Category Archives: kindness

Make Them Want More

via Daily Prompt: Entertain

What can I say?  I L O V E to entertain.

I love to make my house sparkle & shine.

I love cooking with a dash of love and a smidgen of admiration.

I love breaking out all the fancy schmancy goods.

I love watching the interactions.

I love listening to the laughter.

I love feeling the love.

There is something about having the power to make people happy that swells my soul.

Of course, it might not seem like it while I’m running around like a chicken without its head to ensure that everything is just so or when I’m screaming at my kids because they’re leaving signs of life ALL over the house, but I really do. I swear!

Recently my son was kind enough to send me this video that could be actual footage of me before hosting anything from coffee to Christmas.  As he explained “Mom! This is so YOU!” Please remind me again why I had kids?

Well, I guess I should be glad that I’m not the mother of Chris Fleming, the young man behind this video because he is the comedian that stars as the titular high-strung suburban mom Gayle Waters-Waters in this video, and many more that are also hilarious.

So, after the dust settles literally and the guests arrive, I put on my best hostess with the mostess attitude to dazzle them with delicious food, laughter, music, cocktails, more laughter and conversation before I send them back to reality where for days they are yearning for a little more. That’s Entertainment!

Enjoy the Ride!

 

Got Grace?

Have you seen Grace?

grace-def-1She’s the gal that spent her days roaming around within the majority of people for decades. Yes, it’s true.

You could find her on the street, the supermarket, and in fact, running free in most public spaces. I know, right?

So where did she go? One day did she decide to say “fuck it I’m outta here!” due to the overwhelming ignorance surrounding her kind soul or did she silently grab her box of kind words, gestures, and courteous goodwill and slowly walk off to the ends of the earth? Inquiring minds need to know.

In her youth, Grace was on her game spreading her attractively polite manner of behaving across the land. She was one of the popular girls.

That’s right she was regularly mingling in our daily lives lending a hand or two when needed. Providing words of wisdom, a tissue, a seat or a shoulder without her motives being in question.

Now it seems as if Grace only makes special appearances, sweeping in to give a kiss on the cheek, warm a heart, or soothe a soul before leaving Dodge. Today, Grace is a minority. I’ll just assume she’s on that dreaded travel ban list because of her good nature. 

Yep, that’s right she’s been overpowered by the likes of Fear, and we all know Fear is too much of a kitty kat to travel alone, so he rallies his buddies suspicion and mistrust along for extra muscle.

Fear is doing his best to run the show we call everyday life. (yes, fear is a man because men have more power, and I said so) He is out slithering around insisting that we now question Grace and her posse of possibilities, kindness, and dare I say compassion.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. Franklin D. Roosevelt

This change didn’t happen overnight, oh no, it’s been going on for some time now, but it’s evident that it has recently escalated. Hmm, I wonder why?

Grace needs us more than ever now that fear has gotten his cloven hooves on the internet to spread at the speed of lightning. She needs us on the ground to defend her motives. To ensure that her kindness is trusted, and to regain the best that humanity has to offer. We need more than a glimmer of our girl. 

So, if Grace happens to cross your path, embrace her offerings with open arms. Encourage her to stay for a while. Let her know how much we need her in our lives by spreading her around like glitter while you… Enjoy the Ride!

 

When Harry, Norman & Robert Met Lisa

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Three wise men walked into a Podiatrist office. No, this is not the beginning of a joke about aging feet, it’s the story of one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.

Let me introduce you to Harry, Norman & Robert. Three interesting, intelligent and inspiring men who walked into the office, dropped some wisdom and went about their day.

Harry -83 years young:  Harry is a recent surgery patient with a wonderful sense of humor.

When he came in for his first post-op appointment he said, and I quote: “I want to thank Lisa for answering all of my questions, she is a fountain of knowledge.” I asked him to call my children to inform them of that fact, he thought I was kidding … I was not.

Believe it or not, the accurate conclusion that Harry made about me was not what captured my heart. But, it certainly didn’t hurt.

