Sandy Relief: How I’m helping, what you can do, lists, info, + more.

It’s been a busy weekend of emails, calls, and pulling things together.  My little mission to help out Sandy Survivors is actually coming together.  I’m pretty impressed with myself, not gonna lie.  I think that after living in Florida for two and a half decades, dealing with hurricanes is just in my blood, it’s a normal part of life to me.  And well, if you don’t know by now that I tend to be the take-action-do-gooder type, well then you hardly know me at all.

Generous hearts make the world go ’round.  And coming into contact with truly generous people who are so excited and happy to give is a truly humbling experience.

i’m so grateful to anyone and everyone who’s pitching in to help.

When I started the tiny idea to see what I could do to help the Sandy Relief efforts, I had no idea what to expect.  The call for supplies, donations, and any kind of help went out all over the Interwebs.  I’ve posted on Craig’s List Buffalo, reddit, Facebook, all kinds of organization’s Fb pages, Twitter, and more.  And well it hasn’t been a downpour of support, there’s been more than a trickle and it’s really exciting.

i stand by my cheesy lil’ logo!

A few people have chipped in some financial support, I have a pal for the car ride down who will be staying in the NYC-area long term to do clean up work wherever she’s needed, and I have a couple helpful people found out about my plans online and have been putting together donations that we can bring with us.

TWO AMAZING STORES have generously donated items to the effort as well:

Smith’s True Valu in Irving, NY and the Sears Hometown Store here in Fredonia (just down the street from where I live) have been super awesome.  Once we get this whole thing underway, we’ll give them official shout outs and post photos of the items they provided.  We’re hoping in the next day or so to find some more stores will to donate supplies, or at least cut us a break on the cost of items.

NEEDS LIST:

thanks to mj for the link to this awesome list!

The clean up efforts are paramount right now, and thus some things in huge demand are:

  • dust masks
  • gloves – rubber, work, leather, all kinds
  • mops, mops, mops
  • paper towels, regular towels, shop towels
  • tools of any kind, the smaller and more mobile – the better (and remember, power in nonexistent or limited), crowbars, screwdrivers, hammers
  • work boots in all sizes
  • contractor-style garbage bags
  • tarps, plastic sheeting
  • duct tape, rope, zip ties
  • garbage bags
  • gas cans
  • food, formula, water, snacks, OTC meds
  • winter clothing, blankets, bedding
  • and finally – stuff for kids to occupy the boredom and help life their spirits: toys, games, etc.

If you have any desire to get these items to me, I’m more than happy to take them to NYC for you.  There are plenty of grassroots efforts of people who I personally know can use and need these items right away – with zero overhead going to “operating costs,”  just straight from the shelves of stores into the hands of those who need them.  If you trust me, paypal some cash money my way: happyhippierose@gmail.com is my paypal handle!

If you’d like to send your own care packs, there are several places that you can ship stuff to:

Warehouse donated as in-take center

New York Container Terminal
Attn: Sandy Relief Warehouse
300 Western Avenue
Staten Island, NY  10303
or

Staten Island Recreational Association
599 Fr. Capodanno Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10305
Attn: Megan Delmar

….

she seemed so nice at first, but woah did she turn out to be a super bitch!

As many of you know, Duggs (my husband) grew up on Long Island.  His family and friends have been seriously impacted by this storm.  My brother-in-law, and mother-in-law are both still displaced, and unable to return home,  In fact, since we have so many loved ones from Long Beach it’s crazy to try and name everyone and explain the carious states of disarray their lives are in right now.   If you’d like to give money to the Long Beach recovery effort –  here’s a great group:

City of Long Beach Relief
One West Chester Street
Long Beach, NY 11561

There are TONS of groups using Facebook and Social Media to get the word out.  Some great resources to learn more are:

So. Whatever you end up doing – be it making a huge donation to the Red Cross or just sending well-wishes and prayers to those affected, every contribution is wonderful and they all work together and come together to help put things all back together.  Major disasters like this are so terrible, so many lives are just ripped apart, and millions of people are experiencing high levels of stress, sadness, anger, devastation, and more.

Yet… time and time again we see in the darkest of days the most startling displays of true beauty.  Strangers coming together to help each other out, true generosity and kindness, we see helping hands and warm hugs given out freely.   There’s no time machine or magic eraser that can un-do the tragedy… sadly, what’s done is done.  But when given the option of HOW to react, seeing everyday people pick the good, noble, wonderful choice – is an amazing thing to bear witness to.

For everyone who is suffering: you have my warmest thoughts and prayers, as well as my sincere encouragement.

For everyone who is helping:  you have my gratitude and thanks, you are awesome and inspiring.

For everyone who doesn’t know what to do: listen to your heart and you can’t go wrong.

Thanks for reading, y’all!  The donations, support, and well wishes my little caravan have been given are truly inspiring.  And my only hope is that we do some good and help out as many people as we possibly can.  Want to help?  Paypal me some moolah, and I promise it will go to great use:  happyhippierose@gmail.com 

XOXO, HHR

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Buffalo’s Stampede of Love: Sandy Relief Effort (Yeah, I’m starting a relief project)

Hurricane Sandy sucks, downstate is a mess, and many of us with hearts and consciences want to do our part to help.  So rather than twiddling my thumbs and hoping someone else takes care of it, I’m stepping up.

