Monday, February 6, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

When You Get to the End of Your Rope...

... Tie a knot and hang on!


Wow.  What a week. Soooo ready to put it to bed.


I have to tell you.... After beating my head against the Planned Parenthood wall for the last couple of years, when I heard the news that Komen would no longer fund that organization, my first response was "Praise God!"  Remember, I was in the camp that had faith Komen would fill the gaps and continue to serve uninsured women -- in some manner that didn't involve great controversy.


I was soooo thankful we wouldn't have to fight the Planned Parenthood battle any longer. I was soooo tired of making excuses for Komen and thankful we were going to get a break from the attacks.  I haven't been directly accused of being a "baby-killer" all that often -- but really, it's not much fun.  Especially for a moral high-ground kind of girl who really likes to avoid conflict.


Obviously Komen had no idea the sewage that would be begin spewing the instant Planned Parenthood sent their incendiary email.  And since we established long ago that I'm safely on the naive side of things.... I was shocked.


But not nearly as shocked as I was when the decision was reversed.  That, my friends, just pretty much did me in. Kaput.


You see, before Komen originally pulled the funding, I could deal with the status quo.  I knew where I stood.  And I was okay with it. I knew what to say when questioned about the link.  All was good.


But here's the deal.... Until Tuesday, the relationship with Planned Parenthood was Komen's dirty little secret. It wasn't something they bragged about far and wide. They knew it was a relationship they shouldn't be in in the first place. And in the grand scheme of things, very few people knew about it.


Now, pretty much everyone knows.


I don't think Komen was making a statement about abortion by pulling out in the first place. I think Komen was trying to quietly pull out before they had to make a statement.


Let's face it.  If Komen really thought Planned Parenthood was the Bee's Knees, they would have donated MILLIONS each year to the organization -- not a measly $680,000.  More than anything, this was a token sponsorship.  A pat on the back that said, "thank you for checking the melons."  And that's about it.  A cursory means of support.


I've learned a lot the last week. I've learned to look deeper into what's shared. I've seen just how ugly and bitter and hateful some people can be -- and how much that disappoints me.  I've searched my soul and found exactly where I stand on this whole Planned Parenthood issue.


I think the thing that struck me the most was when people would say, "Planned Parenthood does so much good!  Abortions only count for 3% of their services."  How did we get to a point where killing babies only 3% of the time is okay?  Insert any other negative situation into that 3% formula and see how people react.  "He did a lot of good. He only murdered 3% of the people he met." REALLY????


That's just one of the things I've heard over and over this week.  It makes me so sad. I think Satan has his fingerprints all over what happened this week, and I KNOW he was partying Friday night.


I know MBA and media relations classes will be studying this for years to come.



So here I was, Friday at noon -- about to call the staff at the 3-Day on the "special" bat-phone number I get because I've walked a gazillion times..... When BAM! I get the word that the decision had been reversed.


I've never had an instant migraine before.  Now I know what that's like.


Tears started flowing, and I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I really can't begin to explain how it slammed me.  I'd been listening to people throwing temper tantrums all week -- and I threw one of my one. It was a doozy.  To be fair, it was fueled by exhaustion, PMS, and a grief I never realized I needed to deal with.


But guess what????  Here's the deal....  I'm still going to walk in the 3-Day for the Cure.  In Dallas. The first weekend in November.  


And some of you are wondering how on Earth I could do that.  It's really pretty simple.  I don't walk for Komen.  I walk for my Mom.  That's it.  I walk for my Mom.


I walk because the only way we will stop this disease is through research. LOTS of research.  I walk because I can do something about that.



Here's the deal.  I'm not defined by Komen or their relationship with Planned Parenthood.



Yes, Komen provides the venue.  But really, it's not about Komen.  Team Tiara has become so big and such an incredible presence on the walk that for our team, it's our walk.


