On Life, Adolescence, Coffee and Goodbyes

I’ve completed 2 weeks of the Do Good Summer Reading Challenge.  I’ve discovered fourteen wonderful blogs and have been inspired to write on topics that I never would have had reason to before.   I am growing my network and contributing to the truly vibrant blogging community here on Worpress and beyond.  Interested in joining?  It’s never too late.  Click the image on the right to find out how!

Day 11:  I took the holiday off, but discovered this gem on Friday and think it will stick with me for a lifetime.  Clare at Grace and Poise shared with her readers 40 Little Instructions on Life and they are so valuable they needed to be shared.  Clare’s list is simple, yet inspiring.  I frequently talk to my girls about using manners, being kind and the such, and this list is yet another tool in my box for teaching my girls how to live happy, fulfilled lives.  Some of my favorites include:

“Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Leave everything a little better than you found it.”

“Think big thoughts but relish simple pleasures.”

“Don’t expect life to be fair”

If you want to read the whole list, you’ll have to visit Grace and Poise!

Day 12:  On today’s hop around the blog-o-sphere, I visited The Waiting.  Emily has one of the coolest “About” pages I’ve seen and her writing draws you in.  Her most current post is part of a Blog Hop called “Remember The Time When We Did The Things.”  As I understand it, the blog hop will have a different theme each Thursday and audience participation is encouraged.  I happened upon the week about summer vacation.  So, in the spirit of participation, I must share some embarrassing stories from summer vacations of yore.  My family loves to tell the story of the time that I galloped down a hillside somewhere in California to pee on the side of the road.  The details are fuzzy.  We were in a van (I think) and on a road trip to Lake Tahoe (I think) and I had to pee like I’d never had to pee before or since.  I was maybe 11 or so and there was not a bathroom in sight.  Despite my pleading, nobody wanted to stop until I started crying (I think).  When the powers that be finally decided to stop the van, I “galloped like a gazelle” (straight from the mouth of my cousin) down the hillside, much to the delight and entertainment of everyone in the van, and relieved myself, hopefully out of the view of my parents, uncle, brother and cousins.  Ahhh, the fond memories I have of summer road trips.   What are your “classic” summer memories?

Zebra Garden
Day 13: Can a cup of coffee create positive change in the world? Sharman at 365 Cups of Kindness is on a mission to find out and I think she is onto something.   Her idea, to buy a random person a cup of coffee every day for a year, came to her shortly after the tragedy in Newtown, CT.  As a school principal, she was deeply affected by the shooting.  When shopping the next day for a gift for her church’s toy drive, she was appalled by the rudeness and hostility shown by the other shoppers and began to wonder if anyone practiced kindness and compassion anymore.   When finished shopping she and her husband stopped at Starbucks, and spontaneously she gave the cashier $20 to pay for coffees for those behind her and the idea for her blog was born.  Now, she has purchased 157 cups of coffee for others and, though each one is special, she writes that Cup 157 may be her favorite.  This particular cup led to a conversation with a man who was truly grateful and whose story is quite inspiring.  Won’t you join me in spreading her kindness further?  Next time you are in line for coffee, think about buying one for the person behind you.  A small kindness goes a long way!

Cup of coffee

Cup of coffee (Photo credit: Etenil)

Day 14: I was incredibly close with my Granny and she passed suddenly one night 10 years ago.  She was not sick.  There was no warning.  I have debated in my mind a 1000 times whether it would have been better for her to go as she did, suddenly, or to have had an illness that forewarned us of her impending death.   On selfish days, I wish that she had been ill and that I could have told her how much I loved her, how important our relationship was to me, that she would always hold a piece of my heart, that I was so sad she would never meet my husband or children, that life without her in it scared me.  But, on my more rational days, I know that she passed in the way that caused her the least amount of suffering.  I would not have wanted her to suffer.  My memories of my Granny’s death were brought to the surface when I read The First Goodbye at Living Life to the Fullest From the End Stage.  Mike has terminal brain cancer and is sharing his thoughts and experiences through his blog.  This particular one is on a topic that is so difficult – saying goodbye to your child.  He writes that no parent should have to say the words “I know we will probably not see each other again” to their child and goes on to tell the story of how he had to say goodbye to his eldest daughter who lives away from home.  This post is full of raw emotion and you should definitely grab a tissue before reading it.  