Sandy, you tramp! You messed up so much stuff.

I’m starting a relief drive for people affected by Hurricane Sandy in NYC and Long Island.
The project is tentatively called, “Stampede of Love.”  Because it’s coming from Buffalo.  Get it?  I’m so witty.

Facade collapse on a building in Alphabet City – what a nightmare.

This ain’t a 501c3 and I’m not creating an official organization.  If you trust me at my word, and I hope you will, let’s do this and help out some folks who really really need it.   Money, nonperishable food, WINTER CLOTHES, and any and all transportable household items are welcome.  I’m willing to physically collect items people are interested in donating, I’m also willing to be the hub for fiscal donations and see to it that 100% of monies collected go to this effort.  The ONLY thing (other than handing it directly over to a reputable shelter and/or organization down state) that I’d use money collected on is potentially a U-haul or trailer should we get that much stuff donated.  I’m assuming and hoping what we gather will fit in a large SUV, which I plan to rent out-of-pocket as part of this effort.
Today is Wednesday… ideally, I’d love to get to NYC this weekend.  I don’t think that’s quite possible though, and so I’m aiming for a trip in about ten days time, the second weekend in November.   If anyone is interested in helping with that aspect of this whole project, please let me know.

Massive storm surge is the culprit for tons of damage.

Can you even imagine? Such devastation.

I’m interested in collecting goods at my home, or we can meet up in the Walmart parking lot in Fredonia.  I’ll be in North Buffalo for a good while on Saturday.  And well, otherwise, just hit me up and we’ll figure something out.  My email is happyhippierose@gmail.com and I look forward to hearing from you.
Here’s a copy of the post that just went live on Craig’s List:

Hi CL Buffalo,

My name is Rose. I live in Fredonia / Sheridan now, but I grew up in Florida. If there’s one thing I know – it’s how terrible hurricanes are, and how LONG and intense the clean-up and get-your-life back process is. NO ONE CAN DO IT ALONE. My husband and I have lots of family and friends who’ve been affected by Hurricane Sandy down state, in NJ, Rhode Island and elsewhere. We think as fellow New Yorkers, we should and could help out those in the NYC/Long Island area. Thousands of people are homeless and living in shelters, everything they own = destroyed.

We’re going to start with sending money, but the need for household items and clothing is incredible. It’s chilly out, y’all, and some people have lost every scrap of winter clothing they owned. I am interested in driving down with some donated items. Maybe not this weekend, but in about ten days? People will still need things then, that’s for sure. If there was anyone else in the area of WNY interested in volunteering to drive the stuff down (instead of me and my hubs going) – I’d be MORE THAN WILLING to help you organize the clothing and donation drive, as well as donate gas money.

I have no desire in creating an official organization – this is all honor system, y’all. 100% of anything I get will go downstate to those in need. I’m working with some orgs in NYC to find out the areas of greatest need. WNY is full of huge hearts and generous people. Let’s do the right thing and help where we can. Wanna know more about who I am? Check out http://www.happyhippierose.com – it’s my personal blog. You’ll see I’m just a silly, albeit very honest and nice person, and I just want to help. We have a lot of family on Long Island and in the city, and it’s just been awful seeing the devastation.

If you want to donate clothing, household goods, food, whatever, contact me: happy hippie rose (AT) g mail (dot) com – and we can go over drop offs and pick ups. I’m in Chautauqua County now, yes – but have plans to be in North Buffalo Saturday during the day. We can make other arrangements as need be.

ANY AND ALL MONETARY DONATIONS MADE TO < happyhippierose @ gmail .com > via paypal will go to shelters and/or the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy help efforts. Again, honor system here. If you don’t trust me, don’t give. If you want to help, this is a quick and easy way.

Once the ball gets rolling I will update more with specifics. I’ll also use my blog to coordinate things. THANK YOU ALL – have a safe and Happy Halloween, All Saints Day, and God Bless.

-Rose Duggan

I really just want to do the best I can to help.  This storm was awful and came at such a terrible time of year – less than two months ’till Christmas / Hanukkah, and worse than that: it’s COLD out up here.  People need protective clothing and their homes.

Any and all support is welcome, even if it’s just wishing me luck.

Thanks for reading!  XOXO, HHR

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Weather Woes

Well pals, good news:  I’m acclimating to Western New York.  At least so far, I think I’m adapting to my new clime like a charm.

It’s been crisp lately, lovely, cool, and sometimes a crispy that borders almost on chilly – and I’ve been LOVING it.  I’m super in love with fall and all that it entails (more on that later, though).  Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment.  I noticed it was gray and rainy, so I threw on jeans and a thin long sleeve tee.  I ran to the car, and assumed the warmth I was feeling was running + rain.  As I started driving and realized the thermostat declared the outdoor air to be a balmy 67, I started laughing.  Legit LOLing, because to me – 67 degrees sounded warm.  I also sweat right through that long sleeve shirt and felt like a clammy whore in church.

Today, it’s downright hot.  Like, mid-80s, I-feel-like-I’m-melting-and-want-to-die kind of hot.  And because of this unseasonal burst of sunshine and sweat, I have a funny Fb status right now.  It reads:

“it’s in the 80s today… THE EIGHTIES!

the only thing this heat is doing is bringing false hope to all the Halloween sluts.”

First of all, admit it: that’s funny.

this morning’s sunrise was pretty glorious, right? amazeballs.

