Posts filed under ‘31 Days of Writing’

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.

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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 October 6, 2017

“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am linking today’s gratitude post to Friday’s Fave Five. I hope you join us or leave a comment to share what makes your gratitude list. Here are mine.

ONE. Family time. My daughter and I drove to Berkeley and spent a day with my son and his family. We had a blast: crafts, photos, dinner, chatting, Mary Poppins with popcorn, and snuggles with the two grand daughters.

TWO. Breakfast/Farmer’s Market with Bip & Lori. We’ve wanted to meet up since August. This was the earliest that all of us could get together. And it was worth the wait! We talked, moaned, encouraged, laughed, and connected.

THREE. Gratitude 43. I am on day 24/43 for my gratitude practice. I’ve picked some topics and I write three reasons I am grateful for that topic. I have been faithfully pondering and writing. And I feel that my gratitude level has been upped.

FOUR. Writing date. My daughter has joined me in #Write31Days. Her topic for the month is  “How backpacking has enriched my daily life.” This week we had two writing dates. It was encouraging to spend a couple of hours (each time) with a writing buddy at a local coffee shop so we could dedicate time to our blogs.

FIVE. Heating pad. A heating pad is great “medicine” for a hurting back.

Your Turn . . . Share what tops your gratitude list.

What I Wrote This Week . . . 

Related Post . . . 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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Five Blessings and No Complaints

fff-delicate-leaves

Time to remember and share another five blessings from this past week. Doing this helps me stay on target with no complaining. I am doing this gratitude exercise and linking up at Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story. Join us in this weekly meme. There is plenty of room.

I am on Day 19. My goal is 21 days in a row of not complaining.

Blessing #1I made it through another week of not complaining. I almost lost it on Day 17 but I remembered in the knick of time to ask for what I wanted. Asking for What You Want Is Scary But It Stops Complaining. On Day 18 I was able to stop my complaining mid-sentence. Adding a “BUT” Turned Situation from Complaining to Resolved.

grandma-with-2

Blessing #2 – I spent the day with my grand children on Saturday. We hugged and talked. We walked to a harvest festival where we ate pizza with cheese and basil, walked through a HUGE bubble and petted a goat and bunnies.

pensive-with-pumpkins

Blessing #3 – I had creative time. I was at a team meeting tonight and one of the ladies said, “If Susan is involved in something there will be a craft.” Yep, and even when I visit my grand kiddos there will be a craft. Saturday night we decorated faux pumpkins from the Dollar Store. The medium choices were paint and/or gluing on torn bits of construction paper. I did only gluing. Sofia chose to glue on paper and paint. Tia chose the only painting option. That one was given away to a friend.  . . . The pumpkin on the far right is melted crayons. I made it two weeks ago and when I showed Sofia (via FaveTime) she asked  if she could have it. Of course, sweat pea. Of course.

Blessing #4 – I had a healthy and tasty snack 3 days last week. It was an easy to prepare, old-fashioned snack of cold, fresh celery logs topped with almond butter. Yummm. I cannot remember the last time I ate that. I need to buy more celery and almond butter.


bannerBlessing #5 –
I have a photography app on my iPhone that I’ve had forever and I just started using it this week: PicsArt. It is so fun. It turns photos into watercolour, deco art and so on. This is the photo that I doctored.

I love the quote, too: “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” I want to live my life this way.

Your Turn . . . 

  1. What is your easiest, favourite, healthy snack? Do share.
  2. How do you release your creative juices?

fruitfulwords125Related Resources . . . 

Read about two folks who took this challenge and the impact it had on them.

I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words. The category is Personal Endeavors. I will spend time each day on this topic to improve the quality of my thinking and the words coming out of my mouth

I am committing to this online writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016

Today is Day 21 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Asking for What You Want Is Scary But It Stops Complaining

fruitfulwords1Yesterday I was told to hush and stop sharing my opinions on my Facebook page. This is what I naively shared . . .