Harry told me that he volunteers in a first-grade classroom, and has been doing it for years. He was so happy that the teacher had the class send him Get Well wishes after his surgery, but there was a catch, they had to include a joke. Laughter is the best medicine.

This gesture filled Harry’s heart. He told me that he enjoys volunteering in the First Grade classroom because it gives him the joy to see these children enter the door not certain what to expect and leave with confidence.

He went on to explain that he has a special bond with this teacher. Harry lost his son years ago in November, just when this teacher was getting married. One young life ending as one began.

Shortly after the teacher was married she found out she was expecting and 3 months into the pregnancy her new husband died suddenly. Grief, let me introduce you to grief.

Their losses brought them together and they are wonderful friends who helped each other heal. He’s been volunteering ever since.

83 years old, still thinking, still living and still making a mark in this world.

Norman-86 years young: He came to us a few months ago via his family doctor, which is never good, and let’s just say that “the little piggy that went to the market” never came back.

When he called the other day he was very nervous that “the little piggy that stayed home” was on its way out too so we made room on the schedule. Podiatry office humor.

Norman came in as if he was the guest of honor at a celebration, not someone with a potential gangrenous toe.

He was wearing a Villanova cap to “make the doctor happy” since his daughter is a student and it was the day of the championship game. Well played Norman, well-played indeed.

Norman was excited to reveal he had recently written a paper on aging. When I took him to the exam room I had to inquire about the paper. I was very curious.

I was thinking he wrote it for the AARP magazine. Nope, he said, “I wrote it for my family, I want them to know how quickly it comes up on you.” A warning of sorts.

The title of the paper is “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies.” Norman told me he stole that line from Bette Davis, an actress I wouldn’t know because, and I quote “you’re too young to remember her.” He had me at “too young.”

Norman still can’t believe he is 86. He doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror. Still has a lot to share with this world. Has an incredible sense of humor, and wants nothing more than for his family to be happy.

Norman is going to drop off a copy of the paper for me to read. No worries, I will share.

Robert-91 years young: Robert came in for a routine appointment. As soon as he came to the window he showed my co-worker a photo of him and his wife from 1941. They looked like movie stars.

Robert is a tall man, but frail. No doubt more so since he lost the love of his life. He told my co-worker a story that left them both with watery eyes.

Later I asked her about it and of course, I too was left with watery eyes. We’re so sappy sometimes.

Robert explained that he and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table and she asked: “How long have we been married?” Robert responded with “65 years dear.” Her response was “I have not regretted one day in 65 years.” Robert explained that even though she is gone, he is still stunned by her words. He is a walking, talking broken heart.

I was also taken back by my co-worker’s response to Robert which was “It was nice to be able to hear that Robert.”  Indeed, it was.

I must say, it was a pleasure to pick-up these three men while I … Enjoy the Ride!

 

Pet Power!

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Immediate Smile

This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea to have people send him pictures and videos of their dogs and some cats as well to cheer him up. Genius!

As I was scrolling through the photos, on this dreary Sunday morning, I found I was smiling. I’m not sure if it was from the photos of all the adorable doggies, the outpouring of love for this stranger or the confirmation that humanity is alive and well in this world, as long as you’re willing to recognize it.

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Please take a moment to join in on this event. It will only take a nano second to click on the link above to send Anthony some love by posting a picture of the pet in your life.

Oh, wait what you don’t have a pet? 

Poleze! You don’t have friends with pets? I’m sure you all have someone in your life willing to share their furry friend for a goo cause. That’s what I thought… umm hmm. 

What the heck are you waiting for? Anthony is ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

 

It Takes A Village

40287e1f937375987a5fa49d71cce72eDaily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

Helping hands have shown up in my life recently and just in the nick of time if I do say so myself.  That’s right humanity came strolling in, fashionably late of course, complete with party horns & confetti to join in on all the festivities. Was I “surprised”? Not really because that’s how humanity rolls.

Considering the level of activity around these parts over the past few months, it wasn’t  too shocking to anyone that my emotions decided to go into a full-blown tailspin, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Now that was a big fat ssurprise!

