The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Recipe: Armenian Luleh Kebabs

One of my favorite dishes!




  • 3lbs ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • Dash cayenne pepper


  • Tomato Sauce


Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Mix all ingredients (except topping) together well but DO NOT OVER MIX (this is important).

Form into about 2 inch ovals.

If you wish, the luleh kebabs can be frozen at this point. Pack for freezing in plastic bags or freezer safe glass tupperware. Defrost in refrigerator.

Arrange luleh kebabs in a glass pyrex for baking.

Cover with tomato sauce:


Cover with foil and place in center oven for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes (or until cooked throughout)

Serve with Pilaf.




Preeclampsia – My HELLP Syndrome Story


Brian holding Aram for the first time. (My first time holding/meeting him was three days after this photo was taken.)

300,000 women each year will be diagnosed with Preeclampsia or HELLP Syndrome.

Knowing the signs and symptoms is the single most important thing you can do to increase you and your baby’s chance of survival.

Unfortunately, you can’t always trust the medical community to make an early diagnosis. Preeclampsia, and especially HELLP, are finicky diseases in the beginning stages and often go undiagnosed until the situation becomes severe.

Preeclampsia affects between 5-10% of all pregnancies. HELLP is considered rare, but I have met multiple women that have casually brought up that they had suffered from HELLP.

500,000 infants and 79,000 mothers die from Preeclampsia and HELLP each year.

I don’t think I have ever shared my full birth story on here. It is really hard to talk about in detail….but for this cause I definitely think now is a good time. I am a prime example of why awareness saves lives.

Since my HELLP Syndrome pregnancy, I have developed PTSD and a severe anxiety disorder- Aram and I are both alive.

Pre-term Labor


In Hawaii right before preterm labor started.

I remember being around 29 weeks pregnant and going into preterm labor. Brian was working nights and I was all alone. He lived 62 miles away from our house so I had to drive myself to L&D with my sister on the phone with me the whole way there.  When I got to the hospital, they took my vitals and I met “S” my nurse. She was from Ethiopia. I told her we were planning on adopting from Ethiopia, and she sat and told me stories of what it was like there while we waited for the doctor to come in. She told me why her family came to America. Her sister had developed a rare eye cancer and they came to UCLA for treatment. Unfortunately, her sister passed away from her illness. It was clear that her compassion in nursing came from her own experience on the other end of care.

The doctor came in soon after. They gave me terbutaline and released me a few hours later.

A week later, I had been in twice with the same scenario. My sister being on the phone with me the entire time each visit. No one could really explain why I kept going into preterm labor. “Sometimes it just happens,” At this rate, I knew we were going to be in for an early delivery.

Something is wrong


At our baby shower. At this point in my pregnancy I was gaining weight daily from fluid retention. By the time Aram had arrived I had almost doubled my pre-pregnancy weight.

At 30 weeks, I remember noticing how swollen I really was. I was an unhealthy 93lbs when I became pregnant and at 30 weeks I think I hit around 130lbs.  Doctors and nurses said nothing about my weight gain except they were happy I was putting on so much because, “underweight women should really gain more than women with normal BMIs.” Which was completely correct. The only problem was that the weight I was gaining was water weight and no one noticed because of how underweight I was to begin with.

At 31 weeks, I was so swollen I thought they were going to have to amputate my finger to get my wedding ring off. I started thinking that this couldn’t be normal. This never happened to my mom or sister in their pregnancies. I Googled “swollen hands in pregnancy,” and the first 100 hits were all Preeclampsia related. At this point, I had never even heard of Preeclampsia. I called in to L&D and a nurse came on. Our conversation:

me: I think I have Preeclampsia, but I’m not sure

nurse: Why do you think that?

me: My hands are really really swollen

nurse: Do you get a ringing in your ears?

me: Yes (it was happening every day)

nurse: Do you see flashing lights?

me: I’ve been seeing stars lately for no reason. The kind like when you stand up too fast.

nurse: Um… you need to come in immediately.

It was about 11:00PM and I told Brian. Off we went to L&D.

When we got there, my favorite nurse from my first trip there was working, the one from Ethiopia. She came over and hugged me and took a look at my blood pressure. At that point, the other nurses told me my pressures were not high and I was fine. “S” had another opinion. She said, “You need to look at what your blood pressure is normally, and then base it off of how much it has changed. Your pressures last time I saw you were like an athletes, now at 135/88, they are less than ideal. I don’t like this at all.”

