I identify with the label "not a drug user." But I did try several of the popular drugs when I was in my early twenties. I couldn't tell you now whether I was curious or trying to fit in with my boyfriend and his crowd, probably a little of both. It was interesting to experience the effects of marijuana and a few other "social" drugs. I was reckless back then, probably still borderline suicidal, believing that my life didn't really impact anybody anyway, so why not take some chances? Marijuana was the only drug I used fairly often in my pre-parent years.
As a parent, I've had to see my kids through their teens and now twenties, be sensitive to their culture and their choices while also being a moral example and ethical role model. I turned into a pretty conservative person, all things considered, but I have never had a problem with the kids using marijuana. I made lots of parenting choices that weren't politically correct or mainstream, but I felt that they were appropriate for my family's unique needs and circumstances. Both kids suffer from anxiety disorders, and after they reached the age of 18, I decided that a little marijuana, especially near bedtime, was helping them manage their intense emotions, and it seemed a lot less dangerous than adderall, the legal option.
Now that recreational marijuana is legal here in Oregon, the street dealing has all but dried up. The state collects 25% tax on sales. Most importantly, all cannabis products are lab tested and labeled, so consumers know exactly what they're using -- a VERY important impact of legalization. I can go into a dispensary and choose the product highest in CBD (the drug that reduces pain) and lowest in THC (the drug that produces a high), and see if it helps with my arthritis. I haven't done it yet, but I can, and probably will at some point.
The War on Drugs has cost this country billions of dollars every year, many lives, and hundreds of people added to the roles of public assistance because with a felony conviction, they are unemployable. On average, 700,000 people are arrested on marijuana charges every year in the U.S. The War on Drugs has actually increased the drug traffic from Mexico, because it's apparently safer and easier to get Mexican drugs than to produce them here. The War on Drugs has increased the teen use of marijuana and more dangerous drugs because teens naturally want to rebel, and legal stuff isn't dramatic enough. The War on Drugs has added significantly to the homelessness problem, because so many people self-medicate rather than having legal options, and without oversight, addiction is rampant. Enforcing marijuana laws contributes to racial inequalities -- a disproportionate number of African Americans suffer the consequences of these laws.
What are we doing? Why are we willing to ruin so many lives, waste so much money, and add to the degradation of society, just because we have decided on an inaccurate, ideological stance that current drug laws are appropriate. They're not. The whole list of Schedule 1 drugs needs to be revisited. Marijuana doesn't belong on that list, and we'd save a fortune, and keep an awful lot of pot smokers out of jail and eventually off of public assistance, if it were treated the same as alcohol and tobacco. Legal marijuana use will make people more willing to talk to their doctors about it and make more informed choices.
We need tax reform. Let's face it, we need a lot of changes if we want our country to remain free and democratic. But starting with the tax code isn't the answer. We need to look at the underlying reasons for excessive spending in areas like jails and prisons, and revise the laws to more appropriately reflect our dedication to freedom, to personal responsibility, and eventually to fiscal success. The enforcement of marijuana laws is a huge drain on our social resources. Don't we have better places to spend our tax money?
Knute and I drove over to Zig Zag (yes, that's a town) on Thursday to get our national park passes. Did you know that if you're permanently disabled, you get a free lifetime pass? We felt a little guilty that we were able to walk in unassisted to get them, but when the ranger said the walk up to that waterfall we were thinking of seeing was 3 1/2 miles, our disabilities kicked right in.
Instead of the waterfall hike, we continued on up Mt. Hood to Timberline Lodge (you know, the one where they filmed some of the outside scenes for The Shining). It's a beautiful place, 6,000 feet up, built in the late 1930s as part of Roosevelt's New Deal public works projects. They don't build like that anymore -- so much stone work, wood carving, almost everything built from local materials. After 10 years of living in Oregon, I'm glad I finally went there.
Of course, mountains make great metaphors, so I was contemplating all my virtual mountains as we drove up through the drizzle, above the clouds, into the cold, crisp high altitude air. Health, marriage, parenting, finances, education, career -- there have been plenty of mountains in my life and in yours, I'm sure. But I've enjoyed the journey, learned the trails, built up strength, marveled at the scenery along the way.
