1. Can I get a witness? Last Thursday, I had the honor and privilege of being a witness at very special nuptials. Many of you know Kathy from Reinventing the Event Horizon and her partner Sara. Kathy had emailed to let me know that prior to their big move to Cuenca, Ecuador, she and Sara would be in New York City. She wanted to know if I’d be available to come to the clerk’s office and be a witness at their wedding ceremony. Would I be available?!? You betcha!

My co-witness was the fabulously awesome Virginia from Lame Adventures. Check out her post of the event for more details and (in focus) photos. Virginia and I had a lot of important duties, including, but not limited to, signing our names to Serious Paperwork, loudly saying “no” when asked if we knew of any reason why Kathy and Sara should not be married, and holding the ticket with their ceremony number on it. I think we handled them all with aplomb, if I do say so myself.

Kathy and Sara: Newlyweds

Kathy and Sara: Newlyweds

Upon exiting the building, we stopped to have the official wedding portrait taken by a guy on the street corner. (No, it was totally legit!) He took a couple of lovely shots. As we were waiting for the photos to appear magically from the printer in his carry-all bag, we perused his portfolio which consisted of tag board with shots of other happy couples. In an amazing high-five from the universe, someone in our group noticed his name posted: Braulio Cuenca — the name of the city Kathy and Sara are moving to in Ecuador!

Kathy and Braulio Cuenca, photographer

Kathy and Braulio Cuenca, photographer. He was able to get a shot of me with my eyes open! 

 

We spent the rest of the day eating and laughing. It was fabulous from beginning to end and it felt like I’ve known these blogging buddies forever. Call me an old softy, but this is one of the reasons I started blogging. (The other reasons: A. instant fame and B. fabulous wealth haven’t seemed to materialize yet.)

Kathy and Sara, who’ve been together for seven years, both remarked that they never thought this would be possible. I’m so glad it was and that I was there to witness it.

Have you had the opportunity to meet any bloggers in person? 

P.S. In a pay-it-forward way, Kathy and Sara had attended Tori’s Very Bloggy Wedding last year. (Tori, next time I’m in Nashville, put the coffee on, I’m coming over.)

 

 

2. Thank you, Nancy! As if the above didn’t prove that there are more people out there besides my mother who read my posts, blog reader Nancy sent a micro-loan to an organization I support regularly: Kiva.org. She used the “friend” link, so Kiva generously kicked in a $25 bonus credit allowing me to make another loan for free.

For those of you not familiar, Kiva is a non-profit that connects lenders and borrowers around the world to help alleviate poverty. Through their site, you can find someone in need of a micro-loan and send a donation to fund their dreams or help them get a fresh start. For a limited time,  if you’re considering trying out Kiva and you use this link, we’ll each get $25 in our baskets to make a loan for free. Or you can visit the bonus page for more info.

I used my $25 bonus credit from Nancy’s micro-loan to help Tho from Cambodia. Tho is 38 years old, married with three children. She lives in in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia, located in the southeastern part of the country. She applied for a $1,000 to build a new house. Tho and her husband are farmers, earning approximately $3 each day. Her loan is now fully funded by lenders from South Bend to Singapore to Sweden.

Thanks again, Nancy! I hope you enjoy your experience with Kiva as much as I do.

Kiva

 

 

3 . What is it? Each week Lenore posts a “what is it” photo, encouraging readers to submit their guesses. So I thought of her when I saw this item out by the curb on garbage pick-up day. It was made of wood and the “fingers” moved as bit as levers. Of course, Lenore knows the items in her photos, but here I have absolutely no idea. So I’m asking you…what is it?

What is it?

What is it?

 

4. Quack. Gretchen Rubin over at The Happiness Project  had an interesting post about “decoy habits.”

A decoy habit is a habit that a person claims to want to adopt—but really doesn’t intend to do. Often, decoy habits reflect other people’s values or priorities. Decoy habits are harmful, I think, because they allow us to pretend to have certain aims or values that we don’t really have. Maybe we don’t want to admit what we really want to do, or maybe two values are in conflict.

I recognized myself (and a few people I know) immediately. See below for example. There are plenty of times I’ve said, “I want to give up coffee.” I mean, let’s face it, I don’t really want to give up coffee. I probably should—or at the very least cut the i.v. line that runs from the coffee pot to my arm—but I have no intention of doing so. I’d not thought of it as a form of avoidance. I used to think of it as idealism, as in “Ideally I’d like to give up coffee,” but now I see that without setting a real plan, it was always somewhere in the future, a hope to be a better person. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to refill my coffee cup.

Do you have any decoy habits?

 

 

5. Serenity Now.  Last year I participated in a meditation challenge. For three weeks, I meditated for 15 minutes each day. While I didn’t realize the major health benefits some studies show — everything from improved blood circulation to  decrease in dependence on anxiety medication — I felt generally calmer and slower to anger when someone, let’s say, wouldn’t step away from the doors on the subway. My hope was that the three weeks would be long enough to develop a good routine to continue meditating on my own without the daily reminders and prompts.

Thaaaat didn’t work out exactly as planned. I don’t know if the habit wasn’t ingrained enough in my day. Maybe some event came along to disrupt the pattern and I never returned to meditating except in fits and starts. I’ve been wanting to dedicate myself to it ever since (see above mention of “decoy habit”) and I found an app for that. The appropriately-named calm.com is a site or app that allows you to pick a mediation time of two, 10, or 20 minutes with a variety of beautiful scenes / nature sounds to choose from. I’m partial to the ocean and wave sound myself. (Note to New Yorkers reading this: they do not offer subway sounds to lull you into tranquility.) I’m setting an intention to meditate for two minutes a day so this doesn’t become another decoy habit.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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