Maybe this is a spark…

This blog sometimes pulls me back.   I have more or less not blogged since my grandmother died about five years ago.  First I was busy with the weight of that, then Lizzy was born and everyday seemed slightly too complicated and harried to take time to write.  But I miss it.   There is something therapeutic about writing and something wonderful about setting your thoughts out “there”.    Writing makes me a better me.

Yesterday I was talking to a fellow Catholic-Homeschool-Mom-who-happens-to-blog.   Where my side of the conversation went something like “this crazy thing happened with my old blog that is really dusty and I hardly touch. And I am rather put-out by it but I feel sort of stupid for being so”  and her side was “That’s crazy, the internet is full of crazy, maybe this will be the spark that gets you blogging again.”

And I started thinking about sparks and embers and Lent.  Lent is a wonderful time of reaching into yourself and see where things are good and where good things that have died down.   So much of what my energy used to draw from has died down to the point that it is barely an ember.   I feel like the proverbial camel — there are about 3 straws too many, the back is broken and we are still somewhere in the middle of the desert longing to make it home.   So I need Lent, I need to drop the load, just let it go and to embrace the penitential.  Forced now to look at I see that I have tried to much for too long.  I have allowed myself to become burdened by things that should build me up.  I have taken too much to heart,  I have been drowning in the noise of everything and not allowed myself just to exist as the person God intends me to be.    So maybe this is the spark, the breath of air on the ember.


40 Bags — Where to Give


If you are going to get rid of 40 bags in 40 days one of your first questions is bound to be, “Where can I get rid of these bags?”

Never fear – there are many, many options out there.
First is always your local community.  Could someone in your family use those baby clothes or that fondue pot?  What about your parish or church community?  The old woman across the street might want a warm winter coat or those pickled onions.   There are options like Criagslist and freecycle that allow you to post your unneeded goods for sale or give away.  But if none of these options work for you there are organizations in your community that will gladly take your lightly use items.  No charity wants stained, worn, broken or dirty items.  Remember that volunteers must sort through your gift-aways – so have mercy on them and don’t give them trash.   I have put together the list below as a resource.  You will note that it is very Portland, Oregon heavy, but it can still be useful to you.  Many of the organizations are national and others may spur a little bit of creativity in looking for charities in your own area.

 A few notes on this list. 

To the best of my knowledge the charities on this list will take used items.

I have not researched the charities on the list in any ways except for what is on their home-page. If you know something problematic about a charity on this list please contact me with the name of the charity and supporting information and I will remove it or at least note the problem.

If I know the charity is affiliated with a religious organization or other charity I have noted it. If I missed one please let me know.

Sites that help you find places to donate:

In Portland, Oregon


Large Charities that take a variety of items:

 Charities that Take Specific items:

Clothing and Household Items

Art Supplies:

Baby and Children’s Items:

Bikes and Bike Parts:


Bridal Gowns:

Clothing, Baby supplies, Food:

Computers, monitors, printers and peripherals

Construction Materials and Appliances


Formal Clothing

Food, household items, personal hygiene items

School Supplies


Sporting goods

Women’s business clothing and accessories:

Charities with lists of items they are looking for:

And what to do with those recyclable things that no one will take?