An Interview

    I decided to do an interview for 'The Sowell 
    an Alabama bloggers' forum:
    1. What part of the state do you call home?

I live in Michigan now, but I did live in Huntsville from 6th grade through high school and then back to Michigan for college.

I2. How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging in October of 2010.

3. Why did you start blogging?

The blog started as an extension of parenting ideas used in our workshops and book…How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths…and it has continued as a way to spread happiness and joy in the lives of adults and children.

4. What is your favorite part of being a member of the Alabama Women Bloggers community?

I guess that would be weird since I am a Michigan blogger, but blogging is international, isn’t it?!

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Enjoying my life, helping others, being with family and friends.

6. If you could choose an actress to play you in your life, who would you choose and why?

Sandra Bullock…just because I like her as an actress and as a person (at least from what is assumed to be true about her).

7. Name 5 things on your Bucket List that you hope you’ll check off before you die?

1-seeing both my boys happy and married with wonderful families, 2-finding avenues to help others, 3-visit Tahiti or some other Polynesian island, 4-I could revisit Hawaii a million times and I’d never tire of it, 5-continue to find the good and positive in people and events…recognize the good in the universe.

8. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?

Being a positive and encouraging person…bring a light to others

9. Describe the best moment in your life.

Being married to my college sweetheart and having my 2 sweetie-pies with him

10. If you could “be” anything (no consequences, no fear), what would you “be”?

a parenting expert giving workshops and talks

11. What or who inspires you to blog?

“A Spot of Whimsy” got me started for the beauty in her blogs and now I’m inspired to continue sharing positive messages to anyone who wants to see them.

12. We’re headed to your neck of the woods… what restaurant would you recommend?

In Alabama, Jim and Nick’s would be a favorite of mine too…always stopped there on our way from Michigan to Gulf Shores for spring break. In Michigan, Mr. Paul’s Chophouse is a wonderful steakhouse.

13. What’s a southern tradition you and your family have?

Instilling beautiful manners into children….I saw many great manners being used in the south.

14. If you could pick your favorite blog post from your blog this year, what would it be?

The post that I revisit each year is my Grief post….tells my story, in a nutshell.

15. We all love social media, tell us your links so we can visit. and a personal facebook page, Linked in and google+


Are there other questions you have for me? I’d be happy to share:)))

Here are my favorite people…family, friends, sweetie-pies!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Joyful Thursdays #41

What brings you joy, makes you happy, gives you peace? Here are some photos, quotes, and thoughts that make me joyful.


Joyful Thursdays #41


Here are three things that make me happy and bring me joy:


1) checking a few things off my ‘intentions’ list…   I donated blood on Tuesday (more about that in the future)


2) I was asked to mentor 2 new teachers at my previous school….I hope to help in some way!


3) I made a favorite of ours: banana nut cherry chocolate bread….yummy!


and after...

oh, yeah...add a little butter, and deelicious:)

Are you finding things to do that make you happy? Can you encourage your children to make others happy, too? Here’s to a more positive world!!!

Happy Parenting!

D and C




Want to Help??

Because I love the idea of helping others, I thought I’d share this list of wonderful ideas with you. Even though these are available in the Detroit area, I’m sure many of them can be done anywhere. I hope you like them:

A List of Helping Ideas

33 Things You Can Do to Help Others

This list was compiled by Dan Karlin.  For an update, call 586-731-4490 ext. 116 or e-mail or for an updated version.


While many contacts are given for Detroit Metro agencies, if you live out-state, you might want to check out whom you can help in your area.  Google shelters/soup kitchens/homeless/food pantry/battered women’s shelters, and rescue missions.  Many of the agencies noted below are so close to Comerica Park and Ford Field in Detroit that when you come to an event at either field, you might be able to also deliver a trunk load of items to one of the agencies listed below before the big game.  Names of contact persons/phone numbers are subject to change.




  1. 1. Ring Bells for the Salvation Army


In the old days the S.A. team rang the bells.  Today, the need is greater and the # of locations has expanded.  Either they hire people to ring for $7 an hour (sometimes free for court ordered ‘community service’) or they need churches and groups to come and ring.  So, what’s your church doing?


Call your nearest Salvation Army office in October and tell them you have a group that wants to ring for one day at one location.  (They never ring on Sundays).  You might even get a choice of where to ring.  Hours are generally 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Put up a sign-up sheet at church and divide the day into one-hour time periods.  Trinity, Utica has rung bells for 7 years.  The first year we rang for 16 hours and brought in $80 per hour. (yeah, you need a paint stirrer to stuff the money in by the end of the day).  The second year we rang for 48 hours and averaged $67 an hour.  Our first year brought the coldest days of the year with –30 degree wind chills.  On such cold days take cardboard and a rug to stand on.  Go to a surplus store and buy some hand/foot warmer packets.