So many have mountains that are insurmountable. As Portland, among other cities, struggles with the homelessness problem, people's lives are in turmoil. Like a giant game of Chutes and Ladders, they struggle and scrape and survive, only to have everything they've acquired cleared away, confiscated by the city, along with demands that they "move along."
Citizens all over the country are working to decriminalize poverty and homelessness, but it's a tough road. I feel for Portland's mayor, Charlie Hales, who seems like a compassionate guy. He's under fire from business advocates to keep the streets clear and safe, to make sure "bums" don't interfere with businesses' ability to attract customers. And advocates for the homeless are pressuring him to treat these desperate people with dignity and humanity. He wants to provide alternate spaces for them, but something needs to be done now.
Which side of the mountain are you on? Are you fighting to keep our cities clean and prosperous, to attract business, to appeal to tourists, to spark the economy so business taxes can provide better public services? Or are you fighting for the rights of people in need, without shelter, struggling to find food, seeking a dry place to rest that doesn't have spikes or glass shards or other deterrents?
I don't think those are the only sides to this mountain. I think there's a less-traveled path that some cities are clearing and that more of us need to find. The path that provides tiny homes for everyone who doesn't have any other options. The path that puts mental health funding and drug rehab programs higher on the budget than prisons. The path that encourages park benches that convert to covered sleeping space, that makes use of vacant lots for small communities complete with portable toilets and showers, the path that encourages non-profits to provide community meals.
This path is tougher. It's rockier. It has more seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But people have taken it. Once someone brave and strong, trained and prepared, reaches such a high summit, it's easier for others to follow. Mt. Everest. The 4-minute mile. Flight. The northwest passage. They all seemed impossible. They all required too much. They weren't reasonable. They didn't apply to normal people.
Mankind is always searching for a new challenge, a new mountain to scale, a new dream to achieve, a new wilderness to conquer. Homelessness and hunger are right in front of us. Isn't it time to start climbing?
We, the human race, have an irrational ability to attach more hope and courage and sense of safety to one another's good traits. We also have the ability to shield ourselves from pain by shutting out the bad bits. Pain can lead to despair, and let's face it, society's problems aren't MY problems; I don't have to be the one to fix them. Our instinct for self preservation allows us to rationalize and to tuck away everything that's wrong with mankind in some dark corner of our brains.
Here's the thing, though -- if we numb ourselves to the problems, we MAKE ourselves powerless to generate change, healing, growth, and compassion. I know, I've done it all my life and still do. Portland was referred to in a recent article as the most racist city in the U.S. Huh, I didn't know my city was racist. Well, I'M not, and that's all I'm responsible for, right? I can't fix the whole city. So I pack that information away in that dark recess of my brain and go back to my privileged white life, where even though I don't earn a living, I have a home, heat, food, medical care, a car, pets, clothes, choices, freedom, and when I got pulled over yesterday for making an illegal U-turn, I didn't get a ticket, nor did I expect to. I blindly accept my privileges as rights, and conveniently forget that I have great wealth compared to most.
I don't believe that we need to let go of hope and courage and see one another more rationally. Rose-colored glasses keep many of us from hopelessness. But I DO believe that we need to open our hearts up to the bad in the world, to the social conditions that drive people to drug addictions, instead of treating the addicts like they're someone else's problem. We have to FEEL the knowledge that 30% of our children are going hungry while we enjoy that nice Cabernet. We need to FEEL one another's pain, and let it hurt us too, before anything will change. The pain motivates and empowers us, gets us off the couch and wanting to do something to help. Anything.
We CAN change the world. One dollar at a time. One sandwich at a time. One food delivery at a time. One kind word at a time. All it takes is being willing to feel the pain of our shortcomings and society's failures. We need to be brave and strong and SEE the injustices so that we can speak up, take small actions, and inspire one another to be better.
Artwork was commissioned by UNICEF.
Everybody agrees -- there's plenty of food to end hunger in Portland, in Oregon, in the U.S. Other countries are tough for us to get at, due to political corruption, costs, red tape, lots of good excuses. But in the U.S., we have the food. Why are people still shaking their heads as if this were an insurmountable problem?
I met with two government officials this week. I learned a lot and I felt very encouraged to continue on this path. More results happen when large groups of people get behind an idea than any law or budget line or bureau can ever accomplish. Since the American Revolution, this county has succeeded because we put our hearts and guts and lives on the line for what matters.
