Do you have a Gladys Kravitz – that neighbor who loves to know what’s going on?
Do you have a Gladys Kravitz – that neighbor who loves to know what’s going on?
This is so easy that by tomorrow morning you’ll be open for business and setting up a table next the the neighbor kid’s Kool-Aide stand. Make sure your avocados are ripe!
To enjoy great food like this without lifting a finger, just book your room at the Inn. Ha! So easy! I’ll be happy to serve you up something delicious!
You know how you can be calm one minute and everything goes smoothly, then the next minute you can’t keep your head in the game and you’re like someone possessed?
This story is from last summer titled “Sometimes I’m Gordon Ramsey.” Surround yourself with positive people and refuse to be sucked into Other People’s Problems. You down w’ OPP?
Who doesn’t love those oldies tunes? I’m a sucker for a Bee Gees song. Around here, though, “staying’ alive” and “holding out for a hero” are more than just oldies tunes – they are our way of life. Here’s the thing: July 12 marks 4 years that my daughter Aimee went into renal failure and became a dialysis patient, and I’m on a mission.
Renal failure means her kidneys no longer function, and she relies on a machine to remove toxins from her body that ours eliminate naturally. The procedure takes seven hours every night, where a glucose solution is pumped into her abdominal cavity, dwells for a period of time, and is pumped out again for a number of cycles. It’s imperative that the body site where the tube is implanted is kept impeccably clean to keep infections at bay.
In addition to nightly treatments, it’s important that the foods she can eat contain a huge amount of protein, but don’t include things like nuts, seeds, dairy, and of course sodium. She also has to maintain certain mineral levels in her diet and has blood drawn routinely with her clinic to monitor the levels. All of this has to be structured while still balancing a diabetic diet that keeps tabs of carb intake, while making sure the meds she takes don’t interfere with one another. It has its challenges, definitely.
In the past four years Aimee’s had at least a dozen surgeries for various and sundry complications, 7 of which occurred within a 13-month period. She contracted Hepatitis-C from equipment at a dialysis center in Florida before she moved back here, but thanks to new drugs, that’s been eliminated. When we’re not at the doc’s or the hospital or the ER, life goes on pretty normally around here. Go figure.
What’s my mission? My mission is to find a living kidney donor for my daughter. Aimee is on a list to wait for a deceased donor, but the list is years long. People can live complete, full, and healthy lives with only one kidney, and you have two – one for you, and one to potentially share.
Here’s what we’re looking for in a possible donor:
Here’s how it works:
Here’s how you become a hero and completely change somebody’s life:
Even if you can’t donate, I’m shamelessly asking you to like this post and share it with everyone you know. Tell your friends, your church groups, your card clubs, your neighbors, your associations – whomever.
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother (Ha – do you get that bit of levity I snuck in there?!), you can be a hero! Ready? Share!
These are easy to make and your family will love them. What I especially like about these is that you can freeze the dough after you’ve patted into two 5″ circles and can pull them out when you’re ready to bake them fresh. Just thaw at room temp, brush with an egg wash and pop them into a preheated 400 oven for 10 minutes until they’re golden. We made a ton of these for our family reunion and every single one was snapped up!
In case you missed the list of ingredients:
Let me know how these turn out for you!
I’ve been friends with Karen for a long time. We’re about the same age, we are both homeowners, we consider ourselves successful career women, we both lead independent lives, and we both like antiquing and Cosmos. We like where we are in life.
But every two years or so when we forget how much we enjoy our independent lives, we go on eHarmony or Match or some such site and inevitably both have the same results. This is in no way a man-bashing story – we like men – it’s just a story about Adventures In On-Line Dating. It starts like this.
One of Us: I think I’m joining such and such dating site.
The Other: Really? Don’t you remember? Everybody is old but lies about it. And it’s the same people all the time.
One of Us: I know, but maybe there’s someone new who is honest. Besides, such-and-such just met so-and-so and seem to be working out.
The Other: It’s a waste of time.
One of Us: You’re right.
The Other: It’s dumb.
One of Us: True that. I don’t know what I was thinking.
The Other: Okay, so call me when you join and we’ll look at their pictures?
