More Photos to Share! from your International Editor

What a wonderful input from all of you!  I asked for pictures and wow, did I get them.   I couldn’t even fit all of them into the December issue of BUDDIE.  We have a jammed pack issue coming out soon and hopefully you will enjoy!  I hope this continues, and by being able to share them in the Blog we still get to see what our sisters are up to! 

Phi Province ladies came together on a lovely day in September in the seaside village of Mystic, Connecticut.  Thirty-three sorority sisters travelled from as far away as Marblehead, Mass (about 3 hours away) and New York City (about 2 ½ hours away) just to spend some quality time with their sisters.  The ladies gathered at a waterfront restaurant.  The theme was “Hats off to Fall” as the round table served as a motivational gathering as our seven chapters participate in a hat drive for the Virginia based charity: Ellies Hats.  According to its website, Ellies Hats donates hats to children battling cancer.


Center Pieces

Liz Cochrane in her Special Hat!


On Saturday October 14th the ladies of Xi Omega went out to support Avon 39. EVERY TWO MINUTES SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES IS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER. AVON 39 brings together women and men from around the country who are passionate about making a difference in their communities, and unites them under one goal – ending breast cancer. Over two days, AVON 39ers walk 39.3 miles. Each walker also fundraises a minimum of $1,800 which is funneled by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to local and national organizations that help women and men, regardless of their ability to pay, get the breast cancer health care they need. These programs provide everything from language, food and transportation assistance, to financial help, and rely on the funds raised by AVON 39ers to keep making an incredible impact around the country.

Omicron Province

The Omicron Province Birthday Party of 88 years was held, and a great time was had by all.  It was so nice to see some of the girls that we seldom get a chance to talk to.

Sharon Miranda, Pat Drexler, Sue Finn, Judy Palka, Shawn O’Hargan, Carol Zeiher, Paula Stange, and Kristen Wells

Phyllis Pritchard, Susan Selby, Navene Maragliano, Rosemary Evans, Kerrie Evans

Omicron Gamma, (Amherst) After much discussion, we have decided to focus our charitable work toward Carolyn’s House, the YWCAs transitional housing for homeless women and children in Niagara Falls.   We were impressed after touring the facility; and, after talking with the staff, we decided it would be a perfect fit.  We held a chicken barbeque in October to raise money for our treasury.

Below:  Pat Drexler out drumming up business for our BBQ fundraiser!


True Friends – Robin Pelton, International Vice President

I discovered this poem and wanted to share it with you. I think it describes my Sigma Phi Sisters perfectly. I hope you enjoy it! Love you all!

True friends are by your side through it all.
True friends are there to catch you when you fall.
True friends give your life a happy lift.
True friends are a most precious gift.

True friends will care about you forever.
True friends want to be with you on every endeavor.
True friends can make you laugh and cry.
True friends can be girls or guys.

True friends can get mad at each other.
True friends can be your sisters or brothers.
True friends will never truly leave you.
True friends will love you no matter what you do.

True friends really know you but love you anyway.
True friends are those who are always asking you if you’re okay.
True friends know that hate is a very strong word.
True friends don’t believe every story they’ve heard.

True friends will tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
True friends are always there with a hug and a listening ear.
True friends will tell you things that are true.
True friends will do anything they can to help you.

True friends love to spend time with you.
True friends love to tease you too.
True friends tease all in good fun.
True friends don’t care if you’ve lost or won.

I will love you forever, my friend.
I will stay by your side until the very end.
You’ll be in my heart, as I pray for you each day.
You are my truest friend in every way.


Just in the knick of time! Linda Bullington International Service Secretary

At Convention this summer, the International Officers were challenged to present SPG, to a group in our community within 90 days.

I decided to share SPG with the 11 ladies I play Bunco with. I handed out invitations the last time we were together. The invitation said, come for friendship & lunch. Three of them couldn’t make it because they had to work. One already is a member.

We started out sharing lunch- chicken salad on croissants, garden salad, chips & dip, conversation & laughter flowed freely.
After lunch we continued to chat & when there was a break in the conversation I said, “I invited you for lunch & I’m gonna teach you a card game but first I want to explain that I had an ulterior motive for inviting you here today.” I told them about the challenge. I started to share about SPG, explaining the 3 levels-Chapter, Province & International, what Service is, what Ways and Means is and a little about roundtable & conventions. I kept it brief.