Secondly, I’m really not hating on Halloween sluts.  If I’m being honest (and what’s the point of a blog if you’re lying?), I probably toe the line of slutty way more often than not.  I love a nice short short, low cut tops are my friend.  I’m 29 now, so I gotta make the most out of getting away with it while I can, right?  And as far as slutty-Halloween costumes go – I went to college in the South.  So you tell me how you think that went.  Which brings us to today’s “throwback” story.

The Halloween of 2008 will forever and ever (AND EVER) go down as an infamous Halloween.  I was living in Neptune Beach with Sasha and Mike, and well… we were all clinically insane.   That year for Halloween I had arranged and planned on a super awesome (and dubiously slutty) “Malibu Barbie” costume.  Long blond wig, hot pink bikini (calm down Mattel enthusiasts, I know that original MB wore baby blue), and super high heels.  It was gonna be awesome.  I was all sexy and tanned and excited.

the bikini that was purchased solely for the malibu barbie costume

Then, can you guess what happened?

If you guessed “obscene freak cold front,” you’d win.  In Jacksonville, FL the high for Halloween was in the 30s.  That’s just basically unheard of.  But that is indeed what happened, and it was miserable.  (Now, I’m referring to the weather on the party night, so it may not have been the 31st, but it was the Friday or Saturday that was being used as the party night).   My plans had been to attend a few specific parties, including one hosted by my pal DeDe that was an indoor/outdoor soiree.  So at the last minute I had to adjust my plans and go as something that offered more coverage than a bikini.  I know the hardcore amongst you are balking now, but it was blustery, possibly going to rain, and I was a thin-blooded full-time Floridian at that point.  And in order to have the gall to wear a bikini as a costume, I wasn’t carrying much meat on my bones at that time.

Whatever did you do, Rose?

I went to Target and bought some winter-y crap from the kids section and went as the weirdest, lamest, and still somehow sluttiest “Alpine Barbie” I could pull off.  Behold:

 

me on the left as “alpine barbie” and dede on the right as a red crayon. and no, i have no idea how she wasn’t freezing in that!

I’m pretty sure it’s one of my least favorite costumes of all time, because it was lame and terrible and poorly executed.  But for all those reasons, it also tickles my funny bone immensely.  And well, it was a Halloween I won’t forget, right?

Moral of the story: Never ever trust the weather report, and when going super slutty on Halloween, keep in mind a good back up plan.  Especially considering a hurricane is barreling its way to the east coast, this is a more important year than ever to make sure to have some kind of inclement weather plan B.

 

Thanks for reading – XOXO, 

HHR

Sprechen Sie Awesome?

My lovely friend Rell and I have recently reconnected (what’s better than reconnecting with a dear friend? Seriously, nothing!) and out of the goodness of her amazing heart, she decided to send me an awesome German care pack!

Yes, Germany.  One of the fun and wacky aspects of good ole military life is living abroad, and right now Rell and her family live on an Army base in Germany.   Her kids are having an amazing time learning the language and traveling so much, she and her husband have also really liked the experience.  Hearing about the plans for jaunts they have in store, and seeing the pics of how they’ve spent their time there so far: I’m uber jealous.  She’s having the real fun, but there’s still some rollover awesome that affects those she knows.  Having a friend who is stationed abroad comes with fringe benefits – this care pack being a major one.

my friend rell. this pretty lady sent ME a care pack!

when i saw this had arrived, i was downright giddy

You see, I got new doctors here in Western New York.  And the process of doing so was a DOOZY.  It was pretty rough, actually.  All the red tape and paperwork, all the hassle, it was a logistical nightmare.  Then, once I finally got on board with a new doc to manage my porphyria – he did what all new docs on a case loooooove to do: change up all my meds and make my body freak out.  So yeah, there was a period of time that was pretty craptastic.  It was right around this time that my pal Rell and I reconnected, and knowing that I was feeling the stress and dealing with some stuff – she decided to send me a sweet box of pick-me-ups.

When a box from Europe comes for you, and you know there are treats inside: it’s a super exciting time!

And this box of treats did NOT disappoint, neither now.

all mah goodies

Why is it that the German flavor of gummy bears taste so amazing?  They’re ridiculous.  My actual theory is because of the food coloring.  In Europe they’re way more progressive and awesome, and actually aware that food dyes are basically poison – and thus, the foods and candies of European countries usually do not include Red40 or Blue Lake Whatever… they include this crazy stuff, natural flavoring and coloring.  (So weird!).  But seriously, I think it’s the lack of dyes and the clever use of real flavors that enhances the quality.

She also packed in this tea that I certainly can’t get enough of.  I’m actually drinking a nice warm mug right now, but after a looooong day of work I look haggard and am not using a snapshot from this minute.  (Instead I’m using one from yesterday in which I also look really weird and not so cute, but it’s sadly better than now).

the worst ever pic of me, drinking the best ever tea

this tea is to die for

Rell also has beautiful penmanship and the handwritten note she included is so lovely!  I wish I could do cursive that well.  She packed in all kind of thoughtful lovely items, even a blankie for JJ – just… what a SWEET friend she is!  Thank you so much Sherrill, you’re the best.   Here are some more bragging pics of my sweet care pack:

she even included a blanket for jj!

jayjers all snuggled in his soft lil doggie blankie

side one

the b-side

Have you ever gotten an awesome box of goodies?

