He did it before and he'll - by golly - do it again. The "he" is Home Center ReStore Manager Dave Sneed and the "it" is leaping into Habitat's big, duck- and fish-filled retention pond.
There's an "IF," too. . . . IF the fabulous Habitat Home Center ReStore breaks $100,000 in gross sales this month. (June 2013). And Sassy Sneed says, "Think I'm bluffing? Go ahead, make my day!" I'm here to tell you he did it a few years back when the Home Center broke another record sales challenge. It was hilarious.
I'm sure going to do my part. I LOVE the Home Center and, no lie, there are probably two dozen Home Center items in my home at this very moment, from floor lamps to posters, pitchers to pillows. WHAT? You haven't been there yet? Get outta town! It's not your basic Thrift Shop by any means. Check it out.
And boy was it fun watching Sneed jump in the drink.
P.S. Those swim trunks in the illustration very closely resemble Sneed's actual pants.)
Today is Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress
. The United States Army also celebrates its birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" on June 14, 1775. Did you know it was Flag Day? Do you fly a US flag? What feelings do you have about our flag? Do you know the proper way to dispose of an old, beat-up flag?
Driving along A1A earlier this week, I noticed several pairs of little, white butterflies fluttering around each other in fast, tight circles. Then, as I looked further up the road, I realized that there were, literally, thousands of them, floating like white petals, all along A1A, as far as I could see. So - I Googled. Here's what I learned: In most years, in the spring usually, the Great Southern White Butterfly appears in enormous numbers, in migration along the western shore of the Indian River (and a few other places), in a strip usually less than and eighth of a mile wide - and they fly along and near the shore. It can continue for as much as two months. If you live around here you have probably seen and enjoyed this delicate fluttering hoard for yourself. It absolutely put a smile on my face.
Something else that absolutely puts smiles on all our faces here at Habitat is when a proud Habitat homeowner parent shares that their son or daughter has graduated from high school or college. We so strongly believe in helping these kids (and their parents) seek higher education to break the cycle of poverty and second-generation Habitat homeownership. So many of their previous living conditions - crowded, unsafe - have been detrimental to successful studying, and having their own space in a simple, decent Habitat home, coupled with our Scholarship/Education programs, have made a significant difference for them.
As much as we try to provide info on what Habitat for Humanity is and what we do, some misconceptions are still floating around. See what you think.
1. True or False:
Habitat is an arm of the government.
2. True or False:
Habitat families are required to make mortgage and insurance payments.
3. True or False
: Habitat was founded by President Jimmy Carter.
'Nother Little Quiz:
1. W 3-syllable word does not contain an a, e, i, o or u?
2. What is its definition?
Let's see how you did:
1. - False; 2 - True; 3 - False
1. Syzygy; 2 - syzygy (astronomy)
, a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies (This is one of several definitions for syzygy.)
Did you know that YOU are invited to share dedication ceremonies for our new Habitat homeowners? Its an interesting way to see first hand the results of our partnership efforts with volunteers, sponsors and homebuyers and is the exciting end of a challenging jourtney to homeownership for our families. They're usually held on Saturdays, either early-early (7:30 a.m.-ish) or noon. We'll let you know when and where via facebook and news releases. Next one is noon on June 22, four homes along 10th and 12th Courts SW and 12th Avenue SW. Details to come.
Have a good one.
Do you know the historical significance of June 6? Today we commemorate June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, an important date in our history. ( Do kids still learn about it in school, I wonder?)
Here's the mini quiz: (Number your papers from 1 to 2.)
1. Why is D-Day significant?
2. What does the D stand for?
With impressive promptness, Andrea, our first named storm of the Hurricane Season - which started June 1 - rolled across the gulf and is currently raining on Florida's parade. Those of us who are Really Organized are feeling smug about the fresh batteries, gallons of water and pantry full of non-perishable foodstuffs already neatly stashed in the storm-shutter-ready homes. And the rest of us will probably be tearing about this weekend (90% chance of rain with 30-40 MPH gusts) picking up the above-mentioned items. And so it goes.
