Monday, March 5, 2012

F is for Fortunate

Have you met someone or heard of someone and their story moves you to action?

My school has professionals come and speak to the students about various subjects. The first speaker I ever saw was a woman named Sylvia. She spoke to us about testing for the RPR (that's the professional licensure test). She was very clever and funny and kind.

One of the teachers told me she was having trouble with her hands and couldn't work much anymore. Some kind of accident or something.

Fast forward nearly a year....

On the 18th of February, I went to a professional luncheon to network. There were 58 people at this luncheon, all of them in the court reporting profession in some capacity. I made it my mission to speak to each and every one of them. I had student cards made up and made it known that I was looking for a mentor. Of the 58, about 15 were fellow students. One of my classmates, N, wouldn't get out of her chair. She's shy and was petrified. I had to drag her out of her corner. I told her, "N, you didn't spend $35 to eat salad. At least meet the chairwoman who is handing out mentors!" That's the only person she met.

Anyway, during this lunch, it was made known that Sylvia is in a very bad way. It took a year for a diagnosis. They initially thought she had meningitis but finally concluded it wasn't inflammation of the brain sac but of the brain itself - encephalitis.

She can no longer work. She can barely tie her own shoes. She is nearly completely invalided.

Her sister is a Ph.D. in nursing and is taking care of Sylvia. To make matters worse, they have a brother who is also very disabled and the sister is taking care of him as well. He has a house they are trying to sell (they are all living together at the sister's house) but that's not going well in this market.

They are trying to come up with fundraisers as everyone adores Sylvia because she is such a gentle, kind, helpful person. The issues are these....

In Colorado, you can't hold a raffle or a poker night because you have to be a non-profit for at least three years to hold that kind of easy, money-making fundraiser.

I couldn't get it out of my head. There had to be some way to help her. I talked with my school's director (Sue) and she said she was already planning on having some kind of small fundraiser for Sylvia at the school.

Not enough.

Thinking...... obsessing... busting out the many notebooks to start writing things down.

I hit on it pretty quick.

Why couldn't we have a good old-fashioned garage sale at the school?

School Director was right on board with that! I contacted the woman who was trying to spear-head some sort of fundraiser and she's all excited about it, too.

I'm on the committee at the school to set this in stone. Well, I kind of AM the committee.

Anyway, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have a good ol'-fashioned blog contest! It's been well over a year since I've had one.

I'd like to have donations of small knit items that I could sell at the garage sale. I was thinking of making really nice things to sell but with a garage sale, I'm afraid people will show up with that garage sale mentality and not be willing to spend money on that stuff.

I'd like things like....
coffee cozies
small butterflies to put on hair clips (either attach or send unattached and I'll do that part)
flowers that would make cute brooches (or more hair clips!)
I saw someone making these flowers to put in croc's
dishcloth/scrubbie sets
soaps covered in felt
Jewelry (bracelets and such)
cozies for electronics/headphones
anything for babies or pets
Sewn items are also welcome!

Things like that. Things I can sell for between $5 and $10 dollars or even for $2. Anything you can or want to make. Most of these can be made with scraps and for nearly all of the things listed, acrylicrap is fine! Anything that doesn't sell at the garage sale, I'll put in my Etsy store and give sale proceeds to Sylvia's Wells Fargo fund.

Contest goes like this...
Send me any of the above items (or similar things you think would sell) - One entry per item sent
Link this contest on any social media of your choice (including your blog, if you have one) and send me a link of - Bad grammar aside, that'll get you one entry.
Donate cash and send me proof of donation (email it to me or mail me the receipt) - one entry for every $5 donation.

(Cash donations go here -
Wells Fargo Bank Bank by Mail
Sylvia Noneff Donation Fund
P.O. Box 3488
Portland, OR 97208
Please write on back: “For
Deposit Only.”)

The garage sale is on Friday, May 11, 2012. I'll need these items by Monday, May 7, 2012 at the latest so I can get them all cataloged and priced.

If you are sending me items, please send them to my POB:
POB 3832
Parker, CO 80134
And my POB is a 40 minute round trip, so please email me after you've sent so I don't make a trip for no reason - hah!

Obviously, my Stitch Savers will be a prize. I'll give a full set of Basic for one prize.
I'll donate a skein of good sock yarn from my stash.
My friend Skeindalous will also be donating a skein of her luscious sock yarn!

Enjoying my good fortune and my good health, Ruth!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

E is for Entitled

So Dave and I are standing outside my favorite Thai restaurant (Indochine in Parker, CO) and there's 2 women also waiting. They are dressed to the nines and talking about how some guy is not a good man, blah, blah, blah. A third woman shows up and they all squeal together.

Dave looks at me and says, "I already hate them." I laughed. Dave hates high maintenance, well... anyone. These women looked like they just stepped off the set of New Jersey Housewives.

The doors open and we all get seated. Dave and I are seated next to the big front window and the women are seated 4 tables away where they are joined by another woman.

We are sitting there waiting for initial service, as are the women. It's actually a few minutes before the sign says they open, so no one seems to mind.

I hear a strange noise like a baby crying and the late woman says, "Did you hear my baby? Do you want to see her?" and pulls her giraffe print, square purse up to the table and pulls out a dog. Dave and I look at each other, aghast. I said, "OK, now I hate them, too."

One woman takes the tiny dachshund puppy out of the other woman's bag and they all ooh and coo and ahh. The waitress walks over to give them their drinks that they already ordered. She sees the dog and very politely explains that they can't have a dog in the restaurant. The woman who owns it sounds surprised, "Oh! We can't? What if I keep him in his little cage here?" The waitress again explains, with great tact and delicacy, that unless it's a service dog, it would be a health code violation to have a dog in the restaurant. The woman, still acting all surprised like this is something new in the world, tries to give reasons and ways she can keep the dog in the restaurant. AND the other women at the table take up her case! The woman tells her friends that she will put her precious puppy in the car during lunch. They all protest saying that it's too cold and the puppy is too small for this cold weather.

The waitress listens patiently, stands firm on her position, and makes a tactful exit. The ladies stay at the table, talking like nothing happened and making no move to leave. Apparently, they asked for another opinion as the other waitress has to walk over to them and, again, very kindly and patiently, ask them to remove the dog (a fucking DOG) from the restaurant.

They snottily said, "Well! We'll just go eat somewhere else!" To which the waitress simply said a cheery, "OK". They got up and huffed out. As they were leaving (which took a few minutes of them gathering up all their assorted accoutrement), the waitress came to our table to take our order. This is Second Waitress who had to confirm for these women the facts of health code violations. Before she can speak, I say, "Wow. How entitled ARE some people??" And she whispers to me, "They are being so bitchy about it." I go on, "What was she thinking?? They can go eat elsewhere but I can't think of ANY restaurant that would risk their license for her precious puppy." She laughs and takes our order to the kitchen.

By this time, the women are outside and one of them must have heard me because she walks over to us and flips off Dave and I (remember, we are by the giant window). I laugh in her face and shake my head.

The one who flipped us off is not the one who owns the dog. Even so, I can only imagine what these women must be like to live with. I keep thinking to myself, "So out of those three women, I can guarantee that at least three of them will NEVER come back to this restaurant. I would hope that out of the three, at least one is secretly embarrassed and hates the other three but is trapped by her lifestyle." In reality, I bet none of them come back and none are embarrassed about how horribly they all acted.

Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. I just can't think of anything much more presumptuous than to bring my dog (no matter how small and precious) into ANY place of business but ESPECIALLY a restaurant and assume that everyone else will just have to get over it and be OK with it. Seriously??

I wonder what restaurant they ended up at, Ruth!