Thursday, December 22, 2011

RACK 14-22

14 - I was exhausted, so I stayed home and played FreeRice. Hopefully, I answered enough answers correctly to feed somebody.
15 - Bought a Christmas album to support my friends' adoption fund
16 - Insisted on leaving a larger than usual tip. Left a kind note, too
17 - Took baby pictures for friends for free.
18 - Gave Christmas gifts to friends' kids
19 - Gave a box of cookies/truffles to the post office
20 - Gave a box of cookies/truffles to the ladies at the bank
21 - Took a plate of cookies to the CVS ladies. They were excited!
22 - Donated a box of books to the local library

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RACK 12 and 13

Monday, I took a bag of dog food and a bag of dog treats to Animal Friends Rescue Group.
Tuesday, I took a scarf I made to a lady who used to run a gift shop/sandwich shop in town. She let me sell my crafts there. She always loved that scarf, but never bought it. I figured she should have it.
Today I'm so exhausted I don't know what to do.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

RACK 10 and 11

Yesterday for the best one so far!
After staying up pretty much all night, I fell good enough in the morning to make a trip to Albany (1hr away). Half-way there, though, coffee sounded like a very good idea, so I pulled into McDonald's drive-thru (we're too rural for Starbucks). I had no ideas for RACK and was praying all morning for a good opportunity to do something.
I noticed two kids in the car behind me. A guy and a girl, anywhere between 16 and 20, by the looks of them. They looked kind of tired. After paying for my coffee, I asked the lady how much was the bill of the kids behind me. She said it was $5. I thought, "I can afford that!" and handed her my card. A minute later, when she returned it, we had a conversation:
Her: So, you know 'im? (the boy was driving and making the order)
Me: Nope!
Her: Do you think he's cute? (a knowing smile on her face)
Me: Ehh... not really, I don't know.
Her: (truly perplexed, after a moment of silence) So why are you doing it then?
Me: Well, it's Christmas time, you know.
Her: Words of praise, beaming smile, laughter and an attempt to find out my name.
As I moved to the next window, I looked in rearview mirrow. You should have seen those kids' faces! Shock, then joy, eyes wide open, giggling :) I waved at them, and they waved back. I could swear the girl was bouncing in her seat.

Today I'm exhausted and staying at home in my pj's. In an attempt to still do something kind without leaving the couch, I researched the Internet and found a charity that accepts and sells video games with all proceedings going to children with rare diseases. I printed a shipping label and will mail the game tomorrow.

P.S. Seeing those teens yesterday made my day. For $5, which won't even buy you 2 gallons of gas these days, I got a real boost. My hope is that I made their day and that at some point they will do something similar because of the memory.

Friday, December 9, 2011

RACK 7, 8, and 9

My heart is in Russia, my heart is not here... Sorry, Robert Burns.
I spend my time at work and home reading twitter and livejournal, trying to stay updated on what's going on. An old friend of mine got arrested yesterday for, literally, holding a poster. She's free now, after 24 hours at the police station/court and a $20 fine. She's saying it was worth it. I'm scared and hopeful at the same time.

On the RACK side of things, on Wednesday, I collected my three not-quite-working cell phones and mailed them to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They recycle or refurbish them and make money. On Thursday, Shon had to work until 9pm, so I went home, fixed dinner, delivered it to him and hung out with him for some time. Today, on Friday, I took a card and a homemade loaf of blueberry gingerbread to our campus Chief of Police, whose last day at AC is tomorrow.

I don't know what tomorrow holds yet. I am seriously considering getting up at 5am to watch and read live feeds from the planned protests in Moscow. For the first time in over 4 years I'm wishing I were in Moscow right now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RACK 4, 5, and 6

Life intervenes and prevents me from blogging. 
So, on Sunday my RACK was a really small one - Shon and I were in Callaway Gardens and I offered to take a picture for the couple who were trying one of those "extended arm photos." Like I said, it was small, but it was very much random.
Our tickets to Callaway Gardens are good until the end of the year, but between Shon's trip to Michigan and our trip to London, we won't be able to go. So as my RACK for Monday, I offered the tickets to friends of ours. I hope they get to go and have as much fun as we did. 
And today I made and wrote 4 Christmas cards for Holiday Mail for Heroes, an American Red Cross program. My cards aren't fancy, but the message is heartfelt. I hope it will cheer somebody up this season.

On a completely different note, my heart is in Russia today. If you have no idea why, take a look at one of these articles: TIME and RT. If I were still in Moscow, I'd be out there with the crowd. I don't want a revolution, and I definitely don't want a war, but something needs to happen there. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Today I did a really simple one - I made a little something for our mail man. I put several homemade brownies and cookies into a little goodie bag, put a small bow on it, and attached a tag with a note. I placed the bag in the mailbox and I know he picked it up, but I don't know if he liked the cookies. I sure hope so!


So, RACK continues :)
Yesterday was day 2, and it was kind of scary, I should admit! I decided to go to Subway for lunch, buy a gift card at checkout, and give it to the person behind me in line.
Well, at first, I was worrying that I'll be the last one in line. Then I started worrying about actually giving the card to the man behind me - what if he refuses to take it? What if he starts thanking me loudly and profusely in front of everybody? I was quite nervous, which sounds silly now. In the end, I bought my food and a $10 gift card and quietly asked the lady at the register to give the card to the next customer. It took her a moment to get it, but once she did, there was this huge smile on her face.
I left the restaurant rather in a hurry and did not witness what happened next. It made my day, though.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Have you read this blog post? Well, you should.
Reading it made me want to do something similar for my own birthday, but then I decided I didn't have to wait until the end of April to be kind. Thus, I introduce the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. In place of an Advent calendar or an Advent lent this year, I will be trying to show some extra kindness every day.
I'm going to keep record of it not to show off or feel good about myself. It's just that I wouldn't have gotten this idea if I haven't seen that blog. Maybe someone else will read this and decide to spread some kindness, too. God knows we could all use some.

So, day 1. My RACK today wasn't too random - it was well-planned, actually. This afternoon, I surprised my Freshman Year Experience class with homemade cookies and brownies, and  some hot chocolate (thank you for the crockpot, Ms. Sandra! I would have never been able to bring a gallon of milk to a boil in the dancing studio otherwise!) No, they didn't exactly deserve it. Yes, they could use a good surprise, a little bit of love from a teacher who assigns too much homework, and something warm to drink.

It's 10.35pm and I'm falling asleep as I'm typing. Staying up till 1am to bake the aforementioned cookies is not an easy thing anymore. Old age, here I come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pasta with Salmon, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Capers

Wow, is this amazing!

5oz whole grain spaghetti, linguine, angel hair or farfalle
2 salmon fillets, cubed
4oz sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine (or water with white wine vinegar)
3Tbsp lemon juice
1Tbsp capers
1 clove of garlic
3/4tsp italian seasoning
1/4tsp pepper
16 kalamata or black olives

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat the oil from tomatoes in a non-stick skillet.  Add salmon and cook until done.  Add all the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute.  Toss the pasta with the sauce.  Serve with parmesan.

P.S. This is as good or better as a similar dish I had at restaurants before!