Posts filed under ‘Writing Challenges’

Leaving a Surprise in a Library Book

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It will be interesting to note how I am different and/or how my community is different

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Do you ever go to the library? Is it a valuable resource for you?

I love the library. I go for the free books. Since I have been decluttering, having these free resources has been ideal. And I like participating in the Summer Reading program as it helps me stay committed to reading during those three outside-busy months.

I hardly ever go TO the library now. Whenever I can, I borrow the items digitally. I like being able to (usually) start reading right away. And I like the ease of returning the books. Since they are returned automatically, I don’t get fines for late books anymore.

When I was a younger (and poorer) woman, the library was a refuge from life. It was quiet, safe, and I could read current magazines for free. I do miss reading current magazines. So because I love and value the library, I wanted to do an act of kindness IN the library.

I imagined the person fining the money buying a specialty coffee. So I left a $5 bill inside one of my fave 2017 reads. This was a fun RAK.

I don’t prefer RANDOM acts of service or kindness. I like to purposefully bless folks I know. So many of them could use this touch of love. Love is kindness with work boots on.

However, this act of kindness is truly random. I got the idea from one of the many RAK (Random Acts of Service) lists on the internet.

Leave some money in a library book.

So I made a trip to my local library, which just opened after a month-long remodel. It was harder than I thought to put the bill into a book.

  • I had to find a book that was tall and thick enough. When I put it into a short, thin book, the page opened right to the money when I picked up the book. I wanted the money to be a surprise for when someone got far into the book.
  • I wanted to pick the RIGHT book. I wanted the book to be one that I enjoyed. At that moment my mind went blank. So I went to the list of books I read last year. I looked for 8-9 books before I found a physical copy of a favourite book. And I had to test it was tall and thick enough.

I wish I could’ve seen the person’s face when they discovered the money.

Your Turn . . . Do you do RAK’s?  . . . Have you ever found money in a book? What were your thoughts.feelings? . . . How likely are you to try this act of kindness? If you do this, be sure to let us know.

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Go here for yesterday’s post: Leaving a Generous Tip

Related Posts . . . 

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

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Kindness is Filling Operation Christmas Child Boxes

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It is my hope that my community and I are different as a result of this 31 Day Series.

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Christmas, shopping, and loving on kiddos. When a project combines all three, I am in. Therefore, I am totally in when it comes to Operation Christmas Child. Ever since 2002, I have packed at least three shoe boxes each year. One year I packed as many boxes as I was old (55 of them).

Last year, a friend and I started a church crafting/sewing group to make items for our OCC boxes and to collect items year round.

  • We sew bags for jacks, marbles, and Legos.
  • We sew backpacks that the box will fit into.
  • We sew pillowcase dresses and dolls.
  • And finally we sew cloth menstrual bags with an accompanying purse to hold the bags.

If we have more items than we need, we send the extras items along with our boxes to the processing facility. Extras are always needed because some folks don’t FILL up their boxes. And some folks don;t read the directions and send things that HAVE to be taken out, like … glass items … war related clothing and toys … dirty and/or broken things … food … liquids.

This is such a cool way to show love (kindness with work boots on).

  • Most of these impoverished kiddos will get only ONE box in their life time.
  • For some kiddos, this is the only gift they’ll ever receive. It is something they’ll never forget.
  • This is a way to help the kiddos I know to develop their kindness muscle (by being involved in OCC). I’ve packed boxes with my nieces and my granddaughter.

This action of filling a shoe box for an impoverished child I’ll never see, is a kind action. It is kind because the box portrays the idea that someone sees them and cares enough for them to send a gift. This gift does not greatly change their physical environment, but my prayer is that it changes their emotional environment. That it brings a bit of hope. We all need hope. And hope makes a difference.