Metro (the greater Portland area public services organization) had an app way back almost 20 years ago called Fork It Over. It matched up companies with excess food to donate and charitable organizations working to feed people in need. It worked for a long time, considering all the changes in technology since then.
Washington County is working hard to educate businesses about donating food. So is every city, town, community, and neighborhood. Laws have changed, safe food handling education is in place. We're ready to quit throwing away edible food. But we still hit barriers -- resistant managers, uninformed clerks, hourly employees who just have to do what they're told.
The only way we're going to end commercial food waste is to demand it, every one of us. Dozens of people are already rallying around the food taxi concept and volunteering to drive. Recipient organizations are standing by, ready to put any and all food to good use. We just have to get businesses to make that call.
Government can help, to a certain extent -- they have programs in place and incentives and staff to go out to these companies and remind them what is available, NOW INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION ON DEMAND! They'll make some headway. But it's down to us, people, to convince businesses that throwing away edible food is no longer OK with us.
Please speak to your store manager, your barista, your produce department, your farmer's market staff, your dairy department, your meat guy. Please write a letter or send an email or make a phone call. We have to inundate these decision-makers with our concerns. We have to make it good business to respond to customers' demands and quit wasting food. Together, we can end hunger, not years down the road, but right now!
Won't you please speak up? Thank you for your support. Together, we got this!
Most of us weren't alive nor old enough to remember when Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, but some of us benefited from its use to fight infections in the early 1940s. I remember receiving antibiotics over and over when I was young, mostly due to ear infections and upper respiratory diseases. They were pretty effective back then.
My first awareness of antibiotic-resistant germs was after my gallbladder ruptured. Of course I was put on antibiotic treatment after surgery. Problem was, I had taken quite a few rounds of antibiotics recently. There was a scary stretch in there when the antibiotics weren't effective and several others had to be tried before they hit on one that worked. More recently, I was tested for C diff (Clostridium difficile). Caregivers had to gown up and wear gloves and masks until the test came back negative. Apparently this is one of the newer, scarier resistant microbes, and it occurs due to a LACK of bacteria, similar to yeast infections. It spreads very easily by spores.
I was fascinated by the video below, illustrating a Harvard experiment to show bacteria's ability to overcome antibiotics, mutate, and thrive, even in increasingly hostile environments. We think we're pretty clever, coming up with tricks to fight nature. I'm sorry == I'm pretty sure nature is cleverer.
The FDA ruled just last week that soaps containing the antimicrobial triclosan can no longer be sold in the U.S. This because our clever use of antibiotic soaps has caused an outbreak of resistant bacteria that are deadlier than the ones we originally fought with the additives. Unfortunately, the ban is specific to the one antibiotic, and it doesn't apply to products that aren't soap. Dozens of other household items are made with the stuff, but they don't fall under FDA authority; they are regulated by the EPA (or my favorite Trumpism: the Department of Environmental).
Millions of lives have been saved since Fleming's discovery of penicillin. Childhood diseases have been reversed and four generations have lived to create and contribute and build. Organ transplants wouldn't exist without the antibiotic and all the related discoveries since. But there's a cost. More than 23,000 people die every year due to antibiotic-resistant infections, and those numbers are rising. Many folks have a natural fear of hospitals, and they may be on to something -- the harder hospitals try to eliminate disease-causing microbes, the stronger the microbes become.
I am a person of faith, but I also recognize that we are biological creatures sharing the planet with millions of other creatures. Many of them live in us, in a symbiotic relationship benefiting all. Many are parasites that can harm us, and our nature is to fight any threat. We should also take into consideration that we act like parasites on the planet, consuming resources and replacing them with pollution & damage, and causing extinction of other species.
If a species as a whole targeted mankind, we would fight back with every resource and innovation at our disposal. We think we would do this because we are smart. Not true. We would do this because the nature of life is to survive. All life. The more we can live in harmony with all other life forms on our planet, the closer we are to nature and the more likely we are to adapt, survive, and thrive.
Don't even get me started on Monsanto and Bayer.
