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I Wish Daddy Was Here - A Book for Military Kids

I_wish_daddy_was_here_coverMore than 400K Troops Miss Holidays at Home-Military Wife Has Message for Their Families

You don't have to tell Kat DeMille about what it's like to be home for the holidays, but still without the ones you love.

The former Navy brat grew up to become an Air Force wife, so she doesn't need to be reminded of the 425,000 Americans who will celebrate the holidays somewhere other than home this year, according to U.S. Department of Defense statistics. She's been living those holidays most of her life.

"One of the most important things I learned as a kid was that it is okay to feel sad and to miss the ones we love," said DeMille, author of the children's book I Wish Daddy Was Here ( "Children take their cues from the adults who surround them, and in military families, there is always this semblance of steely reserve. They don't want to show sadness around the kids, so all the kids see are the brave faces, and it makes it easy for them to bottle up their sadness or feel that missing their moms or dads is a bad thing. I had to unlearn that misconception, and it actually helped me feel better."

DeMille believes kids should know that while it's important to move on with their daily lives while a parent is deployed, that it's also okay to miss them and to let their sadness out when they need to. She said that part of the message of her children's book is that the sadness is a part of coping with the reality of modern troop deployments.

"My husband is currently deployed right now, so my daughter and I are living it along with every other military family this holiday season," she added. "Especially during this time of year, missing a family member is like the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. The military life causes many families to endure extended separation. How we deal with the time apart makes a big difference in a child's life."

One of the key parts of helping children get through a holiday without a parent who is deployed is to get them to talk about what they are feeling, so they can work through it faster.

Kat_DeMille"Any job that takes a parent away for an extended period is difficult on a child," DeMille said. "Letting your children express their feelings will help them get through the separation. Life does not stop because someone we love is away, but that does not mean we cannot miss them. Emotions can be hard for a child to talk about. Letting your child know that you feel sad, as well, let's them know it is okay to have feelings and it makes them feel safe to express them to you. It brings them a level of security and makes them feel more mature when they know they are feeling the same thing as the adults around them. More than that, it helps them become stronger and more capable of dealing with the demands of being in a military family."

About Kat DeMille

Kat DeMille grew up in a Navy family and married into the Air Force. She studied Hotel/Restaurant Management in school, and still enjoys cooking. She works with stained glass windows to help pass the time during deployments, and is the proud mother of one daughter. Incidentally, Kat's family was the basis for the characters in her book.

The Dirty Dozen - Buy These Foods Organic

This information has been provided by Jeanette Bronee of the PATH FOR LIFE self-nourishment center® Where Wellness is Nurtured and Habits Change for Good.

Read more about Jeanette here.

12 Most Contaminated / Buy These Organic

• Apples

• Bell Peppers

• Celery

• Cherries

• Imported Grapes

• Nectarines

• Peaches

• Pears

• Potatoes

• Red Raspberries

• Spinach

• Strawberries

-and coffee + highly commercial teas

12 Least Contaminated

• Asparagus

• Avocados

• Bananas

• Broccoli

• Cauliflower

• Corn (sweet)

• Kiwi

• Mangos

• Onions

• Papaya

• Pineapples

• Peas (sweet)

S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed Available Dec.4

Photo By Bill Dalton
On Saturday, December 4, New Jersey Audubon (NJA) will deliver additional inventory of its green, sustainable, Jersey Grown S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed to retailers, farmer's markets and NJA stores throughout the state of New Jersey.

(This is a follow-up article to the one posted earlier this month - the original posting is available here.)

NJA Nature Stores will also offer a number of new holiday gift specials and unique ideas – perfect for the beginner naturalist, bird-lover or hard-to-gift person on your list.

