Saturday, May 18, 2013
It's been a while since I gave you a progress report on my #26 acts of kindness. I have to say I didn't do a lot of heavy lifting with these acts. For most of them I just opened my wallet but I still think I made a difference in people's lives. So here they are, acts 10-19.
#10- My friend Debbi's friend Marguerite is a kindergarten teacher in Revere, MA. Marguerite applied for a grant to create a vegetable garden at the Paul Revere School. She received the grant but needed some extra money to buy some EZ Grow Starter kits for growing plants inside. If they were to plant outside too soon, all the plants would die. So with the help of several donors including myself, they got some of the plants started inside. Next week they will transfer them to the garden outside.
I think this is so cool! 5 year olds are learning to garden and grow their own vegetables. Good luck to Mrs Guide and her kindergarten students!
#11- This next story tugged at my heartstrings because it involved an injured animal.
Lokin is an italian greyhound who, with his sibling, dug under a fence in his owner's yard and escaped. The owner was able to grab the other dog right away but Lokin took off running. He is a rescued greyhound and a fast runner. That night there was a police report that a greyhound at been hit by a car. The driver stopped but the dog ran off. Lokin was found two days later in the bushes of a home just over the town line in Stoneham. Lokin lives in Melrose. Lokin was severely injured with lots of broken bones and bruises. Lokin's vet bills are in the thousands. An online fund was set up which goes directly to the vet. I felt so bad for the dog and his owner I gave some $$$ to the fund. I just checked again and Lokin is recovering nicely.
#12- And then there was the Boston Marathon bombings. I gave to the One Fund Boston. The funds to be distributed to the families of the 4 killed and the 260 victims. There was no question or waivering on this one. It was the right thing to do.
#13- At work, we had a children's book drive so I donated 6 books. I enjoyed looking at the books in the bookstore and picked out a few that would interest me if I were still a child. I think they'll like them.
#14- The marathon bombings were so devastating to our city. The day after, I found out that I knew two of the victims. Marc Fucarile is the son of one of my former co-workers and his aunt is my friend. His mom lives on my street. Marc was severely injured. He lost a leg and was burned over half his body. He continues to recover with family at his bedside every day at Mass General Hospital. My friend Debbi asked me if I personally knew any of the victims. She wanted to donate to someone that one of her friends knew. So she gave me a check for Marc and so did my sister. Debbi also had a Kentucky Derby party and everyone donated their earnings to Marc. We raised $250. for his care. Hardly a dent in his medical bills but it's something.
#15- I was checking on Lokin's vet bill fund and I noticed that donations had slowed down. I am sure it was because everyone in this area was giving to the Marathon Victim's Funds. I gave a few more dollars to show that a recent donation was made to the fund. It also rounded the donations to a total of $1400 collected for Lokin. The goal is $5,000.
#16- My friend Jeanne's 17 year old daughter is going to Kenya this Summer. She is going to help the people in a village by helping to build a school. She is also going to do the water walk which means she will be walking in the heat for 2 hours to obtain water to bring back to the village. The Kenyan women do this at least twice a day. Victoria is fundraising for her trip so I gave some $$ for this cause. She is going to learn some life lessons on this trip. I am glad to help her with this opportunity.
#17- gave my hairdresser a ride home from her salon. Then she invited me to stay for dinner. I benefitted from my act of kindness!
#18- another monetary donation. This time to the Stoneham Strong fund which is a fund for the 6 Boston Marathon bombing victims in my hometown of Stoneham. As I mentioned, I knew two of the victims. You may have seen Jacqui Webb on Dateline and other shows. She is the girlfriend of Paul Norden who is one of the two brothers who each lost a leg that day. Jacqui is a realtor and I am a lender so I know her through business. She also worked with my friend Jeanne who is also a realtor. So of course, I had to give a donation to this local fund.
#19- a simple act of kindness - I almost wasn't going to count this one because it is so minor. My neighbor has a baby and she is constantly trekking the baby up the stairs to her condo unit. The other day she was trying to manage the baby, the dog and bundles from the grocery store. I was wondering how she was going to manage all this so I volunteered to carry most of her bundles so she could concentrate on the baby and dog. She was appreciative.
Can't believe I have reached 19 acts of kindness and I'm feeling really good about it.
I thought it might be good to read about others' acts of kindness so I bought a book from Amazon called The Year of Doing Good by Judith O'Reilly. It's a great book. Judith made a resolution to do one good deed a day for an entire year. The book chronicles each of her acts of kindness. It reads like a diary as she tells a story with each entry she posts.
I am only on act #20 but it has already captivated me. She writes with humor and familiarity. I feel like she is a friend telling me her stories over a cup of coffee. As I read the book I think she could be me. Can't wait to read about the other 345 acts!
