For the third time, the Love & Peace Project brought its Neverending Necklace to this beautiful seaside town. And this gem of an event in Highland Beach, Florida, was well received by residents and visitors alike.
Just look what it had to offer: food, fun, education and music. How could you resist? A big, heartfelt “Thank You” to the town of Highland Beach, Rosalie DeMartino and all staff, volunteers, vendors and visitors who brought it to life!
This one was organized and promoted by the Town of Lantana with the help of staff member Nadine Shawah a little over two weeks ago, on February 23, 2019.
I wanted to participate not only because it’s always a good thing to get rid of litter, but also because I wanted to get a better idea of what to expect.
A couple of Love & Peace Society members had expressed an interest in a clean-up activity for the group. It first was mentioned during our morning walks, and it seemed that the entire group was eager to create an effort to help at least those areas where we routinely walk.
Beaches are recreational areas and as such hugely useful for humans. But they are also reflective of the conditions of our oceans.
An indicator of human activity
The more litter you see on a beach, the more trash is likely to be found in the water as well. While all that stuff is really ugly to look at laying around on land, it becomes life threatening for the Ocean’s creatures. It’s their living environment, and it would be to us land denizens as if the trash was floating all around us in the air. We couldn’t even breathe!
I was surprised, though. Overall, the Lantana public beach was in good shape. That’s because our town sends out workers regularly to pick up whatever flotsam gets washed ashore, or whatever those few careless beach goers left behind from the previous day.
Let me say few, because the good people who were there to enjoy the beach that day, came up to us volunteers and thanked us, pledging not to litter.
There are things we do not pick up, like the one above. It’s NOT a plastic bag, and it doesn’t matter if it looks like one.
It’s a Portuguese Man-O-War, a nasty stinging creature that will leave you in pain for the rest of the day. Leave it alone – they’re not to be touched!
But there are things we found that day which were removed.
Let me show you the menu
Plastic straws. The number ONE culprit and by numbers the most common single item. Makes me embrace the coming laws even more: paper is better than plastic!
Cigarette butts. I used to smoke and loved it at the time. If you still do and don’t mind putting toxins into your body, go ahead and enjoy it. But dispose of your butts properly!
Styrofoam pieces. Not a big deal if they’re large pieces that can easily be recognized and removed. Problem with these was that they were very small. That makes them dangerous.
Plastic fragments. Same as #3. Plastic is good for humans in many ways. Let’s just make sure it doesn’t wind up where it doesn’t belong.
Mylar balloon fragments. Same as #3. Thing is, I get it. They’re pretty and they usually say “I love you” in all their shiny glory. Use your common sense when disposing of them, so the wind can’t pick them up and carry them away…
One for everybody’s special bucket list:
If you’ve never done it – I highly recommend it! No, really. It is a rewarding feeling.
For a very low cost (it didn’t take that much effort and only a few drops of sweat), you can make things better for all. How cool is that?
I mean, what else IS there in life? How many movies can you watch, how many video games can you win (I know firsthand how much fun that is), how many parties can you go to, just so **POOF** they all go away after that moment of bliss.
Do something meaningful that lasts… Help create a better community, a better society, a better planet, and inspire others while you do it!
Love is never far away…
There is such a thing as finding love in all the right places. Among all the debris, the countless little plastic pieces, the endless stretches of brown algae, the many foot prints of the day, lay this ray of hope. A weathered, mostly sand-covered piece of plastic, looking innocent enough as perhaps a girl’s hair clip in its past life. Spelling the word L-O-V-E.
It is much more, though.
An artifact for the future Love, Peace & Beads Museum, it will serve as a reminder of human nature. As a symbol of fragility, disposable nature and at the same time the goodwill we all have inside of us.
Coincidence? It can be explained only by that very moment when I accidentally found it. It was meant to be.
Figured it out yet?
The quality of a nature-inclusive life is why I went and did it. I gained a new perspective and experienced something valuable for myself. So should you – it will enrich you. Lantana is having these four times a year, and if I’m in town and available, I will participate again, happily.
You can always contact your local town hall anywhere to find out whether your town or group is organizing a beach clean-up.
