In less than 23 weeks, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure will descend on Chicago with all its Gatorade, pink costumes and blister self-help stations. Each walker will have raised at least $2,300 to fight breast cancer, and many participants will use those three days to honor and celebrate both survivors and those who succumbed to breast cancer.

Among them will be the Chicago Ms. America Tatas. More than 60 of us gathered in Washington, D.C., last year, and a few are carrying on the team name and spirit in the Windy City. We're looking for more walkers and crew members to round out the team. Here are a few reasons you should consider joining us:

10) Water Tower Place. Eight levels of shops, including American Girl Place, Ann Taylor, French Connection and White House Black Market. If you say this is what makes the Magnificent Mile magnificent, I won't argue...

9) There's no danger of being cold sleeping in a pink tent in Chicago in August. A sweatshirt is not going to be required. In fact, a sleeping bag might not even be required.

8) People who live along the route decorate their yards, post signs of encouragement and pass out goodies and water. Some leave their sprinklers on for walkers, or stand outside and waive. You'd be amazed at how many strangers think walking 60 miles in 3 days is an extraordinary feat ;)

7) The Tatas wear tiaras. And drink Tata-tinis. Both things are encouraged at the 3-Day. Neither are likely to be encouraged at work, which is where you'd likely be Aug. 8 if you don't join our team, right?

6) Everything's more fun with a team. Even visiting the port-a-potties. And the port-a-potties at the 3-Day are decorated with fun pictures and jokes.

5) People literally clap when you cross the street. And there's usually someone there to tell you when to cross, too. Real life has no such support system.

4) Men in pink tutus. For real.

3) Many people find the opening ceremony inspirational, but I'm sure some people are still drinking coffee for all they're worth and trying to stay awake, considering the hour. EVERYONE cries at closing ceremony. Trust me, there's no feeling in the world like crossing the finishline... and then realizing how many other people crossed it, too.

2) If you're not up for walking and fundraising, you can crew with us. And still sleep in a pink tent, wear a tiara, drink Tata-inis, and cheer on the amazing walkers.

1) There's a good chance you'll walk along the lakefront, past the Bean, and down Michigan Ave. People will definitely honk. You might even stop traffic.

And just like a 3-Day mile is longer than a mile, this top 10 list is longer than 10 entries. More reasons to join the Tatas in Chicago this year:

* There is no such thing as inappropriate boob jokes at the 3-Day. Or inappropriate graphics drawn on inappropriate places on T-shirts. People will compliment you, laugh with you and photograph you for things that would get you sued in real life. Think about it.

* Guys: The male-female ratio is SO in your favor. And if you're hesitating because many of the women will be sweaty and tired, refer to the reason above. Again, think about it.

* And, the final reason I could come up with: Your mom will love you more. You might have thought she thought you were the best person ever before, but this will totally make up for that lame Mother's Day gift last year. What better way to show the woman you love her than to fight a disease that will strike one in eight women?

Convinced? Now is the very best time to go ahead and register. You'll get $35 off the $90 registration fee (IE, you'll pay $55) with the promotion code RESOLVE. But you have to register by Tuesday. No time like the present.
Labels: 0 comments | Links to this post | edit post
My roommate got into Penelope Trunk's blog months ago, which led to me starting to read her a few weeks ago. (Yes, I usually am behind). Trunk has Asperger syndrome. She announced her miscarriage via Twitter (By announced, I mean she didn't think the miscarriage was a bad thing. It saved her the trouble of a planned abortion.) And she claims to write career advice but actually organizes funny personal anecdotes into lists and calls it a blog.

I kinda think I like her blog, but I haven't really decided yet.

Anyway, last week, she posted a quiz she developed to determine if individuals value being interesting or being happy more in their decision processes. Here's how I did:

1. Did you relocate away from family for a better job or another more interesting experience? (Yes = One point)

Um, I don't know how to answer that. I moved to Hoopeston, and I guess you could call that a better job, because I didn't have a job before that. But then I lived with my parents when I started at the paper in Anderson, Ind. Uh, and then I moved back to Hoopeston after Joey and I got engaged. Which technically was farther away from my family than I had been. And I did expect it to be an interesting experience.

OH! During that engagement time period, I wrote an article about a Hoopeston man smacking another Hoopeston man in the forehead with a machete that he pulled out of his pants. I think they were arguing over allegations that one of them had stolen a lawn ornament from the other's parent's house. And I totally forgot about this until I found this trial article by another reporter: THE GUY ESCAPED HANDCUFFED FROM THE POLICE OFFICER. For reals. He was found a few days later by citizens (vigilantes?) who "helped" him end up in a neck brace.

