Thursday, May 29, 2014

America, Still the Land of the Free?

I believe that America is still the land of the free though sometimes there is reason to wonder! It seems that our hard-won freedoms and rights are still contested more than some would realize!

Winning our rights was only the first battle; maintaining them is the next! This is the "land of the free", but it is also "the home of the brave", brave people willing to continue to defend our individual constitutional rights wherever and whenever they are being violated.

 It is so important that with courage and moral strength we voice our support for those who find themselves in situations where their rights are being usurped. Individual rights is what defines this great nation.When so much as one person's rights and dignity is violated, all of our rights are potentially violated.

In my lifetime there have been a number of issues that come to mind where I feel my rights or those of my family have been violated, and I am sure that you can think of a few in yours as well.  Sometimes I have reacted more passively than I would like to admit, and other times, I voiced my objections loud and clear, and no matter whether I won or not, my voice at least was part of a collective reaction that in due time has gone on to change such situations in the future.

I was a certified special educator/specialist years ago when we first moved to Vermont.  I found myself in a state where funds were less available to support special education. I was without a position at the time, and found myself temporarily assigned as a substitute teacher to work with a child who had cerebral palsy. This child was unable to walk, speak or write. Although his handicap was not my particular area of expertise, it didn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that in fairness to this child, he needed special equipment in order to effectively communicate with others.

I was there to advocate for this child, if only for a  few days. I raised the question as to why this child didn't have a communication board. Although I was only one of many who voiced this same concern, it seems that the school board didn't feel it would be fair to the other children who didn't have one either, though clearly they didn't have the same needs. Politics and funding sadly ruled. Monies were not available so this child's need for special equipment was declined and hence his rights for a proper education violated.

Years after, I worked privately with a learning disabled child.  It was the concern of many that this child was potentially being used to express the parent's need for attention. When this occurs, it is labeled Marchausen Syndrome, and child advocates come out of the woodwork to the rescue such children, as they are not really ill or disabled but their needs are merely created by a parent in need of psychological attention. It is good to voice concerns and defend an individual's rights and their potential for abuse but in this case, the child truly had a medical problem that lead to learning problems that the parent was rightfully seeking support for, in this case from me, a learning specialist. Fortunately rights of this child and her parent's were protected and this child received the services that she was entitled to.

Recently Justine Pelletier has been featured in national news.  She is ill and was diagnosed with an unusual mitochondrial disorder, but in being transferred to Boston Children's Hospital, her diagnosis was scrutinized by another doctor who diagnosed her with a somatoform disorder instead.  This psychiatric disorder superseded the first diagnosis and seems to have unfairly "ruled" her care. It is believed by many that she was essentially "kidnapped" by Boston Children's Hospital and has been held in state custody for over a year, with gag orders for the parents to not speak up in her defense.

This has been  a parent's worst nightmare though the care they had sought for their child was from a different but equally prestigious hospital specialist. She is now being held and treated for a psych disorder against the wishes of her parents and her previous specialist! This has been an unprecedented serious violation of the parents' constitutional rights to choose what they feel is appropriate medical care for their child while the courts battle over her diagnosis and her individual rights. It appears that she is not benefiting from her psychological treatment for her condition may well be the metabolic disorder that she was originally diagnosed with and she is  likely suffering from not only gross injustice but improper care to both the public and parent's horror!

Being parents ourselves of children who had "out-of-the-ordinary-health-issues"  makes me more sensitive to the dilemma of parents working to deal with an unusual and unaccepted illness like that of Justine Pelletier. We sought medical advice for our children's health needs when they were newborn infants and well into their young adult years. We were told by more than one doctor, who did not see what we saw, that our concerns were unfounded and worse yet one doctor expressed that my first daughter's health issues were simply projected "parental issues" not unlike those children with Marchausen Syndrome. Unfortunately the doctors were proved wrong many years later when both of our girls were diagnosed with Late Stage Lyme, acquired in utero, though by then the diagnosis was too late to treat their conditions as simply or as effectively as when they were first noted by us.

As many of my readers know, I continue to voice my concerns that Chronic Lyme Disease become fully recognized by the medical community along with patient's needs and rights for ongoing treatment. Despite legislation being recently passed here in Vermont that is supposed to grant doctors the right to treat this illness using long term antibiotic treatment, many medical facilities are still not accepting the chronic disease as being treatable and are not allowing their doctors to treat chronic lyme patients. Our own doctor has suffered severe political scrutiny by the medical community for what I believe is his truly courageous work with chronic lyme patients.  Sadly his patients are continuing to have to seek treatment out-of-state or go without treatment altogether if they cannot afford such expense.