The Salvation Army has soup kitchens, programs for the homeless, and provides money up to once a year for families with shut-off notices on utilities.  The local office gets 90% of the money that comes into the kettles.


It’s easy, it’s family & friends having a great time ringing/singing; it’s the easiest way to get involved.  Always have an adult at the kettle….but you could have 10 others ringing or singing (some places don’t allow instruments).  What a great family tradition!!


The Challenge:  You ring for a day….and we will compare to our day…..if your church or group brings in more money for that day, we’ll buy donuts, bagels, or desserts for your church.



  1. 2. Sort/Pack Food at a Food Bank


Gleaner’s Food Bank is located a mile from Comerica Park, Eastern Market, and Belle Isle.  It’s safe, clean, indoors, and will absolutely amaze you when you see the millions of pounds of food that come in and go out, all because of volunteers like you.  The main warehouse is at 2131 Beaufait, Detroit.  The phone # is 313-923-3535.  Call in advance and talk to the volunteer coordinator.  This is such a great place to work that you will want to call even months in advance to reserve a special date/time if you work on a Saturday.  Shifts are 9 – 12 and 1 – 4.  You can work mid-week if you plan it out in advance.  Gleaner’s prefers 8th grade and older.  They do have ‘satellite’ smaller warehouses in Warren and Taylor where you can bring younger kids.  If possible, get to the main warehouse—it’s a much higher amazement factor.  This is the best place to begin to take people out of their ‘comfort zone.’  Don’t forget your local food bank.  Even Macomb County has a food bank that always needs your non-perishables.



  1. 3. Twin Sheets


New or used, there is a need by most every shelter for twin sheets because most have only twin beds.  Your kids have grown up and the twin sheets are still in the closet?  Hey, you need only 1 set for ‘some day when you need that bed’.  Other folks are in need NOW.  Sesame Street characters on the sheets?  Kids will love them at the shelter.  You don’t need all those sheets in the linen closet.  “If a man has two coats and you see….”


Ahhh, already cleaned out those sheets?  Ever notice that you are bombarded with $5 off for a $15 or more purchase at linen stores? Look for the clearance section.  When you purchase a $10 item, get a set of inexpensive sheets and use the $5 off coupon.  New is nice, used will do.


What about full/queen/king sheets?  Call a ministry and ask.  The biggest need is twin sheets.



  1. 4. Detroit Lunch


The ’Open Door’ is operated from within Fort Street Presbyterian in Detroit.  Only 2 blocks from COBO Hall and Joe Louis Arena, the ‘Open Door’ provides a very hearty lunch, clothing, showers, haircuts, health care, and job referrals.  They prefer that volunteers be there by 8:30 a.m. to prepare for serving from 9 – 11 a.m.  They are open ONLY on Thursdays.  A plethora of volunteers (many coming each Thursday for 20+ years) and a few paid staff give you an opportunity to help others and feel safe at the same time.  Middle school kids are welcomed with parents.  It is best for groups of 1 – 6, because there are so many volunteers.  Book in a time to work and be sure to get the tour of the church.  Call 313-961-4533 and ask for Ben.



  1. 5. NSO Lunch


Every Saturday at 4:30 p.m. a car or van rolls up at the NSO in Detroit.  The NSO (Neighborhood Service Organization) is not known for being a pretty place.  Many of the people who come to just sit with their bag of possessions on their laps are among the chronic homeless.  Quite often there are drug, alcohol or mental illness issues.  It is best if volunteers are adults and high school kids.  Serving time takes 30 minutes or less.  Address of the NSO is just south of Martin Luther King Street at 3430 Third in Detroit.  Trinity, Utica takes a meal the first, second, and third Saturdays of the month.  Join us in cooking or serving…or both.



  1. 6. Swim Trunks


The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries’ “Oasis” Shelter is a former YMCA in Highland Park.  The building has Pewabic tiles and the swimming pool was left intact.  When your kids (especially boys) grow out of their swim trunks, forget trying to sell them for a quarter on the rummage sale.  Send them to the Highland Park location or to the main office at 150 Stimson, Detroit, MI 48201.  Phone 313-993-4700.  If you are dropping these off, consider towels, sheets, etc. too.  They also use swimsuits at summer camp.



  1. 7. Towels.


