Monday, March 14, 2011

Close to home

I was at my local food pantry Saturday, dropping off a bag of canned goods and mac and cheese and condiments, etc. It's the first time I had been there in a month. I was struck by how busy they were, according to the staff it's the continuing aftermath of February's Big Snow.

Yes, it's melted and gone. But the snow is still making itself felt by families who live paycheck to paycheck -- and missed three days' wages because of the storm. Apparently the more kids a family has, the bigger the impact on the food budget, because these families depend on school lunches and with school closed for three days, they had to pay for three meals/kid themselves.

I know ... I know ... compared to the devastation you see on TV from Japan, this is nothing. At least these folks still have solid ground beneath their feet and roofs over their heads and they know their kids are warm and dry. But these are our neighbors. They still need our help. And we still have kids who need somewhere safe to go after school, veterans who need our support, diseases like diabetes and Parkinson's that require research, and animal shelters that are considered unimportant as budgets -- both governmental and personal -- are slashed. Now, when an earthquake/tsunami is devastating Japan, it's easy to forget about the relentless, day-to-day need here at home.

So I just hope that as you open your hearts and wallets to those in Japan (here's a link for Save the Children and their Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund), you don't forget the problems closer to home. I mean, I bet you could toss an extra can of beans or soup into your shopping cart every time you shop without noticing its impact on your bill. Soon you'll have a heavy bag to take to your local food pantry.

Vacation Prep

Two weeks from today I will return to Colonial Williamsburg for my annual spa getaway -- along with a heaping teaspoon of historical geekiness.

I'm getting ready to go. I have my accommodations booked and my spa reservations made. (The first day will be devoted to my feet, with a reflexology massage and a pedi; the second day is all warmth, with a hot stone massage and steamy facial.) And today I booked my limo rides to and from both O'Hare and Richmond Airport.

Last time I was at the local library I grabbed a random Cat Who ... book. I'm not reading them in order -- I just check out whichever one I find on the shelf. This time I left with The Cat Who Went Up the Creek. One of the characters, Polly, is visiting Colonial Williamsburg! I just read the postcard from the Governor's Palace she sent to our hero, Qwill. So I'm considering this slender volume part of my vacation prep, too.

Image: xedos4 /


Every spring my skin gets terribly dry skin. To combat it, I keep the humidifers going at home and I slather/spray/smooth nice, thick moisturizer everywhere I can. Including my back.

The result? A pimple growing under the hooks of my bra. In exactly that spot that the strap rubs across it so no matter how I move, I feel it. I hate how many of my conscious thoughts have been devoted to the zit on my back.