Section 2, part 2

(1) Peter R. in PA: Thanks for the reads…hope you and yours enjoy the holidays.

(2) Steve G. in PA: I think you heard Courtney & Justin sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on the website  Am purchasing some extra copies, when I pick them up, I will send you a copy.  If you take a peek at you will see my youngest granddaughter Lily reviewing the CD J, from that home page, you can click on the 2008  link on the site to hear that song, my favorite, for free. . . .

Blaine, I had an opportunity to listen to CD several nights ago, a holiday season mellow delight, with a touch of Justin’s creative jazz. I think Justin’s CD Title choice “A Cup of Kindness”  is reflective of the gentleness of the cumulative selections for the holiday season. Makes me think of having hot apple cider by the fire place, listening  and being in a space of appreciation of musical talent.

(3) Caren F. in PA:

Extending a Hand

Pt Pleasant, PA: In the past five years Gloria Kosco has faced the word cancer six times. Her brother , and five of her very good friends. One of those close friends was my daughter alexis, who died at the age of 37 of lung cancer. She has given of herself, to be present in all of those untimely deaths. After the death of her brother she has driven the hour and a half to spend 2-3 days giving love and structure to the lives of her young nephews and a niece. this meant putting her own life on hold as a self-employed artist. Gloria needs a new roof immediately. This act of helping a neighbor would help to put her own life back with a helping hand that she has extended numerous times.

Please help by voting at:

(4) Majo M. in NC: Asheville Movement Collective dancer and all-around amazing person Sarah Lovdal Southerland is competing for a scholarship to a year-long program to support her on-fire creative gifts. Read her nomination and see her amazing 3-minute video at this link:

Vote for her at this link by Sunday midnight:
(5) Andy C. in NC: Hey everyone, I helped shoot a fun little short titled “Joint Effort” for the National 48HR Film Festival. Yesterday we were informed our movie made the top 15 out of 120+ entries nationally. We would like to win the Audience Choice Award, and that’s where you come in. If you would vote for our movie I would love you more than I do already! You can do that at Youtube click on “Like” (thumb up) or at Vimeo click on the heart in the upper right corner. I believe you need to have an account at either, and you could vote at both!! 
(6) Alyson M. in CO:

Can you help one Native American family today?

December 14, 2013 at 12:30pm

We are rallying resources on behalf of our new friends,

Ohd’z Brave, Michael Sierra and their 11 children at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

Can you help?

We invite you to make a HUGE difference in the lives of one Native American Mom this holiday season – with a modest gift – knowing that your generous “seeds of love” will grow into a forest of goodness via her children.

The easiest way to help is to send them an E-GIFT CARD:  The only store within an hour of their remote home is Walmart.  Any amount will be appreciated for this family that has so little.  On that page you can add a personal note of support and send it to:

If you want to fulfill something from their WISH LIST, let me know and I can email it to you quickly with mailing details.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ANYTHING YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE!  PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO READ my story about the family which Ohd’z approved.  Sending you love and light, Alyson & Don


Pine Ridge, in the Sacred Black Hills of western South Dakota, is one of the most dangerous places to live in the United States: the average life expectancy for women on the reservation is 52 years (compared to 81 in the US at large).

Pine Ridge is also home for our friends Ohitika Brave (Ohd’z ) and Michael Sierra and their family.  They live with the daily challenges of poverty, addiction and loss while also striving to preserve their rich Oglala Lakota culture and raise up the next generation to a better quality of life.

When asked about their greatest needs, they express the universal wish of all parents: We only want peace for our children.

That is the core value behind Ohd’z & Michael’s mission:  to provide a safe, sober and nurturing home for an extended family of biological, informally fostered and adopted children while building self-sustaining small businesses – a model farm and Native crafts venture.

It may be difficult, but try to imagine living remotely, in a dry, rutted, almost treeless environment, seven miles off any road, without a reliable vehicle.  The nearest gas and store is nearly an hour away.  A tiny manufactured house, with a roof damaged by multiple storms, shelters up to a dozen children at any given time.  It is heated when the family can afford expensive propane.

Oppressive as the conditions can be, this is not the whole story.  The children – who have few toys, books and season-appropriate clothing – are growing!  They range in age from 3 to 16, boys and girls.  Their need for healthy food provided the motivation for Michael and Odh’z to create a bountiful garden and 5-acre farm named TA SINA TOKAHEYA – TRADITIONAL VILLAGE OF HOPE.  