If you were to get a care pack from Germany, what would you want in it?

And now… what American goodies should I make durn sure to include in a care pack I send over to her?

As always: thanks for reading!!  

XOXO, HHR

Fun Times With Family and Friends

In the month or so that I took a blogging break, things were downright nutty around here.  I mentioned that we had some family come in town, and now I’ll elaborate.  In yesterday’s post I talked about my weekend trip to Jax for a surprise party – so I figured with all the family and friend fun times, I could just mash up the visits together and make one big photo dump post to catch everyone up on what’s been going on.

One on hand, I totally realize this is kinda cheap and corny (to throw it all into one post).  But on the other, I’m trying my best to achieve a balance that’s tough to strike, between wanting to cover events that are fun and important to me, without boring the pants off everyone reading.  I know that the minutia of my personal life isn’t nearly as fascinating to y’all as I find it – and with respect to that, I’m trying to not drown you in lame-o posts about very ordinary things.  I do realize, however, that for people who know me in person and hang out with me, there’s a certain expectation of making it into the blog when we hang out.  Or least a nervous reluctance that you probably will end up on here at some point.

So.  With all that meta debate established, I’m cool with going ahead and mentioning a little bit about several different events and then slamming y’all with a photo dump.  Cool? Good.

First up, my cousins Justin and Nicole came up here from Florida.  I hadn’t seen them in over a year, and having them come up to New York (and Canada) for a while was awesome.  They’ve grown up so very much, and realizing just how different they’ve become in 15 months makes me sad to be as far away from them as I am.  I knew both of them in vitro, and have seen their growing up firsthand, until I moved to Hawaii.  We had a great time and made sure to squeeze in as much as we could – like going boating on the lake, doing arts and crafts, cooking out, etc. etc.  In addition to having them up here, my sister Anna and her boyfriend Jared drove over to come visit with them as well.  They live north of Albany, so it’s not too much of a hike.  Having everyone all in Fredonia was both awesome and crazy.  It was a lot of moving parts to keep track of, that’s for sure!

All in all, we had a great time – and I was super sad to see everyone go.

Like less than a week later, my Dad and Step-Mom (Anna) came up here to see us!  They took a big trip up from Florida and we were their first stop.  Neither Duggs or I had seen them since they came out to visit us in Hawaii (remember that post?), so hanging out with Viper and Anna was long, long overdue.  We had an awesome time.  Lots of hanging out, some rambling, we went shooting, hung out with other family members that live in the area, went out to eat, and who knows what else.  Oh yeah, Dad took me to a doctor’s appointment and got to meet one of my new docs up here.  We dedicated a lot of their trip to just spending quality time together, not necessarily focused on an event or an activity.  And that was good, it was just great to hang out all together.

So that covers the two big events of us hosting folks up here.

As y’all already know, last weekend I flew down to Florida to go hang out and get crazy with my old college pals.  I went to UNF in Jacksonville, FL from 2001-2005.  After graduating, I stayed in town for several years (like four?) where I worked and lived and kept partying with my college friends in some weird pattern of extended adolescence.  It was very rad, and I loved the years I spent in Jax.  The beaches are great, the community is great, I loved riding my beach cruiser everywhere and getting to surf after work.  It was just an awesome place to live, and I miss it often.  Well, I miss the friends most of all – but Jax too.  It’s a very rad town!   I didn’t get a ton of pics (partying + mob mentality + not having a flash = lame, blurry, too dark photos), but a couple of the ones that are okay I threw into the photo dump here.

As much fun as I had reuniting with my pals, and wishing one of my dearest dudes, Cory Lee, a happy birthday – man, there is NO place like home.  And at this point in time, I’m confident to say that Western New York sure does feel like home.  I’m glad to be back and I’m happy to be here.  I was just going through some pics from this summer- snap shots from runs I’ve been on, photos of the dogs being silly, and I can easily say that I love my now-life.

Thanks to everyone who hung out this summer and contributed to some super fun times!  Hawaii was amazing, but it was lonely – so seeing loved ones again is a very very nice thing.  It’s wonderful and fills my cold little heart with a whole mess of happiness.

As always, thanks for reading my blog!!  XOXO, HHR

Without further ado… THE PICS:

Dear Delta, YOU ARE TERRIBLE.

Who the heck likes air travel anymore?  Well, other than Duggs because he’s weird like that and really likes riding on planes.  Who?  Why? Air travel in this day and age is awful.  It’s the worst thing any of us can experience, worse than root canals and declaring bankruptcy, because unlike most crappy situations, we know that we are powerless against air travel and that we’re going to have to go through it many times again before our days are up.  Fears of an Air Marshall tackling us and throwing us in Airport Jail and slapping our real names onto the “No Fly List” are so pervasive that the most outspoken of us are horribly afraid to even mention the most obvious of discomforts and problems.  We just shut up, keep our heads down, and fork up ubiquitous amounts of cash to get hassled like steerage on the Titanic and hope to make it to our final destination in one piece.

Well.  I’m taking a stand.  Kinda.