I had invited some of them to social events before so those ladies had a bit of experience with SPG. Some ladies had only heard me talk about recent sorority things I’d done. They listened & asked a few questions. 1 question was does it cost? I told them how much LFHF & FP are, but I wasn’t sure how much per capita is…I meant to check & forgot, so I said, in my chapter we pay $75 a year total. I was afraid they wouldn’t like that but the consensus seemed that that wasn’t too much.

When I’d shared enough about SPG, I taught them dollar poker- each player gets 4 quarters, and is dealt 1 card, if you don’t like your card you can steal your neighbors’ card. Play progresses around the table till it returns to the dealer. The dealer flips their card up & low player pays for losing, by putting one of their quarters in the pot. The last person with a quarter wins the pot.

It’s easy to chat while playing this game so I’d think of something sorority related & share it with them or they’d ask a question & I’d answer it.

At the end of the card game the ladies got up to leave & in our good byes they all said how fun the day was, one of the ladies who was widowed a while back, said she’d like to learn more! I’m hoping to hear from more of them because, I mentioned starting a Chapter to them. Time will tell…

It was a fun way of sharing SPG, give it a try with your friends who aren’t members, the worst they can say is they’re not interested and that’ll be ok because you will have had a fun time together or, they might want to learn more & that would be great!

Challenge met! SPG shared! And just in the knick of time, cuz the 90 days was up today!

Stocking Your Pantry for Your Health – Rene Chenault

Stocking Your Elimination Diet Kitchen-Your Essential Grocery Shopping Guide
WHOLE GRAINS: Brown Rice (preferably organic and sprouted), White Jasmine Rice, Wild Rice, Quinoa, Amaranth.
GLUTEN FREE FLOURS: Blanched Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Brown Rice Flour (preferalbly organic and sprouted), Quinoa Flour, Amaranth Flour, Arrowroot Powder (from a gluten-free facility), Garbanzo Bean Flour (preferably organic and sprouted).
LEGUMES: Black Beans, Garbonzo Beans, Adzuki Beans, Mung Beans, White Beans, Lima Beans, Pinto and Pink Beans.
MEATS & FISH: Organic whole chickens, chicken breasts, and thighs, Organic bone-in turkey breasts, or thighs, ground turkey, Organic ground lamb, lamb chops, or stew meat, anchovies, Wild Salmon, Black Cod, Wild Scallops
FRUITS: Apples, Apricots (fresh or dried with no added preservatives), Bananas, Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), Medjool Dates (dried or fresh with no preservatives or additives), Cherries, Figs (fresh and dried), Grapes, Melons, Nectarines and peaches, Papayas (organic and GMO-free only), Plantains, Pineapples, Pears, Plums, Pomegranates.
VEGETABLES: Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocados, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Cilantro (Coriander), Collard Greens, Cucumber, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger root, Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke), Kale, Lettuce (all varieties EXCEPT Iceberg), Mizuna, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas (sugar snap, snow, frozen, and dried split), Pickles (homemade without peppers),Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, String Beans, Turnips, Winter Squash (all varities), Watercress, Yams, Zucchini.
SEA VEGETABLES: Nori, Kombu, Hijiki, Arame, Dulse,
SEEDS & BUTTERS: Raw Hemp Seeds, Raw Chia Seeds, Raw Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Sunflower Seeds, Raw Pumpkin Seed Butter.
HERBAL TEAS: Chamomile, Nettle, Mint, Rose, Tulsi (holy basil), Rooibos, Dandelion Root, Valerian, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Slippery Elm, Licorice, Astragalus, Burdock.
DRIED HERBS & SPICES: Whole Black Peppercorns, Whole Bay Leaves, Ground Cardamom, Ground Cumin and cumin seeds, Ground Coriander, Ground Cinnamon & whole sticks,Turmeric, Ground Ginger, Ground Nutmeg, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, Dried Dill.
OILS & VINEGARS: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Raw Organic Coconut Vinegar.
SWEETNERS: Coconut Sugar, Pure Maple Syrup, Raw Honey.
OTHER INGREDIENTS: Raw Organic Vanilla Powder, Raw Coconut Butter, Coconut Milk (canned, organic), Coconut Aminos, High-Quality Sea Salt, Heramare.

Extraordinary, Ordinary Women Cindy Stath, SPG Member, Past International President

All of my adult life certain historical women have been described as ‘extraordinary, visionary, and years ahead of her time.’ Among those women for me are Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Juliette Gordon Low, and our Life Founders, Phyllis, Ferne, Violet, Irene, and Edith.

When you think about it, these women were contemporaries. They all made their mark in the early to mid-1900s. I know that Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt met each other more than once. Amelia even gave Eleanor an airplane ride, much to the President Roosevelt’s chagrin!