During the school year, Ohd’z cares for all the children and is their tireless advocate.  She tells the story of TaSina and tries to attract the many, many resources needed to boost their self-esteem and keep them healthy.  During the summer, everyone – including the children – work and learn on the farm.  So far the food grown has been able to feed the family, the local Headstart class and the Seniors at the Elder Center.  The hope is to use the TaSina model to help other families on Pine Ridge (and elsewhere) to become more self-reliant and healthy.  In the meantime, Ohd’z has been preserving the Lakota culture, making dream catchers and other handmade crafts.  It is her dream to have a website and sell online – but at the moment, they family does not even own a computer.  With only a cell phone, she is a wonderful “networker” but the isolation of the reservation can be a major obstacle.

Please help us support  Ohd’z and Michael and their beautiful, blended family this holiday season!

We asked them for their “fondest” WISH LIST.  Let us know if you’d like to see it OR donate via a Walmart E-Gift Card.  Pick something you know would make a difference in your own family if it was out of your reach – and by all means, please write a note of support to Ohd’z and introduce yourself as a new friend.

Blessings to you all,

Alyson Miller, Don Greenfield & Jody Madson

Ohd'z and some of the children

Ohd’z and some of the children
(7) Lee W. in PA: What is your mental age?
(8) Liz A. in NC: Hi All-Actually this is for my son, Cameron. He has created a fundraiser to promote the recording of  a Voiceover Demo as a way to make a living in the big city (NYC).

He has been doing voiceover since he was 9 years old (sometimes I would actually get to play his Mom..) and has realized that this is a great job to do while he is seeking Stage, TV and Film work.
If you are able, I know he would really appreciate any help that you can give.
I appreciate it too!
You can go to this link and follow the directions.
Section 4, Reviews
C. I’m typically not a big fan of cookbooks, so I don’t ordinarily buy them . . . but I made an exception when I purchased THE FRESH HONEY COOKBOOK (Storey Publishing) by Laurey Masterton, and I’m glad that I did.
This is a delightful book, written by an author who lives in my hometown of Asheville–and whose eatery, Laurey’s Cafe, I have often frequented.Masterton highlights a different honey each month, and she then presents a different appetizer, soup, salad, main course, side, dessert and beverage for each month.
But what makes the book especially interesting to me were the many interesting facts that I learned about bees by reading; for example:
* Honeybees must visit 2 million flowers to collect enough nectar to make 1 pound of honey. It takes 55,000 miles of flight to reach this many flowers–a little more than twice the Earth’s circumference.And I enjoyed learning about how to coexist with bees, and how they can actually help you in many ways–such as the following:

* Bees make honey from the flowers and flowering plants that are within a 3 to 5 radius of their hive. If you suffer from spring allergies, try eating honey from your area, as this is known to alleviate allergy symptoms.

I also liked the various quotes throughout the book, including this one:

The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.–Saint John Chrysostom

Kudos to John Autry for his vibrant photographs that added to my enjoyment of the book.

D. Heard BIG THINK STRATEGY: HOW TO LEVERAGE BOLD IDEAS AND LEAVE SMALL THINKING BEHIND (Your Digital Coach), written by Bernd H. Schmitt and narrated by Sean Pratt.The author based this book on his Corporate Creativity” course at Columbia Business School’s Executive MBS program. Doing so, he utilizes research in psychology and marketing, as well as his  experiences in music, fashion, telecom, financial services and travel. What made it so interesting was the fact that he included many relevant examples.Furthermore, I liked how he asked and then answered such thought-provoking questions as the following:1. What are the strategy tasks of Big Think? 2. Which idea sourcing tools tend to be most productive? 3. By what process can an organization benchmark outside of its industry? 4. By what process can Big Ideas be identified, evaluated, and selected?
5. What are the four types of Big Think strategy? 6. How to formulate a strategy for a Big Idea? 7. How to executive that strategy effectively? 8. What are the most common hurdles to implementing it? 9. Viewing Big Think as a sprint, how to “jump over” these hurdles? 10. How to “weave Big Think into the fabric” of an organization?BIG THINK will help you bring bold thinking into your business or organization . . . or at least get you thinking about doing so. It will also get you thinking more creatively.

Section 6, Joke

How Obesity Was Cured

by Eric Weinberger*

The island of Lipidomia enjoyed such a high standard of living that its inhabitants did not have to exert themselves physically and could eat as much food as they wanted. One day scientists in Lipidomia announced that the island was sinking and would be below sea level within a generation if the people didn’t lose weight on a massive scale.

Contrary to the experience of history, the government was anxious to do something about the problem. So it offered a prize of a million lukers to anyone who could come up with a solution. Since the per capita income on the island was only one thousand lukers per annum, that was quite an attractive sum, and since the government was the sponsor, the money could be created out of nothing.

