#No DAPL

In our world of fast information, 24/7 news channels, media platforms that range from old-school newspapers to new-age Twitter, it seems that certain topics are not newsworthy enough to get the coverage they deserve.

Why? Who’s call is it what gets reported and what doesn’t? How much money does it cost to banish news? These are real questions I want to see answered. I’m sure if we follow the money we would see exactly the “who and why” of it.

When I first heard of the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota it was a year late and not even covered in mainstream media. Hello?! There is something seriously wrong with that! This is a protest to protect water, a source of life for us ALL. And things have gone from bad to worse in the ill treatment and human rights violations of these water protectors who are not saying don’t build it, they are just saying not here. It’s their land and it’s sacred and it would compromise their water. How is that not a reasonable request???

I really wanted to go to Standing Rock to lend my support and help in any way possible, but I know I can still be of help here in my corner of the world to get the message out about what is happening this very minute. I hope to use my writing to change a few hearts of those with the power to actually make things right.

The companies behind this pipeline are Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and it’s subsidiary Sunoco Logistics (SL). CEO Kelcy Warren of ETP has said that these protests to the DAPL have already cost the business $100 million in future profits by delaying the project. Sources say that an estimated $8 million has been spent on law enforcement by the state of North Dakota in response to the unarmed peaceful protesters.

What I find so ironic is how this company can complain about profit loss from the protestors but fail to see the real loss is how their company is losing something more than money, it’s losing face. It’s losing integrity and respectability when it chooses to put profits before people.

All businesses were created from some common problem that someone found a solution to. So helping others is at the heart of any great business. I think these CEOs and employees at ETP and SL need to go back and read their mission statements. It’s on their websites incase they don’t have a copy handy. They both cite their mission and values to be about people, helping people, doing the right thing by having integrity, having the highest level of ethics, excellence in service…to people. At no point did I read where it says they are all about profit and people are expendable. I doubt anyone would support  a business with such a blatant disregard for human beings. But that is what these companies are showing the world at this present moment.

I am an optimist and I believe there is good in every situation and person, so I have hope that these companies will read my letters I will be sending and that the people on the other side of the desk will open their hearts to the problem and find a solution that will be inline with their company’s mission and values that they started with. Money cannot come before treating people right.

I urge everyone to send a letter or card or postcard to the two companies and ask that they please find a way to work with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and respect their people and the water. It can be done and should be done. The sooner the better.

Here is the info for both businesses:

Energy Transfer Partners

CEO Kelcy Warren

8111 Westchester Drive

Dallas, TX 75225

 

 

Sunoco Logistics, LLC

Ms. Kathleen Shea-Ballay

Corporate Secretary

1818 Market Street, Suite 1500

Philadelphia, PA 19103

 

Maybe they need to scale back the pipeline until they figure out a better route. Take a loss now so they can have greater success in the future. There are options and breaking treaties and hurting people is not one of them. I know they are capable of doing better and will with encouragement from people with like minds and hearts.

Heck, send a Christmas card to these companies with a short note saying you want them honor their mission statements and values that they built their business on. Most everyone is sending out cards this time of year, pop two extra in the mail this year and do your small part in helping these large businesses get back to the business of helping people.

Let’s spread some good and share the love!

~Tillie

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Short Term Goals: Get Shit Done!

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For Procrastinators everywhere: Here’s your sign!

December is almost here!!! This year is coming to an end. I am inspired to get some shit done and the first thing is to up my blogging game next month (starting tomorrow…holy cow).

So I will be writing a daily blog post for the last month of this year. Not exactly sure what about, but I figure I’ll wing-it and let it come to me organically. It’ll be a surprise – for you and me both! It’ll be good though that much is true.

I love to write-and talk-about anything and everything. Mostly, I try to use my words for good and make things better. It’s never my intention to cause havoc, but sometimes the truth hurts and people get riled. That’s where love and hugs come in, my next favorite thing in life! I wish I could find a job where I could just give hugs and spread love…is that a thing? It should be.

What are your goals for next month? You got 31 days to accomplish something of importance to you, what is it?? Mine is to focus. Focus on what I want to be best at, that’s writing. Practice makes perfect, or at least proficient, so that is what I will be doing.

My first step is to write daily for the next 31 days. I know in November there was the writer’s challenge to write 1,000 words a day or write a novel start to finish in one month, but I wasn’t ready in November.

Goals are personal. They are pacts we make with ourselves that create a true sense of worth when we accomplish them. You don’t make and work toward goals for anyone but yourself.

So here’s to getting some things checked off our list in the last month of 2016!

Cheers,

~Tillie

Art For Sale

It’s that time of year when everyone is out shopping for their loved ones and I want to share that I will be a part of an artist Holiday Sale on December 3rd in Seattle!

I’m making knitted children’s hats/hoods. They are the cutest things ever! I found this book at my local Joann’s store and have made almost every hat for different charities and for family and friends.

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It’s called “Monster Knits for Little Monsters” by Nuriya Khegay (click on her name to go to her Etsy shop where she has all her designs for sale). She is also on Instagram. Nuriya is a talented knitwear designer. Her designs are imaginative and simple to follow. I enjoy creating these kiddie hats!

This will be my first time at a Holiday Sale in Seattle. I’m exited to be a part of it! My friend from Pilchuck Rozarii Lynch  (check out her photography, she’s simply amazing!) invited me to show in her studio. I look forward to meeting fellow art lovers and spreading some holiday cheer!

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Come say “Hi” if you are in the area and support local living artists when you can!

