Crazy, man!

This weekend, HK and I went to the (close eyes, deep breath, shoulders down, un-clench jaw) mall.  God, it was painful, but had to do it. There was something specific that a certain unnamed someone wanted, so we got up early to beat the crowds.  Yeah, right.  As you may or may not know, going to the mall makes me crazy, and I always swear I’m not going back. But, inevitably, I do go back for some reason, and regret it all over again.

OK, so here’s the kicker. The little something-something that I bought ended-up being the wrong thing, so now I’m gonna have to go back and exchange it.  Shit!

What am I getting at, besides bitching about mall-hell? Just this.  With the holidays upon us, the economy sucking wind, and free-time at an all-time low, let’s consider other options.  Like what?  Well, for example, giving the gift of life, by making a donation to a charity.  Last year about this time I posted a blog with a great list of charitable contributions   that you can give in someone’s name.  Please take a look at the link and come back. I’ll be right here when you get back.

My favorite charity is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, but I also now like World Vision a lot.  You can donate as much or as little as you like. Examples at World Vision include a family fishing kit for an impoverished family for $40.  Add to that 2 baby chickens for $65 total. Hmmm..fish for food/harvest your own eggs?  Feed the hungry.  I likeee!  How about spending $50.00 to stock a school in Africa with $700 worth of supplies?? Anywhere from $35-$250 will help free the lives of sexually exploited girls.  Get my drift?

Or how about going a little more local and purchasing a craft or something from someone in your hometown or at a local farmers market?  If you live in Atlanta, check out the gift baskets at Peak of Perfection, a one-woman show who makes relishes, condiments, pie fillings, etc from 100% local produce? (check out her facebook page at Peak of Perfection.)   How about helping out a group of Bhutanese refugees who have been resettled to Atlanta? They make unique baskets out of kudzu vines  (click for the link) !!   BetsyGoddess has gorgeous and very sensual hand-made leather items and jewelry. (i got one of my favorite bracelets from her.)  Want to get rebates on your online purchases? Check out Mo Brock’s site.   Or simply make a donation to your local animal rescue.  

Peak of Perfection basket

Of course, something from your own kitchen is always a lovely treat. Better yet, share a meal with someone you care about. Let them know how you feel about them. Because what it really all boils down to is LOVE, and isn’t that the best gift of all?

Heifer international

Heifer international

Ok, so we’ve just returned from thanksgiving in Ky. and as usual were presented with the “wish-lists” of nieces and nephews. Chanel boots, Prada bags, Tiffany jewelry–this shit’s CRAZY, man!  Every year it’s the same song and dance–“what can I get xxxx?”

This year, it’s gonna be different. I will make gift donations in peoples names. I know it sounds boring, but the majority of people that we are obligated to “buy for” have all they want and more. Here are some of my favorite charities:

Best Friends Animal Society,   The Wilderness Society ,   Sierra Club,  Humane Society,    Heifer International

Heifer allows you to purchase a gift of a cow, sheep, chickens, honeybees, etc (or a share in one) to help sustain a community. It teaches self-reliance following the reasoning that it’s better to teach a man to fish than to buy him a fish that will feed him just once. The animals multiply, produce milk, eggs, pull plows, and continue to improve life to those in need. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

These are just a few of the many wonderful charitable organizations out there. So if you’re thinking about getting me another bathrobe for Christmas, skip it. I’ll take a llama.

So here we are, me, honeykins and our 2 rescued dogs, nice and cozy by the fire. It’s 32 F. here in Atlanta. I’m wondering about that shepherd i saw chained to a tree yesterday. I’m wondering about all those “outside dogs” that people buy and then don’t properly care for. What i DON’T know is eating me up inside.

For an early christmas present to myself, I became a “guardian angel” at Best Friends Animal Society. They are the organization that was first on the scene following hurricane Katrina. They are who took Michael Vick’s pit bulls and rehabilitated them. They are on a quest for “no more homeless pets”.

So while my family is snuggled by the fire, happy and healthy, I see the new ASPCA commercial. You know the one-you want to turn the channel because Sara Mclaughlin is singing “Angel”, and it shows all these neglected and abused pets and you want to cry, but you sorta want to watch, too. It’s the cold, hard reality for too many animals.

The good news is, you, YES, YOU, can make a difference. This holiday season, make a donation. Give the person that is so hard to buy for a gift with purpose. Make a donation in someone’s name. Whether it’s the ASPCA, Best Friends, or a local shelter, give what you can. There is a life depending on it!

road trip

road trip