Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Raising Malawi Fund Raiser and Unicef

When Madonna throws a party....all the stars shine. And so it was with her New York bash for her Raising Malawi Foundation, United Nations children’s organization UNICEF and to celebrate the opening of a new Gucci store.

A host a A-list stars attended...including her long time pal, Rosie O'Donnell. "It's a very worthy cause, and Madonna is a very good friend. We're supportive of each other's life endeavors. It's something that means a lot to her and to me," said Rosie O'Donnell, who added that Madonna called and invited her. "We're friends and friends call each other."

No...She wasn't wearing Gucci. "I believe it's an Eileen Fisher. I don't believe Gucci makes a size 18," said O'Donnell. "I don't shop there. It's very expensive."

Celebrities paid $2,500 to $10,000 each to dine on grappa-cured salmon, wild striped bass, tart of goat cheese, foraged mushrooms, truffled mashed potatoes and sticky toffee pudding with creme fraiche. Madonna played videos of Malawi and introduced children from the southern African country. Rihanna, Timbaland and Alicia Keys played music afterward.

Organizers stated that all proceeds from the event would be collected by the Gucci Foundation, a registered charity, and split among Raising Malawi, an advocacy group that operates under The Kabbalah Centre International, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which supports the United Nations Children's Fund.

The star-studded event raised $5.5 million to help poor and sick children around the world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

You can believe in all sorts of full-moon folklore, from the advent of werewolves, lunatics running amok, an increase in suicide, more bank robberies than usual, or a corruption of the tides.

But, if you want to see the full moon glowing in a dramatic range of colors, anything from bright orange to blood red, dark brown or dark gray, then look to the sky starting at 8:43 p.m tonight.

The lunar eclipse will last for three hours and 26 minutes. The full moon will be in Total Eclipse for 50 minutes....beginning at 10:01 pm and exists Total Eclipse at 10:51 p.m. This will be the last visible eclipse of the moon in North America until 2010...according to NASA.

Dark eclipses are usually the result of volcanic dust in the atmosphere. There hasn't been any recent volcanic activity so, scientists believe this lunar eclipse will be a vivid red or orange in the 'total' phase.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is completely safe to watch with the naked eye. No protective filters are necessary. Neither is a telescope. If you have binoculars, you will be able to get an enhanced view. Either way, it should be a spectacular sight.

I'll be watching...will you?

Metal Art - Hessen Center Mall - Frankfurt Germany

Happy Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rosie O'Donnell - Crafty U Book

Rosie has a new Crafty U book that will hit the book stores in April. It is described as '100 Easy Projects the Whole Family Can Enjoy All Year Long'. Hardcover...it can be pre-ordered here.
Rosie is a long time crafter. She had Rosie's Craft Corner on her TV program, TROS, with Bobby. She's appeared on Martha Stewart numerous times to craft with her. Occasionally, she posts 'how to' videos on her blog, showing how really simple it can be to make a keepsake. Thanks, Rosie, for sharing your ideas with us.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Whatever makes you happy, whatever brings you joy. That is my wish for all of you on this day set aside for love.

I'm not one to celebrate Hallmark holidays. I believe, if a person really cares for you, they don't have to wait 364
days between each time they let you know.

So many people feel they just have to be showered with gifts on this 'special day'. Whether it be chocolates, roses, stuffed teddy bears bearing the words 'I Love You', or cards with poems written by other people.

Then, there's the obligatory candlelight dinner for two. Heaven forbid someone should forget to make the reservations.

Me? I'd rather someone just call me and say...hey, I was thinking about you. So...whatever your plans are for today....enjoy them. But, don't forget to let your loved ones know how much you care for them.....every day.

I've received jewelry, lots of cards, many dozens of elaborate vases filled with roses, tons of heart shaped boxes of candy, red teddy bears, white teddy bears, pink teddy bears...even 'talking' teddy bears over the years. However, the best gift I have ever received was a 3" by 3" square of block of wood. There was a heart drawn on it with a red crayon and underneath, scribbled with a green crayon were the words...I Love You Mom. It was from my son....when he was in the third grade.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Remembering My Mom 4/18/32 - 02/09/01

My Mom was diagnosed with end stage renal disease in 1997. As the only 'girl' it fell upon me to be her sole caregiver. A task that takes its toll on a person but at the same time allows you to have the necessary time to mend whatever needs to be mended.

I remember so clearly, as if it were only yesterday, what happened to me one morning. My Mom had decided that she wanted to drive herself to dialysis while she still had the ability to drive. So, against my better judgment, I agreed to let her try to do as she wished. One particular morning, she let me sleep in and went on to dialysis. She left around 6am, as usual, and I awoke around 7:30. I remember waking up to a very still and quiet house and as I lay there in bed I thought, "This is what it will feel like if Momma were to die" and I started to cry. I cried all morning and when she returned home, I was sitting on the porch waiting for her. She wanted to know what was wrong and why my eyes were swollen and red. I made up some lame excuse about not feeling very well, but she didn't buy it. She knew me all too well. She looked at me in a Mother's knowing way and asked. "Were you feeling all alone and thinking that one day you will be...when it's time for me to leave you?" I started to cry again and told here she was right and that I loved her with all my heart and didn't want her to die and leave me. She reminded me that I knew what the inevitable was, that she could not go on much longer in the shape she was in. It didn't make it any easier for me to accept, but that day was a huge eye opener for me.