Injustices are not new. When we lived in Denver in the early 80's, and our first daughter was starting school, we open enrolled her in a public school close to my husband's work. It worked out well for a year and then she was not allowed to return to this same school in order than the numbers of their students be racially balanced. This meant that she would have to attend her local school, but she was not allowed to attend there either for the same reasons and she would instead be forced to be cross-bused far away from home to an area less safe, as well as less accessible to either of our work locations. We fought this mandate as it was clearly a case of reverse racial discrimination to resolve prior racial discrimination. We didn't win but we at least registered our complaint for what turned out to be a disruption and upset to our child, as well as us.  It was only this year that I heard that such reverse discrimination cases were upsetting enough to so many that they have at last been discontinued.

These are but a few examples where individual rights in this country have been violated.  Hats off to those who continue to fight for rights that have been usurped by others! It is only by such fights that wrongs are righted,even if not immediately. Voicing your concerns regarding the injustices that you see is the only way to maintain what is cherished by us all--our individual rights!

My next blog is about Jon Katz, one of our very own Common Thread Artists.  Not only is he the Common Thread Give-Away Artist for June, but is also an example of one of "the brave" in our country, taking on issues that are near and dear to his heart, to be a voice for the rights of carriage horses and their owners to live and work in New York City! Don't miss this blog on Monday or your chance to win a free sample of his work!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Let Freedom Ring

This Memorial Day snuck up on me, with almost another week before the end of May, when I traditionally think of this holiday.  For some reason my thoughts today keep turning to the words of a song that I heard when I was young, sung by my favorite black gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.

I was in Job's Daughters at the time. This is a young women's Masonic affiliated group designed to teach and build character in girls ages twelve to twenty.  I had been elected as leader, which meant that I was responsible for planning six months worth of activities around a central theme.  The theme I chose was Let Freedom Ring and I quoted the words of The House I Live In in one of my several speeches during this time.  The words were touching then and remain so.

Thanks to the world of computers, I looked up this song and you can actually hear it sung by Frank Sinatra (pick a version --the movie version of 1945 is my favorite), and Paul Robeson who sang the lyrics closer to the original version penned by its author. He has a deep rich bass voice, not to be missed.

The second stanza of the original version was considered to be too controversial for it's use in the ten minute movie, The House I Live In made in 1945 where Frank Sinatra sings this song to inspire those fighting in World War II. This original second stanza addressed the work that was still ahead for our nation in order to make this song more accurately reflect the ideal America that its writer envisioned when he wrote it. Sadly, Mahalia Jackson's very reverent and powerful version is more difficult to obtain. No matter whose voice you prefer singing this song, the lyrics written by Abel Meeropol under his pen name of Lewis Allan, are simply beautiful! It apparently became a patriotic anthem during World War II.

The words capture the meaning of what America aspires to and God-willing, always will. Although times have changed and many things are not the same in this country, it is still "the land of the free and the home of the brave", subjects for other blogs I have written and will post this week.  No matter the current issues we face as a nation, I am so privileged to be a citizen of this great country and am so proud of all those who have sacrificed so much in order that freedom still rings for me and for you.  I sincerely thank them all!

The House I Live In
by Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allan)

What is America to me?
A name, a map, the flag I see;
A certain word, democracy.
What is America to Me?

The house I live in,
A plot of earth or street,
The grocer and the butcher,
And the people that I meet;
The children in the playground,
The faces that I see,
All races, all religions,
That's America to me.

The place I work in,
The workers at my side,
The little town or city where my people lived and died,
The howdy and the handshake,
The air of feeling free,
And the right to speak my mind out,
That's America to me.

(Second Stanza Revised Version):
The things I see about me,
The big things and the small,
The little corner news stand
And the house a mile tall.
The wedding and the churchyard,
The laughter and the tears,
The dream that's been a-growing
For a hundred and fifty years.

(Original and "Controversial" Second Stanza Version):
The words of old Abe Lincoln,
Of Jefferson and Paine,
Of Washington and Douglas
And the tasks that still remain,
The little bridge at Concord,
Where freedom's fight began,
Our Gettysburg and Midway
And the story of Bataan.