I still love to cook. I don't have the energy for it most of the time, but this week there was a need at one of the street meals, and I had an awful lot of food. Part of the fun is taking stock of what's available, purchasing as little as possible, and making it taste great even if the ingredients are a little unconventional.
I highly recommend this method of meal planning. Check the freezer and pantry first, and pull out items that potentially complement each other. Make a short shopping list. Just before starting to cook, check on-hand supplies again -- I usually find another item or two that should be used up. This system reduces food waste, saves money, and results in new recipes.
Here's how this week's meal for 60 came together. Another family provided additional food, so there was plenty, with several options for our guests.
Some of the items donated this week:
1 flat tomatoes
1 flat avocados
1 lb. bulk sausage
1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground pork
2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. dry red beans
2 lb. can black beans
1 lb. tub pico de gallo
2 1-lb. cans chili
1 2-lb. can green salsa
1 #10 can marinara sauce
2 lbs. frozen mixed carrots, corn, and yellow string beans
1 lb. frozen peas
1 lb. frozen corn
1 case bananas
several dozen assorted cookies and pastries
Items I had on hand:
Salt & pepper
2 lbs. frozen tomatoes
2 lbs. sour cream
Iceberg salad blend
4 gallons chili with guacamole & sour cream
Assorted cookies & pastries
Also contributed: vegetarian pasta, taco soup, sandwiches, brownies, frozen yogurt smoothies, lemonade, and water.
The tomatoes were beautiful – too nice to dump into chili, so I dedicated those to a green salad, even though I didn’t have other salad stuff. The avocados weren’t so nice, but good enough so that 2/3 of the pulp made 2 quarts of guacamole. I tossed in the tub of pico de gallo. I had about a quart of leftover sour cream I tossed into the box to serve on top of the chili.
At first I thought spaghetti, given the big can of sauce and the meat choices. But street people get a lot of pasta, and I had sort of a Mexican theme going on, so I started tossing stuff into the pot, added chili seasonings, and it came out pretty well. Here’s the “recipe” I actually made, although I would change a few things if I were buying all the food and serving at home. But not much!
1 lb. dry red beans
2 lbs. frozen tomatoes
5 lbs. ground beef, pork, and turkey
3 lbs. onions
1 cup chili powder
1 cup chopped garlic
½ cup beef bouillon paste
2 Tbsp. mixed herbs
1 gallon marinara sauce
2 lbs. green chili salsa
2 small cans chili
2 lb. can black beans
½ cup molasses
½ cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
10 fresh jalapenos
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 lbs. mixed frozen vegetables
Soak the dry beans in 2 quarts of water overnight. Drain. Add fresh water, heat to boiling, and allow to simmer about an hour. Drain off most of the cooking liquid. Stir in the frozen tomatoes. Set aside.
Brown ground meats and onions in a large (5 gallon) pot. Add all other ingredients except cilantro. Simmer for at least 3 hours. Mince cilantro and stir in just before serving. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Honey-Mustard Salad Dressing
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup honey
1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
2 ½ cups vegetable oil
Place everything except the oil in food processor or blender. Turn on high speed, and add oil in a slow, steady stream. Makes about one quart.
1 large bag (3 lbs.) iceberg salad blend
12 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
4 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 lb. frozen peas
1 lb. frozen corn
1 lb. cooked crumbled bacon
Toss everything together and finish with honey mustard dressing.
I wore myself out and am grateful that today is free for recovering, but it was a lot of fun. Needy people are so grateful, so polite, so pleasant -- I definitely prefer to feed them, actual hungry people, over the wealthy catering clients I used to serve. It feels awesome to be used up, knowing you did a good thing. Try it!
I'm a leaper, always have been. I jump in with both feet. I have driven a few people crazy that way, including my very cautious, methodical husband. I can't help it. I get excited! And my imagination sees growth and opportunity every which way.
When I first started having health problems, back in the mid-1990s, I knew I needed to slow down. And I did! Well, for a while. I was a full-time mom for a full year in 2000-2001. Then I volunteered in the kids' classrooms. Then became room mother. Baked cookies in the shape of California with geographically color-coded icing. Joined the parent club. Became president. Took a job in the library. Started a middle-school parent club. Got active in the church youth group. Became the youth admin. asst. Went to work full time at church, joined choir, joined worship band, joined bible study ... you see how it goes. By the end of my chapter in Placer County, I was working full time at the church, rehearsing two nights a week, catering on weekends, taking freelance admin and writing jobs, and home-schooling both kids.