New, used, or old; it doesn’t matter.  Every ministry needs towels.  The Detroit Rescue Mission shelters 1200 people each night and needs a lot of towels.  In fact, there are days when towels are cut into halves or fourths so that there are ‘enough’ to go around.  When you purchase new towels, the ‘old’ ones go further back on a shelf in the linen closet.  If you haven’t used the towels for 2 years, it’s time to send them on to the DRMM.  And, send along a few wash cloths too.  Sometimes you can find a ‘bundle’ of them for about 20 cents each.  Consider the $3.50 NEW towels.  A reasonable size and thickness are best.  See # 3 above for how to use those $5 off coupons.  It’s not about YOU saving $5 for a coffee and Danish…it’s about extending your resources to do more for others.


In fact, if you bought the $8 towel and then added a hand towel and wash cloth, a few bath beads, special soaps, a cologne, etc…this would make a fantastic WELCOME package for girls/teens that come in from being on the street.  Talk to ‘Alternatives for Girls’ (did you see them on OPRAH when Oprah gave them $100,000 to continue their work!)  They are in South West Detroit at 903 W. Grand Blvd (kind of built back from the street side).  Phone 313-361-4000.  AFG provides a new life for women who tire of working the sex trade industry.  AFG also provides many prevention programs.



  1. 8. Beds


Lutheran Child and Family Services works with hundreds of foster kids and their families.  They always need beds…you will hear a sigh of relief when you can provide bunk beds.  If Protective Services finds kids sleeping on the floor, the children can’t stay in the apartment or house.  You can call LCFS at 248-968-0100.  They are located in Oak Park.  Consider adopting some of these kids at Christmas either as a family, or maybe taking 10 for your church.  Also…for kids…see #9A Birthday bags



9. Birthday Bags

Those kids in foster care would love a special birthday package.  Decorate a handle bag, fill it with a cake mix, frosting mix, hats, napkins, plates, cups, plasticware, etc. and deliver the bags to Lutheran Child and Family Services…or Big Family of Michigan as they also work with children for adoption.  Jeanne Fowler is the director of Big Family.  Their phone number is 248-885-0155.  The warehouse (call for hours) is 17083 Masonic, Ste. 223-224, Roseville, MI 48066.



10. Socks


Socks and underwear are at the top of the list for so many of the homeless and the needy.  When we make lunches for the homeless we like to add in a pair of socks, especially new tube socks.  While some stores run bargain prices occasionally, we have found several sources via the internet where you can purchase a dozen pair of socks…plus shipping for $5.  To help, call 865-828-3780 and ask for George.  A fresh pair of socks is a great feeling—especially when so many of the homeless have foot problems.



11. Cards to Prisoners


We got the idea from St. Lukes in Ann Arbor and modified it to fit our needs.  Our contact for names and addresses of prisoners is Deacon Ken Smith at 734-730-1135; or his email address is:  There are a lot of lonely people in prisons and many of them are Christians with a very, very deep faith.  The first year we sent out 300 cards (actually a very cheesey card made on the photocopier).  We were surprised to receive 25 responses, many of which humbled us and made us cry.  So, the next year we sent 700 cards and have received 50 responses, many of which humbled us and made us cry.  We now send to 800 prisoners for Christmas and for Easter.  Each also receives a birthday card during the year.  Volunteers, hand address the envelopes with names and addresses from Deacon Ken.  We now purchase the cards @ $0.23 each (includes s/h) from in Chicago.  (We ask for the religious….the humorous might not work well with the incarcerated).  We use the church return address and put on a first class stamp so all members have to do is take the card, write in a note, and send.  Members use their middle name so there is no way that a prisoner could contact the sender in person.  Several years ago we began sending Easter cards….and now birthday cards (yes, the 23 cent cards).  The loneliness of a person in prison is soooo intense; your letters are especially appreciated.



12. Hotel Soaps/Shampoos


Come on, you have them in bags, in suitcases, in cupboards, in medicine chests, and in linen closets.  Hotel soaps, shampoos, and lotions.  You paid big bucks for the room and you were going to get your money’s worth, so you took the soaps.  (Actually, you SHOULD do that, because health codes require the housekeeper to throw them out—even if you don’t use them).  Load them up and fill a barrel at church with these.  Maybe have a contest between groups for the most items collected.  Yeah, sure, you are going to use them.  When?  Won’t need them at the Second Coming!  Many ministries use these for hygiene packs for the homeless.  The Open Door (see

# 4 above) comes close to coveting these.  And, the Veteran’s Hospital at 4646 John R in Detroit wants them too.  Go to the far south entrance (blue) and take them to room A1015.  Their phone number is: 313-576-3332.  (A very few shelters prefer the large bar as they have guests stay for longer periods of time…so ask before you just drop them off.)  We now pack soaps/shampoos into milk crates (clear garbage bag liner) and take them to the Detroit Rescue Mission and the New Fellowship Church on Puritan in Detroit.