I was her care giver for 4 years, the last 2 of which she was very sick. I suppose I foolishly thought if I stayed by her side and cared for her, she would be OK. Sometimes I get to thinking about it and I find myself wondering 'what if'. What if I had called 911 just 2 minutes earlier on that last Sunday when she was taken to ICU. What if I had stayed with her the following Friday morning instead of coming home to get some rest after spending the last night of her life with her...sitting in a chair by her bedside in the hospital and listening to her moan with uneasiness.

Her Doctors have all told me that I did everything humanly possible for her. About 2 weeks after she passed, one of my brothers said to me, "She's gone....get over it." My youngest brother never has said very much at all...one way or the other. I know they have lost their Mother and miss her too, but it hasn't drastically changed
their lives. They just know she's no longer where she used to be.

In the first few months after she died, the difference for me was that I felt like I had to keep moving just to keep breathing. I didn't want to go anywhere, but I didn't want to stay at home either. I didn't want to stay awake but I couldn't sleep. I still have trouble sleeping, I haven't slept though the night in years. During her illness, I would get up several times during the night to check on her. After she died...I found myself doing the same thing. I got really scared when I awoke one morning....and was in her bed....with no knowledge of how I got there. I don't do that anymore....I switched bedrooms.

I pray for peace of mind, but my heart it still breaking. I might as well be Cody's age again (my grandson)....because it's NOT alright. I miss my Mom. It's like the amputee that feels phantom pains where the missing part used to be---my brain (my heart) keeps sending out impulses, waiting for a response, but no response will ever come. One of my clients told me that I seemed to be handling her death and my grief very well. I told him that I was not handling it well at all. If I let my grief spill out no one would be comfortable with what they would see.

You've heard the song, Shout, Shout...Let It All Out. Well, sometimes that's what I do. Then there are times, like when I'm in the shower....that I cry. It's a safe place where no one can hear me and the water can wash away my tears. Other times, like when I pass by the dialysis center or the hospital, I feel the pain all over again and I weep silently. I'm reminded of the night I left my Mom there, never to bring her home again. I think about my drive home from the hospital that night on February 9, 2001 and to be honest....I am not even sure how I got home.

I don't know how long it will take me to get better at coping with the loss of my Mom. I do know that she left a void that no one else can fill. I still miss her very much. I miss her on Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, her birthday...even on my birthday. She always had a way of making me feel special on my birthday....I miss that.

I don't have any regrets. Any sacrifices I made were well worth the time I got to spend with her. The thing is - I became so close to her that after she left me....I had to learn how to live again....without her. And...it hasn't been an easy thing to do.

Rosie O'Donnell doesn't know it...but she and her TV program played a huge part in helping me to cope and to heal. For one hour each day...I could laugh again. It was bittersweet though because my Mom was a Rosie fan too and we used to watch The Rosie O'Donnell Show every day. It didn't matter how sick Mom was, we never missed watching. Some day I hope to thank Rosie in person....for saving my life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rosie Kicks off 12th Annual Kid's Night on Broadway

Rosie O'Donnell, a13-time Emmy Award-winner, will serve as the National Ambassador for this year's Kids' Night on Broadway. Sponsored by Madame Tussaud's New York and The New York Times, Kids' Night allows young people, ages 6 - 18, the opportunity to see both Broadway and Off Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. It will be held February 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Ms. O'Donnell will cut the ribbon prior to the three-hour "Fan Festival," which is being held at the Madame Tussauds on West 42nd Street. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 2:45 PM today and will be followed by brief remarks by O'Donnell and a performance by Rosie's Broadway Kids.

According to newsday.com, The Madame Tussauds event, on Feb. 5, will showcase a theatrical makeup station, dance lessons and offer karaoke show tunes. Broadway actors will be on hand to sign autographs. No doubt....this is a very special opportunity for ALL kids.

You can see photos of the event here.

Frankfurt, Germany - Hessen Center Mall

Happy Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rosie and Bobby - Crafty U

Rosie and Bobby make a new Crafty U instructional video. The two are making 'swiss cheese' candles. If you haven't watched it on her blog.....catch it here.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rosie O'Donnell and Sharon Gless

Rosie O'Donnell and Sharon Gless have both made guest appearances on Nip/Tuck. Yesterday, Rosie posted the first of a new series of video blogs titled 'Famous Friend Friday' and the special guest was Sharon Gless. The video was taped by Rosie during the family's Christmas/New Year holiday in Miami, Florida. Rosie has a home on Star Island....Sharon's home is on Fisher Island. You can see the video here. Pictured is a portrait I made of the two as their characters on Nip/Tuck. Rosie portrays lottery winner Dawn Budge.....Sharon portrays Colleen Rose, a talent agent who wants to represent Sean. But, we soon realize she really isn't the power agent she was claiming to be, that she's an unknown low-life crazy stalker pretending to be a Hollywood power player.
Rosie, we look forward to many more Famous Friend Friday videos.