The town I live in,
The street, the house, the room,
The pavement of a city,
Of a garden all in bloom,
The church the school, the clubhouse,
The million lights I see,
But especially the people,
That's America to me.

Happy Memorial Day 2014!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wooden Clapper Pressing Board and Wool Quilting

New to me and my sewing is the wooden clapper pressing board. Someone on was searching for one, and I hadn't a clue what they were talking about. This website, where sewers either sell or purchase materials, notions, patterns, sewing books or machines has become an education for me. I am constantly bumping into items that I would not have know about otherwise and curious as I am, I have to look them up. I have learned a lot!

A wooden clapper pressing board is a board that is used right after steam-pressing a seam.  It simply is used like an iron but sets the seam professionally without any shine to fabric.  Sadly I found it after I have sewn and quilted most of this wool log cabin lap robe.  I loved the rich look of the wool in this lap robe, but the thickness of the wools made for a very "primitive-looking" quilt, as I could not get the seams to press flat.

About two thirds of the way through this project my cat, Zelda, tested her teeth on the back of this lap robe. "Need is the mother of invention", I have learned too well, and so this wool quilt block will be sewn on the back to cover the tiny spots that will be mended. It properly credits Zelda and me for this log cabin wool lap throw.

Zelda is my dearly beloved companion, but is not so friendly to quilts. I am the owner of my mother's beautiful quilts that are stored until my Zelda's ever shortening life is over.  Mind you, I always said I would never own a destructive cat.  I don't "own her".  She clearly "owns me and my heart" and I am learning to never say "never".

Now as I work on quilts I cover them with tin foil if I leave them on my sewing table as she avoids the foil! I also cover the top of my sofa with a "dog proof" spread and am testing it to see if it is cat proof as well. So far it seems to be more than the top of my sofa. I cover my chairs with "velour" textured throws, as she has a tendency to knead them instead of bite them..  I do think that love grows in proportion to the extra care that is taken to adjust my life to those that I love. It is a good thing perhaps that my kids were both colicy, assuring that I love them with all my heart too!

(This wool log cabin lap throw will be for sale when it is completed. It is going to be toasty warm.  It is rich in color, and quilted primitively using Sashiko thread.  This is a course Japanese quilting thread that is both decorative and durable. Anyone interested in potentially purchasing this lap throw, please contact me. Of course Zeldie added much to its value with her picture on the back!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

When Gifts Become Bigger Than the Giver

Some people call it coincidence but I believe that some things are too special to be mere coincidences. These are moments when I know that there is a God and that He tends to details in my life that I can't imagine a God of the whole universe would have the time to attend to. It becomes a reality that contributes to me knowing that not only does He exist, but that He loves me as if I were the only person on this planet!

At the risk of sounding crazy, I am going to stick my neck out and tell what I know.  Of course, having written that I have lyme disease and admitting to having a lyme brain, and being crazy enough to share some of my hair-brained outrageous schemes and plans, it won't be the first time my sanity has been questioned!

Fortunately for me, I have it on good authority that the phenomena I am speaking of truly exists!  Of course I am also reminded that for those who have experienced God at work in their lives,"no explanation is necessary and if you haven't, no explanation will suffice". These God-happenings aren't under my control, and are beyond my wildest imagination. God simply comes shining through and that is what makes them so special.

I had such a moment today, when I opened my e-mails and there was a note from one of my readers.  It was the most touching letter I have ever received. I had sent her a small gift that had become bigger than the gift itself as God's spirit accompanied it to give my reader a spiritual gift that exceeded my own.  I had only been a piece of His plan. My modest gift became enveloped in God's love for this woman at just the right time when she needed it most and she and her family were touched. Her sharing of this special event in her life in turn touched me. For privacy sake, I will not reveal more, except that I read her letter and wept!

I have doubts as to the importance of my blog writing, for sometimes it feels like my thoughts simply get sent out into cyberspace, and although I enjoy making my little hand-made gifts, I don't feel that my contributions to the world are all that significant. In giving a little gift and writing my blog on us all "being fruits of our mothers", came the opportunity to be a part of a gift much greater than myself  to someone that I had never met.

