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Six Word Saturday: May 24

Valley FestLazy, people-watching, sangria-sipping afternoon

 
 

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Six Word Saturday: May 3

yard saleClosing the chapter on elementary teaching

 
 

Z is for Ziploc® bags

ZWhen your life has taken an unfortunate turn, and circumstances conspire to beat you down, you hope, hope, hope for a safe place where you can get your feet back under you. Luckily, my local area has had just such a place since 1987. The Thurman Brisben Center provides services to all individuals and families in the district who are, or are at imminent risk of becoming, homeless. According to its website, “The Center has evolved into a respected and quality program that offers numerous ways of helping people regain self-sufficiency” and “has been blessed by hundreds of dedicated and loyal volunteers.”

At some point in the future, I’d like to volunteer some time to help residents with their online job searches (having recently undertaken this process myself, I feel well-qualified to help others). But since “job search assistance” doesn’t start with Z, I turned instead to the center’s donation wish list, where I found a request for Ziploc® sandwich bags. I grabbed the baggies and a couple packs of brown lunch bags (also on the list) while I was shopping, and will take the whole lot down to the center next week.

ziploc

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2017 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! :-)

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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Y is for “You made a difference…”

YWow, I am definitely blessed–there are so many people who have made a difference in my life, and I am grateful for every single one. I could have chosen to thank any of them for this particular RAoK, but I singled out one of my high school English teachers, Mrs. D., who also appointed me to my first ever “management” position as editor of the high school newspaper. Looking back at my senior year, I realize it was the official starting point of the journey that has led me to where I stand today. Because she believed in my abilities, I was kind of forced (by my unwillingness to let her down) to find the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and take on responsibilities and challenges that I normally would have shied from.

Countless times over the past few years, I’ve thought of tracking her down and telling her how big an impact she had on my life. Countless times, I’ve procrastinated (shocking, I know) and the letter never got written. This month’s challenge was the kick in the seat of the pants that I needed to get it done. I Googled Mrs. D., on the off chance that she was still living in the same town and I’d be able to find her address. The search led me to my old high school, where I expected to find an outdated page listing her as a faculty member. I was a little surprised to be directed by the link to the school’s current website. Browsing the staff pages, I was shocked to the tips of my toes to find that she is still teaching! I graduated high school 24 years ago, mind you, and I’m fairly certain she was not a rookie back then. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I pulled up the English faculty photo and found Mrs. D. looking EXACTLY THE SAME AS SHE DID IN 1990!!

Thank you, Mrs. D! (3rd from right, bottom row)

Thank you, Mrs. D! (3rd from right, bottom row)

Knowing how many students she must have had between then and now, I’m not sure my name will ring a bell, but I hope my letter will still bring a smile to her face. As a teacher myself, I can tell you there have been days when I’ve gone to bed wondering if anything I’ve done has made a difference to anyone. If she’s ever had that same doubt, I hope my letter will be proof that her hard work and dedication did/do matter a great deal.

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2018 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! :-)

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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X is for XXV cents

XHaha! Bet you didn’t think I could come up with a Random Act of Kindness for X, did you? Thank heavens for Roman numerals and a little bit of pre-planning for the A-to-Z Challenge (I almost screwed up and used this as a Q is for quarters post). :-)

This was a quick and easy RAoK that I hope made the day brighter for some local kids. I loaded some candy machines with quarters (XXV cents) then left a note asking the kids to pay it forward. Ever the optimist, I’m hoping to inspire a whole new generation to commit RAoKs.

XXV

 __________________________________________________________________

In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are still 2018 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! :-)

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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W is for wreath-laying

WWAA logoThis will end up being a two-part RAoK. The first part was easy…I went online to Wreaths Across America and donated $15 to sponsor a holiday wreath to be laid on a soldier’s grave. Anyone can do this at any time during the year, choosing to sponsor a wreath to be laid on a specified Saturday in December (the 13th this year) at Arlington National Cemetery or at a local cemetery in any of the 50 states (dates vary). I opted to sponsor an Arlington wreath because my paternal grandfather was a WWII veteran who was laid to rest there (although he does not have a grave–he was inurned in the Columbarium).

The second part of this RAoK will have to wait approximately 7 1/2 months. In December, I would like to volunteer to place wreaths on the graves of this country’s fallen heroes. Ideally, I’d like to do this at Arlington, but it might end up being more practical to volunteer at a local cemetery. Regardless, I expect it to be a moving experience, and one that I won’t soon forget.

 __________________________________________________________________

In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2034 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! :-)

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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V is for volunteering my veins

V“This is the American Red Cross calling to remind you of your commitment to donate blood. Please bring your bed [garbled]…Eat well and drink water before your donation. If you got any questions, please call us at 1 800 Red Cross. Thank you for your gift of life.” (This was the Google Voice transcription of an automated reminder phone call I missed while at work yesterday. Upon playing the audio recording, I was relieved to hear they didn’t actually want me to bring my bed, just my Red Cross donor card. And, for the grammar police out there, they didn’t really say “if you got any questions.”)

My first attempts to donate blood, while I was still in college, did not go well. The first time, I was sent away because my hemoglobin was too low. The next time, the needle clotted about halfway through the donation, and despite the technician’s attempts to free the blockage by rolling the needle a thousand different ways in my arm, I walked out again without leaving a pint. The third time I managed to successfully log a real donation, but I learned the hard way what happens if you don’t say, “Yes, I feel great!” when the tech asks if you feel okay midway through the process (it involves several panicky staff members jacking your feet in the air, dropping your head below your heart, and hovering nearby with smelling salts–quite embarrassing). With such a rocky beginning, it would have been easy to say, “Forget it, this ain’t for me.” But I just couldn’t ignore the fact that 45 minutes of my time had the potential to save three lives. So, every 56 days you’ll find me patiently squeezing a rubber ball and eyeballing the selection of post-donation snacks in the canteen while a pint of A+ collects in a little plastic bag beneath my chair.

  __________________________________________________________________

In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2048 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! :-)

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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