celebrex for dogs


Happy Easter.




It Takes A Village.


When the Birmingham Covington Middle schooler’s reached out for me to help illustrate and produce their video to help raise funds for a tractor and water pump in a remote village in Zambia – I had to say yes!  Funds were raised for not one – but two tractors! These students are truly inspiring, click the link to see….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx3P4Ll9mK4 

Share some love.

Touch A Heart


Hello friends, let’s show Melody we care and send her cards of hope on her healing journey.

Here’s Melody’s story :

Can you send my step-mom a get-well card/letter?

In December 2012, at the age of 40, my step-mom (Melody) was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy, she was in remission. In November 2013, doctors found two new spots of cancer and she began radiation. 2 weeks ago, the doctors told us her cancer has spread with new spots on the liver and small intestine. She has begun chemotherapy again and we are taking things one day at a time.

Since Thanksgiving, I have been collecting get-well cards for her. Melody loves greeting cards! It has been very powerful knowing that many people all over the country (and world!) are praying and thinking of her! She opens a few each day and I cannot put into words how much the cards allow her to “forget” her pain for those few moments and just smile.

Will you also send Melody a card?

Any cards can be mailed to:
Melody R
PO Box 697
Portage, MI 49081

If you want to follow Melody’s journey or view some of the cards she has already received:https://www.facebook.com/Melodyscarddrive

Feel free to share her page and/or share this message so that the drive can continue!





Pay It Forward.

It doesn’t need to be much. Just hold open a door for another. Smile at or acknowledge a stranger. It’s easy to push along someone else’s shopping cart with yours back to the corral. Or, take a moment to give call just to say hello. It’s not hard at all, these random acts of kindness, eh?

And, the next time someone picks up the pen that rolled off your desk, or pays a you a compliment, go ahead – happily accept it and pay it forward. Small gestures really do make a big difference.

Counting Blessings

Sometimes after tragedy strikes it reminds us of what we have and what truly matters.

Green Up Your Gown.

When I dropped my wedding gown for donation at The Brides Project, it was bittersweet. That, and thinking – wow, I really fit into that dress? But that’s another story.

I DO(nate)

Walking into the cozy shop, you’ll be taken in by beautiful wedding gowns that hang on hand painted hangars with mission statements with like:

I will help children cope with cancer

I will build community

I will promote healthy lifestyles

I will improve quality of life

I will strengthen families

Knowing that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these dresses donated from around the country goes to Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor (and surrounding communities) which helps people with cancer or families that are touched by it, you’ll be taken in even more. And BTW, who hasn’t been touched with someone with cancer?

If that doesn’t pull at your heartstrings and you’re all about the bargain, where else can you find a Vera Wang couture gown for 1/2 off?

At any given time the shop is host to around 400 dresses. You can even find brand new ones tucked into the rows and rows of silk and taffeta which have been donated by bridal salons clearing out last season’s inventory. Again, all of which are available at 1/2 off.

Already have a dress? Some gowns become flower bouquets, headbands, ring-bearer pillows or flower girl dresses. See what can be created at BeautifulAgainBridal

The Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor is all about living with cancer. It offers support groups, education, workshops, nutrition, and a special place for kids, too. Barb Hiltz, Executive Director “wants to make it a good experience for friends & family.” Hiltz goes on to say “It offers hope. It’s a home away from home.” A place where people can meet in the living room or belly up to the kitchen counter and bond over meals.

The Brides Project is completely run by volunteers, even the storefront is donated. When you donate your tax deductible dress, be sure to include a special note written for the new bride.

Don’t have a dress to donate? There are other ways to help. Your time and talents are welcomed. Things you may have around the house, like hangers, rugs, shelves and storage are items for the showroom are needed, too.

Who knew that one dress could do so much. For an appointment or to donate, get in touch with the Center and see your gown dance another day.

Info on donating:  http://www.thebridesproject.org/donate

Info on purchasing a gown: http://www.thebridesproject.org/buy/make-an-appointment/

Volunteer info: http://www.thebridesproject.org/support/volunteer.