Better yet: make it totally rewarding and take Micah’s Challenge!
On the left is Carol Stratton, another angel, and holding the basket is Norma Shearon, the “Mother” of Norma’s Valentine Project
Here are the pictures from today:
Getting out of the car with well over 100 cards. Notice that green and white bag over Norma’s shoulder: it’s packed with Teddy bears and roses that light up with a little LED light. So cute!
What to expect?
Just waiting for the “Boss” at the reception. Her name is Patti, and she’s a really nice, caring lady. It’s a big ship to steer, but that place was tidy.
The first residents have received their cards and are enjoying it.
Notice that unfortunately, you can’t see their smiles for yourself, but you have to believe us how delighted everyone was…
(To protect the patient’s privacy, we have omitted faces and other identifying features.)
Of course we thought of the guys too: Norma had ensured that we had a good assortment of different cards, and they were worded properly and as specific as we could get.One of the gentlemen reading his card. It was the last thing that he expected today, so it made his surprise and joy immensely more visible.
Carol and Norma on a friendly chat with a happy recipient. Sometimes it felt as if we wanted to stay and spend more time with one or the other person, but unfortunately, there was only a limited time we had available, and we tried not to disturb too much the flow of daily activities there.
Thank you all!
Cards came from a dozen different people, even as far away as Texas! Without your help, this could have not been possible.
See this cute Blonde in that room? That Norma was there today for each and every one of you who contributed cards, bears and roses.
We can assure you, that you were with us in thought!
A Day of True Love…
Beautiful gestures of love, made possible because all of you came together. Can’t wait for next time!
Saying Good Bye was the most difficult thing to do. Rest assured, dear patients, you are in our hearts!
You gals and guys are awesome!
Thank you to all who have made cards and so lovingly wrote and decorated and donated them! Not to mention all the other goodies, such as Teddy bears, roses and Valentine beads. You’re awesome, and you made a big difference today.
You see, “back then” those traditional German women (and many others around the world) knew exactly how to make their family happy: they gave their best skill to prepare a delicious home cooked meal. And the world would always look a whole lot better after a comforting, perfectly seasoned dinner.
But today, we’ll talk about a different kind of cooking with love. And plenty of love is served by the master chefs and caterers, Aaron and Julie Menitoff.
Those two beautiful people went to North Florida to help prepare, cook and serve meals for victims of Hurricane Michael. The Northwestern shore was struck on October 10, 2018 by the third strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the continental United States.
Naturally, amid all the destruction and despair, a good meal would provide some sense of hope to those who lost their homes or businesses.
This Millennium had already its share of disasters and catastrophes, so any time someone steps up and inconveniences themselves to serve others, it’s definitely noteworthy.
Because not everybody is ready or willing to leave their own businesses behind in order to help others, Aaron and Julie deserve to be nominated for the 2019 Heart & Dove Awards. They are heroes who don’t think twice, they just rush to wherever there is a need. And hopefully, they have inspired others to jump in when the time comes…
That rising sun you see coming up from under the clouds? It best describes Heather as she was entering the bus!
One Friday in October, I was on my way to a marketing seminar. As a regular bus rider, I was about to mind my own business and just plan for times ahead while taking notes, as I usually do.
I didn’t get very far. About two stops after my own, a woman entered the nearly empty bus and she changed my day for the better. Although dressed all black, she was one of these people who can light up an entire room just by entering. Cheerful but not overbearing, friendly but not intruding and radiating with confidence without condescending, she carried a beautiful large tropical flower and walked all the way to the back to sit in the very last row.
At some point, she made a positive remark to one of the other riders, some sort of encouraging wish to have a good day. Because at that time I was already infected by that stranger’s spirit, I seconded, and a conversation began.
That stranger’s name was Heather, and she proceeded to tell me that she was on her way to work. How much she was grateful to have her job, how she LOVED (truly!) loved her job, and how it contributed to a fulfilled life.
Later in that conversation, she told me a bit about her life – the hardships she had been facing from a very early age on.
