Mission Impossible II: Moving My Parents To Florida

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     “Your mission, Suzanne, which you have no choice but to accept, is to pack up your parents’ house and move them to Florida. This will test your physical, mental and emotional fortitude. And this will occur during the hottest week of summer to make it even more unpleasant. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Suzanne. You’re going to need it.”
     After living in the same house for 42 years, my parents decided to move to Florida. Correction, Mom made the decision. Dad will tell you that he was forced to go. Dad hates the heat. No, he loathes it.
     He loves Florida in the winter though. But now instead of going south for winter, they will go north for summer.
     I knew this was going to be a monumental task. And even that was an understatement. Continue reading

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Mission: Impossible – a.k.a. Vacationing With Mom and Dad

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     “Your mission, Suzanne, should you choose to accept it, is to accompany your parents on a vacation into the wilderness. You will be responsible for their well-being and returning them home safely. At times, they will ignore you and will perform acts to thwart your efforts. However, you must persevere. There will be no Wi-Fi or cell phone coverage. So, you are on your own. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Suzanne.”

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     I hear you saying, “Come on, Suzanne. How bad could it be? It’s a vacation!”
     Clearly, you have no prior knowledge of our family vacations. Unless we were in peril and almost died at least once, it was not a good vacation.
     Seriously. Continue reading

What a Transformation!

d125032c974831bfece776441f888bd1     I am pleased to post my wedding gown transformation article courtesy of the wonderful non-profit, Little Angel Gowns. And it just so happens to coincide with their one year anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Little Angel Gowns!

     If you missed my first article on Little Angel Gowns, the organization works with hospital bereavement programs to provide burial gowns and pouches to grieving families.

     The gowns and pouches are made from wedding gowns, formal dresses and first communion dresses.

     They are funded solely by donations and work on a volunteer basis. Each gown is individually wrapped in tissue and presented to families by the medical team caring for their baby.

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     My old wedding gown was transformed into several beautiful angel gowns. I am humbled and honored to post the pictures of the transformation process.

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     If you haven’t done so, please consider getting involved with this organization and the services it provides.

     There are so many ways for you to get involved. Obviously, you can donate a gown, or gowns, in the case you have a closet bursting with bridesmaids dresses you’ll never wear again. Don’t have a gown? Don’t fret! You can donate your time, supplies or sewing skills. Volunteers are always needed.

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     Several events have been planned for this year, including an Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson sponsored event, “On the Wings of Angels” Charity Motorcycle Ride. It will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2015. Here is the link for the event. https://www.facebook.com/events/420371818123709/

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     If you’re interested in helping them celebrate the invaluable work they do, join them for their one year anniversary party on Sunday, April 19, 2015, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/827184384020094/

     To learn more about Little Angel Gowns or to get involved, check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/littleangelgowns?fref=ts or on their website: http://www.littleangelgowns.org/

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Little Angel Gowns’ Weekend Volunteer Retreat

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     Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further!
     Little Angel Gowns is looking for volunteers this weekend to help with every part of the process.
     There will be food, fun and entertainment.
     Please take some time to help this worthy cause!
     I’ve copied the information from their FB Page below. https://www.facebook.com/events/867875926588433/

Weekend Volunteer Retreat!!

We will host a weekend retreat on February 20- 22, 2015.
We will start at 6:00 pm on Friday, Feb 20 and will go until 3:00 pm on Sunday, Feb 22.

The weekend retreat will take place at our office:
6075 Lakeside Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46278

We are looking for anyone that would like to volunteer in the following capacity:
– Sew gowns
– Take gowns apart
– Prep and draw out patterns on gowns
– Take pics of before and after gowns
– Organize inventory

* Making Hairbows to sell at events.
* Scrapbooking
* Making jewelry bracelets for the mom of the baby

We will provide food, games, giveaways… it will be a FUN weekend.

** If you are going to sew we ask that you bring your sewing machine and supplies.

On Saturday night at 6pm we will host a fun comedy session.

Slapdash Comedy Group is an Indianapolis based group of performers who specialize in improvisational comedy and laughs of all types! Alexandra, Grant, Maddie & Chris have background ranging from The Odeon Society to improv courses at ComedySportz. As part of the audience you will become part of the troupe!

If you are interested, please select the TICKETS link that follows and sign up for the day/time you would like to volunteer. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weekend-volunteer-retreat-tickets-15591185656

Thank you!
~ The Little Angel Gowns Team

February Dress Drive to Benefit Little Angel Gowns

1506780_516810131793340_4658503798310689677_nLittle Angel Gowns began small, in a house, growing into a blooming nonprofit. In December of 2014, LAG became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

They work with hospital bereavement programs to provide burial gowns and pouches to grieving families. These gowns and pouches are made from wedding gowns, formal dresses and first communion dresses.