Your Turn . . . Have you asked anyone to join this OCC Kindness Army? . . .How are you involved in OCC? If you need ideas, read on …

  • Contribute money for the shipping cost ($9). 
  • Contribute several items to a location or person that collects year round. My church is such a place.
  • Make up an/or collect filler items and donate these. One such items is school supplies. The Pencil Granny gives great suggestions on what to load into your zip lock baggie.
  • Pack your own box. Go here for directions.

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Go here for yesterday’s post:

Related Posts . . . 

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

. at . 4 comments

Friday’s Fave Five October 12, 2018

Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. ~Anne Lamott

The week always comes and goes so quickly. If I don’t pay attention, the blessings come and go just as quickly. So I stop and think about them. Join some of us who do that on Friday’s at Susanne’s place.

ONE. Holiday visit. I was able to spend time with family in Berkeley. We created (a Popsicle puzzle as a present for daddy), played (at Blake Garden), snuggled, and talked. It was a fun, busy holiday.

My youngest granddaughter is learning to scoot (mainly backwards), and eat finger foods. I have to smile when I am around her.

TWO. Bullet proof coffee. I have enjoyed a cup many days, Besides the soothing warmth it brings to a morning, it is a great way for me to get collagen into my diet.

THREE. Getting up to speed. The air quality is much better now that CA fires are mostly contained. Therefore, I’ve been able  to walk outside. I am not up to my 14,000 step goal, but I am almost at 9,000 steps daily. It is amazing how quickly you can lose exercise-ground when you don’t do it.

It is always a joy to cuddle, especially with grandchildren

FOUR. Audio books. When I don’t walk with someone, I frequently listen to an audio book. This week I finished Slim by Design:Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life by Brian Wansink. The author and his team experimented with mostly easy to implement tweaks we could all make to help us eat a better diet in our various environments (home, office, school, and in the restaurants/grocery stores we frequent the most). Check out their website and also check out the book. I bet you’ll get an easy tip or two to help you eat more mindlessly like slim folks. And if you already eat that way, you can get tips to share.

FIVE. Pandora. There are times when I want to listen to background music (I usually like it quiet). For those times, it is great to have Pandora. I can choose the station that best fits my mood. This morning it is piano-dominated pieces.

Your Turn . . . What are your fave blessings from this week? It will encourage you to share and it will encourage us to read it.

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Friday’s Fave Five October 5, 2018

Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices. ~ Robert Braathe

This week I am choosing an attitude of gratitude by sharing five things from my week. These are five things for which I am grateful. If you’d like to join, go here.

ONE. Milky Coffee.  Usually I drink 1-2 cups a month. This week I have been having a cup a day at work. Even though I accidentally bought decaf, it is a comforting beverage, especially with all the milk I put in.

Your Turn . . .  Is there a beverage you drink everyday? The main beverages I drink are water and hot tea.

TWO. Single Serve Coffee Maker. A friend gifted my this and it uses both ground coffee and K cups. Since it is a single serve machine, it is small and fits just right in my limited space kitchen. I learned that I can get 15 ounces of delicious brew from each K cup. Now that I own a coffee maker, I might have more than (my new average of) one cup a day.

Your Turn . . . Is there a kitchen appliance you can’t do with out? Some friends have been astounded that I didn’t have a coffee maker. 

THREE. Cemetery Tour. Some senior folks from church had to cancel last-minute, but 4 of us made it to Sacramento’s historic, downtown cemetery. Our guide, Melanie, dressed in period costume. We were fascinated by the dozen or so stories she told about our capital’s citizens.. I want to go back because there is more to hear.

Your Turn . . . Does your town offer historic tours at the cemetery? Have you been?

FOUR. HARD RAIN. It only lasted 15 minutes or so. The rain flooded the sidewalks but was quickly absorbed into the ground. Thunder, lightning, and the pound of the rain were delightful to experience. Don’t you love the smell that rain brings? I just learned there is a name for it: petrichor. The term derives from the Greek words petra, meaning “stone” and ichor, which is the fluid that flows in the veins of Greek gods. Of course, researchers have a more scientific explanation.

