Tag Archives: Discovering Joye

Fairies and Other Good Stuff

Fairies and Fireflies Michelle Torrez

Fairies and Fireflies by Michelle Torrez

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Joye and I would sit on the front porch of her Craftsman style house and make up stories about fairies together.  Under the sweeping mimosa trees, we’d build fairy houses of twigs, shells from fallen nuts and acorns, bark, moss, grass and flowers to make sure the fairies would stop at her house for the night.  We chased fireflies and marveled at the flowers on her four o’clocks.

One of my cherished possessions is a handwritten copy of her poem Fairies and Other Good Stuff written in a blue ballpoint pen with drawings of fairies all over it.  On the days I miss her the most, I pull it out and think of those warm summer nights on the porch swing surrounded by fire-blinks and fairies.

When everyone is out of sight,

Or sound asleep, I stay at night

And think about some special tot,

Remembering things we liked a lot.

And in my thoughts again we’re found

Out on the porch swing or uptown

Where at the park, through nook and cranny,

You lead a huffing-puffity Granny!

Some busy folks don’t understand

About the good things right at hand

To please a child to sight or touch –

And please a Grandma twice as much.

They’re funny when they make a fuss

And call our best fun ludicrous

(Ludicrous means strange, you see,

Which can’t apply to you and me!)

For we are serious when we think

Of Penny Peacock, a fire-blink,

Or Rosie Rabbit’s powers to keep

The children safe in a forest deep.

They shouldn’t scoff for we are sure

That fairies are and always were,

(A few of us, if the time we took,

Could show them where, if they’d really look!)

In the evening late when the sun is set

And all the dark has not come yet,

While grass is warm before the dew,

There’s a fairy place I’ve shown to you,

Where little fire-flies wink and blink –

You think they’re here and then they wink

Away off in another place,

Or sometimes right up in your face!

Then in a circle, sparkling bright,

Fairy wings light up the night,

They turn and swirl and fly so free

In a rainbow dance for you and me!

On tiny, silky wings they glide

First all alone, then side by side

Around the fairy-queen, who’ll swish

A magic wand for a rainbow wish.

It’s sad that some folks never see

The beauty shown to you and me

So we’ll just soak it up and then

Shine it back out all over them!!

-Joye Kanelakos

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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Can I get An Update? Random Acts of Kindness 2013

Did you sing the first part of the title?  Awesome!  That was the idea!  Now, if the line “Can I get a witness” is running through your head too, at least I know I’m not alone.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for an update.  Random Acts of Kindness 2013 has commenced…well, sort of.  It is a lot of work to get ready to do all this stuff between November 1st and November 11th.  Right!

Catching everyone up…

Dexter5

Dexter

For my 37th birthday, I’m doing 37 Random Acts of Kindness.  I made a list back in September of things I wanted to do, and I shared it here.  The response I got was amazing!  So many people have offered to help and told me stories about things that they do all the time.  I want to hear your story too!  Jim Stovall has donated an autographed copy of Discovering Joye that I’m giving away in my Be Kind…Win Stuff contest.  All you have to do to enter is fill out the email form with an act of kindness that you’ve done, you’re planning to do, you do all the time…you accidentally did…whatever.  On November 11th, I’ll draw from the entries and mail you an autographed copy of the book.

Have I mentioned I have a hard time accepting help sometimes?  I may be a bit stubborn independent.  The ones who love me most were worried that I’d bit off more than I could chew. (They’ve met me.  I dream big.)  They may have heard that I work full time, decided to take a couple of college level classes “just for fun”, write two blogs, and I’m planning a Halloween(ish) party, and Doctor Who themed birthday party in there too.  There’s all the other everyday life stuff going on too.  (Have I mentioned I don’t do downtime well?)  As proud as I am that I have learned to do some advance tactical work (stop laughing, you know who I’m talking to!).  I was pretty adamant that I wanted to do all the work for this little (big) project all on my lonesome.  My planning phase for this did start in Mid-September after all….right about the time I realized that I had committed to do a lot of stuff by hand.  Have you ever drawn nearly 80 cards?  I hadn’t.  However, I have now! (well, almost 80…there’s some drawing and coloring left to do this week.)  My friends and family kept reaching out and offering to help though, and I finally realized a few of things.

1) Why should I be selfish with all the fun?  These are acts of kindness and if they want to help, I should let them share in doing nice things for people, and the work isn’t hard work (It is coloring!  Maybe some baking, and my mom just donated a quilt top so I have two quilts to donate to Family & Children’s Services!)  My friends and family love this stuff!