The S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed has been available for purchase since October 2, which was the NJA's first "Sale Day" for the seed. The time period surrounding these Sale Days is optimal for purchasing the birdseed, however, for best availability and freshness; as the seed being delivered for the December 4 Sale Day was harvested as recently as the end of October. December 4 will be the second of three seed delivery dates during the 2010-2011 growing season. The seed will be available while supplies last; however, due to the anticipated high demand for the product, especially during the holiday gift giving season, the NJA encourages consumers to purchase their birdseed as close to the December 4 date as possible. Online pre-orders, placed through by November 20, will also be available for pick-up at designated NJA centers throughout the state on this Sale Day.

S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed is available for onsite purchase at NJA centers in Franklin Lakes (Bergen County), Ringwood (Passaic County), Bernardsville (Somerset County), Mount Holly (Burlington County), Cape May/Cape May Courthouse (Cape May County) and Plainsboro (Middlesex County).

The birdseed is also available for purchase at these participating retailers throughout New Jersey: Wild Birds Unlimited stores in Red Bank (Monmouth County), Sewell (Gloucester County), Cherry Hill (Camden County) and Toms River (Ocean County); Wild Bird Center in West Caldwell (Essex County); Agway in Raritan/Hillsborough (Somerset County); Greenland Landscape Company in Paramus (Bergen County); Sergeantsville Grain and Feed in Sergeantsville (Hunterdon County); and Pet Agree Pets in Manahawkin (Ocean County).

Brodhecker Farms in Newton, NJ (Sussex County), Raj Sinha of Liberty Farms in Sandyston, NJ (Sussex County), and Laine Farm in Hillsborough, NJ (Somerset County) are participating farmers who will also sell it from their farm stands.

The third and final "Sale Day" for the 2010-2011 S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed program is Saturday, February 12, 2011.

The sunflowers, from which this birdseed was harvested, were planted by New Jersey farmers who are cooperating with New Jersey Audubon to produce certified Jersey Grown birdseed – the first product marketed under the NJ Audubon's S.A.V.E.TM brand (Support Agricultural Viability and the Environment). The S.A.V.E.TM initiative promotes the production of agricultural products that are economically and ecologically sustainable. Revenue from the birdseed benefits New Jersey farmers and directly supports NJA's conservation mission. For every 5 acres planted for birdseed, NJA manages and maintains one acre of grassland habitat for threatened and endangered birds.

And, because it is grown locally, S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed eliminates the need for extensive use of fossil fuels in transit, thus reducing its carbon footprint. In addition, the project partners are using an experimental cultivation technique that may capture atmospheric carbon and lock it into the soil.

For all these reasons, this birdseed makes a great gift idea; while you're buying a gift to give, you're also giving back the birds, the local economy and the environment.

Other new and unique gift ideas are now being offered at NJA Nature Stores throughout the state including:

GET INTO BIRD WATCHING KIT– $89 ($70 savings-supplies limited-member discount does not apply; offer valid December 1-31, 2010)
Nikon Action 7x35 Binoculars
Kaufman's Field Guide to Birds
New Jersey Audubon Membership

BIRD FEEDING PACKAGE – $59 ($40 savings-supplies limited; member discount does not apply; offer valid December 1-31, 2010)
Droll Yankee Sunflower or Mixed Seed Feeder
Bill Thompson's 'Identifying & Feeding Birds'
25 lb. Jersey Grown S.A.V.E.TM Sunflower Birdseed
New Jersey Audubon Membership
(not available at Sandy Hook Nature Store)

New to the Nature Stores' offerings this year is the NJA Gift Card. Available in any value up to $250, the card can be redeemed for merchandise or programs at any NJA Nature Store. Additional money can be added to the card at any time. This is truly a gift of nature that will give all year round.

BUY 3 BOOKS AND SAVE 15% (December 1-31, 2010)

Nature books are in great supply at all the NJA Centers. This special offer will allow you to gift a great read to one or more people on your list and save.