To walk, I will still need to raise $2300.  That $2300 will still go to Komen for the Cure.  I'm okay with that.  I know that 80% of what we raise on the 3-Day goes to research.  I know that any stray funds that go to Planned Parenthood will be watched like a hawk -- that they will only go to breast health services. 


I also know there's a very strong chance Komen may be sticking with their original decision.  Nothing in the statement released Friday says that they will definitely give funds to Planned Parenthood.   Planned Parenthood can apply for grants, but that doesn't mean they'll get them.  I can't wait to see how that all shakes out.


As I said earlier, Komen provides the venue.  They don't provide the love and hugs and spirit and turquoise sparkle skirts and stories and smiles that make the 3-Day what it is for me.  I have a precious family of walkers that provide all of that and more.  I'll continue to walk. And I'll continue to work my butt off for a cure.  And unless something really crazy happens, that is all I have to say about that.


Oh.  Wait.  One more thing. If the 3-Day loses their sponsorship from Nuun as a result of the fall-out from this nightmare of a week, I'm okay with that.


To help fund my walk For My Mom, please go to my fundraising page.


If you're still reeling from the last week, and aren't really sure Komen is where you want your donation dollars, please donate via PayPal at Pinktober365.com.  All donations will go to Team Tiara's Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Fund.  Grants will be made directly to researchers who are conducting life-saving research in an under-funded area where we desperately need to make a lasting impact.


If you feel the need to comment, please be sweet.  I'm still beaten and bruised -- but healing.  Don't mess with me.




Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fudge!

Okay, Peeps!  Recipe #2 for today.....

This is the fudge recipe my Mom always used.  It's soooooo easy!  I used milk chocolate chips today, and sprinkled the top with crushed peppermint. BUT you can use just about any kind of chips. I love making it with peanut butter chips! Mmmmmm!!!







Original Kraft Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
¾ cup margarine
2/3 cups evaporated milk
1 12-oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 7-oz. jar Kraft Marshmallow crème
1 cup chopped nuts
1 T. vanilla

Microwave margarine in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 1 minute or until melted.  Add sugar and milk; mix well.  Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes.  Mix well.  Scrape bowl.  Continue microwaving on HIGH 5 ½ minutes; stir after 3 minutes.  Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.  Pour into greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Cool at room temperature.  Cut into squares.

Yields:  3 pounds

Honey Bars

In an odd twist of events, Saturday night is Team Tiara's Sponsor Appreciation Event.  Should be quite interesting!

Today I'm busy in the kitchen whipping up a few treats for friends and family who have given us amazing support.  And it appears I promised to Pin a few things.  So.....  Up first.....






Rene Stewart’s Honey Bars

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. soda
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup oil
¼-1/3 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped nuts

Combine and blend dry ingredients. Add oil and honey and mix. Add egg and nuts and mix. Pour into greased 10 x 15 jelly roll pan and pat into corners and sides. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes.

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 T. water
2 T. mayonnaise
1 tsp. vanilla

Spread mixture over bars while still warm. Let set until almost cool. Cut into squares.



Rene was a dear friend from my days in Aggieland.  And this recipe always makes me think of her. We lost Rene in a car wreck in 1996.  She's missed. 

Enjoy!!!

My Take

It's been a tough day around here. 


It's no secret Team Tiara and the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are very, very much a part of my life.  It's no secret that I've literally walked my butt of for breast cancer research.  Today, I've felt very much under attack. 


Let's back up.  And put this in perspective. I've been walking in the DFW 3-Day for the Cure for what seems forever. This is my 7th year to walk, and to date our team has raised $600,000. 


Last week, I wrote to Komen asking them to please find a way to support uninsured women without partnering with Planned Parenthood.  That partnership wasn't a huge deal to me personally -- I hate abortion and have very personal reasons for doing so.  BUT at the same time I knew Komen funds were only being used for breast health services.  I know that Planned Parenthood is about a lot more than abortions.


