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Military Spouse Entrepreneurs

Employment has long been a challenge for military spouses. Building a career can feel like a pipe dream. The mobile nature of military service, while great for the career of our service member does not always ‘enhance’ our own resume. Add a downturn in the economy to that equation and mobile military spouses can find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Ah, but the American entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among military spouses. More and more spouses are looking for a mobile career and turning to home-based businesses and self-employment. Andrea turned her love of sewing into Ballie’s Bag and Baubles (www.bailliesbag.com). Betty loves making jewelry and launched Gambizzle Jewels (http://www.gambizzlejewels.storenvy.com/). Joanna was looking for a way to acknowledge spouses beyond a bouquet of flowers and launched Atta Girl Gifts (www.attagirlgifts.com). Stephanie … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitsap Sun Columns

Soup, Salad and a Side of Laughter

I recently had lunch at one of my favorite cafés; Mimi’s. I was enjoying what I call a ‘heavy, deep and real’ conversation with a girlfriend. Across the aisle was a table full of women. This group may be familiar to you. They are distinctive and you mostly likely have encountered them in restaurants in your area. These ladies wear hats. They wear red hats; ‘creative’ red hats with purple accents. Yup, they are the ladies of the “Red Hat Society.” In the interest of full disclosure, my mother is a member of the Red Hat Society. However she joined long after I left the nest. I never saw her adorned in her ‘society’ regalia. But I know she looks forward to, and fully participates, in each activity of her local … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitsap Sun Columns

Welcome 2011!

Happy New Year! Over the holidays I was hanging out with a few friends and we, of course, talked about that dreaded ‘new year’s resolution.’ We all laughed as we talked about our past attempts at changing our bodies, habits or lives with the start of each new year. Kayla summed up our sentiment confidently stating, “This year I resolve NOT to resolve.” I think you would have enjoyed our conversation. We talked about the struggles, foibles and triumphs of 2010. Not one of us accomplished our ‘resolution’ but we realized that each one of us absolutely accomplished much by the end of 2010.     Read more… … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitsap Sun Columns

Happy Birthday Jesus

New Jersey is home to a movie theater which regularly displays birthday greetings to inhabitants of the community on their billboard. Last week this theater posted another birthday greeting – to Jesus. Amidst midst the activities of this season; the shopping, baking, wrapping, shipping, pageant rehearsals and travel, sometimes the simplicity of the holiday can be lost. Christmas is about remembering a birthday, celebrating a birthday. Recently I was hanging with a group of my military wife ‘girlfriends.’ The conversation, predictably, turned to the holidays. We talked about plans, shopping, traveling, baking and menus. One woman mentioned a small coffee table book she picked up entitled, “The Purpose of Christmas” by Rick Warren. Patti shared how this little book was adding a new dimension to her celebration this year; celebrating a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Special Events

Holiday Travel

‘Over the river and through the woods ” It’s that time! Holiday stand-down starts this week. That means many of us will hit the highways, railways and air, traveling to spend holidays with family and friends. I checked with a few experts for their top suggestions for safe, trouble free travels during the holidays. If you’re driving make a quick stop at the base Autoport for a safety check on your brakes, fluids, tires and tire pressure. Make sure your car is road ready, even for a short trip. AAA recommends that you add a car emergency kit to your packing list. There are many available at your Exchange or you can assemble your own. Check out www.aaa.com or www.redcross.org for more information.    Read more: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitsap Sun Columns

Keeping Your Holiday Merry

Years ago I experienced a home burglary during the holiday season. It was a shocking and educational event. I learned from the criminal investigator this season sees a huge spike in theft both at home and other locations. No one wants their holiday marred by crime. Below are safety tips from several experts in crime prevention and holiday safety. The holiday time is full of parties that often include the consumption of “holiday cheer.” Drinking and driving are a very dangerous mix. This is not new information. We know the facts but some of us will think we are ‘okay to drive.’ For the sake of your family, shipmates and others on the road, if you have been drinking — Do Not Drive. Call a taxi, call your command (all commands/installations … Read entire article »

Filed under: Kitsap Sun Columns