Believe me when I tell you I admire the complexity of the human brain, but there are times when I really wish it had an “off” switch. Perhaps it could have been installed when I became a mother. God obviously missed the memo on “When Women Worry”, along with the follow-up memo When Mothers Worry … A Whole Other Story,” otherwise he would have included the switch. He was probably off creating a giraffe or something so I’ll let him slide, since giraffes are so badass.

I was at the point of going from mole hill to mountain in one second flat, which is what can happen when your creative juices 44dfffbc16181b21312f1da189ce787fdecide to collaborate with your fears. These 2 should never hook up … ever. Unfortunately for me they were in an on and off relationship since September, but decided to take it to another level in February and by the end of March they were nothing short of hot & heavy. Such sluts!

So, on that particular Thursday when I pulled into the parking lot at work, I could not believe what suddenly began to unfold. One minute I’m laughing along with the morning Dj’s and the next my heart is pounding out of my chest. My imagination and fears decided to get it on right there in the parking lot! 

Somehow I managed to get out of the car and right into my first set of helping hands. Lord knows I must have appeared completely crazy, but in the moment I was more concerned about dying and much less concerned about first impressions. This stranger walked me to my office, assured me I was “ok” and wrapped those helping hands around me with a supporting hug before closing the door. Suddenly I was alone with the dynamic duo again…this was not good.

Next set of helping hands to show up was my boss. Oh, yes you did read that correctly. By the time he arrived on the scene, not only was my heart pounding out of my chest, but the tears were uncontrollable. He assured me I was NOT having a heart attack, but what did he know? … he’s only a DOCTOR for god sakes!  My brain was already claiming victory over this battle!

8a855a94a51099881c9a3fc60a0e3f64Just as I was about to wave my white flag and let my brain wear the crown some helping hands joined forces. My friend/co-worker arrived and knew exactly what to do. Honestly, the only thing missing was her white horse. She held my hand and walked me down to the office of my family doctor while reinforcing the fact that I was NOT having a heart attack. Um, I still wasn’t believing it.

Her helping hands had a magnetic force that attracted more hands into my circle of need, while never loosening her grip on mine. The girls at the desk, the medical assistant and the nurse practitioner all worked together with my friend to ensure me that I would come from behind and start kicking some crazy ass very soon. It really does take a village people. 

By the time this all ended I was whipped! My brain is pretty freaking tough, but my spirit is much tougher thanks to all those helping hands. They helped me to get back on the road to Enjoy the Ride! 

Step Away From The Boastful Bubble

THE DAILY PROMPT: PROUD When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you? Well, this actually very easy. Just the other day at work my co-worker told me she was in fact very proud of me. About a year ago Problems-with-Electronic-Health-Recordswe began the daunting task of converting to the world of Electronic Health Records. To make a very looooong story very short…things don’t always go according to plan.  At the end of Summer someone in our office was under the impression that perhaps the upcoming election may let’s just say have a different outcome, therefore we put this whole electronic record transformation on hold. Lesson…do not count your chickens before they’re hatched. So, now that the Inauguration has taken place and it appears the Prez is staying for the next four years, we are back to perusing this monumental change. We all know that no one likes the C-Word, but there are moments when it’s just necessary in order to get the ball rolling. I hope you all realize I’m talking about Change…just checking.  This brings us to Monday when we once again started to dabble back into this new system to see just how much information was actually retained after all these months. After a few technical difficulties that nearly pushed us all over the imaginary cliff…we started.  Ok, let’s get back to the prompt at hand. On Tuesday I started to scan some records into the computer. For the record, it’s not as easy as it sounds. By the grace a God, a miracle, a fluke or some other out of this world phenomenon I was able to wiz right through the process without an ounce of hesitation. This is when I heard those magic words…. Co-worker:  Wow, how did you do that? Me: I have no idea. Co-worker: I’m really proud of you for remembering how to do that. Me: Laughter. Considering I couldn’t guarantee this would happen a second time. I must say it’s nice to get a little pat on the back every once in a while…even when you might not feel it’s necessary. We live in a 8a930b0a4fcaed5e05d1ff53b36613b6world where criticism comes easier that compliments. A place where people seem to have a difficult time stepping out of their own boastful bubble to recognize the very things that deserve gratitude. So it’s best to just humbly accept that someone recognizes something good in you and watch it blossom. Hey, even my dog likes to hear that he is a “Good Boy” just for pooping!   Make your supporters proud, your haters jealous and Enjoy the Ride!