Random Act of Kindness Weekly Challenge 6.19.2013

This week’s challenge was inspired by another blogger who is documenting her bucket list journey.  Christine at Project Light to Life recently posted about how she found $6.00 on the floor at the mall and went on to leave $5.00 at the Disney Store where she hoped a child would find it.  I hope that a child did find it, because I can just picture the delight on his face at the discovery, can’t you?  I am sure that there was a pit in his stomach, the nervous excitement that comes with unexpected good fortune, as he told his parents about the discovery, all the while hoping he’d get to keep the money.   To find money as an adult is exciting,but to find money as a child is thrilling, don’t you think?

Group of five happy children jumping outdoors.

Group of five happy children jumping outdoors. (Photo credit: Lighttruth)

The Challenge:  Brighten a child’s day by leaving money with a note encouraging kindness where a child will find it.

There are so many ways you can accomplish this and I encourage you to be creative, but in case you are looking for concrete ideas, read on.  The amount of your “kindness donation” is up to you.  Do you have a ton of spare change around?  Fill a baggie with coins.  Do you want to really thrill a child?  Leave a nice, crisp $20 bill for one to find.  I’d suggest leaving your “kindness donation” at a playground, sports field, toy store, pool or community center.  Not sure what to write?  Here are some ideas:

  • “A gift from me to you, out of the kindness of my heart.  Remember, kindness counts.”
  • “Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” Henry David Thoreau
  • “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” Arthur Ashe

Do-Gooder Companies – Father’s Day Edition

Since I did a Mother’s Day edition of the Do-Gooder Company series, it is only fair to feature some great places to purchase socially responsible Father’s Day gifts too!  Whether the Dad in your life is a sports enthusiast, creative genius, tech geek, or a big kid, you will find some great gift options for him below. Click on any of the images to be taken to the company site for more information or to buy.

Life is good

Life is good donates 10% of net profits to the  Life is good Playmakers, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping kids overcome poverty, violence and illness by using the power of joyful play to heal and strengthen children.   There are a couple things I really love about this company: 1. They offer a consumers a chance to donate to Playmakers at checkout and 2. They have a great fundraising page that allows individuals to become active fundraisers.

And, of course, their products are endlessly fun and good quality.  Here are a couple of my favorites for Father’s  Day, but do check out their website because there are so many more to choose from.  Oh, and if you sign up for their email club, you will receive a 15% off coupon code!

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 The GoodFather Men’s Crusher Tee

 

 

 

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  Mr. Fixit Chill Cap

 

 

 

 

REI

I’ve written about REI before so I am going to just direct you to my post and get to the good stuff!  Check out these great gifts for Dad on their website:

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  Eno Double Nest Hammock

 

 

 

 

8cb0485f-2c08-44ae-85c3-5c022de9766a  Leatherman Wingman Multitool

One World Futbol Project

cache_500_400_3_ProductImageNewBOGO_500 I could make a crude joke about how you can buy your hubby a set of balls for Father’s Day, but   I won’t do that.  <wink, wink>  This is a very cool soccer ball – virtually indestructible and for each ball that you purchase for the soccer playing Dad in your life, one is donated to organizations working with impoverished youth around the world..

TOMS

I’ve also written a lengthy opinion on TOMS which you can peruse at your convenience.  I’m not sure The Hubs would love the traditional TOMS shoe style, but I found several things on the site that I think he’d love.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

m-edson-botas-s-su12  Edson Men’s Botas

 

 

 

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Kilgore Gunmetal

Red Cross Store

At the Red Cross Store, a portion of the proceeds from every single item is donated to the life-saving mission of the Red Cross.  Every Dad should have an emergency radio and emergency preparedness kit, don’t you think?

red cross radio  FRX2 Eton Emergency Radio

 

 

ItemImage_724_58354 Person Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods is a certified B Corp and donates 15% of net profits to non-profit organizations.  Plus, they have a very unique and interesting selection of products, many of which are handcrafted or designed by artisans and independent designers.

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F-Bomb Paperweight

 

 

 

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 Places in America

Do-Gooder Company Deal Alert: Save 20% At Raven and Lily

You need to check this Raven and Lily out!  Their products are absolutely gorgeous – I received a necklace, shirt and bag for Mother’s Day and the quality is fabulous.  And, their mission is to empower women through sustainable economic opportunities and alleviate poverty.    As if you need more motivation, use the coupon code “memorial13”  this weekend and you can save 20%!

