The Things We Take for Granted | 10 Day Challenge

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm not sure I told all of you our latest news. We have an exchange student living with us. He arrived last week from Sweden and he'll be here for about eight months. On his second day here, he asked for a glass to get a drink of water. I handed it to him, he went to the sink and then paused.

"Is it safe to drink from here?"

I didn't think at all before I replied, "of course."

Like most Europeans, our student is very well traveled. He told me stories of places he's visited where it's not okay to drink the water.

And then I felt about two inches tall.

I've never been out of the United States let alone to another country. His question about our water and my really snooty reply was a complete smack in the face about just how narrow my world view is and how much I take for granted as an American.

Here are some facts I didn't know:
-780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.

-An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.

-In just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Walmart, United Parcel Service, McDonald's, IBM, Target, and Kroger.

-Malnutrition, due to dirty water, inadequate sanitation, and hygiene, is estimated to lead to death in an additional 2,350 children under the age of five each day. 

I have complained many times about how long it takes to fill our jacuzzi bathtub. Now I feel ashamed. I can't change my past behavior but I can be more conscious going forward.

Today is the first day of the 10 Day Challenge to raise awareness about the global water crisis and enough funds to provide clean water to 100 people to lat their entire lives. Yes, you read that correctly. A $25 donation will ensure that one person will always have access to safe, clean water. I made a donation. Will you please consider supporting this important and worthy cause, too?

If you want to get involved you have several options:

*Make a donation and help make their $2500 goal
*Follow on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook
*Start your own fundraising project
*Buy a CamelBak reusable water bottle and $10 of your purchase will support
The Mission List

Follow the conversation online #10Days10LivesTML

Pinterest Test Drive | Paper Pom Poms

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My son's hockey club had a Fun Fest this past weekend at a local park. Each team could do whatever they wanted to try winning a team spirit award. I wanted to make decorations but not spend a lot of the team's money to do it. I liked the idea of hanging pom pom poofs from the canopy but I didn't like the prices I was seeing at the party supply stores for the pre-made ones. Naturally, I turned to Google and Pinterest to find a DIY version.

I ended up using this one from Kristen at Big Box Detox. I loved the way mine turned out but it is not quite as easy as it looks in the tutorial. If you give this a try, here are my observations:

*Cutting through that many sheets of tissue paper is tougher than it seems. The paper might tear if you're not using your sharpest scissors.

*In the post, it mentions using pipe cleaners in place of yarn to tie off the center of the paper. Don't. Instead, use the pipe cleaners to make a nice loop at the end of the thread. The pom poms will be easier to hang.

*I had two different sizes of tissue paper 16 1/2 x 24 and 20 x 20. The smaller sheets were much easier to work with. (The orange paper is from Target, the blue from Party City)

*Make your creases as sharp as possible. 

*Tie the center firmly, but not too tight.

*After you make the fan and tie it off, separate the fan blades a bit. This will make it easier to peel up the tissue paper pieces with as little tearing as possible.

tissue paper pom pom

If I do this again, I'll try three colors instead of the two. I also think I'll cut the tissue paper in half and try making mini poofs. Happy crafting!
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