Monday, December 28, 2009

No More Winter Please!

Laid up at home with a strained muscle in my hip. Hobbling around yelling "OW!!!" between applying ice packs and the heating pad, and chiropractor visit, where I almost fell off the table in excruciating  pain today. 

Ho Ho Ho! 

No More Shoveling Snow! PUH-LEASE.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of Handbags4Hunger's shoppers, friends and followers!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'The Way We Get By' looks into lives of society's overlooked | Movie Reviews

I loved this movie. Whether you're pro-war or anti-war, seeing the sacrifice made by our troops and those who unfailingly cease to greet them is both unforgettable and undeniable.

'The Way We Get By' looks into lives of society's overlooked | Movie Reviews | Idaho Statesman

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bank of America, pay the American taxpayers back or we're going to send you to collection

Schauer calls for Bank of America's $45 billion in repaid bailout funds to pay down deficit All Am

The Wall Street bailout should have been about getting capital out on Main Street and job creation and not about helping banks improve their balance sheets,” said Schauer. “Far too many businesses in Michigan still can’t get a loan to invest in capital or hire more workers, while taxpayers have been stuck with the $700 billion bill. To get our economy back on track we need to focus on creating jobs and reigning in the deficit, and using these funds to repay taxpayers is a great way to do both.”‬

Earlier this year, in one of his first major votes in Congress, Rep. Schauer voted to reject the release of the second $350 billion under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, also known as the Wall Street bailout.

Following last week’s announcement that Bank of America would repay its $45 billion loan, the Washington Post reported that the move would, “terminate the federal pay restrictions that have inhibited its search for a new chief executive… Repaying the government in full would allow Bank of America to pay its next chief executive however many millions the board sees fit.” [Washington Post, 12/3/09]

“It appears Bank of America is anxious to pay back these funds not because of its concern to American taxpayers, but because it wants to escape reasonable limits on executive compensation,” said Schauer. “Reckless bonuses and multi-million dollar compensation packages to run a failed bank that was only kept alive by American taxpayers does not represent the kind of reform we need on Wall Street.”

A copy of the letter to Secretary Geithner is available below:

The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner
United States Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Secretary Geithner:

As you know, our country is facing enormous pressures on our deficit and we firmly believe that serious efforts must begin immediately to bring our nation back to fiscal sustainability. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 authorized Treasury to spend $700 billion to rescue our financial system from collapse.

The vast majority of those funds have, unfortunately, been directed to Wall Street firms that were directly, indisputably responsible for the economic crisis that has seen trillions of dollars evaporate from our economy and pushed unemployment levels to unbearable heights.

While hedge fund managers and investment brokers have been able to keep their jobs, reap financial bonuses, and enjoy all the benefits of this welfare for the wealthy, middle class and working class families are being pushed out of their homes, facing spiraling debt, and struggling to make ends meet.

In the meantime, our unsustainable debt leaves us held hostage to the goodwill of foreign countries whose economic interests are often at odds with our own. All across the country, families are rightly concerned about the long-term risks of heightened inflation, which acts as a regressive tax, diminishing the value of workers' hard-earned dollars.

Recent news reports indicate that Bank of America will repay its $45 billion loan from American taxpayers. This is welcome news, but the Department of Treasury must prevent these returned dollars from acting a slush fund for Wall Street bankers. Therefore, we are calling on you to immediately return this money to taxpayers by fully committing the returned $45 billion to paying down our deficit.

We look forward to your immediate response on this issue, which is so important to the American people.


Mark Schauer
Member of Congress

Source: Congressman Mark Schauer

Schauer calls for Bank of America's $45 billion in repaid bailout funds to pay down deficit | All Am

Schauer calls for Bank of America's $45 billion in repaid bailout funds to pay down deficit All Am

Friday, December 4, 2009

Here is a relatively new charity we are thinking of sponsoring, through the sales on Handbags4Hunger. Tell us what do you think?

charity: water
Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don't have access to safe, clean drinking water. That's one in eight of us.

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. We give 100% of the money raised to direct project costs, funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person in a developing nation clean water for 20 years.

Learn how you can help here >

I've Got to Twitter About This

Detached, bite sized, yippity yap! Welcome to the Twittosphere. Don't you Twitterstand? You could become a Twitterlebrity! Like these Twits. 

But is Twitter really just a place for people with no friends? 

Let the Blood Bath Begin! EBay and Craigslist battle heads to court | Reuters

Why did this story make me smile? Maybe I just  love a good David and Goliath battle. I'm betting my money on Craigslist. What about you?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank you for your purchase Lynn M!

