Friday, April 14, 2017

 If you plan on filing a tax extension (yes, me too), but haven't done your Arizona tax Credit contribution yet, you have until April 18 for that also! Not sure how much to give? It's dollar for dollar...give to the State or give to a qualifying organization, so use last year AZ Amount Due to estimate how much to give. Don't worry about giving too much - it will carry over to next year if you are "too generous"! Though understand each has it's own MAX donation...and of course in each year you can't TAKE (give :) ) more credits than you OWE.

There are several kinds of Credits you can take, according to where your heart and passion lies. Then within each category there are LOTS of qualifying options. Each one has a page to use to donate for the credit. 

Not sure who to give to? The Arizona Department of Revenue provides an updated list of qualifying foster care organizations that are eligible for each type of credit.  
 About Christian Family Care
4) Additional “PLUS” Private School Credit (allowing donors to receive credit for contributions over and above the original private school tax credit),
5) Arizona Charitable (Working Poor Tax Credit) (,
6) The Arizona Military Family Relief Fund Credit (
The list too big and want a suggestion? 
Submission page for Christian Family Care:  
The maximums for the Foster Care Charitable Organization, Contribution amounts eligible for credit: $500 for single filers/ $1,000 for joint filers.

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Time to make your 2016 Charitable Tax Credit Donation even if you are filing an Extension

Taxes and Charitable Donations DO mix, especially in Arizona. Your "regular" charitable donation can be used as a deduction for 2017 or can carryever for 5 years. And your donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO) and Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations (QCFO). You can even give right on up to April tax day for the previous year! Which means YOU CHOOSE WHERE YOUR TAX DEBT GOES - to the State Government or to the Charity of your choice (for Tax Credit They must already be qualified. - find the links to Credits lists here!:
AZ Tax FORMS 301 and 321 (among many others) are here:

In the next few days you will hear a lot about Arizona GIVES Day and giving through their site. Pros: MUCH more is raised this way, and yes, giving to charities helps the AZ economy. Charities can win part of a bigger pot there to add to their direct donations. Cons: 6.9% of your donation is taken in fees. This is my own bias....write a check,to the organization directly (but better do it quick), then 100% goes to the charity instead of the credit card company and the fundraiser. Even in my everyday giving, I"ve started writing checks. A bit inconvenient but all my donation goes to where I intend it.

Not sure where to give? Here are a few of my suggestions.


1) MOMA'S HOUSE is a domestic violence shelter and also takes in women rescued from sex trafficking. I have huge respect and admiration for a woman who changed her entire life because she was called by God to do this. Here is how to give as a tax credit, but you can give "
2) 100Pedals: 100Pedals provides parents and other family members with educational resources and coaching programs to navigate their life through addiction's chaos.

3) Arizona Consortium for the Arts Charity an all-volunteer community organization. Please help us continue to provide programs, events and festivals Free to the community. Click here to donate


1) Christian Family Care Agency: Christian Family Care serves Children and Families through Foster Care, Child and Family Counseling, Pregnancy Counseling, and Adoption.

2) Phoenix Rescue Mission: The Phoenix Rescue Mission is committed to transforming lives of the homeless and hungry. Our core values: • Christ-centered: We believe that we first exist to glorify God and advance His kingdom; through grace we receive and grace we share.• Servant-Leadership: We highly value and intentionally serve each other, our clients, and our ministry partners, leading by following Christ’s example. • Transformation: We invest in the spiritual, personal, and professional development of one another; restoring and equipping each other for intentional living.

3) St. Vincent de Paul: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve. The Phoenix Diocesan Council has been assisting central and northern Arizona families since 1946. Programs include services for the homeless, medical and dental care for the working poor, charity dining rooms, thrift stores, a transitional housing shelter and general assistance for individuals in need.
THERE ARE SOOO MANY more choices: Get the PDF lists here.