My necklace, made my HIV+ Women in Ethiopia using recycled bullet casings and vintage coins.

My necklace, made my HIV+ Women in Ethiopia using recycled bullet casings and vintage coins.

This t-shirt is SO SOFT!  The design is stylish and fit is awesome.

This t-shirt is SO SOFT! The design is stylish and fit is awesome.

How To Help Oklahoma Recover – UPDATE

I am watching CNN and in shock at the devastation that Mother Nature inflicted on Oklahoma.  As a mother, my heart aches for the children who lost their lives at their school today and for their families who have to move forward and pick up the pieces of their lives.  So many lives, young and old, lost.  So many homes destroyed.  So much still unknown about the extent of the damage.  As an American, I know it is my responsibility to take care of my fellow citizens in their time of need.  Do you feel the same?  Here are some ways that you can help:

1.  Support the American Red Cross

  • Text REDCROSS to 90999  to donate $10 to Disaster Relief efforts
  • Donate Online
  • Donate by phone – 1-800-RED-CROSS
  • Donate blood

2.  Support the Salvation Army – mobilizing mobile kitchens to feed 2500

  • Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to support Oklahoma Tornado Relief efforts
  • Donate Online

3.  Support Feeding America – pledged to deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to Oklahoma

  • Give a monetary donation
  • Donate food to a local food bank

4.  Support Operation USA – mobilizing to help Oklahoma’s community health organizations and schools recover

5.  Support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

  • Donate Online
  • Text FOOD to 32333 to donate $10

UPDATE:  There are more and more organizations that are mobilizing to help with the recovery and rebuilding efforts and they are detailed below.  One of my readers made the point that if you want your donation to only be used for Oklahoma Tornado Relief, you should designate this on the donation form to be sure.  Go forth friends and do what you can to help the great citizens of Oklahoma in their time of need.  By sacrificing lunch out today and texting your $10 donation, you can make a difference.

6.  Global Giving Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund – Raising funds for immediate relief and long-term rebuilding efforts

  • Donate Online
  • Text OK to 80088 to donate $10 to the Relief Fund

7.  United Way of Central Oklahoma – Distributing funds to local non-profits organizing disaster relief and rebuilding programs in local communities

  • Donate Online
  • By Mail: United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK  73101
  • **Be sure to designate donation to the May Tornado Relief.

8.  Team Rubicon Operation: Starting Gun – Mobilizing volunteers to help assess damages and expedite home repairs

9. World Vision – Disaster response team is loading trucks with supplies and mobilizing volunteers to deploy

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Together we can help Oklahoma rebuild and recover.  What will you do to be a part of the recovery?

How to Help Oklahoma Recover

I am watching CNN and in shock at the devastation that Mother Nature inflicted on Oklahoma.  As a mother, my heart aches for the children who lost their lives at their school today and for their families who have to move forward and pick up the pieces of their lives.  So many lives, young and old, lost.  So many homes destroyed.  So much still unknown about the extent of the damage.  As an American, I know it is my responsibility to take care of my fellow citizens in their time of need.  Do you feel the same?  Here are some ways that you can help:

1.  Support the American Red Cross

  • Text REDCROSS to 90999  to donate $10 to Disaster Relief efforts
  • Donate Online
  • Donate by phone – 1-800-RED-CROSS
  • Donate blood

2.  Support the Salvation Army – mobilizing mobile kitchens to feed 2500

  • Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to support Oklahoma Tornado Relief efforts
  • Donate Online

3.  Support Feeding America – pledged to deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to Oklahoma

  • Give a monetary donation
  • Donate food to a local food bank

4.  Support Operation USA – mobilizing to help Oklahoma’s community health organizations and schools recover

5.  Support the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

  • Donate Online
  • Text FOOD to 32333 to donate $10

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It is simple to give and there is so much need in Oklahoma tonight.  Won’t you do your part?

Do-Gooder Company: DoGoodBuyUs

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I just came across a really interesting online store called DoGoodBuyUs and wanted to share my discovery with you! It is a marketplace for charity-made products and, according to its website, 50% of the proceeds from each purchase are fighting poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and other ills plaguing the world.   With a wide array of products, including coffee, tea, jewelry, clothes, soaps and so much more, this is the perfect place to buy a gift for the next big event in your life!