An honor eCard has been sent from Lisa Stadtmueller ( to Lynn M.
Subject: A gift was made in your honor to Feeding America

A gift was made in your honor to Feeding America

Dear Lynn
Thank you for your purchase of the Coach bag yesterday.
It will be shipping out today via Priority Mail.

A donation to Feeding America was also made in your honor
for $15, enough to buy 3 bags of groceries.

We appreciate you as a customer. Please come back soon!
Lisa Stadtmueller
Feeding America

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom Knows Best

OK it's official. I'm losing it. Since mom died 3 weeks ago, I've completely forgotten everything she ever taught me. No really. It's all gone.

Or so it seems today. Actually it started a couple of days ago. My five-year old boy asked me wistfully (as he has been doing for years now) "Can I see your ring momma?" with that shy little smile so endearing to me.

Now up until this point my answer has always been, "Sure you can look at it, see?" as I offer my hand to him, knowing full-well that's not what he meant.

"No momma, can you take it off so I can see it?" he asks (forgetting I've said no 100 times before)....

But this time it was different. I remember being a little girl asking my mother the exact same thing, and her response always being the same - "you can look at it but I'm not taking it off for you...because it's special." or, "because my finger swelled and I can't take it off anymore"...etc.

This time I said what the heck, we're sitting together on the couch and I'll watch him like a hawk. Why not break with tradition, I mean it always hurt my feelings (a little) when mom wouldn't let me hold her ring. So I watched in amusement as his eyes lit up as I handed the ring to him, and he oh so carefully took it with his stubby little boy fingers and held it so gently in the palm of his hand, like a baby bird, turning it this way then that, marveling at how "it's SO SPARK-ely momma!"

I smiled and gave him a minute to take it all in, then quietly took it back from him, and promptly put it back on. Then I looked at my hand and there it was: the innocent little question that has now turned into a full blown panic attack -- which way does it go on?

You see, my wedding "ring" consists of 2 rings - the diamond solitaire "engagement ring", along with the "wedding band" - forever joined together. So there's a right way and a wrong way to wear it - according to mom that is.

She always told me (as her wedding ring was like mine) - "You have to wear the ring so that the (insert "wedding band" or "engagement ring" here) goes on first, so it's closest to your heart."

And that's the way I've worn mine for the past 8 years, just as she did for 49 years. Did I mention mom died on our wedding anniversary, October 27th? Of course my sister told me it was the 28th, in her big sisterly way of trying to soften the blow as she called me at 9 in the morning on October 28th to tell me the bad news: "mom died."
"Oh no, when?" was my response.

"Uh - umm . . . . well - the hospital called me at 3:30 this morning to tell me, but I'm not sure what time they found her - uh - dead."

And I pressed her further - "Well what time did you see her last? How was she? What did the nurse say? When was the last time they checked her?" in a rapid-fire attack barely allowing her to answer (my lawyer-side emerging in it's ugly head).....

"Well WHY DOES IT MATTER?" she asks me testily, knowing full well (or not) why I'm so concerned.

"Well -- I ah, I just - want to know if mom died on my wedding anniversary." I said.

"Oh." came her response....then thinking quickly, as I've known my big sister to do since I was old enough to talk and understand - she started to think of what to say to make me feel better, without stretching the truth TOO much, but enough to ease my pain. To somehow protect me from the awful truth.

Like the time I was 6, and she was 12, and it was late one night after we'd gone to bed, in the bedroom we shared for years - and she quietly sneaked out of our room to hunch at the top of the stairs, eavesdropping on what was a very unexpected late night visit from my grandfather, with mom and dad in the kitchen, in hushed voices....why was grandpa over so late? Why were all the lights on? Why were they all talking so low?

Then we heard my father utter in a firm tone "IT'S DEAD PA - PUT IT DOWN"....and the knots in my little stomach tightened.

Laurie stayed there another minute listening then finally tip-toed downstairs to confirm the news, then came back up sadly but wouldn't tell me right away. I kept bugging her like the little pipsqueak I was, "What is it Laurie? What's goin on? What happened Laurie? Why is grandpa here? Huh?"

And finally in a choked voice she told me, "We don't have a cat anymore" explaining that grandpa had found Smokey dead in the alley between our houses. She came over and sat on the edge of my bed while I cried, keeping strong for me as she always did - never letting me hear her cry. Then brought me over to the window where we silently watched dad bury Smokey in the backyard, in the dark.

Fast forward 41 years and she's back in Big Sister mode - "Well I'm SURE -- ah -- it was the 28th."

Me: "Why."