I believe I asked the police chief how the escape happened in the first place, and he said it was under investigation. I don't remember if I asked whether the man was placed in the squad car or not. I do remember fretting about whether or not to call the victim's family for at least 30 minutes before I did it. (I did just now discover that the guy was convicted and sentenced to 30 years, which is half the 60-year maximum the prosecutor requested.)

Enough thinking about this question. The answer is yes. Minus one.

2. Did you relocate to be near family? (Yes = Plus one)

Uh, actually, my family moved away from me away from me to North Carolina.

3. Are you nationally recognized as being great at doing something or do you have nationally-recognized expert knowledge in something? Or are you reorganizing your life in order to achieve this end? (Yes = Minus one)

Well, I'm presently trying to convince people to join my Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure team and attempting to lose weight. I'd be mortified if I were nationally recognized for losing weight. And really, the team has five members, so I think national recognition is a long way off. So, no.

4. Were you a happy child? (Yes = Plus one)

Well, I'm not sure I would particularly describe myself as a child as happy. I wasn't miserable, but I wasn't Pollyana. I didn't glow.

5. Do your friends pray? (Yes = Plus one)

Some do and some don't. I'll just give myself .25 points, because I think the non-prayers out-number the prayers.

6. Do you need your kids to go to a school that is recognized as excellent in national rankings? (Yes = Minus one.)

Nope. I don't have any kids, but when that day comes, I'm sure if they end up at a nationally ranked school, it will be a complete fluke.

7. Do you have fat friends? (Yes = Plus one)

Hate to say it, but I AM the fat friend. (See answer to No. 3)

8. Do you have an opinion on Picasso? (Yes = Minus one).

Yes, I visited a museum of just his work in Paris when I went over Christmas Break in college. And he was discussed at length in my Culture of Modernism literature in class in college. I considered that class a life-changing experience. I love Picasso's fragmentation of perspectives. And his color selection. And his mishapen hands. I'll subtract a point.

9. Do you have three friends who are a Jew, a Muslim and a born-again Christian? (Yes = Minus one)

If I do, they haven't told me.

10. Are you a Republican? (Yes = Plus one)

HA! No. No points for me! And what the heckles? REPUBLICANS ARE GENERALLY MORE HAPPY?!? I don't believe it.

11. Do you think Christmas is a national holiday? (Yes = Plus one)

Well, they don't deliver mail that day. So it's a holiday for government employees nationwide. Trick question. I'm taking .4 points.

12. Have you been to a therapist? (Yes = Minus One)

Nope, but I laughed at what Penelope wrote: "People who are interesting but not happy have a point where they need to make sure they are okay. Also, they are interested in finding out about themselves even if they are fine." Can't wait to hear what my mother has to say about that.

13. Do you know the difference between $70 eyebrows and $20 eyebrows?(Yes = Plus one.)

Please, show me someone who spent $70 on their eyebrows. If electrolysis was not involved, I will give them a list a better uses for that money. And kindly explain that $20 is too much to spend to have eyebrows waxed/threaded/etc. People are starving in Haiti. And trying to raise $2,300 so they can walk 60 miles in 3 days.

14. Can you tell the difference between real diamonds and fake diamonds? (Yes =Minus one.)

No. That's part of the reason I haven't tried to sell off the diamond earrings my ex-husband gave me for Christmas one year. I can't tell which earrings are the real diamonds and which earrings I bought at Claire's for $3. Just picking a pair and hoping for the best could cause embarrassment at the jewelry store.

15. Have you tried on a pair of $200 jeans? (Yes = Minus one)


16. Do you think this test is BS? (Yes = Plus one.)

Yes. She lost me at the eyebrows question.

To explain this question, Penelope wrote: "People with interesting lives do not get offended that they cannot be happy. Happy people are offended that they cannot have interesting lives." Yes, yes. I was beginning to believe I cannot have an interesting life. I was offended. And considering lying to make myself more interesting.

So, my final score is 0.65. Which means, according to Penelope, "You are suspiciously well balanced. Or lacking a self-identity. I'm not sure which."

Hmm ... not sure what to say to that. Which, I suppose, also could be a sign of being suspiciously well balanced. Or lacking self-identity.