One of Us: Right. See you Thursday.
We got together Thursday at my kitchen table. The site gives you Hundreds of Perfect Matches, so you need to set up some solid elimination factors with solid reasons behind them. As hostess for this round, I did that before we went through the list. If you were a potential suitor, in my book you could be eliminated at first glance for these reasons.
Well, that wiped out 85% of the pool right there. Karen reminded me that with the remaining 15% we’d have to deduct at least 3” from their given high-school height, and add at least another 4 years to their ages. We were exhausted after the preliminary round. Further, the whole thing is a long, drawn out ordeal that sucks up your time when you could be doing other activities like pulling weeds, folding towels, or reading a book. It is painful, but we try to encourage one another to finish the process.
With that in mind, the next step at some point would be to begin typing messages back and forth to someone you chose to contact or who contacted you and appeared to have friends, was wearing a shirt, lived within wine distance, etc. My short correspondence:
Potential: Hi, I’m Michael! I loved your picture!! I’m looking for someone I can bring home to my two adult sons who live with me! I want someone I can snuggle with who will be my lifetime companion! What do you want in a relationship?!! What are you looking for?!!
Me: Umm. Wowee…I’m really just looking for someone to help me take the cover off the pool….
Michael: Hahahahahaha! You’re a kidder, I can tell!! When can we get together?!!
Me: Oh, well…we can’t, sorry. I just noticed that you’re outside my 20-minute wine radius.
Michael: Oh. They say love has no limits, but I guess they were lying.
I know many of you have met the love of your life on line, but I think my tolerance for serial dating expired a long time ago. So many other things to do – I have a business to run, people to see, contracts to sign, wine to drink, grandkids to play with, and books to write. There’s not a lot of extra time I want to forfeit.
You know how that goes, though. In a couple of years either Karen or I will come up with the brilliant idea of testing out online dating. By that time it’ll be her turn to host and we’ll be reporting from her kitchen table. Check back in 2019 for the surprising results!
Can I tell you how happy I am right now? I’m tripping over the shoes on the steps, the firetrucks on the side porch, and I’m picking glow sticks out of the baked oatmeal. Dishes are always piled in the sink and someone always wants to eat. The little kids are arguing over Rescuebots and at the same time are thrilled with having one another to play with. The big kids are talking, playing games, and reminiscing about the big wheel races they had 30 years ago in Nana’s driveway.
I love that now I’m the Nana and everyone’s at my house – which just happens to be a seven-room Bed and Breakfast Inn. I am lucky enough to be host to my sister and husband, all her kids and their spouses, all their babies, and my own kids and grandkids.
What’s going on? It’s our first family reunion! When we’re not in the pool or eating (which is really all day haha!), we’re hanging out on the porch. Yesterday we had our very first family photos done – 19 people in 95 degree weather – taken by our Inn’s wedding photographer and my former colleague Shareen. She was great and was willing to spend a lot of time with us to get things just right. Can’t wait to share some of those with you soon.
Today we’ll be making the trip that we’ve been doing for thirty-some years since all the cousins were little. We’re going out to pose by the giant pretzel outside of Sturgis in Lititz, and will be hitting up Wilbur Chocolate. After that, we’ll be heading out to Strasburg Creamery where they have the best homemade ice cream anywhere. If tradition has any say in it, Eric will trip and fall as he’s running from the parking lot into the store.
We’ll likely spend the rest of the afternoon in the pool and maybe order pizza tonight. Who knows? What I do know is that it’s great to be surrounded by my family. It’s also great that at the end of the day everyone’s got his own room, his own bed, his own bathroom – his own little place to retreat and regroup and be ready for the next event. We’ve decided that this is going to be an annual affair at the Inn for my family. I want the babies to grow up with the same kinds of fun cousin-memories that their parents and aunties and uncles have.
Some vacations are meant to be private get aways from your families. Some are meant to be spent with your families. A season for each, right? Call me if you want the Inn for your family so you can make some great falling-down fun, or call me if you just want to leave everyone at home and have your own recharging time. I’m now pretty good at planning both. I’ll catch you later. The side porch is beckoning, the coffee is hot, and Grahm, Eric and Bill have just returned from Achenbach Bakery with donuts. Gotta hurry. Bill’s a cop and you know how they are with the baked goods..