Laurie: "Because - I don't know! I left her at 6 last night (on the 27th) and she was OK....and they didn't call me until 3:30 this morning....but the nurse said they had to wait for the Coroner to get there and that took a while so I'm not sure when she died. I don't know, I was asleep when they called! I've been up since 3:30 this morning! It's the 28th I'm sure. I'm SURE."

As if stressing it makes it so.

Me "Well - OK" . . . (what can you do).

Her "I'll find out when I get the death certificate, what does it matter now".

And I haven't seen the certificate yet, (and probably never will) but the date she put on mom's obituary is the 28th. I guess it doesn't matter that much. She's gone either way.

Fast forward to today. Ever since I took my wedding ring off to show Cole, I'm not sure how to wear it. When I first put it back on I looked down at my hand and said "WAIT! That's not RIGHT - IS IT?" As if a 5-year old would know such a thing.

"Grandma always said you have to wear it with a certain side closest to your heart" I explained. As if that would help him figure it out for me.

First I wear it with the diamond ring going on first. Then it suddenly looks awful to me and I hastily switch it so that the band is closest to my heart - "the wedding band should go closest to your heart" Mom said. Or was it the other way around? And now I can't ask her anymore, because she's dead. And no one else will know this -- if I ask a bunch of people I'm sure to get varying responses. OH NO WHAT WILL I DO?

And no matter which way I've been wearing it, I'm still not sure for 2 days now ..... What did mom tell me? What did her voice sound like? Her laugh? Her favorite pet names for me? What if this is just the beginning? What if I forget EVERYTHING ABOUT HER!??!

And so the mourning process goes....some mornings better than others. So off I go to pour myself another cup of coffee, hoping this one will somehow jog the memory loose...before I start Googling the answer that I'm sure to doubt. Because only MY MOM knows best. And now she's - gone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shameless Plug For Our Online Broker - $25 for trying

We really like investing with ShareBuilder because they make it easy and affordable for everybody. There's no account minimum and no inactivity fees. Get $25 when you start investing (and we'll get some investing credits). And their website is super easy to navigate. And once you use up your $25, it's only $4 a trade. Pretty sweet!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OK this is the first day back at work since Mom died. It was a long trip to bury her but I'm glad she's finally at peace now and no longer in any pain.

As for what I've accomplished so far this morning, it's a nifty little online program I found to animate photos - use it for an avatar, etc:

If you only knew how much Halloween candy I ate before you got up for breakfast today!

OK ONE MORE!! I can't resist:

Never has there been a greater blessing in my  life than my  little boy....who is now READING at age 5! And still loves to cuddle momma.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nina Paonessa
Locust Grove, VA
March 6, 1924 - October 28, 2009

Services on: Monday, November 2, 2009 at M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel
2730 Military Road
Niagara Falls, New York 14304
Phone: (716) 298-1800

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Funding Opportunity for Start-ups

By The Entrepreneur School Blog 
Learn How to Start a Business: 

We have pointed out the horrible nature of angel investing help organizations, those guys that charge you $500 to $5,000 for advice on how to raise angel money and then introductions to some angels.  These groups almost never help land funds, and the unwitting entrepreneur can spend lots of time and money chasing a dream.

So today, I wanted to tell you about a new, exciting, safe way to raise funds.  This method probably wont be useful to raise $100,000, but if you need $10,000 or so, it would be a great bet for you.  Fred Anderson, from Atlanta, was interested in starting a car inspection center.  He tried banks and other traditional outlets, but was not able to find the resources.  So, he placed an ad on and soon had raised the needed $7,000 from almost 200 investors in 15 countries. was designed to provide micro-financing for super-small businesses in poor countries like India.  You can go on Kiva, see listings of hundreds of small businesses around the world, and invest in companies that appeal to you.  You invest as much or as little as you wish, even just $25.  And, incredibly, the default rate on loans like this is very small, usually less than 2%.  Its a great way to help the poor and a powerful website.  The site now allows U.S. based firms to list their opportunities too, which is how Fred was able to get involved.  If you want to start a small business here in the U.S., we recommend giving kiva a try……
Note from Lisa:
Or if you would like a better way to invest your money for a good cause, instead of having it sit in a bank savings account earning next to nothing, this could be a great alternative!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For Nina Paonessa, My Mother

Perhaps God is a poet
who writes with words
of flesh and bone and leaf and flower.
Every hour of every day,
words pour out of the poet's heart,
and every word is beautiful
and true and worth the telling.
And when each poem is perfect,
and there is no more which ought to be said,
the poet gently takes the words
back into his heart,
where they are safe forever...
and then begins again.
             author unknown

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fight hunger, get inspired on World Food Day USA

What did you to to be an inspiration for World Food Day? In case you missed it, Friday, Oct. 16 was World Food Day USAThe worldwide event is designed to increase awareness and understanding, and is a call to action to alleviate world hunger. It is observed today in recognition of the found of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. The first World Food Day was in 1981. The day is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations in the U.S. today.