13. Pray


Ahhh, that’s a good one.  Yes, it is!  Consider adding to your prayer list each Sunday a new ministry…or one new ministry each month.  The added bonus is that it raises awareness in your congregation when the prayer is said aloud during a worship service!



14. Fast Food Gift Coupons


When you notice that the person sitting next to you at a fast food chain, or in the mall, or maybe someone asks you for a dollar for a cup of coffee, don’t offer them cash.  Cash can purchase a quick fix through a bottle or another drug.  Keep a few McDonalds’ coupons in your wallet.  “Can you use these?”  It’s nice to be ready.  The same goes for bus tokens/tickets.  Don’t give cash.  Don’t give cash.  Don’t give cash.



15. Diaper Drive


Any shelter that has children, needs diapers—especially sizes 3, 4 and 5.  We’d like to recommend Compassion Pregnancy Center, 37540 Gratiot #100 (just north of the Taco Bell at 16 Mile Rd.) in Clinton Township, 48036, phone: 586-783-2229.  If you are overwhelmed by the generosity of your group or church….you can share some of the diapers with COTS, Detroit Rescue Mission, or Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac.  We also recommend Abigayle Ministries, 12313 19 Mile, Sterling Heights, MI 48313.  Their phone # is: 586-323-1411.



16. Medical Equipment


You (or maybe Medicare) paid very good money for that wheel chair, walker, cane, shower chair, etc.  It’s been sitting somewhere for a long time…in storage and unused.  You just never know when YOU might need it.  Of course, it’s been 13 years since grandma used it…but you just ‘never know.’  World Medical ships these items all over the world.  They are in a huge warehouse near the Lodge and Davison at 11745 Rosa Parks, Detroit, 48206.  Their phone number is 313-866-5333.  They are easy to get to and they even take volunteers to work on Saturday mornings…but call in advance.  If your church made a collection of a lot of these items…they might even send a truck to pick up.  Many physicians from other countries send everything medical that they can.  Contact a hospital or local association of (name the nationality).  Consider small medical equipment to the S.A.Y. YES clinic at 211 Glendale, Highland Park.



17. Toothbrushes & Toothpaste


Most every shelter needs toothbrushes and toothpaste. While dental care is often the first thing given up among the working poor or the homeless, when we have to do ‘searches’ for specific programs, we are amazed at how many carry dental care items with them.  Your coffee hour group or office group can purchase toothbrushes.  Don’t pay retail.  Get your money’s worth.  May we suggest: 21 cents each when ordering 250 (free shipping) through Venture Six at 800-506-2901.  Or you can often buy eight toothbrushes for $1.00 at Dollar Stores.  If you are near the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens….try 12 for $1.00


Although you get more for your money with toothpaste in large tubes, it’s easier to carry in a pocket if it’s a sample sized tube.  Ask your dentist where she/he gets them.  Often you can get the sample size for 39 cents each.



18. School Supplies


When those 70 page spiral bound notebooks go on sale in July, the best price is usually about $.10 each rather than the $1.00 or more during the rest of the year.  A case of 24 will set you back $2.40.  Consider glue or pencils or crayons when the prices are what the store uses to draw you in—like 10 or 25 cents.  Any ministry that works with kids will LOVE to have these items.  We ask for volunteer shopper(s) who use $400 from the church to maximize the amount purchased, and then donate to ministries with kids.  Three people use $100 to shop….and the rule is spend no more than 25 cents for any one item.  The Capuchins at 4390 Conner, Detroit, MI, phone 313-822-8606 by Detroit City Airport, do a lot of work with families/children.  They would love to have your school supplies/art supplies.  Consider serving a meal when you take in the supplies.  You will find a lot more families at this location than at most other kitchens.  Call in advance to reserve a spot for you and your older kids.  Ask about any dress rules for those who are working.  This will get you two good deeds in one swoop!



19. Used Cell Phones


Sure, you paid good money for that phone, but you now have a new phone and a new contract.  That old phone is just sitting in a drawer.  If you could hear it, you’d hear it shout: “DONATE ME.”  Yes, phones can be reprogrammed for 911 use by senior citizens and by battered women.  We donate ours to Turning Point Shelter in Mt. Clemens.