I will not divulge her stories, but Heather’s trials and tribulations would be enough to send a strong and mentally/emotionally healthy person over the proverbial edge.
We talked some more, and I saw how she used her positive attitude to design her life and make it work to be the best possible for her.
“Today is Friday, so we get paid. I’ll go and buy a new pair of work shoes and a pair of black pants for work. I’m so looking forward to it – it’s the best place to work for. And it has such good food!”
The word “food” will always trigger a response in me, so as a natural reaction, I asked “Where do you work?”
Heather: “At a BBQ place”
Me: “Never heard of it. Where is it?”
Heather: “It’s on Congress, across the entrance of the Mall. They always have a truck parked outside with their logo on it.”
Me: “Gosh, I can’t even think where it would be, I don’t get down that way very often.”
Heather: “It’s all smoked food. We have everything: brisket, turkey, salmon, chicken pork. It is soo good!”
Me: “Sounds yummy, I’ll get my husband to go there with me, he loves BBQ.”
Heather: “Oh, well, here are two coupons for a free sandwich.”
Me: “That’s so sweet, Thank You very much!”
Heather: “Now I gotta go and give the (female) driver this flower.”
And up front she went. Upon her return, I told her that I started a recognition program for kind deeds [the Heart & Dove Awards] and I asked whether it’s ok to include her for a nomination. She agreed happily and even graciously allowed me to take her picture inside the bus. Then it was time for her to exit, we said our good byes and wishes for a super day, and there she went.
Needless to say, I was very inspired by such a beautiful human being. It is a spirit such as hers which gives us the strength and power to face difficulties in our own lives.
Here’s to all the Heathers of the World – the kind, brave and resilient ones!
“Being nice benefits all of humanity. Being kind benefits the rest of the Universe.”
Love and Peace Project, June 24, 2017
Actually, this Love and Peace Project started out as a pearl and bead stringing business, specializing mostly in repairs. But the nature of that business never seemed to be fulfilling enough.
Granted, repairing or designing with pearls and beads is rewarding in its own right. It can come with an abundance of passion, a place where to live out one’s creativity, for sure. But after a while, the repetitive nature of stringing beads may call for something more progressive.
Ingrid, its owner, was always searching for a different purpose for herself. Becoming a catalyst, maybe. Specifically wanting to improve how people treat each other, building on a better society overall. Taking tiny steps of course, but that’s how we all start out.
The Neverending Necklace was born out of that idea. To this day, it still is very popular as a representative for the Love & Peace Project. It is always welcomed warmly. But more needed to be done, so here we go.
The issues are overwhelming…
“If we want to become kinder, we must accept people who are different. If we want to accept others, we must seek to understand them. If we want to understand anyone, we must listen to them.”
There is an urgent need to eliminate prejudice. Way too often, people are being discriminated because of their heritage, where they came from, their traditions and culture.
And still today, those with physical limitation or mental illness, feel that they’re treated differently. Just ask one of them.
Then you have the discussions about race, as if the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes would somehow determine your character and soul.
It doesn’t matter which religious group or political party someone belongs to. It also doesn’t matter which sexual preference or gender one has. Bias leads nowhere. It doesn’t work.
It is a huge concern for us, because these stubborn prejudices hinder the peace process. And they damage the very core of society. So we’re trying to erase some of these, even in small increments wherever possible.
So, how do you eat an elephant?
First, we would NEVER eat an elephant. But to answer that question: you slice it up in smaller chunks and then cut them into bite sized pieces.
In other words: the real secret lies in portioning.
We can’t do everything we’d like to do. And we don’t need to. There are bigger and better organizations that have the experience and the power to tackle their own special causes. They’re doing a lot of good and hopefully continue their invaluable work well into the future.
The Love & Peace Project is no match for these well-funded, extraordinary groups. We just can string beads. Like mad. And give them to people who we think deserve something nice.
Sounds like an odd combination, maybe. It seems not so strange anymore, once you’ve traveled our site and have discovered what makes it so special, and what beads have to do with love and peace.(Hint: it goes way beyond the Sixties, and it started much, much sooner)
We invite you to explore. Perhaps you even find some genuine treasures along the way…
This post is about two women who are hereby nominated for the coming Heart & Dove Awards™.Michelle and Si Si are doing everything in their power to support the family of a former co-worker.