I, once again, was discharged. They noticed my uric acid was high (a sign that Preeclampsia may be starting) but the midwife I saw gave me antibiotics and told me I had a UTI. I told her I had many UTIs and I know even when the most mildest is forming and I did not feel like I had one..but they didn’t believe me and sent me on my way.

Severe Symptoms

I made it another few days and noticed a dull headache was forming. I went to see a nurse practitioner for a dermatology referral. The tech took my blood pressure and her eyes were popping out, “your blood pressure is REALLY HIGH!” I was over 145/93. I went in to my appointment and the NP said NOTHING about my blood pressure. I figured it wasn’t bad and went home.

My OB appointment was a few days later. The tech was covering for multiple people. I asked her what my urine dip was, “just trace” (meaning not Preeclampsia) I told her my blood pressures had been high. She never came back in to take my blood pressure. I left the appointment and forgot to have her take it. When I got home, my medical record was emailed to me. I saw that she put in a fake very healthy blood pressure of 105/69, which would later come back and bite me in the butt. This was partially the reason I kept getting misdiagnosed.

I made it to my dermatologist appointment, where the tech took my BP and it had made it to 150/98. I decided at that point I better go down to the OB nurse. She took my blood pressure and it was 156/105. She told me I needed to immediately go to L&D and with my blood pressure so high, I shouldn’t walk. Well, this was pre-hypochondriac Jamie, so I walked.

This is where I met Nurse Rudolph. She had me lay down to get my blood pressure unnaturally lowered. It then went down to 138/80. The doctor came in to check me, but she got to him before he could see me. She just said, “She’s fine!” and gave him something to sign without reading my chart.

My mom flew in that day.

The next morning I started bleeding and going into preterm labor. If these doctors weren’t going to notice something was wrong, Aram was going to make them.

We went to the hospital where I had the most lovely Asian doctor and nurses. They worked together as a team, which was great, but since they all spoke Mandarin to each other I felt a little clueless as to what was going on.  However the team took me seriously, and finally gave me the validation I had needed. At that point, I realized I was sick and I was expecting to be sent home again. Luckily because I was bleeding my urine dip came up a misleading “plus 3″ (needed for diagnostic Preeclampsia) The doctor looked nervous and immediately gave me a steroid shot in my side (to mature babies lungs for an inevitable preterm birth).

I then was taken into an observation room where I met my Perinatologist. I saw him a couple of times months after my delivery where I found him to be the most kind and ethical doctor. Unfortunately, that would be the only time I saw him during my stay in the hospital.

Feeling Completely Alone

In the days following, I became a nervous wreck. One of the physical symptoms of HELLP is nervousness and anxiety, which I noticed increased significantly right before I found out how sick I was. However, I believe the majority of this came during the time I discovered none of the doctors or nurses believed I had Preeclampsia. My mom and Brian knew nothing about the disease and also trusted the doctors, so I felt like I had lost them, too.

I had a resident doctor who actually thought my nervousness was caused by my blood pressure getting taken every 30 minutes. She then called for my blood pressure to NOT be taken. I also refused any more terbutaline (the perinatologist advised against more due to my heart rate being so high, but apparently no one was reading his orders). The same resident doctor told me that the staff would be mad and essentially hold a grudge against me if I had a preemie baby because I refused the medication.

The single most damaging moment for me was when nurse Rudolph returned, giving me “care” during my time in observation. I remember telling her how I was glad I had made it to 33 weeks and had my steroid shots in case the baby had to be born early due to Preeclampsia. She sat down next to me and said, “Oh Dear, stop saying you have Preeclampsia. You don’t want Preeclampsia. Worst case scenario, you and the baby would die! So stop saying you have that because you don’t.”

She then explained to me that Dr. Rudolph would be discharging me that night, and tried to make me feel guilty because other people who “really needed” the beds in observation could not get in and I was basically taking it away from “people who really are sick.”

I really don’t understand what her motives were behind all of that, but I have never fully recovered from the psychosis that came after realizing I was totally alone. I knew I was sick and I thought, “Wow, they are really going to let me die…”

I was on the phone with my sister in a panic and I remember her and her husband praying for me.

I then had a new doctor walk through the door.


He came in and sat on the cot that Brian had been sleeping on for the past few days. He introduced himself and said, “Well, your 24 hour urine showed that your kidneys are functioning beautifully (which means I did not have diagnostic Preeclampsia) but how are YOU feeling?” I told him I felt like I was going to die. He then answered with the best words I have ever heard, “You are the best judge of you. We will keep you here and I’m going to run a few more labs.”