20. Toys


Does your child REALLY need 15 different new toys at his/her birthday party (and don’t forget toys from you and the grandparents).  How about putting on the invitation that the gifts should be UN wrapped and will be donated to kids in foster families.  Take the toys to Lutheran Child and Family Service (LCFS) for the 700 foster children they work with.  Many foster families have more love than money, and special birthday gifts extend their own budget as they provide for their foster kids.  You also teach your kids to give rather than receive.  (Hint, when you celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary, why not do the same.  You can use only so many 25th anniversary platters, and glasses.  Collect sheets/towels/food for a specific agency).  The LCFS office is in Oak Park at 15160 W. Eight Mile (just east of Greenfield) 48237.  Phone is 248-968-0100.  Ask for Marc Melton.  Do you live closer to Bay City?  They have an office there, too.  Last year Trinity ‘adopted’ 15 of the foster kids at Christmas to make sure each had several gifts.  Call in November to ‘adopt.’



21. Fresh Baked Goods


Love to bake, but no one to bake for?  Call an agency and ask how many people work there…and bake something special for their snack room.  Enclose a card that thanks them for what they do.  Everyone loves to be appreciated.  A fresh cake or platter of cookies is a wonderful thought, always appreciated, and will put a smile on a worker’s face…and that will be handed on to the next client they work with.  With time since the Christmas baking season, we asked members to donate home baked cookies to be given to ministries.  We wound up with 100 dozen cookies (and lots of ministries to share these with).  We saw the puzzled and surprised looks on faces as we delivered….but imagined the smiles as they tasted the finest.



22. On The Rise Bakery


Check out On the Rise Bakery at 6110 McClellan in Detroit (Southeast corner of I-94 and Gratiot).  Operated by the Capuchins, they take men who are coming out of prison and teach them to bake.  The food is marvelous and the price is better than right.  I recommend the cookies.  Although a chocolate lover, the texture of the oatmeal-raisin is phenomenal.  They take their baked good on the road each Sunday and sell them at Catholic churches in the metro area.  Hey, will you sell to Lutherans?  YES.  We were on board for the first non-Catholic church sale on Oct. 18, 2009.  When will your church host them?



23. Laundry Soap & Tissue


When the dry laundry soap goes on sale, consider a second box.  Ditto for facial tissues.  Many agencies have a washer/dryer for their own use, their kitchen, or for clients.  Maybe you have a classroom that requires each child to bring in a box of tissue to use during the year.  Ask for 2 boxes…and send that extra box to an agency.  Quite often this is a luxury when needed to take care of tears and noses.  Consider the Hope Clinic, located at 103 Arnet, Ypsilanti, MI 48198.  Call 734-485-5595 and ask for Jean Horak.  When you call, ask “What else do you need this week?”


Can’t get to Ypsi?  Any of the other ministries would covet these items.  Consider, also, for the young hands at home, to purchase the 40# bucket of laundry soap for $11 at a ‘big box’ store.  Kids can measure a level scoop into a zip lock sandwich bag, squeeze out the air, and zip seal.  Save your pop cans to make such purchases.  Ministries love the laundry soap—and it’s ready to give to clients.  We have a member who collects pop cans at work and then purchases the large tubs of soap for us to scoop into bags.



24. Toilet Paper


We like to ask “What do you NEED?” because what we think someone needs is not necessarily what they would say.  Toilet paper and feminine hygiene are also at the top of the NEED list.  Hygiene products that didn’t work like you thought they would are still on a shelf…unused…and waiting to be taken to a shelter.  You are already pulling out hotel amenities and unused towels, keep looking.  Have a toilet paper Sunday and build a ‘wall’ of fame.  Any and all shelters would love to receive such a gift.  Oh, and don’t forget the bleach.  Wait till it goes on sale….or purchase at discount groceries and dollar stores.



25. Gardening


There are usually two large gardens so that soup kitchens and individuals can have access to fresh produce.  Brother Rick at the Capuchins on Meldrum and Gleaner’s Food Bank, both have large gardens.  If you enjoy getting into the soil, contact them, and join them in the garden.  The Capuchins are located at 1264 Meldrum, in Detroit.  Their phone number is: 313-579-2100.  The Capuchin organization is very large.  They also take household items, towels, sheets, etc.  Keep them in mind.  Ask a gardener’s club for local community gardens.  Maybe a plot at your church to be tended with the continued fresh items given to a local shelter would be a good idea.  Trinity began its first garden (Grace Garden) in 2009.  We will use a lot of the veggies in our meals on Sunday for the homeless and those in need.  Some will be blanched and frozen.  Some were given to guests at our meal for them to take home.



26. “Poverty Simulation”


This two hour game takes an hour to set up.  You need a group of 24 or more (up to maybe 50).  High School aged children and adults are best as they are more ‘aggressive’.  The ‘game’ is extremely well laid out and has a lot of good points for you to ‘learn’ about poverty and why sometimes others make decisions that you would not…at least when you have what you need and a lot of what you want.  For someone to come to you from Lansing and lead you through the game, the cost will be in the $200 to $250 range.  It is worth every penny!  If your group can organize to go to a movie, do a hayride or shop at the Birch Run outlets, they can ‘afford’ to pay a few dollars to play a mind and soul changing ‘game.’  Contact Gail or Lisa at 989-355-1855.



