11–20 of 118 entries in the category: CAOK

CAOK 2014

March 6th

This week, I’ve had three unexpected acts of kindness fall into my lap. As I mentioned, Duda produced a flat of tomato transplants for the tiny garden that could. My childhood friend, and vet, Ryan pulled a gently used dog kennel out of a closet for me so I wouldn’t have to come up with another $100 at the pet store. And a friend’s father swooped in when shower fixtures went on strike in my master bathroom.

These friendships are lengthy; I’ve invested time in them, but rarely am I able to give to these three as they give to me. Sometimes life is lopsided in your direction and your only job is to take it in, be thankful and try to help someone else along the way.

Phoenix in February

Lent began yesterday, as did this year’s Calculated Acts of Kindness kickoff. CAOK is a yearly thing we do around here. A quick tutorial:

What CAOK is:

  • 40 days between Lent and Easter to do nice things for other people
  • A way to share those kind acts, banking them as inspiration for others regardless of faith. All faiths promote helping those in need and being kind.
  • A time to think about the goodness in your life, and how you can spread it a bit to others
  • A perspective reset. (“Boo hoo, life sucks. My home is falling apart,” transforms to, “Man I am lucky to have someone help me fix this. And it is going to be better than it was!” And let’s agree on this one point: showers fixtures/chewed up baseboards/falling over patio walls are not worth crying about.)
  • A time to make your friends some really ridiculous, ill fitting gifts and later be surprised to see they actually love them:

CAOK #5

What CAOK is not:

  • A Bible beating way to brag about your faith. Thank you, no.
  • A way to brag about your great, most awesome acts of kindness. Again – not the point. I’d hope you would take a photograph and share them, but this is not self-congratulatory so much as inspirational. There are a lot of people who play along. We’ve had CAOK entries from 6 continents! You never know how your idea will be interpreted to make someone else happy.
  • Anything other than just being a nice way to mark the next few weeks.

Any questions?

This year, I’m lucky to have some friends willing to champion the campaign on their blogs too. Check out Aimee, Sarah and Shana’s sites for their perspectives on lent, faith and CAOK.

I hope you’ll join in too. Photos go here. Leave ideas in the comments. Know that I’m casting a wide net this year and hope to reach many of you one way or another with a good deed.

Carry on, friends. The world can use your extra kindness.

xo,

Kelli

 

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CAOK, Community
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Why does a rapper need an umbrella?*

February 27th

Condo 2014

 

This little guy right here is not handling the latest move well. He’s neurotic and in need of more exercise than I can provide, which is saying something. I am going to give him a couple weeks to adjust. Don’t we all need some time in a new space? And while I have more than a decade of experience with this home, Nelson has just a few days. Hang in there, buddy.

While I wish I had some marvelous new recipe or knitting pattern to share, instead this is what is on my plate, so to speak:

1. The pit bulls who live next door are peeing on my garden. As such, they have killed four tomato transplants. They seem like sweet dogs, although they would like to make Nelson their lunch. I don’t know what to do to protect the plants that won’t cost a fortune. A large fence won’t work — this is a central area between the two homes. Any thoughts?

1 a. Speaking of animals in the neighborhood, one of my neighbors has chickens, a rooster, goats and sheep. I am going to introduce myself and see if I can’t pitch in on occasion. Or maybe keep a couple chickens at their place for some extra feed. It would bring me so much joy to finally have chickens!

2. I finished the first draft of my second novel, Basket Baby. I am reading it again and taking pages and pages of notes. This is the tricky phase. I can write stories — and often do. But getting them just right for publication is another feat entirely. I have a team of close friends waiting to help me edit. I just need to sit down and put red pen to paper. There is a certain mental hiccup about editing your own “completed” work. Instead of listening to the critic, “Oh, good God. Don’t publish this drivel!,” I need to muster up my courage to hear, “You can do this. It doesn’t suck. You’ve read worse and there is a really good story here.”

Amazing how fragile the ego is.

3. My sewing machine is back from the shop AND we are expecting rain this weekend. Friends, this is the recipe for a weekend inside, in stretchy pants. And frankly, I can’t tell you the last time a weekend didn’t involve packing tape, moving trucks, cardboard boxes, chasing tenants, schmoozing a landlord or organizing items in cupboards.

Me + rainy weather + sewing machine + lengthy list of projects that have stacked up = almost sounds like a vacation. Seriously. Add some champs and Netflix and by golly, we have us a proper weekend to remember.

Condo 2014

 

The new library in the office. Cute, right? That’s new carpet right there. It is pretty, smells new, and is a daily reminder of why I will never, ever, so help me God, let strangers live in a house I own again. I am simply not cut out to be a landlady.

I’ll have to return my Mrs. Roper gown. 

4. I’ve been working on a project that made a leap forward this week. It involved meeting the governor, and having say while shaking my sweaty hand, “I’m watching you.” It was an uncanny. I am so in love with what I do, and it is so frustrating to not be able to talk more about it. If I ever really dive into political life, I may have to get my jaw wired shut. And my typing fingers cut off.

Or maybe I should just stick to public health.

5. Lent starts next week already. Who is ready for Calculated Acts of Kindness 2014?

~K

* Fo’ drizzle. (My new favorite joke. You’re welcome.)

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Arizona, CAOK, Heirloom Hacienda
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Happy Easter!

March 29th

Happy Easter!

From WNM and staff.