My favoritest book of all time is Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. During seven weeks in Haiti, she wrote the love story of Janie and Tea Cake, the tragedies that ended it and the miserable marriages that preceded it. The book was perhaps the antithesis of Hurston's own great love story: Janie tells Tea Cake she has no regrets of following him into the hard, impoverished life in the Florida Everglades even as they face a deadly hurricane, while Hurston refused to give up her career to marry her love, according to this bio.

Her book might have been worth the sacrifice. She begins:
The people all saw her come because it was sundown. The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
In other words, those catty biddies were running their mouths again - but said with much better imagery and depth! Who hasn't been reduced to a mule or brute through hard work and disenfranchisement only to turn in judgment of others perceived to be even less powerful? Moreover, who hasn't met these people so aptly described? (I'll name no names, but I can tell you, I hadn't met such petty people when I first read this book in college, but I have since then.)

Maybe someday I will write more - better - than what I write now. But in the meantime, my awe of JK Rowling is deepening. I love the imagination, the depth and the humanness that went into the Harry Potter series. I read them one after another obsessively. Perhaps I slept through some parts (I literally pulled a few all nighters reading) but I never got bored with the characters or the plot.

And recently, I found this video of Rowling's speech at Harvard's graduation last year. It provides further evidence that her life and ideas are much deeper than a simple children's story about love and magic. She talked about the fringe benefits of failure and the power of imagination.

She told the graduates:
"We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better."
Who better than good writers to wade into the dark, strike a match, and show us we still have much to fear and much to celebrate?
This week's featured crafter grew up in Indiana on the shore of Lake Michigan and now lives in Long Beach, New York. So, she packages her wine charms (IE, cute little bangles for the bottom of your wine glass) with a surf clam shell. She has a million different designs (OK, not really a million. Several.) $5 of the $15 for the pink-ribbon theme charms to go Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Here's a little more about her, and Four Times A Charm, in her own words:

What I create:  Wine charms packaged in sea shells (set of four charms, including a pink rhinestone breast cancer ribbon charm)

My favorite piece in my Etsy shop is: I think the nautical charms are my favorite! (Jillianduch: I'm partial to the dog lovers charms, myself.)

Why I hate cancer:  It takes away people we love

The charities I support: Susan Komen Foundation & American Diabetes Foundation (I am also a volunteer tour guide at the American Museum of Natural History).

What more people should realize about cancer is: Sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease.

My favorite cancer-awareness slogan: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The biggest blessing in my life is: My wonderful friends & family... and that I live near the ocean.

Follow me:
My personal blog:  
You can find me on Etsy by searching for fourtimesacharm or just click 

Not everyone has the gift of gab. And it can be really intimidating to ask people for money, especially when you haven't done this before or you don't have a personal connection to breast cancer compelling you to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. The 3-Day online participant center has some great draft e-mails, but here are a few more I've seen or sent myself, in case you'd like a few more models. 

I've split them up into a few separate posts, so click here and here to see the other two.

For a Facebook message I sent out:

The chances that I’ll discover the cure for cancer are slim.

Very slim.

But I’m accepting a challenge that I hope will bring us closer to a cure. I am walking 60 miles over three days as part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. And I’ve promised to raise at least $2,300 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which funds breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.

None of my close friends and family has been touched by breast cancer, but sometimes I wonder how long that will remain true. Statistics show that one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed in their lifetimes. Please take a few moments now and donate to my walk at www.the3day.org/goto/jillianduch. Even $25 can make a difference.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Thanks for your help!

Here's a letter I received from someone doing the Avon walk:

Dear Jillian,

By the time you finish reading this, another woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. Every three minutes, someone is hearing those dreaded words, you've got breast cancer.

My mom heard those words fifteen years ago. Instead of prom, boys, makeup, and bio class, my working vocabulary transitioned into hospital lingo like chemo, wigs, radiation, and bone marrow transplant.

Six weeks after I graduated high school, and a few weeks before college, my mom died on July 15, 1999.

Because of my mom, I have decided to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (2 day - 40 mile walk in October).

As part of the event, I pledged to raise money. Anyone can make a donation, so that I can reach my fundraising goal of $1800.

I am eager to get started with my fundraising and I need your support! Your contribution will help to support medical research into the possible causes of and cure for breast cancer, education and early detection programs, and clinical care and support services for women with breast cancer in communities across the country. There is a special focus on helping medically underserved women, the poor, minorities, the elderly, or those with inadequate health insurance. And much of the money granted by the Foundation goes back to the communities where it was raised, supporting everything from local grassroots programs to national organizations.

Any amount you can give is great; I just appreciate your support.

It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause - you can make a donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message. Knowing how bad the economy is, please give as much as you can at this time for this very important cause.

