Saturday, December 22, 2007
I sometimes wonder if it will be Aleksa's lot in life to sacrifice his own future even as he makes it possible for many other children like him to find homes? He has touched my heart so deeply, and so many other hearts, too. but still, no one claims him as their own. But they are donating money, they are signing on to adopt the children.
Andrea tells me the little boys are not as easily placed. Little boy, I would scoop you into my arms in a heartbeat if only I could. I will never stop wanting you to come home, wherever that may be.
Friday, December 21, 2007
the family I was working on for Christmas..the folkks who had had terrible bad luck, broken femurs, wrecked cars, etc...the dad was stopped, getting ready to turn into his driveway last night, had the 11 yr old with him. Some jackass decided to pass him on the left, took out the entire front of their last remaining vehicle! dad ended up in an ambulance, little boy all bruised up. WTH? Time for a break for these people, God. Now they are carless, although they had insurance. The accident ripped the front wheel right off the axkle. Totalled. GEEZ!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
An article in our local paper says it all:
Orrington deer hunt rifle raffle successful
By BDN Staff
Thursday, December 13, 2007 - Bangor Daily News
In the weeks before deer hunters headed into the woods this fall, Bob Bastey — owner of Bob’s Kozy Korner in Orrington — came up with an idea to spice up the season.
This wasn’t going to be your typical "big buck" contest, either. This one was just for the kids.
Bastey said he had noticed an alarming trend and wanted to address it.
"I’ve seen such a decline in hunting in this area in the last few years," Bastey said. "I thought it would be good if we promoted participation by young hunters and got them active, back out with their parents."
So Bastey ran out and bought a .308 Savage rifle with a scope, hung it on the wall of his store, and put up some posters.
Any junior hunter who tagged a deer at the Kozy Korner would have a chance at winning the rifle. And even those who didn’t would receive a free contest hat.
On Tuesday, Bastey proudly handed over the rifle to 13-year-old Nick Ireland of Orrington, who tagged a 110-pound deer Nov. 22.
"You should have seen him," Bastey said. "His father said, ‘It looks like someone won that rifle.’ Nick said, ‘Oh, really? I wonder who that was,’" Bastey said.
That’s when the store-owner walked up behind Ireland, tapped him on the shoulder and told him the good news.
"I said, ‘That would be you, young man,’" Bastey said.
In all, 19 young hunters entered the contest. Bastey said he got a lot of positive feedback from Orrington schools, who said the contest hats became a conversation-starter for many when hunters began proudly wearing them to school.
"When they went to school, they had the hat on. It was like, ‘Oh. Did you get a deer? How big was he?’" Bastey said.
Bastey said he thinks getting young hunters involved in the sport can reverse a trend, and a new generation can start educating increasingly reluctant landowners to allow access to prime deer-hunting areas.
"I think if we can get the youth back involved in it and show landowners that they are respectful, they aren’t going to destroy things, that’s a positive thing," Bastey said. "That was the whole process behind it."
The largest deer entered in the contest was a monstrous 245-pounder tagged by Christian LaCouture of Orrington.
Bastey initially bought the rifle himself, but received an unsolicited donation of $200 from members of the Bucksmills Rod & Gun Club in Bucksport to help defray the cost of the gun.
Bastey said the contest was a huge success, and he looked forward to holding a similar promotion next year.
"We’ll do it again next year," Bastey said. "It’s really a lot of fun. It’s great. I saw more kids during hunting season this year than I did in previous years."
The young men in this story arent strangers, dangerous thugs with weapons. They are our friends. David's, who has been a friend for years and years, his son won the rifle. His boy Nick will be raised to understand the power of that weapon, and the heritage of hunting. Sadly, his Uncle Dennis died a few years ago and wasnt here to see this. Dennis' daughter was the little one who designed our Buddy Walk shirts this year, a Kindergartner. The kid who tagged the big buck? His name is Christian, and you can probably see his picture in the photos from Jesse's paintball birthday. Great kid, helluva shot. I wonder what causes the big divide, where some kids have guns and use them for bad, and some have guns and use them to help feed their families? What change occurs in the handing over of that gun to a boy? Where are the fathers and the uncles to teach these young men how to BE men? It is a shame that in many parts of the United States, people would read this story and imagine young men with guns in an entirely different light. THESE young men are being taught the right way. Wether or not you believe in hunting, trust that they are being handed down values and morals that instill in them an awareness of life and a respect for their own power to take it.