27. Coats/gloves/stocking caps.


Most agencies beg for these items every fall.  Why not collect them during the spring when all of these are put away…or in October when people look for new items at a better fit/size.  Sweatshirts too are welcome.  Collect in July and call it ‘Christmas in July.”  Contact any of the agencies noted already.  One of our volunteers saw men’s long john underwear on sale in March for $2.50 per pair as opposed to $8.95 regular price.  We bought 40 pair to store for next winter.  Would you ask your knitters to make caps for ministries?  Ask a merchant in your congregation to put up a sign, or add to a sales brochure that customers receive (something that is not moving off the shelf) for each towel or some other item that is brought in for a shelter.  Connect it with Christmas (giving) and July sale (getting)



28. Leftover food

Did you know there is a ‘Good Samaritan Law’ that states when a business donates food in good faith that it will be handled well, they can’t be sued if something goes wrong.  (Google: Good Samaritan Law of 1996).  We are blessed to receive up to 50 pounds of pizza each week from four Pizza Hut’s Buffet, bread from Great Harvest Bread Co., ice cream cakes from a Dairy Queen, meat and potatoes from two Lone Star Steak Houses, Chipotle, and two Starbucks.  Most of these are given away to ministries on the ‘front lines.’  We use some here for emergency situations and for times when we sponsor programs for sheltering the homeless.  Restaurants can contact Forgotten Harvest to have their food taken to shelters.  Oh, and don’t forget, when your shower or graduation party is over and you have 53 pieces of chicken leftover (after eating 5 pieces you have NO interest in leftovers), freeze them or take them immediately to a shelter.  Develop a relationship with them so they know you take care of food in transit (cold foods cold, hot foods hot in transit) and that you take them only good stuff.



29. Corporate wear clothing


There are ministries who look for corporate wear so that their clients can interview for office jobs.  C.O.T.S. (at 26 Peterboro in Detroit) has a sizeable closet.  We are aware of another closet on Detroit’s east side—the Samaritan Center.  Please take in only what is reasonably current….not the ‘in’ clothing from 20 years ago.

30. Jeans, work shirts, belts

Any shelter will crave jeans, work shirts, etc. in good condition, or slightly worn, not stained or with broken zippers.  There is a special need for sizes 30-36.  Hey, if you are a larger size, give up those coats you don’t need anymore.  For homeless people who ‘layer up’ they arre looking for sweaters and coats in XL, XXL, and XXXL.  Consider tennis shoes in almost new condition, too.



31. Household items


For people who are getting ready to live in an apartment again, many do not have items needed to begin a household such as: dishes, silverware, pots and pans, glasses, Tupperware, etc.  Shelters often ask for these items.  We get new items and ‘keep the old’ even though we no longer use them.  Someone needs them, donate.  Walk once into an apartment where the family has only the fridge and stove that came with the lease and you will never forget what to do with household items.  Call Mother Bey at Star of Hope.  They need furniture and household items.  Their number is 313-656-7971.



32. Other Stuff


Wherever you work, you may find items that are being thrown out.  Some businesses look specifically to help out.  Panera Bread, each night offers all left over bread and baked goods (sometimes enough to fill a mini-van) to agencies that work with the homeless and needy.  Some, unable to sell items from shoes to bicycles will send them to a crusher, or just throw them out.  The logic is understandable: if someone sues over a spilled cup of coffee that was purchased, what might happen if someone sued over a pair of shoes given away but ‘caused’ a fall…and a lawsuit.  And, this is real.  We have, however, through members who work at Trinity, been able to ‘rescue’:


  • 7 pallets of coats that were the ‘old’ design as they ordered new designs,
  • hundreds of pounds of laundry soap in boxes that had been crushed or had a cut in the box,
  • 23 cases of adult diapers when the federal agency did not slow down the order as requested by the family.


There are a lot more items.  You know the things.  You see them at work.  The leadership doesn’t know what to do with the items, or they don’t want to take the time.  Call Dan at 586-731-4490 ext. 116.  There might just be an agency that wants/needs such items.  And, most thrift stores are just a phone call away.  For us, Rescued Treasures, 586-997-9942, not only resells these items, but sends the profits on to Grace Centers of Hope (formerly the Pontiac Rescue Mission).


Even old books, videos, CDs and cassettes are useful because we sponsor a sale the week after Easter each year.  Funds generated are used to purchase items for the ministries we partner with.  We’ll take your books, videos, CDs and cassettes all year long!