My concern was that as a conservative Christian in the South, not all my peers were aware of the facts. And many of them weren't prepared to listen to the facts.  The Planned Parenthood link was a non-issue when I first became involved with the 3-Day. Two years ago, it became an "October" issue.  Now it's a year-round issue. 


By that, I mean that we were hearing more and more about Komen being a bunch of baby-killers.  That it was guilt by association. That WE were guilty by association.  The attacks had become personal.  The discussions were heated.  


And the fact of the matter is.... Planned Parenthood really doesn't need Komen dollars to do what they do.  Really, they don't. 


I'm in this thing for one reason and one reason only. To find a CURE for breast cancer.  To stop this disease that took my Mom before it takes one of my daughters, too. This isn't a quest for "Komen" per say, and it's certainly not a quest on behalf of Planned Parenthood. It's a quest for LIFE.  


But that wasn't always the way it was viewed.  And the link with Planned Parenthood was compromising numbers, donations and morale.  Even when you know the truth, it's hard to keep plugging on when you feel like you're under constant attack. 


Believe me, I can "discuss" with the best of them.  And it seemed ironic that we were all campaigning for the same thing -- a right to life.  The anti-Planned Parenthood crew was angry that unborn babies weren't being given life -- and that they perceived Komen to be a part of that. I was angry that walking, talking, laundry-washing, kid-chasing Mamas didn't have a right to life under that philosophy.  It was like being on a merry-go-round with a herd of really crazy kids and no way to get off. 


So I wrote to Komen.  The very same Komen that has just become HUGE over the years -- so huge that it takes a lot to turn things around.  I got no response..... 


Other than the hurricane that has hit my inbox in the last 36 hours. 


As of right now, the disappointment I feel in the 3-Day community is palpable.  The firestorm this has whipped up has been insane.  I don't expect the media to utilize judgement -- they've proven that's impossible. But I expect more of the 3-Day Community than they have delivered today. 


Really friends, are you kidding me???


To all of you who immediately drew a line in the sand and said you'd never walk another mile or raise another dollar for Komen -- how is that any less political than you claim Komen's decision to be?  Having dealt with the pro-life side of this issue, I can tell you that at their worst those attacking Komen for working through Planned Parenthood were never as bitter and ugly as you have shown yourselves to be.  


Are you kidding me????


I'm proud to be a 3-Day walker. I'm proud of the $80 MILLION we raised through the 14-Event series last year.  I'm proud to have a role in the advances that have been made in the last seven years, not to mention the 30-year history of Komen. 


Did you know the Planned Parenthood connection has only been around for seven years?  Not since Adam and Eve, as many people would lead you to believe?  How do you negate all the good Komen has done in 30 years?  Many of you wouldn't be alive if it weren't for Komen.  Because of Komen, we got four more years with my Mom. Four years got us to a point where Kait remembers her.  Four years where she got to see softball games and Kindergarten and birthdays with bounce houses.  


Did you know Komen only gave Planned Parenthood $680,000 in grants last year?  That's right.  Only $680,000.  Remember, the 3-Day for the Cure series raised over $80 MILLION. $680,000 is SUCH a drop in the bucket.  


As far as I can tell, the problem here isn't that Komen pulled their support of Planned Parenthood. It's not that this is ticking off the whole pro-choice crowd.  Remember, just last week an equal number of pro-life people hated Komen.  


The problem is that Komen really, really sucks at PR.  There's just no other way to say it.  Komen should have been out in front of this a month ago with a clear game plan illustrating how they plan to fill the gaps and make sure no uninsured women fell through the cracks. They should have been proactive and transparent.  Unfortunately, Komen has become to big to be transparent.  True transparency would most assuredly tick off a LOT of the people who donate to them. But that's another discussion for another day. 


They never should have let Planned Parenthood fly the plane.  Letting Planned Parenthood set the agenda and incite drama should never have happened.  Komen is most definitely guilty of being naive. They need to make a media relations / media disaster class required for all employees.  


