Introducing myself and my journal: Flowers and Worlds
I've always been interested in women's issues and haven't often had people, not even other women,to talk to about these issues. So I was delighted when I met Carol Larsen (Jensine's mother) at the Madison, WI, USA, Farmers Market early this summer, and she told me what her daughter was doing; that you had created this organization, World Pulse!
Global Issues through the Eyes of Women. Yes. I have felt that I was a global citizen for many years now. I have felt that my community was the world. But no opportunity for two-way conversation; at least not an opportunity that fit easily into my life. So I really look forward to being part of the World Pulse Network.
I am a mother, grandmother, and happily married woman of 63 years who lived in Mt Horeb,WI for 30 years but moved to Sun Prairie, WI (about 35 miles away) 2 years ago. (We moved to Sun Prairie to be nearer my husband's work and also to both sets of parents.) It was in Mt Horeb where I first met Carol and where my daughter Rebecca Shalom was in the same high school class as Jensine. Our Rebecca is married and has 2 children, Abraham James and Zinnia Cozette. Her wonderful husband, Joel who is tall dark and handsome, is very nice and kind and smart. Our son, Benjamin Micheal (Ben), is 5 years younger than Rebecca. Both Ben and Rebecca and family live in Madison, WI. Jim and I are lucky to have family so very close. Benjamin is a store leader (manager) for Whole Foods Market in Madison. He's a great Uncle and a great Cook who learned all about wine, cheeses and beers for his years in those departments at Whole Foods before he was a manager.
I have a job I enjoy very much. I work for a non-profit agency, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Wisconsin. It is part of a national organization and of course, there are 49 other state affiliate organizations. My job is and isn't new to me. Actually,I volunteered at this job since 1997. I am Program Director of Family to Family Education Program and Basics Education Program for NAMI WI. These are both programs where trained family members teach family members from the public whose relatives have mental illness about mental illness. I've been been a paid Program DIrector for 2 years and love every minute of it. I oversee the training, continuing education, and corrrespondence with 125 teachers all across the state of Wisconsin. Most of them I know personally. It is very rewarding work as I train new teachers how to teach Basics or Family to Family they become empowered by their new knowledge of mental illness and experience less stigma and more understanding of their relative with mental illness. The relative with mental illness also reports being more understood and accepted and helped. Both courses are free. Family to Family is in every state in the US. Basics is in 30 states to date (it is a newer program).
Along the lines of interests and hobbies, I very much like to cook, especially to prepare foods and meals "from scratch", to hike, to canoe, to sing and to read. Something really very special for me is that I am in the process of making a CD of childrens songs for my grandchildren and grandnieces and nephews. Currently I am practicing the songs that I will record with my accompianist, a very good pianist by the name of Daniel. And I am still selecting a few songs. (There are so many good ones that I have to be careful and choose those that best fit my need and my capabilities.) I am an alto. I sing in the church choir. This time of year we are very busy as we are learning music for regular Sunday services, Thanksgiving, and Advent and Christmas services. I enjoy the singing and the friends at choir and the meaning of the holidays that the music and the services brings. It is getting late in the evening and I must close for today. Thank you for reading and listening and hearing. Peace and Love, Gail Louise