Category Archives: Good Deeds

Day 8: Bark and Bowl Fundraiser

Bark N Bowl

I’m heading out to bowl tonight for the Bark and Bowl Fundraiser.  My ex-husband and I lost a dog to canine cancer, so I’m happy to give some of my time to this organization. Earlier this week, it looked like our team was struggling to reach the $500 suggested donation per team, but thanks to an anonymous donor, we have exceeded the goal.

I used to be a fairly decent bowler and was on a couples team for a few years before it disbanded. I do have a mug somewhere for scoring over 250. It’s been a while though since I’ve been bowling, but I’m looking forward to hanging out with some people I don’t get to see very often.

If you’d like to donate, here’s the link to do so.

PS: Dave is the team organizer’s dog. I don’t have quick access to a picture of Dudley (the dog I lost to cancer).

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Moving (again, not me)

(photo credit: http://pixi-ugur.deviantart.com)

It’s amazing that you think you have the greatest group of friends until you mention that you need help moving. Surprisingly, everyone you know “has something going on” on that day.  I thought it was just a quirk of my sister and her friends, but the more I help others, the more I notice it.  I try to help others when I can because I know how much moving sucks. I don’t mind helping at all when I know the “mover” is organized and ready to move.

I helped K move today and I’m glad I made the effort to help. Her Facebook event didn’t give much detail other than she would feed her helpers with pizza and Pepsi. With the exception of one, everyone who said they would be there was at some point of the day. Also as a bonus for her female helpers was an extra helper — her hot contractor.  I think he is married, but he sure was a great extra set of muscle to help (and easy on the eyes too!).

So K ended up taking the Megabus to New York to pick up her friend J. K’s belongings were packed away in a storage unit in New Jersey. She had arranged to pick up a moving truck and the plan was for her and J to load it and drive back to Pittsburgh. They arrived at the new house on Friday evening and the plan was to start unloading at 10 AM on Saturday morning. When I pulled up at 10 AM, they already had the truck half unloaded as they had started at 8:30!

I won’t bore you with all the details about the numbers of steps we had to climb and the fact that her queen-sized box springs wouldn’t fit up the steps to her bedrooms. I will share that K and her friend J have an awesome sense of humor and we had a great afternoon of innuendos and laughter. Nothing makes a move more fun than allowing the laughter to overtake the exhaustion.

After six hours, the unloading of the truck twice and the unloading of everyone’s cars, I finally excused myself to bring my teen home from his first day of work at the zoo. (It’s been a busy day!)

After dropping the teen off at his dad’s, I immediately put myself in a nice, HOT shower. I threw some shredded cheese on some tortilla chips, popped them in the microwave, and grabbed a beer. I’ve had my poor, sore feet propped up since then, and I’ve barely moved from my chair.

Keeping my word and showing up to help a friend on a stressful day? Totally worth the sore knee and throbbing feet!

To find out who truly loves you? Look around to see who shows up when you request help moving.

The best gift you can give someone is the gift of your time. I don’t know if that quote belongs to anyone, but it should be emblazoned on the sides of moving trucks.

Moving (Not Me)

ImageMy sister, Queen of Questionable Decisions, told me around the end of January that she decided to move in with her boyfriend (of ? number of months; she’s never been clear about how long they were ‘dating’).

The Queen is the mom of two children: her oldest is 15, her youngest is 7.

Apparently, the Queen had thought out her move carefully. She was going to move necessary items to the BF’s house in Bobtown, PA (Greene County, yikes!) and would place her furniture and household items not needed at a storage facility. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Before I left for my Rock Boat vacation, I made the mistake of telling the Queen that I could help her when I returned from my trip.

Some background: I have helped the Queen move at least ten times over the past 15 years. I am the only person who promises to help her and actually shows up. Her friends (the Smart Ones) forget, can’t make it, have other plans, or fill in the blank, when the Queen mentions moving. For one move, it was me, the Queen, and one of her friends. Of the three of us, I was the only one who was not post-gastric bypass surgery with restrictions on heavy lifting.  That move involved icy roads and rickety steps into an apartment. Don’t be jealous.

So I’m sitting in the Orlando airport waiting for my flight home from my awesome vacation. I text the Queen to inquire as to how her move was going.  (She had given three weeks’ notice at her job and her last day was the week before I left on vacation. She had an entire week to get started on packing.)

Our text exchange:

What the F happened when I was away?  Oh wait, I’m getting off track of the subject of this post. SQUIRREL!

Back to the move.  I gave my kids the option of coming with me to help or staying home and sleeping in. My smart kids elected to stay home and sleep in.

The plan was for her to arrive with the U-Haul truck at 10 AM. At 9:45, when I am 10 minutes away from arrival at her house, I get a text from her that she should be there at 10:30.

Me: That’s ok, I have a key and can let myself in.

Queen: I changed the locks on New Years.

Awesome! After two cups of coffee and a 45 minute drive, I need to pee!  Sister shows up within 10 minutes. Whew, that was close.

So I take a look around. I don’t see a packed box in sight. I see closets and dressers still full of clothes. I see jewelry still hanging from hooks. In her kids’ room, there are containers full of toys (that are never played with). It’s 10:15 and I’m ready to burst into tears. Nothing is ready. Nothing is marked on whether it’s going to the new house or going to storage.

