Monday, November 21, 2011

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?

By Fred M. Rogers, © 1967

Watching Mr. Rogers is one of my earliest childhood memories.  I can't remember a time when I didn't.  Just hearing that welcoming, caring song called out to my heart and drew me in.  There was a comfort and caring about him that just made me want to be a neighbor.  He would take a stroll through his neighborhood and stop in to visit with different neighbors, and demonstrated how to be a good neighbor, listening, caring, sharing. 
When was the last time you went for a stroll in your neighborhood and just stopped to talk with neighbors?  Its becoming a lost art I think, much like sitting on front porches in the evenings.  Earlier this year, we purchased a home in a neighborhood a little farther away than we had originally planned, but it drew us in... one of the things we loved about it is the way the streets are laid out, line with wonderful trees and inviting you to just take a stroll.  We also noticed so very many people out and about, just walking their dogs or strolling along, stopping to talk with each other, and always waving to us as we drove by.  It felt inviting and comfortable.  We went back several times to look at it, always getting the same feeling, even in the dead of winter.  God blessed us in that we were able to purchase a home there, and sure enough, within a week of moving in, we were invited to meet many of the neighbors at a welcome reception in one of their homes, and we are on first-name basis with many of them now, stopping to chat with them often and waving to them as we go by.  Its a wonderful feeling. 
Being a good neighbor takes so little effort, and its healthy for you too.  If you haven't stopped by and chatted with one recently, make it your good deed for the day.  Go for a stroll and say hello.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Matthew 25:40 - The 366 Challenge!

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40


Remember being a kid and how those dares would just taunt you?  You knew you had to step up to the plate and do them. 

So I'm triple-daring you to take the 366 Challenge with me. 

2012 is a Leap Year, thus 366 days.  I'm working on a list of at least 366 Good Deeds to do... one per day.  Help me to complete it if you have suggestions.

Now that may sound like a daunting task at first... to do one every single day.  But I realized that so far today, I have done over 10 in just an hour:  I stopped for coffee this morning and dropped off food for a food shelter in their collection box, opened the door for someone else, encouraged someone to smile and laugh, then went to work and shared a few words of encouragement with a coworker, prayed for some friends in need, and clicked on all the tabs at  I even found and committed to sending cards of encouragement to four children facing health challenges this weekend so there are four more for the next few days! What a great way to start a morning!  And if I can do that many in less than an hour, I know that at least one a day is going to be a breeze!

So how about it?  Are you up to the Challenge?  I TRIPLE DARE YOU!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Warm & Cozy - Inside & Out

There is just something warm, cozy and secure about a hand-crocheted or knitted item. When I was little, my mother taught me to crochet. I started out with a basic granny square. I remember making myself this bright yellow, orange and white giant granny square afghan for my bed when I was in high school. It literally fell apart from use over the years. Now I have afghans or cozy fleece blankets in every room. Over the years I have made them for most of my family members and friends at one time or other.
A few years ago I also started making prayer shawls, praying for the recipient as I made it. Seems like the need for them is always faster than I can keep up with crocheting them, and now I'm getting requests for them as well. There is a prayer shawl group on Yahoo even if you wanted to join it as well. I received a wonderful shawl from a fellow crocheter on there at one point, its so very warm and cozy, and greatly cherished.

My sister and daughter knit hats and baby items for crack babies and infants in need through their knitting groups, and I've participated in afghans and shawls for soldiers projects in the last two years too. One of the best memories is when I received a photo of a soldier in Iraq wearing one of the shawls I had made for him -- I think I felt as warm inside as he did wearing it!

Currently, I'm in two Good Deed swaps through Splitcoaststampers (SCS) right now that have put my crochet skills to good use: one is for newborn baby blankets, and another is to make caps for children with cancer. (You do need to join SCS to participate, but its free and worth joining!) If you crochet or knit (or quilt or sew or even tie fleece), these are great projects to join! The picture above is just one of the caps I had fun making for the caps for children with cancer project. I pray it will bring a smile to its recipient.

Here is a link too with multiple crochet/knit charity projects to join. With the cooler weather coming on, what better way to enjoy an evening that to sit and knit or crochet, being warmed on the outside with a project on your lap, and on the inside with the good deed being done?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Isn't this little guy cute? He is a penguin ornament handcrafted out of a gourd by an artisan group called Manos Amigas in Cuzco, Peru. And you can buy him to help these women gain their own economic security for themselves and their families. :) Fabulous Christmas gift, isn't it?
I love this website: ! It is the ultimate way to shop. Note that there are 8 tabs across the top. First, let me point out that you can just CLICK on the boxes at the top center of each page to help donate to each of the 8 charities every day (takes less than 2 minutes to help 8 of them! I know, I've timed it!). Then notice the LEFT navigation list. Its like a department store! EVERY PURCHASE you make also gives to charity, and often many are fair trade and support social groups and artists in addition to the charitable donation. Its like double or triple dipping!

Right now there are also some charities that give you free shipping if you make a donation (check out the GIFTS THAT GIVE MORE section on the left) AND you can also help feed seniors in need if you enter the code MEALS2 upon checkout! Is that AWESOME or what?? Free shipping, donate to charity, support groups in making a living for themselves, support fair trade, feed seniors in need, and get your shopping done all in one stop and for the same if not lower price than if you went to the store!!???? AWESOME! Go now!!!