A Season of Good Deeds

February 11th

Have you heard the old adage that kindness is a boomerang? You give it away and it keeps flying back your direction. For example, when a friend had a shipment of baskets at work that were leftover from a project, he called. Could I use them at work for my upcoming charity auction? Could I use them at all?

towering baskets

Could I.

new basket, filled with january treats

Again, this progression from an anti-PTA, never-going-to-be-domestic, raging femmebot to my current Country Living-subscribing, bread-baking, nesting-self surprises me daily. My tastes and interests are so radically different than they were 10 years ago when I was hell-bent on being a corporate executive who lived in the glitz and glam of a huge international city. I would laugh and roll my eyes at my mom when she talked about what she was cooking, sewing, doing at church. My edges are definitely softening. I love these baskets, and not just because they came as a thoughtful gift. They are sweet shabby chic and oh my God a bit of the radical feminist in me just died by saying I wish I had more.

may or may not have stolen from a neighbor

There is so much potential with a stack of baskets and a sunny, warm Saturday afternoon, especially when your cute neighbor is at the gym and his backyard gate is left unlocked. He won’t notice if I pick a few dozen lemons off that burdened tree, will he? I didn’t think so.

the glisten of brownie fat
ready for delivery

Especially when you wave a new shiny (read: chocolate) object to redirect his attention.

CAOK is off to a great start. I created that photo pool over at flickr so everyone could share ideas on how to harvest and distribute great acts of kindness during Lent. Then I read this verse and felt like a braggart. Yuck. I hope my intention is clear: I love CAOK because it gives me a chance to spoil others and do so abundantly. This isn’t a praise-seeking mission.

This week’s CAOK idea: correspondence. It’s Valentine’s week and what better chance to sit down and write a quick note to those you love? I’ve got a stack going out today and am writing a couple rough draft letters to my grandparents. They are getting up there in age and I’d like to let them know how they’ve influenced my life, made me better, shown me kindness and created happiness. They’ve taught me so much. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of letter, but I hope to mail it off to each set of lovely abuelitos this week. Yep, I’m a sentimental femmebot.

Here is wishing you receive a bounty of love this week too!

Posted in
CAOK, Correspondence, Domestic Art
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20 Responses

  1. that is making me laugh. ten years ago i was the polar opposite of who i am now! i swore to never be a stay at home mom. maybe one kid, but i would always work. ha! god knows better huh?!

  2. I was going to be a journalist and live in Europe– maybe get married sometime after age 30, definitely not before.
    I don’t think anyone would see CAOK as a praise-seeking project. I for one, love seeing other peoples ideas and how they spoiled others. It’s fun and it’s encouraging.
    (Spreads a little sunshine, just like those lemons.)
    Your grandparents will treasure their letters, I’m sure. You are spurring me on to get a few Valentines sent out. (between lamb feedings, that is)
    ps. I love me a cute basket, too

  3. Isn’t it funny how we change and grow and we learn what’s important and what makes us happy? I too am a feminist who now embraces my creative/domestic side. Thanks for all you do to spread cheer around the world.

  4. i wanted to be absolutely hugely famous at this point. feh! now i want to sew.
    i’ve been working on this week’s caok without knowing it.. i’m taking my gm-in-law’s saved cards form the 50’s and turning them into valentines. i will try to brave flickr & post there πŸ™‚
    not that i know you or anything, but trumpeting your good acts for praise would be the last thing i’d suspect from you. i gotta admit i’m a disgruntled roman catholic… sort of heard all the meaner sides of the bible growing up… wish we had a church like yours around.

  5. I always wanted to be a Mom. Lucky for me that’s working out pretty well! πŸ™‚

  6. baaa ha, I’m exactly where I wanted to be ten years ago…
    married ten years
    a boy and a girl
    a dog
    a hobby
    couldn’t have worked out better if I’d planned it out meticulously πŸ˜‰

    Oh. and, yes…he IS cute πŸ˜› baa ha ha.

    and of COURSE we all know you are inentions..it’s why we love you so πŸ™‚

  7. Ha! I would never have guessed you were a “femmebot”, great word. I think I need a little *more* femmebot-ness in my life. Thanks for the inspiration on the grandparent’s letter…I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I’ve also been meaning to write one to my step-dad (he and my mom have been divorced now for many years) who I haven’t spoken with in years. It keeps popping into my head and then i don’t do it because I feel…shy, or the words don’t come readily, or some such. Do you get this problem?

  8. Ha! I had the same reaction to that verse, that sort of mildly horrified, Wait, am I doing that? Oh no! But I always see your campaign as more of an idea-sharing pool than “here’s how you can be awesome…like me”. πŸ˜‰ I love it!

    Correspondence is a perfect theme for the week. I was just talking to myself about that on the drive home this morning; now I just need to get it together and put pen to paper!

  9. So every once in awhile I start to feel old. Like when everybody in my freshmen college classes is five (5) years younger than I am. And they have no idea who the A-Team is or what it means to “come home when the street lights go on”. Or when my sister thought that The Cure covered 311’s Love Song.

    Then I am charged to think back to what my life’s goals were ten (10) years ago, and remember that I was thirteen (13). I don’t feel so old right now.

    In any case, I am happy to say that I will be a participant in CAOK this week. Letters to my grandparents and friends across the country. Happy Writing!

  10. lol @ you baking brownies to hide the fact you stole the lemons! NICE BASKETS

  11. πŸ™‚ Steeling lemmons for chocolate cake doesn’t count as a sin, right? you did give back some cake, right?
    you should come over, we are having the chocolate festival here:)in this lovely medieval village named obidos!

  12. I used to do that with my gramma. I’d type her letters at work and use a BIG font on my computer so she could read them easier…..

  13. What a wonderful blessing you were given with all the baskets. By the way, liberating lemons is healthy for the tree so look at it as a CAOK effort.

    Speaking of CAOK, I don’t have pictures of most of the things I do. Some things can’t be photographed but I do want you to know that I work very hard to extend acts of kindness to others as often as possible. I shall, however, enjoy and learn from the photos being posted.

  14. I don’t think sharing the spirit of giving is bragging. Here is my favorite passage from Matthew: The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”

    COAK seems to fit this bill very nicely.

  15. I’d love to hear more about the charity auction.

  16. Good morning. It’s your #1 fan over here =] First, I cannot, absolutely CANNOT picture ‘the old Kelli’. I can’t even imagine it (and I mean that in a kind and loving way).

    And secondly, I am working up a ‘pay it forward’ in regards to my recent visit from my CAOK angel.

    Jordan and I send you big warm hugs and Jordan sends a few sloppy smooches on the cheek.

  17. Mmmm… brownies.
    I have CAOK things up my sleeve, but I’ve been temporarily re-directed as caregiver, so my calculations for this week have changed.

    Hope your week is going well. All your food pics are making me HUNGRY.

  18. Did you know that Maimonidies ranked eight ways of giving charity (tzedakah)? http://judaism.about.com/od/beliefs/a/charity_nine.htm

    I’m older than you but I too imagined myself in suits, some sort of high-powered business chick, never getting married or having kids. Now I’m a semi-crunchy granola mom who loves crafty things and cooking. Dude, how did that happen?

  19. Love those baskets, and also, I hear you on the complete shift from 10 years ago, when I was finishing up my two bachelor’s degrees and starting law school; now I live in rural southern Italy, relishing my work-from-home writing time while my OH raises rabbits and chickens. Alrighty then πŸ˜‰