“A measure of any society is how it treats its’ women and its’ girls,” Michelle Obama. . . . Women/girls being treated poorly, bothers me. . . . . “This is disgraceful and intolerable. It doesn’t matter what party we belong to. This isn’t about politics. It is about right and wrong.”

The conversation took on a life of its own. So I took the conversation to the private arena of Facebook Messenger with one person. That person told me (among other things) that I should hush as my views were contentious, disingenuous, a disappointment and flat-out wrong.

I felt dismissed and bullied and let my feelings get hurt. Because of past situations I let my reaction be bigger than was called for. Instead of talking to the person, I complained to my sister.

I had good reasons (I thought) to not talk to the responsible party.

  • I was afraid of her response back to me.
  • I don’t like confrontation.
  • I am not good with words.

But this morning I did. I thought and thought and then wrote how I felt and why. I wrote to her because we have good history (I thought) and because I would no longer be dismissed and silenced by others.

I asked for what I wanted.

I’d like to think we could agree to disagree concerning how we express our views. I respectfully give you space to do as you feel led and I’d like the same respect back.

And if we can’t, then we part ways.

Complaining made me feel … yucky … a victim … hopeless.  . . .  And there was no resolution.

Because I choose to take positive action, I feel  . . .

  • Yucky. I still feel this way because I have high regard for this person and this may truly be the end of the relationship. And I am still wounded by her words.
  • Empowered. It felt good and strong to express how I felt as a result of her words and attitude.
  • Proud. Like I said, I don’t like confrontation. But saying something is the only way through to us having an equal, respectful and honest relationship. And I am proud I showed enough respect for myself to say anything.

And while the situation is not resolved regarding our relationship, it is resolved in that I took the steps I needed to take.

F.Y.I – My sister is good about listening and then pointing me to taking a positive step to rectify the situation.

Today is Day 17 of my No Complaining Challenge. . . . I’ve discovered that a reason I complain is because I am too fearful to politely speak up and ask for a positive resolution. Today I took action and asked.

Your Turn . . . Does fear of confrontation lead you to complain instead of positively addressing the situation?

Related Resources . . .

  1. Goal: Complaint Free for a Whole Month
  2. You Just Might be a Potty Mouth
  3. 31 Days of Finishing (2014 #Write31Days series)
  4. Finding Laughter (2015 #Write31Days series)

Today is Day 19 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Adding a “BUT” Turned Situation from Complaining to Resolved

fruitfulwords125

I don’t normally drive my older car because it has a (new) history of wanting to die. It has been in the shop a couple of times and we can’t figure out why. However, yesterday I drove it to work to make sure the battery got enough of a workout. I had no issues going to work.

But on the way home the engine kept sputtering like it was going to quit. I hit every light. I was getting more and more agitated as my car kept getting more and more agitated.

I was afraid. At the next to last light before my home I cried out loud,

“Oh, NO! I can’t believe it, This car is going to die on me.”

I realized I was in full complaint mode.

Here I was on day 16/21 of no complaining.  And now because I was complaining I was going to have to change my bracelet to the other wrist. Then in the midst of my distress I remembered how to choose the complaint that brings peace.

I added a “BUT” to my sentence. I added words of a positive solution.

“Oh, NO! I can’t believe it, This car is going to die on me.”

Then I continued speaking out loud with these words . . .

“BUT if it does die, I will be okay. I can coast to the side of the road. I have a towing package. I can call for help. This is not the worst thing that can happen. I am safe.”

And you know what? I calmed down. It was okay. And luckily the car didn’t die. 

Even while stressed OUT, I really was able to go from a non-productive compliant to a solution-oriented response.

Adding that BUT turned my attitude and thinking around. It helped me with my fear. And because I was calm, I was able to find a good solution. High Five!

Your Turn . . .

  • When you find yourself mid-sentence in a complaint, how do you turn that around?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 18 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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

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