They are funded solely by donations and work on a volunteer basis. Each gown is individually wrapped in tissue and presented to families by the medical team caring for their baby.

I recently donated my wedding gown to this wonderful organization. I will be documenting my dress’ journey through the process. I ask that you consider donating your gowns for this worthy cause.
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If you do not have a gown to donate, they need supplies and volunteers to organize and sew.

To learn more about this generous organization, click on this link to their website http://www.littleangelgowns.org/

They also have a Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/littleangelgowns.

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This is the information that is posted on their Facebook page concerning the February Dress Drive:

We have had so many of you ask if you could host a dress drive in your local towns, groups, organizations, church groups, work places, and so forth.

During the month of February we will host a LOVE DRESS DRIVE.

We encourage you to create a dress drive in your area with your friends, family or co-workers. Collect all of the gowns you can and then donate them to our organization by the end of February.

The dresses will need to be dropped off or shipped to our office location: 6075 Lakeside Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46278

* The dresses do not need to be cleaned.

* You can cut a 4×4 square inch of your gown to keep.

* All gowns must have the ‘donation gown form’ pinned to the gown.
Please print: http://media.wix.com/ugd/e335e5_c14ca46d8e0a41a0a5d1ea82720dcb2f.pdf

If you have any questions regarding the dress drive, feel free to email us or direct message us on FB. Please direct all questions to Jenn as she is coordinating the dress drive.(littleangelgowns@yahoo.com)

February is the month of LOVE and what better way to show your LOVE then by donating your wedding gown.

We provide our complimentary Angel Gowns to families who have lost a baby. We ship gowns anywhere in the USA.

Many Blessings
~ The Little Angel Gowns Team

Spotlight on Children’s Author Kristen Mott

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     Today’s spotlight is shining on children’s author, Kristen Mott. She will be signing books at The 65th Annual Christmas Gift & Hobby Show on Saturday, November 8th, from 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM.

     Here is Kristen’s story in her own words.

     I’m Kristen Mott, children’s book author, wife, mother, animal caretaker and animal welfare advocate. I knew that I wanted to write children’s picture books ever since I was first able to read them myself. I was finally able to make it happen twenty years later. I believe that children’s books are the only genre that can be enjoyed for multiple lifetimes. You enjoy these books as a child, then inevitably come back to the same stories and read them to your own children years later.

Children’s Literary Classics International Book Awards - Award Winning Book
     I’m very proud of the work that I have done with the first two books in the Odie the Stray Kitten Series.

     Odie the Stray Kitten is a true story about how one brave stray kitten found his way to my farm and into my heart. It received the 2014 Children’s Literary Classics’ Seal of Approval, it won a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award as well as a 2014 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention.

     Odie’s Best Friend was originally written as a response piece to an article I read about the devastating statistics of animal life and death in local shelters. That response was spun down and edited into a story suitable for children. I then combined it with a story I created about how Odie’s best friend Bandit came to live on my farm.  This book has received multiple five star reviews. The third and final book in the series should be available in 2015.Odie_and_Bandit

     I currently live on a small farm in Indiana with my husband and son where I care for Odie and Bandit, the cats who inspired my books, as well as horses and a growing feline family. I strive for my writing to encourage children to read, to write their own stories, and to have compassion for animals.

Learn even more about Kristen Mott and her work through her websites:

http://www.kristenmott.com
http://www.animalstoriesforchildren.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/odiethestraykittenphoto_(5) Kristen

It Finally Happened!

     It finally happened! About two weeks ago, I received the most unbelievable message on Match.com. It was short and to the point. I read it twice before it sank in. I just could not believe my eyes. But there it was staring me in the face. It read, “0 Matches Found.”
     Yes, I accomplished the seemingly impossible feat. I exhausted all of my possible matches on Match.com. Even with my extended search range of 100 miles and age range of 35 to 55, there were no matches. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
     I hear you saying, “Well, you’re being too picky.”
     No, I’m not. I’m giving a 20-year age range within 100 miles. All hair and eye colors, all body types, except obese, all religions, and a college degree.
     It appears my primary problem is that almost everybody in this state has indoor pets. Over half of my supposed matches were eliminated due to a pet situation.
     Granted, some guys say they will get rid of their pets. But I still couldn’t go into their houses. They would have to rip out the carpets, replace their furniture, clean the house’s ductwork, etc. So, let’s face it, not many men would go through that or have the financial means to do so.

     Not to be deterred, I thought I should try another dating site. So, I signed up for Christian Mingle. Their questions were quite different than those found on Match.