In a normal situation, when a person leaves their job, the connection with others at work will often be severed instantly, or fade over time.
Michelle and Si Si didn’t simply disconnect with their co-worker because she no longer worked at their preschool. These two kept in touch with her. And when a family emergency took a hold of her life, both women were there for her, with comfort and hands-on support.
Social media are a wonderful thing, because they connect people and their lives to others.
You see it daily: requests for prayers, shared stories of real-life drama, people who are in need, or people who are going through a traumatic situation. And always, it evokes instant feelings of compassion, along with the customary emoticons or comments. But more often that not, other people’s burden, their immediate concerns are out of view when we write or read posts.
To reach people who may not be as open about their trials and tribulations, you’ll sometimes need to engage in one-on-one conversations.
And you will learn about the quiet heroes, the strong people who get up and make others’ lives easier just by being there, doing the right thing without fanfare.
They search no spotlight. They do what comes naturally. They serve quietly and with love for others.
Those are the true nobility, the kings and queens of society
Read below the message from Michelle, about a meaningful gesture that earned them the nomination:
“My co-worker and I are going to bring breakfast, a prayer gift and a prayer session to an old friend whose mom is at JFK hospital. Her mom has been on life support for 6 days with little medical likelihood she will gain brain function…
…this mom worked with us for many years at the preschool we work at. This mom left our program for a period and then went to work at another preschool. She remained part of our family, attending our holiday parties and visiting our school on her lunch break and in the mornings. The daughter of this mom babysat my children when she was finishing high school. This daughter gave her mom the only grandchild which is the moms pride and joy. This mom is young and way to young to leave this world. She has a son in high school and a son in elementary school…”
That said, their hearts are speaking loud and clear. Thank you for being so kind!
Not only is it human, it’s divine to make mistakes!
You’ve probably heard of the Amish quilt errors. The story goes like this: It is largely a trade mark of the Amish women, to purposely include a small mistake into their beautiful work, as a sign of humility and as not to compete with God for perfection.
But upon a little further digging this seems to be an Urban Myth, albeit a very beautifully divine one and a convenient, however unintended marketing strategy as well.
It doesn’t matter whether the Amish quilt mistake is an actual tradition, or simply quaint wishful thinking. Mistakes are very much part of our lives. And they should be.
You can look at it this way: it’s easy to slip in an error or two, when you work on anything, repetitive pattern or not. Everybody’s done it.
But if you have the ability to create something without any flaws, and then choose to insert an irregularity, that is power! Because you made that choice, for whatever reason.
Even if you made a mistake unintentionally, it is an interruption.
Someone else may discover your mistake and have the freedom to interpret it, repeat it, distribute it or fix it. Or leave it alone.
Mistakes foster conversation, they motivate us to improve, and they certainly are catalysts for progress.
They exist, whether you like it or not
So-called errors in our DNA enabled humans to evolve. If all of our genetic code were entirely perfect and uniform throughout, creativity, science and industry were all but wishful thinking.
Yes, they can hinder as well, even be downright detrimental to one or more individuals. Those are the great teachers, the ones with the most profound lessons. But we’ll exclude these from the discussion of manageable, desirable errors featured here.
The useful mistakes are those who push us forward. And those which are merely annoying shouldn’t distract you.
It’s about that balance. It’s about being human. With flaws.
I’m sure you got at least one. Maybe more. Or maybe a lot. You may not even know what treasure you have!
I’m talking about quotes. Those sayings, that we can see so often on social media. Or maybe it’s something you’ve read in a book a long time ago. Perhaps an aunt or uncle or other relative gave you a snippet of wisdom for your journey through life.
They are priceless. For some of you, they may have saved many a situation, where good advice was hard to come by.
They guide us. They make us more aware. They make us better.
Collect KR points when you share your favorite quote with us. August is Quote Month, so you get 50 KR points towards FREE goodies. Love & Peace Society members get 100 KR points.