My gift arrived at a very tender and momentous occasion in her life. It's timing was not my doing, but truly God's. Mother Teresa had written that small acts done with heart can be the most significant when they are part of God's plan. She is quite right about that and the beneficiary isn't just the receiver of the gift, but the giver receives as well! The gift has blessed us both and all credit goes to God!
(This is dedicated to G and her daughter and her family. May God be with them now and always!)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Mother’s Legacy

A couple of weeks ago I received two boxes full of materials and sewing notions that had belonged to a girlfriend's mother.  I called my friend and thanked her so much.  It is touching to receive such a heartfelt gift!

The boxes included her mother's scissors and notions and above all, scraps from the dresses that she had made my friend and her sister, along with yardage of her favorite materials. I immediately started sorting everything and as I did I envisioned my friend's mother.

She was a lovely lady.  She worked in our Junior/Senior High School and became the mother-away-from home for many of us at school. She was widowed early in her life and raised her two daughters single-handedly. Her youngest was my best friend in high school and we have remained friends ever since.

I was always amazed at how laid- back her mother seemed for she worked ever so hard to raise and support her children. She may not have been a rich lady when it came to monetary wealth, but she was rich in love for and from her children and our community. She always had a great smile and was so silly and fun. Her girls were the same.

Sadly her eldest daughter preceded her in death, dying very suddenly and unexpectedly after a very brief illness. She confided in me that she worried about her youngest daughter, my friend, being left alone. I know that she lived as long as she could to be there for her.

She was a mother of a different generation. She loved to wash and iron, and my friend told me that every time she was with her girls she would wash and iron for them. My friend then clarified to me that to her mother, ironing meant ironing ALL the laundry!!

I had forgotten about ironing.The only clothes I owned that needed ironing got left in the bottom of my laundry basket and were later sent to Goodwill, though I can’t imagine that “good will” actually went with them, as they no doubt arrived very wrinkly! It was a chore that I hated and I was ever so glad when real wash-and-wear clothing was invented.  My friend went on to tell me that her mother never owned a dryer, and why should she? A dryer isn't needed for a person who irons everything!

As I went through the larger box, I found five hand-made baby garments, all hand embroidered and detailed along with a set of vintage, traditional-stamped Mother Goose quilt blocks partially embroidered, and a plaid shirt with an attached note that read, “my favorite shirt –make into a dickey”. Dickeys were another thing of the past that were essential to all women’s wardrobes. I couldn't help but notice her mother's value of “frugality”, wasting nothing.  In her day the motto was: "...use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". Among her sewing notions were also buttons that had been cut off shirts and sweaters before they were rendered as rags. Button collections of this sort are often the best, and will look lovely decorating a wool pincushion, or flower pin.
My friend told me that several more boxes were given to sewing groups close to where she lived.  I had cautioned her only to send me something small due to the cost of postage. I think my friend mailed to me things that couldn't be thrown out and too precious to be given to strangers! It was a box of love passed from one generation to another.

A sewer is delighted to receive such a special collection and I immediately envisioned the materials in a traditional scrap quilt. Quilts can be so special when the receiver knows the history of the materials that are used to make it and has emotional attachment to them. Perhaps a special crazy quilted project should be included to save some of the hand-stitches so lovingly sewed by her mother for her and her sister. This is more than a duty, it is a privilege, though my friend had no such intent in sending me the boxes.

I had to take a deep breath.  Didn't I already have a bucket list too long for my years? Was it realistic to take on still another project or two?  I will have to pray for an extension of time to do what truly needs to be done. It is an honor, to be entrusted with her mother's stored treasures of her heart! I knew her mother would love to wrap her arms around her daughter right now, and perhaps a quilt made of her mother's materials might offer some comfort to my friend.

All these items along with her life well-live are a mother’s legacy to her children and friends.  She was a good-hearted woman who contributed to making the world a better place. I am so privileged to have known her! All of this would have gone to my friend's sister if she were still alive, as she loved to sew like her mother. I was sincere when I told my friend that such loving treasures from such kindred spirits would be truly valued!

It is good, I think, that we treasure our legacies of our mothers as well as the women that have gone before us.  How creative, tenacious and courageous they were to lead their lives with such love and how much they have passed down to us through the example of their lives! It is my prayer that God keep them in His care until we are reunited with them!!

Happy Mother's Day to you all! Mother's Day isn't so much about being a mother but rather celebrating the mothers and special women in our lives, whether they be here or in heaven!