If you can't donate at this time, please take the time to forward this email to your friends.

Breast cancer takes another life every 14 minutes. But it only takes one minute to donate.



Remember the Chicago Breast Cancer 3-Day in 2007? I trained, raised money for breast cancer education and research programs, walked, camped in a pink tent, and walked even more. And after all that, they still haven’t found a cure for breast cancer ;)

Statistics still show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes.

So, I’m doing it again. I’m walking in the Washington, D.C. event in October and again raising at least $2,300. Net proceeds from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community initiatives.

I am planning on surpassing the $2,369 that you - my friends and family - gave so generously last time around to help fight breast cancer. Please consider using the enclosed donation form or going online at www.the3day.org/goto/jillianduch to donate. I’m hoping to reach my goal by my birthday (Aug. 24).

If you have any questions or want to hear more about what I'm doing, I love talking about the event. I also am chronicling my experiences online at www.chailatteplease.blogspot.com. Thanks for all of your support. I'm incredibly lucky to have people like you in my life!
The most obvious answer is - HA! You're a journalist! Money? Ya ain't got none.

:: loooooong-suffering sigh ::

Some stereotypes exist for a reason. But no matter how little (or how much) money you make, you still decide how to spend it, and clearly spend more of it on some things rather that others.

For example, after years of stalking Gap and other typical suburban mall shops enough to spot a good deal on jeans or an emerging trend that MUST be followed, I REALLY limit my clothing purchases. Especially those made outside of an outlet mall. In fact, I would say that my only true mall purchase in the last year has been some Clinique make-up. Which replaced (some of the) make-up I bought a year earlier. (Yes, the mascara I'm using is at least 8 months old. It's true. My eye-sight seems fine, though.)

On the flip side, I have dumped well over $300 on work-out gear at Dick's Sporting Goods and New Balance. Because when you spend several hours a week sweating profusely, you can really tell a difference between cheap shoes and yoga pants and the stuff with dry-wick and extra support. It's worth it.

In the meantime, I've been plunking pennies into my savings account and 401(k). I've reached the point where clothing and purses and cars kinda register on my radar as status symbols, but my heart skips a beat when a guy clearly has a healthy retirement account, a good view supported by expert opinion of how much house he can afford and a general disdain for paying interest on credit cards. Maybe it's because I don't completely fit in any of those categories, although I want to. I'm not a gold-digger, but I'd like to be attached to someone whose definition of financial responsibility loosely aligns to mine.

It's hard to balance. I feel as a college-educated, hard-working adult, I deserve to have a certain amount of outside-work fun (that's how I justify all the money I poured into the 3-Day and the trip to Washington, D.C. Oh, and that trip last winter to New Orleans). I also need to present a certain image of myself as a professional (Hence, I buy clothing that is more expensive and better made than the fare at Wal-Mart. I don't have the most expensive or newest stuff, but I can't say that I've ever bought clothing at a thrift store. Or likely will.)

But, it likely will be a long time before I can afford another vacation. I have an emergency fund, but it's not even close to the three- or six-months expenses financial gurus suggest you have in case of unexpected unemployment. I put some money into a retirement account each month, but it's also not close to the 12 to 15 percent these same gurus recommend.

I don't believe in paying interest on credit cards. But I do like the free bonus points, so I generally dump car insurance and other big expenses on a zero-interest card and pay it off gradually while taking those free gift cards straight to the store. (Although some have said that party's just about over.) Money for health and dental insurance is taken out of each paycheck, but I don't think I can really afford the major dental work that probably needs to be done in the next year or two. And I'm pretty sure a major medical incident would sink my finances.

So, how does my money define me? I'm not the best-dressed, but I'm not the worst. I have good stories to tell, but those come from my job, not my super-exciting weekend adventures or vacations. I own a car, but it's a 2006 Ford Taurus I'm still paying for. I splurge on dog treats, but that's because BlackJack is the cutest real-live teddy bear ever. I haven't made the worst spending decisions ever, but I don't exactly consider myself financially stable. If there was an easy way to bring more money into my life, I would undoubtedly take it.

Did I just describe the situation where at least 40 percent of 20-somethings find themselves? I don't know, but I'm only a year and a half away from 30, so I'd better figure something out soon...