Judith has already brought up some questions I was also thinking about my own acts of kindness. For instance, Judith did a good deed for a friend and then she received a thank you note, a bottle of wine and some chocolates from the woman. So she was wondering if she should count the good deed. She never expected a gift and she only did the kindness with the purest intentions. In the end, she did count it.
I hope you will chronicle your own good deeds so that you can tell me what you did. I am thinking we could do a collaborative post about doing good. And if you are interested in Judith's book you can only buy it from Amazon UK. Yes, it all took place in England which I think makes it even better!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
. Today was Mother's Day. My sister and I had lunch with my Mom at her nursing home. It was nice, we had our lunch and dessert and then we had presents.
I took this shot at lunch during a particularly silly moment. I love this photo because my Mom is cracking up and so is my sister. Quite the candid moment.
Hope you all had a wonderful day with your families too!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
There's nothing more enjoyable than taking a Ferris Bueller Day off from work and spending it in a cool New England town. Actually, I did not have to feign sickness. I had a scheduled vacation day.
My sister was on vacation from school and my friend Karen also took a vacation day. We met at Karen's new condominium which is absolutely gorgeous and we headed to Downtown Exeter.
I, of course, needed coffee right away. I didn't have any coffee or breakfast before I left the house so we stopped at Ollie's for refreshment. They sell coffees and teas and breakfast and lunch items. They had toast on the menu. 2 slices of nice thick buttery hot cinnamon toast! I was in heaven, I split an order with my sister. It was as good as I had hoped it would be.
With full bellies, we walked around the downtown area. We stopped at Reminisce, one of my favorite shops on Water Street. A bit of silliness ensued as we tried on hats. The shop owner demonstrated how this hat should be worn.
My sister preferred the red velvet with the black tuelle which resembled a veil.
Isn't this a cool way to display your jewelry? Just use suction cups to hang necklaces.
The storefront at Reminsce featured vintage dresses. The shop owner had lots of stories about her vintage clothes.
Don't you love wreaths made from sheet music? I'll take this mirror too.
Reminisce is a must see on your tour of downtown Exeter. We enjoyed our visit.
No trip to Exeter is complete without a stop at Art'NTiques and a visit with Charlie. Charlie is the owner of the shop's adorable rescue dog. I think he remembered me from my last visit. I called out, "Charlie".
And he came right to me. He must be saying to himself this is the crazy cat lady who also likes dogs.
If you enjoy rummaging this is the place for you. Luckily, I do enjoy picking.
We walked around to a few more shops and then it was 2:00 and we hadn't eaten lunch yet. We chose Sugar & Ice because they had sweet and savory crepes.
The shop was adorable and there was a wonderful selection of coffees and ice creams.
We were deciding on dessert when Karen saw frozen hot chocolate on the menu. She quickly proclaimed that she needed it.
I opted for the German Iced Coffee. The shop owner explained what it was to me. 2 scoops of ice cream and coffee. I had a scoop of belgian chocolate and one scoop of coffee ice cream. This was absolutely delicious and I am so trying this at home!.
My sister didn't want anything fancy and she decided on strawberry fields ice cream.
Exeter is participating in the Communitree Project for charity. So many of the trees were artfully wrapped with knitted items. This one was my favorite.
We were so fortunate to have a sunny day with moderate temperatures for our "fun day". We vowed that this will not be our last fun day of the year. Both Karen and my sister have birthdays ending in a zero this year so I think there should be many more fun days scheduled in the near future.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I had an entire day off on Saturday. Well almost, I did a brief photo shoot for the Melrose Chamber of Commerce. Then I was free as a bird. I had lunch with my sister in Reading and then off I went to spend a little time in the lovely seaside town of Marblehead.
I drove straight to the beach. A few people had the same idea and I saw kids playing volleyball and people walking their dogs. The sunshine felt good and the smell of the ocean, well I love it!
The day was beautiful, a warm Spring day. It was rather chilly by the ocean so I didn't stay long.
These cuties were enjoying the day outside a florist shop. I just noticed the dog on the right could pass for a rabbit.
Oh yes finally, it really feels like Spring! And everything is starting to bloom too. The seaside gardens were gorgeous.
I snapped a few shots outside the florist shop Flores Mantilla. The owner came out to greet me. Probably because I had been talking to the dogs. She gave me a beautiful magazine about weddings. She had an ad in the magazine and she wanted to show it to me.
I love old typewriters so this one on display outside the florist shop caught my eye.
O'Rama's had blingy jewelry that caught the sunlight.
I had a great time speaking with the owners of MacKimmie's. They sold scarfs, throws, blankets, and gifts in their shop.