This blog is dedicated to my dear friend, Linda, her sister, Carol and her mother, Evelyn (Polly) Pollard.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"All you need is ignorance and confidence and... (My Fruit Loop Story)

Every year I add journals to my Christmas list and every Christmas I am given several.  Among the ones I was given this year was one that had a pre-printed title on the cover that reads, "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure." Mark Twain.

Mmmm....this makes me think my success might be sure?  But then again is it out of ignorance that I operate the way I do, cutting out multiple projects at once before I have so much as sewn one to see if I can do it? Most would look at what I have cut and assume that I have confidence in my sewing abilities but here is the rub, I wasn't brought up ignorant nor am I confident about my abilities either!!

Perhaps stupidity and drive would better describe my traits and add to the mix, determination!  My mother raised me to know better and I can still see her shake her head and say so, as I would start inane projects that made all question my sanity.  One project especially comes to mind that illustrates my point:

Only days before returning to college one year, I set out to buy myself a rug for my college dormitory room, only to find that I couldn't afford one.  My determination to have a rug was not dashed however, and I proceeded to ask carpet stores for their carpet scraps and returned home with a car full, along with a package of very large curved needles and some heavy duty string.  Fortunately for me I had a talented mother and friend to help me figure out how to stitch these carpet scraps together to make a beautiful scrap rug.

It was no small feat.  With blistered hands my girlfriend and I returned to school and much to everyone's amazement, with the help of my recruited volunteers, I had a huge big rug that covered my dorm room for only a few dollars!

"Need is the mother of invention" I learned and later it switched to "want and lack of money" that became my driving force.  The lack of common sense seems to be a God-given in my case.

And so it is that in the months I have used this journal, I have set a record for the number of quilts, fleece socks, wool pincushions and other craft items I have cut out, only to now question whether or not I really have the skill, ability, and stamina to stitch them all. Need and want are there, as I prepare to sew for my holiday craft sales and special hand-made gifts for friends and family, but it has been a long while since I have tackled a challenge of this scale. I have literally "cut out" years worth of sewing for myself!  I am counting on Mark Twain's quote being accurate despite having been brought up to "know better".

I will have to ingest  large doses of "confidence and courage"  tomorrow and in the days ahead to"take-on" this massive sewing feat, and begin my sewing marathon! Time for doning a pair of my special fleece socks as on their tag it says that they are Great Feet for Great Feats. I should also take bets as to whether or not I can do IT and run a lottery regarding the number of items I can finish before Christmas!  Mind you, IT is too scary to detail until I can scratch some off this list!.  I usually work best under pressure and I've heaped on lots by the sheer numbers of what I have cut out for myself!

I recently told my daughter that "I am committed" and she smiled and agreed but something tells me that she didn't understand my use of the word committed, when she turned to my husband and asked if he had heard my statement.  I will keep you, my readers informed if my address changes soon!

My confidential confession to my readers: My name is Jane McMillen and I am my parent's "fruit loop" and this is only one of my personal "fruit loop" stories! I would be comforted to know if any of you are "fruit loops" like myself?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Winner of this Month's Common Thread Give-Away is....

Vella Draughon is the winner of this month's Common Thread Give-Away.  She commented that she would like to think of herself as a "peach of a mom".  She is likely that as well as our "peach of a winner"!! Congratulations to Vella!

I so enjoyed hearing about everyone's fruits and loved each of the fifty-two comments that were left.  The comments ranged from descriptions of their fruits to comments using fruit word plays!!  How creative my readers are!  I was so sorry that we experienced a computer glitch that erased some of them from being posted as they were truly entertaining.  Fortunately they fed into my g-mail and so none were lost as entries or feedback to me.

I let the computer pick a random number and used this number to find the winner according to the order in which you left your comments. Twelve was the lucky number and Vella the twelfth to register her comment.

I did want to share with you some of the clever descriptive words that were used to describe fruits. They were: sweet, delicious, fresh, canned, ripe, unfinished, "on their way", hard, bitter, and grand (as in grandfruits). All were spoken of with love and acceptance and one noted that all are important to the world, no matter what! Another said her children were "as different as the proverbial apple and orange".