Oh ye Midwesterners, spring is NOT just around the corner. Might be time to admit you are still going to be piling on the winter coat, gloves/mitten and scarf for a few more MONTHS. But, this week I'm featuring a crafter who makes all sorts of fun ways to stay warm. She also makes Boobie Beanies, which I saw at the Breast Cancer 3-Day in Washington, D.C., and LOVED enough that I would consider wearing a knit beanie in 70-degree weather. Especially if I found another boob to wear one with me. (That hasn't happened. Yet.)

What I create: I love to knit!  More importantly, I like to knit with a purpose.  I've always got a project in my lap.  If you ever wanted to feel good about an evening as a couch potato, knit some baby hats while watching your favorite chick flick.

My favorite piece in my Etsy shop is:  The Boob Tube Scarf.   I designed and created the orignal for a contest to raise breast cancer awareness.  I didn't win the contest, but the scarf has been a hit:  the biggest seller in my shop.

The charities I support:  Susan G Komen Foundation, Children's Cancer Research, OFA Red Scarf Project, Newborns in Need, and HAP (Handmade Afghans Project)

I also lead the ETSY YARN-A-HOLICS TEAM, which focuses heavily on charity work.

What more people should realize about cancer is: that it can happen to anyone, at any time.   Every day is a gift.  Ruffle feathers.  Turn over stones.  Take the path less travelled.  Follow your heart.

My favorite cancer-awareness slogan:  "Fight Like a Girl"  (although "Feel Your Boobies" is a close second)

The biggest blessing in my life is:  My family:   They're my biggest cheer leaders, and my best friends. 

Follow me 
My series on crafters/artisans/creators who dedicate at least part of their work to fighting cancer might be winding down. So far, I've featured crafters who have a good presence on Etsy, but the charities they support and cancers they fight have ranged from Susan G. Komen for the Cure to the American Cancer Society to a long-time friend.

I have a few more entries planned out, but if you or someone you know would make a good feature for this series, please drop me a note at jillianduch at hotmail dot com.
The signs don't lie:

No one really walks the 3-Day alone. If you come to an event not knowing anyone, buddies will find you on the route, at the blister self-help station and at dinner. And trust me, nothing inspires a sense of closeness like showering in a semi-trailer -- or waiting in line for the semi-trailer showers with a bunch of tired, stinky people. Conversation happens.

But, I can wholeheartedly say whether you've already convinced one or two friends to join your 3-Day journey or whether you're the lone crazy person you know willing to walk 60 miles to help find a cure for breast cancer - it's worth it to find a team. I walked with a friend and coworker my first year (which was great; she's a trooper :) but last year I was blown away by the support and encouragement a team offers. Joining a team won't give you a break on the fundraising - each walker still must raise $2,300 - but team members can plan fundraisers together, pass donations onto each other (in some limited ways), and offer ideas and encouragement when you're running low.

The 3-Day team captain handbook says 79 percent of those who register on a team successfully complete the event, compared with the 56 percent of individual walkers to complete the event. The top reasons walkers aren't successful are: fear of fundraising, scheduling conflicts, injury and pregnancy.

Obviously, a team isn't going to do much about serious injury or pregnancy, but a team captain can help you plan ahead and set priorities, whether it be for training, reaching fundraising milestones or scheduling training walks. A team captain also can emphasize the importance of having good gear, stretching appropriately and/or attending a 3-Day clinic before the event.

Oh, and teams have better T-shirts and slogans.

So, if you've already signed up for the 3-Day, skim the message boards, get a share list or talk with a 3-Day coach about finding a team. More likely than not, walking and fundraising with others will take a load of your shoulders you didn't realize was there...

If you're walking in Chicago, check out Chicago Ms. America Tatas here. We're looking for more members.

Already on a team? Leave a comment with your favorite team name or slogan.
Labels: 4 comments | Links to this post | edit post
... to realize and acknowledge what this girl handled in a few short sentences. Bri was writing about her broken engagement, but I think the sentiments perfectly encapsulate my failed marriage.

At some point, we all learn that not everyone is who they hold themselves out to be, and there’s nothing like observing a person in his natural habitat to make you realize that love doesn’t necessarily transcend all.  Not everything translates well across the ocean, life has never been and will never be a fairytale, and there are some people you can’t help.  That’s when it’s time to take a deep breath and save yourself.

In fact, I would say I spent months staring at "the natural habitat" involved and was still truly unable to articulate what the problem was. Huh. That's part of the reason we have writers, right? To explain the incomprehensible? The obvious things we can't articulate?
In the fall of 2003, I bought what I thought were a super-cute pair of jeans at a Gap Outlet store. They had a gray-ish tint to them and buttoned up the left hip, sans zipper, leaving the front flat. I liked them so much I bought two pairs and thought I was the coolest girl in Hoopeston, Ill.

