Friday, October 10, 2014I’ve recently been trying to downsize and get rid of things I don’t need and am no longer using, and that would be better off in the hands of others. This has led to a considerable amount of time on Craigslist. Despite the Lifetime movie titles, I’ve more often than not had positive experiences with folks on Craigslist. Yes, I’ve definitely had flakes. And it got frustrating for a bit. But I’m glad I stuck with it, because the folks I’ve found who are not flakes are the complete opposite of flakes. I’ve had some great conversations with some really interesting people. The woman pregnant with her sixth boy. The man looking to make wind chimes out of glass plates. The guy looking to find a cedar chest for his wife. But tonight really blew me away. I met a really cool, generous, fascinating woman who had all sorts of parallels to my own life — lived in DC, a long time spent in the Air Force (my uncle and cousin are/were longtime AF guys), and — sadly — very similar physical challenges. Because of my autoimmune arthritis, I just don’t have the strength and coordination in my fingers to effectively make jewelry anymore. I’m not incapable of it, but it doesn’t make sense to hang onto these tools and beads. They’d be better off elsewhere. So I sold her a boatload of jewelry-making supplies, which she wants to use to help at-risk kids find something to do creatively. How great is that?Then … she just gave me a Dual Handheld Massager out of nowhere. She said she’d bought two, one for herself and one for her brother, but her brother didn’t want it. We had already talked about our physical challenges via email before meeting. So she just gave it to me. I’m so excited to use this! Believe me, I need it. I’m so incredibly grateful. There is something about the kindness of strangers that makes this just that much more wonderful. Thank you, Margie. Thank you Thank you Thank you!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

I’ve recently been trying to downsize and get rid of things I don’t need and am no longer using, and that would be better off in the hands of others.

This has led to a considerable amount of time on Craigslist. Despite the Lifetime movie titles, I’ve more often than not had positive experiences with folks on Craigslist.

Yes, I’ve definitely had flakes. And it got frustrating for a bit. But I’m glad I stuck with it, because the folks I’ve found who are not flakes are the complete opposite of flakes. I’ve had some great conversations with some really interesting people. The woman pregnant with her sixth boy. The man looking to make wind chimes out of glass plates. The guy looking to find a cedar chest for his wife. 

But tonight really blew me away.

I met a really cool, generous, fascinating woman who had all sorts of parallels to my own life — lived in DC, a long time spent in the Air Force (my uncle and cousin are/were longtime AF guys), and — sadly — very similar physical challenges.

Because of my autoimmune arthritis, I just don’t have the strength and coordination in my fingers to effectively make jewelry anymore. I’m not incapable of it, but it doesn’t make sense to hang onto these tools and beads. They’d be better off elsewhere.

So 
I sold her a boatload of jewelry-making supplies, which she wants to use to help at-risk kids find something to do creatively. How great is that?

Then … she just gave me a Dual Handheld Massager out of nowhere. She said she’d bought two, one for herself and one for her brother, but her brother didn’t want it. We had already talked about our physical challenges via email before meeting. So she just gave it to me. 

I’m so excited to use this! Believe me, I need it. I’m so incredibly grateful. There is something about the kindness of strangers that makes this just that much more wonderful. Thank you, Margie. Thank you Thank you Thank you!  



I’m not sure this post belongs on my Grateful Blog. I mean, I know logically it does, but emotionally, right now, it doesn’t. Emotionally, right now, I want it to be on an alternative blog called something like WTF?! or Goddammit! or I’m So Freaking Pissed. 
I know it’s so incredibly cliche but it’s true that it feels like just the other day that I was talking to Kristen about social media, specifically Twitter, and how it could help her grow her business remodeling kitchens. It made me do a double take to see that it was actually more than five and a half YEARS ago. How completely, thoroughly, blissfully different things were then. Cancer wasn’t something she and I even talked about. I was just trying to explain something that at the time wasn’t mainstream, but that I thought would be great for her. I remember trying to nudge her not too forcefully, and trying to keep it simple. She didn’t embrace it fully but there are messages from her still out there in the Twitterverse and that is both painful and precious. 
There has been an INCREDIBLE group of Kristen’s friends who have created a camp for cancer survivors in her honor. The first one happened this summer up in North Conway, New Hampshire, a place near and dear to Kristen’s heart. One of the attendees wrote a letter about her experience. It took me a day to even start reading it, and many tries to get through it. I’d say it’s the definition of the word bittersweet. 
But I want to take this opportunity to ask you, if you’re so inclined, to contribute to this great cause. Read this woman’s letter. There is a Donation button on the right. The First Descents camps made a REAL difference in Kristen’s life, and the least we can do is try to do the same for someone else.
http://teamhardcoreblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/a-letter-from-double-s/

I’m not sure this post belongs on my Grateful Blog. I mean, I know logically it does, but emotionally, right now, it doesn’t. Emotionally, right now, I want it to be on an alternative blog called something like WTF?! or Goddammit! or I’m So Freaking Pissed. 