We have that we may give! May this Blessing be so in your life: " Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

Be blessed My Purposeful People!
Heather Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#AZGiveDay #ArizonaGiveDay #ArizonaTaxCredit #CharitableDeductions #CharitableGiving #donate #give #blessedtobeablessing

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pandora, General Mills and Help Feed America

5 meals donated per code entered, 10 codes per day.Same code works repeatedly. "3003M4X" 
When you put in your zip code, it goes to a local Food Bank! (For me, St. Mary's Food Bank)

General Mills has already given $500,000 and giving $200,000 more. Let's make sure the goal is reached!
Share with your friends and make it go LOCAL!
Oh yeah, and some Pandora perks for you too!

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
 Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#helpfeedamerica #meals #donate #generalmills #localfoodbank #stmarysfoodbank #outnumberhunger #givefood #pandora

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Aero Garden - First Cuttings!

Growing my own organic salads.

Yes, me, who kills all things not succulent (read - lives through droughts)! The AeroGarden is hydroponic, fast growing, and delish! Get the LED version for sure (light lasts 5 years vs the 6 months of CFL bulb.

All different sizes, lots of seed options (lettuce, herbs, flowers, peppers).

Here is a larger one than pictured on sale. Look for others from there:

Be HEALTHY and Blessed My Purposeful People! Heather

Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: and
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#salad #organic #lettuce #aerogarden #hydroponics #delicious #growyourown #homegrown #healthy #healthfood

Great wedding season gift

With wedding season soon to arrive, I thought this would be a pretty gift from the groom or mother, mother-in-law, or for the bridesmaids.
It's definitely different!

Pure White - Triple Wrap - Women´s Watch

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather  Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:  Art by Heather J. Kirk and  Literature by Heather J. Kirk

#wedding #gift #weddinggift #spring #season #pretty #watch #bride #bridesmaid #bridesmaidgift #unique

Be blessed My Purposeful People! Heather Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: Art by Heather J. Kirk and Literature by Heather J. Kirk

Monday, November 7, 2016

Why even bother to vote? Because...

I seriously considered leaving some of the elections positions blank on my ballot - thinking that I didn't want to be held accountable for choosing either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as our next president.

But beyond being a cop-out, I remembered that an Election Volunteer in Florida was caught filling in her own choice when opening early ballots with no vote. I realized I HAD to choose.

There is not a way to avoid responsibility for voting, because NOT CHOOSING was literally allowing some random person to choose for me instead - whether it is an unethical elections volunteer or someone else who voted when I did not.

I remembered living in Mexico and having as a hostess someone who counted ballots during their elections. Mexico requires citizens to vote, at least they did then in order to get certain privileges. But they also allowed for write in candidates - or people did it anyway. "For decades," she explained "Su mama came in first place, Mickey Mouse came in second place, then the incumbent party's candidate came in third. but the first two were never announced." I suddenly understand!

I am not suggesting you vote for a Disney character or someone's mother, but I am suggesting there are other choices...though a third party candidate or a write-in likely is a throw away vote.

So I will choose based not on the person on the presidential line of the ballot, or even for the political party, but for who I would like to be nominating the next three Supreme Court Judges, and therefore likely affecting our country's future not for four years, but for decades.

"All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD." Proverbs 16:2

Why do I place this verse on this blog post? Because making good choices are NOT always easy. And not choosing IS choosing. So in every difficult situation, pray, seek what is right, and be accountable to no one but God. That, indeed, may even be harder than knowing who to vote for in this election, but we are held to a higher standard and a higher power than the President of the United States...One who is not limited in how He is able to acts...not even by the winner of an election. 

Be Blessed My Purposeful People, Heather J. Kirk
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection: Art by Heather J. Kirk and Literature by Heather J. Kirk

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#vote #election #thedonald #trump #hillary #clinton #volunteer #ethics #mickeymouse #God #pray #supremecourt #president

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How sex plays a role in this election (and probably not what you were thinking)

Part  II of my little "We DO get what we want" election series.
How sex plays a role in this election
(and probably not what you were thinking)

If  you read yesterday's post, you know what I think of the choices we have made as our party representatives for President, so I will just start with ... And finally (well not finally, but I've had enough) ...

