All posts in The Project

A Means to an End

Everything I’ve written I’ve meant. I’ll stand behind it all. No, I am not quitting. In my earliest test blogs I wrote that I am not, and it is true, a quitter. I am however, a starter and a stopper and a restarter. Perhaps as I persevere in any commitment to myself I am a ‘very pregnant pauser’? No matter what I call myself or […]


I was sooooo judgemental a little while ago when I read some other like-minded blogs with a similar mission. The reason being, the “deeds” or services they were rendering were not what I had in mind. Listening to your girlfriend after she had a hard day? That’s one of the requirements of being in an intimate relationship dude, there’s no good “deed” about that. Bringing […]


When I moved to Chicago 2-1/2 years ago, I was a 42 year old, miserably married woman who’d left the land of her dreams in attempt to save her marriage while providing extended family memories to her children. But I was hot. I part-time smoked clove cigarettes, hardly ate, ran and kick boxed. I loved boho-chic a la Kate Hudson and wore my wide legged […]

Would $1.83 Make Your Day?

Driving my son home from tae kwon do, I obliged him a rare visit to McDonald’s. Earlier he had had a meltdown about going to class – sigh – however, I handled it much more calmly than in recent past and it seems that may have helped him turn things around. I was impressed. He went from sullen I’ll-do-this-but-you-can’t-make-me-do-it-well-or-care-about-it to some one-on-one at one side […]

“I am the MASTER of Crafting Time!”

“I enjoy my life!”. So rings out my current mantras. My life coach, bless her big-little-glass-is-half-full-cheerleading-heart, called BULLSH*T (can you EFFIN’ believe it???) on me when I regaled her of my overflowing “plate” i.e. life. In short, “I don’t have time for my blog!”. Only she can call “bullish*t” in such a way that it feels like a hug full of hope. That’s magic man. […]

Did I say a Deed a DAY???

Was I specific about it being EVERY day? I could have meant, a cumulative 365, no matter how long it takes to rack them up. No? I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed in myself. And yet I can see this miracle working. I am writing, 3, 4, sometimes five times a week. I am thinking of others and ways to serve every day though […]

Fear or Faith?

Which one am I promoting if I were to, let’s say – and I’m not saying I HAVE mind you – bought inspirational, encouragement cards from Whole Foods and signed them “With Love, The Universe”. After which I inserted them into ziplock sandwich baggies because – I know it’s crazy – it’s SNOWING here in Chicago. Again. (Please let my sump-pump work in the spring, […]

Two Feet

That’s how much snow has accumulated on my back patio over the course of the last month. That’s how much Subway I bought for the two young guys standing behind me today. Let me say that I was grateful for the opportunity to perform an act of kindness without much physical effort or creativity. I’m emotionally and mentally frayed. And I’m STILL kicking’ butt and […]

It’s Not Always Funny

Life that is. Sorry for the two day blackout. I didn’t promise perfect attendance. I’m shooting for it God knows, but I know I can’t. See, I’m pretty great at seeing the humor in life. I am especially talented at seeing the humor in the fabulousness and mystery that is me. I’m the girl who clams up and gets tongue tied around a brush with […]

How to Beat a Bully

Or peer pressure or critical, snide, backhanded complimenting a-holes… Wait. Let me throw out a disclaimer here. There are many situations wherein this poem and its approach will be too oversimplified to be effective. But still it can’t hurt to hold her (Mother Theresa) words in our hearts and minds. It has taken me sooooooo long to be willing to do what Mother Theresa is […]


def: Likewise. As in, “Have a great day!”. Response: “You too!” or “Likewise!” or “Same to you!”. NOT the “same to you!” we gringos normally think of, where those very words are jabbing at our hands, forcing our middle fingers to stab the heavens. No. It’s what Spanish speaking people say when they are returning your civility, your kindness, your well wishes. Its manners. I’ve […]

Retro is the New “Now”

I’m harkening back to Christmas. You can call me a cheater. Go ahead. It’s still a great story. And it really belongs in my The People category…but since I’m “cheating” anyway, who needs to quibble about post organization right now. Yes, this means I failed to execute today as well. I chose showering over running the Mother Theresa poems to the library. I hadn’t in […]

The Haves and the Have Nots

I have not done the notecards. I have not drawn faces on snowy cars. I had every intention to print out copies of the Mother Theresa poem, Anyway, and slip them inside books found in the library regarding being true to yourself in the face of bullies, naysayers and life challenges. I have not. Good news is…they’re doable missions; ready and simple to execute. Um. […]

Stalking Strangers, Snow Graffiti and Word Bonding

Wow. That sounds bad. But it’s not. My husband and I drove through the Starbucks drive-thru and parked between the ordering sign and the window waiting for someone to come up behind us so we could pay for their order. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don’t live near many fast food restaurants. We are also in the middle of receiving an estimated six inches of snow. […]

The Beyonce of Baking

That’s Jordyn Gaines of JordyCakes. Way the heck down by Indiana, south of Chicago. This pastry chef is freaking NINETEEN. She’s baked for the likes of Common and Chaka Khan. How would I meet such a talented and ambitious young woman up here in the almost-Wisconsin- suburbs? KICKSTARTER baby. I’m fried. I didn’t get the inspirational cards out today. It’s almost 1 am. I was NOT […]

Renewed Verve

verve: noun 2 a : the spirit and enthusiasm animating artistic composition or performance There’s some strange changes taking place as a result of this blog. I am breathing more deeply, more slowly. I don’t feel like I am in fast forward or my other speed, chasing my tail. I am more patient with traffic, the public, my fellow shoppers, my husband, my kids. Let […]