I love cozy blankets and throws. I have throws throughout my home. I usually buy inexpensive ones because of the cats. The kitties of course, take over the throws.
I have never seen such perfectly folded blankets! They certainly don't look like that in my linen closet! I bought a few gifty items but no blankets or throws. Kitty claws would ruin blankets such as these.
The owner of MacKimmie's told me Haley's Market was a good place to eat but I was really just looking for coffee. Ideally I wanted to take a break ,and sit in a coffee shop by the ocean. Haley's was closed but I liked the sign in their window. I gave up on the coffee, most places closed at 5:00.
This house was pretty. The houses are close together in the historic section of town. Some are quite colorful and some have been updated considerably.
Many of the historic homes have signs like these displayed outside their doors. The original homeowner's name, date of construction, and occupation were listed.
I had a great time in just a few hours in Marblehead. I will return when I have more time to spend exploring.
My next post will be about another little daytrip I took, this time to Exeter, New Hampshire. Have a great week.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A little more than a week has passed since the bombings at the Boston Marathon. And there are so many things I will never forget.
I overdosed on television coverage. From the minute I heard about the bombings to the night of suspect #2's capture, I had been glued to my TV. Flipping channels on my remote from the local stations to CNN and Fox News. I had to know every detail.
The real time coverage of the shootout with police in Watertown was the height of my addiction. I stayed up until 3:30 AM Friday morning watching it. It was the closest thing to a real life episode of 24 I'd ever seen. Bombs and bullets in a sleepy suburb.
In the first few days after the attack, I noticed how quiet it was everywhere. People were watching the TV silently in coffee shops. People on the street not making a sound. Really what was there to say?
Until today, I did not even know who won the race. I wasn't even sure there was a women's winner. The race was stopped shortly after 2:50PM. The winners' victories had been stolen.
The heroic stories. Such goodness in this city. People running towards the explosions in order to help the gravely injured. The runners running straight to the hospitals to give blood. The volunteers who saved lives with their quick actions. And the hospital workers who took over where they left off.
The tributes at the Red Sox game and the National Anthem being sung by the crowd at the Bruins game. They sure brought me to tears.
The lockdown in the City of Boston- no subway, no trains, no taxis. A virtual ghost town for a day.
My own credit union had to close some of it's branches.
The beautiful town of Watertown which will be forever linked to terrorists. It was just unbelievable what went down there on Thursday night. As one news reporter said, "This is not Baghdad, we're in Watertown!"
A fallen officer's funeral which took place at my hometown church, the sight of my first communion and confirmation.
Five victims of the attack were from my hometown and they were all seriously injured. One grew up on the street where I live and I worked with his mother. Another is a realtor I know.
All of the dead were young people. Less than 30 years old including an 8 year old. I will never forget their faces. 2 beautiful women, an adorable child, a brave young policeman.
The tireless work of the local police, state police, SWAT teams, FBI etc. They worked around the clock to hunt down the suspects and keep everyone safe.
Mayor Menino who was recuperating from surgery on Marathon Monday, checked himself out of the hospital so he could be there for the city.
The governor who was always calm when reporting updates. And the same for the Boston Police Commissioner. I love that man. He was so cool and professional.
The support from the entire country including personal emails to me from blog readers. It was very much appreciated.
I will never forget how anxious, sad, and terrified I felt. I know the sadness will last for a very long time. It will be hard to walk Boylston Street, knowing what terrible events took place there. It seems like ir was not that long ago that I had afternoon tea with friends at the Boston Public Library.. Happier more innocent times.
Today the funerals are over, the injured continue to recover and cope with their devastating injuries, Boylston Street is open again, the remaining suspects has been caught, and the rest of us try to move on. And we will, with time.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
This is the cover of Sports Illustrated, the photo taken at yesterday's marathon. It's powerful and ugly and it makes me sad. I read a comment on a blog that said Bostonians are members of the terror attack club. NYC, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Boston. I hate it.
All was quiet today as the events of yesterday sank in. It's surreal. Everywhere I went I noticed the quiet. Really what is there to say? We don't know who or why.
I think we are all finding comfort in hearing the stories of all the good that was done yesterday. And there was a lot of good done yesterday. We should focus on that. There were some real heroes on Boylston Street yesterday. Yes, we shall focus on that.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The sun was streaming in the living room windows Sunday morning and Percy was all cozy in his favorite chair. He looked so handsome I just had to do an impromptu photo shoot.
But then he got all shy on me. That's so rare, he's usually quite the poser. I guess he was just enjoying the warmth of that sheepskin rug.
Looks like the photo shoot has ended. What a brief session! Til next time, sweet dreams!