Your Turn . . . What is your view on rain? . . . Did you know that the smell associated with rain has a name?

FIVE. #Write31Days. It began on October 1st. I am still on track and have even pre-written several posts. I am enjoying thinking about Acts of Kindness, Intentional and Random. Here is the list of posts I’ve written so far. Kindness is . . .

  1. Organizing Meals
  2. Delivering Meals
  3. Calling Someone
  4. Organizing a Sock Drive
  5. Baking a Birthday Cake for Someone You Don’t Know

Your Turn . . . Are you participating in #Write31Days2018?  . . . Have you ever? Why or why not?

You don’t have to answer all my questions. But please do reflect on the good things your week yielded.

It would be kind of you to leave a comment.

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather Large Amount of Gratitude. ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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Kindness is Organizing Meals for One in Need

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It is my hope that my community and I are different as a result of this 31 Day Series.

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While you don’t have to meal plan to eat, you do need to shop and sometimes you need to prepare the food. There are times when those two tasks are beyond our capability.

  • You just had a baby.
  • You are going through chemo and/or radiation.
  • There is a death in the family.
  • You are OVERWHELMED with life for whatever reason.
  • Broken bones make it impossible to navigate driving, stores, and the kitchen.

This list could go on. You get the picture. Sometimes we need help with meals.

When I broke my shoulder, I was helpless. I couldn’t wash my hair, change my top, peel a banana, open food packets, or drive. And I was soooooo fatigued. Getting meals was a life-saver.

I recently organized meals for two families (during the same time period). One had hip replacement surgery and one broke a collarbone which resulted in surgery, as well. Folks in my church wanted to help these two families. So I took charge and organized meals.

When I am in charge of this ministry, I usually arrange for three-four meals a week for two weeks. Then we reassess. I get volunteers in multiple ways.

  • Facebook group
  • Email blast
  • Phone calls/Texts
  • Meal Train  – Meal Train is a free, online calendar that organizes the meal giving experience. All the “organizer” has to do is input emails for the requests to go to.

There is no perfect way. I’ve used them all. 

My best tips for meal organization are as follows . . . 

  • If my volunteers want a reminder, I give them one.
  • Encourage your meal givers to use disposable pans/containers.
  • Be on time and let your person know when you are delivering the food.
  • Unless invited, don’t make drop off time a time of socialization.
  • Even if you never get a thanks from the recipient, KNOW that your meal was a huge blessing. In fact, invite the recipient to not send you a thank you note.

All the meals delivered to me were on time, delicious, and followed my food preferences. I healed much better because of these folks. I cannot remember if I sent thank you cards or not. My brain was pretty cloudy due to the pain and meds. So in case I didn’t say thank you – Here it is. “THANKS A LOT, Friends. You made a difference to the quality of my life.

Your Turn . . . Have you ever organized meals? If yes, share your tips. . . . Have you ever received meals? Again, same question, what are tips you’d share about that experience?

If you know someone who is having a hard time, be kind. Ask friends and organize some meals. In my experience, people are happy to be part of this kind act.

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Related Posts . . .   My cooking means someone died? . . .  My Recipe Index

My Landing Page for This series . . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

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Friday’s Fave Five – September 28, 2018

“It is easy to forget how blessed we are! Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something we need to do on purpose.” Joyce Meyer

It is time to tell about this week’s fave five blessings. Join us here.

ONE. Delicious food.

  • Veggies. Friends gave us some produce (purple egg-plant, yellow and green striped zucchini, and plump red tomatoes) from their garden. I oven roasted them. My daughter and I ate them all in one go. So of course, I made another batch.
  • Pudding. While in Berkeley last weekend, my daughter (Elizabeth) bought 8 beautifully shaped, big avocados for $0.80 each. (STEAL!) This week she made dairy-free chocolate mousse with the avocados. Wow, our taste buds were so happy. We need more avocados so Elizabeth can make another batch.

