Pouring beer for the first time!

At the age of 65, I had my first experience pouring beer. I volunteered for the Festival Latino, in Columbus, Ohio.

I reported to my friendly bartender who informed me that pouring beer was not just a matter of putting the beer cup under the keg, and pulling the handle. She showed me the “head” which is foam. Too much head and the customer will feel shortchanged.

There is an art to slanting the cup, waiting for the beer to get almost to the top, and straightening it out. If there is too much head, you can pour it out, and add more beer. It took me all afternoon to get the hang of it. If the foam takes over, it goes down the drain.

I also got to pour a brand from the can. This was much easier, but I still had to slant the cup.

Another bartender, just as friendly and helpful, replaced the first instructing bartender so she could eat some of the fantastic Mexican food.

I asked both bartenders why they did the job. “Like the variety of people, never gets boring,”was the answer. Both ladies were very cool.

The Latino Festival

The customers were great too. It was the Latino Festival. They were all patient with me and allowed me to take their pictures. They even spoke some Spanish to me at my request. (Not everyone was Latino).

And they were happy to pose for pictures. (Donald Trump was not in attendance, thank goodness.)

After pouring beer all day, I went home and drank a can that’s been sitting in my refrigerator for months. (We’re not big drinkers at my house.) It was very tasty. It came in handy too because the Republican debate was on TV.




10 things volunteering can do for others and you!

1. There’s nothing like giving to others. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. People do need people. Although some animals need help too.
3. Meet other people you wouldn’t ordinarily ever come in contact with.
4. Share your knowledge about something: for example, art, writing, music…
5. Helping older people is a good thing. Some of them are very isolated, and this is not a good way to live. There are many children who need someone too!
6. Put good karma in the universe. ( I’m not sure there is such a thing, but
who knows?)
7. You would be surprised how many people you help will want to pay it forward and help someone else.
8. Maybe learn a new skill while you’re volunteering.
9. Stretch yourself further than you thought was possible.
10. In the process, you will make some good friends.

What have you gotten out of volunteering? Share your experiences and thoughts.

Cassie Taylor to symbolically finish her Boston Marathon exactly one week from the tragedy!

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


You have to admire people with a fighting spirit. Cassie Taylor was running her first Boston Marathon for a charitable cause and just appeared on CNN. I was impressed with her


To honor the victims of the race, there was a few moments of silence at 2:50 P.M. Taylor wanted to get a group together to finish the race. There is nothing like silence to make a statement. But nothing can really make up for the senseless death’s of 4 people, Martin Richard, Sean Collier, Krystle Campbell, and Lingzi lu.


Taylor couldn’t get to the real finish line, but she picked a route parallel to it. The real finish line was being secured and off-limits.


Taylor pointed out that so many people who run the Boston Marathon were doing it to raise money for different causes: children’s causes, mental health, Cancer, and other meaningful causes.


She doesn’t want to let the bomber and his dead brother to ruin the good feelings and intentions of many of the runners. The runners who weren’t just running for themselves, but for their charities.


She managed to get 7 other runners to join her. It was a  symbolic finish.


I say, good for them. I  admire their fighting spirit!


Spending time with good friends: Another Harmony Project post

Today, I had a fun day with people from the Harmony project. We went over to the “Buckingham Commons” on sixth street. It’s an apartment complex that some of our friends live in.

friends from the Harmony project

friends from the Harmony project

One of the women from the choir, Joy Macke, is a makeup artistCIMG0093, and she did makeup for some of the residents from the Unison project. (It’s name has changed, but I don’t have it straight in my mind).   There was another lady who did magical things with hair, and another taking pictures of all of us.

It’s amazing what a little makeup and hair brush ups can do for people. They just glow and look like movie stars.

We all ate pizza, salad, pop and just talked.

Since Harmony Project is about giving to each other, we appropriately sang “Lean on Me” which is going to be in our May 18 and 19 concert. I can’t describe the good feelings that were going on in that room. It only took singing together, and really feeling it.

Tomorrow, we’re going to raise money to try to plant some trees on Livingston Avenue.  Later on, we’re going to paint a mural. There are so many projects going on, I can’t keep track of them.

I am so glad “The Harmony Project came into my life.” It’s amazing what you can get out of connecting with people, singing, and just doing little things to contribute.

I’d feel lost without this wonderful organization.

What happens at a Harmony Project rehearsal? Another Harmony Project post

October 29
Tonight was another night with The Harmony Project It was also a night when storms were blowing a little stronger than usual, but nothing was going to stop me from going to that rehearsal. Good things transpire at Harmony Project Rehearsals.  I wasn’t going to miss out!

The Harmony Project is a volunteer choir that sings and shares.  Sharing is simple. You just do a volunteer project. It doesn’t require a lot of time.  At the end of a “semester,” you get to appear in a show at a great venue  in the downtown Columbus, Ohio, area.  Another bonus of being in this choir is appearing with a first class professional band with great musicians

Members of the choir love doing those shows!   It’s usually a love fest between the choir and the audience. Everyone seems to have a good time.

Tonight’s Rehearsal
I was really feeling down in the dumps when I walked in the door tonight.  I was going to sit in the back of the room. After I walked in, someone I barely knew invited me to sit down next to them.  Right away, I started feeling a little bit better.  The Idea about sitting in the back of the room was gone.  (After the rehearsal starts, we usually introduce ourselves to three people we don’t know. It takes time to know 200 people. ) After I did that, I was feeling even more upbeat.

We all started singing our first song. By the time I was done singing that song, I felt downright happy. Singing is good for the soul. There’s nothing better than singing the same words with over 200 people.