At that point, they came in to do some blood work and I began to read 1 Samuel chapter 1. I remember vividly reading and praying.

I was interrupted by two nurses carrying in a bag of magnesium sulfate. The nurses were really calm and sweet, but wouldn’t let me know what was going on. Then the doctor came in.

Doctor: “We have your blood work back. Your liver enzymes have tripled and your platelets have dropped to 120K. I would like your permission for a cesarean.” 

Me: “YES!”

My mom: “There is no way of having a natural delivery?” (my mom was delirious and has no memory of saying this, but when Brian and I told her what she said, she replied with, “Why didn’t you punch me in the face?”)

Doctor: “No, her condition is very severe. We will be operating in 30 minutes.”

Aram is born

It wasn’t even 5 minutes and I was in the delivery room. There was a staff of about 15 people waiting for me (and Aram)- it was weird knowing they had all known about the severity of my condition before I was even told.

Aram was born quickly after. I remember hearing him crying and one of the NICU staff members trying to bring him over to me, but I was groggy from the mag and don’t remember much.

The next few days are a huge blur. I thought my blood pressure was going to go down immediately after delivery, but it didn’t. My doctor was away and I somehow convinced the on-staff doctor to keep me on the magnesium sulfate an extra day.

I remember my doctor frantically coming into my room when he returned. At this point I had turned into a huge hypochondriac and I felt I was the only one that could take care of myself.

Doctor: “Why are you still on magnesium sulfate!?”

Me: “My blood pressure is still really high and I thought I needed an extra day of it.”

Doctor (laughing, kind of): “How were you able to convince the doctor to do this? You know that this is a delicate balance? If you stay on it for too long it becomes toxic!”

Me: “I had no idea…”

Great, so I already almost poisoned myself….

I was discharged and told to come back in two weeks for a blood pressure check. I was not told that most preeclampsia deaths happen postpartum, or to be checking my blood pressure at home. I had to figure this out on my own. I had scary but benign symptoms like weird jerking movements from my brain being swollen…Oh and spontaneous bleeding from my eyes and nose due to my platelets dropping under 100K.

However, my blood pressures were still a cause for concern.  We bought a blood pressure cuff, and made a trip a few days later to the ER where they were so concerned I had to get a CT scan of my head.

I then went to see a GP about controlling my blood pressure. It eventually went down, but I needed a lot of medication to balance it out the first several weeks. My GP knew nothing about Preeclampsia, definitely never heard of HELLP Syndrome (much like a lot of the L&D nurses)- and he was even more confused about how to wean someone off of blood pressure medication.  Once he puts people on blood pressure medication, they are generally on it for life. We had to learn together.

I’m not forgetting about Aram, just saving him for last. There are more deaths of infants from Preeclampsia than mothers. Aram was one of the lucky babies.  Preeclampsia is a disease that leads to a catastrophic cascade of events. Eventually your blood flow gets messed up and your entire body starts to attack itself.  PE babies often have IUGR from the body trying to protect the mother (a balancing game of nutrients in any pregnancy). In my case it chose the baby over me, and my body was still able to hold out to 33 weeks.

He was born with developed lungs (thanks probably to that quick thinking L&D doctor), a healthy weight, and was doing as well as a full-term baby. His sucking reflex wasn’t quite developed yet, but it took about 10 days and he was able to nurse like a pro.

So that was my story. Unfortunately, it isn’t that unusual. Here is an almost identical story (in terms of care) to mine, except this mother did not make it. Her husband wrote this story, here is the most heartbreaking section (at this point in the story she had the baby, was discharged, and home with no instructions):

That evening we went to bed at around 11:15pm. About an hour later I was awoken by her and was told that she “needed my help.” Quite groggy, I took a moment to get my bearings and then accompanied her into our kitchen. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she couldn’t breathe and quickly devolved into what appeared to be hyperventilation accompanied by extreme anxiety and fear. I tried to calm her but it just increased to a point that about 5-10 minutes later I called 911, having determined that it was beyond my scope of understanding. I stayed on the phone with the dispatcher for 7 painful minutes while my wife went from a seated-on-the-chair position to a seated-on-the-ground position to a laying-on-the-ground position. At the same moment that the paramedics arrived, my wife stopped breathing and began to turn blue. Though the paramedics tried in vain to get a pulse and start her breathing again, they ultimately left the house performing CPR on her, heading to the hospital only 5 minutes from our house.

