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I met the most amazing craftspeople when I was in Portland last week. Read my USA Today piece, 10 Portland makers who will make you say, “Please take my money!” and get all your holiday shopping done early!

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why i’m thankful for oprah

More people probably have reason to thank Oprah Winfrey than almost any other individual in the world. And the cars and “favorite things” she’s given away are really the least of it. The role model for girls – and women – everywhere, Oprah has proven that what’s best about having money and power is the ability to use them to make the world a better place. Here are just a few reasons I am thankful for Oprah:

1.She made reading cool, giving unlikely books like “Stones from the River” mass appeal.

2. She got U.S. Senate Bill 1738 – the PROTECT Our Children Act — passed by imploring viewers to contact their senators.

3. She inspired us to de-clutter our houses, clean up our finances and eat healthier.

4. She devoted countless shows to answering those embarrassing questions about our bodies that we didn’t even want to ask our own doctors.

5. She introduced us to Senator Barack Obama years ago, and let him sink in.

6. She put her money where her mouth is, opening a school for girls in Africa.

7. She paid homage to the women who paved the way for her with an emotional Legends Ball.

8. She showed us she was real, taking a hellish but hilarious cross-country road trip with BFF Gayle, struggling with her weight and confronting her ear-piercing fear on TV.

Thank you, Oprah. Our DVR’s are set for the next decade.