This past weekend I took a little saunter down to sunny (and miserably hot) Florida to go see some long-time pals and get crazy.  It was Cory Lee’s birthday and a group of us surprised him, threw him a party, and had fun because that’s what long-time pals do.  It was great, I’m glad I went, etc etc.  But… the process of getting from Buffalo, NY to Jacksonville, FL is rife with trauma.  I HATE FLYING.

cory, at his bday dinner at la nop

a blurry drunk pic of me at paco’s in jax beach. yeah, taken in the bathroom (classy, classy)

welcome to jacksonville

It’s not that I’m afraid of travel or not savvy enough to know what’s up.  I hate the process that is flying.  I hate carrying things through huge airport, I hate standing in line, I hate going through security, and I hate being crammed into small spaces with people I don’t know, I hate worrying that every overhead bin will be full and I’ll be separated from my precious items that I like to travel with.

Don’t worry, I’m actually really fun to travel with, and like everyone one you know – despite hating every single thing to do with modern air travel, I do it anyways and don’t cause a scene.  So it’s not like I’ll ruin your vacay and cause a ruckus at 10,000 feet.  I’m well traveled, and can house my way through the “expert traveler” lane like nobody’s business, and with my keen sense of direction I’m one mean emm-effer when pressed for time on a layover.  I can run far and fast, while carrying a ridiculous amount of weight in relation to my own mass, and get both myself and my always-oversized carry-ons from one gate to another with impressive grace.  I’m good at traveling.  But just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you like it.

After my weekend of travel, Delta Airlines has the audacity to email me a survey.  In the American tradition and with a temper and wit that would make my Dad proud I decided to let them have it on this survey of theirs (Viper once famously sent Delta a four-page typed letter listing every single thing they had screwed up on a huge international trip of his and Delta responded with four vouchers for business class tickets to anywhere in the world – true story). What follows is an exact copy and paste from my survey.  Enjoy.

screen shot from my stupid survey

I selected “poor” for most choices, and when asked if I’ll recommend this airline to friends or choose it for myself – I said, “not likely.”  While I was brutally honest throughout the whole thing (every answer was as close to the actual truth as I could get and reflects my real experience on this flight), the end of the survey is where I really give them a gem.  Since scrunching your eyes and reading a screen shot is lame, I’ve copy and pasted the entire last entry for y’all:

I’ve selected the choice “not likely at all,” because the truth is that I will never encourage anyone I know to give you one red cent out of happiness with your service or a life(sic; should say “like”) of your company. Sadly though, I’m sure many I know – myself included – will fork over our hard earned money to your sham of a business time and time again.

You airlines have us consumers by the balls. You treat us like cattle, you over-charge us, you’re rude and make us feel like we’re really putting you out. The counter lady in Jacksonville was the opposite of helpful and all she did was talk down to me. You’ve switched to kiosk check-ins for everyone, and that’s fine. But since when in the history of ever has a desk worker at an airline NOT been able to check in a passenger? In my vast, vast traveling experience: NEVER. Even though kiosks have existed for a long time, the people at the counter aren’t just there to waste oxygen. Except this time, in Jacksonville. She looked at me like I had seven heads when I mistakenly asked if she could check me in for my flight. In fact, she seemed like she was offended at the idea alone, and gave me a ton of gruff about, “M’am, you aren’t checked in. Why would you come to the desk to check bags without checking in to your flight? M’am??” My answer being, “umm, because EVERY SINGLE TIME IN THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT PASSENGERS CAN OPT TO CHECK IN AT THE AIRLINE’S DESK.” Why was that mistake so offensive to her? And why the heck do I, a PAYING CUSTOMER, always find myself on the crap end of the Delta Employee attitude stick?

Anyways. Of course though, I’ll cough my money over to you again. I’ll tell my friends to fly Delta, and we’ll all be put through this heinous process an endless amount of times. Because, we have no choice. You’re all like this. It’s worse than a monopoly what you airlines have – you’re the pirates of the sky. It’s like trying to be a drug dealer in an area controlled by violent gangs: the choice to not give you my money and deal with the pain you inflict is just not an option. If I ever want to go anywhere at any time, I must put up with this pageant of terror that is commercial flying in modern times. You will overcharge me, hassle me, treat me poorly, chip away at my dignity and rights… and guess what I’ll do? Come back for more.

you’re welcome. jerks.

At least the weekend was super fun, right?

I didn’t take too many pics this weekend, and I’m super let down by that.  But to go with this post, here are a couple from traveling:

sunset over the tarmac in buffalo, the night i left town

i discovered the coolest product ever in the jax airport: gopicnic, these awesome meals in a box. this is a pic of me opening one up on a flight.

my snacks

I should come back and write about my trip, my pals, the fun times, you know – the good parts.  Hopefully I will soon.  It’s been busy playing catch up after being gone.  Anyways… thanks for reading!

xoxo, HHR

Throwback Thursday: Run And Tell That

Just now my friend Rell posted this hilarious awesome video of Sweet Brown, a fire survivor, getting autotuned.   The video is actually from several months ago, so it’s a bit of a throwback (not really, though).

I’ve loved local news long before Anchor Man.  I mean, no where else on TV can you be sure to find such a cache of slip-ups, misnomers, weird sound bites, and truly awkward conversation.  Local News ALWAYS makes me cringe.  When these viral stories get all auto-tuned and meme’ed out, I love it.  So as I was cracking up to the No Time For Bronchitis jam (and admit it, that mix IS a jam)… I couldn’t help but crave some Antoine Walker.

So for your legit throwback pleasure, I give you:

That’s all I have for now.  Hope you LOL’ed a little bit.

