Bloggerhood Etc. 9/1/14

Norv Turner loss map

The saddest map in the world (Image: SB Nation)

Happy Labor Day, Happy September, and Happy Back-to-School. There’s a busy week ahead, but let’s take a breath first and look back. Here’s the best of the week from around the blogosphere …

Best List.24 Maps That Explain the NFL” by Ryan Van Bibber at SB Nation.

Best Thank You.On Labor Day, 2014” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Funniest Vacation Post.Hillbilly Vacation” by The Furry Bard.

Best Non-Shaggy Dog Story.Dog Days of August” by Matt Norman at And So It Has Come to This …

Best Summer Project.I Know What You Doodled Last Summer” by Brent Almond at Designer Daddy.

Most Disturbing.A Tale of Two 9-Year Olds: The One on the Playground and the One With an Uzi” by Aaron Gouveia at

Best ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Homer Simpson Ice Bucket Challenge” (via YouTube).

Best Question.Am I My Brother’s Gatekeeper” by Elisabeth Esther.

Best Photogallery.Oregon Explored: Astoria and the Columbia River Basin” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Back to School Post.Lord Help Me! It’s Time for School Again!” by Kelly Langston at Not Alone.

Best Example of “Love Your Enemies.”Henry Gerecke, Minister To Nazis During Nuremberg Trials, Examined By Tim Townsend In New Book” by Kimberly Winston at Huff Post Religion.

Best Time Waste. “Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator.” at Tumblr. (My favorite? “Bentobox Capncrunch.”)

Best Article.Care for Persons, Care for Planet” by Daniel R. Delio MTS at

Best Idea.Catholic Kids Love Summer ‘Chant Camp’” by Joseph Pronechen at National Catholic Register.

Best Essay.The Right Thing to Do vs. The State of Florida” by Michael Kruse at SB Nation.

Best Video.Worst Game Show Ever!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube)

“Circle gets the square!”

Sharing Water

Woman at a water tap

Photo via charity: water

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. She earned her Love Water Badge last month, and now she’s working on both her Save Water badge and her Share Water badge. The projects she picked for each badge work hand in hand, so she be earning both badges together.

You can read about her Save Water project here, but to sum up she’s collecting deposit bottles and cans (including water bottles which are redeemable for deposit in Oregon) and turning them in to keep them out of the oceans. On her first trip our local BottleDrop location, she turned in over $14 worth and her total so far in $16.60. We’re saving up a second bag and have a few other contributors lined up, and we hope to exceed her original goal of $20.

So where will the money go when she’s done?

The Sahel region of Africa

The Sahel region of Africa

It will help provide clean water to one of the most drought-stricken regions on earth, thanks to charity: water.

This September, our goal is to bring clean water to 100,000 people in the Sahel region of Mali and Niger.

The Sahel is a narrow strip of land in Africa just below the Sahara Desert. This area is frequently affected by drought and famine, and access to clean water is rare. This September, help us build sustainable, clean water projects that can transform lives, especially for women and girls.

Right now, a generous donor is matching all donations to fundraising campaigns, up to $1,000,000.

Our first thought was to start a campaign ourselves, but September is also the month we raise money to help kids with childhood apraxia of speech through our annual Apraxia Walk. Running two fundraisers in one month, on top of back-to-school and a new Girl Scout Troop for Anna, was more than we could take on.

But we found another girl with an existing campaign. Her name’s Maddie, she’s six years old, and she runs a lemonade stand  to raise money for charity: water.


Photo via Maddie’s Thirst

Maddie’s mom talks about her daughter on Maddie’s fundraising page, Maddie’s Thirst:

When (Maddie) wanted a lemonade stand this summer, we looked at quite a few charities that we could give to. It was the video about the water crisis that convinced her that Charity:Water was the one. This didn’t surprise me because when they were learning about Africa at school, she was asking her teacher why the moms and girls had to go get water instead of the boys, rather than wanting to learn about the cool animals!

This is a girl with a huge heart (yes.. I’m a biased mom!) who originally set her goal to provide water to 1000 people this summer. I had to talk her down from that because $20,000 is A LOT of money. Our current goal is $5000 and we have a lemonade stand once or twice a week at Grandview park in Vancouver BC Canada.

So Anna will be giving all the money she raises to Maddie’s Thirst, helping her to raise at least $5,000 for clean water in the Sahel region. We promised to match what she raised, and because we’re donating to a campaign, our total family contribution will be matched by the aforementioned generous donor.

At this point, I hope you’re asking “What can I do?” First, go to Maddie’s Thirst and contribute. And if you could include a comment along the lines of “Helping Anna and Maddie share water” that would be great too.

And you can still take Anna’s Save Water Pledge. It costs no money, just a commitment to recycle.

Note: beyond sending you a thank-you email, I will not share your email with anyone or bother you ever again.


The Many Moods of Anna

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Bloggerhood Etc. 8/25/14

Football vs. Handegg

“Johnny Handegg” (via Google Image search)

A tale of two quarterbacks and a whole lot more in this week’s walk around the blogosphere …

Best Open Letter.Crash Course for Johnny Football” by Matt Tullis at SB Nation.