(Many thanks to those who participated in CAOK 13. You are generous, wonderful souls!)

xo,

Kelli

Posted in
CAOK, Faith
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CAOK 13

March 26th

This week’s Calculated Act of Kindness: broncos baby hats for a friend expecting her second baby this year. Her 2 year old loved the big brother version.

Adam's 30th

(I need to learn how to make pom poms.)

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art
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CAOK #13

March 20th

Palm Sunday is this weekend, meaning we’ve got less than two weeks to complete Calculated Acts of Kindness. Are you playing along? Folks have done some pretty amazing acts of charity during this Lenten period. (Some recorded here.)

One of my favorites came from Lori, who found an iphone when out on a walk with her kids. Sticking out of the snow by a riverbank, they never thought it would be salvageable. Sure enough — they got it to turn on, and got it back to the very happy owner.

Another incredible act? A friend of mine recently took in a 6-year-old little girl in need. The child’s mother has issues with substance abuse and needed a safe place for her daughter. My friend, who already has five children, has set another place at their family dinner table with a smile. Such grace! Whether that child is with her for a week, or a lifetime, her life will be better for it.

CAOK #13

My efforts pale in comparison. A couple of washcloths in a “congrats on your new house!” gift, and Broncos baby hats.

COAK #14

Here is to hoping you have kindness unexpectedly dropped off at your doorstep today.

~K

 

 

 

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CAOK
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Grey, as they say

March 6th

CAOK #12

A handknit infinity scarf for a friend across the pond.

Calculated Acts of Kindness 2013 continues.

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art
Comments (1)

CAOK: Handmade Week Wrap Up

February 28th

A few more CAOK gifts heading out the door this week:

CAOK #9

CAOK #10

CAOK #11

Left for this week: a chunky, drop stich scarf for a friend in London.

If I really get myself in gear, I’ll finish that sweater I started some 14 months ago. I should have never stopped working on that pattern. Any other knitters feel this pain? I need a tutorial session to figure out where I’m at and how to proceed. Thank goodness for Fancy Tiger. 

~K

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CAOK
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CAOK: Handmade Week

February 26th

This week’s Calculated Acts of Kindness theme is all that is bespoken. First: long promised beard hats for my friends Sagar and Mark.

CAOK #4

They asked me to make these for them several years ago; it’s taken too long for this project to get to the top of the queue. (In all fairness, when I did start working on these, I had to knit the beanies four times because these two have rather small noggins. Amazing, considering the brillance contained in such a small space.)

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

Of course, their favorite part was, “Dude. We can drink through the mustache holes!”

Dude. Bro. Bra.

~K

 

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CAOK
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CAOK: Handmade Week

February 24th

I’ve mentioned before I’m newly enamored with sewing tree patterns. (I can’t explain it any more than my passing obsession with backyard chickens. What? I’m weird. It’s okay.) When visiting a friend in California recently who mentioned she too loves all things tree — I came up with a plan. I’d modify that potholder pattern from John Q. Adam’s quilting book and make it a table runner, personalized for their family.

CAOK #6

Easy peasy. Right?

Right.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

{Remind me, world, that I never superseded anyone’s expectations in math — skills that are so critically necessary to a design project of this nature. Thank God even dummies can do this equation: bad at math + love of sewing = you’d better have a seam ripper and a lot of patience.}

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

And oh, patience I did have because if you haven’t heard from my incessant tweeting: I just survived my first blizzard. Well, my first non-Health Bar blizzard. Denver got piles of snow this weekend, leaving me with a calendar full of canceled social gatherings and gobs of time to tinker.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

I drew up a plan and got to town. Six episodes of “House of Cards” later, and the binding was completed. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy. And proud I took a leap of faith with the herringbone quilting. I’ve never tried anything quite so complicated, as simple as those straight angles look. My housemate BJ suggested I embroider the trunks with each family member’s initial. He was spot on; the detail was just what the project needed.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

Best yet — in part because I couldn’t leave the house, I was forced to use what I have. The only thing new for the completion of this project was the bias tape.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

It’s off in the mail tomorrow as the latest CAOK gift. How are you participating? Drop your photos and ideas here. 

~K

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CAOK
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CAOK: Head Out of Ass

February 19th

Life has been a little rough lately. And while I’d like to close down this blog and never see the Internet again when I’m hurting — there is important work to be done. CAOK is just that to me. So, I’m coming out of hiding. And we’ll leave it at that.

CAOK #5

This week, I’m focusing CAOK on love on animals. Even Finny is on board. Granted, she uses swears while writing about, and likely performing, her acts of kindness — it still counts. In fact, it makes my heart happy to think pedestrians in northern California are benefiting because of this little campaign. Finny, G+Ts on me next time we get a chance to hang. Love you, lady!

CAOK #5

I visited the Foothills Animal Shelter when looking for Nelson. (I found him two shelters later.) The folks who run this joint are kind and compassionate. They make the world better every day. And they have a specific list of needs. Leashes, toys, cleaning supplies and puppy/kitten food. They need help ASAP.

CAOK #5

Shelters in Phoenix (and your community) do too. If you can’t give food, volunteer. There is little in life that makes me happier than being pulled along by a team of hyper, happy pound pups on a much needed walk.

Pulling my sorry and sad head out of my ass this week and getting back to doing good in the world. There is no time to waste.

~K

P.S. Willie Nelson Mandela approves this message:

Yeah, I'm smiling

 

 

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CAOK
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