I was told upon arriving at the hospital that they had managed to regain a pulse after 25 minutes but that my wife had most likely suffered severe brain damage from the lack of oxygen. Their prognosis for recovery was grim, with little hope given for any meaningful recovery. For all intents and purposes, my wife had died in my arms on our kitchen floor, her final words being “I love you.”

Here is a video about another mother that died of HELLP:

And this video demonstrates the importance of blood donors out there! Saving so many mother’s lives pre- and post- pregnancy.


over 8,000 people will receive access to safe drinking water for the first time – thanks to you

Thanks to everyone reading, this is the message I am able to deliver to you:

By the end of this week, Argisa, Ethiopia will have clean water!


Most of you know that you all raised, over the course of one week, the money we needed for our first phase of the Ethiopia project. That, in and of itself, was a miracle.

Jack, from Waves for Water, boarded a plan on December 12, and I have just been informed he has landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jack will be bringing 80 Sawyer filters to the rural village of Argisa, Ethiopia on Lake Awassa. This is where Sister Donna Frances has been living for the past decade. She lives in an area with an extremely high malaria rate, flooding, famine, and drought and is committed to living with the people without bringing in too much western influence.

Water has been a huge stress on Sister, but no longer. Everyone in the village will now have an overabundance of safe drinking water.

I was excited to also hear from Sister Donna today. I had written her quickly to let her know Jack was on his way, and was worried she would not receive my email before he arrived.


What I love about this letter is how genuinely surprised and excited she is by all the different kind of cloth diapers that the village received from you guys:

“Hi Jamie, wow, I just arrived in Awassa and read your Email.  Today is the 12th of December, so they will arrive tomorrow. WOW, really exciting…Do you have a phone number for them?  I will wait for them here in Awassa, they will arrive on which day do you know?  Exciting, exciting.

Also 4 packages of diapers came; two full of colorful snap type diapers, and a box full of new Gerber prefold diapers, 5 packages… OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH what a god send, and there was a full box of diaper pins with them.  Lots of thick folded liners to go in the snap pants, soakers of knit wear, and just about all one could imagine under the rainbow.”
Loving thanks for helping me in Gods work with the children,
Sr Donna

We started this in October. It is now December, and in that time frame you all have single-handedly made a tremendous impact in a small village thousands of miles away from where most of you call home. Instead of water that brings death, you have provided water that gives life. You have also met the needs of the area with cloth diapers! While we have a long-term goal of bringing out an EC expert (still need to find someone willing to come with us in March), for now you are meeting the immediate need with hygiene and comfort.

Way to go, guys! I can’t wait to update you more with Jack’s pictures!

Waterlink Africa: Water Changes Everything

Clean Water Projects Image 2Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

Why is water life-altering?

  1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
  2. Water is a women’s issue. In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
  3. Water improves education and economy. Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water-borne diseases, they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated, it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished. There are some children who walk daily to get water and are unable to attend school, and the adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society.

Waterlink Africa

Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

waterlink Africa: a chain of friends, spanning generations, from Africa to America and back to Africa. Donor, healer, helper – each link is necessary. Waterlink Africa delivers solutions from inventors to people in need of safe drinking water in every faraway corner of Africa.

Waves for Water and Fayye Foundation are certain that everyone who lacks clean water deserves to have unlimited access via an endless chain of caring, of which each of us is a single link. Experts are confident that the water crisis will be completely eradicated in our lifetime, but the only way we can do that is by every person in the link working towards this cause.

To donate to our first Waterlink project (Waves for Awassa/Project Ethiopia) you can go here. Your tax-deductible donation has the potential to give 20,000 people access to clean water. Every dollar counts.



Recipe: Armenian Monti

I completed the first of my Pre-30 Bucket List! #13, learn how to make Monti.

Monti, is an Armenian dish I LOVE. When my mom first made it for Brian he went crazy. It is now his favorite food of all time, and he’s not the only one.

I’ve been around my mom making Monti since I could remember, but this time I was actually going to learn and be able to replicate it at home.

My mom and me making Monta in the same kitchen!

Apparently, true Armenian Monti uses lamb which I am a fan of, but my mom is not. That is why we always have used beef. She also adds Garlic into the meat.

Here we go!

The Recipe!