See more of what “Just Bea” and gang have got going on at www.facebook.com JustBeaCartoon

The Fortitude of Fruitcake

Fruitcake. It’s one of those things. Either you love it or hate it. No in-between as far as I can tell. Me? I’d rather up-cycle that brick of fruit.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving.

Don’t have a fruitcake on hand to re-gift and are in a pinch for a last minute present? No worries, there’s still time to get that special someone something without without having to battle shoppers at the mall. Perhaps a membership to a favorite Museum or a Zoo for year long enjoyment?

Maybe a membership to a local harvest in which fresh food and goodies are enjoyed throughout the year http://www.localharvest.org.

Or, how about help wash down that fruitcake with a Monthly Wine Club Subscription http://www.theorganicwinecompany.com/owc/pages/shop_wineclub.shtml. Then just pop a note in a card telling the giftee what awesome gift they can look forward to. Done and done.

So, cheers everyone, and have yourselves a very merry Christmas!

See more of what “Just Bea” and gang have got going on at www.facebook.com/JustBeaCartoon and www.justbeacartoon.com

Zombie Apocalypse

Speck’s guest caption by Lisa Revard via Pure Michigan/Facebook.

Zombies. Pale faces. Blood. Ghostly eyes. Screaming. Running. More blood. My significant other loves the “Walking Dead”, but a bit much too much gore for me.

Zombies bite.

But, if you’ve got Zombie in your blood, all ages are welcome to participate in attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Zombies. Guinness requires certain attire – pale faces, darker eyes and some sort of red coloring.  The record to beat is held by a gathering in New Jersey with 4,093 zombies. So, get your Zombie on!

Part of the mission of this free event is to feed the hungry.  Osha Kelley, master Zombie and creator of the festival, is also collecting food for Loaves and Fishes and hopes to fill 2 crates with non-perishables. Kelly says for the food drive “think of what they would eat for a last meal during a Zombie apocalypse.” Or just bring the kidney beans that have been tucked away in the back of your pantry.  Kidney beans. Brains. I don’t think Zombies are that particular these days.

Want to know what type of blood runs in your veins? Stop in at the Red Cross Zombie station and find out. And oh! Be sure to get your zombie photo taken, too.

C ‘mon Zombie lovers, get yourself to the Zombie Festival in Kalamazoo this Saturday, October 20th and break a record and help feed the hungry. The living that is – not the Zombies!

Find out more at
http://www.zombierecord.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ZombieFestival?fref=ts

See more of what “Just Bea” and gang have got going on at

Birgit’s “See and Sign” at Barnes & Noble

Wow. “Just Bea” made it into a pretty cool book that really makes a difference.

100 artists pay tribute to creator of “Cul de Sac” Richard Thompson, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, by creating original comic and illustrative art to help raise awareness of the disease. I am honored that my cartoon, “Just Bea” is included in this book and it is placed on the pages next to the likes of Cul de Sac, Calvin and Hobbes, Beetle Bailey, Garfield, Fox Trot, Momma, Rhymes With Orange, Cathy, Hi and Lois.

I’m extending a personal invitation to join me at a book-signing at Barnes & Noble in Royal Oak Thursday July 12 from 6:30 -8:30. I’ll be signing “Cartoonist’s Draw the Line at Parkinson’s – Team Cul de Sac” and will say a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to kick it off.

“Richard Thompson is lucky to have a friend like Chris Sparks. With this amazing collection, Chris is raising significant dollars and awareness for Parkinson’s —while proving comedy can help speed a cure. We’re grateful to have both Chris and Richard on our team.”
– Michael J. Fox

“Team Cul De Sac is a coffee-table book first and foremost, filled with terrific art, but it’s also a tribute to Thompson from his many admirers, who have noticed how in just a few short years, Cul De Sac has already become a classic, with a universe rich enough that 100 different artists can approach it and find something uniquely wonderful to highlight.”
– Graphic novels & art-comics—June 2012

Publisher Andrews McMeel will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

If you’d like to donate and help The Michael J. Fox Foundation find a cure, a donation box will also be on hand. Checks can be made out to The Michael J Fox Foundation.