Les Miserables and Social Injustice

This is a wonderful piece on Social Injustice. Take time to read it through, there is a very important message to be heard.

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My wife and I have long been fans of the musical Les Miserables, so yesterday we took two of our children to see the recently released movie with Hugh Jackman as the lead character of Jean Valjean. We were not disappointed and enjoyed the movie immensely. Of course, a few people have noted some of its imperfections, yet on the whole, it is a very moving experience and fills in a few details that the play could not.

As an aside, I also enjoyed the dramatic movie made a few years ago with Liam Neeson in the role of Valjean. As for the recent musical version, I would encourage you to see it , whether you have seen the play, early dramatic movie or not. If you have seen the play, you will be even more moved by Anne Hathaway’s Fantine singing how life has killed her dreams. The music is so wonderful, sometimes the everyday tragedy  of…

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Big Ole Lump of Love

Daily Prompt: Take Two

Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

IMG_0999I for one am not surprised that a Fancy Tree Rat Squirell is the first thing I laid my eyes on when heading outdoors this morning. This little fella is only one of the thousands that seem to be invading our area this year. For some unknown reason we have been inundated with these little creatures in our neighborhood. I’m not really feeling blessed by this at all.

They spend their days running around in circles accomplishing nothing in the processIt’s really annoying to witness. I think I’ve worked with people who were clearly squirrels in another life. They spend their days being busy trying to look busier than everyone else. ADHD x’s 1000 and always an epic fail.

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When I came inside this is the first thing I saw. A big ole lump of love a/k/a Chester. Not a care in the world. True bliss with a tail. You won’t see him running in circles for no reason. When Chester does something, he does it with a purpose. If you ever saw him watch a stew cooking you would understand that statement.

He sleeps,walks, eats, sleeps, walks, sleeps again, walks, poops, sleeps again, eats, walks, poops and sleeps until it all starts over again. This little that is being used loosely guy lives a very simple life. There is something to be said about living the life you love.

THE CONNECTION: The behavior of these two animals sends a very clear message, well to me any way. In the end what do we all really long to be? Rich…Famous…Happy. Of course it would be nice to have all three, but if we’re being realistic I’ll go with Happy. Believe me I know having a solid bank account might make things easier, but does it bring you happiness? No. I’ve come across some miserable rich fucks folks in my day. 

So you have a choice, you can either run around in circles chasing that next whatever it may be that you think will make you happy or you can take a good look inside yourself, ask “What really makes me happy?”  Give yourself some good solid answers and apply some energy in that direction. It’s not nearly as difficult as we make it out to be.

Let’s face it, not everyone is born with a sunny disposition, but I think we can all agree that we have the ability to learn how to bring more meaning and satisfaction into our lives. Happiness is contagious…spread some around.

Stop glorifying busy. Slow the hell down. Find your happy and Enjoy the Ride!

Humanity Cliff

mw_1113_FISCAL_CLIFF_620x350The constant chatter about the impeding doom of falling off of the “oh so precious” Fiscal Cliff, had me crazy to the point of wanting to give it a big fat shove to help it along. Talk about beating a dead horse, or carcass in this case. Since early November we have been held prisoner to term “Fiscal Cliff.” What the hell does it mean?

Well, according to Fiscal Cliff for Dummies this is what it boils down to:

The United States fiscal cliff refers to a large predicted reduction in the budget deficit and a corresponding projected slowdown of the economy if specific laws are allowed to automatically expire or go into effect at the beginning of 2013.

