To help others you must take care of yourself..

Forgotten Ones Fund/To help others you must take care of yourself.
Last week,it was my Dad's first year since he passed
It has taken me one year to get over the pain of all the years of watching him gasp for breath. Devoting all my time to his needs. I know now that I am doing the right thing, by moving on with my life.
Time has been good to me and provided me with many tools. One of them is realizing that I can't please everyone. There will always be the doubters, the naysayers. Even your family can try and break your spirit.
I have taken time the last month to take care of myself and design a program initiating conscious awareness. To help others, you must take care of yourself. It has been a month of self reflection and plans. Plans and packing. I have come to the awareness that no woman is a mountain. Even me! I am not a rock. And I have feelings. I am now planning a move, and it has taken a lot of my time. I wanted to discover what direction my energy will take while I am in the midst of this huge house to consolidate, and the chaos that can ensue, (including, the painful temporary storage of most of my studio). I have already finished the first draft of my new project.
I know that there are a myriad of help centers. I have visited many places in my life, but it seems that many children are suffering as much as their abused parents. I also believe that teaching parents how to survive is my one of my attributes. I have written and have now begun to finish my cookbook. I have incorporated recipes that are fun for children and adults...the theme of the cookbook includes one of my popular surreal themes; synonymous with my art and name.
The book is filled with healthy meals that provide parents,singles and children to work and be creative with food. The book is packed with ideas and ways to survive within a budget. I have been working on this project for quite some time. The sad demise of rising food prices have also initiated me to finish this project. There are ways to by pass high food costs and provide creative nutrition.. I have also included practical and fun ideas, and a way to choose meals with different time constraints. I hope to eliminate the fear of "trying new meals"..
They are cost effective, low fat and healthy. There are creative and fun ways to get out of the "fast food" track.
I have based this book on my Mediterranean diet background. I started my love of cooking healthy meals from my Italian Grandmother and Father, Frank Mastini.
I will be donating a percentage of proceeds to fund programs that will reinforce the self esteem of many, and give them hope, I have gone to some area schools to donate my time to teach kids how to help and heave fun in the kitchen.
It has been a long month. Another health scare, but it turned out fine. I know that we all have guardian angels.
The wigs I have donated have made a huge difference for the delighted breast cancer survivors, the feedback was wonderful... (See previous blog).. I am also developing a plan with my radiologist at the hospital, to initiate a fund to provide wigs, and attractive scarves to women that are bravely enduring chemotherapy. A little goes a long way. Now that the cold weather has set in, I have been busy making hats and scarves...we can all use those now!
I want to thank Madame Arcati once again for her thoughts and ideas she has addressed personally to me, which I have respectfully appreciated.

I am not out to conquer the world. I realize to succeed, I must do it in baby steps, and ignore the negative people and comments to protect MY health.
My passion is what keeps me going.
I will miss the beach. And the sand between my toes.
I know that this move is a positive step for me to put the past behind and the future lies ahead. I might not be a mountain but I can remove the roadblocks with hope and determination. Keep smiling. Ciao. steph

"A smile from steph to you.."
Thank you so much for your note on "Forgotten Ones Fund" Madame Arcati...
Today I am donating a wig to a lady that has breast cancer..I was in the
pharmacy the other day and noticed a woman very anxious and weary with an
obvious worn out looking "chemo" scarf that had seen better days...her clothing
likened that observation.
She was asking the gal at the cosmetics counter if she might know where she
could get someone to style and cut a wig, but she didn't have any money to get it professionally styled. Someone had given it to her and it
was out of style, and very old. She had sadness and pain in her eyes..I asked
her if she would like one of mine. And she was so grateful that I felt her happiness and surprise.
Last year after seeing my surgeon and told that I didn't require chemo, only
radiation, I passed a wig shop on my jubilant ride home and found my car
steering me into the wig shop that we were coming up to on the corner..Every
time I passed by on my to my surgeon's office, I held my breath...I went
in and started looking around; the gal asked me what I was hoping to find for
myself. I told her the story and she and the other stylists all started to
talk and it was a "girls" moment..I had a ball trying several on, becoming all
my favorite movie stars. I loved the blonde Lana Turner look. The experience was not only fun, but made me count my blessings... I went home, put on the long blonde wig and wore it to Starbucks, where I am a regular customer. The crew had a good laugh and did not recognize me! I put it on my antique mannequin when I returned home
and waited for the right moment. Here it was. She said she loved my hair
and I told her I had one that was very similar to my haircut and also a long
blonde one. She opted for the shorter "steph" look...We both beamed as she
scratched her name on a torn piece of paper from her purse with her name and
number on it..I am giving it to her today...
I wanted to share an uplifting story..just one person CAN bring so much joy to
a person and all it requires is will come to you ..I promise..


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