Gratitude 31January17 Pretty Little Purses

14980647_1687175238247018_5088789618090349690_nThis Valentines season I am showing my love by donating to a charity for homeless women called Pretty Little Purses. I first became aware of the non-profit after reading a blog by the founder, Cindy Boynton.

Boynton’s story of a personal encounter with a homeless woman, and how that inspired her to make a difference — touched me.

The mission of Pretty Little Purses is to provide homeless women with essential items of hygiene such as — lotion, tissue, chapstick, tampons, hand sanitizer — and put them in a purse for use.

Also, within each purse comes a handwritten note from the person donating with words of encouragement and hope. Boynton’s outreach is to not only provide tangibles to the women but, empower them as well.

Pretty Little Purses had their first event in December and it was a great success. Over fifty purses were given to women at Sarah’s homeless shelter in uptown Chicago. Each purse contained twelve essential items to include gloves and scarves for the cold weather.

This amazing non-profit is hosting another event in partnership with The Female Condition on Valentines Day. I have attached the links to the founder’s blog article and Pretty Little Purses Facebook website.

Today I am thankful

  • Praising God for the light in my world.
  • Some of my tasks are done.
  • Sometimes you have to accept that you do the best you can.
  • A month closer to warm weather.

Pretty Little Purses is always seeking donations to assist homeless women in need. I encourage you to give. Think about what you have in your purse. A homeless woman can only dream of those items. Please contact cindy@prettylittlepurses.org

affectionately yours, Laura

https://www.facebook.com/pg/prettylittlepurses/about/

http://thefemalecondition.com/pretty-little-purses/

 

 

Gratitude 27January17 Right or Wrong

im-right-guest-bloggersThere was a time in my life when it was important to me to be right. If nothing else in my world of insecurity, if I held a position that I felt was right, I went for it. Often, at the detriment of being offensive. But, like a dog with a bone, I often simply would not let the issue go till I felt I proved myself beyond a reasonable doubt.

The older I get, the less important it is to be right. 

No one likes to be wrong, I get that, yet, in the big scheme of things — how important is it to be right? I look at what we are dealing with in our world with all of the different views and ideas. I think it is more important to be open, compassionate, and willing to embrace all views as possibilities.

Today I am thankful

  • I watched a biography on Netflix, Iris, and loved it!
  • Minor car damage after an accident with a snowbank.
  • Marching for Standing Rock today.
  • I am feeling blessed
  • My babies. Lou.Jaz.Sant.Lu.

My theme this year is moderation in all aspects. That includes my choices. I don’t have to attend every challenge I am invited to.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 24January17 How I Feel

Today I am thankful

  • 2016 paperwork is organized and put away.
  • A good start on my 2016 taxes.
  • I have a new book from the library.
  • A delicious dinner is cooking in my crockpot.
  • I have been grooving to great music all afternoon.

At some point in the next day or two, you may encounter someone not as fortunate as you. It might not be monetary, they may be spiritually bankrupt or feel there is no hope. Give them some of yours.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 18January17 Why I March

img_3023What began as a protest march against the recent presidential election, quickly grew into something much greater and symbolic for women.

Saturday, I will proudly be one of the thousands of women across America participating in the Women’s March on Washington here in Minnesota.

The platform on which the march is based is an ambitious 4-page statement that extends to multi-facets of every woman’s life around the country. It is written to encompass all races, religions, and existing movements in play today.

It sends a powerful message to women — Now is the time to come together.

img_3022Why am I marching?

I am marching for the rights of my daughter, my granddaughter and grandson’s future.

I am marching because women’s rights are human rights. I am marching for women’s rights around the world. I am marching for all the women who do not realize what they have lost yet.

I am marching because the president-elect who exhibits a blatant disrespect of women and unrepentant misogynist attitude will take control of our country this week. 