What are we a bunch of wussies? I for one am much more afraid of things like Silence of the Lambs then falling off a fiscal cliff. Maybe we’ll have to struggle or god forbid sacrifice, but we’ll make it..simmer down. Remember the Great Depression? So does my mother, who was born smack into it and is still here to talk about it….you’ll all live. The imaginary money on our portfolios might take a hit, but we’ll all survive. I think some folks in that 1% category might have a much harder time than me…I’ve done struggle. 

The mascot went unnoticed

The GOP Mascot has left the building

While all of our elected officials were sweating over the demise of their tax brackets, a big ole polka dotted elephant made her way to the center of the House floor. Rumor has it she was stunning. I heard first hand that she was wearing a red tutu with flashing lights, but it still wasn’t enough to get her recognized. What does a girl have to do to get noticed on the House floor? Please don’t answer that. 

Her name was VAWA, she would have been 19 this year. Maybe you recognize her by her birth name, Violence Against Women Act. Sadly she is no longer with us since the GOP in the U.S. House of Representatives killed her this week. Yep, once again they will get away with murder. Why you ask? Other than the obvious, because they were too distracted by their own potential financial demise to give a shit, it’s because it would have expanded coverage of the law to more women including immigrants and Native Americans. More coverage, more money needed. It always comes down to the Root of ALL Evil money.

17654260Honestly, if we as a nation cannot recognize the importance of providing vital assistance, to vulnerable women and their children when they need it most, I think we all better take a glance in the mirror and ask ourselves…WHY?

Clearly there is a much bigger problem in this country and it has absolutely nothing to do with the almighty dollar. It’s the shortage of HUMANITY. We as a nation have fallen over the Humanity Cliff long ago. Where is all the hype about this freaking disaster? 

Oh, sure humanity teases us now and then when it climbs back up that mountain, all tattered and torn from its many, many journeys over the cliff. Poor thing is hanging on by a thread. We all see it peaking over the top in the aftermath of some horrific tragedy, but then as life returns to “normal” or what is then defined as the “new normal” we shove it right back down. We can’t survive on these tidbits, we deserve more. 

It’s obvious that the handful of good stories that surface in the wake of a tragedy restores our faith in humanity but it just isn’t enough anymore. These restorations need to be consistent in order to build a foundation that will prevent the fall. 

Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world -Desmond Tutu

561We are materialistic to a level that is on the brink on insanity. 

Our family units are broken.

Our children are becoming disconnected at the speed of light.

Our sense of community is scarce. We are distracted, divided and headed for disaster if we don’t collectively recognize this huge void in our daily lives. A unanimous Ah Ha moment is desperately needed for the common good. 

It really is the everyday, unnoticed actions of kindness and caring that restore our faith in humanity. Practicing simple acts every 211106301254243494_jTQXJFTk_bday such as using caring words, providing a reassuring hug, lend a helping hand and confirm the acknowledgement of our existence by smiling at a stranger is a wonderful way to get started. Practice make perfect folks…we can do this together.

Remember, in the end that’s all we have is each other. So, take a moment to recognize that our obligation is not just with ourselves, but those who live with and within our decisions.

Keep it simple, make it significant and Enjoy the Ride! 

Mission Over Accomplished

IMG_0923I’m finally reporting in on my Random Acts of Kindness mission. Never in my life has it taken me this long to spend $50.00! One haircut a *Poof* it’s gone.

First things first, I had to cash the check. I decided on one dollar bills for easier distribution. Just for the record, if I won the $500,000,000 there is a very good chance that I would at least ask to see it in ones…maybe roll around in it…naked….because that’s what the rich & famous do. Ok, back to reality. 

Next task at hand was reading through all of the brilliant suggestions that poured in from my faithful followers. I must say these readers had some great suggestions. That’s a clear sign there are some good eggs in this world!

Kate over at coffeekatblog shared that if she won the big lottery she would put a wing on her favorite pet shelter. Well Kate, I only won 50 bucks but I hope you’ll be happy with my decision. I was at the pet store to purchase food for the king of the house when I noticed a table set up at the front of the store. I inquired and was informed they were selling little bundles that consisted of a can of food with a toy that would be donated to local pet shelters. BINGO!  Thanks to Kate’s inspiration one dog & one cat at the shelter will have a Merry Christmas this year! $4.00 down $46.00 to go.