My son proudly wears his BKK hat to school, and talks about his deer, and the guns he has, and his dad and he hunting together, and that moose trip up to Mooselookmeguntic Lake, and he even...gasp...DRAWS pictures with guns in them. Sometimes it seems we are in a whole other world, when I hear about kindergartners getting suspended for drawing guns. We are at war, and kids have to deal with that. And they cant talk about, write about, or acknowledge guns? Im awfully glad we live here, where wearing your BKK hat makes you the big kid on campus. I wonder how long it will take for people from away to take that from us?
time is getting away from me a bit. I need to get out and get some shopping done for my crew. Right now I am wrapped up in our local Christmas is for Kids program. Its a great program, I got involved when Kristin was in first grade! (She is in college now) The 1st grade teacher works on little fundraisers throughout the year with her class, then they count their money and they ALL go shopping at walmart. Imagine 20 first graders hopping off a bus in their Santa hats, grabbing carst, and storming the aisles, Christmas lists in hand...for OTHER kids. It is an awesome thing to see. usually, the news comes and some lucky kid gets to be interviewed, its a lot of fun.
This year, we have more families. It is cold here, lots of snow, and oil prices skyrocketing. LOTS of needs.
I mentioned the other day about the little girls that just wanted to be warm? Sometimes you just gotta go on faith. That afternoon, I met with other folks who are helping with this program, and started to hammer out details. We discovered that one of the kids was using bread bags on her feet...in 2007!! (I used breadbags, and man, we were POOR. I hate that this is still happening today with so much waste around us.) Anyway, little one with breadbags and sneakers, something had to be done. One of our folks was just so upset at this, she was in tears telling us about it. I had taken $200 dollars out of our Buddy Walk proceeds (first time we have EVER had a profit!) and intended to buy for several of our kids. I handed that woman 60 bucks, and told her to find boots for the three sisters. Anyone with kids knows 60 bucks might not go far, but it was all we had. Well....funny how things work out.
I left that meeting with $140 dollars remaining, and 3 children to buy for. I had some idea what I was after: PS 2 games, some Diego stuff, and some leapster cartridges. I stopped at a local Olympia Sports store, they were going out of business, they had winter coats, and I wanted to see how cheap they were. NICE coats, but even on clearance they were 69 bucks a piece. Columbia jackets, warm, perfect, soft pinks and pruples. But...210 plus tax I didnt have. I left there feeling kinda down, asked the store manager, who knows me because we shop there a LOT for my son Jesse, if he would keep an eye out for a dropmin price and call me. He said yes. I was walking into walmart wondering how I could squeak out 3 winter coats for the girls, on top of the toys. I bought the toys, then went to look at coats. They were decent enough, but this is MAINE, it gets cold here. The coats werent well made, somewhat light and flimsy. I imagined them standing at the bus stop in the biting wind, and just knew it wouldnt work. I paid for the toys with the $140 dollars. I had exactly 5 dollars and six cents left.
Then I ran into a friend. His name is Ned, and he owns the equipment rental place that we get all our Buddy Walk stuff from. NICE guy. we stood talking Patriots for a bit, sharing pleasantries. he asked me what I was doing out. I told him about the girls. And without a word, he handed me a one hundred dollar bill.
I dont know about you all, (all? I slay me) but I kinda believe in angels, and maybe even in "Santa". I think, at the very least, this time of year makes us better people, kinder people. I swear I saw an angel standing there that night. With a hug and a "Go, Patriots!" he was gone. And my mind was off, thinking COATS! Imagine that, though? he just trusted my word that this was a good cause, and handed me 100 of his very hard earned dollars? That is faith. And that is love.
I hurried back to Olympia Sports and asked exactly HOW well they could do for me if I bought three girls coats. The Manager smiled at me and went off to grab the coats, not cheapy little gonna-fall-apart-fast coats, either. He grabbed Columbia brand coats. Three of them. 2 that would fit the twins, and one for their big sister. I stood waiting while he thought. Remember, this guy had NO idea I had that hundred dollars, nor the money remaining from the toys. He looked up at me and said "For you, $105.60" One hundred dollars? Check. (Thanks Ned) Five dollars and 60 cents? Check...oops...I had five dollars and SIX cents left....I had to run to my car and scavenge 54 cents. But I did. And I came home with three coats. Two hundred ten dollars plus tax worth of coats.
PS I was given another family last night. Sometimes it seems unreal, the things you hear when you do this kinda thing. This story fits that bill.
~Dad hurt his back so bad he got laid off.
That was Monday of last week.
~On Tuesday, dad rolled his car in a vicious snowstorm. Totalled.
~On Wed, his 8 yr old son clibed to the top of the icy bleachers and thought he would jump off. Instead, he fell and broke his femur (oww) Surgery followed.