33. Got extra time? When you are in Detroit I’d love to share with you the “Dan Tour” of Detroit.  You will see the best of it, and you will see the worst of it.  We will stop at several ministries, and take a quick tour, have lunch, and stop by the La Gloria Bakery.


There are LOTS of things that you can do; things you can involve children with.  Don’t hide the poor and needy; teach them to look for the poor and needy.  They will watch what YOU do and follow in your footsteps.  Google: “If you have one coat and see a person in need.”  Build a base of Scripture that talks about what GOD wants you to do.  Matthew 25 and Eph. 2:10 are good to begin with.


Looking for a good video series/books/Bible Studies?  Contact us.


Looking for a great fundraiser?  Check out  This organization has given all of their profits ($77,000.00 in 4 years) to metro area shelters and soup kitchens.



Have fun checking out the list and adapt it to work for you:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Joyful Thursdays #11

What brings you joy, makes you happy, gives you peace? Here are some photos, quotes, and thoughts that make me joyful.

Joyful Thursdays #11

Because today is a special day…Scott’s birthday!!…all three of the things that make me happy are my sweet son #2.

Happy, happy, happy birthday, Scott! I love you lots:


Where it all began…

Chad welcoming baby brother Scott!


my happy guy!

birthday #1...yummm

love that look...


with Dad


From my favorite photo…

brotherly love....

To the present….

still great buds

what a guy:)

the boys and their girls!!

handsome brothers

mom and her boys

Scott and his pup


what a great son….sweet, kind, thoughtful and responsible, independent, resourceful….love you, buddy!

Happy Birthday, Scott!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C


Old or New?

Some things get better with age, right? But some things disappear and others are definitely no longer ‘cool’.


I got a bit carried away checking through the old slides to see what I could find…lucky for you I quit after perusing a few thousand slides…so much fun to see what was popular 30 years ago! Still popular, or not? You get to decide:)

are sleds still fun??




Some people worry about…


weapons....hatchet, with a about binoculars!


learning how to 'fix' your gun at Grampa's

boys automatically know how to make a shooting sound!


dart guns...and a sit-and-spin!

Everyone loves….



another swing....and water!!

What about….


Christmas jumping jack toy


Some things look very different, but some stay the same…

roller skates...



and, of course, bikes....

and more bikes!

So….old or new….which ones are still around? These all provided me with great memories. I hope you save your precious memories for your future. Looking back is beautiful!

As a cute little side note: I found these 2 signs recently! Aren’t they ‘retro’ in a scary sort of way:))

nothing like healthy chocolate sauce...

I love this one!!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Being Positive

Do you feel angry, nervous, scared, anxious….negative?? I am trying to increase the positive vibes around those I know and care about….why?? Well, why not?  I am not always happy and positive, but I do try to be…and I think much of our negative thoughts hang on longer than they need to. Here is a list of things that I believe can help your perspective…and I think looking at the list in color helps make it more important. Color helps your brain to focus so if you’re looking at this in black and white..print it and highlight in a couple of colors!!


This is just an outline of ideas, so if you want more info just ask and I’ll explain whatever you want me to…I would sure like to have more positive energy in my life. How about you?


find something to smile about:)

Happy Parenting!

D and C


Joyful Thursdays #2

What brings you joy, makes you happy, gives you peace? Here are some photos, quotes, and thoughts that make me joyful.


Joyful Thursdays #2


Three things that bring me joy:


1) the ability to visit a beautiful museum during the middle of the day with friends…at the Detroit Institute of Arts

2) learning…that life-long learning thing definitely appeals to me:)

3) this lovely gift from my 2 guys many years ago when I moved from 6th grade to 2nd grade teacher…a chair, a rocking chair, a soft-cushiony chair…for groups, reading (loved reading to students)…and now, at home…I can sit in the sun with the cat on my lap, still reading!!

And because I can’t help myself, here are a few more favorite ‘found’ slides:)))

I love photos like this, holding hands, looking away!


me with my guys

Dad with his guys

Lots of things bring me joy and happiness!! How about you? Look hard and share them with your family:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C


48 Facts You Never Knew About Me

We have a beautiful sunny weekend in Michigan with a little bit of shining snow on the ground. So…I thought I’d do something I have never done before….a survey about me! I stole this survey from a lovely blogger…Angie on Maui from Living Aloha. Go visit to see her beautiful thoughts and photos. She’s a gem!!