The Pied Piper of the Harmony Project
I guess you could say another one of the reasons the Harmony Project is such a success  is the Musical Director, David Brown. He is energetic and  knows how to make rehearsing fun,  and sometimes inspiring.

Tonight, one highlight was when we sang a Beth Neilson Chapman song we’re going to sing in the December show. It’s all about finding the light. The lights went out, and I thought the high winds had knocked out the power, but it was David trying to get us to concentrate on the meaning of the song.  Not only that, he pulled a member of the choir out front to share a personal experience about what it means to really see the light. She is blind, so she talked about what it means to see with your heart.

A little boy inspires me

Next thing I knew, one of the members of the choir asked, “ Is there an age limit on who can sing in the choir? We’ve got someone giving it all they got.”   I looked up and saw the most adorable little boy sitting  in an area that is above our rehearsal room.   As I watched him, I noticed how enthusiastically he was singing along. I knew he must be a choir member’s child .

Finally, the rehearsal was over. I saw the little boy out in the lobby with his mom and sister.  “How do you know all the words?” I asked.  He broke out in the biggest smile, dimples and all. “We practice the CD  in the car,” he said.  I told him he inspired me, and it was the honest truth.

All of this transpired in an hour and a half. It was worth the trip!

See the Harmony Project perform on December 19 or December 20th at The Southern Theater! Get tickets through CAPA

A few members of The Harmony Project 200 member choir.

Appreciate your volunteers: You’re getting something for nothing!


wikimania 2007 volunteers

wikimania 2007 volunteers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From early childhood, we are geared to be on a schedule and work. Even little kids are busy getting up and going to preschool. Then, if we have any common sense we go to school for 12 years.  Many people go to college and beyond.

Afterwards  if you’re lucky you hold some kind of job that keeps you going. Everyone, no matter how old, needs to feel like they count. They need to feel like their contributing to society. You still need to work. (Even if you don’t get paid for it.)

I’ve been happy with most of the things I’ve been doing. I volunteer in things I enjoy. I’m in a chorus and we do service projects. That’s rewarding in itself. Everyone does it together and the people we work with are so happy to be with us. There is something self-rewarding about getting about in front of people and singing. You do get applause when you’re finished.  (Another form of approval)

The man in charge of the project is continually thanking us and making us feel good about the whole experience. He even gives people handwritten notes thanking them. No wonder there’s a waiting list to get into this group

Greensburg Volunteer Reception Center

Greensburg Volunteer Reception Center (Photo credit: Jon Person)

Today, I said I’d go work in an office for an organization that I’m involved with. Although office work is a little boring, I think it can be a good escape.  I’ve always been a fast typist, so I don’t mind doing a little mindless work.

I went into an office. The woman in charge barely smiled at me. She showed me how to enter the information I was working with into a computer.  This woman gave me sheets and sheets of stuff to put in a computer. She never checked up to see how I was doing. She left and never told me goodbye.  (She did tell me the bathroom was at the end of the hall.)

She left me sitting at a desk by myself with a stack of stuff to input into her computer. I am a nerd and enjoy typing, but this was ridiculous. It was at least a weeks worth of typing.  I really didn’t care about that as much as being upset that she didn’t bother to ask me how it was going?

I figure if you’re doing a job for someone , the least they can do is acknowledge you. A little bit more than a half-smile.

My daddy used to say, “sometimes they get people to volunteer, so they don’t have to pay someone. Think about whether or not you’re taking a job away from someone who really needs the money.

That’s how I felt today.

I must say her subordinates on the second day were really nice.  One young woman even gave me a card in case I ran into trouble after she left for the day. The other people told me they appreciated it. But the big boss never said much to me.

I guess I’m alerting people to be really nice to people who volunteer for them, even if you’re super busy.

Am I being oversensitive?. Should I have just been willing to do it because I like the organization this person was representing?

Do you think people use people in volunteer positions,  so they don’t have to hire extra people?

Do you feel like you’ve been exploited in a volunteer job? Should a person need constant approval?


volunteers (Photo credit: campdarby)

What do you think?


Favoritism, Talent and Leadership!: Do they go hand-in-hand?



leadership (Photo credit: Ed Gaillard)

Is showing favoritism a part of being human? Is it inevitable? Do people do that because it’s the natural order of things? Do you need to show favoritism to get things accomplished? Is it fanciful to think there should be more equality?

Maybe the reasons socialism and communism didn’t work is because somebody always has to be on top. That means somebody always has to be at the bottom.

Whenever you belong to a group, the outstanding people always rise to the top. No matter what kind of group it is. It can be in school, work, or for fun.

What was your experience with kids sports?
I remember when my children played amateur sports some coaches would never give some of the kids a chance to play. All they wanted was the win, so they would only allow the talented kids to play.

There were some outstanding coaches who realized every kid should have a chance, so they would give everyone an opportunity to play. Some of the disgruntled parents of the “Stars” would have a fit because they wanted their kids to always be featured.


I’m sure the Olympic heroes who will be celebrated this week were all the “stars” that were played. Do you think any of them rose from the bottom?


English: The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, ...

English: The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, outside the provincial legislature of British Columbia, in recognition of Vancouver’s hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


School leaders
Once when I was teaching school, I allowed some of the students who were never leaders become leaders during a school activity. They were thrilled to be given this opportunity.

Guess what happened?

The natural leaders, who would’ve been assigned in the first place took the leadership positions anyway.

Sometimes, I feel that people who are overlooked should get a chance anyway. Have you ever been in a group where equality really goes on?

Have you ever seen where a shy person given a chance, develops into a leader.

Do you think there is a better way?

What do you think?