Happy Thursday Y’all!

XOXO – HHR

DIY Racerback Workout Tee – Hippie Style

right before a nice long run

I have a new favorite tee my pals. 

My friend Carly posted a pic of a super cute workout tee a couple weeks ago.  She assured us it was easy to make and posted the link to the tutorial she used.  After I read the instructions and realized it would take about two seconds to whip one up for myself, I was all over it.

Of course I chose a tie dye shirt, duh.  The results are perfect – a super breezy lightweight workout tee that’s the perfect length.

Verbatim copy and pasted tutorial from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth:

DIY Workout Shirt
Makes 1 sexy little tank

Ingredients:
1 old T-shirt
1 pair of scissors
20 minutes

1. Start with a pre-washed T-shirt. Any old shirt will do! The bigger the better.

2. Cut away the ribbed neckline and bottom hem. For the sleeves, cut downwards starting from the shoulder, determining how thick you want your straps. Cut straight down and then begin to curve down below the armpit seam.

3. Determine how low you want your front neckline, and cut away.

4. Flip the shirt over and make a narrow racerback, curving inward from the armpits.  Then cut a deep “V” shape from the top neckline.

5. Using the excess bottom hemline, stretch it out until it becomes one long string of fabric. Knot the string a couple of inches above the bottom of the “V” shape.

6. Wrap the string all the way down around the center of the racerback, and back up to meet the other ends. Knot the ends together tightly. Trim the loose ends.

7. To give your tank a high-low look, lay your shirt sideways, flattening it out evenly. Starting a few inches up at the front of your shirt, start cutting diagonally until you reach the back.

Throw it on with some cute yogis, grab your water, and hit the gym!
Post or email your photos if you make a shirt! I can’t wait to see your creations!

If you loved this DIY, you may also like my DIY Multi Strand Scarf! No sewing required! 

And here’s the pic by pic for each step of the way, from their original tutorial post:

 

Now, here’s my super hippie’d out version:

started with a tie dye tee, a pretty big and baggy one

the colors look more yellow than they really are

Then I followed the steps exactly as they are up above, except for doing the high/low thing with the bottom.  I actually love that look and intend to cut and angle the shirt, I just actually forgot the day I made it and now it’s in the dirty stinky laundry pile.

running tank!

racerback

maybe i should have tied it around the v on back a bit higher? i do like it as it is anyways, though. 

 

it’s cut pretty low on the sides, i could have saved a bit more fabric if i wanted to wear it as a regular tank. but i only plan to don it over a sportsbra or bathing suit.

see what i mean? it needs a something underneath it!

when it was chilly out, it worked perfectly over a longsleeve tee

Well.  There ya go!

I know it’s nothing creative on my part, seeing as I totally got the idea and instructions elsewhere.  BUT- I love love love this tank, it’s my new fave.  And I’m going to make some more for myself soon.  It’s just so EASY and fun, I wanted to pass the idea along to y’all so you can get to cutting and tying up your own versions.

As always, thanks for reading! 

xoxo, HHR

The Circle Of Life Rings Around Pain and Loss, Too.

I know.  I know what you’re thinking, and yes – I readily admit it.  I’ve been super absentee lately.  What started as a small break because family was coming to visit and I had too much to do, turned into a little blogging break and then snowballed into just well, blog neglect?  For my loyal readers and supporters, I do apologize.  The break has been nice though, and times have been busy as of late.  Work is going full swing, so has home life.  But before I can delve into stories of runs I’ve been on and adventures in which I’ve partaken, I must take today to post about something serious, something sad, something hard.

My Grandmother died last week.  

A week ago today, actually.

a recent pic of me and my gma

Sally Ann Jacobs Eckerle is no longer with us.  And seen it coming as I may have, it still stings and hurts – the circumstances surrounding her last earthly day took us all by surprise and have left a bigger hollow than I could have anticipated.  But isn’t death always like that?  You always prepare and stonewall yourself, you brace and prepare… and yet, your efforts be damned, it still sucks the wind out of your sails with it’s urgent appearance, pulls at your heart and spirit to leave you bereft with sadness.  And disbelief and questions, longing, missing, emptiness.

My Grandma had been sick for a while, she wasn’t a spring chicken.  Not as spry and energetic in recent years the way I had always known her to be.  We knew time wasn’t on her side, of course.  Rational, smart people can always perform simple math.  But even with that knowledge in the back of our minds, I was caught off guard.  She had a tragic accident last week, and now… she’s gone.

I have to stop the sad talk and darkness here though.  Not for myself, because I assure I could go on… but for her.  This is NOT what she wanted.  She didn’t want tears, not ever and especially not now.  She didn’t want a process surrounding her death, she didn’t want us to fuss, she didn’t want to upend everyone around her.   She just wanted to go and to be at peace, and asked that we trust in what is to be and find our own peace too.  Not exactly religious, but more than spiritual, she did acknowledge the full-circle nature of nature – she knew that death was part of living.  As a woman who really lived – boldly coursing through life with chutzpah – she didn’t fear death or despise it.  She was ready, I think.

And in my own beliefs, and the strength I find in God – I have to trust, and be willing to trust, in His timing and in His ways.  I know she’s better now, I know she is in happiness now.  And I thank God for giving me the peace and serenity I so need now.

My Grandma was amazing.  

this is several years old, i do believe

Where to start?