Why are we surprised that there are some powerful men (including a presidential candidate and a candidate's husband)?:
1. Have a history of (or history of accusations of) objectifying women;
2. Would try to avoid talking about it; and
3. Have women in their lives who stand by them.

We are also oddly surprised that some women who have been objectified or used sexually:
1. Would not come forward right away;
2. Would only do so years later and in the safety of numbers;
3. Had even possibly hoped to get something out of it - whether defensively, like keeping their jobs, or actively in hopes of getting ahead.

Neither of these should be a surprise when our culture is shockingly full of women competing and begging for male attention, or attempting to get ahead in life using their sexuality - I mean that's what advertisements and pop culture (music videos, concerts, movies, TV, news stories)  try to teach us in necessary, isn't it?

Of course in real life many women (even most, go figure) actually get ahead by being smart, talented and educated, having connections, friends and determination. But at the same time, perhaps because of wanting a dream at all costs, or the economy making it hard to get a job, or single motherhood and costs of childcare, or inequitable pay for equal work, or pressure by a boss to give in or keep quiet, and many other reasons...some women may feel they need to do whatever it takes to get or keep a job.

Many women know that it means pretending not to notice a brush of a hand against a body part, or competing with coworkers for the bosses attention in ways that may put other women down.

And then whether they fit that stereotype or not - women who are groped or assaulted or even have sex because they feel it is required, or at least very helpful, to keep their jobs, fail to come forward for fear of being blamed or not being believed.

So again I say this is, at least in part, our own fault.

We apparently think it is okay to have Victoria Secret's fashion shows on TV, with commercials running during prime time family programs. We let our girls wear short shorts because they insist their friends are. We take or send them to concerts with women wearing hardly anything, or men simulating sex on stage. We tell our adult friends to suck it up at work or dress hotter or go ahead and have that affair with the boss - it will be worth it. And so on...

We say boys will be boys. Men don't call their friend's on their behavior because they don't want to be seen as wooses or 'homos" or disloyal to the "male race". We say our athletes, movie starts or musicians wouldn't "need" to pay or force women to have sex. We shut our eyes when we see women who are repeatedly 'walk into doorknobs". And so on... 

Why then are we surprised that we are all messed up sexually as a nation.

Oh, some of you think I've gone too far now... And why? Because I've stopped talking about the candidates and slipped into what we accept as acceptable...or do nothing about. Because I am saying that we explain away too often others behaviors by saying 'to each his own'.

So, if you want to get back to the candidates, fine. One is a wealthy powerful man who many women have come forward to say they were treated like a piece of meat or sexually assaulted. One's husband, as President of the United States, used his power and position to manipulate at least one young female intern, and paid off several lawsuits to keep other women quiet. And this candidate did not appear to hold him accountable. Or her own ambition was great enough to stick with him anyway.

So in my opinion, the lesser of two evils is a terrible way to choose, but at least one has not already played a role in defiling the Oval Room.

What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.- John Piper, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary

Blessings to My Purposeful People, Heather J. Kirk

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Literature by Heather J. Kirk

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#election #responsibility #vote# women #sexualassault #victim #popularculture #hillary #bill #clinton #thedonald #trump #equalpay #sexuality, 

Friday, November 4, 2016

If our nation has chosen what we admire then the only answer is to humble ourselves

If it's true that a nation can suffer the consequences for the things that we as a whole have done, we are getting what we deserve. Too many people I know feel they have not even "the lesser of two evils" as a choice for President, but no choice. And to be honest in other political positions as well. But WE DID CHOOSE, and we chose these. (Some may say they voted for someone else in the primary... then divided we fall.)

Let me say also that it is not just in the Presidential race that we have a lack of great choices, but it seems to be exaggerated there. We need to ask ourselves overall what have our votes (or the choice to not vote) brought us?

How true is this? "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked person rules, people groan"Proverbs 29:2

In our Presidential candidates we chose pridefulness. We chose those who have had both great success and great failure (though the truth is a willingness to take chances and fail often comes along with anyone who has achieved much - still a President is not the place to be taking too many chances.) We chose people with lack of facial control - and negotiations and leading a nation requires that every thought that passes through one's mind does not show up in a laugh or a smirk. We have people who shirk responsibility. We have people whose staff or supporters keep getting in trouble, being fired, or leaving of their own accord.And when I just did a spellcheck on the word pridefullness because of a red line under it, the option it gave me was 'spitefulness,' and yes, we chose that too.