Next I took 5 one dollar bills, placed them into envelopes with a message and some smiles. DAF over at dearanonymousfriend and Benz over at benzeknees both suggested treating someone to a cup of coffee. This gave me the great idea to strategically place these envelopes at the Java IMG_0925Joe’s coffee cart in our building. Employees, patients and visitors stop by the cart during the day, many times for a much-needed break.

The other day when I stopped for a chai, the young girl at the cart told me about the “secret envelopes.” She took a picture of them with her phone and was clearly excited about the whole experience. She did share that one woman came down from visiting her mom in the hospital. Her mom was craving a “good” cup of coffee, but the daughter didn’t have any cash on her and the cart doesn’t take plastic. The woman used one of the “secret envelopes” and the young girl picked up the balance. Smiles all around on that note! $9.00 down $41.00 to go.

IMG_0939The idea of leaving a cheery note along with the cash came from Lynne over at Free Penny Press. So, in the spirit of surprises I took 6 more one dollar bills, placed them in envelopes with some smiles and taped them on the vending machines in the lobby. Sweets & Drinks on me. $15.00 down $35.00 to go. I also made 5 more random envelopes with happy messages and left them on the windshields of some battered looking cars in the parking lot. $20.00 down $30.00 to go.

My next idea came after noticing a frazzled young mother on my street. I remember those days all too well. This time of year the little ones are on a Christmas high that usually leave parents begging for 5 minutes of quiet time.

I took $10.00 to the Dollar Store and picked up Christmas coloring IMG_0943books & crayons and left them on the doorstep of homes with small children on my block. I included a note from Jingle, one of Santa’s elves, instructing them to color a picture and leave it for Santa. Hopefully that gave those parents at least 30 minutes of peace. $30.00 down $20.00 to go. My daughter was happy to play the part of Jingle for the delivery.

My husband and I stopped for lunch at a Panera. While we were there I noticed a young girl cleaning tables and organizing dishes. She was working hard to ensure that her area was spotless. Kathy over at fridaynight family suggested over tipping a server. Although this young girl was not a server, she was very friendly and hardworking. I left her an envelope on the table with $2.00 thanking her for efforts. $32.00 down $18.00 to go.

Next up was Dave over at Blog of Funny Names who suggested tipping someone who makes minimum wage. As I was loading my groceries into my car, a young man came over to get my cart. He and his co-workers were gathered in the parking lot heading to retrieve ALL the carts that were left far away from the store. Honestly, it takes 5 seconds to walk the cart back  people. I gave them each $2.00 for their hard work out in the cold. $38.00 down $12.00 to go.

IMG_0972Another fine idea came from Julia over at Julia B Whitmore’s Blog Schrodinger’s Cat is Alive. Julia suggested spreading some kindness to those holiday opportunities that we see on the street every day. I see a young woman on my way to work holding a battered sign stating “Newly homeless and hungry.” I don’t know if she’s legit or not, but I’m not her judge.  I gave her $5.00 and she gave me a heartfelt thank you. $43.00 down $7.00 to go. Julia also suggested a donation to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Oddly enough I hadn’t come across one until Friday. $2.00 in the bucket! $45.00 down $5.00 to go.

The last $5.00 was put into envelopes with a simple message “Random Act of Kindness Pass It On.” I was trying to put these in just the right places. Hence the delay in finishing the mission. Then I thought there really isn’t a right or wrong place, so I went with my gut. One was left in a ‘Thank you” card at the Hallmark store. One was left on the counter at the post office. That decision was made after standing in line for over 45 minutes with a crew of  Bah Humbugers. Next up an envelope strategically left in a magazine at the check-out, one inside a news paper and the last one amongst the toys at the Dollar Store.

Mission over accomplished with 32 Random acts completed! Heart refilled with joy and ready to Enjoy the Ride! 

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