.  She pays back her good fortune at finding her forever home by helping others where she can.  Won’t you help PJ continue her dream?

Kombucha on Tap!

imageKombucha, a lovely fermented beverage touted to have many health benefits.  Usually found in glass bottles at your local health food store.  Now you can get this beverage on tap in some establishments.  This is a Happy Leaf orange basil Kombucha on tap at Berkeley Untapped in Denver, Colorado.

Do you remember the first time you had your favorite beer on tap instead of from a bottle or can?  Well this weekend I had my first Kombucha on tap and the experience was similar to that first time beer on tap experience.  Yummy!

I followed it with an IPA and I forgot to take a picture or write down the name but that IPA was yummy too.


Someone important is a dog lover and these paintings of his dogs are proudly displayed above the bar.  You can bring your pooch on nice days and he or she is welcome to sit on the patio with you.  There is actually a raised dog bed that looks like a trampoline on the patio for dogs!


No food other than snacks like a cheese and cracker plate, pretzels and popcorn. But you are welcome to bring in your own eats.

They also offer wine and cocktails that look equally amazing!

A small Fair Trade Store is tucked in the back supporting developing countries.

The Kombucha flavors are regularly rotated and I don’t know how long the orange basil will be available.  Apparently the on tap beers are rotated regularly too so there is always something new to try.

And my favorite perk?  With each beverage purchased you are given a wooden quarter to place in your favorite charity of choice box, a rotating selection of 3. Of course mine went in the animal box!

Go here for more information:  Berkeley Untapped

Iron Pour Art


Here’s how they stop the iron from pouring from the copulas where a continuous supply is being melted.

Iron casting.  Molten iron poured into tiles or molds.

The public was allowed to participate, buying tiles for $10 and creating their own fantastic artwork and sculptures.


Here’s my friend Mary Lou’s tile mold.   When she gets the finished product cleaned up and polished will share it with you.


This is from an iron pour she did last year.


Graphite was painted into the molds,  this prevents the iron from sticking to the tile when it’s poured.


Here’s another tile.  Day of the Dead theme.






Filling the tiles with molten iron. After a brief wait tiles are cracked from the still red hot iron pieces which are then dropped into a bucket of water to finish the cooling.


Here they’re pouring molten iron into some of the molded sculptures .


Mary Lou and I both had holes in our jackets from this display!

Had a great evening.  Next time I just might buy a tile and create some art!