Goofy survey…now:

1. What time did you get up this morning? around 7

2. How do you like your steak? medium

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?: War Horse…an amazing story

4. What is your favourite TV show? Rizzoli and Isles and the new show, Alcatraz

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right where I am with the chance to travel anywhere for short periods of time

6. What did you have for breakfast? A breakfast burrito from McDonald’s
7. What is your favorite food? Potatoes! Mashed, baked, roasted, French fries, scalloped…….
8. Foods you dislike? fishy fish, strawberries (weird, right?), brussel sprouts, cilantro

9. Favorite place to eat? Mr. Paul’s Chop House (near Detroit) or Grills (Cocoa Beach, FL)

10. Favorite dressing? depends on the salad, but ranch or raspberry/walnut

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Traverse

12. What are your favorite clothes? jeans and sweaters

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Tahiti

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? at least 1/2 full, usually way more

15. Where would you want to retire? I am…right here!

16. Favorite time of day? morning after the sun rises

17. Where were you born? Port Huron, MI

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Olympic Sports, summer and winter…gymnastics, diving, ice skating

19. What is your favorite fragrance? Chopard, love it! I have a sensitive nose…dislike many smells

20. What is your favorite face cream? Lubriderm

21. Favorite baby/kids products? safe ones!

22. People watcher? Yup!

23. Are you a morning or night person? morning…see #16

24. Do you have any pets? Beautiful, black cat…keeps me company every day

25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share? book published for parents

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher or secretary…became a teacher for 41 years!!

27. What is your favorite memory? college memories with my hubby and family vacations with the 4 of us

28. Are you a cat or dog person? cat

29. Are you married? this may seem like a strange answer since he died 15 years ago…but a very definite YES!

30. Always wear your seat belt? Always in the front seat, rarely in the back seat

31. Been in a car accident? one..other car kids who had been drinking, no one was hurt

32. Any pet peeves? people who are unkind, those who make decisions without all the info, neglect

33. Favorite pizza toppings? sausage and lots of cheese

34. Favorite flower? red carnation

35. Favorite ice cream? chocolate

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? McDonald’s every morning for drive-thru breakfast…even though I’m retired!

37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Never.

38. From whom did you get your last email? My buddy Bev

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I love Target and/or Kohl’s

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? answered a ‘pay it forward’ email

41. Like your job? loved it…not sure I would like the politics of it now…teacher

42. Broccoli? Yes

43. What was your favorite vacation? Hawaii…have been 4 times…love it!!

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? part of the Torch Lake group

45. What are you listening to right now? nothing…cat purring, snow melting in the sunshine, peaceful quiet

46. What is your favorite color? red and yellow…warm, sunny colors

47. How many tattoos do you have? One. A memory angel. Got it at 65!!

48. Coffee drinker? yup, once a day


Well, that was kind of fun!! Want to join in?? Please do!!

Find things to make you happy!!
Happy Parenting!
D and C



‘Family’ + Christmas Share – Day 4

Hi everyone! And welcome to Day 4 of Parga’s Junkyard’s 25 Days of Christmas!

Introducing Kara from “Happy Go Lucky Harvey” with her Red and Green Mint Brownie Recipe.
Kara says,

“It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy any thing that combines mint with chocolate! 

See them here!

Don’t these Mint Chocolate brownie bites look delicious?  The mint green icing with red sprinkles make it look so festive ~ Perfect for all those holiday parties your planning and attending this month.”

Check out the rest of Kara’s post here.  Remember to send her some love…


Now for some Childhood Myths info…can you help me figure out what type of flyer or publicity would give parents the idea that they would love to hear a funny story or parenting tip that might make their lives easier, please!!!  We put on a parenting workshop the other evening. The elementary school sent out flyers and electronic newsletters inviting the parents of over 400 students in K-3rd grade…only an hour, in the evening during the week. In the past, for one grade level we might get 20-30 parents from 90-100 kids.

This week….we. had. ONE. parent….ONE!!

We did have lots of fun giving out and sharing info with this lovely lady. She went home very upbeat and excited to try just a couple of things with her 2 little guys. We would love to be able to encourage more parents with helpful hints, but we need them to be there. Any ideas out there?  How about you?? Want some answers from folks who have been through both the parenting issues and the teaching issues? We don’t proclaim to have all the answers, but we’d be happy to share the little things that seemed to work for us. Thanks for letting me rant….whew!…that felt good! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!!


How about smiles during the holidays? From little to big…friends forever…

happy little guys

still happy


all of us happy (and actually thinking we looked cool!)


Enjoy those friends closest to you during the holidays….they are the best!!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C



Just sharing a few more Mediterranean trip photos:

sampling brandy and figs in Dubrovnik

enjoying Croatian food and music

clock tower in the plaka

very narrow, uphill street in Croatia with very recognizable shops :)

We all loved the combination of food and music and history…so much energy and fun! Learning a bit about an area in the world that I knew nothing about was great!

More to come….


Happy Parenting!

D and C