These folks have 5 little boys, including a severely developmentally disabled young man. They didnt ask for help, but someone thought they might need it. I stopped by their house this morning to say "hey, we know how hard this has been, what can we do to help?" I got mom to agree to let us do something for the kids. I heard later that their pastor called them to ask how they were, were told that someone had stopped by, and they were very thankful, and in tears relating the story. Thats an awesome feeling. Imagine the worries they have this time of year? Imagine that it is FIRST GRADERS who will make this happen? First graders, 6-7 yr olds. AWESOME. The lessons they have learned!! Every now and then, someone tells me thank you. Im just the messenger. Thank the KIDS!!
she is, for the moment, nameless. (Or better said, she has MULTIPLE names, poor dog!) She goes from Maggie (Daddy) to Bella (me) to LoLa (Kristin) Bruschi (Jesse and Ciarra) we will have to settle on a name soon. Ciarra adores her, but then we all do. She is an 8 week old Boxer/Lab mix. Much smaller than we expected her to be, she is the runt of the litter. Snuggly and sweet, she has only ha 2 accidents since coming home last Friday. Without further adieu...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I "ran into" an old online buddy today, her name is Rene, well...PRINCESS Rene. I just adore this woman!! We caught up a bit, and she oohed and aahed over Ciarra (as always) and then...this go check her out! But um...shes a little crazy, a lot wonderful, and...totally and completely smitten by my girl. Always has been..I expect someday to be accosted by a Princess who will fly right by me and grab up my little darling with the express purpose of checking out her EYEBROWS!! LOL Love ya Rene..and we sure missed you.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Shannon, at GabisWorld has gifted me with a very special award. It is the Spirit of Christmas award.
This award is for those who talk about and show the spirit of Christmas in their blogs.
What is the Spirit of Christmas you ask?
Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those who display the "Spirit of Christmas".
Please pass this on to someone that has touched your heart with their kind and giving and caring nature.
The code that you need to place of your blog and the one that you pass on is available HERE on Santa's very own blog:
Shannon, thanks for thinking of me. As you know, I am trying hard to keep some publicity on Reece's Rainbow's Christmas Angels program.
I would also like to ask for your prayers regarding some local families who we are trying to help this Christmas, as well. We have picked 4-5 families to help, and then last night I heard from the Fire Department Auxilliary (with whom I am working to identify and help families) that there was a request for aid from another family. Twin 8 yr olds, asking only for "a space heater for our cold room". Obviously, the FD cant get them a space heater, the liability would be astronomical. But that doesnt mean we cant help. I have put out an all call for folks to help weatherize their old trailer. Pray that someone comes through on that with men and materials to keep 2 little ones warm this winter? I cant explain much more, but I will tell you that one of the kids has the voice of an angel, and if it werent for poverty, would likely be looking at voice coaches and a real shot at a future. I made a short video of her singing at a school concert. Please send up a prayer that they will be warm this year.
Anyway, passing this special torch to these deserving bloggers:
Cindy at Our Life, a fellow Mainer. Her blog is a respite for me, the music and the words, the pictures...they all remind me to see the world through the eyes of my children. I love to go there just for the calming music and the aura, as I told her last week she must be a great hostess in real life, because her blog is warm and fuzzy and comforting. Go, visit.
Meredith at Cornish Adoption Journey for sacrificing her own fundraising to help others, and for wanting to give Christmas to every orphan in the world.
Shellie at Life As Household 6 who tirelessly works for kids with DS. Her new son Xander is a lucky boy indeed. I have enjoyed watching their story unfold in bits and pieces.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
and I have been second guessing myself a bit. I have been following Pleo for over a year now, anticipating this...thing...that the inventors would have us believe is...almost real. Ok, so Im a critic, and I have had moments of serious doubt about my own intelligence. It IS, after all, just a toy. A really cute, incredibly...intelligent?...toy. I wavered, I waffled, I whined. I worried. Lotta money. A. Lot. Of. Money. A few of the new videos that I have seen seemed to show it as being a little noisier than I would have liked. There is a delay in one of the most exciting features, which we are told will be available for download...soon. In pleo time, soon can be very subjective. But still, I have been excitedly tracking Pleos journey from China, to Alaska (the North Pole?) and Ohio...havent checked where he is today but I will. Then I saw this video, which was actually kind of hard to watch. Which really makes me wonder if my sanity has slipped away. Because in the video, testers are beating up Pleo. They are choking him, slapping him around, stuffing him in bags...abuse, Pleo abuse. There should be a hotline for that. What? You dont believe me? Watch the video. Then tell me if you dont feel like protecting this little mass of computer chips and wires, big blue eyes and a voice full of...terror. Ok, ok, Im crazy. But it IS terror. he is afraid. He hangs his head, he responds to the abuse as you would expect any...living...thing to do. They choke him and he makes a CHOKING sound. And you want to reach in and rescue him. Hurry home, Pleo, you will be safe here.
The following Video shows graphic abuse of a defenseless...robot
Monday, December 03, 2007
I still have not chosen my candidate!!!!! ARGH! I always thought this would be easy for me, but nope. Found the link above, which sort of quizzes you on what issues matter most. There are 20 issues I think, you give each a certain weight by giving them plus or minus numbers, you only have 20 points to start, so you have to think about what issues MOST matter...which sort of leaves you a one issue voter...unless you repeat the quiz to give more weight to other issues. I was surprised by who I align with, even after revoting several times, giving different weight to various issues. It doesnt just tell you who you line up with, if you click their names it also takes you to a comparison chart that measures your togetherness (or not) and shows you their record/thoughts on those issues. Pretty cool...although I still dont know who Im voting for for sure!!