So, if these inspiring women were doing fabulous things, having an impact on their communities and on their country and the world, why are they considered “extraordinary?” I submit that they were ordinary women who refused to be limited by the social practices of their time. They wanted to make a positive difference. I am certain none of them would have described themselves as “extraordinary.”

Imagine if our Life Founders had met Amelia, Eleanor, Helen, or Juliette? I believe that the Life Founders would have recruited them as SPG Sisters! Each of these women certainly exemplified ‘friendship, service, and community. Did you know that the plane that carried Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic the first time was named “Friendship!”

Look around you, what ordinary women do you know who are doing extraordinary things? Talk to them about Sigma Phi Gamma! These are our kind of women!

Extraordinary, Ordinary Women

Cindy Stath, SPG Member, Past International President

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving! Sandy Morris, International Editor

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving?

My friend and sorority sister Pat Wheeler shared this recipe with me recently and it got me thinking about Thanksgiving.  As our family has grown with a new Daughter-in-Law and her family plus a first baby on the way for our Son Brad.  And we now have our Daughter Beth and her family living back in Indiana, it seems our Holidays are continually changing and there is no more “usual” regarding Thanksgiving.  I think this is a good thing, I love that we are expanding and adding more loved ones to share the Holiday and be thankful together.

Sometimes I look for new and different recipes to try.  In the past I have added Apple Butter to my Pumpkin Pie, A-la Paula Dean.  It was REALLY good. So when Pat sent me this recipe, well, first I thought WOW! I am not sure I will try this but I am intrigued. If you do try it let me know how it turns out!

Fireball Whiskey Pumpkin Pie
• 2 Frozen Pie Crusts – 2 (9” each or make your own )
• Pure Pumpkin – 1 Can, 30 oz.
• Evaporated Milk – 1 ½ cans, 18 oz.
• 4 eggs
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 6 oz. Fireball Whiskey
For the crusts, follow the directions on the pie crust package. Preheat your oven to 400 F.  Remove crust from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for about 10 minutes.  Use a fork to pierce the bottom and sides of the crust which helps the crust to bake evenly.  Place the crusts on the center oven rack and bake for 10-15 minutes until it’s light golden brown.  Remove and allow the crust to cool completely prior to filling.
While the crusts are baking, prepare the filling.  Crack eggs and whisk until the whites and yolks are combined but not frothy. Combine sugar, salt, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and whiskey.  Stir until it is thoroughly mixed. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crusts.
Place the pies on the center rack of the oven at 425F. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temp to 350F and bake for another 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the comes out clean. Allow to cool for 1-2 hours prior to serving.

Tag Your It! Donna Collins, International Counselor

This summer at the International Convention in Grand Rapids we had so much fun. While presiding at one of the business meetings I asked ladies to raise their hands if they had not held Chapter or Province officer positions. Several women raised their hands – and these are the ladies who will be expected to volunteer in the coming year to help lead their Chapter and Province.

The next question was how many had held Province officer positions but had not yet run for International office. There were a lot of hands in the air: ladies with 50 year pins, ladies with 25 year membership cards, and ladies with decades of service in Province offices. LADIES this is your year to stand up and run for International office!


In Deb Juracich’s October International President’s letter there is a letter from your Nominating Committee (me, Dora Brown, and Diane Dalzell). Read it. Think about the officer positions on the International Council. You won’t likely start with Vice President or President so I urge you to think about Editor, Historian, Organizer, and Service Secretary. These are all jobs that are done at the Chapter level, and at least three of them at the Province level. You can do this. Which of these jobs speak to your heart – do you love writing, then think about Editor. What about keeping our history, updating databases, and making PDFs – Historian might be the job for you. If you love membership and recruitment – Organizer is made for you. There should be 100 women running for Service Secretary because we all love service!

So, if you want to know more about any of these offices just let me know. You can also call other ladies who have served, or are serving, on International Council to learn more about it all.

Remember, the International Bylaws and Council Regulations are also tools that can help you know about each office’s roles and responsibilities. As Sigma Phi Gamma members we all have an obligation to lead.

So, tag, you’re it … complete that Candidate Eligibility Form and send it to Deb Juracich by December 1. Why wait, send it to Deb now!

Fall is in the Air but Indian Summer Prevails! Linda Bullington, International Service Secretary

Fall is in the air! Temperatures in Washington are still hot during the day but the evenings are getting darker earlier and the temps are dropping to chilly. The leaves are starting to put on their show of color and fall, after the long hot summer, and school has started again! Moms everywhere seem to be loving the free time they have once the kids are off for the day.