Best Dad Post.The Wrong Way to Support Your Wife’s Breastfeeding” by John Kinnear at Huff Post Parents.

Best Mom Post.Why Our Kids Date (and Don’t Court)” by Mary DeMuth.

Best Answer to a Bad Question.If You’re Asking ‘What’s In It for Me?’ Then You’re In the Wrong Business…” by Amanda Palmer at Digital Music News.

Best Special Needs Post.Unwanted Monsters” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best Back-to-School Rant.It’s Back-to-School for First Lieutenant Room Moms of the New Motherhood Order” by Elizabeth Esther.

Best Imagery.We All Face the Sun Together” by Tamara Lunardo at A Deeper Story.

Most Inspiring.How These Teen Transplant Recipients Thanked the Hospital That Saved Their Lives” by Cate Matthews at Huff Post Teen.

Best Sports List.Football Leagues Ranked” by Rex Crum.

Best Non-Sports List.Every State in the USA, Ranked by its Beer” by Ben Robinson, Andy Kryza, and Matt Lynch at ThrillList.

Best Epiphany.The Yellow Dream” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Greatest Epic.The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Most Honest Video.The Expendables” by Honest Trailers (via YouTube).

“All I really wanted to see was these guys trade one-liners … never mind.”

One More Award-Winning Photo!

Anna and her chimp photo (in monochrome)

Photo: Julia Ozab

We travelled up to Salem yesterday for the Oregon State Fair. Julia and Anna both entered photos, and we knew that one of them had won an award, but we weren’t sure which. Our first stop was the photography exhibit, but none of the ribbons were up yet, so no answer there. Julia still took a photo of Anna besides each of her entries (“Mr. Chimp”—above, and “In Living Color,” which had already won a Fair Board Award at the Lane County Fair last month).

We had lunch before the food court got too busy, and then we hit the midway and Anna rode fifty-five rides with her unlimited ride pass. That was the highlight of her day, until …

first place!

Photo: Julia Ozab

She won first place in the Junior Monochrome category for “Mr. Chimp.” The award was well-deserved—as much as I liked the color version of this photo, the black and white print is stunning.

Mr. Chimp (black and white)

Mr. Chimp (© 2014 by Anna Ozab)

So now, in a little over a year, she’s won a third, a second, a first, and a Fair Board Award. And she’s only eight-years-old.

Anna has a real future in photography. Someday she may be famous, and if she she is, you got the chance to see her beautiful photos here first!

Yeah, we’re proud of her. Can’t you tell?

Party Girl!

Pink cake

Birthday Cake

Anna was invited to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday. There was food and cake and presents, like all birthday parties, but there was also a fun photo booth set up by Smile Station Photography. All the girls had there pictures taken. No surprise—Anna went first.

Anna and plush dog with sunglasses

Movie stars!

Anna and plush dog

What a sweet puppy

Anna and plush dog

Strike a pose!

Anna and plush dog

Add a smile

Anna and plush dog

Too cute!

Saving Water

A seagull at Nye Beach

A seagull at Nye Beach (© 2014 by Anna Ozab)

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. She earned her Love Water Badge last month and now she’s working on her Save Water badge. To earn it, she read about how all animals (including people) depend on water, and how scarce and valuable a resource it is. Then she had to come up with a Save Water project that would help at least some of the creatures who depend on water.

Her inspiration was a simple question in her WOW Book. “How Do You Carry Water?” (Wonders of Water, p 52)

When you camp or hike, do you carry bottled water or do you use a canteen? Canteens and other containers that you can use again and again are better for the planet than plastic bottles of water. Why? Because plastic bottles are thrown away after one use and they often don’t get recycled. Some end up floating in the ocean, where they harm sea life!

That last sentence stuck with her.

Anna scoops up a plastic bottle

Photo: Julia Ozab

She’d scooped plastic bottles at the Sea and Me Exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium last month, and she’d learned just how dangerous plastic bottles can me to marine animals. She wanted to do something to make a difference and protect those sea creatures.

So she started collecting deposit bottles and cans. Luckily for us we live in a state where water bottles can be redeemed for deposit, and we have a brand new BottleDrop Center just down the street.

Anna started with the case of water bottles we brought with us to the coast. She then collected a bag from her grandmother and two more bags from Julia’s employer. Last weekend, we took them all to our local BottleDrop and turned them in.

Redeeming a bottle

Photo: Julia Ozab

We walked out the door with over $14 dollars in cash. Combined with a small contribution Anna made from her coast trip money we have a total of $16.60.

Where is that money going? I’ll tell you next week when I discuss the third part of Anna’s WOW journey—her Share Water project.

In the meantime, you can help. We’re already asking our friends in town to chip in bottles, but no matter where you are you can help Anna “Save Water” too. Just take a pledge to recycle plastic water bottles. If you live in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, or Vermont, you can redeem water bottles for deposit. If not, you can still recycle them. Every bottle recycled is one less bottle that might wind up in the ocean.

Anna’s “Save Water” Pledge:

Note: beyond sending you a thank-you email, I will not share your email with anyone or bother you ever again.