TWO. Two art projects. It didn’t work out for us to go camping, so Elizabeth and I spent the weekend in Berkeley with my son and his family. When I am a good grandma, I bring art projects for us to do. This time I was a GREAT grandma as I brought two projects for us to do.I brought a Crazy Character Make-a-Face sticker pad. First, we used the stickers the traditional way by adhering the facial body stickers on the paper faces. Then Elizabeth had us put the stickers onto our faces. This was hilarious.

I also brought a kit where we poured plaster-of-paris

magnets and then painted them. The whole family (minus the baby) participated in the magnet art. Of course my grand daughters were thrilled with us 4 grownups doing the same thing as them.

THREE. Small groups at church. Last Sunday was our kick off. There are 8 groups doing one of 3 topics (The Art of Neighboring, Acts and The Shack). It is so exciting to see the church connecting in this way.

My small group also started up. This week was an overview of our new book. And since we already know each other, we didn’t have to spend a lot of time on getting to know you activities. Instead we made cards. I think it is awesome to help ladies see that they TOO can create. It is not an innate talent.

FOUR. Critique Group. I’ve been part of a bi-weekly writing group for about 8 months. We send each other our work and then meet to go over our suggestions. My writing has improved and I’ve been more diligent about sitting down at the keyboard. Now that #Write31Days is almost here (starts October 1st), it will be good to have this encouraging group, of talented writers backing me up.

My series will be: The Kindness Diary: Exploring 31 RAK’s.

FIVE. PEP Notes: Encouragement Through Cards. 8 ladies and I wrote notes to the folks in our church who are 55 years and older. We call that group P.E.P 55+. PEP stands for People Encouraging People. We finished before 2 hours elapsed. That is the first time we’ve gone through all the names in one sitting. We even had time to chat and eat snacks.

Posts I Wrote This Week: Fun Fall Bucket List 2018

Books I Read This Week: 

  1. How We Eat With Our Eyes and Think With Our Stomach: The Hidden Influences That Shape Your Eating Habits by Melanie Mühl  
  2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Your Turn . . . What brought you joy through shared experiences, laughter, and encouragement?

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My Day…so far

It’s time for Monday’s meme. I hope you join us at Simple Amazing Grace.

Here is a peek into my week via the meme, My Day…so far, hosted by Simple Amazing Grace. Be sure to join us at this link.

The date today? – September 24, 2018

How’s the weather? – 55°. degrees and sunny. The high will be 92°.

What chore around the house have you been putting off doing? – As usual, cooking for the week. When I make full or partial meals, I eat so much better.

What are you reading? – Living a Life You Love by Joyce Meyer and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

A Scripture verse you’d like to share? – God claims the world as His. Everything and everyone belongs to Him! Psalm 24:1

A prayer request you’d like to share? – I want to take back control of my food intake. Please pray I rely on God’s will and power for this endeavor.

How about a creative project you are working on? – October is #Write31Days – a writing challenge: every October, every day. I am planning my posts and want to write a couple before October starts.

What special dish or baked item are you planning for this week? Beef Stroganoff (dairy free) – I don’t have a recipe yet.

Something coming up you’re looking forward to? – Going camping this weekend with the family. There are only two more camping trips planned for the year. After that, it might, just might, get cold around here.

A photo you’d like to share? 

I spent time with my grand children last week. We almost always do ART! We made and painted magnets.

A funny graphic, photo or quote?

We also played with stickers. It was most fun when we put the stickers on our faces.

Any parting thoughts? – My heart is full of gratitude … for things … like a new computer – mine broke last week … for people … like grand daughters who let me snuggle with them … for places … like my home and church – both are safe, heart touching places … for God …. who answers prayers and empowers me for His tasks for my life.

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish DateMarch 1st, 2019
4 months to go.

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