I order most of my groceries online and the store delivers them for a nominal fee. The fee is much less than what I used to spend traveling to a grocery store and home, and trying to get everything I bought loaded on my walker and into my building and up to my apartment. For the past couple of months my receipt has included another receipt that gives some money off the price of gasoline at a local gas station. Through this past weekend I collected 12 of these receipts with the savings on each one being either 6 cents off each litre or 7 cents off each litre of gasoline, for one purchase up to 75 litres. This is pretty sweet. I don't own a car. Today I took all the coupons to work and gave them to my co-workers. It was fun. We ended up talking about the kinds of vehicles ... Read Full Story >>
In early January I wrote about the fact that I was taking a trip to Portland to visit a very dear friend who was dying of aggressive lymphoma. That visit was important to me as I was able to be with her in person and share some amazing time with her. We held hands and talked and talked, about what we meant to each other, what we cherished about each other, some of the lessons we had learned together and/or with the support of the other. Her partner and our friend who had driven me there from Portland went out for a walk together, giving us this gift of time together. We shared a simple lunch, all four of us, and talked about some of the logistics of care for my friend, the fabulous hospice nurse who came every day, my friend’s hope that her father would be able to come ... Read Full Story >>
When I read a post about taking someone to the movies, I was reminded of something that happened a couple of years ago. I used to drink Coca-cola and they had a contest where there was a code inside the bottle cap. You went to a website and entered the code and maybe you won something. I won some free cokes. But then, I won the Grand Prize! I was surprised and pleased. The grand prize was free movies for a year!! What that turned out to be was that the company sent me 52 admission tickets for a local movie theater chain -- they figured one movie a week was what free movies for a year meant. All of the tickets had expiration dates later than a year from the day I received them. I used quite a few taking friends to movies we all wanted to see. But the best thing I did ... Read Full Story >>
One of the women in my spirituality group will not be coming to our retreat next month. She has participated for about 15 years but cannot this year. She has dementia and finds it hard to be away from her home. My friend is turning 90 the end of August. She still lives in the home she built herself more than 50 years ago. She loves to paddle the canoe she made, out on the sound. She plays a piano beautifully and has not lost the music in her mind. She wants to stay in her own home for the rest of her life. Because she now needs much more help, the cost has gotten pretty high. One of her closest friends sent an email to our group telling us what's going on and asking for help. There is a woman who lives nearby who has been coordinating the various services ... Read Full Story >>
Today during our team meeting at work, we decided to have a holiday celebration. We are going to meet for breakfast at a restaurant not too far from work. And we are bringing gifts. We drew names after the meeting. Now we each get to think about what gift/toy the person whose name we drew might have wanted/received for Christmas when he or she was a child.
We've done similar gift exchanges in the past. It is great fun as we each have the fun of opening a gift and letting everyone know if this was indeed a gift we would have wanted when we were children. But the gifts themselves will be re-wrapped and donated to Santa's Anonymous, a local organization that collects donations of all kinds throughout the year to help make children in need a bit happier at this time of year.
I'm so happy we decided to do this again. The breakfast party is Dec. 15 so I have time to think about the person whose name I drew and what she might have liked as a child.
In my high school yearbook my teacher wrote a quote from "Hamlet": "To thine own self be true." It took me years to understand what that meant.
Through actions and mis-actions I began to learn to listen to my heart and to follow it in my decision-making and activities. In the 1960s and 1970s I was an activist against many things: racism, the Vietnam War, sexism, nuclear power... This work was endless and exhausting.
I was being true to myself at great personal cost. I reached a point when I could do no more (age, health, economics). When I let go of being against so much, I found all that I am FOR.
My energy has increased, I am happier. I am turning every "against" belief into something I am for and focusing on change for the better. I feel more true to myself than ever before. And I have immense gratitude for that.
I just finished watching the DVD "A Brave Heart: the Lizzie Velasquez Story". Lizzie is 26 years old now. She was born with an undiagnosed syndrome. Around age 24-25, she finally got an accurate diagnosis, I don't remember the specific name, but it is a combination syndrome with one part meaning she has vision problems, bone issues and a problem with the large aorta in her heart. The other part means she cannot gain weight. This combination means she looks different from everyone around her. Her family never treated her like she was anything different than any of them. But in elementary school, the bullying began. With the support of family and some in the schools, Lizzie was accepted by other students and ended up doing well in school. However, in high school, she was on Facebook and saw a website about the ugliest woman in the world. It was about her. Her ... Read Full Story >>
After reading about Kate's anniversary with KindSpring, I decided to figure out when I first joined. I looked through some saved emails and realized that the first challenge I participated in was a 21-day Kindness challenge that started Oct. 1, 2014, so I get that is my anniversary. However, upon reflecting further, I knew that I hadn't jumped into the community feed then. That happened after I participated in the 21-days of Simple Living challenge that started Jan. 11, 2015. So I'm not sure if I should count my anniversary as Oct. 1, 2014 or Jan. 11, 2015. In either case, being here reading and writing about kindness and love and helping others -- all this has contributed to me being a better human being. And for that I am very grateful. Thank you all for being in my life and for helping me find and be kindness more and more every day. The ... Read Full Story >>
I had to stop at the lab and have some blood work done on my way to work this morning. There is a Tim Horton's coffee shop right next to the lab so I bought a couple of boxes of Timbits (donut holes) and took them to work to share with my co-workers. It's amazing how many folks stop by to say hi when they know there are goodies on my counter top. 8-)
One of the women in my workplace recently retired. She had worked there 42 years, in different locations and positions, but all focusing on helping children. She is a remarkable woman and I will miss her. One of the things she did was share some thoughts that another woman had sent to her many years ago. I think they are important and am sharing them here with you all now. 1) Spend more time on the who than the what. What you do will always be less important than who you become. 2) Follow your heart. Pay far more attention to what YOU think than what everyone else thinks. 3) Develop a strong ‘maverick muscle.’ Be willing to bend the rules, learn how to disappoint others gracefully, get comfortable with people not liking you and always strive to be an original thinker! 4) Build your courage muscles. Starting tomorrow, practice doing one small thing ... Read Full Story >>