Anyway, I just say all that to illustrate how I get caught up in projects. And I love every minute of it. Of course, now I have more and bigger health limitations, and it really is important for me to pace myself. I have about two good energy hours a day, and the rest of the time I sit at my desk, hatching plans to change the world.
Today I was meeting with staff of the county's waste management program. Like all counties, we desperately need to reduce landfill waste. They're very interested in introducing us to stores, caterers, restaurants, and businesses that serve food. They come up against a brick wall when businesses say they don't have resources to deliver food to donation sites. Hand them my postcard and that excuse is shot down. She also mentioned a Metro program (three counties) that needs a shot in the arm. OK, shot in the arm we will be. We have five food donations a day on average. Why not just make that 20? Or 50? Same work, different scale, nothing to it.
The thought for this post came as I was leaving that meeting, walking very carefully back to the parking lot. I have a tendency to trip and fall -- when I'm not paying attention, I don't lift my feet high enough. I'm hyper-aware when I'm alone, because I know if I fall, I might not be able to get up. So careful, small steps. Focus. Breathe.
It's an interesting sensation to walk cautiously with your feet while your mind is leaping into the future and imagining flow charts and guidelines for passing on to the next city, once we work out all the kinks in Portland. Leap! Careful. Excitement! Slow down. Imagine! Use the knees. Dream! Don't fall. Change the world! One step at a time.
How quickly things are changing. I have a meeting tomorrow with a county official regarding their campaign to reduce landfill waste. They've been looking for resources to offer businesses as to how to deal with food waste responsibly. I may get very busy very soon.
One of my neighbors who signed up to be a volunteer driver was surprised at how far I was going to get grocery store bakery leftovers. She's a retired sales and marketing professional, and she's on a mission to enlist all the nearby food businesses in our program. I need to sign up volunteers to support her new donors.
Heart 2 Heart Farms, as I mentioned in the previous post, has mountains of fresh produce waiting to be distributed to hunger-relief organizations. We don't have access to a truck, so I figure I'll get volunteers with SUVs or wagons to drive down there Monday through Friday until we catch up.
A nearby elementary school has a salad bar. You can imagine what kids might leave behind at a salad bar. We'll get someone to swing by there every school day afternoon with zipper bags and quart tubs, and we'll add all that stuff to Free Hot Soup concoctions.
The app is 95% written. I need to enlist the help of an iOS programmer to finish it up, and an android programmer to write the second version. Once that's up and running, there will be a lot of coordinating of volunteers and donors to make sure food is transported in a timely and safe manner. And since the app is open-source, we'll need to be ready to advise other communities to start their own networks.
The tent in our driveway is seeing a lot of action. It's working great to have people drop off and pick up without having to come through the house. A more secure option will have to be created soon, but this is OK for now. We're getting a new garage door today, so maybe part of the garage can be dedicated to this project, too. It may not be long before more space is needed.
We're no longer doing any fundraising. We need business cards and website fees and printer ink. If you feel so inclined, a small donation will go a long way toward greasing the gears as we crank up.
Thank you for your interest, your support, and your help. We might just change the world.
I never dreamed that an illness would change my routine so dramatically. It's turning out to be a very positive thing!
I still haven't healed from the ischemia, and surgery may still be in the future. I actually have to work at keeping my blood pressure and oxygen levels high enough. Mostly I'm just sitting around at my computer, hoping to change the world. I don't feel safe driving, and I can't lift much, so Waste Not Food Taxi is entirely dependent on the generosity of volunteers.
Our partnerships with Oregon Food Bank and Heart 2 Heart Farms are the most dynamic right now. OFB gave me a list of the hunger-relief agencies that need the most support, and H2H needs people to pick up mountains of fresh produce and get it to people who need it. What a great opportunity! I hope to sign up a dozen new volunteer drivers who can make a run to Sherwood once a week and deliver to a school.
If you know someone who can help, please put them in touch with me. They'll need to watch a video and sign a waiver, because the farm has its natural hazards. I was there last week and saw pallet after pallet full of corn, avocados, tomatoes, pears ... more fresh fruit and veggies than I've ever seen in one place at one time.