I know it’s so incredibly cliche but it’s true that it feels like just the other day that I was talking to Kristen about social media, specifically Twitter, and how it could help her grow her business remodeling kitchens. It made me do a double take to see that it was actually more than five and a half YEARS ago. How completely, thoroughly, blissfully different things were then. Cancer wasn’t something she and I even talked about. I was just trying to explain something that at the time wasn’t mainstream, but that I thought would be great for her. I remember trying to nudge her not too forcefully, and trying to keep it simple. She didn’t embrace it fully but there are messages from her still out there in the Twitterverse and that is both painful and precious. 

There has been an INCREDIBLE group of Kristen’s friends who have created a camp for cancer survivors in her honor. The first one happened this summer up in North Conway, New Hampshire, a place near and dear to Kristen’s heart. One of the attendees wrote a letter about her experience. It took me a day to even start reading it, and many tries to get through it. I’d say it’s the definition of the word bittersweet. 

But I want to take this opportunity to ask you, if you’re so inclined, to contribute to this great cause. Read this woman’s letter. There is a Donation button on the right. The First Descents camps made a REAL difference in Kristen’s life, and the least we can do is try to do the same for someone else.

http://teamhardcoreblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/a-letter-from-double-s/



Saturday, September 13, 2014
True friendship is buying this at a book fair for me. Thanks, Rach! (Despite both of us having already read it … of course!) 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

True friendship is buying this at a book fair for me. Thanks, Rach! (Despite both of us having already read it … of course!) 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

One of my favorite parts of each day in Quincy is hearing our longtime neighbor across the street, Bob (who’s about my dad’s age), interact with the two little girls (about 4 and 2 years old) who live next door to him now. They clearly adore each other. It’s the sweetest thing ever. 



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Um, so I guess the obvious thing I should be grateful for today is that I didn’t get sucked out into the ocean thanks to riptides. Right?

These waves probably look lame to some people but they were pretty forceful for the likes of this area. I desperately wanted to swim but all you needed to do was wade in up to your knees and start feeling the pull and be content to nap on the sand.

The people watching today was also top-notch. Couldn’t get enough of the adorable and affectionate young couple you can see in this video, and later some of the worst surfers around. As David put it, “This is like watching paint dry.” Yet, we kept watching… 

 



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Enjoyed the unusually cool summer breeze in Philly by hitting the food truck outside of the Memphis Tavern.

The top picture is the result of David’s veggie dog (top) vs. mine. I made the mistake of not noticing that the ingredients in mine included HOT cherry peppers, which partially contributes to the ruins of my dog. In addition, I am apparently just not nearly as neat (or thorough?) an eater as he is. The OCD element of me is incredibly disappointed in myself!

On a more positive note, I feel some level of accomplishment that my (destroyed) veggie dog showed David that mayo can actually taste good. :) 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014
So looking forward to seeing this cutie patootie tonight. Loved going back to Boston and spending time with the fam, but I really missed this little guy. (FTR he was pretending to be tired but he was not at all — he spent another hour-plus running around the playground after this!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So looking forward to seeing this cutie patootie tonight. Loved going back to Boston and spending time with the fam, but I really missed this little guy. (FTR he was pretending to be tired but he was not at all — he spent another hour-plus running around the playground after this!)



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Today I’m grateful for a great weekend of camping with my family and David. I have a history of bad luck with weather when it comes to camping, but this weekend was pretty much perfect — in the 70s during the day, with no real rain to speak of other than a few drops, and a somewhat chilly but manageable 50 degrees overnight. Breathing in the fresh air and spending time with my siblings and my nephews was good for my soul. Only complaint I have is that it went by way too quickly.  



Sunday, August 10, 2014
Today I’m grateful to spend a day at the beach with Rachel after a month away. I didn’t even care that the air was too chilly to spend much time in the (also chilly) water. It just felt good to put my feet in the sand and breathe in the fresh salty air.   

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Today I’m grateful to spend a day at the beach with Rachel after a month away. I didn’t even care that the air was too chilly to spend much time in the (also chilly) water. It just felt good to put my feet in the sand and breathe in the fresh salty air.   



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Today I’m grateful to spend time with my family visiting from Toronto as well as some of my extended family. Also grateful to get a little extra sibling time to play a rather epic game of Win, Lose or Draw. Thanks to my brother for hosting in his beautiful backyard!