Her new husband shows up with his cousin. So there’s 4 of us and only 3 of us can carry heavy stuff. (She’s post-surgery and restricted to no heavy lifting.) Here we go again! Her husband has no clue on how to move or pack a moving truck! About an hour into trying to get her organized, my mom and step-dad show up. Whew, at least another body who can help carry stuff! I joke a million times (not exaggerating) about signing the Queen up for Hoarders.

Thanks to my bossiness, we get the truck loaded with the items going to Bobtown. The husband’s cousin had to be home by 2:30, so they headed to unload. Mom, step-dad, and I aren’t making the drive to unload so we head to lunch. Their ETA to return with truck is within 2-1/2 hours. We have lunch, hang out at mom’s house to kill time, and head back to sister’s around 2:30. She soon calls and say’s she’ll be there in a hour (3:30). Fabulous! I had hoped to leave by 4 so this was just awesome news. (#Sarcasm)

To speed things up, we begin carrying and lining up the items going to storage. To make a long story short, we get the truck loaded with items going to storage. It’s now 4:15. Since I had left my kids at home all day, I am now ready to leave. I apologized for not sticking around to unload at the storage unit, but I wanted to get home to my kids.

Once I get home, I pass out for a two hour coma nap. I wake up to a text thanking me for my help, and stating that “she did everything by herself.” I still don’t know what she thinks she did since NOTHING was packed or ready. After dinner and a hot shower, I am back in bed at 10 PM and sound asleep within minutes. Exciting Saturday night in my life!

LESSON LEARNED:  The next time my sister mentions moving that does not involve a professional moving team, I am busy.

Trusting Tuesday

So I am a day behind for NaBloPoMo.  My body is not adjusting well to the “fall ahead” time change. While everyone is happy about the extra hour of sleep, I woke at 5 AM on Sunday morning. Yes, 5 AM after getting in at 11 on Saturday night and not falling asleep until close to midnight.

On Monday, I checked the “Geek Squad” at Best Buy to research the cost of the possible hard disk recovery of my laptop. Can you say sticker shock? A basic recovery attempt begins around $250, mid-level recovery is around $500, and extensive recovery could run $1600+. I was ready to burst into tears. My laptop is less than three years old. I paid barely $500 for the laptop in the first place. I could not see paying someone $500 to recovery the handful of files I hope to recover.  Did I back up my files? No, of course not. Lesson learned!

This is where I begin to gush about how much I love the Twitter community.

I happened to tweet that I had sticker shock at the Geek Squad’s recovery prices.  In less than a few minutes, I get a reply directed to me from @enophiledude (Ted #1) recommending that @tedwardsdesign (Ted #2) take a look at it. Ted #2 tweets back at me to see what the problem is.  A few tweets and direct messages (DMs) later, we make plans to meet.  Shortly after making these plans, I get another reply from @pghjen volunteering her husband to take a look at it.

I won’t say that I wasn’t nervous handing over my dead laptop to a complete stranger.  But I’ve met Ted #1 and he wouldn’t recommend someone he didn’t know or trust.  So I handed off my baby to Ted #2 with a list of items I hope to recover.  He has even volunteered to research prices for a new hard drive for me.

So dear Twitter, at first I did not understand you. Over the past year and a half, I have become to trust the people who reside behind their avators, whether I have met them in person or not.  Thanks to the recommendation of someone, I am hopeful to recover some of files from my dead hard drive, without having to contact a loan shark or sell a kidney to do so.  It’s a win-win-win situation. If I’m lucky, my files will be retrievable.  Ted #1 will be thanked for the recommendation with beers from Bocktown. Ted #2 will be paid for his time and attempted retrieval, and he’s more than welcome to join Ted #1 and I for beverages.

Thank you Twitter!

Oh What a Feeling

The past 48 hours have been a blur!

Friday involved work, shuttling Social Diva to/from Teen Center, and racing across town to help set up for Christianpalooza.

Saturday was the craziest day!  It started with #FreeAngie, moving her into her own apartment.  She had at least eight people show up to help her early on a Saturday morning! The beauty of twitter!

Christianpalooza was the highlight of my weekend and the main topic in this post.  I met a woman on Twitter who lost her 9 year old son to a brain tumor this past January. As a parent, I cannot imagine having to experience the pain and heartache of learning of your child’s diagnosis not to mention the pain and suffering of treatment.  From what I have read, Christian was a great son and was loved by all who knew him.

To give back for all Make A Wish had done for her family, M and her close friends organized this fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Make A Wish Foundation in Christian’s honor.  I offered to help in any way that I could, and I am so glad I did.

The fundraiser looked to be a success.  Many of M’s twitter friend’s showed up, as well as family, friends, and the community.  There was a DJ, face painting, and tattoos for the kids.  There was food and donated baskets for a raffle. (I won two, apparently!) People were still showing up when I had to leave to head to my next event (a show by Blackberry Smoke).

If you wish to contribute, donations are still being accepted in Christian’s honor. You can make a donation HERE.

It’s been a fun and exhausting weekend. How was your weekend?