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12 Days of Giving

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

‘Tis the Season of Giving.

family christmasI love Christmas. Everyone is merry and thinking of others. And I couldn’t think of a better way to usher in the holiday than with 12 Days of Good Deeds.

Who’s with me?!?!

Day 1 – Giving to one of my favorite non-profits: www.donorschoose.org. It coincided with #GivingTuesday so it was a perfect way to start off #12DaysOfGiving!donorschoose
Day 2 – Feeding expired meters to help my fellow travelers avoid a ticket.feed the meters

toy collecting crew  Day 3 – Collecting toys for Home For Little Wanderers with a very generous group of friends.

Urban Grape  Day 4 – Dropping off slightly used coat, scarves and gloves at Urban Grape, who’s collecting them for those in need. #BostonWarm

Toy Room  Day 5 – Volunteering with Johnathan in the Toy Room at Home for Little Wanderers.

giving tree   Day 6 - Adding a scarf and hat to the “Giving Trees” at the Boston Common. #GoTerriers

NBGivesBack  Day 7 – Donating my slightly used running shoes to South End’s Heartbreak Hill Running Company. They’ll give them to someone else who needs them more.  Best part, having my good deed matched by New Balance, who’s giving $5 to Good Sports Inc for every “shoe donating” selfie. .

Emmons Christmas  Day 8 – Taking pictures for friends’ Holiday card in exchange for a donation to Shultz’s Guest House.

mcdonald's  Day 9 – Paying the tab for the person behind us at the McDonald’s drive-thru (bonus points, it turned out to be a police officer!!).

bpd d-4  Day 10 – Bringing our neighborhood police station (Boston Police District 4) some holiday treats!

dropping off gifts  Day 11 – Dropping off gifts to Medford family who lost Christmas presents to a fire that swept through their apartment building.  It was a harrowing scene as quick thinking police officers had to rescue the twin 5-month-olds from smokey building. *(Margaret the Dog was a helper, not a gift!)

Happy Holidays  Day 12 – Sending holiday greetings to family and friends in the form of a donation to the Martin Richard Foundation.

oslo

Friday, September 17th, 2010

What’s in Oslo?

That was the number one question we got when we told friends we were going to Oslo, Norway.  The truth is, we had no idea.  Hubby’s business trip got cancelled, Hurricane Earl disrupted plans, I was looking for a unique place to transfer our trip, and Oslo came up on US Airway‘s website as a featured destination — so we booked it.

Oslo, as it turns out, was awesome.  The Norwegians might have had a plundering, viking past but the modern Scandinavians are incredibly beautiful and hospitable people.  Coincidently, Oslo is the home of the Nobel Peace Prize; it seems they did a 180 degree turn from their time as seafaring conquers.

We were only in Oslo for a long weekend but in that short amount of time we fell in love with the city and its people.  We loved street parking had electric outlets for your cars.  It cracked us up that all taxi cabs were Mercedes Benz.  We felt so simple when we realized that everyone spoke multiple languages.  Everyone seemed proficient in Norsk and English but they also knew German, French or Spanish.  We ate deliciously fresh fish and tried unique fruits like the cloudberry and lingonberry.  The bread came with fresh butter and homemade strawberry jam.  Public transportation was simplistic.  And the Norwegians have a predilection for efficiency; if you pre-purchased your ticket at the kiosk it was 50% cheaper than if you purchased it on the ferry, bus, train, or tram.

We took a ferry tour of the Fjords, saw the famous opera house that rivals Australia’s, visited the Viking Ship Museum, walked thru the Nobel Peace Center, and marveled at the beautiful scenery and architecture.  I also spent a good amount of time shopping for winter boots and coats.

When we returned from our whirlwind trip the why, became why not?  Oslo is this jewel of a city that you might bypass in favor of Stockholm, Sweden.  But reconsider.  We loved Oslo and the thought of being the explorers, the first on the block to say, Oslo was lovely!

“On the Tower” by Norwegian artist: Sondre Lerche