Today I am thankful

  • My “To Do” list is almost done.
  • My banana-peanut butter smoothie was really good.
  • All the people in my life I love with all of my heart.

img_3010While I am marching in Saint Paul, my daughter will be marching in Washington. An estimated 370 different events and 700,000+ participants will take place across this great country of ours.

I am so proud we will be part of this moment of herstory.

affectionately yours, Laura

 

 

Gratitude 2January17 Women Supporting Women

Happy New Year 2017!

I had the great fortune of spending the holidays surrounded by females who I love, admire, and look to with awe. From my six-year-old granddaughter who is curious about everything and encourages me to see the world in a new light through her eyes. To my dearly beloved eighty-year-old adopted mother-figure who has wisdom and love that she imparts to me freely.

imagesBeing with these women and having deep, honest conversations – I found myself thinking – this is how healthy women thrive in difficult times. And in the coming days ahead, this is going to be crucial for all women. We will have to put aside our differences to care for one another. Women supporting women.

With the promises of adjustments to the 2017 federal budget and programs (medical, Medicaid, food, housing, tax benefits, education, among many) new changes are coming our way as Americans.

But no one will feel it as deeply as women in need. The programs being cut and downsized directly affect a women’s ability to care for herself and her family.

1-e6k9cmoik_0bru-k8cfa2qThis goes beyond political party. It is greater than that. No matter red or blue, when these benefits go away, politics be damned, women must unite. And it is that which we must focus on, the needs of women as our sisters.

Let’s start with wages. Historically and it continues today, women make less than men. Forbes.com (1) reported women only earn 80-90% doing the same job men do. Women are heading into this changing economy at a lower advantage.

The states that will be hit the hardest by the cuts to programs such as federal aid, food, and housing will be southern states. Benefitspro.com(2) documents in 2016 Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia as the poorest states in the nation. Surrounding southern states fill out the top ten.

To give you an idea of how women are affected by the economy of the three top states:

  • Mississippi -“highest women’s poverty rate in the nation at 23.1%; almost 1 in 3 of children live in poverty, and nearly 65% of families in poverty are headed by single mothers”(3)
  • Arkansas -20% of women live in poverty(4)
  • West Virginia – 22% of women live in poverty(5). 16% of the state relies on SNAP (food program)

Women being the wonderfully complex humans we are, come with special needs that require additional financial responsibilities. More cost to be female with fewer wages earned.

Our bodies dictate regular pap smears, mammograms and medical care, monthly menstrual products, and birth control. Whatever a woman’s marital status, when she is pregnant and has a child/ren, the primary caretaking falls to her.

The site census.gov reported on April 20, 2016, that of 3.9 million births in the past 12 months, 35.8% of those were to unmarried women.

On the HHS.gov website statistics for the Affordable Care Act, “An estimated 55 million women are also benefiting from preventive services coverage with no out-of-pocket costs. And health insurers can no longer discriminate based on gender, being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition.”

We must stay aware of the government’s decisions that affect women and our lives. As men decide the future of our country and what is best for women, we must hold them accountable. And as these decisions take hold, women must support the women among us who are hurting.

Today I am thankful

  • Busy day and happy to get home with all my tasks accomplished.
  • I am feeling positive about the new year.
  • I am missing my babies. Loving into the universe to each of you.

We will need each other in the days to come. We will need to help each other. If you see a woman in need, help her. It could be as easy as opening a door when she has her arms filled with a child, giving her your smile when she is without one. If you can, buy the woman behind you a cup of coffee, make her day. Whatever, whenever pay-it-forward.

affectionately yours, Laura

  1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/03/31/women-are-still-paid-less-than-men-even-in-the-same-job/#75138b716ee7
  2. http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/10/03/10-poorest-states-in-america-in-2016
  3. http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/10/26/mississippis-women-are-some-poorest-country-were-getting-organized
  4. http://amppob.com/what-do-you-know-about-the-status-of-women-in-arkansas/
  5. http://spotlightonpoverty.org/states/west-virginia/
  6. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2016/cb16-ff09.html