She was strong, smart, outspoken, kind, passionate.  She’d always tell you what she thought, you always knew where you stood with her.  She was blunt, she was honest.  Her heart bled for so many – she felt compassion for causes the world over, and always took the time to understand how a person could feel.  She taught me a great deal about empathy, about being a humanist.  Back before the Internet, she’d educate me about women’s rights issues in remote places, about sex trafficking and slavery.  If she could have fixed it all, she would have.

She had long, strong legs… and I just have this image of her in my mind as both standing firm and tall (she was 5’10 after all) and also of her striding through life, strutting really, with her long legs stepping over obstacles and challenges and never breaking her pace.  She didn’t really let others get in the way of her determination, you know.

When I was little I was somewhat resentful of who she was.  I wanted a tiny old Grandma, a cuddly woman with soft white hair.  I wanted a Grandma who rocked in a chair, knitting, and telling stories.

My Grandma was big and booming, brassy and brazen.  

As I grew up and grew into my own strengths and glaring personality, I understood her better.  Through my own challenges and experiences, I became the “me” I know myself to be today – both resolute and kind, strong yet sweet.  In recent years, my Grandma used to compliment me on the woman I’d become.  “You’re really a nice person, Rose.”  She’d tell me.  And I know she meant it as a compliment – sometimes being nice is difficult.  And I knew that (I haven’t always been so nice, you see).  She saw the changes in me, from bratty teen to confident adult, and she approved.  Really approved.

She loved me.

I admired her.  More than she knew, I suppose.  I tried to make sure she got the idea – it’s hard to say how successful I was at that.

she was a model, it’s easy to see why. what a knock out!

She didn’t have it easy.  Her first husband died when my Dad was only five.  She raised my pops as a single Jewish woman in NYC, post WWII.  The world was harder back then, people more unforgiving.  Feminism wasn’t yet to have burst forth.  She worked jobs taking lower wages than the men around her.  She felt the heat and pain of antisemitism all the time.  She knew the heartache and loneliness of being a young widow.  And yet she held her head high – always.

When her husband died, she found out she was pregnant.  Securing her role as a harbinger for women’s rights, she sought an abortion.  Yes, in the 1950’s, she went to Cuba to get one.  The shame she was forced to crawl through to take care of her own body left her with a hunger to assure that others didn’t have to do the same.  She always fought tooth and nail for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and I’ve always admired her for that.  A true feminist, I hope I do her proud as I keep that torch going.

if you’ve ever wondered where on earth my hippie tendencies come from… hahaha… viper (my dad) and gma, old school!

Well read, well traveled, sophisticated in many ways and yet rough around the edges when she wanted to be.  She lived through a lot.  She knew a lot.  I just can’t express  well enough how she was just so able to get from life so very much.   She could really grab life by the balls and make it hers.  She was funny,  she was charming.  Witty and crass too.

Seeing her get ill in the past several years has been hard for all who know her.  She hasn’t been herself at 100% for a while.  And that was tough.  For someone who’s been able to shine so brightly, it’s hard to see her personality dampened and darkened by the clutches of Alzheimer’s, and the slowing of her body thanks to COPD.   I resent the sickness that detracted from the fullness of her character.  She did too.

a recent one of gma and my dad, at his house in leesburg

So now that it’s all said and done, I can at least step back and say: she lived a full, rich life.  Her memory will carry on for a long time to come, and she will be both loved and missed forever.   And when I take my own selfishness out of the equation, I recognize she’s at peace now, reunited with loved ones she’s been too far removed from.  I’m happy when I think that she’s with Stanley again.  Her father.  Her brother.  She’s missed them all, and so many more.  That’s the terribleness of out-living everyone you know.  We may be lonely for her voice down here, but she’s without want now – and that fills my heart.

Thanks for reading this.  It means a lot.  I love any chance to spread her legacy just a little bit further, to have one person aware of who she was.   I wrote this all as a stream of consciousness more or less, and I’m worried that if I go back and edit it, I’ll end up just hacking it to pieces and taking things out.  So I’m going to let it ride… probably full of typos, and blistering with raw feelings, but it’ll be real.  And honest.

Oh, and the title: SHE LOVED THE LION KING.  She really did.  She loved animals so much, Spirited Away was her favorite movie – how rad is that?!?!  She was so rad.  Really really truly rad, without trying at all.   There’s just so much I could say about her, she was so dynamic, she did and saw so much, she held so many ideas… it’s really hard to sum her up, and I hate even trying to.  But I don’t want to keep this post going forever, so I’ll wrap it up.  I loved her, I always will.

she was a hipster, from brooklyn and all

Here’s her obit, as written by my Dad and Stepmom and put in their local paper:

Sally Shapiro Eckerle, age 85, widow of the late Richard Eckerle, passed away at home in Leesburg on August 23, 2012. Born in New York City, May 5, 1927, she moved to Miami, Florida in 1974, later resided in Delray Beach, Florida for 28 years until she moved to Leesburg in 2008 to be with her son and daughter-in-law Scott and Anna Shapiro. She is also survived by her grand-daughters Rose Duggan (NY) and Anna Shapiro (NY), by her step-daughter Edith Eckerle (VA), step-son Kenneth Eckerle (GA) and sister-in-law Ellie Jacobs (CT). Sally graduated for NYU with a bachelor of arts degree, worked as the executive secretary for the P.A.L. in NYC, office manager for the Miami Home Builders Association until retiring in 1978. Her interests included mah jong, bowling, card games, word puzzles of all types and socializing with friends and family. She was an avid reader and was always in the middle of a good book. In honor of Sally?s wishes, there will be no service and her body will be cremated. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Humane Society, one of her favorite organizations.