Chopped up onions, garlic, parsley and melted butter, before the ground meat is added

egg and oil to start the dough

If the dough is done it should feel like your earlobe

roll out dough into thin strips

cut into squares

spoon meat mixture into dough squares

pinch ends

line up on baking sheet

spoon melted butter over all uncooked monta

in the oven!

This is what they look like when they’re done.

Although, completely good on their own…..

We serve it in a bowl with hot water, garlic yogurt, and topped with slowly grilled “crispy” onions.

I would have taken a picture, but we ate them all before I could get my camera out- So here is a picture I took from another blogger with a different recipe(looks like she’s also an adoptive mommy):

Recipe for Monti from written by my mom:

Mama’s Monti:  From a Scandinavian Mama!  They can blame it on that!  The ingredients are for 1 batch, however when I make it for you all I make it X4

Ingredients:  Single Batch=  About enough to fill 1 cookie sheet



  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups plus 2 Tablespoons All purpose Flour


  • 1/2 Pound Ground Beef  (It’s customary to use Lamb, but you all love the beef)
  • 1 Onion, chopped very fine
  • 1/4 cup or so, finely chopped Parsley
  • 1 or 2 cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground P
  •  Salted Butter, melted  Used to drizzle on just before putting in oven…2 to 4 Tablespoons  (I use more, the Scandinavian thing again!)  And, to answer what you’re thinking,  my cholesterol is low!

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 Cups (at least) of plain Greek Yogurt (We like the Fage Brand)
  • 1 or 2 cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, or more to your liking….we use more, of course


I have never used the broth recipe, but some people use the following:

  • 3 Cans of Beef Broth (or Homemade), or Chicken Broth
  • a Couple Tablespoons of Catsup
  • a Couple of shakes of Tabasco Sauce

To Make Dough:

In a food processor, combine Egg, Water, Salt, and Butter. Process until mixed.
Add Flour and process until mixture forms a ball.  If it’s too sticky, add a bit more Flour.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and knead a bit until dough is smooth and elastic. About a minute.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest while you are making filling.

To Make Filling:

Combine Ground Beef, Onion, Parsely, Garlic,  Salt and Pepper.  Mix until well-blended.

To Make Yogurt Sauce:

Combine ingredients and refrigerate until serving time.

Set Oven to 375 Degrees

Prepare Pan.  Spread a light coating of butter on pan

Now it’s time to work!  

(First of all picture the end result in your mind so you see where we’re going with this.
They look like a little fat canoe with a ball of meat in it.)

On a lightly floured board, roll out half the dough at a time to form a 9 inch square about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch squares.
Note:  I just roll out some dough to the right thickness as long as you get little squares to fill.

I take a baby spoon and fill about 1/2 Teaspoon of filling on each square.  Then pinch two opposite ends tightly.. It now should look like a little boat with the meat inside.  As each Monti is formed, put it meat side up in the prepared pan.  You can put them fairly close together, as long as they aren’t touching.
Ok, now you can leave this part out, but it’s not going to taste as good as mine!….Drizzle the melted butter over the Monti!.

Bake them on the middle rack in the oven for about 35 minutes.  I check them about 25 minutes   The dough should be browning, but don’t let the bottoms start burning.  Cool  on the pan.

To Serve:

Boil some water in a pan with a little salt.
Put as many of the Monti “boats” in a bowl.
Poor some boiling water in bowl over Monti.
I like it with less water and lots of Yogurt Sauce on Top
Daddy likes more water with Yogurt Sauce mixed together, then adds the Monti

That’s it!  Oh no I almost forgot the best thing of all. The Onion Garnish!   Take 1 chopped yellow onion and slowly cook in a saute pan in……butter!  It takes some time so start this early in the preparation of the Monte.  Cook it until it is carmelized and nice and brown a little crispy.  This is the “garnish” you put on top of the Yogurt Sauce  mmmmm

So I do this Times 4 for my family.  It takes me hours to do that much.  If one family gets me to make it a the other daughters’ family finds out it’s a Monti war.

Note: The Monti Boats freeze great.

Christmas Stocking Project: Use Your Stockings for Good

stocking market clean water projects

Did you know? $1 can give clean water to one person for over a decade.

During the holiday season, there’s a lot of tradition in exchanging presents. We want to embrace our traditions and also be able to give back. Here’s our idea: instead of stocking stuffers, let’s put every dollar that would go towards those small gifts towards clean water for our friends in Africa. $10 that would have been spent on stocking stuffers could give life-altering water to ten people.