It's frustrating not to be able to drive or lift or doing much that's physical. But I wouldn't trade my circumstances for anything. Being forced to give up brownie baking and concentrate on food transportation is just me being directed by the powers that be, in order to fulfill my destiny. I'm honored.
When I was a young idealist, I believed marriage is forever, no matter what. I grew up. My first marriage was never a particularly strong one. We were both stubborn, so we made it last for 16 years, but in the end we had too many fundamental differences in our definitions of marriage, family, and parenting. Divorce was the truth at that point, and honestly, we're all happier and healthier now.
Well, healthier emotionally, anyway. I'm not well physically. Coincidentally, neither are my first husband's second wife and my second husband's first wife. All three of us are intelligent, strong-willed women, hard working, generous, eager to do good in the world.
I know why I'm sick. I ignored my physical needs for decades, eschewed exercise, enjoyed too many of the fancy foods I was making for other people's special events. I worked too hard, slept too little, and developed the ability to completely ignore physical warnings. I'd get home from work and discover a blistering burn on my arm or a knife cut that had already scabbed over. I lived with a ruptured gallbladder for weeks and was just lucky that it was discovered before it killed me. As I settle in to my late 50s, I'm working hard to listen to my body's warning signs. I hate it, but I can do it. Slowing down is counter-intuitive. Oh well.
Lynn is wiser and has taken better care of herself all along. She was a very positive influence on Matt's health when they joined forces around Y2K. Then all of a sudden she has a kidney disease. She's getting dialysis and chemo drugs and all sorts of unpleasant treatments. (Find her blog at LynnsJourney.com.) She maintains a positive outlook, continues to find joy in everyday life, and won't stop having a positive influence on everyone she touches until she's six feet under, and maybe not even then.
Kay is the worst off of the three of us. She has dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes spasms, loss of muscle use, and a great deal of pain. She also has dysphagia, maybe as part of the dystonia, maybe something else entirely. She has increasing difficulty swallowing, and is painfully thin already. She can barely speak, and her ability to write and/or type is so impaired that communicating is increasingly difficult.
Kay has worked hard all her life. She was active in supporting pregnant teens who chose against abortion. Starting as mostly an artist, she became proficient at home repairs and is a master gardener. She excels at everything she takes on. She owns a cute little shop in downtown Hillsboro, the Artfull Garden, where she sells lovely yard accessories and teaches (or taught) all the clever projects most of us wish we knew how to do.
Kay is precariously balanced on the fence between the rich relationships Lynn and I enjoy, many of which she has also cultivated over the years, and the lonely, discouraging existence of so many of my homeless friends. She doesn't have a lot of family left, and being a strong, proud woman, she doesn't always seek support. Thankfully, she has been so active in the community that there are people eager to lend a hand as needed. Still, without the ability to consume enough nourishment, her days may be very limited.
What would you do in her circumstances? What if you didn't have any health insurance? What if family and friends were few and far away? What if your will to live was losing the battle against discouragement, pain, and physical weakness? What would any of us do?
My heart goes out to Lynn and to Kay, even as I await the latest test results from my own doctors. And my heart aches knowing that we are not alone, that thousands of people all around us are in similar struggles, often hidden under positive attitudes and reputations as hard workers. My aunt continued working full time through her breast cancer treatments -- many of us had no idea she even HAD cancer.
You probably know several people who are suffering. Why are we not more aware? Is it a lack of caring? Is it our embarrassment at being seen as weak? I believe it is mostly a case of eyes half-opened. If we decide to really look, to really connect, to reach out to the people we love and constantly remind them that we want to be there for them, we will start to be more aware of weaknesses, illnesses, discouragement, worries, loneliness. And as we become aware, we are empowered. We can dissipate the gloom in a single phone call or greeting card. We can remind one another that the deepest value of our existence is our connection to one another. We can make soup.
I've had the privilege of being married to two outstanding men. And they have been blessed with supportive women who care deeply and live richly. These are only a tiny sampling of the amazing people who have touched my life and who warrant my prayers, thoughts, and love.
Susie Snortum is passionate about improving society's compassion for meeting basic human needs -- food, shelter, clean water, and dignity.