This video from Nancy Brinker almost comes off as too little, too late.  Really, this should have been way out in front.  Way before the 3-Day community went all crazy on us.  Way before the media took this and ran. 


As a 3-Day walker for the last seven years, I think Komen owed us a heads-up.  In advance of the firestorm. 


So what does all of this mean for D'Lyn and Team Tiara?


We have team members with opinions on both sides of this issue. Personally, I don't think this is a black and white issue -- I never have. It has sooooooo many shades of gray. 


As we move forward, I've asked our team to be respectful of each other -- opinions and emotions are running high.  


The rift this has caused in my 3-Day family makes my heart heavy.  Once words are spoken, they can't be taken back. Once words are shared via Facebook, Twitter, etc., not only are they out there forever, they're out there for all to see.  Sooooo many people have drawn a line in the sand on this issue.  And soooo many of them have been rather hateful about it it.  


The problem with drawing a line in the sand? Sometimes when you've had a while to step back and calm down, you see that maybe, just maybe, you were wrong.  And sometimes it's pretty hard to swallow your pride and step back over that line.  


Especially when you've spent a few days involving the people who have sponsored your walk in the past -- and inciting them to be angry as well.  


Not real sure how you work a turn-around there....


I do hold firm to one belief. I've told many of you before that Drama is what happens when Satan attacks the good we are doing. He can't stand to see what we can accomplish for good.  We've seen this time and time again with Team Tiara.  I do believe what is happening is being orchestrated by Satan.  Please don't give in to him or to the drama.  


I've asked our team to step back if they must. See how things shake out. Remember that we are in an era where via Twitter and Facebook and everything else, very angry people can be heard very loudly.  Look at the way Mike Sherman, Texas A&M Football Coach, was fired last fall.  Twitter was his downfall.  (Well, that and the fact that he'd never in a million years win a National Championship.)


Pause. Take a deep breath. Remember why you signed up to walk in the first place. Is the reason still there? For me, the 3-Day isn't really about "Komen."  Yes, Komen hosts it -- but it's so much more. It's an opportunity to spend THREE DAYS with my Tiara family -- many of whom I've known much longer than seven years.  It's about healing and being fit and taking a stand against breast cancer. It's about making a HUGE difference in the world.  It's empowerment.  It's showing my kids that a few people can bring about big change.  It's about doing something most people never would have thought I could do.  All of those reasons are still there. In spades. 


Walking away from Komen and the 3-Day will not save lives.  Holding Komen hostage to your politics with threats of "never walking again" will not save lives.  For years, on the 3-Day we've said "The life you save may be your own."  Friends, if you're pulling support right here and right now without pausing a minute to think, The life you LOSE may be your own.  


Come on, you're better than this.  


I've marveled today at how just last week I was campaigning from the other side of the coin -- defending Komen for working through Planned Parenthood.  I'm passionate about this series because 80% of the funds we raise go to research -- Komen has awareness and mammograms and all the rest covered with other funding sources.  


I have faith that Komen will continue to work with affiliates to make sure under-served women don't fall through the cracks.  


I support Komen's efforts to find new ways to serve uninsured women -- ways that don't involve controversy, such as utilizing The Rose in Houston. 


Team Tiara will continue to do the same.  Since acquiring our non-profit status in 2010, we've been about a whole lot more than "Komen."  Last year, we sponsored 20 mammograms through The Rose.  We've been able to offer direct financial assistance to survivors.  Through a partnership with The 2nd Baseman, we are helping send two women to the Young Survivors' Coalition annual meeting in New Orleans.  


Pinktober365.com continues to highlight survivors and pink warriors who are fighting for a CURE. 


We will be ready to make our first $25,000 direct grant for metastatic breast cancer research in the next month or so. 


Team Tiara is strong.  We're family.  And we're not about to let Satan undermine the good we're doing. 


Neither should you.