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Girl Rising, “I feel as though I have power…I can do anything.”

Thank you to MrsCPSDarren for a public service guest blog!


For all of us who love our baby daughters, who nurture them with all our hearts, keep them safe with all our being, move mountains to see them successful and happy, and know in our deepest of souls that they will quite simply one day rock this planet ….  I invite you to be part of a global movement to repair the world, by EDUCATING GIRLS.  Read on to learn how you can join in. Moms of the world – we need you.

Hi everyone. I’m inviting you to personally take part in the distribution of an exciting new film that just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  Girl Rising spotlights the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change a girl – and the world. Many millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. We can help break those barriers by bringing global attention to the enormous benefits of educating girls. Your community is a great place to start. Girl Rising will be released in theaters on March 7th, 2013, on the eve of International Women’s Day, and we invite you to host a local screening, with global impact.

The distribution model is actually crowd-sourced. You can go online to “captain” a screening, and the company will work with you to get it to your favorite theater. To view the trailer, and learn how to bring Girl Rising to your community, please visit:  http://www.girlrising.com .

Around the world, millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. And, yet, when you educate a girl, you can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Removing barriers to girls’ education – such as early and forced marriage, domestic slavery, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, school fees – means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all. Consider these numbers:

  • GDP Rises: When 10% more of its girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases an average of 3%. (Council on Foreign Relations)
  • Health is Improved: Educated mothers are 50% more likely to immunize their children. And when more girls are educated, a country’s malnutrition and HIV rates decline. (UNGEI, the Council on Foreign Relations)
  • Honest Governance Grows: When women take leadership roles in their community, corruption diminishes. (Center for Global Development)
  • Structures Change: When women are educated and empowered, democracy is more likely to flourish and the conditions that promote extremism are reduced. (World Politics)

Educating Girls Works.  Lives Change. Be a part of changing the world by taking action for girls. By sharing their personal journeys, the girls of Girl Rising become our teachers. Research shows that investing in girls can transform families, communities and nations.  The girls of Girl Rising show us how.

u made me sad

To whomever punched or whacked my Toyota Highlander a week ago with their luggage at the O’Hare airport daily lot in the hybrid parking spot near elevator center 2, please contact me to arrange a $400 payment.  I parked all the way at the edge of the spot to take advantage of the 4 foot buffer to the handicap spot next to it and, yeah, still some swell person still nails it and doesn’t own up to it.  rly?  thx.


Someone inconsiderate or angry ding your car?  Feel free to lament here.

iDrive You Crazy

With Christmas nearly upon us, it’s time to finish the holiday shopping! If you’re anything like me, you have no idea what to get for that special someone in your life. With smart phones, e-readers, and tablets more popular than ever, a techy-type gift would be great, but where to start?

Well, how about something to take that iPad or Kindle to the next level?

We all know the dangers of texting and driving. Hold the device up above the steering wheel and you obstruct your view of the road. Hold it in your lap, you risk a crick in the neck. Who wants that? If only there were a way to make texting/browsing while driving more comfortable and convenient!

Enter the iDrive! I found it at Target for the amazingly low price of $5! This steering-wheel-mounted device can hold your tablet right at hands’ level! Your eyes will barely have to leave the road while you finish that novel or play Sudoku.

Even better, the iDrive can be mounted on a motorcycle, bike, or even a jet-ski! (Be careful not to get your Nook wet, though.)

Before you have a heart attack or throw your computer/mobile device across the room in fury (or veer off the road if you’re using an iDrive): I’m sort-of kidding.

I really did buy this at Target, but it’s just an empty gift box meant to fool your loved ones. I’m planning on giving it to my husband. I’m not sure what I’ll put inside, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be far less likely to result in a vehicular manslaughter charge than a real iDrive would.

I can’t wait until Christmas morning, when I can witness the look of horror on my husband’s face. Ah, ’tis the season!

Editor’s Note: You can buy an iDrive box at Amazon, too!

Box Hoarders Unite!

I am not a hoarder. I’ve seen the sad episodes on talk shows of people who live in homes with paths to their beds that have a tiny spot on which to sleep. My own grandma was a bit of a packrat. But I am not a hoarder, not even close. I am a collector.

If you walked into my house, you’d look around and think, nope, not even a collector. This woman and her family live a pretty sparse life (until you look in the children’s rooms—gah!). Even the dog has only 2 toys. But wait until you see the attic. Boxes upon boxes, all empty. Therein lies the collection. When my dh and I were first married, we were pretty unstable where we lived. He was in law school and we moved twice in those first 3 years, then 3 more times in the year after he graduated. By the time we moved into our current house, we had moved a grand total of 9 times in 8 years and we weren’t military. After our first move across country—and across Arkansas!—we learned to keep original boxes to keep items in good condition, hence the box collection.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to paint my dd’s room, which necessitated moving all her furniture out to give me some room. We were using the space under her captain’s bed for storage and since she’s getting older, I’ve decided to move that stuff out so her things can go under her bed. Where to put all that junk that’s under her bed? (For the record—it’s my mil’s!) Up the ladder I went to the attic and discovered my collection of carseat boxes. Heh. So many! So many for so many seats I no longer have! Really, though, I did have to keep them in case I had to ship a seat back to a manufacturer (I’ve done it) or ship a seat to a friend (yep, done that too). Have you ever tried to MacGyver a box to fit a carseat? Really tough, I tell you. It’s easier to break them down flat and store them, only I didn’t do that with the ones in the attic.  We had the luxury of a little bit of space up there, so we pitched them off to the side and forgot about them. After pulling them out of the attic, plus a few other boxes of items I knew we no longer had, it turns out I had 2 boxes for carseats I no longer have and 2 more for carseats that will be expiring soon! Plus I have at least 3 other carseat boxes stored flat in my garage.

Dh decided to continue my attic box removal and brought down perhaps 10 more. We also had 2 large boxes sitting in our living room that held dd’s new bedside tables. I so wish I had a window open when the recycling guy came by to pick up all our boxes. The amount of cardboard sitting on the curb was epic, but I do feel better recycling it rather than throwing it away like most of my neighbors. Next we’ll be getting rid of all of our ancient computers that have long been broken and sitting around the house gathering dust.  I might have to make artwork out of the hard drive platters—they’re actually quite beautiful when you take the drives apart. But that’s for another blog. Just remember, it’s not an obsession—it’s a collection.

Bloopers Happen

Most of my blog videos are done without any editing, it’s one take straight through.  Usually, I’m holding the camera in one hand, using the other hand to point or demonstrate.  That gives them a little more informal “feel” of a personal blog, rather than the appearance of a professional video, in my opinion.  Well, that, and I’m too lazy to do any post-production!  Many times, I end up doing taking an extra take or two because I stumble on a word or something else happens.  This is one of those times…