Thanks for reading.  You can count on me to be “back” now – my blogging break is over, and I’m excited to catch everyone up with all kinds of hippie missives.  Love to you all – tell the ones you love how you feel, because life is so precious.

XOXO,

HHR

 

Running Around Western New York

Three weeks into marathon training and the Fall Distance Group through Fleet Feet Buffalo – and all is well.

Due to the inevitable navigational errors that seem to have become a weekly staple, this past Saturday was an 11.11 mile jaunt through residential downtown Buffalo.  Despite the extra distance, I felt mostly strong throughout – and finished with a flourish.  I’m forever grateful to the new pals I’ve made at the group who dutifully pace and push me, helping me get faster and stronger every week.  Running with people is one of the best choices I’ve made in a good, long while!  Not only is it more fun, it’s clearly beneficial.

Yesterday, late afternoon, Duggs and I had an errand to run in town.  And then I literally ran home, made the house a water stop and grabbed the dogs, and finished my five mile active recovery jog out in the grapes.  After using KT Tape for the first time this weekend, last night’s run was the first in a while in which my shin did NOT hurt.  Amazing, huh?  I have an idea to post about some of the running gear I’ve stumbled across lately.  Some favorites have clearly emerged (KT tape being a big one) – but as time goes on, I’ll know more about the other stuff I’m giving a whirl while I run.

Last week I mentioned about the lack of Hawaii as a potential discouragement from reading – and some of y’all kindly requested more Western New York pics.  Pretty and outdoors is still pretty and outdoors; I personally see the beautiful merits of each location, clearly for varying reasons – but both pretty none the less!

Saturday’s run in downtown Buffalo… here are some photos I went ’round and collected post-run.  I didn’t want to photograph the entire area, I have to leave some aspects for the weeks to come!

post-run stretching!

marketing fail

but the canisius school is gorgeous, really

just down from the school, we run along this pretty pristine tree-lined road

behind these trees, and nestled closely with homes and small non-profits (a nursing home is across the street) – is a gorgeous orthodox church. greek, i believe.

the front view

taking in a fuller view for better context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sky was so blue on Saturday.  Colder weather and rain was promised to us – but instead, once again, we were treated to a cloudless sunny day.  It was mildly cooler in the morning, but as soon as the sun hitched herself high enough to be seen in full, it was nothing but heat that came our way.   Want more deets?  Check out this run map: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/116526237

From the Farmer’s Market I’ve mentioned.  In a small park amidst opulent older homes – the market feels more like a picnic, the atmosphere is happy and relaxed.  I love just wandering around, people watching.  It’s the Elmwood-Bidwell Market, btw, if anyone wants to look it up.  I just adore the whole neighborhood it’s in!

the street along the farmer’s market – this one house is always selling furniture and stuffs out front

same side of the street, facing the opposite direction from the yard sale house

After I left the Farmer’s Market, it was time to drive home.  But fear not – I disregarded safety (and probably the law) and still managed to snap a few pics from the whip.  They’re poorly focused, but at least you get a feel for the area from them:

so many roundabouts (or rotaries for my bostonians)

i think that there is canada!

From last night, running through our small rural town that’s about an hour south of Buffalo.  I love it here too.  Yesterday’s run was just one of those feel good workouts, the sky was blue and the air was thick and hot – but I had a grand ole time!

quaint and oh so charming, yes?

all roads lead to home. specifically this one is pretty direct.

my lens was blurry, but it kinda lends to the whimsical nature of where i really live

running past sullivan’s charbroil is hard – oh the smell, so enticing.

and of course, the backyard and the grapes

the pooches need a workout too, of course

i look downright crazy in this one. i like it!

oh hay, i’m getting some sun out on my run

shaka!

love the cancer survivor running tee!

Ahh. So if you follow me on Instagram (as you should – @RadRosie) or Fb, or Twitter (see the side bar for those) – you know about the tee from last night’s run.  As I was sweating to the electropop (and some oldies) I was, as I said above, just having fun with it.  I kinda dance along sometimes, I usually smile – so when people kept honking and waving, I thought that seeing a be-neoned gal in a crazy get up bopping along was a novelty of some sort for such a one-horse town.  Only way after the fact did I register that I was rocking my SURVIVOR tee!  Oopsies – duh, of course that’s what people were pumped about.

So that was pretty fun, actually.  I love strangers that will a shout out and some encouragement over something like that – so rad!

Well, that’s all I have for today.  If you think you could stomach it, I’m so tempted to post the photo diary of my “evolution of a blister.”  I have a nasty, slightly infected, triple blister on my right foot.  It’s heinous and admittedly, painful.  I’m dying to gross everyone out with it.  Thoughts?

Hope you’re all having lovely weeks; to my runner pals: enjoy the warm weather while we still have it, and holler at me about how your runs and training are going.  I’d love to have more running pen pals and blogs to follow to chat about training, tips, injury prevention and the like!!

As always – THANKS FOR READING!  

XOXO, HHR