If you are within shoutin’ distance come on by, I can’t wait to see you!

Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s

Sitting at the picnic table as a kid during summer vacations as my mom taught me to draw, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that my art be published along with many renowned cartoonists and artists. Nor would I have imagined that my mother end up with Parkinson’s disease.

When a friend of mine sent me a link to a call for entries for cartoonists across the country to submit art to raise awareness for Parkinson’s research, I thought to myself “how cool.” Cartoonists and artists were asked to donate original artwork that included characters from the “Cul de Sac” cartoon. You see, Richard Thompson (creator of the cartoon) has Parkinson’s and his friend Chris Sparks came up with the idea to raise funds as tribute. Boy, what an idea it turned out to be.

So, I sat down to create a cartoon, but was blocked. Totally. What did I really know about the disease? How to incorporate the concept and other characters into my cartoon? Not until I saw Mort Walker’s “Beetle Bailey” submission did it finally click. I was inspired. And I got to work.

When drawing my cartoon, I kept my mother in mind all the while. Parkinson’s. It starts out with hardly a notice. With something like the gradual loss of smell. Slowing down of motor skills. Noticing that things aren’t quite right. As time went on, and after spending much time in the doctor’s offices, it turns out that my mom did indeed have Parkinson’s.

Since she doesn’t drive anymore (neither does my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s) my sister and I are trying to do the best we can to keep them comfy in their own home. You know. Take them to doctor’s appointments, hair cuts, the grocery, or get their terrier out from under the sofa. Always needing to help make decisions and be re-assuring. And most importantly, fix that remote just one more time.

Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge, but it works out nicely that I get to live behind the house I grew up in where my parents still live. The biggest benefit is the comfort of just being there for them and being able to help out with day to day activities and household chores. It also gives my mom a sense of peace having me near by “just in case.” Besides, borrowing a cup of sugar is always convenient.

After turning in my “Just Bea” Cartoon submission I had no idea that I would be included in a publication with so many of the “who’s who” in the cartooning world. Inside you’ll find amazing illustrations and cartoons from the likes of Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury), Bill Amend (Fox Trot), R. Skoryak (comic book artist), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Sergio Aragones (cartoonist/writer), Jim Borgman (Puliter prize winning cartoonist), and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes)! And then there’s me. I’m absolutely humbled and honored.

You can purchase “Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012. edited by Chris Sparks) at local booksellers or online.

A portion of the proceeds of the book go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

And, from now until June 10

you can bid on original art by your favorite cartoonists!

100% of those proceeds go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

And here’s a link to the auction


…or you can bid on mine


Or if you’d just like to donate


See more “Just Bea” cartoons at www.facebook.com/JustBeaCartoon and www.justbeacartoon.com

The Bees Are All A’buzz – thanks Lynne Bartley!

Thanks for your donation towards the “Help Save the Honeybees” book and animated cartoons!


The Honeybees thank you Michael Wettlaufer!

Thanks for being the first seeder to Just Bea’s “Save the Honeybees” project!


The Magical Fruit

I don’t know if beans will help the reindeer fly any more efficiently but do know we could send our canned goods where they will make a difference.

The magical fruit.

It doesn’t take much. Whether it be an anonymous basket to a neighbor or hosting a family with your church or synagogue, I’m sure these days many families would gladly accept a little help.

Or, maybe there’s a food bank near you that would love some boxes of macaroni and cheese. Not sure where to find a local food bank? Just click here and you’ll have a bunch to choose from: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

Check this out – Kraft Foods is doing this cool thing to help fight hunger. By playing the “2-Minute Trivia Drill” on https://www.facebook.com/KraftFightHunger, you’ve got the opportunity to donate meals to families in America. Kraft’s previous “Hunger Bowl Game” provided nearly 21 million meals by people like you. The goal for the current game 25 million meals!

So, however you choose to give, maybe the magic isn’t in the beans but rather in our hearts this holiday season.