Many people, hoping for a break from the treadmill of routine work, came forward with proposals.

Josefia Jonesia, a native of the island of Walesia, was a college student in Lipidomia at the time. She was having trouble paying the tuition and saw the prize in the government’s competition as a way to get afloat financially. While relaxing in the bath, she saw the solution to Lipidomia’s problem. Before her hair had dried, she had sent an e-mail to the government committee overseeing the competition.

Three months later, an indication of the extreme urgency of the situation, she received a response: she had won the prize and was being appointed to implement the solution she had proposed.

This was her proposal:

“Your Esteemed Lordships and Ladyships,

I am but a humble foreigner with little life experience, no paper qualifications, and a pile of college debt, which I do not expect ever to be able to repay. When I started my studies, my major was said to be a hot field, but now it is as cold as Siberia in winter. Nevertheless, I want to finish my degree, just to finish it. I don’t want to look like a quitter. Besides, in Lipidomia it is no longer possible to get any job without a college degree, not even collecting garbage or working as a waitress.

From talking to students who have been in the Lipidomian education system since the age of five, I have a simple solution to the problem of your sinking island. Here it is:

Use the education system. Instead of requiring students to read books and regurgitate information, have them eat food and regurgitate that. Grade them on how much they eat. Give public honors to those who eat the most. Tell them that their future depends on how much they eat, even if they spew it out again.”

As Josefia Jonesia’s program was implemented, it took a long time for any effects to be noticed, and many gainsayers on popular talk shows claimed that it had failed. Some of them even denied that the island had been sinking in the first place. Others claimed that the island was not sinking, but that the sea was rising. Still others could not see how encouraging eating could solve the problem of obesity.

What kept the program going was its convenience for the education system, which made teaching and grading simpler than before, and the profit it provided to farmers and food processors, who were the most generous supporters of political campaigns in Lipidomia.

After about twenty years, however, the tide began to turn. People who had already been adults when the reforms were first introduced began to die off in large numbers, mainly due to complications of diabetes and other conditions connected with obesity. All corpses were cremated, to pump as much weight as possible from Lipidomia into the atmosphere. By the time children graduated from high school, they no longer had the slightest desire to eat any food, and only consumed the absolute minimum necessary for survival.

Lipidomia was saved.

* Reprinted with the gracious permission of Eric;


Section 11, Thought for the day

Art from an Artist’s Perspective

by Bill Abramson*

I believe that the only significant difference between painters and photographers are the tools . . . paint brush, camera, sculptor’s tools, etc. . . .  that they employ to express themselves.  An artist produces their work as their form of self expression.  A true artist does not create because they believe there is a market for this piece.  You have an experience, probably an everyday experience, and it does something to you.  You are in someway inspired.  Your eyes can objectively record, but your brain aided by your heart and soul have documented into a very different experience.  You have a driving need, not simply a desire, to ‘produce’ what is inside of you.  It matters little whether it is on canvas, clay, photographic media.  When I have completed my work, I look at it and I either like it or dislike it.  Notice, I carefully chose not the use the words approve or disapprove.  The reason being that like and dislike are emotional expressions while approve and disapprove imply deductive analysis and scientific reasoning.  I, the artist, look at the result and I conclude that I like it or I do not like it.  It matters little whether others, or society in general, like … it is only me.  That being said, there is an enormously great feeling when see that others truly like what you done.  And if they buy your work, that demonstrates true appreciation for what you  have accomplished … and the money is a very nice reward 🙂  As a demonstration, please note the three representations of a stream in the woods.  They are the same scene, but very different.  Which do you appreciate the most?  Are you the realist or the abstract?  I welcome your impressions.





* Reprinted with the gracious permission of Bill;


Section 12A, NC events

(2) BJ Leiderman in NC: Hello Asheville and Beyond:

My New Year’s Eve Bash at the White Horse in Black Mountain is half sold out, so I wanted to give you the opportunity to get your tickets before they’re gone.
They’ll be plenty of Beatles, Champagne and Dancing, so call 828-669-0816 to reserve your tickets, or buy them online at
Hope to see you there…and Happy New Year!
The BJ Leiderman Band is
Paula Hanke
Crystal Bray
James Vandenburg
James Kylen
Tom Leiner
Jake Wolf
Also Scheduled To Appear:
Rhoda Weaver
And the poetry of:
Tracy Schmidt
James Nave
Pasckie Pascua
Laura Hope-Gill
(3) The Gifts of the Magi

GIftoftheMagi*THIS IS AN EXTRA! *

A musical from the stories by O. Henry; based on the book by Mark St. Germain; Music by Randy Courts; Lyrics by Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain. 

