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24
Oct

The Return

The country that separates fathers and sons has disoriented many travelers.

Many Americans associate Libya with the September 11, 2012 uprising in Benghazi where Islamic militants attacked the American consulate killing the US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three others.  To better understand Libya and the historical events that define its tumultuous past, it is helpful to know the following: Read more »

22
Oct

French Broad Chocolates: The Buddha Collection

French Broad Chocolates – an Asheville, North Carolina-based company that includes a chocolate factory, a chocolate bar library (French Broad Chocolate Boutique), and a dessert restaurant (French Broad Chocolate Lounge) in the heart of downtown – also makes the most decadent, beautiful, and scrumptious chocolates called The Buddha Collection. With no dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, or corn syrup, The Buddha Collection is beloved by vegans and omnivores alike. Read more »

20
Oct

Harvest Veggie Roast

Every Autumn (in most states), the leaves on the trees seem to explode in a rainbow of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns.  But, enjoying the array of color is not limited to outdoors. Vegetables – particularly root and squash varieties – are plentiful so consider making a Harvest Veggie Roast in your kitchen.  Golden potatoes and orange carrots combined with purple cauliflower adds just the right amount of boldness in color and flavor to this roasted vegetable dish. Read more »

18
Oct

Where Does $100 to the American Heart Association Go?

The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of the most popular and recognized non-profits in the United States with enormous public support as evidenced by the $830 million raised last year.   That the AHA also has nearly a billion dollars in their net fund balance is also noteworthy.

By most accounts, this organization is a magnet for public contributions and an expert at raising and saving money.  But, are they accomplishing their mission, which is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke? With heart disease the number one cause of death in the United States for decades, one has to wonder if all the contributions to the AHA are really helping to prevent and reverse heart disease? Read more »

16
Oct

Evicted

In 2016, Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond published Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Evicted) – the story of eight families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction in 2017, the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2017 Pen/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal, and more, Evicted is the emotional and heartbreaking story of what happens when people are evicted from their homes. As the author points out, it’s not just the roof over their heads that’s lost, but also a neighborhood, friends, schools, and a sense of safety and personal dignity. Read more »

14
Oct

Pumpkin Butter Bread

Pumpkin Butter Bread is a rich, moist bread with hints of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace and clove that give the bread depth and flavor. The recipe calls for using two types of pumpkin – pure, unadulterated organic pumpkin (with no additives) and Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (made of pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, pecans and spices) but you can substitute additional pumpkin for the pumpkin butter. Despite its name, there are no butter, eggs, or dairy ingredients in Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter meaning this quick bread is plant-based (vegan). Read more »

12
Oct

Where do Donations to UMCOR Go?

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, a full-page ad by UMC.org/UMCOR (United Methodist Church/United Methodist Committee on Relief) was placed in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) asking for donations with the statement:

100% OF WHAT YOU GIVE GOES TO HELPING US STAY UNTIL RECOVERY IS COMPLETE

and

100% OF YOUR DOLLARS GO TO RELIEF

United Methodist churches across the country participate in UMCOR Sunday, a special giving day on which all offerings are designated toward UMCOR administrative costs. That means 100% of your donations go to relief efforts.

Read more »

10
Oct

Where Does $100 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Go?

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is one of the most well-known charitable foundations dedicated to raising funds for research into treatments and cures for childhood cancers.

Established in Pennsylvania in 2005, a year after Alex (Alexandra) Scott passed away from neuroblastoma at 8 years old, ALSF was founded by her parents, Jason and Elizabeth Scott to continue what Alex started (when Alex was 4 years old she opened up a lemonade stand to raise money so that doctors could help other children). Read more »

8
Oct

Getting Serious: Automatic and Semi-Automatic Weapons

When the NRA announced this past week support for the restriction of “bump stocks” – a device that enables a semi-automatic rifle which can only fire one bullet per trigger pull to convert to the firing speed of a fully automatic rifle – people took notice because the NRA rarely, if ever gets behind the restriction of any firearm. Did the gunning down of hundreds of people attending a concert in Las Vegas by a mad gunman who used bump stocks on a dozen rifles make the NRA realize how insanely easy it is for lunatics to be able to convert semi-automatic rifles into rapid fire weapons?  Yes and no. Read more »

6
Oct

Salted Pumpkin Seeds by Living Intentions

Take your snacking skills to a whole new level!

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds by Living Intentions – a company based out of California – are pumpkin seeds that have been sprouted and then lightly seasoned with mineral-rich Himalayan crystal salt and cold pressed olive oil. Certified organic, Non-GMO, gluten-free, and plant-based, Living Intentions Salted Pumpkin Seeds are minimally processed to ensure a nutrient-dense but incredibly flavorful snack. Read more »