Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big dreams...

Ive always wanted to own a church. Or a warehouse. Or some giant space to live and work in. Last summer Rick and I, along with a friend, went to look at this church thats for sale in our neighborhood. We toured the entire place- the giant, beautiful, neglected church and the accompanying school/social hall. I loved it. We loved it. Between Rick and I we probably took over 200 photos of the place. It was a maze of rooms and secret spaces (like the duckpin bowling alley in the basement, complete with lanes and seating) and my imagination ran wild with what I could do with a building like that.

Of course, it carried a pretty hefty price tag and being in a primarily residential area limited what one could do with it. Eventually I sadly gave up on it, in a way, and was quietly grateful for getting to explore such a fabulous place at all. Until the other day, when I stumbled across it accidentally and learned that it was still for sale, and at a greatly reduced price. I assumed, last year, that some developer would snatch it up and chop it to bits and turn it into over-designed condos, but it appears as though that was not the case.

So now my brain is reeling again with thoughts of making this church a home for BRICKS, as well as my son and I, and maybe even a couple of other small organizations. I have daydreams of dumpsters overflowing with the garbage we'd have to haul out of it, and being covered in paint and dirt. I can see the old classrooms becoming my office, with their rows of coat hooks and massive chalk boards still on the walls. I cant, however, dream up a way to raise the $450,000 it would take to buy it, let alone the money it would need to renovate/clean/make it livable.

One thing Rick taught me about dreaming big, is that sometimes the dreams are enough. A person should always think big, dream wildly, and imagine the possibility in their dreams. And maybe, sometimes, one of those dreams might come true.

Giving Anonymously

I recently learned about this amazing nonprofit organization called Giving Anonymously. Pretty self explanatory, right? The organization is entirely volunteer run, and facilitates giving without strings. Say your neighbor loses their job, and you know they could use some cash. You can contact Giving Anonymously, provide the info for your neighbor and how much you want to give them. GA verifies address info, and sends a check. All they ask in return is that the recipient call a toll free number and leave a message for their anonymous donor.

What a great and fun way to help people. So cool. To learn more about how Giving Anonymously works, read their FAQ.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Its been a little while....

...since Ive written anything. Not so much for lack of things to say, but rather, lack of wanting to say it.

Last Thursday I sat down at my (well, Rick's) laptop, prepared to write about how that day marked exactly six months since his passing. I held my fingers over the keys, and nothing came. I couldnt do it. It just wasnt the thing to do, wasnt the time. It doesnt mean the event wasnt very much on my mind.

At our wedding, Rick chose a reading from a John Cage lecture, which has become more and more important to me over time. I chose a few lines from it to have printed on his 'prayer card' at his funeral. I want to share part of it with you, dear readers, because theyre the only words I have right now:

But now there are silences and the words make help make
the silences. I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry
as I need it. This space of time is organized. We need not fear
these silences we may love them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pittsburgh Walk- Light the Night

Help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raise money for research, patient financial assistance, and education about blood cancers.

Pittsburgh Walk 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, PA

Walk Distance: 2 miles
Registration/Pre-walk Celebration including food, music, & kid's activites: 5:30 pm
Walk Start Time 7:30pm

For more information, click here:
Pittsburgh Walk

Monday, September 14, 2009

Call for submissions

BRICKS for Young Adults is looking for YA cancer patients, survivors, partners and caregivers in the Pittsburgh/Western PA area who would like to share their story for a booklet we are making. Stories can be printed anonymously if the author prefers. Please email me at BRICKSpgh at gmail dot com for more information!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reader Poll: Do you have life insurance??

So apparently September is "Life Insurance Awareness Month". Who knew?

A good friend of mine is in the insurance business, and has been trying to get me to sign up for life insurance for ages, since I dont have a policy through my current job. I think Im going to give in to her demands this month, and go for it. Its not that I dont see the value in it, Ive just been a little preoccupied (and broke). My husband didnt have life insurance- he became ill when he was very young, and getting life insurance after his extensive history of illness would have been absurdly costly, if even possible at all. So I wonder, fellow Young Adults, how many of you have life insurance? Is it provided by your employer or did you get your own policy?

If BRICKS were to hold an informative meeting about the benefits of life insurance and how policies work, would folks in the Pittsburgh area attend?

Sunday, September 6, 2009


M is the roman numeral for one thousand, and thats how many hits my blog has had (well, ever since I started counting at the very very tail end of June). I wish I had the counter right at the start, but I dont think I realized just what this thing would become.

I just wanted to take a minute today to thank all of you for visiting, and for sticking with me like I asked. I have really flashy web stats that show me where you are coming from, where you went after here, how you found me, and what part of the world you live in. Its really amazing to see that some people actually follow the links I post here, it makes me feel like maybe some of this is useful to people. Thank you for the kind comments, the thoughtful emails, and for all of the support.

Things are only going to get more interesting, I promise, so dont go anywhere!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reminder: Blood & Cupcakes in 2 months!!

Just a friendly reminder that our SECOND annual blood drive is coming up in about 2 months. Im giving plenty of warning so that any of who you regularly donate blood can shift your schedules a tiny bit (or a lot!) so that you will be eligible to donate at our drive!

We had a lot of success last year with this, and are setting higher collection goals this year. Again, we will have goodies for those who donate, and ways to participate in the festivities even if you are unable to donate blood.

For donation guidelines, please visit the Central Blood Bank qualifications. As soon as I have all of my paperwork for scheduling donation times I will let everyone know. Until then, if you would like to help with the event, or donate an item/gift certificate/etc for the raffle, please email me at BRICKSpgh at gmail dot com!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"There are no rules for this"

It is with great pleasure that I inform you all that my second guest blog has been posted on Kairol Rosenthal's "Everything Changes" blog. Such a great resource for young adults with cancer (and their friends, and their families, and everyone else too), and I am really excited to be able to write about my new life as a widow and know that maybe I can reach someone in the process.

Please head on over and take a look, and feel free to leave comments here or on Kairol's blog.