Here at Habitat, we are READY. We have a solid emergency plan with a not-surprisingly big focus on hurricane events. We provide information for our homeowner families to help them properly prepare, as well.
1. There were many days in military history that were called D-Day. The most famous D-Day
was June 6, 1944, when the biggest amphibious attack in military history took place in Normandy, France during World War II
. This attack was codenamed Operation Overlord
. The Allies (Britain, Canada, and America) attacked Nazi-occupied Europe.
2. The "D" stands for nothing other than Day. D-Day signified a particular date when a major operation was to begin. The days before a D-Day is signified as D-1, D-2, D-3, etc., and the days after a D-Day are D+1, D+2, D+3, etc.
Have a good one.
Negotiating day-to-day life in the 21st Century requires a lot more than it used to. At least, it often feels that way.
Among the tools we should have in our Dealing With Our Daily Lives toolbelt, Flexibility and a Sense of Humor rank pretty high. The ability to change direction without falling on your kazoo and the ability to (take a deep breath and) laugh at yourself can get you through when things are going south.
In families, at our jobs, in government, in business - and in the non-profit world, people have to be ready to go to Plan B, or even C, D, E etc. - to shift without stripping gears.
Here at Indian River Habitat we have always been, and continue to be, very, very blessed as we work to advance our mission - providing safe, decent homes for families in need.
To do that, we - and most all Habitat for Humanity affiliates - have relied, historically, on new construction for the most part. Today, however, Habitat is expanding to meet an expanding need in a changing world. We have been able to obtain existing homes which meet our requirements, refurbishing them as necessary, and allowing us to serve more families. (It's making lemonade out of lemons, you could say.)
We also repair, refurbish, paint and/or weatherize homes which the homeowner, often for reasons of age, illness or disability, cannot accomplish. We do this for live-in homeowners all over the community. With some 850 families in substandard housing just here in Indian River County - not to mention more than 800 homeless - there is still much need to be met.
Just so you know - we do have specific qualifying guidelines and must and do adhere to all the required building codes, same as any other construction entity.
Have a good one - and remember to carry your bumbershoot.
OK. Here's a little quiz: What is faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap entire weeks in a single bound? Answer: Well, apparently, the last two months, which are - gone, done, down the road. I can scarcely believe it is half way through the second month of 2013. Among the numerous projects and events going on or in the works at Habitat, one of the most fun is our annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening which just took place - Feb. 1. There is no way to really, adequately thank our hundreds of amazing, dedicated, hard-working (and lots of other adjectives) volunteers. But we give it our best. On this night we do a full sit-down meal, give out awards and acknowledgements, show them pix of themselves on the job all through the year, and then we put on a musical show for them. That's the cast, pictured at left. We do everything ourselves, the music (no Milly Vanilly here, no sir!) , lyrics, choreography, costumes, and the cast - staff, board members and - volunteers (go figure) rehearse for months - and I mean MONTHS. From September through the end of January - every single week! Anyone who works for or with a non-profit oreganization knows how "more valuable than gold" a great bunch of volunteers is. Right?
Remember to hydrate.
Hundreds of residents shared an "old-fashioned" family tradition this past Saturday when both Vero Beach and Sebastian held their Christmas parades. Santa, clever old elf that he is, managed to be in both places at once. Hey, that's a breeze for a guy who can circumnavigate the entire globe in one night, right? The crowds wre huge and full of yultide spirit, the lights were bright, the candy was plentiful, the music loud and festive, the floats fabulous. A small but mighty volunteer team created a terrific float for us, complete with zillions of lights and super-sized tools and yard sticks. The giant hammer, saw and paint brush even MOVED and "smoke" ascended from the chimney. Sweet! PLUS - we got an award for Best Christmas Spirit. Early on the day of the parade, we were already hard at work with finishing touches. The beautiful shot at left was taken just after a brief shower, and it proved to be a good sign that the weather from then on would be close to perfect. It also served as a reminder of how blessed we are, here at Habitat, with the support we need to carry out our mission. Especially when we catch the news and see what most of the rest of the world's people have to deal with - its pretty clear how very fortunate we are here, even in hard times.