Why is water life-altering?

1. Unsterile water is the number two killer amongst children. Around the world, fetching water is a woman’s task. Thus, one of the most crucial health issues for women in Africa is the clean water shortage. 1 in 5 children worldwide dies of a water-related disease.
2. Water is a women’s issue.
In order to get access to clean water, women and girls must carry up to 50lbs of water every day over typically 5 miles or more. Carrying this water has shown to stunt growth in young girls which has contributed to the extremely high maternal mortality rate in these areas, but girls and women also face dangers along their way to a water source.
3. Water improves education and economy.
Education has been proven to be the greatest way to improve a community. When kids get sick from water borne diseases they can’t attend classes – then fall behind, then drop out. Also: Most students suffer from severe dehydration because they try to drink as little bad water as possible. When the brain is dehydrated it has a very hard time focusing on tasks such as school work, and chances of success are greatly diminished.When children have the opportunity to be educated, they can become problem solving members of the community and have a hope of contributing to their society. There are some children who walk daily to get water are unable to attend school, and adults are unable to put hours into a paying vocation. 

You can help!
This Christmas, we can save one child, mother, brother, father or sister by donating as little as one dollar. Fayye Foundation has teamed up with Waves for Water to pursue a series of clean water projects throughout Africa. The filters that will be installed use the highest filtration rates available, can provide clean water for an entire village for pennies a day, and have a high flow rate which eliminates the need to store water. The filters are self-sustaining and easy to maintain. If cared for, each $50 filter lasts for many years, providing clean water for up to 100 people a day.

Your donation is going directly to our March project to bring clean water to a rural area is Southern Ethiopia, called Argisa. We are in close communication with Sister Donna Francis who has been living in the area for many years and has provided empowerment and housing for young girls in the area called Heartland. Recently, the situation has become dire and time is of the essence. Here is one of her last messages to us:

We have had typhoid repeatedly during the last 2 1/2 months, Masame and I, and the kids at Heartland, also repeated malaria caught in our livers.  Filters are a hope…but we haven’t been able to get them implemented yet.  We could use 5 at Heartland to meet the use for kitchen and drinking, with 30 kids coming, it would be good!!  The villagers are in a terrible need as we are the people who live on the lake shore.  The town where we go to get pipe water, treated by the government, is 2 km away, and we go when it is running to get drinking water.  This source was turned off for 2 months last year when the government demanded taxes for the water.  The town refused, and the water was stopped, and the people told to drink the lake!  We were sending donkey carts round trip over 50 km to get good water for drinking, and at 10 times the price!”

One dollar brings clean water to one person for over a decade. No amount is too small, and it will make a difference! We do ask for a minimum of $10 to receive a gift from Africa in return. However, if you even have 50 cents to give, it will assist  this project insurmountably. Please click below to donate:






Sexy Halloween Costumes! A Mother’s Dilemma

It’s the one time of year that women can dress like strippers and men can dress as women and no one bats an eyelid. Frankly, I think there is an awesome element to that.

However, the lack of diversity is where my issues lie. Disney Princess as an adult? Here are your top choices…



slutty belle costume image

slutty Cinderella costume image


I soon realized you can get ANY costume in a sexy version.

Here are the most entertaining:

slutty nemo costume image

sexy nemo


slutty elmo costume image

sexy elmo

There was a boardroom of professionals pitching this costume in the most serious way….the scariest part is that the people in charge totally bought this as a marketable product….which leads me to question why they have that job and I don’t.

slutty pinocchio costume image

Sexy Pinocchio

And they even added into the design Jiminy Cricket making a pass at Pinocchio…..yeah, that’s not creepy at all…

slutty brian the dog costume image

sexy brian the dog

heinz costume image

Sexy Ketchup

Finally They came up with a provocative tomato product ensemble. I know you probably were thinking the same thing as me- “what took so long?”

keg costume image

Sexy keg

A Sexy keg…why not?

Anna Rexia

Well, this is a great idea for a costume. Sure, let’s just make fun of a disease that is generated by our oversexed society that objectifies women’s bodies- and to make it even more of a knee slapper, let’s have the industry that is causing these women to starve themselves until the go into complete organ failure,  produce an outfit that mocks the disease in a “sexy” way. Awesome.

sexy harry potter

I’ve heard she has (Hog)warts….   ;-) Get it?



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