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Gifts for Readers

Readers seem to have a special understanding and appreciation of each other. If a hundred people were walking through an airport and I had to choose five to speak to, I would unabashedly pick those who were carrying a book. If there were more than five carrying books, then I would look at the titles and choose based on what they were reading. Although I could get it totally wrong and would certainly miss some interesting people who carry books on their i-pads, kindles, and phones, there is still something that draws me to people who read the physical bound version. Read more »


Finger Lakes Fresh Multigrain Tortillas

Tortillas are one of those products that always look healthy and delicious sitting on the grocery store shelves but sometimes fall short in the ingredient department. Not so with Finger Lakes Fresh Multigrain Tortillas which are made from a blend of locally grown grains. All natural with no preservatives, dough relaxers, or added sugar, these delicious tortillas are ideal to use for wraps, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, chips, tortilla bowls, and as a crust for pizza. Simply bring to room temperature (from the refrigerator) to easily separate the tortillas. Read more »


Where does $1 to the Ronald McDonald House go?

The first Ronald McDonald House opened more than 40 years ago (1974) in Philadelphia when Dr Audrey Lane at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia saw a need for short-term lodging near the hospital for families of cancer patients. Since then, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. (RMHC) – a public charity under both the IRS Code 501 (c) (3) and 509 (a) (3) – have opened 353 Ronald McDonald Houses, 196 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in hospitals, and 50 Ronald McDonald mobile health units (Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles) along with providing grants to other non-profit organizations (hence, its 509 (c) (3) designation) and scholarships to students across the United States. Read more »



Many years ago, there was a postal carrier who delivered mail to our home nearly every day. A quiet guy who rarely spoke, the mailman often looked at the ground as he walked from house to house delivering letters, bills, catalogs, and packages. One day, the local newspaper carried a story about a group of adults who came forward claiming they were sexually abused by priests in the Catholic parishes they attended as children. Filled with shame and often told to be quiet, many of these children grew up deeply disturbed and troubled, unable to reconcile the sexual assault or the way their families and the leaders of the church treated them. Our mailman was one of those children and it was heartbreaking to be a bystander and read about the personal violation of a person we both knew and didn’t know in the local paper. Read more »


“A Thousand Acres”

What is a farmer?

A farmer is a man who feeds the world.

What is a farmer’s first duty?

To grow more food.

What is a farmer’s second duty?

To buy more land.

Why does a society value appearances, secrets, and hard work over basic human rights? And, what does it say about a society that condemns a victim for speaking out against a perpetrator for unspeakable crimes? These are the questions Jane Smiley seems to be asking in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Thousand Acres. Published in 1991, A Thousand Acres refers to that magic number of acreage that most midwest farmers ascribe to own – a thousand acres of rich, fertile Iowa farmland. It’s the number that sets one farmer apart from another, especially if the land has been handed down from generation to generation and is unencumbered by a mortgage. Read more »


The “Absolutes” of Florida

There are no absolutes….

This is the time of year when many snowbirds come down to Florida, leaving the cold, icy, grey weather of the northern and western states for a winter of sunshine and warm temperatures. Many of these travelers drive south on I-75, the Florida Turnpike, or I-95, all of which are lined with billboards that may lead them to think that Florida is full of people living in gated communities who shop at a Ron Jon Surf Shop, and need Disney tickets. And, judging by the sheer volume of billboards advertising the services of Alex Shunnarah and The National Life Center, they may also come to believe that visitors or residents need a personal injury lawyer and that Roe vs. Wade was a nuisance judgement set down by the Supreme Court more than 40 years ago that is best ignored. But, billboards don’t tell the full story. Read more »


Kite Hill Yogurt

Finally you can enjoy creamy, almond milk yogurt made with vanilla beans, California peaches, mouth-watering strawberries, wild Maine blueberries, or simply on its own as delicious plain yogurt.

Giving up dairy products sometimes means giving up a few long time favorites.  For me, one of those favorites was yogurt. Although picky about yogurt (a small “milkerie” – a dairy and cheese maker –  in Schonreid, Switzerland makes the most delicious creamy yogurt in the world), the thought of never having that slightly sweet, tangy creamy treat again left me momentarily sad. Call it yogurt grief. Read more »


Turkey Time

The Thanksgiving meal is about as American and traditional as it gets with nearly every family in the United States celebrating this national holiday – most with a roasted turkey on the table. Although many dishes have changed little in the past hundred years – bread stuffing, cornbread, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans – the turkey has changed dramatically. Before I tell you how the turkey has changed, I want to say this is not about shaming those who choose to eat turkey. The purpose is to inform the reader of what many turkey farmers, cooperatives, processors, and food companies don’t want consumers to know about the turkey on your table. Read more »


World Vision International: Revenue and Expenses

World Vision International (WVI) is an evangelical christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization that works with children, families, communities, and organizations throughout the world. Established in 1977 by Walter Stanley Mooneyham, the then president of World Vision, Inc. (which was established in 1950 by Robert Pierce to meet the emergency needs of missionaries), WVI is a 501 (c) (3) religious non-profit corporation under the laws of California. Read more »


Where does your $1 to World Vision go?

World Vision – a Christian humanitarian organization – is one of the most complicated charitable entities to understand because many people believe that World Vision is one entity when in fact, there are many “World Vision” organizations under the legal umbrella of World Vision International (WVI) which was established in 1977 as a non-profit religious organization in California but whose executive offices are in England.

Because WVI is a “church,” they are not required to file the IRS Form 990 filed by most US-registered tax-exempt organizations although two of their subsidiaries – the US fundraising affiliate –World Vision, Inc. (WV Inc) which was established in 1950 – and the microfinance affiliate – VisionFund International – file a form 990 for the “benefit of its US donors.” Read more »