Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Relay for Life - Fifty Shades of Hope

In case you haven't heard (read here) I am volunteering for 2013 Seminole Heights Relay for Life and I have also taken the big step to captain my own team. 

Last night was the Kick Off Party and let me say as a child-free person these high school kids rock! Long ago (really long) when I was in high school community service was not on our radar.  Kudos to the schools for seeing a great opportunity and the kids for having the drive and enthusiasm to embrace volunteerism!

Set up complete!
We decided on movies for our theme this year because it is a great way to let everyone's personality shine.  We unfortunately still don't have the event's name yet though we have a lot of great suggestions.  Amy Good (aka @Splintergirl) came up with Cureassic Park which I loved.  Not sure if it will be chosen but I entered it Amy!!  If anyone has suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comment sections or email me at acrackeddoor@gmail.com.  

My team's name is Fifty Shades of Hope!  I am sure you can guess which book, soon to be released movie, I got that from ;)  Besides it being the "in" book I chose it because of a night in August that still makes me smile.The yoga chickees and I gathered together & celebrated two of our own birthdays.  I wrote a short blog post about it that you can check out here: Laughter.  I am so grateful to have these women in my life.

Seminole Heights Relay for Life is April 5th & 6th, 2013 at Hillsborough High School.  It is going to be 18 hours celebrating the lives of people that have beaten cancer, are fighting it now and our loved ones that fought the good fight but are with us in spirit. 

What this all means is I need your help.  I need volunteers to Relay.  If you can spare 1 hour, 3 hours or all 18 - I need you. Please contact me at acrackeddoor@gmail.com.  I need donations because I want to help make sure no kid has to face not having their mom or dad around to watch them grow up.  Every single donation counts 1.00 and up - it all adds up to help fight cancer!  If you would like to contribute to my specific team you can do so here: Fifty Shades of Hope

Seminole Heights Relay for Life has a Facebook page that you can LIKE and we also have a Twitter account @SHRelayforLife 

Of course we can't pull Relay for Life off without volunteers and we can always use more!  We have several key committee chairs that need to be filled.  You can contact Wendy Ward at wendysward@hotmail.com if you are interested and I hope you are!  

Lastly this event is all about the cancer survivors and their amazing stories.  If you know of a survivor that is willing to share their story please let me know.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting in whatever way you can. Thank you.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kindness Compassion and Education

I just finished watching the Newtown service and my heart hurts.  It hasn't stopped hurting since seeing the news on Friday via Twitter that there had been a shooting at an elementary school in CT.  I cried out when reading the first tweet.  A co-worker asked what was wrong and I shared the news.  My co-worker’s response was “this will be another way for people to take away my 2nd Amendment rights”.  I was stunned because all I was thinking about was I pray no children were killed. 

Sadly that wasn't the case.  20 children died.  6 educators died protecting their students.   Family’s lives have been torn apart including the person’s family who performed this violent act.  A town has been changed.  I hope a nation has been changed.

I agree with President Obama that this is a complex issue.  The last few days the few times I have opened the stream of tweets and Facebook posts I have been dismayed.  I have seen posts that say that these shootings would stop if we put God back in our schools.  My understanding is that if you believe in a God that one’s faith was a 24/7 365 deal.  Believing in God doesn't stop when you walk into a school anymore than when you walk into a bank, prayer or no prayer.   

I have seen tweets that were very unkind to agnostics and atheists.  I didn't realize people that choose not to believe in a God were automatically evil.  I don’t believe in a specific religion or God.  I do believe in the spirit of humanity.  I very much believe in kindness.  Kindness to our families and friends.  Kindness to our neighbors & citizens.  Kindness to the person who just cut you off to exit off the freeway.  Kindness to those that may speak less than respectfully to you.  Kindness to all parents because truly that is the most challenging job any person can have.  Kindness to those that fight a disease called mental illness.  Education and understanding goes a long way in support of kindness.

I have seen tweeters arguing about where the security is in our schools and why isn't more being done.  In every school that I have participated in the building of…electronics were used at every exterior door to control people entering the schools.  From the news reports that was the case at Sandy Hook also. 

And finally the tweets going round on Gun Control has been especially emotional.  I don’t like guns, never have.  When I was married to a man that hunted and had guns in the house I learned how to use them because that was the responsible thing to do.  I don’t believe all guns should be outlawed but I really can’t fathom why we need rapid fire guns in our homes.   Referring back to my co-worker’s comment about the 2nd Amendment, it was written at a time when most men belonged to a militia and lawlessness was the norm.  Is that where we are today?

I don’t know what the answers are but unless we are willing to have respectful dialog there will be no answers just more heart break.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


As I mentioned in the last post (here) this past Friday & Saturday were spent holding a retreat at my house with my BFF.  We were talking goals, both professional and business, for 2013 and well beyond. 

It was serious stuff with some fun mixed in.  However I have two dogs and while I love my dogs they are a big distraction. I decided to ask a friend to take them for 36 hours.  She is a kind soul and agreed.  She also has a dog, Trixie, who I watch on occasion.  The 3 dogs get along great and have a good time together. 

Friday morning I dropped the dogs off at her house and returned to mine.  It was a odd thing.  Typically I am leaving to go out of town not returning to an empty house. 

I feel a little guilty admitting that I rather liked the quiet.  I liked that the house stayed clean.  I liked that I was able to sleep the whole night without interruption.   I liked that I was able to leave the house for lengths of time without thinking about dinner time.

My BFF and I worked hard over those two day and I really didn't miss the puppers.

Within 5 minutes of waving goodbye as she drove off toward home I got into my car and picked up my dogs.  There are pros and cons to having 4 legged friends but for right now I am good with the pros.  
This post was written as one of the exercises I set up during the retreat.  We were not allowed to get out of our respective beds Saturday morning until a blog post was written.  Notice I kept mine pretty darn short ;)