WFD planning is done at the community level. Individual groups can hold a special event, but the most successful observances happen when organizers work together with affiliates of national sponsors. Local coalitions, representing the diversity of national sponsors, can share ideas that will involve schools, businesses, worship centers, government offices, service groups, the media, etc.

On this World Food Day 2009, with the theme Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), as part of the Farmers ‘Fighting Poverty program,’ calls upon governments and funding agencies for a major effort to invest in farmers’ organizations in developing countries. The future of food security hangs in the balance. The 20 billion dollar agricultural investments promised by the G-8 could lead to global food security if farmers’ organizations are the focus of the resources. Read more here...

The 2009 WFDUSA is the 29th observance of the day. The challenge is to coordinate community planning and increase awareness. What are you doing to observe WFDUSA? Please leave your comments below.
For more:

Want to read more from this author? Check out the Dallas Day Trips blog also by Lea Lashley.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World Food Prize winner says public, private research needed to combat global hunger

Three days before he will accept the $250,000 World Food Prize, Gebisa Ejeta told a crowd at the Iowa State University Memorial Union that the success of the Green Revolution and complacency helped lead to a crisis that today puts a sixth of humanity at risk of malnutrition and starvation.

"Global hunger is a moral issue, a problem too big to ignore," Ejeta said during his hour-long Norman Borlaug Lecture, an annual event named after the founder of the Food Prize. The Iowa-born Borlaug, credited with saving a billion lives for his work in developing high-yielding varieties of wheat, died September 12 at the age of 95.

Ejeta, who grew up in a thatched hut in rural Ethopia, is now a plant breeder at Purdue University. Working at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Sudan, Ejeta developed the first hybrid sorghum varieties for Africa. His research led to some varieties that yielded up to five times as much as traditional sorghum, an important food crop in Africa. And he developed varieties that are resistant to a parasitic weed, Striga, or witchweed.

In spite of the advances of science, the plight of the poor in Africa and South Asia has not improved in recent years, Ejeta said at Iowa State.

In the past three years the number of people on the planet who are hungry has increased from 800 million to a billion, one sixth of humanity.

And, as some nations start to recover from a global recession, the poor are still hungry.

"All too often, it becomes a multigenerational condemnation of the body and soul," Ejeta said.

Getting to this point is complicated, with a lot of causes: Declining budgets in developed countries not only for food aid, but for assistance in research. And food aid dwarfs spending on research and outreach that would help Africas farmers produce more.

Also, agricultural research in the U.S. and developed countries has been so successful that the public has taken it for granted, he said. In a century, U.S. food productivity increased almost tenfold, driven at first by research and commercialization of hybrid seed corn under the leadership of Henry Wallace, who served as ag secretary and vice president during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

"Agricultural science has become a victim of its own success," Ejeta said.

Ejeta said that Africa could also benefit from more educational systems modeled on the U.S. land grant university system and cooperative extension service. Many research centers in Africa were set up by colonial nations to focus on export crops like tea, coffee and cotton instead of food crops grown locally.

Global food security has gotten worse for other reasons, too, he said -- climate change, oil and energy shocks and now, the global recession.

"We now recognize our world is not as food awash as we once believed," he said.

As another part of the solution to hunger, Ejeta said he supports the Global Food Security Act introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Robert Casey (D-PA).

The bill authorizes additional resources for agricultural productivity and rural development. Their plan draws from the experience of U.S. land grant colleges and the contributions they have made to U.S. agriculture. It passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Unanimously and awaits a vote in the full Senate.

Dan Looker
Successful Farming magazine Business Editor

10/13/2009, 4:15 PM CDT

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One Last Chance for Hunger Action Month!

Feeding America - Formerly Known as America's Second Harvest - Hunger Advocate
Hunger Action Month
Total Actions To Date:
Total Minutes Generated:
Food Bank Competition Standings:
Food Bank of South Jersey
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Feeding America discusses the Economic Impact Survey on Good Morning America.  Watch Now!

Visit Feeding America to read the complete Economic Impact Survey.
Dear Bloggers,
Hunger Action Month has been a huge success!  As of today, hunger advocates across the country have taken 13922 actions and accumulated 108635 minutes in support of Child Nutrition Reauthorization.  But Hunger Action Month isn’t over yet.
Hunger advocates can make their minutes add up for hunger before we declare the winners of the Food Bank Competition!
Today’s Hunger Challenge:
Take action today to help us reach 110,000 total minutes for Hunger Action Month!
What are some quick and easy things you can do today to fight hunger?

