Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mary Minetta Louise Selby, December 17, 1916 - October 28, 2009

I'm once again writing to ask for your prayers and good thoughts.

My Grandma died this morning; she was nearly 93. It was not a surprise. She'd been fading for a while, especially since my grandfather died in August. She had been hospitalized while we were on vacation and finally diagnosed with congential heart failure. Right before we got back from California, she was moved into a nursing home, but she was there for under 3 weeks.

She'd been in and out of the hospital for the past 2 weeks; she was moved back to hospice care on Monday. My Mom was convinced that Grandma would die on her birthday, but Grandma held out for a few more hours. Her funeral will be on Monday in Napanee.

It has been a long time coming, but it's still hard to process. My Grandma was a total character, and she's always seemed...larger than life to me. I am going to want to process some of this by writing about my memories of her, so I'm sure that'll show up here.

Grandma outlived both of her husbands, and survived every member of her immediate family by at least 25 years. She nearly died of Thyphoid when she was in her early 20s; as it was, she had to relearn to walk and talk and read during her recovery. She was not afraid of hard work. She was a talker, a total extrovert (I wonder where I get that from?!?). She would never go out unless her hair was done and she'd put on 'her face' of cosmetics. She taught me to sew on an old Singer hand crank machine that had been her mother's. She beat breast cancer in her late 80s.

Her full name was Mary Minetta Louise (Hawley MacDonald) Selby. I love you, Grandma, and I'll miss you always.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Even MORE incentive to Bet Red

Since I last posted about the Tomato Nation Donors Choose drive - last night at around 8 pm EST - TN readers have raised another $5k for kids. Crazy, no? But even crazier...

One of Sarah's readers (who has already given $3k and $8k US in matching funds) has promised another $5k match if readers bring the donation total to $120k by Sunday evening. That's $5k more worth of pencils and tubas and computer equipment and books.

Think it's impossible? Check out these posts and the related comments. TN readers raised over $7k in under 7 hours in order to get the last match. I've no doubt that we'll hit the $120k and get the match, but the more money we raise by Sunday, the more matching money we'll get from HP and the more chairs and telescopes and notebooks can be sent to needy kids.

Donate if you can. You'll be rewarded with more cute Teddy photos (and maybe some video) if you do!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Have you Bet Red in 2009?

We're back from our trip! Well, we have been for over a week now but we've been consumed with a nasty cold and Teddy's sleep has been off. We're getting back into the swing of things, though, so I hope to post more soon.

If you're curious about our trip, why don't you check out Dave's site: He's recapping it and as usual, all the posts are hilarious. I will be writing the capstone piece, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I am going to highlight an amazing campaign going on right now on a website that I love - Tomato Nation. I've been a devotee of the site forever (since 2000); Sars, the author, was a cofounder of my TWoP and she's hilarious. Each year, she asks her readers to donate money to projects at Donors Choose during the month of October and the results are astounding. Last October, Tomato Nation readers surpassed $100k ($250k raised since Sarah started the challenges) and so far this year, we've raised nearly $106k. That's from just over 850 donors! Donors Choose is an amazing organization - public school teachers in moderate and high poverty schools submit projects for funding and individuals can donate as much or as little as they'd like towards the projects of their choice. I wish that there was a Canadian equivalent, but alas - no dice.

I challenge you NOT to be moved by some of these requests, like the one for playground equipment for special needs kids or hands on reading materials for ESL first graders. Sarah's "Bet Red" challenge has some amazing projects highlighted and the more money raised by Sunday the 25th of October, the more matching money these projects will get from HP in a corporate match program. I'm giving to a bunch of these projects as my birthday gift; I funded some for my Mom's birthday, too. If you can give a bit, I encourage you to do so. The "Thank You" notes from teachers and students are just amazing, and it'll make you feel good, too!