Monthly Bucket List July 2014:
1. Make a new friend.
One of the friends I made in July was Ryan, whose 10-year-old daughter, Lauren, makes Rainbow Loom bracelets to sell to raise funds for Paws Mission and other animal charities. I made a donation for a bracelet and Ryan befriended me on Facebook, after which she offered me a selection of about 12 Loom bracelets to sell to raise funds for Katniss' vet bills.
This is my Loom bracelet.
Following Green Living's visit-and-volunteer session at the Eats Shoots and Roots edible garden, I have also become fast friends with the other volunteers (I may be Green Living's coordinator but many of the members of the public who sign up for our activities are strangers to me until we actually meet) and also with Shao-Lyn, one of the founding members of Eats Shoots and Roots.
Meeting like-minded people at the Edible Garden visit-and-volunteer session.
Handing a token of appreciation over to Shao-Lyn
2. Help a stranger.
On 6th July, I organised the aforementioned visit-and-volunteer session and provided volunteer help to Eats Shoots and Roots at their edible garden. I trust this will not be my last visit and I will return as often as I can.
I am a crazy weeding machine!
As mentioned above, I also contributed to Lauren's Rainbow Loom bracelet fundraising project and made a donation to Paws Mission. Lauren wishes to contribute to Katniss' vet bills but I informed her that I have already taken care of it, and suggested putting the money into TNR projects instead. I think a 10-year-old would be quite happy to see her name on the official SPCA receipts for the TNR projects.
Aravind and I have also taken another 3 stray cats -- Whitey, Tortie and Batik -- for neutering and medical treatment for minor injuries sustained in fights.
I learned from my friend Colleen B. that there was an appeal for birthday cards for Danny Nickerson, a 5-going-on-6 year old with an inoperable brain tumour. His request was so simple, heartfelt and sweet that we would be idiots to say no. So we both sent him birthday cards stuffed full of stickers. Here's mine.
We learned from this news report that he received hundreds of cards and packages in the mail and would be paying it forward by donating some of his birthday presents to other children in need. People are simply amazing.
Am still helping out at the SPCA animal shelter and Free Tree Society nursery and with Reach Out Malaysia pretty much every week. It's nothing new to report but I just want to reiterate that service brings me joy.
Bathing and tickwashing the shelter dogs at the SPCA every weekend.
Weeding the Faerie Garden at the Free Tree Society nursery on Tuesday evenings after work.
Food distribution runs and homeless outreach programmes on Saturday night with Reach Out Malaysia. Aravind is in charge of feeding the cats and catching them for TNR. I am in charge of animal First Aid and cleanliness and litter prevention.
3. Eat something/at someplace new to me.
I usually have veggie/portobello burgers at MyBurgerLab or KGB Burgers, so it was a change from my routine to have a veggie burger at The Daily Grind a few weeks ago when I was in Bangsar to run errands.
The cosy and whimsical interior of the Daily Grind cafe.
A close-up of my sinful veggie burger and fries.
I also usually have Hakka Green Tea Rice at my usual eateries, Vegelife and Ming Tien Food Court, but sometime in the final week of July, I went to Green Meadow, an organic vegetarian cafe that also sells organic and vegan products in their shop downstairs. I managed to purchase organic cosmetic and personal care products as well as vegetables for my packed lunches.
What the cafe looks like from the outside.
The cafe was filled with gorgeous green plants.
Delicious and satisfying green tea rice -- it's like a spa for the stomach!
Organic and vegan cosmetic products at the shop.
4. Go someplace I've never been.
I didn't do any travelling in July but I did visit 3 places I've never been: The Eats, Shoots and Roots edible garden, The Daily Grind cafe and Green Meadow cafe.
5. Learn something new.
In July, I learned how to ride my skateboard off a curb and drop in at the ramps.
At kickboxing, we learned how to break a fall and free your leg when you kick your opponent and he kicks your leg.
I also blew smoke bubbles, something I have been wanting to try ever since I saw someone blowing one at the shisha cafe.
6. Declutter and cull 100 items.
I decluttered and culled more than 500 items this month, including my housemate Jake's old CDs and VCDs, the mail folders and files, and my workstation at work.
All the items went to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Merit Society recycling centre, which I have started volunteering at in August, but that's a story for the August monthly bucket list.
7. Give up something for a month.
In July, I gave up saying YES to all new commitments and responsibilities and felt so liberated afterwards. I learned a really cool new word in the process.
The word is "No".
As in, "I have a full time job, family to support and sick foster cat who needs daily vet visits, so NO, I won't take on more last-minute responsibilities just because someone else dropped the ball."
"No -- I can't meet up to listen to your ideas for volunteering. If you think it's a good idea, it probably is, and I am sure you have the competence and intelligence to pull it off."
"No -- I can't come to Perak to talk to MNS members about volunteering. It wouldn't make environmental sense. Just create volunteering opportunities and people will come."
"No -- I can't pick up your slack. You are the Secretariat and are paid to manage this, not foist it off on volunteers "
A good word.
A powerful word.
Why didn't I learn it sooner?