One commented that she was "plum crazy" about my blog. Another told her story of taking bites out of apples and throwing them away, expecting them to taste like a tomato. Many told of their favorite fruits that they have grown, another related to eating fresh peaches while on holidays in France, and that she thought of herself as a peach as she smelled nice, and was  sweet, and should be handled gently so she didn't bruise. Another talked about enjoying thinking of ourselves and our children as actual  "fruits of the womb" and it reminded her of "the fruits of the spirit" as well (clearly a woman with some Catholic values). Another chose a tomato in remembrance of her daughter as they used to can tomatoes together. I so appreciated everyone sharing their stories and fruit preferences.

It is interesting to note that in all the comments, none referred to themselves or their fruits as "fruit loops", though one spoke lovingly of her mother having "fruits and nuts", and confessed that her mother was "a little nutty", and that her mother wished her children to lead a life that is both "fruitful" and "a little nutty". In this same vein, I can't resist confessing that I was born "my dad's little peach", but later in life became my mom and dad's "fruit loop", and I remain a bit of a "fruit loop" to this day. My next blog will be about that, and then will be followed by "A Mother's Legacy", which is the story of what "pushed me over the edge".  I think blogs on mothers can't be limited to only one day of the year.  So do come back to celebrate more mom stories in honor of Mother's Day!  Thank you all for joining in the fun!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Free Fruit Pincushion Give- Away This Week--in Memory of our Mothers!

Years ago I went to the funeral of a friend’s mother and as the priest looked out on those gathered, he let us know that this mother had completed her days and that her children were the “fruits” of her life. None of us missed the humor in his words, as we later teased my friend about being a “fruit”. She was a woman with a great deal of humor and laughed at the priest's chosen word to describe her. I am reminded as Mother’s Day approaches however, that we are all “fruits”—some peaches, some lemons. The variety is really unending, and some ripen well and others, not so much.

I am the mother of two young adult women though I must remind myself here and there that although they are raised, they are not yet finished. Are any of us really finished learning all that we need to know to deal with the challenges we face? One of my daughters is back home living with us and the other is “on her own” though she may "rebound" at any time. Both have graduated from college and are now in the throws of paying off their college debts. They are, of course, above average and “the apples of my eye”... but I am still not done “mothering them”, nor will I likely, ever be, though now I try to use less words, or at least use them faster as they they have wings now and don't let me "mother them" like in days of old!

Back in the days that my kids were young a friend of mine, laughingly told me that after confessing to our priest about being impatient with her children and their ways, he wisely gave her a good penance.  She was to say The Hail Mary a little different each day for the weeks that followed.  She was to substitute her name and change the prayer into a mother’s prayer.

Guilty of the same transgression, I translated this version to fit me.  It goes “Hail Jane, full of grace, the Lord is with me.  Blessed am I among women and blessed are the fruits of my womb, Hannah  and Sarah Kate, though they seem to be hard of hearing, and stubbornly do as they like despite my good instruction.  Holy Jane, mother of these dear but challenging girls, I commit to praying for these sinners along with my husband and myself who are sinners too, now and all the days of my life. Amen.

As any mom will tell you, being a mother is a life-altering event. Once a mother, always a mother, no matter what age your children are, and how self-sufficient they have become, you never stop loving them and sadly many of us never stop worrying about them and/or feeling the need to mother them as well. We don’t always know exactly how to do what is best for them and likely I am not the only mother that has regrets over something that  we would do different if only we could?

There are no "do-overs", but then children are all so different and none of them come with a user’s manual. I had an uncle that used to say that all first-born should be disposable for all the mistakes we make with them, but I added my second in that disposable category...and it seems that my younger brother and sister, numbers three and four, weren't so perfect either. We are all fruits, no matter our successes and failures and our mothers were there to love us unconditionally in their own way.

In honor of mothers everywhere and their “fruits”, my Common Thread Give-Away gift this month will be a fruit pincushion of choice to the lucky winner.  Let me see, that could be an orange, lemon, peach, plum, pear, strawberry or tomato.  It will be the “winner’s choice” of whatever fruit they choose.  You may either pick the fruit you think you are most like or the one you would most like to be. All you need to do to win is to leave a message on my website, along with the sort of fruit that you would like to win and the winner will be chosen at the end of the week.  Please check back then to see if you are the lucky winner and redeem your prize.  Meanwhile take good care of your mothers, and  value yourself and others as the prized “ fruits” we really are! Thanks-be for mothers everywhere! May all mothers everywhere have a Happy Mother's Day! And if you aren't a mother and merely "a fruit", may you have a Happy Mother's Day too!