Here in the Northwest, as well as other parts of the country, early fall is sometimes called Indian summer – it usually goes until the middle of October – days are more summery than fall but signs of fall are evident. However long your Indian summer season is, get outside and enjoy it! We’ll start having shorter daylight hours – more rain, snow, and cold which will cause us to be inside soon enough.

Fall is the start of a new sorority year for our members, Chapter meetings have started up again after taking a break for the summer, Province Roundtables are scheduled, Little Friends Health Fund and Founders’ Park donations are starting to arrive (minimum of $3 for LFHF and $1 for Founders’ Park per Active/Active life member are due by November 30), and social events are filling the calendar. To all I say, “Enjoy it all!” If you’re not a member yet – what are you waiting for! Give Sigma Phi Gamma a try! We’d love you to join us this Indian summer!

Eating for Your Health – Rene Chenault, International Organizer

In November of 2016 I was able to see an Integrative Specialist to help me with some health issues I had been experiencing. I want to share with you how this Integrative Specialist has helped give me my life back. After meeting with the specialist and giving her my history, she ordered blood tests. From these tests she could tell what areas I was deficient in and recommend my options with an eating plan to benefit my health.
I had known for a long time that I was close to becoming a diabetic and my answer to my doctor was “You have to die from something!” I even joked with him about being on an ice cream diet to which he said, “What kind of diet is that?” My reply was, “You eat every kind of ice cream you can get your hands on!” He sent me to diabetic classes, but I could never commit or get my head around what it took to follow the eating plan.
So the Integrative Specialist had me meet with her Nutritionist who counseled me with a plan that has been very successful for me. I meet with her every month or two so she can see what I can do to be more successful. I also meet with a nurse practitioner every three to four months so she can monitor updated test results to see if I need any vitamins. This plan has kept me from having to go on diabetic medication. It has brought my blood pressure levels down and I have lost weight and am feeling so much better. It is unbelievable how your weight will disappear so quickly when you follow the right eating plan. To be successful you must plan what you will eat each day and have those things on hand. If you work outside your home you will need to carry what you need to eat if you can’t get things you should eat at your workplace or a restaurant.
The food plan gives you specific guidelines to follow. Let me tell you it is wonderful! Sometimes I falter and have things I shouldn’t eat and I end up suffering with pain in my gut and intestinal tract. But I get right back on track and feel better in a day or two. The really big culprit for me is sugar and carbohydrates. I eat a SUPERFOOD PLATE every day. It is divided into 4 parts. It includes 40% vegetables (4 to 6 servings a day), 30% protein, 15% healthy fats, and 15% carbohydrates. You need to eat protein (1-2 ounces) within an hour of waking up to start your metabolism working, then have 1-2 ounces of protein as a snack mid-morning, your lunch (3-4 ounces protein), another snack mid-afternoon, dinner in the evening (4-6 ounces protein) preferably no later than 7 PM, and an evening snack at least 3 hours before bedtime. Drink plenty of water, cut out sugar, gluten, and dairy. If you are pre-diabetic or a diabetic avoid all sugar (only 20 grams per day), limit your carbohydrates to 45 grams per day.

Friendship Soup

Deb Juracich, International President

This time of year, as the weather turns cooler and the days shorter, I begin to think of baking and comfort food, always looking for new recipes to try. One of my family’s favorite soups on a cold, blustery day is Friendship Soup. I’m sharing a couple of things in this BUDDIE Blog Post – a recipe and a poem. Won’t you share your favorites with us to. Simply reply to this post so that Sisters can hear from you!


I’d like to be the kind of friend that you have been to me.
I’d like to be the special help that you’ve been glad to be.

A listening ear or a helpful hand; you know just what to do.
I have been truly blessed, for only God makes friends like you.

This gift I have to share with you, a recipe to make.
Within this jar is “Friendship Soup” ingredients layered to make.

I hope you enjoy these bites of love I have to share with you.
May God bless you abundantly for your friendship you give so true.

Could I but have one wish fulfilled, this is what it would be:
I’d like to be the kind of friend you’ve always been to me!

1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dried minced onion
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup macaroni
1 lb. ground beef
3 qts. water
1 (28-ozs.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown beef; drain. Add the water, tomatoes, and all ingredients except macaroni; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add reserved macaroni; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni, peas, lentils, and barley are tender.

Yield: 16 servings (4 quarts)