#WATWB: An Artistic Mission

For this month’s We are the World Blogfest, I’m sharing a link to a post I published in August of 2016. I’ll give you a few minutes to read HERE and come back to the present. UPDATE: Arts Camp is going stronger than ever and there have been a few changes of note since 2016. In 2018, approximately 430 kids signed up for Arts Camp and this year there were about 535. The program keeps growing! It continues to be aRead more

#WATWB: Saving a Life

Becca Bundy always wanted to give back to volunteer firefighter Bill Cox, who once saved her daughter’s life. She did just that thanks to a chance encounter at a Northern Minnesota bar, when she learned that he needed a kidney transplant. There is not a story to read, only a video to watch. A Gift for the Firefighter To understand how organ donation can save many lives, check out the following link. Benefits of Organ Donation  The “We are theRead more

#WATWB: The Light of Hope and Restoration

Construction on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris began in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. Over the next 859 years, Notre Dame was desecrated during the French Revolution, progressively stripped of original decoration, works of art and religious imagery, and considered for demolition after the Napoleonic Wars. On the evening of April 15, 2019, while undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caughtRead more

Identity: What Did I Miss?

I’m staring at the ID card I’ve had for several years. This card tells everyone Mary is a permanent employee for a state government agency and assigns an ID number. It also contains one of the few ID or driver’s license photos in which I don’t appear to have woken from a two-day drunk. ID stands for “identity,” but you wouldn’t learn much about me from the plastic rectangle that is clipped to a piece of wardrobe Monday through Friday.Read more

#WATWB: Kindness by Accident

“When you see someone doing the wrong thing, you need to do the right thing.” ~Ziarra Griffin~ When an 11 year old witnessed a hit-and-run, it would have been easiest to walk away. But that’s not Ziarra Griffin, who Andrew Sipowicz will “remember for the rest of my life.” “The piece of art that put Ziarra Griffin on national television was drawn on a whim in the back seat of her mother’s SUV. It happened a few weeks ago onRead more

#WATWB: Helping Children to Read

In the month of December, as a holiday challenge, most of the offices in the region in which I work donate to a charitable cause. Over the years, recipients of physical and cash donations have included local animal shelters, Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, Glory Honor flights, and food pantries. The office in which I work is small, so we tend to give a cash donation to whatever organization we agree upon. In aRead more

Fifty-Five Years Later

Originally posted on Mary J Melange:
He had a dream. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Here we are, fifty-five years later. While there have been advancements in civil rights since Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speech in 1963, our country remains embroiled in the bigotry of non-acceptance. Not by all of its…

Don’t Fret the Wrinkles

“Are you really who you say you want to be?” ~John Pavlovitz~ The woman in the photo may be worrying about the answer. Is she who she wants to be? Or simply worried about a pimple? Fretting over a wrinkle? Upset that her compact will not tell her she’s the fairest? What if that’s who she wants to be? The fairest… And she’s not? In the context of John’s quote, he had asked the question, “What is the way forwardRead more

Dear Santa,

This Christmas… I have a very long wish list, but it’s not all for me I do not desire pretty boxes under the faux needles of a tree I do not desire jewelry, a new bike or clothes or an expensive SoundTouch system they call Bose No, my list is for the intangible things that only the heart of Santa can bring The miracles that make small children beam and the positivity that encourages people to dream The things youRead more

#WATWB: Arising from the Ashes

The California wildfires have been the worst in the state’s history, with the City of Paradise being virtually destroyed. An update from CNN as of November 23rd: “After more than two weeks of a raging inferno, firefighters are getting closer to containing the Camp Fire that has killed 84 people in Northern California. At least 475 people remain unaccounted for, down from more than 1,000 days earlier, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said. California’s deadliest wildfire, which started November 8, remainedRead more

Fear and Tribalism

Who among us doesn’t have the fear emotion? Fear of spiders, swimming in the ocean (sharks!), angry clowns, scary movies, speaking to a large group, dark basements, being alone, etc. I have a fear of June bugs, leeches and failure in critical situations. Who among us doesn’t equate ourselves with a tribe? Tribe of artists, philanthropists, religious leaders, doctors, lawyers, athletes, TV enthusiasts (couch potatoes), chocolatiers, sommeliers, etc. I am in the tribe of government employees, as well as theRead more

#WATWB: Civility and Reward in the Workplace

I attended a meeting last week with members of the Employee Services Program Committee. I’ve been on this committee for many years and it’s one of the assignments I have been honored to be part of, a true joy. Our group actively shares ideas for employee wellness in the form of health challenges, training events, recognition/award events, a special “giving” challenge during the holiday season, and whatever we can come up with to make work life better within the organization.Read more