     Would you engage in premarital sex?
     Is my mom running this site?
     Do you believe that the only reason to engage in sexual relations is for procreation?
     Um, no.
     How often ideally would you want to have sexual relations? The answers ranged from “every day” to “never.”
     I plead the Fifth on my answer to this question.
     I am sensing an anti-sex theme here. Seriously? Never? If you want to remain eternally celibate, you should look into becoming a Catholic nun or a priest. They need new recruits.
     Moving on…I particularly loved the questions that revolved around my children, especially since I don’t have any. There was no way to bypass the questions. So, I had to base my answers on the imaginary children that I don’t have and never will have.
     Other questions asked about the woman’s role in the home. Those questions pissed me off. It upset me to think that there are women who are acting subservient to men. That’s an entire blog post in and of itself.
     I found one useful question: How is your timeliness?
     I am always early. If you are habitually late, then you will be literally and figuratively wasting my time. Do us both a favor, do not waste my time.
     There were so many absurd questions, I wish I could share them all. But one of my favorites was: How do you feel about wearing fashionable clothes?
     Oh, just throw a burlap sack over my head, and I’ll tie it around my waist with some twine, thank you. Itchy is all the rage this season!
     The more questions I answered, the more I felt I was falling down a rabbit hole, and I was positive I would end up in Wonderland. Remember, Wonderland was royally screwed up.
     After suffering through the questions and filling out the profile, their system told me I had zero matches. I laughed out loud. No kidding. So, I went to the search feature and altered some criteria. Ten guys popped up. I recognized six of the guys from Match. The others had no pictures. I do not communicate with guys who do not post pictures.
     After five days on this site, I wanted to shoot myself. I did searches to cover anyone breathing and with a pulse within 100 miles. There wasn’t anyone remotely close to what I was looking for in a partner. The majority of profiles had no pictures, and the men lived in rural areas and very few had graduated from college.
     The system sent me profiles to view. Most of the men lived in Illinois or Ohio. Sheesh.
     I was done. So, I called to cancel. The best the girl could do was downgrade my account to one month instead of the original six. Wonderful.
     Obviously, some people have found that site successful. I am happy for them. Sorry to say that I was not one of them. Based on my experience, I would never recommend Christian Mingle.

     Since that went so poorly, I joined eHarmony. So far, that site is a dud too. I had no matches again. But this site will not let you search for people. Their computer does the work and sends you matches.
     Really, there is no way to search. Instead, you keep answering questions. I answered 290 questions. Yes, I answered that many. I’m just sitting on my couch watching television on a Saturday night, so why not?
     I got messages saying, “So-and-so is just outside of your parameters.”
     The majority of men were from other states. Not neighboring states like Illinois or Ohio, but states such as Texas, New Jersey, Florida and California.
     The ones that really astonished me were incompatible based on our answers. If we answered 67% of the questions differently, we are not a match. But those were the profiles the computer kept sending me.
     This service was the most expensive. And this was pissing me off. So, I wrote their Customer Service people a nasty-gram.

     “You only send me ‘matches’ who are outside of my parameters. What is the point of answering all of the questions if you ignore them when matching people? I’m getting ‘matches’ when over 50% of our answers differ. Those aren’t matches.
     And I am not interested in anyone who lives out of state. You repeatedly send me guys who live all over the country. How can I get you to stop sending me people who live out of state? It’s ridiculous. I’m not looking for a pen pal. I’m looking for a mate.
     So far, this service has been a waste of time and money. What are you going to do to make this a better experience for me?”
     And I waited. I am not sure what type of response I was expecting. I just wanted to notify them that their computer algorithms sucked, and I was not happy. Less than twelve hours later, I received a response.
     “Our goal is to find matches for you that are compatible with your unique personality in deep and important ways. We do this by using the results of your relationship questionnaire to screen for individuals based on the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility.
     We understand that you won’t feel a connection with all of your matches. Although we put a lot of emphasis here in the early stages of being matched with someone, establishing chemistry only accounts for a portion of what makes a relationship last and is only something you can determine once you get to know someone. We caution you from trying to make such an early assessment from just the match detail information.
     Please be assured that you will no longer receive matches outside your distance setting.”

     I wish I had a pair of hip waders to trudge through that pile of BS.

     Just when I thought all hope was lost, I received an email from Match. Apparently, since all of the kids in Indiana have gone back to school in the last two weeks, there has been a considerable influx on the number of new Match members.
     So, for now, I’m back to the bachelors on Match. Gentle readers, I know you enjoy these posts, but nothing would make me happier than to have a reason to stop writing them. Wish me luck!

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal