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Tag: Random acts of kindness

Pause, Breathe, and Take Stock:  2017-33

A cold caught me last weekend.  I’ve been battling with it ever since.  Today I feel the only thing left is the August allergy ailments. Since it’s past mid-September, and the August allergy ailments are just beginning, I count that as a good thing.  Perhaps that explains why my reasons to rejoice this week are unduly centered around my upper respiratory system. Here are a few things that make me snort for joy this week. .Saline solutions and a battery operated Netty Pot. I thought the Netty was some sort of torture.  Love-One swears by it.  I finally got on…

Becki and Renée: Two Women with Style

becki Utley - 1Style is more than the way a woman looks or the clothes she wears.  It’s more than the way she carries herself.  It’s about who she is.  A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to sit down with Becki Utley, and extraordinary woman.  She’s got style.

I found Becki almost by accident. Her Facebook Page popped up by some algorithm in the system. What a great idea, I thought.  People post “ISO” (in search of) what they need, and others post what they have to give away.

It all started when Utley needed things to help a friend. She tried Freecycle, but items got snatched up so fast, it seemed pointless to Becki. She decided to take matters into her own hands, so she started a Facebook page. Now she and Renée administer their Page together.

Becki began “rehoming” her baby clothes and furniture when she decided four children were enough for her. That was a little over two years ago; when she still lived in the affordable housing.  Now, she and her friend, Renée average 30 to 40 hours a week picking up, sorting, washing, and distributing clothes, furniture, and supplies to those in need. Renée has five children. The women also provide resource referrals for people who need assistance.

They have one rule:  Nothing gets re-sold. It’s all free.

Meeting Style in the NOW

Last week I attended the Writing Chicago conference.  I had a crazy busy week last week for many reason.  It was the end of the month.  I faced both newspaper deadlines and I had to get everything done two days in advance, so I could be in the moment at the conference, with no interfering brain waves or competing agendas.  I’m also preparing for a flute duet at a local music festival. It’s just a little thing, but I want to do well.  As

 (I’d beg to differ, but it is all in my control, now isn’t it?)

So, I trusted everything would work out.  It did. In an unexpected way. Being here NOW has it’s ups and downs.


I mapped out my route to Writing Chicago on the Metra.  It would take me as long on the train as by car, if I had smooth sailing through traffic.  That’s a no-brainer.  It’s Construction Season. I’d be traveling during rush-hour.  Metra is by far my best bet. Transfer at Oglivy Station, take the northbound to Evanston.  I’ll easily get my 10,000 steps in to meet my FitBit goal. Plus, lots of time to read, while I’m on the train.

Little Gifts

Here are twelve little things I like to do that cost little or no money.  I always get a tickle out of gifting people on the spur of the moment: Pay the toll for the person in back of me. Let someone go ahead of me in the long, long, holiday shopping line. Give someone my seat on the train. Smile. Offer to help someone carry their packages to the car. Say thank you. Take the neighbor’s newspaper from the end of the drive to the doorstep. Forget to keep score. Ask a clerk how her day is going. Listen…

Random Acts of Kindness

This time of year, I get very busy making:  Making time for all the holiday activities.  Making jammies for the grandkids.  Making time to gift to those less fortunate. This time of the year makes me think more than usual about ways to give back or give to those less fortunate.  Maybe because the cold weather reminds me that some people are homeless.  Maybe the overstuffed feeling I carry around during the holidays remind me that some remain hungry.  Maybe it’s the thought of a baby in a manger being gifted by strangers.This week I’ll share some ways of giving…

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