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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Monthly Archives: November 2013


I got the most amazing news this morning.

If I log onto instead of, 0.5% of my purchase will go to the charity of my choice!

Of course I chose Beads of Courage!

Beads of Courage is a charity that provides beads to very sick kids for every needle stick, every X-ray, every procedure, every milestone in their treatment. The beads document the child’s courageous battle with their illness, sadly the illness is often cancer.

I MAKE Beads of Courage every week. Wednesday I made 46 of them. I put them in a punch bowl and when it is full, I ship them to the home office of Beads of Courage in Tucson. Here is a photo of the 8 pounds of Beads of Courage that I shipped last week:


I FREQUENTLY  make Beads of Courage.

I FREQUENTLY buy from Amazon.

I hate shopping and so I buy all of my shampoo, skin care products, office supplies, books, TV episodes and most of my craft supplies from Amazon.

I am thrilled that all of my purchases will generate a donation to Beads of Courage!

Sign up right now. Click here:

Amazon will know just who you are.

Select your charity. That’s all there is to it!

Every time you sign on to Amazon will send 0.5% of your purchase price to Beads of Courage or the charity you selected.

It only works if you type It won’t work if you just type

I’ve used a permanent marker to write on the frame of my computer screen. Once it is automatic for me to type, I’ll use some rubbing alcohol to remove the reminder.

Click now!




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I am announcing my big sale today.

If you go to my Etsy shop and put GRATITUDE in as the coupon code, you will get 20% off until Dec. 29.

You will find wonderful things there for your friends, sisters, mom, aunts and nieces. And mentors.

Shop in your pajamas!


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One happy Thanksgiving Day I made my pie from a can of organic pumpkin. The hippie recipe on the can omitted sugar, a fact that I didn’t notice. I kept plunging a knife into the pie to test it for doneness, to no avail. Finally, sure that it was “done”, I took it out of the oven. When the pie cooled the knife cuts separated, forming a Pi: Pumpkin Pi.

I added extra sugar to my homemade whipped cream and all was well.

In the upper left corner of the placemat, you can see a glass salt cellar with five grains of corn in it. Here is a bigger photo of the dish:


The first year in this country the Pilgrims were STARVING. All they had for Thanksgiving dinner was five grains of corn apiece! My family has always commemorated this by putting five grains of popcorn in a little salt cellar at each place. We go around the table and each of us tells five things that we are grateful for.

One year I had so many guests that I put the corn grains on little circles of construction paper.

This year I will be dining at my daughter’s boyfriend’s home for Thanksgiving. He has picked up this gratitude custom and when it is my turn to tell my five gratefuls, you, my dear blog readers will be one of my gratefuls.

My daughter will be making her “Wicked Pumpkin Pie”; she adds double the spices. It is divine. She will, likely, remember to put in the sugar.

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Fifty years ago I heard the anguished voice of our high school Vice Principal, Mr. Hughes, come over the loudspeaker and say that the President had been assassinated.

President Kennedy‘s body was returned to DC that same day. Two days later his coffin lay “in state” in the Capitol Rotunda.

My friend, Sooty and I decided to go and pay our respects.

We took several busses from our neighborhood in suburban Maryland to get there.

We were in a line that stretched six blocks along East Capitol Street. It was 40 degrees and drizzling, but we were determined. It was hours before we could view his coffin.

While we waited, Sooty told me that she felt like screaming. I encouraged her to scream, which she did.

Probably everyone else in line wanted to scream, too.

Finally, it was our turn. We mounted the marble steps leading to the East front of the Capitol. We could hear the flag, at half mast, whipping in the cold wind as we ascended.

The rotunda was hushed. The honor guard had members from every branch of the service. We paid our respects and felt grateful for our brief chance to get warm again.

We didn’t say a word on the journey back home.

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I saw an amazing opal necklace in Santa Fe. For $4200! It had a gold framed opal focal and opal beads.

I already had an opal pendant, made for me by my Aunt Katherine thirty years ago. I stepped a few doors down the street from the jewelry store to a bead shop and bought these pearls. I went back to the hotel, fired up my computer, and ordered the opal beads through Etsy.