2) This is a lot of work, and while I would feel a great sense of accomplishment if I did it on my own…I would also be…well, I wouldn’t be fun to be around while I was doing the work.  The chances of me keeping my cool…let’s just say, I didn’t like those odds.  That kind of negates doing nice things for strangers if you aren’t nice to the people you care about.

3) Work, even fun work, is even more fun when you’re doing it with fun people.  Let’s face it, I don’t spend my time with people who suck.  They’re all pretty awesome.

4) One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to accept help when I need it, and not be so stubborn independent. (I can hear the scoffing from here.)

The great news is that help has been accepted, and major progress has been made!

The road so far…(and some of you never thought I’d get a chance to use that line!)

1) Business Cards have been ordered and they have arrived! They read “You are awesome!  Have a wonderful day.”

2) The message is finished on all the “Thank You” cards for military personnel and “Get Well” cards for the kids in the Children’s Hospital.  There’s still some pictures to be drawn and some coloring to be done.  Thank you friend! (They are all beautiful!  Stop worrying!)  We have a system.  I ink.  She colors.  It works.

3) Laundry detergent and fabric softener purchased to go in the laundromat.

4) Quarters parceled for laundromat and vending machines.  The rest of my loose change has been rolled and will be exchanged for more quarters this week. Thank you other friend!  The coin rolling/Supernatural watching marathon was awesome!  Another conversion (sorry there’s another TV show you can’t watch before bed…or not.) has been made and I discovered that I suck at rolling coin now. (Two years out of the banking industry…or an inability to multi-task when good looking men are on television.)

5) Two batches of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough made, scooped and frozen. There is still dough to be made (peanut butter and oatmeal raisin) and of course everything has to be baked just before delivery to firemen, policemen, and neighbors. (Just say “NO” to stale cookies!) Thank you for scooping while I cleaned the kitchen…next time we can switch?  (Just joking!)

6) Be Kind…Win Stuff contest to give away Discovering Joye…well, you already know that’s up. Thank you to everyone who has already written in.  I love the responses.  Please keep writing!

Jessica's iPhone Pictures 3.25.13 533There is still quite a bit to finish up before I get to go out and give all of this stuff away, but “with a little help from my friends” I’m not worried or stressed.  I’m just having fun…now, I just need to buy a new quilting hoop.  I just remembered that my loving dog ate mine.  He looks so innocent too up there at the top of the page!  Trust me, looks can sometimes be deceiving.
Inspired to do something, but need some help getting there?  One of the things that inspired me was Random Acts, a non-profit that I heard about on a Nerdist podcast with Misha Collins of Supernatural.

Random Acts is a non-profit organization that’s aiming to conquer the world, one random act of kindness at a time. We’re dedicated to funding and inspiring acts of kindness around the world. (www.therandomact.org)

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On their site they’ve got videos to inspire you, they’ll create promotional material to help you out, and they can even help fund your project.  There’s always something to be said for dreaming big!

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” Inception 

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Be Kind…Win Stuff

Random Acts of Kindness planning and preparation has begun!  After I posted about my plans, my mother, who works for Jim Stovall, shared my post with him.  I got the coolest email from Jim after he heard about what I was going to do.

Jessica:

Your mom shared your Acts of Kindness blog with me.  You did a great job, and if it’s all right with you, I’m going to share some of them in an upcoming column.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for another act of kindness, you could give a book filled with your grandmother’s poetry to someone who would enjoy it.  I will provide the book.

Jim

Now you may have read about him when I posted about The Ultimate Life  or Discovering Joye.  There are so many things I could say to describe Jim, but then we’d be here all day.  I pulled this from www.DiscoveringJoye.com.  Jim’s Story sums it up pretty well.

 Jim Stovall has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, the President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. He is the author of the best selling book, The Ultimate Gift, which is now a major motion picture starring James Garner and Abigail Breslin.

That email started me thinking…again. (I know it is really dangerous!)  This time I was thinking about all the wonderful responses to my kindness post.  Lots of people have reached out to tell me how much they love the idea, friends and family have offered to help in any way they can, and some people have shared the things that they do all the time for others…just because.  No holiday, birthday or special occasion needed.  So I said to myself….self, you know what would be awesome?  It would be so awesome to give this copy of Discovering Joye to someone who is doing good things for other people.  See you get Joye by giving joy…get it?  (I’m very punny…I know.)

So, I want to hear about the things you are doing to pass kindness on to others.  It doesn’t matter how big or how small.  Volunteer work, providing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on for a friend in need, paying for a stranger’s coffee…whatever you do to pass on kindness, let me know!  Fill out the form below with your Act of Kindness and a winner will be drawn on November 11th, 2013 to win an autographed copy of Discovering Joye by Jim Stovall.  The winner will be contacted via the email address provided (so double check to make sure it is right!).

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