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Written by Gayle Nobel   
Friday, 12 October 2012 03:01

Blog-a-thon Day #12

We are on our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.


Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 03:15
Yes, I Can PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 10:19

Grand Canyon, here I come. After thinking I was sick yesterday, I discovered today, it was probably allergies. I am feeling much better and strong enough to go.

It's been about twelve years since the one and only time I hiked the twenty-one miles from the South to North Rim. Neil has gone a few times in recent years, but we have never done it together. The weather in Arizona has finally changed and instead of being concerned about blistering heat, we are packing down jackets and rain gear.

Hiking the canyon pops you right into the present moment. Stay on the trail, watch your footing, plant your poles, drink plenty of fluids, enjoy the breathtaking scenary and terrain. I'm really looking forward to it in a long, intense hiking kind of way.

My friend, Carrie introduced me to rim to rim hiking twelve years ago. However, she goes every year and I have not been back since. Carrie just completed the hike a few days ago. I have been calling her for canyon hiking tips.  We are hiking one way across and taking a shuttle back the next day.  She took a day of rest and then hiked back the other direction.

Last year she lamented her inability to make the hike. Dang cancer got in the way but she vowed to do the hike this year. Carrie has inspired me with her attitude throughout her year long journey from cancer diagnosis to treatments. Forty-two miles of hiking in a long weekend. She is one strong lady.   Here's what she said about her canyon hike in her blog post today:

"Since cancer, chemo and radiation, I struggle a bit on super-steep terrain under a hot sun. On Saturday, I got the super-steep, but not the super-hot. My team reached the North Rim in high spirits 10 1/2 hours after departing the South Rim. It is hard to describe the joy of that moment. Less than six months after radiation, it felt like a huge victory--over cancer, fears that I might never be the same, and the physical and psychological hurdles that must be overcome following a life-threatening illness."

Here's to physical and psychological victories and the power of attitude. Yes, I Can.


"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."

~~Dr. Seuss


Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 03:24
Simplicity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 10:34

Blog-a-thon Day #10

Life seems so complicated and busy these days. I'm feeling a little off today, AGAIN!   I could be coming down with something, AGAIN. This happened two weeks ago, just a few days before we were supposed to do our rim to rim Grand Canyon hike. We ended up cancelling so as not to lose our hotel deposits. I never got really really sick, but had a touch of something that would have prevented me from feeling 100% strong at the canyon.

We were fortunate enough to get reservations for this weekend. It's the last weekend the North Rim Lodge is open. It's the only one at the North Rim of the Canyon. If we have to cancel this time, we can't do a rim to rim until the spring when it reopens. Such is life. But I am so psyched for this hike, I am willing it not to be so. It's possible I will feel ok by then if this is just a "little" something.

That said, I am going to take today as a quiet day to be home and get my packing done, proceeding "as if". I'm going to attempt to take my level of busyness down a few notches. Kyle is at his program all day so this could be possible.

After he left this morning, I decided to try to rest. I was just going to lay down and do nothing for a little while. That only lasted about half an hour. But during that time, I was thinking back to my childhood days of not feeling good. Being sick, especially if I was real sick, was yucky. However, there were a few fun things about just being a little sick like missing school and those  Luden's wild cherry cough drops in the cardboard boxes. Yum, those were so good. Maybe a new comic book or coloring book was part of the package too.  I certainly didn't lay in bed thinking I should be doing anything else or be anywhere else but where I was.   There was no email to check or long list of things to do that I wasn't doing. There were only five TV channels to choose from but almost always something to watch.

Of course, some of this was a function of being a child. And being a child in the 60's.  But it also reminds me that life has become about busyness, some of which is a function of our technology and overall lifestyle.  There's just so much that needs to be done. Or that we THINK needs to be done. There are  so many choices and so much information. Sometimes too much.

What am I getting at here? I'm not really sure other than sometimes I ache for simplicity. In our busyness, we can easily lose sight of what  is really important. 

 3 simple things to say...

"1. Thank you. Being thankful goes a long way, but it's one thing to feel grateful, and another to express gratitude. Saying thank you out loud brings attention to what and who you are thankful for. Saying thank you first, will make you happier with what you have.

1. I'm sorry. We are all human. We are not perfect. We make mistakes, some more hurtful than others. From the tiniest slip to the biggest offense, an apology will start the healing process. An apology does not deserve forgiveness, but opens the door for the opportunity. There will be a time when someone doesn't know they deserve your apology. You'll know. Give it to them anyway.

1. I love you. Say I love you when you are feeling romantic. Say it when you are happy. Say it when you are sad and even when you are mad. Three words can fix. Three words can soothe. Three words can connect. Say I love you often. Say it before it's too late, and sometimes, even before you are ready.