Service No Service Equals

Remember the $30.00 in Starbucks cards I purchased two days ago? I took them to the Starbucks next to the army base in a neighboring town. After speaking with the manager about perhaps buying random folks coffee, he offered that some regular patrons buy cards to pay for the coffees of the enlisted men and women that come in. YES!!! Perfect! Please, do it! Even […]


Crickets. Okay, that was harsh. And WRONG to sound so accusatory since I’m the one running this show (a show with crickets as an audience I might add!). My point is, I’ve come face to face with my obsessive nature jitterbugging hand in hand with my perfectionism. They are keeping me company through out the day, paralyzing my efforts. They keep me busy writing into […]

Harder Than It Looks…

I need a strategy. I can’t go on scooping out pith instead of serving pumpkin pie. I made a half way effort to brighten someone’s day. It’ll have to be tomorrow. Three $10.00 Starbucks gift cards are on my kitchen table. My good deed deviousness has been on my mind all day. I don’t want to leave these cards around town. I live in an […]

Sunday School? Wha-what?!

It”s 10:57 a.m., there I am in the 2 year old room at church. In a paltry effort to connect with this community, I let the gregarious director rope me into a once a month (or is it twice a month?) babysitting gig. When my son was a baby I appreciated real women, not just a group of teenagers checking their phones and plopping my […]

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished…

… or sometimes it’s just your turn. Knocked that service out pronto today. Pretty slushy and icy, but not too cold I did a drive-by the grocery store and SCORE! Carts abandoned galore andI have to say arrogantly askew. I understand people not taking the cart back up to some degree because this store for some crazy reason has no cart corrals in the parking […]

The Other Mother

Well I’m no quitter. No post last night. Traveling all day. I’ve had potential service opps. come my way only to fall flat. For example, yesterday when we boarded, we were in the very last row. An elderly couple sat in the row I would be sitting in alone (I believe a first; my daughter insisted her father sit next to her, thereby leaving me […]

A Penny for Your Pardon

Gnarly day. Yes, I am six days away from 45 years of age and I say gnarly. I also say rad, awesome, sick, yummy, dee-lish (usually only about my daughter’s kisses), ad nauseum. However I don’t dress inappropriately for my age and hardly use profanity so…well…there. Woke to a financial surprise and not a good one. Tension with the hubby. Flashbacks to my poor upbringing […]

Catch ‘Em Being Good

While the general populace errs on the side of complaining – especially when a business isn’t or didn’t get something right – having worked extensively in the service industry, I know how powerful it can be to take time to report to the powers that be, WHEN THEY DO get it RIGHT. We had an AWESOME teppan experience the other night. So today I did […]

Low Hanging Fruit

I feel guilty this one was so easy. So easy in fact I combed an entire street. So easy and I’m sorry to say, enjoyable. What’s so hard about checking the parking meters up and down Ocean Avenue in downtown Laguna Beach, CA on a resplendent afternoon? Sunshine = blinding, ocean = azure sequins, temperature = warm and fresh, like bread recently out of the […]

The 11th Hour and Public Toilets

I had an incredible day catching up with one of the best people on the planet, my former neighbor in Laguna Beach, CA. Then it was on to spend my afternoon with my Guatemalan family, all gorgeous skin, smiles, humor and love for miles. I don’t know if I was of use to my sweet friend. I talk too much sometimes but with her less […]

Put Your Service Where Your Mouth Is

I’ve spent the last few days freaking out about launching the self-imposed challenge (the idea that spawned this entire blog), 365 Servings: A Deed a Day Without Anyone Finding Out. And not for conclusions one might hop to. I am not concerned about finding ways for guerilla goodness or about laying out my life or writing talent to the scoffers and haters. What I am […]

Subjective Success

This blog is my teeny-tiny-premature-still-in-the-NICU-baby. Can I call my first challenge – no television for thirty days – a success? Hmmm. I could say no. I don’t think I exceeded five days without breaking down and watching something. And of course, break the seal and well…you know. The days in-between grew fewer. But I won’t say “No. It wasn’t a success”. Because it was a […]

I am not proud.

Yesterday, I rescinded my divorce filing of over a year ago. Condemning my marriage resuscitated it in a way I could never have foreseen. I love this man more than ever and hope we grow crinkly together, making out with our skinny, pruny lips while bathed in the blue light of whatever virtual, retina t.v. fabulousness is invented by then. It was a bittersweet night […]

The Mosquito in My Tent.

As in an African proverb I saw once that read, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent the night in a tent with a mosquito.” OR, if you’re me, dared to challenge yourself to go without television for a month! My husband thinks he’s funny. He corrected me as I was regaling him of my latest failures. MadMen […]

Stale Poast

(Originally born last week Wednesday, April 9th. Previously titled: “More of Me to Go Around (and downtown, apparently!). In other words, I believe it is my husband’s belief (read: hope) that now that I’m not watching t.v. regularly (oh, um, I relapsed again last night, more on that in a moment) that I would be available for more sex. We, in my opinion, already have a […]

The Flat Screen Itch

I feel tired. Cranky. I’m kinda over how “in touch” with reality and my feelings I have become. While I do feel smarter for some strange reason and free of the closeted guilt I now know I was living with it’s a double edged sword. I’m feeling some sort of nebulous pressure to do more, BE more, use up my time and space on this earth more […]

I suck.

Day 3 into the television “fast” and I bit it. Here’s how it went down: I was feeling overwhelmingly sad about my estranged relationships with my alcoholic mother and my best friend. I attended a yoga class. I understand. What’s that got to do with the price of milk? Let me expound. I shattered my foot last August. Per the docs, “It’s one of the […]