Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Family Planning

No no, not what you are thinking when you first see the term. I am talking about Mother's Day and more specifically WHAT YOU WILL GET YOUR MOTHER FOR HER BIG DAY.

Mother's Day is Sunday May 10th and that is not so far away. If you are busy (and who isn't?) then you will want to plan ahead and I have some helpful advice and linky love to share to help make that happen.

Yes, many of you might say (and mean) "well, as a result of becoming a mother my Mom got me, and I am quite possibly not only gift enough for her, but for many many others as well, perhaps the entire world..".

To which I will reply nicely (for now) "Be that as it may, if you are indeed intelligent enough to be a gift to the world at large, then you are surely smart enough to know that a gift to your Mother is always a good idea. A. L. W. A. Y. S." This is not about deserves this is not about needs or wants, this is about what kind of person you are going to be. I promise you. You WANT to be that person who gets your Mom a nice gift for Mother's Day. Trust me on this one.Or you may have some not quite suitable for public sharing legitimate claim because your Mom makes Agusten Burrough's Mom look like Mother Teresa by comparison? Well let me state again. This is bigger than just you and your Mom. This is about what kind of person you are, or are going to start being, beginning this Mother's Day. You with me?

OK. Now we have established that you ARE going to get Mom a gift, let's take a quick look at what you will get her. This is where the planning portion of the title applies.

If your Mom is at all like me (or is, in fact me) that means she is of the Old Hippie genus. Old Hippies (in common with younger ones) like to think that whatever gifts they are given are simultaneously improving the universe in some way. Old Hippies, if they are old enough, also still have the occasional hankering for flowers and/or candy and/or both. But (and this is important children so pay close attention please) they do NOT want factory farmed flowers or chocolates that are the result of child slave labor.

In fact, they do not want ANYthing that while delicious or gorgeous or stylish or whatever, has been grown or produced in some way that is adding to that huge "don't care if we destroy the earth before our children have children of their own" pile.

Before you throw your hands up and start thinking about how it is already too late to make your Mom a matching decorated plastic cup/pencil holder or a homemade card on recycled paper (which you know, she would like very much as long as it came from YOU) here's a little bit of a head start.First, FLOWERS. There is a source to help you find responsibly grown and produced posies. Check out VERIFLORAChocolates and other gifts? They need to be Fair Trade Certified. Try GLOBAL EXCHANGE for a sampling and they also have links there for all sorts of other responsible gifts for your Mom.

If your Mom is not the flowers/candy type but is still one who would be pleased to know that you hold her and other women in high esteem, try The Women's Bean Project out for size. This organization offers food kits and gift baskets, the production of which helps disadvantaged women get on the job training so they can get back on their feet and become self-sustaining. Your Mom would like that!

Finally, if your Mom is anything like my mother was, she might be overhead saying something like "I don't need anything at all, really, not a thing. All I want is for you and your brother/sister [or father/aunt/uncle/cousin etc.] to get along. Really!". 

This may be a genuine sentiment, I am sure my Mom meant it every time she used it on me, but I always found it frustrating. I wanted to get her a present and I wanted her help to make sure that gift was meaningful, dammit! The whole "I just wish you'd get along better with..." gambit did not strike me as a fair way to respond to my earnest inquiries. 

I mean, OK OK, I promised I WOULD work to get along better with, well, everybody, you know, but I wanted to try to do that AND get her a good gift to boot. Just in case the whole "getting along better" thing didn't pan out long term.

Here is a Good Gift option that might melt the hardest heart. KIVA. You can make a gift to KIVA in your Mother's name, in her honor, or if she has already died and you want to do something for her day anyway, you could make a gift to them in her memory.  

Let the KIVA folk tell you more in their own words (from the site)
Loans that Change Lives:Choose an Entrepreneur, Lend, Get Repaid
How money gets from you to a developing-world entrepreneur, and back.
1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva's microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

Very cool, yes? So, unless you are reading this and are actually one of my own kids (hey kids! I promise - I don't want a thing - I just want all of us to get along better!) now you have something of a head start to make this year's Mother's Day the BEST EVER. Just like your Mom is.

No, no, don't thank me. I don't need or want your thanks. I just want us all to get along bet............

PS - there is one gift my oldest could "give" me - ChefSon, I love you more than words can say. I am incredibly proud of you for who you are not for what you've done with your life. If you could pretty please start lying about your age? Thank you forever, Moms.

1 comment:

bee said...

great ideas!!! my mom (if she was alive), would have loved classical music. that was her passion. have a wonderful mother's day, dear deb.