Sunday, March 7, 2010

ASU Pipe Organ Concert

Did you know that ASU built a small production hall to house this beautiful Fritts pipe organ? (Sorry for the poor picture from my camera phone.) I attended a Spirit of the Senses salon which featured the music of this wonderful instrument played by Kimberly Marshall, director of the ASU school of music and international organ concert performer. She also played an Italian Baroque organ from the 1700s for us - the music was very dramatic and she gave us some history on both organs and some background information on Bach and his organ compositions.

Tour of Coronado District in Phoenix

Last week the Coronado District opened their homes to the public. Officially, the Coronado district runs from the I-10 to Thomas and from 7th Street to 20th Street. The homes open for the tour were on the 1800 block of Willetta. I went with my friends Anne and Gail - even though it rained, we were still able to see cute homes all built from 1926 to 1946. They are being rennovated and the neighborhood is being taken back from gang activity and crack houses.We topped the afternoon off by eating at Cafe Barrio - a delicious Sunday brunch with Spanish guitar music to accompany us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Lost Count of the Days, But Not the Giving!!!

OK - I have been hanging in there on my giving challenge, but I stopped writing down what I was giving and I think I lost track! Here are more things I've done, but I can't remember what days I did them on! Yesterday, I went on a errand of mercy to my sister's house as she had her battery go dead. I also dropped off some extra roast beef I made for her and my Aunt and Uncle. Last week, I helped my friend Nancy wrap her dog's foot up before I went to work - I also bought her popcorn the night before, so I combined these as one gift. I made some banana bread for everyone at work. I made two large pans of enchiladas for Lauren's ski trip - it fed 21 of her friends! Packed up more Roast Beef for Jack today and gave him some extra gas money. I did a day of calls to some friends I haven't talked to in awhile. And now I am forgetting... I know I only missed one day. I am on Day 25! I think the book says that if you forget one day, you have to start over. I think I will add two days on the end and call it even! This picture has nothing to do with my giving project - I just know it is one of my Mom's favorite pictures of me. I was playing dress-up pioneer women with my trusty dog Ginger in Michigan. I ran around all summer in barefeet. Behind me is an old farmhouse we were renting while my Dad built our house down the road. Ahhh, the good old days...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ten, Eleven, Twelve

More of the 29 gifts - Day Ten: I went the whole day and didn't really have the chance to do much for anyone, so at the end of the day, I texted to my cell phone and gave a donation to Haiti. Not much effort or money, but I hope that collectively - it makes a difference.
Day Eleven: I went to my book club meeting and delivered a Cat Stevens mix (all my favorite songs of his) that I had made for my friend, Liz. It had been sitting on my desk for awhile, so it was great that I could finally give it to her. She recently lost her Mom - so I've been thinking of her. Day Twelve: I passed along the book I was reading for book club "The Guernsey Society and Potato Peel Book Club" and the "29-Gifts" book to my friend Mary at work. She and I have similar reading tastes and she said she would be interested in reading the 29-Gifts book. She also does a great deal for the people in her life, and always has a pleasant word for everyone she meets.
The photo is one my sister had on her blog - it reminds me of the era of the Guernsey Society book. I can just picture the sheep saying weird things...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gifts Six through Nine

29-Day Gift Giving Challenge Day Six: My daughter Lauren recently moved back to town and in with me after her graduation from ASU (yay - we finally got her diploma in the mail two days ago!). I took her with me to a fun raggae dance class called booty quake :) It was an awesome workout and we had a great time. Who knew giving could be so much fun! Day Seven: Lauren was again the recepient of one of my gifts (I'm going to do more for other people - I swear). We went to a small nail salon and had pedicures. I tipped both of the girls who are from Vietnam more than I would have normally. Lauren said her nail tech was a single mother who was orphaned at birth and brought up by relatives before moving to the U.S. Lauren said she was grateful to have a good relationship with her mom - (another gift coming back to me - gratitude from my children.) Day Eight: The Garage Sale - I am clearing out a lot of things in order to put my home on the market. I had a garage sale and during the sale - I gave out a few extra things. I also bought salsa from a woman who was selling it to raise money for her grandson with a medical condition. At the end of the day - I packed everything up that was left and delivered it to Good will. Day Nine: I took my dog for a hike up Camelback Mountain - which he absolutely loves. (Yes, you can do things for non-humans too.) I also loaned Betty and Veronica - the names of my two beach cruisers (pictured above) - to my next door neighbor. I cleaned them up and pumped up the tires, so I guess that counts as a gift, right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Days 4 and 5 of Gift Giving Project

I am continuing to read the book 29 Gifts and continuing with the gift-giving project. On day four I had lunch with my friend Tessa. Here husband recently had knee surgery and I think she was ready for a bit of a break. I picked up the lunch tab as my gift of the day. Tessa is the type of person who does so much for her family and friends, that it was nice being able to do something for her. On day five, I packaged up a gift for my friend Debbie's daughter, Missy. She just graduated with a degree in Nursing from U of A. Along with her graduation check - I included the book - Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul - so she can get inspired by all the wonderful, selfless things nurses do for their patients. I wish her all her luck in taking her boards and know she will be an awesome nurse. (She already got a job working with cancer patients in Houston. Yay for her and Debbie!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

29-Day Giving Challenge

OK - on Friday - three days ago, I decided to do the 29-Day Giving Challenge outlined in the book - 29 Gifts. It is the story of a women with M.S. that took at "prescription" to give 29 gifts in 29 days. When she did, she found out that giving brought her more than she expected. I read about her story on Friday morning and that day, when I went to yoga, my instructor was talking about what a great "gift" we give ourselves when we practice yoga. His whole talk was centered around giving and gifts, so I took it as a sign that I should try the 29-day challenge.
So here goes - Day One - I bought my friend Kelley a tea and salad after yoga - which she was resistant to at first, but then I told her it was part of my gift for the day, and she let me do that for her. She is such a good friend and always has a kind word for everyone, and does so much for everyone around her.
Day Two - I was going to the movies and there was a swarm of cars all trying to park in any spot that opened up. A guy in a red sports car and I were vying for the same spots, and when one became available that I was obviously first in line for, I waived him in and let him have it. He gave me a wonderful smile :)
Day Three - My son came over and I did his laundry and went to Subway and got him a sandwich and a cookie. (He, in turn, helped me take out the trash, rake leaves and set a trap for the dreaded roof rats in the "hood.") I probably would have done some of these things for him anyway, but instead of resenting him a bit - I was much happier doing it when I thought of it as a gift!
The book talks about giving all kinds of gifts and things that don't necessarily cost money, but maybe a kind word, a call to someone you haven't talked to in awhile, a thank you note, etc.
We will see how the challenge progresses. I will chart my progress here.