Monday, February 23, 2009

Spay Day USA February 24, 2009

Pet overpopulation is a huge issue. There are more cats and dogs out there than there is room in many a shelter. These animals are forced to live on the streets a very hard life with no one to care for them, the possibility of disease, attack by other animals, or even inhumane treatment by people. They might, if they are lucky, be admitted into a shelter where they could potentially be adopted into a loving home IF the shelter has room for them. Even if the shelter has room to admit the kitten or puppy, that's not to say that they won't be euthanized at a later date due to overpopulation in the shelter or, in these hard economic times, the closing of a shelter.

Every cat or dog who dies as a result of pet overpopulation—whether humanely in a shelter or by injury, disease or neglect—is an animal who, more often than not, would have made a wonderful companion, if given the chance. Tremendous as the problem of pet overpopulation is, it can be solved if each of us takes just one small step, starting with not allowing our animals to breed.

Spay Day is an annual campaign of The Humane Society of the United States to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats. Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone's cat or dog got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats and a proven way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them. Save a life: click here to learn more reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

V-Day - Stop the Violence

Quite a few years ago when I was still a touring stage manager for Broadway shows, I worked on The Vagina Monologues. I felt extremely privileged to be a part of a show that not only was a blast to work on, but also had such an impact on so many women's lives. It's inspirational, funny, empowering, consoling, entertaining. . .

It also introduced me to V-Day. The Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler created V-Day. From the V-Day website:

V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual slavery.

You may have heard of the annual V-Day events of The Vagina Monologues produced around Valentine's Day. The majority of them are at college campuses, but there have been a few star studded productions as well. In 2008, over 4,000 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.

I remember one story that Eve told us about a woman in Kenya named Agnes who would walk village to village to teach the women about their bodies and help them understand the unnecessary and life threatening risks of female genital mutilation. Eve asked her what V-Day could do to help her. She said that if she had a Jeep, she would be able to get around to the villages much easier. V-Day got her a Jeep. A time later, Eve met with Agnes again and asked how V-Day could help. She suggested a school and safe house for the girls and women fleeing FGM. V-Day built the first V-Day Safe House for The Girls: It offers fifty girls a safe residential shelter, and enables them to continue their schooling.

I love that story of Agnes and the good that she's doing with the support of V-Day. Eve has got tons of stories like that. She is an inspiring woman and V-Day is such a worthwhile cause. This Valentine's Day, instead of roses and chocolates, consider a donation to V-Day to help women like Agnes and stop the violence.

The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Customer Appreciation: iWunder

Way back in November or December, the Florida Etsy Street Team did a holiday secret swap organized by Kelli of Red Marionette (if you haven't seen her adorable felt critters, do yourself a favor and check them out). The chilly weather we've been having lately made me want to share with you the wonderful swap that I received! It was an extra long, skinny scarf in chocolate brown with resin and wood beads woven into it by iWunder. It's cozy and gorgeous and can be worn long, wrapped multiple times, or even as a belt. Here's one very similar to mine that she's got in her shop right now:

Everything in the shop is hand knit and hand dyed and she's got such a wide assortment of items including tops, purses, appliques, and even some felted bowls in addition, of course, to her scarves and yarn. Go ahead and get yourself something warm and cozy and give this amazing shop some love.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love at First Flight FAE Exhibition

I spent a lot of time today thinking about what I'm going to do for Scott for Valentine's Day. Especially since it is only 10 days away (I swear I started thinking about it back in January!). For those of you who are like me and still thinking about what to get your honey, the Fantasy Artists of Etsy Street Team's Love at First Flight Exhibition is chock full of options. You will find: mermaids, fairies, dragons, steampunk, magic vials, and more. Follow the above link or you can get a small sampling of the items included in the mini at the bottom of this page.

I've got three items included in the exhibition -- see if you can find them!