Show Dates – December 12 to December 22 – Buy Tickets

It is Christmas in New York, but for two young lovers, Jim and Della, the prospects are bleak as both are out of work and penniless. But their dilemma is solved when both part with their most precious possessions (she her beautiful long hair, he his heirloom pocket watch) in order to buy presents for each other thereby creating, at least for a magical moment, an aura of warmth and giving in the cold, impersonal winter city.

For tickets, please click:

Note: We just saw the above and enjoyed it. (More details next week.) Catch it, if you can. And bring your family, too. Y’all will have a good time!

(4) Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective is thrilled to be joining the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival this year.

An original comedy written and directed by Rodney Smith.

When four women gather for what is supposed to be a friendly engagement party, preconceptions and misconceptions abound. What happens over the course of the hour will lead these misguided souls into the realm of the horribly and hysterically wrong.

Witty and fast-paced, this is a Fringe show you will not want to miss.

Paul Gallaher
Kirby Gibson
Tracey Johnston Crum
Cary Nichols
Trinity Smith


Jan 23rd and 25th (Both at 7pm)

701 Haywood Rd. West Asheville.

(5) ALL IN THE TIMING runs through December 22 at 35below. For more information and a review of the show, please click:

(6) Please join artists Daryl Slaton, Sasha Osada and Molly Courcelle at Molly’s studio, The Wedge, 2nd floor on Saturday Dec. 14th from 5-8 pm! Food, friends, fun and art!!! We’ll also have signed copies of Sue Wassermen’s new book “Walk with Me.” Hot off the presses and simply gorgeous!

7732 glickman

Tails of Whimsy

Louise Glickman, PR & Marketing
Daryl Slaton, Artist

Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) From my good friend, Natalie Kaye, President of On Demand Programs and Events ( in partnership with Moms Demand Action:

On Saturday, December 14, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and members of our community to honor and remember the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as the thousands of Americans lost to gun violence every single year.

The moving, non-denominational program will include remarks from a Bucks County spiritual leader and the Regional Manager of Moms Demand Action, as well as a poignant musical tribute in the form of a piano and violin duet of the original composition, Newtown, by violinist Claudia Pellegrini and pianist and composer Keith Baker. The event will close with a communal bell-ringing ceremony to both remember the victims and to symbolize our resolve to continue speaking out until meaningful action is taken to make our country safer.

To view the above tribute, please click:
Program is at Luhteran Church of God’s Love, 791 Newtown-Yardley Road, Newtown, PA
11-11:30 a.m.

Midnight Vigil is at George School Meetinghouse, 2690 Newtown-Langhorne Road, Newtown, PA


Greetings!This offer expires Tuesday Dec. 17th!Put a big smile on their face with our Comedy Gift Certificate. To recieve this offer just write e-special  in the comments box.  When you buy 2 certificates you get the 3rd one for free. You just saved $43!!!   Let me say that again, all you need to do is buy 2 certificates and write e-special in the comments box and we will mail you 3!  Each certificate is good for 2 admissions and comes with a full color brochure so it makes a really nice presentation. This offer expires Tuesday, Dec. 17th, so order now – Just  CLICK HEREIf you have any questions, you can email back or call our office @ 215 32-comic. 215 322 6642.Thank You,Merry ChristmasAndy, Marilyn and Karen in the officePS.  Dr. Scarpati’s Comedy Hypnosis Show tickets go on sale next week!


Section 12C/National events

Hello Blaine,I have something special for you.On Tuesday, December 17, at 2PM CT, Ken Blanchard will be joining us for a special Ziglar Legacy Series online webcast.During the webcast, Ken and I are going to explore the keys to success in every part of your life.  We’re going to drill down to the specific steps you need to take to live an inspired, deliberate, and meaningful life.The best part is that I’m holding a free spot for you on the webcast.  All you have to do is register to let me know that you’ll be joining us.Click here to register and claim your spot.**This is just the beginning…**My webcast with Ken Blanchard is the sixth of the Ziglar Legacy Series which features today’s leading experts who have been influenced by my dad, Zig Ziglar.  They will share how Zig impacted their lives, plus the top 5 proven success strategies anyone can use immediately to positively impact their personal and professional lives.Your registration today reserves your spot for the upcoming webcast **and** future webcasts as well.So, go ahead and register to claim your spot before your day gets too busy.Click here to register and claim your spot. All the best,Tom
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