Today I had time to sit down and string them all together. I will wear them with the pendant which I will hang on a short gold chain. The pearl necklace hangs longer. I know my Aunt Katherine would be thrilled.

Katherine worked in my dentist-grandfather’s office during the Great Depression, along with Mother and the other three sisters. Katherine was the crafty one so Grandaddy Doc taught her to work in gold. Back then “filling” were done with gold inlays on the tooth. Katherine continued to work in gold and silver until her death at 84.

Katherine died the way I want to: with her boots on. She had gone to an “old folk’s home” to teach a jewelry class. She went back to her car for something she’d forgotten, sat down on the car seat and died.

I looked up while I was stringing and saw my neighbor’s maple tree blazing over the rooftop. I wrote this haiku:

stringing pearls-/ over the roofline/ my neighbor’s blazing maple.

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You know that I am a big supporter of Beads of Courage, an organization that provides beads to sick kids to mark every needle stick, every X-ray and every milestone in their courageous fights against illness. I use most of my scrap polymer clay to make Beads of Courage.

I learned of a wonderful opportunity to participate in an Art Charm Exchange to benefit Beads of Courage.  Bead artists would make eleven charms and send them in. Each artist would receive back nine charms from other participants and her own. The eleventh charm is to be auctioned to benefit Beads of Courage. The theme is “Love”.

I couldn’t resist.

I made eleven of the pink charms above. I used a blush pink clay, shaped it in a silicone seashell mold, pressed my thumbprint into the center and brushed both sides with a mica powder called Interference Violet. I wanted my charms to be simple and elegant. I baked them in my oven, added a pearl and a tiny pink glass heart bead to each.

I mailed them off.

And waited.

And waited.

They didn’t get there.

Five days before the deadline I made new charms, this time in a soft blue clay. I brushed the charms with the same Interference Violet mica powder, baked them and added a different shape of pearl and tiny blue glass heart beads.

I mailed them off.

They arrived at their destination, timely. Then the pink ones showed up, too.

This meant that I would receive twice as many charms. Yes!

These are the charms that I received:



The 38 artists who participated have all blogged about the fundraiser. Please visit their blogs and see what they made. After your blog hop, please visit the Ebay auction and bid on the charms you cannot live without.

Jen Cameron:

Toltec Jewels:

Vanessa Gilkes:

Caroline Dewison

Lesley Watt:

Susan Kennedy:

Nancy Dale :

Alicia Marinache

Cassi Paslick

Alenka Obid:

Renetha Stanziano

Shelley Graham Turner

Monique Urquhart:

Shai Williams:

Lennis Carter:

Cheri Reed:

Moriah Betterly:

Perri Jackson:

Mallory Hoffman

Ginger Bishop

Jean Peter

Linda Florian:

Patricia Pulliam

Karin Grosset Grange:

Julie Bowen:

Susan Delaney

Emma Todd:

Carolyn Chenault :

Terri Del Signore

Cory Tompkins

Cheryl (Lee) Koopman:

Lori Bowring Michaud:

Andrea Glick:

Jacqueline Carlson:

Michelle McCarthy:

Charlene Bausinger Jacka

Kristi Bowman:

 The charms are being auctioned on Ebay. All of the money raised will go to Beads of Courage. Go here to bid on the charms:
I HAD to make something with the wonderful charm I got from Susan Kennedy at:
It is simple and elegant, a translucent white lamp worked heart bead and a metal heart with wonderful, quiet texture. I found a tiny rhinestone ring with a bail in my “recycle bin”. I felt that the texture of the rhinestone embedded ring echoed the texture of the lower, silver heart. I added the charm to the ring and hung it on a silver chain.
I have already wrapped it for one of my daughter’s Christmas presents.
If you love this charm as much as I do, visit the auction site and make a bid!


I got an email from my Fitbit One that I had walked 250 miles since June 1!

I am very pleased to learn this and grateful  for the random emails Fitbit sends me about my achievements.

I have enjoyed walking outside. I love the plants and animals I see and the clouds and sky and moon. And the sunsets and sunrises.

I bought a headlamp to try for walking in the dark. I have spent the last few months memorizing the pavement on my block. Streetlights are strategically places so I can see uneven pavement.

Wish me luck on my second 250 miles!

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