(Which, really, is like grading on a curve considering that, oh, ten girls ages 20-25 VOLUNTARILY live in Hoopeston. But that's beside the point. And I do have a soft spot in my heart for that little town...)

Then, somewhere along the line, I gained weight. And they didn't fit. But still believing these jeans to be cool, I tossed them into a plastic storage bin, along with random summer clothes, and plunked the whole thing in the garage. Where the jeans have stayed. I periodically tried them on while digging out/putting away skirts and shorts and tank tops, but alas, even losing a few pounds didn't make that top button button without dangerously impeding my breathing.

Until Friday.

Hovering OH SO CLOSE to having lost 20 pounds in my most recent effort to lose weight... (which, really, is becoming a cyclical effort. Try for three weeks. Get discouraged. Sit on arse for two months while enjoying vast quanities of pasta and the eliptical trainer. Repeat. But this time is different, I tell you.) Anywhoo, I went through said storage bin on Friday, because I have lost enough weight that my previous somewhat-snug clothing now requires a belt to ensure I don't flash the potential felons at the courthouse. 


I'm sure every woman in America knows how great this feeling is. Better than a first-date with a guy you've been crushing on for weeks. Better than sleeping in on a Sunday and reading a really good book after days of working like a dog. Better than a promotion. Dare I say: better than sex?

Because whether you're losing weight for health or aesthetic reasons (or both), whether you've been dieting for a few weeks or a few months, this is tanglible affirmation that SOMETHING happened and it's not just in your head or just on your scale. And it's great motivation to keep on truckin' to the next milestone.

So, yeah, here I go...
Sarabee's creations make me wish I was better at knitting. I found her via this cute, pink yarn (half the listing goes to Susan G. Komen for a Cure) and am glad she decided to share her thoughts with you:

What I create: Hi! I'm Sarabeth, I offer handspun and handpainted yarns and handpainted drop spindles

My favorite piece in my Etsy shop is: Oh no, that's like picking between my children... uhm... I really like my baa-baa Poke-Me-Knots... little black and white sheep that you stick on the ends of your needles while you're not knitting to keep your stitches from falling off.

Why I hate cancer: It took my grandpa away just months shy of my wedding. It continues to take lots of grandpas and grandmas and mothers and fathers and children, away from the ones they love. 

The charities I support: The Susan G Komen Foundation, Race for the Cure

What more people should realize about cancer is: It effects all of us, no one is immune, we all know or are someone touched by this disease. We have to demand a cure. 

My favorite cancer-awareness slogan: Cancer sucks!

The biggest blessing in my life is: My husband and three beautiful sons. 

Link to my website: http://www.sarabeedesigns.com

Follow me at:

Twitter: sarabeedesigns 
Ravelry: sarabeedesigns

So, there are no sesame seeds, no tinted lettuce -- and definitely no meat -- in these cute little burgers. If you can't tell by the pic, they aren't ACTUALLY hamburgers. They are white cupcakes with brownies and red frosting. I made them in honor of Election Night and managed not to eat (too many) of the brownie scraps. :)

(The recipe has a few extras, but I have to say, the white cupcakes and brownies topped with a little red frosting was pretty simple and still presented well. The newsroom seemed to like them, but I figure someday I'll be the coolest mom in first grade. Maybe, then, I'll try the sugar cookie fries :))
I was climbing on the Stairmaster about the time Woodstock Willie and Punxsutawney Phil were making their predictions this morning. My gym has huge floor-to-ceiling windows, so I had a great view of the fluffy snow that blanketed the ground and of the snowflakes that continued to fall.

Oh, and I had to scrape my car before I could drive home and shower.

But I soon learned that Willie had predicted an early spring, while Phil (wiser, but perhaps meaner) predicted more winter. A pessimist presented with more and more snowflakes throughout the day, I sided with Phil. Arg.

Doesn't that little rodent know my dog is going stir crazy to the point he runs laps around the furniture when I get home? Doesn't he know I got a GPS pedometer for Christmas I'd love to try out while hiking at Glacial Park? Somehow, I think wearing it around the courthouse to see EXACTLY how far I walk on the average work day is not as exciting. But I'm almost to that point, because I got the thing more than a month ago and haven't actually OPENED the box yet. And it's calling to me.

:: sigh ::

Today was the primary election, and with all those politicans and politicos running around, we still turned to two rodents to tell us our fate. There's probably a joke in that statement somewhere, but I'll let you find it on your own :)