And if you disagree that you chose these qualities or people, then...if we have not gotten what we have chosen, then we have gotten what we have allowed.

IF you are still saying that YOU did not choose this, others did, then oddly you are part of the problem. The solution takes accepting the situation as it is and problem solving, deciding what to do about it, what to do differently now and next time. And we can only change what we feel we have some power over!

It is not just at the voter's booth ALONE that we are responsible. We must take the blame for our own actions, and yes, also for our nation's action as a very large group of individuals.  It is made up of a lot of "ME's". What have my (our) actions created in our families, in our communities? What have my (our) actions allowed to go on around us? Are we guilty of pride, deceitfulness, greed, putting our own needs above others needs, disrespecting others with our word and the looks we give, the way we roll our eyes. We often are very lenient on others guilty of the same sins as our own. And then we get what we our own lives, and in our nation.

And if all else fails, we need to pray! As I write that I think that perhaps therein lies the problem - at least mine - we wait to pray until all else fails, and we have created a complete mess. 

So is there any hope? 

Only by humbling ourselves. Only by turning form the things we already know in our hearts are wrong, With humility and asking forgiveness we can obtain from God a goodness and mercy that we do not deserve but receive anyway out of love.

So late in the game, all we can count on is a MIRACLE - and I say that in full sincerity.  Maybe the miracle will be that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton win the Presidency, but that, of course, is not likely. Yet the concept of miracles does not imply 'likelihood', it implies 'impossible without supernatural intervention'. But still, the miracle we may have to count on is to be surprised that God is able to work in our nation for our individual and national good through, or in spite of, whoever WE (yes we) vote in as 45th President of the United States.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14 

Who are "my people"? The verse implies God's people. but we are 'one nation under God" who have received favor for a long time. A perfect country? of course not, we are made up of people...but a humble nation chooses, and deserves, better than a prideful people!

Be Blessed My Purposeful People, Heather J. Kirk
Wearable Art - Heather J Kirk's VIDA Collection:
Art by Heather J. Kirk and
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ironic Interventions in Exhaustion and Depression

Last night I wrote on Facebook an absolutely true situation that happens to me: "The best way to keep from falling asleep is to give up trying and go get ready for bed. Then...WIDE awake!"

It happens to me all the time. It could be that it takes me awhile and I am simply moving around. It may also be that I am acknowledging what my body is telling me. If there is something I absolutly have to get done, Ill take care of it and then get to bed. Otherwise, in spite of the temporary spurt of energy, go ahead to bed, especially if you know you really need it!

But if it is day time, and you have got to get yourself moving, a super easy thing to do is to drink a a tall glass of cold water straight down. (I takes keeping chilled water in the fridge, no ice, so you can down it.) I think quite often tiredness has to do with dehydration. The hardest part is to just remember this helps!

Other things that help with extreme fatigue, if I can make myself do them are taking a short walk and turning on some music that I normally love to dance to. Often just putting on Salsa music makes me actually get up and move around. Must be something to the idea of "getting the blood pumping."

These simply things often help also with depression. We here all the time about the mind-body connection, which makes me fee like I have to change my entire lifestyle,overwhelming when dealing with depression. But these few little tools can help in the short term.

In addition, specifically for depression, I notice at times that my visual focus has limited. Most obvious when driving, I may be looking straight ahead and not observing things all around me. Literal tunnel vision. By intentionally looking all around, it opens up not only the vision, but seems too loosen the hold of being overly internally focused that accompanies depression.

Try one of these. Let me know if they help. And share your quick and easy tools as well!

Heather J. Kirk
Art by Heather J. Kirk
Literature by Heather J. Kirk

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#depression #fatigue #exhaustion #rest #work #walk #water #dehydration #mentalhealth #physical #health