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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Full Suburban: This email list is gold

Julia Ditto’s guest room fills up with supplies for refugees, gathered with the help of her Magical List of Ladies.  (Julia Ditto)
Julia Ditto’s guest room fills up with supplies for refugees, gathered with the help of her Magical List of Ladies. (Julia Ditto)
By Julia Ditto For The Spokesman-Review

Something I didn’t realize until I got older is that women have superpowers.

It’s true. Women can tend to a whole houseful of sick people and never get sick themselves. They can detect even the smallest inflection in a child’s voice that indicates that yes, he is lying, and yes, there is now a can of shaving cream lodged in the toilet. They can take half a block of cheese, two chicken breasts and whatever’s left in the pantry and make a complete dinner for eight before the wolves start howling at 5:30.

And when women join to combine their superpowers, watch out, because there’s nothing they can’t do. I have access to one such network of women. It’s something I call my “Magical List of Ladies,” and it’s pure gold.

This “list” is actually an email group made up of friends of friends of friends who live mostly within Greenacres, Otis Orchards and Liberty Lake. It’s not an exclusive group – anyone who knows about it and wants to be part of it can join.

So what makes it so magical? You can accomplish pretty much anything by putting out a query to the Magical List of Ladies. Is your daughter’s lemonade stand not going as well as expected? Put out an APB to the List, and soon there will be cars and bikes lining the street. Did you drop your phone in the park and are hoping some Good Samaritan picked it up before the sprinklers turned on? The Magical Ladies will know.

I have used it to borrow the next book in a series that one of my kids was reading, thus saving him from being on the interminable waiting list at the library. My 90-year-old neighbor once asked me if I knew of anyone who would like to share in the bounty of pears his small orchard had produced. The Magical Ladies took care of those pears within a day.

When we wanted to plan a trip to Disney World and didn’t know the first place to start, I asked the Ladies if they had any recommendations. They led me to a travel agent specializing in Disney trips and a great condo that one of the Ladies had stayed at with her family for years. The whole trip turned out to be a smashing success.

One of the more unorthodox things I’ve listed on the group was an unopened grocery tray of fresh burger condiments that were left over after we hosted a barbecue for Logan’s office. My mom, who is also on the Magical List of Ladies, told me the next day that she tried to call me about picking up the condiments, but got a strange man named Jim on the phone, who thought she wanted “compliments.” A very confused – and I’m assuming complimentary – few minutes later, she realized she had dialed 508 instead of 509 for the area code. Sorry for the confusion, Jim, but the Magical Ladies can’t be stopped!

The group is good for more meaningful, less condimental, things as well. I’ve seen items collected for refugees in record time, entire dinners organized for homeless shelters and countless things given away for free. There really isn’t much you can’t do when you have a network of caring, industrious and involved women at your fingertips.

But even so, I was blown away last month when I sent out a true Hail Mary message to the Magical List of Ladies: Was anyone, by any random chance, driving down to Utah sometime in the near future who would happen to have room in their truck for a small couch I had promised to my niece?

Even I thought it was an impossible ask. But against all odds, the Ladies came through. One friend messaged me to say her nephew in Coeur d’Alene had just gotten married and would be driving a small trailer full of furniture down to his newlywed apartment in Utah in a few days. He and his new bride would be happy to add the couch to their loot.

The next night, I drove the couch out to Coeur d’Alene to meet the nephew, who happily loaded it up and delivered it to my niece three days later. The Magical List of Ladies: Is there nothing they can’t do?

Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at

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