Have a good one.
All those incredible images seem surreal, don't they? Hurricane winds, devastating floods, raging fires, snow storms, New York City virtually shut down, miles of shoreline communities in ruins. . . .and it all just curved around us - left us with nothing more than some nippy temps and, then, blue skies. Obviously, an opportunity to remember how fortunate we are, right?
The photo is of a Habitat home owned by Twain Rodgers, one of our many homeowners who have taken Habitat's "hand up" and, with hard work, determination and an admirable sense of responsibility, created not only a new life for himself and his family, but also enhanced his own neighborhood! As you can see, he keeps his yard in beautiful order, a credit to the community. Even more exciting - Twain has recently started his own woodworking business - Rebirth Woodworks - creating elegant, rustic frames - each a unique art work.You can take a peek here: http://www.rebirthwoodworks.com/p/rustic-wood-frames.html
Have A Good One!
On the shallowest of levels, it is just extremely cool to be able to say, "Oh, yeah, I've been to Kathmandu." For the 14 of us representing IRHFH who traveled to the other side of the world to participate in Habitat for Humanity International's Everest Build Oct. 7-13, 2012, the bragging rights paled in the reality of the adventure. Some 400 volunteers from several countries (having paid our own transport) met in the teeny country of Nepal, tucked between China to the North and India to the South, to build 40 homes for families in the remote foothills of the mighty Himalayas. Although our accommodations in Kathmandu had running water and (usually) electricity, the construction site to which we were bused each morning had neither. Working alongside the families (unfailingly gracious, hardworking and beautiful people), we helped build small, simple homes of native materials - mud and bamboo, topped with corrugated metal roofs. We wielded battered shovels and trowels as our assignment mainly involved - mud: The recipe for the mortar with which to lay the sun-dried mud bricks and the "adobe" blend to cover the interior and exterior of the homes will, I feel confident, remain with each of us for a looooong time.
To whit: Create a mixing pit by loosening and shoveling a lot of red clay.
Next: add water; rice husks; gravel; and (everybody's fav ingredient) cow dung.
Turn ingredients carefully, mixing thoroughly until the consistency of pudding.
Plop a couple BIG shovelfuls into a shallow bowl and gracefully lug over to the crew in the house.
So very much more to share. . . .to be continued. Meanwhile. . .
Have a good one.
For the past 3 years now, our (fabulous) Home Center ReStore has celebrated national Talk Like A Pirate Day with special sale prices if you talk like and/or dress like . . . . .well, you know. And lots of folks do. the whole ReStore staff gets all buccaneered up. A wonderful volunteer group - young people from AMC Theatre - came in hand-painted pirate-y black t-shirts, hats, patches etc. and worked hard all day. Creative Head Cashier Loralee Chastain, pictured left, decked out not only herself but her pup, Ginger Snap, who was practicing his best arrgggrrrrr.
On Sept. 11, I happened to be attending a Chamber of Commerce luncheon up at Captain Hiram's, on the intracoastal in Sebastian. Before the meal, we paused, of course, for a moment of silence. Just out the window, at water's edge, the flag waved, at deep half-mast, the clouds were low and gray, rain threatened, the wind pushed a bit. In that small moment of quiet, it was a sobering and moving sight.
One sunny Sunday a couple of weeks back, I stood in line at a favorite spot on Vero's beach, Cravings, where you have to check your guilt and your diet at the door and just enjoy the baked treats that beckon. Waiting to order my apple crouissant, i glanced down at the goody-laden baskets that lined the counter and saw packages of - no kidding - Gummy - wait for it - - -
I can do gummy frogs. I even sort of like those purple gummy worms. But. . . . .man, I just can't. . . . . .
Have a good one.