For more information about the S.A.V.E.TM sunflower seed project, to see a full list of NJA centers, retailers and farmers or for a printable form for preorders of S.A.V.E.TM Birdseed, please visit

Aldonna Ambler - Helping Woman Owned Businesses

.web_AldonnaAmbler_300dpi_4inchAMBLER's Approach Has Generated $1 Billion of New Revenue for Woman Owned Businesses

Is it realistic to ask a small business to help other companies grow and to play a role in economic recovery when it sometimes can be an uphill battle to attract customers and keep paying your own employees? Apparently Aldonna Ambler thinks so. AMBLER Growth Strategy Consultants, Inc. (AMBLER) just passed the impressive milestone of generating over $1 Billion for other woman owned businesses.

$100 Million has come from a mixture of their own purchases from vendors, referrals, subcontracts, licensees, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. The firm has also played a key role in attracting over $100 Million in growth financing, grants, and corporate sponsorships for woman owned businesses. And even if they only count five years/client, the growth strategies AMBLER has provided for woman owned business clients has generated over $800 Million of new revenue for WBOs.

In 1985, when Ambler was the Statewide President for the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO), Aldonna Ambler made the decision to "walk the talk" and committed to maintaining a vendor base that reflects the demographics of the business community. 40% of their vendors are woman owned companies. That vendor policy has generated $12 Million for woman owned accounting firms, attorneys, bookkeepers, computer programmers, call centers, equipment lessors, graphic artists, insurance agents, photographers, printers, public relations firms, website designers, writers, etc. AMBLER's commitment to diversity has brought $34 Million in subcontracts and licenses for women facilitators, interviewers, researchers, secret shoppers, speakers and trainers. They have referred over $15 Million of business to woman owned companies, and that number does not include the revenue those companies gained from any repeat business.

Aldonna Ambler's commitment has gone well beyond their approach to hiring, subcontracts, vendors and acquisitions. "The owner of a small company can generate jobs and make a difference in the economy when he/she participates in joint ventures and strategic alliances," says Ambler. "We have initiated over a dozen strategic alliances/joint ventures and participated in another ten." Alliances and ventures help companies share the risk, create new products, expand into new markets, and attract larger customers they could not have served on their own. For example, dozens of other companies have benefited from multi-city speaking tours featuring Ambler.

Known as The Growth Strategist™, Ambler's alliance and venture partners have included companies that provide complementary products and services to help midsized companies keep growing. AMBLER Growth Strategy Consultants, Inc. does opportunity/ resource analysis and growth strategy planning for midsized companies, generating $39 Million for market research companies, merger and acquisition (M&A) firms, family business attorneys, industry experts, etc.

To be better prepared to make referrals, Aldonna Ambler's firm has been a long term active member in a variety of business associations, including national, state, regional and local chambers of commerce. Plus, she has been hosting a weekly online peer-to-peer-to-peer talk show for executives of midsized companies for six years.

AMBLER Growth Strategy Consultants' mission is to help midsized companies continue to grow. The President of a $20 million company may not need outside guidance with strategic planning at the moment, but he (yes, the overwhelming majority of their midsized company clients have male executives at the helm) may need updated personnel policies, an upgraded computer contact management system, or more effective transportation for their products. The CEO of a $200 million company may not need AMBLER's assistance at that moment to attract growth financing, facilitate a joint venture process, or help locating just the right CFO for their team.

Ambler knows that there are so many great companies out there run by hard working, bright, talented women (and men). That knowledge frees her up to relax and to hear what the leaders of midsized companies need to keep growing ... at that moment. The follow up for their meetings with past, current, and future AMBLER clients typically includes 3 or 4 referrals. They aren't in those meetings to just take orders for services they provide. Keeping midsized companies growing beyond stubborn plateaus is a calling for Ambler.

"It may sound corny to some people, but we see ourselves as a positive force of economic development. We want to listen to the midsized company executives' concerns and hear what they need to keep growing...whatever that is. So we are constantly updating our resource database and probably can refer any midsized company to a few great matter what they need," says Ambler, "and 40% of those resources have been woman owned companies."

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