Last week was Career Day at the Middle School where I lived most of my teaching years. I was invited to be a presenter and spent that morning in my former classroom to talk about Innkeeping, starting a business, and living life.
I have to confess that I experienced the first school-dream that I’ve had in the three years since retiring. Teachers know what this is – it starts happening to them in August and flares up intermittently throughout the term. Anyway, in my dream I was in a classroom of 30 girls who wouldn’t stop talking and texting, and whom all wanted to use the bathroom at once. Happily, it didn’t turn out like that at all. I was ready.
Amazing Joan, who assists me here and worked with me at school, came along. Again we were in front of the classroom as if we’d never left and had the kids making scones, answering questions, talking about SCORE.org, and tallying up points to win prizes. There’s a lot you can do in thirty minutes, and you’d better know that your kids’ teachers pack it in every day.
With every lesson, there is some idea you want the kids to walk away with – the point of the whole thing. This was my advice to Middle Schoolers on How To Live Your Life presented under the guise of business and entrepreneurship:
I began by handing out playing cards every time a kid answered a question, right or wrong, to ultimately reward some with a prize. Point: You need to participate in life and be part of the game.
Nothing comes for free! If you want good grades, you have to study. If you want friends, you have to talk to people. Point: If you want to succeed, you have to put in the work.
Any time we try something new our defenses go up and we try to talk ourselves out of it. “What if I fail? What if I lose all my money? What if it’s not a good idea? What if nobody comes?” Point: You need to answer yourself back with, “What if you don’t fail?! What if you make a million dollars? What if it’s the best idea ever?! What if everybody shows up and tells their friends?!”
You already know that you will try to talk yourself out of it (see above), and other people will also. Usually the advice is couched in good intentions with advice like, “I don’t want to see you get hurt. Nobody succeeds in business these days. You’ll never get there at this point in your life, blah, blah, blah.” Point: Keep going. If you’ve done the research and have prepared, ignore them.Rest but don’t quit, which leads into the next point.
We never have all the answers to anything, and when even life tries to stop you, hang in there. You may be familiar with my own story, which was featured on motivational speaker Jon Gordon’s website. Point: When you’re down to the last answer to your problem, there are more answers and there is more help. You just don’t know them yet.
I actually said that to the kids, preceded by “I don’t work here so I can say this.” What are they going to do, kick me out?! On top of that in the last session I got bold and added, “And when you don’t know what to do next, pray.” Really, I should have told them to begin by praying. Point: Look in, look out, look above.
I had a lot of fun at Career Day and hope the kids enjoyed it, too. So loved seeing all of my former colleagues and miss their company. Maybe I’ll be return next year with another message. Maybe I’ll just sit on my porch, enjoy the world and wave to the school bus as it passes.
Come join me on my porch for a glass of wine and a chat. I have a beautiful getaway and lots of advice free for the taking. See you soon!
I don’t even know where to start with this summer list!! There are so many awesome places to see and things to do, that I know you’re going to have a difficult time choosing. That’s okay, though – you’ve worked hard and it’s time for a break. Pull out your calendars because I know you’re going to want to put several of these in your planner. It’s time to live a little!
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I am SO ready to get my summer on I can hardly stand it! It’s the middle of May, Memorial Day weekend isn’t that far away – and you know it’s full blast after that.
This is a big week for us at the Inn as we prepare to welcome our summertime guests. I love to have everything fresh and ready, so when people step out of their worlds and into mine for some time off, they have wonderful and relaxing experiences. Part of the fun of owning a beautiful place like this is sharing it with other people and helping them renew their spirits.
Here are some both the fun jobs on my list so far:
Don’t know if I’ll get every one of those finished this week, but Awesome Tom is coming in with reinforcements and I know I’ll get pretty close. Maybe I’ll save the windows for my brother-in-law Ed. He’d like that, don’t you think?!
I am so looking forward to seeing you again this summer or welcoming you into our B&B family. Plan your escape. Pick your favorite room, choose your adventure, then catch the morning on the porch. We’ll be right out with breakfast!