Speak from the heart and let people know that you care.

Those three phrases make the world go round. They make relationships work, dry up tears, invite smiles and make hearts swell. Say it, sign it, send it, sing it and put it out there."

I didn't write these words but they popped out at me today.  They came from Courtney Carver's "Be More with Less" blog.

Yum. Simplicity.


"Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving -- it is not in the result of loving. "

~~Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 17:25
The Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gayle Nobel   
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 20:44


Blog-a-thon Day #9

My brain has regained full function after a good night's sleep.

I'm sharing a letter I wrote to family and friends. Kyle has been assembling kits for a local charity, Shoebox Ministry, Inc. for the last year or so. This project is ongoing and so beautifully purposeful.

Dear Friends and Family,

A year or so ago I wrote to you about a community service project Kyle was working on at his day program with his 1:1 assistant, Angelica. He began assembling toiletry kits for Shoebox Ministry, Inc.

Shoebox Ministry, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit service corporation, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Shoebox was founded in 1988 with a specific goal of meeting the personal hygiene needs of the homeless and working poor. They are the only agency in the greater Phoenix area that focuses on meeting this very important need. While they are not a shelter, they do distribute the toiletry kits through agencies and shelters that work directly with the homeless and working poor.

I am proud to say that Kyle has assembled approximately FIFTY shoebox kits and has delivered them to a drop off point at a local church.

Kyle has participated in every step of the process of creating the kits.

He and Angelica went around to businesses to collect shoeboxes.

They picked up donations of items when available.

They regularly purchase needed items with donated funds.

Kyle helped organize the materials (with assistance) in the special assembly area created by Angelica at the Day Program.

Almost every day, Kyle assembles part or all of a shoebox. There are 12-20 items that go in a box.

Angelica reports that Kyle has gotten faster and more independent in assembling the boxes.

On Fridays, they deliver boxes to a local church. Sometimes Kyle has to walk a long way carefully carrying the boxes to the office.

The staff at the church, including the pastor, has gotten to know Kyle and personally thanks him for each delivery.

This has been a wonderful project for Kyle. I love that he can work on something meaningful (vs busywork) which helps him improve his focus and motor skills while also giving back to the community. Connecting with people in the community is also a plus. It's great that Kyle can participate in all aspects of the process from collecting donations and purchasing items to assembly and then delivery. There are challenges for Kyle in all these pieces of the project and he has make progress in all areas. Angelica has done a wonderful job of organizing the project for Kyle and keeping it moving forward. She has put a lot of time, thought, and effort into how to make this good for Kyle.

In fact, it has moved forward so much, they are once again, in need of supplies. I am contacting you to ask for your support in collecting items for the kits. There are many ways to contribute. The dentists often have lots of toothbrushes/toothpaste and are happy to donate a box of them. Or, if you see a sale going on, pick up some items for donation. Look through your cabinets and see if you have any unused supplies. Collect items when you are at hotels. And of course, we are in need of shoeboxes.

We will continue to help with funds so Kyle can shop for items at the dollar store too, but any donation of any item on the list would be greatly appreciated.

Kyle and his assistant can pick these items up if you want to donate so hopefully this makes the process that much easier. Just let me know and I can schedule a time for pick up and you can leave them outside the door.

Thank you for your support. I am pasting the shoebox recipe below and you can also visit the website for more info.


Assemble the following items into a shoe box and Shoebox Ministry will make sure it is delivered to a deserving recipient at one of the Valley's homeless agencies or shelters.

• 1 regular-size bottle shampoo (or 14 hotel/travel size)

• 1 regular-size bottle conditioner (or several travel size)

• 1 can shaving cream*

• 1 tube toothpaste

• 1 adult toothbrush

• 1 washcloth (new or clean used)

• 1 month supply women's sanitary products*

• 1 deodorant*

• 1 large bar soap (individually wrapped or in bag)

• 1 comb or hair brush

• 2 individual band-aids

• 2 disposable razors

• 1 body lotion (or several travel size)

• 1 pocket-size packet of tissues

• 1 pair of socks (new or clean used)

• 1 mending/sewing kit

1 magazine/reading material

Optional ingredients if available:

◦ 1 small packet laundry soap

◦ 1 shower cap*

◦ 1 bath/shower gel

◦ 1 hair spray

◦ 1 small notebook and pen

◦ stationery with stamped envelopes

◦ other misc grooming items for men or women

*Please vary items accordingly for a woman or man. If making a "family kit" include socks for a man and a woman, and include 2 adult toothbrushes, 2 children's toothbrushes, 2 deodorants and 5 disposable razors.

• Shampoo

• Deodorant

• Monetary Donations 


"Complain less, Giggle more."

~~Karen Salmonson

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 04:01
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