Cheers,

~Tillie

 

Gratitude

Having gratitude for things large and small just makes life more enjoyable. It’s a matter of “glass is half full versus glass half empty” kind of thinking.

There have been moments that I’ve struggled to be grateful for all I have, but thankfully I don’t dwell there and I have surrounded myself with people who help lift me up when I’m feeling down or overwhelmed.

This Thanksgiving is the first of what I’m sure will become our new normal with children growing up and moving off to college. Our oldest child is not coming home for this holiday and will be gathering around the table with new friends and welcomed into a family meal on the other side of the US. I’m grateful she will be fed and cared for in our absence.

I think I will start a new tradition of placing a picture on the table of those that are missing from our time together so they will be with us in spirit. And I will make sure my camera is out and handy to capture all the new memories we’re making today.

I am thankful for all the years we’ve gathered as a family and all the friends that have joined us in breaking bread with much joy and laughter. It’s been great and I know it will just get better and better, but we may have to accept that it will be different in the future and our table will grow with pictures of those we love who can’t be with us in person but who will be with us in spirit.

Wishing you the best this time of year! Stay grateful! ~Tillie XOXO

Thanksgiving 2015

Too Trusting = Easy Prey

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Con artists are real and I had the misfortune to meet one in the flesh recently. I didn’t see it coming. That’s exactly how they do it too. It’s a long story, but one I will be using in my writing when I start my novel. This part will be based on a true story! And OMG is it a page-turner!!!

But let me pay forward what I have learned from my experience and how you can prevent being duped like me.

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Step 1: Don’t talk to strangers. (This one I struggle with since I’m an extrovert and love to chat with anyone about just about anything. I find it makes life more fun but BEWARE! This can be your undoing.)

Step 2: When you meet a stranger that seems decent and kind, don’t feel bad for asking questions that verify a story or place or time. Call them on their crap. If they are the real deal then this is just a “getting to know you better” step, but if they have something to hide you will make them uncomfortable and probably send them running, which is a good thing.

Step 3: Google them! Seems simple enough, but do it right away…don’t wait. Google everyone you know or meet just to be sure they are on the up & up. I did a Google search and nothing came up so I figured this person being 65 years old was just not online and wasn’t a wanted person so it seemed logical that nothing was there. Don’t stop with Google though! No, keep going deeper. Court records in the state they reside, county property records, spell the name several different ways. I found a serious rap sheet that had me thanking my lucky stars I am alive and haven’t lost anything more than my dignity. My family will tease the shit out of me until the day I die now, and it’s totally deserved!

Step 4: Don’t trust people right off the bat. Seems jaded, but people need to earn your trust. I have that whole thing backwards so no judgment here if you need to work on that like me.

Step 5: When on vacation in a tropical location when your defenses are down is when you are your most vulnerable. You get duped by the magic of a sea breeze and the beautiful waves. Keep your guard up around new people you meet. Not everyone is who they say they are. You only know yourself and those in your life that have proved themselves trustworthy. Question everything and everyone that comes your way. You’ll be glad you did!

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I know that 99% of people are decent and honest and not on the take, but that 1% of psychopaths with a devious nature are sure hard to spot. Better to be safe than sorry and practice these steps to protect yourself from being caught in their web of lies.

Sending all the best to you and yours!  ~Tillie

PS. look for my amazing book Christmas 2017! You’ll want to put it on your wish list!XOXO

Read This

These cold, rainy days are perfect for getting caught up on your reading list. I seem to gather books wherever I go and end up waiting until autumn and winter to read them. But I read them quickly, one after another, so I am always in another world or learning something new. I read everything, too; cookbooks, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, craft books, smut, comics, old and new.

I want to share three books that are worth putting on your reading list.

First, is a novel by Jason Skipper, a local man who teaches at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. It’s call Hustle. I read it in one day, but it was so good that I may just re-read it. It’s about family and how every generation has its personal struggles, but it shows that love is the healer of all wounds.

The second book I think is worth a read this winter is Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman. Hattie was the first Native American journalist to report on national news channels. She’s a member of the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. This book is her memoir with a focus on God’s love and how she overcame addiction. I had the honor of meeting her in Tacoma a few years ago at the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast held at the Tacoma Dome. She was the keynote speaker. It was a wonderful speech that moved me to tears and laughter and gave me hope that all things are possible with a little faith.

My third and final recommendation for a book you can’t put down is In the Company of Mules by Jody Foss. Not only have I met the author and believe she is one of the coolest and truest women of the earth but she loves mules like me! I enjoyed reading this memoir of her two-month-long mule ride from Sandpoint, Idaho to Newport, Oregon all by herself. Jody paints a picture with words and you feel like you are right beside her taking in the beauty of the trail. She also met many interesting and kind people on her 600 mile journey through small towns of the Pacific Northwest. There are nuggets of wisdom from old-timers and personal accounts of a time when settlers and Indians co-existed. This is a story of a woman brave enough to strike out on her own and tough enough to see it through to the destination, but it’s the journey that is life-changing.

Spend some time with these authors and I promise you, it’ll be time well spent!

Custom Couture

I just finished up a custom order for this Boho chic pet carrier. It was a joy working with this client to pick style and fabric! The synergy of creation is why I do what I do.

In the coming months I will be adding a carrier sewing pattern for creating your own carrier that crafty DIY’ers can purchase to make their own. I love creating, but I also know that there are people out there who would prefer the pattern so they can custom design their own. Anyone up for doing a pattern test for me once I create the PDF and written instructions?

Enjoy the day! Spread some cheer and smiles along the way! ~Tillie