Check Out the Food Bank Competition!
Have you checked your food bank’s most recent numbers?  How many minutes can you add to the total tally?  Visit Hunger Action Month advocacy headquarters and the Food Bank Competition page will show your local food bank’s current numbers.
Don’t forget—every action you take adds minutes to your food bank’s total.  Your actions today could help them win a truckload of food from Kraft Foods!
As always, please be respectful of other advocates and your elected officials as you initiate your actions, and help us maintain the integrity of the competition.  While we want to generate a lot of communications, remember that genuine, individual actions will have a much greater impact…and that’s really the point.  To that end, we ask that you register at the Hunger Action Center’s HAM headquarters only once per individual, and that you make each action a real one—we will be tracking for anomalies and duplicate memberships.
Feeding America | One Constitution Ave, NE Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20002-5655

Friday, September 25, 2009

Share Hunger Action Month on other sites

Feeding America's Hunger Action Month
Share Hunger Action Month on other sites



When one person speaks out against hunger, an interesting thing happens… That one person tells a few friends, and they tell a few more, and soon it spreads through a neighborhood, a town, and eventually a nation. And it all starts with just one voice.

Spread the word!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Mercury Marine stays in Wisconsin — but at what cost?

Here is a compelling OpEd piece written by the lead union negotiator for Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, WI, who resigned during the recent debacle over moving to Oklahoma vs. lowering wages/benefits. 

I am not taking sides here, but the writer makes some excellent points. It is also the only published article that I could find taking the workers' side. I find that very curious.

Friday, September 18, 2009

eBay takes a step backwards - quietly expanding the adcommerce system to off-eBay advertisers

By: President and CEO of ChannelAdvisor, Scot Wingo

.........It looks like eBay is now looking to expand their AdCommerce program to allow 'off eBay' ads via into AdCommerce.The way I imagine this would work:
  1. Retailer specifies which of their products they want to advertise
  2. Retailer specifies a CPC for the program or maybe even at the product level
  3. eBay shows off-eBay ads on search result pages.
As stated in the title, I think this is a big step BACKWARDS for eBay.  We were excited to see them announce they were taking the banner page off of SERPs and some of the irrelevency caused by the featured program.  But here we are a short time later seeing them seemingly talking out of both sides of their mouth and not only increasing a program that decreases the relevancy of the search results, but now will also include taking buyers off eBay!

eBay needs to do some soul searching and decide what they want to be when they grow up - transactional or advertising (cpc/cpm) based?  Do they want to truly show the most relevent products or do they want to focus on the pure short-term economics?
Stay tuned
We'll be on the lookout for more information about this program, specifically:
  1. Is there closed-loop tracking available?
  2. What is the ROI?  
  3. Is this actually a cheaper way to sell on eBay than selling direct?   
 program to allow 'off eBay' ads via into AdCommerce....

Tory Johnson Shares Ten Signs of Work-From-Home Scams - ABC News

Tory Johnson Shares Ten Signs of Work-From-Home Scams - ABC News

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Condolences to the Kennedy Family

Everyone has flaws and Senator Kennedy, as we know, had some of his own. But what burdens he faced - yet still managed to accomplish so much. All in all he fought the good fight for the people of this country, especially the poor and underprivileged. He will be sorely missed. Those on the right may not have agreed with much of his philosophy but he did deserve their respect and usually got it.

Rest well -- now with your siblings, in God's hands.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

eBay Selling Drops as Competing Auction Sites Heat Up

As the latest auction site count shows, eBay's market share is continuing to drop, as rival sites gain more and more users. The biggest rival to date has been eBid with a current count of 2,404,771 listings, followed by Bonanzle and eCrater. The top 10 are shown below.

Auction site count (updates every hour)
Change /
As of
eBayview charts
-74729 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:06 am
eBidview charts
August 23, 2009 11:07 am
Bonanzleview charts
2462 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:08 am
eCraterview charts
5070 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:11 am
CQoutview charts
-191 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:05 am
blujayview charts
9848 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:03 am
buyitsellitview charts
-7297 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:04 am
USiFFview charts
August 23, 2009 11:20 am
OnlineAuctionview charts
463 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 7:36 am
SpecialistAuctionsview charts
-3141 auction listing down from yesterday
August 23, 2009 11:17 am

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received one or more of the products or services mentioned in various blog posts for a discount or free in exchange for my unbiased review. I will always give my honest opinion regardless of any compensation received. Some posts may contain affiliate links. When you click on those links to make your purchases, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I love it when you do that. ;) So thank you!

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